How to Manually Retract RV Steps

Recreational vehicles can only be fun if they are practical, convenient, and easy to use. Interestingly, these are the true properties of modern RVs. Yes, they are massive and sometimes look impractical but they are the exact opposite.

But, what happens if a motorhome becomes inconvenient? Let’s say the steps fail to retract or extend.

What should an RV owner do then? If you panic you won’t get anywhere.

What you should do is be prepared before anything like this happens. Luckily for you, we are here to help.

Follow the steps below and you will find out how to manually retract RV steps.

The Necessary Tools  

When you are undertaking a job such as this, the first thing you will need is the right set of tools. To retract RV steps you will need:

Screwdriver set
RV Manual
Now that you have all the tools in one place, you can begin with the procedure.
Step 1
It would help if you began by parking your motorhome in a safe and secure location. Try to look for places that are well-lit so you can see what you are doing. Plus, search for an empty parking lot or anywhere there is flat concrete, so the RV doesn’t move while you are working.

Once you find a suitable location, place a few medium-sized rocks behind and in front of your RV’s tires. You have to be safe and sure that the motorhome doesn’t move while you are hard at work. Otherwise, you could get injured.
Step 2
Find the RV step mechanism, which helps it function. It is usually underneath the steps, so that is the first place to look. But, if you are having trouble finding the mechanism you must consult the RV manual. The manual has all the information you will ever need about your motorhome, so keep it close and secure at all times.

After finding the step mechanism, you need to identify three of its most vital parts.

Linkage Pin: This component attaches the step frame to the retracting mechanism and is held in place using a pin or a bolt.

Step Frame: This part includes the steps.

Step Linkage: This component retracts and extends the RV steps.

If you cannot identify each of these parts, look at the pictures provided in the RV manual. Usually, pictures are marked with the component’s name. So, you will have no trouble finding them.
Step 3
Now the physical starts, so are prepared for the hard work. You will have to remove the linkage pin from the system to loosen up the frame. Alternatively, if there is a bolt instead of a pin, you must untighten the bolt and remove the linkage.
Step 4
The RV steps can move freely after you remove the linkage pin. All you need to do is slightly jerk the steps to remove them from the mechanism. From here on out, you can manually operate the RV steps.
Step 5
Now you can push the steps and they will retract without offering resistance. You can hold them in place using some zip ties or an aluminum wire. By doing this, you can extend and retract the steps at will.
Step 6
You successfully retracted the steps, but what about the linkage pin? Well, you must put it back where it belongs. You wouldn’t want to lose it and risk replacing the entire linkage mechanism. So, you put the pin back in its place, or if it is a bolt you must tighten it back again.

Repair the Motorized System

The zip ties or aluminum wire won’t hold forever and you can’t always manually extend or retract the steps. That’s why you have the motor to do the work for you. Only when it malfunctions you need to perform the above steps.

To replace/repair the motor you must remove it using these steps:

  • Retract the RV steps and remove the wire connecter coming from the RV.
  • Disconnect the plug to stop any power coming from the system.
  • Pick up the socket wrench and loosen the bolts holding the motor in place.
  • Attach any extra parts not provided with the new motor, like washers, bolts, and gears.
  • Apply grease to all the metal parts and attach the motor back in its place.
  • Attach the connections and test the new motor.

That’s about all you need to do to sort out the RV steps problem. So, what are you waiting for? Get on working and solve the issue in your RV.

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Ever since I was a kid, I've been fascinated by travel. I inherited this passion from my parents. Since my college years and to this day, I have had a passion for traveling in a motorhome. I am here to share my experiences with you.

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