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Old 06-21-2014, 01:46 PM   #1
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Step mounting

How are the steps mounted on my 02 32' Adventurer? The steps on the left side are drooping down about a 1/4 of an inch when you step on them. The right side seems solid, only the left side drops when you step on them.

Thanks,

Ron
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Old 06-21-2014, 07:39 PM   #2
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Look under the step where it mounts, it may have rusted off. I discovered this while camping when the right side broke off. I used some small metal shelving brackets to brace the hole where the studs enter the frame and some JB Weld to hold the stud in place while I screwed the step back on. The more permanent fix is to have it welded back. I would also suggest installing a step brace under the last step to add integrity to the step.

Stabil-Step Jack - 8" - 14" - Stromberg Carlson JSS-7 - Stabilizing Jacks - Camping World
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Old 06-21-2014, 07:41 PM   #3
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Assuming they re the same as my '05
There are four bolts, one in each corner. The heads are captured (assume welded).
Nuts go on from the bottom. You must have the steps extended to get to the nuts and have a socket with extension.
BE VERY CAREFUL the steps weigh about 75 pounds. I would unplug the power just in case, you don't want the steps to retract While you have a hand in there.
I just replaced my steps last month.
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Old 06-21-2014, 11:16 PM   #4
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They redesigned the step box using too light a gauge material on the early 2000+ gas models so that where the studs are welded in the steel begins to fracture around the welds. The fix is to remove the rubber tread from the bottom step inside the coach and then with a sawzall cut out an access panel to get to the bolt heads which you will then after removing the steps have to grind off so you and put a reinforcing plate/angle iron across the whole area and use longer bolts to fasten the step to afterwards. I mounted the rubber tread on some 1/2 plywood which I slid back over the cutout area and 8 years later its still solid as a rock.

Pic-1 shows about a 1/2 inch sag to on the left side, 2 - Rubber tread removed from bottom step and first hole being drilledm 3 - Access hole cut out and cracks around welded bolt head on left hand side of step mount, 4 - Angle iron in place with new longer bolt supporting step and clamping it all together, 5 - View of repaired step with door closed, 6 - View of repaired step with door open also showing bottom tread back in place.
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Old 06-22-2014, 03:27 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeilV View Post
They redesigned the step box using too light a gauge material on the early 2000+ gas models so that where the studs are welded in the steel begins to fracture around the welds. The fix is to remove the rubber tread from the bottom step inside the coach and then with a sawzall cut out an access panel to get to the bolt heads which you will then after removing the steps have to grind off so you and put a reinforcing plate/angle iron across the whole area and use longer bolts to fasten the step to afterwards. I mounted the rubber tread on some 1/2 plywood which I slid back over the cutout area and 8 years later its still solid as a rock.
Thanks everyone.

Neil,

Thanks for the pictures and the explanation of the work. Your steps looked exactly like mine.

Ron
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Old 06-22-2014, 06:51 AM   #6
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The reason the left side drops is because the door is hinged on the right so you tend to walk up hugging the left where the assist handle is located.

I see too many of coaches like this on sales lots in need of this repair and its an accident waiting to happen as eventually the metal will fracture completely and the bolts will pull through allowing the step to flip down putting the occupant off hopefully not into pavement or other hard object.

After I took the pictures I did dress up the sharp edges, vacuumed the debris out, prepped, primed and painted everything.
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Old 06-22-2014, 09:23 AM   #7
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We also repaired the mounting plate on our 2001 Adventurer 32V, but went about it a different way. Rather than coming from the top I removed the stairs and came at it from the bottom.

The captured bolts (carriage bolts welded to the plate) can be accessed from the bottom. After the stairs were off I took a jack and lifted the cracked section of the plate inline with the remaining plate. From the bottom I welded the cracks using a wire feed welder. I also put a small bead around each bolt to be sure they wouldn't break loose when reinstalling the stairs. I then cut a piece of 7 ga. sheet metal (roughly 3/16") plate the size of the lower surface of the mounting box. I drilled a clearance hole for each bolt, then welded the plate in place.

I put a coat of POR15 on the plate to keep it from rusting then reinstalled the stairs. The whole job took an afternoon. It was still in good shape 6 years and over 100,000 miles later when we traded it off for our 2013 Adventurer.

Just a side note. If you decide to go this route be sure to disconnect and remove the batteries before welding. I hate the smell of burning plastic and that constant drip, drip, drip, of battery acid on my head.
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Old 06-22-2014, 08:53 PM   #8
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You also should take precautions to protect the engine control unit when doing electric welding on a motor coach. I could have used a welder but did not want the further embrittling and such nor to deal with the sensitive olefactory of the wife and two daughters finding the welding fumes/smoke offensive. Could have enjoyed a few quiet solo trips if I had but...

Use the tools you have.

Note that going in from the top can be done with a hand drill and saber saw while at a camp site by just about anyone with basic shop skills.
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