Originally Posted by Debrah
Just purchased a 1989, 31', Winnebago Chieftain. Have had smaller class C RV's in the past but this is new territory. Have many un-answered questions, but for now, just getting to know the rig. Anyone know how to work the electric stairs?
First off, welcome to the forum. You'll find there's lots of help here if and when you need it for answers on your new coach. You started things off right though. You stated your year/make/model. There's seasoned RV drivers on here that still don't know how to do that and, expect answers on their issues.
Anyway, your steps ("electric stairs") are more than likely make by a company called Kwikee. No gauarnties but, most likely that's who made them. for the most part, they're pretty dependable. They can goof up once in a while. But, while all coaches are not the same, if your coach is wired in a typical manor pertaining to those steps, they should come out, each time you open either the main door or, screen door, whichever may be tied to the trigger system for the steps, (usually a magnet).
Now, also, there's many times, a switch for those steps. And, again, if it's wire typically, when flipped in one direction, those steps will come out when you open the door, but, will not retract when you close the door, unless the key in the ignition is turned on.
Also, when that switch is flipped the other direction, those steps will go out and, retract, each time the door is opened and closed, to prevent anyone tripping over them during times when the steps are not needed while camping. Whether or not yours is wired this typical way, remains to be seen.
Right now, based on your question, they're not working at all, correct? Well, that could be a ton of variable. The primary and easiest to check would be a fuse for that system. Now, just where that fuse is on your coach, I don't have a clue. But, either in phamphlets or, documents or, owners manual(s) or any other paperwork that might have accompanied your coach, you may find something that will list any and all, fuse blocks pertaining to multiple electrical components.
If you don't have any books that might tell you where the fuse is, well, it's time to be Columbo and start investigating where they (or it) could be. If you find that fuse and it appears good, then, you've got to make sure the switch, if so equipped with one, is working correctly and, has power to it.
You may find, with a bit of bending down on at least one knee, that if you look under that set of steps, you may have a wire disconnected or, some ugly corroded connections. As stated, on a rig that old, there's quite a few reasons for those steps to malfunction. But, begin with a fuse and, make sure the switch is working correctly. And, make sure your ignition is off when you're attempting to work that set of steps. Good luck and, happy RVing.