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Roadmaster Direct-Connect Base Plates Review and Installation - 2019 Jeep Cherokee

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Review and How to Install the Roadmaster Direct-Connect Base Plates on a 2019 Jeep Cherokee


Hi there, Cherokee owners. Today on your 2019 Jeep Cherokee, we're going to be taking a look at and showing you how to install Roadmaster's Direct-Connect Base Plate. They're going to be five main components you'll need to flat tow your vehicle behind your motor home. One of the first and most important items is going to be our tow bar here. The tow bar is going to be your attachment that connects your motor home to your vehicle. In addition to your tow bar, you're also going to need safety cables, which is a supplementary attachment between your motor home and your vehicle.

Now our Nighthawk here does come with safety cables included with it, and they go on these nice channels underneath keeping it nice and neat. Now if you've got a different tow bar, you may need to purchase safety cables separately.We'll also need a base plate which is going to install on our vehicle and provides the attachment point for our tow bar to hook to our vehicle. We'll also need our diode wiring, which is going to take all of our lighting signals from our motor home, transfer it back to the vehicle, so that way the lights at the back of our vehicle is going to mimic the lights on our motor home so everybody behind us knows our intentions when going down the road. And lastly you're going to need your supplemental braking system. This is going to apply the brakes in your vehicle when you apply the brakes in your motor home to assist it when stopping.

And this is what our base plate is going to look like when it's installed. What I like about this base plate is that it is two separate components, one on each side, and it just goes right where your existing tow hooks used to be.This is going to be an easier installation than other options and I think it also gives it a cleaner look, because it just pokes out through our tow hook existing hole. Now there is going to be a little bit of trimming required for some of your electrical components, but I do like that it comes with a bracket for mounting your six pole as well as your breakaway switch, because sometimes it can be difficult to find a spot for these. Another thing that I really like is that since it is just replacing your factory tow hooks, there's no drilling required, all the holes are already going to be there. There is some additional hardware that does come with your kit that you will need to install, but it pretty much just slides into place and you just bolt it down.When you already do use your tow bar, We're going to put our direct-connect inside, and this just simply slides in.

We're going to push it until the pin collapses, and then turn it until it locks in place. We can do the same thing with the one on the other side, and this is where our tow bar is going to connect. I like that they're removable because they do kind of stick out a little bit. You know, you can walk across the front of the vehicle and you might get hit in the shin. You don't got to worry about that if you just take it right off.

And then when it's off, you almost don't even notice that there's been any modifications to the vehicle. It really retains a nice factory look.Next to our tow bar attachment point, you'll have your safety cable attachment point, and that'll click right into place in there. You'll have one of these on each side for your safety cables and we can hook up our electrical connector here, and this is nice and clean using the included bracket that comes with our base plate. Now I did mention earlier that there's no drilling to get the base plate installed. This does not hold true for our bracket. The bracket will have to have holes drilled into the bumper beam going across to get it mounted up, if you choose to use it.We'll begin our installation at the front of the vehicle by removing the plastic trim piece here, at the front. There's going to be a total of 12 plastic fasteners we're gonna need to remove to get this off. We'll use a flat bladed screwdriver or a trim panel removal tool. Take your bladed end and put it in the little slot there. Pry the center piece out, and then you can remove the entire tab. We're going to remove all the tabs from this cover. Now that all of our pins are removed, we can just lift our plastic cover up and set it aside. We're now located at the driver's side wheel well. There are three bolts we're going to need to remove from the inside of our wheel well using an eight millimeter socket. Then if you follow your wheel well down and just on the bottom side, you'll find a rivet. You're going to need to drill that rivet out. You can use 1/4 inch drill bit to do so. Don't worry about drilling the rivet out, you'll get replacements with your kit.Now that our wheel well hardware is all loose, we can kind of move it around. We want to pry back our liner here, and right here on the inside, you're going to have one more bolt. We'll remove this bolt with a 10 millimeter socket. And now, we'll repeat this same process on the other side. We're now underneath the vehicle. There are several bolts along the front here that we're gonna need to remove. We're going to use a 10 millimeter socket to remove those. And now, we're going to loosen these three bolts here for your under shield. You can take the under shield out completely if you want to, to give yourself some more room to work, or you can just loosen them up and that'll give us enough clearance to be able to get our fascia off.We're now back on our driver's side fender well. We've peeled back the liner a bit, and here's our washer bottle here behind the liner. Just to the front of that washer bottle, you're going to find this large connector here. We're going to need to disconnect this. So pull back on the release tab there, pop that out, and then we can pull up on the red portion to separate the two, and now we can start pulling our fascia. Your back and your fascia is just going to pull out. It is a little difficult to get it to pull out, so I recommend using a trim panel tool to help you pop the the pieces off. You do kind of have to tug and pull a little bit to get it to go. If you pry it from the top here by the headlight, and pull down below at the same time, it can help get it to release.We're going to do the same thing on the other side. Once we've got both sides released, we're going to work our way towards the center. Keep pulling it off little by little on each side. You can then back up slowly, check for any electrical connectors that may be present. We've already disconnected the main harness connector, but depending on your options on the package you have in your jeep, there may be some additional connections to disconnect. We're now going to set our facia aside so it won't get damaged. Now with our facia removed, we're going to remove our bumper horns here. There's going to be three bolts we're going to take out with a 15 millimeter socket, and then one nut with a 10 millimeter socket. You'll want to make sure you save this hardware. We're going to take the other side off as well.Next, we'll remove our tow hooks. There are two bolts here we'll remove with a 16 millimeter socket, and there's also a nut on the backside of the shaft here that you're going to remove with a 30 millimeter socket or wrench. And if you don't have a 30 millimeter, you can use an adjustable like we are here. You'll want to save all of this hardware as well. We're going to remove our other tow hooks the exact same way.We can now install our base plates onto our vehicle. Before we do that, we want to prepare. Take the long bolts that come in your kit and put some Red Loctite on it. Now, Red Loctite doesn't come with the kit, but you can pick some up here at etrailer.com. We'll be using this on all of our hardware from here forward, this bolt is going to slide down through the center of our base plate, and it's gonna come out the hole here at the back. It can be a little difficult to get this to line up, so you may need to use a screwdriver or an extension to help you to get there to line up. Okay, now we're going to place our bracket on the vehicle. They are side specific. You want your bolt holes to be towards the outside corner. Slide your bracket in place, lining up all the holes in it with the preexisting holes. We're then going to take our original hardware that we had removed, and thread it back into those holes.We'll now take a 3/4 inch socket on an extension. We're going to go through our base plate, and put it on the bolt that we had put in there. We're doing this mainly just to keep it from pushing back through, because we're going to place our hardware on the other side now, which is going to consist of a large flat washer followed by a lock washer, and a nut. Now that we've got all of our hardware started, we can go back and tighten down all of our bolts. We also want to replace our vertical bolts going straight up. You're only going to be able to put one on the outside, as there's no hole in your base plate bracket for the other bolt.We can then go back and torque all our hardware to the specifications found in our instructions. We'll then repeat all the same procedures to get the base plate installed on the other side. Next we'll mount our electrical connector bracket, and you want to refer to your instructions. It'll tell you how far to measure over and a good location to mount your bracket. Now you're not restricted to putting it here, but this is going to be a location that's going to be clear so you can easily get your fascia back on. You are going to have to do some trimming on your fascia for your connector to be able to mount, but this is a known location from Roadmaster to fit properly. Once you've marked out the distance in your instructions, you can go ahead and take your bracket and hold it up here. To make it easier to mark it, your bracket will mount like that. But to mark the holes, you won't be able to get it in there, so if you flip it around backwards, you can slide it in, line it up with the mark you made from your instructions, and then use the two existing holes in your bracket and mark those, so you know how far apart they need to be, and then drill that out on the frame.Now take the smaller bolts that come in your kit. We're going to push those up through our bumper beam, take our bracket, we'll come around back and place it on top. We'll then thread a nut on it, on the opposite side. And we're going to do the same thing with our other hole. And that completes our base plate installation. Now before you put your fascia back on, I highly recommend that you do your complete flat tow setup, if you are doing like a braking system in diodes, while you still have it all apart. This is going to give you better access, and it's going to make the rest of your installation easier. If you've already got all that done, then you can just reinstall your fascia following reverse order of how we took it off. These small beams here may poke through the grill on your fascia a little bit. You may still need to drill out a little bit of hole, or cut out a little bit to make room for your electrical connector behind it. And that completes our installation of Roadmaster's Direct-Connect Base Plate on your 2019 Jeep Cherokee.


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