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Old 04-12-2017, 07:19 PM   #1
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Front entry step problems

We have a 2010 Dutch Star 4386 model. We have been having problems with our entry steps going in and out while driving down the road even with the cabin switch on OFF. We have had to go under the coach and actually unplugged the power cord from the step motor in order to keep them from going in and out. Of course then we have to crawl under and plug it back in when we want the steps to come back out for entry into the coach. We were told by one RV repair service for our Newmar, that we needed to replace the magnet in the door because it was not getting a good connection. We replaced it and it worked for a short time, then started up all over again. We were on the phone today for over an hour with a tech rep with the Lipert (?) company (Newmar gave us their number to call) trying to problem solve and diagnosis the issue. They were very helpful but we still have not resolved our problem. They feel it could be a wiring issue in the coach and not a motor problem with the steps. Will try to check the relay switch tomorrow and see if that could be it.

Just sending this out there to all of you in case you have had step problems like this and found what caused it and how to fix it. Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 04-12-2017, 07:42 PM   #2
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It sounds to me that the door switch or the wiring to the door switch is the likely culprit.

I think you are on the right path chasing down that switch and its wiring.

Good Luck
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Old 04-12-2017, 07:52 PM   #3
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We had a grounding issue that caused this symptom. The ground wire for the step controller was bolted to the chassis under a bunch of Sikaflex. I removed it and found rust had penetrated and the connection looked horrible. After I scraped the rust away and replaced the hardware the issue want away.
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Old 04-14-2017, 01:34 PM   #4
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Agree with Luv2go on the ground being loose or corroded. Check all other connections under the steps as well. The magnet in the door activates the switch in the jam and as long as they are aligned (door not tweeked or open) should not be your problem.
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Old 04-15-2017, 08:09 PM   #5
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You have three grounds out of controller the door switch ground that goes to a chassis frame part, a heavy green wire to chassis frame that maybe under silicone on frame connection, than a small green wire to mounting bolt for controller.
The door switch ground will give you the most problem.
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Old 04-18-2017, 08:16 AM   #6
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Gave up

We replaced the step motor 3 times in 2 years. We replaced the controller (just in case). The steps stopped working again. After some research we decided to switch the entire unit out with a Kwikee replacement. So-far-so-good.
It is worth noting that when the mobile repair guys saw the Kwikee, they said, "Thank God. We have nothing but trouble with the original units."
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Old 04-18-2017, 08:18 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slowspokes1 View Post
We replaced the step motor 3 times in 2 years. We replaced the controller (just in case). The steps stopped working again. After some research we decided to switch the entire unit out with a Kwikee replacement. So-far-so-good.
It is worth noting that when the mobile repair guys saw the Kwikee, they said, "Thank God. We have nothing but trouble with the original units."
BTW, we purchased the steps ourselves and had them installed (too heavy for me to handle). We saved a decent amount of money.
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Old 04-18-2017, 08:44 AM   #8
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Thanks for all of your comments. We thought it was a ground problem as well. We had the steps worked on by a very good RV repair in our local area. They had worked on the Lippert steps before and followed the check list for possible problems. It came down to the magnetic switch on the left side of the door. Both of the wires in that switch were somehow going to ground when only one should have. After many attempts to locate the wires to determine which one was grounding out (due to a pinched wire or bare wires we think) they just replaced two new wires and eliminated the old ones. All working great now!!
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Old 04-18-2017, 08:51 AM   #9
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Thanks for updating us, glad you got it fixed!
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Old 04-26-2017, 05:18 AM   #10
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Stairs extending inadvertently

The stairs on my 2012 BayStar have been extending and retracting while it has been sitting this winter. Fortunately it is plugged into outside power so my batteries aren't down. Once they the steps are extended they seem to stay out for quite awhile and the next time I look they have retracted. I'm just getting ready to get it ready for the season so I will tackle this shortly. Where is the door switch located inside the door and does the door come apart easily?
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Old 04-27-2017, 05:19 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2012 BayStar View Post
The stairs on my 2012 BayStar have been extending and retracting while it has been sitting this winter. Fortunately it is plugged into outside power so my batteries aren't down. Once they the steps are extended they seem to stay out for quite awhile and the next time I look they have retracted. I'm just getting ready to get it ready for the season so I will tackle this shortly. Where is the door switch located inside the door and does the door come apart easily?
The switch is in the door frame (looks like a round cap) and is activated by a magnet on the door (also looks like a round cap). They are usually located about a foot above the bottom of the frame/door.
I can access the wires from under the coach, between the tire and the door. You may want to see if the wire is worn anywhere.
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Old 05-19-2017, 01:57 PM   #12
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Step problems

So I finally got to work on my transient step problems. My wife told me while working out in the yard she kept hearing a "clunk" every now and then. She finally figured out the steps would go out, then back.

I took the 3 ground wire self tapping screws out. I then cleaned each of the terminals with sandpaper, cleaned the metal where it was attached to the frame and then ground it to bare metal, added a star washer, and new self tapping bolts but it still hasn't corrected the problem.

I was wondering how tight the little turnbuckle that goes to the stairs from the motor mechanism should be? It seemed very tight so that I couldn't move it unless I put a wrench on it to work it back and forth. I then a put some lubricant on the turnbuckle ends and worked it back and forth, but still very tight. I was wondering if the problem might be a binding in the turnbuckle so the motor sensed a tightness or obstruction and then extended the stairs right back out? I also lubricated all of the pivot point of the stairs. This coach was used by the previous owner a lot in the winter to go back and forth to ski areas so it had a fair amount of corrosion under it.

When I plug the motor connectors back together, the motor mechanism momentarily kind of grunts a little bit, (very slight movement) then stops.

Someone let me know how lose or tight that turnbuckle should be please.

I'm assuming the controller for the steps is the plastic unit bolted to the underside of the steps with about 6 or 7 wires coming out of it? When I saw it was all plastic I didn't see any reason to take it off to check to see if it was grounded.
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Old 05-24-2017, 08:14 AM   #13
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Step Problem

I've continued to look at the problem with my stairs not wanting to stay retracted. I have taken the door lock apart, it is just a cutout/recessed area in the door and saw no indication of magnets or contacts in the pocket. I also don't see any round plugs or things that would indicate there was a magnet in the door or an adjoining one in the door frame. The frame of the door itself is black metal and just looks like a continuous piece of metal around the door and a similar one around the door frame itself. There doesn't appear to me any round plugs or sensors that I can see.

This is a 2012 Bay Star, anybody got any other ideas?

Thanks.
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Old 05-24-2017, 08:48 AM   #14
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Still sounds like a door switch problem.

Try removing the door switch from the door jamb. There are only 2 wires on the switch. Twist them together with a wire nut. This is duplicating the door being closed. Leave it this way until you either see the steps malfunctioning (going in and out like before) or you are pretty sure they are working properly.

Be careful - the first step is a doozy if you forget the wires are tied together!

And by the way, the cabin switch only controls the steps when the engine is not running. Safety reasons.


By the way, the cabin steps switch only works when the engine is not running. Safety reasons.
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