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The right steps or stairs for your RV

Posted by Garry Davis on 9th Aug 2018

Finding the right steps (or stairs)! Understanding the terminology.

While the internet has made life easier to get what you need it is sometimes frustrating when you don't know the name of what it is you are searching for. Perhaps more importantly, what the manufacturer of the product calls it. Steps for recreational vehicles are a classic example.

First you need to know what your RV is called, both in Australia and overseas. A Motorhome is sometimes referred to as Motor Home or even Motor-Home, while 5th Wheelers are sometimes called 5th Wheel caravans. Caravans are also called Travel Trailers and sometimes you need to stipulate whether they are Off Road Caravans. Slide on Campers have far more names, including Slide-on Camper, Slide in camper, Slide-in Camper, Truck Camper, Tray Camper, Tray back Camper or Ute Camper etc.

Just as confusing are the steps needed for these vehicles. Are they steps or stairs? Scissor steps or scissor stairs; folding steps or folding stairs; expansion steps or even extendable steps; fold out steps or fold out stairs; pull out steps or pull out stairs; Then there are removable steps or removable stairs; portable steps and portable stairs; even ladder steps!

Then add to your search other details like what the steps are to be made from - aluminium or steel or better still a combination of Aircraft Grade Aluminium and Stainless steel. Add the location you prefer, like Australia, and then add the number of steps you need, say from 2 to 6 steps and whether you want adjustable legs or feet for uneven ground, perhaps a handrail (especially for more than two step systems), removable or permanently mounted steps and other features like "glow in the dark" which is invaluable on dark nights.

So you could end up searching Google for something like this:

Scissor steps or stairs, folding or fold out steps or stairs, pull out steps stairs, aircraft grade aluminium and stainless steel, lifetime warranty, 5 step system, adjustable feet or legs, secure handrail, all with glow in the dark feature, suitable for Off Road caravan, Australia

Way too much information for poor old Mr Google.

Most people search using just a few words. For example if you were looking for a decent set of steps for your motorhome to replace the current "springboard" type stairs which have to be coupled with a small portable step to make up the height, you might just search for Motorhome steps. You might be better served searching for motorhome aluminium scissor steps.

In Australia when we use the term steps or folding steps we are often referring to a something resembling a small step ladder. Generally we use these in when accessing our preferred RV i.e. to get from the ground to the door entrance or bottom rung of the RV stairs. Not always stable on uneven ground, especially on large motorhomes and other off-road RV's where the distance from the door to the ground can be substantial. The term stairs or folding stairs, however is more in line with those on a motorhome that fold out but never reach the ground. They can be quite unstable particularly on taller off road RV's which tend to rock as you go down the stairs giving the unnerving springboard effect as you try to line up the wonky folding step below the last rung on the stairs.

Far better to have a set of Torklift Glowsteps which are firmly anchored to your RV and sitting firmly on the ground with the All Terrain Leveling Gear, A Torklift GlowGuide Handrail that gives you something solid to hold on to and all with a glow in the dark feature that only needs a few minutes of sunlight each day to last the night.