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Roadmaster Direct-Connect Base Plate Kit Installation - 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee L

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How to Install the Roadmaster Direct-Connect Base Plate Kit on a 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee L

Hello neighbors, it's Brad here etrailer. And today, we're taking a look and installing the Roadmaster base plate on a 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee L. Now, this is gonna be available in two different configurations. You're gonna have your direct-connect style or you will have a cross brace style. Now, keep in mind, this is sold separately, so if you are planing on doing a crossbar, you are gonna have to pick this up, but we do have this available here at etrailer. Now, in flat towing a vehicle, there's gonna be five main components that are gonna be required to tow.

And the first one we have is our base plate. The next thing that we'll need is a tow bar and that's gonna create the connection to these arms to the hitch on the RV. You're also gonna have your safety cables. So, we have the loops here, you're gonna wanna pick up those cables or a tow bar that has them included. You're also gonna need to pick up some diode wiring to tie into your taillights.

And that way, you can let the people behind you know when you're using the brakes, have your running lights on or using the turn signals. And those are just gonna transmit via an umbilical from the seven-pole on the RV to the six-pole on the towed vehicle. You're also gonna have a braking system, which is going to allow the vehicle behind the RV to slow and stop as you do in the RV. And that way, it's not pushing or pulling behind. There's also gonna be an accidental disconnect breakaway switch.

So, if the vehicle was to fail and break away from all the safety precautions like the safety cables, it's gonna pull that pin and put the brakes on the vehicle. And that way, it's not just rolling down the highway. So, here we have our removable arms where your crossbar's gonna directly connect to it, but these are really nice. I like the removable arms because these just kinda snap into place with just a twist. And when they're not in place, they actually look really clean on the front of the Jeep.

Now, you can see, when you are ready to hook up to your flat tow setup, your tow bar is gonna attach to these arms. You also have these safety chain loops here that protrude through the grill, making it nice and easy to get your safety cables on there. Another nice feature is that you do have these little brackets here for if you we're to put your diode wiring on, you'll be able to mount your bracket. Now, our customer today opted not to do that, but yours is gonna live right here and it's gonna make it really easy to get your six-pole mounted up with some self-tapping screws. Now, as far as the installation goes on this base plate, there's no real drilling required. You are gonna have to trim on your grill to get all your components to match up through there, which can take a little bit of time. And this isn't the easiest fascia to get off. Jeep just kind of put a little bit of extra fasteners, so it might take a little bit to get the fascia off. But once you have that off, the installation of the base plate on the vehicle is actually pretty easy. I'm gonna walk you through every single step, so that way, you can get your base plate installed. So, follow along and we'll take this into the garage. Now, our base plate is going to live right about here, so we are gonna have to take the fascia off. And to begin that, we're gonna start by removing some plastic fasteners. Now, throughout this whole installation, I highly suggest having a nice spot to have all your fasteners and things you take off organized. It's gonna make it that much easier when you put it all back together. This plastic radiator shroud needs to come off, and we have six, on each side, plastic push pins that you can see right here. There's also this one here. So, to get these popped off, it's pretty simple. You'll see the groove there, and you're just gonna want to use a trim tool or a flathead screwdriver to kinda pry the center up. Once you have that center up, you can generally pull them out. If this separates, no big deal, but you are gonna need to kinda pry underneath the bottom here to get the whole plug out. And then you're just gonna continue by removing the six here as well as the six on this side. Now, we can go ahead and remove this cover and that's going to expose the 10-millimeter bolt that we have here. There's also gonna be three T40 Torx bits on each side. So, we'll go ahead and get these removed as well as the ones on the other side. So, now underneath the Jeep, there's going to be eight-millimeter fasteners as well as some 10s and some plastic clips, so have those handy. And I'll start here just with my eight-millimeters and we're just gonna go ahead and get these removed. And don't forget, there's gonna be an eight-millimeter that's tucked up here. We're also gonna get this one in front of the arms. Now, this is just gonna kinda hang down. You can see, it kind of align here where that's gonna kinda just droop, so we don't need to worry about these ones back here, but we'll go ahead and get our eight-millimeters removed. We can go ahead and do the same on the other side as well. So, next, we're gonna grab our 10-millimeter socket. And on the driver's side, you're gonna have one, two and then three. On the passenger, you're just gonna have the two here, so we'll go ahead and get those removed. Now, the instruction manual doesn't say anything about this 13-millimeter, but as I kinda press around, I can tell that these little covers are just kinda holding in place. This one does seem like it's solid attached to the frame. It might be for the transmission fluid. Either way, I'm gonna go ahead and take this 13 off. I think that's gonna be holding this up a little bit. And lastly, we're gonna go ahead and get these plastic fasteners here taken out. So, just kinda pry those out. It should just kinda pop once you put a flathead under there. Now, we can go ahead and let our splash shield just kinda hang down. So, now we're gonna go ahead and get our wheel well liners taken out. And just kinda following all the way in here, you're gonna have eight-millimeter screws that kinda go up here, so just follow those. There's also gonna be two plastic 10-millimeter nuts. There's one that's tucked up here, and then there's one that's actually tucked back here. Now, if you're working on the ground, I think the best option here is to put the vehicle in the accessory mode. That way, you can turn the wheel out. It's gonna give you a little bit more access to get in there. So, this should allow us to get this fender liner kinda pulled out here, and you'll know pretty quick if you missed any hardware. But this is holding on, so just kinda peel this back. So, once you peel that back, there's gonna be some clips, and we're gonna be removing this back to a certain portion. The main thing we're looking for is to get to the hardware where the fascia attaches to the front quarter panel. Now, just be careful with these. You don't wanna peel them back too far. That can cause damage to the paint and crease it, so just take your time here. I'm gonna try to get this popped out. And that way, I can show you what the clips look like. Sometimes, it helps to have just a pair of pliers if you can get back here to pinch those clips, and that's gonna kinda help you get this popped out here. I'm just gonna kinda work my way up, feeling for those clips. So, you can kinda see, as I peel back, these are those arrowhead clips, so I just kinda press in on them. You also have these clips here, so you might need to put just a little bit of pressure as you kinda work your way up. So, just kinda be careful here. Obviously, you don't wanna scratch your paint, so do this by hand. So, you're really just looking to pull this back up to this portion. This clip here actually popped out, which it just slides in, so no big deal there. But once you kinda get to this point, reach up in this portion, there's gonna be a 10-millimeter, it feels like, bolt that's going this way. So, we're gonna need to get that loosened up. Now, to make this a little bit easier and keep this away from the body, there's two things that you can do. So, first, I'm gonna put just a paper towel here, something that's not gonna scratch a paint to kinda keep this out. But I'm also gonna put a little bit of painter's tape along my seams, just to kinda make sure that we don't scratch as we take off or put our fascia back on. Sometimes, that paint against paint can cause it to rub or even against these clips. So, I'll get that set up real quick and I'll show you how it looks. So, with my tape in place and my paper towel kinda keeping this pressed out, this is gonna make sure that we don't pull this back too far, but again, to kinda keep that clearance away from the fascia. Now, I'm gonna go ahead and get this 10-millimeter taken out. So, now we'll go ahead and repeat the same process on the other side. So, now we're gonna go ahead and remove the front fascia. Now, there's probably gonna be some electrical connections, so you don't wanna completely just pull this out. And there is a method to get this off safely. You might wanna have an extra set of hands here. That way, you're not dropping your fascia. But what we're gonna do here is kinda pull out here, and then also, kinda with an upward motion to kinda get this over the clips. And that way, we can get this corner popped off. Once you kinda get this corner out, we're just gonna slowly pull this out, working our way towards the middle here. Sometimes, it helps to kinda grab on the bottom portion to kinda get this to move. Now, this lower portion also might be attached a little bit, so just kinda peel this down to get that loosened up as you work your way towards the middle. Now, depending on your trim, you may or may not have all three of these connections. So, there's this large plug. And this was actually attached up here. But if you pop this out, it's gonna make it easier to see the clip because there's a locking mechanism, so you're just gonna pull this back. And then you should be able to just kinda press and pull this out. So, that's the large one there. You also have your windshield washer squirter here. So, you pinch on these little edges, you can see where the grip is, pinch that and you should be able to separate it. Now, it may shoot some washer fluid at you. And this looks to be like an ambient air temperature sensor or something along those lines. But this, you just push on this tab and that will separate from here. Now, there's gonna be two connections, also, on our driver's side, so let's go take a look at those. Now, on our driver's side, this electrical connection here, there's a locking clip. So, I'm just gonna pull that tab out and then you should be able to push in and get this separated here. So, that's what that one looks like. And then we also have this plug, which should be similar to the one that we had on the other side, so the locking tab is gonna be underneath down here. So, I'm gonna pull that out. And if those are tricky, you can sometimes put a flathead screwdriver in there and that will help. But now that we have our electrical connections separated, we can go ahead and set our fascia aside. Now, we need to remove this portion of the air dam and this is not gonna get reinstalled, and it's just three plastic push pins, and two of them are pretty easy to get to. So, the middle one here, obviously, you can see that, we'll just pry this out. And then your other two, you're gonna have one right here. This is pretty easy to get to. And if you need to kinda get a gap in there, what you can actually do is push on the back side of this to kinda give it a little bit of space. And then once you pry underneath it, it should be a little bit easier. And then the one that's up here is actually kinda tricky because it's tucked back here, so you might need to remove this plastic push pin on this top portion, just to kinda get back there. So, I'll just kinda pop this one off for now. And that's gonna allow me to kinda pry this up a little bit and plus, that plastic tab is not gonna be in the way. So, again, you can push on the backside to kinda help it along or at least get a gap, and then we're gonna pry this out. It's kind of a tight spot to get to, but we'll be able to get this popped off. There we go. And then you can just take this off. And again, this is not getting installed again, so you can do what you want with this. But we'll go ahead and get this out of the way. And you can go ahead and pop this plastic pin back in. And then we're just gonna go ahead and repeat on the other side. So, now we'll go ahead and get our bumper beam removed. So, there is going to be a 16-millimeter bolt here as well as up here. You can kinda see that tucked back there. And then this 10-millimeter nut as well. And then our 10, since it's on a stud, what we can do is get this pretty close to off and it should hold the bumper beam in place, just while we're taking the other side off, this is gonna hold it in place, just by having a few threads. That way, it's not falling. So, we'll go ahead and get the other side hardware taken off and then we can go ahead and get this removed. So, with our hardware taken off, this just slides out. This is not gonna get reinstalled, so you can, again, do whatever you want with this. But hold onto the hardware as we're gonna be using that for our base plate. So, now we need to trim this portion here. And you can see, I used a painter's tape here to just kinda mark that out to make it a little bit easier to see and get some nice, clean lines. And this is just gonna make way for our base plate to sit in here. Now, this is kind of rubbery here, but it goes into a plastic. So, using shears, it cuts through the rubber pretty quickly. And then all of a sudden, you'll feel it kinda get a little bit tighter as we get to the plastic, so you might have a little trouble on that portion. But what I ended up doing, I'll show you, with a razor blade. Let me get this cut back first. The plastic is gonna get a little bit tricky to make that cut, so what I did is I took just a fresh blade here and just kind of worked my way down, making a nice score mark along the tape. And if you run the blade over it a few times, it's gonna create like a nice, little perforation. And that way, once we cut this top off, you can kinda just bend this back and it'll be nice and clean. And if you need to, you can run your utility knife right down the seam that it's created, and that's gonna make it a nice, clean cut. And then you're just gonna go ahead and do the same thing on the other side. So, now we're gonna go ahead and create a mounting point for our base plate to mount up to. And that's gonna be accomplished by using this long bolt. We also have our large washer as well as a split washer here and we're gonna go to this portion where we have a whole passing through the back all the way up to the front. And we're gonna kinda just, this might be a little bit tricky to feed this through, but we're just gonna go ahead and get this fed through to where the stud should come out and we'll have some threads exposed. And I'm gonna go ahead real quick and put some red Loctite on here. And any of the hardware that we're putting on, we're gonna wanna put a little bit of Loctite on here. It's just gonna hold this in, long-term. Now, we're gonna grab this portion. And this is going to just space this out to where we can mount up our hardware onto the base plate. So, we're gonna just go ahead and thread this on. I'm rotating the bolt here on the backside to kinda get this started. And then we're gonna kinda just snug this down. And I've just gone ahead and put a wrench on that head of the bolt, just so we can kinda thread this on by hand. We're gonna try to get this kind of aligned here. You can see, this little notch out portion where it's gonna sit, that's kinda where it's gonna rest. But I'm gonna leave this. I don't wanna completely tighten it down yet. I wanna make sure that all of our hole's align, so just kinda get it to a point where you can still move this around a little bit, but at least this will hold itself up here. We can go ahead and repeat on the other side. So, now you're gonna wanna have your new hardware accessible with your split washer and also those factory bolts that we used here for the bumper beam and we're gonna go ahead and get our base plate lifted up. Now, there are gonna be these studs, so that's gonna kinda hold it up for us. But if you need to grab an extra set of hands to get this in place, go ahead and do that. And then once we kind of get this aligned here, we're gonna go ahead and take our new hardware. And then since this is loose, we can kind of align that up. We can also get our factory bolts in place here, putting Loctite on all of them. And I'm just gonna kinda get these hand tightened on. That way, it's all holding itself up. So, go ahead and get all of your hardware in place. So, we're gonna go ahead and get these two tightened down first. And kinda what I'm using as a gauge here is I'm gonna try to get this little stud here, that where we have those 10-millimeters, kind of in the center there, so you may have to lift up on the base plate. And then I'm gonna go ahead tighten these 16s down. And those will be the first hardware that we attack. Go ahead and get the other ones on the other side tightened down. And then we're going to tighten these down. There are torque settings in the instruction manual, so I'll come back with my torque wrench to get them proper and then we'll just repeat on both sides. So, now we're gonna go ahead and get these tightened down. These are gonna be 3/4-inch. I'm gonna go ahead and do the back ones to cinch this up. And we're gonna kinda just keep this in the channel and try to keep this as level as possible. So, you can actually use these corrugations as kind of a base to keep this level. So, now I'm gonna go back with my torque wrench, and you may have to put a wrench on the backside here. And the torque settings are gonna be found in the instruction manual. Now, if you need a torque wrench, we have these available here at etrailer. But you can generally rent them at an auto parts store. But this is gonna make sure that these are gonna be tight enough, but also, it's not gonna be too tight, putting stress on the threads or potentially breaking them. We'll also torque the backside as well. We're also gonna torque down our factory bolts as well. We're also gonna take a little bit of that thread lock here and place this on this little thread and we'll go ahead and put this 10-millimeter nut back on. We can go ahead and tighten that down. So, now we're just gonna go ahead and repeat all the same process on the other side. Now, it may help to kind of make sure everything's snug, obviously, before torquing it down on each side. That way, it's nice and pressed against exactly where it needs to be. So, now at this point, our base plate is installed. So, what I generally recommend is if you're doing the rest of your flat tow components at this time is to leave that fascia off. And that's gonna make it a lot easier to route all your electrical wires or any of your fittings or airlines that you need to. And it's gonna be a lot easier to route those and make it look clean before getting that fascia on. Now, our customer today has opted not to do wiring, which is fine, but we are not gonna be cutting out for the wiring at this portion, so I'm gonna get my fascia kinda mocked up here. And that way, I can see exactly where I'm gonna trim out. So, it'll just be here and where our safety chain loops are for now. Yours will probably have an opening here for your six-pole diode wiring. I'm gonna just kinda go ahead and get our fascia kinda put back on, just kinda mocking up purposes. So, as long as we kinda get this slipped over these little bumpers up top, we should be able to kind of align this here and that's gonna hold it in place. So, this bumper fascia is going to tuck in a little bit more, but you can see where our clearance issues are going to be. So, I have a chalk marker here, and this is just a nice way to give myself a nice, little, clean look of where I need to cut. So, I'm gonna go ahead and make my marks here. And then as far as cutting goes, you can use a Dremel or something along those lines. But honestly, if you just have a pair of snips, you can go ahead and cut those and then file them down and make them clean. So, what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna do my safety chain loops first. And that way, this will kind of press in a little bit more and then we'll have a perfect shot for where our removal arms will go. So, I'll go ahead and just snip this top portion here, and then here. And then along this bottom, it's actually solid, but I just kinda went ahead and made a cut here. And then on the other side, and then I could kinda start to twist this. And I'm gonna leave a bit of extra plastic down here 'cause I can go ahead and file that off to make it look a little bit cleaner, but we'll get this portion taken off. And this is gonna, at least, get this to kinda sink up. And that way, we can get this a little bit cleaner looking. So, I've gone ahead and done the other side. But you can see, once we get this thing off, this is gonna kinda cinch up a little bit better. Now, with this kinda push back a little bit, it's gonna give us a better idea of where the receptacles for our removable arms are. Now, you might wanna take the corner of the fascia and just kinda tuck it up, pretty much kinda get it back into the shape of it mounted up. That way, you know for sure that this is exactly where you want it. And then I'm gonna go ahead and make my marks. So, we can always cut more and find out where it's rubbing to kinda keep the cleanest look possible. So, I'm gonna go ahead, I'll make the cuts that I know I need to make. And then once we do that on both sides, we should be able to kinda slip this over and do some fine-tuning before taking this off and kinda filing all of our cuts down. Now, you may need to use a cutting device, so I'm gonna just use my oscillating tool here. That way, I get a nice clean cut. So, I've gone ahead and made sure that I can kinda snap in the sides there. That way, I know this is pressed up without having to actually bolt all this up, and I've made all my cuts. Now, I need to go back and file all these down so they look a little bit cleaner but also, we need to make sure that we plug in all of the harnesses and the squirters that we detached from the bumper. So, I'm gonna go ahead, get this off, sand these all down and then just pretty much put our fascia back in in the reverse order that we took it off. Now, with everything back in place, all that's left to do is hook up the rest of your flat tow components and then you're ready to hit the road. And that was a look and installation of the Roadmaster base plate for a 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee L..

Info for this part was:

Employee Jacob T
Video Edited:
Jacob T
Employee Dustin K
Video by:
Dustin K
Employee Bradley B
Test Fit:
Bradley B

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