Some of the most popular accessories for heavy-duty pickup trucks, especially those outfitted with a lift kit, are running boards. Not only can they add a sense of style or flair to your vehicle, but they’ll also play the important role of helping you and others get in and out of the cab. The real trick to these accessories is finding the right option. There are countless products out there, and it can be difficult to comb through them all.
At Ultimate Rides, we deal with running boards on a regular basis. That’s because we are a custom auto dealer specializing in lifted trucks, and nothing goes with a lifted truck quite like some quality running boards. If you drive a Ram 2500 truck and are looking for a good set of running boards to install, you’re in the right place. Check out our list below for some recommendations, and contact us at Ultimate Rides if you’re interested in a custom truck, lift kit installation, and much more.
1. AMP Research PowerStep Electric Running Boards
Specs: 2018-2019 Ram 1500/2500/3500
If you have enough extra room in your budget, you can’t go wrong with a set of power running boards. Our personal favorite option for the Ram 2500 truck is this set from AMP Research. They are industry leaders when it comes to these power-assisted side steps, and while they aren’t cheap, you’ll be able to rely on getting plenty of good use out of the system in the years to come. The setup includes stainless steel pivots, self-lubricating bushings, and an electrical system that deploys the steps any time you open your doors. It’s the kind of convenience drivers used to dream of, and it’s available for your Ram 2500 pickup right now.
2. Rough Country HD2 Running Boards
Specs: Quad Cab 2002-2008 Ram 1500, 2003-2009 Ram 2500/3500
In recent years, no accessory manufacturer has turned their reputation around like Rough Country. Among lifted truck and off-road enthusiasts, their products used to be considered pretty lackluster. However, they have changed things to an extreme extent, and these running boards are a great example of that. Designed for older heavy-duty Ram trucks, these boards are equally heavy-duty. They’ll protect from small bouncing rocks and other potential damage to the lower side of your doors, and will also do a great job helping you and your passengers get in and out of the truck. These running boards even come with a limited lifetime warranty, so you can feel confident in their future durability.
3. Rough Country W2W Nerf Bar Hoop Steps
Specs: Crew Cab 2010-2018 Ram 2500/3500
The next entry on our list once again comes from Rough Country, but with a different design this time around. These running boards are made for heavy-duty Ram trucks from the model year 2010 through 2018, hopefully covering a wide range of our readers’ vehicles. With drop-down steps available on these nerf bars, they should be a great help on both standard-sized and lifted pickup trucks. The installation process should be quite easy as well, only taking up a minimal amount of your time. With Rough Country’s lifetime limited warranty backing the product up, you should have no fear purchasing these steps for your vehicle, as long as you’re sure the fitment is correct.
4. Tyger Auto Textured Black Star Armor Kit
Specs: 2009-2018 Ram 1500 Crew Cab; 2010-2022 2500/3500; 2019-2022 Classic Crew Cab
Another one of our favorite manufacturers for running boards and side steps is Tyger Auto. Their Black Star Armor design is a hit among drivers, especially those with an eye towards off-road action. The rugged design should fit right in on your heavy-duty pickup truck, and the stylish steps also make it much easier to get in and out. The company offers a hassle-free five-year warranty against defects, so you’ll be all set if you do happen to find an issue with the product. Overall, we are confident you’re going to love everything the Star Armor running boards bring to your vehicle. Each side can support as much as 500 lbs., and you’ll find no shortage of tough style available here.
5. AMP Research PowerStep Electric Running Boards Plug N Play System
Specs: 2013-2015 Ram 1500/2500/3500
Lastly, we have another set of power running boards for you to consider from AMP Research. The design is nearly identical to the first recommendation on our list, with the only major difference being the fitment setup. These power side steps are designed to fit on Ram trucks from 2013 through 2015. The product was not only designed but also manufactured right here in the United States. That means you can support domestic industry while also buying some of the absolute best running boards available for your Ram pickup. If you’re confident that the extra cost is worth the power-deployable feature, this is easily the first product we’d encourage you to look into. Make sure everything fits, and then feel free to pick up a set.
Choosing the Best Side Steps
The process of picking out running boards or side steps may seem straightforward on the surface. However, if you want to get the most out of your money and make sure you don’t end up wasting time on a return, take some time to really think about what you’re buying. First, it’s worth noting that running boards are designed with specific vehicle models and model years in mind. You may even have to choose something based on the size of your cab.
Beyond those compatibility issues, there’s also the matter of quality. Not all running boards are made with the same quality of materials. Some are going to hold up better over time than others. Make sure to keep an eye out for reliable materials such as steel in your running boards.
There are also different styles for you to consider. Some running boards are a simple set of flat metal, while others are rounded with grip on top to place your feet firmly. Choosing a style comes down to personal preference. What look are you trying to achieve on your Ram 2500 truck? Figure out your budget and spend a good amount of time shopping around until you find just the right fit.
Are Running Boards Worth It on the Ram 2500?
The answer to this question might be different for every person asking. You are truly the only person who can decide if a setting of running boards is worth it for your truck. However, you should know that there are a number of advantages to these accessories, especially for those driving lifted vehicles. While you may or may not have trouble getting in and out of your lifted truck, you’re not the only person to think about. Friends and family members will likely spend some time in your vehicle as well, and you want to make sure entry and exit are manageable for them.
Running boards or side steps can add a lot to the safety of your pickup truck. Many of us have taken a spill climbing out of a truck in the past, and that’s something that the right set of side steps can help avoid. Take a look at the options available to you for your pickup, and then decide if it’s worth it for you!
Installing Running Boards on a Dodge Ram 2500 Truck
Depending on the specific boards you choose, the installation process for running boards or side steps can be easy or quite difficult. Basic sets usually only require a couple of hours, some basic tools, and a safe space to work. We’d encourage you to read up on the process before you begin. From there, you can decide if it’s something you want to tackle at home, or if it’s worth it to contact some helpful professionals that can safely handle installation for you.
Those of you who opted for a set of power running boards, you should expect an even more difficult installation process. While many of the options are plug-n-play, that’s not always as easy as it sounds. Look up some videos on installing the specific running boards you ordered. That should give you a good idea of whether the installation job is in your wheelhouse or not.