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Old 11-02-2009, 12:06 PM   #1
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Kwikee Electric Step Activation

I have a 97 Tropi-cal with a Kwikee electric step.
Hopefully some of you National owners have run into the same problem and have come up with a "fix".
My MH has one switch (just inside the door) to turn off the coach batteries along with the step switch.

Now for my problem:

The magnet to activate the step is on the main door and that is what creates the problem.
When storing the motorhome the only way I can retract the step and deactivate it is to close the door whild I'm still inside (so the step retracts) then shut off the step from inside the coach, turn the coach batteries off. Then open the door with the step off, jump out of the coach without the step and lock things up. This is a real pain.
The ideal set up would be to have the step activated by the screen door instead of the main door. Then I could exit the coach with the step down, close the screen door to retract the step, then reach back in through the screen door slider, retract the step and turn off the batteries - then close the main door and lock up.
I suppose mounting the magnet (to activate the step) on the screen door would solve the problem, but then it wouldn't line up the the "live" magnet on the door frame. My magnets are the round type (abouth the size of a quarter) so if I remove the one from the main door, it would leave a rather large hole - same with the frame "powered" magnet.

I'm thinking that if I could get my hands on an "L" shaped strong magnet, I could screw it to the screen door so that it would cover the main powered
magnet in the frame, then the step wouldn't activate until the screen door was opened or closed. I think there's enough space between the edge of the screen door and the frame to do this. Not sure if this would work or not though as I don't know if the Kwikee magnets have to be a certain strength to activate the step.
Has anyone encountered this problem and if so, I'd be interested in how you solved it - any other thoughts would be most welcome?

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Old 11-02-2009, 12:24 PM   #2
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A elderly friend of mine had a similiar situation. He didn't want to have to jump out of his rig with the step closed and therefore needed to open and close his step from outside.

His solution was to buy a cheap magnet at a hardware store and while leaving his doors open, he'd manually place the magnet against the magnetic switch to fool the sytem into thinking the door was closed. In his case, the magnet was small enough it would "stick" to the switch by itself but then when he did actually close the door, the door mounted magnet would just bump the temporary magnet out of the way.

Basically, this method allowed him to stand outside the rig with the door open and put the magnet against the switch to close the step, then hit the appropriate battery switches.
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Old 11-03-2009, 09:17 AM   #3
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Thanks Joe

Sometimes "simple is better".

Will give that one a try - beats having to jump out (almost 2 1/2 feet down) all the time.
This was certainly not one of National's better ideas - I mean how much harder would it have been to install the whole set up on the screen door?
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Old 11-03-2009, 10:17 AM   #4
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IN installed a toggle switch, It's well hidden near my bottom step.. Now. Understand that Kwikee has two different controllers

One controller (The old one I think) the reed switch is normally closed so when you open the door the switch closes

The other the reed switch is normally open so when you open the door the switch opens..

Frankly I don't know (off hand) which switch is which.



SO.. With the step switch set so they will follow the door... find the wires to the door switch (Magnetic Reed Switch) and keeping out of the way of the steps. with the door open, cut one

if the steps retract extend these wires to a toggle switch

If they do not solder them back together along with a 3rd wire, and bare a bit of the other wire and touch that 3rd wire to it, They should now retract If they do hook this wire to one side of a toggle switch.> Bare a bit of the other door switch wire and solder a wire to it to the other terminal on the toggle switch

Now, you have a manual "Door closed" switch.
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Old 11-03-2009, 11:05 AM   #5
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Thanks for you input wa8yxm.
Actually, I had thought of installing a "bypass" switch, but couldn't think of a place to "hide" it.
What I thought I might do is install the switch in my electrical access compartment which on my particular MH is the basement compartment right next to the entry.
That way, it can only be accessed by myself as the compartment would be locked.
The only caveat is that to access the switch, a person would have to unlock and open the basement compartment, then lock it up again when done but that's not that big a deal compared to having to jump out of the motorhome each time you want to lock it up with the step up.
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Old 11-04-2009, 10:07 AM   #6
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Well.. In my case the sides of the step well are carpeted.. The pile on the carpet is deeper than the handle on the toggle is long. If you know it is there it is easy to find.. if you don't you will not likely see it or (Since normal is "DOWN") Accidently toggle it.
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