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 > Auto step just stopped working

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SJ-Chris

San Jose, Ca

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Posted: 06/13/18 07:16pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a 2008 Four Winds 31P Class C RV. Today my automatic step on the main coach side door just stopped working. This morning...no problem. This afternoon when I opened the door the step didn't drop down. I'm plugged in to shore power. I've got a strong battery bank and solar. The engine battery is fine.

What are the common problems/fixes? Where would I find any fuses associated with the automatic step? Where should I check first?

Thanks for your advice!

-Chris

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Where we park it, USA

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Posted: 06/13/18 08:04pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

First check to see if you have power going to the step. If not check the fuse, it should be an inline fuse from the battery to the step motor.


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pnichols

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Posted: 06/13/18 08:11pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It could be a bad sensor switch that is mounted on the door frame ... or an open or short in the wiring going to this sensor switch.


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D.E.Bishop

Eagle Rock, CA

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Posted: 06/13/18 08:52pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

SJ-Chris, You've been a member long enough to know make and model should be in the post.

If you feel safe checking it yourself, the manual has step by step trouble shooting instructions. If you don't have the manual, google the manual. If it is a Kwikee, go for manual #888.

How to repair the step is simple amd requires very few tools. Come back with the info on make and model and the trouble according to the manual, bad motor or what ever.

Do get back to us.


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wa8yxm

Wherever I happen to park

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Posted: 06/14/18 05:48am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My belief is that Kwikee uses 2nds on that motor

Try (DO THIS CAREFULLY, "Thunking" the motor a few times. the handle of a hammer or .. I use both a hammer handle (From under the RV and a walking stick (from beside the RV.

Tunk it hard enough to shake it up a bit but not hard enough to damage. three or 4 times and try again.

I wound up making a slight adjustment but that requiers you open the transmission and move the gears a bit. So the motor stops on a different spot.


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garyemunson

Reno, Nevada

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Posted: 06/14/18 06:08am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Be VERY careful working on a power step. They can remove a finger in a heartbeat. If you are unsure of what you are doing, take it to a pro. To check them out, be sure to remove ALL power. If uncertain how to do that, physically unhook ALL batteries (steps are sometimes hooked to the chassis battery) and shore power. You can then unhook the link from the motor to the step assembly so you can manually move the steps to access the motor and control box. Keep in mind that the steps can shift just by gravity or someone could walk against them while your fingers are in the wrong place. As long as you know what you are doing, fine, if not, take it somewhere to have it fixed. The motors are the most likely culprit for intermittent operation followed by connector plugs, switch on door, then the control box. Being a 2008, my money is on the motor.

j-d

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Posted: 06/14/18 06:52am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

THANK YOU GARY!!!

The step seems slow when you're waiting for it, but lightning fast when you don't expect it to run. That, and the motor mechanism, along with the bracing for the step treads, work with a scissoring action that can cause serious injury.

Mr. Bishop is correct about #888 if the coach is a 2008.

I've had two problems with ours, which is older and uses Manual #875.

First problem, WIRING! Specifically the wiring of Coach TO Step. No problem in the Step itself. In our case the coach builder brought four light gauge wire (say 14 or 16) into a butt connector meant for larger wire (say 10 or 12) and tried to make the four way splice with two wires into each end of the larger connector. Maybe I shouldn't complain, it ran a dozen years or so like that...

Second problem was within the Motor, but I was able to fix it with one of the HELP line (from Dorman, at auto supply stores) kits that repairs a stripped clutch in the motor's gearbox. Commonly used on older Ford window motors.

That's been it. I think they'll last a long time if:

We keep it lubed
We don't put weight onto it till it's all the way down/open
We put blocks or one of those little props under it when we'll be set up awhile

All of these make sure the only strain on motor and gearbox is what's needed to open and close a freely working step.


If God's Your Co-Pilot Move Over, jd
2003 Jayco Escapade 31A on 2002 Ford E450 V10 4R100 218" WB

D.E.Bishop

Eagle Rock, CA

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Posted: 06/15/18 07:42am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

One thing I forgot to mention is that in 2005, Kwikee no longer used the Ford type of lift motor for their steps. AM Equipment in Oregon made the motors from 2005 until Kwikee was sold to Power Gear and then to LCI. There are not any repair kits for AM Equipment lift motors and there are not any repair kits available at this time for the gear and linkage assemblies.

I do not know much about Kwikee since it was sold but LCI publishes a manual that is basically the same as the #888, they also publish the #890 which is for Winnebago and may vary slightly from the #888, "may very" are the key words.

* This post was edited 06/15/18 07:54am by D.E.Bishop *

dougrainer

Carrolton, Texas

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Posted: 06/15/18 08:08am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The most common problem for your type problem is a defective motor. It has a dead spot in the windings. Troubleshooting takes 30 seconds. Open and close the entry door. If the AMBER step light comes on and off when you open and close the door, the step module and wiring are OK. When it fails, you have someone open and close the door and you tap on the motor with a hammer. IF the step motor then operates the motor is bad. Always do your testing with the engine running. The extra 1 to 2 volts from the engine helps activate a bad motor. Doug

SJ-Chris

San Jose, Ca

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Posted: 06/15/18 09:39pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

dougrainer wrote:

The most common problem for your type problem is a defective motor. It has a dead spot in the windings. Troubleshooting takes 30 seconds. Open and close the entry door. If the AMBER step light comes on and off when you open and close the door, the step module and wiring are OK. When it fails, you have someone open and close the door and you tap on the motor with a hammer. IF the step motor then operates the motor is bad. Always do your testing with the engine running. The extra 1 to 2 volts from the engine helps activate a bad motor. Doug


Great advice all!

Okay, I checked and the step light seemed to be functioning properly (coming on when the door opens). But the step wasn't moving. Thinking I would have to bring it in to the RV mechanic/shop, I decided "okay...let's give it a couple taps with a hammer". I couldn't imagine that I'd be so lucky to have that fix the problem (....afterall, it seems like something a caveman would do! lol....). Well, after a few taps I tried opening the door and low-and-behold....the step started working again!

Can anyone explain what is so magical about a couple of love taps on the motor? (....I've got a technical background and it just doesn't seem like a sensible approach, yet it worked!).

A couple of you have indicated that since the hammer tap seemed to "fix" the problem that it is likely a bad motor. Now that it seems to be working, I'm not particularly motivated to bring it in to the shop. What should I expect will happen with this step/motor? From your experience, does it seem likely that it will **** out again very soon? Or have some of you performed this "tap magic" and then had a trouble-free step for years to come?? Just curious...

Thanks!!! This forum is incredibly helpful!

-Chris

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