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Old 01-13-2008, 05:56 PM   #1
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We almost had a bad accident tonight when my wife went out to the motorhome in the dark to get something. She opened the door,felt for the light switch and must have hit the step switch first and then turned on the light. After she went up the steps and shut the door the step went up and did not realize the step was up. When she went to leave,turned off the inside light opened the door and stepped out. Luckily she landed ok on the grass only hit her arm on the door on the way down, but she could have been hurt very badly.
I need some help.
Does anyone know or could figure out how I could install a 12 volt buzzer that would sound when the door is opened and the step is retracted?
Thanks a lot guys, Greg
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Old 01-13-2008, 05:56 PM   #2
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We almost had a bad accident tonight when my wife went out to the motorhome in the dark to get something. She opened the door,felt for the light switch and must have hit the step switch first and then turned on the light. After she went up the steps and shut the door the step went up and did not realize the step was up. When she went to leave,turned off the inside light opened the door and stepped out. Luckily she landed ok on the grass only hit her arm on the door on the way down, but she could have been hurt very badly.
I need some help.
Does anyone know or could figure out how I could install a 12 volt buzzer that would sound when the door is opened and the step is retracted?
Thanks a lot guys, Greg
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Old 01-13-2008, 06:56 PM   #3
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So glad to hear that your wife was not injured. No doubt that was a scary moment.

To accomplish this project you may need to find your MH wiring diagrams. These can be found as pdf files at the Winnebago web site so they are downloadable and you can print them out to help define the circuit design.

For our Journey 36G, 2004, the "Body 12v wiring 04_p36g wire_146053" page 3 shows the electric step door switch, the electric switch and the electric step switch wiring. This design will need to consider that the step is tied into the ignition so that in the "on" position the step will retract to prevent it from being damaged or damaging others while under way. There may be other issues I have not thought of.

Probably finding the physical wiring might be the most difficult part. Hopefully someone who has done this modification can assist you. And maybe there is even some other less technical method someone is using. I am always amazed at the ingenuity of solutions that the forum members provide. Best of luck.
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Old 01-14-2008, 04:46 AM   #4
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Probably the simplest solution would be a magnetic reed switch which could be physically placed somewhere on the step mechanics and wired to where a light comes on with the step in or out as you choose.

A reed switch is a little glass tube with metal contacts sealed inside the little glass tube. When a magnet comes near the switch, it will either provide an open or a closed contact. Burgler alarm switches primarily operate with reed switches and magnets.

You can head to Rat Shack and pick up a few parts and do some experimenting. You'll need a reed switch, 12V lamp, some 18 or 20 gauge wire, and an appropriately sized fuse placed near your source of 12V.

Let us know what you figure out.
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Old 01-14-2008, 07:09 AM   #5
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I would take John's suggestion one step further and use two switches - either two reed switches or one reed switch and a micro switch or a combination, whichever is easiest to mount.

If one senses the door is opening AND one senses that the steps are retracted then the buzzer would operate.
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Old 01-14-2008, 08:09 AM   #6
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I think that trying to tie into existing wireing would be difficult and agree that an additional circuit would be easiest.

I would add a magnetic switch to the screen door (normally open when door is closed), and a switch to the steps (normally closed when steps are retracted).

If you could find a buzzer that draws less current than the switches you would not need a relay.
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Old 01-14-2008, 08:45 AM   #7
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Here is a different thought...

I wonder if the buzzer may begin to annoy you and your neighbors. What about the same type of setup using a small 12v spot light? Something that could be mounted inside, to aim down towards the step to illuminate it and not blind you when coming or going?

Another thought would be those motion activated Sure Step lights.

Just food for thought for you, glad your wife is ok after the fall... that is what is most important.
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Old 01-14-2008, 10:21 AM   #8
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Thanks for all your input.I was thinking how I was going to do all the electrical work and how I'm not the best electrical engineer on the block when it hit me; why not make a physical barrier to the step switch. At the '07 GNR I picked up some extra cabinet hardware, so I took a door pull that matches the rest of the M/H and installed it over the step switch. Now one's hand will feel the pull and realize it's not the light switch.
here's a link for pictures of the work. www.picturetail.com/shadyheart
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Old 01-14-2008, 10:29 AM   #9
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Corrected link- www.picturetrail.com/shadyheart
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Old 01-14-2008, 02:32 PM   #10
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Good for you! An even simpler solution!
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Old 01-14-2008, 05:35 PM   #11
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Shucks, you just killed at least 3 pages

Who said low tech is dead.
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Old 01-14-2008, 06:26 PM   #12
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LOL Really like the menu
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Old 01-17-2008, 12:14 PM   #13
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by oldpa:
We almost had a bad accident tonight when my wife went out to the motorhome in the dark to get something. She opened the door, felt for the light switch and must have hit the step switch first and then turned on the light. After she went up the steps and shut the door the step went up and did not realize the step was up. When she went to leave,turned off the inside light opened the door and stepped out. Luckily she landed ok on the grass only hit her arm on the door on the way down, but she could have been hurt very badly.
I need some help.
Does anyone know or could figure out how I could install a 12 volt buzzer that would sound when the door is opened and the step is retracted?
Thanks a lot guys, Greg </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Here's a neat idea, though I'm not sure if it works for you, but no wiring would be required...

http://www.rvtoyoutlet.com/p-RV0015.html

http://www.rvsurestep.com/Scripts/pr...?idCategory=24
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Old 01-18-2008, 05:49 AM   #14
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by oldpa:
We almost had a bad accident tonight when my wife went out to the motorhome in the dark to get something. She opened the door,felt for the light switch and must have hit the step switch first and then turned on the light. After she went up the steps and shut the door the step went up and did not realize the step was up. When she went to leave,turned off the inside light opened the door and stepped out. Luckily she landed ok on the grass only hit her arm on the door on the way down, but she could have been hurt very badly.
I need some help.
Does anyone know or could figure out how I could install a 12 volt buzzer that would sound when the door is opened and the step is retracted?
Thanks a lot guys, Greg </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Greg same thing happened to me;
from my post in August, 2006
Be Careful with the electric steps, I stepped out of the motorhome, steps were not out and I fell to the ground broke my right wrist.

Power at home was out so I brought the motohome home to use the generator and went out to the motorhome after midnight 08/03/06 to turn off the generator fumbled with the switches, next to the entrance door, and turned the step switch off and on again and did not realize that locked the steps in the closed position. When I opened the door and expected the steps to be out and they were not down I went.

So at 61, I have my first cast.

My post August 2006
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Old 01-18-2008, 04:52 PM   #15
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Sorry about your wrist Bob. We just got back from the Tampa RV show tonight and the new '08 Winnies still have the same switch set up.I'm thinking if they just put the step switch on top or over the light switches,that would help a lot.
Greg
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Old 01-19-2008, 05:49 AM   #16
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The door handle solution solves the accidental turn off problem but I still sure would like to have a buzzer or something that would go off when the door is opened and the steps are not extended.

For instance, when you shut off the engine, the steps are retracted. You open the door to exit and, if you're too fast, and, the steps are not as fast, you could be doing a PLF on the pavement (Parachute Landing Fall). I've almost done this several times.

I'm pretty good with 12V stuff but the solutions, so far might be above my skill level.

On edit: was just thinking more about this. Since the Army trained me not to exit an airplane until the red light changed to green, maybe I should wire up a Red/Green light : (and I'd do it, if I knew how just as a conversation piece!) Steve
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Old 01-19-2008, 06:56 AM   #17
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Belgique, don't forget to assume a "good" door position before exiting. This will usually prevent a very rapid descent. Seriously, if you wired in a red and green lamp you would be introducing yet another parasitic draw on the 12v system unless you wired in another switch to deactivate the lamps. If you did that, you would be right back to where you started. Covering the switch seems to be the easiest solution. Good Luck.
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Old 01-19-2008, 07:09 AM   #18
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Chief: At least I wouldn't have a dozen or more guys behind me stampeding out the door to avoid getting in the tress I was kidding, sort of, about the red/green.

But, again, I think the handle solves the switch issue. It is the "normal" event of the step being stowed when the ignition has been turned on that I'm talking about. The steps on our '08 35J are a tad slower than the '01 35U and, several times, I almost exited too early. I'll probably get used to it but an alarm of some kind would be handy. Steve
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Old 01-19-2008, 01:28 PM   #19
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There is a rescue center for nearly all breeds. Just Google the specific breed + rescue and lots will pop up. Once you find the national group, you can find sites for various states and cities.

Last do we got was a sweet female miniature schnauzer. She is a real sweetie and seems to appreciate being rescued.

Ken
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Old 01-21-2008, 10:17 PM   #20
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Seems to me without looking at the prints that you could add a buzzer or Sonalert to the B+ of the motor, so any time it's in motion you would know it. Can't think of any time this wouldn't be reasonable.

As far as adding reed switches, etc., I'd just use a mercury swx on the step brace, and glue it to whatever position you do or don't want the step supports in.
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