RV Mods & Upgrades

Torklift GlowStep Revolution installation

The original steps on my fiver had one broken rivet that I had replaced with a bolt when travelling. It didn’t hold tightly as the rivet has a shoulder. When we got home in the spring I looked into repairing them but I found more rivets on the way to breaking. When I posted abut the issues I was contacted by Torklift about using their steps.

They sent me a set of the 27.5″ wide steps in a 4-step configuration as well as the vertical stud adapter brackets.

The OE steps are by Hickory https://www.hickoryrvsteps.com/7-rise-quad-step
They mount to the underside of the floor with a stud on each side and then a self-tapping bolt into the web of the frame I-beam.

The nuts on the vertical studs were rusted solid and just rotated when turned so I had to cut them off with an grinder. They are actually the standard trailer floor mount bolts which have a large flat head on them and go down through the floor.

I removed the door threshold strip to see how to access them. I ended up removing the wood trim down either side of the door and the /4 round along the floor either side. With a utility knife I cut the vinyl flooring tight against the wall and then along the bottom of the inside steps so that I could pull the flooring back a bit. I also had to remove the wooden vent panel in the inside steps so that I could cut along when the carpet meets the vinyl enough to roll it back a bit.

The two bolts weren’t drilled in straight so I redrilled the holes so that they were straight and also matched the correct spacing for new stair brackets. When the OE steps were installed they had simply forced the bolts sideways until they could get the steps to fit on.

Rather than purchase new bolts from the local RV place I made new ones. I had some thin stainless sheet (1/16″) and picked up some stainless bolts. I then TIG welded the plate to the top of the bolt. The small hole is for a screw that holds the bolt in place and stops it from turning when tightening the nuts on below. The plywood was cut and chiselled so that he plate would sit flush.

The rest of the install followed the Torklift instructions.

I did have to shorten the 4 carriage bolts that hold the 2 parts of the vertical brackets together. This is because Jayco installs plastic bulkhead panels either side of the stair opening and the bolts were pushing against them.

I also decided to remove the OE clearance light in the step bay that is used for step lighting. I had previously wired a piece of the old awning light into it but the LED’s had failed and the actual light was in the way of the new steps. I installed a small white LED bar I got from eBay.

With the old steps I would put a piece of wood under the bottom of the step to try to stop some of the bounce but that never worked and the wood just shifted all the time.

The Torklift GlowStep Revolution steps are solid when folded down. They have adjustable feet on either side to account for any side to side slope at the bottom of the steps. The position of the step set can be set depending on what total height is required from site to site. This is down when they are deployed, there are different stop positions.

A very nice step with an easy install. Any install issues were related to what Jayco did when building the trailer. We no longer have a diving board that we used to use to enter or exit the trailer.

 

Batteries

I’ve upgraded the battery system with the addition of 4x FullRiver 6v 225AH AGM batteries. I also added a 2000w PSW Inverter and connected it via the auto-transfer switch.

rvbatt

In the basement area I added LED lighting strips and connected them into the existing basement lights so as to re-use the switch.

5thbsmt

Using a microcontroller board and some breakouts I created a battery monitor system that measures current flow through a shunt. The data is presented in a Web browser. An iOS app is in work.

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