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Old 07-05-2013, 07:24 PM   #1
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Jim_HiTek's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Full time RV'er
Posts: 1,760
Kiwkee steps.

Very satisfied with my Kwikee 2 step into my RV. When I bought the RV it was already 10 years old and all I did to the step system was to tape up the connector, lube the moving parts, and zip tie the electrical wire bundle to prevent road hazards from catching the wires.

That PV helped I think so now I have a 20 year old step with very little trouble...until a couple weeks and a couple hundred miles ago. While stepping up on the step, I hear a 'snap'. Couldn't localize it so didn't think much about it until a few days later when I tried to step up into the RV and the steps were swinging instead of nice and solid. It was dark so I left it for the morning.

Next day, crawled under there and, well I'll be, all four bolts that hold the motorized gear assembly were broken off. So the entire motor gear assembly was just hanging by the arm. Pulled the power connector and used four zip ties to hold the steps up. Since there were to be several travel days, waited 'till I could get to a place where I could work on it.

After removing the plate, and the motor/gear box assembly, I found another broken bolt in the gear box itself. So five bolts had broken. Several looked like stress breaks. Fearing the worst, pulled it all apart and was surprised that nothing inside was damaged. Gears were OK, motor measured OK, case wasn't cracked. In short, nothing wrong with the motor-gear box.

Took 3 hours drilling and using easy-outs to get all the broken bolts out. Lubed the inside, all the step pivot joints, put it all back together, mounted it all back up to the step and it works perfectly once again. Couldn't find anything that might have contributed to the bolts breaking...maybe just old age.

My point with all this is: For preventative maintenance, climb under there once in a while and check the bolts. For tightness and breakage. Once one goes, the rest aren't far behind.

I got lucky in that the step finally broke and swung free while I was parked. I imagine it could have been much worse if it had swung free while driving.

Oh, and for safety, I should mention that whenever you're under there, just pull the motor connector out so it can't operate.

Just checked and a new set of Kwikee 2-step assemblies are over $400! The gear box plus linkage is only $80 or so though.

'02 Winnebago Journey DL, DSDP, 36' of fun.

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Old 07-06-2013, 06:47 PM   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: North America somewhere
Posts: 13,897
Thanks for the explanation. I remember reading a post quite similar. That person discovered a window motor out of an old car was an exact replacement, don't remember what car though.
The Kwikee owners manual states that is what might happen if the steps are neglected.

2000 Winnebago Ultimate Freedom USQ40JD, ISC 8.3 Cummins 350, Spartan MM Chassis. USA 1SG, retired;PPA,Good Sam Life member,FMCA."We the people are the rightful masters of both the Congress and the Courts - not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow men who pervert the Constitution. "Abraham Lincoln"
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Old 07-06-2013, 10:45 PM   #3
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Hmmm! Bolts broken, eh?d

My DW would be telling me to loose weight.

Thanks for the write up.
Wayne MSGT USMC (Ret) & Earlene (CinCHouse)
2015 Winnebago Tour 42QD
It is what it is, and then it is what you make of it.
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