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No it does not need to come off. But you will want to place a rag between the oil filter and the skid plate when you remove the filter, to prevent oil from running down the skid plate.
 

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No it does not need to come off. But you will want to place a rag between the oil filter and the skid plate when you remove the filter, to prevent oil from running down the skid plate.
^^^What he said. I run Fumoto, so the drain point is no issue. Oil filter...sloppy like (insert favorite college joke).
 

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I run a Fumoto drain valve also. Works great and is still stuck up far enough the skid plate protects it.
 

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