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  • Broken Entry Steps - DO PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE

    Our old electric entry step has been a bit wiggly since we've owned it and I should have looked at it sooner. Some of the rivets/bushings that the arms pivot on are worn and loose.

    Well, almost had a disaster when my friends 14 yr old son stepped out of the RV and one side of the step dropped almost to the ground sending him flying.

    Apparently on the last retract cycle one of the rivets popped out and when he stepped on it the arm was no longer attached to hold the weight. Luckily we were on soft grass, he didn't slip back and hit his head and he's young and flexible. Many of us might have been headed to the emergency room after a malfunction like this. Not good! Once again I must preach PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE is King!

    I'm working on a solution using grade 8 bolts with washers and nylock nuts. Will post solution when I get it done.
    1992 Champion EuroPremier 38', 1984 Ford Bronco, 2010 Australian Shepherd - "Coby", 2012 Pomeranian- "Bella"
    www.ClassicRV.net --- Twitter @ClassicRVNet

  • #2
    OK steps are fixed, replaced three of the bushing/rivets and they are sturdy now. May need to replace a few more in the future but I'm confident it's very safe for a long time to come.

    Used 3/8" x 1.5" Grade 8 bolts with 5/16" washers (for some reason they were a better fit on the bolts) and Nylock locking nuts. The 1.5" had just enough shoulder so that it's not just threads that the step mechanisms are rotating on. On our step one of the bushings can't be replaced with a bolt because it has to slide under another piece when step is retracted so it needs to be a flush type rivet. Luckily that one is OK on ours but at some point I may have to figure out what to use to fix it.

    Stuff needed (besides the bolts):
    • 4" Angle grinder with cutoff wheel, any hand held grinder would probably work
    • Hammer
    • Punch
    • Drill with 3/8" metal bit
    • 2- 9/16" wrenches
    • Anti Seize or other grease type lubricant

    Check out the video I made:

    1992 Champion EuroPremier 38', 1984 Ford Bronco, 2010 Australian Shepherd - "Coby", 2012 Pomeranian- "Bella"
    www.ClassicRV.net --- Twitter @ClassicRVNet

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    • #3
      Good write up!

      Our MH had a step issue prior to our purchase. The step was left out over a deck and as the air leaked out of the air suspension over a period of a few weeks, the step became wedged on top of the deck. When they tried retracting the step, it fried the motor. The previous owner had it fixed for us, but it was almost $600.00. Expensive lesson!

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks!

        Ouch, that's pricey! Another good lesson learned. Strange that the motor controller wasn't smart enough to stop under the load before frying the motor or that a fuse didn't just blow...hmmm?

        It is normal for the air suspension to drop over time and most, if not all, actually have a dump valve so you can empty the air yourself and drop the coach. The specified procedure for leveling ours is to put the jacks down, dump the air and then lower any jacks that aren't touching the ground and use to level as necessary. To raise the jacks when ready to go you have to start the engine to fill the air bags so the jacks can swing up.

        A safety lesson here that I have preached elsewhere is that you should never put yourself or any thing for that matter between the tires and the fender or any other part of the suspension unless you have jack stands holding up the chassis (not the axles). The air bags could be whats holding it up and if they had a sudden failure the coach could drop a significant amount and crush you or whatever is between these parts or the ground.
        1992 Champion EuroPremier 38', 1984 Ford Bronco, 2010 Australian Shepherd - "Coby", 2012 Pomeranian- "Bella"
        www.ClassicRV.net --- Twitter @ClassicRVNet

        Comment


        • #5
          Strange that the motor controller wasn't smart enough to stop under the load before frying the motor or that a fuse didn't just blow...hmmm?

          The step was locked in the out position, so when the Motorhome lowered, the weight of the MH forced the step down against the deck.....not sure what was repaired (not sure I want to know), but it is ok now.

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