Maintaining your RV’s electric drum brakes is crucial for ensuring safe travels and avoiding costly repairs down the road. The video at the end of this article walks you on how to do this. Here are the tips we highlighted l not only enhance your safety but also save you time and money.

Adjusting Your RV Brakes

One of the most overlooked aspects of RV maintenance is adjusting the brakes. This should be done every 3,000 miles to ensure optimal braking performance. While many RVs come with auto-adjusting brakes, they often require manual fine-tuning. By adjusting the brakes yourself, you can ensure that the brake shoes are properly aligned with the drum, providing better braking power and safety on the road.

Tools You’ll Need

Adjusting your RV brakes doesn't require many specialized tools. A screwdriver or a brake spoon will suffice. The brake spoon, designed to fit into the adjustment slot on the back of the brake assembly, makes it easier to turn the adjustment cog. This tool helps you achieve the right amount of resistance in the brake shoes, ensuring they contact the drum correctly for effective braking.

Step-by-Step Adjustment Process

  1. To adjust the brakes, jack up your RV so that the wheels can spin freely.
  2. Remove the dust cover from the back of the brake assembly.
  3. Insert the brake spoon or screwdriver into the adjustment slot and turn the cog to increase or decrease the resistance.
  4. Spin the wheel to check the resistance; you should hear a slight scraping sound without too much drag.
  5. Once adjusted, replace the dust cover and repeat the process for all wheels to ensure even braking.

Burnishing New Brakes

If you’ve recently installed new brakes, it’s essential to burnish them in. This process involves repeatedly applying the brakes to seat the brake shoes properly against the drum. Drive at about 40 mph and use only the trailer brake to slow down to 20 mph, repeating this process around 20 times. This ensures maximum braking efficiency and longevity of your new brakes.

Checking Bearing Play

Another critical maintenance task is checking for play in your wheel assembly. Excessive play can indicate loose bearings, which can lead to premature failure. To check, shake the wheel to see if there’s any movement. If there is, you’ll need to tighten the bearings. Remove the wheel and the outer cap, then tighten the castle nut while spinning the wheel. Back off the nut slightly and secure it with a cotter pin to ensure proper tension.

By following these simple steps, you can keep your RV’s electric drum brakes in top condition, ensuring a safer and more enjoyable travel experience.