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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Custom Base Plate

I purchased a Road Master base plate and had a local dealer install it on our 2000 Hyundai Elantra. Apparently they only make one style base plate for this car. Once mounted, the whole unit is only 5-inches from the pavement. When driving the car or towing it behind the RV, the base plate drags against the pavement when going in or out of a driveway. This is really a problem when going in and out of a gas station or over parking lot speed bumps. It would be a big expense to change the struts. Can anything be done to raise the front of the car so it won't bottom out?
Don, (Henderson, NV)

Don, I can surely empathize with you as can other RVers I’m sure. The noise of that assembly bottoming out has got to be one of the worst sounds you can encounter while traveling. The bad news; I have come to realize that not all stock base plates work on every model car produced today. In some instances, the lack of a suitable base plate makes towing that vehicle with all four wheels on the ground difficult if not impossible.

The good news; there are aftermarket experts out there who have the ability to fabricate custom base plates for any small vehicle used as a "dingy." Some installations, in fact, are so slick that they are virtually unnoticeable when the car is not being towed (see photo). Far from the old days when having the "A" frame sticking straight up was a common sight. I'm not aware of any modifications that can be performed on the car itself.

The other options are tow dolly or tow trailer, but obviously we know flat-towing the car is preferred. I wish I had better news, but other than a custom base plate, I'm afraid your choices are limited. I’m sending you the name of one such custom fabricator. Perhaps he can recommend someone in your area.


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