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Old 11-21-2019, 08:40 AM   #1
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Steps Ripping Off

Lucy has developed a problem with her entry steps. Last week while on a trip to Daytona. I noticed that the steps were sagging as I put weight on them. Inspection disclosed that the bolt holding the steps under the door sill on the left side was beginning to rip the steel bar that the steps are bolted to.

Here is a photo of the area. I'm looking for ideas to repair this situation.

Brian Click image for larger version

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Old 11-21-2019, 08:45 AM   #2
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A welding shop or a mobile welding service can repair it. (remove steps, realign the pieces/add a patch, weld)

Any idea how that happened? It takes a lot of leverage to tear steel like that.
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Old 11-21-2019, 09:17 AM   #3
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Hi Alan. I think that I know how this may have gotten started. Last year we were in port Angels, Washington when I backed Lucy's steps into a hidden tree stump. the steps were bent slightly making them into a very slight parallelogram. I am guessing that this started the original stress on the steel bar.

A few months ago, on our trip to Alaska, Lucy's steps failed when one of the support bars un the step mechanism broke. We had to use a plastic step stool until we could find replacement steps back in Montana. When we installed these new steps, I did notice that the steel adjacent to that bolt hole had a crack in it. I guess that the use of the steps continued to rip the steel support bar until it failed.

Yesterday, I devised a temporary fix. I took Lucy's steps off and removed the clip nut from the ripped area.I hammered the steel bar back into position as best I could. I took two layers of steel strapping and laid item on top of the steel bar, spanning the ripped area as far as I could on the left side and about six inches on the right. I drilled the steel strapping for the bolt to pass through. I then reinstalled the steps using the original bolts. In the ripped area, the bolt is now held by a nut and washers above the strap metal.

Lucy's steps now feel stable, but I'm not sure how long this fix will last.

Brian
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Old 11-21-2019, 09:18 AM   #4
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There is a prior thread that dealt with this failure. A quick search does not bring up the thread. So much for my search ability.

Folks suggested welding a doubler to the frame, however, the OP on that thread found it possible to use a fender washer with a backup bar to establish a new attachment. Or at least that's what I think was done.

Whatever you do, the force of the step loading needs to be transferred to a larger area. That usually requires more metal.

We recently replaced the steps. The failure happened at the start of a 6 week trip. Two stacks of legos supported the steps until we got home and installed new.

For some, a free standing step seems a better solution than the OEM provided pull out design.

Good luck with the fix. Pat

Edit - from your last post, you have been there, done that. Maybe the next step is an expanded weldment with the attachment rail boxed to spread the load.

Edit - here is one thread - not one I remember. http://www.airforums.com/forums/f475...me-167174.html

Edit - here you go - http://www.airforums.com/forums/f475...-163550-3.html
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Old 11-21-2019, 09:22 AM   #5
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Hi Pat. I'm hoping that the strap metal that I have put above the steel bar will spread that weight out over a large enough area to work at least for a while.

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Old 11-21-2019, 09:33 AM   #6
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And with hope we move forward. The mechanical attachment seems to be the best approach. Hard to justify a frame rebuild. . Fingers crossed for you. Pat
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Old 11-21-2019, 09:40 AM   #7
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We upgraded our steel step to an aluminum one

i ordered the Stromberg Carlson SMEX-24-29 Hickory Springs Extruded Aluminum Step-Double, 9"

its a two step unit ,11.5" high when folded and 14.75" when extended as measured from under the floor mounting point the lower step sticks out 19.5" from the front the side of the As

it was bolted to the 4 upper points. plus to add stability, i bolted it to the side frame to resist twisting. It has two 1/2 bolts with nylon nuts, one on each side

my wife loves it as in no longer bends when she gets in
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Old 11-21-2019, 10:15 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moosetags View Post
Hi Alan. I think that I know how this may have gotten started. Last year we were in port Angels, Washington when I backed Lucy's steps into a hidden tree stump. the steps were bent slightly making them into a very slight parallelogram. I am guessing that this started the original stress on the steel bar.

A few months ago, on our trip to Alaska, Lucy's steps failed when one of the support bars un the step mechanism broke. We had to use a plastic step stool until we could find replacement steps back in Montana. When we installed these new steps, I did notice that the steel adjacent to that bolt hole had a crack in it. I guess that the use of the steps continued to rip the steel support bar until it failed.


Brian
Brian:

We had the same thing happen to us under similar circumstances. We had grounded making a turn off a banked road in Arizona - low speed but it did bend the stairs slightly. Can-Am straightened the stairs somewhat but a year later we noticed the same problem you have. It was fixed by a welding job by another Airstream dealer but it didn't last. When we returned to Ontario in 2016 we found a local custom automotive repair shop and they removed the stairs and welded a reinforcement bar under the mount. The stair mount has been fine since then.

Regarding the support bar for the steps breaking, we had that happen to us last year. We made a detour on the way home last spring and had the Airstream dealer install a new set of stairs. So far, all is fine.
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Old 11-21-2019, 11:15 AM   #9
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here are the images of the steps
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Old 11-21-2019, 12:56 PM   #10
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Along with better bracing, whenever possible it’s a good idea to remove or limit the “bounce” when using these stairs.

We use a pair of adjustable supports like these:

Click image for larger version

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Old 11-21-2019, 12:59 PM   #11
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I think a guy with a welder can fix it but it might be a good idea to have some sort of a landing foot on it to remove some stress. He might be able to beef it up a little.



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