Roadmaster Vehicle-Specific Base Plates

Base Plates on a Jeep

Base plates are the first piece of a five-part puzzle: base plates, tow bar, wiring, safety cables and braking systems. Base plates are the only part of the puzzle that is vehicle specific. A dinghy, or vehicle being towed, requires custom-designed base plates that specifically fit its frame.


Roadmaster Base Plate Styles

Roadmaster base plates are made in two styles - quick disconnect and direct connect. These styles differ in how the tow bars connect to them.


Roadmaster Quick Disconnect Style Base Plate

Quick disconnect style base plates have arms that terminate in a flat surface. Roadmaster tow bars (both quick disconnect and direct connect) can be attached to this style base plate. Each type of tow bar uses a crossbar and quick disconnect hardware to attach to these base plates, although the crossbar os the Tracker model can be bolted directly to the base plates for a more permanent connection.


Roadmaster Base Plate Differences

  • Classic - Old style design without removable arms
  • XL - Removable arms held in place with pin and clips
  • EZ and EZ2 - Removable arms twist-lock into place
  • EZ4 - Removable arms are spring loaded and twist-lock into place
Roadmaster quick disconnect style base plates


Roadmaster Direct Connect Style Base Plate

The arms of direct connect style base plates terminate with a set of two tabs that receive the lugs at the ends of the tow bar arms. The tow bar arms can be easily positioned then connected with pins. Roadmaster's coupler style tow bars - Stowmaster and Tracker - will not work with these base plates.


Roadmaster Base Plate Differences

  • MS - Arms are not removable
  • MX - Removable arms held in place with pins and clips
  • EZ5 - Removable arms are spring loaded and twist-lock into place
Roadmaster direct connect style base plates




Design and Construction

  • Consist of two main parts:
    1. Frame Bracket(s)
      • Mounts directly to the dinghy's frame
    2. Drawbar arms
      • Are either welded to the frame brackets or removable
      • Provide attachment points for the tow bar
  • Install on dinghy's frame using as many existing attachment points as possible without sacrificing strength and safety
    • When multiple base plate kits are available for a specific vehicle, they will install in similar ways, using the same points on the frame. The differences lie in the drawbar type and whether the base plates come as one or two pieces.
    • The type of base plates available for any given vehicle depends on the vehicle's frame type
      • Larger vehicles can have base plates brackets that come as two separate pieces because the vehicle frame is strong enough to handle the stresses of towing
      • Smaller vehicles may come with a one-piece bracket to reinforce the vehicle frame for towing
  • Constructed of laser-cut steel
  • Finished with black powder coat
  • Tested for structural integrity
Base Plate Kit




Types of Roadmaster Base Plates



Standard Base Plates

  • Designed for older vehicles
  • Fixed drawbar arms - not removable
    • Pieces of metal permanently visible on the front of the dinghy
  • Work with all types of Roadmaster tow bars
  • Require crossbar for the tow bar
    • Crossbar provides additional strength for towing setups and also serves as the link between tow bar arms and drawbar arms
    • Quick-disconnect compatible

XL base plates

  • Available for cars, SUVs and trucks
  • Removable drawbar arms
    • Invisible frame brackets, once drawbar arms are removed
    • Square drawbar arms held in place with hitch pin and clip
    • Fat end of arm is bolted to tow bar crossbar or attached to quick disconnects
  • Work with all types of Roadmaster tow bars
  • Require crossbar on tow bar
    • Crossbar provides additional strength to towing setups and is also the link between tow bar arms and drawbar arms
  • Quick disconnect compatible

EZ and EZ2 base plates

  • Available for cars, SUVs and trucks
    • Brackets can come as single units or as two parts
  • Convenient twist-lock, removable drawbar arms
    • Do not require pin and clip to lock into place
    • Drawbar arms insert into frame brackets and twist 90 degrees to lock
  • Invisible brackets when drawbar is not installed
  • Requires crossbar
    • Crossbar provides additional strength to towing setups and is also the link between tow bar arms and drawbar arms
  • Quick-disconnect compatible
  • Work with all models of Roadmaster tow bars

EZ4 base plates

  • Available for cars, SUVs and trucks
    • Brackets can come as single units or as two parts
  • Convenient twist-lock, removable drawbar arms
    • Spring-loaded design allows base plates to be recessed farther and hidden better than EZ and EZ2 base plates
    • Do not require pin and clip to lock into place
    • Drawbar arms insert into frame brackets and twist 90 degrees to lock
  • Invisible brackets when drawbar is not installed
  • Requires crossbar
    • Crossbar provides additional strength to towing setups and is also the link between tow bar arms and drawbar arms
  • Quick-disconnect compatible
  • Work with all models of Roadmaster tow bars

EZ5 base plates

  • Available for cars, SUVs and trucks
    • Brackets can come as single units or as two parts
  • Convenient twist-lock, removable drawbar arms
    • Spring-loaded design allows base plates to be recessed farther and hidden better than EZ and EZ2 base plates
    • Do not require pin and clip to lock into place
    • Drawbar arms insert into frame brackets and twist 90 degrees to lock
  • Invisible brackets when drawbar is not installed
  • Arms of base plates attach directly to the telescoping tow bar arms
    • Does not require crossbar or quick disconnects
    • Speeds up hooking-up process
    • Looks better than standard, XL or EZ base plate connection
    • The drawbar arm is a two-prong fork that a pin is inserted through to attach the plates to the tow bar arm
      • Not compatible with accessories that require quick disconnects
  • Compatible with Roadmaster motor-home-mounted tow bars

MS base plates

  • Designed for vehicles with heavy-duty frames (trucks and SUVs)
  • Fixed drawbar arms - not removable
    • Pieces of metal permanently visible on the front of the dinghy
  • Arms of base plates attach directly to the telescoping tow bar arms
    • Does not require crossbar or quick disconnects
    • Speeds up hooking up process
    • Looks better than standard, XL or EZ base plate connection
    • The drawbar arm is a two-prong fork that a pin is inserted through to attach the plates to the tow bar arm
      • Not compatible with accessories that require quick disconnects
  • Compatible with Roadmaster motor-home-mounted tow bars

MX base plates

  • Designed for vehicles with heavy-duty frames (trucks and SUVs)
  • Removable drawbar arms
  • Arms of base plates attach directly to the telescoping tow bar arms
    • Does not require crossbar or quick disconnects
    • Speeds up hooking-up process
    • Looks better than standard, XL or EZ base plate connection
    • The drawbar arm is a two-prong fork that a pin is inserted through to attach the plates to the tow bar arm
      • Not compatible with accessories that require quick disconnects
  • Compatible with Roadmaster motor-home-mounted tow bars




Connecting Roadmaster Base Plates to Tow Bars

There are three ways that base plate arms can be connected to the tow bar. The type of connection depends on the type of base plates you have.


Standard, XL and EZ base plates

  • Use quick disconnects to conveniently attach the drawbar to the tow bar crossbar
    • Quick disconnects come as two parts: Half of the quick disconnect bolts to the crossbar of the tow bar; the other half bolts to the base plate
    • After initial installation, you can connect the tow bar by sliding the tow bar and drawbar arm quick disconnects together and securing them with a pin and clip
  • Bolt the base plate drawbar arms directly to the tow bar crossbar
    • Each time you attach the tow bar to the base plates, the crossbar and drawbar arms must be bolted together
Roadmaster Tow Bar Setup Using Quick Disconnects

MS and MX base plates

  • Conveniently attach drawbar arms directly to the tow bar arms using a pin and clip
    • Simplest hookup
    • Does not require intermediate quick disconnects or crossbar
Roadmaster Tow Bar Setup with MX or MS Base Plates




Base Plate Adapter

A tow bar adapter allows a tow bar to work with base plates from a different manufacturer. So, for example, you can use a Blue Ox tow bar to tow a dinghy that has Roadmaster base plates


If you have a Roadmaster product, there is a great way to think about the adapters and to figure out which one you need

  • Determine which part of your towing set up is from Roadmaster. Depending on which part is from Roadmaster, the type of adapter needed will fall into one of two categories:
    1. Adapters to Roadmaster base plates
      • These adapters convert a tow bar from a different manufacturer, like Blue Ox or Valley, to work with Roadmaster base plates
      • All adapters that convert a tow bar to work with Roadmaster base plates require quick disconnects to link the two products
        • Some adapters come with quick disconnects. You may need to purchase quick disconnects separately.
    2. Adapters from Roadmaster towbars to base plates from a different manufacturer
      • Allows Roadmaster tow bar to tow a dinghy with base plates from a different manufacturer (e.g., Blue Ox or Demco)
      • Adapters connect directly to the telescoping arms of the Roadmaster tow bar
        • The Roadmaster tow bar crossbar is removed and replaced with the adapter
      • Pins and clips attach the adapter to the Roadmaster tow bar arms and to the base plates
      • There are no adapters available for the standard Stowmaster and Tracker tow bars





Related Articles


Towing Your Vehicle: A Basic Overview


Roadmaster Tow Bar Feature Descriptions


Base Plate Adapter Table


Updated by: Raymond P.

Last updated: 10/17/18







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