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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all, currently deciding what to do on my fifth wheel brake wise. I have a gas tow rig, and live in the Rockies, and 6% grades with the current electric brakes are a little uncomfortable to say the least. I plan to travel more in the future, including over some much longer, steeper grades on gravel and paved roads, so I'd like to seriously upgrade the trailer brakes.

I got the trailer for cheap and in super good shape, so I'm not afraid to put a chunk of change into it. My thinking is to swap in GM 8 lug rotors (more common+ more aftermarket options), and new 8 lug hubs, along with the backing plates and rear rotors. The calipers I'm looking at are rated for a 6,000# rear axle, and trailer won't be over 10-11,000#. Would these calipers, being truck calipers, work just fine under a trailer? Planning on a hydro over electric actuator, obviously. Drum parking brake that the GM trucks had as well, on one axle.

My thinking is that the GM parts will be more readily available and a better price, plus aftermarket support. Same calipers and rotors as my truck too, so a warped rotor from a panic stop would be a quick fix.

I do have experience fabricating backing plates for this type of deal, as well as plumbing brake lines and fitting calipers/rotors. I have an identical setup I swapped onto my rear axle that was originally drum.
Basically, is this possible and safe? Or do I need different calipers or rotors?
 

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Just for thought, as I am not really a brake person, but have you considered an onboard compressor+tank and air brakes sort of like big rig trailers? I feel that would be your best bet for each connect/disconnect while still having great stopping power.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Just for thought, as I am not really a brake person, but have you considered an onboard compressor+tank and air brakes sort of like big rig trailers? I feel that would be your best bet for each connect/disconnect while still having great stopping power.
I've thought about air brakes in the past, but that just seems a bit overkill. I'd consider it for a 20,000# or more trailer but not my fiver. I should add the hydraulic system is electric over hydro, rated for as much as 3 axles and I believe 1600psi of pressure. My only concern is the calipers having enough braking capacity.
 

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Assuming the GM 8 lug brake parts you are looking at are like mine, they should work fine. I'm running some ac delco professional dual piston calipers and rotors with duralast pads on my 2007 14 bolt and it stops my 3 ton truck perfectly fine. I've never been able to lock them up at speed as I don't have a powerful enough booster or hydro boost, but I'm confident I could stop my 41in iroks on a dime if I had the braking power.
 
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