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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Hold Up, Step Up and Cover Up!

When you take delivery of your new RV, there will be quite a few things that you will considering to improve your ownership experience. The list goes on for quite some length however I would like to focus attention on; "What's the first thing you are going touch before you are able to get into your RV?" The simple answer is, your entry steps.

We all have 1 of two types of steps, powered or manual. I have a triple step unit that's automatic. When I open the door there's a magnetic switch that calls for the step motor to activate and it pushes the steps out. When you close the door the magnetic switch latches and this activates the motor to rotate backwards which pulls and raises the stairs. Like me, you will have a manual switch that will turn the stairs off so that you can close the door without the stairs coming in. This is important after your parked. On my rig the step motor is a unit adapted from an automotive power window application. Over the many years of ownership, I have had structural problems with the stairs as it will in time break a weld up on the frame from constantly being leveraged when you
step on the stair. Yet another point of failure are the rivets that hold the folding frame together and allows the mechanism to pivot and operate.

The solution I found and apply is a "Step Stabilizer" or "Step Saver." As soon as the steps come out the step
Adjustable RV Step Stabilizer
stabilizer goes under the stair. This device offers 2 benefits, it supports the stairs at its maximum point of leverage and it takes the vertical movement you will feel as a mushiness out of the stair. I will try to position the stabilizer just to the left of center since we both lead with our left foot. We all have found terrain features to be different from one place to another and although the stabilizer is adjustable, you may need a "jack pad" to raise the stabilizer if it's too short. If for some reason the stabilizer is too long, I will simply build up as many stack-able jack pads as I need to take up the space.

Presto-O-Fit Step Covers
Your RV steps are probably just like mine, flat black and bare metal. In order to dress up your stairs, improve traction and provide a method to wipe your feet, I obtained the Prest-O-Fit Wraparound +Plus RV Step Rug 20" Wide I have 3 steps so I purchased 3 "Wraparound Rugs" The rugs fit perfectly and they are provided with a double row of eyelets and a pair of springs. The rug is wrapped around the step and using the springs, they are stretched to the first available hole and that's all there is to installing the rug. Once completed, it dresses up your stairs quite nicely. Although the carpet is available in 8 different colors, I went with the black.  
Safety Step Folding RV Entry Step

Finishing up, if your bottom stair is too high off the ground for any reason you can always option to get a "Safety Step." I know that my wife does not like to have too high of a step so a device like a safety step make all the difference. The safety step folds practically flat and it doesn't take up much room in storage.
Thanks for reading!  Mike P

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