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Old 11-29-2015, 11:57 PM   #1
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THOR #2817
Electric Step

Our 2015 Windsport has a one section electric step. It is so close to the ground that when parked near a curb, when it extends, it runs into the curb. I am concerned that the drive mechanism will be damaged. Has anyone had a problem with their electric step due to ramming the curb, and has anyone wired an on/off switch to prevent it from deploying in certain situations?
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Old 11-30-2015, 12:12 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Metalman View Post
Our 2015 Windsport has a one section electric step. It is so close to the ground that when parked near a curb, when it extends, it runs into the curb. I am concerned that the drive mechanism will be damaged. Has anyone had a problem with their electric step due to ramming the curb, and has anyone wired an on/off switch to prevent it from deploying in certain situations?
Metalman,

Your coach doesn't have a step switch located somewhere close to the door? When that switch is turned off the step should not retract. My step switch is located right next to the switch for extending and retracting my awning.
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Old 11-30-2015, 12:21 AM   #3
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Yes, I have I have a step switch near the door, but the problem is not retracting, it's deploying. I want to prevent it from coming out in certain situations.
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Old 11-30-2015, 10:19 AM   #4
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Metalman

From page 4 of the electric step owner's manual

"If your step is equipped with a power switch, turn it off. The step should remain in the extended position with the understep light off when the door is closed. Turning off the power with the step retracted will hold the step in a retracted position as well."

It sounds like you may be bumping up against the "Last Out" feature of the step. The "Last Out" feature is also explained on page 4 of the manual. I believe the key is to not let the ignition switch automatically retract the steps thereby deactivating the "Last Out" feature.

If you have the Kwikee steps here is the manual for the older steps. The new model step manual is too large to attach.


In the FWIW category, an individual I rally with that flips motorhomes for his after retirement living told me that the motors for those steps are nothing more than a 12VDC automotive windshield wiper motor.
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Old 11-30-2015, 02:34 PM   #5
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THOR #2817
Thanks for the electric step manual. I have it in my electronic RV folder and will print it and put it in with the RV documents that we carry with us.

I just went out and doubled checked the step situation. There is no way that I can prevent the step from deploying. I have tried it with the step switch in both positions, with the ignition off, and even with the coach power off. Any time the door opens, the step deploys. I want to prevent if from deploying when we are parked next to a curb to avoid damaging the motor and the mechanism that moves the step.

I just checked the RV manual and it indicates that the step should be able to be kept in when the ignition is off and the step switch is off.

Shortly after we bought the motor home, I had to replace the pin between the linkage and the step. I presume the previous owner allowed the step to bash into a curb or two.
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Old 11-30-2015, 03:04 PM   #6
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I had a situation where our campsite was on a slight side to side incline (passenger's side high) and when the steps came out the bottom step was only 1/4 to 1/2 inch above the ground. In that case I could have gone without the steps during our stay.

In about an hour or so I am going out to the coach to start blowing out my water lines due to some expected low temps later this week and I'll play with the steps to see if mine are any different than yours.
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Old 11-30-2015, 03:13 PM   #7
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Thanks for your interest and help. As I recall, our other motor homes with electric steps, were able to lock the step(s) from deploying when the door was open. I tried to call the KwiKee phone number and they are not accepting calls. ????
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Old 11-30-2015, 03:24 PM   #8
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You might try calling Lippert Components since they manufacture the Kwikee steps as part of their power gear line of products.
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Old 11-30-2015, 04:48 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by dstankov View Post
You might try calling Lippert Components since they manufacture the Kwikee steps as part of their power gear line of products.
I called Lippert Components 574-535-1125 and spoke with tech support. He told me that there should be no power on the yellow wire when the step switch is off. He also said for me to check the grounds at the step, as one could be loose, causing the problem.
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Old 11-30-2015, 04:51 PM   #10
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I called Lippert Components 574-535-1125 and spoke with tech support. He told me that there should be no power on the yellow wire when the step switch is off. He also said for me to check the grounds at the step, as one could be loose, causing the problem.
Dumb question, but did he verify the step is lockable in the retracted position?
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Old 11-30-2015, 05:03 PM   #11
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Dumb question, but did he verify the step is lockable in the retracted position?
Actually a good question. I explained the situation but didn't ask if the step is lockable in the retracted position. I guess I assumed he understood reason for my question, but you know what they say about assuming.
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Old 11-30-2015, 06:40 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Metalman View Post
Our 2015 Windsport has a one section electric step. It is so close to the ground that when parked near a curb, when it extends, it runs into the curb. I am concerned that the drive mechanism will be damaged. Has anyone had a problem with their electric step due to ramming the curb, and has anyone wired an on/off switch to prevent it from deploying in certain situations?
When visiting the New Orleans French Quarter in our Hurricane 34e we parked our coach on Elysian Fields Avenue right in front of Washington Square. That's when I noticed that my Kwikee step bashed right into the curb for the first time and stopped.

The manual says that the motor will sense the overload and stop. That's kinda what happened. It just stopped.
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Old 11-30-2015, 06:48 PM   #13
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Metalman

Just played with mine on the coach and like you the step cannot be locked in the fully retracted position. I even disconnected my shore power (tripped the breaker in the garage) and put the battery switch in the store mode and the step still operates.

This tells me 2 things

First the step cannot be locked in

Second the step must be wired to the chassis battery rather than the house batteries.

Some further checking is required as time and weather permits. Since it is raining now, and scheduled to keep raining for the rest of the week I won't be crawling under the steps to look at wiring for a few days.
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Old 11-30-2015, 08:09 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Beacher View Post
When visiting the New Orleans French Quarter in our Hurricane 34e we parked our coach on Elysian Fields Avenue right in front of Washington Square. That's when I noticed that my Kwikee step bashed right into the curb for the first time and stopped.

The manual says that the motor will sense the overload and stop. That's kinda what happened. It just stopped.
The fact that the motor can sense an overload makes sense. I noticed that our step kept trying to advance when it met resistance, and that's why I am concerned about breaking something or burning out something. There is very little about the step in the Thor manual, but I just downloaded two manuals for the steps and will have to read through both of them.
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Old 11-30-2015, 08:12 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by dstankov View Post
Metalman

Just played with mine on the coach and like you the step cannot be locked in the fully retracted position. I even disconnected my shore power (tripped the breaker in the garage) and put the battery switch in the store mode and the step still operates.

This tells me 2 things

First the step cannot be locked in

Second the step must be wired to the chassis battery rather than the house batteries.

Some further checking is required as time and weather permits. Since it is raining now, and scheduled to keep raining for the rest of the week I won't be crawling under the steps to look at wiring for a few days.
You did the same checks me and have the same results.
I checked the wiring and found that the yellow wire does not have power when the step is down, whether or not the step switch is on or off. The ground it good. Interestingly there is an unused purple wire that according to the manual is for an additional step light.
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Old 11-30-2015, 08:28 PM   #16
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You did the same checks me and have the same results.
I checked the wiring and found that the yellow wire does not have power when the step is down, whether or not the step switch is on or off. The ground it good. Interestingly there is an unused purple wire that according to the manual is for an additional step light.
An additional step light... now that piques my interest. One thing that I dislike about my coach is the outside light is on the slide and when the slide is extended the steps are not illuminated at night. I have been trying to determine a good route for adding some LED lights under the steps for illumination when the steps are out and locked.

Whenever I unlock the steps so the light works and I return to the coach after dark I wind up getting my shin banged by the step as it extends as I am opening the door.
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Old 11-30-2015, 10:28 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by dstankov View Post
An additional step light... now that piques my interest. One thing that I dislike about my coach is the outside light is on the slide and when the slide is extended the steps are not illuminated at night. I have been trying to determine a good route for adding some LED lights under the steps for illumination when the steps are out and locked.

Yes our coach has the same problem. LEDs under the coach near the step would solve the problem. It would be easy to run a circuit from the battery compartment, which is just to the left of the door, under the slide out. Tapping into a circuit that is energized whenever the coach "Use" switch is turned on would provide light at night, and if they were left on 24/7 the battery charger wouldn't even know the difference.

Whenever I unlock the steps so the light works and I return to the coach after dark I wind up getting my shin banged by the step as it extends as I am opening the door.

That happened to me once on an RV without a step light. It had two or three steps.
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Old 11-30-2015, 11:13 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Metalman View Post
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That happened to me once on an RV without a step light. It had two or three steps.
Mine has 2 steps and the leading edge of the lower step is about 2 feet away from the coach when extended. That is why the shin gets hit after I unlock and open the door.

I am considering (not certain yet) having the Direct Response system put on my awning when I take the coach to the dealer in January. Doing that will allow me to keep the awning out while I'm away from the coach and not worry about high winds ripping it to shreds. That will allow me to keep the awning lights on while I'm away as well.
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Old 12-01-2015, 12:16 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by dstankov View Post
Mine has 2 steps and the leading edge of the lower step is about 2 feet away from the coach when extended. That is why the shin gets hit after I unlock and open the door.

I am considering (not certain yet) having the Direct Response system put on my awning when I take the coach to the dealer in January. Doing that will allow me to keep the awning out while I'm away from the coach and not worry about high winds ripping it to shreds. That will allow me to keep the awning lights on while I'm away as well.
I have heard about these systems and for those who spend a lot of time camping with the awning set up, I think it's important. I've watched awnings get torn off, blown across the RV roofs, and otherwise destroyed in strong winds. Since we generally use our motor home as a basecamp for motorcycle riding, we don't deploy our awning very often.
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Old 12-01-2015, 12:54 AM   #20
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Dave,

What us the Direct Response system?
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