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etrailer Invisible Base Plate Kit Installation - 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee

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How to Install the etrailer Invisible Base Plate Kit on a 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Shane: Hey, everyone. Shane here with Today we have a 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee, and I want to walk through how to install the tabless base plate. Base plate's going to be one of five main components for a flat tow setup. The other four are going to be your safety cables, your braking system, your tow bar, and your wiring. Base plate's going to attach to the chassis of the vehicle to give you a solid connection point for your tow bar.

With it being tabless, our tabs are actually going to attach to our tow bar. So when we remove our tow bar off our base plate, it's going to maintain a nice, clean look.Our tow bar is going to be the solid connection point between our base plate on our towed vehicle and our motor home. Our safety cables are going to be a secondary safety device in case our tow bar fails. Our wiring is going to allow us to transfer light signals from our RV to our towed vehicle so that everybody around us knows what we're doing, whether we're braking, turning, or driving at night. Our braking system is going to be required by law in any vehicle being flat towed.

And what that does is it allows the vehicle to not only slow but stop itself so we're not relying on the brakes from the RV to slow down both vehicles, because let's face it, replacing brakes on your RV can be expensive.Now to remove our tow bar from our base plate, I'm going to make sure the vehicle is in drive mode. Emergency brake is on. You're going to unlock the arm, you're going to pull out this pin, and all we're going to do is twist and slide the arm out. And you can see it maintains a nice, clean look when we don't have our tow bar in and we're ready to drive our vehicle normally.It's going to be a steel construction, nice, black powder coat finish, so it matches this vehicle very nicely, and here, we're going to have our safety chain loops. As you can see, without our tow bar installed, we're ready to drive the vehicle normally.

Again, it's going to maintain a very nice, clean look on the front of the vehicle.Another nice feature I really like about this base plate is we are going to have caps. So when we're not flat towing our vehicle, we can slide our cap on, and that keeps dirt and debris from getting inside of the base plate hole and makes it a little bit easier when we're trying to insert our tow bar.As far as the installation, it is going to be fairly straightforward. You are going to have to remove the fascia, so I do recommend having an extra set of hands when doing that. You are going to have some wiring back here that you are going to have to unplug, so when taking it off, don't just pull it off. Make sure you disconnect those first.As far as installing the base plate once the fascia is off, it's going to have two bolts on each side that bolt into factory weld nuts.

This particular vehicle does not have tow hooks, but if you have tow hooks, you just remove those and the hardware goes in place of those.Now that we've gone over some features, let's walk you through how to get it installed. To start our installation, we're going to start under our hood. This plastic piece that comes off our grill, we're going to have two pushpin fasteners we need to remove. And you use a flathead screwdriver or a trim panel tool. You want to pry out the center and then pull out the base as well.Next thing we're going to do is we're going to come to where our front fascia meets our fender. On each side, where this line is, we want to tape the top and bottom. And I'm just going to use painter's tape. And the reason I'm doing this is when we take the fascia off, when we go to put it back on, we want to make sure that neither piece gets damaged. Once you get both sides taped, inside of each fender well. Then we're going to have two plastic rivets. We're going to take a 3/16 drill bit, we're going to drill out the center. And we're going to repeat that on the other side.On the underside of our fascia, we're going to have four pushpin fasteners we need to remove. We're going to do the same thing here as we did with the pushpin fasteners underneath the hood.And on each side, right in front of the wheel, there's going to be a little wing nut. It's going to be plastic. We're just going to do a half turn, we'll slide it out, and that's going to release our wheel well liner from the front fascia. You'll have one of these on each side.We're going to come to the outside edge where our facial meets our fender. Right in this corner, there's a pin that runs down like this. What you're going to do is you're going to push in and kind of pull out on this piece, and then you're going to rotate your front fascia down just a little bit, and that will release that tab. Start working our way to the center.Now it's a good idea before you get too far, what I like to do is take the box that the base plate comes in, set it right under the edge of your fascia. That way, when you get one side, you can set it on the box, because we're going to have to undo some wiring that's back there. It's also a good idea to have a second set of hands. We're going to come up here to the top, you're going to pop these panels up like that, and then we'll get our second set of hands. We'll have one person on one side and one on the other.If you have the washer fluid or your headlight sprayer, those need to come out. You're going to push these tabs out, slide the sprayer forward, and press the tab out.And on each side, we're going to have to unplug our fog lights. We're just going to pull up on these two black tabs on the outside, and then we're going to have one extra plug on our passenger side, and it runs directly down from here, sits right there. Next we're going to temporarily remove our air. Deflector. We're going to have the same fasteners as we did in our wheel well liners. They're going to look like this. Half twist and pop them out. We'll have three of them, one on each side, and then one in the center.Next thing you're going to do is if you have tow hooks, you're going to need to remove those. We don't have them, so we're going to skip that step and we're going to come to our fender liner. Where our fender liner hits this pan underneath, right in this corner there's a bolt. 10-millimeter head bolt. We need to remove the one from each side. With an eight-millimeter socket, if you have adaptive cruise control we need to remove these two bolts. We're going to slide our adaptive cruise control off and let it hang. Just lay it out like this, and we're just going to let it hang there.Next, we need to get our hardware ready to install our base plate. We're going to have two sets of bolts in our kit, a small one and a large one. We're going to take the four larger ones, we're going to put on a lock washer and a flat fender washer, and take Loctite and we're going to put it on threads. We're going to do this on each one of our bolts.Next thing we're going to do is we're going to slide our base plate into place. You may have to take a soft hammer to get it in there, get it lined up with the holes. Then we'll take our hardware. We're going to have two weld nuts, right on the bottom of our frame rail. You want to make sure that the cable going to your adaptive cruise control's on the outside of your bracket.Once you get your bracket in place, or your base plate in place, you get your hardware installed, we're going to come in and we're going to tighten it. We're going to use a 5/8 socket. Once we get it tightened, we're going to come back and we're going to torque all the hardware to the specifications in the instructions.Once we get all hardware torqued, now we can go ahead and put our adaptive cruise control back in place. Next we're going to put on our safety cables. Now these have to go on before you put the fascia back on. What you want to do is you want to get around the main cross tube of the base plate and around the frame rail. So it's really going to be different for each vehicle frame, because some models may not have some components. You just want to make sure you go around the frame rail.You want to make sure you're also staying away from anything hot or moving. So keep in mind, when you run it from here up on your passenger side, you may have belts going to your fan. So just make sure you're watching where you're putting it. Once you get it around, you're going to take the two round ends and you're going to put on the D-ring. Once we get that tight, I'm going to take the rest of this and I'm going to zip tie it right to this brace. That way it keeps it from flapping around.Next thing we need to do is we need to trim our air dam. We're going to have to trim off these tabs here on each side, you can see where I got them marked. I'm just going to use a rotary tool with a cutting blade. Once we get it trimmed, we can reinstall it. So we can reinstall our fascia in reverse order from the way we took it off. What I suggest doing before you install your fascia is any other components you're going to be putting on, put them on now while your fascia's off, like a braking system or your diode wiring, because it's going to make it a lot easier to mount your stuff and run all of your wiring, because our fascia's going to have to be trimmed out around our base plate. Rather than trimming it out here and then coming back later and having to take it back off, mount everything else, and trim it a second time, go ahead and get it all mounted. That way we can trim everything out at one time, we don't have to take our fascia off.This bracket is for your diode wiring. This comes with your base plate. It's going to come bent, but there's nowhere really on this vehicle to mount this, so you can see what I did is I put it in a vice and I flattened it out. I just ran bolts or drilled holes all the way through the bumper beam with a bolt and put a nut and flat washer and lock washer on the backside. My breakaway switch, I just ran a bracket down from the bottom hole and mounted it on there so everything stays together. And then when I go to put my fascia back on, when I cut everything, everything stays nice and clean.So what I like to do is set my fascia in place. Keep in mind, the bottom is not pushed all the way in, so it's going to drop a little bit. And then mark around your components with. I use a black marker. And I'm just going to take some side cutters, because this is plastic. Cut where our marks are. And then if we have to make any further cuts from that, we'll be able to do that.We need to come to the underside of our fascia and get it trimmed. This plastic cover here, our base plate is actually going to come right through the end. So you can see where I have it marked. This is going to be our passenger side. I'll cut that out. And then on our driver's side, because we have our wiring and breakaway switch mounted here, we're actually going to be cutting this out the same as passenger side, but we're actually going to be cutting this piece off here.Now these two that I marked, I don't know for sure if I'm going to have to cut these off or not. This is going to be more of a once we test fit the fascia back on. If it makes contact with the base plate, then I have it marked, and I know I need to trim it. If not, then we'll be set. I'm just going to use a rotary tool with a cutting blade to cut it out. Keep in mind when you get, you can kind of see how that rolls. When you get down here, this gets pretty close to the honeycomb fascia. So you want to make sure you're not going too deep, where you're actually going to cut that.Once I test-fitted my fascia, I determined that where I mounted my bracket for my wiring, for my six pole plug, this is actually hitting it and not allowing me to push the fascia all the way back in, so I'm going to have to trim this out as well.Can start reinstalling our fascia. You want to make sure if you had to remove your sprayers, you get those reinstalled, and also any wiring that you had to disconnect. Once you get your screw back in the top corner, the kit's going to come with four new rivets. Once you have your fascia back in place, everything's trimmed out accordingly, you're ready to go. That's going to do it for a look at and installation on the tabless base plate on a 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Info for this part was:

Employee Joshua S
Video by:
Joshua S
Employee Zach D
Video by:
Zach D
Employee Schuyler H
Video by:
Schuyler H
Employee Jacob T
Video Edited:
Jacob T
Employee Chris R
Video Edited:
Chris R
Employee Shane H
Test Fit:
Shane H
Employee David F
Test Fit:
David F
Employee Ryan G
Test Fit:
Ryan G

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