I worried about this for some time also but today was the day of reckoning and I decided to install per Van's method with a #30 locate hole above and and below, and if the time comes where I ever need to remove the step, I will either open the holes up to to 3/4" to gain access to the bolt & nut, or just cut out and install an access plate at that time. I will re-weld the crappy current welds on the steps prior to permanent installation so they will probably never need to come out,,,,, and if they do its no big deal. I have found with the previous plane I built that those little added ounces you add here and there add up quick and I am trying to keep this one light.
RV-10: #41686 Under Construction
RV-9A: #90949 Under Construction
RV-10: #40637 Completed/Sold 2016
Cozy MKIV:#656 Completed/Sold 2007
"Donor Exempt" but donated through Dec. 2020