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  1. Trailer Brakes
  2. Dexter
  3. Electric Drum Brakes
  4. 7000 lbs Axle
  5. 12 x 2 Inch Drum
  6. 14-1/2 Inch Wheel
  7. 15 Inch Wheel
  8. 16 Inch Wheel
Dexter Electric Trailer Brakes - 12" - Left/Right Hand Assemblies - 7,000 lbs

Dexter Electric Trailer Brakes - 12" - Left/Right Hand Assemblies - 7,000 lbs

Item # 23-180-181
Our Price: $198.93
Trailer Brakes
Shipping Weight: 30 lbs
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Dexter Trailer Brakes - 23-180-181
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Whether you're replacing your trailer brakes or installing some on a new brake axle, these are easy to work with from start to stop. 12" x 2" Assemblies fit 14.5" to 16" wheels. 5 bolt pattern backing plate. Made in the USA. Great Prices for the best trailer brakes from Dexter. Dexter Electric Trailer Brakes - 12" - Left/Right Hand Assemblies - 7,000 lbs part number 23-180-181 can be ordered online at or call 1-800-940-8924 for expert service.
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  • Reviews (309)
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Dexter Trailer Brakes - 23-180-181

  • Electric Drum Brakes
  • 7000 lbs Axle
  • 12 x 2 Inch Drum
  • 14-1/2 Inch Wheel
  • 15 Inch Wheel
  • 16 Inch Wheel
  • Standard Grade
  • Manual Adjust
  • Dexter

Whether you're replacing your trailer brakes or installing some on a new brake axle, these are easy to work with from start to stop. 12" x 2" Assemblies fit 14.5" to 16" wheels. 5 bolt pattern backing plate. Made in the USA.


  • Easier to install and gives you more control than hydraulic brakes
    • Requires only an electric brake controller (sold separately) - no actuator or hydraulic lines needed
  • Periodic manual adjustment required
    • Can be done in minutes
  • Long-lasting brake pads offer excellent braking torque
    • Fully bonded to shoes for more consistent braking compared to riveted pads
  • Adjuster plugs (included) protect internal components from dirt, grime, and road debris
  • Left-hand (driver's-side) and right-hand (passenger's-side) brake assemblies included
    • Includes mounting nuts (bolts sold separately)
  • Made in the USA


  • Application: most standard hub-and-drum assemblies, including etrailer, Dexter, and Lippert (LCI)
  • Dimensions: 12" diameter x 2" wide
  • Mounting flange bolt pattern: 5 bolt
  • Wheel size: 14-1/2", 15" or 16"
  • Axle rating: 7,000 lbs
  • Limited 5-year warranty

Quick Tip: There's really not a whole lot to getting new drum brakes. If you've confirmed that all of the specs listed above line up with what you need for your trailer, you can be pretty sure these will work for you.

How to Manually Adjust Trailer Brakes

The more miles you put on your trailer, the more your brake pads will wear down. As they lose contact with the drum, stopping distances get longer and longer. To keep your brakes working great, it's important to adjust them pretty routinely. For this job, grab a floor jack and either a brake adjustment tool (sold separately) or just a standard flathead screwdriver.

Jack up your trailer enough to get the wheel(s) off the ground. Remove the adjuster plugs from the backing plate on the brake, and insert the flat end of the tool through the back of the assembly.

Screenshot from an instruction video shows how to manually adjust the the alignment on a drum brake

Push in on the star gear and lift it up. Keep doing this until the brake pads catch on your drum. When you can't spin your wheel by hand anymore, back the gear off by about 10 clicks by pushing down on the star gear. Does the wheel now spin freely (even if it sounds like the brake pads drag slightly on the drum)? Great! Then you're all done with that one and ready to adjust the rest.

How to Break In New Brakes

After you get these brakes installed and adjusted, you'll need to break them in. First, find a long stretch of road or a big, empty parking lot. Once you're there, set your brake controller to its maximum setting and get moving. Speed up to about 40 mph and brake to slow to about 20 mph. Repeat this 15-30 times. The goal is to get the brake shoes and magnet properly seated into your drum. You'll know you've done that when it feels less jerky (and more consistent) each time you apply the brakes.

Note: The brakes will be very hot after doing this, so after every 10 stops you'll want to wait about 10 minutes to let the brakes cool off before continuing. If you don't, you might cook and crack the pad material.

23-180 Dexter Electric Brake Assembly - LH - Driver Side - 12" x 2" - Manual Adjust - 7,000 lbs

23-181 Dexter Electric Brake Assembly - RH - Passenger Side - 12" x 2" - Manual Adjust - 7,000 lbs

Customer Satisfaction Score:

Customer Reviews

Dexter Electric Trailer Brakes - 12" - Left/Right Hand Assemblies - 7,000 lbs - 23-180-181

Average Customer Rating:  4.8 out of 5 stars   (309 Customer Reviews)

Whether you're replacing your trailer brakes or installing some on a new brake axle, these are easy to work with from start to stop. 12" x 2" Assemblies fit 14.5" to 16" wheels. 5 bolt pattern backing plate. Made in the USA.


I am a big believer is sticking with original equipment parts when possible. Locally here in Canada the parts thatbI purchased frome etrailer were much more expensive. It took much longer than expected for the parts to arrive, but the quality, fit and finish was excellent. Following the burnishing in procedure the brakes functioned excellent. My trailer is a 7 Ton dump trailer with an empty weight of around 5000lbs. My gain was set @ 2 empty with excellent results is slowing the truck and trailer. I haven't pulled a full load yet, but I expect to have full confidence in the brakes ability stop the trailer safety in annorderly manner.



Excellent product. Excellent value Excellent performance on my application


Great fit, work as they should. Be sure to break in per Mfr. It really seats brake pads and allows breaks to function as they should on trailer. Much easier to replace backing plate with pads, etc. couple electrical connections and back in business.



Brakes still function as they should. Will purchase again, or for other trailers.

Etrailer Expert

Mike L.


@Paul We're very happy to hear that your # 23-180-181 brake assemblies are working well for you!


I was very happy with the customer service. The order arrived in different boxes one packed really well the other just thrown into a large box. I thought that was strange.


I am building a tiny house and I am using the axleless suspension that I purchased from Etrailer. Now that I have purchased the brakes, I will be purchasing the hubs next. I probably won't be installing everything until this summer. I will let you know how it goes and I will send photos. Thank you for everything so far and your prompt delivery of all parts so far.


Perfect fit, very easy to replace worn,rusted old brakes. Quality in manufacturing and everything tested prior to assembly. After assembly worked perfectly. The price was very good as well. If your brakes looked like the attached photo, just replace the whole assembly and save yourself a headache.


Great product and great service.Went on real easy.Got alot of help making sure I had correct parts for my axles.Will definitely shop there again.


They work far better than the 50 year old units I took off, I should have done it years ago. Having all of the components mounted made the unit swap very simple. I pictured both the old and new.


Works like it great, installation had a little hiccup with the mounting bolds being a different tread. But wasn't a big deal. I would buy again and I already have.


I purchased these for my 2015 Heartland Bighorn RV. Easy to install after removing tire and old brakes. highly recommend for DIY trailer owners, saves on labor.


Installation was straight forward!


I received my shipment with my new brakes. I chose to go with the manual adjust version for my trailer. The units are Dexter and made in the USA. While not installed yet, i have to give kudos to Phillip with etrailer for the great help and etrailer for the promplt shipping and packaging.


I was advised by my Airstrem dealer that my brake backplates needed to be replaced. After getting their quote, I went online to see if I could get a better deal. Sure enough, e-trailer had a much better price than the dealer. So I ordered the parts, received them in the promised timeframe and had them installed by the dealer. They've been working fine, I would recommend checking with e-trailer before buying anywhere else.


Excellent service. Excellent delivery timeline. Expert assistance. Everything was exactly what I needed and furthermore I can now adequately stop my trailer and mitigate running over the stray- animals that run out in front of me (<-- thats a joke!). I would highly recommend etrailer for all of your camper needs!



Still helping me stop to avoid the strays


Etrailers makes it easy to get the parts I need to keep my equipment running. We have several trailers and have use them for all our needs.Excellent product and fast service.


Excellent parts. Made in USA! Just as advertised. I have ordered other parts since with confidence.


Great products - Fit the axles perfectly


Perfect direct replacement


Excellent product! Very easy to install and very well put together. Had zero issues with the install and so far after a year of use no issues either!


The brakes work really well and were super easy to install. I no longer fear the truck unable to stop with a full load. After installing, the brakes didn’t work well. I had to pull the trailer about 5 miles constantly exercising the brake box to get the trailer brakes really hot. After they were literally smoking, the worked great.


I would have preferred you waiting for the 1 bolt & 7 washers you were short instead of sending them separately . Did me NO good to get a partial shipment & have to wait for 2 more shipments to have the parts I needed to start reassembling the brakes. My opinion, maybe you should have asked what I would prefer . You could have saved on shipping 2 other packages !!


The web site was easy to navigate and find what I was looking for. Delivery was on time. The follow up and follow thru was excellent. The product was received as described. Thank you.


Starlight all in one system and they cut down on repair time with everything being there in a new



The brakes are working perfect thank you very much for following up


Very fast shipping. Products were packaged to avoid damage. Instructions were straight forward and easy to understand. Excellent products.


Perfect replacement for the Lippert system. Quality and workmanship is definitely better.


Received my order.....2 Dexter electric brake sets. Evidently the 2 boxes, left and right, did not fit in the shipping box. So they took one out of the box, slid it beside the boxed set, no plastic bag, padding, etc. Then they left the hardware kit out of the side they nuts, plugs, etc.....! Called Customer Service, they said they would put something together and send it to me. Haven't received a shipping notification as of yet. Good luck on my part! Will not order from etrailer again!

Etrailer Expert

Brooke M.


I would be frustrated as well! I am sending this to our customer service team to make sure they update you on that shipment. Thanks for letting us know.

Show More Reviews

See what our Experts say about this Dexter Trailer Brakes

  • How Many Brake Assemblies are in the Dexter Electric Trailer Brake Kit 23-180-181
    The Dexter Electric Trailer Brake Kit # 23-180-181 comes with a left hand and a right hand assembly. If you are needing 4 assemblies you will need to purchase 2 sets of this kit. You can check out the assemblies in the review video I linked for you.
    view full answer...
  • What is Bolt Pattern of Trailer Brake Assemblies 23-180-181
    I attached a picture that shows the bolt pattern of the trailer brake assembly part # 23-180-181 that you referenced.
    view full answer...
    Image 1 for
  • How Long to Do Install of New Trailer Left and Right Brake Assemblies
    I'd set aside about two hours or so to do a brake assembly install like with the Dexter Trailer Brake Kit part # 23-180-181 if it's your first time doing so. It's not a hard process but if you wanted to take your time with it I am sure two hours or so would be adequate.
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  • Troubleshooting Dexter 6,000 lb Axle Electric Drum Brake Adjustment
    What you describe for your brakes after adjustment is not normal. You should have a slight drag on your brakes when spinning the hubs by hand when they are adjusted properly. There shouldn't be any difference when rotated in the opposite direction, so having brakes engage makes me think there is a spring issue or a shoe alignment issue. There should not be any locking so that is a sure sign of an issue. If you put the assembly on the wrong side, that would give you stronger braking...
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  • Will Dexter 7k Trailer Brake Assemblies Fit 5,200 lb Trailer Axles
    The 7k Dexter brake assembly set part # 23-180-181 will fit on your 5,200 lb axles and will have a bigger magnet. The problem you may find is that the bigger magnet might make it harder to get the brakes dialed in perfectly as they might come on too strong or too weak.
    view full answer...
  • Thickness of Brake Pads for 12" Dexter Electric Brake Kit and What is Minimum Safe Thickness
    The brake pads on the 12" Dexter Electric Drum Brake Kit # 23-180-181 are 3/16" thick. Dexter Axle recommends replacing them once they get down to 1/16" thick.
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  • At What Interval Should Electric Trailer Brake Assemblies Be Replaced
    There's really no set hard and fast rule on the interval of time at which trailer brake assemblies should be replaced, but once the friction material on the brake pads gets down to about 1/16 of an inch or the magnet gets grooved or worn to the point where the copper wire inside of it is visible, that's the point where you'll want to replace them. If the face of the magnet has grooves worn in it, take a good look at the armature surface of the brake drum where the magnets ride against....
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  • How to Determine if Dexter Brakes 23-180-181 Fit Camper
    While we don't have any way of knowing specifically what brakes your 2020 Black Series HQ15 needs we can help you determine the right ones. To find the correct brakes, you need to know the weight capacity you need, what brake mounting flange bolt pattern you have, and the inside diameter and depth of your drum. For example, the ones you asked about, the Dexter Electric Trailer Brake Kit # 23-180-181 are for 7,000 lb axles, measure 12" diameter x 2" wide (so that is the drum size they...
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  • How To Determine The Correct Replacement Electric Drum Brake Assemblies For Your Trailer
    To find the correct replacement electric drum brakes for your 2007 Weekend Warrior LE3105 you'll need to know the axle capacity. To find yours you'll just need to look on the axles for the axle tag, which will tell you the capacity. Given that you have triple axles you most likely have 5,000 to 7,000lb axles, but you'll definitely want to check before purchasing anything. For example, if you had 7k axles then you could use the Dexter Electric Trailer Brake Kit # 23-180-181, which will...
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  • Replacement Brake Assemblies for a Dexter Axle Part # 60826
    It looks like the Dexter axle part # 60826 is a 7,000 lbs capacity axle. To replace the brake assemblies, I recommend the Dexter Electric Trailer Brake Kit - 12" - Left and Right Hand Assemblies - 7,000 lbs item # 23-180-181. You will need one set per axle. I have linked an installation video below.
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  • Replacement Braking Assemblies For A Tandem Axle 1963 Avion T27
    Yes, that is correct. For a tandem axle trailer, you'd need two of the left and right hand assemblies # 23-180-181. These braking assemblies measure 12" in diameter, 2" wide, has a 5 bolt mounting pattern, will fit wheels sizes 14-1/2" to 16", and will work with axles rated 7,000lbs.
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  • How To Determine Replacement Electric Trailer Brakes For Trailer
    I would be happy to recommend the correct replacement electric trailer brakes for you, but the 3175030707 did not cross reference to any brake assemblies. To determine the correct brake assemblies I would need to know the weight rating of your axle which can be found on the axle tag on the axle tube, and the diameter and width of your current assemblies as shown in the included picture. For example the Dexter Electric Trailer Brake Kit - 12" - Left and Right Hand Assemblies - 7,000 lbs...
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    Image 1 for
  • Difference Between the Two Types of 12x2 7000 lb. Brake Assemblies
    The difference between the two brake assemblies comes down to one being self adjusting and one that is manually adjusted. I recommend the self adjusting because you will never have to crawl under the trailer to adjust the brakes. This can be a headache and we tend to not do it as often as we should which leads to poor performing brakes. With the self adjusting it automatically tightens as the shoes wear down keeping your trailer's braking performance optimized and working as safely as...
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  • Inexpensive 12 Inch Electric Trailer Brakes for a 7,000 Lb Trailer Axle
    Yes, the Dexter Electric Trailer Brake Kit part # 23-180-181 (23-180 + 23-181) is a top of the line option so if you are looking for a more cost effective solution I recommend the Electric Trailer Brake Kit part # AKEBRK-7-SA instead. These brakes are actually self-adjusting whereas the former are manual adjusting so they will be better in this regard.
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  • What Is The Difference Between Dexter Electric Brakes 23-180-181 and 23-105-106?
    The difference between the Dexter Electric Trailer Brake Kit - 12" - Left and Right Hand Assemblies - 7,000 lbs # 23-180-181 and the # 23-105-106 you mentioned are the strength of the brake magnets. The # 23-180-181 was designed for 7000lb axles where the # 23-105-106 was designed for 6000lb axles so it has slightly weaker brake magnets. They are both 12" x 2" brakes so they are interchangeable, but you will want to match them to the weight rating of your axle to make sure you get adequate...
    view full answer...
  • Trailer Brake Assemblies for Dexter 3,500 Axle
    For a Dexter 3,500 lb axle the correct brake kit you'd need is the part # 23-468-469. This is a set of self-adjusting assemblies for both sides of the axle.
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  • Do Dexter 7k Trailer Brake Assemblies Require Manual Adjustment
    When adjusting trailer brake assemblies like the Dexter 7k set part # 23-180-181 you want to tighten them down till there is a light drag on the wheel as you turn them by hand. To see how to manually adjust trailer brake assemblies check out the video I attached, fast-forward to the 4:35 mark of the video. Another option is a set of self-adjusting brake assemblies like the part # 23-464-465 which actively tighten as needed when you use them. These require no adjustment ever.
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  • Can 7K 12 Inch Electric Brakes be Used for 8K Trailer Axles
    The Dexter Electric Trailer Brake Kit # 23-180-181 will work for your 8K axles if indeed your current brakes are electric, have a 12" diameter, and measure 2" wide. Standard 8K brakes like part # 23-402-403 though are hydraulic, have a 12-1/4" diameter, and measure 3-3/8" wide. As long as your specs match the 7K electric brakes you're good to go.
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  • Replacement Self Adjusting Trailer Brakes for 023-467-00
    The Dexter Trailer Brake Assemblies 023-466-00 and 023-467-00 will cross-reference to our Dexter Nev-R-Adjust Electric Trailer Brake Kit part # 23-458-459.
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  • Can Dexter Brake Assemblies 23-180-181 Work in Place of 23-105-106
    Yes the Dexter brake assemblies part # 23-180-181 would work in place of the # 23-105-106. They are the same size and the capacity range matches as well.
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  • Replacement 12 Inch Brake Kit for Dexter Axle Torflex Axle
    The Dexter Electric Trailer Brakes # 23-180-181 are the correct replacements for your Dexter Torflex Axle as long as they are 12" brakes. You mentioned 12a so if that's a dimension then these will work, but if that's supposed to be 12K then you need the Dexter Nev-R-Adjust Electric Trailer Brakes # 23-442-443 instead.
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  • Replacement Brake Assembly For 5,200LB Al-KO Axle
    Yes, the Dexter Electric Trailer Brake Kit # 23-180-181 will fit the 5,200lb AL-KO axles. I recommend the Dexter Nev-R-Adjust Electric Trailer Brake Kit # 23-458-459. This will allow the brakes to self adjust meaning less hassle for you adjusting brakes.
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  • Product Comparison Of The K23-181-00 And K23-105-00
    The Dexter Electric Trailer Brake Kit w/ Parking Brakes # K23-086-087-00 is 10" x 2-1/4" is a driver and passenger side brake assembly that fits 3,500-lb axles. Mounting flanges have a 4-bolt pattern. Built-in levers work with manual parking brake. Fit 14" to 15" wheels. The Dexter Electric Trailer Brake Kit - 12 # 23-180-181 is 12" x 2" is a driver and passenger side brake assembly kit that fits 7,000-lb axles. Mounting flanges have a 5-bolt pattern. Fit 14.5" to 16" wheels. The main...
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  • Can 12 Inch, 7,000 lb Electric Trailer Brake Kit Work on Vehicle With 24 Volt System
    Though I'm not quite sure what you are referring to in regards to a misunderstanding, your truck with a 24 volt system is compatible with 12 volt electric brakes, the Dexter Electric Trailer Brake Kit - 12" - Left and Right Hand Assemblies - 7,000 lbs # 23-180-181. The power to the brakes will actually come via the brake controller, so you will need to wire your brake controller a bit differently in order to get working brakes. I have added a link below to a help article on how to do this,...
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Info for this part was:

Employee Mike L
Expert Research:
Mike L
Employee Jameson C
Expert Research:
Jameson C
Employee Lindsey S
Edited by:
Lindsey S
Employee Jeff D
Installed by:
Jeff D
Employee Wilson B
Updated by:
Wilson B
Employee Alexander C
Written by:
Alexander C
Employee Ryan F
Written by:
Ryan F

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