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Old 07-01-2019, 01:17 AM   #1
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Busted Up Entry Stairs

As I was driving through a construction zone, a vehicle ahead of me ran over the remainder of an 18-wheeler tire. That pushed the tire remnant close to my front right tire. I couldn't move over too far, because of the cars in the next lane.

My right front tire missed that piece, but it still went underneath my motorhome. Not sure how it happened, but that tire piece activated my steps. The steps extended, as I was driving, and the steps made contact with the concrete barrier that was on the right edge, lining the right lane.

When I arrived at my destination, a friend and I used a ratchet strap to straighten it out a little.

It is usable as stairs, but I am not able to retract it. I can't go down the road with the stairs sticking out, either.

What is the proper procedure to remove the stairs?
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Old 07-01-2019, 02:54 PM   #2
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Here are a couple of pictures to show the damage. Click image for larger version

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Old 07-01-2019, 03:02 PM   #3
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On mine the steps are mounted to a plate held to the bottom step with 4 bolts. Have you checked with your insurance company? They may help.
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Old 07-01-2019, 03:07 PM   #4
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Rather than remove the steps, suggest removing the drive-motor. This makes the steps free from being locked extended or locked retracted. You can then hold the steps in (retracted) via a bungee cord. But to use the steps in an extended condition, you'll need to brace them full-extended in some manner. A block of wood, for example.
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Old 07-01-2019, 10:25 PM   #5
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That might work.
If I remove the drive-motor, the stairs might not fully retract, but maybe come in enough for the MH to be able to travel.

We straightened them up about us much as we thought we could without tearing up any of the metal "scissors" that supports each step.
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Old 07-02-2019, 05:26 AM   #6
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As the above poster says - the steps have 4 bolts (and an electrical connector). They are heavy and awkward to handle.

Mine were bent like yours when they forgot to retract and I backed up into a tree. I tied a rope around the steps and a tree (same tree!) and carefully drove forward. I was surprised that with a bit of pounding and pulling, I was able to get them straight enough that they actually worked for the rest of the trip.
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Old 07-02-2019, 05:56 AM   #7
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After straighten the linkage arms best as possible you still need to fix reason step opened or the motor will not attempt retracting the step.
I'm guessing the tire fragment caught the ground wire from the door magnetic switch to frame and tore it loose. Brown wire from the controller is a secondary ground, goes to the magnetic switch, through the switch to frame ground. If that ground circuit is open/disconnected the step will extend regardless if engine running or not.
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Old 07-19-2019, 12:43 PM   #8
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Looking underneath, I can see one end of a brown wire connector. I have no idea as to where the other end is.

Also, which bolt should I undo to make the stairs go back in? It looks like the longer one would be easier to remove.

There is a bolt loosely hanging. I do not know what this bolt goes to, and I can see several other bolt holes with no bolts in them. Any ideas about this?
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Old 07-19-2019, 12:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Morgan View Post
On mine the steps are mounted to a plate held to the bottom step with 4 bolts. Have you checked with your insurance company? They may help.
Not sure that I want the insurance company involved. My rates will surely go up.
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Old 07-19-2019, 05:33 PM   #10
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Ok.
I disconnected the linkage that makes the steps extend & retract.

At least, now, I can travel without worrying that the steps will interfere with other vehicles. The steps are still a little crooked, but at least, travel is possible.
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Old 07-19-2019, 11:21 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moxxi View Post
Looking underneath, I can see one end of a brown wire connector. I have no idea as to where the other end is.

Also, which bolt should I undo to make the stairs go back in? It looks like the longer one would be easier to remove.

There is a bolt loosely hanging. I do not know what this bolt goes to, and I can see several other bolt holes with no bolts in them. Any ideas about this?
The long bolt in the top picture appears to be the battery hold down bolt. And as you say, it looks like the other two are missing as well.

I could be wrong but that was my first guess.
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Old 07-20-2019, 01:27 AM   #12
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I did the same thing to my steps. I unbolted the whole assembly and put them in a compartment for that trip. We had to use a stepstool from Amazon. Sorry that happened to you as well!

I took the steps completely apart on the bench, (after I got home), straightened each piece, painted flat black and re-assembled. They work as good as new now. They are pretty tough.

Good luck.
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Old 07-20-2019, 11:30 AM   #13
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I had to replace my steps a couple of months ago. It is not a complicated job. The whole assembly is held on with four nuts. I bought a small hydraulic floor jack from Harbor Freight, about $79.00 I think, to hold up the steps while I removed the nuts holding the assembly on. There is one connector to disconnect and a ground wire to remove. The floor jack made the job much easier than trying to wrestle with the heavy steps alone. Installing the new steps is just as easy. The most difficult part was lining up the mounting holes of the new steps with the studs on the mounting plate.
The new steps included a new magnetic switch which you may or may not have to use. I needed to use it because when I opened the door the steps would retract and then extend when I closed the door. That also messed up the AUTO/OUT switch. In the AUTO position the steps would stay out. Rather than replacing that switch I just relabled the positions.
Good luck!
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Old 07-20-2019, 11:41 AM   #14
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Wow, I just looked up the price of the Kwikee three step and they want over $900 for it. My two step was $470 and I thought that was high. That third step must be gold plated.
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