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





Questions and Comments about this Article

Ray M.

I have a Falcon 2 that came with my motor home I would like to tow a 2017 Lincoln MKX. What base plate do I need?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Victoria B.

@RayM With your Roadmaster Falcon 2 tow bar, you will want to use the Roadmaster Crossbar-Style Baseplate Kit # RM-524447-4 . I have also included links to wiring and braking systems for your MKX, as well as safety cables. If your Falcon 2 did not come with the crossbar, you can find the replacement with part # 910021-00 .

Gregory

What will fit stowmaster 5000 and 2008 Pontiac G6 looking for base plate, wiring , and breaking system

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Victoria B.

I have linked the Roadmaster base plates that are a fit for your G6. This Crossbar-Style baseplate will work with your StowMaster 5000. To pick the correct base plate you will need to select your vehicle style. I have also linked wiring and breaking system options for your 2008 G6.

Andy H.

I am considering flat towing a 2008 BMW 328i with 6 spd.man. transmission. I read that the Blue Ox base plates BX1300 and BX1302 were compatible with 325's up to 2003. Do you know if they will work for a 2008 328i??

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

We haven't tested it out but I'd be surprised if it fit. Your 2008 is a 5th generation which from what I could find started in 2004. I also checked an online copy of your owner's manual and it looks like you aren't supposed to flat tow your vehicle, although you'll want to check your copy of the owner's manual to see what it says.

Jav A.

Is your tow system compatible with a 2020 Ford Expedition, fx4 xlt? I have read conflicting comments of it only working on non fx4 models. Thank you in advance.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

According to the online owner's manual you can for a 2020 Expedition if it has the 4x4 Low and you placing the transfer case in neutral. If you don't have the 4x4 Low then you cannot flat tow it.

Keith B.

2018 kia optima

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

That's a pretty slick looking vehicle.

James J.

Can my 2009 chevy impala be flat towed. I have a roadmaster tow dolly and used 3 times. Passenger side broke off all studs going down interstate twice. One time last year and again 2 weeks ago.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

From what I could find in the online version of the owner's manual you will need a tow dolly to transport your 2009 Impala. You'll want to verify this in your copy of the owner's manual.

Antonio S.

I have a 2019 VW Jetta 6 speed manual Transmission need to know which model base plate to acquire please?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

From what I could find it looks like you'll either need to transport your Jetta using a tow dolly or a trailer. I wasn't able to access an owner's manual though so you'll need to check that out on your end to make sure you tow it appropriately.

Alvin N.

I have a 2011 lincoln mkt. I have the roadmaster baseplate #524422-1 installed, the plate has the cross bar style arms. I would like to know if there is a direct connect arm for this base plate.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Kef G.

Your base plate is an EZ base plate, so it's already designed to work with all Roadmaster tow bars, including the ones that use the Direct Connect method of connection. If you have a different tow bar (like a Blue Ox), let me know and I can help you find the adapter you need.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Kef G.

Your base plate is an EZ base plate, so it's already designed to work with all Roadmaster tow bars, including the ones that use the Direct Connect method of connection. If you have a different tow bar (like a Blue Ox), let me know and I can help you find the adapter you need.

Steve

I have a 2011 Subaru Forester 2.5 Prem. automatic transmission - what base plate should I purchase?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

Since you have an automatic transmission you will need to transport your Forester on a trailer with all of the wheels off of the ground. Otherwise the owner's manual says that with all wheels on the ground you can't go faster than 20 mph or further than 31 miles.

Rick P.

I just purchased a 2021 Nissan Versa with intention to flat tow. What equipment is needed as I have never towed before?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

For a complete flat towing setup you will need a base plate kit, tow bar, safety cables, vehicle tow bar wiring, a supplemental braking system, and possibly a high-low adapter.

Reply from Rick P.

@JonG Thanks for info

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

@RickP Anytime!

Gene B.

I have a roadmasterstowmaster5000withquickreleasebar I need baseplates for 2013 srx cadi to fit tow at I have everything but baseplates

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

What you need is the Roadmaster Base Plate Kit # RM-523162-4 .

Jim R.

I have a Roadmaster 5250 tow kit. What baseplate, cross bar do I need for a 2003 Ford Escape?

Louis S.

What is the easiest vehicle to install a baseplate on?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

From the variety of instructions I've looked at I know that some Jeeps tend to have some easier installations but I also know that it depends on the year of the Jeep and what type of bumper is currently installed on the Jeep. If you're trying to find a vehicle to flat tow then I would probably focus a little more on the specs of the vehicle directly and then just make sure that it can be flat towed by checking out the owner's manual online. Most base plate kits have a bit of an installation process so I wouldn't be as concerned with that part, especially since that is a one-time deal as opposed to the experience you'll be getting when you're driving the vehicle around.

Robert I.

I have a Falcon 2 that came with my motor home I would like to tow a 1993 Tracker 4x4 with a standard transmission. I need the correct base plate. Could you provide me information on what I need and the cost?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

You can either use part # 118-1 which has fixed arms or part # 118-3 which has removeable arms. Please note that neither of these will fit if your model has a brush guard. It will fit if your Geo Tracker has a skidplate.

Robert M.

I have a Sterling All Terrain tow bar that connects to the receiver hitch on my RV. Will your Roadmaster base plate for a 2019 Dodge Durango RT fit my tow bar? If so what base plate should i order from you?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

As long as your 2019 Dodge Durango doesn't have adaptive cruise control or a brush guard then I recommend going with the Roadmaster Direct-Connect Kit # RM-521445-5 . This will match up perfectly with your Sterling All-Terrain # RM-576 and give you a quick and easy way to connect the two.

Adam

I am looking to flat tow a 1974 Chevy Blazer K5 4x4. What base plates are available. Hopefully something removable.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

The only base plate kit that we have for your 1974 Chevy Blazer is the Roadmaster # 122-1 which does have fixed arms. This only fits a 2WD and it won't fit a Diesel and 5.7L engine. Attached are links to the fitguide for your '74 Blazer as well as an overview of the parts you'll need for flat towing.

Bruce M.

I have a 2010 smart car with a ROADMASTER towing system. The car has a universal 900 wiring kit installed....there are two diodes in each side into the rear lights. I may have had a short last year and now no power to the smart lights but they work on the car fine.....just got car and do not know if there would be a fuse that could be blown and where that might be located,,..install was done at camping world in Tucson.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

I don't think this would be a fuse issue but is more likely just related to a short somewhere in the wiring. If possible, I simply recommend inspecting all the Roadmaster wiring and looking for any damaged or pinched areas that need to be repaired/replaced. Also make sure all the wiring connections are still secure.

June N.

trying to get what I need for towing a 2019 Dodge Ram 1500 3.6 the RV has the wiring but need the controller then need everything from the motorhome back such as base plates towbar, light kit and brake kit for the truck, Please let me know as I have tried calling with no luck Thanks

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

For your 2019 Ram 1500 I recommend the Roadmaster Base Plate Kit # RM-522203-4 with which the BlackHawk 2 Tow Bar # RM-422 will work perfectly. Then for wiring the truck up so its signal lights work with the RV's I like the Roadmaster Diode Kit # RM-15267 and for braking I highly recommend the Brake Buddy # HM39524 .

Dave S.

I bough2005 Honda Cr-V with full time 4wheel drive and it already had a roadmaster 1555-1 on it where it had been used for a flat tow. Got it from dealer so not sure of the history. I bought a used Falcon 2 with round parts that attach to the base plate but mine are 1.5" square. Is there somewhere I can buy the right ones? I would like to drive my car to a dealer near me to see it work. I'm in Ocala FL. 34482 is there one near me?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

Did the used Falcon 2 come with its Quick Disconnect Crossbar # 910021-00 ? You will need this component to attach to the Roadmaster Base Plate Kit you have installed on the CR-V.

Ricky B.

Can I install a tow bar plate on my 2013 Mini Cooper Convertible Roadster with John Cooper Works?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

The Roadmaster Base Plate Kit # 521879-1A is a fit for the S model of your Mini Cooper Convertible and is compatible with John Cooper Works.

David A.

I need help determining what frame base plate I need to my 1970 Bay Window Bus ( Transporter ) I purchased a RoadMaster Stowmaster 8000 lb

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

There aren't any custom base plate options for your VW Bus, so you'll just need to use a universal setup like the Blue Ox # BX88266 , which gets bolted to the bumper (reinforcement will likely be needed as well).

Réjean R.

pour un Hyundai élantra 2012 la bare d'attache svp for a Hyundai élantra 2012 the tow bar please

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

For just the tow bar I really like the Roadmaster Falcon All-Terrain # RM-522 . If you also need a base plate kit, the Roadmaster # 521632-1 will work perfectly if you have the GLS model (with manual transmission). If you have the Touring model (with manual trans) you'll want part # 521627-1 instead.

Michael B.

I have a 2008 Mazda 5 I want to tow behind a 2015 32' Mini Winnie on a Ford 450 chassis. What system do I need

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

We actually don't have a base plate kit available for your Mazda 5. The best option we have is a tow dolly like the Demco # DM9713045 .

Pcm

Have a 95 Jeep yJ wrangler . What road master tow bar and what base plate should I get if I tow occasionally. Doesn’t have to be fancy but safe and easy to hook up. Could be another brand as well. It’s a manual 5 speed tranny. Oh yes it’s towed behind an Ford F 150.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

If your Jeep YJ has the standard factory bumper, the Roadmaster Base Plate Kit # 1409-1 will work perfectly. For a compatible tow bar I really like the Roadmaster Falcon All Terrain # RM-522 .

Christine

I need to flat tow my 2008 Mercedes CLK 350...transmission is shot. I own a Roadmaster tow bar...what other parts do I need to tow it?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

Unfortunately there aren't any custom-base plates available for your Mercedes (since under normal circumstances it's not flat towable). You would need to make significant modifications to the bumper to construct a universal type setup, so I honestly think your best route would be to simply load it up on a trailer for transport. It will likely be more cost-effective as well.

John P.

Can I flat tow my new Nissan Rouge? If yes, what type of base plate will I need?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

I checked the owner's manual for both the 2019 and 2020 model Rogue (I'm not sure of your exact model year) and found that the vehicle cannot be flat towed with all 4 wheels on the ground. If you have the from wheel drive model, it can be pulled using a dolly. If you have the AWD model then the only way to transport it behind an RV would be by placing all 4 wheels on a trailer.



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