"if you are not living on the edge, you are taking up too much room"

Sunday, February 24, 2013

switching things up a little

Our gate has transformed from a quiet spot in the middle of nowhere into a hotspot! We have really been burning through the lead in our pencil the last few days and don't see signs of a slow down for at least another couple of weeks.
I did try and use the slower times to get some things fixed up on the motor home. The last thing on my list was to try and figure out why our step cover didn't work. The door to our home is in the very front passenger side and has 3 steps right in front of the passenger seat. The step cover is made to "extend" the floor and cover the step well while we are traveling and operates by flipping a switch on the passenger  arm rest mounted on the wall.
I did some research and found others have had problems as well and gave some tips on getting it to move again. The step cover actually works off the air from the coach that pushes (and pulls) an arm attached to the cover. There is also a switch on the dash to "dump" the air out of the system so it can be operated manually. My first attempt at a repair was to clean all the electrical contacts on the air/power relay mounted on the firewall. This seemed to be the most likely problem judging by the responses I read on the internet. Once everything was cleaned up and I made sure all the connections were good and tight I fired up the engine to build up the necessary air pressure. That is when I noticed the switch on the dash felt "funny". I took it apart and found that the air line coming to the switch had become disconnected so I put it back together and replaced it on the dash. I tried to get the cover to "go" using the switch but no luck. I then took the the switch housing apart so I could get a closer look at that wiring. I'm not sure what I did but as I was messing with it Rudee said "it's moving". The bad thing was I could only get it to extend and not retract. :-(
I reversed the wires and low and behold it retracted! I had a bad switch, or so I hoped. A call to Winnebago turned out to be hopeless. They had discontinued the switches and redesigned the step cover several years ago. My next stop was my old stand by ... Ebay! I searched through several pages of switches and found one that I thought was close to what I needed. Who knew there were that many different switches out there, Wow!
The switch I ordered was under $3.00 including shipping so I wasn't taking too big a gamble and it was being sold by someone in Iowa and not someplace overseas, another plus.
The switch arrived here last week after going to our "home" address in Indiana and then being forwarded to the post office here where I picked it up on my last run into town for supplies.
As soon as I got back to the motor home I installed the switch and it fit perfectly in the hole the previous one was in. I started the engine and waited for the air to build up. I crossed my fingers and then flipped the switch. The cover extended! Now the big test. I flipped the switch the other way and it retracted! Oh Ya! That's the way it is supposed to work. :-) Another job crossed off my "honey do" list.

The weather has been really nice, mid 70's during the day and into the 40's at night. They are predicting some gusty winds starting tonight and into tomorrow so we are battening down the hatches. I'll keep you posted.


  1. Glad you got the switch fixed, but now I am worried about the lead in your pencil. That can be a serious problem too, you know.

    1. appreciate your concern Dale but rest assured there is still a little lead left in the old pencil. LOL


  2. Always nice to cross chores off the to-do list until you start adding things you'd like to change onto it. Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  3. It sure saves when you can do all those repairs yourself! We had high winds yesterday. Today it's a little breezy but lots of sunshine and blue skies.

  4. It sure saves when you can do all those repairs yourself! We had high winds yesterday. Today it's a little breezy but lots of sunshine and blue skies.

  5. I was wondering if you're happy with the MH or do you miss the 5th wheel.
    Thanks from a hopeful future full timer with a bike!!