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Old 10-25-2021, 07:34 PM   #1
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Electric steps problem FOUND!

I have a 2011 Newmar Bay Star Class A with electric steps. Iíve been fighting these steps that seem to have a mind of their own for over a year! They always work when Iím at home, but while traveling, they either wonít open or worse, wonít retract! Iíve spent too much time while on the road, under my coach, disconnecting the step linkage & using zip ties to secure them up until I get to my destination! I have replaced the motor, but they quit working again on my last beach trip. They stuck in extended position when we stopped for groceries, during a torrential downpour! Anyway, I just found the Green ground wire from the control module had worked itís way loose from the frame, but was hidden by the steps when closed! See attached pics & get a laugh! Iím fairly experienced at tackling most mechanical, as well as electrical issues, but Iím quite embarrassed by this one! If youíre having trouble with your electric steps, please check your ground wires!
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Old 10-25-2021, 07:43 PM   #2
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It's usually the simplest solution that's the hardest to find. - Murphy

Good job on finding it.
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Old 10-25-2021, 08:23 PM   #3
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It's usually the simplest solution that's the hardest to find. - Murphy

Good job on finding it.
Thank you! I found 2 other GROUND wires, disconnected wires, sanded the wire ends, chassis, ran a thread tap thru frame, applied di-electric compound, & reconnected with new bolts. I was sure everything was grounded! It appears that 1 went to the magnetic door switch & the other went to storage bays light circuit! I hope this helps tons of people!
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Old 10-25-2021, 09:57 PM   #4
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Thank you! I found 2 other GROUND wires, disconnected wires, sanded the wire ends, chassis, ran a thread tap thru frame, applied di-electric compound, & reconnected with new bolts. I was sure everything was grounded! It appears that 1 went to the magnetic door switch & the other went to storage bays light circuit! I hope this helps tons of people!
I hate to burst your bubble a little, BUT di-electric compound is actually an insulating compound. It reduces connectivity. What you need is a conductive compound. Actually, what would work best is no compound at all, only bare clean metal connectors.
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Old 10-26-2021, 05:24 AM   #5
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I hate to burst your bubble a little, BUT di-electric compound is actually an insulating compound. It reduces connectivity. What you need is a conductive compound. Actually, what would work best is no compound at all, only bare clean metal connectors.

Conductive grease would be fine in that instance, so is dielectric grease. Surface irregularities make the required mechanical connection when using dielectric grease (and conductive grease) as electricity will flow through the path of least resistance. Exposed bare metal on an under body electrical connection is not a good choice.
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Old 10-26-2021, 06:54 AM   #6
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I've been dielectric grease for decades. I use it any outside electrical connections. It stops oxidation and corrosion. It's best to get a good tight connection first then coat it with dielectric grease.
I use the cheapest grease on battery connections. No white powder. Lasts for years.
I've used dielectric grease on rubber with good results. But 303 protectorate is even better on rubber.
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Old 10-26-2021, 07:03 AM   #7
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If your steps jam in or out, check by pulling the pin to release the in/out mechanism/levers. Mine jammed out twice.
There are 2 stops on the support arms connecting the steps. They are a bolt/nut with a concentric washer. Took several tries, but not allowing the steps to fully extend stopped the jamming and will extend service life of gears.
Lub step joints very often only with silicone spray.
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Old 10-26-2021, 07:12 AM   #8
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I've been dielectric grease for decades. I use it any outside electrical connections. It stops oxidation and corrosion.
Same here
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Old 10-26-2021, 03:58 PM   #9
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Ok, I guess I stand corrected about using dielectic grease. I am probably the last person to ask electrical advice from. It's just that I was once told to not use dielectic grease on tight plug connections because it was an insulating grease, use connective grease instead. Is that bad advice too?
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Old 10-26-2021, 09:13 PM   #10
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Ok, I guess I stand corrected about using dielectic grease. I am probably the last person to ask electrical advice from. It's just that I was once told to not use dielectic grease on tight plug connections because it was an insulating grease, use connective grease instead. Is that bad advice too?

You are right the first time! Dieelectric grease does create some resistance unless something like a star lockwasher is used to bite into both connecting surfaces.
Then again I used to work with utility company high voltages for a time and any created resistance was a negative thing.




BTW over 80% of all 12V issues are the result of a poor/missing ground connection.
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Old 10-27-2021, 05:39 AM   #11
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You are right the first time! Dieelectric grease does create some resistance unless something like a star lockwasher is used to bite into both connecting surfaces.
Then again I used to work with utility company high voltages for a time and any created resistance was a negative thing.




BTW over 80% of all 12V issues are the result of a poor/missing ground connection.
Before we went fulltime for three years in a used motorhome we just bought, I thoroughly cleaned every ground I could find and then sealed them with liquid electrical tape. Never had a 12v ground problem in three years of fulltiming. I agree the vast majority of 12v electrical problems are grounds.

Slightly off topic but appropriate, is that I also went around and snugged up every screw and bolt, inside and out that I could get to. Found many loose or even missing.
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Old 10-27-2021, 05:44 AM   #12
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Yepper, my green ground wire was cut in half on my new Horizon.
It was installed ok, but it was very long and it got caught in the steps.
Always check the ground. Easy fix if it’s the problem.
What was worse, I had a plastic step we used until we got home and the crazy step went out even though the ground was cut and got bent. Winnebago gave me an all new unit.
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Old 10-27-2021, 05:48 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by LarryJB View Post
Ok, I guess I stand corrected about using dielectic grease. I am probably the last person to ask electrical advice from. It's just that I was once told to not use dielectic grease on tight plug connections because it was an insulating grease, use connective grease instead. Is that bad advice too?
You are right that it's non-conductive. It's primarily used to seal/protect a connection to prevent future issues, typically from rust or corrosion, as opposed to helping make a better connection in the first place. That's why it was stated above to make the connection and then apply the grease to the outside, to protect it.
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Old 10-28-2021, 10:04 AM   #14
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On the topic of grease on terminals: I used to use grease on my battery terminals. I recently had some issues with the cable ends and it was quite a mess to work with.

I learned that common hair spray works great for preventing corrosion on terminals...so that's what I use now. We'll see how well it works I guess.
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