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Rocker Panels and Rocker Panel Molding
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What Is a Rocker Panel?
Rocker panels are the sections of your vehicle’s cab just beneath/behind the side doors. These highly-structural panels are crucial to protect passengers in the event of a side impact; however, they have a major weakness: rust! Especially in northern areas of the country that frequently apply road salt to counteract extreme weather conditions, it’s common to see vehicles as young as five-years-old with significant rust forming around the rocker panels, severely compromising structural integrity.
However, this rust doesn’t form overnight. It often results from paint chips and abrasions, exposing the bare metal to the elements. To help prevent serious structural damage, consider installing premium rocker panel moldings, skids, and protectors from RealTruck!
Styles of Rocker Panel Protection
Rocker panel protection comes in several forms; check out some of the most popular offerings below!
Rocker Panel Molding
Rocker panel molding, like the Putco Rocker Panels, are tough alloy panels that adhere to your vehicle’s painted rocker panels, protecting the underlying steel against rock chips and abrasions. These panels feature a simple peel-and-stick installation with integrated 3M double-sided adhesive, requiring no more than 30 minutes a side. These panels come in various finishes, including polished stainless steel and black, depending on your preferred aesthetics.
Rocker Panel Skid Plates
If rust is less of a concern compared to physical damage, consider a pair of heavy-duty steel rocker panel skids, like the Rock Slide Engineering Step Slider Skid Plates. These skids feature a vehicle-specific fitment that requires no drilling for installation; simply line up the holes and mount! The durable 3/16-inch steel construction prevents dings, dents, and abrasions while wheeling, keeping your ride looking fresh for years to come!
Rocker Panel Covers
If you love the functionality of rocker molding but aren't sold on the aesthetics, consider sleek composite rocker panel covers like Bushwacker Trail Armor Rocker Panels! These covers are constructed from durable textured Dura-Flex TPO and feature a simple peel-and-stick installation. All trail armor rocker panels feature a vehicle-specific design that perfectly molds to the contours of your vehicle’s rocker panels. Rocker panel covers are also ideal for vehicles that have already incurred unsightly rust but aren't worth the cost of repairs. In these cases, simply neutralize the underlying rust and install the rocker panel covers right over the top to hide any unsightly damage!
What to Consider When Selecting Rocker Panel Protection
It’s always important to conduct research before selecting a product, and rocker panel protection is no exception! To ensure you settle on the right product, consider the following factors:
What style of panel protection do you prefer, and for what purpose? For an avid wheeler, we’d suggest a rocker panel skid; however, for a daily driver looking for protection against rock chips, rocker panel covers and molding should do the trick!
What’s your preferred aesthetic? We offer rocker panel protection in various finishes, ranging from subtle textured black to lustrous polished stainless steel! Account for your vehicle’s other upgrades, like wheel finish, side steps, etc.
Depending on your needs, one material may suit your application over another. If you’re planning to slide your vehicle’s rockers over rocks and trees on the trail, steel rocker skids will be your best bet. However, TPO and thin stainless steel will be sufficient to deflect road debris and pebbles.