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Old 11-02-2019, 08:30 AM   #1
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1992 29' Excella
2010 22' Interstate
Van By The River , Georgia
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 2,183
Project 2000 Step Controller

Our 2010 Interstate has the early model, chain drive Project 2000 step. We've owned the RV for about 2 years and the step has always been a bit flaky. The usual problem is that it will not retract.

Sometimes we simply open and close the sliding door a second time and it will retract. Sometimes we've resorted to starting the vehicle and putting the transmission in gear and this will cause the step to retract. For reference, we've checked the external relay and it's working fine. We've checked the limit switch on the sliding door and it's working.

On a recent trip none of that worked and we drove with the step protruding from the side of the vehicle and were careful not to get too close to anything. Finally I took time to realize the step has a hex shape protruding from the shaft of the motor and I was able to manually retract the step.

Upon investigating the problem I think we've determined the "brain" needs to be replaced. The step operates by simply supplying 12V to the motor and then reversing the polarity to retract the step. The brain doesn't seem to be providing the reversed polarity.

A little more detail on the polarity... The motor extends the step with a negative 12V signal (-12V). That is, with a volt meter attached to the red and black motor leads the voltage reads negative. The polarity is supposed to switch to positive 12V to retract the step. Our brain sends the -12V signal to extend the step but only sends a +5V signal to retract the step. The +5V will just barely move the motor shaft a fraction of a turn but it's not enough voltage to operate the chain and retract the step.

I've confirmed the motor is operating properly by placing the negative and positive voltages to the motor and it does indeed work as expected.

The replacement "brain" is going to cost approximately $250! It's the size of a pack of playing cards with two connectors.

Has anyone else replaced the brain (control module)? I think it's the same part for the old style Project 2000 step (chain drive) as well as the new gear driven step. I've seen lots of discussion about the Project 2000 step - loose set screws, stripped gears, etc. but nothing about replacing the brain.

Is there anything else I should be checking? I don't want to spend $250 and find out it was a different problem. By the way, I've been on the phone with Lippert Components tech support, they sell the Project 2000 step, and with their help I've narrowed this down to replacing the brain but there's something in the back of my mind that says I'm overlooking something.

A few attachments for review:
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Attached Files
File Type: pdf P2K SINGLE STEP CONTROLLER.pdf (383.2 KB, 59 views)
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Lucius and Danielle
1992 29' Excella Classic / 2010 Interstate
2005 Chevrolet Suburban K2500 8.1L
2018 GMC Sierra K1500 SLT, 6.2L, Max Trailering
Got a cooped-up feeling, gotta get out of town, got those Airstream campin' blues...
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Old 11-30-2019, 08:23 AM   #2
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1992 29' Excella
2010 22' Interstate
Van By The River , Georgia
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 2,183
We contacted our local Airstream dealer and they were willing to order the step controller for us but indicated it would be 4 - 6 weeks for delivery and the price was $240 plus S&H. That cost was much lower than the $479 price quoted from Lippert Components. But hey, Lippert was free shipping! We continued to look around for a lower cost option. We couldn't find anything on etrailer, Amazon or other RV web sites. It seems that details of the Italian designed Project 2000 step are a well-kept secret.

It occurred to me that Out of Doors Mart had been very helpful in locating hard to find parts and their prices were reasonable in the past. A call to ODM and we were quoted $200 plus S&H and approximately 2 weeks delivery. Turns out the deliver was closer to 3+ weeks but who's complaining.

The step controller solved our problem. The part came from Airstream in Jackson Center and was drop-shipped to our home. A few minutes to install the device and our step is working well.

The Airstream part number is 513567. Apparently this part is still in use in production as that was the reason for the delay in shipment. First, inventory was underway, then production allocation had to be changed to allow the part to be drop-shipped to us.
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Lucius and Danielle
1992 29' Excella Classic / 2010 Interstate
2005 Chevrolet Suburban K2500 8.1L
2018 GMC Sierra K1500 SLT, 6.2L, Max Trailering
Got a cooped-up feeling, gotta get out of town, got those Airstream campin' blues...
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Old 12-04-2019, 12:30 AM   #3
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2017 Interstate Lounge Ext
Temple City , California
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I think mine is bad too. Where is this "brain" located?
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Old 12-04-2019, 07:53 AM   #4
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1992 29' Excella
2010 22' Interstate
Van By The River , Georgia
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 2,183
Ours is located behind a removable storage area that is built into the subfloor near the side door step. A few pictures:
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Lucius and Danielle
1992 29' Excella Classic / 2010 Interstate
2005 Chevrolet Suburban K2500 8.1L
2018 GMC Sierra K1500 SLT, 6.2L, Max Trailering
Got a cooped-up feeling, gotta get out of town, got those Airstream campin' blues...
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