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Author Topic: Electric step woes  (Read 5949 times)

Chinookers

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Electric step woes
« on: May 10, 2011, 01:52:16 AM »
I have Kwikee electric steps on the back of my Chinook Premier.

A while back they developed an intermittent problem - sometimes they would extend when the door was opened, sometimes they would not; sometimes when they wouldn't extend  if you left the door open long enough they would finally "wake up" and extend all on their own.

They would always retract OK.

Now they've quit working altogether.

Before they quit, I checked that:

- They are properly lubricated
- Door contacts are in good condition
- Both two and four hole connectors look as though they are clean, not corroded

Any thoughts as to probable cause?  Fuse?  Where?  Bad ground?  Control unit?  Motor?

Is it time to take it to a dealer for repair or is this something that I should be able to work my way through?  Bear in mind that I am not much of an electrician!!!!  And I don't own a voltmeter or other specialized tools.

Appreciate your input!
Andrew, Jane, and our furry friend Dexter
2003 Chinook Premier
http://chinookers.blogspot.com/

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Electric step woes
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2011, 06:28:56 AM »
With those symptoms, I would be looking at the door switch, or the connections between switch and motor. You may have to learn how to use a voltmeter, though.
Gary
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Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Flyboy

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Re: Electric step woes
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2011, 11:45:33 AM »
Is it time to take it to a dealer for repair or is this something that I should be able to work my way through?  Bear in mind that I am not much of an electrician!!!!  And I don't own a voltmeter or other specialized tools.

Motor could have gone bad. There are numerous wiring issues to check out. I think you answered your own question. Repair shop.

Edit:Fix quote
« Last Edit: May 10, 2011, 11:58:17 AM by Ned »

topdownman

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Re: Electric step woes
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2011, 12:49:48 PM »
Those things are expensive and tricky.  I finally replace the whole unit after replacing several failed motors and a control unit over the years.  You can disconnect the motor on the steps and test that.  They just work by reversing polarity.  Disconnect the motor and connect two jumper wires to a battery and see if they extend, then reverse the leads to retract.  If that works consistently, then your motor is fine.

Can you hear the motor running when you open the door (yet the steps don't retract)?  If so, the gears are worn out.
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Mark & Tina Anderson
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2007 Sportscoach Pathfinder 377DS - Freightliner XC
2006 Jeep Commander

lhyzer

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Re: Electric step woes
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2011, 08:45:36 PM »
If your steps are properly lubricated and not binding or have not been damaged in any way check the ground.
If your ground connection is clean and not rusty or corroded. Check your door contact for proper alignment. It just might be out enough to make contact intermittently. Then test your motor by disconnecting and use a good 12v source.  If the motor turns out to be bad take the motor off and take it to an auto parts store and match it up to a power window motor as that is what it is. Cheaper then getting it from the mfg.

SoEzzy

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Re: Electric step woes
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2011, 12:42:00 AM »
I had that problem when the batteries were in a low state of charge, I had it in for repair to the leveling system, and they had left the lights on, jump started the bus and brought it out to me with the steps extended, I had to sit in the car park and run the bus for 25 or 30 minutes before they would retract.

I then went and bought a set of jumper cables, so if I need to, I can jump the engine batteries off the house batteries, heavy duty cables 25' long.
1993 Gulf Stream Friendship 38' DP, Cummins 8.3 with an Allison 6 spead.

FrankNSharon

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Re: Electric step woes
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2011, 06:15:10 AM »
SoEzzy,

Thats interesting - my coach has a switch on the dash that jumps the engine batteries off the coach batteries. It is such a "obviously" good thing, I had just assumed all coaches have it built in!

Frank

codgerbill

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Re: Electric step woes
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2011, 08:35:29 AM »
Chinookers,

On my previous coach I had a problem with the steps too. I have a voltmeter and went under the coach and disconnected the two (2) wire connector and had the wife open and close the door. I found that the door switch was functioning as it should.  To get the steps working I took a hammer and lightly tapped on the motor. This caused the steps to work but after driving the coach to a  campground the steps were intermitten again. The hammer thingy was used and the steps worked again.
What I concluded my problem to be was problem with the motor. The motor is a 12V DC motor and as such it has "brushes" held with spring tension on the motor's armature. In my case I believe the rotor had a film on the armature and the bouncing of the coach while driving caused it to lose good contact, thus the hammer trick worked.
The bottom line was that I replaced the motor. I went to a RV dealer (General RV in Michigan) and ordered a new motor. If that is your problem you should be aware that you can order the motor as a "kit" rather that just ordering a new motor. It was in the neighborhood of $100-$120 for the kit
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John From Detroit

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Re: Electric step woes
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2011, 11:17:47 AM »
I had that problem when mine was new.. I'd have to go under and "Thunk" the motor with the handle of a hammer a few times.

Finally I 'Re-indexed" the motor.. that is I opened the gear box and let the motor stop at a different spot in it's rotation.. Have not had any problems since.

NOTE: be very careful if you do this, spread a tarp first, there are a few parts that like to go roll about when you open that greabox up.

Would not hurt to keep a spare motor on hand, it's either a Ford or GM window motor by the way,, Which it is I can't tell you without more info.
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dcmiller

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Re: Electric step woes
« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2011, 06:06:58 PM »
Check markings on your motor.  My Kwikee step had a motor like this

http://www.amequipment.com/PDFFiles/801-1081.pdf

and I was able to order it direct from the manufacturer at

http://www.amequipment.com/06_window_lift_motors.html

They were extremely easy to work with, took my order over the phone and I had the motor in only a few days for less than $40 including shipping.
Dave and Sharon
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Jeep Wrangler toad
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seilerbird

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Re: Electric step woes
« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2011, 06:59:00 PM »
My steps used to have a mind of their own. So finally I waited until they were open and then disconnected the switch so now they are permanently in the out position. It is only a one step model so it doesn't stick out any further than my exterior mirror. 

Theberrys

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Re: Electric step woes
« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2011, 07:40:03 PM »
Here is a link to training manual that will help you troubleshoot the problem.
If it doesn't open the first time you click on it try it again. That has been happening since Microsoft upgraded the "Cloud"
 
http://cid-ae67fff392766057.office.live.com/self.aspx/.Public/Tradewinds%20Docs/Kwikee%20Manual/Step%20Training%20Manual.pdf
 
 
Dick

1999 National RV Tradewinds 36.5 ft. 300hp Cat, Freightliner Custom Chassis

 

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