Truck Camper Adventure Rig Gets New Running Boards

When it comes to your truck camper rig, change is sometimes warranted. Even the little things. The OEM running boards on our 2013 Ram 3500 were getting long in the tooth and were looking worn. Our new running board requirements were pretty simple: we wanted a black matte finish and wanted something that provided better footing that wasn’t quite so high as the OEM ones. Enter the iArmor Edge Drop Step Running Board by California-based Auto Parts Specialist (APS).

Why go with a running board in the first place? Aside from the stylish look, a well-designed running board should make it easier to get into and out of the truck. They should also protect your truck from road debris like dirt and rocks. This debris can be destructive if it comes into contact with your truck’s side panels and doors. A good running board should also help keep your truck clean by acting as a sort of a doormat before getting into your truck.

The iArmor Edge Drop Step Running Board design is pretty sleek. The steps feature a patented drop step design using 2-inch aluminum square tube, painted with a matte black powder-coated finish. The aluminum steps, which must be attached to the running board assembly, can support up to 300 pounds weight. The drop step design allows for easier access than the OEM running boards by being three inches lower. This works better for us by allowing us to stoop less when entering the truck. They also make getting out of the truck easier too. We paid $341 for our steps through Amazon.com.

The running boards are shipped in a long, 57-pound box with everything well-packaged to prevent damage during shipment. All of the parts were well-marked to make the installation quick and easy. We especially liked how the hardware was separated by job, meaning the running board assembly hardware was separated from the mounting hardware that is used to attach the running boards to the truck. We recommend keeping everything wrapped and packaged until you need them to prevent mixing the pieces and parts up during the installation. It’s important to keep the driver and passenger sides separated because they’re different, obviously.

Attached Drop Step.

The installation instructions are well-written and easy to understand. It’s important to read the directions fully to avoid any issues. For example, when the instructions say don’t fully tighten all nuts, they mean it. Final adjustments and tweaks were almost always needed.

Installation of the iArmor Edge required no drilling for our truck (but may with later models). Our truck already had threaded mounting holes and the required holes in the pinch welds. This made installation much easier and faster. You will need a bevy of tools to install the running boards, including two standard-size socket wrenches, a small socket wrench to get into tight corners, two 14 mm sockets, a 10mm socket, and a #4 hex key. Other size sockets are listed in the instructions though for our 2013 Ram 3500, those were the only sockets we needed. An 18 volt power driver can make speed up the assembly though the tight spaces and bends prevent it from being used in some cases.

Make sure the two alignment bolts are inserted and tightened before the nuts and bolts underneath are fully tightened.

Installing the running boards was fairly easy though time consuming. First, the four steps need to be attached to the running boards using eight nuts and bolts and two alignment screws on each. This process took a good hour to complete. Special T-bolts are used to attach the steps and to attach the running boards to the three main mounting brackets. The T-bolt is first inserted into the track and then turned to catch on the inside of the track. Assembly and attachment to the truck also requires a lot of washers so be prepared. Overall, the entire installation took 3.5 hours and that includes the time it took to remove the old nerf bars. Your installation might take longer if you don’t have the required threaded holes and pinch weld holes. Fortunately, we didn’t have to do anything extra to install the boards to the truck, which made the overall installation fairly easy.

Warning! If you have front fender flares you might have to do a little cutting to the flares in order for the running boards to fit. We have Bushwacker Fender Flares and needed to cut the bottom to provide enough from for the front of the running boards to be mounted.

Overall, we’re pretty happy with the look and functionality of the APS iArmor Edge Drop Step Running Board. No hiccups occurred during the installation, which is always a bonus, meaning all of the necessary parts were there. Better yet, everything fit and was delivered as advertied. This included a small bag of spare hardware, which we needed because we busted one T-bolt during the installation due to over tightening.

Assembled attachment brackets.
About Mello Mike 706 Articles
Mello Mike is an Arizona native, author, and the founder of Truck Camper Adventure. He's been RV'ing since 2002, is a certified RVIA Level 1 RV Technician, and has restored several Airstream travel trailers. A communications expert and licensed ham radio operator, he retired from the U.S. Navy in 2004 as a CWO3 after 24 years, worked in project management, and now runs Truck Camper Adventure full-time. He also does some RV consulting, repairs, and inspections on the side. He currently rolls in a 4WD Ram 3500 outfitted with a SherpTek truck bed with a Bundutec Roadrunner mounted on top. - KK7TCA

2 Comments

  1. I installed the same set on my Ram and the description is spot on. The hardest part was getting the T bolts all set up and the running board level before tightening it up. They look great and work well so far. Thanks

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