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2350 entry step

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Dale and Cindy

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2350 entry step
« on: July 06, 2017, 07:40:31 pm »
Our entry step will not work.  It doesn't go in or out.  It is just dead.

In March we parked our PC 2350 in storage.  A few weeks ago we drove her to get a new windshield installed and the auto entry step does not work. 

Any one else experience this?

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Ron Dittmer

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Re: 2350 entry step
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2017, 09:09:34 pm »
Hi Dale and Cindy,

Check the switch that is activated by the bolt attached to the bottom of the door.  If the switch works by hand, then the bolt needs adjusting.

Remember that the power to the step comes from the chassis battery, not the house batteries....no chassis power = no step power.

And I am sure you know about the switch by the entry door to control when the step folds up.

Ron Dittmer
« Last Edit: July 06, 2017, 09:11:29 pm by ron.dittmer »
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keelhauler

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Re: 2350 entry step
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2017, 11:32:15 am »
There is a multi pin connector near the step. The red wire should be 12v all the time.
The door button gets corroded and is usually fixed by rotating the button several times which cleans any corrosion from inside of the switch.
If you turn on the ignition the step will not extend, the yellow wire will be at 12v.
Let us know if any of those tips help.

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Dale and Cindy

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Re: 2350 entry step
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2017, 09:50:34 am »
So I want to thank y'all for the great suggestions regarding trouble shooting our entry step problem.  We are not very mechanically inclined people, so our troubleshooting did not produce a solution or any answers as to why all of a sudden the step stopped working.

At the end of July we made an appointment with our local RV dealer to have our step problem looked at, and they gave us their earliest appointment, which was August 14th.  That's OK . . . . we weren't planning another trip until the end of August.

Well, here it is, the end of August, and after much calling and prodding & asking them to please put our RV in the front of the line for service, we received an answer from the RV place today.  Our coach batteries are dead and this is why our step is not working.  They put a charge on the batteries last night and the batteries didn't charge up at all.  So we are having the batteries replaced, and hopefully our entry step problem will be resolved, and we will be able to pick up our PC 2350 today!!

Question:  We picked up our brand new PC in October 2014, so the batteries are a little less than three years old.  Is this the "normal" life for coach batteries?  When our coach was not being used we always had the switch in the "storage" position.  Our PC has 40,500 miles on the odometer. 

Question:  Also, even when we were plugged into shore power at the KOA campground, the step didn't work, which I thought it would have worked.  MB Sprinter chassis battery seems fine, never had any problems starting her up? Ron, do you think our chassis battery needs to be replaced also?  Looks like we won't be able to get on the road until after labor day.

It's all very confusing to me

Again, thanks for your help and guidance.

Cindy Gentry

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jatrax

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Re: 2350 entry step
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2017, 10:43:21 am »
Coach batteries = house part of the rig
Chassis batteries = truck part of the rig

The step (despite being in the house) is run from the chassis battery.  So the coach batteries being dead should have no impact on the step.

If the coach batteries are really dead and the RV place isn't conning you, then 3 years is NOT a good working life of properly maintained and charged batteries.  8 to 10 years with good maintenance is more normal.  However, poor charging, boiling them dry or running them down low and not recharging quickly can greatly reduce the life.  Rule of thumb is to never discharge them more than 50% and to recharge as quickly as possible.  That varies by type of battery somewhat but is a good guide.

Do you have regular wet cells or AGM?  If wet cells have you monitored the water level monthly?  If the water gets too low it can ruin the batteries.  If you run the batteries down completely dead you can ruin the batteries. In storage there is normally some small drain on the batteries even if the switch is in the storage position so long term storage can run them dead.  A trickle charger is recommended to prevent this.

Unless your PC is different and the step is actually hooked up to the coach batteries I think you might have two completely different problems. 1) An issue with the step, which might be a corroded step switch or loose wire.  2) An issue with the coach batteries which might have been caused by the items listed above.

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donc13

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Re: 2350 entry step
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2017, 10:55:10 am »
The "storage" switch doesn't disconnect everything, for more than a week or two in storage, you should always disconnect the negative terminal (black wire to the battery.   You should also consider having a hand operated switch added to the chassis battery as there are lots of things on vehicles that draw some power even with the key removed.  Not a lot if power, but enough that you can drain your battery in a month or two.

For a chassis battery (also know as a starting battery) they don't hold up well to being drained.  They're designed to supply a lot of power briefly to start the engine, and then be immediately recharged by the alternator.

Coach batteries are different, they are designed to provide lesser power, but over a long period of time and are designed to be deeply discharged and the recharged many times.

Depending on the type of battery, make sure the cells are kept full with DISTILLED water.. Not tap water.

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donc13

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Re: 2350 entry step
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2017, 11:03:20 am »
Coach batteries = house part of the rig
Chassis batteries = truck part of the rig

The step (despite being in the house) is run from the chassis battery.  So the coach batteries being dead should have no impact on the step.

If the coach batteries are really dead and the RV place isn't conning you, then 3 years is NOT a good working life of properly maintained and charged batteries.  8 to 10 years with good maintenance is more normal.  However, poor charging, boiling them dry or running them down low and not recharging quickly can greatly reduce the life.  Rule of thumb is to never discharge them more than 50% and to recharge as quickly as possible.  That varies by type of battery somewhat but is a good guide.

Do you have regular wet cells or AGM?  If wet cells have you monitored the water level monthly?  If the water gets too low it can ruin the batteries.  If you run the batteries down completely dead you can ruin the batteries. In storage there is normally some small drain on the batteries even if the switch is in the storage position so long term storage can run them dead.  A trickle charger is recommended to prevent this.

Unless your PC is different and the step is actually hooked up to the coach batteries I think you might have two completely different problems. 1) An issue with the step, which might be a corroded step switch or loose wire.  2) An issue with the coach batteries which might have been caused by the items listed above.

If the coach batteries are badly discharged, but still connected, even with a well charged chassis battery, the step won't operate.  I had this issue on my last RV.   If you discinnect the coach battery, then the chassis battery will ooerate the step.  Something to do with the battery isolator sensing low (nut not zero) voltage in the coach battdry and not allowing the chassis battery to provide power (thus drainig it too as it tries to charge the coach batterys).

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Don and Patti

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Ron Dittmer

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Re: 2350 entry step
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2017, 12:57:44 pm »
Question:  We picked up our brand new PC in October 2014, so the batteries are a little less than three years old.  Is this the "normal" life for coach batteries?  When our coach was not being used we always had the switch in the "storage" position.  Our PC has 40,500 miles on the odometer.  

Question:  Also, even when we were plugged into shore power at the KOA campground, the step didn't work, which I thought it would have worked.  MB Sprinter chassis battery seems fine, never had any problems starting her up? Ron, do you think our chassis battery needs to be replaced also?  Looks like we won't be able to get on the road until after labor day.

Cindy Gentry

Hi Cindy,

Your 1st question on how long the house batteries should last.
We had two-12V conventional wet acid batteries twice.  The 3rd year they went bad in both sets.  Today we have two-6V AGM batteries.  The jury is still out on how much longer they will last us.  So far year #3 is good.

Your 2nd question about the longevity of your chassis battery.
They can last 3 years or 10 years.  It's hard to say.  I don't go by age but rather when it is weak (or suddenly dead) starting the engine.  Our 1st motor home, the original chassis battery lasted 10 years.  Our PC, the original battery lasted 5 years.  I can't explain the reason why.  One thing to remember when storing your PC.  As started by others, you really need to disconnect all your batteries to assure they don't drain.  It seems there is always something draining them for one silly reason or another.  Store them fully charged and disconnected and they will do well for many months left unattended.  That is unless you live where -20F temps is common.  Then I would bring the batteries indoors or run the engine for a half hour once every 2 to 3 weeks as others say to do.  You live in the St.Louis MO area so you should do fine with regards to the batteries themselves.  You do have a Sprinter of which I am not at all familiar with it's storing requirements.  Be sure to do as the chassis manual recommends for long term storage.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2017, 01:05:24 pm by ron.dittmer »
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Dale and Cindy

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Re: 2350 entry step
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2017, 04:39:29 pm »
Everyone, thanks again for all your great guidance and advice.

donc13, you were exactly correct. . . . a perfectly good chassis battery will not operate the entry step if the coach batteries are dead.  Something to do with a sensor that will not allow the starting battery to be drained because your coach batteries are dead.  This is what the RV dealership told us also.  So we had to purchase two new 6-volt batteries.  Our coach batteries would have lasted longer if we had provided proper battery maintenance and checked the water level.  Frankly, we did not know we had to do this. . . shame on us!!  The technician showed us how to add distilled water.

Also, Ron, thanks for suggesting that we also disconnect the batteries, along with the main storage switch, when we are storing our PC for long periods.  We have never done a battery disconnect so I'm sure it will help with prolonging battery life.

I always appreciate the time that you guys spend to help us "mechanically challenged" RV owners.    Thank you very much!

So in the next few days we plan on "hitting the road", and will be gone until the end of October.  We are heading west, mainly to Utah, but also to attend my nephews engagement party in Orange County, Calif.  Then we are heading to Albuquerque for the International Balloon Festival.  We will be with the Adventure Caravan Rally for 10 days in Albuquerque.

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HenryJ

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Re: 2350 entry step
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2017, 06:45:57 pm »
How everything is connected is terrific. The little maintenance things that need doing once a month besides the distilled water in the batteries included the Generator. It should be ran to keep it operational too. We youst to have a 10 KW so we really had a generator but that is where we got with the program. We do keep our PC which is 50 amp plugged in when we park it at home. That helps keep things charged but the maintenance is a must do. We also turn off Air Conditioner before turning off generator on the road or plugging into shore power.  Systems off prevents any shocks to AC or electrical system.  There are all kinds of things to know. Happy Travels indeed. Patricia
Patricia
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Ron Dittmer

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Re: 2350 entry step
« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2017, 09:08:55 pm »
Cindy,

When disconnecting any of the batteries, you only need to disconnect the negative side which is most often a "BLACK" wire.  It will be on the negative battery terminal which is marked with a "-" minus sign molded into the plastic.  You can leave the positive "RED" cable attached to the battery unless there is corrosion on the terminal, then remove it too and clean it when you are going to use the rig again.

Ron
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