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Brake shoes – OEM or compatibles?

Al-ko orginal replacement brake shoes

Al-ko original brake shoes

It has been possible to buy non-original brake shoes for caravans & trailers fitted with Knott brakes for many years now. We’ve had them to try out and we were not very impressed with them. With the price not being much less than the Knott originals they don’t seem a viable alternative. More recently Maypole have sourced E11 marked compatible shoes from the EU for Knott & Alko brakes.

Compatible Brake Shoes

There is quite a percentage price difference between the genuine Al-ko brakes shoes and the Maypole compatibles. The quality appears to be as good and they are ‘E’ marked.

Maypole Equivalent Al-ko Shoes

Maypole Equivalent Al-ko Shoes

Both kits come complete with the springs, in fact the compatible kit also has the brake reverse springs included.

We would always suggest that the genuine Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) brake shoes should be fitted when the brakes are still under a manufacturers warranty. The manufacturer could reject a claim by attributing blame on the brake shoes if they could have feel they might have contributed to the warranty claim in any way.

In the vehicle industry, unless you use a main agent for your parts & servicing then you’re likely to have OE compatible parts fitted. There is generally no question that these parts are, at least, as fit for the purpose as the OEM parts are.

The Maypole Knott-Avonride compatible are good quality and ‘E’ approved but the price is not a great deal less the Knott original so at the moment we would recommend using the Knott original brake shoes.

There appears to be no OEM copy brakes shoes available in the UK for BPW brakes at the moment.


For Al-ko replacement brake shoes it seems that it depends on how much you want to spend and your personal preference. If in doubt always chose the original manufactures brakes shoes but certainly we would recommend the Maypole OE compatible as an alternative without compromising on safety.

To make purchasing brakes shoes and other brake parts easy we have added pages where you can find all the brake parts you need once you have identified the make and size of brakes you have. Click here to see all the brake parts we have available.