Best Brake Pads for Towing

How I Found the Best Brake Pads for Towing

If you’ve ever towed any type of trailer, car, 5th wheel, or boat, then you’ve most likely realized that proper brake pads make a difference.

Have you heard horror-stories about overheated brake pads, brake fade, even brakes that have caught fire due to overheating?

Yikes! There’s a scenario no one wants to deal with!

Brake pads made specifically for towing will not only help you with braking but also help better control the heavy load you are towing.

The right brake pads reduce noise and prevent brake fade. Whether you’re towing an ATV or plan on using your RV and head up to the mountains, you need the best possible brake pads for everyone’s safety.

Brake pads may sound a lot alike but there is a great deal of difference between them. They may not be the most exciting thing you will ever buy for your ride.

But if your brakes fail, you can guarantee that that excitement will be something you never want to experience again!

Which are the best brake pads for towing or for heavy-duty use, such as for RV’s or super-duty type trucks?

Let’s find out!

Best Overall

Wagner is one of the best-known names when it comes to brake pads and other brake parts.

These are rear brake pads for those with 4 wheel disc.

Ceramic pads are actually made from copper fibers mixed with ceramic materials. That’s why these tend to cost more than OEM pads.

But there is one thing everyone knows about ceramic pads and that is how they last! These pads seem to wear so slowly, you might begin to worry that something is wrong!

I like these pads because they make almost zero brake dust, which not only means cleaner rims, but less noise. I also like that this kit comes with new shims made from premium stainless steel materials.

Wagner designed these pads specifically for fleet, towing, and commercial vehicles. You know they are going to be perfect for whatever you’ve got in mind.

What I Like

  • They’re super long-lasting
  • The OEM design means they fit right the first time
  • All hardware is included
  • They’re designed for towing and heavy use

What I don’t like

  • A few users complain about noisy brakes
  • Some boxes were missing shims upon delivery
  • A few users stated that the box was mislabeled or the wrong parts were inside

When you consider that these pads were designed precisely for towing or heavy loads, it’s easy to see why these pads are so popular.

Buy these for your ride and I bet you never go back to regular OEM pads again.

Runner Up

You may not have heard of the Hawk brand before, but this company is really making some waves with the products it makes.

These are a set of rear ceramic disc pads designed for heavy-duty use, such as towing, hauling, even motorcycle touring!

You might wonder if these pads are really worth the price.

While I wouldn’t want to be the judge in that arena, you will find multiple users who will tell you that they simply won’t use anything else.

These pads won’t compromise your ABS system, but they do offer improved noise, braking torque, and dust control over OEM pads.

This pad uses a Ferro-Carbon compound mixture. That combines the quality and safety you need with the advanced braking ability.

What I like

  • Nearly noise-free braking even after thousands of miles
  • Easy to install
  • Virtually brake dust-free
  • Made in the USA

What I Don’t Like

  • Some users believed that OEM pads stop “harder”
  • Noise issues bothered some users
  • The price might be too high for some car owners

Are you tired of stock pads that squeal? Do you want brake pads that have some real meaty stopping power no matter what you are towing?

These may be a viable option for you.

Best Towing Brake Pads for F150

Did I just hear someone say “That won’t work with my Ford” when reading the above?

I know all too well that when it comes to Ford trucks, not all brake pads will give you the performance you need.

These high-quality, ceramic pads from Bosch will work with nearly every Ford Expedition, Navigator, or F-150 truck.

I like these pads because they come with multi-layer rubber shims, which means super-quiet operation.

These are made in North America and include any other hardware that you might need to do a complete brake job.

These are OEM style so there is no filing or workarounds, you can slip them right in place.

Ceramic pads for an F-150 at this price are almost unheard of considering that you also receive hardware, shims, and even grease for the calipers.

What I Like

  • Lots of users say that these are the quietest pads ever
  • Terrific value for the price
  • Easy installation

What I Don’t Like

  • While they are easy to install, there is a difference between the inner and outer pads. Failure to install them correctly can result in premature pad failure
  • A few users complained about noisy pads

Are you still using OEM brake pads on your Ford? If you replace them with Bosch QuietCast Premium Ceramic pads, you will notice the huge difference they will make in stopping power.

Editor’s Choice

The name alone catches your attention, right? Severe duty truck and towing brake pads? Isn’t that what you are looking for?

I like these pads because even though the manufacturer isn’t a brand name, these are middle of the road when it comes to price.

I’ve always thought was a good thing in most cases.

These are front disc pads that will fit a wide range of mostly GM trucks.

These are carbon fiber ceramic pads that have a thermal scorched surface. That means a quicker break-in period and less noise.

This kit also comes with a premium stainless-steel hardware kit, rubberized shims, and brake grease.

Since these are still ceramic pads, you get virtually noise-free operation and far less brake dust than typical OEM pads.

I like these pads because they come with all the little extras that more expensive brake pads do but for less money. I also love that they are easy to install.

What I Like

  • Outstanding value for the money
  • Superior braking power when you really need it
  • Zero squeaking or squealing sounds even under hard braking conditions

What I Don’t Like

  • Some users complain that they needed to do some modifications to make these fit properly
  • A few users complained that the pads wore out quickly
  • Some packages contained the wrong pads

If I can purchase premium anything for less money than the brand name, I’ve always believed that this was a great way to save money but still get quality items.

That line of thinking is absolutely true in this case.

You might wonder why you paid so much in the past for a brand name!

What type of brake pads are best for towing?

While everyone has their own favorite brands, Wagner is well-known for making quality brake pads that really last, as are Hawk and Raybestos.

You might also hear people agree or disagree about using ceramic or semi-metallic.

Why so many differences of opinion?

This is because not every vehicle is the same. Brand new, heavy-duty rotors will perform better. Rotors that have been machined with a non-directional finish will also perform better.

Are you towing a huge 5th wheel or just an 8×10 utility trailer that is only half full?

Do you frequently use mountain roads or is it mostly flat, freeway driving?

All of the above make a difference.

But the fact is that you can’t go wrong when you use heavy-duty rotors, machine them with a non-directional finish, and choose ceramic or semi-metallic brake pads.

Are ceramic or metallic brake pads better?

Ceramic and metallic brake pads both work equally well.

Ceramic pads are great for towing and are extremely hard. This means that they don’t wear much. But they can be brutal on the brake rotors and cause noise as they wear.

Especially if you try to reuse the shims or brake hardware.

Semi-metallic is also great for towing and they really shine in extreme temps. If you plan on towing in desert-like heat or in the snow, you might want to go with semi-metallic.

Most people prefer ceramic pads because they seemingly last forever.

But if you tow in very extreme temperatures regularly, go with the semi-metallic.

Are OEM brake pads better than aftermarket?

If you’ve been using OEM pads while towing and had no problems, then you can keep on using them if you like.

OEM pads are generally excellent, but they are often not made for towing heavy loads.

Brand name aftermarket pads are frequently better than OEM pads. But if you’ve been happy with your OEM pads and they are less expensive, why change?

In the majority of cases, you will find that most people who plan on towing end up changing out the OEM pads and rotors for aftermarket.

They will usually replace them with a product specifically designed for heavy-duty use.

Are expensive brake pads worth it?

Yes, most expensive brake pads are worth it for the stopping power depending on what you’re using them for.

Premium brake pads use better materials (such as ceramics) which reduce brake fade and improve stopping power.

When it comes to towing, you definitely want both of those things.

If you have had good performance and received a decent life from your OEM or another brand of brake pads even while towing, then you should be fine using what you’ve been using.

But most people find that a premium brake pad, combined with a heavy-duty rotor, gives them far more control and stopping power.

OEM or cheap aftermarket pads don’t have the same performance.


While the Hawk Performance Disc Brake Pad is an outstanding brake pad, the truth is that the price puts it a bit out of the range of most people’s wallets.

Especially when you consider that you might need to replace brake rotors as well.

I like the middle-of-the-road Power Stop Truck and Tow Brake Pads, which offers an outstanding brake pad for towing that won’t break the budget.

But when it comes down to cash on hand…

Most people will want to go with the Wagner SevereDuty Disc Brake Pad Set. Anything that was made for a specific purpose is generally the right choice to make.

You wouldn’t run a marathon in flip-flops.

Why use a regular OEM pad when for a few bucks more you can have the best brake pad designed for towing or hauling?

Wagner manufactures and tests all its products in-house.

The Severe Duty pad is made for the demanding conditions that high heat, towing, heavyweight hauling, and freezing weather puts on brake pads.

If you are putting these on yourself, you will love how they match your OEM pads perfectly. That means no issues or time-consuming alterations, along with a new hardware kit.

It doesn’t get much easier than that.

Ceramic pads are known for being long-lasting and these are no exception.

If you want brake pads that can handle whatever you are towing, with no brake fade, then the Wagner SevereDuty brake pad kit may be your best option.

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