View/Navion Motorhome Steps

Alphacarina

2006 Itasca Navion 23H
I've seen pictures of several units with the steps fully retracted, much farther upward and rearward than mine - They work fine, but I'm beginning to suspect they're not retracting like they should. Maybe this is something as simple as the gear on the motor not meshing with the correct teeth on the mechanism?? What do you think . . . . pull the motor off, push the steps up like they should be and then reinstall the motor?? Think something as simple as that would fix the problem??

Steps.jpg

Don
 

WinnieView1

2014 Winnebago View 24G
Try fully lubricating the step hinge points and linkage with something like KwikLube or equivalent as recommended in the attachment.

Other considerations;
Linkage 'skipped', bent, worn

There's also troubleshooting sections in the attachment. Worst case scenarios; steps bent--trying operating them manually (after disconnecting the linkage) from fully closed to open positions.

As always, use extreme care when working on steps when connected and powered to avoid unexpected operation and danger.
 

Attachments

Mike DZ

2016 View 24V (2015 3500)
They work fine, but I'm beginning to suspect they're not retracting like they should.
You are right - not working correctly. As Winnie View indicates try lube first. There are a lot of pivot points to get to. They are underneath as well as visible on the steps. You might want to hit each pivot point with a solvent first and then a non-oily lube like Boeshield T-9.
 

calbiker

Well-known member
In 13+ years, never lubed my stairs. They always work like new. I avoid getting close to curbs where they may bind up and get out of alignment. I would disconnect the motor drive arm (remove cotter pin & slide out pin). You can then manually retract steps to see if they bind anywhere.
 

Alphacarina

2006 Itasca Navion 23H
I'll give both of those ideas a try first, but I seriously doubt it's a lubrication or a binding problem. They appear 'loose' and they quickly extend *and* retract. There's no binding at the point where they stop moving - They keep moving swiftly until the motor stops and that's where they are . . . . if the motor ran one second longer, they'd be fully stowed, like they should be

The Kwikee manual mentions adjusting the stops, but that's just for the fully extended position to keep the steps from feeling 'mushy' and they don't say anything about what to do on the opposite side, to make them retract farther. It seems to me (for what little that's worth) that if the motor ran for one gear tooth more, they would retract farther which is what made me think removing the motor while they are in the retracted position, pushing them up to fully retracted and reinstalling the motor *might* solve my problem

Whatever the fix turns out to be, I'll post it here, just in case it helps somebody down the road

Don
 

Jbernielh

Member
I had to replace the entire step unit on my wife's navion last year.. they were sticking out a bit (not as much as those) and she caught the corner on a curb in Baja.. it's a long story and a very curious explanation.. I really do know better than to ask.. it was about 1200 bucks for the assembly and then took me about 2 days to repair the structural damage to the compartment aft of the steps... which is where the remnants wound up..

I dismantled the assembly to remove the debris.. I agree that lubrication shouldn't be an issue.. they really are "salt water fit"

I don't remember there being any external micro switches for travel stops which makes me think they would be built into the motor.. if thats the case there should be some form of adjustment..

I still have the motor and a couple of other pieces in my shop.. I'll look at it tomorrow and see what I see..

Bernie
 

Mike DZ

2016 View 24V (2015 3500)
In 13+ years, never lubed my stairs. They always work like new. I avoid getting close to curbs where they may bind up and get out of alignment. I would disconnect the motor drive arm (remove cotter pin & slide out pin). You can then manually retract steps to see if they bind anywhere.
I agree that disconnecting the motor drive arm is a good trouble shooting approach. However, I have found that my step will bind if not lubricated - probably variation or changes in the manufacturing processes make some set of steps more likely to bind without lubrication than others.
 

calbiker

Well-known member
I believe the motor operates (turns) until it hits the stops (which could be a curb). At this point in time, when the steps physically can’t move anymore, the motor has a higher stall current. The motor controller detects the stall current and then disables motor current. If the steps bind the motor goes into stall and the controller shuts it down. That’s my take.
 

WinnieView1

2014 Winnebago View 24G
I believe the motor operates (turns) until it hits the stops (which could be a curb). At this point in time, when the steps physically can’t move anymore, the motor has a higher stall current. The motor controller detects the stall current and then disables motor current. If the steps bind the motor goes into stall and the controller shuts it down. That’s my take.
That is the how the motor works and in some cases can be replaced with a compatible power window motor.
 

Alphacarina

2006 Itasca Navion 23H
Well the problem isn't that they're binding, or a lack of lubrication. The steps are very loose. I got under there and I can very easily push the steps up almost as far as they should be going . . . . only the connecting arm keeps me from pushing them any higher - There's lots of play in the system and that allows me to move them up a couple inches. I'll lower them, disconnect the motor and the connecting arm just to make doubly sure they will easily go up to the desired stowed position, but it looks like my problem lies elsewhere. Might just need a new motor . . . . .

Don
 
Well the problem isn't that they're binding, or a lack of lubrication. The steps are very loose. I got under there and I can very easily push the steps up almost as far as they should be going . . . . only the connecting arm keeps me from pushing them any higher - There's lots of play in the system and that allows me to move them up a couple inches. I'll lower them, disconnect the motor and the connecting arm just to make doubly sure they will easily go up to the desired stowed position, but it looks like my problem lies elsewhere. Might just need a new motor . . . . .

Don
A motor might do it if there is no binding which causes overcurrent stalling/stopping as mentioned. There are rubber cushions on the motor drive plate to reduce clanking and other noise. Those could be loose. Also, there is a square shaft that engages a square hole in the driveplate. I had mine totally egg out. It started with slop and went to total failure. Motor would run until it timed out (4 to 5 seconds) but steps would just jerk a little and not travel in or out.
 

Alphacarina

2006 Itasca Navion 23H
Thanks!

That's it - Mine must be egg-shaped too, because there's LOTS of play in it. I ordered the motor. Not the $100 one, but the Dorman replacement from Amazon for $45. Hopefully it's just the motor and I won't need a controller too

Don
 

Alphacarina

2006 Itasca Navion 23H
Change of plans. After more research it's pretty obvious that my problem is in the gearbox, as that's where all the slop is that keeps the steps from retracting all the way. My 2006 (2005 chassis) has steps made in April of 2005 and Lippert no longer sells the identical gearbox for them. But, they do sell a newer, better replacement which fits my steps and it requires a different motor than the one I have. So, I've ordered the new gearbox and matching motor and that *should* solve my problem when I get them installed. Sure glad I caught this before I tore up the steps hitting some obstruction . . . . which would likely have torn up part of the coach too

Don
 

Alphacarina

2006 Itasca Navion 23H
Well the new motor and gearbox came today. I won'r hold you in suspense, my steps are working as advertised now for the first time since we've owned this coach - They fully retract up against the top and both steps are together. Pardon the poor photo . . . . can't see a thing on my phone with the midday sun!
Steps 2.jpg
What follows is probably applicable to most T1N motor homes. My unit came with the first of the combined motor/gearbox style actuating mechanism, which was changed sometime in 2006. The new motor gearbox is a beefier unit and it's pretty much a drop in replacement for the original . . . . except that Lippert says you also must change the controller to the newer one, as the old one won't work with the new motor. A reviewer on Amazon said this isn't so and since the controller costs $125 I decided to give it a try with my old controller . . . . and it does work just fine

After removing the old motor and gearbox, my steps moved very freely up and down throughout the full range of motion, but since I now had easy access to every articulating joint, I decided to go ahead and lube them. I used a spray can of motorcycle chain lube that I had which sprays on liquid and sets up later to be a bit like a light grease, so it won't fling off a motorcycle chain. If nothing else, that made the motion of the steps a bit quieter - No more squeaking and clanking
Step Motors.jpg
The motor/gearbox assemblies are very similar. The difference in mine was the arm could be moved about 10 degrees without the motor turning, and that slop turned out to be in the old motor, not the old gearbox. I probably could have fixed them just changing the motor, but it was worth it to me to get all new parts under there - I hate doing things twice!

The steps are almost completely silent now . . . . and they look so much better tucked up there where they belong. Much less chance of disaster while driving. The yellow light under there was on all the time the steps were extended, so I took the bulb out of it. Never noticed it before, to tell the truth and no point in wasting juice on a light which doesn't do much of anything

Don
 

Alphacarina

2006 Itasca Navion 23H
I didn't end up buying the Dorman motor . . . . I cancelled the Amazon order - I bought the genuine Lippert parts, motor and gearbox and sourced them from this video - He lists the Amazon source for everything, controller included


If you want to try the Dorman motor, this is the one that's said to work for *some* of the Kwikee steps, but I have no personal experience with it


Don
 

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