Rock Slide Engineering Step Sliders
One of things I really liked about my Hard Rock Edition Rubicon was the way Jeep spec’d the vehicle from the factory. It had all the trail worthy pieces bolted on it. It was fairly well protected with factory skids for the transfer case, fuel tank and Hard Rock rock rails(sliders). It was all the protection I would need!
One thing you soon figure out in the Jeeping world is that the aftermarket will offer something more robust and more functional. I began looking at various slider options shortly after putting 37” tires on my Jeep. With a 4”+ lift under Rubi, getting in and out was getting challenging, especially for my wife, dressed for the office in a business suit. I had added a set of modified M.O.R.E. folding steps, as an aid, but that was only up front. The steps did their job, but I was looking for a better way, and wanted a step for both front and rear passengers.
I was looking at “boat side” style slider(wide smooth angled sides). The smooth wide surface would offer a generous place to stand on for access to my roof rack, as well as having the smooth outer surface to help slide off obstacles on the trail. I also like the way this style of slider cleans up the lines of the Jeep visually. After previewing a boat side slider fitted to a Jeep on 37” tires, it was obvious that this was too high up to step for my wife. This had me looking at a step slider design that would drop down, but could I find one beefy enough for trail use, and still provide a nice functioning step.
After some research, I found the perfect solution. Rock Slide Engineering’s Step Sliders. These sliders are made specifically for the Wrangler JK 4 door. They are a no-drill mount, attaching to the frame and the pinch seam. The no-drill aspect is important to me because I live in the Midwest, where we spend a couple of months each year dealing with road salt. Drilling the body panels seems like a nice way to invite rust…no matter how well I paint and seal the new holes.
Constructed of Heavy Duty 11 gauge Laser Cut Steel
Durable Textured Powder Coat with Thermalplastic Layer
No-Drill Frame Mounting
Plug and Play Installation
Automatic Step Drops Down 12” Below The Jeep For Easy Ingress/Egress
Weight Rated at 650 lbs
Stainless Steel and Aluminum Internals to Prevent Corrosion
Sealed Motor is WaterProof To Handle Any Weather Condition
Trail to 5 and below
Optional Skid Plate for + 5 Trails
Made in the USA
Here’s a look at the install. The sliders arrived in perfect shape. Rock Slide does a great job packaging these, making sure all pieces are well isolated in the box. The box was strapped to a shipping pallet.
Unpacking the various pieces, you quickly see the quality. All the finishes look great, the bags of parts nicely organized…
Here are a few detail shots of the sliders. The welds look great!
For my install, I needed to remove the Lund Rhino Lining rocker guards I was running. These are held on by adhesive. You can see in the pic on the left, I was beginning to catch the top edge of them getting in and out of the Jeep. The edge was starting to pull away. If I was going to continue to run these, I would attach a small angle of aluminum to cover that top area and make them more durable.
The rhino skins came off pretty easily. Pulling nice and slow allowed me to pull off most of the adhesive backing, leaving me with a little adhesive stuck to the paint that needed to be removed…
I used acetone and then paint thinner to clean the remaining adhesive off the paint. Next, I hit the paint with Meguiars #82 mirror glaze polish. This polish is great for removing small swirl marks and imperfections in paint. This would get the paint ready for the next step in the install.
Here’s a look at the cleaned, restored paint..
Next, I’m ready to apply the bumpstops. These are aluminum strips with rubber at the top of the strip. They adhere to the body with 3M VHB double sided adhesive tape. These are designed to distribute any contact forces along the entire side of the vehicle.
Here are the bump stops installed…
Next I’m ready to attach the brackets that will bolt the sliders to the frame. The brackets slide between the body bolt and the large body bolt washer. The slider will have three attachment points to the frame on each side.
At each bracket, the slider will attach via four (4) 5/16” bolts. All the hardware was high quality…
The step sliders are also attached to the pinch seam at eight (8) locations on each side. Six (6) of these attachments are a stud attached to the sliders, the other two (2) are via the front two factory pinch seam bolts. After torquing down all the bolts, it was time to start laying out the wiring harness.
From the battery, you run across the back of the engine bay, and down into and through the factory opening in the firewall on the drivers side. Once I had that wire pulled, I detached the drivers side moulding on the rocker panel to run the harness along the bottom of the doors, following the factory wire harness that is located here…
The wiring harness will cross the rear seat floor, routing power to both sides. Rock Slide has included a plug for an optional LED light if you choose. Speaking of plugs, the connections outside are Deutsch style, making it waterproof.
To get the wiring outside, under the carpet you will find a factory rubber grommet. Remove that and modify it to accept the harness going through it. After reinstalling the grommet with the wire harness running through it, I used a little silicone to seal where the harness passes through, just to be safe.
Lastly, I attached the four (4) sensors on the door jambs, as well as the magnets that attach to the doors. Under the passenger rear seat the main control box is attached to the bottom underside of the seat. This will keep it up and out of the way of possible water in the Jeep.
Inside the cab, Rock Slide supplies a bracket to mount a kill switch that locates on the driver footwell. This attaches to the door wiring harness bracket. The switch will allow you to cut power to the steps, so they don’t extend.
This would be helpful on the trail where you might find yourself in among the boulders and still want to open the door(s). You can also use the switch to lock the steps in the down position. This was a great feature when we were camping, and getting in and out of the Jeep often. This will also keeps the LED lights in the off position.
It’s pretty cool sight when you install the main fuse and power it up for the first time, the steps will deploy and then retract.
Here’s a couple of pics of Rubi with her new look…
The step deploys 12” down, this puts it at the perfect height for comfortably entering and exiting the Jeep. The step extends very close to the Jeep, so as not to make contact with a person standing right next to the vehicle. The steps will stay down for a full two (2) seconds after you close the door. They close with a very solid thunk! The design of the step allows ample room for both front and rear passengers. I have received rave reviews from anyone who gets to experience using these. They also have surprised a few who were not aware an electric step could be had on a Jeep!
Out of curiosity, I did weigh my rock rails that I removed from Rubi, and weighed the new Step Sliders before install. The OEM rails weigh 39 lbs. The Step Sliders weigh 58 lbs. So, I’ve added 38 lbs of additional weight to my Jeep…not bad!
The step has a nice robust grip surface on them that was great in the rain and snow we were running on the trails. I added the optional light kit. Having the area below the steps illuminated when you open the door(s) at night is a great convenience.
I was able to easily attach my Cyclone Rock Lights to the mounting bolts on the sliders. This worked out to be an ideal location, keeping the lights tucked up out of harms way.
I recently had a chance to test the RSE Step Sliders on the trails of Ouray and Moab. We ran class 6 and 7 trails, subjecting them to some pretty good hits while in the rocks. The sliders performed perfectly. The frame mount design carried the load, keeping the impact off of the Jeep’s bodywork. They have an excellent finish on them that proved to be very durable. We were climbing all over them for a week with sandy shoes/boots, and the finish still looks great. I really like the nice wide area on the top of the sider. It provides a good size area to step onto to gain access to the roof rack.
Here’s a quick video of them in action at night. My wife loves that they are lit, giving great visabilty in the dark.
I really appreciated having the lights on the steps while we were setting up camp. The general area illumination they provide made it easy to set gear down next to the Jeep after dark, and still be able to find things. The lights are an LED strip that attaches via double sided tape up inside the slider.
The Step Sliders are rated to handle up to class 5 trails. To equip the RSE Step Sliders for trails rated 6 and higher, RSE offers Step Slider Skid Plates.
These are fabricated from 3/16” steel. The idea here is that these take the abuse, can be removed and repainted after being subjected to trail rash. These would give the ultimate protection on those class 6+ trails.
The RSE Sliders have been a really great addition to Rubi, making getting in and out of a lifted Jeep on 37’s a breeze. I really like the nice clean lines of them as well! Hats off to the crew at Rock Slide Engineering for coming up with an innovative step slider solution tough enough to handle the trails and so easy to use. Bravo RSE!
Receive a 10% Discount when ordering RSE Step Sliders for your Jeep by simply typing this code: expeditionbuilds10 when you place your order from RSE.
Rock Slide Engineering Step Slider Review
When you’re building your off-road or overlanding rig, you might have a lift and large tires that make entry and exit of the vehicle a little tough.
So, what do you do? You add a set of step sliders to assist in getting in and out of your vehicle. But what you don’t want is for your steps to reduce ground clearance or otherwise hinder your vehicle’s ability to get up and over obstacles.
The solution to this problem is simple – install steps that lower when you open the door and raise up when the door is shut.
More than that, you want tough, durable steps that can take a beating as you off-road or overland. And for that, the perfect solution is Rock Slide Engineering’s Step Sliders.
Step Slider Specs
I have a 2020 Jeep Gladiator, and my Step Sliders are custom-fit for this particular rig.
They come as a set – one for the driver’s side and another for the passenger’s side. They require a bolt-on install, which is great because there is zero drilling required (more on the install in a minute…).
The Step Sliders have a textured black powder coating, which looks fantastic with the gray, black, and red color scheme of my truck. Get a little mud on them and they look even better!
The coolest part of these steps, though, is that they are incorporated into a legitimate rock slider. This means you get the advantage of having a step to get in and out of your vehicle, plus the advantage of having sliders for mild to moderate trails.
The key here is “mild to moderate.” You will need additional protection if you’re tackling the likes of the Rubicon Trail or any trail above a Class 5. But for typical weekend off-roading where things don’t get too crazy, these step sliders will do the trick.
Here are some additional down-and-dirty specs for the Step Sliders:
- Rated for 650 pounds
- 11-gauge steel construction
- Sealed motor for crossing bodies of water
- Plug-and-play electrics
- 1-year warranty
- Made in the U.S.A.
Additionally, there is an optional light kit as well as an optional 7-gauge skid system if you want to beef up the capabilities of the Step Sliders even further.
Installing the Step Sliders
As I mentioned a moment ago, these steps are about as easy as it comes in terms of installation…
The steps arrived in a well-protected box so they didn’t get damaged in transit. This isn’t always something you can expect when ordering parts online, but Rock Slide Engineering clearly took the time to ensure my steps were protected for the journey.
The installation materials for these step sliders were neatly packaged and easy to keep track of, partly because there simply isn’t much you need!
The rails attach to the Jeep using three brackets on either side. Each bracket uses four bolts to attach the steps to the brackets. There are eight additional bolts that are used to get the slider up nice and tight against the frame of your rig. Again, there is zero drilling required as these steps utilize the factory holes.
Wiring for the steps is also a breeze. Rock Slide Engineering sends you the complete wiring harnesses that are cut to the appropriate length, so it’s a matter of mere minutes to get these things wired up.
How Do Rock Slide Engineering Step Sliders Look?
If you ask me, these steps look like a million bucks.
They are beautifully made and you can tell that care was taken not just in the manufacture of the steps, but also in the design.
I love the clean lines of the step sliders – they look fantastic with the angular look of the Gladiator. Honestly, I think they look like something that could have come with the Jeep right from the factory because they follow the lines of the Jeep beautifully. They integrate into the overall look of the Jeep that well.
These Steps Work Beautifully
In addition to their excellent construction and good looks, the Step Sliders work like a charm each and every time.
When you open the door, there’s no delay in the step deploying. In fact, the first time I opened the door after installing the steps, I was a little taken aback at just how quickly the step was down and in position for me to use.
After closing the door, the step slides back up into place (after a couple-second delay) and integrates seamlessly with the slider.
I’ve had my Jeep in hot and cold, snow and sand, and everything in between, and the steps have worked perfectly. And while I haven’t gotten into too many wild off-road situations with the Jeep yet, the sliders have done their duty to perfection in the few instances I’ve needed them. On-road or off, these suckers are impressive!
RSE Step Slider Pros & Cons
The pros of these steps are pretty obvious:
- Killer good looks
- Superb construction
- Top-shelf functionality for accessing the vehicle and protecting it from obstacles
- Easy install
- Plug-and-play electrics
It’s much tougher to come up with cons for these step sliders, though…
Some folks will say that the price, which is higher than other options on the market, is a con. But as with so many things, you get what you pay for. I’d rather spend a little more money for this level of craftsmanship and functionality than save a few bucks for something that doesn’t look as good or perform as well.
So, in the end, I couldn’t be happier with my RSE Step Sliders. They have exceeded my expectations for quality and functionality for sure. This was the perfect addition to my Jeep and they would be a nice addition to your rig as well! Head over to Rock Slide Engineering to see what products they have for your specific rig.
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JL 4 Door Step Slider
Rock Slide Engineering’s newly designed 3rd Generation Step Slider is next level. This fully functional, trail rated, rock slider is integrated with a power step for easy access for all demographics. An additional 2 inches on the back end of the step has been added to this generation for better, safer access to the rear door. Our engineers have incorporated smart motor technology and eliminated the gas strut from the internals of the step to increase the motor longevity. This improvement will keep your step deploying and retracting consistently, even in cold and harsh weather. A sleep mode has been built in to minimize battery drainage. The slider provides protection for the rocker panel on your Jeep. The step will deploy a full 12 inches down from the body of the Slider when the door is opened. After closing your door, the step will automatically retract and sit flush with the body of the step slider. Our Step Slider is made of 10-gauge steel construction. We use a state-of-the-art automated powder coat system to acid etch the raw base material in preparation for the textured black topcoat. The internals of the step slider are made of stainless steel and aluminum to prevent rusting. This plug and play system is designed to utilize the factory mounting points for a no-drill installation. It uses a stand-alone wire harness, so no splicing or rewiring on your Jeep is necessary. This will allow you to retain your manufacturer warranty after installation.
The Step Slider is rated for moderate off-road conditions. More aggressive trails require the additional skid plate for the step slider to provide further stability and protection. For more information and related products, please view below!
Fully Functional Step and Rock Slider
Automated Deploy and Retraction of the Sep
Use of Original Equipment from Manufacturing
Powder Coat Textured Black
3/16” Steel Stainless Steel and Aluminum Internals
Made in the USA.
JL Wrangler Unlimited (4-door)
Both Driver and Passenger side Step Slider
Complete Stand-alone wire harness
Magnetic Door Sensors
Additional Mounting Hardware
Limited Lifetime Warranty on Powder Coat and Electrical Components
Shipped in 2 boxes, Drivers Side and Passenger Side.
Skid plates optional #AX-SP-300-JL4
Rocker Guards optional #AX-SS-RG-JL4
LED light kit optional #SL-LK-LED
Door Delete Kit optional #SL-DD-100
Slide reviews rock engineering
.Rock Slide Engineering Step Slider Testimonials - From The Trail
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