The Best Ram 1500 Running Boards

Updated on Mar 6, 2024

At RealTruck, we’re careful to stock all the best RAM 1500 running boards. Top brands we offer include AMP Research, Ionic, Go Rhino, APS, Steelcraft, Romik and more. This is a popular truck add-on, but there’s more to consider than merely finding the best RAM 1500 running boards, so if you’re curious about the best RAM 1500 nerf bars or the best RAM 1500 hoop steps, we carry those, too. Dodge even offers its own options, but most truck fans prefer to upgrade with aftermarket upgrades, and as such, there is a healthy demand for the vast selection of RAM 1500-compatible running boards at RealTruck. Stick around, and we’ll cover everything you’ll need to know before you make a purchase.

Why Running Boards?

Running boards are a great add-on that helps you get in and out of your truck or SUV with an extra step between the ground and your vehicle. A flat, wide surface with a nice grip that runs the length of the board gives you plenty of room to step where you like when you’re loading or unloading gear. Running boards also add a bit of personal style to your vehicle that helps you complete the look you’re going for, while helping you keep your interior cleaner and protecting your floorboards and door panels from dirt and scratches. They come in cab-length, wheel-to-wheel and even electric models that fold in and out with your doors. Hoop steps and nerf bars are slightly different but accomplish many of the same goals.

Top RAM 1500 Running Board Picks

When it comes to the best RAM 1500 running boards, we stock plenty of choices, so it can get a little overwhelming. Here are a few of our top picks for outfitting your Dodge RAM 1500:

An excellent combination of high quality and low cost, the 41 Series is made with extruded aluminum, stainless-steel trim and a 5-inch-wide step. The nonslip surface on top is safe, strong and reliable, marrying a streamlined, smooth look with durable functionality that you can rely on, with a limited lifetime warranty.

Prefer the tube look of a nerf bar over the platform style of a running board? If so, N-Fab has a great option that blends aspects of both. Heavy-duty, two-inch steel tubes are layered in black powder coating for corrosion resistance, with five-inch steps, stamped punch plates for extra traction and welded mounts.

If you want premium, galvanized, all-steel construction for superior strength and durability, you can’t go wrong with the RB20. Its welded, boxed-end design, high ground clearance and wide, tapered step includes a special tread pattern, no-drill installation and all the hardware. Sold in a pair, these are impact and corrosion resistant.

Mounting Configuration

So, what about mounting? Aside from step styles, materials, and finishes, steps come in two popular mounting styles: frame-mount and rocker-mount

We’d recommend frame-mount products for the avid off-roader or adventurer due to their immense strength and durability. Unlike rocker-mount steps, which bolt to thin sheet metal, frame-mount steps affix directly to your RAM’s durable, boxed steel frame, preventing bending, flexing, and fatigue even after repeated impacts and abrasions. While more durable, frame mount steps typically require moderate fabrication, including drilling or welding. 

Alternatively, rocker-mount steps bolt directly to your RAM’s rocker panels using pre-drilled holes in the chassis. Though not as sturdy as comparable frame-mount steps, rocker mount steps offer plenty of strength for street-driven applications, as most factory-installed running boards mount to your RAM’s rocker panels. They’re also far simpler to install, but don’t expect them to hold up on the trail!

Off-Road Considerations

Running boards mount parallel to the body of the vehicle, and some take up more space than others. Unless you’re super into hardcore off-road activities like rock crawling – a situation that might require looking into rock sliders – or other situations that could cause you to scrape up or hammer down on your boards, running boards are compatible with most any lifestyle, so deciding is pretty subjective, meaning that the best RAM 1500 nerf bars are those that both fit perfectly and match your favorite look. RealTruck stocks more than a million products, so it’s a great place to start browsing all the best RAM 1500 nerf bars, the best RAM 1500 hoop steps and the best of any style of running board that could interest you.

Aluminum vs. Steel

When deciding whether to go with aluminum or steel running boards, your primary consideration is the weight – both of what you put on them and of the running boards themselves. Aluminum is lightweight and resistant to corrosion, so no matter what environments your truck encounters, aluminum could be a great choice. However, if you prefer a heavier-duty board/bar/step/hoop that can handle more weight, is naturally corrosion resistant and is suitable for off-road and worksite use, stainless steel or carbon steel is likely your best bet, despite the additional weight it adds to your truck or SUV.

Fitment and Installation

In addition to the best RAM 1500 running boards, you have more options for nerf bars, side steps, hoop steps and more, especially at RealTruck. The good news is that the vast majority of these add-ons are designed to be bolted on with regular tools, a jack and a little help from a buddy. In other cases, you might have to do a little drilling or other modifications. Many popular boards we offer have installation videos on our site and our YouTube channel. If your boards require more work than you’re comfortable with, you can always get help from a body shop or truck outfitter.


You may want to add LED lights and hitch steps or bed steps to pair with your new set of running boards, especially if you’re up before dawn to catch a fish or out after dark for any reason. Consider your truck’s lift and your intended use, along with price and style, and you should be on the right track toward choosing the best RAM 1500 running boards for your needs.


Depending on what you decide on, in terms of materials, design, brand and warranty, a decent set of running boards can range from about $250 to $2,000. If you don’t want to install them yourself, you can expect to pay between $100 and $200 for professional installation of standard running boards, while electric running boards carry higher installation costs. Check with your manufacturer about warranty coverage and how it applies to your installation approach.

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