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-   -   Step Covers - An Alternative to Foldout Steps When Docked. (https://www.airforums.com/forums/f475/step-covers-an-alternative-to-foldout-steps-when-docked-100150.html)

Shehanigans 01-09-2013 09:16 AM

Step Covers - An Alternative to Foldout Steps When Docked.
 
I looked through all of the step questions before asking. Has anyone made a step cover for when the airstream is stationary? Not Velcro, or fabric, or anything that sticks on but an extra set of steps alone. Like basic steps on a trailer house. You know, the fiberglass or wooden ones?

Although the steps on our new '94 are in great shape, and I don't find it that hard to figure them out, I'm afraid they will see too much wear. With Four of us and two dogs they are used a lot. Also, they aren't very forgiving if a little one slips and falls or misses the step accidentally.

I'm just curious if anyone has done it. Steps that just fit right over the current steps that when driving you can just toss inside. Anyone?

TouringDan 01-09-2013 09:29 AM

Is this a solution looking for a problem? I am not aware that there was a problem with steps wearing out. If you just put a cover on the treads, this would save wear and tear on the tread surface, but not on the step structure itself. Two of my favorite sayings apply hear "if it is not broke then don't fix it" and "new solutions have new problems". Maybe I am missing something here.

You could probably build a set of steps to use while your trailer is home. They would be solid but quite heavy. I would not want to carry these with me to go camping.

Dan

vswingfield 01-09-2013 09:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TouringDan (Post 1247048)
Is this a solution looking for a problem? I am not aware that there was a problem with steps wearing out. If you just put a cover on the treads, this would save wear and tear on the tread surface, but not on the step structure itself. Two of my favorite sayings apply hear "if it is not broke then don't fix it" and "new solutions have new problems". Maybe I am missing something here.

You could probably build a set of steps to use while your trailer is home. They would be solid but quite heavy. I would not want to carry these with me to go camping.

Dan

Apparently it is a real problem. A Google Search for step brace turned up 165 results (10 pages).

My steps need some work. I use a stack of cinder blocks outside the door at home. Of course, not really portable.

I saw these braces made from copper pipe and tees at the first Branson rally a few years ago.

https://www.airforums.com/forums/atta...4&d=1192908130

The bottom tee has a slot to slide over the back of the bottom step, and the top tee simply rests in the top corner. The pipe is sized so the weight of the steps holds the brace in place. The steps were really solid. I keep meaning to make myself a pair, but...well, you know. :o

On another topic, the thread title (Alternative covers for when docked.) is misleading. If you start a thread about steps, it should be somewhere in the title. :angel: I thought this was going to be a thread about covering the trailer. It's a common question from new posters. (Not a good idea, BTW, but that's a whole nuther series of threads.)

Shehanigans 01-09-2013 11:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TouringDan (Post 1247048)
Is this a solution looking for a problem? I am not aware that there was a problem with steps wearing out. If you just put a cover on the treads, this would save wear and tear on the tread surface, but not on the step structure itself. Two of my favorite sayings apply hear "if it is not broke then don't fix it" and "new solutions have new problems". Maybe I am missing something here.

You could probably build a set of steps to use while your trailer is home. They would be solid but quite heavy. I would not want to carry these with me to go camping.

Dan

It is a common problem that I'm seeing on many threads. It is also quite hazardous and very uncomfortable for kiddos and dogs. I don't see how it would cause a potential problem they just sit over the steps.

"if it ain't broke don't fix it" is quite a broad term. I find preventive measure to be less costly, safer and better for long term in general.

There is no "problem" per say. Just an idea.

I definitely could build a set. That's what I'm toying with now. I'm curious if anyone else has.

Quote:

Originally Posted by vswingfield (Post 1247057)
Apparently it is a real problem. A Google Search for step brace turned up 165 results (10 pages).

My steps need some work. I use a stack of cinder blocks outside the door at home. Of course, not really portable.

I saw these braces made from copper pipe and tees at the first Branson rally a few years ago.

The bottom tee has a slot to slide over the back of the bottom step, and the top tee simply rests in the top corner. The pipe is sized so the weight of the steps holds the brace in place. The steps were really solid. I keep meaning to make myself a pair, but...well, you know. :o

On another topic, the thread title (Alternative covers for when docked.) is misleading. If you start a thread about steps, it should be somewhere in the title. :angel: I thought this was going to be a thread about covering the trailer. It's a common question from new posters. (Not a good idea, BTW, but that's a whole nuther series of threads.)

I posted it in the steps sections so I didn't know it should be in the title.

Is there an option for "tags" in a post. I'm working from an iPad if that makes a difference.

Since, clearly, it makes a difference (sorry!) can I edit the title?

vswingfield 01-09-2013 11:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shehanigans (Post 1247085)
It is a common problem that I'm seeing on many threads. It is also quite hazardous and very uncomfortable for kiddos and dogs. I don't see how it would cause a potential problem they just sit over the steps.

"if it ain't broke don't fix it" is quite a broad term. I find preventive measure to be less costly, safer and better for long term in general.

There is no "problem" per say. Just an idea.

I definitely could build a set. That's what I'm toying with now. I'm curious if anyone else has.



I posted it in the steps sections so I didn't know it should be in the title.

Is there an option for "tags" in a post. I'm working from an iPad if that makes a difference.

Since, clearly, it makes a difference (sorry!) can I edit the title?

Oops, so you did. :o Sometimes I don't notice which forum a post is in.

I guess it was the word "cover" that sent me down the wrong path. You went on with "Not Velcro, or fabric, or anything that sticks on but an extra set of steps alone. Like basic steps on a trailer house. You know, the fiberglass or wooden ones", so the covering part just confused me.

Sorry.

Bluto 01-09-2013 01:45 PM

Hi,
Amazon has a folding 2 step that can hold up to 300#. Maybe something like that would work for you. I bought one a while ago and paid more money for it than what they are asking now.
Since it's packable, I just throw it in the truck when done with it. It opens and closes using one hand. It's a pretty cool product. I have never used it in really cold weather and don't know how it would hold up in freezing temps (could crack)?
I don't use mine for the trailer entrance door but for getting in the back of my pick up and to help when I need to get into a roof rack, etc. But, I don't see a reason you couldn't use it for that purpose.
Try a search for it on Amazon.
Here's the description:
Range Kleen SS2 Double Step Stool--White

Schools Out 01-09-2013 02:24 PM

Wooden step covers are a great idea. My friend's husband made a set after she tripped on their metal step...giving herself a nasty gash. I think they are a safety feature, since they are wider & deeper (seem more secure) than the original folding steps.

Kevin245 01-09-2013 02:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shehanigans (Post 1247085)

It is a common problem that I'm seeing on many threads. It is also quite hazardous and very uncomfortable for kiddos and dogs. I don't see how it would cause a potential problem they just sit over the steps.

"if it ain't broke don't fix it" is quite a broad term. I find preventive measure to be less costly, safer and better for long term in general.

There is no "problem" per say. Just an idea.

I definitely could build a set. That's what I'm toying with now. I'm curious if anyone else has.

I posted it in the steps sections so I didn't know it should be in the title.

Is there an option for "tags" in a post. I'm working from an iPad if that makes a difference.

Since, clearly, it makes a difference (sorry!) can I edit the title?

No harm no foul. Gotcha covered on a title edit.

Concur with something more robust than the folding steps when docked. I've seen some nice stools and steps in use at various venues.

Shehanigans 01-09-2013 03:13 PM

Actually, about five minutes ago my son slipped and hurt his mid back. :( regardless steps will hurt but if I built some and sanded the edges to slightly rounded it may hurt less than metal.

Foiled Again 01-09-2013 04:29 PM

The Flying Cloud and International models have steel folding steps - The Classic steps are stowaway aluminum - and from day one are "wiggly" compared to the more standard steel steps on the two lower cost models. I've seen a few Classics where the owners have put on the cheaper, sturdier steps on.

I do see lots of SOBS - especially the higher ones with 3 or 4 steps where the owner has a set of wooden steps - or occasionally a ramp made up that serve as the access to the door. I've seen one or two up close that are put together with hinges and dowel rods. They can be disassembled and stored nearly flat when the trailer is moved. Handrails are a big benefit for these steps too. In my condo campground, people can only stay 4 weeks, but a few have made raised decks - again that come apart in sections to move the trailer.


Paula

adonh 01-10-2013 04:57 PM

Not Hight Tech but works
 
1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Shehanigans (Post 1247176)
Actually, about five minutes ago my son slipped and hurt his mid back. :( regardless steps will hurt but if I built some and sanded the edges to slightly rounded it may hurt less than metal.

The actual Airstream steps on my 1976 31' Sovereign still work great, but like you I wanted something that would be easier for my wife and dogs to get in and out of the trailer. So I built a set of two steps that consist of two 1/4 plywood boxes. The smaller one sets on top of the larger one and serves as the top step. The width is a little wider than the door and the depth is sufficient to provide a good secure area to step and stand on as you enter or exit the trailer. Th e boxes are trimmed and painted to match the black roll on the bottom of the outside skin of the Airstream. Two heavy duty rubber mats are cut to fit the step surface for good traction. The top step is secured to the bottom step by means of small pins installed in the right and left side bottom edge that light up with holes drilled in the bottom step so that it stays in place and won't move. I have also installed front and side low voltage deck lights that are controlled by a timer built in to the lower box and then plugged in to the shore power 110V plug.

The boxes are light weigh enough to store while traveling just inside the door and sit on the two rubber mats so they won't slide and scratch my floor. I then store other small items in the boxes to be available when I park again. Its a simple task to take the boxes out and set up my steps in just a few minutes. My wife and dogs are so pleased to be able to get in and out of the trailer without worrying about falling. Not High Tech, but they work, look good and serve as storage when not in use

These steps do not cover the actual Airstream steps since I leave them in the stowed position.

I have attached a picture to show how they look and you can click on picture to zoom in.

Hope this helps.

Don 1976 31' Sovereign

Alumaholic 01-10-2013 05:18 PM

Yes, They Do Wear Out
 
With enough use, the steel slots that the steps ride in will wear out and no longer hold the steps in the open position. They can be dangerous when this happens, because sometimes they hold, and sometimes they don't.
I had this situation on a '76 Sovereign. I remedied it by welding the slots then grinding them to the proper shape.
I for one would like to see some close-up photos of the adonh solution.

adonh 01-10-2013 05:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alumaholic (Post 1247573)
With enough use, the steel slots that the steps ride in will wear out and no longer hold the steps in the open position. They can be dangerous when this happens, because sometimes they hold, and sometimes they don't.
I had this situation on a '76 Sovereign. I remedied it by welding the slots then grinding them to the proper shape.
I for one would like to see some close-up photos of the adonh solution.

Yes the slots do wear over time and puts the lower step in a angled down position. I cut two pieces of Aluminum stock and installed these on each side of the lower step so that they rest on the linkage in the down position to hold the step level and secure. I am not explaining this I am sure where anyone could picture what I talking about. But this is an often used method of fixing this problem that I picked up from the forum a number of years ago. Maybe someone will post some pics. My trailer is in storage now so i can't do that. But I should have it home in a couple of weeks and I will post pictures of my two boxes and the fix mentioned here if no one has posted these pics before then.

One thing that I found out some time ago do not put any type of support from the ground to the bottom step to temporally level the step since this can cause the entire step to collapse when someone steps on it. The Airstream step is designed to hang from the trailer and locks in the down position when opened. When a support is used it can cause the lock position to release and down you go.

Don

bwoodtx 01-10-2013 06:11 PM

Don,

I like your idea! What did you use for framing? 2X2's or 1X2's?

PhilipKS 01-10-2013 07:25 PM

I also like the approch Don used with his boxes, and may do the same. The bottom step of my '99 is also an iffy thing. It doesn't collapse, but the slots are worn and sometimes it slips out of position. I use a step stool which is the same height as the bottom step when deployed, and only use the upper. Not really the ideal solution.

TouringDan 01-10-2013 07:51 PM

Shehanigans

Looks like I was out in left field with my #2 post. Sorry about that. My erroneous post was based on the problem being identified and interpreted by me as being the surface and not the structure.

Now that I realize that it is a structural issue that reminds me of something. I went to Springsteam in 2011 and there was a rally goer there that has designed and I believe makes and sells a silver brace (out of wood) that may prevent the steps from collapsing or sagging.

Dan

Shehanigans 01-10-2013 09:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by adonh (Post 1247567)

The actual Airstream steps on my 1976 31' Sovereign still work great, but like you I wanted something that would be easier for my wife and dogs to get in and out of the trailer. So I built a set of two steps that consist of two 1/4 plywood boxes. The smaller one sets on top of the larger one and serves as the top step. The width is a little wider than the door and the depth is sufficient to provide a good secure area to step and stand on as you enter or exit the trailer. Th e boxes are trimmed and painted to match the black roll on the bottom of the outside skin of the Airstream. Two heavy duty rubber mats are cut to fit the step surface for good traction. The top step is secured to the bottom step by means of small pins installed in the right and left side bottom edge that light up with holes drilled in the bottom step so that it stays in place and won't move. I have also installed front and side low voltage deck lights that are controlled by a timer built in to the lower box and then plugged in to the shore power 110V plug.

The boxes are light weigh enough to store while traveling just inside the door and sit on the two rubber mats so they won't slide and scratch my floor. I then store other small items in the boxes to be available when I park again. Its a simple task to take the boxes out and set up my steps in just a few minutes. My wife and dogs are so pleased to be able to get in and out of the trailer without worrying about falling. Not High Tech, but they work, look good and serve as storage when not in use

These steps do not cover the actual Airstream steps since I leave them in the stowed position.

I have attached a picture to show how they look and you can click on picture to zoom in.

Hope this helps.

Don 1976 31' Sovereign

I have no idea why I didn't think of leaving the steps puts away. Some things are so apparent but you don't notice until someone points it out! Thank you!

You all have been very helpful. I'd love to see more photos!

Shehanigans 01-10-2013 09:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TouringDan (Post 1247627)
Shehanigans

Looks like I was out in left field with my #2 post. Sorry about that. My erroneous post was based on the problem being identified and interpreted by me as being the surface and not the structure.

Now that I realize that it is a structural issue that reminds me of something. I went to Springsteam in 2011 and there was a rally goer there that has designed and I believe makes and sells a silver brace (out of wood) that may prevent the steps from collapsing or sagging.

Dan

It's okay, I have been guilty of focusing to highly on aesthetic at times. I do intend on making them eye-pleasing but I do feel they are necessity for my family full timing in all climates. I'm so thankful the rain is over this week and the steps have become one of my priorities.

Shehanigans 01-10-2013 09:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bwoodtx (Post 1247593)
Don,

I like your idea! What did you use for framing? 2X2's or 1X2's?

My pyrenees travels with us! Does yours travel with you? So beautiful!

adonh 01-11-2013 07:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bwoodtx (Post 1247593)
Don,

I like your idea! What did you use for framing? 2X2's or 1X2's?

I used 2x2 treated. But you could also use a 1x2 or rip it down to a 1x1 I would guess. The 1/4" plywood treated would give you the support when all is built out. I did run a couple of 2/2 spaced front to back on the bottom step for extra support when you step on it. Also you may be able to see in the picture that I ran a trim board all the way around on the bottom step just to give it a little extra width and contact with the ground or slab as the case may be. Just in case the parking area is not level I take a couple of short 2x4 sections with me to place under the bottom step as needed. I also put a small thin piece of trim along the top edge of each step that sticks up about 1/8" above the top surface of each step. This holds the rubber mats in place. The top step also rest up up against this trim along the back edge and side which along with the pins that I mentioned previously hold the top step in place. It a simple project just two boxes one sitting on top of the other and then add other touches as you need.


Don


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