Tip Kwikee Step Failed

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Joined
Nov 15, 2019
Messages
188
Location
Portage, MI
RV Year
2017
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Ventana LE 4037
RV Length
40' 11"
TOW/TOAD
2021 Chevy Trailblazer
When preparing for departure from our last encampment, the Kwikee step (model 34) would not retract. I knew of the condition, but was in a situation that I could not work on it in that exact location. So, I cautiously began exiting the park. Not less than 2 campers waved me down to warn me of the situation. I graciously thanked them about the notification. I finally found a place that I could work on the retraction.
After numerous wire wiggles, disconnect look-see and so on, I determined a more rigorous problem solving was warranted. A simple pull of the pin and strap it back. Simple indeed (sounds like).
The motor supplies a lot of torque that applies a lot of pressure against the step stops. Kwikee did good by having eccentric adjusters as the stops. A 1/2” end wrench for the locknut and a 3/4” end wrench to turn the eccentric and all the pressure on the pin is relieved. Pulled the pin and a ratchet strap to hold it back. Down the road for our next stop.
When I got started on the analysis I was armed with the tests for voltage checks from the Kwikee manuals (nicely done). I checked this, then that and got to a point that I needed a switch operator. I put everything back together and went to instruct my wife on what I wanted her to do. Upon instructing to “do it like this”, the steps worked. Great. A loose connection or corroded ground, I thought. Nothing definitive.
So, I went back under to clean all ground connections as well as wire connectors. Dielectric grease on each and every point whether it’s considered weatherproof or not. So far, so good.

funny...sometimes spending a hundred bucks replacing a faulty part makes you feel a bit more confident than wiggling wires to make something work again, even if the cost was zero dollars.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Nov 15, 2019
Messages
225
Location
Sarasota, FL
RV Year
1997
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
London Aire
RV Length
40'
TOW/TOAD
2008 Jeep GC Overland
You should be using conductive grease, not dielectric - its not conductive.
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2019
Messages
188
Location
Portage, MI
RV Year
2017
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Ventana LE 4037
RV Length
40' 11"
TOW/TOAD
2021 Chevy Trailblazer
Non conductive is what I want. Keep corrosion at bay without risking short circuit.
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2019
Messages
225
Location
Sarasota, FL
RV Year
1997
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
London Aire
RV Length
40'
TOW/TOAD
2008 Jeep GC Overland
Your choice, when you don't get a connection, you'll realize why.
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2019
Messages
225
Location
Sarasota, FL
RV Year
1997
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
London Aire
RV Length
40'
TOW/TOAD
2008 Jeep GC Overland
I'll give you one example. I was working on my outboard motor and a mechanic told me to coat all connections, like the ground connection to the chassis, with dielectric grease. I did and took the boat out. about an hour into cruising the engine quit and would not start. I started thinking through what had changed since I ran it last and the only thing was the dielectric grease. I started with removing the ground wire to the chassis and wiped off the dielectric grease, scruffed the connection terminal and area with sandpaper and reconnected the terminals. The engine started right up. The dielectric grease had acted like an insulator.

Dielectric grease, or tune-up grease, is a silicone-based grease that repels moisture and protects electrical connections against corrosion. ... The grease does not conduct electricity, so it shouldn't be applied directly to the mating surfaces (pins and sockets) of an electrical connection. This is where I add conductive grease.
 
Joined
Jan 23, 2020
Messages
28
I am glad you were able to fix this without having to swap the steps out. That is what I had to do. I got them off Amazon and it was an easy swap out. The door switch had to be swapped also (steps out with door closed, steps in with door open!). Repairs on the road are fun, right?
 
Joined
Feb 23, 2020
Messages
132
Location
Blairsville, GA
RV Year
2019
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Ventana 3407
RV Length
34'10"
TOW/TOAD
2013 Jeep Wrangler Sahara Unlimited
NO-OX-ID-Special A geese, most electrical utilities use this stuff. Amazon sells it, one can should last you for life.
 
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