Step It Up!

This mechanical marvel is equipped with self-levelling steps that automatically adjust for different heights and you simply – open the door and the steps come out (deploy) and close the door and they come in (retract).  When stopped and parked for an extended period there is a switch that leaves the steps deployed.  Very slick when they work…


A couple of months ago they started acting erratically.  They were moving slowly to retract or deploy; they wouldn’t deploy at all or they wouldn’t retract at all.  They had a mind of their own.   When we were in Nanaimo for service they checked them out but, of course, they didn’t act up at all then.   When we left Nanaimo we drove to Campbell River and parked there for a few days.  It was there that the steps wouldn’t come out at all – and that’s quite the jump!




Chuck called Newmar Service Department and they talked us through checking different controllers, switches, fuses and trying to adjust the step motor.  After an hour on the phone with service the steps worked.

All was o.k. – until we were parked in the belly of the ferry.  Nine weeks later – the steps wouldn’t go in!

The trip was 3 hours so Chuck knew he had some time.  But, it was darn cold and windy down below and he wanted to wait until we were stopped at Friday Harbour before he went below to start working.  We had a 30-minute stop.  Going through the routine of a couple of months ago –  he did all the checks and adjustments as before plus some new ones – trying to unbolt the steps; starting the motor with a 12 volt power borrowed from the ferry crew.  Nothing worked!  The net result was we had to be able to drive off the ferry one way or another – and certainly not with the steps dragging on the ground.   With the Anacortes dock approaching we grabbed some rope and tied the steps to the mirror and hand rail to get the steps off the ground.  What a sight!  The steps were extended 32 inches out the side of the coach.  See note below.

IMG_0772 IMG_0773

Now all we had to do was clear customs and go with “Plan B”.  Uh-oh…With the steps extended the coach wouldn’t fit through the customs kiosk!  And there was a long line behind him!  With help from the customs agent pushing and pulling, all of a sudden the steps retracted about 24 inches, just enough to make it through the kiosk.


Gracie and I had already cleared customs and we were waiting – waiting – waiting – just up the road.  Finally, he was through!   Whew!  Chuck didn’t want to take a chance opening the coach door – and having the steps acting up any more – so we drove to our next planned RV stop in Everett, Washington in separate vehicles.  We never thought we would be glad the steps would not deploy, but that night we sure were.  They never came out again – the motor had died…


We were sure relieved to know we would be at the Newmar Dealer in Junction City, Oregon in a few days for an appointment scheduled weeks ago for other warranty issues.

Note:  The “tied up stairs” pics are a reenactment.  I didn’t even think of taking pictures – I was way too busy repeating my mantra It’ll be o.k., It’ll be o.k., It’ll be o.k.


2 thoughts on “Step It Up!”

  1. Guess that customs agent and the ferry employees had a funny story to tell when they went home that night! Hope the steps have been fixed and all is o.k.

  2. Very nice story. I can see Chuck driving down the road with the steps sticking out. Nice pictures. Hope they fix them for the duration.

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