How to Repair the Brakes on an RV

How to Repair the Brakes on an RV
Before loading passengers into your RV for a weekend camping trip or summer road trip across the U.S., check the brakes. Brake failure is a common problem when routine maintenance and service is ignored. Damage from rust, corrosion and wear and tear can cause your RV brake system to stop unexpectedly, which can result in a serious accident. Brake repair is moderately easy. You just have to replace a few parts that are known to wear down over time.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Step 1
Raise the travel trailer with a jack and keep it raised with a jack stand. Remove the nuts, hubcaps and wheel.
Step 2
Replace damaged brake shoes, drums and shoe-return springs and hardware. Replace shoes and drums that are worn thin. Replace corroded shoe-return springs and hardware. Check the adjusters to evaluate how easily they turn and replace if necessary.
Step 3
Inspect the rotors. Pay attention to the thickness, quality and run-out of each rotor. Look for warping, thinness or surface damage.
Step 4
Slide the wheel back into place, then tighten the nuts and hubcap.
Step 5
Add brake fluid. Restore the master cylinder and wheel cylinders and improve braking action with brake fluid. Follow the manufacturer's instructions.
Step 6
Take a short test drive. If the vehicle does not brake smoothly, adjust the drums and reduce shoe clearance. Make a small adjustment in clearance, then check again. Continue until you can brake smoothly. Apply a moly-type brake grease to the contact points between the shoe and the backing plates.

Tips & Warnings

Wear gloves when handling grease.
Always have a professional service problems you cannot resolve on your own.

Article Written By Charlie Gaston

Charlie Gaston has written numerous instructional articles on topics ranging from business to communications and estate planning. Gaston holds a bachelor's degree in international business and a master's degree in communications. She is fluent in Spanish and has extensive travel experience.

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