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Old 07-22-2021, 02:38 PM   #1
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New to Class C

We have traded out Passport 2520RL for a Winnebago Outlook 31N. Looking forward to taking delivery next week!! I sold out Chev 3500 and will be getting a Ford CMax Hybrid for my daily commute and for a toad. I am very surprised at the cost of getting the flat tow setup. Does anyone have a good way of doing this on a bit of a budget? I think I'll go with Mickey Mouse lights on the toad to start to save a few bucks. But I'm not sure if there is any cost savings hacks on the baseplate/hitch setup. Would appreciate any tips!
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Old 07-22-2021, 03:39 PM   #2
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The only way I know of to save money setting up a car to tow is to do the install yourself. My parts to tow a 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit was about $1600 from Etrailer and I already owned the tow bar. This was base plate, lights and Duo Play brake controller. A friend of mine had Lazy Days install his. He was billed for 13 hours of labor at $145 per hour. Nearly $2000 just for labor. Installation is time consuming. I'm just an average "Joe" with no special skills. Installation was difficult but I got it done. Two of my friends helped. We discovered that 70 year old men are not as flexible as we once were. Get bonding experience with plenty of frustration and laughs!
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Old 07-22-2021, 05:39 PM   #3
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The best bang for the buck might be buying a used toad. There are several in this site's classified section. Just had Demco's "Stay and Play" installed at a cost of $750 plus the cost of the brake system.
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Old 07-23-2021, 07:07 AM   #4
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I bought the tow bar off of Craigís list.

I buy the baseplate to match the tow bar and have the local auto body shop install the baseplate. I think the labor was $300 to $400.

I use Mickey Mouse lights. The cable is run inside all the way to the front bumper.
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Old 07-23-2021, 08:10 AM   #5
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WRT to the tow bar and braking system, take a look at NSAs Ready Brute Elite II integrated tow bar and surge brake. It is very cost effective and simple to install and operate (~$1,500 new). You will pay double that for other bars and separate braking systems. You will still need to have a base plate installed. Another option is to purchase a used tow bar and then add the NSA surge brake between the tow bar and hitch (~$600). If you buy a used tow bar, inspect it very carefully for damage, cracks etc. You wonít know if itís been used/abused until itís too late. We have a few thousand miles towing our F-150 using the RBE II and are very happy with it. Good luck!
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Old 07-23-2021, 08:15 AM   #6
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To save money I did the installation of the baseplate, light wiring and brake robot (brake buddy) myself. I thought the baseplate would be the hardest but with the guidance of an installation video from etrailer, the baseplate installation was much easier than the wiring.
Wiring my cars taillights was the hardest and most time consuming.
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Old 07-24-2021, 05:37 AM   #7
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As others mentioned, installing everything yourself will save quite a lot of money. In my case, I managed to buy everything brand new, but at slashed prices on eBay as "New Without Box". The Roadmaster tow bar bracket I bought specifically for our 2006 Jeep Liberty was missing parts, but Roadmaster was very happy to provide the missing parts at no charge. I had a similar story with my Unified tow brake system. In the end, everything installed by me was very affordable, done for less than 1/4 the price of driving to a shop and paying full price. Installing everything myself, also assured me it was done right. I installed everything 12 years ago and it all continues to work perfect to this day.
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