Caravan brake magnet question

Submitted: Wednesday, Nov 04, 2015 at 17:33
ThreadID: 130785 Views:4975 Replies:9 FollowUps:7
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I have Alko 12 inch off road brakes and need 2 new magnets. I looked on Ebay and found some non-genuine for $80 each plus postage total would be $175 (Traralgon Trailers). I went to my local caravan repair place and asked for magnets. What he offered me were genuine Alko parts for 10 inch brakes and asked for $260. I had seen these on Ebay for $41 plus $10 postage. I asked about the 10 inch and he said they were the same, funny but Alko have two different part numbers for 10 and 12 inch left and right. I left without buying. I then rang another local caravan repair place, they quoted $130 each, I asked about the other business offering me magnets for 10 inch and he was adamant they were different. He also said the 10 inch were a lot cheaper than 12 inch. My question is was the first dealer trying to rip me off, and what would the consequences be if I fit 10 inch magnets as offered as being the correct part?
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Reply By: MEMBER - Darian, SA - Wednesday, Nov 04, 2015 at 20:33

Wednesday, Nov 04, 2015 at 20:33
Buying brake parts can be a game alright.....some quoted prices are reasonable, others a rip-off. You could well save good $ by searching a bit longer on web offers here and there from specialist van / trailer brake resellers. And magnets aren't magnets......for example, there is a big difference in prices between 10" road magnets and 12" off-road magnets. It appears from what I saw on one website that magnets can be interchangeable between brake brands - Alko / Dexter etc. I've done some replacement work on my van's Dexter brakes....after getting quotes on just new shoes and magnets (4 wheels) the most worthwhile deal by far was to buy whole hub assemblies (a bolt on backing plate, with shoes magnets and everything else assembled and ready to go).
Mine were sourced from my van maker's original supplier:
There are others of course.....such as
As for fitting parts of a different pattern (10" versus 12" group)....unless you are an engineer / qualified mechanic, sticking to original spec parts gives you some confidence while touring, especially when you hit that brake pedal hard :-). Good luck with it.....don't pay too much :-).
AnswerID: 592347

Reply By: The Bantam - Thursday, Nov 05, 2015 at 01:08

Thursday, Nov 05, 2015 at 01:08
Now remember one thing ...... the whole trailer business is a bit dodgy and some people are realy dodgy. ... some just don't know. .... there are a very few who are straight up and very knoweledgable.

You need to make sure you get the right parts, unless you realy know your business you need to look at genuine parts or parts that specifically state they are replacements for the specific system.

AND look at what you have and make sure they look right.

IF 10 inch brake magnets that did prove to be different to 12 inch and actually fitted and actually functioned, the probable result would be less braking effort.

As for price ...... well ...... say the word "caravan" and the price goes up 50% ...... a lot of caravan shops are high margin, full service, full retail, operations ..... you pay for the service and the fancy signage.

There are in just about every major city, specilist trailer parts suppliers, that supply to the trade, some of these are or are attaced to medium to large trailer manufacturers.
These places will often sell to general public at or close to low volume trade price.

you need to know what you are looking for and you need to do your research.

Most of the major electric brake manufacturers have some sort of documentation on line, maybe a manual or at least an exploded diagrame and parts list WITH part numbers.

Google it up and get any info you can on your brake system.

Don't rely on any trailer industry counter jumper to give you the right parts ....... well not at leat till they have proven that they know what they are talking about.

AnswerID: 592355

Reply By: Member - DOZER - Thursday, Nov 05, 2015 at 07:40

Thursday, Nov 05, 2015 at 07:40
If they look the same, and have the same voltage requirement, they are probably the is the lever and size of shoes that is different between 10 and 12 inch. Magnets are magnets,....but a different way to look at it is why are they so much cheaper on ebay? Are they seconds that cant be sold as genuine first quality, or knock offs that look like genuine? Users usually get what they pay for.
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AnswerID: 592359

Reply By: Nomadic Navara - Thursday, Nov 05, 2015 at 08:47

Thursday, Nov 05, 2015 at 08:47
Go straight to the source of parts - the manufacturers cattledog - Electric Drum Brake Service Parts

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AnswerID: 592360

Follow Up By: Mikee5 - Thursday, Nov 05, 2015 at 13:29

Thursday, Nov 05, 2015 at 13:29
Thanks Peter, that site is where I realised that the caravan yard was trying to sell me a lesser part for the greater price. How many times have they got away with it?
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Follow Up By: The Bantam - Thursday, Nov 05, 2015 at 14:16

Thursday, Nov 05, 2015 at 14:16
did you say the word "caravan"?
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Reply By: sweetwill - Thursday, Nov 05, 2015 at 17:00

Thursday, Nov 05, 2015 at 17:00
Hello Mikee5
My brother just bought electric brakes, the whole unit brake shoes,magnet, and backing plate for a Corrimal 15inch,the pair was $150 just bolt on not sure if you had to return the old ones, this was from Reliance brakes in fairy meadow near Wollongong nsw.
AnswerID: 592373

Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Thursday, Nov 05, 2015 at 18:21

Thursday, Nov 05, 2015 at 18:21
Were those off road or soft road assemblies? In the past I have found that getting full assemblies cheaper than purchasing individual parts, don't forget to include the assemblies in your list when doing price comparisons.
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Follow Up By: sweetwill - Friday, Nov 06, 2015 at 08:13

Friday, Nov 06, 2015 at 08:13
Hello PeterD
they were for a on road, I was suprized when they came complety made up undo the brake cable and the nuts holding the backing plate then put the new ones on, you did have to connect the wires up again,cheers Billy.
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Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Thursday, Nov 05, 2015 at 17:39

Thursday, Nov 05, 2015 at 17:39
As I think you are in SA can I suggest a phone call to SATrailer and Chassis at Cavan may get you an answer. They stock both Alko and alternative components and Ive found them very reasonable on price.
AnswerID: 592374

Follow Up By: Mikee5 - Thursday, Nov 05, 2015 at 17:53

Thursday, Nov 05, 2015 at 17:53
Thanks Phil, I have been there in the past for other parts and they were great. Seniors moment to not remember them. I will contact them tomorrow.
FollowupID: 860562

Reply By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Thursday, Nov 05, 2015 at 18:02

Thursday, Nov 05, 2015 at 18:02
From memory my Alko Off Road brakes have a plastic insert that the retainingpin clips into, this stops the magnet rattling and wearing out, I dont remember exactly about that feature but buying genuine means its designed for the brake system and probably wont let you down when you need them most! As Phil G said, ring around and try to get the best price and or a comparison on quality parts. Michael
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AnswerID: 592375

Reply By: Member - graeme W (WA) - Friday, Nov 06, 2015 at 04:19

Friday, Nov 06, 2015 at 04:19
Hi Mikee5, replaced the whole backing plate with new pads and off road magnets for 115 dollars each alco at a trailor parts supplier in Bunbury , coromal wanted 160 and were supplied by the same place, just shop around or you will get ripped off.
cheers Graeme.
AnswerID: 592388

Reply By: Mikee5 - Friday, Nov 06, 2015 at 13:27

Friday, Nov 06, 2015 at 13:27
The happy ending:
A business in Gawler tried to sell me 10 inch magnets as suitable for 12 inch brakes for $260 the pair. A business in Elizabeth quoted me $260 for the correct parts but they were out of stock. Member Phil suggested a business in Cavan. They supplied me with the pair of correct magnets for $132. They also told me that although the 10 and 12 inch magnets are the same physical size the wires and coils on the 10 inch are lighter duty and will not deliver full braking force. While in the Cavan area I went to the Shell next to Costco and filled up with Diesel at $1.119 per litre, win/win.
AnswerID: 592405

Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Friday, Nov 06, 2015 at 14:17

Friday, Nov 06, 2015 at 14:17
Awesome! I expected the magnet had more balls but wasn't certain. I bought some genuine Alko parallel bearing kits for the Tvan there last year and they were ahead of everyone on price and quality.
Just a mental note as well that if you ever want a 1" castle nut for the Tvan parallel axles, they are 12tpi and only available in Adelaide at United Fasteners Cavan. Everywhere else I tried only had 14tpi.
FollowupID: 860591

Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Friday, Nov 06, 2015 at 14:23

Friday, Nov 06, 2015 at 14:23
Also just to add I was very happy that you got a definitive answer because we now have a single axle New Age caravan with 12" Alko brakes as well as a Tvan with 10" Alko brakes so I know what spares to carry.
FollowupID: 860592

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