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Old 08-21-2010, 05:53 AM   #1
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1995 36' Classic 36
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Motorhome steps deploy while moving!

We're newbies with 95 Classic on our way home after picking it up. The PO warned us to slam the door tight or else the steps won't retract. While driving my wife noticed the steps deploy and retract while moving. In fact later in the day they must have deployed again and we hit a drain pipe along the gutter with the step and bent it. Now the step only retracts part way. For safety we may have to figure a way to cut off the first step and fix when we get home.

Is there a way to disengage the steps from deploying at all? Some bypass until I can look at it in better coniditions?

Also what activates the steps? Must be a sensor in the door to activate closing it, maybe something needs replacing or cleaning?

This trip is just starting and it's been a little more eventful than I had hoped for. A few other gremlins rearing their heads so more posts may follow. Overall in decent shape but needs some work, that was expected.

Gary
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Old 08-21-2010, 06:04 AM   #2
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Gary,

The most common way that I have seen is a bungee straps.

Dan
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Old 08-21-2010, 07:33 AM   #3
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What brand of steps?
When we bought ours, we accepted deal with lower price for steps that wouldn't retract. Be very careful when testing or anywhere near them as they don't have a safety switch and will come out with enough force to it's endpoint, either direction.
The safety it does have built in is that key on will retract, opening door will extend.
When we bought they wouldn't retract, couldn't manual retract without taking out a cotter pin. If it is the motor and or brain and now damaged best bet is to replace entire unit. Mine was a bad motor and I found an exact replacement with a taurus rear window motor. Hardest part of repair was getting step off as one of 4 bolts welded to stepwell had broken weld so impossible to unscrew nut holding on step.
Good Luck
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Old 08-21-2010, 08:07 AM   #4
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Gary The most common brand of electric steps are the Kwikee Steps. They have two magnets located one on the door and one one the door frame. When these two magnets are in close proximity to each other they will trigger the steps to retract. I would suspect that they are not close enough to each other if the PO tells you to slam the door to get the steps to retract. Also if they steps deployed while driving the vibrations of travelling have moved the door enough increase the space between the two magnets and trigger the steps to deploy. These two magnets must be aligned closely and exactly parallel to each other. The gap between them must also be perfectly aligned for proper operation. The magnets look like two small black bars about 1 1/2" long and 1/2" thick. The door frame part will have two wires leading to the step controller mounted under the coach on the underside of the steps. Until you can have the steps repaired disconnect the power to the step controller and secure the steps with a bungee cord or similar restraint. Good luck. These steps are not A/S specific and any RV dealership can get you parts or do repairs.
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Old 08-22-2010, 12:04 AM   #5
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Lucky i brought some tools with me. I removed the clevis pin holding the arm to the steps and bungeed them all together. I dont see any magnets but do see two small round discs, almond in color with some wires attached. This could be the sensors. Just dont have means to much with it for now. They are kwikee steps, checked the price for new ones and gulped. Ill really need to find the problem source before i put new ones on.
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Old 08-22-2010, 12:09 AM   #6
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these steps TYPICALLY were vacuum controlled.

so deploying while driving is often a vacuum leak somewhere.

cheers
2air'
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Old 08-22-2010, 12:34 AM   #7
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2Air describes the same system as used to deploy the blades in the wheels of Boadicea's chariot. When battle commenced, a slave was ordered to suck at a tube, and the blades deployed, as shown in this photo:
Google Image Result for http://news.bbc.co.uk/media/images/38942000/jpg/_38942513_boadicea.jpg

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Old 08-22-2010, 09:21 AM   #8
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Gary Yes the small round almond color discs are indeed the magnetic sensors. These Kwikee steps are electric and you can reposition the disc on the door to prevent the steps from deploying while driving. I have had to adjust countless SOB M/H's sensors due to the fact that they mount the door sensor on the flimsy screen door which shifts while driving. A difference of as little as 1/16" will cause the steps to deploy. Some other brands of M/H have a switch located near the door or on the dashboard to keep the step deployed while parked. Some units also have a warning light on the dash that will illuminate if the steps are deployed. This switch will be overridden by an ignition controlled switch. Once you start the engine on the M/H the steps will retract regardless of the manual on/off switch position. Do you have these switches? Can your steps be shut of and stay out regardless of the door being open or closed? And if so will they retract as soon as you start the engine? The steps can be repaired and if you fix the sensor problem you should have no further problems. Replacement parts for the steps like arms, sensors and motors or control units are available. Like I said before any RV dealer can get you parts, they are not A/S specific. Good luck and safe journey keep the black between your wheels.
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Old 08-22-2010, 10:20 AM   #9
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Luckily i brought some basic toolswith me and disconnected the clevis pin holding the activating arm from the steps and bungeed the steps together and shoved them back as far as itcould go. Kwikee steps and once i chrcked out the price im wondering if i can get them fixed.

Thanks
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Old 08-22-2010, 10:29 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickcrowhurst View Post
When battle commenced, a slave was ordered to suck at a tube, and the blades deployed, as shown in this photo:
Google Image Result for http://news.bbc.co.uk/media/images/38942000/jpg/_38942513_boadicea.jpg

Nick.
too funny and so true.

a/s stopped supplying the indentured servent for this function around 1976...

but he/she/it was still available in the option package up to 1993.
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