Question Kwikee steps acting up again

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Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Messages
2,388
Location
WA, MT or somewhere else!
RV Year
2018
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Mountain Aire 4047
RV Length
40'
TOW/TOAD
2014 Honda CR-V
Arrived at our overnight stopover on the way home from Polson, got parked and now, the Kwikee steps are continually extending and retracting with a herky-jerky motion. They ran that way for several minutes before I got them stopped by turning the ignition key on and timing shutting off the "Exterior Ent/Step" switch to a point where they were fully extended. As a result, they are...for now...remaining extended.

We had the step controller replaced last year while at Nappanee because it fully extended the steps while we were driving and they would not retract. The problem was blamed on water finding its way inside the step controller. We had some light rain during part of the trip, but nothing that I would expect to cause water to get into the controller. Looks like I may be wrong as it appears the controller has failed again.

Anyone have thoughts on other, less complex things that could cause this and might be fairly easy to fix on the road? It being Friday night, there are not repair facilities opened and won't be until Monday. If I could somehow get the step to function reliably, even temporarily, it would sure be a big help. We need to be on the road again tomorrow..

TJ
 
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331
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Glendora, CA
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Dutch Star 4369
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2017 Ford F-150 Raptor w/AF1 Braking
Hi Jim,

Darn about those stupid steps! Mine did the same thing shortly after I got my coach when I sprayed the underside to wash the salt off. I got a bit too aggressive, apparently, and got the step controller wet; causing it to cycle constantly until I finally disconnected it.

I got mine working again, by taking the module out and leaving it in the sun to dry out.

The ultimate solution was to replace the module with a newer model which is sealed better. Hasn’t done it since.

Did your’s, by chance, get wet?

@Dutch Star Don actually made a shroud, made from a mud flap, to shield his controller.
 
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Location
WA, MT or somewhere else!
RV Year
2018
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Newmar
RV Model
Mountain Aire 4047
RV Length
40'
TOW/TOAD
2014 Honda CR-V
Will pulling the steps fuse in the front outside electrical compartment disable the step? We're leaving (we hope) in about an hour and want to find a way to deal with the step if I need to. With the "Exterior Ent/Step" in the off position, it settled down last night. I'm hoping that when I start the engine, the over-ride will pull the step in and keep it there. Otherwise, it may be a long trip home.

TJ
 
Joined
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Messages
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Location
WA, MT or somewhere else!
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Newmar
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RV Length
40'
TOW/TOAD
2014 Honda CR-V
Well, the steps are now stuck out! With a lot of duct tape to secure the lower step up (reducing our exposure by about half, we are now on the road. LadyDi has the helm. Will get the step fixed later.

Seriously considering hanging up RVing at this point. Getting fed up with failing technology and poor design.

TJ
 
Last edited:
Joined
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Well, the steps are now stuck out! With a lot of duct tape to secure the lower step up (reducing our exposure by about half, we are now on the road. LadyDi has the helm. Will get the step fixed later.

Seriously considering hanging up RVing at this point. Getting fed up with failing technology and poor design.

TJ
So sorry @TJ&LadyDi. Get home, park the beast, have a glass of wine and tomorrow your thoughts will be in a better place. It’ll get fixed and all will be good again.
all good love GIF by Great Big Story
 
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2017 Chevy Colorado
Fulltimer
No
@TJ&LadyDi denied. You're staying as there are insufficient votes for quitting.

Sadly, this is RVing but also a more complex coach. It sounds to me you have a loose ground or faulty controller (again). My first inclination is check the wires beneath the steps and go from there. Maybe a RV mobile tech can take care of this if needed.
 
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Orinda, CA
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2015 Jeep Trailhawk
I am with @Neal. I wasn’t allowed to disappear only go on ownership sabbatical for a short time period so neither can you @TJ&LadyDi. I feel your pain as no one wants stuff to break especially in transit as a similar thing happened on my VEDP. Get home park it and deal with it later. It will get resolved.
 
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RV Length
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2014 Honda CR-V
Thanks, folks. At our age, however, it is time to consider all the options. Nothing has been decided, but we are considering buying a summer home in Polson and relocating our S&B residence to the Spokane area. This could be the impetus to move forward; we’ll see.

TJ
 
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RV Length
40'
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2014 Honda CR-V
Now, for the rest of the story! After driving 350 miles, we arrived home and upon opening the coach door, the @@$&@!&$@ steps were again working. What’s the price of Dynamite these days? 🤨

TJ
 
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Its time to break out the txakoli and celebrate....
 
Last edited:
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Sure sounds like a loose wire. In the steps not the operator but that is suspect.
 
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This sounds vaguely like my Kwikee steps. At first I though I had it solved, then months later they started acting up again. I cleaned connections and grounds. I waterproofed them all and it worked without any problems, of course until it didn't. The irony was when it failed last was in Napannee when the tech delivered the finished coach. The weirdest thing was driving away from the "mothership" with a broken coach. Drove it home with steps extended (60ish miles) did the troubleshooting and determined the controller was getting all the proper inputs, but no output. I hotwired the motor and it worked. Ordered a new controller and all is good again. 🤞🤞🤞 I've only test operated the steps thus far. Dec 26 departing for AZ until returning in late April...the BIG test. While I was waiting for parts I disassembled the gear box and motor to check the gears. The biggest pain of the system is the plastic gear in the motor section. Putting it back together in the same engagement that has worn the gear teeth is about a million to one, so it should go a little longer.

Intermittent problems are frustrating. Check grounds (plural) and all plug-together connectors. Waterproof them all to prevent corrosion.

If problems are the final straw in giving up the RV, I would hope it would be a bigger problem that these problem-prone steps. Get home, relax, wait some time to recuperate and then look into the solution. You'll be fine.
 
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Now, for the rest of the story! After driving 350 miles, we arrived home and upon opening the coach door, the @@$&@!&$@ steps were again working. What’s the price of Dynamite these days? 🤨

TJ
Jim, that’s EXACTLY the symptoms of when mine had water in the module. Once it dried out, the steps functioned fine.
 
Joined
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2,388
Location
WA, MT or somewhere else!
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Newmar
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Mountain Aire 4047
RV Length
40'
TOW/TOAD
2014 Honda CR-V
The ultimate solution was to replace the module with a newer model which is sealed better. Hasn’t done it since.
You don't, by chance have a part number for the "newer model" module perhaps? I will try to call Kwikee tomorrow and see what I can learn from them.

Are the steps part of the chassis (and covered by the Spartan 5-year warranty) or (as I suspect) a Newmar add-on and covered by the one-year warranty? Replacing the step controller approximately once a year is unacceptable.

And, I wonder if it is possible to retrofit the HWH hydraulic steps to the MADP?

TJ
 
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Location
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2014 Honda CR-V
If problems are the final straw in giving up the RV, I would hope it would be a bigger problem that these problem-prone steps.
The cumulative effect of continuing small problems and wondering when the next one will occur is the bigger issue. We have had continuing issues with the adaptive cruise control, Oasis, SilverLeaf, AC unit, steps, etc. Individually, none are major things but having to wait for the next shoe to drop in a two-year-old "luxury diesel" coach gets wearing.

Added to the aggravation is the fact that, for us, it is 700 miles round trip to a shop that can reliably work on Newmars. We can get our Lincoln or Honda serviced (or, completely rebuilt, if needed) less than 10 miles from home...and, in just about every large town or city in the country as well.

It is my opinion that there is way too much needless "technology" used in these coaches and, as a result, they are fragile. They need to be a lot more robust so they are not always experiencing some sort of a problem.

Sorry for the rant, but right now we are pretty unhappy with the state of our coach. And, RVs in general.

TJ
 
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I am self-imposing a "time out!" Gonna step back and take a few deep breaths. I'll be off for a bit, but will continue to track things on this great forum.

TJ
 
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RV verses houses, hmmm, hard choice. My concern is who wins election, wrong guy/gal combination and won't be able to afford fuel for RV. But this summer, we have done several projects around the S&B. When young, nothing to it, now older, everything takes twice as long, and costs 5 times as much. So having two houses is not for me, one always needs work. Steps issues is simple, buy new controller, and before installing, make sure you seal it up in all the places it looks suspect. The gear issues is another thing entirely. Having two houses which constantly need something, and all the yardwork which goes along with that, well we got house and own lot up the street, and between the two, never have time for RV'ing.
 
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It appears I must find a way to get to Polson soon. No way is TJ exiting without my getting to at least shake his hand.
 
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Orinda, CA
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2015 Jeep Trailhawk
@TJ&LadyDi is spot on. It’s ridiculous what we put up with for the money we spend that cost more than a house in many parts of the US to enjoy this lifestyle. We deserve better quality than the industry is giving us.

I have the same challenge with a quality service center 550 miles away. I know it’s not automotive that we are used to but at some point something has to give. Mind you there is a newmar service dealer less than 1/2 mile from where I store. Why can’t they be held to a standard because their quality is abysmal compounded with the question “Did you buy it from us?” Don’t walk. Run when you hear that.

I know one thing I like the lifestyle and seeing the country. I am searching for my next RV right now but I won’t repeat what I have already experienced. It will be interesting to see where I land when I go forward.

megaphone turned off.....
 
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This may help, understand that you may not want to tackle the job but you might.
 

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