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Old 07-05-2014, 10:25 AM   #1
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REMCO Installation Difficulty

Got a 2014 GT 351DS and a 2014 Ford Flex. I priced out all the parts, including the braking system and it runs right at $2500. Dealership wants $3700 'out the door' to make me ready to tow. I'm 61 and still in fairly good shape but know absolutely nothing about this. Is the $1200 labor charge reasonable? Has anyone done this themselves? Just curious.
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Old 07-05-2014, 11:06 AM   #2
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Sounds rather pricey. I had an aftermarket roadmaster installed on my Honda crv and only cost $199 for labor with a light kit. I bought the base plate for etrailer for $399. I bought a tow bar on Craigslist for $200.
It may be more for a Flex vehicle. As for the brake system, if it is a blue ox patriot brake there is no installation require by dealer. You would install that system yourself every time you tow your car and remove it when you drive it.
I chose an SMC brake that permanently installs on the car. You never see it or need to remove it. Just hook up the tow bar and go.
Pros and cons with both systems.
I did check with other aftermarket installers and they wanted $1250 to $1650 for the Roadmaster style tow bar, base plate and light kit to be bought and installed. Plus a brake buddy for 750.
If you are buying the car from them new then they should do it for what aftermarket charge.


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Old 07-05-2014, 11:35 AM   #3
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Thanks for the input. I believe it is pricey as well but I didn't have anything to benchmark it against. Is SMC the brand for the braking system or is it a type of braking system? I'd like to have something that didn't have to be installed and setup every time I towed.
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Old 07-05-2014, 11:36 AM   #4
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@100 bucks an hour that is 10 hours to install plus sundry parts.
Still sounds high.
Any other shops in the area where you can get a second estimate ?
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Old 07-05-2014, 11:44 AM   #5
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The Ford dealer in our area has a large truck shop that does all the MH F53 chassis work in North Alabama. They seem to be very well thought of in the area. There is also another MH dealership that sells Allegro, Thor, and other class A MH and some class C. They sell FR Forrester's too. I'll call them. if I can ever settle on the correct parts list I need, it will simplify things.
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Old 07-05-2014, 05:05 PM   #6
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Sorry about the misprint. It is an SMI Stay In Play Duo. I am 58 an it took me 2 to 3 hours but most of that time was watching the video on YouTube.
Not hard to install and once it is set up there is no adjustment need, ever. It is completely hidden and can not be seen since it is under the dash and under the hood. Just search on YouTube SMI Stay in Play Duo.
I also purchased a battery mender to keep the battery charged up on the tow car. Very important they're battery stay charged during long tows. For it I used the 12 volt prong on the MH trailer connector.


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Old 07-05-2014, 05:11 PM   #7
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I'd call the manufacturer of the brake system to ask what their recommended install time is. Multiply times $100 an hour and see if it matches up with the quote.
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Old 07-05-2014, 11:06 PM   #8
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USGear also has a nice unit for a good price it is called a Unified Tow Brake. Either one is about 850 each


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Old 07-05-2014, 11:43 PM   #9
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I also bought my base plate from etrailer and the light harness that integrated the original brake and turn signal lights rather than drill holes for new bulbs.
I installed both those myself on a colorado 4x4 crew cab. Base plate was straight forward with the instructions provided. If you are little handy and have proper tools is a breeze. I also ordered my blue ox receiver on line.

As for the brake system. I chose the Brake Buddy Stealth. It is a permanent install. You can take it back out would just take awhile or more money if hired.
I love it cause all I do to hook up is bring truck close to GT, hook up to bar to receiver, hook safety cables, and plug in the 7 way harness. Put truck in neutral and done. Wife has timed me at 2 minutes flat once. (Of course I had pulled into an area and couldn't turn around or back up, so had to jump out and unhook truck) A controller is mounted under dash and with push of button it switches to a trailer controller if you pull that instead.

I got the Brake Buddy Stealth at CW on sale for $999 and installed for $39. It was on their $39 install list in an ad I got in mail from them. I couldn't beat that deal. It did take them nearly 7 hours to install it in the truck and the controller in the coach and connect it to test out.

So,
Base Plate $399
Vehicle specific Wire harness $69
Blue Ox Aventa LX $549 (Got refurbished with warranty from American RV co)
CW sales them for $969 plus tax and $45 shipping, special order
Brake Buddy Stealth $1130 installed by CW
Total $2147
I was quoted $3647 from CW originally.

Its a nice set up at a decent price!
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Old 07-07-2014, 08:27 PM   #10
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Hey thanks folks. I appreciate the response and have enough info now to realize that I need to do a lot more research.


Stan and Patti
2014 Georgetown 351DS
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