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Old 08-08-2013, 03:02 PM   #1
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Lippert Step motors on 390BH are garbage

I have a 2012 390BH-60. Less than a year from the time of purchase the step started to malfunction. The step would make a load clunking noise and jerking motion while extending and retracting.

This is a single motorized step with a well documented history of problems on this site.

After considerable negotiation with Lippert last fall they agreed replace the motor on warranty. (last October)

Now less than a year later I am having the exact same problem and Lippert tell me that I am on my own. They keep referring back to the original purchase date of the RV and completely disregard the fact that their product continues to have a lifespan of less than a year.

I have the unit booked in for service and am looking into my options of swapping out the entire step and replacing it with a different manufacture..

Who else has had recurring problems with this model of step?

Tim
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Old 08-08-2013, 06:39 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by lefaivre View Post
I have a 2012 390BH-60. Less than a year from the time of purchase the step started to malfunction. The step would make a load clunking noise and jerking motion while extending and retracting.

This is a single motorized step with a well documented history of problems on this site.

After considerable negotiation with Lippert last fall they agreed replace the motor on warranty. (last October)

Now less than a year later I am having the exact same problem and Lippert tell me that I am on my own. They keep referring back to the original purchase date of the RV and completely disregard the fact that their product continues to have a lifespan of less than a year.

I have the unit booked in for service and am looking into my options of swapping out the entire step and replacing it with a different manufacture..

Who else has had recurring problems with this model of step?

Tim
Been fighting this battle since the day I got my coach last November. It "clunks" to this day. I've adjusted the linkage 25 times; it works fine for several cycles, then quits again. Replaced the electronic controller; no help.

I have not opened the motor, but have heard that it used a nylon worm gear that strips out. Have also heard there is a metal replacement worm gear available.

Finally, have heard that motor assembly is the same one used for an automotive power window..... Unfortunately, don't know the make or model of said vehicle.

In all honesty, I feel that Lippert steps are just plain junk. But if I can fix it by repairing or replacing the motor itself, I'll be happy with that.

I bought the coach used, so really have no warranty. Lippert did send me the control unit gratis, but were pretty vocal that they'd not do any more for me. Sad, since it seems to be a pretty common problem, and they know it.

Boowho??
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Old 08-20-2013, 10:05 AM   #3
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Lippert has change of heart

Lippert Component has had a change of heart and have comped me a new motor. Will be install second week of Sept ... hope this solved the problem for good.
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Old 08-22-2013, 05:22 PM   #4
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My family & I just returned from Elkhart In after having same warranty work done on our 2011 390-BH-60. The day we left for Elkhart the step started doing this motion when the door is opened or closed. Forest River scheduled us to take the coach to Lippert the next day. What I found out from the service tech is that inside the motor gear housing is a plastic gear. So if you're stepping on the step as it is moving you will strip out that gear. With two young boys I'm sure that's what caused this. So wait for the step to fully extend before stepping on .
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Old 08-22-2013, 10:03 PM   #5
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That sounds good from their point of view but is not the cause of this problem. You will see that it will malfunction anyway. We never stepped on ours while the step was moving and it is lame that they hide behind this explanation. We have no young boys for them to blame--- baby in car seat, me in drivers seat and wife in coach before closing the door and it happened to ours. I didnt accept any explanation like that and at least, to Lippert's credit, they sent an entire new step assembly and it has worked fine all this year. I guess it is all in how your service tech presents the problem to them.
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Old 08-23-2013, 07:31 AM   #6
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...not sure if you guys have seen this article........worth a look.

http://www.tiffinrvnetwork.com/crusi...fyi/FYI-73.pdf
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Old 08-24-2013, 07:52 PM   #7
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At the Frog Rally Forest River was replacing Lippert Steps with Kwike steps. Our Georgetown is a 2012 but two sights over from us they replaced the steps on a 2009 Georgetown. I know that they replaced a number of them that week.
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Old 09-11-2013, 02:42 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by speedmerchant View Post
...not sure if you guys have seen this article........worth a look.

http://www.tiffinrvnetwork.com/crusi...fyi/FYI-73.pdf
Hey SM....... Thanks for this link. I followed the guys advice, bought a replacement motor and sure enough the "clunking" has disappeared. However, the motor I got (using his part number) , while it fits exactly is not the same motor shown in his picture.

The gear housing on the one I got is nylon (or plastic) and the motor apparently has some sort of thermal protection built in. I can only cycle it (open or closed) about once every 60 seconds.

For example, if I close the door, the step retracts exactly as it should. But if I immediately reopen the door (something I probably would not do very often, but ya never know) the step will not re-extend until approx 60 seconds have passed. Same thing if opening the door and then closing it immediately. Step will wait about 60 seconds before retracting.

Still, I appreciate your sharing the link. It's the first time my steps haven't gone "clunk, clunk, clunk" since I got the coach last November!!!

Boowho??
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Old 09-30-2013, 03:11 PM   #9
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Finally......

After not being all that happy with the delay between cycling open/closed and vice versa, (DW could have opened the door and fell on here face)I asked Randy H if he could "run some interference" between me and Lippert.

Almost immediately, FR shipped me a brand new replacement motor. Have not installed it yet, but once I do I figure my problem will be solved permanently.

Funny part is that I could see nothing wrong with the original motor; I expected to find a stripped nylon gear or something like that, but no apparent damage inside it....

Boowho??
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Old 09-30-2013, 05:12 PM   #10
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It is my understanding that the problem is not one of a stripped gear but rather one of sensor pressure. Apparently the motor require a certain amount of back pressure in order to shut off ... this is not taking place.
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Old 09-30-2013, 05:57 PM   #11
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It is my understanding that the problem is not one of a stripped gear but rather one of sensor pressure. Apparently the motor require a certain amount of back pressure in order to shut off ... this is not taking place.

lefaivre

There is no pressure sensor, per se...... That is, no physical switch as you might expect..... When the step reaches the end of it's travel, the motor stalls out.

The controller senses the resulting high current draw (because of the stalled motor) and shuts off the power to the motor.

Previously, my controller module was replaced and that didn't help in the slightest.

That's how it was explained to me anyhow..... Why the cheap NADA replacement motor has the delay between open/closing cycles, I have no idea.

Boowho??
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Old 10-13-2013, 03:31 PM   #12
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I have a Forest River Georgetown with the Lippert steps and posted this in the Georgetown Forum after replacing my step motor. It looks like the same information applies to the Berkshire:

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Originally Posted by Cornelius View Post
The motor used for the Lippert steps on the Georgetown is a Ford and Lincoln power window motor. They are available from Car Quest, Advance Auto Parts, O'Reilly, etc. for about $50. You will need to cut and reuse the electrical connector off the old Lippert step motor, as it is different from the Ford connector.

Two manufacturers available:
ACI part # 83694
Cardone part # 42-309
Hope this helps.
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Old 10-29-2013, 07:38 AM   #13
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I couldn't agree with you more. These steps are crap. We are on our third one within a year. I was installing this last one at 5:00pm the night before we left on our 16 day vacation this past June. Our first step went clunk from day one. When you passed another vehicle on the road, the step sounded like it was coming off the coach. This last one seems to be doing OK, but it has only been since June.
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Old 08-25-2014, 12:23 AM   #14
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I have taken the advice of several in this forum and have contacted Randy Houser. As a result Dan Collins from Lippert has contacted me and it looks as though they are going to replace the entire step assembly. He just needs to get management approval.

I really hope that I can put this problem to bed once and for all.

Tim
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Old 08-29-2014, 09:31 PM   #15
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So it looks like my step has mess up too. Did your step stick in the "out" position?

Mine started making a noise like it was running. But stays out. It has at least quit running. But step won't retract?

Russell
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Old 08-29-2014, 10:00 PM   #16
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This is my third one to go. In the past .... One did get to that stage. Right now mine makes a ratchet noise as it retracts

Tim
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Old 08-29-2014, 10:21 PM   #17
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That clunking /ratcheting noise is exactly what ours did when it first started to go bad on our first trip with our (then) new coach. We spent some time and $ on a replacement gear which lasted about 2 trips. Then our local tech finally got Lippert to replace the whole step unit. It has been fine since, but we now treat this kind of crappy step as it it were made out of glass. I think it is very susceptible to any anomaly to normal operation -- our first problems with it started after someone would quickly open and close the door (thus "confusing" its in/out motion) and I admonish everyone on board NOT to open the door and quickly step out on the step before it has fully extended which may also have happened to our first one.
Get a new one and treat it as a fragile and protected piece of ancient technology and hopefully it will hold up fine :*/
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Old 08-30-2014, 01:28 AM   #18
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Since having it replaced the first time ... we have been extremely careful with it. Never stepping on it until it comes to rest and never coming down hard or bouncing on the step. Still it brakes. It looks as though an entire new Lippert step is now on its way. I really hope that this will be the end of our step problems... but somehow I think not.
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