Monday, December 4, 2023


RV boo-boos: Look out! First step to a safe trip – take the RV steps in!

“Protect us,” said the old prayer, “from things that go bump in the night.” For RVers, things that can “go bump” can do so in broad daylight—and often do. Too often, RVers pull away in their rig and hear unwelcome noises. The TV antenna left up? Or a major insurance claim causer: Left the RV steps out.

Do-it-yourself disaster with RV steps

Here’s the sad case for Paul and Cinnamon. They evidently like to keep things looking sharp, so they took their rig through a do-it-yourself wash bay. Front, rear, and sides—don’t miss anything, Paul! Don’t forget the RV steps! Pull steps out, rinse, soap, rinse again. Looks great! But if you forget to put the steps back before you pull out of the bay, the results don’t look so good.

RV steps
RV steps

And the aftermath?

Rather than fiddle around with a step-ladder to access their rig, they reattached the mangled treads until a new set of RV steps could be obtained.

If you’ve witnessed, or had your own, “RV boo-boo” moment and have a photo to share with others, let us know. Fill out the form below and put “boo-boo” on the subject line. Be sure to link your photo with the attachment tool on the form. 

Click or drag a file to this area to upload.

Other RV boo-boos


Russ and Tiña De Maris
Russ and Tiña De Maris
Russ and Tiña went from childhood tent camping to RVing in the 1980s when the ground got too hard. They've been tutored in the ways of RVing (and RV repair) by a series of rigs, from truck campers, to a fifth-wheel, and several travel trailers. In addition to writing scores of articles on RVing topics, they've also taught college classes for folks new to RVing. They authored the book, RV Boondocking Basics.



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Lexi's Mom (@guest_194990)
1 year ago

As retired semi truck drivers, a walk around inspection is just normal for us to do before pulling out with the fifth-wheel. It was mandatory to do a VI (vehicle inspection) before leaving each time with the truck. A great habit now that we continue. 🙂 .

RallyAce (@guest_194921)
1 year ago

Just today, driving on I-90 in New York, I saw at least 5 TTs with the step still extended. I mentioned it to one fellow at a gas stop and he was very thankful for having me point it out. I am one of those folks that, like a pilot, uses checklists for everything and one of the items on my ‘just before hitting the road’ list is to check the step. I actually have it on there twice.

Leona Dunn (@guest_194577)
1 year ago

The storage yard where we stored our RV had a dip as you left. It took out our rear steps. We said good-bye to that place.

Alex (@guest_194565)
1 year ago

We are religious users of check lists and walk around before departures. Things happen and then you’re either stuck, risk damage or you find a way to fix it. Our retractable steps didn’t retract when they were supposed to. If you encounter that situation, check for a dangling switch. Retraction requires that a magnet trigger a switch telling the mechanism that the door is closed. On our 2015 Sprinter Class C, the factory attached the switch to door frame using double sided tape. Most likely the switch was misaligned with the magnet and then moved thus degrading the adhesiveness of the tape.

Cindy (@guest_194514)
1 year ago

We lost our steps one time as well. We were going to our favorite boon-docking campsite and had to stop for a bathroom break. As we were getting ready to leave I thought my husband was doing a walk around and would put the stairs back up. He thought I’d already put the stairs up. Nobody put the stairs up. Now we both check every time before we pull out after a stop or stay. Not only stairs but antennas, windows and everything else. We have check list we go through for inside and outside the trailer. Very helpful.

Mark (@guest_194509)
1 year ago

Put this app on your phone, “Anylist”, its free. Add all the items you check before rolling or after arriving and you’ll never miss an item again. I use it every trip.

Bruce (@guest_194498)
1 year ago

I have had my share of costly mistakes. Anyone who never made a mistake never did anything

Donald N Wright (@guest_194451)
1 year ago

I have learned to politely ask someone on another site to do a visual inspection of my rig before I drive away.

Bill Fisher (@guest_194417)
1 year ago

Before our fiver moves an inch, no matter why, we follow the process of doing a complete walk around, looking high (roof) and low (under carriage), checking the pin and hitch and checking the lights. Once we start to move I check the trailer brakes.

Karin S. (@guest_194477)
1 year ago
Reply to  Bill Fisher

We do the same. We both do the walk around (one at a time) and then do a visual of the hitch pin. Then I hop in the truck and we check the lights and turn signals. Before pulling out of the site, (or from home), I do the check where I test that the hitch pin is truly engaged and does not disconnect. And lastly, as I am driving away, I check the trailer brakes. I learned long ago, from other peoples mishaps, to have a routine and to ALWAYS stick to it.

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