I believe there was a change in step systems about 2006 or so, possibly as a result of injuries suffered when the steps didn't open and someone fell out.
My rig is an '02. The rocker switch on the panel at the base of the kitchen cabinet in the stairwell has one setting where the steps follow the door position all the time. Switched the other way, it leaves the steps in whatever position they were in when you switched it. The only other power to the steps is from the engine ignition switch function which retracts the steps no matter where the door is.
If the steps are "de-powered" when they're stowed, they don't open with the door, and falling out is definitely possible. The downside to the "with the door at all times" can result in damage to other vehicles. There have been a few incidents on ferries, where the steps deploy with the door being opened and hit the side of the car parked alongside.
Frank and Eileen
No longer RVers or FR owners