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Posted: 16 January 2009 9:45 PM Subject: Kontiki electric step
I'm struggling with a sticking step on my Swift Kontiki 645. It's the slide out type - but it will not! Suspect the fuse may have blown but I cannot find any mention in the handbook of where to find the fuse. Does anyone know where to find the fuse please. We don't use the step a lot, preferring a portable step instead, but would like to able to use it when needs be.
Posted: 16 January 2009 10:06 PM Subject: RE: Kontiki electric step
Depending on the age of your Kontiki, the fuses could be found at high level in the centre of the engine bay under a black plastic cover that is held on by 2 nuts, there are also one or two plastic pipes that are clipped onto the same cover, you just need to un-clip the pipe and remove the 2 nuts and on withdrawing the cover it will reveal a couple of relays and a few fuses one of which is for the step, well they are on my Bessacarr
Posted: 17 January 2009 12:18 AM Subject: RE: Kontiki electric step
Location: Autotrail Chieftain G
Yes my Bessie is the same .
Only one problem with ours is a fat friend went away with hubby to see the second world war graves . Unknown to hubby he was standing on the step when my husband started the engine . The step used to automatically retract but his fat friend saw to that .
We actually prefer it that way because it tripped or blew the fuses so now we can have the lot on whilst driving includidng the TV and all the lights .
When we asked Brownhills to do this for us as a deliberate act they refused stating something about the law ,other countrys do it so why not England .
Good luck with mending your step probably needs a good grease up .
I'm not certain from your description whether your step isn't operating at all, or its operation is just very sticky. If it does function after a fashion, but you need to give it a good pull/push to cause it to begin extending/retracting, then that problem won't be caused by a fuse failure.
If your step is completely dead, then it may well be a fuse that's failed (and that should definitely be the first thing to check), though the operating-switch has been known to cause problems and there is always the possibility that the step-motor itself has packed up. If the step has been wired to retract automatically when the vehicle's motor is started (as on Michele's Bessacarr), then the relay that controls step-operation may be at fault.
Electric steps lead a hard life. Omnistor slide-out versions are not waterproof and, if installed in a position exposed to road-muck thrown up by the motorhome's wheels, can get badly clogged within the step's 'cassette'. This will cause operation to become increasingly laboured to the point where the motor, or the fuse protecting it, may give up the ghost. If shielding the step from water and road-muck is not practicable, then it's wise to disassemble the step at the first signs of stickiness to clean and lubricate the internal mechanism as Michele suggests.
Omnistor's step leaflet states that, when a relay is employed to cause the step to retract automatically when the motorhome's engine is started:
"The installation of the relay prevents the operation of the step whilst driving so that the installation meets the EMC standards 89/336/EEC."
EMC stands for "Electro-Magnetic Compatibility" and there are technical regulations (standards) to ensure that all the electrical bits and pieces in a vehicle co-exist happily together and won't 'fight' with each other. For example, with a modern motorhome where there is a drive-by-wire electrical connection between the accelerator-pedal and the engine (rather than a traditional accelerator-cable), it could be nasty if switching on a reading-light in the rear of the vehicle interfered with the motorhome's engine-management system and suddenly caused it to go flat out!
When EMC standards were first introduced in the mid/late 1990s, UK motorhome manufacturers complied with them by adopting an avoidance technique where, when the motorhome's engine was started, none of the 12V appliances in the vehicle's habitation area (except for the fridge) could be operated and, as far as I'm aware, this ploy is still used. Isolating habitation 12V appliances while a motorcaravan is being driven is, I believe, unique to the UK - Continental motorhome builders seem never to have done it.
EMC and motorhomes was discussed in some depth years ago on the MMM forum and, if I recall correctly, informed opinion was that the UK motorhome industry's 'isolation policy' had become habitual and had no genuine technical justification. Nevertheless, I can well appreciate a UK dealership (not just Brownhills) refusing to disable a motorhome's 12V isolation feature should a customer request this action.
In order to permit 12V habitation equipment to be used - reading-lights particularly - plenty of owners of UK motorhomes do DIY-disable the isolation function as it's normally very simple to do. However, as there are perceived safety implications (valid or otherwise) in doing this, it's not a task one should really expect a dealership to agree to perform on one's behalf.
Anyway, it seems from Omnistor's leaflet that wiring the step through a relay in the manner shown in the leaflet will cause the step to retract automatically when the motorhome's engine is started and, subsequently, the step's electric motor cannot operate until the motorhome's engine is switched off. This will meet EMC standards by preventing any potential interference from the step's motor affecting the motorhome's safety-critical electrical systems (ABS, engine management, etc.) while the vehicle is in motion.
Whether the EMC reference in Omnistor's leaflet has real-world regulatory significance is anybody's guess, as the leaflet also provides an alternative wiring diagram with no relay (hence no automatic retraction) that would - if one were daft enough - allow the step to be operated via the manual switch while the motorhome were being driven.
Posted: 17 January 2009 11:42 PM Subject: RE: Kontiki electric step
Location: Autotrail Chieftain G
Firstly let me say thanks for all the info .
I cant remember why typicall air head I am ,I think it must of been something to do with Freddie . I often well all the time now sit in the back with her because of when she is fitting .
I think it came about because we had no lights whats so ever when the vehicle was in motion . Fitting is second nature to her but obviously we still have to keep our eyes on her . With no light at all we obviously coulnt see her ,Malcolm would just set off after a pull over quick cuppa and low and behold she would be at it as soon as we started again with long trips in France we couldnt keep stopping nor did we need to . It just required one of us to be with her and monitor .
We asked them to do it as we were aware that other vehicles had lights and that on whilst driving or did have the option . We dont really like it on especially when dark as it is a hazzard to see with that reflection but as I say now and again a must .
I did wonder why they wouldnt do it for us ? I am aware now you have explained .I am also not entirely sure that I have explained it properly and if I ask him tomorrow why we wanted it done he will probably come up with something else I have forgot .
Having his friend blow the fuse by an accident has done us a favour and it has been like this not long after we bought this one I hope we arent causing any damage as its too late now .
It does what we want now and although the Tv works obviously we dont allow it whilst driving . The only down side is remembering to retract the step but so far so good . Its a last minute Is the step in job .
Posted: 19 January 2009 11:57 AM Subject: RE: Kontiki electric step
Location: Autotrail Chieftain G
Told you I would get it wrong . Ok the reason is because when we pulled over in a layby with no heating we needed the habitation side to work .
This is why we asked brownhills to do it for us . The step is just a by product of it being blown . Hope that makes sense.