Not so long ago, RV owners cited wobbly, unstable steps that pose a safety hazard as a common concern.
Lippert addressed these concerns four years ago with the introduction of its Solid Step RV steps, which are available through both OE and aftermarket channels. The sturdy, safe and easy-to-use RV replacement steps address a host of potential challenges for customers, according to Steve Paul, Lippert’s director of sales.
“There were several things we wanted to accomplish with the Solid Step,” he says. “We wanted to make sure the steps were secure when you walked in and out of the RV. We wanted a nice landing pad that you could see easily, and even-step transitions all the way to the ground. We also wanted a step that installed easily and was easy to fold and unfold.”
The Solid Step was specifically designed to meet those specifications. The product’s extra-wide 13-inch top step and 8.5-inch subsequent steps provide an even step pattern all the way to the ground. The Solid Step comes in double, triple, or quad configurations to accommodate the step height of available RVs. Notably, the product’s adjustable legs adapt to uneven surfaces, while recessed feet at the bottom eliminate tripping hazards. Mounting and installation hardware come with the product to install it into an RV’s existing entry door threshold. And it folds up into the doorway for travel.
“The larger step sizes give a more residential feel as people enter and leave the RV,” Paul says. “The varied sizes accommodate different doorway widths and heights. We created the double, triple, and quad steps to keep a standard and consistent step pattern from the doorway threshold to the ground. The Solid Step comes with an adjustable latch to catch the doorframe when storing the steps inside the unit.”
The product helps the company provide a “Good, Better, Best” aftermarket step offering for RVers, adds Paul. LCI offers standard steel repair-and-replace aftermarket steps. Its heavier duty Alumi-Tread manual steps with nicer oversized treads are an upgrade to its standard steps. And the Solid Step is its premium step offering.
“The Solid Step is a great option,” he adds. “It does a great job of meeting the needs of the customer and addressing all of the challenges of traditional steps.”
Find the Right Step
The company simplifies Solid Step selection with detailed measuring directions and videos on its website.
RVers need just two quick measurements to pick their step. First, measure the height from the ground to the RV entry door threshold. The RV needs a double step with heights of 22 to 28 inches; a triple step for heights of 27 to 36 inches; and a quad step for heights of 34 to 44 inches.
RVers then simply measure the inside edge from left to right of their entry door frame and round up to the nearest even number. If the measurement is less than 30 inches, the RV requires a narrow Solid Step. If it’s 30 inches or more, the unit needs a wide Solid Step.
Installation is equally easy, according to Paul, noting an RVer can install the product themselves or have a qualified dealer install it.
“Customers can install the Solid Step if they are handy, but most people don’t want to mess with drilling or screwing anything into their RV,” Paul says. “Installation takes around one hour at the dealership.”
Solid Step Add-Ons
LCI has followed the Solid Step debut with other products designed to enhance the Solid Step experience.
The company’s Entry Assist Handrail offers added support when entering and exiting the RV. The durable, powder-coated handrail accessory is available for Generation 3 Tri or Quad Solid Steps and comes with adjustable locking pins, mounting brackets and installation hardware.
“Our handrail attaches easily and removes easily when the step goes back inside the unit,” Paul says. “We designed it to be removable because sometimes you cannot leave the handrail on when storing the steps inside.”
LCI also created an All-Weather Floor Tray to collect debris that drops from the Solid Step during storage. The versatile 28-1/4-inch wide by 20-inch-deep tray also serves as a dirty shoe depository or a place to put pet food and water dishes to keep water and food off the RV floor.
“We wanted to create something a customer could lie inside the unit to collect anything on the step, be it water, moisture or dirt, when they store the step inside,” he says. “It doubles as a shoe tray or dog dish tray while you’re camping.”
Customers also can purchase a Lift Assist Kit to raise and lower the Solid Step with ease.
The Lift Assist Kit comes in two sizes: The Narrow Lift Assist fits entry widths 25 to 28.9 inches, while the Wide Lift Assist fits entry widths 29 to 32 inches. The product’s integrated gas strut takes the weight off the Solid Step to make it safer, easier, and more convenient to handle when setting up or taking down.
LCI also introduced the Solid Step Storage Box to fill the void left if a customer chooses to remove the existing step when installing a Solid Step. The 27.27-inch by 11.31-inch by 13.75- inch storage box holds up to 100 pounds of gear and mounts in the space once occupied by the original RV steps.
Selling the Solid Step & Accessories
“There are a lot of customers who are not educated on the option to upgrade their RV steps,” says Paul. LCI helps dealers educate customers on their options by offering a new working display that shows the Solid Step and accessories, along with entry door upgrades such as the Screen Defender, Thin Shade, and Screen Shot automatic door closer.
“Not only can dealers show customers a step upgrade, but they can show them other ways to upgrade their unit in a single display,” Paul says. “The display features the step, the handrail, the floor tray, and all the upgrade options for entry doors.”
Paul says LCI goes the extra mile by putting all owners’ manuals, step-by-step installation instructions, and FAQs for these upgrades on its website and YouTube channel.
“We also offer a state-of-the-art customer service call center to handle any customer questions,” he says. “And we are proud of the fact that we offer a technical training group to make sure our dealers are up to speed on the product, its installation and its features.”