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Old 02-04-2023, 03:29 PM   #1
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Step Cover, 2001 Journey, Pneumatic

My step cover air cylinder is leaking in the retracted position and I believe needs to be rebuilt or replaced. Can anyone tell me how to detach the fixed end of the cylinder? It is recessed 32" through a 2 1/4" slot! It looks like there is a service panel on the bottom of the enclosure, but I think I would have to remove the generator to access it.
I contacted Winnebago, but response was "Unfortunately, we do not have much information on how to access the cylinder".
Any help is appreciated.
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Old 02-04-2023, 05:14 PM   #2
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This was my solution. The 12V-controlled air solenoid (which is NLA) is mounted on the firewall with 3 small air lines attached and 2 exhaust ports. Towards the driver-side is a miniature air pressure regulator that feeds the air solenoid valve, it should be set at 45psi. to operate the cover cylinder per Winnebago customer service.

I removed the incoming air pressure line from the push-in fitting and added several drops of air tool oil in the line, reattached it, then moved the cover in/out several times to get some oil mist into the 12V controlled air solenoid and long air cylinder.

It worked! The cylinder began moving in/out smoothly and the small air leak eventually stopped. I guess the seals were dry in the cylinder.
Do not use motor oil, it contains additives that may destroy O-rings in the air valve and cylinder. The best part is, this costs nothing but drops of air tool oil.
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Old 02-04-2023, 05:33 PM   #3
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Thank you Ray,
I already disconnected the two lines at the solenoid and sprayed some WD40 in to both of them. Did the same for the outgoing line behind the manual stepwell cover air realse control switch. I think that is the one that goes to retract the air cylinder. I can feel the air coming out of the cylinder arouond the shaft, it's a pretty big leak. I have some air tool oil, I'll try a few drops.
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Old 02-04-2023, 06:14 PM   #4
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WD 40 contains additives that may cause problems. Personally I'd add enough drops air tool oil to dilute the WD40, which when dry forms a sticky film. Excess oil will blow out the exhaust ports on the air solenoid, and hopefully eventually soften the cylinder seal enough to stop leaking.


If air pressure is adjusted too high it might be causing the leak.

That 12V-controlled air solenoid is no longer made or available, however there are substitutes available. The Cover air cylinder is just a simple 2-way powered cylinder.I would think it is easy to replace by measuring the closed and open total lengths and length cylinder body.
If the genset slide is extended there is room to get under the bottom of the step cover and remove the metal panel.
Lock the genset slide open with vice-grips to prevent accidental injury.


This is the manual air release valve above the stepwell.
Here is an old thread on the subject.https://www.irv2.com/forums/f258/mh-...id-410697.html
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Old 02-05-2023, 01:16 PM   #5
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Thanks again Ray,
I tried the air tool oil, but no luck. Not even a slight improvement. I'm certain the cylinder needs to be re-built or replaced (it is 22 years old). Unfortunately I don't have a genset slide, so I'm considering cutting a hole through the top of the compartment, under the cupholder. It looks like there would be enough room to create a hole large enough to get one hand in to remove the pin that holds the air cylinder and I believe far less work than droping the genset. Hard to believe it was designed as it is.
-Chuck
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Old 02-06-2023, 11:47 AM   #6
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Took about 20 minutes to drill the 5" hole with a bi-metal hole saw. Location was perfect. Plenty of room to remove the cotter pin and detach the air line. I have ordered a 5" hole plug to install after I get the replacement/rebuilt air cylinder.
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Old 02-07-2023, 05:45 PM   #7
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Your method of access is genius.
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Old 02-09-2023, 06:39 PM   #8
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Great news today! The replacement Air Cylinder I ordered from McMaster-Carr arrived, and it is an exact match. $187 (includes tax and shipping). It is manufactured by Bimba. I installed the cylinder in minutes and now the step cover is in working order.
I purchased a 5 galvanized steel duct cover on Amazon, used some carpet tape to secure the blank I cut when I was drilling the 5 hole and it fit well. The cover will not be visible because it is under the cupholder. Done.
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Old 02-09-2023, 07:09 PM   #9
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Nice work. I love a story with a happy ending!
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Old 02-14-2023, 04:45 PM   #10
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Thank for the post I have the same system and so far it works great, but now i am prepared if it fails.
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Old 02-25-2023, 08:31 AM   #11
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Would you happen to have the McMaster Carr part number? I believe i may need it. TIA
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Old 02-25-2023, 05:03 PM   #12
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Hi Sparky,

Sorry for the late response.

McMaster-Carr 6498K475 $164.05
Round Body Air Cylinder, Double-Acting, Universal Mount, 1-1/4" Bore, 24" Stroke
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Old 02-26-2023, 08:12 AM   #13
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Step Cover, 2001 Journey

Thank you for the reply and no worries on the timing. I am in the process of purchasing a 2013 Itasca Meridian and the Step slide is having some issues. Haven't been able to check out what I need to fix it and trying to find fixes in advance. Going from a gasser to a DP, so the learning curve is a bit steep.
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