If you decide to purchase a trailer or fifth wheel for camping, you’re going to make a lot of purchases to go along with it. One of those – while it might not be very exciting to think about – is a very, very important purchase.
We’re talking about brake pads.
To keep yourself and your fellow travelers safe, you’ll definitely want your towing setup to include good brakes and braking equipment, and you’ll want to make sure your brake pads are in good shape for towing.
Best Brake Pads for Towing
Because towing involves much more weight than simply driving your vehicle, it puts much more strain on your brakes. You’ll want to be sure you have the proper braking equipment. You should inspect your braking system regularly, and certainly if you hear a squealing or chirping sound when you brake.
What are the best brake pads for towing
Here are some of the best brake pads for trucks for towing:
Bosch is well known for producing quality brake pads, and these top several lists as the best of the best. As the name implies, these brake pads are very quiet, and are excellent in overall performance. These are ceramic brake pads with an aerospace alloy rather than copper that makes it long-lasting and also eco-friendly. Since the aerospace alloy makes these brake pads conditioned for high temperatures, they work great in very hot weather and under the pressure of frequent braking.
These ceramic brake pads get high marks for safety and reliability. These brake pads are also great for heavy towing on a wide range of tow vehicles and trucks. They’re easy to install, and they don’t require curing or machining. They run very quiet and give off very little brake dust so your vehicle stays clean.
The Power Stop Brake Kit again tops several lists as one of the top options for brake pads for towing. These ceramic brakes give off very little dust, and are well-known for being quiet and not corroding. This kit comes with brake pads and rotors and the rotors can be installed without needing expensive modifications as they bolt on.
These ceramic brake pads don’t require any break-in period, and are known for being quiet and reducing vibration and brake dust. They can be used on a variety of cars and trucks. The Akebono brake pads are also temperature resistant and cause very little wear and tear on the braking system.
Things to consider when choosing brake pads for towing
The best brakes for towing are going to depend on what you’re driving…and what you’re towing. Not all brakes – or brake pads – are equal and you’re going to want to research the ones that will best suit you. You’re also going to want to plan on changing your brake pads several times over the life of your vehicle as they were designed to be expendable and wear out before your vehicle does.
When deciding on your brake pads, you have a few factors to consider. You’ll want to research the cost, noise, mess, and wear and tear on your braking system when considering different brake pads as many of them perform better in one area than another. You’ll need to decide which of those attributes is most important to you when picking your brake pads.
Different Types of Brake Pads
There are several types of brake pads. One distinction is between ceramic and semi-metallic brake pads, which we will look at more in-depth below. But one difference in brake pads is how the lining or friction material is attached.
Bonding is a way of attaching the friction material to the brake pad with a high-strength adhesive that holds up to high temperatures. Bonded pads tend to last longer but they are not as flexible as riveted pads.
When pads are riveted, the lining is attached to them by aluminum or copper rivets which means the flexing between the lining and the pad absorbs vibration and noise. Riveting is the most common technique for attaching the lining and most semi-metallic pads are riveted.
Ceramic brake pads
Ceramic pads are made of a dense ceramic, with copper fibers embedded to help with heat conductivity and to reduce friction. They are known for being quiet. Ceramic pads aren’t recommended for all vehicles, so make sure they are compatible with yours before you buy them. They also don’t absorb as much heat, which means your rotors and the rest of the braking system faces more wear and tear. Ceramic brake pads are more expensive as well.
Semi-metallic brake pads
Although they’re technically semi-metallic, these brake pads are often simply called “metallic brake pads.” They’re made from copper, iron, steel, and composite alloys. They are great performers in a variety of weather, and because metal conducts heat well these brake pads stand up to heat and cool down quickly. They aren’t as hard on your braking system. Higher quality semi-metallic pads have very fine metallic fibers, and lower quality brake pads are more coarse metal fibers. Metallic brake pads are much noisier, and they produce much more brake dust which means your wheels get dirtier. Semi-metallic brake pads are cheaper than ceramic pads.
Organic brake pads
Organic brake pads are made from materials like glass, rubber, fiberglass, carbon compounds, and other resins that can hold up to high heat. They are not designed as performance brake pads but are okay for regular driving. They don’t cause as much wear and tear to your braking system as ceramic brake pads, and they are the cheapest option. However, they also wear out more quickly and need to be replaced more often. They also create more brake dust than other types.
Difference between Ceramic and Semi-Metallic Brake Pads
If you’re wanting brake pads that will last a long time without needing to be replaced, you’re likely considering either ceramic or semi-metallic brake pads. Here are a few more details about each:
Ceramic brake pads perform fine and are fairly versatile, but semi-metallic brake pads will hold up much better in extreme temperatures. They grip well in extreme cold and conduct less heat to the rest of your braking system in extreme heat.
Ceramic brakes don’t give off as much brake dust as semi-metallic brakes, allowing for cleaner wheels. They also give off a lighter dust that is less likely to stick to wheels, and the dust in lighter colored. Semi-metallic brakes tend to make your wheels look messier.
Although semi-metallic brake pads are superior in many ways to ceramic, they do not last as long. Ceramic brake pads are more expensive, but since you will replace brake pads more often if you use semi-metallic ones, you may find the cost is similar.
Semi-metallic brake pads have much better stopping power because the metal is a good heat conductor. The brake pads can stop faster and the braking system cools down more quickly afterward. This also helps prevent wear and tear on other parts of your braking system.
Ceramic brake pads tend to be quieter than either semi-metallic or organic brake pads.
When should I replace my towing brake pads
Depending on how often you tow, and where, your brake pads should last between 35,000-60,000 miles. You’ll want to look into replacing your brake pads when you see excessive brake pad dust on your wheel covers, you notice more heat from the rotor, there are bruises on the rotor, or your tow vehicle pulls when braking.
Brake pads may not be the most exciting purchase you make while preparing to tow your camping trailer, but they are a very important one! With a little research, you can be sure you choose the right brake pads for towing your trailer.
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