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Old 09-15-2016, 09:23 PM   #1
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Automatic Steps

I bought my MH new in November 2007. I've used it on several long trips of a couple months duration and lots of week end trips around the state. No fulltiming. In that time I have had to replace the motor on the automatic steps 5 times. Is this normal? Its a Stromberg Carlson two step unit and it uses a common motor. I keep is well lubricated but they always fail the same way. The plastic gears inside the unit strip a gear tooth. I had a professional install my third unit and it did not last any longer than the ones I replaced. Is there something else I should be doing or fixing other than keep a spare part in my Baystar?
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Old 09-15-2016, 10:18 PM   #2
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Something to think abount.

I will try this again.
If you still have one of your old motors take it to a machine shop and see if they can out fit it with a steel gear.
Then that should last you.
Just a thought.
You might want to check with the Manufacture first.
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Old 09-15-2016, 10:27 PM   #3
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Somewhere the mechanism is binding. Did you try moving the steps with the motor arm disconnected to make sure everything is free?
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Old 09-16-2016, 03:23 PM   #4
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The steps swing freely when the motor is removed. When I installed the new motors I was careful to brace the step in the fully retracted (up) position. When the steps activate I get a click when they fully extend but I don't see how anything is holding them out except the motor itself. I am careful not to step on the steps until they are fully extended so that can't be it. I have an email into the Stromberg Carlson but so far no suggestions. I've heard others have had to replace their motors but is this many common. Replacing the entire step assembly with a new on is a $1,000 proposition I could still have the same problem with the new one.
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Old 09-16-2016, 04:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D in Davie View Post
The steps swing freely when the motor is removed. When I installed the new motors I was careful to brace the step in the fully retracted (up) position. When the steps activate I get a click when they fully extend but I don't see how anything is holding them out except the motor itself. I am careful not to step on the steps until they are fully extended so that can't be it. I have an email into the Stromberg Carlson but so far no suggestions. I've heard others have had to replace their motors but is this many common. Replacing the entire step assembly with a new on is a $1,000 proposition I could still have the same problem with the new one.

Sounds like you have done your homework. One more suggestion, have you called Newmar? Since they supplied the steps, and likely more than a few, surely if this were a problem they might have a solution for you. I'm a big beliver in talking to the horses mouth.
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Old 09-16-2016, 04:39 PM   #6
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Don't know the detail about your particular brand of step, but in general the motor is something like a Ford window motor and it continues to run until the steps hit the end of travel of the step. When the steps jam at the end of travel, the motor stops turning and the current spikes. This current spike is what the electronics on the circuit board uses to trigger the shut-off switch to the motor. I suspect your circuit board is not shutting the motor off as soon as it should.
I have a narrow shed and don't want my steps all the way out when parked in the shed. To stop the steps short, I just put my leg in front of the steps to stop them wherever I want. They don't push hard on my leg at all. You should try that and if yours pushes hard on your leg, then your circuit board may be the problem in that it isn't shutting the power off as quickly as it should.
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Old 09-16-2016, 04:56 PM   #7
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Where is the plastic gear? I just replaced mine and didn't see a plastic gear.
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Old 09-17-2016, 05:20 AM   #8
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I've never seen a plastic gear.
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Old 09-17-2016, 09:17 AM   #9
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I found that if you step on the steps before fully extended the plastic gears snap in a heart beat. found new ones at O-Riley Auto. The plastic parts do not look like gears - they are round. Check grounds to -
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Old 09-17-2016, 09:36 AM   #10
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I suspect you have a bad control box as well. That many motors indicates it has to be something else.

It would be easy to put a light across the motor wires to see if they stay powered. The motor probably would be very hot to the touch as well.

The controller was available on Amazon.
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