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Old 07-11-2016, 07:30 PM   #1
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Simple safety mod

I've read a few stories here about people driving down the road with their stairs out or doors not shut or whatever. While a good checklist would probably take care of that, you do have to remember to run the checklist. And then there's the possibility of someone opening something at a rest stop or whatever. How about putting contact switches on the most important doors and the stairs wired to a LED on the dash or on the front of your trailer in case something is left open or comes open while driving? I'd still run the checklist of course.
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Old 07-11-2016, 08:35 PM   #2
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In our Class A, I listen for the step retraction sound when I start the engine. It wouldn't stick out far enough if it didn't retract to hit anything anyway, I don't drive down alleys. You're welcome to wire switches and LEDs into anything you'd like, but you will have to remember to look at them.
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Old 07-11-2016, 08:43 PM   #3
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I can see this as an issue with TT's or 5-r's, but I thought motorhome steps retract when the engine is started. Mine do. Am I assuming incorrectly?

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Old 07-11-2016, 08:56 PM   #4
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No Lori, you are correct. The ignition retracts the steps. There is a switch near the entrance that switches the steps to be controlled by closing the door when storing the RV, otherwise the steps stay out until the ignition is switched on.
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Old 07-12-2016, 02:20 AM   #5
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Ah but steps fail, doors do not always secure. I have had a cabinet come open twice now. I am extra careful about locking the.

Oh, and welcome to the forum.

I have a checklist on my Rand Mcnally GPS and use it every time we depart. Simple things like leaving one of the overhead cabinets open is a pain once enroute.

I paralleled the television antenna alarm with my Travler satellite dish so I don't forget to crank them down.

I use the same check list for hooking up the toad. Even simple things like emptying the dog water is on the list.
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Old 07-12-2016, 06:01 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by NLOVNIT View Post
I can see this as an issue with TT's or 5-r's, but I thought motorhome steps retract when the engine is started. Mine do. Am I assuming incorrectly?

Lori-
Sorry, but this is not true, many older MHs have manual steps - you have to physically retract the steps.
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Old 07-12-2016, 06:11 AM   #7
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I have an older Coachman Mirada, The steps are not automatic.

I looked under there a couple times and it looks like a simple job to do what the OP suggested and install a switch to detect if the steps are retracted. (Sounds like I have a new weekend project)
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Old 07-12-2016, 02:12 PM   #8
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Thanks for the clarification, grumpy g.

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Old 07-12-2016, 02:47 PM   #9
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The steps do automatically retract, but we were crossing Idaho a few years ago and saw a motorhome pass us that the steps were continuously extending and retracting while driving. A couple of times he almost hit a guard rail with the extended steps. I would have given anything to have been able to hail him and let him know, but we couldn't and exited the interstate before we could catch up to him. I hope everything worked out for him, but a warning light of some type would have given him some notice.
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Old 07-12-2016, 04:58 PM   #10
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My Safari has a light on the dash and an audible alarm for the steps. If it's raining hard enough the sensors get wet and that sets the alarm off.
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Old 07-13-2016, 10:09 PM   #11
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" The Walk Around" is still the best thing any RVer can do before driving off or even after stopping to stretch your legs...do it every time ! You'll eventually be glad you did.
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Old 07-13-2016, 10:56 PM   #12
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I agree the walk around has benefits. We require all of our employees to perform a "360" walk around each time they move a vehicle, even if just moving it one space over in the lot.

The purpose is to check tire, light covers, look for damage from being hit in the lot, nearby obstructions, people, animals, etc...

I've read to local stories of children being run over while vehicle was backing out. Best reason for the 360. Not to mention the arrangement of vehicles parked next to you may have changed since you pulled.

I think the benefit to the OP suggestion is alert us to bay doors and steps that may have opened while in travel.
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Old 07-14-2016, 09:47 AM   #13
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Anything can break, or be forgotten. Do you put a warning light on the dash for every conceivable thing? If you are the type that forgets, or can't be bothered with a walk-around or checklist, maybe a warning light is a Good Thing. While you are at it, add one for the antenna too. And the shore power cord, and maybe each bay door and the awning.
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