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Old 09-12-2020, 11:38 PM   #1
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THOR #12548
Cost for installing base plate for flat tow?

Hello Esteemed colleagues!

We are two weeks away from acquiring a new ‘21 Jeep Sahara and want to flat tow it. In talking to General RV about ballpark costs to have them do it (parts and labor, all in) they said it would cost around $4,000.

Is that right/average cost? Their opinion was that it would take 8-9 hours to install the stuff on the toad. They would need to disassemble the front of the toad to get things done right.

This type of job seems above me, and with a brand new (and expensive) car, I don’t want to just wing it. As an alternative to having that RV shop do it, I am thinking that the Jeep dealer might be better (but as a dealer, likely just as bad). Would a reputable corner local mechanic be a place to consider?

Where do people get this done? Is it something that a non wrench-monkey should consider doing themselves? Is $4K market rate for getting it done by a shop?

We keep our cars for 10+ years, and see our RV’ing only increasing as the years go by. I’m looking for a permanent install and easy system to use. I could also use some opinions on which of the many solutions I should be seriously considering.
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Old 09-13-2020, 12:01 AM   #2
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IMO a credible RV dealer would probably be a better choice than the car dealership. Its been well over ten years since I had the base plate and braking system installed on our toad. At that time it was about 4K for the tow bar, base plate and the proportional braking system install, and all the wiring for lights, the braking system, and battery charging. About 2K then for the base plate, and yes its a very labor intense process. I found and had a former RV dealer service manager that was free lancing do mine, and we never ever had an issue with any of the work. He did all the work on the toad, in my garage.
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Old 09-13-2020, 12:03 AM   #3
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a year n half ago we bought a Wrangler TJ as a toad....We had an RV dealer do the install of the Blue Ox baseplate, tow bar and complete setup including all the wiring. We spent around $3500 including the braking system (which was a tradein .. we saved about $700) It was a lengthy install...we stayed at their location and were there for about 7 hours. No regrets,
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Old 09-13-2020, 12:57 AM   #4
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THOR #12751
Cost for installing base plate for flat tow?

I installed a Roadmaster direct connect baseplate on my 2018 Wrangler Sahara Unlimited JL myself a couple months ago

It only took about 2 hours with basic tools. I also installed the diode and wiring kit for the lights, which took another hour. I spent maybe another 30 minutes to install the wiring so the coach will charge the Jeep battery.

Roadmaster provides detailed instructions and there are several videos online.

I also went with the RVi3 Portable brake unit instead of spending the time installing a permanent braking solution. The cost was about the same and that took 15 minutes to install and test. It also lets me move it to another toad easily.
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Old 09-13-2020, 02:16 AM   #5
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Like Judge I installed the baseplate, light wiring, charge wire, etc.
Bought a used Roadmaster tow bar on craigslis for the old toad, moved it and our Patriot portable brake to the Cherokee. .

Take a look a etrailer.com, you can download a PDF of the baseplate installation.
Here's a link.
https://www.etrailer.com/Base-Plates...-523179-5.html

If you decide to take on this very rewarding $$$ diy, you'll get a lot of help from this forum

After your research and you decide to have the work done check with local 4X4 shops.
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Old 09-13-2020, 02:23 AM   #6
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Grand Cherokee Trailhawk setup with all Roadmaster to include InvsiBrake cost approximately 3600.00 and took one day.

For 4K what is the setup?
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Old 09-13-2020, 03:12 AM   #7
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I self installed on a Jeep TJ last summer and it was a bit under $3,000 for a really nice set up. The base plate was really easy and took under an hour. “Permanent”brake system (Stay in Play) was the most complicated taking me a good 4 hours. If you use a portable system you’d not need that labor. Still I can see it costing $4,000 at a dealership. I think I did a better job than most “techs” would do. Last pickup I bought I had the dealer install a trailer hitch and they left off 2 of 6 bolts because the holes were not perfectly lined up. Had to take it all apart and fix it in about 5 minutes with a rat tail file. I don’t trust most shops. But that’s just me!
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Old 09-13-2020, 10:47 AM   #8
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I suspect each toad can be different and take more or less labor. I helped a mechanically challenged friend install his base plate on a Mini. It took us about 6 hours. I suspect I could do it again in 2-3 hours now that I know what to do.

David
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Old 09-13-2020, 12:36 PM   #9
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Etrailer was mentioned earlier. I don’t think you mentioned where you live but if you are close to Missouri and can spend a couple of days there Etrailer will install everything you purchase from them for free. Except BlueOx. For some reason they stopped installing BlueOx about the same time Camping World started carrying BlueOx. We have had setups on several RVs and Toads performed at Etrailer and never had an issue.
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Old 09-13-2020, 01:03 PM   #10
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I was going to recommend Etrailer also. That is where I bought my tow rig and installed myself. But, if you are not close to Etrailer, you can still save some $$ by ordering from them and having another independent installer near you do the job. You could check around your area and find out who could do the job for the best price with you furnishing the rig before ordering.
Good luck and happy trails
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Old 09-13-2020, 01:30 PM   #11
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I installed the base plate myself took around two hours, and I assembled the tow bar less than hour. I also installed the rake buddy, But I did have some one else do the wiring . I used the Demco system my total cost was 1500.00
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Old 09-13-2020, 01:42 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by fhenn View Post
I installed the base plate myself took around two hours, and I assembled the tow bar less than hour. I also installed the rake buddy, But I did have some one else do the wiring . I used the Demco system my total cost was 1500.00
Same here. With the Demco tow bar, base plate and light system it was near $1100. The install took about the same time. Very pleased with it so far after a two plus years.
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Old 09-13-2020, 09:34 PM   #13
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THOR #12189
Did everything myself including wiring for lights and brake system power supply from the coach. $600 bucks - all in. I found the Blue Ox tow bar and the Patriot in a thread in the For Sale section on this site. It came with the 7 to 5 pin and the power supply cable to run from the coach the towed. I had to wire the coach and towed to wrap it up.

Not sure what your confidence level is but I didn't find it that hard. Took some time though. About 6hrs for everything start to finish including tests.

2+ yrs full time and I'm glad I dove in.
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Old 09-16-2020, 01:59 PM   #14
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Thanks everyone for the info. Seems that the dealer’s off-hand guesstimate wasn’t too far off the mark—but people do install part/all of the systems themselves.

Still not sure what I’ll end up doing for the 2021 RV season—but this info helps.

Thanks!
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