Kwikee step failure

Kozad

New member
If you check the previous post on this problem you will find more information in regards to the clevis pin and cotter pin and replacing them with a bolt, washers and lcoking nut.

Check out the Unity Retractable Step Fuse at:

http://www.sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=38968

and in particular postings #10 which shows a photograph of the damaged clevis pin vs the bolt replacement. When I had my step fixed in April the RV Service centre did not listen to me and just replaced the cotter pin and left the clevis. Well three weeks ago the step stopped working again.. same problem. So the problem clevis/cotter pin has now been replaced with the bolt/nut and here is hoping that does the trick....

Not sure if that is your problem but appears to have worked for others.....
 

riff511

2014 Unity TB
It seems to me that you guys have an alignment or an adjustment issue. After 8 years of use, my Navion Kwikee steps show no sign of stress. When the steps are fully extended, do the steps flex when you step on them? Or are they rock solid?
Mine are solid. But now that I see yours it can very well be an alignment when these were assembled. Your brackets and linkage looks nice and tight unlike ours. Force from the linkage is bending the brackets and as a result the pin works its way out.
 

aljimenez

'13 LTV Serenity on '12 3
It seems to me that you guys have an alignment or an adjustment issue. After 8 years of use, my Navion Kwikee steps show no sign of stress. When the steps are fully extended, do the steps flex when you step on them? Or are they rock solid?
It's hard to believe that cotter pin has not fallen out; both legs of the pin are usually inserted and then bent so the pin does not fall out.
 

Eastbayview

2012 Unity MB
It's hard to believe that cotter pin has not fallen out; both legs of the pin are usually inserted and then bent so the pin does not fall out.
Exactly! That cotter pin is not installed correctly.
 

nwboater

New member
I replaced the Clovis pin with a stainless steel bolt and locking nut. Works better than new.
 
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calbiker

Well-known member
Yep, that's how I see it. My brackets and linkage have a very tight fit. There's no play. If you have any gap then the bracket will get pounded and start to bend.

BTW, I replaced the cotter pin just after I took the photo. If the steps fail in the retracted position then it's extremely hard to straighten the cotter pin and remove the clevis pin to drop the steps. My new pin is a lot easier to remove. Those who think a bolt is the answer, you better hope the steps don't get stuck in the up position. Take a look how much room you got to work with.



Mine are solid. But now that I see yours it can very well be an alignment when these were assembled. Your brackets and linkage looks nice and tight unlike ours. Force from the linkage is bending the brackets and as a result the pin works its way out.
 

alichty

2014 LTV Unity TB
Just got back into town today and stopped by Johnson RV on the way home. Kwikee agreed to replace the steps outright and asked Johnson RV to just toss the old set once the new ones are installed. :rad:

This was not an end user adjustment issue - the limiter on the stepper motor summarily failed.

For the record my coat hanger hack lasted for a three day trip and seems to be still working. :smirk:
 

MarkCooperstein

2014 Unity TB
So the same thing happened to me necessitating a complete new step replacement. Kwikee sent me the new step to my house and I installed it since I'm not near an RV dealer.it wasn't hard except I had to do it laying on my back and the steps are heavy so I had to prop them into position until I could get two bolts in to hold them up.

I wonder how many of these Kwikee failure issues LTV had to deal with? I'd guess quite a lot.

Mark
 

alichty

2014 LTV Unity TB
So the same thing happened to me necessitating a complete new step replacement. Kwikee sent me the new step to my house and I installed it since I'm not near an RV dealer.it wasn't hard except I had to do it laying on my back and the steps are heavy so I had to prop them into position until I could get two bolts in to hold them up.

I wonder how many of these Kwikee failure issues LTV had to deal with? I'd guess quite a lot.
Actually this is directly between my dealer and Kwikee - LTV isn't involved at all. This was covered under the two year warranty on the steps.

That said this is apparently not an isolated event by any means given the number of folks who have chimed in since I started this thread. The pictures of the failed step linkage that I posted here were also sent to Kwikee and they understood the nature of the failure right away. Kwikee's reaction tells me they have seen their product fail this way before and probably more than once.
 

MM24

New member
http://lci1.com/products-list/

This link hopefully works. It should take you to Lippert Components. Browse through their site and read their history and look at their product lines. They are in Elkhart, Indiana. This company owns so many components of the RV Industry that once you have the shell of a manufacturer - the MH can pretty much be completed and fully put together with the components this company owns. Drew Industries [NYSE-DW], parent company of Lippert Components, Inc. purchased Power Gear and Kwikee in June 2014.

Lippert makes the slide mechanism- Schwintek (used in LTV units)- all you have to do is google Schwintek Slide Failures (on the internet) and you have enough reading to last a lifetime. :idunno:
 

Tannys

2016 Unity TB
Actually this is directly between my dealer and Kwikee - LTV isn't involved at all. This was covered under the two year warranty on the steps.

That said this is apparently not an isolated event by any means given the number of folks who have chimed in since I started this thread. The pictures of the failed step linkage that I posted here were also sent to Kwikee and they understood the nature of the failure right away. Kwikee's reaction tells me they have seen their product fail this way before and probably more than once.
While lubricating my step today I discovered this same issue with my 2016 Unity TB. My step works great and I only looked closely at this part today because of reading this thread. I have attached the photo and I am glad I found this prior to the steps failing. I will be calling the dealer tomorrow for a warranty repair. It looks like because the bracket is bent the entire step unit will need to be replaced. It sounds we share the same dealer, that Kwikee is aware of this issue and that there should be no issues getting the step replaced under the warranty. Thanks for making me look there!
 

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alichty

2014 LTV Unity TB
While lubricating my step today I discovered this same issue with my 2016 Unity TB. My step works great and I only looked closely at this part today because of reading this thread. I have attached the photo and I am glad I found this prior to the steps failing. I will be calling the dealer tomorrow for a warranty repair. It looks like because the bracket is bent the entire step unit will need to be replaced. It sounds we share the same dealer, that Kwikee is aware of this issue and that there should be no issues getting the step replaced under the warranty. Thanks for making me look there!
Give Johnson's a copy of the images - they work with Kwikee to get the new ones. I ended up doing the install myself since at the time the service center backlog was several weeks out and they didn't want to schedule anything until the parts arrived. Positioning the steps and the nuts/washers was the only tricky part. I used mine with the coat hanger wire hack for another month as it turned out before I got the new ones.
 

Tannys

2016 Unity TB
Give Johnson's a copy of the images - they work with Kwikee to get the new ones. I ended up doing the install myself since at the time the service center backlog was several weeks out and they didn't want to schedule anything until the parts arrived. Positioning the steps and the nuts/washers was the only tricky part. I used mine with the coat hanger wire hack for another month as it turned out before I got the new ones.
I only discovered this issue yesterday and so far my customer service experience has been very positive with both JohnsonRV and LCI. I emailed Lippert photographs of the step issue and copied the dealer on the email. I received an email from LCI this morning asking for some additional information and an hour later I received another email an hour later indicating they had authorized a replacement and an hour labor to install the step. They said that the step would be shipped as soon as they heard from JRV. I immediately called JRV and was told the part had been ordered. I called Lippert back to learn that the step was shipped this morning and got a tracking number. I had scheduled a service appointment next for next week (over a month ago) for some other warranty issues and will have the step replaced at the same time. As previously stated, my step is still functional but ready to fail. I would not have known that I had a problem without this thread prompting me to look. There is a lot of great info on this forum. Thanks!
 

alichty

2014 LTV Unity TB
I only discovered this issue yesterday and so far my customer service experience has been very positive with both JohnsonRV and LCI. I emailed Lippert photographs of the step issue and copied the dealer on the email. I received an email from LCI this morning asking for some additional information and an hour later I received another email an hour later indicating they had authorized a replacement and an hour labor to install the step. They said that the step would be shipped as soon as they heard from JRV. I immediately called JRV and was told the part had been ordered. I called Lippert back to learn that the step was shipped this morning and got a tracking number. I had scheduled a service appointment next for next week (over a month ago) for some other warranty issues and will have the step replaced at the same time. As previously stated, my step is still functional but ready to fail. I would not have known that I had a problem without this thread prompting me to look. There is a lot of great info on this forum. Thanks!
:clapping: Nice.

Wish I could have caught the problem on mine before I discovered my steps flapping in the breeze.
 

SSTraveler

2014 LTV Unity Murphy Bed
Just found my step failure. Another thread discussing step lubrication got me looking around. I'll do some research on fix. My first inclination was to put a bolt and lock nut on but Kozad in post #10 on this thread, https://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=38968, said he was advised by his dealer service and LTV Service not to replace the clevis/cotter pin setup with a bolt and nut. No reason given as to why. So I need research.
 

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SSTraveler

2014 LTV Unity Murphy Bed
I'm not going to over think this. I'm just going to use a heavier cotter pin. Clean all the pivot points good with WD-40. Then fresh lube everything with Boeshield T-9 Waterproof Lubrication 12 oz aerosol I purchased on Amazon. It was recommended by a 30 year RV veteran and classic car restorer.
 

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Old Crows

Calypso 2014 View Profile
SST, I like your plan. I'm wondering if they failed to put a washer between the pin and the bracket to protect the pin from wear. Or, is the pin just soft metal and give up after time.

I'm going to check my steps & lube them ASAP.

"....for the want of a nail....."
 

SSTraveler

2014 LTV Unity Murphy Bed
Based on web photos the OEM cotter pin is very thin. I'm guessing that shackle sees some torquing so the thin cotter pin must just shear off over time. Defintely an area for added inspection or replacement with a thicker cotter pin.
 
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calbiker

Well-known member
Here's a photo of Kwikee steps from Winnebago. The steps have been used for 10 years without a problem. I may have lubricated the steps perhaps 2 times. A few years ago I opened up the cotter pin in order for easier disassembly should the motor fail in the closed position. You don't want to replace the clevis pin with a bolt because you'll have a heck of a time getting the bolt out if the steps fail closed.

As mentioned, the best fix would be to add a washer next to the cotter pin.
 

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Suza

Member
Yep, that's how I see it. My brackets and linkage have a very tight fit. There's no play. If you have any gap then the bracket will get pounded and start to bend.

BTW, I replaced the cotter pin just after I took the photo. If the steps fail in the retracted position then it's extremely hard to straighten the cotter pin and remove the clevis pin to drop the steps. My new pin is a lot easier to remove. Those who think a bolt is the answer, you better hope the steps don't get stuck in the up position. Take a look how much room you got to work with.

What size cotter pin did you use for replacement?
 

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