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Old 07-07-2017, 12:50 PM   #1
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Stepping it up

So, I did a search here for motorhome step replacement and the results are erratic at best.
The Vacuum steps are OK, but I think electric may be the better way to go.
Is there a quick answer for the best brand, type, and number of steps for a 84 Excella Motorhome?
Thanks
Wayne
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Old 07-07-2017, 01:23 PM   #2
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I checked my manual from. Kwikee, it is manual #874.

Best I can interpret is that mine is a model 40 series step.
It is 24" wide. Two steps. And close to 61/2" tall when retracted.

Their ph # 503-836-2126. At least that was in the early 90s

Good luck in your Quest.

Cheers Richard
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Old 07-07-2017, 01:37 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by tevake View Post
I checked my manual from. Kwikee, it is manual #874.

Best I can interpret is that mine is a model 40 series step.
It is 24" wide. Two steps. And close to 61/2" tall when retracted.

Their ph # 503-836-2126. At least that was in the early 90s

Good luck in your Quest.

Cheers Richard
Thanks,
I guess it has been a while since I last searched for steps.
I could have sworn the top end steps were $400 or less 5 years ago.
Best I can see on these is just under $500
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Old 07-07-2017, 02:26 PM   #4
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Just a reminder that your step activation switch will have to be changed to open or closed pole (I can`t remember which). Brad or John will know. You will know when you install the steps and they open when you closed the door and retract when the door is open.

Cheers
Tony
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Old 07-07-2017, 02:59 PM   #5
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Just a reminder that your step activation switch will have to be changed to open or closed pole (I can`t remember which). Brad or John will know. You will know when you install the steps and they open when you closed the door and retract when the door is open.

Cheers
Tony
If I go for the upgrade, I will probably install a relay and run a new wire for powering the motor. Since the original wiring was there to only handle a solenoid, it may not be heavy enough to do a motor.
I also will need to find out if the new steps have a Retracted/Extended switch for the dash light
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Old 07-07-2017, 04:12 PM   #6
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Wayne, I replaced the vacuum steps in my old 310 with a Kwikee double step. Here's the thread on the 310 electric step replacement.

Here's a link to the steps I bought but the price has gone from $356 to $520, Kwikee 44-1662 double step. My guess is you can find them cheaper if you look.

The conversion wasn't difficult, the main problem I had was the wiring on the door switch. I made an assumption that the switch was a grounding type of switch when in reality it was supplying 12 volts! Steps were operating backwards when the ignition was on

I installed these same steps on my Argosy although it was a much more extensive job to get them to fit properly.

Brad
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Old 07-07-2017, 04:14 PM   #7
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If I go for the upgrade, I will probably install a relay and run a new wire for powering the motor. Since the original wiring was there to only handle a solenoid, it may not be heavy enough to do a motor.
I also will need to find out if the new steps have a Retracted/Extended switch for the dash light
The step controls are built into the step. The only thing you don't get is the light on the dash. For my Argosy I purchased a prox switch and have already added the light on the dash. Just need to connect the wires.

Brad
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Old 07-08-2017, 04:13 AM   #8
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Jeez for $500 you think they would give you a sensor for being retracted!

They should also give you options for the door switch so you dont have to screw with the wiring. Not that is is to hard to do.

One last concern, with modern parts that are usually made lighter weight;
It shows the weight limit as 300 pounds. I am usually 220 (down to 205 after surgery) I carry my sound gear up and down the steps all the time and some of it is 100 pounds.
Do the electric steps look as beefy as the original vacuum steps?
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Old 07-08-2017, 05:26 AM   #9
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Jeez for $500 you think they would give you a sensor for being retracted!
Or at least a signal wire that you could connect a light to.

Quote:
They should also give you options for the door switch so you dont have to screw with the wiring. Not that is is to hard to do.
They do provide a small stick on magnetic switch to use but I opted to use the switch in the door of the 310. Thinking back on it I may have also had to replace the door jamb switch with one that had the the correct contact arrangement. I don't remember if it was a NO or NC switch.

Quote:
One last concern, with modern parts that are usually made lighter weight;
It shows the weight limit as 300 pounds. I am usually 220 (down to 205 after surgery) I carry my sound gear up and down the steps all the time and some of it is 100 pounds.
Do the electric steps look as beefy as the original vacuum steps?
My recollection of the steps is they are stouter than the original vacuum steps. The issue I struggled with on my Argosy was providing a rigid mounting platform. The Argosy framework is completely different than a 310 or 345. When I installed the one on the 310 other than drilling two (or four?) new holes I had to provide a gap filler because the top of the step assembly was narrower and there was about a 1-1/2" gap between the top frame and the bottom of the door jamb.

Bottom line is I felt the new steps were stronger than the old and seemed much more stable.

I've not used the ones on my Argosy since I installed and tested them. I've left them retracted during all of my rebuild.

Brad
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Old 07-08-2017, 09:43 AM   #10
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If they were still in the $300 range I would go for it but I dont see $500 being worth it.
I went to their website and it is useless to compare various models and features. If they cant get their chit together online, I cant trust that they make a product I want to buy.
Unless there is a good sale, I guess I will live with the quirky vacuum steps for now. It is like a extra engine vacuum warning when the step light comes on going up hill!
Thanks for all the help
Wayne
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Old 07-09-2017, 04:52 AM   #11
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It would be interesting to know why the price jumped from a little over $300 to over $500.

I had no choice on my Argosy and had to do something because the steps were a twisted mess. I did the 310 just so it wouldn't feel left out when I did the Argosy

Brad
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Old 07-09-2017, 05:07 AM   #12
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It would be interesting to know why the price jumped from a little over $300 to over $500.

I had no choice on my Argosy and had to do something because the steps were a twisted mess. I did the 310 just so it wouldn't feel left out when I did the Argosy

Brad
I notice the Kwikee is now under the name Lippert. Maybe that is where the extra $200 is going? Love corporate takeovers!
Anyway, for my 24' 77 Argosy, its steps were badly twisted and 2nd step missing. I straightened what I could and the missing parts I got from someone in Florida who apparently stockpiles parts. I dont have any notes on the contact info. They were very reasonable.
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Old 07-09-2017, 10:02 AM   #13
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I notice the Kwikee is now under the name Lippert. Maybe that is where the extra $200 is going? Love corporate takeovers!
Someone's got to pay for the takeover

Quote:
Anyway, for my 24' 77 Argosy, its steps were badly twisted and 2nd step missing. I straightened what I could and the missing parts I got from someone in Florida who apparently stockpiles parts. I dont have any notes on the contact info. They were very reasonable.
I'm surprised your 77 has vacuum steps. Peanut is a 77 and it had the same steps that were on mine which are made from steel, unlike the trailers of the era which were aluminum.
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Old 07-09-2017, 01:52 PM   #14
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Someone's got to pay for the takeover



I'm surprised your 77 has vacuum steps. Peanut is a 77 and it had the same steps that were on mine which are made from steel, unlike the trailers of the era which were aluminum.
Sorry, they were manual steps.
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