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ELECTRIC STEP TROUBLESHOOTING: Caution – Moving parts – keep clear at all times.

May 26, 2009 by Fred Brandeberry · 25 Comments  
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LUBRICATION: Most electric step manufacturers recommend not using WD-40 or a silicone-based lubricant. A good quality moisture and heat resistant penetrating grease should be used every 30 days after a through cleaning.

Clean salt, mud and road grime from all moving parts. Spray the step moving parts with fresh water and let dry. Lubricate the square shaft bearings, bushing-in-bushings, and any bearings under a removable cover.

Electrical connections should be protected with a dab of dielectric grease. Replace corroded connections with an automotive type connector – preferably with heat shrink protection.

Cam stops may be need adjusted if your steps feel loose. See your owner’s manual for the proper adjustment. With the steps fully extended, the step should not move inward.

ELECTRICAL: Note: Disconnecting the power wire may produce a spark, this is normal. Control unit is not shutting off– Disconnect the power to the step and request technical help. Your step motor will burn up if left on.

Erratic Operation: Check the vehicle battery for low voltage (12.6 no load amps); a bad ground or convertor not capable of providing 30 amps of power. If you are capable electrical tester = test the door switch, battery disconnect switch, override switch and related fuses. Refer to your owner’s manual for locations. Each of these items is tested according to your Owners Manual.

Happy Camping,

Fred b.

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25 Responses to “ELECTRIC STEP TROUBLESHOOTING: Caution – Moving parts – keep clear at all times.”

  1. Darrel on May 26th, 2009 12:04 pm

    Our steps haven’t worked correctly since shortly after we bought our new motorhome. It says right on the steps no lubrication required. After they pretty much stopped working I first sprayed them with WD-40, then the dealer said to only use silicone spray on them. I do that everyonce in a while but even after that they squeak bad when going in and out. Kind of embarassing to have a $200,000 motorhome that sounds like crap when the steps go in or out.

  2. Darrel on May 26th, 2009 12:04 pm

    BTW, what should we lube the steps with?

  3. George Wharton on May 26th, 2009 12:19 pm

    The best lube I have found is Kwik Lube put out by Kwikee Steps. I am sure there are others like it but I haven’t found it

  4. Rick Vogel on May 26th, 2009 1:42 pm

    Darrel if theThe Dealership Recomended Silicone spray!, I for one wouls use it! Rick Vovel U.S.Army Retired!

  5. Lauren on May 26th, 2009 2:12 pm

    I have found with my steps, if they aren’t retracted every couple days, they can get bound up and won’t move. I end up getting under there and taking the cover off. Only three screws. Seems like the gears get bound up. I remove them and put it all back together and it is fine till the next time. But if they are operated every day or so I have no problem. So if we are out we always bring the step in at night.

  6. Rick Vogel on May 26th, 2009 3:02 pm

    Lauren Try White Marine Grease it is water proof & you can oick it up at any Marine Shop! Good-Luck Hope this Fix’s your problem I use it on my Tow behind Dolly I have bearing buddy’s & a Grease gun full of the water-proff Grease, and after a long day of Travel i will Give them a pump of two, Haven’t blown a wheel seal Yet! Knock on Wood! Rick Vogel U.S.Army Retired 40-footer

  7. Donald Hayes on May 26th, 2009 3:44 pm

    I had the same trouble. I had my dealer at that time put a mud flap installed in front of the steps. That solved most of the problem. Thankx

  8. rv kevin on May 26th, 2009 4:49 pm

    My vote is for the Kwik Lube!

  9. Roger on May 26th, 2009 6:16 pm

    I have used some spray garage door lube and so far no problems.

  10. David on May 26th, 2009 8:26 pm

    Had a soft shoulder damage my steps. Brought them to a truck repair shop, Mechanics straighten steps then , generously applied wheel bearing grease
    with a small bush to all the fittings. Never knew my steps even went that high.
    Works like a champ, last a long time.
    Good Luck

  11. Tom on May 27th, 2009 5:20 am

    Question? If your rig is next to a curb or something and the step can’t open completely, and you leave it like that, will this damage the step, burn up motor, or???

  12. Charlie on May 27th, 2009 12:26 pm

    thanks for the info,I thought I was alone with this problem.I have been using silicone spray butg I will try the greese I have for the tow dolly.

  13. Fred Brandeberry, SR on May 29th, 2009 8:09 am

    Tom:
    Most brands of electric steps have a fail safe mode – to protect the step when it hits an object.
    Although we try not to have this happen.

    Happy Camping,
    Fred b.

  14. Brian Catlin on April 6th, 2010 11:51 pm

    We have a setup on an Ambulance and we are having trouble with it. you close the door and it comes out you open the door and it retracts. are we doing something wrong or is it just a funky thing? can you help us solve this problem?

  15. greg on May 10th, 2010 7:59 am

    we are straded. we are having problems with thesteps and rv will not start.
    we have checked fuses, jump the batery disconected steps turned back on and it will not work.
    does any one know how to by pass so we can get on the road?

  16. Fred Brandeberry, SR on May 10th, 2010 9:56 pm

    Greg:
    I suspect low 12 vdc voltage.
    Jump starting doesn’t always help.
    If you take your batteries to a Auto parts store, RE Auto Zone, NAPA, they will load test them at no charge.
    The chassis batteries drive the steps, asperate battery starts your engine.
    What type of camper do ou have please?
    A shorted convertor/battery charger can cause this problem as well.
    Do you have a generator?

    Happy Camping,
    Fred b.

  17. william wells on January 17th, 2011 8:07 am

    we are having trouble with the step. you close the door and it comes out you open the door and it retracts. are we doing something wrong or is it just a funky thing? can you help us solve this problem?

  18. DAVE on July 11th, 2011 8:05 am

    I have a PACE ARROW MOTORHOME , MY STEPS HAVE ALLWAYS WORKED RIGHT, UNTILL NOW !! THE WILL GO UP AND DOWN JUST RIGHT, BUT RECENTLY THEY MAKE A LOT OF NOISE IN THE UP POSITION, IF I HOLD ON TO THEM JUST BEFORE THEY ARE ALL THE WAY UP ALL IS FINE, THEY WILL COME DOWN PERFECTLY AND STOP WITH NO NOISE. OR I CAN BLOCK THEM WITH MY LEG A EVERY THING STOPS WITH NO NOISE.,ONLY IN THE “COMPLETE UP POSITION DO TEY MAKE NOISE, SOUNDS AS IF THEY ARE RATTLING IN THE GEAR CASE ,BUT NO NOISE AT ANY OTHER TIME!!!! AND SEEM TO WORK EXTREMELY SMOOTH IN ALL OTHER ACTIONS “CAN YOU GIVE ME SOME WHERE TO LOOK/ FIX THIS NOISE?” YES I DO UNHOOK THE 4WAY PLUG BEFORE WORKING ON IT.

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  20. James on January 14th, 2012 2:13 pm

    I am having problems with my steps they are currently out and will not retract. The light that is normally on at the dash for the steps is not on or the remote switch for the generator. These 2 normally light up when I turn the ignition on. This happen shortly after purchasing and the previous owner came over when I was at work and in 10 minutes called me and said it was fixed. He says it was a dirty contact under the hood that controls both circuits. I wasn’t there so I am not sure what he did, can anyone help.

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  22. Peter on July 21st, 2012 1:04 pm

    The Carryout is a great solution for polrtbae satellite service. We are using it for our 5th wheel RV. Instead of setting up a pole and manually aiming a Dish 500, I connect the 12v cable and the coax cable, set it on the ground in a resonably level spot,and the carryout does the rest. It will only look at 1 satellite at a time, so is really only suited for a single receiver box. We use Dish network, and on initially getting it out of the box, I had to set a dip switch inside the dome for Dish network. It will automatically find the satellites at 110, 119, and 129 locations. This means it is also suited for HD service from Dish network. When changing channels that requires a different satellite, it only takes about 5 seconds to make the switch. It saves a lot of time in setup, and saves some storage space as well. Works great, and I highly recommend it.

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