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What is a reasonable price to pay for setting up a towed?


GR "Scott" Cundiff
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I sold my 5th wheel Ford P/U and purchased a Class A and Jeep. The base plate for the Jeep was about $450 to $500. I got a Blue Ox tow bar, about $950, it comes with two breakaway cables.  You will also need a supplemental breaking system. I got the SMI Air Force One, about $1,250, it comes with the air hose. You will also need to wire the break lights to the base plate, about $100 for the wire. In addition you will need an electrical cord between the RV and tow vehicle, about $65. Additional cost for I stalition will vary, or you can do it yourself and save money. There are less expensive tow bars but I liked the Blue Ox. There are many less expensive break systems but I wanted one that was permentally mounted and proportional. Figure somewhere just below $2,000 as a minimum and just under $4,000 as a maximum. 

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Yup. It depends. There are cheap systems and expensive systems. If you don't mind having to get centered and level to hook up you can get cheap. If you are willing to install your brake system every time you move you can get cheap. We got expensive because it was easier to use and we could afford it.

Linda

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Towing equipment also varies widely in price and quality. If you go with Blue Ox or Roadmaster (the two most highly rated) then the towbar will be near $700 but you could go cheap for closer to $200.  The same is true for auxiliary brake systems. The law doesn't require one so you can choose between cheap and safe. If you prefer safe than allow around $1000, installed. I would budget $4000 and then be happy when you run a little bit less. 

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I second what Twotoes gave for prices.  I set a Jeep the same way he did.  The only significant difference was I used an Invisibrake instead of an SMI Air Force One (similar costs).  I also connected my tow bar to an aftermarket off road bumper rather than adding a base plate, but again a similar cost.  I did all of my own installations so I had no labor costs.  I was right around $2000 total investment.  With labor, you will be up in the $3K to $4K range for high end equipment like this.

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Thanks everyone.  I"ll likely go with quality on this one.  There are times to find the cheaper way out, but I don't think this is one of them.

Some aspects of installation (mainly wiring) might be within my reach but I'm thinking it might be wise for someone with my lack on mechanical expertise to have the work done by someone who knows what they are doing.

We aren't ready yet - but I'm trying to get a handle on where this is all heading.

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There are some pretty simple plug and play brake light wiring harnesses for Jeeps that require no splicing of wires.  They simply plug in line with the factory harness.  If you go with something like a brake buddy or one of the other removable braking systems, then those are very simple installations as well.  It can be done by even a novice on those things.  The base plate is relatively simple on a Wrangler as well, but does require some tools and basic mechanical aptitude.  That piece may be best done by a professional if you do not have the correct tools or aptitude.  I can provide some links to the brake light wiring harnesses when you have a specific year and model of Jeep in mind if you would like.

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2 hours ago, Chad Heiser said:

There are some pretty simple plug and play brake light wiring harnesses for Jeeps that require no splicing of wires.  They simply plug in line with the factory harness.  If you go with something like a brake buddy or one of the other removable braking systems, then those are very simple installations as well.  It can be done by even a novice on those things.  The base plate is relatively simple on a Wrangler as well, but does require some tools and basic mechanical aptitude.  That piece may be best done by a professional if you do not have the correct tools or aptitude.  I can provide some links to the brake light wiring harnesses when you have a specific year and model of Jeep in mind if you would like.

Thanks - and will do.

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The Unified Brake system (old version) including base plate, tow bar, wiring harness and all associated parts ran about $3,000. new.  I did the install myself and it was a lot of work and took a lot of time.  I estimate that, as a business, I would have had to charge about $1,000 in labor, possibly less if I gained more experience doing it.

 

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Scott when you find a Jeep, check to see if Mopar offers a lighting kit. If so  it goes from the fron of the vehicle to beside the gove box. One plug is unpligged, a plug from the new harness is inserted between the plug and the receptacle. Not spliced wires. It has relays that disconnect the computers from the tale lights and your motor home supplies power for them. Here is a link to what I am talking about.

https://www.cjponyparts.com/mopar-trailer-wiring-harness-7-way-jeep-wrangler-jk-2007-2018/p/82210214AB/

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55 minutes ago, Ronbo said:

Scott when you find a Jeep, check to see if Mopar offers a lighting kit. If so  it goes from the fron of the vehicle to beside the gove box. One plug is unpligged, a plug from the new harness is inserted between the plug and the receptacle. Not spliced wires. It has relays that disconnect the computers from the tale lights and your motor home supplies power for them. Here is a link to what I am talking about.

https://www.cjponyparts.com/mopar-trailer-wiring-harness-7-way-jeep-wrangler-jk-2007-2018/p/82210214AB/

Thanks - saved the link.

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It cost us nearly $4000 to set up our 2012 Jeep Liberty 4-5 years ago. That included the Blue Ox tow bars (previous owner didn't include them when we bought the Foretravel), Blue Ox baseplate, Invisibrake, and all labor. Not quite a year ago we traded the Jeep for a Lincoln MKT. I took the Invisibrake off of the Jeep so it could be used on the MKT. We didn't need to buy new tow bars, but obviously a different base plate. Total cost for base plate and labor was about $3000.

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Dave is thinking about replacing our 2010 CRV with car with all those driver help gadgets. The CRV still has its base plate and the under hood portion of an Air Force One braking system. If anyone here is interested you might want to check in before he gets around to actually trading it in.

Linda

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