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Old 11-27-2020, 12:21 PM   #1
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Solid vs folding steps

I am very glad that ORV has continued using the folding steps, where so many others have changed to the solid steps.

Firstly, I will acknowledge the pros for the solid step.
1. The name states the obvious.
2. If someone is sleeping in the trailer you are less likely to wake them by using the stairs.

Now I will state why I personally way prefer the folding steps that ORV uses.
1. They are easy to fold out (much easier than my old 5th wheel's all metal units)
2. If you are parked in a sloping camp site (very often). Then using the folding steps work well with both little and a lot of ground clearance to the bottom step. We always carry a small folding leg platform step for the times the ground clearance is excessive. Try that with a solid step and you will be more like climbing a ladder than a stair. If the ground clearance is too little, I have had my bottom tread touching the ground, but it still works. With a solid step you will have a very awkward climb due to the angle of the treads.
3. We often only stay at one location a few days and therefore our camping trips cover many miles and many breaks in rest stops. Often, at a rest stop you will be between two highway tractor/trailers. With a solid step you require a minimum 4’ between you and the unit beside you. If you do not have this clearance, then you are not getting into your trailer. With a folding step I have been within 2’ and still use the folding step, just not the bottom tread. This past summer we also had to park up against a retaining wall on the door side and another time a sloping landscaped berm. A solid step would have prevented me from entering our trailer on both occasions. But the folding step was no issue.
4. Lastly, we have left many campsites when the ground around the trailer was muddy. The solid step would require you to either clean the step or putting the dirty step into your trailer. I am aware of the plastic tray they sell with these units, but I would much rather leave the dirt outside.

What are your thoughts?
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Old 11-27-2020, 12:38 PM   #2
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Solid steps and 5ers are not always cohesive. 5ers only have one door.
I have a 25RDS and removed the noisy spongy folding steps at the rear and installed solid steps. Top 5 of my mods. The solid steps are dead quiet, solid and easy to use. The nice ting about many TT's is they have two doors. When we can't or don't want to use our solid steps we use the bedroom fold out steps. We usually only do that when pulling over for a quick stop to P or eat.
After owing them for one season I totally understand the hassle of solid steps and a 5th wheel. Only having one door means you have to fold them out and adjust them most times. When the rear of the 5er is lower the steps fold out easier. When the rear of the 5er is higher you have to mess with the legs as the steps will hang off the door sill and probably pull away from the floor. With only one door and needing to pull the steps out for a quick stop would be a hassle if conditions aren't right.

We've never had an issue with water or dirt. Been in the rain and on dusty dry dirt. We keep a rug on our steps and a rug at the foot of the steps. Most of the time I just broom them off and lift them into the TT.

So far we love our solid steps, but we have two doors. I would never and didn't get solid steps when we had our 5th wheel.
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Old 11-27-2020, 01:12 PM   #3
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I would not have a TT with the solid steps. If you can't get the steps down due to blocked by anything, you can't get in the TT. When you fold the steps into the TT everything falls inside. I see them as a huge PITA and there is no converting back to the folding steps. Glad to see that ORV is not using them.
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Old 11-27-2020, 04:44 PM   #4
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The Glowstep Revolution solves many of the problems that you guys mention. Pretty spendy, but it will be the next "big" item I buy for my trailer:



X
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Old 11-27-2020, 05:12 PM   #5
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The Glowstep Revolution solves many of the problems that you guys mention. Pretty spendy, but it will be the next "big" item I buy for my trailer:



X
I've used those on my Bigfoot camper; they are decent but not great....still more movement than some of the other options and the first step down is a big one.


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Old 11-27-2020, 05:15 PM   #6
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We just purchased our ORV and the Rockwood my wife wanted had the solid steps.....we wished the ORV had them too. I can see the disadvantages noted but I'm unsure if they outway the advantages for us:

- far more solid/stable
- they don't hang down where they can get whacked and bent

I've considered buying the solid step and swapping them but buy the time you buy the step and the gas strut and the cool little tool box to go where the old step box lived, it was getting close to $1,000......not sure if it's worth it to me.


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Old 11-27-2020, 05:41 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Dave Pelletier View Post
I've used those on my Bigfoot camper; they are decent but not great....still more movement than some of the other options and the first step down is a big one.


Dave
I'm sure that the Glowstep is less solid than the Lippert, but it is way more solid than the standard drop-down steps and doesn't have the limitations of the Lippert (no worry about dirt getting in when you fold the Lippert into the doorway, and no worry about needing lots of space between your doorway and a wall or other obstruction when you fold them down).

As for the "first step down is a big one", that surprises me since it shows in this video that that distance is fully adjustable:

x
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Old 11-27-2020, 07:01 PM   #8
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I made up these brackets for the steps, and now they are very solid. Click image for larger version

Name:	20201127_155608.jpg
Views:	19
Size:	429.6 KB
ID:	309534

Click image for larger version

Name:	20201127_155714.jpg
Views:	22
Size:	585.5 KB
ID:	309535
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Old 11-27-2020, 08:01 PM   #9
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Thanks all who have shared their thoughts here.

The reason I am thinking about this is because my daughter has an old 5th wheel and the steps are totally shot. I think I could repair them but it would be significant work. I do a lot of fabrication and welding due to my other hobby of restoring classic cars and trucks, but rebuilding her stairs is not high in my list of fun jobs.

I really like the idea of the Glow step Revolution and if they are everything the videos say then I have some more research and thinking to do. I could be generous and give my daughter my slightly used steps and splurge on new Glow steps. Hmmmm

Does anyone on the forum have these steps or at least used them on a TT or 5er? Campers are WAY higher entrances so not apples to apples. If so please chime in
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Old 11-28-2020, 08:04 AM   #10
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I'll be the odd man out and say we installed the solid step in our Glacier Peak fifth and we both agree we like it. But we are older folks with balance issues.

Some of the solid step issues brought up here are trivial compared to falling going down the crappy stock folding stairs ORV installed. I did once and ended up at the doctor's office and out of comission for awhile. Not fun.
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Old 11-28-2020, 09:59 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by GPCPL View Post
I made up these brackets for the steps, and now they are very solid. Attachment 309534

Attachment 309535
I like this idea. I see that you used threaded rod but what is the black bracket that the threaded rod goes 8nto?
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Old 11-28-2020, 11:33 AM   #12
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There is another solution I've not seen anyone post yet: the port a step. My fifth wheel has the folding out 4 step aluminum. I cannot/don't want either the Morryde Step Above or LCI Solid Step due to often parking on a site with a deck and wooden steps built in; the swing out steps would not work at all.

A friend installed the Glowstep and I nearly bought them 2 summers ago, but I spent a ton of $$$ going to Alaska and back and decided to just live with the fold outs. Then, we went camping at a State Park in the fall where we got like some of the last sites...and they were like mini hills from front to back. By the time I got leveled, the bottom step of my 4 steps was about 24" from the ground. Even with a step stool it was horrible, and the step stool was at an angle. Felt like I was going to fall every time. Swing out steps wouldn't have worked, and the glowsteps wouldn't work either.

Solution: the Port a step. They fold out and rest on (usually) the top step. Bottom legs adjustable. Large platform at the top for the door entry. However, if I ever get put on a hill like that state park, you can rest them on any of the other steps to make them fit. Because they aren't bolted to the RV, I will take them with me if I ever change rigs. I carry them in the back of the truck bed. Overnight stops I don't bother to get them out; I just use the old OEM steps. But they are very easy to set up and way more solid than the OEMs. While not cheap, they are much less expensive than the Glowsteps. Highly recommend them!
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Old 11-28-2020, 11:48 AM   #13
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I'm sure that the Glowstep is less solid than the Lippert, but it is way more solid than the standard drop-down steps and doesn't have the limitations of the Lippert (no worry about dirt getting in when you fold the Lippert into the doorway, and no worry about needing lots of space between your doorway and a wall or other obstruction when you fold them down).

As for the "first step down is a big one", that surprises me since it shows in this video that that distance is fully adjustable:

x
Interesting; mine didn't come with that adjustable part so I take back the comment about the first long step. These appear to have some advantages but yes, they do flex a bit compared to the solid step. Like most things, the best choice likely depends on usage and preference.

Cheers, Dave
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Old 11-28-2020, 12:07 PM   #14
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I like my fold out steps, yes there’s some flex. WAY better than for old Frontier Tc that had the deadly scissor detachable steps.

I can see why some like the one piece. Pro’s and cons on both. Like has been stated, go with what you are comfortable with.
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