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Old 05-12-2012, 10:42 AM   #1
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Sliding Step

The sliding step alarm started malfunctioning this week end. Happened to be near the dealer. They fiddled with the door and the button but as soon as I got down the road the alarm started again.

Anyone have a fix? I think deactivating the alarm altogether would work for me.
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Old 05-12-2012, 11:13 AM   #2
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First thing I have to ask, is the step actually retracted when the alarm sounds? The alarm should only sound when the step is out and the engine is running. The step should automatically retract when you start the engine, but it might stay out if you have the step lock turned on or if a contact switch is loose.

If the alarm sounds when the step is retracted, then the next question is, is the step fully retracted? If it's out just a little bit, then the contact switch that tells the alarm not to sound isn't making good contact.

I had a problem with the sliding step on mine as well, except it wasn't the alarm. The step would fail to extend when the door was opened (sometimes) and fail to retract when the door was closed (sometimes). Fortunately the step always retracted when the engine was turned on, as it was supposed to, so the alarm wouldn't sound for more than a second or two while the step was still sliding in.

Turned out to be a combination of two problems: (1) the step lockó second switch from the door on the rocker switch panel, was left in the wrong position; and (2) the contact switch on the door that tells the step to open and close was failing to make good contact with the door.

On my Interstate, the step lock rocker switch is reversed from all the others; "Off" when the switch is pressed in on top, while the other five switches are "Off" when the switch is pressed in on the bottom. The Owner's manual didn't tell me that, and in fact the dealer didn't know either until they called Jackson Center. Also, the step lock doesn't actualy lock the step; it just overrides the contact switch on the door that tells the step to move.

The contact switch in the door just had to be shimmed out so it would make good contact.
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Old 05-12-2012, 01:18 PM   #3
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Sliding step

Thanks for the prompt reply. The alarm is intermittent going down the road and will activated when a bump is hit.

I am going to try the shim fix first. The dealer said they have had several with the same problem. Wished they would have jumped in and fixed it then.
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Old 05-15-2012, 02:36 PM   #4
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Sounds like a similar problem I had w/ the awning switch. Dealer wound up bending the limit switch arm a little and that seems to have fixed the problem. Apparently Airstream doesn't check these limit switches to see if they are at the edge of the tolerance band to activate.
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Old 10-26-2012, 08:32 AM   #5
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Is there a way to activate the sliding step only when the door is opened? I would like to keep the unit running and have the step extend when the door is opened. Seem like I have seen a discussion on this but I cannot find it.
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Old 10-26-2012, 09:25 AM   #6
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Is there a way to activate the sliding step only when the door is opened? I would like to keep the unit running and have the step extend when the door is opened. Seem like I have seen a discussion on this but I cannot find it.
You would have to remove the interlock that retracts the step when the engine is started. Not sure where that interlock is located, or what needs to be done to disconnect it.

Then, you would also have to disconnect the alarm that starts beeping whenever the engine is started and the step doesn't retract. Either that, or live with the beeping when the step is extended with the engine running.

Once that interlock is removed, as long as the step lock is off, the step should extend when the sliding door is opened, and retract when it closes, regardless of whether the engine is running or not.
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Old 10-26-2012, 10:15 AM   #7
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I would question the need seriously before I disconnected the safety on the step. Because of the low profile of these units, it would be an expensive disaster to move ahead with the step extended.
We are today, discouraging idling of all engines, and your fellow campers would probably agree with that strategy.

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Old 10-26-2012, 10:53 AM   #8
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If memory serves (though sometimes it doesn't) the issue originally came up in another thread, for an Interstate owner who was planning to use his Interstate for around-town transportation for an elderly family member, not so much for camping.

For a scenario like that, I could see the benefit of being able to leave the engine running when providing curbside pickup and dropoff services in city traffic. And I can see the benefit of extending the step with the engine running, as it's an awfully high step for a physically impaired person to get in and out without the sliding step.
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Old 10-26-2012, 12:34 PM   #9
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The step on my old classic extends when the door is opened controlled by a switch in the door jamb. I feel this is necessary for parking if nothing else. When we come to a camp site the wife jumps out to help guide me into the site. Shutting off and restarting the engine or her taking a very large step are not a reasonable alternative.

The one thing I would like would be for the step to retract when the engine is off and the door is closed. The step is vacuum operated so I guess I will have to live with the step out when parked.

Cheers, Dan
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Old 10-26-2012, 08:27 PM   #10
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Pull the relay, (inside the small opening that is exposed when the sliding door is completely open), for the step alarm until AS figures out why the alarm is on. Wayneskid put a rotating lever to disable the step while the key is on.
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Old 04-16-2013, 01:37 PM   #11
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Step Warning Buzzer is also for Awning

I had what I thought was the step warning buzzer problem in this tread. It happen while I was in Florida last month and I just pulled the buzzer from the compartment in back of sliding door step.

Today I called the dealer (Colonial in NJ) and they told me that buzzer is for both the step and awning. I cycled the awning a few times and re-installed the buzzer. Started van and warning buzzer is fixed.


Sure wish we had detailed wiring diagrams.
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Old 06-07-2014, 04:16 PM   #12
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I need some help. Yesterday my awning broke because the wind detector automatically closed it and it caught on my back door. I was able to manually close the awning. Today when I packed up to leave, I now cannot get my step to close. It no longer closes when the engine starts. Instead, I'm getting the constant beeping. They seem related, but I'm not sure if they are.

I tried pushing on all of the obvious door sensors and nothing is working. The step stays out. I've toggled the hold step button and tried different ways. I've done it plugged in and not. Nothing is working.

Is there a way to manually force the step back inside and/or turn off the beeping?

Thank you for your help!
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Old 06-07-2014, 06:25 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by migriffin View Post
I need some help. Yesterday my awning broke because the wind detector automatically closed it and it caught on my back door. I was able to manually close the awning. Today when I packed up to leave, I now cannot get my step to close. It no longer closes when the engine starts. Instead, I'm getting the constant beeping. They seem related, but I'm not sure if they are.

I tried pushing on all of the obvious door sensors and nothing is working. The step stays out. I've toggled the hold step button and tried different ways. I've done it plugged in and not. Nothing is working.

Is there a way to manually force the step back inside and/or turn off the beeping?

Thank you for your help!
Even with the step lock on, the step SHOULD retract when you start the engine. First thing to check would be the fuse for the step. Dollars to doughnuts, the warning beeper is on a different fuse than the step motor; that would only be good engineering, so that a single blown fuse doesn't disable both the step and the beeper.

Also, the fuse may not be under the rear seat, but under the driver's seat, since the step is powered off the main battery and not the house batteries. I haven't looked in the manual lately to see, so I'm just speculating here.
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Old 06-08-2014, 04:15 PM   #14
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You nailed it Protagonist. It was Fuse #10 that was blown that actually caused the step not to work and the awning not to work. The fuse blew because my awning got stuck open. For some reason that's connected to the same fuse for the step. All was solved after a few hours trying out all of the more complicated solutions first .
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