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Old 08-24-2015, 07:29 PM   #1
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Project 2000 Retractable Step

Anyone out there an expert on the Project 2000 retractable step?

The retractable step on our 2012 AI was working fine until this past weekend. After loading up I started the engine and heard a "beeping" sound coming from the area of the retractable step. I got out to investigate and seen that the step hadn't retracted under the van body. I ended up physically having to push it in myself as we needed to get going.

Tonight, I took a look at it and can hear the electric motor running...trying to push it out or pull it in...but the step doesn't move. I've read through the manual but it only talks about how it works and really doesn't mention any trouble shooting ideas.

Has anyone had any issues with their sliding door step?
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Old 08-24-2015, 08:10 PM   #2
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Haven't had any big issues, but I have had problems with small rocks and debris on the step that prevents the step from retracting (motor making noise, but no movement). I make a point to clean it off when necessary. Perhaps there is some debris in there causing your problem.


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Old 08-24-2015, 09:54 PM   #3
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I suspect if you had shut the engine off and restarted, it would have retracted. At least that worked for me the one time the step didn't retract w/ the engine running.
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Old 08-25-2015, 06:50 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MN CakeEater View Post
Tonight, I took a look at it and can hear the electric motor running...trying to push it out or pull it in...but the step doesn't move. I've read through the manual but it only talks about how it works and really doesn't mention any trouble shooting ideas.
When you manually pushed it in, you may have stripped out a gear in the mechanism. You may be able to remove the step for troubleshooting and/or repair by crawling underneath and unbolting it, and then checking it out at a workbench.

As for what caused the problem in the first place, I cannot say. I don't recall having a problem like that. In fact, every time the alarm came on, it was because of the awning, not the step (the two mechanisms share an alarm), though it took me a while to figure that out.

In future, remember that the step doesn't stick out any farther than your passenger-side mirror, and you can drive around with the step extended, as long as you don't plan to parallel park where you could scrape it on a curb. All you have to do is crank up the music until you can't hear the beep. That's not a fix, but it's probably better than breaking the step to shut off the alarm just so you can hit the road.
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Old 08-25-2015, 02:57 PM   #5
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I currently have the same problem on my 2015. I have talked to my dealer and an Airstream tech in Jackson Center and they both have said they see this sometimes but not often, and that it probably needs replaced. This model of step cannot be repaired as it is in a sealed unit. The tech told me that there is a bolt underneath the unit that can be removed to disengage the motor but then you would likely need to use some type of fastener to keep the step from freely sliding out. I am just manually pulling the step out when I want to use it. The repair probably takes two trips -- one for the tech to assess the issue and determine the correct model to order and a second trip weeks later to have it replaced.
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Old 08-25-2015, 06:26 PM   #6
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I am having the same problem. We are in the UP of Michigan and camped in Munising which is very windy and sandy. Our step quit working and someone suggested spraying it with water to get rid of any sand that might be in it. I did that and low and behold it worked 2 times and has quit working again. Then we were emptying our black tank and it just quit in the middle of emptying. I checked the fuses under the. Roadside bench and none are blown. Could this be related? Am very unhappy with this airstream. Too many things have gone wrong.
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Old 08-26-2015, 09:12 AM   #7
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Speaking of emptying the sewer tanks. I stopped at a public dump station and got set up to dump the other evening. Put my $5.00 in the automated dump system and proceeded to flip on the macerator switch and nothing happened. Tried the black and gray water switches and nothing happened.

I climbed in the van and checked the fuses and breakers and found no issues. Baffled, I got out and hit the switch to rewind the hose and nothing! Grrrr!

So I kissed my $5.00 goodbye and came home.

The next night I went out to investigate further and couldn't find any issues. So I opened the outside sewer compartment to check things out and found the hose reel, valves and macerator worked fine. Huh???

Oh well...it works now.
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Old 08-26-2015, 09:33 AM   #8
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Project 2000 Retractable Step

Quote:
Originally Posted by MN CakeEater View Post
Speaking of emptying the sewer tanks. I stopped at a public dump station and got set up to dump the other evening. Put my $5.00 in the automated dump system and proceeded to flip on the macerator switch and nothing happened. Tried the black and gray water switches and nothing happened.

I climbed in the van and checked the fuses and breakers and found no issues. Baffled, I got out and hit the switch to rewind the hose and nothing! Grrrr!

So I kissed my $5.00 goodbye and came home.

The next night I went out to investigate further and couldn't find any issues. So I opened the outside sewer compartment to check things out and found the hose reel, valves and macerator worked fine. Huh???

Oh well...it works now.

Was the house battery disconnect switch on or off? And how did you manage to rewind the hose before you drove off?


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Old 08-26-2015, 02:55 PM   #9
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The switch was on. I double checked it when I climbed back inside the van.

Luckily, I had only pulled the hose out about 3 feet and was able to push some back into the reel and then I tucked the rest inside the bay. It was a tight fit, but I got it to work.

I was worried I was going to be driving home with my hand out the window while holding the sewer hose. People would've thought "Cousin Eddie" from the Vacation movies was driving down the road! LOL
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Old 08-26-2015, 05:01 PM   #10
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The switch was on. I double checked it when I climbed back inside the van.

Luckily, I had only pulled the hose out about 3 feet and was able to push some back into the reel and then I tucked the rest inside the bay. It was a tight fit, but I got it to work.

I was worried I was going to be driving home with my hand out the window while holding the sewer hose. People would've thought "Cousin Eddie" from the Vacation movies was driving down the road! LOL
Strictly speaking this has hijacked a thread on another topic so it should have been raised on a new thread.

Since everything in the roadside receptacle stopped functioning, I would suspect a breaker had flipped. In my 2013 owner's manual that would be Circuit 4, for which the manual says:

Circuit 4. Refrigerator, middle roadside, and entertainment center receptacles, and main TV: This circuit goes through the Inverter/Charger. Circuit 4 can be supplied power from the inverter if needed and is protected by a GFI circuit breaker located on the Invertor/Charger as well as the breaker on the panel. Check both breakers if any receptacles or appliances on Circuit 4 does not work. Also check the middle roadside GFI receptacle and reset if needed. This receptacle and other receptacles down stream from this GFI receptacle will not work if the GFI is kicked out.

Being from the UK, not sure about Cousin Eddie. Mr Bean perhaps??
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Old 08-27-2015, 08:24 AM   #11
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UKDude - Thanks for the info about Circuit 4. I'll keep an eye on that circuit.

Sorry to get off base. I think I might've hijacked my own thread!

Cousin Eddie is a character from "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" movie. Mr. Bean would be a similar comparison.
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Old 11-21-2015, 09:36 AM   #12
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Has anyone made the attempt to tie the retractible step into the transmission as opposed only being able to deploy the step when the main diesel is turned off. It would be very helpful for young kids and older adults to use the step in park mode without having to shut the main engine off. It seems to me the auto retract would kick in if the vehicle was taken out of park mode.
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Old 11-21-2015, 10:06 AM   #13
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Has anyone made the attempt to tie the retractible step into the transmission as opposed only being able to deploy the step when the main diesel is turned off. It would be very helpful for young kids and older adults to use the step in park mode without having to shut the main engine off. It seems to me the auto retract would kick in if the vehicle was taken out of park mode.
There's a simpler fix— just disconnect the relay that causes the step to retract when the engine is started. No need to tie it into the transmission— unless you're in the habit of driving around with the sliding door open. Even with the auto-retract relay on the ignition disconnected, the auto-retract relay on the sliding door should still work, as long as you remember to leave the step lock switched off.

If you try it, let us know how it works for you. As for me, on the few occasions that I carry passengers, I don't mind shutting the engine off to do so; it beats allowing exhaust gases in through the sliding door due to the proximity of the door to the exhaust.
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Old 11-22-2015, 07:24 AM   #14
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Thank you. That is a good idea. I will give it a shot and report back once completed.
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