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Old 12-26-2016, 10:42 AM   #1
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Step Well Cover won't close...

'02 Winnie Journey DL has an air actuated step well cover that has failed on me and I hope that someone here has had the same problem and might give me some advice on what to look for.

What happened is that it was working fine, until it just stopped. No odd behavior before it failed, no strange noises, it always quietly slid out, or back in, whenever the rocker switch was pressed. Flipping the Auto/Manual air control switch to manual allowed it to be opened or closed manually.

Than one morning, it just failed to retract when the button was pushed. First tried operating the Auto/Manual switch to manual but that made no difference. Climbed outside and pushed on it to try and get it back into the floor housing, and it was obviously being held by air. Eventually discovered that I could drain the air tank when the engine is off and the step would slide back into the floor.

Tested the rocker switch and it was showing a higher than normal resistance so replaced it with a new switch. No change. Removed and inspected the Auto/Manual valve and it looks fine, no air leaks I could see, reinstalled but no change.

After I've been parked for awhile, the cover can be slid out or in, and it stays in that position when I start the engine. But once the rig has aired up, then it's stuck in the last position it was in and operating the switch has no effect.

I've looked at the drawings but they don't seem to help much. Where are the relays for instance?

Anyone worked on this issue and could give me some insight on what to look for...and where to look?

Thanks!
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Old 12-26-2016, 10:39 PM   #2
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Mine quit as well Jim, looking forward to finding a repair as well.. Pete
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Old 12-27-2016, 03:47 PM   #3
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Well, Pete, by the looks of it, we are on our own. I'll come back and post a fix if I find it.

Oh, wait, it's only been a day since I posted this...jumping the gun a little. Maybe someone with expirience with the issue will wander by and see it during the winter vacation period, after their family has all left for home?
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Old 12-27-2016, 05:18 PM   #4
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Search this forum, Step Well Cover Problems. You. Will find many posts.
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Old 12-30-2016, 08:55 PM   #5
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Since it suddenly stopped working the first thing I'd do is crawl under that area and look for a lose wire or a bad/rusty ground. While I was under there I'd look for maybe something lodged in the moving mechanisms. I'd also lube all those moving parts too to remove any resistance that could be popping a fuse. Than I'd check the fuse. If those didn't produce any results I'd dig deeper.
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Old 12-30-2016, 09:51 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by marjoa View Post
Since it suddenly stopped working the first thing I'd do is crawl under that area and look for a lose wire or a bad/rusty ground. While I was under there I'd look for maybe something lodged in the moving mechanisms. I'd also lube all those moving parts too to remove any resistance that could be popping a fuse. Than I'd check the fuse. If those didn't produce any results I'd dig deeper.
Yeah, looks like that's what I'll have to do. And thanks for the advice.

I did a search as a previous poster suggested but there were too many where the mechanism is electric whereas mine is air. Or their symptoms were too far different from mine. Didn't find much help there except for learning how to get the platform removed...perhaps. I'll know when I give it a try here soon.
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Old 12-31-2016, 07:39 AM   #7
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Call Winnebago and ask if they have diagrams of the step slide system and the locations of control relays. I needed one for my rear slide to adjust it and they emailed them to me. Their very helpful. Good luck.

Have you checked the front 12 volt D.C. Panel? You'll find both cb's and control relays. However, you said the manual over ride doesn't work so it sounds like an air valve failure.
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Old 12-31-2016, 01:03 PM   #8
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This happened on my 2002 Horizon TD. I found the switch was bad. The step in/out pneumatic system consists of the switch and a 2-way latching solenoid/plunger type pneumatic actuator. Look under the "hood" on the drivers side for a device about 6 or 8 inches long mounted to the "firewall" with a couple of 1/4" air hoses and a couple wires going to it. There are a couple of manual actuation buttons on the pneumatic switch that will allow you to move the step cover (make sure you have system air pressure).
I would remove the switch panel to get at the switch connections and check the switch operation. As I recall the switch is a momentary double throw single pole switch. The center had 12 volts and the other 2 connections went to the pneumatic actuator. Test by jumping between the center and either of the other 2 poles. If you can make the step work by jumping the connections the switch is bad. I found a replacement at a local electronic supply house.

BTW, I at first suspected that the pneumatic actuator was bad and after pricing it decided to look elsewhere for a failure. As I recall that bad boy was close to $100.

Good luck,
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Old 12-31-2016, 07:25 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by NMBluept View Post
This happened on my 2002 Horizon TD. I found the switch was bad. The step in/out pneumatic system consists of the switch and a 2-way latching solenoid/plunger type pneumatic actuator. Look under the "hood" on the drivers side for a device about 6 or 8 inches long mounted to the "firewall" with a couple of 1/4" air hoses and a couple wires going to it. There are a couple of manual actuation buttons on the pneumatic switch that will allow you to move the step cover (make sure you have system air pressure).
I would remove the switch panel to get at the switch connections and check the switch operation. As I recall the switch is a momentary double throw single pole switch. The center had 12 volts and the other 2 connections went to the pneumatic actuator. Test by jumping between the center and either of the other 2 poles. If you can make the step work by jumping the connections the switch is bad. I found a replacement at a local electronic supply house.

BTW, I at first suspected that the pneumatic actuator was bad and after pricing it decided to look elsewhere for a failure. As I recall that bad boy was close to $100.

Good luck,
I already tested and found that the rocker switch had a higher than normal resistance in one position so I replaced it. No change in symptoms. I'll check for that under hood device tomorrow. Thanks!
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Old 01-01-2017, 12:12 PM   #10
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When you replaced the switch did you happen to check for 12 volts to the switch?
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Old 01-01-2017, 08:37 PM   #11
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When you replaced the switch did you happen to check for 12 volts to the switch?
Checked for 12 Volt and found it on the switch. Operated the switch while trying to listen for solenoids clacking but I'm so hard of hearing now, I couldn't detect any. Now I am at a RV park where there are lots of folk around that could listen for me, so I'll try imposing on someone to listen for me soon. See if I can localize the solenoids with help.
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Old 01-05-2017, 02:14 PM   #12
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Jim, I have a Journey exactly like yours. My cover quit and I messed around with the blue oblong switch under the hood. I pushed the little yellow button on the side of the blue switch and it caused the cover to close. It stopped again a few days later an I again pushed the yellow button and its been about 2 months and I haven't had any more problems. Don't know what I did.
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Old 01-05-2017, 02:53 PM   #13
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I think I found that rectangular thingy-ma-bob. Found two tiny buttons on it with little blue heads. Pushed on them. Then realized I have no air pressure...

I'll be back.
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Old 01-05-2017, 05:18 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Aganit View Post
Jim, I have a Journey exactly like yours. My cover quit and I messed around with the blue oblong switch under the hood. I pushed the little yellow button on the side of the blue switch and it caused the cover to close. It stopped again a few days later an I again pushed the yellow button and its been about 2 months and I haven't had any more problems. Don't know what I did.
Thanks! Based on your comment I found my rectangular control block. Under the hood on the upper right, when facing the front of the RV. It is aluminum...so that's it's color...and has two tiny blue pushbuttons. Upper and lower. On the top, and the bottom, there are solenoids. And then there are air tubes going and coming from it. Also a Schrader valve is involved. Well, maybe a picture would be worth more here:



So during testing, after I ran the engine to get air pressure up to 110 PSI, I found that the little blue buttons extend and retract the cover without a problem. Then the passengers switch will retract it but not extend it. So the EXTEND solenoid is either bad, or not getting voltage.

As I mentioned earlier, I'd already replaced the rocker switch since the old one was just slightly bad (showing a few 10s of ohms in one position occasionally), and I know it's getting voltage because it does operate the retraction solenoid. I'll check the voltage to the extend solenoid first...

I should have a solution here soon, after more testing.
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Old 01-07-2017, 04:54 PM   #15
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Got a moment to work on this today. Cut the leads going to the lower (Extend) solenoid. Measured the coil. Open circuit. Removed it from the manifold and found there's not much I can do to repair it...I've been successful repairing other molded solenoids, like the kind on Power Gear Jacks. I'd have to have it xrayed to have a shot with this one.

Did a google search and the vast majority of the Rexroth solenoids are 120 volt.

Eventually found a set of two, for $20 with free shipping, on eBay so they're ordered and on the way. I will just put the extra coil in stock for later perhaps.

Thanks for the help, NMBluept & Aganit. Once I found the manifold it was easy! I'm not an air guy and didn't know what I was looking for...

Rexroth 12 volt solenoids
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Old 01-08-2017, 02:15 PM   #16
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Jim glad you found the problem, when mine quits i'll know what to do.
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Old 01-12-2017, 10:05 PM   #17
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My cover doesn't work when it's below 40 deg. out. I've never found the "problem", but I have improved it some by extending the generator (lock it in the out position with vice grips on the frame guide) crawl underneath and you can sit up to remove the cover and see the mechanism. Mine was very dirty in there, cleaned it best I could, then had to repeat the process a month later.
Just clean it out and lightly oil moving joints/connections.
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Old 01-29-2017, 02:30 PM   #18
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Here in Mexico and the weather is sunny most every day, which is why this was on the back burner for almost a month...

Anyway, I received the new Rexroth solenoid, measured it at 54 ohms. The old one was 'infinity'. Installed it and...nothing, still didn't work. Even after pumping up the air tank the step cover didn't extend or retract with the button push. Gah!

And then today, while perusing the electrical schematics, figured that I needed to pull the switch and measure there. And I found that two of the three wires had fallen off the switch terminals. Remember that replacing that switch was the first thing I did. I noticed the spade terminals were kind of loose then but thought I'd get back to it later. But I didn't, and those loose terminals just fell off the switch!

Anyway, after squeezing those terminals and making sure they were secure on the switch, now the step cover works fine! Yea!

Even the release switch in the step well works now.

So the problem was a solenoid that likely shorted out, damaging the switch, and then finally open circuited in a cascading event. So both the solenoid and the switch had failed. And then I did a poor wiring job. When I visited the RV on the consignment lot back before I'd taken delivery, the tech was working on the step well cover, and I see evidence of his testing on the solenoids, so this was a long term intermittent issue on this RV.

I did not need to crawl under the RV or take the step assembly apart. With the air manifold just under the hood (upper right) it's easy to find and work on...once you know what you're looking for...and those little blue push buttons mean I'll never have the cover stuck in one position or the other. (Unless I have an air leak in the step cover air ram or tubing). Now that I know the secret.

Nice to have it working again, and likely for as long as I'm going to own the RV too.

Thanks for everyone's help.
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Old 01-29-2017, 06:23 PM   #19
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Turns out that in an earlier post, I mentioned that there was 12V at the switch. That is not strictly true. The retract wire has 12V on it as that came from the retract coil supplied by a fuse somewhere. The extend wire had nothing on it since the solenoid was open circuit but I didn't put two and two together. The center wire on the switch is no doubt a ground (hard to find a nearby ground to verify).

Anyway, I wrote up a blog entry to cover all that work, Step Well Cover so if there's any lurkers with a step well cover issue, check it out.
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Old 09-11-2018, 10:23 PM   #20
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As luck would have it, I just posted about this on irv2.com. That air valve/solenoid is an unavailable Roxroth PW 067715-4 air valve,( everything else I know is in that post.)
I have found webpages suggesting the air exhaust valves get dirty and restrict air-flow, which in turn restricts step-cover movement. I'm going to use KISS to clean and re-lubricate the solenoid valve O-rings and works with special air valve oil. I do know motor oil should never be used in air valves or tools.

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