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Old 06-08-2016, 06:15 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
2001 30' Excella
San Diego , California
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 93
Broken step mechanism

We have a 2001 30' Excella that just yesterday had a problem with the steps.

The bolt on the right side that attaches the step assembly to the Airstream is gone. (see attached photo when the bolt is missing)

There is one on each side that creates the ability for the two bolts to slide front and back to swing out the steps when in use and swing them back under the Airstream when not in use.

That right bolt is completely gone and it appears it might have come loose and fallen inside the area sealed on the side. To get into that area, it looks like I will have to bust several rivets to remove the black aluminum covering.

Any suggestions?
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2001 Excella 30' (Beauty)
2014 Ram 2500 Diesel 4x4 (The Beast)
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Old 06-08-2016, 07:49 PM   #2
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Mixter's Avatar
1976 27' Overlander
Tampa , Florida
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 795
That stinks. As you can see there's no great way to get to it. I think about this stuff all the time as I put mine back together from a full monte... In this case, you could:

a.) drill out a bunch of rivets underneath, with the hopes of being able to pull the belly skin back enough to reach behind... OR

b.) Cut a nice clean access hole, or square. And then cut a patch to cover it. You can make the patch look nice and even use screws for an access panel.

I'd probably do option "b". Any way you look at this, you'll need to be able to get a wrench on the back side. So pick your poison

Good luck!

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Old 06-09-2016, 09:18 PM   #3
4 Rivet Member
sgschwend's Avatar
1986 25' Sovereign
Oak Harbor , Washington
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 269
Images: 11
I just installed a new step.
Try this: magnetic wand that looks like an antenna, mine has a pivot for the magnet. Just reach in the slot and fish around.

My trailer has a light for the step on that side, I took the light out and then I could work through the hole. However you don't need to do this.

Knowing how to install the step will help, here is how I did it:
The two back fasteners, are put on the step before the step is mounted. Then by twisting the step each bolt head will enter the slot. Using a 9/16" box wrench you can sneak the wrench between the belly pan (you will find a small cutout, lined up with the inside nut) and hold the nut and washer for tightening.

Starting the nut is fun, I found swiveling the magnet to 90 degrees and putting it on the nut's hole. Fishing the nut and washer through the belly pan cutout. The magnet would hold it well enough so the threads could be started, then switch to the box wrench.
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