RVs contain steps on the entrance doors to make entry and exit convenient. These vehicles are higher from the ground, so retractable entryway steps are good for getting in and out.
How To Manually Retract RV Steps? You can manually retract the RV steps by parking safely on a leveled ground surface. Locate the mechanical devices beneath these steps. Remove the cotter and linkage pins, and the steps move freely after removal. Moreover, you can also see threaded bolts in some models instead of these pins. Retract the steps and tie them with zip bolts for safe driving.
Retractable RV steps are of different sizes, materials, and weight-carrying capacities depending on their model and manufacturing brand.
Some of these are automatic type, and their retraction depends on the opening and closing of the doors. Moreover, some of these are operated manually and contain buttons for their retraction.
How do you manually retract electric RV steps?
It is necessary to manually retract the automatic and manual steps when their components become faulty. Some RVs also contain steps attached to doors or frames; you can pull them in and out with your hands.
Park RV in a safe location
It is necessary to park your RVs in a safe location when you are retracting their steps manually. I prefer to park them on concrete ground surfaces instead of soil to decrease their movement.
You can select empty parking areas that have concrete ground surfaces made of solid material. These are sturdier surfaces and restrict their back-and-forth movement.
Select the places with sufficient light to access the different components. You can also use flashlights on your mobile phones if you do not find a well-lighted area.
Find the small rocks from your surrounding and place them near the tires to restrict their movement because their sudden movement causes safety hazards.
Park them on the leveled ground surface to access the mechanical devices correctly.
Locate step controller
RV step controller is located on the lower side of these retractable steps. These small mechanical devices contain all the necessary components to operate them.
Use your mobile phone light to find these parts if you do not have enough light in parking lots and your surrounding area. You have to sit on the floor to access the lower parts so you can use the small rugs to protect your cloth from road dust and debris.
You can also check the owner manual if you do not find these mechanical devices. The manual contains the information and location of every part with related images to help customers better understand these parts.
These mechanical devices contain linkage pins, motors, and wires, allowing retraction and extension. You can see the linkage pin made of metal material in this step controller mechanism.
These linkage pins are beneficial to connect these steps with the motors. The motors through these pins allow their opening and closing. Small bolts are used to secure these linkage pins with these parts.
Pull out the cotter and linkage pin
Some RV models contain cotter pins instead of these linkage pins, which are also held by small bolts. You cannot manually retract the steps by pushing them with your hands because of the cotter and linkage pins.
You have to remove these pins to break their linkage with the controller mechanism. Use the needle-nose plier to remove the cotter pins and push the linkage after removal.
Steps become loose and move freely after removing these pins because they cannot hold them at their places. Slightly wiggle the frame with your hands to remove them from the linkages.
Remove the threaded bolt
Some RVs contain threaded bolts instead of these pins. These bolts are connected with steps and allow their retraction and extension when you press the button.
Use the screwdriver or wrench to lose the screws or bolts that are attached to them. Slightly wiggle and push the frame away from the linkage to remove them.
The presence of threaded bolts, cotter, and linkage pins depends on the brand and model of the RVs.
Hold steps with zip ties
RV steps move freely when you remove the threaded bolts and cotter pins. You cannot drive an RV with steps out because these are illegal in some states of America and cause safety hazards.
Use the zip ties to fold them and keep them in their place. Zip ties or straps are not permanent solutions, and it is necessary to fix the problem.
The frames are larger and heavy, and zip ties cannot hold them longer.
Why would you manually retract RV steps?
Sometimes retractable RV steps become faulty, and you cannot close them by pressing their button. In addition, these steps do not retract with the closing and opening of the door.
These become faulty when door frame magnet switches become faulty. These cannot control their movement when you park them on the ground.
You cannot close them because of o poor alignment of the door magnet switch. The manual ones become faulty because of the electrical faults. These contain mechanical devices which control their movement.
The electric motor supplies power for their retraction and expansion. The issue comes when these electric motors do not provide sufficient power to their assembly for opening and closing.
The motors do not provide sufficient voltage because of dead and weak batteries. Connect the voltmeter with the motors to check the power. The broken electric wires also cause hindrance in electricity supply.
Wires are close to the RV frames and can easily catch dust corrosion from metal parts. It is necessary to keep them clean with electric cleaners.
In addition, the issue also comes because of poor lubrication of RV step components. It is necessary to clean their hinges with brushes to remove the debris and dust particles for smooth retraction.
The manual buttons that retract and extend these steps manually also become faulty because of their overuse and poor handling. Many people press these buttons hardly and frequently, which leads to their malfunctioning.
Can you drive an RV with the step-out?
You should retract the RV steps when you start driving for the safety of the passenger and your vehicle. Driving the RV with extended steps is not safe because it can damage the frame.
In addition, it is illegal in some states of America, and you have to pay heavy fines when you do not follow the rules and regulations related to trailer towing.
It can cause issues when moving on turning points and disturb stability. You can face the tipping-over issue because of poor stability while moving on turning points.
In addition, it also reduces the durability of these steps, and these can become faulty. Corrosion can come on them because of road salts, water, and mud splashes.
Corrosion can decrease the strength of metal material and increase its wear and tear chances. In addition, these can also hit the curbsides and potholes, which can lead to their breaking.
It is considered a safety hazard and increases the risk of accidents on the road.