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Old 10-29-2012, 10:21 AM   #1
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Entrance step on a Brave is real spongy

Up entering or exiting the rv the step gives quite a bit. Is there a way to stiffen this up or do I just build a block for it to rest on?
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Old 10-29-2012, 10:27 AM   #2
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This under built situation has been going on for years. C.W. sells a screw jack to put under the step, although it is probably not tall enough and you need to build it up. JUST REMEMBER to remove it prior to raising your jacks.

Don, WIT 70041
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Old 10-29-2012, 10:32 AM   #3
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Just about what I thought. Will look into one of those.
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Old 10-29-2012, 03:38 PM   #4
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You have to get under her and look at the steel support bracketing as it may need to be rewelded or stiffened up.
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Old 10-29-2012, 04:21 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grimesy View Post
This under built situation has been going on for years. C.W. sells a screw jack to put under the step, although it is probably not tall enough and you need to build it up. JUST REMEMBER to remove it prior to raising your jacks.

Don, WIT 70041
or doing something like putting your key in the ignition, causing the step to try to retract... no, don't ask.
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Old 10-29-2012, 04:41 PM   #6
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captgadget,
The step systems on many rigs are "spongy" from the factory. Not all of them, but many. I've been on some that were a rock when you stepped on them and some, felt like a diving board. One of the first things you must check out is the mounting system for your step. It attaches to the sub frame in multiple ways. Many of them are welded and many are bolted.

Just make sure that the mounting system is secure and has no issues, as in broken welds/bolts etc. Then, once you've determined that system is good, then look at the actuation arm of the step itself. Many times, that actuation arm is the only thing supporting all the weight as you step out and in the coach. And, that little arm is primarily aluminum. While somewhat strong, it still flexes some. It is attached to the gear box that the motor spins. Make sure that little gear box is not loose and missing any bolts etc.

One thing you really must be careful of is, that step is fairly strong, so, if you operate it while trying to check for structural flex or, improper operation and flexing, it will do damage to your body, head, fingers and more, be seriously careful when working that step.

I carry two of those "Step savers". One is the short one from Camping world and I made a longer version for situations that require it due to odd leveling tactics etc. I've used them both, multiple times. It does make the step considerably more stable. I also use those yellow, "LEGGO" type blocks that interlock with each other as spacers so I don't have to unscrew the step savers so far. It also presents a larger foot print for that step saver.
Scott
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Old 10-30-2012, 09:27 AM   #7
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On my previous coach, 03 Adventurer 33v, my step was attached to a thin sheet metal box, about 7 inch deep, located under indoor steps. The bottom edge metal had cracked, allowing steps to go down when stepped on. I used long carriage bolts, some 1 1/2 inch angle with holes predrilled, and 1 1/2 inch straps with holes predrilled. I removed bottom indoor step rubber tread, used very long 1/4 inch drill bit to drill holes along left and right edge of steps. Angle metal put underneath along edge of box, straps along edges of indoor step. Carriage bolts brought the bottom cracks back together. Replaced rubber tread.

In retrospect would have been better to use solid metal plate under stair tread, but straps with predrilled holes allowed more flexibility in aligning up holes to put carriage bolts thru.
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Old 10-30-2012, 10:48 AM   #8
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In my case the support the steps are bolted to was fine but I had a broken bolt on the step motor assembly that allowed some slop and give. The bolt (one of three as I recall) is on the top side and couldn't be seen from underneath.

My wife almost took what could have been a very bad fall when the next to last bolt broke when she was stepping out of the coach.

I posted a thread about this at HERE with some pictures.

If your support seems solid but the steps move anyway you might want to take a look at my post.

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Old 10-31-2012, 07:24 AM   #9
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Our experience was similar to DancinCampers. The sheet metal box the steps are mounted to started to crack around the bolt holes. Originally I tried the step support but that wasn't a good idea.

You have to remember to store the support before you let the jacks down or start the engine. Too many times the key was turned on or the jacks were lowered before the step support was stored. When the steps retract they swing down slightly as they go through the arc. That adds even more stress if the support isn't properly stored.

In the end I removed the steps (4 bolts and 2 wires) then welded an 1/8" thick sheet metal plate on the bottom of the original sheet metal box. Before welding it in place I drilled the holes to allow the original mounting bolts to pass through. The whole process took about 2 hours and cost less than $50.00
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Old 10-31-2012, 10:25 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hikerdogs View Post
Our experience was similar to DancinCampers. The sheet metal box the steps are mounted to started to crack around the bolt holes. Originally I tried the step support but that wasn't a good idea.

You have to remember to store the support before you let the jacks down or start the engine. Too many times the key was turned on or the jacks were lowered before the step support was stored. When the steps retract they swing down slightly as they go through the arc. That adds even more stress if the support isn't properly stored.

In the end I removed the steps (4 bolts and 2 wires) then welded an 1/8" thick sheet metal plate on the bottom of the original sheet metal box. Before welding it in place I drilled the holes to allow the original mounting bolts to pass through. The whole process took about 2 hours and cost less than $50.00
Yep,
Sometimes we have to "Re-engineer" some parts of these Kleenex Boxes on wheels. At the factory, they "think" they determine what's going to work and what won't. Many times, we've seen things that are weak or, just not working correctly and need alterations of some sort.

Yep, been there done that in terms of leaving the step saver under the steps when getting ready to pack up for moving out of a camp site or, even at home once. What I did for myself as a reminder was, make a nice "STOP, CHECK STEP SAVER" that sits on the steering wheel. And, it's saved that set of steps, more than once.
Scott
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Old 11-01-2012, 07:40 AM   #11
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I echo dancincampers solution, I did almost the exact same thing on our 97 and 01 Adveturers and it solved the problem. It was always on the left side of the step assembly because that is where most of us step first.
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Old 11-01-2012, 09:55 AM   #12
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I had a similar soft problem on my previous MH. The in/out travel has a slight adjustment where the arm stops when the steps are out. It looks like an out of round 1/2" washer located along the inside edge of the box. My steps had two of the mounting bolts broken, and to remove the step assembly required me to cut through several layers of undercoating and probably a long cleanup time to take care of the problem. What I did to get the stairs out was to rotate the out of round stop and allow for a longer travel for the arm. It allowed the steps to work but made far a very soft step. I would first check that stop for adjustment.
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Old 11-11-2012, 04:28 PM   #13
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I had a 03 brave there was a round cam on each side of steps with off centered hole with bolt through it, extend steps loosen bolts and turn cams until they hit step frame.
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