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Old 05-04-2019, 08:36 AM   #1
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Need Advice - Stairwell cover won't raise - The Hits just keep coming

Our trip to Custer, South Dakota for a work camping gig just keeps producing problems.

It was really nasty here last week. We had 11" of snow and temp's down to 18* some nights. In order to deal with the cold in the coach, I have been raising my step cover and covering the entire step well with a rug to help mitigate some of the cold coming from the metal enclosure that houses the step cover motor.

Thursday we didn't need to use the step cover as the night temps were a little better. Last night I was going to raise the cover again and it won't move. Based on a past issue I think the switch under the step is corroded. Problem is that I can't get to it with the step down and it won't go up.

How the heck do I access this area now? I was advised that some of the stair wells have an access port under them. Mine doesn't I looked.

What are my options here?
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Old 05-04-2019, 06:23 PM   #2
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I was able to get my hands under the edge of the bottom step and undo the bolt that holds the actuator to the step mechanism. It was a tight fit and resulted in scarps on hand/wrist and arm but I got it. Here is what I found. The screws holding the end cap on the actuator had striped and pulled out so I used what I had on hand to do a makeshift fix. Four years later and it still is holding together.
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Old 05-04-2019, 06:31 PM   #3
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Probably a bunch of changes in the 6 years between the builds of our coaches; but ; I've had two issues with my step cover .

1 . Contacts in the dash switch were corroded .
2. Limit switch wiring in the step linear actuator.

With the step cover down and the entry door open , I was able to access the bolt holding the actuator to the underside of the folding step cover and remove the bolt and raise the cover manually.

When I did get the actuator out , testing showed no continuity in the wiring on the actuator , until the wires were moved showing that a wire leading into the housing for the limit had broken .
Note : at $ 358 for an exact replacement of the 5.8" stroke actuator , or even $78 online for a 6 " unit , I decided that bypassing the broken wire and the limit switch was the best for me . I test cycled the steps multiple times , no issues .

Orange arrow was the wire break area.
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Old 05-06-2019, 08:29 AM   #4
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Thanks for the advice Skip426 and Jarweibe. I am work camping in Custer, SD and finally have a few days off to tackle this if the rain stays away.

Jarweibe, that is an ingenious fix with the hose bands. Skip, I suspect that I have a broken wire or maybe the limit switch crapped out. I guess when I dig in I will find out. I will post some photos of what I find. Thank you both.
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Old 05-06-2019, 09:32 AM   #5
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BTW, those look like Firgelli actuators.
https://www.firgelliauto.com/product...8aAuZvEALw_wcB
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Old 05-15-2019, 11:38 AM   #6
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I need more advice on how to get to this dang thing. I have big hands and cannot get them under the step. I can raise the step about an i 1/2" and that's it.

1. Where is the bolt that needs disconnecting? On the back side of the bottome step or?

2. What other alternative do I have for gaining access? Will I break something if I force the step up further?

3. I checked the contacts on the dash switch, no corrosion there. But also no detectable power. There should be 12 volts there somewhere shouldn't there? If so, is there a fuse? If there is a fuse, where is it? I checked the 12 volt panel in our bathroom and no fuse's for the step cover, I checked under the front hood and no fuses for there either.

Stumped
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Old 05-15-2019, 12:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie and Martha View Post
I need more advice on how to get to this dang thing. I have big hands and cannot get them under the step. I can raise the step about an i 1/2" and that's it.

1. Where is the bolt that needs disconnecting? On the back side of the bottome step or?

2. What other alternative do I have for gaining access? Will I break something if I force the step up further?

3. I checked the contacts on the dash switch, no corrosion there. But also no detectable power. There should be 12 volts there somewhere shouldn't there? If so, is there a fuse? If there is a fuse, where is it? I checked the 12 volt panel in our bathroom and no fuse's for the step cover, I checked under the front hood and no fuses for there either.

Stumped

On mine, It's fuse F24 in the power cabinet under the driver seat. Last fuse on left of back wall fuse panel .... labeled "Step Cover" 7.5 amp.
We have different vehicles but I also have a bunch of fuses on the back wall of the 50 amp powercord cabinet. In mine, it's the cabinet next to sewage. There may be a "false wall" held by Velcro over the back wall. It's also the location of my BIRD and disconnect solenoids. Worth a look.
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Old 05-15-2019, 11:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bruceisla View Post
On mine, It's fuse F24 in the power cabinet under the driver seat. Last fuse on left of back wall fuse panel .... labeled "Step Cover" 7.5 amp.
We have different vehicles but I also have a bunch of fuses on the back wall of the 50 amp powercord cabinet. In mine, it's the cabinet next to sewage. There may be a "false wall" held by Velcro over the back wall. It's also the location of my BIRD and disconnect solenoids. Worth a look.
F24 on my coach as well. It is not blown. After my shift tomorrow I will check the fuses around the BIRD on my coach.

I am thinking that I may drill a hole in the stairwell pan tomorrow and use a jigsaw to cut out a hole large enough to access "the bolt" and then repair the hole with sheet metal and sealant. I will wait until I can look in the power panel by the BIRD first.

I have a related/unrelated problem as well. My 5 watt solar chassis battery charger is also off line. I was lit up prior to the steps problem. Same circuit?
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Old 05-16-2019, 03:41 AM   #9
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F24 on my coach as well. It is not blown. After my shift tomorrow I will check the fuses around the BIRD on my coach.

I am thinking that I may drill a hole in the stairwell pan tomorrow and use a jigsaw to cut out a hole large enough to access "the bolt" and then repair the hole with sheet metal and sealant. I will wait until I can look in the power panel by the BIRD first.

I have a related/unrelated problem as well. My 5 watt solar chassis battery charger is also off line. I was lit up prior to the steps problem. Same circuit?



Hmmm .... maybe .... my charger controller is a small device on the back side of the lower dash panel. A few years ago I had a wire pull out of its connector on the back (bad crimp). If you need a picture of the inside of the step well box let me know.
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Old 05-16-2019, 08:31 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bruceisla View Post
Hmmm .... maybe .... my charger controller is a small device on the back side of the lower dash panel. A few years ago I had a wire pull out of its connector on the back (bad crimp). If you need a picture of the inside of the step well box let me know.
Bruce, a photo would really be helpful. I appreciate the offer. Thanks
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Old 05-16-2019, 03:42 PM   #11
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Bruce, a photo would really be helpful. I appreciate the offer. Thanks
Here ya go ... my hand is large (XL gloves).


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Old 05-17-2019, 08:04 AM   #12
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Here ya go ... my hand is large (XL gloves).


Bruce,

Thanks for those, very helpful. I had to work yesterday and again today. We are getting rain anyway so I will pick up further diagnostics on Sunday. It looks like if I can get the riser on the bottom step up far enough removing that bolt is the way to go. I will let you know what I find.

Again, thanks for the photos!
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