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Old 03-29-2023, 10:40 AM   #1
Winnebago Camper
 
Join Date: Feb 2023
Location: New Gretna
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Automatic steps intermittent

I have a question about the automatic steps on my 2004 Class Journey. The issue is that they don't work more than they do. I replaced all my batteries so there should be plenty of juice. And what's weird is that the steps will sometimes work after the RV has been running for a while, like an hour, although that is most likely just coincidental............

My first thought is to replace the mini toggle switch that is just on the inside of the door. It's a 2 pole on/off switch. I can't find anything when I google the part number which is either 1811 or R30. I'm going to attach a picture I took. Any insight will be appreciated...... TIA
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Old 03-29-2023, 12:16 PM   #2
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Some thoughts to maybe clear some things as a start?

What I see is a simple switch with only tow wires? If correect the preferred name single pole as only one set of contacts and single throw as only one way to make those contacts. So when shopping the beccomes single ploe/ single throw (SPST!)
IF that is what you have, that may ease the job of finding replacement as that is one of the most common types!

But then before replacing the switch, I would do some more testing as the switch is one of those things which is last likely to go bad on the step.

Maybe let me go two ways? To find the correct part number, I went to the drawings for the 12 volt on your RV here:
https://www.winnebago.com/Files/File...ire_147379.pdf

In case it is the switch , this info gets you to the correct part number if ordering from Winnebago!

Click these drawings for better view or go direct to drawings!

I think this is the switch you are showing?
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Looking at the details, I see it shows three of that type and one of a different type that uses three wires. So you want the one with only two wires, if my guess is right?
This is shown as looking from the back!

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But it is my guess that this switch is NOT the problem. One way to test that would be to tie the two wires together with some small wire and watch to see if the problem is still there. This switch only connects the two wire when turned on, so tying them together is one way to check if the switch is faulty!

But I'm guessing there is a more common problem down at the lower left of the door where there is a little magnet/reed switch gizmo.

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It is where it can get kicked/bumped/broken pretty easy and it is also just a really fragile thing to start. A reed switch is often just almost like a thin wire (reed) that is pulled by the magnet when the door is closed. The wires can get knocked off or that lettle reed may get so it doesn't spring back like it should.

One way to test if this switch is a problem is to tie the wires together if it is not showiung closed when it should or take one wire off if it thinks the door is closed when you open it.

The steps are a pretty complex thing to work on but this switch is step one as it lets everything else know when you open/close the door. After that it gets tough to figure but this first signal is often one that gets messed with!

I suggest looking close at this little things first as it has a hard life for a pretty fragile things. Maybe it just needs adjustment if the mounting is loose?
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Old 03-29-2023, 12:49 PM   #3
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Rich, I think you might be right about it being something with the magnets. They are not mounted in the same position as where your drawing has them. And when I looked under the RV where the steps are, there is a light attached to the steps that is lit, so they must be getting power............. I'll mess with the wires that are attached to the magnets.
Thanks!
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Old 03-29-2023, 01:55 PM   #4
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The one big thing that I know about the steps is that it is really hard to work around them opening when they are working right. That little reed switch and magnet are just really set on the step slamming me in the shins when I want to work on the batteries under the step!
I've tried putting a magnet on the the switch while the door is open and found it was too strong and must have bent or deformed the little gizmo inside so I had to change out that switch and magnet.

It's a fussy little thing but not the only thing that can go wrong but it does have to start the chain of things that happen.

Good luck to you!
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Old 03-29-2023, 02:14 PM   #5
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Rich,
I saw the two wires connected to the one side of magnet point, and I assume there must be voltage so I used my multimeter and there was 6.5 volts. I'm wondering if that's not enough to make the system work?? I do have the manual for the steps. Maybe that will give me a little more information.

Edit, I checked the manual and it's got a nice description of how it should be wired, and considering it does work intermittently, I can only conclude that the ground wire is most likely my culprit. Tomorrow I plan on getting under there and checking it, and giving it a good cleaning up!
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Old 03-30-2023, 09:39 AM   #6
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Problem FIXED!!!

Just an update that my issue was the ground wire, and laziness of a previous owner of the RV. There were 3 other ground wires at this same location, but the wire for the steps was separate from the other 3, using a 2nd nut on top of the nut holding the other 3 wires. I just removed all the nuts, wire brushed the connection point and put them all together, using just one nut to hold them in place, and viola!!! This fix was much easier than the last issue!!! Onto the next project!!!
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Old 03-30-2023, 10:17 AM   #7
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Common thing we hear about! Good job sorting and finding it !
Maybe we all should declare a day to set aside and clean the ground connections on our RV!
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Old 03-30-2023, 05:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jefflbi View Post
Problem FIXED!!!

Just an update that my issue was the ground wire, and laziness of a previous owner of the RV. There were 3 other ground wires at this same location, but the wire for the steps was separate from the other 3, using a 2nd nut on top of the nut holding the other 3 wires. I just removed all the nuts, wire brushed the connection point and put them all together, using just one nut to hold them in place, and viola!!! This fix was much easier than the last issue!!! Onto the next project!!!

FWIW, over 80% of all 12V issues are the result of a poor/missing ground.
That reed switch is where it gets rained on some times, which corrodes the connections and restricts current flow. The magnet does not need to be at the same level as the reed switch, Mine is about way above the reed switch and works fine.
When you want to test the reed switch, just use any fairly strong magnet and hold it near the top of the reed switch to activate. The reed switch is mounted on the stepwell wall, the magnet on the screen door.
If you ever need to replace your reed switch, buy the same color HWH housing, black or white. One is NO the other is NC.
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Old 04-02-2023, 06:12 PM   #9
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After cleaning your ground points I recommend you get some liquid electrical tape and coat the connections!
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Old 04-02-2023, 10:41 PM   #10
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Intermittent Steps

As luck would have it, I too have been chasing the same problem on our 2020 Navion. The Steps are the Kwikee Revolution and have been intermittent (and rarely working) for several months now. Contacted Lippert (Kwikee) and they have attempted to help, but no success to date. Have replaced the step motor with new a couple of months ago and that appeared to help initially, but not for long.

Oddly, there does not appear to be a power problem to the Step Control Module as the small yellow light behind the steps comes on when the coach door is opened. I removed the wires on the magnetic switch and then put them back correctly and tight. I just replaced the vehicle chassis battery on the Sprinter and have retained the "old" 12V battery which I plan to use to apply 12VDC directly to the new step motor to see if it works correctly.

I am suspicious of the Step Control Module, but first need to confirm Step Motor is good. Motor and Module are quite expensive.

IF anybody out there has any ideas, I am very keen to hear them.

cthiggy
2020 Navion
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Old 04-03-2023, 07:48 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cthiggy View Post
As luck would have it, I too have been chasing the same problem on our 2020 Navion. The Steps are the Kwikee Revolution and have been intermittent (and rarely working) for several months now. Contacted Lippert (Kwikee) and they have attempted to help, but no success to date. Have replaced the step motor with new a couple of months ago and that appeared to help initially, but not for long.

Oddly, there does not appear to be a power problem to the Step Control Module as the small yellow light behind the steps comes on when the coach door is opened. I removed the wires on the magnetic switch and then put them back correctly and tight. I just replaced the vehicle chassis battery on the Sprinter and have retained the "old" 12V battery which I plan to use to apply 12VDC directly to the new step motor to see if it works correctly.

I am suspicious of the Step Control Module, but first need to confirm Step Motor is good. Motor and Module are quite expensive.

IF anybody out there has any ideas, I am very keen to hear them.

cthiggy
2020 Navion
Before spending money, make sure the ground connections, most have 2-some have 3,are clean and tight. The controller is always "hot", the controller stops/starts the motor by switching the ground connection.
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Old 04-04-2023, 09:53 PM   #12
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Red face

Quote:
Originally Posted by cthiggy View Post
As luck would have it, I too have been chasing the same problem on our 2020 Navion. The Steps are the Kwikee Revolution and have been intermittent (and rarely working) for several months now. Contacted Lippert (Kwikee) and they have attempted to help, but no success to date. Have replaced the step motor with new a couple of months ago and that appeared to help initially, but not for long.

Oddly, there does not appear to be a power problem to the Step Control Module as the small yellow light behind the steps comes on when the coach door is opened. I removed the wires on the magnetic switch and then put them back correctly and tight. I just replaced the vehicle chassis battery on the Sprinter and have retained the "old" 12V battery which I plan to use to apply 12VDC directly to the new step motor to see if it works correctly.

I am suspicious of the Step Control Module, but first need to confirm Step Motor is good. Motor and Module are quite expensive.

IF anybody out there has any ideas, I am very keen to hear them.

cthiggy
2020 Navion
Don't rule out the motor even though you have replaced it. Disconnect the 2 pin plug below the steps, connect a voltmeter and open and close the door. If you see 12 volts appear when you open the door and the reverse polarity appear when you close the door, the problem is the motor.
I just experienced this issue on my 2020 Navion. Step operation was intermittent. I took the motor apart and cleaned the brushes and communicator and now they work fine. I bought a spare motor from Amazon, but haven't used it.
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Old 04-05-2023, 01:36 PM   #13
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quite often the magnetic switch on the stepwell wall gets stuck and the door magnet will not move it to the other position. They are in a position where they get wet once in a while.

Check the wire terminals are clean and tight, Then hold a strong magnet at the top of the magnetic switch. You might have to tap it with a screwdriver handle to break it free of corrosion.
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