Friday, September 17, 2021
Friday, September 17, 2021

Ask Dave: Why do my RV’s entry steps extend when engine is turned on?

Answers to questions about RV Repair and Maintenance from RV expert Dave Solberg, author of the “RV Handbook” and the managing editor of the RV Repair Club. This column appears Monday through Saturday in the RV Travel and RV Daily Tips newsletters. (Sign up for an email reminder for each new issue if you do not already receive one.) Today Dave discusses entry steps.

Dear Dave,
Our 2017 Renegade has an issue with the entrance steps. The steps function properly as the door is opened and closed. However, when the engine is started, the steps extend. This is opposite of what it should do as an override feature. We have disconnected the electrical wire underneath so it stays retracted all the time for now. —Mark

Dear Mark,
Your Renegade has a two-step Kwikee model step that should retract automatically when the engine ignition is turned on. There are several things that could cause this, starting with a fuse on the engine junction block, an in-line fuse, or the control module.

I contacted Lippert’s Customer Service department and they sent a service manual for the 888 model, which is generic to all Kwikee electric steps. The manual recommends the following troubleshooting steps:

1. Obtain a 4-way pigtail connector PN 909306000 (Kwikee) or PN 369243 (Lippert). You can find one on Amazon or etrailer.com.

2. Disconnect the 4-way connector on the underside of the entry step and connect the step half of the connector to the 4-way connector pigtail.

3. Set a fully charged 12 VDC battery beside the step.

4. Ground the entry step by placing a 10 AWG wire from the negative post to the green ground wire of the control unit.

5.  Attach the red wire from the pigtail to the positive terminal of the battery to supply power. The step should extend.

6. With the power and ground wire connected, all functions of the control unit can be checked by the four wires of the pigtail. Brown is the door switch, white is the step lockout switch, and the yellow wire is the ignition override.

7. To retract the step, touch the brown wire to the negative battery post.

8. To extend the step, remove the brown wire.

9. To test the ignition override feature, extend the step and connect the white wire to the positive battery terminal and attach the brown wire to the negative post. The step should retract. Remove the brown wire and the step should extend.

10. If any of the step functions do not work, the source of the malfunction is in the control unit and/or motor. If all the functions work properly, the malfunction is either in the door switch, step lockout switch, or the vehicle wiring.

11. To check the ignition override system, connect a voltmeter between the yellow wire from the 4-way connector (vehicle half) and the ground terminal on the end of the control unit’s green ground wire.

12. The voltage should be approximately 12 VDC when the ignition is on and 0 VDC when the ignition is off. If the reading is 0 VDC when the ignition is on, check all terminal connections, wiring, and the vehicle’s ignition ground.

Talking with the Lippert technical representative, he indicated it typically is the control module. However, he also said to check the fuse block at the engine junction box. I would suspect you could isolate this by doing the troubleshooting to verify if the functions work properly with the 4-way connector and the spare battery. If it is in the coach wiring, we will need to get a wiring diagram from the REV Group.

Read more from Dave here

Dave Solberg worked at Winnebago for 15 years developing the dealer training program, as marketing manager, and conducting shows. As the owner of Passport Media Creations, Dave has developed several RV dealer training programs, the RV Safety Training program for The Recreation Vehicle Safety and Education Foundation, and the accredited RV Driving Safety program being conducted at rallies and shows around the country. Dave is a leading expert in the RV industry and author of the “RV Handbook” as well as the Managing Editor of the RV Repair Club.

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Bob p
3 days ago

I had a similar problem after replacing the step motor on our 2002 Mountain Aire. I carefully wired the new motor exactly like the old motor but it operated the opposite of the old motor. Further investigation revealed the wiring had been changed somewhere between’02 and ‘19. Eventually I worked my way around the problem by installing a simple toggle switch in the yellow wire so that when we were parked once the door opened I simply turned the switch off and the steps remained out, when ready to leave as I was ready I turned the switch on and when the door closed the steps retracted.

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