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Roadmaster Direct-Connect Base Plate Kit Installation - 2015 Jeep Cherokee

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How to Install the Roadmaster Direct-Connect Base Plate Kit on a 2015 Jeep Cherokee

Hey everybody, Ryan here at etrailer. So now on our 2015 Jeep Cherokee, we're going to be taking a look at and showing you how to install the Roadmaster Direct Connect Base Plate Kit with removable arms. So we're going to have a total of five main components needed to flat tow our Cherokee down the road.The first one's going to be the base plate. Now that base plate is going to provide us with a solid and reliable connection point, that way we can hook our tow bar up to it. The tow bar is going to be the second component. This is going to be the physical link that's connecting the front of our Jeep to the back of our motor home.

The third main component is going to be tow bar wiring. So that tow bar wiring is going to transfer the lighting functions from the back of our motor home to the back of our Cherokee, that way not only we can stay safe, but legal as well.The fourth main component is going to be safety cables. Now these are there in the event of a unlikely disconnect. These are going to keep the Jeep connected to your motor home. And last but not least the fifth main component is going to be our braking system.

So the braking system is going to apply the brakes in our Jeep whenever we apply the brakes in the motor home, helping to bring us to a more safe and predictable stop.Now, there is one other small component I would suggest picking up, you don't have to use this, but I do recommend it, and that's a charge line kit. And what that charge line kit is going to do is more or less kind of trickle charge your Jeep's battery whenever you're pulling it behind your motor home. That way, when you get to your destination, you're not going to have to worry about your Cherokee's battery being low.So this is what our base plates going to look like whenever we're not hooked up to our motor home. And honestly, I think it has a pretty clean look. It's going to come through our factory grill here and it's just going to blend right in.

It's not going to stick out very far, and it's really not going to take away from the looks of the front of your Jeep whenever you're just cruising around town.One thing I do think is worth mentioning is that our base plate isn't really going to give us a great spot to mount up some of our other flat tow components. So it was a little tricky figuring that aspect out. But what I came up with is I just mounted them on the bottom of our license plate cover and I think it turned out pretty good.Whenever you are ready to hook up to your motor home, it's going to be really easy. And that's mainly because the base plate has these removable arms. So like I said, when you're just cruising around town, that's the way it's going to be.

Whenever you're ready to hook up, you're going to take your arms and these simply just slide in. So you'll push it in, rotate it about a quarter turn. And that pin is going to lock into position. It's going to be the same for the other side as well.So this is what the base plate is going to look like once you have all of your components hooked up. Now, what's great about this is the quick connect system here. So you have your removable arms in and whenever you're ready to hook up your tow bar or even disconnect it, for that matter, it's going to be super easy. So all you have to do to hook it up is line up your tow bar, take a pin, slide it right through and pop it in this keeper. And that's all there is to it. So it saves a bunch of time and headache and just makes life a lot easier.I will say I do like where they put the safety cable hooks here, right next to our removable arm. So they're really easy to get to, especially whenever you go to put your cable on and it kind of keeps everything in line with the tow bar too. So it gives us a nice, organized and clean look.The base plate is going to work with most Roadmaster tow bars. And one that I really like is actually the one we're using today and that's the Roadmaster Nighthawk. Super lightweight, as you saw, extremely easy to hook up, it's going to track well. It's just a tow bar you really can't go wrong with. So at the end of the day, a good looking base plate, it's going to be easy to use and get the job done. Now, as far as the installation goes, it is a little involved. It will take you some time, but as long as you stay patient, you should be able to get it done. Speaking of which let's go ahead and put it on together now.To begin our install, we're going to be working underneath the hood of the Jeep. So I went ahead and popped the hood. The first thing that we're going to need to do is remove this plastic radiator cover. This is going to be held in place with multiple pushpin style fasteners. So this is what the fasteners are going to look like and the way to get them out is I'm going to use a trim panel tool, but you can always use a flathead screwdriver as well. And you're just going to pry underneath the head of it and pull the fastener out. Now if the head of it comes out without the base, it's no big deal. You can just pry underneath the base and get the whole thing or move. So I'm going to use the same technique to get all of the remaining plastic fasteners removed.Once we have all them fasteners removed, we can simply just lift up on our cover and set it to the side. Now we're going to have to remove three 10 millimeter bolts attaching our facia to some supports and those bolts are going to be the same on each side and they're going to be located right here in this area. So one of the bolts is going to be located right here. So again, I'll grab my 10 millimeter and get that removed. The other two are going to be right here and right here. Now I'll go ahead and pull them same ones out on the other side of our Jeep.What we need to do now is pop off this little piece of plastic wheel well trim here. So to be on the safe side, I just took some painter's tape and put it over our paint in the area that we're going to be working. That way don't accidentally scratch it if I go to pry or anything like that. And with that being said, the way to get this little piece of trim off, if you start down here at the bottom, you can carefully pull out. Now it's going to be pretty tight. That's normal. And you just want to work it as best as you can. There are some clips behind there that's keeping in place. It may be beneficial to grab a little plastic trim tool and work it.So on this edge here, that's where these clips are. So if you kind of push down on them, you can see that that's going to help release them. Usually once you get one or two started, the rest comes out pretty easy. So you don't need to completely remove it. You just want to pull it up enough to where it's going to pass this body line here where our facia meets the quarter panel. So right here, that's more than enough.Now, if you look at this edge of our wheel well, we're going to have three bolts we need to pull out, one, two and three down here. I'm just going to use an eight millimeter socket to get those removed. On this bottom one here, sometimes it helps use a little bit smaller of a ratchet if you don't have the space or what you could always do too, is turn your tires one way or another to give you a little more room.Once you have those out, what you can do is take your wheel liner and peel it back and we'll just tuck it so it stays, gives us some room to work and right up here in this area, there's going to be a bolt that we need to remove as well. So, that bolt that we need to pull out is right here. So the head of the bolt is on the side, on the bottom, kind of pointing up. So I'll grab my 10 millimeter socket and get that out.Now, if we go underneath the Jeep right in front of our tire, along this bottom edge, we're going to have two rivets that we need to drill out. So I'm just going to use a relatively small drill bit and then what you're going to do is just run this right through the center of each rivet. You'll see the head come off and the whole rivet pop out. Now that we have these removed, I'm going to repeat that whole process over on the other side of our Jeep.Now, if you move to the more towards the center of our Jeep, here underneath, we're going to have four, 10 millimeter bolts here, and we're going to just need to pull those out. Now, if we move over here to our driver's side wheel well, behind our fender liner, we're going to have a connector here. It's going to have some purple on it. It's going to be attached by a plastic fastener to our facia, and you can just pry behind it to release it. And what we're going to need to do is disconnect this connector here. So one thing you want to be certain is that you don't have your key in the on position. It could throw a check engine light. So make sure your Jeep is off. What you're going to do is just push down on this center tab and pull back and that'll separate the two.Now what we can do is actually remove our front facia. So I do suggest having a friend help you on the other side, just makes it a little more manageable. What you're going to do is start here at the corner, and this is more or less just clipped in. So you just carefully kind of pull towards you and up a little bit, work your way towards the center and carefully pull back. Now you don't want to just pull it right out super fast. You may have some electrical connectors in here. In our case, we don't. If that's your scenario, you'd simply disconnect them. But with our facia removed, we'll just set it off to the side somewhere safe.Now if we move to the side of the Jeep here, we're going to have these brackets that's attached to our subframe. We're going to have to remove these. We will not be reinstalling them. There's going to be one 10 millimeter nut, right here. Then we're going to have a total of three, 15 millimeter bolts. So one up here and two on the bottom. So pull them out. This top one, be able to grab that and pop it off. Now I do want to mention, from this point on anything we do to one side of the Jeep, we're also going to do to the other side because it will all be set up the same way.So right here, where our brackets that we removed we're originally sitting, it's going to be a metal tab that's kind of sticking out. I'm going to take a hammer and just tap it until it's flush. And there's also going to be this stud here. We're going to have to remove that so it's flush as well. So I'm just going to use a little cutoff wheel. You can use a grinder or something like that, too.So right behind our bumper beam here, we're going to have this little flap of plastic and we're going to have to get that out of the way to allow clearance. So it's kind of nice in our case, right there along the edge it's already scored. So I think what we're able to do is just bend it back and forth and hopefully just get it to pop off like that.Now what we can do is grab our main receiver brace and bolt this up here. Now, pay attention, these are side specific. You can see your instructions to make sure you have the right one. What we're going to use to hold that up in place is that factory hardware that we pulled out of there. Now, what you want to do is use Red Loctite on all of the hardware that's going to secure our base plate. You can find some of this here at etrailer. Just line this up. I'm just going to get them all started hand tight. With them in place and hand tight we'll come back and snug them down.Now that we have our bolts snug, what you want to do is just take a measurement from the bottom edge of your bumper beam to the top of our base plate on each end of it. And you want that distance to be the same. That way this is sitting nice and level. And you want that measurement to match up with the base plate on the other side of our Jeep, too. That way everything is flush and true. Once you have that set where you want it, what we're going to do is take a torque wrench and tighten down this hardware here to the amount specified in the instructions.So now what we can do is install our mounting tab. These are side specific. So check your instructions, make sure you have the right one. But this hole here, in this flat part, is going to line up with the hole right here. So what we're going to do is take one of your bolts, don't forget your Red Loctite, put that through and just drop that bolt through there. On the bottom side of the bolt, where it comes through, we're going to put on a split lock washer and a hex nut. We're just going to get this hand tight for now.What we're going to do now is use the hole here as a guide to drill a hole through both sides of our bumper beam. What we're going to do is take one of our long bolts, get your Red Loctite on there. Put on a flat washer. We're going to take one of these little plastic spacers here, this is just to prevent any corrosion because the bumper beam's aluminum and our base plate is steel. So we're going to line that hole up with the hole that we drilled, take our bolt and pass it through both sides of our bumper beam. On the backside of that bolt, we're going to put on a split lock washer, followed by a hex nut. And again, we're just going to get this hand tight for the time being.Now we can take our center mounting tab and on the backside of our bumper beam, we're going to have a hole here on our base plate. This shorter angle here, that's going to line up with that hole and what we're going to do is take one of our shorter bolts, drop that down through and on the bottom side of the bolt, again, just getting it hand tight we're going to take a split lock washer and a hex nut.What I'm going to do now is use this hole at the top of our mounting tab as a guide to drill through our bumper beam. I'm just going to use a smaller bit for now to kind of make a pilot hole. That way once we penetrate both sides, we can come back from the front and then make the hole larger. So here's where our pilot hole came through. Now I'll step up to the larger drill bit and run it all the way through again. We're going to take one of our long bolts and a flat washer, run that all the way through to the other side. Here's where our bolt comes through. We do need to add another one of these pieces of plastic in between our bumper beam and this. So what I'll do is just pull our bolt out enough to where we can sneak that plastic through there, run our bolt through it, take a split lock washer and a hex nut and get it going hand tight.Now, with all of our hardware in place and hand tight, we can come back and snug it all down. Now we can use a torque wrench to properly tighten all of our hardware down to the amount specified in our instructions. Now, at this point, it would be a great time to install any other flat tow components you may have. And that's because we're going to have all this extra room to work. It just makes life a lot easier. If you don't have those components or you already have them on, you'd simply trim out your facia, according to the diagram instructions and reinstall it the opposite way that we removed it.Now we're able to work on our facia and get it trimmed. So our particular model does have the active shutter. So we are going to have to remove this assembly here. First thing you want to do is unplug it. So the connector there is going to have a red tab that you need to push down on. It's kind of just like a locking tab, flathead screwdriver helps with that, and then there's a small black tab you depress and that will disconnect it there. So there's a better look at it. That's the red tab that you slide down and there's the tab that you depress to disconnect it. The wiring is going to have some little clips or the facia's going to have some little clips, rather, that the wiring is connected to. You can just kind of pop that wiring off and set it to the side for now.Now, feel like you're in the corner, we're going to have a little white plastic keeper right here. You're to pull that out so you can just depress the center portion of it and pop it out. And then we're going to have two seven millimeter fasteners, one right here, and one right here. So pull those out. Once I have this other one out, I'll simply repeat the same process on the other side. Along this top edge, we're going to have some little keepers and what you want to do is kind of put a little upward pressure on them and pull back on this assembly at the same time and it will release them. These can be a little tricky. So just take your time with it and work it one at a time here.So once you release those, the assembly will be able to be pulled away. So we'll do that and set it off to the side. At this point, we can refer to our instructions. They're going to give us a diagram on where we need to cut. It just runs along through here and over. This is pretty thick plastic. So I'm going to use a Dremel tool. You maybe able to use a pair of tin snips or something like that as well, but I would suggest a tool like this. Once you have it trimmed, you can always come back with a hand file or some sandpaper, something like that, and clean up the rough edges if you want to. So I went ahead and trimmed out the other side of our air system here, and this is how it turned out.Now we can actually cut out the opening here on our front facia. Now there's a diagram and instructions. It'll kind of tell you where to cut. However, my past experience with these honeycomb type grills, I found it to be much easier and turn out a lot better, has a much cleaner look, if we just kind of go around the whole edge and cut out the whole opening. So that's what I'm going to do. If you want to follow the diagram and play with it, you can always take out more. So it's up to you, but that's the road I'm going to go. I'm going to use a air saw. It's really easy to get in there. You can always use a small hand saw or file or something, too, Dremel tool, whatever you might have laying around. This is kind of brittle plastic, so just keep that in mind.So once you have that cutout, again, you can always come back with some sandpaper, something like that, and clean up all the edges. With everything trimmed out, we can reinstall our air dam here, the opposite way that we removed it.Now, at this point, once your other components are installed, we can reinstall our front facia the opposite way that we removed it. Really there's only one difference, and that's down here along this edge, we need to replace those rivets that we originally drilled out. So it does come with some new rivets. These are just going to line up. You just want to make sure they go through all the plastic there and you will need a rivet gun. You can possibly rent this from your auto parts store, even pick one up there. What you do, simply slide it over the rivet and you'll work it a couple of times and that rivet will hawk and connect all the plastic pieces together. Going to do the same thing for this one as well.And that'll finish up our look at and our installation of the Roadmaster Direct Connect Base Plate Kit with removable arms on our 2015 Jeep Cherokee.

Info for this part was:

Employee Joshua S
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Employee Dustin K
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Employee Shane H
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Employee Ryan G
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