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Discussion Starter #1
I am having trouble finding someone to install the baseplate on my new Smarty. Does anyone know a resonably priced mechanic in the Conroe/N. Houston, TX area? I really can't justify paying the $100/hr that RV dealers want.

The baseplate came with very detailed instructions with step-by-step photos. I am even considering giving it a try myself. I have installed trailer hitches on cars in the past, but have never tried anything more challenging -- but I am mechanically inclined. Has anyone here done one? Any advise?

Barb
 

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ReadyBrake says that your towbar works with Roadmaster, Blue Ox and Demco RV car towing baseplates - so whichever baseplate you have go to the website of the MFG (or call them) to find the installers in your area. You want an installer who has been trained to install the specific base plate that you have.

1) to install the baseplate the entire front body (the front clip) of the smart car must be removed. See the pictures in my profile's garage (the WOLO Bad Boy pic shows the front clip removed).
2) if you have not purchased a lighting kit to connect the car's tail lights to the RV then do so before installing the baseplate. Why? Because you need to remove the front clip and the entire skid plate to run the wiring to the tail lights. Do it all at the same time.
3) cooked wiring and 2 return trips to Camping World revealed that one of the safest locations to run the wiring between the rear tail lights is under the tailgate's weather strippig (open the tailgate, lift up the carpet, run the wires across the back of the car under the weather stripping). Running the wires through the engine bay will cook them. Been there, done that.

An experienced installer may take 4-5 hours to complete the baseplate and lighting kit install. Bring you car and RV to the installer. They need to install the receptacle on the RV AND test the tail lights on the car when it is connected to the RV. Make sure they test the car's tail lights with the RV's headlights turned on and with the RV's headlights turned off. This will prove if the diodes are wired properly.

Refer to the below Roadmaster picture. See the black bracket? It's for mounting onto the RV so that the receptacle (for the pigtail) can be screwed onto the bracket and connected to the RV's tail lights. If your installer locates the other receptacle under the smart car's license then you need a second black bracket installed behind the smart car's grill to support the receptacle because the plastic grill isn't strong enough to handle the repeated plugging and unplugging of the pigtail. I found this out first hand - also using tie wraps to install the receptacle on the smart car's grill is a big no-no.

Roadmaster sells spare black brackets for about $14 (includes shipping).

I don't care what brand of lighting kit you buy - just make sure that if a receptacle is mounted in the smart car's grill that there is a bracket installed behind the grill to support it.

 

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I have installed several base plates - Blue Ox and Roadmaster. My preference of ease of installation is the Roadmaster. I would say you should be of a slightly advanced mechanical inclination but moreso have a VERY HIGH QUALITY drill bit. That is the hardest part IMO, drilling into the Tridion. Of course a good set of e-torx sockets will help as well. For taillights I prefer the wireless taillights, love them. No wires to make a mess. Super easy to install.

Any questions, ask away. I have a few pics of an install in my gallery. Here's an idea of what you'd be getting into if you choose to do your own install. I would suggest marking off a weekend for doing it, just in case. I'm down to around 3.5-4 hours for installing one. Like I said, the worst part is drilling the holes. Have a LARGE HEAVY DUTY DRILL too.

 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks Kermit! You have actually encouraged me to give the install a try. It looks more painful for the car than for me. I have months to research and prepare for this.

I wish I had known about wireless tailights before I bought the wired ones. Can you send me a link where I can buy them?
 

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Www.wirelesstaillights.com I think is their website. Since you are in Houston, I've gone to Tractor Supply before to get sets for people.

If you choose to install it, PM me and I'll give you my phone # and can walk you through any problems you may run into.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the link, but they are a bit pricey. I'll stick with the wired lights since the car will be in pieces anyway. Thanks for all of the great advice.

Barb
 

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I'm sorry I didn't even double check that, I was using my phone.

Just looked at it and it is NOT what I have bought before.

These are the ones, search engine KEYWORD - Wireless Tow Lights

These are it at THIS LINK HERE.

Sorry about that. I've paid as little as around $149 using a military discount and shopping around. These are the same ones I have bought numerous times for different people. Those others are too pricey. Sorry about not checking the link.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I have the kiss of death with links from this site. I got to the wirelesstowlights.com page by typing it in, but when I clicked on their order page to check the price I GOT A 404 ERROR. I emailed them. Kermit, do you remember what you paid for your tow lights?

Barb
 

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These are the ones, search engine KEYWORD - Wireless Tow Lights

I've paid as little as around $149 using a military discount and shopping around.
I got them from Tractor Supply before but I'm not sure if they carry them anymore. Other places online have them just use the keywords I listed above on Google.
 

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Not a dumb question at all! No scratches, VERY powerful magnets. Though hard to see, here are a few cars with them. While they are my preference, they may not be everyone elses. Guess that's what makes us human. :)



 

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Bought these lights today at tractor supply for $150.00. I guess hook up is pretty straight forward. Also bought the roadmaster baseplate and will undertake installation this weekend.
Thanks for all your help on this site!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Hey munky, how's the Demco been doing? I may be installing one in a few months.
Solid and secure. We leave for our Spring migration from S Texas back to Seattle next week and it will have it's first big test.

I heard from a guy who had called Demco to ask if it would fit his 2011 Smart. Demco wasn't sure and offered to install one for him free if he would drive up to Iowa. I lucked out I guess. I asked my Smart salesman if they had changed the front end any since 2010. Demco listed it to fit '08-'10. But it fit fine.

Barb
 

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Solid and secure. We leave for our Spring migration from S Texas back to Seattle next week and it will have it's first big test.

I heard from a guy who had called Demco to ask if it would fit his 2011 Smart. Demco wasn't sure and offered to install one for him free if he would drive up to Iowa. I lucked out I guess. I asked my Smart salesman if they had changed the front end any since 2010. Demco listed it to fit '08-'10. But it fit fine.

Barb
Get some pictures of the setup if you can. I have yet to see any pics besides the hideous ones in the installation instructions.
 
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