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Roadmaster Direct-Connect Base Plate Kit Installation - 2021 Buick Encore GX

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How to Install the Roadmaster Direct-Connect Base Plate Kit on a 2021 Buick Encore GX


Hi there, vehicle owners! Today on your 2021 Buick Encore GX, we're gonna be taking a look at and showing you how to install Roadmaster's Direct-Connect Baseplate. And this is what our baseplate looks like when it's installed. Our attachment points do pass through the fascia but you can see that they're tucked back fairly nicely to where it really doesn't detract from the looks of the vehicle. And also if you we're walking by here in the front, there's really little chance you're gonna be hitting your shins on anything. The black powder coat finish helps it blend into the area on our grill here where it passes through. So all in all, I think it's a really good look at the front of our vehicle.

For the outside here on each side, we've got our attachment point where you'll slide in the removal arms connected to your baseplate. To the inside of that we've got our safety cable mounting location. So you just clip right onto there. And then if we go towards the center here, we've got a electrical mounting bracket that comes included with it. And you can have a variety of different connectors here at the front, whichever works best with your motor home.

We're using a 4 flat on this particular project. But the most common is going to be a 6-way round but there are also 4 rounds available as well. And in addition to the electrical mounting location, they also provide the mounting location for your breakaway switch for your supplemental braking system. When you're ready to attach a tow bar to your baseplate, you'll need to put your arms in place. These will slide in, you give it a little bit of a twist until the pin locks into place, make sure your stickers are facing up.

We'll do the same thing over on the other side. And at this point we're now ready to attach to a tow bar and hook to our motor home. You can see here when you've got these installed it does add to the length and size of our baseplate here at the front. And when these are in if you're parking this in your garage, this is definitely a high risk of hitting your shins on it. So it's nice that these can be removable.

Give you that clean look again and also make things a little bit safer in your garage when you're parking it at home. The connection here at the end of our removal arms is designed to work with any Roadmaster tow bar. It'll simply slide right in the middle and our tow bar will attach with the pins that come included with your tow bar. The locking ends here on the end will ensure that those pins can't come out. Now just because the baseplate here is designed to work with Roadmaster tow bars, it doesn't mean it's not gonna work with any other manufacturer tow bar. You will have to swap out the ends on your tow bar to an appropriate adapter to work with this baseplate. But we've got those available here at etrailer. So if you've got another manufacturer's tow bar such as a Blue Ox or a Demco, you could hook up to this with no problem. Now that we've covered some of the features of our baseplate why don't you follow along with us here in the shop and we'll show you how to get her installed This is a pretty big hefty install. I would probably give yourself at least one full day, maybe a full weekend even, to get this done, depending if you're doing a full flat tow set up. We'll begin our installation here at the front of the vehicle with the hood open. We're gonna remove several fasteners here from across the front. And we'll be using a T15 torx to do so. We'll have a total of three fasteners on each side. One's pretty obvious here at the top. And the other two are right back behind the lip here. There's a one in the center and we don't need to remove that one in between the area behind the lip here. So we're just doing one there, skipping one, and then the next one. And then we'll remove the same bolt in the same location on the other side here. We're now underneath the vehicle and on our undershield portion right here, we're gonna remove the three bolts. And there's a push pin that we're gonna remove as well. To remove the bolts, we'll be using a 7 mm socket. We're just going to remove the other three on the other side. And then we can switch to a trim panel tool or a flat-bladed screwdriver. Either of these will work pretty well. I like the flat-bladed screwdriver 'cause if you look there's a small notch in the clip right there. And it's usually about the right size for the flat blade screwdriver to fit in there. You just give it a little push, it usually just pops out. We can then just pull the pin out after we've popped out the center. We'll go ahead and remove the one on the other side. And then we can set these aside. We'll then remove the torx screws located here attaching our fender liner to the bottom of the fascia. We're gonna use the T15 torx to do so. And we don't need to remove that third one over there. That one can stay in place, it's not holding our fabric in place. Once we've get that removed, this location right here, our fascia's attached to, so we're gonna remove both of those using a 13 mm socket or wrench. And then we'll head over to the other side and get those same pieces of hardware removed. We'll now take the bolts out here in our fender liner, we're on the driver's side so I've gone ahead and turned the wheel towards the inside here so that way we can more easily access these fasteners. We'll use our T15 torx to remove these. And we're gonna have about five of them that run up the inside edge here. We can also remove one push pin and this is kind of we go just straight inward from that - the highest fastener that we just removed. That's kind of where you'll find that push pin. This removes just like the ones down below so we'll pop that out of there. Now that we've got all the fasteners removed from here we can start peeling our fender liner back. I like to just take my screwdriver and put it in one of the holes or one of the fasteners we're and then you can help kinda get it started there. And we're just working our way down, peeling that back out of the way. Once you get about straight up there, that's a pretty good spot to stop. We'll be removing this trim panel piece now. And this kinda just pulls straight outward and slightly upward. If we reach around back, we can feel the push pins that hold it in place. These are pretty stiff push pins. So I like to give them a little bit of assistance and when you're feeling the pin you'll feel kind of a spot that's a little bit wider. And if you squeeze that wider portion, those are the tabs that hold the fasteners in place. So that'll just help make 'em come off a little bit easier. So we're just gonna give 'em a little bit of a pull and we're kinda pushing on that fastener. And they can be pretty stiff. Do expect it to be difficult to get that to pop off of there. And there we go, we've got it to pop. We'll work our way up. Any fasteners that haven't released, we're just gonna assist those. And we really just need to get to about that same point straight up here, getting it pulled out. We're also gonna have behind our reflector here, there's gonna be an electrical connector. To disconnect this connector, we'll first release the release tab. The release tab's gonna be located on top. So we're gonna just gonna be pushing the red portion of that tab towards the center of the vehicle. And once we've pushed that in, we can then press down on the release tab and get it off of there. This is the little lock tab that we pushed towards the center, the little red portion. And then this is the release tab right behind it there. Now that we've got this popped out to that point, what I like to do to keep that away from the vehicle, is I'll just take a rag or this is just some shop towels here and we're just gonna fold this up and this'll make a nice, soft little spacer that we can put in place up here to keep our trim piece out of the way for us. And now right up here at this same location, there's a fastener just behind the panel here. We'll switch to a 7 mm socket and we'll get that removed. So here you can see the spacer we've put into place and there's the fastener that we we're talking about. We're just gonna pull out of this a little bit. And we're just gonna remove this fastener now. That's our 7 mm socket. And after you get a couple turns on it with your socket, in most cases you can just pull your socket off of your ratchet, slide it on there and that's gonna give you enough grip to just pull this out by hand. Now that we've got that out of there, we're also just gonna take the wire here. We're gonna poke it inside the hole, and we're just gonna drop it so it's down between the fender liner here and the fascia. We'll then get this all set up just like this over on the other side, getting all those fasteners removed. At this point we can start removing our fascia. We're gonna start on one side and we're gonna kinda just pull outward and I'm pulling up just a little bit. And we're just gonna release it. Just to this point right here when we get it to the other side of our headlight. And we're gonna head over to the other side and get it released to this point over there. Now we'll reach down on bottom and we're kinda just pulling out just a little bit. There's some tabs here on top. You can kinda see there's a little black head going through the hole there. You're just gonna, we're gonna make sure we get it released off of those on each side and then we're gonna pull straight away. And we don't wanna pull it too hard because we likely have electrical connectors for any lights and components here. So we're just looking for that. And we do, it's over on our passenger's side over there. We'll have a connector located right here. So we're gonna just take our connector now, push that red lock tab away, pushing it back towards my hand there. Then we can press in on the release tab for the connector and we can get those disconnected. A lot of times what will happen is when you go to pull that one off, it will detach from the vehicle. So I'm just kinda sliding it forward a little bit. Hooking my arm under it so I can get better in here and get this released. Go rearward and then we'll set it aside where it won't get damaged. We'll now need to remove the lower air dam section here. We're gonna be taking the entire piece off and we're not gonna reinstall it. So to get this off of here, what we'll do is we'll take up where I've marked right here. We're just gonna cut it on each side in this location. And I'm just using a pair of 10 snips to cut it. Then we can take a screwdriver, we'll push up on the release tab located here and then just pull out on our air dam. We'll do the same thing over here on the other side. Press up on that and then pull outward. And then we'll just take this and then set it aside. We're not gonna be reinstalling that. We'll now need to remove some fasteners on our bumper beam. The opening holes here, inside of those you're gonna have two fasteners, and then just on the outside of the bumper beam here you're gonna have two. We're gonna leave the top outside corner bolt in place and remove the other three. We're gonna do this on both sides using a 15 mm socket. Next we're gonna put some spacers in place. I've taken two of the spacers and sat 'em side by side here so you can see that they're not the same length. You'll have four of these longer ones and two of these shorter ones. Just gonna get rid of that shorter one for now. So we'll be using that in the later step. The longer ones we're gonna take and insert into these opening holes here. Those will end up lining up with the factory weld nuts and we'll be getting our baseplate installed there. We'll now start to prepare our hardware for installation. These are the longest bolts that come in your kit. You wanna place a lock washer and a flat washer on it. And then we're gonna put some red Loctite on the threads as well. All the bolts that we used to put our baseplate on is gonna get red Loctite. So we're gonna go ahead and get six of these prepared 'cause that's gonna be easier when we gotta lift our baseplate into position if we got our bolts and everything ready so we can just get those in. We'll now take our baseplate and we're gonna put it into position. So we're just gonna hold it up here. We're gonna line up the vertical two set of holes here with the ones where we put our spacers in. We're gonna take the hardware we prepared and we're just gonna slide our bolt through the baseplate, the spacers, and then thread those into the weld nut. You may have to kind of lift your bolt up just a little bit to get it to line up with that weld nut. And once we get this one started on this side, we can then work our way down to the other side over here. And in that same location, we'll get one installed over here. Once we get one installed on each side now, our baseplate will hold itself up with these two bolts. And that'll make it easier to get the rest of the hardware installed. So we're just gonna have these loosely installed and we're gonna go ahead and get the lower holes loosely installed as well. We'll now take those shorter spacers that we talked about before and these are gonna slide into place on these outer bolts here. So we're just gonna slide that into position between our baseplate and our bumper beam. And then we'll take the last of our long bolts here and get those threaded in. We'll get the other side done as well. We'll now take the shorter, larger diameter bolts that come in our kit. We'll have four of these we're gonna prepare just by placing some Loctite on those. We'll now take our side brackets and put those into place. They are side-specific. The portion here where it's at a diagonal should be towards the outside. And it's gonna sit behind the baseplate and on top of our lower subframe there. We'll then take that bolt we just prepared, we're gonna slide it through the baseplate and through the bracket we just put on. We'll follow that up with a lock washer and a nut on the other side. We'll get this one loosely installed. We'll also get our second bolt into place in the other hole and get it loosely installed as well. And then the remaining smaller diameter bolts that come in your kit we'll put some Loctite on those. Put a flat washer on it. This'll then slide up through the bottom, pop out through the top, and on top we're gonna follow that up with a flat washer, a lock washer, and a nut. And if we get this one loosely installed we'll head over to the other side and get this bracket set up over there as well. We can now go back and start snugging up our hardware. I'm gonna push up on the baseplate, kinda get it pushed up against the bottom of the bumper beam there. Then I'll use a 17 mm socket to snug down the hardware here on the front first. Now we've got those snugged up, we can go back and snug up the remaining hardware. The larger ones that we've got down here, we'll switch to a 19 mm socket and wrench for those. And then lastly our bottom bolt using a 15 mm socket and wrench. And then we can go back and torque all of our hardware to the specifications outlined in our instructions. We're gonna be torquing it in the same order that we tightened 'em down. Now that we've got all of our hardware tightened down, the baseplate is fully installed on our vehicle here. We just need to reinstall our fascia in reverse order of how we removed it. We are gonna have to make some minor modifications to the fascia for it to get back into place. But this is a great opportunity to take a break from your baseplate install and putting that fascia back on. So you can complete the rest of your flat tow components. That's what we're gonna do right now. That's why we got this fascia off. We gotta do our diode wiring and our braking system. It's gonna be a lot easier to run all those wires while we've got our vehicle in the current state. So I'm gonna get the rest of those components installed and then I'll get back with you and show you how to get that fascia trimmed out and reinstalled. So we've got all of our components installed in the vehicle now we're ready to get this fascia back in place. We do need to make some modifications here so I've got it flipped over. We've got some towels and some foam pad laid down to not to scuff up the other side. This foam pad here we're gonna need to remove. So you can see our little release tabs there. We're just gonna pull those back out of the way as we work this down. If we get both of the bottom ones on each side off you can then kinda roll this outta here so you get it off of these clips. And then we're gonna set this aside, we're not gonna be reinstalling this. Next we'll take our wiring harnesses on each side. These are your fog lights, and this is where the harness goes across there. Where it's attached to this lower attachment right here, we're gonna use our trim panel tool to pop that off of there. We'll then need to hack this off. This is gonna contact our baseplate. We're gonna be doing the same thing to the other side as well. We'll use a cut off wheel to cut it off of there. And then any of these rough edges here you can just go back with a file and clean up. I mean, nobody's ever really gonna see this back here. The main thing is we need to get this out the way to clear our baseplates. You could just leave this alone, you're never gonna see it, it's gonna be hidden behind the fascia. Next we need to trim out the small beam that's located here. We don't need to trim it all the way across. But we do need to trim it flush with the outside edge. And then the tab that you see right here if we go in just a little bit, there's a tab. If we come straight down from that, that's pretty close to where it needs to be. You may need to take a file or do a little bit of additional trimming once you hold your fascia up there. We're just gonna use our snips for this. And we'll just come in straight down in that fascia tab. And snipping it off there. We'll then do the same thing over on the other side. And then I like to take a file to go back in just to clean off any of the rough edges. So that way we've got a nice, smooth finish. We can now put our fascia back into place. I do recommend having an extra set of hands when putting it back into place 'cause you have to feed all of your components here through that lower bumper. And it can be very difficult to do it all by yourself. So we're just gonna slide it into position. And as we're kind of just relatively mocking it up there, we'll need to double-check ourselves at the front to make sure that our components are passing through. Now when reinstalling your fascia, when we're holding it up there you might notice that you're getting caught on your electrical connections down here. And you may need to bend these up just a little bit to make them clear. We're just taking a half-inch socket, we put it in an extension. And that's gonna give us the leverage we need to just get a little bit of pry out of those. To bring those up some so that way they're gonna clear. And I'm just gonna eyeball it and get those even. If you have a 6-way connector you're installing you can hold that up there to match up the holes to make sure that it's going to attach appropriately. We also notice we have to bend our breakaway switch just a little bit to get this clear as well. And now with our fascia reinstalled, that'll complete our baseplate installation. I did wanna point out down here where our breakaway switch was, we did do a little bit of additional trimming down there in order to get that to pass through as well. And that completes our installation of Roadmaster's Direct-Connect baseplate on our 2021 Buick Encore GX..


Info for this part was:

Employee Jacob T
Video Edited:
Jacob T
Employee Dustin K
Video by:
Dustin K
Employee Jonathan Y
Video by:
Jonathan Y
Employee David F
Test Fit:
David F
Employee Bradley B
Test Fit:
Bradley B

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