As trucks get taller, hopping into the cargo box without performing contortionist-like moves becomes increasingly difficult. Mopar solved this problem by developing a retractable bed step that's compatible with Ram's pickups.
When it's not needed, like when the truck is moving, the step is tucked under the cargo box. Where it's mounted depends on the model. It can be bolted on the left side of the hitch (if equipped) on 1500 trucks equipped with the 60/40-split MultiFunction tailgate, or directly below the driver-side corner of the bumper in Classic and Heavy Duty models. Either way, users can extend it with their foot, so they can step into the box even if their hands are full.
Mopar noted it makes the step with high-strength aluminum, and it applies either a black e-coat or a powder-coated finish for better durability. There's no word on whether users can install it on their own, or if it needs to be added by a technician, but we can't imagine it requires cutting or welding. Odds are it's held by sturdy bolts.
On sale now in the United States and Canada, the retractable bed step developed for trucks with a split tailgate wears part number 82216265AB, and it's priced at $395. It can hold up to 350 pounds. If your 1500 has a one-piece tailgate, the step you need also offers a 350-pound capacity but it carries part number 82215289AG and it costs $365. Heavy Duty owners need to ask for part number 82215842AE and set aside $365.
Mopar didn't forget about motorists who own an older truck. Part number 82214245AD corresponds to a step that fits the last-generation 1500, which is still available new as the 1500 Classic, and it can hold 300 pounds. It was developed to fit single- or dual-exhaust models, according to Ram, and it's the cheapest of the bunch at $304.
Numerous aftermarket manufacturers offer extendable bed steps, it's an accessory that has been around for years, but Mopar's stands out because it's covered by a warranty that's valid for two years regardless of mileage, or for the remainder of the truck's three-year, 36,000-mile warranty. If you're looking at the competition, the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra twins are available with steps integrated into the cargo box and the rear bumper, so they don't extend, but the latter's MultiPro tailgate can be configured as one wide step. Chevrolet might soon offer it, too.