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Old 11-30-2020, 10:01 AM   #1
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Bottom stair access

The bottom stair on the inside of our 2013 Phaeton is rotted. Looks like I need to pull the carpet covered side panels off to get to the tread.
Before I start blindly tearing into it does anybody know the right way to get those side panels off? There are no fasteners obvious on the back side.
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Old 11-30-2020, 11:05 AM   #2
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Well, I don't know if this will help but, we recently re-carpeted our '04 Itasca Horizon 36GD with the C-7 330HP CAT and, when I yanked all the old carpet out, the sides of that stairwell are steel and, they are part of the *box* structure that helps give that total step area strength. I don't like saying all motorhomes are built the same but, If I had to guess, I'd say the sides to your steps are also welded in.

And, if that's the case, then all you'd need to do is, like I did, just rip that carpet off and see what's behind it. And, you could lay under the coach in the front and see what those sides look like from the outside of the coach.
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2004 ITASCA HORIZON 36GD, 2011 GMC Sierra 1500 4x4 Toad '18 Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports DCT
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Old 11-30-2020, 11:17 AM   #3
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Welcome to iRV2.

Sorry your first post is about problems .

I can't say what you'll need to do to replace the wood for that lower step , and fix the leak that caused it; but if the carpet on the step well side is like mine was , it's glued and stapled in place .
So I'm sure there's no saving the carpet.
When redoing the drivers carpet area with vinyl tile , I removed the carpet and tiled the step well too.
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Old 11-30-2020, 11:54 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by littlefield View Post
The bottom stair on the inside of our 2013 Phaeton is rotted. Looks like I need to pull the carpet covered side panels off to get to the tread.
Before I start blindly tearing into it does anybody know the right way to get those side panels off? There are no fasteners obvious on the back side.
I would go along with agar the others are stating from my experience. You need to find the culprit of the water intrusion or your problem will return quickly. I have had similar issues but mine didn’t get that for. They were caused by the door seal allowing water to past the seals and seep down the door to your floor area.
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Old 11-30-2020, 01:09 PM   #5
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On our 2008 phaeton, the door flashing (straight piece above the door) did not overlap the hinge-side flashing. Instead, there was a gap. So when water snuck under the door awning it would easily find that gap and then get into the coach past that door seals and thus, to the bottom step.

Others report that the culprit can be the wire access hole on the rear end of the door awning. They merely had to fill that access hole with caulk - they also did NOT have to remove the awning, just open it up where the hole is visible (from what they said).

To cure the non-overlapping door flashing I simply added a piece of bent aluminum and pop riveted it in place.

To remove the step - I left the side walls alone and simply cut/chiseled the bottom step to remove it. Finding rust bellow, I wire brushed/sanded it all to bear metal, then put on a liberal coating of spray truck bed liner to act as waterproofing for the weakened metal. When that was cured, I cut a couple of pieces of trex (or similar) and screwed them in place with some added construction adhesive just in case. The treads - unlike the original where slightly higher than the lip of the door frame (otherwise, the water can't get out and neither can sand/rocks, etc.) Lastly, I purchased some synthetic stair tread covers and put them on all the stairs with the nosing over the door frame so it made a very easy path for water and dirt from shoes to go OUT rather than get trapped inside.

Three years later and all is well.
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