Tuesday, October 3, 2023


Easy ways to make your RV’s entry steps safer

A fellow camper recently fell and broke her arm. It happened on her RV entry steps at night. She simply tripped over the bottom step and the next thing you know, she’s on her way to the local ER. The incident got me thinking about tips for safe RV entry steps.

Stair types

RV entry steps come in various configurations. There are three main types.

  • Platform step. This is basically a small step stool that gives you a step up into your RV. Some platform steps feature fold-away legs for ease of storage.
  • Foldable or scissor steps. This kind of RV step is housed underneath the entry door. You pull them out for use, and tuck them away when you’re on the road. Some foldable steps are manual, while others are electric.
  • Pull-down solid steps. This stair type locks into the door frame of your camper. When you open the entry door, you unlock the pull-down steps. With a gentle pull, the steps extend out of the camper to the ground. Some pull-down steps can be adjusted to allow for uneven terrain.

Best entry steps?

Everyone has their own preference for RV entry steps. Our first RV featured foldable steps. I liked how easy they were to manipulate, but didn’t really feel secure because of the “bounce” when my foot hit the treads.

Our current RV has the pull-down solid step configuration. I love how sturdy these steps feel underfoot, but I’ve learned to thoroughly sweep the treads before placing the step system back into the door frame for travel. If I forget to sweep, sand, leaves, and debris drop off the steps right onto the floor!

No matter what type of step system your RV has, you may be able to make them safer—for you, your family, and pets. Many of the tips I’ll share cost very little, compared to what an ER visit may set you back.

Make steps non-slip

  • Step covers. Rain, sand, dew, and even leaves can make entry steps slippery. Combat the “slip” by covering your metal steps with a traction-friendly material, like carpet or non-slip rubber. Wraparound coverings attach via tension springs or zip ties. Partial-tread coverings feature an adhesive backing and easily attach to the steps. (Follow directions for prepping the tread surface.) When purchasing tread covers measure carefully, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Traction strips. This non-slip step application covers a smaller portion of the tread, but still provides great traction. Traction strips have an adhesive backing for easy application, or you can purchase traction tape that you cut to fit the size of your tread. Try this roll of traction tape.
  • Broom. Low tech, for sure, but sweeping your steps can also prevent falls. A well-placed acorn can cause you to slip even if you’ve added step covers. Hint: My husband can “sweep” our steps in under 7 seconds with his leaf blower. Noisy, but fast! (Oh, the things you can do with leaf blowers…)

Make steps sturdy

  • DIY. We used blocks of wood to better stabilize the foldable steps on our former RV. We simply stacked layers of wood under the bottom step. The wood helped firm up the feel of the stairs when stepping on them.
  • Manufactured stair stabilizers. There are products on the market that are much handier and provide greater flexibility than our stacks of wood. For example, Camco’s adjustable step brace.
  • Replace steps. If you’ve tried the step stabilizers and still feel uneasy using your entry steps, you may want to see what it takes to replace your step system altogether. Ask your local RV dealer for suggestions or research your options online.

Easily make steps more visible

  • Pool noodles. Yes, yet another use for pool noodles! (For some step configurations, anyway.) Much like RVers put pool noodles on slide-out corners to prevent head-knocks, you can cut a section of a pool noodle the depth of the stair tread. Make a slit in the noodle and place it on the sides of your entry steps where you’ll be sure to see them as you work and play outside.
  • Glow-in-the-dark tape. Apply this tape to the sides and top of your steps so you’ll see them in the dark. (More on this very cool tape here.)
  • Step lights. MORryde makes LED stair lights that are motion activated. I like that the steps are very well lit, while not having to have the RV porch light on all the time. (Your neighbors will also thank you.)
  • Solar lights. You can stake solar lights along the perimeter of your outdoor mat. The lights will help safely guide you to your steps.

Add railing

RVs usually feature a grab bar, positioned at the top of the steps. It’s great, but just getting to the top can be challenging for some folks. Here’s a way to fix that.

Add a stair rail. Entry assist handrails can be a game-changer. There are different configurations available from reputable manufacturers. Search Google for RV handrails and you’ll likely find one that fits your steps. Hint: I’ve seen people apply that same glow-in-the-dark tape from above to the handrail for added visibility and safety.

How do you make your RV entry steps safer? Please share your ideas in the comments below.



Gail Marsh
Gail Marsh
Gail Marsh is an avid RVer and occasional work camper. Retired from 30+ years in the field of education as an author and educator, she now enjoys sharing tips and tricks that make RVing easier and more enjoyable.


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Paula Stone
2 months ago

Stair/steps into a camper are a big problem for those who have any sort of leg problems. I know! I like my steps closer together making for many steps…. you can’t buy them anywhere. RV’s come with and manufacturers seem to make them only between 7 and 9 inches apart. How about 5 inches???? That might be a big help!

Left Coast Geek
1 year ago

Thankfully, our trailer is small and low, so just needs a single step. I got rid of the original pullout step, and instead use a platform step, its rated for 350 lbs and super sturdy and rock steady. when we travel, I place it just inside the door.

Gene Sannes
1 year ago

We got rid of the original steps on our fifth wheel and got a pull out type (can’t find the brand name) that extends to the ground. We didn’t go with the pull out from the door type after seeing two trailers parked side by side in storage and the family couldn’t get into their trailer because the other trailer was too close and they couldn’t deploy the steps from the door frame. Ours, pull out from the original step location, and scissors out easily, and set solidly on the ground. the aluminum steps came with day glow tape that has stayed on for the past 5 years.

1 year ago
Reply to  Gene Sannes

Probably Torklift. We LOVE ours!

1 year ago

please block Brooklyn from the discussions, spam filter not grabbing this clown

RV Staff
1 year ago
Reply to  Scott

Sorry, Scott. I’ve been putting those comments from that “person” and IP address into Spam and asked for them to be blocked, but apparently they weren’t. So, I just went into the program myself and think I’ve blocked them. (I hope I did it correctly. I’ve been trying to get them blocked for awhile.) Have a great day. 🙂 –Diane

1 year ago

All to often we descend stairs with either bifocals or progressive lenses and these can distort our vision due to the transfer line in the lenses which can cause one to miss judge and misstep. Please use caution and don’t assume your vision is on target when it blurs while looking down at the steps. Adjust your glasses for clarity.

1 year ago

The only thing I did not want on our camper was the “solid steps”. For our use they are the most miserable thing about our Rockwood. When setting up the door must be fully open and then you have to guess at the adjustment you need for the current spot. After several tries they are stable until the camper settles then they need to be adjusted again. (especially if you have driver side slide outs.) In our shed there is not enough room for the additional three and a half feet that the stairs need to be lowered from upright storage to the resting place on the ground and since they block the door when they are up the only way to get into the camper is to move it out of the storage area. When folding the steps into the camper the stairs bring dirt into the camper because there is no way to fully get dirt out of the half open stair treads. Finally when it is raining the setup procedure allows rain in the open door and positions us outside until the stairs are ready. I wish I had a choice.

2 months ago
Reply to  Bill

Exactly why we won’t buy an rv with solid steps (plus, I’ve heard of creepy crawlies getting into campers this way, even dangerous ones).

1 year ago

We have fold down steps and use leveling blocks under the bottom step to provide a secure surface.

1 year ago

I use 2 jack stands to stabilize my RV steps. Works great.

Jeff Arthur
1 year ago

Torklift revolution glow steps!
Either author doesn’t know much or Torklift’s not paying them .
7th season for ours nothing better for safety as they go to the ground , have adjustments on bottom & top so steps can always be set to level and have equal spacing. Steps stay outside so your not dragging dirt inside ( mount to your step original location)

Not cheap but neither is the ER

1 year ago
Reply to  Jeff Arthur

We have Torklift steps. I bought them for my Mother’s Day gift to ME! They are terrific. I sometimes use our camper as a she shed and invite my neighbors over for coffee. One of my friends has neuropathy and had trouble negotiating our bouncy old steps. The Torklift steps are firmly planted on the ground and she no longer feels like she should hold my hand to get in and out of the camper.

1 year ago

We have pull down solid steps and added an extended handle with zip on neoprene covers. We also have carpet mats on them for traction for us and for our dogs.

For night time, we added solar step lights. The ones we chose are color changing or white. The bonus of color changing is they are suitable for dark sky parks and aren’t glaringly bright. Got them on Amazon, of course – listed as deck lights or step lights, pack of 6 – we use the rest at our house around the pool.

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