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Roadmaster Direct-Connect Base Plate Kit Installation - 2020 Buick Envision

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How to Install the Roadmaster Direct-Connect Base Plate Kit on a 2020 Buick Envision


Hi, there Buick owner. Today, on your 2020 Buick Envision, we're going to be taking a look at and showing you how to install Roadmaster's direct connect base plate. There's five main components you'll need when flat towing your Envision behind your motor home. You'll need your tow bar, which is the connection between your motor home and your vehicle, your safety cables, which is a supplemental connection, in addition to your tow bar. You'll need your diode wiring, which takes all the lighting signals from your motor home and transfer them to the lights at the back of your vehicles, so people behind you know your intentions when going down the road. And you'll also need your base plate, which is the connection point on your vehicle that you'll attach your tow bar and safety cables to.

And lastly, you'll need your supplemental braking system, which will apply the brakes in your vehicle when you hit the brakes in your motor home.And this is what our base plate looks like when it's installed. It's going to be hidden behind our bumper. And you're only going to see your attachment points and any electrical components you've attached to it here at the front. On each side, we've got our direct connect port here, that will accept your direct connect arm when you are ready to attach. These are removable.

So, you can achieve this nice clean look when you're just going to be driving this around town. But when you're ready to hook up, these arms, simply slide in and click into place and you can attach your tow bar directly to them.If we go in a little bit from there, we've got our safety chain loops. And there's one just like this on the other side. And you can hook your safety chains to here, so you've got your supplemental connection in addition to your tow bar. At the center, we've got our mounting location for our six pole connector.

And it's great that our base plate provides this. Because if you don't have this, it can be very difficult to find mounting locations for these components. Just to the side of that, we've got our mounting location for our breakaway switch, which is also really nice because you're going to need a braking system in your flat tow setup. And having another location to mount this, again, saves you a lot of time and potential modifications to the fascia, because we can attach it right to there.To protect your base plate against corrosion, it does have a black powder coat finish on it, which also helps to integrate and look nicely on your vehicle. It's custom fit for your vehicle.

And it comes with all the hardware and everything you will need to get it installed. There is some drilling required, and this is a little bit more difficult base plate compared to some other vehicles. But if you follow along with us, we'll go step by step and show you how to complete it. We'll begin our installation by removing the cover here at the top, once you got your hood open. There are several pins that we're going to be taking out. Each one does need to come out to remove the panel. We'll use our trim panel tool. And if you need one, you can get one here at etrailer.com. There's a small slit you can kind of see there, a little opening that we can fit a small portion of our trim panel tool in, and that's just going to get it started.And then, you can get the whole tool in there to pop it up. And then, the entire clip will pull out after you remove the center. You don't have to completely pull the center all the way out like I just did there. Just need to pop it up. But if it comes all the way out, no big deal. You can just stick it back in when you're ready to go back together. We're just going to repeat this for all the remaining clips. Once we get this last pin out of here, this panel will just lift straight up.And then, we're just going to set it aside. Below that, we're going to have several bolts that we're going to take out using a T 15 Torx socket. And we only need to take out the ones here that run across the front. We're now on the driver's side, inner fender liner here. I did turn the steering wheel all the way towards the passenger side, so I could easily access these bolts. And there are four more that we're going to take out using the same T 15 Torx. We can then take our trim piece right here, and we're going to pop this guy out. It does just pop right off. And we only need to get it far back enough to the point where these two pieces are separated here. So, you're going to notice, behind the panel here, if we peel this back, there's a bolt located right here where the two fender and front fascia come together. We're going to remove that bolt with a seven millimeter socket.Once you've got this bolt removed, we can repeat the same procedures over on the other side. Sometimes, when peeling this trim piece back, the clips will stay on the vehicle side. You can use your trim panel tool to pop those out. I also like to roll up a rag or towel, and then stuff here to keep the trim piece away from our fascia, to make it easier during the removal. We're now underneath the vehicle. And there are several bolts that run across the front of the vehicle we'll need to take out, as well as the three here in the middle. And then, behind our splash shield, there's also several bolts we'll need to remove on each side. Once you have all these bolts removed, in the center of the vehicle, there is a plastic pin.We'll use our trim panel tool to pop that out. And then, we can pull this under shield back and set it aside. Now, starting on one side, we're just going to come over here, and we're just going to start popping this piece out, getting it released, until we get here to about the front. Once we get to this point, here in the front, come over here to the other side, and get it popped out to the same point as well.We can then come here to the center. And there's a couple of little clips here at the top. You just lift up on these plastic pieces to get it over those little clips, same here on the sides. Just got to pull them up. Just because it's just kind of like a little lip that they hang on. So, we pull up each one. And then, we're going to just pull it away from the vehicle. Sometimes, your clips might pop back in, no big deal, just grab those. And then, we're just gently going to work it away. But there is a connector here on our passenger side. Push back on the red locking tab. And then, you can press it on the release lever and disconnect the two pieces. We can then set our panel aside where it won't get damaged. We can now remove the panel located here.There are pins that go all the way across the top here. We're going to use our trim panel tool. And what I like to do is go behind the panel first to get it started. And then, you can come around to the other side and pop the pin the rest of the way out. So, we're just going to do that going all the way down. Sometimes, it'll pop all the way out when you're behind it. There's also a clip located on each side. These are like the ones that we removed up top. So, you got to pop up the center first. There's that little slit. You can get it in there, and then remove the whole one. Down on the bottom, we're going to have a couple more pins that need to pop out. And I like to go behind the whole panel on these ones.Then, we can set this aside. The ambient air temperature sensor located here, just kind of towards the center, slightly on the driver's side, here at the bottom, we're going to pop this guy out. There's some clips here, just push the little fingers in and then it'll pop out. There's another clip here that our trim panel tool will allow us to get underneath and pop this one out. And once we get it over here to the sides, we can just set it off to the side where it's out of our way. We're going to be relocating that at a later step. We'll now need to trim our brackets off that are located here. And we want to do it flush with the bottom of our beam here. So, you can use a reciprocating saw or a cutoff wheel, whatever you've got available, to trim this off.And then, we'll do the same thing over here on the other side. Once you've got those trimmed off, the only thing holding it on here is this little rubber piece here at the bottom. So, you can just peel that off, the little clips here. And then, we can set this aside. We can then come onto the side here and remove the plastic pieces that are located here. Pop out the wiring on top with your trim panel tool, and then remove the pin here at the top. This one's just like the ones we did up there on the top. Sometimes, the way they've got these pins angled makes it difficult to get your tool in there just because of where the opening slot is. Sometimes, if you really can't get to it, you may need to switch to a smaller screwdriver to get it started. And once you get it popped out, you can get your trim panel tool in there to get it popped out.It really just depends on where that slot is that they've got there, which tool is going to work better. Once you get that popped out, there's just a clip here on the side that you're going to pull out. And this will just pop right out of there. We'll do the same thing over on the other side. We now need to get our wiring out of the way here on the sides. So, we're just going to come over with our trim panel tool, pop out any wiring we've got, and just kind of poke it up out of the way, because we are going to have to do some drilling into our frame here momentarily. Same with our connectors over here on this side. Our ambient air temperature sensor too, we also have these clips. We can go ahead and pop these out as well just to make sure our wiring's not going to get in our way when we go to hold our base plate up. Just use your trim panel tool to pop these out of here.And then, we're just going to tuck that out of our way for now. Next, we're going to remove this portion up here, because our base plate's not going to go around the bumper beam. So, we got to get that out of the way. Here in the center, you're going to have two at the top and one here at the bottom. We'll remove this bracket first with our seven millimeter socket. You may or may not have a sensor located here for your cruise control. If you do, you want to make sure you disconnect that. Once all your hardware is removed, this will just slip up out of there and we can set it aside. Then on each side, we're going to remove the three bolts holding in this bracket. There's one on the other side just like it. When you take out this bolt, your horn is going to be loose. So, just make sure you grab that and set it just out of the way there.Once you get all the bolts removed, we can flip it up. And you'll see there's an electrical connector located here at the bottom. The release tab is located there. You may need a little screwdriver to pop that off right here, get that pulled back. Then, we can press in on the release tab and disconnect it. Once your electrical connector's removed, we can take this panel off and set it aside. Then, across the top of the bumper beam, we need to remove all of the electrical connectors. With these ones, usually it's easier to just push in on the two little tabs and pull it out. And once you've got all of those disconnected, we can then remove our bumper beam by removing the four bolts located on each side. We'll use a 13 millimeter socket to remove these bolts.And one bolt. I always like to loosen it and just leave that one partially started, so when I take the bolts out on the other side I know this isn't going to fall. If you have any bolts that stay in here, no big deal. Once you take the bumper beam off, they're just going to roll off the side and get them out that way. Once you've got them all removed, you can go back to that one that you left partially installed, finish removing that one. And we can just pull our beam away. There is an electrical connector. There is an electrical pin located on the backside of it. So, we're just going to grab our trim panel tool and pop that off of there.And then, we can set this aside. Now, with the next set of hands, we're going to lift our hitch into position, take our base plate, and line it up. You want to make sure it's pushed all the way back. And we want these holes here at the top to line up with the top part of our frame here, where it sticks out. We're going to be drilling through those to secure it. So, once you kind of get those lined up to where you need it, we can then take a clamp. And we're just going to clamp this into position. And usually, it's easiest to kind of get the clamp started here, and then we can make some subtle adjustments after we get it kind of snugged down a little bit, so it holds it up for us some.We'll then clamp our other side the same way. Next, we'll use our hitch as a template to drill out our holes with a three-eighths inch drill bit. Once you have those holes drilled out, we can start installing our hardware. We're going to be using the longer standard bolts and place a flat washer on it. All of our hardware is going to be getting red Loctite on it. So, we're going to put a little bit of that on there. And this is going to slide through our base plate. And then, we have a spacer that's going to go between the base plate and the hole we drilled in the frame. And then, on the opposite side, we're going to slide on a lock washer, followed by a nut.Once we get all of our top holes drilled out on each side, I do recommend just snugging these down a little bit. And that way, your hitch is going to stay in position when you drill out your bottom holes. And they're going to be just like the top holes. They're going to line up right with the same pieces here on the bottom side of the frame. We'll snug these down using a 15 millimeter socket and wrench. Your bottom hardware is going to be exactly like the top. And you may want to loosen the top up just a little bit to make it easier to get this in, because you might want a little bit of play in it when we go to do the next step here. So, you can see I've got just a little bit of movement out of it, just enough if I needed to get my bolts in when we do the bottom here. There are three bolts here that we're going to be removing with a 13 millimeter socket. And you only want to do one side at a time when you're doing this.Once you get these bolts removed, we can take the brackets that come included with our kit. They are going to be side dependent. So, you want to make sure you've got the correct side. This piece here is going to fate towards the outside of the vehicle. And this is going to be the top here. And it's got this little slit knit right here that's going to slide right over the brace where we had removed the bolt. inaudible 00:15:29 we get our wiring out of the way. Our holes are going to line up. But instead of reinstalling our factory bolts, we're going to be using the metric bolts that come in our kit. You can see that they're a little bit longer to accommodate the bracket. Make sure you've got your lock washer and flat washer on there, as well as your Loctite. Then just going through your new bracket, re-install all of your bolts.Once you've got all three of those bolts started, we're going to take the shorter standard bolts that come in your kit, place a flat washer on it, some Loctite. We're going to slide it from the outside in, follow that up with another flat washer, a lock washer, and finally with a nut. We're going to do the same thing with the other hole here on this side. And once we get all of our hardware loosely installed on this side, we're going to perform the exact same procedures to get this bracket installed over on the other side. We can then go back and tighten down all of our hardware. Some of your bolts, you may need to use a wrench on if it's really tight. And if you have a swivel with a short socket, sometimes that can also work.Once you've got those bolts tightened down, we can go back and tighten down the rest of our bolts here on the side of our base plate. We'll use a 15 millimeter socket for the larger bolts and a 13 millimeter socket for the smaller bolts. We can then go back and torque all of our hardware to the specifications found in our instructions. We can then re-install our components in reverse order of how we removed them. We're going to be reinstalling our bumper beam, as well as the grill and brackets here on the top. Your wiring will just clip right back into place. Just make sure you've got all of that. All of the clips here across the front are also going to clip right back into place.Same with our wiring for our ambient temperature sensor. It's going to click back into place, but it's not going to go on the spot that it originally was. We're going to wrap it around this way. And we're going to poke it into the hole right next to it. When you install the grill here at the top back in place, don't forget to plug in the electrical connector for the motor underneath. Now that we've got the rest of our components re-installed here, we can then reinstall our fascia in reverse order of how we removed it. I do highly recommend, at this point though, to leave your fascia off, and finish your complete flat tow setup. Because while your fascia is off, this is going to be the perfect opportunity to do your diode wiring, your braking system, and anything else you need to get done for your flat tow setup.So, I'm going to go ahead and finish the rest of those components. And then, we'll come back and show you what we're going to be trimming on our fascia and how to get that back on. Before we can re-install our fascia, we do need to trim out. So, that way, our base plate can pass through as well as our electrical components. So, here in the center, this little tab here, I've gone ahead and marked it out. We're going to trim this out for our electrical wiring to be able to pass through. And on each side, I've marked where we're going to be trimming. These outside ones, we can ignore. It's just going to be these ones here to trim those out, so that way the holes for our base plate can pass through as well. We're just going to be using a small reciprocating blade to do it, but you could also use a cutoff wheel or a really sharp razor knife.Now, that we've got it trimmed out, we can just reinstall our fascia in reverse order of how we removed it. We've now got our fascia back completely installed. And you can see where our components poke through here. And everything worked out well. We did have to do some minor additional trimming over here on the passenger side for the breakaway switch. The little beam that went right here, we did have to trim just a little bit additional off for that to pass through. With everything re-installed, we're ready to pull behind our motor home, hook up, place it into flat tow, and hit the road. When you're ready to hook up your tow bar, simply lift it into position, line up the arm with the hole in your base plate. You'll slide your pins through the direct connect base plate adapter, line the holes up on the opposite side.And then, we're going to use the other smaller pin to secure it in place. Make sure that it is fully locked down. We'll then do this over on the other side as well. After you've got both of your arms connected, you just want to hook up the rest of your flat tow components, which includes your safety cables, your wiring, as well as anything you need for your braking system, such as your breakaway cable. And that completes our installation of Roadmaster's direct connect base plate on our 2020 Buick Envision..


Info for this part was:

Employee Joshua S
Video Edited:
Joshua S
Employee Jacob T
Video Edited:
Jacob T
Employee Dustin K
Video by:
Dustin K
Employee David F
Test Fit:
David F

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