A few months ago I noticed that the threshold at the door of our motorhome was cracked. I figured that it just cracked from the constant 7.0 magnitude earthquake of the RV going down the road. A month or so later I noticed that the retractable stairs sort of sagged on the back side when going up or down the stairs.
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Cause of the Cracking
RV manufacturers use the cheapest materials and cost-cutting measures to build a motorhome. Some of their work is in my opinion on the shoddy side. On the steps is no exception.
Upon investigation, I discovered the box that creates the internal stairs is put together with aluminum angle “Iron” for lack of a better term. One of the angle pieces has cracked.
The piece causing the threshold to crack was a 1 1/2″ wide aluminum angle that is 1/16″ thick. Way too thin for supporting the stairs. Not only did they use materials that are too thin but they used only two screws to hold on each piece.
When I first noticed the crack in the threshold and discovered the broken angle aluminum I figured it was fluke and replaced the angle aluminum with the same size. That was a mistake. A month later I noticed that the steps were sagging again. Looking under the motorhome I found the aluminum angle I replaced was cracked in the same place as the one before. The angle was going to need to be beefed up to support the leverage of the retractable steps.
Fixing it for good… Hopefully!
The second time repairing the angle I made sure that it won’t crack again. At least I hope so. I used a 1 1/2″ wide by 1/8″ thick angle iron. The angle iron is much heavier than the original angle aluminum.
I cut the angle iron to size and installed it was 20+ screws. Installation is fairly straightforward although the propane tank gets in the way a bit. The heavier gauge steel angle should not crack and be more supportive of the leverage the retractable steps put on the step box.
Replacing the threshold
Replacing the threshold is another story. I contacted Thor Customer Support who gave me a part number to order for the threshold. I went to Camping World on Reno and ordered the part, waited three weeks for it to arrive only to find out that I was given the wrong part number.
The part number they gave me came is the actual full threshold, not the threshold extension piece that I requested the number for. After contacting Thor again they sent me the correct part although I’m out of the money for the first piece they sent.
Modern RV’s are made so cheaply. The companies cut corners and costs anywhere they can, including on items that should have more support to them. For a bit more money there are many items that could be a bit better. If you have an issue with your RV steps sagging, climb under and check it out. It may be some cheap materials cracking.
Thank you for taking the time to read our article. Do you have any parts on your RV that are troublesome like our steps? We’d love to hear what issues you may have had below.
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