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Old 03-18-2019, 10:15 AM   #1
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entrance step hardware failure: one must know how to fall

1986 Sovereign.

Please tell me I am not the first guy who had to fix this.

I have looked through quality posts concerning the replacing and repairing of entrance steps. Unless someone here convinces me otherwise, I believe my best option is to replace the entire unit with a newer style of steps. The steps and braces themselves are serviceable. It is the highly specialized fasteners that have rusted and failed. Any recommendations from personal experience is welcome.

That is if I can get the old ones off the camper. Before I cut the bolts which hold the step in the race cut in the outriggers, I am soliciting suggestions.

Thanks

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Old 03-18-2019, 10:51 AM   #2
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Go to Out of Doors mart website and order the required repair parts. Easy fix, and I believe ther is a video on the repair as well.
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Old 03-18-2019, 10:57 AM   #3
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I would rebuild them if at all possible
Depending on how your trailer sits you may just do away with the first step. That's how we run ours and our trailer is higher then most with fresh 32 degree axles
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Old 03-18-2019, 11:05 AM   #4
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Thanks for the replies.

So I looked at the Out of Doors parts page and found the necessary hardware.

Cost to replace all hardware, $292.40 for 16 points of contact.

Has anyone found a more reasonable solution? I will be visiting my favorite hardware store later today.
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Old 03-18-2019, 11:10 AM   #5
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It's all specialized hardware. You will not find it elsewhere but if you do let us know. 👍
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Old 03-18-2019, 11:21 AM   #6
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I was incorrect earlier: total cost $226.64
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Old 03-18-2019, 11:28 AM   #7
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I believe my best option is to replace the entire unit with a newer style of steps.
I thought those were the newer style steps!
I have a 2017 and have those steps.
However, I leave them folded up, just lower the first step, and use a folding step on the ground. It's super sturdy, and big. For my bad knees, it's easier and safer.
When I pack up, the step just goes inside the door, upside down.
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Old 03-18-2019, 11:38 AM   #8
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The lower step was not deployed when the failure occurred. The hardware which holds the support arm to the upper step failed. After I picked myself up, I noticed that every attaching point was severely corroded after over 30 years of service.

I have faithfully serviced this Airstream in my 15 years of ownership, but I certainly neglected to look at those fasteners. I'm just glad it was me on the step when it failed and not my wife.
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Old 03-18-2019, 11:51 AM   #9
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That is probably one of the least expensive repairs on an Airstream. I have rebuilt mine and it is worth every penny to have good steps. I lubricate with spray silicone several times a year.
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Old 03-18-2019, 12:45 PM   #10
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Thanks for the replies.

So I looked at the Out of Doors parts page and found the necessary hardware.

Cost to replace all hardware, $292.40 for 16 points of contact.

Has anyone found a more reasonable solution? I will be visiting my favorite hardware store later today.
Someone had replaced one of the bolts holding the steps to the outrigger on my trailer with a standard hex head bolt. Over time the nut loosened and the bolt wallowed out the end of the slot in the outrigger such that it would no longer hold. Following the suggestion of a repair post I found on here I ground out the end of the slot a little and bought the replacement part at the Salem rally from the Airstream booth. IIRC it was around $4. I had to bend out the bottom of the slot where it changed directions into the lock position to get the shoulder head bolt in and then beat it back into place.


I didn't go to the ODM web page, but an alternative might be found here:
https://www.mcmaster.com/shoulder-screws.

Al
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Old 03-18-2019, 12:45 PM   #11
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You would be foolish to remove those steps!
The hardware is spendy, but with maintenance, those steps will outlive anything else. A little silicone goes a very long way!
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Old 03-18-2019, 05:10 PM   #12
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Every Spring, I repack the wheel bearings and service every spinning, sliding, pivoting and oscillating part I can get too, including the steps. Foolishly, it never occurred to me to get down and inspect the nuts and bolts that over time, simply deteriorated to the point of failure.
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Old 03-18-2019, 05:27 PM   #13
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I never gave much attention to the steps either, until they failed like yours did. Now they get regular lubrication. Probably one of the most used and least looked after parts on the trailer. PITA to repair, but not as costly as some parts are!!
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Old 03-19-2019, 09:42 AM   #14
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We do the same. Shortly after purchasing our 1998 30’ Excella, the bottom step hinge failed. One part was almost $200! I find it so much easier to pull the first step down and use the same step stool. Much less complicated to unfold, too!
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