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Roadmaster Direct-Connect Base Plates Installation - 2020 Jeep Cherokee

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How to Install the Roadmaster Direct-Connect Base Plates on a 2020 Jeep Cherokee


Hey everybody, Ryan here at etrailer. Today on our 2020 Jeep Cherokee, we're going to be taking a look at and showing you how to install the Roadmaster base plate kit with removable arms. So we're going to need five main components to flat tow our Cherokee down the road. We're going to need our base plate, which that's going to give us that solid and reliable connection point to hook up our tow bar to. The tow bar is going to be another component. One end is going to hook up to the front of our Jeep.

And the other end is going to hook up to the back of the motor home. And this is actually going to be that physical link that pairs the two together.Third thing that we're going to need is safety cables. Now these are here in the event of a catastrophic disconnect. These are going to keep everything attached. The fourth component will be tow bar wiring.

So the wiring is going to transfer the lighting signals from the back of your motor home to the back of your Jeep. That way everyone behind you knows what's going on. The fifth main component being a braking system. So the braking system is going to independently apply the brake pedals Jeep. Whenever you hit the brakes in your motor home.

That way your stops are going to be more safe and predictable. Now this face plate, I'm actually pretty fond of. It's going to look really good and for the most part be completely hidden. Whenever our arms are not in place and we're just driving around town, this is how you typically use the base plate.It's going to blend in really nice. Originally you would just have some tow hooks here.

So there would already be a piece of steel kind of filling in this gap. And in my opinion, this just looks really good. Now what's great about the removable arms is you don't have to take them out whenever you're just driving around like normal. So if you'd rather leave them in for convenience or just show them off, you can do that. To get them in and out is really easy. All you do is simply push the arm in and rotate it about a quarter of return until the pin locks into place. And that's how each side is going to work. Since this is a direct connect base plate kit, it is going to save you a lot of time and headache whenever you go to hook your Jeep up or even disconnect it.And after talking to a lot of customers, that's really the last thing they want to do whenever they're ready to hit the road. The direct connect your tow bar is simply just going to come right into the removable arms. You'll put a pin in and you're hooked up. As opposed to some of the other crossbar styles, which are a little more complicated and cumbersome to handle, you're going to have a bar that runs across here and just a lot more components to have to worry about, but this one it's really straightforward. Now, one thing I do want to point out, if you do want to lock everything, there are a handful of different locks you can choose from here at etrailer. Base plate's also going to come with a bracket that gives you a great spot to mount up your tow bar wiring and your braking system.And to me, that's a pretty important detail. So a lot of times you can go through quite a bit of trouble trying to find a good spot to mount these components. But this one there's really no guesswork. You got the spot and you use it. So at the end of the day, it's going to be a good looking base plate and give us that secure attachment point. As far as the installation goes, you do have to remove the front facia, but it's really not that bad. Everything's easy to get to. And it's pretty straightforward. Speaking of which let's go ahead and put it on together now.To begin our install, went ahead and popped the hood and we're going to have to remove this plastic radiator cover. So all along the cover, we're going to have 13 plastic fasteners, just like this one here, and to get all these out, you're going to take a Flathead screwdriver or a trim panel tool if you have one and you're just going to pry underneath the head of that fastener. And if the head just pops out, no big deal, just get underneath the base and pull it out like that. So I use that same technique to get all of the remaining fasteners out. So now with all those fasteners removed, we can kind of pull up on our radiator cover, lift it off the front of our Jeep, and we'll just set it to the side.Now if we move underneath the Jeep, we're going to need to remove our skid plate. It's going to be held in by seven, 13 millimeter bolts. We're going to have three along the front edge and four along the back edge. We lower it down and send it to the side. Along the bottom edge of our facia, we're going to have four 10 millimeter bolts connecting it to the core support. So we're going to go ahead and need to pull those out. On this edge here, on the bottom side of our Jeep, we're going to have a pop rivet. We're going to need to get that drilled out. So I'm going to take a quarter inch drill bit, drill through the center of it until it comes out. Once we have this one removed, we're going to do the same thing to the other side.Now, if you move to our front wheel aligner, we're going to have three eight millimeter fasteners. One there, one there, and one here. We're going to go ahead and pull those out. Once we have those removed, we can kind of grab our liner, kind of just peel it back 'cuz what we're going to have to do is remove a bolt located up in this area. So a bolt's going to be right here on this edge and it's going to have a 10 millimeter head. That out of the way, we're going to repeat that same process over on the other side. The front of our Jeep, on each side, we're going to have a T 30 Torx bit screw that we're going to have to pull out.At this point, we're going to get our facia removed along these edges here, where it meets the quarter panel, I just put some painters tape just to help keep the paint protected. So to get this started, what I'm going to do is grab a plastic trim panel tool and kind of pry in the corner here. Once we kind of get it pulled out like that, we can start to work it down and more or less, there's just these little clips. Inside here there's a piece of black plastic for these openings to kind of clip onto. So if they don't pop right off, you may need to take this tool or a small flat head or something to just help kind of work it. Work it back just like that. Now what I'm going to do is do the same thing on the other side. And then we can work from the center to get our bumper out of the way. Kind of just pop it off.Now, if we pull our bumper back a little bit here on the driver's side, we're going to have this clip and we need to disconnect. We're going to do is this yellow tab, going to pop that out. And then you can squeeze on the sides of it. We'll lift up on it. Then we can separate the two. With that unplugged we can take our facia and set it off to the side somewhere safe. With the facia out of the way we can remove our bumper horns.And so we're going to have a little keeper right here on the stud. Pull that off and just take a Flathead screwdriver and kind of just work it off. So we have that out of the way, we're going to three 15 millimeter bolts holding the bumper horn on, And then we can just set to the side. Now, from this point on, anything we do to one side of the Jeep, we're also going to do to the other, because they're going to be set up the same way. Now we're going to get our tow hooks removed and out of the way. On the bottom side, we're going to have two 16 millimeter bolts. So we're going to pull those out.And on the back of our tow hook, we're going to have a large nut here that we'll take off. And usually you can just unthread this by hand. If it has a little tight, you may need to grab an adjustable wrench or something like that to break it loose. In our case, ours is just hand tight. Pull that off, and then we can pull straight out on the tow hook to remove it. Now we can grab our base plate and these are size specific so refer to your instructions and make sure you have the right one. But a quick way to tell is that the safety chain hook here should be facing towards the inside of our Jeep. But that being said, what we're going to do is take the long bolt that's included and some red Loctite. We're going to put the Loctite on the threads and any of the bolts that hold our base plate on we'll receive some of this Loctite. So way down in the base plate, there'll be a hole that this bolt needs to pass through. So it's a little tricky to do when the base plate's on.So I grabbed our bolt and just attach it to a magnet. We'll drop it down in there and kind of use our magnet to help everything line up. If you don't have one of these magnets, what you could also do is just use a socket and a long extension, try to get it to pass through. It's a little tricky to see. So you're going to have to kind of go off feel a little bit, but once we find it, that's what it'll look like. So we're going to kind of hold that bolt steady. That bolt is going to pass through this large hole here and we can push our base plate up against our Jeep. What we're going to do is take that factory hardware and get those started.We're also going to have a bolt up here. So we'll use our factory hardware that was holding on our tow hook. Can get that started hand tight too. On the backside of that big bolt that we put through. We're going to take this large flat washer, slide that over a split lock washer. And a hex knot. And we'll just get this started hand tight. With all of our hardware in place, now we can snug it all down. We're going to first start with this one up here. Kind of fold it flat against our bumper core. Then we can follow up with these three and the large bolt on the inside. Now we can torque all of our hardware down to the amount specified in the instructions.So if you're going to be installing your included wiring bracket, as we are, what you're going to need to do is measure from the driver's side to hook Mount edge here towards the center on our bumper beam to the amount listed in the instructions, and I just put a dot there. And so what we're going to do is take a drill bit and drill a hole through our bumper beam.So once we have our first hole drilled out, we're going to take another measurement from center of that hole, put a dot and drill the same size hole. Once this opening is created, we can get our hardware up there and attach our bracket. What we're going to do is take our included bolts, kind of hold them in place. We're going to take our bracket and the holes. And this is going to wrap around the backside of our bumper. And those bolts are going to line up with the holes. So we're kind of just inaudible 00:14:24. Once we're kind of holding them there on the other side of the bolt, we'll just take the included flange nuts, get them started and then you come back and tighten them.Now at this point, it'd be a great time to install any other flat tow components because we're going to have all this extra room to work. However, if you're not installing any other components -already have them done, you would cut your facia according to the diagram in the instructions. And re-install it the opposite way that we removed it. Underneath the bottom edge of our facia, that rivet that we drilled out on each side, it does come with new rivets to replace those. However, you are going to have to pick up a rivet gun separately and that'll finish up our look at and our installation of the Roadmaster base plate kit with removable arms on our 2020 Jeep Cherokee.


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