How Often Do RV Brakes Need to Be Changed?

October 25, 2019 Published by Leave your thoughts

If you’re new to the world of recreational vehicles and fifth wheels, knowing when it’s time to change your vehicle’s brakes can be a bit of a learning curve. The signs might not be immediately obvious, and brakes, of course, are one of the most crucial parts of any vehicle! There’s a difference between the brakes on motorhomes and fifth wheel trailers, so their maintenance is going to be a little different. Of course, if you’d rather leave your RV brake changes and maintenance to professionals in Flagstaff, AZ, Maclin Truck & Trailer is happy to assist you.

Let’s look at what you can expect from each type of vehicle:

Motorhome brakes

Motorhomes generally come with a choice of hydraulic or air brakes. If your vehicle is diesel-powered, it probably has an air brake system, meaning that it does not require hydraulic fluid or master cylinders to operate. Depending on which kind of brakes you have, your maintenance needs will be different:

  • Moisture and the air brake: Air brakes don’t use fluid to run, and in fact, excess moisture causes brake failure. Air brakes typically come with cartridges that are used to dry up unwanted fluid and/or oil. Clogged cartridges can lead to brake failure, so you need to check them at least once every two years, and manually drain the air storage tank every six months.
  • Hydraulic brake systems: Hydraulic brake systems have more working parts and require more care. Each year, you should check the rotor, brake pads, drums, and linings for any signs of wear and tear. Look for debris and rust, and completely change the hydraulic fluid every two years.

Fifth wheel brakes

Unlike motorhomes, fifth wheel brakes generally come with electric brake systems. There are three major parts of fifth wheel brake maintenance:

  • Inspections: Have your fifth wheel’s brake system checked at least annually. You should check for worn shoe linings as well as wear and tear on the magnet arm system.
  • Cleaning: Next, remove dust and debris from the brake assembly by wiping with a soft cloth, and apply lithium grease to the areas behind the shoe. This will help lessen wear on the backing plate.
  • Adjustments: Get your electric brakes adjusted at least once per year, and any other time you notice your fifth wheel’s brakes are underperforming or getting hot while driving. Electric brakes are not self-adjusting, making them a bit higher maintenance than other types of brake systems.

Get help with RV brake changes and maintenance in Flagstaff, AZ

Would you rather have an expert take care of your RV brake systems? Maclin Truck & Trailer aims to deliver mobile RV repair in Flagstaff, AZ wherever a problem occurs, to get you back on the road fast. We do as much work as possible right on the side of the road, providing repairs and fixes that get your vehicle back into full functional order. If you’re having issues with your vehicle or just want to ensure it’s ready for your next big road trip, get in touch with us to set up an appointment.

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