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Old 09-09-2019, 12:54 PM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Johns Island, SC
Posts: 21
My Electric Steps Appeared to Be Possessed

During our trip to Bar Harbor, Maine for another visit to Acadia National Park, we encountered some "issues." The endless stop-and-go traffic on the Connecticut Turnpike finally did-in our brakes requiring expensive replacement. That cost us a couple of days travel. Just as we entered the New Hampshire Turnpike from Massachusetts, a huge sea bird flew into our windshield causing a web of cracks on the entire passenger side. When we got to Portland, Maine, I was able to make arrangements with RV Glass Solutions and Portland Glass Company there to order the windshield and schedule a replacement. Since it would take more than week to have the replacement glass delivered, we continued to Bar Harbor to enjoy our planned vacation.


Scheduling return trip through Portland, Maine to coincide with the arrival of my replacement windshield, Portland Glass Company sent a crew of four men to our campsite and did a highly-professional replacement job. Although brakes and windshields are fairly common problems on RVs, we were hoping that we'd be able to make it back to our home in South Carolina without further issues. Anyone who has traveled Connecticut, New York and Maryland Interstate highways knows that those roads are in terrible condition. Our Itasca Sunova 33C took an awful beating traveling those miles.


When we began our trip through the Washington, DC area on the beltway, which is also a horribly bumpy highway, I heard a strange thumping coming from behind me. Looking out my side-view mirror, I saw our electric steps alternately extending and then retracting. My wife thought that our door must have become ajar and and went back to make sure that it was tightly closed, which it was.


Meanwhile, our steps continued to randomly extend and then retract as we driving down the beltway as if they were possessed by some demon. Since extending steps added unwanted width to our coach, especially on a crowded highway I new a quick solution was necessary. As soon as I could find an accessible exit from the beltway, I took it and continued driving until I could find a space large enough to park our rig with our car in tow.


The steps on our coach are controlled by a magnetic switch mounted on the bottom of the door frame. A magnet on the screen door operates the switch when the door is opened and closed. When I removed the magnetic switch from the door frame, I quickly found the problem. One of the wires to the switch had broken loose from the spade lug and was causing an intermittent connection, exacerbated by all of the vibration caused by Washington's bumpy highway.


Fortunately my supplies and tools included an assortment of spade lugs and a crimping tool. I was able to install a new spade lug on the wire and make a solid connection to the magnetic switch again. The demonic possession of our electric steps was finally defeated enabling us to return safely to our home in South Carolina, which was still standing after Hurricane Dorian.

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