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Old 09-13-2017, 12:30 PM   #1
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2017 Interstate Grand Tour Ext
Bozeman , Montana
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 59
Interstate Step: Magnetic Switch Fix

Hello all -- for those like me who have had a finicky magnetic switch for the electrical step, I've replaced mine and it is an easy fix. BTW, we live 5 hours from the nearest Airstream dealer so $6 and 30 minutes of my time was an easy choice vs. warranty service.

I got a replacement switch from Amazon: "Directed Electronics" Magnetic Switch with both NO (normally open) and NC (normally closed) circuits. I drilled out the rivets holding the original switch in place and pulled it loose. On our 2017 Interstate there was a 3-lead wire to the switch (white, green, and red) and plenty of wire.

I left about 3" of wire on the original switch in case the new one didn't work. Attach the wires to the new switch as follows: Wh=COM, Red=NC, Green=NO. (I may have the red and green reversed so if it doesn't work switch them; I am sure Wh is the COM). There are three exposed screws which I covered with hot glue to help secure and insulate the leads; you may have a better option but this seems to have worked well.

I affixed the new switch in place first with the (included) two sided tape and opened and closed the door a few times to be sure it worked and the position was right, then I drilled holes and secured the new switch in place with small screws and you're done. I did not replace the original magnet mounted inside the sliding door.

So far it's working perfectly! Feel free to contact me if you have questions.

David
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Old 09-13-2017, 01:44 PM   #2
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2017 Interstate Lounge Ext
Jacksonville , Jacksonville, Fla, Sautee, Ga, Boca Grande, Fl, Breckenridge, Co
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Thanks for posting this as I have the same problem and I was about to do the same thing, for the same reasons i.e. It is easier than the hassle of driving to the dealer. Do you have the manufacturer or brand name of the swith? I want to be sure and get the same one. Thanks again.
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Old 09-13-2017, 01:47 PM   #3
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2017 Interstate Lounge Ext
Jacksonville , Jacksonville, Fla, Sautee, Ga, Boca Grande, Fl, Breckenridge, Co
Join Date: Jun 2015
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Images: 1
Sorry, I just read your post again and saw the Directed Electronics name. Thanks again, I am tired of the intermittent issues with my step switch.
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Old 09-13-2017, 02:24 PM   #4
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2017 Interstate Grand Tour Ext
Bozeman , Montana
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I notice there are a few models. Get the one from Amazon which shows 3 screws in the product photo.
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Old 11-08-2021, 06:37 PM   #5
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2021 Interstate 24GT
Franklin , Tennessee
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Interstate rear overhead cabinet light

In my 2021 Interstate GT, the rear (forward facing) cabinet light remains on. Determined a faulty switch-bar magnet. QUESTION: will a Philmore N.O./N.C. magnetic switch available from Amazon work? Airstream part back ordered.
THANKS!
Harald
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Old 11-09-2021, 08:34 AM   #6
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2017 Interstate Grand Tour Ext
Bozeman , Montana
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Reed Switch

Hi Harald -- funny, our back cabinet light also stayed on but I "whapped" it a few times (technical term) with the handle of a heavy screwdriver and that cured it. Think I've had to do it again occasionally but not for a long time now.


If whapping it doesn't work, the magnetic reed switch is a pretty simple device, I think any model that fits physically would work. Looks like the Philmore switch is about $10 at Amazon, pretty small investment. I'd give it a try.


David
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Old 11-09-2021, 10:12 AM   #7
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Here and There , Pacific Northwest
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finicky magnetic switch
Curious what symptoms looked like with your switch acting up. I have one which is finicking (I don't think it's stickling). The step will intermittently close to the same spot (about half way) and stop. Sometimes after three and a half minutes it will suddenly finish closing. Opens without issue (so far). Is this at all like magnetic switch finicking?
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Old 11-10-2021, 08:04 AM   #8
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2017 Interstate Grand Tour Ext
Bozeman , Montana
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Hi Dave -- Before replacing my switch the step often didn't extend when the slide door was opened. I never had a partial step closure. If it is stopping at the same spot each time that sounds more like a mechanical problem involving the motor/gearing. I don't know much about it, maybe someone else can offer ideas. I'd be curious to know whether you can hear the motor running after the step stops half way. That would confirm that it's not a faulty switch.


David
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Old 11-10-2021, 07:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArcherTC View Post
Hi Dave -- Before replacing my switch the step often didn't extend when the slide door was opened. I never had a partial step closure. If it is stopping at the same spot each time that sounds more like a mechanical problem involving the motor/gearing. I don't know much about it, maybe someone else can offer ideas. I'd be curious to know whether you can hear the motor running after the step stops half way. That would confirm that it's not a faulty switch.


David
The motor seems to stop. If I press gently on the step during closing it will continue but if it has stopped and I press it will not move. If I repeat the door open and then close it will usually go back in all the way. Sometimes it will take several tries. All is clean and no unusual noises when it is moving in either direction. I investigated the area of travel and no obstruction. Also the idea of a self resetting fuse link but there is allegedly not one per the Airstream experts at Jackson. I got the feeling my description was being doubted when the voice at support said "never heard of that one". I have a three minute and 47 second video on my phone of it retracting half way, stopping, and then after the three something minutes in it goes.
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Old 11-10-2021, 08:36 PM   #10
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
Mount Washington , Kentucky
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Not the Switch - Magnet Alignment

I had finicky operation and discovered my switch would operate and the step extend out every time if I simply drag a neodymium magnet across the switch after opening the slider if the step didnít extend. I keep the magnet on the door so it is easy to access and ready if needed. The last couple months I have not needed the magnet but experience tells me itís only a matter of time.

I have had JC replace the original one and a generous tech even gave me an extra switch which I keep for spare parts but the magnet trick is much simpler and so far 100% effective.
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