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Old 07-02-2019, 11:25 PM   #1
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On/Off Switch for Power Steps?

Hello All,

So there we are, driving down small town USA when DW says she wants to stop and stretch the legs. As usual the streets are narrow and parking is at a premium. I gently snug the RV up to the curb and set the brake. That's when the kid opens the side door and "WHAM" the steps hit the curb!!!

This has got me wondering if anyone has figured out a way to shut off the power to the steps? I can turn the off the switch to keep the steps down, but I can't figure out how to keep them up and from going down without shutting off all the power?

Any ideas are welcome.....

Thanks,

Rob
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Old 07-03-2019, 05:24 AM   #2
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Can't for safety reasons.
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Old 07-03-2019, 05:57 AM   #3
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Was there any damage to the step?


.
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Old 07-03-2019, 06:09 AM   #4
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Yes it can be done......I can't speak for Jayco coaches, but, I switched the auto function off with a toggle switch (on the dash) on my Newmar coach. Newmar used a magnetic switch on the screen door that I just switched on and off. Look into it further.
(I had / used permanent steps at my seasonal site, so I needed the auto step feature to be off)
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Old 07-03-2019, 10:00 AM   #5
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Thanks JB. I figured like anything electrical a switch could be added. I had not thought about putting the switch on the dash. Interesting thought.

Billitt... I actually did it twice during our last trip. No damage that I can tell. However the steps did stop working after we drove through a torrential downpour. I disconnected the steps and found that I have power to the motor but nothing is moving. I didn't spend much more time problem solving while on the road, I just put them up and down manually. Just another thing to tinker with.

Grumpy...just out of curiosity what is the safety reason?

Thanks for the replies....

Rob
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Old 07-03-2019, 10:49 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grumpy View Post
Can't for safety reasons.
Quote:
Originally Posted by RobieMo View Post
...just out of curiosity what is the safety reason? Rob

Well let's just say it wouldn't be good to forget to turn the steps back on and absently walk out the door and the steps were not deployed...

Old farts like me tend to not notice such things once in a while.
.
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Old 07-03-2019, 11:01 AM   #7
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"Look before you leap!" Didn't do that once many years ago and had a sore heel for weeks.

The Kwikee steps motor will usually stop when it senses an over-current condition such as an obstruction. After all it's just a 'power window motor'.

This new post may provide helpful information when troubleshooting Kwikee steps;

Kwikee Step… failure and troubleshooting experience - iRV2 Forums
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Old 07-03-2019, 10:20 PM   #8
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Well heck, I looked past the obvious about stepping out without looking. Great point.

Thanks Winnie for the link. Very good article.

Bullitt...Looking over things today it looks like I did do some damage. I poked around and couldn't see any damage to the gearbox or the sprocket on the motor. With the steps disconnected everything moved freely. Once I would hook up the steps it would make a sound like it was jammed and freeze up half way up. I went on Amazon and ordered a motor this morning and had it by this afternoon. Installed it and everything works great. When I get some time I will pull the motor apart and see if there is any salvaging it for a back up.

Thanks everyone for the feedback. On to the next project.

Rob
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Old 07-03-2019, 10:35 PM   #9
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I have a lot of sore shins from those steps...
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Old 07-05-2019, 05:47 AM   #10
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After working through my Kwikee step issue last fall, my research turned up that the step controller operates based on resistance to the step motor in full up or down position being the trigger for turning the motor on or off.

In theory anytime the step hits an obstruction, it will sense the resistance and turn power off to the step as if it has completed a cycle, so....again...in theory...no damage should result from it hitting the curb unless it gets jammed up or something and cannot retract.

That said, the idea of interrupting power with the magnetic switch seems like a simple solution.
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Old 07-05-2019, 07:40 AM   #11
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Just after we picked up our Seneca this spring from the dealer I crawled around under the thing to insure all the things ans stuff were where they were supposed to be and were properly supported.

The wiring for my step controls was pretty sloppy so I dressed it up. One thing I noticed was the ground wire is readily apparent. Ground is always a green wire. As my Seneca, as are pretty much all modern RVs , is built on a 12 volt system disrupting that ground circuit will stop the device from working.

So I would suggest crawling under and take a look at the step wiring. When you find your green wire you should be able to find where it is landed on the RV frame. Unscrew or unbolt that wire from the frame and try the steps. My guess is they will not move.

If they do not move get some 14 gauge wire, a 15 amp automotive toggle switch, and pull the wires up to the dash board or where ever you want the shut off to be and install the toggle switch.

Then whenever you want the steps to not extend simply toggle that switch. Might want to get a switch that lights up when it is in service so you have an indicator when the steps will not work.
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Old 07-05-2019, 10:33 AM   #12
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I had a similar issue but the steps came down on top of the sidewalk when no was in the unit, after we had 6 people on board the stairs were securely stuck. had to set the jacks down on the passenger side to free them up. The reality with these units is that as soon as you think you have it figured out you find something else out. Always learning.
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Old 07-05-2019, 11:12 PM   #13
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Ender....great information. You are right, the green ground is very clear. No attempt to hide that. You have me thinking now....Could I re-wire the existing "on/off" switch to do what I want? Why couldn't I use it to kill the power to the steps? I don't really see why not. Then I wouldn't have to add a new switch.

DW is headed out to the beach with the kids for the week. Lucky me gets to stay home and work. When she gets back that is definitely something I am going to try.

To be continued.......

Rob
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Old 07-05-2019, 11:15 PM   #14
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RV'r,

Holy Crud....that's some stuck steps!!! I couldn't agree more with your statement. The good news is there are some pretty sharp people on here who are willing to help us through the next set of problems.

Rob
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Old 07-07-2019, 08:06 AM   #15
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Why couldn't I use it to kill the power to the steps? I don't really see why not. Then I wouldn't have to add a new switch.


You can. But, you have to look at is the amperage rating of that switch. I suspect it is only an amp or two. That little motor probably pulls 7 amps or more. You will fry the switch if you use it to break/make the power circuit.

The lock out most likely is tied to the door sensor switch (very low current). But first you need to determine the fail safe mode of the system because there are two scenarios.

Fail safe scenario 1. If the step switch fails the steps stay out. This is safest for passenger egress of the coach.

Fail safe scenario 2. If the step switch fails the steps stay in. This is safest for the coach to be driven.

My wife and I just went out to our 2019 Seneca (I give the year as the step circuit for a system 10 years old would be much different) for a quick test. We set the steps to off after we closed the door. When the door opened the steps went out and would not retract. That tells me that our steps are most likely fail safe scenario 1. If the door switch or toggle switch fails the steps will extend. This make perfect sense from a lawsuit point of view. If the steps fail to extend when the door opens and someone falls and injures or kills themselves the company is at fault. If you drive off with the steps extended and damage the coach you get the idiot award, but the manufacturer is safe from a lawsuit.

So to do this without major rewiring you will need to figure out what wire is the door switch.

Wire the existing switch to emulate the door being closed in one position. This will lock the steps in the closed position.

Wire the existing switch to emulate the door being open and steps locked out in the other switch position.

I suspect the safety folks at Jayco have figured that guys like you and me will get into the wiring and try to jury rig it to do what you want and have fixed it so that the existing switch needs to be in the same position for both locked open and bypassing the door.
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Old 07-20-2019, 06:29 PM   #16
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I haven’t tried this but while sitting on my steps I knocked off the magnet on my screen door with my butt and the steps would not extend. I panicked for a second then calmed down and figured out what I did. The magnet is just an ordinary window or door alarm magnet. I would bet if you bought one and temporarily taped it on top or next to the side of the magnet the loop would stay in a closed position and it will keep the steps from extending.

To me this would be cheap and easy!
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Old 07-20-2019, 09:54 PM   #17
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Interesting idea Johny.

I ended up running with Ender's idea and went after the ground wire. In my case there were two grounds. One was grounded to the steps and the other to the frame. If I removed only one wire the steps would work and it didn't matter which one. Remove both wires and that did the trick.

After trying to figure out the amperage of my existing switch, I came to the slightly uneducated conclusion that it most likely was rated high enough to use. I removed the two wires attached to the existing "On/Off" switch (left them separate) and ran a new ground wire up to that switch.

Now my existing "On/Off" switch is literally that.....when its "on", the steps work. When its "off", the steps don't work. As long a we can remember to turn them off, no more slamming the steps into curbs for us.

Thanks everyone for the input. On to the next modification....

Rob
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Old 07-21-2019, 02:32 PM   #18
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I just fixed my class C step. I have been working on the inside and got feed up with the step going in & out every time I opened or shut the screen door. I traced down the wires and found the red power wire could be 'switched' and not mess up the 'always out' function. I put a rocker switch right next to the battery disconnect switch [which happens to be illuminated red when on]. so I used a green illuminated when on rocker. 3 terminals, power, load and ground. std. spade push-on terminals.
on my C, I just cut the red power wire, switch in line and white to ground.
no more step going out unless you want it to go out.
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Old 08-28-2020, 12:07 PM   #19
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Question, we have a 2012 greyhawk, all of a sudden our steps won’t go out. We checked the fuse behind steps, it seems ok. Checked the magnet and even bought a new switch, since 6 other light switches went bad in our coach. Any ideas how to troubleshoot dealer wants 750.00 and won’t troubleshoot just wants to replace motor and gears. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated someone was mentioning another fuse besides the one under the step. Location? The dealer was messing with trying to stop the propane tank from overheating and blowing, any wires you know of around there they might have messed up? Thanks again.
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Old 08-28-2020, 12:16 PM   #20
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Steps won’t go out

Oh, before they stopped working completely, we open door, nothing happened tried three times on the third time it opened thinking something is not connected or loose?
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