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Old 08-29-2015, 07:49 PM   #1
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Stairs extend and won't retract

If the engine is running the stairs into my 390 behave as I want them to, but if I take the key and leave the RV the stairs extend and wait for my return. This is OK in a campground, but sucks in a parking lot.

My small RV has a switch on the wall that changes this behavior, but I am not able to get the Airstream to behave no matter what switches I trip. When I got towed for a burst radiator hose it was something that HAD to retract, ended up having the driver climb under the RV and unhook the stops when I started the engine. Seems like an extreme thing to do each time I want the steps in.

Is this just the way it is?

-Randy
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Old 08-29-2015, 08:22 PM   #2
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problem with steps

My guess is that the problem you are having with the steps is a wiring issue. The first thing I would check is the wiring to the four switch assembly inside the door by the passenger seat. The one marked step might be the problem also check the main power switch to make sure it is working. You should be able to hear the solenoid click in the rear of the motorhome when you toggle this switch. If these items appear to be OK, then I would inspect the wiring underneath the step...fairly easy to do, remember there is a magnetic door switch inside the door jamb to help with the diagnosis...being that the steps appear to work with the engine running. my guess is that a wire is loose or came off near the step motor.
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Old 08-29-2015, 09:36 PM   #3
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So that switch IS supposed to make the step retract when you get out. I thought it might be there to turn on a light, there is a light on the outside of the RV and the handle is able to take a light and there is a light at the top of the step and NONE of these ever come on. I assumed they were controlled by that switch labelled step.

You are saying that if the step switch is on (or vice versa) the step stays out and if it is off the step retracts when the door is closed even if the ignition if not on?

-Randy
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Old 08-30-2015, 08:00 AM   #4
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Correct, On the four gang switch inside, the switch marked STEP is used to cut power to the step motor so that when you are camping the step stays in the out or deployed position. Also on the four gang switch you will notice a switch labled "PATIO". The patio switch is used to turn the florescent outside light on and off. Keep in mind there is a separate switch on the light itself(push-button), when you turn the patio switch on, if the outside light does not come on, leave the switch on and cycle the switch on the light itself to make sure that it is on itself. When I had my 390XL, replaced the clear entrance grab handle, (the original was cracked and checked) I installed the bulb kit and wired it into the patio circuit. It was pretty cool, even worked with the factory key-less remote entry.
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Old 08-31-2015, 06:03 AM   #5
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I have a simular step. If the door isn't slam shut hard the the step won't retract or will extent inadvertently the contact switch (like a car door light switch) must be at the back edge of the door. I guess it can be adjusted at the sprinter dealer. When its not closed completely I can pull and press on the door rear edge and the step goes in and out. The door looks closed but not completely. Do not push on the flat side of the door it will dent in easily
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Old 08-31-2015, 06:58 AM   #6
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The Mercedes/Sprinter is known for it's door alignment problems. I had a very good customer of mine with a similar problem. Definitely a Sprinter problem and not an Airstream problem so a trip to the Sprinter dealer is must.
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Old 09-19-2015, 09:17 PM   #7
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Thanks for your help, as I posted in the switch thread I did check the wiring, the wiring had come loose explaining my behavior. Now I just need to replace the switch or potentially extend the wire. It was too short from the factory. Super easy to check if someone else has Lingus you. Just remove the cup holder, it pops right out.

–Randy
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And all electric: a 2012 Mitsubishi i-Miev and two 2007 Vectrix VX1 motorcycles, waiting in line for the Model ☰
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Old 02-22-2016, 12:04 PM   #8
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FINALLY fixed. The reason this is so hard to troubleshoot is the RV is new to me and the behavior of the step is not the same as my other RV. I was continually confused by what the step was doing, but I also had it fail around mechanics that may have made changes I wasn't aware of.

The issue was a switch that no longer held onto the cables as they were too tight. Replacing the switch didn't fix it as the switch appears to be powered ONLY when the house switch is turned on, additionally it seems that the fuse in the driver's front basement cabinet blew, probably the thing the mechanics were fixing w/o telling me.

With a new switch and a new fuse and the house switch turned on and battery all charged up, I managed to get the step to extend and retract when the door opened and shut with the switch turned to on.

-Randy
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And all electric: a 2012 Mitsubishi i-Miev and two 2007 Vectrix VX1 motorcycles, waiting in line for the Model ☰
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