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Old 03-06-2009, 12:30 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 17
Step that won't drop down

I have an 1985 345 with a single step that will drop down only when the engine is shut down. It is suppose to drop down when the engine is running and the entry door is opened. It doesn't. It is vacuum operated. There is a wire that drop down to the area behind the step from the door jam switch. There is nothing to connect it to. I think something is missing but haven't a clue as to what it might be. Don't know where to look for help ? Whenever I go to a rally I look for another "85" that I can look under. No luck there..... My friends have an "86" but their step is electric.
Any ideas

Bill McNamara is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2009, 12:33 AM   #2
3 Rivet Member
1983 31' Airstream310
Santa Cruz , California
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 156
Images: 12
Bill, I just posted a similar problem with my 1983, but mine never retracts now (it did a couple of weeks ago, so nothing is missing -- just loose or broken). Maybe we can figure it out. I know that the door jamb switch is closed when the door is opened, providing power to the vacuum solenoid that's right next to the vacuum servo that actually runs the step, when the door is open. I *think* but am not sure that there's a relay in between, otherwise it's just the vacuum solenoid or the hose between it and the engine.

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Old 03-28-2009, 10:19 PM   #3
3 Rivet Member
1983 31' Airstream310
Santa Cruz , California
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 156
Images: 12
Bill, I had time today to check this out in mine. My vacuum solenoid is toast -- draws a little current but does not move inside. The wire you mention comes from the door jamb switch and is supposed to go to a three-way vacuum solenoid which sends vacuum to one side of the vacuum actuator when the door is closed (no current, step down). When the door is open, the door jamb switch closes and sends 12 volts to the vacuum solenoid, which sends the vacuum to the other side of the actuator to retract the step. What probably happened with yours is that the solenoid failed and someone hooked it up so it would at least retract when there was vacuum (engine running). That's how mine is now, after I bypassed the solenoid. To get it back to original we will need to replace the solenoid. Inland RV Andy says these have been unavailable for some time. There are lots of these used in industrial controls and car heaters and EGR systems. When I find a suitable replacement I'll post.
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