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Roadmaster EZ5 Base Plate Kit Installation - 2013 Ram 1500

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How to Install a Roadmaster EZ5 Base Plate Kit on a 2013 Ram 1500


Rob: Hey everybody. It's Rob here at etrailer.com. Today, we're going to take a look at the Roadmaster Direct Connect base plate kit on our 2013 Ram 1500. Now our base plate is going to be the connection point that we can hook up our tow bar so we can safely flat tow our Ram down the road. Now it's a really nice thing about flat towing a vehicle, because let's face it once you get to the campground, we park our motorhome and we get ready to enjoy ourselves. Well then somebody forgot something, got to run up to the gas station, or maybe you just want to go out to eat with your family.

Well, we all know it's much easier to drive a passenger vehicle rather than this motorhome. So it's a lot easier just to pull up in the parking lot, park your Ram, rather than trying to find somewhere to put the motorhome.So being able to flat tow your Ram is really nice. Now, one major thing to keep in mind when you are looking at a the base plate is the big thing that's going to determine which base plate you get, is going to be the compatibility of the tow bar. Now our Roadmaster base plate is going to be compatible with all Roadmaster motorhome mounted tow bars, which means they're going to slide directly into the motorhome receiver tube. They're not going to use a ball mount or any other kind of coupling device.Now also keep in mind, there are other manufacturer's tow bars that will work with our base plate.

But they're going to require an adapter that is sold separately. So if you do have a tow bar from our previous setup, it might work with that. Again, just keep in mind you may need an adapter. Now, one thing I really like about our base plate is that the attachment point here, the arms are actually removable. We'll have this pull ring here.

If we pull out, we can twist the arm, and it'll come right out. Now we can have a really clean look. Doesn't stick out too far. We'll have a little bit of the safety chain sticking out, but this is right where our tow hooks would be anyway. And they're black.

So it kind of hides really well. And again, we don't have that big arm sticking out whenever we're not towing.And getting the arms locked in place is just as easy as taking them out. Take the arm, make sure the pins on top, push it in so we can see that ring kind of come back. And we can rotate it. We'll hear it lock into place. Now our Roadmaster Direct Connect gets the name because our tow bar is going to slide right in between this channel here. And we use a large pin secured down and hook it directly to the base plate. Now, I like that because one, it's a little bit easier, quicker to hook up. We're not going to have to worry about a crossbar that spans from side to side, or any other kind of components to help us hook up. It's just a matter of sliding the tow bar arm in place and putting the pins in.Now our safety chain connection point is going to be on the outside of our tow bar attachment, which doesn't seem like a big deal, but it is nice that it's out here, here rather than being on the inside, because it can be a little troublesome once you get everything hooked up to get the hooks in place. As you can see, we got plenty of room to get most size hooks on, take them off. And again, we're not going to have to worry about any kind of interference, whether it's from the bumper or from the arm itself.Now, Roadmaster also includes a bracket so you can mount your electrical and your breakaway switch for your braking system, because they realize that you are going to need more components than just your base plate to flat tow. So they made a bracket that fits really nicely behind this plastic panel. And all you end up seeing is the actual component sticking out. Just keep in mind that neither the electrical socket wiring or the braking system come with it. But they do come with a bracket to mount those components.Now, if you're looking for a base plate for your Ram, you've probably seen a few of them out there. Now I do have to say that our Roadmaster Direct Connect is one of my favorite for a few different reasons. I really liked the removable arms because of the clean look and how easy it is to hook up. But there's a couple of different base plates that have removable arms that are just as easy to hook up. But I feel like our Roadmaster is the easiest to install, because it is going to use all factory mounting holes.And again, our base plate's going to be coming out right where our tow hook was coming out or where it would come out if you have tow hooks on your truck. Now it's not going to involve any kind of removal of our bumper or anything like that. And there's only very, very minor drilling. I wouldn't even call it drilling. You're really just enlarging a hole. Whereas some of the other base plates, they are a little bit more in depth, a little bit more challenging to get installed. So I feel like you get the best of both worlds with an easier installation and the convenience of the removal arms, the nice look, and overall just an easy way to use your base plate.But now that we see what our base plate looks like and gone over some of the features, let's go through the installation process together. So you can have the confidence to do it at home. To begin our installation, we want to come to the front of our Ram. Now I want to point out that our Ram does not have the factory tow hooks so it is going to be a little bit different if you do have the factory tow hooks. We want to move underneath the front of our Ram and we're going to come underneath the bumper, and look forward so we can see where the bumper meets the frame.So we're over here on the passenger side, but the driver's side, it's going to look very similar. But if we come to the frame rail and we find where it meets the bumper, we're going to have two bolts on the very bottom that are holding the bumper in. We're going to remove those. We'll grab an 18 millimeter socket. We're going to loosen both of those up and pull them both out.Now you want to make sure that you hold on to these nuts, and once you have them both removed, we're going to go to the other side and pull the other two out as well. Now if we come over to the driver's side, it's a little bit easier to see, but right above that lower stud, there's this little tab that's sticking out. Now there is going to be one on the passenger side, but they're both going to be on the right side. So this one will be on the inside of the frame rail. The one of the passenger side is going to be on the outside. But we need to make that tab as flat as we can get it.So you get a couple of different options. You can either break it off, cut it off, or you can take a hammer and flatten it out. If you are going to use a hammer though, I just suggest that you try to use a pry bar or something because this stud's really close. We don't want to damage the threads or possibly knock it out. So I'm going to take a short pry bar, just put it right against that stud and then take a hammer and flatten it out.And if you can, if you're not getting it flat enough, just be extremely careful not to hit that stud when you're flattening it out. But we'll move over to the other side and make sure that other tab is nice and flush against the frame. Now, obviously we either have an opening from where our tow hook was, or we have these covers like we have here. And even if you had the tow hook you're still going to have somewhat of a cover and it's held on by these four bolts.So we're going to go ahead and pull that out so we have a nice opening for our brace to go through. I'm going to take a 10 millimeter socket, I'm going to pull all four of these bolts out. And then to get it out, we're going to have to slide it a little bit towards the center, kind of work it loose from everything. We should be able to pull it out. Now we're still going to have the cover on the other side. So we want to make sure we pull out that as well.Now, if we look at the opening, we can see a few marks that are already made. And really what we need to do is we need to open up these curve sections so that it's more of a rectangle rather than having this little lip right here. Now you can use a rotary tool. a file, a few different things you can to open it up, but it is kind of a limited space in here. So I am going to use a rotary tool, but because of the angle it's at, I'm going to make the most cut that I can, and then probably have to come back and use a pair of pliers to break it off the rest of the way.Now you definitely don't want to leave all these sharp little burrs there. So we're going to come back with a file and clean up the edges. We're going to cut out the other side of our opening and then move to the other side of the truck and cut that out as well. Now, I do want to mention, you'll notice here that I actually ended up cutting out that bottom section. And that's because when I held up our base plate, the main receiver brace, it couldn't actually fit through because the bottom of it was hanging out and interfering with that cross section.So I still cut out the edges, but I just cut it out the bottom. And even if we do decide to remove the base plate, you can still put everything back in place. But again, you kind of want to go knock off all the sharp edges with a file or something, and we can come back and paint everything, make sure the metal is nice and protected. Now, again, I like to come back with spray paint, it'll help protect the metal from any kind of rust or corrosion. But keep in mind that this is the front of our Ram. So right on the other side of this opening is our bumper.Now we don't want a bunch of over-spray on there. So that's why I took a paper towel, put it up there and then spray. That way there's less of a chance of over-spray getting on the outside. We'll go ahead and do the same thing for everywhere else that we have any exposed metal on our truck. So we're going to grab our main receiver brace. Now you're going to know if you have the correct side because these two tabs with the single holes in each one should be facing up. And this tab here with the hole should be going towards the outside.And when we lift this into place, those two studs we removed the factory nuts, these are going to slide right over it and this'll come out the opening of the tow hook. So we come underneath, we'll lift it up. You want to lift it up and you want to make sure this tab is on the inside of the frame rail. Again, we'll just lift it up, kind of line up the studs. Now, I will let you know, it's a little bit of a snug fit, but if we can get it to just rest on the studs, we're going to grab the factory hardware and loosely get it in place for right now. That way we can make sure that the bracket's not going to fall off and we can get ready to put the rest of it in.Now if you look at the bottom of the base plate, there's going to be that tab at the bottom of the frame. There's a hole there's already a weld nut inside. So you want to grab the M12 bolt out of your kit. It's going to be the shorter one out of the two. And now you do want to make sure you put a little bit of red Loctite on there. And we'll follow it up with a split lock washer. And then one of the smaller flat washers. And you just want to come from the bottom, and for now we just want to get this loosely started. Just make sure it's not cross threading. Just get a couple of turns in there by hand, just enough that it's loosely in place, we don't need to crank down at just yet.Now we got one more mounting location and it's going to be that tab that's on the inside of the frame. Now there's already a hole that goes all the way through the frame. And we need to get our long half inch bolt through there. But you'll notice real quick that that hole is just a little bit too small to actually fit the bolt through. So I'm going to come back with a file bit. And I'm going to file out just enough on each side of the frame so I can get my bolt to go all the way through.Again, you want to make sure you put some Loctite on all the bolts that we're using for our base plate. We want to grab one of the larger flat washers out of our kit. We want to come from the inside going towards the outside. Pass our bolt, make sure it comes through the other side of the frame. And then on the outside of the frame, we want to take one of the large plate washers. It's going to be the thick black washer in your kit. Slide it over the bolt, slide another lock washer over, and then finally secure it down with the hex nut.Now this is going to be the exact same combination of hardware and locations for the other side, just going to be a mirror image. So we can move over to that side and put the other brace in place. And we can come back and we can tighten up all our hardware. For the bottom bolt and the bolt that's going through the frame, we're using a 19 millimeter socket. And you will need to use a wrench to hold the nut on the other side, which is also going to be a 19 millimeter.And then we can use that same 18 millimeter socket to tighten up the factory nuts. Now you do want to make sure you come back and we're going to torque all of our hardware down to the specified amount in the instructions. You want to make sure you go back and repeat that for all your remaining hardware. Now, at this point, the base plate is ready and it's installed, but we want to go ahead and use the mounting bracket for the electrical and the breakaway switch.Now, nobody really wants this big bracket hanging out on the front of their truck. And they realized that, so the way we're going to get this installed is we're actually going to move underneath. We're going to come right to the center, right where the bumper meets the plastic on the backside. So if it come to right where the bumper meets the plastic, you're going to see that we have this flange here and it's got a lot of these plastic pushpins going through. Now, this is going to be the one that's in the very center. If we're looking at it, we want to come just to the right of it. And we're going to drill a hole just through the plastic. You don't want to go through that metal flange, but you want to drill right at that corner piece.And then if we move towards the driver's side, we'll find another push pin. And again, I want to drill a hole just to the right of it. So this is kind of an awkward angle to drill at, but you want to drill straight out. Again, you don't want to mess that flange up that's up top. So kind of have to have your drill at an odd angle and just go through the plastic one. There's one. Then we'll get the second one over here.So I went ahead and connected those two pilot holes that I just made. And we're basically cutting out a slot right here so we can slide our bracket in. However, whatever you are cutting this out, you want to cut right up to the flange, but you don't want to cut through that flange. So you want to be extremely careful while you're cutting this. Now I'm just going to use a rotary tool just so I can have a quick clean cut. And we can always come back and clean up any of the excess plastic.Now that we have that little notch cut out, I'm actually going to just use a screwdriver or something, kind of pull it out. So I don't have to worry about cutting too much, because we only want that notch cutout. I really don't want to start cutting the side and over cut anything. So now we have our notch made, we need to come back to these pushpins. We need to pulled both of those out. So you want grab yourself a trim panel tool. And there's a little center section in each one of those. You want to come underneath that center piece and pop it up. That's going to take all the tension off the push pin. And then once you have that center section popped up, you can come underneath the face and pull the rest of it out. I'm going to do that for both the push pins on either side of that notch we just made.And for the wiring, you do want to make sure that it's just pushed out of the way and it's not interfering with anything and it doesn't get caught when we go to put our hardware in. Now we're going to take our bracket and we'll take that section with the two tabs, we're just going to slide it in to that notch and then just kind of rotate it so that our electrical socket is nice and centered and even on the outside. So you can see on the inside that our bracket lines up with the holes that we just pulled those push pins out. Now we don't want to leave everything using pushpins to hold this down, so we're going to take the 3/8 bolts that come in our kit and these will fit right through the bracket in both sections that flange.And it's really up to you, whatever's going to be easiest, you can drop the bolt from the top going down, or you can come from the bottom going up. I would just let you know that most likely you're going to have to pull down on the plastic to either get the nut or bolt to go through, because it's obviously very limited on space once you get towards that flange because it curves in a lot. So it really is up to you which way is going to be the easiest. But I found it the easiest way, honestly, is to have the bolt come down from the top and then we should be able to just kind of hold the nut with our fingers to get it threaded on and started.Before you put the nut on, though, you do want to put a lock washer in place, kind of just lift up on the bracket a little bit, pull down on the plastic, then we can slide the nut in place. And again, it's just kind of a matter of getting your fingers in there and getting it at least started so that we can come back with a socket and a wrench. Then you want to come back with a 9/16 wrench and socket and tighten up that hardware. Now the final step is going to be putting the draw bars in place. You just want to make sure that ring's on top. We'll push the arm in until it kind of extends that pin out, can rotate it, until it locks into position. And once you have that in you're ready to hit the road.But again, I'm Rob here at etrailer.com and that'll finish up your look at the Roadmaster Direct Connect base plate kit on our 2013 Ram 1500.


Info for this part was:

Employee Jacob T
Video Edited:
Jacob T
Employee Kathleen M
Video by:
Kathleen M
Employee Jonathan Y
Video by:
Jonathan Y
Employee Robert C
Test Fit:
Robert C

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