A few weeks ago I purchased a retractable coach step from Etrailer.com. This particular model is made by a company called Lippert. This one has a piece of steel, which you can’t see, running between the two mounting brackets. That extra sideways support, I thought, would help stabilize the step. This was both a safety concern as well as a convenience driven modification. Coachmen, in their wisdom, did not think the coach entrance needed a step to enter and exit the coach. We have been using a foldable, plastic step the past two summers and it was a bit dangerous as well as a pain in the ……
After I bought this retracble step ( seen in the operating position) my nephew and I had to find a way to engineer it so it would actually be safe and work for some time. Most RV’s that come with a retractable step have a metal box just underneath the first coach stop so you attach the new step on top to the brackets and on the sides to the metal box it fits into. We didn’t have that box, so…..
What we did was get a piece of 3/16th steel to place on the top of the first coach step ( underneath the grip tape you see) attach the steel plate through to the step brackets underneath ( where you can’t see in this photo). Our thought was that the steel plate would carry the load across the step, making it strong enough to handle foot traffic. Most of the stress/load on the retractable step is downward, so using the galvanized carriage bolts and lock washers it seemed like it would be more than ample to handle the load or stresses we will put it through. The steel plate was painted with a black, matte primer to keep rust away as long as possible as well as the underside of the step. When retracted, the step you see locks into position so it doesn’t vibrate to the open position when traveling.
So, I think we are ready for the first voyage of this summer, coming up on July 9th, when we take two of our grandkids with us to Seaside, Oregon, about a five hour drive from our home. Hopefully both the new step and our sanity will be intact at weeks end!!
From The Mothership
docked in Seattle, WA.