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How To Manually Retract RV Steps

Since RV’s tend to be so large, having steps that lead to the door are essential. However, once you’re ready to hit the road, these stairs ought to be able to fold up and pack away easily. 

When these steps run into a hiccup and won’t work, it’s not just a loss of convenience you’re facing. It can also make exiting or entering your RV unsafe. Sometimes, snags in the pin mechanisms might cause the RV steps to not retract. 

To manually retract RV steps, look for the mechanical device that controls the stair mechanisms. Remove the linkage pin, and proceed to slide the frame over to one side. Then, you can manually fold the steps in and secure them. 

How To Manually Retract RV Steps 

When your steps will not retract in your RV, it can be difficult to hit the road again with a sound mind. You may worry about the steps breaking off, or damaging another vehicle. In fact, depending on where you are driving, it very well could be illegal to have them out. 

To Manually Retract Your RV Steps 

  1. Look beneath the steps. You might have to get on the ground for this. Under the steps, you’ll find a mechanism that controls the stair’s motion. 
  2. On this device, you’ll see a thin metal pin sticking out from the frame. This will likely be on one side of the device. Remove this pin.
  3. Next, take out the linkage pin. This is the area where the first pin you removed was inserted. Your model might not have a linkage pin, and would instead have a bolt. IN that case, just disconnect the bolt. 
  4. When you do this, the step linkage will immediately release. Now you can slide the frame over to one side. 
  5. Now you should be able to manually push in the stairs. 
  6. Secure the stairs with rope, ties, or zip ties. 

Make sure you have all of the tools you might need to do this. Consider having clasps handy, as they’ll help to disarm the smaller pieces. 

This is just a quick fix, and will not entirely repair the stairs in the event that they are broken. You will want to contact a repair professional who can accurately alleviate the problem. It will get tiresome to do this process every time you want to manually retract your RV steps, and the problem could worsen with time. 

Every make and model of RV steps will be different. Between manufacturer to manufacturer, you’ll find variances in build, material, and weight. Keep this in consideration when you are manually retracting RV steps. 

Can You Manually Retract Electric RV Steps? 

Unfortunately, it might be too difficult to manually retract electric RV steps. They have complex mechanisms and will not budge to being shoved in. Electrical steps use a long threaded rod that is turned by the motor to move. The only thing that will release the stairs is moving these treads. 

One solution you could try is going underneath your stairs and removing a cotter pin, followed by a larger drive pin. The drive pin is what connects the motor linkage to the steps. Doing so might make it easier to push the stairs back in and secure them. 

Reach out to a repair specialist as soon as possible to get these fixed. 


RV steps are one of the basic essentials of RV living. Without them, you would have a huge climb to get up to the door, and a jump heading down. While the idea of leaping to a portable deck from your RV might sound fun, it can be dangerous– and inconvenient. 

If your RV steps aren’t retracting, you can manually retract them by removing two sets of pins from the underside mechanism. After sliding the frame to the side, you should be able to securely close the steps. 

If you have mechanical steps, the process is more complicated. Ideally, you should call a repair technician to fix them. In a bind, you can try to disconnect the stairs from the motor that moves them. 

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