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Old 08-31-2014, 04:50 PM   #1
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KiWi powered step on MH

My 2005 MH has the Kiwi double powered step. Has always worked fine. We took off for a labor outing last Thursday and the steps worked fine en route for the 2 stops we made. On arriving at the RV park I opened the door and it looked like the steps were not fully deployed and when I stepped on the first step I could tell that something was wrong because the steps appeared to not be attached to the mechanism that opens and closes them. I parked the coach in my space and crawled under the front and found that the control box with the motor and gears was just hanging there by the wiring. After looking around I found that all 4 bolts that holds the control box to the underside of the step attached to the coach had sheared off at the bolt head. I found 2 of the sheared bolt heads but not the other 2. There is a separate plate that attaches to the underside of the steps on the coach that the control box is attached to. This was still attached with carriage bolts. The arm linkage that attaches to then step was intact. I removed the control box and the plate and found that the top of the control box lifts off to expose the gears and the bolts that sheared attach to the lower side of the control box through a hole in the top cover. I was able to remove the bolts with a pair of channel locks. The bolts are 1/4" and 1 1/4" long. I was bale to find 4 replacement bolts and put everything back together and the steps work fine now.

What could have caused these bolts to shear off at the bolt head? Any thoughts? Thanks
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Old 08-31-2014, 05:01 PM   #2
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Rust and years of stress, comes to mind.

I use an adjustable step support when parked for long periods of time, set with about 1/8" clearance to allow for some settling of the levelers of the coach. Why they only mount with 1/4" bolts is a mystery , for the cost and extra safety margin 3/8" would provide.
I had to replace the cover plate , machine screws, 3, on my steps , found stainless alan head to do the job , corrosion was the issue there.
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Old 09-01-2014, 08:21 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skip426 View Post
Rust and years of stress, comes to mind.

I use an adjustable step support when parked for long periods of time, set with about 1/8" clearance to allow for some settling of the levelers of the coach. Why they only mount with 1/4" bolts is a mystery , for the cost and extra safety margin 3/8" would provide.
I had to replace the cover plate , machine screws, 3, on my steps , found stainless alan head to do the job , corrosion was the issue there.
The 4 bolts that actually hold the entire control unit and the base plate to the underside of the step on the coach were fine. It was only the 4 bolts that attaches the unit to to the base plat that sheared. It s hard to believe that the unit itself gets that much stress over time. But I guess it did.
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Old 09-01-2014, 11:54 AM   #4
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Ok, I miss-understood your post. Those 4 take a side load, every time the step mechanism extends and retracts, if they happen to work loose, wouldn't take many cycles of the step to finish them off.
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Old 09-01-2014, 01:02 PM   #5
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Ok, I miss-understood your post. Those 4 take a side load, every time the step mechanism extends and retracts, if they happen to work loose, wouldn't take many cycles of the step to finish them off.
I think you are right. I had been hearing clicking sounds as the step closed for a while at times and the bolts may have been loose for some time. There is no way to check them unless you remove the 4 carriage bolts that holds the plate the unit is attached to since the bolts that sheared go down through the top of the plate in to the unit. Seems like something doomed to fail over time.
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