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Step cover operation while parked


Steve P
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I was working on my laptop in the passenger seat today at a Campground and it dawned on me how great it would be to be able to rest my feet on the step cover and use the pull out desk for my 2nd monitor.  Obviously, since the step operates by air pressure, it doesn't seem possible.  Does anyone know of a trick that could make the step operate?  The step cover switches just go "clunk" of course and the step doesn't move. Any ideas? 

(I know it might also be disabled to keep someone such as a child from opening the door and falling the extra 18" to the ground and the potential for a lawsuit, so let's not go down that rat hole.)

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10 minutes ago, Steve P said:

I was working on my laptop in the passenger seat today at a Campground and it dawned on me how great it would be to be able to rest my feet on the step cover and use the pull out desk for my 2nd monitor.  Obviously, since the step operates by air pressure, it doesn't seem possible.  Does anyone know of a trick that could make the step operate?  The step cover switches just go "clunk" of course and the step doesn't move. Any ideas? 

(I know it might also be disabled to keep someone such as a child from opening the door and falling the extra 18" to the ground and the potential for a lawsuit, so let's not go down that rat hole.)

Are u sure yours operates off air? Air operated ones are usually installed in higher class coaches. Mines electric. The schematics for the electric like mine are in the downloads.

Edited by Gary M
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48 minutes ago, Gary M said:

Are u sure yours operates off air? Air operated ones are usually installed in higher class coaches. Mines electric. The schematics for the electric like mine are in the downloads.

I was going by what my owners manual says, but I guess it could be wrong.  We're leveled up on the hydraulic jacks, but I have no jack stands, so I'm not about to crawl underneath. 

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The answer is…MAYBE. Edits in Italics after more research

 The most common for the lower end is electric.  On page 98 of the 2008 Knight manual, it specifies “ELECTRIC”.  The Dynasty, after some checking, in 2008, at least, was electric....but a totally different system from the Camelot's on down. There were, older I believe, systems that WERE air operated.    

Monaco was sporadic in the supply power.  My 2009 was on the “ignition on” side.  I located the fuse and switched it to the HOUSE battery so it could be used without the key being “ON” as my wife loves it and we would stop and turn off the engine and then need to turn back on to retract it.

Monaco used a threaded rod (again on my Camelot….but I suspect it was common for the lower end).  The step well cover, as it extends, is actually below the floor carpet level.  So at the end of the extend, there is a “lift up” or the cover raises up and is locked into place and flush.  That system, until probably late 2009, was powered by a single DC motor with a reversing circuit.  There are 2 Bosch relays in the FRB that control it.  One to EXTEND and one to RETRACT.  They sometimes fail.

There is another style that was made by a different vendor that extends flush and it has plastic supports on either side of the step well.  Those parts are hard to find and some folks here make them using 3D printing.  I do NOT believe those steps have lift or raise movement at the end of the Extend cycle. May also be air powered. This was used on a 2008 Dynasty, which is also ELECTRIC.

My 2009 step well cover has a 2 motor (think entry step design) on the print, but the circuit is the same…and I think one motor extends and the other retracts.

The most common issue, for ALL systems,  is lack of lubrication of the “drawer glides” mechanism where the main travel takes place.  Second is the mounting screws for the mechanism loosen. Next is a faulty Bosch relay.  There are several threads or topics here that will help.  Use the “search” in the upper right corner and try various words.  Step will also get you the entry topics.  Step Well  or Step Cover is another variation to try.

The Dayton motor for the single reversing motor system is called out and probably in the parts list and is readily available and also on Amazon.  There may be pictures.  I know there are many on IRV2 and advanced DIY’er have removed the entire cover assembly and fixed or rebuilt them.

A less common failure, with the Dayton lead screw motor, due to dirt and lack of lubricant, is the “lead screw nut”.  A replacement is also available from Grainger that work…maybe with a little fitting or relieving.  In the Parts list also, I think.

i found mine is a little less “quick” to engage and move as it gets older. Hold down the switch and it will engage.  If you hold it down and it goes “clunk” but doesn’t move, the instinct is to say  OMG.  Then you let off.  That actually exacerbates the issue.  If you hold it down and let it cycle, then it works fine.  But a quick tap and pause will get it into a bind.  You then have to retract and get the mechanism in the fully retracted mode.  An experienced tech lubed and tested mine daily for at least a month.  My wife, who loves it, was afraid it was not functional and would bump it and stop. Once we changed to hold and not panic, all is well.

 

Edited by Tom Cherry
See Italics for edits after research.
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13 hours ago, Steve P said:

(I know it might also be disabled to keep someone such as a child from opening the door and falling the extra 18" to the ground and the potential for a lawsuit, so let's not go down that rat hole.)

Our step well cover is NOT disabled with the ignition off.  We use it often when we have the grandkids (little ones) with us to prevent them from falling down the steps when inside (yes this has happened).  We keep the door locked and deadbolted in these cases.  It is electric and as Tom describes, at first we would just tap the switch because it seemed to stick.  But now we just hold down to full retract and extend and doesn't get stuck anymore.  Keeping it lubed helps as well.

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1 hour ago, Bill R said:

Our step well cover is NOT disabled with the ignition off.  We use it often when we have the grandkids (little ones) with us to prevent them from falling down the steps when inside (yes this has happened).  We keep the door locked and deadbolted in these cases.  It is electric and as Tom describes, at first we would just tap the switch because it seemed to stick.  But now we just hold down to full retract and extend and doesn't get stuck anymore.  Keeping it lubed helps as well.

They came from the factory, even in the same model year, I have been lead to believe, DIFFERENT.  On a friend's 2009 Camelot built within a month or so, it was NO IGNITON required on his.  I found the wire to the relays and did my own, relocation.

Bottom LINE.  switch on or off....if you lightly bump it or whatever, it seems to be more sluggish.  Maybe in the motor or whatever.  The tech said my mechanism was slightly loose and needed tightening and he lubed it and it does run and sound much smoother.  It was TOTALLY inoperative when I quit using it.  THEN after a few trips, I just took it to him.  We had QUIT using it.  The vibration, I am assuming, got the mechanism out of the "implied" bind.  When he started working on it....it worked, but he then did all the PM under and behind it.  Now it works....but you hold it down and it has yet to fail us...

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1 hour ago, Tom Cherry said:

They came from the factory, even in the same model year, I have been lead to believe, DIFFERENT.  On a friend's 2009 Camelot built within a month or so, it was NO IGNITON required on his.  I found the wire to the relays and did my own, relocation.

Bottom LINE.  switch on or off....if you lightly bump it or whatever, it seems to be more sluggish.  Maybe in the motor or whatever.  The tech said my mechanism was slightly loose and needed tightening and he lubed it and it does run and sound much smoother.  It was TOTALLY inoperative when I quit using it.  THEN after a few trips, I just took it to him.  We had QUIT using it.  The vibration, I am assuming, got the mechanism out of the "implied" bind.  When he started working on it....it worked, but he then did all the PM under and behind it.  Now it works....but you hold it down and it has yet to fail us...

Tom.  My 2009 Camelot was built in January 2008 and the step cover only works with the key on.  You’re correct these things are unicorns.   
 

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I could almost count on one hand the number of times ours has been closed!

When we're travelling, wife uses the passenger seat footrest. When parked, I'm in & out often enough it would be a PIA!

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5 hours ago, Dbircky said:

Tom.  My 2009 Camelot was built in January 2008 and the step cover only works with the key on.  You’re correct these things are unicorns.   
 

if you want to change it, it is fairly simple.  PM and I will give you the 10 minute fix...

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3 hours ago, Steve P said:

I'm in Melbourne FL... anyone know of a good tech in this area for the step cover?

It's definitely working fine while the engine is running, but won't move with just the key turned to ignition?

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Steve,

I put together a dedicated step cover air supply kit to supply air to the step cover while parked for 5-6 months at a time when working at our summer Workamping jobs.

I installed the compressor over the area in front of the generator. Then tapped into the air supply line that goes to the step cover. I also installed a ball valve to isolate the step cover line from the front air tank when parked. I open it up when we are driving then I turn off the compressor so it won't run.

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3 hours ago, 96 EVO said:

It's definitely working fine while the engine is running, but won't move with just the key turned to ignition?

I wish I was sure, but I'm not.   I will check when we change sites in 10 days.

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On 11/16/2022 at 7:32 PM, Steve P said:

I was going by what my owners manual says, but I guess it could be wrong.  We're leveled up on the hydraulic jacks, but I have no jack stands, so I'm not about to crawl underneath. 

Weird!!!! Too bad you are on the east coast. I’ve totally removed my step cover to maintenance on it. Motor in back drives center screw to operate.6B9DD729-9D63-46D3-912E-6A1A5366285F.thumb.jpeg.c76c297a6673ed814b1d3380db1a34a8.jpeg

Edited by Gary M
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On 11/16/2022 at 9:32 PM, Steve P said:

I was going by what my owners manual says, but I guess it could be wrong.  We're leveled up on the hydraulic jacks, but I have no jack stands, so I'm not about to crawl underneath. 

I doubt you could see anything from under the coach.  I have worked on my step cover by simply looking up under it when it's extended.  Like others I'm guessing yours is electric.  Look up under it and you will most likely see what Gary's photo shows.

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4 minutes ago, Ray Davis said:

I doubt you could see anything from under the coach.  I have worked on my step cover by simply looking up under it when it's extended.  Like others I'm guessing yours is electric.  Look up under it and you will most likely see what Gary's photo shows.

It won't extend.  I tried to hook the bottom side with a paint can opener as suggested and can't find anything other than a completely smooth surface as far back as it will reach (3-4").

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9 minutes ago, Steve P said:

It won't extend.  I tried to hook the bottom side with a paint can opener as suggested and can't find anything other than a completely smooth surface as far back as it will reach (3-4").

Yeah, that's when Ivan thought you had an air actuated slide.

Your not going to pull out an electric model.

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29 minutes ago, Steve P said:

It won't extend.  I tried to hook the bottom side with a paint can opener as suggested and can't find anything other than a completely smooth surface as far back as it will reach (3-4").

I didn't catch that it was inoperative,  does it click or do anything?   

Tom mentioned about his getting jamed, you might try his remedy.   I have read of others taking the front off to gain access under neath.    Gary took his out so he had all of the top dissassembled,  he can tell you about the screws buried in the carpet.   When mine jamed it was one of the angled braces seen in Gary's picture that had come loose.

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50 minutes ago, Ray Davis said:

I didn't catch that it was inoperative,  does it click or do anything?   

Tom mentioned about his getting jamed, you might try his remedy.   I have read of others taking the front off to gain access under neath.    Gary took his out so he had all of the top dissassembled,  he can tell you about the screws buried in the carpet.   When mine jamed it was one of the angled braces seen in Gary's picture that had come loose.

For clarity, this is the Dayton single reversing motor pictured….unless Monaco did something crazy.  The upgrade or revision to the two “power window” motor system, per the prints, was a running change in 2009.  I can’t speak to what the Diplomats or others have, but per the prints and other posts here and on IRV2, the picture is what you have.

Next up, you can’t hook anything other than a come-a-long and yank and destroy it by pulling.  It has to turn or work to come out.  I have no idea how you get it out if it is stuck and not extended.  I spent hours with a needle and magnet trying to find the elusive screws buried in the carpet on the front cover.

i CAN tell you that there are 2 relays, plainly labeled….with a white handwritten note, in the FRB.  MANY times, they go bad. Swap them or steal one that is working and substitute in the EXT relay socket.  Also look at the wiring on the coil.  You have to have voltage.  Use a VOM and test the coil for voltage when the EXTEND side is pushed.  Also check the voltage on the relay contacts,  I may have downloaded the print.  The 2009 Camelot prints are the same for the 2008, so verifying voltage is the next step after swapping relays.

I tried every trick such as banging on the cover and pushing and pulling….it was only vibration that had to be the issue and the fact it was working so that my tech could lube and tighten, with it EXTENDED saved me…

Hope this helps and clarifies the issue.

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If your generator slides out you can access the motor by cutting an access hole in the bottom of the box that houses the mechanism.

Wish I was there to help you.

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Thanks gents.   This is crazy.  I'll check for the FRB relays tomorrow.  I'm not really clear where the coil would be or what it looks like, but I will follow wires.   I have no clue whether this is air or electric (the 2008 Knight OM says air).  Like Tom says, there is no obvious way to remove the step cover.  Pressing and holding EXT clunks, but nothing moves.   I have a tiled floor above it.  My generator is not on a slide, so there's no getting behind it.  Unless there is an access cover buried underneath, I'm not going to get to the mechanism until I can get it to extend.  This is nuts.  I may buy a rubber mallet tomorrow and see if vibration helps (after the relays and coil checks).  I may even pull up the jacks a week early, crank 'er up and air up the system to see if that resolves the issue.  This  is really bugging me...

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