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Old 07-24-2016, 10:49 PM   #1
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Kwikee Step Repair

Had left the Kwikee step on our motorhome extended after returning from a recent outing. Went to move the coach and the step remained extended with the ignition switch on. It should have retracted with the Ignition Override.

Found a 74 page Kwikee Service Training Guide in .pdf format covering all step series which was very helpful and have provided the link here.


Also found a very helpful video covering testing of all the Kwikee step controller operations.


Ordered the four way pigtail on the internet for $12 and free shipping needed to perform these tests. Extended the pigtail wiring to make it easier to reach a test battery. (see picture of this wiring harness and separate ground wire)

Bought a two prong plug from NAPA auto parts matching the step motor plug and made a pigtail to isolate the motor from the controller and test it separately with a battery. (See picture of pigtail below.)

With the test pigtails and wiring harnesses in hand began the diagnoses of the problem.

Removed the step linkage from the motor and examined the step movement. All pivot points were secure and the step moved freely. Unplugged the motor from the controller, and plugged in the two prong wire harness to the motor. Touched the ends to the battery and the motor refused to move. Reversed polarity with same result. Removed the motor from the underside of the step and "bench" tested it on the ground free from any restrictions. The motor ran fine in both directions.

Reinstalled the motor, hooked up the step linkage, and using the pigtail to the battery tested the motor again. Happy Dance. The steps worked. Plugged the motor back into the controller and operated the steps with the door. Tested the "auto extend" feature and the ignition override. Everything worked as it should.

Do not know why the motor was "stuck" possibly the drive gear was jammed against a tooth in the sprocket plate it drives. Learned alot more than I needed to fix the problem and now have a test harness if I ever need to test the controller and all its functions. Passing this experience and links along for anyone who might be confronted with a Kwikee step problem that these resources address.
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Jerry & Barb ~ Furbies: Gunner, Dylan, Daisy, Brandee
2003 Monaco Camelot 38PST, Cummins 350 ISC, Roadmaster RR8S chassis, 2004 Honda CR-V Toad, FMCA, Olympia, WA K7DKO

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Old 07-25-2016, 03:05 AM   #2
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Good work and logical troubleshooting!! But "dead spots" on the DC motor's armature/brushes will probably bite you again in the future. No problem. Just have a 18" screwdriver or piece of similar-length rebar handy, along with a hammer. When the steps do this again, just give the motor a solid tap. Tapping the motor housing when the motor should be running yields the best results.

Robi, Dale, and "The Duchess" (lap kitty)
2004 Monaco Diplomat 40' PST
Tow: '08 Buick Lucerne
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Old 07-25-2016, 11:03 AM   #3
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Thinking it might not be a bad idea to pick up a spare step motor and have it on hand when this one dies, or just replace it in the near future. Though it ran in both directions when battery tested it did not run real smooth. The drive gear also showed significant wear. Was looking for a video that might show how to disassemble the motor and repair or rebuild it. Thought I had seen one at one time, but couldn't find it. Didn't want to dive into the unknown and be left without a working motor so put it back in as is for now. Any information on taking the motor apart for maintenance or repair would be helpful to post here on this thread for me and others going down this road!
Jerry & Barb ~ Furbies: Gunner, Dylan, Daisy, Brandee
2003 Monaco Camelot 38PST, Cummins 350 ISC, Roadmaster RR8S chassis, 2004 Honda CR-V Toad, FMCA, Olympia, WA K7DKO

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Old 07-29-2016, 02:09 PM   #4
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Thank you for that link to the troubleshooting video. My friends steps did not retract and he ripped them off pulling our of his gate. He has ordered new steps but wanted to know how to troubleshoot to find the original problem.
Steve & Sherrie
2003 National Seabreeze LX
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Old 07-29-2016, 02:26 PM   #5
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The motor on my Coach Step brand steps recently failed. Actually the gear drive is what failed. I found through trial and error and some various threads on irv2 that a power window motor from a Ford Crown Vic works. The only modification as I recall was to drill out the mounting holes a bit larger other than reworking the electrical connection. Works great. I think I paid about $40 for it at AutoZone. Replacement motors I was finding elsewhere for the steps ran anywhere from about $75 to over $200.
2005 Newmar Kountry Star Gas 3742
Workhorse W24, 8.1L/Allison 5-spd
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Old 07-29-2016, 04:00 PM   #6
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These steps have had more written about them than any other single failed invention in the industry. If someone other than a parts cobbler would invent a quality package it would sell the world over.

I have fixed my steps, which once had the actuator arm broken when my granddaughter jump out of the rv with the step partially extended. That was my first hint of a poorly thought out, back yard invention applied to an industry that is to lazy to make it right the first time. The second was when the logic circuit failed and we had to manually tie our steps up to travel home.

I fixed the last problem with a set of switches, relays and a simple timer relay. Now my steps have a new name called Manual. If you want them out push the switch, if you want them in - push the switch the other way. If you start the engine, they come in every time.
La Dagobago
99 36 FL Winne Chieftain 5.9 ISB Turbo Cummins DP, 24' box with 1972 V12 XKE Jag and HD Sporty Hobby of 1970's Suzuki dirt bike restoration. Visit my blog.
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Old 07-29-2016, 04:58 PM   #7
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Here is the link to my problem with the steps. Maybe it will be helpful.

Kwikee step problem

1997 Tiffin Allegro Bus 37', Cat 3126
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Old 07-30-2016, 07:49 AM   #8
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Temp. Solution

Our steps failed at home and I finally diagnosed that the drive gear was stripped. Then I remembered stepping on the step before it was fully extended once (or twice). Anyway, new motor and gear fixed it. But got to thinking, what if that had happened on the road. So I now carry a rod that will slide into holes I drilled in the sides of the step. If steps fail, disconnect the actuator arm and manually pull out steps and lock them up or down with the rod. This way I can still use the steps when parked (pinned down) & pin them up for travel.
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Old 07-30-2016, 08:49 AM   #9
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There is a weak design in the gear box that allows the gear axial movement that results in the cushions being ground up.

We modified one that was repeat offender by tapping a hole in the end and adding washer and screw so it could not shift.

Everyone should at their home base learn and practice the "emergency operation" of their steps.

Depending on vintage the steps may already have holes predrilled for this function on the lift arms and steps.

The pin that connects the link from gearbox to step has a clevis or cotter pin to secure it.

You remove the pin to allow the steps to move freely then use same pin in the holes to lock steps up or down.

We have a hinge pin from very old door that is stored in a drilled hole next to the door.

When in use at a site we insert the pin to lock the steps out.

On a past outing the dw hit the step switch while door closed looking for light switch and resulted in steps retracting.

Since no light she flipped it back then stepped out with morning coffee before light and did a face plant...did not spill coffee but did require 2 operations to fix...
Tony & Lori
1989 Country Coach Savannah SE
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Old 07-31-2016, 08:49 AM   #10
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Entry steps

Just went thru the bad entry step issue. I changed the electric junction box and was very disappointed to see how poorly it was sealed.......it was doomed to fail at some point from corrosion. I have two tips to pass on that people were generous enough to share with me:

1- Check all the grounds.....simple, but they get badly corroded and may be the culprit.
2- Be careful ! I built a 12V test harness also and i was lying under the coach very close to step when my friend applied power from pickup battery , those steps move fast and can bite HARD so make sure you keep your hands and arms at a safe distance.
Happy trails

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