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Old 09-29-2022, 03:30 PM   #1
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Step motor keeps runnung

Hi, My Kwikee steps' motor keeps running for 5-10 sec after the steps have gone in or out. Dealer is telling me the Lippert motor (over $300!) needs to be replaced. Now this motor was replaced just before I bought my rig 5 months ago! At that time, there were only 7000 miles on it. I have now put only 1000 miles on it, and 'the motor needs to be replaced' AGAIN! What the...???
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Old 09-29-2022, 05:57 PM   #2
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Who replaced the motor before you bought it? Was it professionally done?
Another idiosyncrasy of some of these steps is, wait until they are fully finished extending, before you put any weight on them. Sometimes we tend to be in a hurry and step up or out before the motor/steps stop, and this can cause problems, according to a friend that has repaired his steps.
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Old 09-29-2022, 06:03 PM   #3
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Yes, it was replaced by the dealer I bought it from.
I'll keep that in mind, thanks.
It just seems like the motor is working too well, if anything! Like it's a sensor or something that isn't getting the message!
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Old 09-29-2022, 06:06 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by View13 View Post
Yes, it was replaced by the dealer I bought it from.
I'll keep that in mind, thanks.
It just seems like the motor is working too well, if anything! Like it's a sensor or something that isn't getting the message!
If the steps are working, and it's just that the motor is trying to do "a more thorough job of moving your steps", I'd leave it alone until it really breaks. Maybe it will "self adjust" and stop doing it.
I've had vehicles that have had oddball issues, and sometimes, if you ignore the harmless stuff for a while, they'll self correct.
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Old 09-29-2022, 09:00 PM   #5
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The step operation is much more complex than I ever imagined and I have lots of questions on how it does things!
From reading other posts on the steps, this is as close as I get to understanding. But don't bet the farm on this,right?

I "think" the design idea is that the stepmotor should run to the end of it's travel and then stop. This stops will make the motor pull far more current than normal movement
And than big increase in current tells the electronics to shut down!

I also read that the first answer is the motor is bad but normally that only lasts for a short time. Sound familiar?
That is because the motor is not the real cause but the most often used excuse for failing. Several have reported that the small rubber/plastic gears become damagedwhen the motor doesn't shut down when it should. The problem goes away when the motor is changed because the new motor comes with new gears and they do work for a time until they get the teeth knocked off like the old one.
The real problem seems to be that the electronics is not stopping the motor when it should and that grinds off the teeth!

I can't give better info and have not had that problem but there may be several here who can give far better info.
Best of luck as it is a real bummer to try to find the guy who really finds the fix!
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Old 09-29-2022, 10:02 PM   #6
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As Richard stated, the steps are stopped (in or out) by a current limiting switch (electronic). When the motor starts demanding more current the step stops. There is a constant current applied to the step to keep it in our out if the step is turned on. Turning off the step switch releases that current and keeps the step extended. Not so when the step is retracted. Current is still applied so when the door is opened the step will extend. Older models would not extend the step if the switch was off.

As for the price...there should be a tag on the step motor. take a picture of the motor. Go to Amazon and search on Kwikee Step Motor. Match your model number/picture with the ones listed there.

Anywhere from $45 on upward,

I purchased one from a company in California for $79. Also call Lichtsinn RV in Forest City IA to see what their price is.
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Old 09-30-2022, 05:19 PM   #7
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Good idea, thanks!
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Old 09-30-2022, 05:21 PM   #8
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Yes, that does sound familiar!
It would be great if the shop could figure that out, and fix it!
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Old 09-30-2022, 05:29 PM   #9
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Thanks Wayne! I went ahead and had the shop put in a motor, but I kept the box and instructions this time. I'm leaving on a long trip, and didn't want the motor to burn out, in the middle of no-where. Next time the "motor burns out", I will be able to supply a more reasonably priced one.
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Old 09-30-2022, 05:33 PM   #10
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Really annoying problem that the supplier/shop doesn't seem interested in solving!
I told them I wanted to know what was wrong with the motor after they got it off, and got "Oh, he won't be able to tell, it's a closed unit"! When I asked for the part, it had "already been thrown out".
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Old 09-30-2022, 07:48 PM   #11
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Really annoying problem that the supplier/shop doesn't seem interested in solving!
I told them I wanted to know what was wrong with the motor after they got it off, and got "Oh, he won't be able to tell, it's a closed unit"! When I asked for the part, it had "already been thrown out".[/QUOTE]

This is often the first clue that we should have taken the RV to a different shop!

It indicates they are not really interested in finding what is wrong, just change a bunch of parts!

There are likely to be lots of different models of steps as they have been around along time, so some of this post info may not match what you have.
In other words, this is what I find on quick look and not necessarily what you will need. Just an example to look at what may fit?

Lots of times, there is a motor and it has a small gear box with gears attached. Like this.

Click image for larger version

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So if the step doesn't move, they "could" take a couple screws off, remove the gear cover and look to see if the gears are good. Maybe a gear change for under $20 does the trick!

But maybe they don't want to fix the gears, so they change the whole set of motor and gears for under a hundred for parts!

But there is a second option for them that is the motor, first set of gears, as well as a second set and it can all be changed together! Kind of expensive to do that but, what the heck, it's your bill and their profit, right?

Click this snip to get a better look!

Click image for larger version

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This part comes in at a bit over $300 at E-Trailer and it only needs a few connections like four bolts and an electrical plug to do the change!

At a five hundred dollars bill, which do you think they did?

Sure, it's a closed unit---especially if they don't take the screws out to look!!

EDIT?
A different option?

https://www.rvupgradestore.com/Kwike...-p/47-0454.htm

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Old 10-01-2022, 05:34 AM   #12
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If a motor runs it is not the cause, electric motors are either good or bad/ run or don't run. The controller senses a rise in current draw from the motor and switches off 12V by disconnecting the negative ground leg. 12V positive is always present.
My first actions would be to clean and lube all moving joints on the step assy. Check the stops for condition and being tight in the proper position.
This should be useful: Kwikee Products Service Training Manual
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Old 10-01-2022, 09:25 AM   #13
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Ray makes a good point on the motor being bad in this case. If the motor goes bad to the extent the steps don't move, there may be an electrical problem or burned out motor, but if the motor is heard running and the steps move a little, it is unlikely the motor is the cause.

But if we think about these small gears, being nylon/plastic of some sort,it is really easy to see one of them get a few teeth burred off. That can happen if we are parked next to a curb where the steps run part way and get jammed or bent. A couple teeth get knocked off and that spot on the gear can give trouble and each time the step passes that spot on the gear, it can get worse as more teeth get chewed up!

At some point that chewed up gear stops making enough contact to do the movement and the pros will often say the "motor burned up"!!

Since the shop has to do the hard part which is getting the motor and gears off the bottom of the step, how much longer would it take to pull the covers off the gears?

It often gets back to the basics of why DIY is so popular with this group!
DIY or pay the price!
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Old 10-01-2022, 02:01 PM   #14
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All very good answers. I read where someone else had this issue and they replaced the part that told the motor to stop moving. They equated it to an automatic window on your car wherein you hold the open button and it goes all the way up or down until it stops. it doesn’t try to keep running that’s the limiting switch the tells it the window has hit the end of its throw. Same principle with these step…
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Old 10-05-2022, 05:53 PM   #15
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I would call Lippert to help debug. They have excellent tech support for steps.
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Old 10-08-2022, 07:14 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wyatt View Post
All very good answers. I read where someone else had this issue and they replaced the part that told the motor to stop moving. They equated it to an automatic window on your car wherein you hold the open button and it goes all the way up or down until it stops. it doesn’t try to keep running that’s the limiting switch the tells it the window has hit the end of its throw. Same principle with these step…

That is exactly what happens. The controller senses increasing current draw from the motor and switches the ground off/on to control the motor..


Everyone who has Kwikee electric steps should download and keep this:
Kwikee Products Service Training Manual
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