Home How-to Articles Moses Ludel’s 4WD Mechanix Magazine – How-to: Installing the Bestop Trekstep

Moses Ludel’s 4WD Mechanix Magazine – How-to: Installing the Bestop Trekstep

by Moses Ludel
HD Video How-to: Installing a Bestop® TrekStep™ on the Dodge Ram 3500

See the HD video how-to coverage of the Trekstep installation on our Dodge Ram—with its aftermarket bumper!

Dodge Ram 3500 gets Bestop Trekstep

 Following the truck’s complete makeover last fall, the four-inch lift suspension has worked well. The Dodge Ram 3500 has drawn a lot of attention and favorable comments. One of the trickle-down effects of a lift and oversize tires, however, is a higher, more difficult to access pickup bed. We needed a solution for the new bed height.

Bestop Trekstep for easy access to truck beds!

For that solution, we turned to Bestop®. The Trekstep™, which we covered last fall at the SEMA Show, offers access to the pickup bed. In this HD video how-to, we fabricate a bracket to mount the otherwise “bolt-on” Trekstep to an aftermarket Buckstop bumper bracket. Although this modification turned the usual 1/2-hour Trekstep installation into a “project”, the results are great. See for yourself in the HD video how-to coverage (below) of the Trekstep assembly! 

Ready to weld bracket on aftermarket bumper

Here is the Trekstep trial fitted with the fabricated bracket. The Trekstep does not require any modification if fitted to a stock bumper. Our Ram truck has an aftermarket bumper with different brackets than stock. See the Trekstep with a stock bumper at the Bestop YouTube video.

Bestop Trekstep bracket for our truck

Our installation required a fabricated bracket. We welded the custom bracket to the aftermarket Buckstop bumper brace. Weld wire is ER70-S2 in 0.035″ diameter, offering a yield strength of 71,000 PSI and 83,000 PSI tensile strength. This welding was performed in-position as overhead and vertical down passes. Tack welds started the process.

Note: If you would like to improve your welding skills, see the ‘How-to: Welding Class’ section of the magazine.

Fabricated mount on Buckstop bumper bracket

This modifications and the fabrication work described are not required for the installation of the Trekstep on a stock pickup truck…The magazine’s Ram 3500 has an aftermarket bumper with a different bracket configuration than stock. (Note that Bestop neither endorses nor warrants modifications to its products.) We chose to perform this work in order to benefit from the Trekstep’s versatility, utility and function…If you do install the Trekstep on a truck that requires modifications, use caution and safe practices…The example shown here is for our Dodge Ram truck—and not intended to dictate or suggest how you perform your installation.

Trekstep in place and retracted

Here is the Trekstep installed and in the extended position. The custom bracket enables installation on this Buckstop aftermarket bumper. We took full advantage of the Trekstep’s benefits. See the Bestop YouTube video for a full description of the Trekstep with a stock bumper.

Note: When mounting the Trekstep to the fabricated angle bracket, we used 10mm x 40mm replacement bolts. Like the original bolts furnished with the Bestop package, these new bolts are 8.8 Grade and 1.50mm thread pitch. In conjunction with the washers furnished by Bestop, we added graded split-ring lock washers…Always match grade and thread pitch when replacing hardware. 

Trekstep versatility and function

The Trekstep has a weight capacity of 300 pounds. With our aftermarket bumper and custom bracket, that weight limit is assured. The rugged Trekstep mechanism has spring pressure to retract quickly and stay up securely. Here, climbing into the high bed has become easy! 

Trekstep retracted and fitting with aftermarket bumper

Retracted, the step is attractive and fits nicely with either a stock or aftermarket bumper. This is a solution to the common problem of bed access. Bestop has built a quality, highly functional accessory!

Bestop Trekstep and other quality products—visit the Bestop website!

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