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Auto-Trail Step Switch


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Has anyone else had problems with the step switch on an Auto-Trail Motorhome. My Motorhome is 4 years old and mine failed a couple of years ago. I replaced it then, and it has now failed again. It's a momentary contact, push button switch. It is possible to take the switch apart, so I did and found that when you press the button, a metal bar shorts across 2 terminals. If the step is in, it will go out, or if it is out, it will go in. Both times that the switch has failed has been in cold weather, and the problem seems to be that the return spring in the switch is so pathetically weak that in cold weather, it does not push the button back out enough to lift the metal bar off the two terminals, so the step fails to work next time the button is pressed or ever again, until the push button is pulled out fully and the contact between the 2 contacts is broken. I have tried lubricating the moving parts but it didn't make much difference. It still doesn't spring out far enough.

The electrical units in the Motorhome are all CBE units and this step switch looks like it is something that has been fitted to a CBE blanking panel in a double CBE unit along with a double CBE switch for lights. Can anyone recommend an alternative momentary contact push button switch that I can fit to a new CBE Blanking panel?

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Hi Phil,


Welcome to the forum.


I note that you have one of those expensive step control systems, with an electronic control box hidden behind the scenes.


Unfortunately you did not state the external diameter of the required switch, probably either 16mm or 20mm, also no spacification as to button and body flange colour.

My suggestion would be for a black switch to blend with the mounting plate.


You could try searching on Ebay for either 16mm or 20mm push button switches. Unfortunately specifications do not include operating pressure. I recently purchased a switch for a project, but considered the spring to be too weak. Any switches suggested as suitable for automotive use should be OK, but no guarantees.


Here is a 16mm example from Ebay. Price is perhaps on the high side, when compared with others.


You should be able to re-use the old CBE blanking plate, which could cost as much as the switch.





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Thanks for the reply Alan. I have found a switch on the internet from 12 Volt Planet.

The attached photo shows the original switch which failed a couple of years ago and the replacement that I have just bought. The replacement doesn’t have spade connectors but I can work round that with a couple of inches of cable and crimp on spade terminals.

The original switch from the manufacturer had a flush button so when it failed, there was nothing I could do to get it to work. The replacement I fitted when it failed was the same type switch but with a button that protruded by about 1cm, so at least when it failed to come out this time, there was something to grab hold of and pull out manually. The new switch I have just bought feels like it has a stronger return spring, so hopefully it won’t be affected by the cold.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I’ve now replaced the step switch with the new one (the one on the right in the above picture) and it’s working perfectly. The new switch fitted exactly into the hole in the CBE blanking plate that the old switch came out of, and it has a much stronger return spring.


The old switch was still sticking when I replaced it, but now that it is in my house and has has warmed up, it pops back out perfectly again when you press it.

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