How To Fit Caravan Steps

It is essential to have safe, secure, and fitted steps that you can depend on when entering and exiting your caravan. Steps that are easily accessible when you need them make owning a caravan even more enjoyable. As you consider this proposition, it is crucial to know how to fit the right type of steps to your caravan. 

To fit caravan steps you will need to mark where the steps are to be attached to the caravan, you will need to screw the bolts into place making sure the steps are secure and fitted tightly. If you are installing fold away steps make sure they have room to fold away.

If you have been looking to install fitted steps to your caravan, the following information should help guide you. This guide will help you determine what type of steps to buy and how to correctly fit them into your caravan. 

Can You Fit Steps to a Caravan?

Most caravans do permit steps to be fitted to them. For some, you will need to do a replacement because steps were already attached at some point in the past.

For caravans that have never had fitted steps installed, you will need to do a bit more assembly to get everything correctly assembled. 

What Type of Steps Should I Use?

While it might seem simple to choose the steps for your caravan, there is quite a lot that goes into making the right decision. Much of it has to do with what feels right to you while also considering the type of terrain and environment you find yourself most.

There are a few tips that should help guide you to making the correct choice in the end. 

Are Fold Away or Fixed Steps Better?

This is once again an issue that comes down to personal preference and needs. Many caravan owners like the added convenience of fitted or fixed steps. You will not have to worry about having a place to store the steps. They also tend to last longer and are more durable than those that fold away. 

It is also important to consider where you will store your steps. While many fold-away steps can fit into a small area, you will always have to remember to take them with you. On the other hand, fitted steps are secure to the caravan once you have correctly installed them. 

Should You Get a Single or Double Step?

The most basic caravan step involves a platform consisting of either one or two steps. A single-step system has the built-in advantage of being smaller, making it lightweight and easy to move when needed.

If you have a small caravan, you will be thankful that you have this type of setup. Since they are not fitted, you will likely be storing them inside the caravan with you. 

Some advantages of a single-step setup include:

  • Easy storage inside the caravan
  • Can be stored under the caravan when necessary

A disadvantage of the single-step system is that the step itself tends to be higher. As a result, you might find that it is not as stable as you would like, and there will be more strain placed directly on your knees. 

If you are considering double steps for your caravan, you should know that they are challenging to move into place. This is because they are bigger than a single step and are designed differently. However, there are some advantages to this system, including:

  • Some double steps can be folded and put away underneath your caravan. 
  • Double steps are much more stable because they are a bit more shallow than single steps. 

Choosing which type of step is best for you will require you to know your occupants and your storage needs. Weigh the advantages versus the disadvantages of each and then choose accordingly. 

What About Accessibility?

It is always important to consider accessibility issues when choosing steps for your caravan. The stronger and more durable the steps are, the better off you and your passengers will be in the end. When it comes to the legs, the following should be taken into consideration:

  • Legs that splay outwards tend to be rated better.
  • Each leg should have either a rubber foot or peg.
  • The base should be broad to increase overall stability. 

How to Fit Caravan Steps

To begin, you must determine what type of fitted steps are most appropriate for your caravan. 

Should the Steps be Soft or Hard?

When you shop for caravan steps, you will probably discover that many of them are made of a combination of metal and alloy. Surprisingly, aluminium steps are quite durable for this purpose. The material is resistant to rust.

You will find these steps also to be

  • Lightweight
  • Hard
  • Durable

One thing to consider is cost. Aluminum steps will be a most more costly than plastic. While plastic steps come with an inherent disadvantage in that they typically do not fold up, they also have the following benefits:

  • They are light and easy to move around.
  • The manufacturer can strengthen them with ribs to provide additional support.
  • Plastic steps are easy to clean, making them ideal in inclement weather. 

Again, choosing between soft and hard steps will come down to you weighing the pros and cons of each. If you are looking solely at cost, soft plastic steps may be the way to go. However, if you are looking for steps that can adapt to changing environments more easily, hard steps made up of aluminum will be difficult to beat. 

The next part of the process involves the tread. 

What Type of Tread is Best?

Tread is essential, no matter if you choose a fitted or non-fitted step system for your caravan. To ensure that you remain safe in any type of weather, you will want to ensure that the step has a non-slip tread. This is true no matter if you choose a single or double-step system. 

Three common types of tread that work well for caravan steps are:

  • Rubber treadplates
  • Metal mesh tread
  • Molded tread

You may also find other surface types that will work, as long as they are non-slip. It is also helpful to put some kind of visual strip on the tread to be easily seen in the dark. This is particularly helpful if you park in an area that is not well lit at night. 

Why Caravans Have Handles On The Back
Why Caravans Have Handles On The Back

Once you have decided what type of steps you would like to have for your caravan, it is time to fit them. To make that decision, you will need to keep the following in mind when it comes to your door size:

  • Door frames from 26”-29.9” need a step that is 26” wide. 
  • Door frames from 30”-36” need a 30” wide step. 

If you are replacing old steps, then you will first want to remove them. Once you have done that, you will need to following equipment to complete the installation:

  • Screwdriver
  • A cordless or electric drill (a screw gun will work as well)
  • The right size drill bit
  • Hex key
  • Tape Measure
  • Screws
  • Bolts
  • Socket wrench
  • Gloves (if you are installing metal stairs to prevent getting cut)

With this equipment, you can pretty much install any type of steps that are designed to be fitted to your caravan. Since every step system is different, you will want to follow the instruction manual for your particular purchase. Once you have everything attached to the caravan, you want to make sure everything is secure and stable. 

Make sure that your steps fold away nicely and that they come down as far as possible when you put them into use. You also want to make sure everything folds away out of the elements as much as possible in order to minimize dirt and rocks that kick up while driving. 

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