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We have a Milenco double aluminium step that has developed a dangerous fault.

I have contacted Milenco and shared the pictures I show here, but I have had no response, not even an acknowledgement of my email..

I am posting this here to warn others and suggest they check their steps for the same issue. This is something that has been seen before and posted on this forum some time ago. See: Previous post

 

It would appear to me there is a weak point on these steps on the side rail where the tube has been drilled to rivet the front of the step. This is the point where you put your most weight when stepping out of the van. According to Milenco's website these steps are rated to 200kg. I weigh 123kg, so under the rated value, but as you step down on the front edge of the top step the force may be nearer that 200kg limit.

 

Please check your own steps. I would hate for someone to have a serious accident.

 

I will update if I get any response from Milenco.

If I don't I may take this up with Trading Standards.

 

Stay safe

IMG_20200821_163109_1.thumb.jpg.e3d7766dc0cc92d5dbbe2744f22f95c7.jpgIMG_20200821_163101.thumb.jpg.e17011b51029106d66374f2045aecf31.jpgIMG_20200821_163123.thumb.jpg.83ad93b6f67120631fc0e718d3650d6f.jpg

Edited by AndyK159
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Did they break with your weight? 

Graham

 

Unless otherwise stated all posts are my personal opinion 

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How old is the step? Particularly in terms of number of days use.

Aluminium is always prone to fatigue cracking, and eventually a crack at this point is almost inevitable, but should only be after a considerable amount of use.

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1 minute ago, Stevan said:

How old is the step? Particularly in terms of number of days use.

Aluminium is always prone to fatigue cracking, and eventually a crack at this point is almost inevitable, but should only be after a considerable amount of use.

If that is the case then Milenco should be putting a warning on the product to this effect.

 

The step is only a couple of years old BTW.

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8 minutes ago, AndyK159 said:

If that is the case then Milenco should be putting a warning on the product to this effect.

 

The step is only a couple of years old BTW.

Only a couple of years holiday use is worrying, it should only happen after enough use to be considered to be normal wear and tear.

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24 minutes ago, AndyK159 said:

We have a Milenco double aluminium step that has developed a dangerous fault.

I have contacted Milenco and shared the pictures I show here, but I have had no response, not even an acknowledgement of my email..

I am posting this here to warn others and suggest they check their steps for the same issue. This is something that has been seen before and posted on this forum some time ago. See: Previous post

 

It would appear to me there is a weak point on these steps on the side rail where the tube has been drilled to rivet the front of the step. This is the point where you put your most weight when stepping out of the van. According to Milenco's website these steps are rated to 200kg. I weigh 123kg, so under the rated value, but as you step down on the front edge of the top step the force may be nearer that 200kg limit.

 

Please check your own steps. I would hate for someone to have a serious accident.

 

I will update if I get any response from Milenco.

If I don't I may take this up with Trading Standards.

 

Stay safe

IMG_20200821_163109_1.thumb.jpg.e3d7766dc0cc92d5dbbe2744f22f95c7.jpgIMG_20200821_163101.thumb.jpg.e17011b51029106d66374f2045aecf31.jpgIMG_20200821_163123.thumb.jpg.83ad93b6f67120631fc0e718d3650d6f.jpg

Thank you for posting the warning.

 

macafee2 

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Just stepped out and checked mine... it is probably nine or ten years old now and when not in use, lives under the caravan on the drive.

 

There are visible cracks or fractures and the only thing of note is one the pop rivet heads (where the fracture is in the above image) is absent.

 

Certainly something to look out for now alerted to it...

 

 

Edited by ReggiePerrin
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27 minutes ago, ReggiePerrin said:

Just stepped out and checked mine... it is probably nine or ten years old now and when not in use, lives under the caravan on the drive.

 

There are visible cracks or fractures and the only thing of note is one the pop rivet heads (where the fracture is in the above image) is absent.

 

Certainly something to look out for now alerted to it...

 

 

 

Did you mean NO cracks etc?

Had mine for many a year - no issues - no rivets.

Sam :beardy:   RR Sport HSE Dynamic towing Swift Elegance Grande 845

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2 hours ago, SamD said:

 

Did you mean NO cracks etc?

Had mine for many a year - no issues - no rivets.

:Thankyou:

 

I did indeed mean no cracks etc. 

 

fingers not keeping up with brain again :blink:

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The double step we use is similar to this https://www.qualitycaravans.com/accessories/pennine-double-steel-step-caravan Made from welded steel so not as prone as aluminium to stresses but it is thin walled square section. I do not know if they would take your weight though but you could consider getting something more robust specially made.

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28 minutes ago, Paul1957 said:

The double step we use is similar to this https://www.qualitycaravans.com/accessories/pennine-double-steel-step-caravan Made from welded steel so not as prone as aluminium to stresses but it is thin walled square section. I do not know if they would take your weight though but you could consider getting something more robust specially made.

 

The only problem with those on the link is that they have feet!  Feet do tend to dig in rather than two full length bars.

  • I agree completely 1

Sam :beardy:   RR Sport HSE Dynamic towing Swift Elegance Grande 845

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Hello macafee2,

These towsure steps are our preferred choice. As you screw the sections together to assemble the parts out of the box.

We find that a useful facility in winter time, is after cutting out to shape, we add a corrugated plastic step mat (just a cheap one) with holes cut to align with the original screws, which aids shoe cleaning when entering the van during winter time. (both steps can be made from one mat) They do not last, of course, but can be cut away again (or unscrewed) when the weather improves. However, I have to say that even this model of step, will in time show signs of 'bowing' at the leading step edge/side which can be countered by turning and refitting the step plates so that the stronger edges take the more weight. I know these are not cheap but the fold up facility is the main reason for its choice.

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We had one of those Milenco steps which gave us good service for almost 20 years. Then it suffered a catastrophic failure when my wife stepped out of the caravan while we were holiday in Germany 3 years ago. Fortunately no injuries, just mild shock.   Broke at one of the rivet points.   I did email Milenco who replied but basically weren't interested. Along the lines of  - What do you expect after 20 years? We lost confidence in that model and bought their double plastic step which has worked well up to now but we'll be keeping an eye on it, just in case!

John M

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2017 Skoda Superb Estate 2. 0 Tdi 190; 2014 Swift Challenger 530SE + Powrtouch Evolution

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8 hours ago, millerhouse12 said:

We had one of those Milenco steps which gave us good service for almost 20 years. Then it suffered a catastrophic failure when my wife stepped out of the caravan while we were holiday in Germany 3 years ago. Fortunately no injuries, just mild shock.   Broke at one of the rivet points.   I did email Milenco who replied but basically weren't interested. Along the lines of  - What do you expect after 20 years? We lost confidence in that model and bought their double plastic step which has worked well up to now but we'll be keeping an eye on it, just in case!

John M

 

They have a point!

We all have a responsibility to check that our equipment remains safe after extended use, even if there is no visible wear and tear.

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We have a Milenco double step but it is too wide to fit through the width of our new caravan door., meaning I'd have to twist and angle it to get it through, possibly scratching the door etc.

 

I stick with the standard plastic step that came with the caravan, which is perfectly fine for us now.

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21 hours ago, macafee2 said:

Thank you for posting the warning.

 

macafee2 

yes thanks. We have the same step for 5 years and still as good as new. Will keep an eye on it. 

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Just now, Tuningdrew said:

yes thanks. We have the same step for 5 years and still as good as new. Will keep an eye on it. 

 

You'll now be worrying about it everytime you step out of your caravan :D

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Placing a rivet fastener at a point on the tube that is clearly subject to the highest bending moment in the whole assembly is asking for trouble. Poor design just by looking at it.

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Of those people who have broken the Milenco Double step, how many are "heavy people" - say over 15stone?

The EU standards quoted EN1645/6 are general standards for leisure vehicles and mention the 200Kg figure. The 200Kg is unlikely to be the weight limit of a person as that would be 31stone. The OP has stated that he is 123Kg (over 19stone) and this weight especially when decending with stiff legs is going to be a considerable force, probably well over the 200Kg stated limit. The fatigue life of the step  will be reduced with a heavier load, and the velocity of that load. I agree with Lutz that the construction has an obvious inherent weakest point which will be the location of the failutre (as most designs do) and the design could have been stronger. I think the step is a good product economically made, which is adequate for normal use.  

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Ern

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Our Milenco double steps were bought when we started caravanning in 1997 (label still on the bottom and cost £14.99).

23 years on and still going strong - despite much use and abuse.

Lightweight, good height and doesn't sink in. Will check for cracks, so good to be aware.

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47 minutes ago, Ern said:

 I agree with Lutz that the construction has an obvious inherent weakest point which will be the location of the failutre (as most designs do) and the design could have been stronger. I think the step is a good product economically made, which is adequate for normal use.  

 

There is absolutely no need for a rivet at that location. The plastic step could have been designed with a retention hook under the tube to ensure that it is always positively located to the tube, thereby eliminating the need for a rivet hole altogether. Eliminating the rivet and the riveting operation would make it marginally cheaper, too.

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6 minutes ago, Lutz said:

 

There is absolutely no need for a rivet at that location. The plastic step could have been designed with a retention hook under the tube to ensure that it is always positively located to the tube, thereby eliminating the need for a rivet hole altogether. Eliminating the rivet and the riveting operation would make it marginally cheaper, too.

What plasic step?

Ern

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Our Milenco double step suffered the same failure earlier this year, it collapsed as I stepped out of the van, luckily no damage done. I have another newer set with the rubber treads on that we use now when we are away, the old ones were used when we were at home only.

 

Yes, all of us are a bit on the 'chunky' side so probably 8 years of repeated flexing caused the failure but I agree with Lutz that it is a weakness of design. The old steps did seem to be making more noise than usual before it went, obvoiusly the crack was propegating longer and longer. Still love the steps though they are the best ones we have had but I will be examining them more often from now on.

 

Dave.

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3 minutes ago, Ern said:

What plasic step?

 

The black bit with the 'MILENCO' logo, resting on top of the alumunium plate in the lower photograph (or is it rubber?).

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