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The Best Brake Pads for Towing

Written by Stephen Ryan / Fact checked by William Turner

Sure, a huge chunk of your RV travel quality is seen by how smooth your ride went. Did your engine under the hood run accordingly, and up to your standards? Were your wheels able to power through the changing terrain? Did your windows hold up against the dust, the rain, the snow, and other elements?

best brake pads for towing

However, there is still another factor that is often not seen and sometimes, left unchecked for too long. This is the braking, and more specifically, your rig’s brake pads. And because I have noticed that a small number of both new and old owners who are quite confused as to what the ‘brake pad’ is, and how to pick the best brake pads for towing, I will list down some of the important factors in finding the perfect ones for your vehicle.

Top 1

Power Stop K6268-36 Z36


Dimensions ‎14.5 x 9.5 x 14.5 inches
Weight _
Material Ceramic

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Top 2

Bosch BC1084


Dimensions 9 x 6 x 3 inches
Weight 4 pounds
Material Ceramic

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Top 3

Motorcraft BRSD756


Dimensions ‎8.6 x 5.6 x 2.5 inches
Weight 6.4 pounds
Material Ceramic

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Table of Contents

10 Top-tier Brake Pad for Towing Reviews

1. Bosch QuietCast Premium Ceramic Disc Brake Pad Set

Most of the upgraded parts on my car are from Bosch, from the disc horns, filters, windshield wipers to batteries. So when my rear toad brake pads wore out, I immediately purchased a set from my preferred and trusted brand.

I got everything in the box and installed it with ease. I love how environmentally friendly these brake pads are. They are copper free and lighter compared to the stock brake pad I used. The powder coating seems long-lasting and would be resistant to corrosion and wearing than other finishes. Another good thing about it is, it does not produce squeaks. It only has very minimal noise and very low wheel dust due to the top quality bond between the rubber and steel. I remember my wife complementing the notable quiet performance when she took it for a drive.

I like that the friction material is durable enough for the heavy loads on our toad. It also has a remarkably quick response when braking. And at the same rate, braking is much easier and smoother now, especially on bumpy roads. Even my son noticed the big progress when he drove the RV on our way back.

The only thing I didn’t like is that the clips don’t look sturdy to me.

  • Easy to install
  • Free from copper and it’s environment-friendly
  • Made of premium material (ceramic and semi-metallic)
  • Long-lasting friction pad life with multi-layer rubber shim
  • Clips don’t look sturdy enough
Overall, these ceramic brake pads set from Bosch is a top-quality product and far greater to competitor brands. I’ve had no problems using these brake pads so far and I am very satisfied, which made me feel like these is the best brake pads for heavy towing.

2. Power Stop K6268-36 Z36 Front and Rear Brake Kit

Despite being a busy man, I always find time for my kids and my wife. I remember debating with my wife whether to get the Power stop or the Brembo kit a year ago for our toad. Knowing that both vehicles would have heavier loads we chose the Power stop and it was the best decision ever! There was an improvement in the overall braking of my vehicles. Absolutely no-fade braking!

My son helped me install the brake kit as soon as we got the complete package. It came with 4 brake rotors, 8 carbon-fiber ceramic brake pads, stainless steel installation hardware, and the brake lube.

I like that the drilled holes on the rotor reduces the heat and keeps it cooler. I found this very indispensable whenever there’s a need for an immediate stop or we’re RVing on extreme terrains. I like that the rounded slots make it easier to remove debris or muds, this provides smoother and secure brakes and prolong the brake pads too.

Not only that, but the plating also has a top-notch material that gives a premium look on my truck and I don’t see any rust or corrosion at all. The carbon fiber brake pads which are dust-free are not worn out yet and do not create awkward or noisy brakes. I only used a thin layer of brake lube on the back of the pads so it’s still half full. I’m surprised how it weathered all the travels we made for the entire year.

It would have been a perfect kit if the brake calipers are included. Good thing the stock calipers fit and I don’t have to purchase one.

  • Offers low dust braking performance
  • Durable stainless steel shims deliver better heat dissipation
  • Drilled & Slotted performance rotors reduce heat
  • Rotors are made of iron and zinc plated
  • Brake calipers are not included in the kit
This set worked perfectly in my vehicles. We love how it provides the added stopping power on our truck during our camping trips within Eastern Ohio. Our family had a safe and fun ride and I am very content.

3. Motorcraft BRSD756 Front Severe Duty Pad

The Motorcraft BRSD756 Front Severe Duty Pad is a no-nonsense brake pad for the toughest and meanest machines in the land. It passed multiple tests with flying colors, giving car owners confidence in its reliable performance on the road.

It is worth noting that this brand is under the Ford umbrella, making it a worthy brake pad for Ford heavy-duty vehicles, such as the Excursion, F250, and F350. I am ecstatic about this brake pad’s remarkable engineering, giving me peace of mind when towing my travel trailer or fifth wheel. It provides exceptional stopping power without producing excessive brake dust.

I love these brake pads because they are almost similar to Wagner brake pads for towing, although I do not find it surprising. The ceramic material is noteworthy, accommodating highly variable temperatures for the most demanding jobs. It should also last longer than ordinary brake pads.

I am also glad this product meets several stringent tests, including the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, Ford Durability Testing, and Dynamometer Testing. These standards guarantee optimum performance, such as excellent recovery times and resistance to wear, vibration, noise, and dust. Braking is also as noiseless as I can imagine.

I appreciate the patented backing plate, high bond strength, and low brake pad rattle and clatter.

I just wish the product came with hardware springs like some semi metallic brake pads I used.

  • Advanced ceramic pad construction with wear and temperature resistance
  • Designed and engineered to suit Ford vehicles
  • Meets multiple stringent tests for safety and performance
  • Patented backing plate with high bond strength and low rattle
  • Near-noiseless braking with anti-vibration and anti-dust design
  • No hardware springs
Regardless, this brake pad remains an excellent choice for heavy-duty applications. Towing heavy loads and feeling safe and secure on the road is a cinch with these pads in the vehicle’s brake system.

4. Akebono ACT787 ProACT Ultra-Premium Ceramic Brake Pad Set

Car owners looking for dependable ceramic brake pads for towing on their front wheels can trust the Motorcraft BRSD756. However, if it is the rear brake one needs, the Akebono ACT787 ProACT Ultra-Premium Ceramic Brake Pad Set is an excellent choice.

Like the Motorcraft, this brake pad features an advanced ceramic formulation. However, its principal difference is its more extensive vehicle compatibility. The company tested this brake pad to comply with the regulatory requirements of Japanese and European automobile manufacturers. Vehicle owners can install these brake pads on Acura and Honda vehicles without any problems.

I like these brake pads because they are suitable replacements for OEM parts. They are the perfect solution for those who want to upgrade from an organic, low-metallic, or semi-metallic brake pad system. The design has certification from the US Department of Transportation, giving car owners peace of mind.

My favorite thing about this brake pad is the absence of a bedding-in period, whereas most brake pads require a ‘break-in’ window of 500 to 700 miles. This product’s advanced construction and design eliminate the need for such acclimatization. People can take this product out of the box, install it in their vehicles, and take a drive.

I also like its dustless and noiseless operation. Like the Motorcraft and Wagner, this ceramic brake pad does not produce a squealing or squeaking noise when braking. The brake system also has fewer dust particles, safeguarding its integrity.

Unfortunately, I found some complaints about a missing metal slider. Customers with this experience had to reuse their old ones to install these brake pads.

  • Japanese and European vehicle-optimized, advanced ceramic formulation
  • Ideal replacement for OEM, organic, low and semi-metallic brake pads
  • No bedding-in period
  • Noiseless and dustless braking
  • DOT certified
  • No metal slider
Still, this brake pad is perfect for those who want dependable stopping power without making much noise and leaving dust on the car.

5. Power Stop Z36 Carbon-Fiber Ceramic Rear Brake Pads

RVing is a part of my family’s life. Whenever we get a chance to travel, we include our kids, particularly in the summer. And with children, it is imperative to travel safely. I had to replace my old rear brake pads because it whines when brakes are engaged. I brought it to a service shop and found out that the pads are almost less than a quarter-inch and well, rusty. So it’s time to replace them.

When I heard about carbon-fiber ceramic brake pads, the first thing that came to my mind are red Ferraris. So I thought the brake pads from Power Stop would be an ideal replacement. My wife and I agreed to buy two sets of the Z36 carbon-fiber ceramic brake pads online.

The package includes a brake grease and a superior hardware kit that is made of stainless steel. Using the basic tools, I had no installation issues. In fact, it only took me an hour. The same goes for the performance, the stopping power is unbelievably outstanding. I love how my stops got shorter and there was a noticeable improvement on brake feel, it’s smooth and quiet.

Unlike conventional brakes, I find these brake pads very durable. The material used is not malleable at all and this could really withstand intense heat during braking, especially when towing a heavy vehicle. With the tightly bonded materials, this is also resistant to corrosion. This would be beneficial for people who live in a cold or icy environment. No need to worry about getting contact with salt or water in the winter season too. There is also minimal noise on panic stops because of the slotted design.

One drawback is the brake dust. This produces more dust compared to the stock pads I used.

  • Designed to maximize stopping power
  • Chamfered and slotted design (noise-free braking)
  • Powder-coated to resist rust and corrosion
  • Includes brake grease and first-class stainless steel hardware kit
  • Produces more dust compared to conventional pads
All things considered, I got what I paid for! These superior brake pads made our RV travels safer and comfortable, even when you have a heavy vehicle in tow. Definitely one of the top-rated brakes for towing.

6. ACDelco GM Original Equipment Front Disc Brake Pad Kit

The excessive brake dust and squealing noise on my truck got me annoyed so I had to replace my old brake pads to avoid further trouble. I got the ACDelco GM OEM front disc brake pad kit two months ago and this is by far the easiest brake pad replacement I ever did.

Looking at the outside, it seems sturdy because the material is riveted to steel backing plates. I usually drive at a steady speed and I always calculate the stopping distance when towing. I can say there is huge progress particularly on fast and busy traffic roads, there’s no vibration and it’s noise-free.

The initial braking power is really good. Even though our trailer is on the heavy side, it is surprisingly easy to bring it to a halt compared to my previous brake pad. Another good thing about this is, it handles high brake temperatures without sacrificing the life span of my rotors and braking performance. I’m surprised that the dust generated is barely noticeable. My front wheels look neat and cleaner with these pads. I also tested these brakes for F150 towing, and these worked better than expected.

One thing I did not like is that it is not specified whether it is ceramic, carbon-ceramic, or semi-metallic. I assume it’s semi-metallic, but I never really got confirmation.

  • High-performance brake pads
  • Has a friction material molded for bond integrity
  • Top-notch shims (noise, vibration and braking harshness reduced)
  • Dust produced are less noticeable
  • The material used not specified
Even if I never really knew what it was made of, this product lived up to my expectations. I will definitely get the same brake pads again once it wears out.

7. Wagner Severe Duty SX756 Disc Pad Set

These premium brake pads do a wonderful job on my vehicles. It’s the perfect brake pads for towing F150. I also upgraded the rotors from the same brand and I couldn’t be happier with the excellent braking performance.

The stainless hardware kit is extra nice and saves me money on rip off-brake jobs. Installation was pleasantly easy. Just by simply looking at each pad, I am sure that they will last longer, they are hard and have a powder-coated finish. I don’t see any buildup of rust or corrosion yet, which is a big help to enhance the entire brake system.

I’ve also had no issues stopping the extra weight on my RV. In fact, these solid brake pads have far superior stopping power compared to conventional ones. My frequent stops are shorter and I haven’t experienced any brake fade so far. Another cool thing about this is, it’s copper-free which means it is not toxic to aquatic life. There is less noise when braking too.

Hauling my trailer is much safer on wet and uneven roads now. My kids love how comfortable our family trips have been for the past six months.

One small drawback is, it produces more dust on my front wheels but it’s not that bad since the friction material has zero copper.

  • Made up of semi-metallic carbon-based material
  • Long-lasting braking performance
  • Environmentally friendly (Zero copper)
  • A stainless steel hardware kit is included
  • Makes more dust compared to ceramic pads
At the end of the day, nothing beats a safe and smooth ride. I can vouch that this product will have all the features you can ask for on heavy-duty towing. Wagner’s Severe Duty brake pads won’t let you down!

8. R1 Concepts Ceramic Front Rear Brake Rotors Kit

Keeping the safety of my family while we travel has always been my main concern. I have my brakes regularly checked and maintained every 10,000 miles. With the wide range of good choices online, I decided to give this eLINE Series brake kit a try. It came with four good-looking brake rotors and eight ceramic brake pads.

I did the brake job using the right tools and it was incredibly easy since adjustments are not needed. I was able to save hundreds of dollars! The brake rotors have a smooth finish and it looks pretty cool behind the wheels. The exterior is silver zinc plated which is good against rusting from road chemicals and corrosion.

It’s also nice that it is a dual disc, it makes braking extra smooth and quieter. Another cool thing about this is the diamond rotor pattern. This unique design is downright impressive. It reduces fade braking particularly on wet surfaces and yet they run cooler. Overheating is greatly reduced too! These are ideal brake pads for towing Ram 2500 diesel.

The brakes pads are ceramic which is more durable than semi-metallic pads. The little brake dust it produces is a huge plus too. The better braking performance compensates for the noise we are expecting since we are towing a trailer.

This is a bit pricey compared to a semi-metallic brake kit.

  • Precision drilled holes useful to dissipate high temperatures
  • Countersunk reduces heat stress and spider cracks
  • Diamond-slotted rotors increase brake pads bite
  • Pricier compared to brake kit counterparts
Overall, the feats of R1 Concepts Brake Kit are top-notch and serve its purpose in superior braking performance. Towing our RV trailer has been worry-free for the past year and my family is loving it. This is truly a worthy upgrade!

9. Detroit Axle Front and Rear Disc Brake Kit

My brake pads went south a few months ago so I replaced it with the Detroit Axle’s brake kit. I felt so relieved when I got the complete package because I have read some reviews that some parts were not included in their parcel.

It took me an hour and a half to install the brake pads and the rotors. They looked good behind the wheels and they are pretty impressive for the price. There were no issues during the break-in period, I was surprised that it matched the output.

I had my son drive it for 200 miles and he said that the pedal feel is dead on and he doesn’t need to apply strong pressure at all. There was no fade braking, it stopped real-time too. It was a little hard when I first towed our camper in Texas, but after a few miles, the ride got smoother. In fact, it generates sufficient brake force considering the weight (4000-lb) of my vehicle. The friction between the pads and the rotors seem stable on the entire trip. We didn’t get any mishaps whatsoever. With this high quality brake kit, the strain on my brake system would be greatly reduced. Whew! These are really good brake pads and rotors for towing.

It’s also cool that there is no unnecessary brake noise on emergency stops in the freeway. The light-colored dust was not really bad since it was expected during long drives and all pads produce dust as they wear right?

The only con is the cost, it is a bit expensive compared to my old metallic pads.

  • Good quality pads and rotors
  • No loss of braking force
  • Offers smooth and quiet braking
  • Brake kit looks sturdy and long-lasting
  • The cost is higher than other metallic brake kits
Nonetheless, I am happy with this purchase. There’s no compromise in my family’s safety, especially on our RV travels. I think I’ve done myself a favor by choosing this efficient brake kit among its competitors.

10. Hawk Performance HB302P.700 Brake Pad

My stock brake pads had gone bad after two years of usage and I needed a new pair of towing brakes to replace them. And with the number of brake pads in the market, I was torn between a ceramic and a ferro-carbon material. I’ve done some research and found out that the latter provides 20 to 40 percent more braking power. Since we have a heavy travel trailer, I was swayed to get the Hawk SuperDuty brake pad and I have no regrets. Early on, I was able to see that this is one of the best brake pads for RV towing.

To ensure my family’s safety, I had a local mechanic install the brake pads and check the brake system on both vehicles before we hit the road. My son and I did a proper break-in and we noticed that it only produces moderate dust compared to aftermarket pads. We have drilled rotors so brake dust does not stick around. I love that this has a high resistance to brake fade and has an excellent bite compared to the traditional brake pads. These pads also produce a high amount of friction and are really good at dissipating the heat. We had no braking issues when we were in the Grand Canyon.

It’s nice that the unique Ferro-Carbon material provides top-notch safety during our RV travels and daily street driving. The combination of high heat tolerance and superior power stopping makes the pads versatile and more effective in braking. I don’t have to worry about driving in extremely cold or hot weather. I tried these brake pads for towing F250 and noticed good results. This would likely survive our heavy towing for years.

The only drawback was the squeaky noise after the replacement. Our local mechanic had to put some anti-squeal adhesive after cleaning the rotors and pads. Good thing it worked!

  • Durable and super duty pads
  • Powerful braking for heavy towed vehicles
  • Very high fade resistance
  • Unfailing and steadfast friction output
  • Squeaky sound after the replacement
Undoubtedly, these heavy duty brakes for towing are among the best ones and perfect for my driving style. Had run 10k miles and it’s still good as new! The feel, durability, and high performance is definitely a win for me.

Power Stop K6405-36 Z36 Brake Kit (Outdated)

I always ensure that my family is safe whenever we travel using our camper. As much as possible I don’t want things to go wrong on the road and seize the fun. But the most dreadful thing happened when we were in Colorado. We almost had an accident due to brake failure! Good thing no one’s harmed. And it turned out to be an uneven brake pad wear. So I purchased the Power Stop brake kit and a new brake system for our camper as recommended by our mechanic.

I followed the proper break-in process and I noticed huge progress after 2 weeks of driving around the block. It has a better bite and the stops are quiet and consistent compared to the previous brake pads. The braking action is more efficient because it dissipates more heat now.

This is a satisfactory set of brake pads for towing Ram 3500. Its high heat stability on all weather conditions is advantageous for me. We could easily drive to the desert or on snow. I like that it matched the brake system on my camper. I’m surprised they worked well together, stops between the two are perfectly synced. I must say this is ideal and a viable option for people who tow heavy rigs and also for hefty high-performance cars.

Not only that, but they also look pretty cool behind the wheels and they do not make as much brake dust so I’m very pleased. The only drawback is the price which is a tad expensive than conventional pads.

  • The materials used provide high-performance braking
  • Dissipates more heat and more stable than traditional pads
  • Brake noise is reduced
  • Drilled and slotted rotors have a better bite
  • The price tag is more expensive compared to conventional pads
I would never compromise our security using low-quality pads again. It puts me at ease that my kids would never have to be scared on the road again. The driving comfort and safety it provides are definitely worth an investment. This is the best of the best!

Max Brakes Front & Rear Premium Brake Kit (Outdated)

With the features and materials used, you can never go wrong with these brake pads from Max. These quality pads are an essential upgrade on my trailer and pickup truck’s brake system. This is good enough for me and I must say they are quite a steal for the package includes four rotors (rear and front) and 8 brake pads. Also, they are less expensive than my old ceramic pads. I followed the break-in procedure and squeals are only present during the process, a week in my experience. They said it is pretty normal after installation.

These flat and polished discs have a premium casting and copper-free. I had these for a couple of months and they are holding great on my vehicle, the pedal is more responsive. It has increased the stopping power of my brakes and yet maintains a consistent braking force under all conditions.

In fact, we went boondocking in the south of Borrego Springs last month. As much as my kids love the starry desert sky and the mysterious sculptures I can’t help but be amazed at how stable the pads are on high temperatures. Halting was almost effortless at the desert sands! Hauling our trailer was a breeze and more comfy to my family unlike before.

There was minimal dust on the wheels and very low braking noise during the trip. No noticeable rust on them yet. The only downside is that there’s some chipping on the pads, so I worry about how long it will last. Also, it didn’t come with the hardware for installation, which is a real downer.

  • Kit includes 4 rotors and 8 brake pads
  • Durable premium casting (a perfect balance of strength and hardness)
  • Has anti-rust coating for longer life span
  • Impressive copper-free formula
  • Some chipping on the pads
  • Did not include the hardware
Max Brakes’ heavy duty brake rotors kit really surprised me with its performance. This gets the job done and keeps us safe in our travels, so this is a great choice for any RV enthusiast.

What to Look for When Buying a Brake Pad for Towing


First things first, before knowing how to choose the right set of brake pads for you, you must know what a brake pad is. When you step on your brake pedal, the brake pads are the ones responsible for placing heavy friction against the drum (or the metal disc) that slows down your rig to a halt. Simply put, a huge part of your braking relies on the braking pads themselves. And if you’re towing another vehicle, you should use a set of braking pads that can handle the weight of not just your camper, but also the vehicle you are towing.

Now, when at the market for brake pads, here are the qualities you should look into:

  • Materials

When it comes to choosing what the most suitable brake pad for your rig is, you would have to look into the materials used in manufacturing the actual product. The material is directly related to a product’s performance, as it dictates the advantages and limitations of what it can do. When it comes to towing braking pads, this is particularly true because of something we call ‘brake dust’.

Brake dust is produced as the iron from the brake rotor’s abrasion is partnered with the friction materials from the contents of the brake pads themselves. It is the dark-colored residue that is often found in wheels and other areas of the rig. Brake dust is oftentimes just matters of unattractiveness and annoyance. They sure do ruin the look of a slick rig. However, there is that small possibility of the brake dust becoming corrosive and quite harmful to the surface, especially aluminum. This can prove to be troublesome since corrosion is often permanent and cannot be repaired easily.

When choosing the right brake pads for your towing rig, be sure to ask about the product’s material and how it can overall affect the maintenance of your whole rig.

  • Durability

Another factor that is heavily reliant on the product’s material is the product’s durability. When it comes to brake pads, durability is a factor that must not be overlooked. There are two main components when looking for a durable product. The first is its durability to handle the temperature.

When you take long drives with your rig, whether for a short camping trip or for a long-standing life living off the grid, it is just responsible if your brake pads can easily adapt to the sudden changes in temperature. This is particularly important to remember because RVs oftentimes encounter different kinds of weather as you travel by the region. There is no telling if sudden temperature drops will occur in the next town, and having faulty brake pads during one of your drives will surely put hassles on the trip. It can either delay the trip as you look for replacements on the road (which are quite rare), or lead to something worse.

Another component of the product’s durability is if it can weather constant motions and vibrations. Brake pads for RVs are built differently from your average vehicles. RVs are oftentimes required to travel greater distances and runs for longer drives. If you purchase a subpar towing brake pad, it can suddenly fall apart on the road for an entirely different reason than before.

The product’s durability is what makes the price higher most of the time, but surely this is an investment you would want to make especially when it comes to your travel standards and quality.

  • Efficiency

If you are looking for a brake pad that has a high level of performance, then remember that it is the stopping power that dictates the best product. If you are after brake pads that can support heavy-duty activities, then look for a brake pad that can absorb heat. Heat-absorbing materials can prove quite valuable to brake pads because aside from absorbing the heat that the braking produces, it also dispels the heat from other parts of the system and helps greatly in cooling them down.

If you have picked such a product made with good material, try and ask if it would also produce a minimal effect on the actual wear and tear of the brake pads. This will ensure that the brake pads would always run smoothly and be ever-reliable on the road.

  • Lifespan

Looking at the general lifespan of the brake pad is also quite important. This is the accumulation of the product’s efficiency and durability, the summit of both factors. A good product would often have four to five years in them before it needs to be repaired, or even replaced.

However, as you look for the brake pad’s lifespan, think of all the activities you are planning ahead. Are they for light usage only, would you carry the only light load? Will you be planning a longer trip off the grid, carrying a heavy load with you frequently? If so, you’ll be needing some heavy duty brake pads for towing.

The lifespan of the brake pads is directly linked to the frequency of your usage, as well as the load you expect your rig to carry.

Other Important Factors to Consider


What is a brake pad for towing?

When you are cruising by on a long country road during one of your travels and a squirrel (or any other cute animal) crosses the road all of a sudden, what do you do? Of course, you step on the brakes immediately, letting your furry friend leave the asphalt unscathed. However, a lot has happened behind the scenes, stuff that you may or may not have thought about before. The brake pads are the ones responsible for halting your vehicle quickly and efficiently. Had your brake pads not been of great quality, you would have done something on the road that surely will surely leave our little squirrel friend in harm’s way.

And now, we are discussing towing RV brake pads. Such brake pads are built as a stronger, more durable, and more efficient version of the average vehicle’s brake pads. This is because of two reasons. For one, it is because the towing RVs are monsters in terms of size and strength. With all that power under the hood, you would need to have a brake pad specifically built for it as lighter brake pads could not even put a single halt to such a heavy-set rig. It also should be noted that towing RV brake pads are also built to have a longer lifespan and better durability because of the constant motion and rattling movement it can encounter on different terrains and roads.

Another reason for the uniqueness of the towing RV brake pad when it comes to strength lies in the load it carries. Towing RVs are expected to haul in a large amount of weight, whether from supplies, equipment, or even the weight of other vehicles. And when dealing with towing RV, it is better to have full control of your rig’s movement in order to carry the load safely.

How does a brake pad work?

When talking about the braking parts of your rig, your brake pads are at the center of discussion. The brake rotors, another key component of the braking system, are the metal discs that allow for the slow halting of the RVs wheels. They are connected to the axels themselves. Simply put, they are the discs that the brake pads clamp unto in order to give to a screeching halt or a controlled slowing. The brake pads are able to do this by clamping unto the discs, applying pressure, and causing enough friction to gradually stop the motion.

But this process is not without after-effects. One such thing that owners should be aware of is the accumulation of the braking dust. The braking dust is the black residue that results from the constant friction and pressure applied on the (and by the) brake pads. In small quantities they are not harmful, but left unchecked can cause corrosion and degradation in the surface of the adjacent parts.

What are the different types of towing breaks?

There are a couple of variants to choose from, and the best brake pad material for towing depends on your usage. These are:

  • RV Towing Ceramic Brake Pads

These are brake pads that are manufactured with copper fibers and ceramic. Yes, the very same ceramic that is used for pottery is utilized here. However, these materials are upgraded and are made to be more durable, and lighter than other options.

This is the usual choice for rig owners who are looking for a clean and quiet brake and not the kind that hurts your ears every time you halt. The copper fibers that are incorporated in its design are placed there in order to help increase the pressure, heat conduction, and the friction of braking. They are mostly utilized by owners who are looking for light usage.

  • RV Towing Semi-Metallic Brake Pads

Often just referred to as the classic ‘metallic brake pad’, this option uses iron, copper, steel, and other composite alloys in order to provide a more rigid and strong braking power. One of the most known advantages of the metallic brake pads is the ability to adapt and perform under any weather conditions.

Since RVs are expected to go through sudden and drastic changes in weather and temperature, you would need a brake pad that would not fall apart on you when you need it most (or when there are no repair shops in sight!). They can also absorb heat, unlike organic options that tend to contribute to the wear and tear at times.

Why do you need brake pads for RV towing?

Braking pads are essential parts to a regular vehicle, and it takes a more integral part in a system that often relies on power, stability, and safety. When you are carrying tons of weight by the tow, you would need a reliable braking pad than gives you full control of your rigs movement.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Are ceramic brake pads better for towing?

Each variation of the brake pads (in terms of materials) has its own unique advantages and slight disadvantages.

Take, for example, the ceramic brake pads. Ceramic brake pads are built to be lightweight, in order to not give too much stress to its attachments as well as helping the rig take a light-set route. Without those unnecessary weights attached to your towing rig, it can do a better job overall. They are also built to be more durable than your average ceramic materials. This is so that it can provide the correct amount of pressure and friction that can slow you down or put you completely in a halt.

One of its best advantages is that it produces less noise than other materials. Creating just a little or at times no sound at all, it is one of the quietest options available in the market. This is the result of placing fine copper fibers in the material to create better friction.

Another great advantage of this variation is that it produces less braking dust. As we have discussed earlier, these braking dust looks pretty normal in small quantities and quite problematic at large ones. If it is an indication of anything, it is that it contributes less to the general wear and tear accumulated by your rig in every long drive and towing.

Are ceramic or metallic pads better?

Now, we move on to the metallic pads.

Although the ceramic brake pads will do the job quite well, it is not meant for heavy-duty performance. It means that such brakes are intended for RV rigs that do not spend much time on the road, hauling a heavy load from here to there. Since it is of a lighter material and just run-on-the-mill durability compared to metallic brake pads, it will prove to have increased wear and tear when forced to act against heavy loads. Normally, owners of heavy-set rigs will opt for metallic brake pads because it assures them of its strength and durability on the road.

Another great factor about the metallic brake pads is the ability to absorb heat. When employing the use of ceramic brake pads, the materials prohibits the product from absorbing much of the heat that is produced by the friction and pressure on the rotors. This means that the heat that resulted from this process will be distributed to the other attachments and parts of the braking system, which can compromise its integrity entirely. On the other hand, metallic brake pads are able to absorb heat and lessen its distribution to the other parts, essentially protecting them from unwanted withering.

Do brakes wear faster when towing?

Yes, brakes wear faster when towing. Driving an ordinary vehicle puts more strain on the front brakes because this automobile section is heavier than the rear. There is more substantial weight shifting when the driver applies the brakes.

Towing moves more weight towards the tow vehicle’s front when stopping. For example, one has a 4,500-pound vehicle and a 2,000-pound tow unit. More than 6,000 pounds shift towards the tow vehicle’s forward section when the driver applies the brake. The force is less when there is no tow unit.

The two-vehicle system requires more stopping power to achieve the same stopping distance as a single-vehicle. Hence, the greater the force required to apply the brakes, the greater the effect of wear.

Using high-quality towing brake pads can help address the problem of rapid brake wear. These products feature a more robust material construction, allowing them to withstand heavy use better than conventional brake systems.

Brake pads designed specifically for towing provide maximum stopping power over shorter distances without significant brake pad material degradation.

Should I upgrade my brakes for towing?

Yes, vehicle owners who want to tow cars, fifth wheels, cargo trailers, and travel trailers must upgrade their brakes. The additional weight of the towed unit extends the stopping distance required of brake systems. It also demands more stopping power, allowing drivers to stop their vehicles safely.

It is easy to imagine how ordinary brake pads will wear out faster than a system designed for towing. The weight of both the tow vehicle and the towed unit will exert more frictional force on the brakes when stopping. It can extend the stopping distance or increase the risk of accidents in sudden avoidance maneuvers.

Upgrading conventional brake pads to brake pads for heavy-duty truck can make hauling heavy loads safer. These products are less susceptible to brake fade, allowing drivers to tow trailers through hilly terrain and winding roads.

When should you change brake pads and rotors?

Vehicle owners must replace their brake pads every 10,000 to 20,000 miles and their brake rotors every 50,000 to 70,000 miles. It is worth noting that brake pads wear faster than rotors because their materials are not as durable.

However, brakes and rotors for towing have a longer lifespan. These products have more robust constructions, allowing them to withstand frictional forces better than brake pads and rotors on ordinary automobiles.

Brake pads specially designed for towing can last 35,000 to 60,000 miles or 300 to 600 percent longer than conventional brake pads. On the other hand, brake rotors for towing might need replacement every 70,000 to 90,000 miles.

Unfortunately, it is not unusual for car owners to forget when they last changed their brake pads and rotors. It would be best to view the following signs as indicators of a need for new brake pads and discs.

  • Squealing or squeaking noise from the brakes
  • Vibration when braking
  • Grinding noise when braking
  • Longer stopping distance than usual
  • Brake pad thickness less than ¼ inches

Should you replace all 4 brake pads at once?

No, you should not replace all four brake pads at once. it would be best to replace only the brake pads on the same axle simultaneously.

For example, if the right front brake has uneven wear, it would be best to replace the front axle’s left and right brake pads. It is worth noting that brake pads on the same axle have a similar brake fade rate, with the front brakes wearing faster than the rear brake pads.

However, people can always replace all four brake pads at once if both rear and front axle brake pads require replacement. They can install heavy-duty brake pads for trucks for better stopping power and more significant resistance against brake fade.

How much does it cost to replace all brake pads?

Replacing all four brake pads can cost vehicle owners 230 to $600, including parts and labor. However, the cost can be higher if one uses high-quality brake pads from reputable brands.

For example, EBC brakes for towing can cost $125 apiece. The company’s Stage 9 Quickest Stop Towing Brake Kit costs around $1,140, including two brake rotors and a set of 4000-Series Yellowstuff brake pads.

One can buy a low-cost brake pad for $35 or a high-end unit for $150. It would be best to go for high-quality brake pads because they have a more robust construction, reliable stopping power, excellent wear resistance, and more significant value for money.

On the other hand, cheap brake pads might not last very long, and their stopping power can be mediocre at best.

Replacing the brake pads DIY style can save people $80 to $120 on labor costs per axle.

How do you install a brake pad?

Before anything else, make sure that your rig is rested on a flat surface. And then, ready all the tools you are to use in this installation. At the very least, the tools you would need are the following:

  • A Jack Stand and a Jack
  • A Wrench
  • Tire Iron / Breaker Bar
  • C-clamps
  • New Brake Pads

The first step is to loosen up the nuts on the wheel using your breaker bar or tire iron. Because your vehicle is in a secured and safe position, do not be afraid to throw some weight in removing the nuts (it can be quite tiring if you do it softly). Place the removed parts on a small container so you would not lose them later on.

The second step is to elevate the rig. If you have a heavy-duty and high-quality Jack, now would be the time to bust it out of the garage shed. Position the Jack in the jack points of your rig. If you do not have an idea where they are specifically, now is the time to consult your handbook. Safety first, for the rig and for you.

If you find yourself using a hydraulic Jack, be sure to have a Jack stand on stand-by. This is because hydraulic Jacks tend to ‘sink’ after some time, and the Jack stand helps you stabilize the rig’s elevation.

Open the caliper in order to gain access to what is inside, which is the brake pads. After opening (it differs with every product), inspect the rotors and all the other parts as well.

Lastly, install your brand new brake pads. After doing so, assemble it back up again, lower the rig to the ground, and voila! You now have a new set of brake pads!

What kind of warranty comes with brake pads?

Since by its nature the braking pads are expected to wear and tear through time, there are only a few products that offer warranty in case of damage upon usage. Usually, brake pads are offered under warranties of component defects and subpar workmanship on the brake pads themselves.

However, this is where brand loyalty plays in. Many owners have their own trusted brands that they continue to use even after years and decades of RV driving. Some brands offer great warranties for their products, which also shows the great confidence they have on the quality and efficiency of their products. But this can also show itself in the high price of the said product, which is unfortunate if you are looking for a cheap fix or replacement for your current brake pads.

How to maintain brake pads?

Knowing how to drive the towing RV is only half the battle, the other half is knowing how to maintain it that way. And lucky for owners, cleaning the brake pads of their towing RVs do not need to be so overly complicated. In fact, it can be just similar to the process you went through in the installation process!

First, park your vehicle in a secure, flat surface. Once you have done this, use the jack to elevate your rig in order to gain a clearer view of the brake pads underneath. You will then remove the caliper that is with the retaining bolts. After doing this, you will then be able to slide the brake pads out. And then, you simply open the hood and you would see the braking system.

Clean every moving part of the system individually. Do not forget to apply the proper brake cleaning fluid to each part in order to remove stains, dirt, and other contaminations that can contribute to low performance or the general wear and tear. Clean the brake pads, scrape and pry off unwanted and visible contaminations. After doing all this, you should now clean the caliper.

When you are done with all these steps, the only instructions left to follow are to put everything back in order, give it a once-over, and you now have squeaky clean brake pads for motorhome!


With all the improvements and innovations that are being done in the interior and the exterior of the RV, some of us often forget that just like your average vehicles, towing RVs need the basic consistencies in the engine and running systems too. We often focus on how much speed we can boost, how much weight our rigs can carry, but we seldom put power on the strength of the rig’s braking. Especially when you have a monster of a towing RV at your disposal, you need to realize that the power it has should always be partnered with the strength to stop and control every back and forth movement of your vehicle.

If you have an RV that carries around a huge weight load, one of your top priorities should be the safety of the said additional load, whether we are talking about equipment, tools, and other vehicles like motorcycles, scooters, and even small boat! Surely the sky is the limit when you have a high quality towing RV, and you can go to even longer distances if you have a powerful set of the best brake pads for towing right by your side!

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