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Old 04-22-2014, 05:38 PM   #1
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Let's Play 12 volt trivial pursuit (Lippert Steps Edition)

I've taken this as far as I can with the limited skills I have. I need someone who enjoys a challenge to assist me further, or perhaps make me look like a complete fool for overlooking the obvious. There has to be at least one of you who enjoys this kind of thing.

Symptoms:

1. The steps operate perfectly when the ignition is "on". When the ignition is "off", the steps stay out regardless of whether the door is open or not, and regardless of the step switch being "on" or "off".

2. We didn't get here overnight. For the past 2-3 years, the steps have been acting erratically when the step switch is "on". I could park the coach, turn off the engine, exit the coach, close the door, and the steps would remain deployed. At some point later, sometimes during the overnight, the steps would retract. I could be headed down the road and the steps would extend. This is all with the step switch "on". Doesn't happen with it off. These symptoms got progressively worse, and today, it's as if the step switch is dead.

My first thoughts were bad ground. I cleaned all grounds I could find with no result.

I went to the owner's manual located here: http://www.lippertcomponents.com/ima...-coachstep.pdf. Reading through the troubleshooting section, I was certain I would be able to figure this out. But alas, it's a communist plot to frustrate good Americans.

I began to troubleshoot as it says in step 1. What I found is that I have 13+ volts on the red wire regardless of the step switch's position. The manual says to replace the switch. I did. Same thing. In fact, when I remove the switch entirely, it still has 13+ volts on the red wire.

As I said, the steps work perfectly when the ignition is on. I'd really like to have them back to full function with the use of the step switch.

Appreciate all replies.

Thanks,
Ed
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Old 04-22-2014, 06:41 PM   #2
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Ed ~ Quick question if you could clarify. At the end of the post you note that the steps work perfectly with the ignition switch on. In paragraph #2 you noted that the step deployed while driving down the road.

BTW, that is one of the most poorly written manuals I have ever seen

Chris
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Old 04-22-2014, 06:51 PM   #3
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Sounds like the magnetic switch in the doorframe....
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Old 04-22-2014, 07:03 PM   #4
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Ed ~ I would try to split the system in half. Just like you started I would begin at the plug but here is the way I read your wiring diagram based partially on the procedures the manual talks about.

Make sure you are using a good ground for your black lead on your meter. You should be measuring the end of the cable coming from the coach not the step unit.

- Yellow should only be hot with ignition on
- Red should be hot all the time
- Brown should go to zero with door closed, there could be some stray voltage on that wire when the door is open. most likely not
- White should change from somewhere around 0 to 12V with toggle of the power switch.

If those are correct and stable, I would put the issue with the steps. There is not much to that except the the physical wires and the control module.

What does the light do when you operate the steps and the power switch?
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Old 04-22-2014, 07:50 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atamians View Post
Ed ~ Quick question if you could clarify. At the end of the post you note that the steps work perfectly with the ignition switch on. In paragraph #2 you noted that the step deployed while driving down the road.

BTW, that is one of the most poorly written manuals I have ever seen

Chris

Chris,

Thanks for your replies. It's not easy to articulate or diagnose a problem on a forum like this, and I apologize for any confusion in my OP.

To clarify to your point, the steps would incorrectly deploy while enroute only if the step switch was in the "on" position.

The more I look at the illustration in the manual, the less I understand why the step switch position would have any effect on current flow to the red wire at the plug. Could the manual be wrong on such a basic item?
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Old 04-22-2014, 07:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krivanj View Post
Sounds like the magnetic switch in the doorframe....

I thought about that, but the magnetic switch seems to work okay when the override switch is off.
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Old 04-22-2014, 08:02 PM   #7
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Ed, that the same thing I saw. The red wire should be hot all the time. The white wire should change from 0v to 12 V with the switch.

Chris
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Old 04-22-2014, 08:45 PM   #8
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I'm thinking there's a new controller in my future.
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Old 04-22-2014, 09:24 PM   #9
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I also think the answer is the door switch.
You say the steps work perfect with ignition on.
Except when it extended while driving. (Shift in alignment of door switch, while in motion?)
Retracted on it's own during the night. (Shift possible by expansion/contraction?)
Nothing works now .. (Failure in alignment of door switch?)
It's a constant that power is on to the steps. Through ignition or step switch that were on every time it malfunctioned.
New switch won't work if door switch isn't operating correctly.
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Old 04-22-2014, 10:05 PM   #10
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You did clean the door switch ground? It will be found on the chassis frame some place near step..
There is a ground on the base plate of step that comes out of control, a short green wire.
See if you lift the brake pedal up if your steps react differently. Some step wiring may work through the brake switch.
The heavy green wire to chassis frame from control should not pose a problem.
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Old 04-23-2014, 08:36 AM   #11
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I tend to agree, I would go after the door switch before I bought a new control. Looks like it would be pretty simple to test the door switch by tapping into the brown wire. According to the manual: The steps are designed to extend when the door switch closes (magnet is removed) and the switch completes the ground.

Chris
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Old 04-23-2014, 11:44 AM   #12
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Try placing a magnet onto the door switch to see if the steps react properly under all expected conditions.

On our rig, we had to "remagnetize" about once every six months by passing a magnet over the switch to get the steps to go out with the door open and rocker switch on.
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Old 04-23-2014, 12:25 PM   #13
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Some really good input in here. Thanks guys.

With regard to the magnetic switch, I'm thinking it is not the problem for a couple of reasons: 1) It was replaced about three years ago by an RV shop who was trying to fix this very problem. It worked okay for about a week after I drove it home, then it reverted back to an error condition. 2) Logically, if the magnet were the problem, it would seem that the steps would not work right when the engine is running. As it is, I can turn the engine on and stand there and open and close the door repeatedly and the steps will run in and out as they are supposed to.

Am I missing something?
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Old 04-23-2014, 01:32 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by USMCRET View Post
The steps operate perfectly when the ignition is "on". When the ignition is "off", the steps stay out regardless of whether the door is open or not, and regardless of the step switch being "on" or "off".

As I said, the steps work perfectly when the ignition is on. I'd really like to have them back to full function with the use of the step switch.

Appreciate all replies.

Thanks,
Ed
Ed
My electric step operates through 2 different fuses and 2 different relays, with 12VDC provided by 2 different battery banks!

The "Ignition Override" fiction is powered by the chassis battery through a relay, and a fuse, (when the key is on).

If/when the key is OFF, all step operations are powered by the house batteries, through a 2nd relay and a 2nd fuse.

Although my step is a Kwikee, your Lippert may operate the same?

If it does, I would guess that your problem is caused by a bad house battery, step fuse, step relay, or something else normally powered by the house batteries.

Good luck.

Mel
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