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Old 07-28-2019, 06:21 PM   #1
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Retracting steps acting up

We just completed a week of camping, going in and out of our 2006 Winnebago Voyage. The steps were "off" so they stayed out the entire week. After starting the engine to pull in the slides and such in they continued to work well, opening and closing with the door.

Then, the last time they needed to do their job, when we got in to drive away they did not go up entirely. They went up about 3/4 of the way and then made a horrible loud clicking or clattering sound.

We made it home opening and closing the steps as little as possible. Even when I went out the drivers door and 'helped' them up, they would go up but then would make this horrible sound.

It sounds like gears clattering. It is not a pleasant sound and I am assuming that whatever damage is being done each time the sound is made is worse each time.

Any ideas on where to start? We are supposed to go out again next week so I don't have a lot of time to figure this out.

Thanks in advance for all your wisdom!
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Old 07-29-2019, 05:22 AM   #2
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The motor is bad. Just had same issue and replaced motor now all is well again.
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Old 07-29-2019, 06:25 AM   #3
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Steps

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Originally Posted by Flash View Post
We just completed a week of camping, going in and out of our 2006 Winnebago Voyage. The steps were "off" so they stayed out the entire week. After starting the engine to pull in the slides and such in they continued to work well, opening and closing with the door.

Then, the last time they needed to do their job, when we got in to drive away they did not go up entirely. They went up about 3/4 of the way and then made a horrible loud clicking or clattering sound.

We made it home opening and closing the steps as little as possible. Even when I went out the drivers door and 'helped' them up, they would go up but then would make this horrible sound.

It sounds like gears clattering. It is not a pleasant sound and I am assuming that whatever damage is being done each time the sound is made is worse each time.

Any ideas on where to start? We are supposed to go out again next week so I don't have a lot of time to figure this out.

Thanks in advance for all your wisdom!
As Ranger says - motor is bad - also - Do not step on steps while they are going up or down - this will grind the teeth off of the motor and you'll be replacing it again - 'speaking from experience' - good luck
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Old 07-29-2019, 09:23 AM   #4
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Thanks. We are careful not to step on them while they are going in or out. I can't say it has never happened when I have been in too much of a hurry but that is a very rare thing. Now I have to figure out where the motor is so I can replace it. Argh!
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Old 08-02-2019, 03:29 AM   #5
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Not doubting the motor, but have you tried cleaning all of the pivot points on the stairs. Use water pressure to clean out then a spray lub. (not wd40) you want one that does not attract dirt. In the past dirty points have caused what you are talking about.
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Old 08-02-2019, 11:15 AM   #6
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Replacement of the motor/gearbox is an easy job. Warning though- keep your hands and fingers clear whenever you are working on the steps while it is plugged in. Unplug it before working on them. Pull the old one and get the part number. Motor/gearbox is available on Amazon.
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Old 08-02-2019, 11:35 AM   #7
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With as many times as these types of questions are asked regarding retracting steps, perhaps it is time for a Sticky Thread devoted solely to this problem.
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Old 08-02-2019, 03:28 PM   #8
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Not only keep your hands and fingers our of the gears when working on them, but *I* wouldn't lay directly under the steps either - if they come down on your chest that's really not going to feel very good. Either come at them from an angle or from the far side of the RV - whichever is easiest for you.
I too would start with a good lubrication on ALL of the moving/pivot points of the steps. Many of which you can't see until you've got your head under the RV.
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Old 08-05-2019, 08:31 AM   #9
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Sounds like all good advice. Had the same problem on 2003 adventurer. Only real fix is replacement. Good luck
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Old 08-11-2019, 06:53 PM   #10
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The problem can be fixed by replacing


Window Regulator Gear Plugs - Dorman# 74410


Remove the motor assy, remove the 1 screw holding the gearbox cover in place, remove the cover. You will see the 3 gear plugs, they are either shattered or not round anymore. Be certain to remove all chips and clean things up. The new plugs are a tight fit, don't force anything. Be sure to lube the gears and Plugs. Total cost, about $15.00 from Amazon.

Don't get the old plugs mixed with the new plugs during repair.

FYI - The motor is normally used on automobile power windows. Kudos to Lippert Components for an excellent electro-mechanical step design.


As several have mentioned, it would be good to isolate mechanical issues from electrical. The way that the steps work is that the open and shut position are controlled by monitoring the amount of electrical current that the motor is using when the magnetic door switch is activated. When the steps mechanical mechanism friction increases sharply, the motor electrical current increases and the step controller switches the electrical current off.

So, if the mechanical friction increases either due to hitting the the open or closed mechanical stops (normal operation) or because of lack of grease or damaged/bent mechanism, the electrical controller unit turns the motor off. The steps could be in any position.

Without more info troubleshooting is difficult. The steps will stick for many different reasons,some from increased mechanical friction and some from electrical anomalies I spent several days troubleshooting and finely found that the trouble was in the gearbox inside the motor housing. My steps would chatter and would stop unpredictably. I fixed them for $15 in parts, replacing the 3 clutch dowels inside the motor assembly.

Your step failure description could be due to the same because the dowels (plugs) wear unevenly for opening and closing, possibly causing the steps to freeze closed but not open. The jarring caused by repeated door opening and motor starts could um-wedge stuck dowels, allowing the steps to extend normally. The chattering is the gear plugs spinning instead of the gears, that is what they are there for. No stripped gears because the plugs are acting as a clutch, disengaging the motor from the output shaft.

One thing to notice is when the door is open and the steps extended, does the light over the steps turn on? If yes, the magnetic switch is operating correctly.

Also, my explanation above of how the steps work does not include all of the things that the electrical controller does. There are some timing functions that don't seem relevant to your situation.
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