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Old 11-18-2011, 11:50 AM   #15
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It looks like I'll be ordering a motor from AM Equipment. After taking the entire gear assembly down so that I could drill out the broken bolts and re-tap the threads in the gearbox that the motor mounts too, our steps are still not fully retracting without a nudge. Just the slightest push while they are retracting, and they will fold up fully - without it they are locked, but about 2" down from closed.

At this point, I am leaning towards a motor that has lost some of its strength and am hoping that a new motor will have more "heft" to fully retract the stairs. There is a local RV dealer that has some AM Equipment motors in stock - but for twice the price that they are listed online ... guess there is something to be said for having a part in stock so that I can work on it today if I want - versus waiting a week to save $40.

I know this is nothing new, but $40 here, $50 there, $30 there ... it all adds up. The more time we spend in our RV, the more we realize the overcharging of parts and "stuff" in general just because it's in an RV Store or Catalog. Last week I added a 50amp outdoor box to so that we can plug in the RV. I spent less than $100 on all parts (and a few small tools) buying everything at Home Depot. The same outdoor power box at Camping World (yes I know they are usually overpriced) and other online "RV" stores was anywhere from $45 to $72 - I bought the same EXACT box at HD for $27.

Frustrating when you want to work on, or complete a project "today" - although it is nice, in this instance, to be able to source a part locally if I really needed it today.
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Old 11-19-2011, 07:24 AM   #16
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I rarely mind paying more to the RV dealer as ours (Barrington RV in Bartlett,Il) has taken care of us more times than not! What I don't like is going to the parts counter and getting a inflated price because we are not local!

We these hard economic times for RV dealers I am all for supporting the overall good guys! Nobody is perfect!
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Old 11-19-2011, 10:44 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by sparks1032 View Post
I rarely mind paying more to the RV dealer as ours (Barrington RV in Bartlett,Il) has taken care of us more times than not! What I don't like is going to the parts counter and getting a inflated price because we are not local!

We these hard economic times for RV dealers I am all for supporting the overall good guys! Nobody is perfect!
If you can prove that they are stiffing you as a non-local, report them the FTC. Also contact your state atty general, BBB and you most aggressive TV station.
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Old 11-19-2011, 10:55 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparks1032 View Post
I rarely mind paying more to the RV dealer as ours (Barrington RV in Bartlett,Il) has taken care of us more times than not! What I don't like is going to the parts counter and getting a inflated price because we are not local!

We these hard economic times for RV dealers I am all for supporting the overall good guys! Nobody is perfect!
I agree with you on supporting the RV Industry and even more so, local businesses, but I also feel that pricing should be fair. In my two most recent projects, pricing from an "RV shop" just wasn't fair. I don't mind that a business makes a profit - heck they have to to stay in business, but is the markup of parts at a percentage of more than 60% fair to the consumer?

Using my 2 most recent projects as an example ...

#AM Equipment Motor
Price from AM: $39.75 + $11.20 shipping $50.95 total ($70.75 for overnight shipping)
Local RV Dealer: $89.95

Let's assume the motor costs the local dealer $35. At a retail price of $89.95 that's a markup of 61% or looking at it from the sale end, we're paying cost + 257%

#Outdoor 50AMP Outlet
Home Depot: $27
Camping World Sale: $54
Camping World Regular: $72

If we assume a cost of $20 for this part:

Home Depot: 25% markup, or cost + 135%
Camping World Sale: 63% markup or cost + 270%
Camping World Regular: 72% markup or cost + 360%

I don't know ... to me that seems like an awful high markup, and if you apply similar markups throughout the entire parts and retail store areas, that's quite a profit center. Yes I will agree that the markups might not be the same throughout an entire store AND yes the RV stores are stocking these items for our convenience, may have them on the shelves for years and may also be paying inventory and other taxes on the items on their shelves, plus overhead, but that still seems like high markups - especially for such a captive audience.

I spent many years in retail selling both to wholesale and retail audiences, and more than 12 years with one particular operation and if we priced out items out like that, that business never would have survived its 20+ years. Some things that drove competitive pricing in that industry were a larger customer base as well as more competition - at the end of the day, probably keeping more of us "honest" and sharp in our pricing. Maybe that is part of the problem here, not enough local competition to keep everyone "honest"

Ok I think that's enough of an unintentional thread hijack for me ... I'm open to keeping this discussion alive in its own thread.
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Old 11-19-2011, 11:07 AM   #19
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#AM Equipment Motor
Price from AM: $39.75 + $11.20 shipping $50.95 total ($70.75 for overnight shipping)
Local RV Dealer: $89.95

Let's assume the motor costs the local dealer $35. At a retail price of $89.95 that's a markup of 61% or looking at it from the sale end, we're paying cost + 257%
Just to answer myself, if this motor was priced at more of a reasonable markup, say 40% (retail price of $58.33), then I would have bought it already - keeping my business and dollars local instead of mail order - and might have fully functioning stairs right now.
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Old 11-20-2011, 07:40 AM   #20
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I will be glad our local RV guy is priced better.

AND what ideas can be suggested to keep the stairs functioning as we use ours all winter long.
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Old 11-20-2011, 09:50 AM   #21
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Before you buy a new motor check the wiring, on mine the ground wire goes to the frame close to the step, it was not making a good connection. The power wire was connected with a twist connector. Cut wires to get clean copper and new twist connector. Good luck with your problem.
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Old 11-20-2011, 01:14 PM   #22
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Kwikee make a lube for the steps. It sprays on as a liquid and dries to a wax.

It's called KwikLube. Here is some info on it HERE

It's not cheap ($12 or more as I recall) but I have been using the same can for 8 years and still have some left.
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Old 11-20-2011, 04:33 PM   #23
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My problem was water intrusion in to wiring connections. Sometimes the steps came out and sometimes they would retract. Not on any predicable scale though. Replaced all the existing connections with quality weather tight heat shrink connectors, all good now.
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Old 11-27-2011, 11:32 AM   #24
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This was probably the #1 repair we had at our lot. If your battery is fully charged, You probably have a lube problem. The lubricant gets old and thick and causes a drag on the pivot points. We always sprayed all the pivot points with WD40. Work the steps several times and spray a second time. You are using the WD40 as a cleaner more than a lubricant. After a few days you can use a light spray grease on the steps. Make sure you lie on the ground and spray all the linkage and the main hinge points under the steps.
Charged battery solved the issue That and some lube. (not WD40, rather silicon lube).
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