Electrical Issues

Submitted: Saturday, Mar 25, 2017 at 19:40
ThreadID: 134541 Views:2187 Replies:5 FollowUps:15
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Hi All
I am having electrical issues with my stairs on my motorhome and not sure where to start, can some kind person pick a starting point here please? I've not experienced this before and was wondering if anyone here has the same issues.


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Reply By: Member - Roachie - Saturday, Mar 25, 2017 at 20:05

Saturday, Mar 25, 2017 at 20:05
Crikey Bruce......I wouldn't start THERE mate!!!

First thing to do (assuming you have some tools and basic mechanical aptitude) is to ascertain whether the problem is with the actual steps themselves or a lack of power supply to the steps.

First, check the fuse/s.

If you can find an electrical plug close to the steps, you may be able to unplug it and apply an alternative source of power (eg: from a separate stand alone battery and a couple of wires) and see if the steps actually still operate.

It is unlikely to be a problem inside that "nest" as it all looks pretty well protected in there.

What about the switch? Check that too; it may just be a loose wire at the back of the switch.

Good luck.

Roachie
AnswerID: 609682

Follow Up By: Bruce B1 - Sunday, Mar 26, 2017 at 18:02

Sunday, Mar 26, 2017 at 18:02
Hi Roachie
Mate there is a plug near the steps but you have to see it to believe it?? the rocket scientist has sikaflexed it to the body work of the steps and whatever else he or she could find to stick there.
What concerns me the most is that if I take a sharp knife to the glue I just might be able to have two lots of wires and not necessarily two pieces I would be hoping for!! in other words I can just see me slicing the whole lot in half by my enthusiasm.
The sikaflex has set very hard as you can imagine.
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FollowupID: 879577

Follow Up By: Member - Roachie - Sunday, Mar 26, 2017 at 18:19

Sunday, Mar 26, 2017 at 18:19
I appreciate that the Sikaflex is going to be a pain to remove or slice away from the steps.

However, I still maintain that that is what is really needed as a starting point.

I would use an old kitchen knife (I have several old bread'n'butter knives that I've sharpened up on the bench grinder....ideal for slicing that muck away without cutting the wiring itself).

Once you have access to the end of the plug (on the side that goes to the steps), I would imagine there would either be 2 or 4 wires (operated by a DPDT switch). If you can get it pulled apart and the socket/plug separated; then post a pic of what the pin-out looks like, that'd be a good start.

Like I said, we need to ascertain whether it's a problem at the steps themselves (eg: motor seized/rusted or steps bent preventing the motion from moving). Once we can be satisfied that is all working correctly, then we can look further afield.

But, before you do anything else, check the fuse/s.

Roachie
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FollowupID: 879581

Follow Up By: Bruce B1 - Sunday, Mar 26, 2017 at 19:29

Sunday, Mar 26, 2017 at 19:29
Hi Roachie,
I bit the bullet and pried the plug and wires away from where they were stuck onto the metal work. I then separated the plug and tried to put a fuse back in but no go!! I can only think now that it might have something to do with the door switch? I disconnected the two way switch inside the door and still blew the fuse.
The little black switch towards the bottom of the door which resembles a magnetic switch could this possibly be the cause? stupid question I know, but the wires for it go back to that eagles nest under the MH.
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FollowupID: 879590

Follow Up By: Shaker - Sunday, Mar 26, 2017 at 20:06

Sunday, Mar 26, 2017 at 20:06
It could be many things, even a self tapper through a wire, is the motor home newish or had anything fitted to it recently?
I agree with the other answer, try powering it up totally separate from the vans own wiring.

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FollowupID: 879595

Reply By: PhilD - Saturday, Mar 25, 2017 at 21:40

Saturday, Mar 25, 2017 at 21:40
Bruce, what brand steps do you have?
AnswerID: 609684

Follow Up By: Bruce B1 - Sunday, Mar 26, 2017 at 18:15

Sunday, Mar 26, 2017 at 18:15
Hi PhilD
From what I can see they are Kwikee, does that sound right?
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FollowupID: 879579

Follow Up By: PhilD - Sunday, Mar 26, 2017 at 18:40

Sunday, Mar 26, 2017 at 18:40
Yes, that is very likely. I suggest you talk to the Australian distributors who are Nordens in Melbourne and get a wiring diagram, and they may be able to give some guidance for you to trace the wiring back. If you are blowing fuses it seems there may be a wire earthing out as it is frayed or worn through on something. I have Kwikee steps but they can be wired a couple of ways, depending on whether you have reed and rocker switches, or just one of them.
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FollowupID: 879585

Follow Up By: Bruce B1 - Sunday, Mar 26, 2017 at 19:35

Sunday, Mar 26, 2017 at 19:35
Hi Phil
Does your steps have a open and close circuit activated by the little switch towards the bottom of the door? could this be the issue if it's playing silly buggers? That is the only part I haven't been able to isolate and check as the wire for it goes into that heap of wires tied to the chassis.
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FollowupID: 879592

Follow Up By: PhilD - Sunday, Mar 26, 2017 at 20:15

Sunday, Mar 26, 2017 at 20:15
Bruce, I have two sets of steps. The ones into the camper do not have a reed switch, but just a on-on switch to open or close them. I can't remember the wiring on this as an auto electrician did the last bit of it for me as he was working on other parts of my build at the time. The steps for my wife to get into the cab are opened when the door opens and close when the door closes. They work off the reed switch on the door frame which from memory is just opening and closing the negative, and the positive remains a constant.
I am thinking you have a short circuit if you are blowing fuses, and this may mean your positive is chafed and earthing somewhere.
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FollowupID: 879596

Reply By: RMD - Saturday, Mar 25, 2017 at 23:12

Saturday, Mar 25, 2017 at 23:12
That pic looks like a nest of gum tree spitfires.

If you can outline the nature of the problem might help people to supply some specific info rather than "check fuses and switches etc".

Just having electrical issues doesn't indicate much. Electrical issues come in many forms.
AnswerID: 609685

Follow Up By: Bruce B1 - Sunday, Mar 26, 2017 at 18:20

Sunday, Mar 26, 2017 at 18:20
Hi RMD
Mate I thought yep blown fuse just take the old out and replace, I couldn't even get it just past touching the fuse holder and it blew a couple of times, I have taken the door switch off and disconnected it and blown the fuse, I disconnected the step light underneath and blew the fuse, so something sinister is going on there but like a lot of these things might be very small but a pain till located.
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FollowupID: 879582

Reply By: Kenell - Sunday, Mar 26, 2017 at 08:29

Sunday, Mar 26, 2017 at 08:29
Bruce,

FYI - I think electric stairs are more correctly called "escalators". I will never cease to be amazed at human ingenuity. Who would ever have thought they would be able to get them into a motor home? The more I think about it though it must be some motor home to need escalators. One imagines weight, power supply, maintenance, managing to get on them / stay on them after a red or three - the mind boggles. Got to say I am not surprised you have the spaghetti bowl of power cables and the occasional electrical issues though. In our local shopping centre they have troubles with them too but they seem to work ok without power - just a bit more effort.

Pardon my levity but I suspect your question and photo were tongue in cheek too.

Kenell
AnswerID: 609692

Follow Up By: Member - Roachie - Sunday, Mar 26, 2017 at 08:50

Sunday, Mar 26, 2017 at 08:50
I thought he may be asking TIC too, but answered above just in case he was serious.

The fact he hasn't been back to comment again tends to make me think you're correct.
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FollowupID: 879548

Follow Up By: RMD - Sunday, Mar 26, 2017 at 11:24

Sunday, Mar 26, 2017 at 11:24
How did we suddenly begin to talk about escalators????
Many vehicles have steps/perhaps called stairs, which are electrically driven UP or DOWN.
I presume he means those.

Kennell, where did you see escalators on a motor home? was it after a red or three?
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FollowupID: 879560

Follow Up By: Kenell - Sunday, Mar 26, 2017 at 17:14

Sunday, Mar 26, 2017 at 17:14
Sorry, I thought that was what electric stairs were. You apparently are more worldly than me and can assist with my education. My humbly little camper is walk in / walk out so I am inexperienced with this electrical stuff.

Pardon you for thinking that my post might be influenced by 2/3 reds. Especially at 7.08 am - I never open a bottle before 8.00am !!

Kenell
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FollowupID: 879573

Follow Up By: RMD - Sunday, Mar 26, 2017 at 22:08

Sunday, Mar 26, 2017 at 22:08
Kennel

A Myers store has escalators,ie, moving stairs. Hardly what you would get in a motor home. Ground floor to 1st floor and beyond.
They even have moving stairs, escalators, going down too, stand still on them and down to street level again.

Here endeth the lesson..
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FollowupID: 879602

Reply By: Gramps - Sunday, Mar 26, 2017 at 18:43

Sunday, Mar 26, 2017 at 18:43
Kwikee step wiring diagrams etc

Regards
AnswerID: 609708

Follow Up By: Bruce B1 - Sunday, Mar 26, 2017 at 19:31

Sunday, Mar 26, 2017 at 19:31
Hi Gramps
I don't have a diagram, do I try to get them off google? I have one option left at the moment and that's the little switch inside the door which resembles a magnetic switch, have you heard of these giving problems?
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FollowupID: 879591

Follow Up By: Gramps - Sunday, Mar 26, 2017 at 21:21

Sunday, Mar 26, 2017 at 21:21
Sorry Bruce, I only supplied the link with examples of Kwikee step wiring in case it could help you figure it out. There seems to be several PDFs covering the subject and possible fault finding in the link as well.

Yes, you'll have to print them (diagrams or PDFs) from the link I supplied.
I'd never heard of the steps previously.
Regards
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FollowupID: 879599

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