Retro fit Torklifts Stow N' Go bracket to store GlowSteps (4 tread scissors steps) on bumper.
Retro fit Torklift Landing Gear, height and uneven ground adjustable feet for the stairs
Now that installed, this is pretty near the top of the list of appreciated mods we've done to our camper. It allowed full utilization of our Glow Steps and the added basement step, both at camp but more importantly while on the road. (Original install of T/L glow steps on camper) This addition, for all but the very few, is a simple bolt on.
One mod leads to another. Unfortunately, previous mods, wants & needs in our case caused a bit of reworking to suit. This page documents what I did as I did it and actually used to help visualize solves as I went along. Some information that might be used, but for the most part probably not, our install unique. Hesitant to post and add to our page because it might put some off, This set up is the bees knees. But I might need a reminder down the road to why or how I did something so its getting added to our page. Other than just sharing information, it is a record of what, why & when for our own use.
Intro: purpose and justification Part 1 Installing modifying the Stow N' Go mount. Replace all-thread pivot replacement bolts with shouldered bolts Part 2 Landing Gear, Initial install departure, install legs on sides of steps at middle arm, really didn't like in front Part 3a Modifying Landing Gear, Rev 2, make new longer legs Part 3b Modifying Landing Gear, Rev 3, Rework mount plates to mount to front stair arms. Move snubber pins Part 3c Modifying Landing Gear, Rev 4, made drop leg pins, Made new adjustable, fully articulating feet Part 4 Attachment of our original bottom landing step to stairs Part 5 Storage/ Lockage. Add lock to keep folded, modify pivot locks need more length, Secure basement step Part 6 Add lower brackets to Stow N' Go mount. Slight flex in the side plates at unsupported bottom, though not an issue. However due to me cutting bracket to use our stair mount it could be. Because I cut the corner the bracket flex is concentrated at notch over time it could crack aluminum plate.
We store our scissor steps inside the camper. Camping, I retrieve and install, when breaking camp remove and put back inside. Not a big deal, only takes a few minuets. However on the road we use the flip over bumper step and a small stool, that is a pain. Not only deploying but using. I recently was intrigued by the new Torklift Stow N' Go bracket that allows mounting and storing stairs on bumper. My first thought was nah, our setup works, but realizing the ease of deploying, not carrying in & out, quickly changed my mind.
At any time for any reason unhook the steps and glide them out, instant, comfortable access to camper. That is reason enough to install and try. Second part of this, the inclusion of Torklifts adjustable feet, "Landing Gear" for the steps. And that's what convinced me to try the new Stow N' Go bracket. 10 years ago I made adjustable feet for our steps. They compensate for both height and un level ground. They have been simply awesome and invaluable in use. However they are very mechanical, takes few minuets to set up, always been worth the time spent. But they would not ride on stairs stored on bumper, or effort to secure so they could would defeat the simplicity of using the Stow N' Go. With the inclusion of the Landing Gear makes trying the Stow N' Go feasible.
The Landing Gear are telescopic tubes, push the release button and to adjust, done. All but instant, but more importantly just there. Normally on the road, stopping, were on semi level ground or pavement, so no need to adjust the Landing Gear (though if needed might add 5 seconds). So it would be a matter of folding out steps, and enter camper, quicker than I could get the keys out of my pocket!
VERY VERY VERY long 50+ pictures...documents modifications to suit our camper and subsequent changes as I went along. Page disjointed as there was a lot of back & forth as we went along. Most will not apply to others. Stow N' Go mount and Landing Gear addition would be a bolt on. However if you don't like the Landing Gear legs out in front of steps or need more height possibly might help. If you have stairs tread mounted to camper not using arms, more so, standard length or existing short locks will not work.
In our case though, I'm unwilling to replace anything if it sacrifices features I already have, regardless of how much easier to use or more 'polished' it is or how 'free. Second, we've made a lot of 'modifications' to our camper over the years to make it 'ours'. Which subsequently and usually means nothing 'bolts' on and requires modification just to mount because of previous mods. So not only does a product need to fill a purpose, it must also be adaptable to 'My' install. Because of this my reviews are usually beyond what many would see.
I've already seen that some aspects of the Stow N' Go and the Landing Gear are going to need some slight 'personalization' to mount and use. However I've also noted while identifying what I may need to address for installation on our setup, is that out of the box, for most folks, these 2 products would be a very simple upgrade. They in all honestly are the cats meow as far as storing and deploying campers scissors steps. The addition of the Landing Gear to scissor steps, well I've never understood why some way to adjust for un level ground was never offered. Torklift to my knowledge is the first. If you use steps off the beaten track you know getting steps secure/level can be a pain.
That said, our setup was perfect as far as versatility and adapting to different scenarios we encounter. Removing and replacing/reworking wasn't an easy decision, but the final results I believe will be worth it. The whole point: this page identifies and documents what I did and why-to fit our needs and install. Not a representation of what most would encounter. For most this would be an easy afternoon 'bolt on'.
Quite a few mods to our stairs over the years. This one, adding the Stow N' Go, allows mounting out side on bumper, storing and deploying without dragging in and out of camper. Pretty excited. Off the bat I did note a few things that I will need to address, mostly the Landing Gear to make it more versatile and fill our wants better.
Mounting the Stow N' Go
Most recent picture of existing Glow Step stairs being modified to accept new parts. We had changed our original scissor stairs to 8"x20" tread Torklift Glow Steps, added the basement Step and my landing. Its a dream to use, setting up-storing not so much as still stored in side camper. What this project hopes to solve- currently all this goes back in camper, even the basement step. On the road its too far to reach the flip over step. The little black stool is what we use with the flip over step. Our door sill is about 50" off the ground, its a hike. With stairs attached to bumper, basement step can stay. Only thing that needs to be setup will be the landing when making camp. But on the road, quick stop over for the night-anytime need to get in camper-now it will be so nice...
Details: Our camper is a basement model. The steps have been mounted so that top tread is flush to top of bumper to minimize distance to door, still 14". Tread is mounted directly to universal bracket at top of bumper. We've since added a Torklift basement step to bumper, splitting that distance (14") in half. Typical mounting uses arms extended above top tread so it stands off and below about 4" or so.
Torklifts stock photos showing stair mounted both options. Initial observations is the Stow N' Go makes no allowance for stairs that are mounted directly to top tread like ours and picture of right. The Stow N' Go utilizes bent arms that replace top outer mount arms to match width of new bracket.
On a tread mount, bolting the needed bent arm to tread doesn't quite work. Holes don't line up, but more important is the end of tread isn't captured. Length of supplied pins, nor my existing pin locks, will reach thru all 3 pieces. Fine on the arm mount but not tread. Hence my conclusion is tread mounting not compensated for.
Here, bent arm is setting on the existing arm that's supposed to be replace. Short ring pin installed, I cant imagine this is what they intended. Far cry design wise from Glow step. Other than weaker- no way to use lock? Guess you could cut off ends of tread arms-not. Hanging these very expensive steps with 2 finger pull clips just isn't happening.
It may be no one with tread mount has installed one of these yet-but the 'kit' will require some finessing.
Simplest solve and allowance, remedy is a spacer to fit between new bent arms and tread arms, with a much longer pin to go thru all. Enlarge hole in tread bar to allow pin alignment as it is no loner used for support.
Or possibly not using the bent arm at all, simple spacers to increase width of tread from existing double arms to match new bracket. That's for Torklift to design. For my install I'm doing neither.
The pivot pins on new bracket with pin going thru the new bracket inward, stairs hanging off one end of unsupported bolt/pin, I don't like. When I originally installed I split the universal bracket so its 'ears' fit between double bars of tread. I am going to reuse my bumper mounted universal bracket, notch the Stow N' Go so it fits between. I seriously doubt anyone else has split their universal bracket so this solve wouldn't apply (nor recommend).
It will save me from having to remove existing bumper mount bracket (and fill old holes), not removing old flat bars and installing new bent bars. Steps will hang as originally installed on existing bracket.
And Stow N'Go bracket mounted. Holding up under bumper mount, marked then cut slots so Stow N' Go slips up between. Also slight departure is I cut the 1 1/2" bolts to 3/4" long. Ran thru face and nutted inside. Jus didn't want to see 3/4 of bolt thread sticking out face.
The new Stow N' Go bracket will simply hold steps in stored position.
Second reason the Stow n' Go appears and concluding no allowance for tread mount- is mounting to the top tread means the 2 studs added each side of stairs are to high. Instructions say to mount at tread #3. They need to be moved to bar between the 3rd and 4th tread. (the studs, one is used to place stairs in new bracket, the other is used for the rubber snubber to secure stairs)
Then there's the studs, the only real fault with the 'kit'. Longer 3 1/2" bolts supplied to replace existing shoulder pivot bolts, this applies regardless of mounting, they are all thread, also an inch longer than needed? Going to hardware to pick up longer shoulder bolts. I'll need to reverse and install from inside out so that the shoulder is in holes of stair pivot arms. To these longer bolts nylon spacers are added. However instructions have a single nut tightening against them, it also is what tensions the tread arms? Replacing inner 1/4" spacer with nylock to tension tread independent of spacers, spacers do not need additional clamping force applied to them. Plus if one cracks wont lose thread arm tension. Nothing about these bolts makes sense?
Wow 14 bucks for 8 SST bolts nuts & washers...another 14 for a 3' piece of 1" tube to make taller Landing Gear legs. I try as often as possible to support local stores-just getting harder & harder.
Making bolts...To get length in SST at local hardware was 3" lg with 2 1/8" shoulder, better for going thru step bars and the nylon spacers but means cant use separate nut to tension arms. Also cut them to 2 11/16" to minimize stick out.. I just see the side loads on these as being a problem, due to plastic spacer I don't know how they'll stay snug. If it were not for the stainless not being fun to thread, Id run die up leaving only 3/4" of shoulder.
Need to carry spare spacers, aluminum are available. Probably couple of original short pivot bolts. Stow N' Go equipped stairs ready to mount.
Our step use/install is unique, we use a landing step attached to bottom of stairs. This section would not apply to anyone else-for my own documentation, what I needed to do.
However for use on Truck Camper (T/C) my opinion is they need a redesign. My impression is the Landing Gear (LG) was designed for another application, now being sold for use on T/Cs. Discussed last section 'conclusions' below. Im proceeding with what I have to make work. -
Last are the 'Landing Gear' adjustable feet. Actually done in conjunction with setting up Stow N'Go but I didn't get any pictures. These must be used because the original adjusters I made cannot ride on bumper mounted stair. Just too many loose pieces. Though I verified I would be able to use the Landing Gear, identifying what would be required to reuse our landing I also noted few things I would need to modify, or what can be done later to pursue mounting the Stow N' Go.
One is they are too short for our use. Simple work around that can be done later is to make longer lower leg sections. Our stairs, likely due to being mounted flush to top of bumper are about a half a step too short. To remedy 10 years ago I had made levelers that also would raise stairs as needed. At the same time I built a landing that attached to stairs and also was independently height adjustable so it splits the height between ground and first stair step. New Landing Gear max step height is about 10 1/2", ours more like 12 1/2" Minimum.
Second is ability to remount our old landing is mandatory because of how high 1st stair tread is. That and its just nice. Actual connection details will take some thought but the stair bottom hoop needs to remain for attachment. The landing is free standing but attached to stairs so they don't move, cant roll when stepping edge etc. The Landing Gear is intended to replace the hoop. Also they mount protruding out front of stairs. Where landing needs to be. (Though even IF I didn't need to move due to landing, I do not like the protrusion in front of step and would relocate the Landing Gear)
A lot of measuring, setting stairs on Stow N'Go bracket, folding the stairs in and out checking movement and space Landing Gear move in to fold back, I verified I can simply mount them to middle down arms instead of the front ones. This will leave hoop intact, place legs far enough back to not interfere with landing. When Landing not used will not be sticking out, I see as a tripping hazard.
Mounting outside to middle arms instead of replacing hoop and reusing original bolts meant some more custom bolts. Mounting outside means Landing Gear mount plate needs to be spaced away so when folding stairs they don't hit the other bolts or rub on face of stair arms. Also roll pin needs to be removed
This is what I did to make work, eventually all this will go away, making new mounts-for now...
I had two unused 1/4" x 1" flat short link bars with same spacing from original stair assembly. But any thing 1/4" thick at least 1" diameter could be used. I also had extra friction washers. Perfect: Using (2) 1 1/4-20 x 2"lg with ~1 1/4" lg shoulder replaced the 1 1/4 " long pivot bolts. With the new pivot bolts sticking thru, slid on SST friction washer then the short link bar to act as spacer, then a phenolic friction washer (that came with Landing Gear), then slide on the Landing gear, then another phenolic washer then a SST friction washer before adding nylock nut. Adjusted the nut&bolt till snug but can still rotate. Hindsight update: The phenolic washer between spacer and Landing Gear unnecessary & not needed.
Hindsight Update: The two 4 3/4" link bars I used as spacers, I should have used full length 8 1/2" bars. I had both, may have given more support.
Making progress-at some point though is welding on shorter mount bars to attach to front bar, cut off rear mount plate. Mentioned later on.
Tested by collapsing and open stairs-cool they work. Did the other leg then open up stairs and supported on work bench..
Stood on it, tried to wiggle-were good. No more or less side to side flex than factory configuration. Should note my hoop is shorter than factory by about 2". Factory hoop would not allow Landing Gear to go down to lower height, either use spacer, cut hoop to use as spacers or shorten. NOTE if shortening hoop 2 inside short bars will need to be clearanced, you can just see the inner bar on the right.
Mounted stairs on camper. and made sure it will fold. Being now mounted outboard, the Landing Gear mount plate is in line with the Stow N' Go bracket arms. As much as I tried to ensure it would work still wasn't sure.
But the Landing Gear plate swings below the Stow N'Go plate with about 1/4" clearance.
Glad I just recently installed back up camera- they do stick out a bit. When on the truck quite high so others can see.
This is going to be so awesome. Side benefit relocating the Landing Gear they're about 1 1/2" higher when stored. Really anxious to use.
Still need to clearance the holes thru Stow N' Go bracket for longer pins. Going to remove all the nuts and bolts and flip so the nuts are inside, just appearance.
Landing Gear done. Now to address , in my opinion and need, their short falls, at least for our use.
As mentioned before, it just works out that placing tread flush to top of bumper, places bottom tread about 4" too high, but not high enough for 5th tread.
So the new landing Gear to short. Increasing the too short for us maximum height of 10 1/2", need at minimum 12" to 14". Travel of 3" not enough to cover possible sites.
The base is rather small for soft ground only articulates in one direction and protrudes into space out landing sets.
Easy one is the overall height. I'll be replacing the lower half of telescoping legs with a longer piece. Currently 6" long. Having the ability to raise to our normal higher height and adjust for when rear of camper is way up in the air will limit how low they can be adjusted. All I can see is to carry both-Which would work. To simplify though see making with its own base. so all I have to do is push the button to swap length of lower tube Other wise its also swapping base. Hokey Smoke
Writing this I realized adding a second button to longer lower tube. It could adjust from current min to max of new tube. Space second button anything greater than hole spacing min/max of 3" in upper tube. Say 3 1/4" apart, only one button would engage up or down. No need for separate tubes. Wouldn't go any more than additional 3 or 4", though I could as the landing we use also supports and plants end of stairs. Tube will be longer than height adjustment, If I add 3" of travel make tube 12" long. At any adjustment I will have full insertion of lower tube thru upper. Note ours again because I've mounted outboard and landing negates stepping off side should not pose a hazard as the tube will protrude thru upper tube when adjusted low.
When I remake my lower tubes I will also rotate the bases for landing clearance.
time to make some stuff...
Parts is parts...
Cut the welds holding the U pivot from base, rotate 90°, rewelded. Cut new longer tubes. Couldn't find aluminum tubing that would slide into upper tube so using steel for now, but needs to be changed. Also need to find additional snap buttons. But functions.
Just showing snap holes spaced so only one can engage. Also shown by mounting outboard to middle bar Landing gear doesn't hang down as far when stowed.
Getting ready to attach our landing with stairs at our normal min height.
I'm going to side track a bit. IF for some reason you wanted the legs on the sides instead of sticking out front...
I tried swapping sides and bolting to front bars but puts the legs too far back and hit Stow N' Go bracket. The way mount plate is cut not enough material to redrill holes moving forward. Otherwise simple matter to cut mount plate 2 3/8" protrusion to about 1 1/4" redrill. My thought is cut off existing mount plate. Make a new mount using 2" angle weld to tube at what is now the face. The new mount could be inserted between bars replacing the hoop. Keeping the hoop, though could be shortened (mine is), does add to rigidity especially mounting legs to front. Which is what I'd do other than trying to use what was supplied for now.
For me its moving the legs to front so the mount plate could be shortened. Using hoop for stability. Just like pictured, legs will stay in same position but a shorter 1 1/8" stick out mount to front for bolting. Or 1 1/4" angle. Cut off rear mount plate. Its the distance between legs and mount bolts creates a lot of leverage inducing flex. Reason its so wide was allowing legs to tuck under Stow N' Go when center mounted in front of steps. Many ways to improve for side mounting legs. On the round to-it
2 days later. I changed the landing gear mounts, what I should have done in the first place. Just like I saw how they should be. Did not like being mounted to middle arm, nor not being in front having the additional stability of the hoop. Involved swapping legs side to side so mount faced forward, spacing holes so legs ended up exactly where they had been, redrilling then cut off excess. Mount 'ear' stickout is 1 1/4", top/bottom bolt 1/2" from edge.). Reason I decided this could be done with existing material is the center tab will offer another bolt. Though spent more time laying it out watching stuff to ensure moving arms would work. Seemed simple but completely changes how the tubes rotate in relation to stairs.
Yup holes are close..
Cut, now to make the second one...
The center 'tab I'll drill and tap the spacer for added support. This effectively got rid of an 1 3/16" of leverage length legs exerted on mount points, which in turn less length less movement. Gain lateral support of hoop. Even if hoop not used or other support, puts legs to side while downward pressure of stepping onto 1st step directly transferred to legs.
(FYI: Most would not be using the bottom hoop as I am. To mount legs rearward on face spacers need to be used (in place of hoop) between tread and arms, also between arms and landing gear mounts so that they don't hit other bolts when folding. If you don't have some 1/4"x 1" al flat bar laying around simply either whack off ends of hoop to use between tread and arms, cut 2 pieces from bottom of hoop to make stand off spacers or simpler use the cut off pieces from Landing gear, placing between. An excellent material for extra or replacement friction washers is plastic milk jug. Hole punch a 1" disk. Last indefinitely, works awesome.. )
Mounted on camper to check clearance, snubbers likely need to be relocated, double check which pivot bolt to use.
Hokey smoke. Legs are in the same location when stairs deployed, main criteria before deciding to rework mounts. But when folded up now pulls them way up. I knew tube was going to be close-assumed I would need to move snubber studs. But looks good in original position. Well maybe a little close for hand use. I had already redrilled the snubber mounts so they pointed at the bolt above. So that's where they will go.
The legs though, I just didn't see how high the legs would set. Stoked. Was actually thinking removing the legs when traveling because they hung down so far. Defeat the ease of use but they hung down a lot.
Cant imagine if they were mounted as designed. My first install on the middle bar pulled them up 1 1/2". This though-tucks the Landing Gear better than 4" up from factory location.
Wow, just seeing the legs tucked up worth the effort to cut Landing Gear mounts. Did eliminate the flex I was seeing, tie to front as they should be and added support of hoop .
Wonder if stainless acorn nylock can be had. Once al tube obtained need some smaller tube caps or weld, would reflectors show my age?
On the round toit, make some small brackets to bolt lower half of side plates to bumper. Downward force (bouncing on the road) both side plates flex toward bumper. Small pieces of angle on inside corners, hopefully catch the stud bumper bolts, rivet to bumper. Details.
Made up my mind about painting, lil' black fingers too much, plus where cut needed to do something anyway.
Not going to say flat bar, tube and a bunch of bolts looks good, But better in my eye in that nothing to focus on, especially when landing in front.
I kept seeing the bright aluminum tube that will replace the steel legs shining thru the black holes.
Pretty much done except replacing the temporary steel lower tubes with aluminum and popping the button clips in.
This was actually one of the last things done. Found some snap buttons, but for the cost making simpler drop leg pins. Easier to use. Second is simply didn't like the single direction pivot feet. Work fine on level ground and flex to adjust for angle stairs set out, but on un level ground not so much.
Due to existing 1/2" holes and not wanting to bend 1/2" rod made them 2 piece.
The large end only inserted thru one side of legs as the adjusting holes do not go all the way thru. Didn't really work, because the welded mounts on back side didn't allow bottom leg of pin to wrap legs. Pin would flop and drop out. To go all the way thru hole is right where edge of weld is, making longer 7/16" pins would remove too much material. So reworked pins adding a 3/16 pin allowing for smaller holes drilled thru.
Drilled end of 7/16" pin with 3/16" hole. Pressed 3/16" pins in.
Drilled 1/4" holes thru. Normally last leg of pin would be bent at right angle to fully set on face of leg. Little creative bending but works. Pin would have to rotate better than 45° to clear leg so they are captured.
Now to address the feet. I had moved larger feet to new legs and added a piece of angle to original legs used on the road. Don't like either.
Making new feet for longer legs, put the larger feet back on factory legs. Second, making new feet to be fully articulating I can also address the lack of adjustability. Currently the legs adjust in 3/4" increments. Meaning, unless slope is in 3/4" increment, one of the legs will be off the ground or twisting stairs. Stepping onto stairs or just walking up & down, stairs will cluncking. Using threaded eye bolts I can make infinitely adjustable and fully articulating for positive contact.
Ready to weld out. Using 3/8" coupling nut inserted in tube. 2" of thread engagement, full coverage/protection of threads. Caps on bottom with hole sized to OD of tube and cap on top sized to ID to stabilize and cover thread. First is to weld caps to nut. The insert into tube, weld the bottom cap to tube. The top cap is just to stabilize nut but I 'think' I may drill a hole to plug weld it. I see all the weight on bottom cap and lock nut.
Welded, ground and painted. I did drill both sides of tube to plug weld top 'caps'. Though after welding bottom cap realized unnecessary. But now with 4 holes kind of committed. Oh well, not a bad thing, extra immobilization of the coupling nut.
Was going to capture eye bolts and weld half links of chain, but ya know...used cut-off disk to remove about 1/2".
Feet removable without unthreading 2 1/2".
Slipped a 3" piece of 3/8x1/2 vinyl tube over eyes, quiets and contains better. Legs done,
Anyway- what was I doing. Landing. Welded on couple of shorts pieces of round bar to landing slot brackets to contain 1/2" x 6" carriage bolts. Slotted the existing holes in stair hoop so Don't need to remove nuts- Carriage bolts have a large washer and wing nut at bottom, they stay on landing. When deploying its just guide the bolts behind hoop, sliding into slots. Run the wing nut up done except for adjusting the feet if needed.
Way simpler than previous. Though the end of stairs can hang from landing, or the back of landing can hang from hoop, primary purpose of bolting is to simply restrain landing from moving or tipping.
Neither my shorty or long pin lock will work with new configuration for mounting the stairs. Pins need to go thru the Stow N' Go bracket and both arms of top tread. About 1 3/4" thick.
To see if new long pin locks would work sacrificed one long pin I have. Sliced inside of long pin lock knob off to increase pin length to 1 3/4". (Or using sawzall & hacksaw, cut perimeter of knob to approx dia of shaft, then made 4 cuts down along shaft, filed the shaft round). Really only needed to remove about an 1/8" but ended up closer to 1/4"- fine machine tolerance but least I can secure stairs.
I'll need new pin locks for mounting the stairs, I'll have to modify like above, unless longer ones can be had but know it'll work before ordering. Did find use for my shorty.
Mentioned before- I did not like the stairs relying on the snubbers to contain. I just do not trust rubber snubbers. If somehow both broke, slid of studs or for what ever reason stairs walked out of bracket- they would unfold. Don't know if aluminum sparks on pavement and don't want to find out. Been contemplating mechanical lock to keep stairs folded and realized the shorty pin would work.
Simply drill thru 3 arms in folded position. Then chamfered the holes to ease insertion. Did have to grind about an 1/8" inside of knob to increase pin length. Cool, pull the stairs out of bracket they can only unfold about an 1". Lock easy enough to insert thru but getting hand between kind of a pain, holding knob with finger tips.
So made a paddle handle. Drill and tapped the knob. Drove 1/4-20 SST carriage bolt thru end of 1/4"x1 piece of al bar. Thread the knob onto bolt. Later I'll drill and insert a roll pin just to make sure it doesn't unthread, but its tight.
Mounted on camper-errr...of all the places I could install new lock its right at rubber snubber. Could swap few of the bars around however decided this actually works. Just enough tension to both keep lock from rattling and enough to keep snubber from sliding off end. Have to remove lock anyway to deploy stairs so no issue. Like I planned it. I am going to shape the paddle to fit a plastic sleeve to quite it.
Allowance to lock Basement steps
One of the biggest gains other than ease of stair deployment is our basement step can now stay on the bumper. Just needs better attachment. Its awesome as it splits the 14" distance from bumper to door sill and still access the basement tray. However if not using the scissor steps (off loaded or on the road) it adds 7" to step from flip over, 24" just too much. With the install of the Stow N' Go and being able to use stairs on the road, basement step can remain mounted. Only time it still needs to be removed is when camper off-loaded or in storage.
As mentioned previously we had to remove basement step for on the road use of bumper flip over step. To that end when installed I ran the bolts up from inside the bumper thru a captured tapped bar, bar is screwed to bumper. (As designed bolts would fall in if step removed). Bolts and nuts were clearance to allow free spinning. Allows removing steps from 'studs'. Drop step onto studs and run nut to use. Simplifies taking on and off, however now that its going to ride on the road need to secure a bit better. Its still that easy to remove.
Not reworking its mount or getting back inside bumper to replace with longer bolts I simply drilled thru the basement steps base, bumper and into the bars adding 2 more bolts. Used 2 countersunk screws. I'll replace the easily spun off nuts with nylocks, should negate it coming loose while traveling. I can still remove when needed.
A lock would be good...
Like this. Drilled for another pin lock. I was looking at mounting small piece of angle with closest pivot bolt so the counter sunk bolt couldn't walk bolt out. Then realized I could use pin lock. This one was head was shaved but an unmolested one with 1/4" spacer under head will serve 2 purposes. It will center head over the C/S bolt so it cant walk out. Second is being locked might slow down 'unauthorized personnel' from borrowing. Likely not obvious, but being mounted on top of rubber traction pad, bolts, regardless of how tight wont stay tight.
Because it needs to be removable- lock washers would just chew thru base angle. This works....I think.
UPDATE: Received 4 new locks. 2 for the stair pivots, 1 for stair anti open lock and 1 to lock the basement step. However I could only find 1 matched key set to older locks I have. Works as 3 of the locks will be semi permanent, the anti opening lock Ill use matched key to the fastguns as its the one will be using, still only have to carry 1 key.
I had match drilled the holes for stairs pivot pins in Stow N' Go to match the one old pin I had. (assuming new pins same) As the pin was a tad too short plan was to clearance the head to make longer. Well the new pins ARE longer, and would have worked length wise, but they are a lot smaller in diameter. So Ill continued with plan to clearance one more old pin. Did require some mix and matching, swapping lock tumblers to get extra large pin (and lock body) to use on stairs and end up with same old key on fastgun.
Just dimensions of new & old. Could be as they (Torklift) new what I was doing sent me the longer pins verses the older larger diameter pins.May or may not be available-I made work
Not so much an issue as I have keys and was able to file to work- glad to find a matching lock but again FYI, check.
Tethered new anti-open lock to pin. So I don't have to chase when I drop. Will be using this on the road to deploy steps so used same key as the fastgun locks.
This is matched keyed to fastguns so refueling or having a snack only one key
Lock for basement step. Not really so much theft proof, (though still can go inside Burger hut when on the road and steps should still be there) as ensuring step doesn't fall off if the mounting nuts work loose, and they do. Did change out nuts to Nylocks but this is positive retainment. Worked pretty slick I was surprised,
And pivot locks. Goodinsnug. One of the things I tried to do is all movement is minimized so hopefully isn't rattling while driving. Plus if it moves being aluminum will get worse with vibration and stuff may wallow.
There is some flex in the side plates of the Stow N' Go bracket. Lower half of side plates are not supported and stand away about 1/4". Weight of stairs, bouncing on the road, downward pressure flexes bottom down toward bumper. Normally not an issue or a problem as its slight but as I notched the top, right in the corners it is. Instead of entire plate flexing it stops at the notch, I can see one side of notch moving. Eventually it may crack. Though stairs are actually hung from original bumper mounts, still I don't want to see the Stow N' Go tear. Again, because I cut, I need to address. Simplest fix are brackets at bottom so it cant move.
Had some 1 1/2" angle, cut 2 short pieces. Match drilled the rubber bumper bolts and rivets holes to go into bumper
Yup 1 1/4" would have worked, Had to clearance for the slots in Stow N' Go.
A little debating but left the brackets short to utilize the gaps in Stow N' Go. I see these as a perfect place to hook a ratchet strap or tie off if snubbers fail.
Cant be seen when stairs mounted but getting painted white. Did stiffen.
Once installed and used I'll update if any issues or gotchas. My only concern at this point might be the weight bouncing off bumper. I recently installed a back up camera- many folks set up to turn on while on the road. I couldn't see a reason so didn't but now wish I had. Then I could see how much this may move. Don't think it should, I'll be using the stairs lanyard as a backup but even if both snubbers break I doubt stairs would try to walk out of Stow N' Go bracket. That said, soon as I come up with simple quick positive mechanical way to lock stairs stowed I'll add. DONE see above
Last is even though I know it wont stick I am going to end up painting the Landing Gear, probably silver/aluminum paint. Really do not like the black, unsure why black. DONE see above