One of the pieces on your RV that you probably don’t think much about and that you use all the time, is the steps that are at the entrance of your camper. The bad part is that since these aren’t given much attention, problems can occur that can be very dangerous to you and your fellow campers. Whether it’s stability issues, traction or corrosion of the actual steps, all these things can have a serious impact on you if you do not take care and check them periodically.
There are generally two different kinds of steps that come on RVs, electric steps which fold down when the door is opened, which are typically found on Motor-Homes. And static steps that either stay down or are pulled down by hand, which are normally found on travel trailers and fifth wheels. Let’s look at the problems that can occur with mechanical steps. One of the most basic problems is that the sensor or motor will stop working, leaving you walking out expecting to find a step where there is none. While you may able to stop your fall, you may fall out and injure your ankle or foot. So be sure to look down and make sure your step is where it should be. Another problem is exposed or frayed wires. Unfortunately, there was a death this year when a young RVer was wet and barefoot, and when he stepped on his metal step that had exposed wires, he was electrocuted to death. Be sure to exam your steps and all wiring to insure that they are all working as they should. This should be done at a time when you already have to have your rig looked at, such as during your annual state inspection.
One of the biggest problems with non-electric steps, or static steps is that they are not built as strong, making the step a weaker. After years of sun UV damage, water, and road grime, they can weaken and suddenly break off. If you are an older RVer, this puts you at risk for encountering hip problems or hard falls. Just be sure that every few months you check your steps by pushing them with your hands, or have another person put pressure on them, while you are looking at the step for any cracks that may be appearing.
For both types of steps you should have taken preventive maintenance into mind, spraying the pivot points of both types of steps with WD40 or a dry type of silicon lubricate, will keep those points working easily. The traction strips on some steps wear down with use, these can be easily replace with stick on strips found at most home improvement stores or a spray on form of traction paint. One other thing you can do to help prevent corrosion, is to hit your steps with a coat of spray paint once a year, this will also help with curb appeal as well.
While working on steps isn’t the most glamorous chore for an RVer, it is essential to your safety and the safety of those utilizing your camper with you.
If you suspect your steps are in need of repair or replacement. Be sure to ask our qualified service department about having those RV steps fixed the next time you are visiting Lerch RV.
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