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How to Manually Retract RV Steps? (w/ Tutorial Video)


by Yessenia Blanda

/ fact checked by Sam Howard

how to manually retract rv steps

Suppose you are driving in your motorhome and find a nice place for a lunch stopover. After enjoying the delicious food and beautiful scenery, you are ready to move to your next destination. However, the motorhome steps do not retract as you close your door.

We will consider some quick fixes, such as removing the linkage pin or the motor itself and doing something as easy as lubricating the pivot points of the steps. Read along if you want to learn how to manually retract RV steps.

How Can I Manually Retract My RV Steps?

Method 1: Remove the linkage pin


Removing the linkage pin may do the trick for you when you are in the middle of nowhere, and the electric step won’t retract.

You won’t need to hire a technician to perform an electric step repair.

What to prepare

  • Mat or cardboard
  • Curved needle-nose pliers
  • Zip ties or a rope
  • RV steps manual (It can help you identify each part of the RV automatic steps)

Step 1: Park and secure your RV

Secure the wheels with a large rock so it won’t start rolling while you are working underneath your RV.

Then, place the mat or the cardboard right beside the steps where you would be working.

  • Note: If you are traveling with your family, inform everyone that you will work under the RV.

This ensures that no one will suddenly turn on the step switch or put the key on the ignition since this will trigger the steps manual override and retract the motorhome stairs.

Step 2: Remove the linkage pin

You can now use the curved needle-nose pliers to remove the linkage pin. First, you will have to pull out a cotter pin that secures the linkage pin. After that, you may now push the linkage pin out.

  • Note: The step frame is now free from the linkage to the motor, so you need to be careful since the steps may now close and squeeze your hands.

Then, pull the linkage off from the step frame.

Step 3: Retract the steps

Fold the steps and secure them with a rope or a zip tie, so you can move along and bring your RV to a mechanic who can perform Kwikee steps troubleshooting and repairs.

Method 2: Remove the motor


Now, when the motor is frozen, and the RV steps are stuck out, another option you have is to remove the motor.

What to prepare

  • Phillips Screwdriver or a 10mm wrench
  • Mat or cardboard
  • Zip ties or a rope
  • RV steps manual

Step 1: Locate the motor

Usually, it is the part you can easily access while working underneath the RV steps. It is linked to the gearbox with three screws or bolts, depending on the unit.

Step 2: Remove the motor

Use the screwdriver or the wrench to remove the motor. Be sure to also remove the washers along with the bolts or screws and keep them.

Step 3: Take the steps away

Fold the steps and secure them with a zip tie or a rope so you can travel safely and not leave any part out.



Why won’t my RV steps retract?

The following points might not cover everything, but here are several reasons why your RV step is not working or does not fully retract.

  • The ground wire is dirty or loose.
  • The controller fuse has blown up.
  • The motor seized due to its brushes getting loose and needs a reset by tapping lightly with a rubber mallet.
  • The connector plugs that supply power to the motor are dirty or loose.
  • The magnetic switch behind the door came loose or did not have a proper gap in between.
  • The pivots on the steps frame are dirty or rusty and need lubrication.

If you encounter one of those issues, your motorhome steps will not retract. Therefore, you can use this list as a troubleshooting guide to identify the main cause.

As you can see, the reasons for retractable steps for your RV geting stuck can be simple, so you may not need to hire a technician to fix the step retraction problem! You can fix them by yourself!

How do manual RV steps work?

Manual RV steps, as the name implies, are operated manually by pulling them out or folding them up.

They are typically framed, bolted, or welded to the door of an RV. They are also called “RV add a step” since you have the option of step adjustment by adding or removing steps.


In summary, an RV step stuck in down position should not prevent you from continuing your journey. You have learned how to manually retract your RV steps by removing the linkage pin or the motor and securing it with a zip tie.

The tips discussed in this article on how to manually retract RV steps may also apply to fixing your steps stuck in closed position. So, try them out!

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Yessenia Blanda

Hi, I’m Yessenia. I love traveling and being on the road, and I want to share my experience with people who are looking to have some adventures of their own. 

Whether you’re a new or experienced RVer, I hope you’ll find something here that helps you on your journey.