As practical as pickup trucks are, there’s no denying it can be tough to get into the rear bed at times, especially if the chassis has a lift kit, further raising the bed height. While truck makers have addressed this issue at various times with “step-side” variants, in-bumper steps, and fancy tailgates, aftermarket solutions have historically seemed to be limited to packing a stepladder or a sturdy crate with your kit and using it as needed. It’s not a bad solution, but one that can be tricky on uneven or soft ground or useless if you forget to bring it.
Utah-based Rock Slide Engineering has come up with a more elegant solution called the R-Step, which is a self-contained two-step mini-ladder that neatly folds into a compact undercarriage-mounted casing when not in use, so it comes along on every trip by default. It comes in two sizes: a 9-inch wide version for $499.99 and a 16-inch wide model for $549.99. A $200 mounting kit may also be required, depending on your fitment needs, but the company says they are “developing platform-specific brackets for a bolt-on application.”
Rock Slide says the company designed the R-Step “to provide a comfortable approach for getting safely in and out of your truck bed when hooking up a trailer or retrieving gear.” Seems like it would also be very handy for loading in gear and just easing general access to the truck bed.
The R-Step features a precision folding mechanism and both steel and aluminum construction with bare metal components and some black powder coating. It folds neatly into a shallow protective box that mounts to the vehicle. You can see it in action on their Instagram page. The company does not currently list a weight limit for the R-Step.
Rock Slide Engineering shows the R-Step as “shipping soon.” Check their site for updates.