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Old 09-12-2021, 07:49 PM   #1
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Kwikie Steps: Will Not Stay Extended

2019 29VE Sunstar

Problem: I have noticed that regardless of the Kwikie Override Switch Position, the extended steps will step extended with ignition OFF and Door Closed.

Everything else works normally safety wise. Steps Auto extend when door is opened. Auto close if Ignition is turned, and will auto extend if door is opened with ignition on or off.

I bought coach brand new 2 years ago previously I could press the switch and steps would stay extended.

Here are some material facts I know.

1. Seems like this happened a year ago and I called Kwikie / Power Gear and that call was 100% useless. I think they advised me to take to a Dealer, but it started back working; so I have not done anything since then.

2. It seems like my switch has always worked backwards to the instructions? Meaning if I wanted the steps to stay extended, I would push the switch to OFF position, if I wanted them to automatically go back in when door closed, I would press the little red slider switch and turn to ON. Because it was working I never bothered to see if I was reading instructions wrong or if it was wired backwards or something?

3. Yesterday was the last the steps stayed extended with ignition off and door closed. I believe switch was in OFF position.

So today I have been reading manual, but when I go step by step ignition off, I close the door, the steps retract, I re-open door & steps extend, I put the switch in On position, close door, steps will retract

What I have done.

1. I pulled the cover plate off to access the back of the switch.
2. I verified switch works at it has continuity when Switch is OFF
3. I checked voltage and I only get about 7 volts DC input to the switch? I am thinking it should be 12vdc
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Old 09-13-2021, 05:45 PM   #2
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Issue still not resolved. Spoke with Power Gear who thinks the issue is tied to low voltage being supplied to the lock extended out switch. I need 12 vdc, but I am seeing being 3 and 7 vdc?

I have found the wires but can't tell where they run to get back to the battery?

This just started happening and nothing was changed. It shows a 6 amp breaker, but no fuses are tripped, I checked 6 amp step control breaker and all is well. It get some voltage so I am not sure it is a fuse or breaker?

Any ideas as to what would reduce the voltage?

ER is suppose to be the 12vdc supply while ES feeds the Kwikie step control board the 12vdc when the switch is closed. Since I am not getting 12vdc the issues has to be what is suppose to feed wire ER?
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Old 09-13-2021, 07:38 PM   #3
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Have you checked for a loose ground wire. The ground wire usually goes from the motor to a part of the chassis near the stepsl
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Old 09-13-2021, 08:04 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne M View Post
Have you checked for a loose ground wire. The ground wire usually goes from the motor to a part of the chassis near the stepsl
Yes this is kind of odd problem. Everything otherwise works with the steps and the motor. The power that feeds the motor etc. through Kwikie controller is different than the power feeding the swi8tch to turn override on/off.

It is yellow wire 329025-01-000(A) ER

When I check the voltage BEFORE the switch, it varies, mainly around 7vdc but occasionally it will show the 12vd require but not for long, It has been as low as 3 vdc

So I have concluded the Kwikie steps, motor, controller and Switch are working as they should. But I can't figure out how to backtrack wire yellow wire 329025-01-000(A) ER to see where it is suppose to be getting it's 12vdc from or where it may be connected to ground? There is no ground wire to the switch. The Winnebago wiring diagram was not very helpful. Because I don't have a solid 12vdc to the switch Kwikie can't help me none.
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Old 09-13-2021, 08:27 PM   #5
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I would agree that you have a low battery problem as measured but I would not think of it as being a fuse or breaker as those are more working or fully dead type situations.

But the info we get on your year (being after 2010!) is not good and we are left with lots of questions on where each wire may go. In this case, the wire ID chart here gives us the info that wire ER carries power from a 6 amp breaker to the kill switch and ES carries the power from the kill switch to the step.

The problem is that we don't get the good info for that wire but looking at the breakers they do give us, I don't see wire /circuit ER on any of the panels shown.
Have you picked up that each breaker has an ID on it on the drawing?
They often show the wire side as if looking from the back and the label side as from the front, like I have marked the circuit ET on this snip. So I don't find the ES marked on any of the panels like outside nor near the drivers foot, so that leaves me guessing it comes from one of the automotive/chassis panels under the hood!
Kind of a poor mans guess that if it isn't shown on the the coach panels, it must be somewhere else???

I might propose two things, either look really carefully at where that wire attaches to the switch and make sure there is not 12 volts on the wire but not getting to where you are testing on the switch. Dirty screw connection , etc. ?
I find it easy to mess with my mind if I test a screw and find no voltage when it is there on the wire, just not getting to the screw!

Or harder part is too look for a 6amp breaker or fuse in a box under the hood and pull it to see if it totally kill the low voltage which you see at the switch and once you find the correct breaker or fuse, start searching for some poor connection from that point to the switch. Tough thing to do there!

Does it fail consistently enough to test by running a wire from 12 volt battery to the point on the switch which is low, so that having good battery there would tell you that you are really chasing the right problem?

EDIT: I see new info! I type too slow!
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Old 09-13-2021, 09:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morich View Post
I would agree that you have a low battery problem as measured but I would not think of it as being a fuse or breaker as those are more working or fully dead type situations.

But the info we get on your year (being after 2010!) is not good and we are left with lots of questions on where each wire may go. In this case, the wire ID chart here gives us the info that wire ER carries power from a 6 amp breaker to the kill switch and ES carries the power from the kill switch to the step.

Correct

The problem is that we don't get the good info for that wire but looking at the breakers they do give us, I don't see wire /circuit ER on any of the panels shown.
Have you picked up that each breaker has an ID on it on the drawing?
They often show the wire side as if looking from the back and the label side as from the front, like I have marked the circuit ET on this snip. So I don't find the ES marked on any of the panels like outside nor near the drivers foot, so that leaves me guessing it comes from one of the automotive/chassis panels under the hood!
Kind of a poor mans guess that if it isn't shown on the the coach panels, it must be somewhere else???

I might propose two things, either look really carefully at where that wire attaches to the switch and make sure there is not 12 volts on the wire but not getting to where you are testing on the switch. Dirty screw connection , etc. ?

I had separated the connector from the switch so my voltage readings were direct on the metal spade contact inside the connector.



Or harder part is too look for a 6amp breaker or fuse in a box under the hood and pull it to see if it totally kill the low voltage which you see at the switch and once you find the correct breaker or fuse, start searching for some poor connection from that point to the switch. Tough thing to do there!

Does it fail consistently enough to test by running a wire from 12 volt battery to the point on the switch which is low, so that having good battery there would tell you that you are really chasing the right problem?

Yes this is test I will do, it is right next to the batteries so very easy to do, it may have to be my permanent solution? I may need to get my own wire and put in a 6amp fuse and bypass how it is wired now. Seems like some other else would have trouble?

EDIT: I see new info! I type too slow!
Update:

I go outside to check the 6amp breaker, and when I was inside the RV I shut door and it stayed extended But why

Something is wrong as it is intermittent. I still have the panel and all of the wiring out but it is properly connected.

How did you figure out ET and the Frig 6 amp breaker? I may turn on the outside fridge to run off batteries to see if it works ok?

Do you think it is any chance Winnebago will tell me where ER is getting it's power from. If it is coming through the ET Breaker I have no way to trip it? It is one of those push button reset breakers for DC.
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Old 09-14-2021, 06:51 AM   #7
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I may have confused things when I mentioned ET as what I meant was to show that the circuits and the breakers are labeled and just looking for the ER and ES, I happened to see ET! I was using it as an example but then it is true that Winnebago does use letter labels like ER and ES kind of like a "set" for the wires that feed the same things, so would we want to take the leap and say ET is the same breaker for the step wiring and they only labeled it for the frig?
That's kind of a big leap of faith but they have left us guessing when they stopped putting out the good schematics and we are left guessing!

I'm with you on wishing those breakers were a different type so I could turn them off. I'm kind of against wanting to short something out to find out which breaker----maybe I make more trouble than I fixed!!! The ones I have wanted to know about are down by my foot and where it almost takes a snake to get into reach them, so I don't mess with them more than needed.
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Old 09-14-2021, 04:59 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Morich View Post
I may have confused things when I mentioned ET as what I meant was to show that the circuits and the breakers are labeled and just looking for the ER and ES, I happened to see ET! I was using it as an example but then it is true that Winnebago does use letter labels like ER and ES kind of like a "set" for the wires that feed the same things, so would we want to take the leap and say ET is the same breaker for the step wiring and they only labeled it for the frig?
That's kind of a big leap of faith but they have left us guessing when they stopped putting out the good schematics and we are left guessing!

I'm with you on wishing those breakers were a different type so I could turn them off. I'm kind of against wanting to short something out to find out which breaker----maybe I make more trouble than I fixed!!! The ones I have wanted to know about are down by my foot and where it almost takes a snake to get into reach them, so I don't mess with them more than needed.

This is all clear to me

Update:

I spoke with Winneabgo today who advised that the ER is being fed by Chassis battery and going through a 6 amp Step Control breaker on the other side of coach.

I connected a 12vdc wire direct for chassis battery and the Kwikie extended and stayed extended when door closed, so it proves all works just not getting sufficient voltage to the switch.

I pulled breaker panel and confirmed that the power bus had 12.87vdc (no converter on) and 12.87vdc on the ER wire coming out of the breaker

So I go back to other side and check voltage at the switch and got 12.81vdc Of course everything is working now at the moment.

My suspicion is later tonight the voltage will drop and the steps will come back in? If it does, I will check the voltage on bus and breaker again.

It is shaping up as I have an issue with my ER wire run from breaker to the switch. Unless somehow having the breaker panel cover off fixed it
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Old 09-14-2021, 05:55 PM   #9
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Sounds like progress, but then there is also some doubt left, so you have to wait and wonder!

One thing that "might/could" be involved and since this seems to be there and then gone for a long time, is corrosion. Thinking of the contacts in the switches, kind of keep in mind whether moving the switch open/closed might have knocked some corrosion off the contacts to let it work for a while?

If it goes bad overnight, probably not that idea but if it is good and then goes bad after you store the RV for a while, maybe a new switch would be a good thought?
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Old 09-14-2021, 06:13 PM   #10
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Sounds like progress, but then there is also some doubt left, so you have to wait and wonder!

One thing that "might/could" be involved and since this seems to be there and then gone for a long time, is corrosion. Thinking of the contacts in the switches, kind of keep in mind whether moving the switch open/closed might have knocked some corrosion off the contacts to let it work for a while?

If it goes bad overnight, probably not that idea but if it is good and then goes bad after you store the RV for a while, maybe a new switch would be a good thought?
I ruled the switch out yesterday. I measured the low voltage problem at the ER wire before it goes into switch. Additionally the switch open and closes as it should with continuity tests.

It is still extended with door closed after about 70 minutes, so will see what it does overnight. It is strange because it has always worked, I noticed this issue this past Saturday.

Now that I know where everything is, the next time it occurs I can go check for low voltage on the 12vdc bus and if good check the ER wire coming out of breaker.

My fear is to have 12.87 volts on the ER wire coming out of breaker but less than 7 vdc on the other end of the ER, something would be reducing voltage and that may be a difficult to fix to fine?
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Old 09-15-2021, 06:33 AM   #11
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Update

So I get up this morning and the steps had retracted. Nothing changed overnight. Not connected to shorepower nor generator.

So I take voltmeter and get 12.79vdc on the bus and 12.79 on the ER wire coming out of the 6 amp breaker. All looks good.

So I go unlock the door and of course steps come out. I take a reading on the ER contact at the switch input and get a reading of 12.71 vdc So I shut door and the steps extend.

Really confused now as to what made the steps retract overnight, and why did it not extend when 12vdc was returned? I can guess that the latter may be because the Kwikie controller may not tell it to extend until it see another door open action so it knows not to retract.

There is nothing on inside the coach, it is as if it were ins storage all powered down.
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Old 09-15-2021, 07:33 AM   #12
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I might think that begins to sound like an internal part of the step itself rather than an outside voltage problem?
I've not gone too deep into the step itself as my problems on it have been more the mechanical parts but I do know they have lots more going on than I first expected and they have lots of different situations to cover like how big they are on popping that step out even when I want it to stay in!
My batteries were in the step well and it would have been nice to have the steps stay in when I wanted to work on the batteries but tricking it to do that was tough as it sure doesn't want anybody to step out without the steps there! I finally got a magnet to clothes pin on the door switch to fool it.

Some of the other folks here have looked into the steps far more than I have and may be more help there.
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Old Yesterday, 09:52 AM   #13
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Update

This is what my trial and error method has rendered

So bypassing the 6 amp breaker does appear to have resolved the problem. I have gone a few days and it work without issues. I switched back to run the power through the 6 amp breaker and sure enough within 4 hours it lost 12v and the steps retracted

So this makes me wonder how a defective breaker can momentarily & randomly shut down the power?

While it is working right now, I don't have any overload protection.
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Old Yesterday, 11:11 AM   #14
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Somewhat odd, i would think but then if we think of the breaker as a switch which is controlled by the breaker mechanics, there has to be a set of contacts in all the different designs. And it is common for contacts of any type to wear or corrode.

I guess that would lead me to believe the contacts in most any type breaker would also be prone to going bad. I don't think I've ever known one to be intermittent but I have seen lots of bad breakers, so one that is only half bad is in reason??

Is this one of the small push in type that is a pain to get out to replace? If you've found a way to bypass it, you may be way past the problems of getting to the breaker?

Why would one act so random? Possibly due to temperature changes? Some things like loose connections or cracks in boards do weird things as the temperature makes them expand or contract just enough to move to make/break a connection. Best guess I have for a weird acting breaker!

That's where the tech get ahead of the guessers, so if you've found the problem, give yourself a big promotion----and hope you never have to do it again!!
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Old Yesterday, 12:27 PM   #15
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Somewhat odd, i would think but then if we think of the breaker as a switch which is controlled by the breaker mechanics, there has to be a set of contacts in all the different designs. And it is common for contacts of any type to wear or corrode.

I guess that would lead me to believe the contacts in most any type breaker would also be prone to going bad. I don't think I've ever known one to be intermittent but I have seen lots of bad breakers, so one that is only half bad is in reason??

Is this one of the small push in type that is a pain to get out to replace? If you've found a way to bypass it, you may be way past the problems of getting to the breaker?

Why would one act so random? Possibly due to temperature changes? Some things like loose connections or cracks in boards do weird things as the temperature makes them expand or contract just enough to move to make/break a connection. Best guess I have for a weird acting breaker!

That's where the tech get ahead of the guessers, so if you've found the problem, give yourself a big promotion----and hope you never have to do it again!!
I am gonna try to call Mechanical Products who makes the breaker next week.

I disconnected the output side of the breaker and wired directly to the same 12vdc buss bar that it is still connected to. At the time I was just trying to ensure the output wire from breaker to the switch was okay which appears to be the case.

I have not been able to fine the exact breaker but found one on ebay that looks exactly like it but with different P/N.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/120386127635
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Old Yesterday, 01:23 PM   #16
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If it looks like the connections are the same or close enough for the wiring to reach, it looks like the other points like max voltage and the right amperage is good, I would not go too hard to find better if that is handy. Can't spend a lot of time looking for better price on five dollar item when we only need one!
Made here, made there, I no longer give it too much thought as shipping sends things all over and the companies are often the same owners!
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Old Today, 04:42 PM   #17
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I know you are zeroing in on the breaker but is it possible that you have a bad step control box? These steps have three main parts. The brains or control box, step motor, and gear box. They are all contained under or behind the step itself. If the control box is failing I would think it could cause the problem you are having. Yes, it's expensive to replace but most places (Amazon) will let you return it if it is not the problem. Just my .02
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Old Today, 05:20 PM   #18
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I know you are zeroing in on the breaker but is it possible that you have a bad step control box? These steps have three main parts. The brains or control box, step motor, and gear box. They are all contained under or behind the step itself. If the control box is failing I would think it could cause the problem you are having. Yes, it's expensive to replace but most places (Amazon) will let you return it if it is not the problem. Just my .02

The control box was the first thing we looked at. How we have proved it is not the issue is that you can measure the input wire to the 4 pin connector for the controller. There are times it is not supplied 12vdc and when it does not get 12vdc it will ALWAYS bring the steps back in because for the controller;,,, no 12vdc means the User has the switch in Auto mode.

We verified switch works with continuity meter. Short this one problem which just started two weeks ago everything else with the steps works fine.
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Old Today, 05:29 PM   #19
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If it looks like the connections are the same or close enough for the wiring to reach, it looks like the other points like max voltage and the right amperage is good, I would not go too hard to find better if that is handy. Can't spend a lot of time looking for better price on five dollar item when we only need one!
Made here, made there, I no longer give it too much thought as shipping sends things all over and the companies are often the same owners!
With the breaker bypassed I went 4 days and the issue with the steps randomly retracting never occurred.

I did call Tech Support with Mechanical Products. They were reluctant to say their breaker could be defective because they were focused on the heat causing their breaker to trip. I explained to them, the breaker has never tripped.

They then advised that the unit I saw on ebay would not fit. Turns out the part number I have is specific to Winnebago. That explains why I could not find.

Ultimately they agreed the breaker needed to be replaced, but stated I need to go through Winnebago to get the part. I think Winnebago concluded last week I needed a breaker but it was not clear if they were going to send me one of they expected me to buy one

It is working fine with my modified wiring bypassing the breaker. I think I will leave it like this for awhile; and maybe find a cheap 5 or 6 amp inline fuse and put it on the wire at the bus bar.
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Old Today, 05:43 PM   #20
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DK
Did you try Lichtsinn RV for the part?
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Winnebago Industries Factory Service Center DOES NOT accept Extended Warranties ChrisKW Winnebago General Discussions 20 12-02-2015 01:16 PM
Electric steps not working kjohns53 General Maintenance and Repair 12 05-21-2015 10:38 PM
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