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Old 09-01-2017, 06:59 PM   #1
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Default Flexco replacement "step by step"

First, how we got to this point...

Way back in July 2008, when we were 3 days into owning our first RV (which we still do) a GPS malfunction led us into a place no 5th wheel should ever go. And I damaged my brand new entry steps trying to get out of there. They have been bent for all this time. Until yesterday.

I guess I left them alone because they didn't leak, stink or blow a fuse. But I finally got tired of them being bent and hard to open/close, and a bit wobbly, so I set out to replace them.

Here's what I learned.

Flexco steps are made by Stromberg Carlson and are sold by lots of people on line. Nowhere on these steps are a model number listed. You will need to measure your steps (or what's left of them) to determine which replacement steps to get.

1. Measure the step width. (Mine were 24")
2. Measure the step "rise" - the distance between the top of one step and the top of the next. They will be either 8" or 9"
3. Measure the distance between the mounting brackets on the RV. (Mine was 27")

By doing some research with these numbers (and looking at a lot of pictures on line) I figured out I needed part number SMFP-3100. That number has absolutely no correlation to any of the measurements. Go figure. Google that and get all sorts of prices and YouTube videos. And if you happen to have a 2009 Rockwood 8280SS... that's the one you need. The challenging part is ordering the right steps. Measure carefully.

BTW, the new steps come without hardware or mounting brackets. Fortunately, mine were still salvageable/usable. And the steps are a bit heavy at 60 pounds.

Tools needed: (in my case)

9/16 wrench
a bucket
some wooden blocks
tape

Getting the old steps off is fairly easy as gravity is your friend. Getting the new ones on is more of a challenge, you'll need the bucket and blocks to hold the steps in place while you bolt them up.

The bolts are carriage bolts so only one wrench is needed. The space you'll be working in is tight. The longer the wrench the happier you will be. Taking things apart requires patience but is fairly easy. Some RV's may require taking some trim off to reach the bolts. Mine didn't.

Installation in the confined space, starting the most inboard nuts can be tricky. I used masking tape to tape the nuts to the wrench and that worked great.

So now I have steps that work the way they're supposed to. The work took about an hour. From the number of places that sell replacement steps and the competitive prices I suspect I'm not the only one riding around with bent steps.

I guess I wrote this to encourage you, you can do this repair yourself.
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Old 09-02-2017, 12:23 PM   #2
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I did a similar replacement a couple months ago. I have 2 doors so a bent step was not a major problem getting in and out of the trailer. I bent mine as a result of a mishap while attempting to change a tire. My trailer has 2 steps, your 5er has 3 steps so yours were a little heavier. I also bent the brackets that go from the steps to the frame so that was a bit of a challenge to hammer those back into usable condition. Like your experience, taking the old step off was not a big issue but holding the replacement into position while getting a bolt started was a little more difficult. I sat on the ground and held the step assembly in my lap. To hold the step in position I put a screwdriver in the side opposite where I was starting the bolt and once I got one of the bolts in place it was smooth sailing. I noticed a difference in the way the new one operated, it seemed to be easier to fold up than the way to old one worked (before being bent). Like you discovered there were lots of people selling the replacement steps. I ended up getting mine from Amazon.
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Old 09-02-2017, 08:50 PM   #3
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I got mine from Camping World, on sale for $127, free shipping. Came fairly quick, about 5 days or so. The new steps were very well lubricated and I got grease all over me.

At least it was new, clean grease.

And at 60 pounds, I really needed the bucket and blocks for support.
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Old 09-07-2017, 07:09 PM   #4
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I read on one of the forums that there was an issue with the rivets that the folding steps hinge on were shearing off and causing the step to collapse. No official recall was made but in some cases FR covered the cost of replacement steps. I guess there was some pretty significant injuries from the steps breaking. If you called Flexco they would just send you a new set of bolts and have you replace the riveted hinge bolts. I noticed a difference in the bolts from the ones on the old steps.
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Old 09-12-2017, 06:03 PM   #5
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MY old bent steps seemed to be deteriorating over the last year or so such that I no longer trusted them.

Plus, being bent, they were a pain to deploy and retract.

Perhaps the rivets were part of the problem. The new ones are a snap to use, and rock solid. Not to mention clean and shiny.
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KG4DQQ "Kathy" 1st Officer, Navigator, Best Friend
2007 F-150 SuperCab - 2009 Rockwood 8280SS
Lot's of mostly Kenwood stuff

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Old 09-13-2017, 09:34 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Radio View Post
And at 60 pounds, I really needed the bucket and blocks for support.
Wow, Wade, I guess so. Anyone who weighs only 60 pounds can't lift much at all! But I thought you were bigger than that.
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