How to Manually Retract RV Steps?

how to manually retract rv steps

Nowadays, the focus is on the convenience and easy operation of everything which is why almost everything can be automated. This includes the steps of your RV. While automated steps certainly make things convenient and it surely has safety measures to prevent accidents, learning to manually retract RV steps is important as well.

This is because knowing how to manually retract RV steps will allow you to operate your RV’s steps even when their automated feature is broken.

With that said, here’s a tutorial on how to manually retract your RV’s steps.

Step-by-Step to Manually Retract RV Steps

Step 1: What you will need


Before we go into detail about how to retract your RV steps manually, let’s first list down everything you need for the task. They are as follows:

  • Pliers (longnose, regular, etc.)
  • Wrench (traditional and adjustable)
  • Screwdrivers
  • RV manual (physical copy or digital)

Once you have prepared all the tools you need for the task, you can now proceed to do the following steps:

Step 2: Prepare your RV


Make sure to park it somewhere flat, preferably on concrete, and has decent lighting or a light source bright enough to see. To keep your RV from rolling away or onto you while you work, you can place something behind the tires like a large rock. Make sure to clear your work station as well to avoid preventable accidents and injuries.

Preparing your RV and taking the necessary precautions will ensure that you don’t find yourself with an injury or get caught in an accident while manually retracting the steps.

Step 3: Locate the retraction mechanism

This is usually located beneath the RV steps themselves. To help you with this, you can consult your RV’s manual as it may provide you with the information to correctly locate it. Once you have done so, identify the following parts of the mechanism:

  • Linkage pin or bolt – This links the steps’ frame and the step linkage or the retraction mechanism. This can be in the form of a pin or a threaded bolt and nut.
  • Step frame – This is the steps themselves.
  • Step linkage – This is the mechanism used to automatically retract the steps.

Step 4: Remove the linkage pin or bolt


Once you have located and identified everything, you can now remove the linkage pin or bolt. If it’s in the form of a pin, remove the lock pin and then pull out the linkage pin. If it’s a bolt, unscrew it first then remove it.

Step 5: Detach or unlink the step linkage and step frame


After removing the linkage pin or bolt, you can now detach or unlink the step linkage from the step frame. To be able to do this, you need to slightly pull the linkage out of its link slot. From there, you can easily do the next step which is to retract the steps manually.

Step 6: Manually retract the steps


Once you have unliked the step frame and step linkage, you can now manually retract the steps. If you want to keep the steps in place, you can use a rope or cord to tie it down and keep them in place.

Step 7: Reattach the linkage when possible

Once the steps have been manually retracted, you could reattach the linkage if you can do so. Replacing the linkage pin or bolt will help you avoid misplacing important parts and risk having to replace the whole mechanism altogether.


While every step retraction mechanism of RVs is different, these are just some of the basic steps you can take to manually retract them. To ensure that what you’re doing is correct, make sure to check out your RV’s manual as it may provide you with the necessary information for manually retracting your RV steps.

Although most steps are now automated, it’s still handy to have the knowledge of manually retracting your RV’s steps, especially when the automated mechanism is messed up.

With that said, if you enjoyed this tutorial on how to manually retract RV steps, feel free to share them and if you have any questions or concerns, feel free to leave a comment.

5/5 - (1 vote)