170 Side steps, nerf bars, rock sliders, running boards have many names, but they can be one of the most functional parts of your van regardless of what you call them. There are a lot of critical design criteria that go into a good side step.
Design: The shape of our sides steps was carefully considered to offer the optimal blend of function and protection. We went big with the front step as it is the most used. Then the side steps taper back toward the rear of the van. This tapered design allows the van to more easily navigate tight terrain and not get hung up on rocks, logs etc. Additionally, we extended the driver's side step almost all the way down the van to offer additional rocker protection and storage.
Vans are big vehicles, and if you're anything like us, you're always trying to squeeze your van down tight trials. Clearance is why we wanted a side step that was high and tight, as they say. We purposely build these side steps to be narrower than most on the market. You're much less likely to get your side steps hung up on a rock or other obstacle.
Getting In and Out - Getting in and out of the van is the primary use of a side step. We put a lot of focus on this function during the design process. We purposely made them narrow to work on the trail, but we also added a removable tread plate to the top of the step. This tread plate not only looks cool but is incredibly functional. The Owl tread plate adds an upturned lip instead of the edge of the side step falling away from your foot like most tubular steps. This lip catches the shoe entering and exiting the vehicle, and the traction in dry or wet weather is instantly noticeable. As a bonus, we designed it to be a boot cleaner to scrape off dirt, mud, and snow before entering the van.
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