bikeryder

Updating Drab Looking Entry Well Stairs - 2003 Monaco Cayman 36PBD

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I’ve owned my 2003 Monaco Cayman for about 2 1/2 years. In recent months I have ventured to various RV dealers for the sole purpose of getting idea to update my lack luster, unappealing - boring entry stairwell. As a result I was very impressed with Tiffans Alegro Bus entry stair wells. 

Currently I've begun demolition work by removing drab looking carpeting on motorized sliding floor cover, stair treads and risers, and have removed carpeting on 1 of 2 side walls of stairwell [pictures uploaded]. I have not yet started demolition work [carpet removal] on the other side wall of stairwell due to metal slide rail partially [about 2”, see pic] covering the carpeted area.

so... here are my concerns as I plow on. Removing the carpet from under this metal slide rail will be a task for sure, but I do believe I can get it done. However, getting new material behind this metal slide rail is where I’m stumped. I am clueless on how to gain access [if required] to remove the sliding floor cover, for the purpose of installing new wall panels in stair well.

Lastly, can anyone suggest a supplier of high end marble like materials used for stairwell treads on motorcoaches such as Tiffans?

Any and all suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Eddie :rolleyes:

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Bikeryder,

Removing the cover shouldn't be too hard.  I've had mine off before.  Extend it out then look under it at the mechanism.

Have you thought about doing this to your entry?  Contact "Erniee" on this forum.  He did ours and may be willing to give you tips on how to do yours.

Blake

 

steps 1.JPEG

steps 2.JPEG

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If at all possible please add a picture of the marble entry way that you would like to try to mimic. Please be advised that the flimsy looking substrate that is in your pictures will allow the marble to flex too much, and real marble is very brittle and will crack very soon unless you beef it up quite a bit. Granite is considerably tougher than marble and will hold up much longer than marble, and many beautiful patterns and colors are available. With all this said, I'm sure that there will be a cabinet dealer that either sells granite or can point you in the right direction to find someone near you that can cut and shape granite or marble to fit your needs. With any rock product, you will need to build the base into a good backing by using a good cement backer board, which will add both weight to the side of your coach that might be unwanted. There are many plastic laminates available, "Formica" is a brand that I only use the name to illustrate what I am referring to. This again is familiar to the cabinet suppliers in all areas. Corian is another option, which is synthetic, looks good, and is much easier to work with, and can be applied much thinner, than real stone. Good luck hunting. Blake was typing while I was, so beat me to the idea of using wood. Please be aware that the entry is or can be a very slippery place to use real stone on the steps, and those rubber treads in his picture are a very good idea.

 

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8 hours ago, blakeloke said:

Bikeryder,

Removing the cover shouldn't be too hard.  I've had mine off before.  Extend it out then look under it at the mechanism.

Have you thought about doing this to your entry?  Contact "Erniee" on this forum.  He did ours and may be willing to give you tips on how to do yours.

Blake

 

steps 1.JPEG

steps 2.JPEG

Blake,

Thank you so much, I just now took a peek under the sliding step cover. As you stated, the mechanism was right before my eyes 👀 . Can I assume once the mechanical arm has been detached the sliding step will not fight me in coming forward and out? What type of wood paneling/flooring did you use on the stairwell walls? Yours looks awesome!

Eddie

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Blake,

I have had my step cover out before. What I can not remember is the wood of the entry steps over sheet metal? If so then the 1/2 inch plywood ( that is what it looks to be ) should be suffice to carry the weight. IMHO

Herman  

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kaypsmith, I appreciate your input very much. I’ll definitely post some picks of the type of higher end tread materials I’ve seen. BTW, I did some searching for a rubber tread material similar to what Blake had installed in his coach. The problem is that my stair tread is over 13 1/2” wide, the rubber treads I’ve noticed are either 12 1/4” or 12 1/2” wide. Also when I add the riser panels the width of the tread will increase by the thickness of riser panels. This project is going to be enjoyable, I just need to do my homework and proper prep work, and all should be good. Again, thanks for your valuable input...

Eddie 🙃

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Well I’ve removed the opening and closing mechanism rod arm, that was very easy. Now I cannot figure out how to release whatever it is that is stopping the metal roller slides from going beyond the end of roller slides. I know there must be some sort of tab that needs to be pushed, but I cannot find it. Other than is hiccup, I will be able to extract the slide cover...

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If you use the same riser panels on each tread the bottom step will be decreased by the thickness of the panel, the rest of the steps will remain the same as they are now. Some decorative trim can be used at the back of the step covers, and can be made from granite or marble if that is what will be used for the back panels. Also if you do use stone, or hardwood, you can get the adhesive backed narrow tread layovers. Safety is my only concern for using anything made of stone. One more thought, for risers, you might think about mirrored stainless steel, looks beautiful and can be ordered on ebay in 20 or 16 gauge. It is very forgiving with flex and very easy to keep clean. 

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manholt   

That's what I need, mine are starting to look bad. 

When I had the Allegro Bus, I had to put in some strips of no slip, sand paper....the stone was very slippery, when wet.  Looks pretty, but just Bling, totally useless!

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17 hours ago, hermanmullins said:

Blake,

I have had my step cover out before. What I can not remember is the wood of the entry steps over sheet metal? If so then the 1/2 inch plywood ( that is what it looks to be ) should be suffice to carry the weight. IMHO

Herman  

Herman,

Trying to remember thickness of the plywood at the entry steps.  I believe it was 3/4".  I'm sure Ernie knows.  I don't remember seeing any sheet metal and the steps are very solid.  

Blake

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Blake,

I remember that the bottom step had metal under it since the Kwikee step was attached to it. I will check this Spring when it is warm enough to crawl under and look. I do plan on redoing our entry soon. I would like to use the same tread Erniee used on yours with Mirror finish S/S.  

Said it before and will say it again. "ERNIEE does beautiful work!"

And Now

    Happy New Year to all !!!!!

Herman

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Herman,

I agree.  Ernie does excellent work and he's a great guy.  When I was there helping to finish up the demo on our coach, Ernie showed me the entry on his Bluebird Wonderlodge (he's since traded that for a Prevost).  Anyway he had installed the mirror finish that you described.  It looked great!

Happy New Year to you too and pray for warmer weather.

Blake

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The bottom tread is usually steel, but .125 / 1/8 inch, still too springy for stone, any movement with stone with weight on it, will crack.

The underside of the plywood on the remaining steps and risers is normally overlaid with not much more than 26 gauge metal for the purpose of sealing out water so that the plywood underneath will not rot or delaminate.

The Kwikee steps are attached to angle steel that is attached underneath to hold weight of the movable steps. By the way, stone is beautiful, I have 50% of my coach covered with absolute black granite, was used for beauty and also for the purpose of balancing the load within the coach in order to help balance the load between the four corners, and also to help do away with the top heavy feel of the coach while driving without a load. Happy new year to all.

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jleamont   

Bikeryder, post some photos of what you are considering. Ours is ugly also, it's on my list for this winter if the temps can get out of the teens :wacko:.

Im considering the look Blake has, even though we still have carpet I might just do the staircase in wood. My factory treads are lifting.

 

 

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kaypsmith, Sorry I’ve been busy working the stairwell all weekend. I was only able to find one example of stair tread and riser material that I like, unfortunately it’s not very good being it was taken in less than optimal lighting. I’ll attach 2 pics of the same coach.

Eddie 

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I almost forgot to mention my progress. The good news; I was successful in removing the sliding stairwell cover. After gaining access I easily determined what had gone wrong the the sliding track mechanism. A few screws had worked their out and as a result the sliding cover had a mind of its own, getting stuck or not opening at all. After obtaining slightly larger screws, all is now secure. The remaining side panel of carpet has now been removed. I’m at the point now where until I decide on what material to install I can go no farther... Updated pics uploaded...

Eddie

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Great looking entrance. The material does appear to be Corian. This is a solid surface product made by the Dupont company. It is the same material that most countertops were and still are made from which is used on most new coaches today. The good news about the material is that it can be worked with the same woodworking tools used by cabinet makers today. In other words, a good saw with a fine tooth blade will cut it just fine, just don't crowd it. It can be shaped with a hand held router to inset the led lighting, and a good bullnose bit to round over the edges. It is rather expensive but well worth it. The coloring goes all the way through the material, meaning that if it does get scratched, some two thousand grit sandpaper will easily take the scratches out and four thousand to polish back to a lustrous shine. It can be glued onto the wood that is currently in place without any additional backing. Again most cabinet supply sources will be able to order it for you, or check ebay or Amazon. Corian is the name of the substance, if you can get a small piece in advance to just do a little practice on, it will be well worth your time, unless you already have cabinet making experience. Good luck with the project and keep us up to date. I forgot to mention that there is a special solvent based adhesive used much like PVC cement to join it together that looks like that it is just a single piece.

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kaypsmith, thanks so much for your very detailed explanation of the Corian material. I’m assuming by the “lack of any caution” in your response, this Corian material will not be too heavy for installation in a stairwell & should hold up well with vehicle sways and jolts as traveling down the road. With the type and branding of raw materials now known, I can focus on coloring etc. Thank you to all who have responded and taken an interest in my stairwell entry upgrade. 

Eddie 👍

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manholt   

Eddie.  Welcome to 2018.

My floor is tile, backsplash also.  Everything else, including window sills, is Corian!  Have had no problem with it, in this coach, or the previous 2.  It's everything Kay say's it is! :):wub:

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Eddie, yes it is a much better choice than natural "rock", 1/2 inch thick is the best thickness and will definitely withstand the jolts better and about 1/3 the weight of rock. As I said several times before, be sure to put some nonskid on the treads for safety because this material is also slick when wet. The picture that you showed has that also, and is inlaid which tends to make the looks more appealing, and Corian is easy to do this to. Be sure to use a good urethane floor adhesive to attach to the existing plywood. Kay

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Erniee   

On one of my Bluebirds I thought adding granite to the stairs would make it look sharp.

It did, till I slid down them with wet feet. Went back to the rubber treads

Roppe does make the treads in a wider format.

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Wow, what a wealth of knowledge you’ve all freely shared on this topic. FMCA members and this forum are a true blessing for newbies like myself [not sure if obtaining my first RV 2 1/2 years ago is still considered a newbie ?]. Getting back to obtaining materials for my stairwell entry.  I think I’m going to begin searching out custom cabinet makers who install Corian counter tops, as I do not have any tooling for cutting or routing rounded corners. I want to perform the install myself after material has been obtained and cut to the various required sizes and shapes.

BTW, 2 1/2 years ago after I had just purchased my 2003 Monaco Cayman, I stumbled upon the FMCA website. Then doing a quick search under Monaco Cayman I noticed a very concerning posting under faulty rear trailing arms. With printed copies in hand I went back to the dealership where I purchased my RV, and to my great surprise the dealership replaced these questionable rear trailing arms [at no cost to me] with the heavy duty replacement trailing arms manufacturered from Source Engineering. I wasn’t expecting such wonderful customer service considering I just purchased a used RV.

FMCA really saved me [and others around me] from potential disaster out their on America’s highways. So I immediately became an FMCA member.

Eddie

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On ‎1‎/‎1‎/‎2018 at 6:44 AM, Erniee said:

On one of my Bluebirds I thought adding granite to the stairs would make it look sharp.

It did, till I slid down them with wet feet. Went back to the rubber treads

That's why I try to caution about these conditions also. Now for another statement, if one does not want to put skid runners on the steps and just want take chances, there is a commercial floor finish, it's not called wax, but does the same job as wax, Johnson wax company makes it and can only be obtained at a janitorial supply, not many will sell in small quanity but well worth trying. This is called non-slip floor finish, the product needs to be buffed very frequently with the use of a spray bottle to apply very small amount just pryor to buffing, it will buff back to a very lustrous shine and looks great. Your rubber or leather sole shoes will not slide if you use this product, even wet. Same stuff that hospitals and other industrial establishments use. I'm not trying to sell this product, and other companies may offer the same stuff, but I have not seen it offered in any box stores.

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Eddie,

Even if you call yourself a "newbie" I'm sure you can share experiences and learnings on this Forum.  So, go for it if you feel inclined!

Our neighbors have a Phaeton that has a beautiful entry similar to the one you posted.  What I like about their entry is that it's much wider than ours.  Easier to get groceries up and certainly easier to pack and unpack items such as bedding, comforters and blankets.

I noticed in the pictures of your entry that you don't have entry step lights.  If you're going to add lighting, like the picture you sent of the rope lighting, or something simpler like the 12v ones we have, you might work on installing the electricity in advance.  You could probably tie it into something like your porch light.  That way you have the switch already and don't have to add a new switch in an odd spot.

Blake

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