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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  General Q&A

 > How long should drums & brakes shoes last?

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myredracer

Langley B.C.

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Posted: 06/18/19 09:08pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just started a bearing repack on our TT.

First drum I pulled off is badly scored. The shoes have what I think is decent thickness left (about 1/8") but parts of them are badly scored. The TT has 12" brakes, weighs 7K lbs and has 5 seasons on it. We've been on lots of mountain roads all over and the brakes have gotten a workout for sure but I've always used tow/haul for engine braking and have downshifted when needed to save the brakes.

I don't know if the other 3 drums are going to be the same or not. It's been 3 seasons since I last did a repack (I should have done it sooner, I know). I can't imagine the drums & shoes deteriorating that much in 3 seasons? The b/c was set up correctly too.

I guess this is a good illustration why it's better to do a manual bearing repack rather than just pump grease in.

Looks like we're in for a new set of drums and shoes. [emoticon]

* This post was edited 06/18/19 09:18pm by myredracer *


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azdryheat

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Posted: 06/18/19 10:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Mine have lasted 5 years so far.


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aftermath

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Posted: 06/18/19 11:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This is a tough question. Mine are doing fine after 13 years. I do believe it has a lot to do with how your brakes are set and how well they coordinate with your tv brakes. In a perfect world the trailer brakes should stop the trailer and the tv brakes you stop your tv . I am also one who gets many miles out of my vehicle brakes. I do not ride the brakes, I do not run up to a stop sign and slam on the brakes and I do not speed nor follow closely.

If you are replacing trailer brakes far before you replace you tv brakes that should tell you that you might need to look at how they are set up.


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MitchF150

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Posted: 06/18/19 11:59pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yeah, no real way to determine that.. Way too many variables involved, but in my case, I have a 16 year old trailer and on the original drums, but have replaced the entire backing plates about 8 years ago..

Only did that because the the magnets looked more worn than the pads.

Simple swap with basic tools and jacks and a weekend.. Only took about 4 hours to do the entire job, and that was being very lazy with the job..

It's been another 8 years since then, but all the pads and the magnets still look good to me.. I do pull them off every other year and put about 5000 miles a year on them.. Not much, I know, but that's just been my experience..

Good luck!

Mitch

* This post was edited 06/19/19 12:12am by MitchF150 *


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Posted: 06/19/19 05:28am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

myredracer wrote:

J We've been on lots of mountain roads all over and the brakes have gotten a workout for sure


Depending on what that means...you could burn up a set of brakes pretty quick.


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Lantley

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Posted: 06/19/19 05:38am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

After installing disc brakes I realize how poorly/terrible magnetic drum brakes perform.
Disc brakes will transform the entire towing experience.
Secondly a vehicle with an exhaust brake will deliver a better braking experience vs. a vehicle without an exhaust brake.
A disc brake RV pulled by a exhaust brake vehicle will brake significantly better than a magnetic brake RV pull by a non exhaust brake vehicle.
There are ways to improve braking performance. It starts with getting rid of those magnets!


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bartlettj

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Posted: 06/19/19 08:38am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've never had to replace pads due to wear, but I have had to replace them due to grease seal failure. Almost all of my towing is one the curvy Oregon coast or in the mountains.

myredracer

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Posted: 06/19/19 09:10am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Our brakes are oversize at 12" - stock is 10". I would have expected them to last a long time. They're Alko which I don't think makes any difference.

I wonder if a brake wire is severed and only 3 wheels were braking or maybe a seal was leaking grease onto the brake surfaces on one of the other wheels? Will find out soon.

Prices I'm seeing for a new set of 12" Dexter drums and backing plate assemblies are pretty steep. Seems like drums come standard with bearings but I installed Timkens and want to keep them. Don't want to replace the entire backing plate assembly if shoes only are available. Running our of time before our next trip and may have to buy locally at a higher cost.

myredracer

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Posted: 06/19/19 09:12am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

bartlettj wrote:

I've never had to replace pads due to wear, but I have had to replace them due to grease seal failure. Almost all of my towing is one the curvy Oregon coast or in the mountains.
Yes, been there a few times with the TT. Many miles of speed up, slow down, all day long and more braking needed.

ppine

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Posted: 06/19/19 09:41am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Depends on how you drive and where you drive.
I tow a lot but drive conservatively with a load in the mountains.
The brake pads and shoes on my Ford one ton were replaced for the first time at 140k miles.

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