What do these 3 statements have in common?
1. Roof-mounted accessories, such as cargo boxes and bike carriers, are popular accessories for those looking to increase their vehicle's carrying capability.
2. There are a number of states in the U.S. which now have laws on the books requiring a driver to remove snow from a vehicle's roof, hood, and trunk before driving.
3. Sport Utility Vehicle, pickup truck and minivan sales continue to grow in the US, with the light-truck segment accounting for almost one of every two new vehicles sold.
Give up? Taken as a whole, these statements bring out the realization that more and more Americans are driving what used to be called "trucks", and, there is a growing need to be able to reach the roofs of these trucks, whether it's to access the cargo box, brush off last night's snow, or just to wash the vehicle.
While one reason for the SUV's popularity is that "drivers like to sit up high and see the road", not all of us are 6' 6" tall. When there has been a need to reach the roof, we've seen everything from milk crates to concrete blocks to step ladders used by these SUV owners. Given that most of these vehicles have a trailer hitch installed out back (either standard equipment or as part of a factory towing package), there is a much more elegant solution: the hitch-mounted hitch step.
Types Of Hitch Steps
While hitch steps come in a variety of materials, shapes, and colors, the basic premise is exactly the same for all of them: the hitch step slides into the vehicle's receiver hitch, and allows anyone to step onto it, boosting you approximately 4-8" off the ground (the exact amount depends on the ground clearance of your truck and the height of the hitch). Even better, you have the option of either removing the step out and storing it in the back, or leaving the step in place (if you're not otherwise using the hitch). Some of our suppliers (and customers) have gone so far as to claim an additional advantage to leaving it in place: it serves as a "bumper guard", protecting your truck's backside from damage in minor collisions. We've saved the best news for now: most of these hitch steps are very affordable, priced well under what it would cost you and your date to have a meal somewhere. Let's look at some specific models and call out their features and benefits.
Go Rhino specializes in all kinds of tubular accessories for your ride, so a hitch step is a natural product line for them. Their round and oval shaped steps are available in a choice of black mild steel or polished stainless steel. Their 3" round step is 12 inches long, with a slip-resistant step surface, while the 4" oval model is 24 inches long. The 36 inch-long model is available to work with either 1 ¼" or 2" receivers, and is also available in chrome mild steel and textured black mild steel. Are you looking for something a little different? The 3" Dominator Hitch Step has a "drop down" design, with a smaller step below the main one. This design, by the way, matches the Dominator Side Steps from Go Rhino. And for what might be the ultimate in cleverness, the Step-N-Tow Hitch Step is engineered to remain in place while your trailer is attached! With this design, you will always have a handy and convenient step.
Black Horse manufactures all kinds of truck accessories, including several varieties of hitch steps. Their Oval Rear Hitch Step is 28" long, comes in either polished stainless steel or black powdercoat, and includes a non-slip stepping pad for your safety. Want to save your truck's rear end? Their 36" long Rear Bumper Protector is sold primarily as a collision protection device. Although it can be used as a step, there is no step pad on this one. It's a neat piece because it will protect the rear of your truck from parking lot damage, while serving as an occasional way to hoist yourself up.
The Romik rear hitch steps, like all their products, are a class act. In fact, they are so classy that they are called "Rear Hitch Step Running Boards". Available in either stainless steel or black powdercoat, both feature a wide steel step plate with a diamond pattern to help with grip. Perhaps best of all, these Romik hitch steps have some of the best warranties in the industry: 10 years on the black powercoated item, and lifetime on the stainless steel. Our Brooklyn friends leave theirs in place year-round (locked of course) to avoid street parking damage. If you're reversing, they make excellent battering rams! (we're kidding, of course).
The Bully brand of hitch steps offers another twist for those looking for something different. The 2-in-1 Hitch Step, Black Bull Hitch Step, and Multi-Purpose Hitch Step each offer the option of a built-in LED Brake Light, to be plugged into your trailer hitch's harness. Now you have another good reason to leave the hitch step in place year-round.
The final hitch step to review with you today is from our friends at Carr. They supply us with only 'one' hitch step, but it's a truly great one. The HD Universal Hitch Step folds down when it's needed, and folds up when it's not. We said 'one' earlier because while there is a single design, you have a choice of over 20 different logos. So this is the hitch step you want if personalization is a primary purchase factor.
We also have hitch steps from such renowned manufacturers as Weather Tech, Curt, Smittybilt, and Reese, so be sure to check out all the choices on our site. Oh, you might also want to be sure that your vehicle does indeed have a trailer hitch. If you do not, you will be happily surprised to learn that they are affordable and easy to install. We have both rear-mount and front-mount hitches for a wide variety of cars and trucks.
We love the hitch step on our truck. Now my teenage son can't complain that he's too short to wash dad's truck!