Real Time Cost To Replace Trailer Brakes And Factors To Influence The Cost




Brakes are the most important thing to a trailer or any other car. You have to keep an eye on it because if it fails, then it can bring life risks. Driving a trailer is a tough job. Now imagine driving a trailer with worn out brake shoes.

Real Time Cost To Replace Trailer Brakes And Factors To Influence The Cost

I know you don’t want to imagine. Then you have to change your trailer break at the right time. If your brake components don’t feel smooth or you can hear some noise. Then, it’s time to change your trailer brake.

However, what is the cost to replace trailer brakes? Well, there isn’t a clear-cut answer to that. You may not need any calculator, just like a travel trailer turning radius calculator, to know the appropriate figure. But the brake replacing cost depends on the type of brakes and where you are taking the service.

For intense:

  • RV brake repair cost: $1,100. 
  • The front brake replacement cost is around $900.
  • $492.99 for single axle electric brakes
  • Local engineering firm: $1500

 Key Point: 

  • 🚚 Brakes are crucial for trailers; worn-out brakes pose risks. Regular checks are a must to avoid trouble on the road.
  • 💸 RV brake repair can hit $1,100, front brake shoes replacement around $900, and single axle electric brakes cost $492.99. 
  • ⏰ Check brakes annually or before big trips. Posting rules for changing brake pads every 12,000 miles.    

But that’s not the whole picture. The pricing can change depending on various factors. So, what are those? Keep reading to find out the truth.

How Often Do Trailer Brakes Need To Be Replaced?

Well, it’s a mixed bag. You have different brake systems, how much you use your trailer, and how nice you are to it. 

In a nutshell, people say to peek at those brakes once a year or before a big road trip. Now, if you’re rolling too much,  posting rules for changing the brake pads every 12,000 miles. Sometimes it can be less than that, too, if you are towing too much. You definitely don’t want to tow a travel trailer with 20 mph wind with a worn out brake, right?

How Often Do Trailer Brakes Need To Be Replaced

But hey, that’s just a rough guess – 

Your mileage might literally vary based on how much stuff you’re hauling. Hydraulic brakes? They tend to last a bit longer between swaps. But watch out for heavy loads, constant use, or rough conditions that might speed up the brake shoes aging process. The process is a complicated one, like a turning radius. You just have got to keep a close eye on your trailer brake, and you will get to know when to replace it.

Also Learn About: Turning Radius 5th Wheel Vs Travel Trailer

So, What Is The Cost To Replace Trailer Brakes?

So, What Is The Cost To Replace Trailer Brakes

Although there isn’t a clear answer to that question, it depends on many factors. But here is a basic list of costs to replace trailer brakes:

Component/Service     Cost Range
Basic Electric Trailer Brake System$300 to $500
Mid-Range Electric Brake System                    $500 to $700         
High-End Electric Brake System$700 to $1,200
Boat Trailer Brake$1,200 to $2,600 plus labor.
Electric Brake Installation         $300 to $1,500 (depending on labor)
Backing Plate $33 to $460 (depending on model)
Trailer Brake Controllers$300–$600
Brake Service$200 to $500
Caliper Replacement  Up to $130 per caliper
Labor for Brake Service   $90 to $200 per hour
Complete Brake Repair$200 to $800 (pads, rotors, calipers)

Factor Influencing The Cost Of Replacing Trailer Brakes

Factor Influencing The Cost Of Replacing Trailer Brakes

As you know, there isn’t a certain cost of replacement. Things keep changing. So, here are some things that influence the cost of replacing the trailer brakes.

Brake Type Stuff

So, trailers can have different brake types like electric, hydraulic, and surge. Your trailer’s brake flavor affects how much swapping them out will cost – parts and labor included.

Axle Count Matters

Trailers roll with one or more axles. More axles mean more brake bits to switch out. So, if your trailer has more wheels, brace for a bigger price tag.

Fancy or Regular Parts

When it comes to brake components bits like pads, rotors, drums, and calipers of the  tow vehicle. You have your regular ones and your fancy, high-end ones. Picking the fancier stuff can pump up the bill, but hey, it might mean better breaks in the long run.

Get Ready for Labor Costs

Labor isn’t cheap, and it can change depending on where you are. If you’re in a swanky place, expect to shell out more for someone to get their hands dirty with your brakes. Or be ready to pay posting rules of theirs.

DIY or Professional

Thinking about DIY? Sure, you might save on labor, but only if you know your way around brakes. If not, you might end up paying more to fix your mistakes. Professional installation might be pricey, but at least they know what they’re doing.

Brake System Tech Level

Some trailers have super smart brake systems with electronic gizmos. The fancier the system, the more it might cost to swap out. So, if your trailer is rolling with the latest brake tech, be prepared to pay a bit more.

Size and Weight-Bigger, Heavier, Pricier

If your trailer is a beast – big and heavy – it might need beefier brakes. And, you guessed it, beefier brakes mean a beefier bill.

More Than Just Brakes

Sometimes, it’s not just the brakes that need fixing. Brake lines, hoses, brake fluid – they might all need attention. Tack on those costs to the brake job.

Hidden Costs: What To Watch For?

After considering all those, there are still some hidden costs that can hurt your wallet. I know it is frustrating after dealing with all those msrp for a travel trailer. Now you have the hidden cost of brake replacement, too.  But, yes, you have to watch out for that hidden cost:

Unexpected Repairs: You’re swapping out the brakes of your tow vehicle. But what if your trailer throws a surprise party with unexpected repairs? Rusty bits, worn-out doohickeys–they might demand attention, and that means extra bucks.

Alignment Surprises: Messing with the brakes can sometimes throw your trailer’s alignment out of whack. And guess what? Fixing that alignment might just add an extra cost to your brake bill.

Fancy Fluids and Lubricants: Some brake jobs need special fluids or lubes. These sneaky extras can be added to the tab. Make sure to ask if your brake replacement comes with a side of special sauce.

Electronic Calibrations: Got a high-tech brake system? Sometimes, messing with the brakes means messing with electronic stuff. Calibrations and tech tweaks could tag along, bringing their own price tag.

Old Parts Disposal: What happens to the old brake components bits? Some places charge extra to get rid of them. Don’t get caught off guard – ask about disposal fees.

Shop Supplies and Fees: The shop might slap on fees for things like shop supplies, rags, cleaners, and other odds and ends. It’s like the hidden tax of the garage world.

Extended Warranty Temptation: You’re already forking out for new brakes, and then they hit you with the question about extended warranty coverage for brakes . It might add to your bill, and you might not even need it.

Tips to Tackle the Surprise Costs:

Detailed Quotes: Ask for detailed quotes from service providers to understand what’s included.

Pre-Inspection: Get a thorough inspection before the brake job to uncover potential issues.

Professional Vs. DIY Trailer Brake Replacement Cost

So, getting the pros to fix up your trailer brakes can dig a hole in your wallet. They charge like $90 to $200 an hour, and that depends on where you’re at.

But you get what you pay for – 

Pros bring the skills, precision, and a “job well done” vibe. Just know the total bill depends on how fancy your brake system is and how many axles you have. Now, thinking about going full DIY? Cool, it can save you some serious cash on labor.

But hold on – you have to know your way around tools and trailers. Buying the brake bits, like pads and rotors, might set you back $200 to $800. Don’t forget, you might need to grab some tools too, and if you mess up, extra costs might sneak in.

So, it’s a trade-off. Pros guarantee a smooth ride but cost a pretty penny. DIY is cheaper if you’re handy, but there’s a risk of rookie mistakes. Your call – how comfy are you with wrenches, and how much time are you willing to drop on a DIY brake job?

How To Replace Trailer Brakes?[ Installation Steps]

How To Replace Trailer Brakes

If all those adjusted trailer brake costs are too much for your budget, then DIY is your thing. You can take the business into your own hands. But hold on, you have to do the installation steps correctly. You can’t mess up here. Sit down and follow the installation steps:

  • Check the Brake Controllers
  • Peel Off the Drum
  • Dig into the Drum Assembly
  • Chop Off the Old Wires
  • Clean Up the Drum and Spindle
  • Pop in the New Assembly
  • Slap On the Bearings
  • Reassemble the Outer Components:
  • Chuck the Tire Back On
  • Test the Brakes

Check the Brake Controller

Before diving in, make sure your trailer-mounted brake controllers are up to snuff. Check the wires, make sure you have the wiring diagram, and see if the power outputs match what they should be.

Peel Off The Drum

It’s time to strip down the brake drums. Get rid of the cap, ditch the nuts of brake drums, and slide off the outer bearing. If things get stuck, a mallet can help you out.

Dig Into The Drum Assembly

Once you’ve got the drum off, peek inside. Check for cracks, make sure it’s thick enough, and give the magnet a wiggle – it should be loose, not stiff.

Chop Off The Old Wires

Snip the old magnet wires behind the drum plate. Be cautious –only do this if you’re using whole new brake kits. Otherwise, you’re cutting off the connection.

Clean Up the Drum and Spindle

Scrub away the grime and go from the drum and axle. Give your zerk filling a clean-up, too. If you see any damaged bearing races, swap them out ASAP.

Pop in the New Assembly

Your fresh inner brake assembly comes with all the fixings. Slide it onto the greased spindle, making sure the shoes are in their proper spots. Crimp the magnet wires where you snipped the old ones.

Slap On the Bearings

Grease up those inner bearings and stick them back in the drum hub. No skimping on the grease, and remember – high temperature stuff only.

Reassemble the Outer Components

It’s time to put everything back together in reverse order. Outer bearings, electric drum brakes, wheel bearings, washers, spindle nuts, cotter pins, and finally, the grease cap.

Chuck the Tire Back On

Check the tire rotation. Slam that tire back on and torque those lug nuts to factory specs. No room for loose nuts!

Test the Brakes

Last but not least, grab your trailer brake controller for a test run. Check if the electric side of your trailer brakes is behaving. If the volts aren’t spiking in five seconds, or if they don’t match the manual, there might be a wiring glitch. Wiring hiccups are rare if you’ve been pro about the installation.

And there you have it – a low-down on swapping out your trailer disc brakes without drowning in fancy terms. Easy peasy, right?

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Average Life Of Trailer Brakes?

Trailer brakes usually last about 12,000 days, but it depends on factors like usage, load weight, and brake system type. Regular inspections help catch wear and tear early. Keep an eye on those brakes, especially before hitting the road for a long haul.

How Do I Know If My Trailer Brakes Are Bad?

Do you feel a drag or odd vibration when towing? Check your trailer brakes. If they’re bad, you might notice uneven braking, strange noises, or a sluggish response when you hit the brakes. Also, keep an eye out for irregular wear on the brake drums.

How Many Volts Are In A Trailer Brake?

Trailer disc brakes typically run on 12 volts. That’s the juice they need to kick into action when you hit the brakes. Just make sure your traditional brake controllers are sending the right amount of power to keep those disc brakes doing their job.

Is Brake Replacement Covered By Trailer Warranties?

Warranty deal for trailer brakes? Well, it depends. Some trailers cover brake replacement in their warranty, but not always. Check the fine print. Fancy warranties might cover it.


So, basically, the cost to replace trailer brakes varies depending on the brake and service type. Also, the hidden cost may tag along the way. So, if you want to skip all those, you can take the business into your own hands and replace the trailer brake yourself.

John Little

Written by

John Little

Meet John Little, the Tiny Living Guru. With two decades of hands-on experience and an architecture degree, he’s a Sustainable Housing Innovator and Tiny Home Ambassador. John’s mission: inspire eco-conscious, mobile living. Join him on this transformative journey.

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