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Kwikee Steps



The chances are very good that your Tiffin RV has a Kwikee product installed on it. The majority of the RV manufacturers use Kwikee steps on their coaches. Kwikee manufacturs many products for the RV industry. The are well known for their retracting steps but also make cargo slide trays, safes, room slides, utility trays, and leveling gear as well.

Step Maintenance Pre - 1999) – Chances are the front steps on your Tiffin motorhome are Kwikee steps and if so here are the maintenance procedures that you need to perform to keep them working flawlessly for years.

Kwikee recommends lubricating all the moving parts (bearing, pivot points, slides, clevis pin and drive linkage ball) every 30 days with a good quality moisture and heat resistant penetrating grease, such as KwikLube. Remember when working around the step to keep yourself clear of the step and the mechanism in case of accidental activation.

Silicone and WD40 are not recommended. They tend to evaporate and dry the mating surfaces, leaving them more vulnerable to the elements.

Check and clean all electrical connections. Water and electricity just don't mix. Verify that you have clean, dry connections at the four-way and two-way plugs. Water can sometimes seep into these connections and corrode the connection or wick up the wires into the control unit causing a short circuit. A small dab of di-electric grease in the plugs is a good preventative measure.

Also check any butt connections present on any of the wires leading from the four-way plug. Corrosion in any of these can result in malfunction. If you find bad connections, cut the wire back, re-strip, and reconnect it with a crimp style, heat-shrink automotive connector.

A good clean ground is critical. The green ground wire coming from the step control unit to the chassis must be connected firmly to a clean non-painted surface. Periodically remove and clean the ground. Scrape the chassis surface down to bear metal and reattach the ground wire with a machine screw, internal-tooth lock washer, and a nut (coarse threaded sheet metal screws are not recommended for attaching the ground connection).

New Step Features and Benefits - Coaches built in 1999 and beyond have improvements in step design that alleviate much of the periodic maintenance mentioned here. The new above include these features.

EverGlide™ is a nested, powdered stainless steel, resin impregnated bushing-in-bushing bearing that provides smoother step operation, eliminates binding, and offers superior corrosion resistance with no lubrication. 5 step powder-coat paint process. This new process prepares the metal surface for improved paint adhesion. The result is a high gloss finish that's more durable. Packard Weather Pack Connectors enhance the control unit durability and ease installation procedures. New connectors are waterproof, eliminating chances of moisture getting into the plug and causing intermittent operation or shorts. The plug locking system also provides a more secure connection. Engineering improvements include a redesigned potted control for improved ignition identification circuitry, an internal common ground buss, and integrated step/control grounding scheme. These changes will reduce grounding and voltage issues that can cause intermittent step operation.

The white, normally closed door switch has been changed to a black, normally open switch to improve switch response over a wider range of operation. This results in having more tolerance in door switch alignment for proper step operation.

Troubleshooting Kwikee steps - Trouble shooting your steps made easy. For do-it-yourselfers, Kwikee makes a KwikTest tool that allows one person to perform several diagnostic tests. With it you can pinpoint problems in about 10 minutes. The tester checks all control unit functions, power switch function, ignition override feature, last-out feature, light circuit, and door switch circuit.

The following website will access the various Kwikee wiring schematics, owner and installation and troubleshooting manuals, and parts lists.


Submitted by Mike Sundberg - 3/14/06

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