The Roadmaster base plate is designed to adapt to a number of different tow bars.
The cost of the base plate was a hard enough hit to my wallet, so I opted to install it myself.
The factory indicated that there would be about 2 hours installation time involved — so how hard could it be?
I found there was more involved than I had anticipated.
Here’s how I installed the Roadmaster base plate before towing my 2012 Jeep Wrangler…
DIY Roadmaster Base Plate Installation
The first step is to remove some of the outer embellishments from the front bumper. They were held in place with torx fasteners, so I had to run to the store pick up a cheap torx set.
It didn’t get serious until it came to actually removing the whole bumper.
For that I needed a variety of sockets and wrenches and, in no time, I had a couple busted knuckles for my effort.
Granted, it isn’t rocket science. And the included directions were excellent. But these brackets are held by quite a few bolts through the frame!
Most are existing holes, but you do have to remove a pump of some sort temporarily to gain access to some of the bolts. You have to drill some holes, and there is one half hole you have to ream out. Be prepared to use a heavy-duty 1/2-inch drill — and you will likely ruin a couple drill bits in the process.
Once you have the assorted brackets all bolted in place, reinstalling the bumper is no easy task. There are a number of spacers that are pretty much impossible to get lined up with the bumper and the frame.
The last step is to cut openings in the plastic splash panel that was removed under the bumper to allow the new brackets to protrude through.
When it’s all completed, it’s a simple matter to remove all signs of your brackets by pulling 2 pins — a nice feature if you only need to tow occasionally or are staying in one location for an extended period.
There is really nothing complicated about this project, but it does involve a lot of getting up and down and crawling around under the front of the Jeep.
As for the 2 hour labor estimate, that is pretty much a pipe dream. It took me most of the day to finish the installation. Though I will admit… a shop with a lift and air tools would have shortened the amount of time and greatly reduced the amount of effort.
With labor rates being as high as they are, I don’t regret the decision to do it on my own. But be advised, it will be a hard day’s work! When I was done I was filthy from rolling around in the dirt.
Next time around, I may just leave it to those who do this type of work for a living. Sometimes saving a couple hundred dollars isn’t the best way to go.
Here’s what it looks like with my Stowmaster tow bar:
Jeep Towing Tips
- Best Tips For Towing A Car Behind An RV
- How To How A Jeep Wrangler, Step By Step
- 3 Ways To Tow A Car Behind Your Motorhome
- Flat Towing A Jeep Wrangler
I’ve been involved in RVing for 50 years now — including camping, building, repairing, and even selling RVs. I’ve owned, used, and repaired almost every class and style of RV ever made. I do all of my own repair work. My other interests include cooking, living with an aging dog, and dealing with diabetic issues. If you can combine a grease monkey with a computer geek, throw in a touch of information nut and organization freak, combined with a little bit of storyteller, you’ve got a good idea of who I am.