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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

In Need of a Triple Entry Step Assembly

I banged up the 5th wheel triple steps and need to replace them. I want to get good quality and don't know what is good and what might be cheaply made and weak. Basically, I want the best bang for the buck. I currently have a 7-inch rise between the steps. Do you have a recommendation of which to buy? Mike W., (Clovis, CA)

Well Mike, you didn’t mention whether your damaged entry steps are motorized or if your 5th wheel is equipped with the manual, pull-out steps. Either way, I do have a couple of recommendations for you to ponder. If you are replacing a powered entry step, I can heartily recommend the motorized “Coachstep,” as produced by Lippert Components, Inc., as a ready replacement. You’ll want their Part Number 285312. I’ve actually witnessed Lippert step assemblies being manufactured, tested and retested, ad nauseam, and I’m convinced these powder-coated steps with their self-lubricating bushings, along with their 750-pound rating will serve you well for many years to come. The only caution I mention, is that the riser distance between steps is a traditional 8-inches; a little taller than what you have now. Be sure this will not cause a clearance problem or interfere with your physical ability to enter and exit the RV. Also, if your current damaged electric step assembly is a Kwikee unit, it will be necessary to replace the door magnets/switch since the Kwikee is simply not compatible with the new Lippert Coachstep electronics. 

Now, all that said, if your current step assembly is the old-school manual, fold down set of three steps, I’d recommend either upgrading to the electric Coachstep (always an option, by the way), or at the very least, checking out Lippert’s Tread Lite Steps. Due to their anodized aluminum tread construction, the Tread Lite is the lightest set of steps I’ve personally seen anywhere in the aftermarket. Even in the triple-step format, it will still weigh close to 20 pounds less than equivalent steel steps. One of the coolest things I like about the Tread Lite is the inclusion of cast linkages between the pivot points. It simply looks good. Powder coated to resist oxidation, the entire assembly is rated for 350-pounds. The three-step model you’ll require is Part Number 293661. Their look will compliment any coach exterior given the aluminum of each step set against the black powder coating of the connecting linkages. Also, I’m at the point where “lightweight” is a huge selling point for me so I can almost guarantee you’ll not get worn out moving Lippert’s Tread Lite Step assemblies in and out manually, even multiple times per day if so required. 

As for ordering either Lippert step, I’d suggest giving them a call first to determine the best method of payment and delivery. Call 574-537-8900  or visit www.lci1.com and enter through the “Parts Store” tab at the top of the page to see all their offerings. Here's the direct link to the Tread Lite Steps I mentioned above.


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