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Old 11-19-2020, 10:25 AM   #1
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Does this sound right? Replace brakes and drums already?

We have a 2019 Globetrotter 27 footer. We've towed it around 19,000 miles. A service center who just worked on our trailer advised us that our brakes only had about 5,000 miles left on them and that I needed to replace the brakes and the drums soon on all four wheels.

This seems incredibly early to me, but thought I'd ask, does this seem reasonable? We're talking new brakes and drums at about 25K miles. When we were at the Airstream Factory Service Center the end of August they checked the brakes and the report I have just says 1/16" OR GREATER.

Thanks,

Steve
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Old 11-19-2020, 10:55 AM   #2
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Have you ever touched the hubs or as close as you can get when stopping? Used a infrared thermometer? I check mine regularly and make adjustments if I see a problem developing. I have maybe 40k-50k on mine and only now might be getting close.

Also make sure your brake controller is not set too high. If set too high, the trailer brakes are doing more work than they have to, which could lead to premature wear, but even so, I'd have to see the measurement on the hub/drum because they typically those last a few sets of brake pads, cutting them in a bit.
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Old 11-19-2020, 11:01 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevejones View Post
We have a 2019 Globetrotter 27 footer. We've towed it around 19,000 miles. A service center who just worked on our trailer advised us that our brakes only had about 5,000 miles left on them and that I needed to replace the brakes and the drums soon on all four wheels.

This seems incredibly early to me, but thought I'd ask, does this seem reasonable? We're talking new brakes and drums at about 25K miles. When we were at the Airstream Factory Service Center the end of August they checked the brakes and the report I have just says 1/16" OR GREATER.

Thanks,

Steve
It depends on the service center: honest or greedy. Most of the time brake pads tend to wear out and need to be replaced, not the drum BUT... (yes there's a big BUT), if the pads were worn out all the way to metal and the brakes continue to be used without being replaced, the worn-out pads rubs against drum... causing deep scratches that could not be smoothed out. I am not sure if the Dexter drums could be turned. Most auto drums could be turned. If not, thus the drums need to be replaced. They are (*(&^%$#@!@$%^*&*&) EXPENSIVE! I had to replace both drums for Coleman Niagara popup, they were expensive.

But if the service guy tells you that your drums need to be replaced without looking at them, run away. Drums needs to be looked at before making an estimate.
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Old 11-19-2020, 11:20 AM   #4
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But if the service guy tells you that your drums need to be replaced without looking at them, run away. Drums needs to be looked at before making an estimate.
The service center is well regarded here in AZ. They mainly work on Airstreams.

All four wheels were pulled so he definitely looked at them. I'll probably get a 2nd opinion. I don't think our brake controller is set too high and like I said, Airstream passed the brakes when they inspected them in August.

Steve
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Old 11-19-2020, 11:37 AM   #5
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If your pads were really at or near 1/16 inch (which is pretty thin) at the Airstream factory in August, you need new pads. If the inside of the drums are grooved, you probably need to machine them smooth. If they are badly grooved (from metal on metal), you need to replace the drums.

I have had older drums turned successfully if they are within minimum thickness specs. The work must be done by a reputable brake service center with the proper turning equipment. Not every parts store has the right equipment. I found that Brakes Plus service centers do have the right equipment. Not sure if you have one in your area, but they also will work on trailers.
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Old 11-19-2020, 11:38 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevejones View Post
The service center is well regarded here in AZ. They mainly work on Airstreams.

All four wheels were pulled so he definitely looked at them. I'll probably get a 2nd opinion. I don't think our brake controller is set too high and like I said, Airstream passed the brakes when they inspected them in August.

Steve
You need to get YOUR eyes on them.
Bonded shoes will need replacement at 1/8" material left.
Thin does not react well to normal brake temps, separation of the friction material happens fast.
AMHIK

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BTW...these were warranteed by Dexter at 5K.
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Old 11-19-2020, 01:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevejones View Post
The service center is well regarded here in AZ. They mainly work on Airstreams.

All four wheels were pulled so he definitely looked at them. I'll probably get a 2nd opinion. I don't think our brake controller is set too high and like I said, Airstream passed the brakes when they inspected them in August.

Steve
Just because all the wheels were pulled doesn't mean that he looked at the brakes. They would also need to pull off the brake drums to inspect them and the brake shoes.

I seriously doubt you need new shoes, let alone new drums. Unless you wore your shoes to the rivits, unlikely within these few miles, then the drums will last a long, long, time. Like several brake shoe changes, long.

As has already been said, YOU need to see the shoes and drums' and confirm their condition before you let this shop do anything. Sounds very suspect to me.
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Old 11-19-2020, 02:56 PM   #8
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Dexter pads start at 3/16 inch and need replacement at 1/16 of an inch according to their website and documents. Dexter uses bonded not riveted pads. When JC reported 1/16 they meant there was 1/16 remaining till replacement. In other words 1/2 gone, and at 20k miles, that is not too far off expected.

As others noted, can't say much about the drums without a photo, but I agree, it seems very odd they would need replacement.
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Old 11-19-2020, 03:04 PM   #9
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Perfect time to upgrade to elec/hydro disc brakes.

They will stop your trailer and truck quickly.
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Old 11-19-2020, 03:06 PM   #10
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

That prognosis sounds a bit early for the brakes to wear out unless they have been used in extreme conditions. We have a 2015 Flying Cloud 25 FB that has been tow a little over 63,000 miles without any brake issues.

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Old 11-19-2020, 04:14 PM   #11
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Pulled a couple drums off my trailer to inspect after 30k this summer and found uneven wear on the part of the drum where the electric magnets rub. Brake pads looked okay as did the part of the drum they rub against.

Replacement drums for electric brakes are insanely expensive. Hoping I can find someone to turn them when the time comes.
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Old 11-19-2020, 07:35 PM   #12
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I pulled all 4 hubs on my FC30 this spring to have a look. After about 40,000 miles. All 4 pads looked good with about 1/8” or a bit more remaining, i.e. half worn. I put the hubs back on and don’t plan to look again until 2022 when I’ll replace the pads. Which is usually done by replacing the whole brake assembly. But not the drums.
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Old 11-19-2020, 07:56 PM   #13
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Replacement drums for electric brakes are insanely expensive.
etrailer (https://www.etrailer.com/search/Dexter+008+201+05) has 12" Dexter drum-hubs for about $112 to $156. That does not seem to me to be insanely expensive for something so important.

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Old 11-19-2020, 07:58 PM   #14
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Get a tire off the ground. Can you spin it? Do you feel any bearing problem? You will hear a light scraping as the 'magnet' slides against the armature. Now, pull the breakaway pin. Can you spin the wheel by hand? Put the pin back in the switch. Can you spin the wheel by hand?

When rolling, can you manually engage the brakes? The trailer brakes should mostly stop the trailer. That way the brakes are not trying to stop the whole rig. But this also depends on the TV. If you don't have enough TV you will use up trailer brakes faster. If you set the brakes too 'hard/high', the brakes will wear sooner than expected. Lots of factors.. do you use brakes a lot down grades? Do you 'drag' your brakes (not fully release the brake pedal).

If you replace the shoes, definitely 'turn' the drums and replace the 'magnet'. I had one of ours done at a local O'Reilly, to compare wear pattern. Will probably remove later in the year to check. They turned / refaced the shoe and armature surfaces. I have about 30k on new shoes, magnet and drums on 3 axles.

If you can find someone to turn the drums, you can get new 'backing plate' which will have shoes, magnet and all new springs. They vary in cost, but, Dexter will get best fit for the axle weight and drum size. You can 'adjust' them to fit the drum before you install.. just don't mix up the drums..

You must order "left/street" or "right/curb" 'backing plate'.

Repack bearings and replace the oil seal..

It took me about an hour each axle side.


Disc brakes are excellent. But way out of my price range... and, can be problematic as some tow vehicles do not engage well.
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Old 11-20-2020, 09:55 AM   #15
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Quote:
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etrailer (https://www.etrailer.com/search/Dexter+008+201+05) has 12" Dexter drum-hubs for about $112 to $156. That does not seem to me to be insanely expensive for something so important.

Tim
For some reason the drums compatible with never lube bearings seem to cost considerably more. But, I didn't look too hard. Not planning to replace the drums myself, I'll be taking it to service for expert opinion later next year.
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Old 11-20-2020, 11:17 AM   #16
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If drums and brakes need to be replaced after 25k then something is wrong with the brake system. They should not wear out after only 25k. So if you do determine they are worn out then I recommend looking for the reason why before you replace them.
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Old 11-20-2020, 11:54 AM   #17
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For those looking to get their drums turned; they can turn the brake face if it is not badly scored, but there is a maximum diameter stamped on the drum. The drum magnet face also need to be refaced, and if the magnets are badly scored or out of shape they need to be replaced.. Check with your local automotive parts suppliers. I get mine done at a UAP in London On that has a machine shop integrated

Cost per drum , refinishing both faces is $45-50. My '96 has the original Dexter drums, but I'm sure I will need to replace them nxyt time around.

If your brakes are really that worn, then I suspect you are using the trailer brakes to stop the rig. Go back to your brake controller manual and set the brakes up according so those instruction. Usually a 20 MPH stop using just the manual brake lever, no TV brakes, just to the point of lock up.
Agree entirely with cwf

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Old 11-20-2020, 12:51 PM   #18
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Have you done a lot of towing in the mountains? Do you ride the brakes going down a mountainside, downshift or a combination?
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Old 11-20-2020, 02:15 PM   #19
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Based on the information given I would probably just go ahead and get the brakes and drums replaced. Or the brakes replaced and the drums turned and faced. 20,000 miles is indeed a significant amount of towing.

Personally I would take at least one drum off in the driveway and check the situation. Can you do that?
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Old 11-20-2020, 03:03 PM   #20
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Dexter pads start at 3/16 inch and need replacement at 1/16 of an inch according to their website and documents. Dexter uses bonded not riveted pads.(SHOES) 😂When JC reported 1/16 they meant there was 1/16 remaining till replacement. In other words 1/2 gone, and at 20k miles, that is not too far off expected.

As others noted, can't say much about the drums without a photo, but I agree, it seems very odd they would need replacement.
Shoes Bob Shoes..👍..or the bonded thingies that rub and stop 'ya

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