Your new truck is practically a new child. You have to clean it (weekly car washes), feed it (only premium gasoline, obviously), and post tons of pictures so your friends are jealous (don’t forget to use a filter).
One thing your 2020 Dodge Ram doesn’t have in common with a screaming child? It won’t keep you up all night… unless you can’t tear yourself away from the driver seat.
Customizing your new Dodge Ram with the right accessories will make it feel like it was made just for you. And Dodge Ram running boards are a good place to start. Not only do running boards and nerf boards make it easier for you and your passengers to get into the cab, but they may help you access the top of your truck bed. And they can provide a place to scrape off mud and dirt before you reach your seat. And, they add some serious curb appeal.
Shall we get into it, then? Here are five decisions to make as you search for the right running boards for your Dodge Ram.
1. Deciding Between Flat Wheel-to-Wheel and Drop Step Designs
Not all Ram running boards are built the same. And there isn’t necessarily a correct design for the 2020 Ram, just one that’s right for you. One of the first decisions you’ll make as you buy a new set of 2020 Ram running boards is choosing between some different features.
The two main types of running boards are flat wheel-to-wheel and drop step.
A wheel-to-wheel running board does just what its name promises — reaches between the front and back wheels. It helps you get into the cab and also the top of your truck bed. If you have a built-in toolbox in the back, a wheel-to-wheel design is great.
A drop step style consists of a narrow running board with step boards only below the truck doors. If you want a look that’s more industrial and utilitarian, this might be a good option.
Our Top Wheel-to-Wheel Choice: Lund Summit Ridge 2.0 Running Boards
The Lund Summit running boards come in all black or silver with black traction strips. Either way, the boards help you get in and out of your 2020 Dodge Ram without falling. The tread pads are also a good place to scrape the bottom of your boots to get rid of mud and dirt. The wheel-to-wheel boards are made from stainless steel and offer rust protection. Your new running boards will be covered by a Limited Lifetime Warranty.
Top Drop Step Choice: Westin HDX Drop Steps
These Westin drop steps are highly-rated and actually available in wheel-to-wheel if you want the best of both worlds. That length has three available steps. Or, you can stick with a standard cab-length board with two steps on each side.
The running boards are rugged and feature large step plates made from one-piece steel construction. The step areas also have solid traction and can accommodate drivers and passengers of all sizes. The drop step nerf bars are sold in complete kits and covered by a 3-year warranty.
2. Weighing Flat vs. Round Options
Another thing to consider when you’re looking for Ram 2500 running boards (or similar), is whether you want an oval/round shape or a flat board. Round bars are typically called nerf boards, but they serve the same purpose of a flat running board. Running boards tend to offer more surface area for stepping in and out of your vehicle, while oval boards have stepping pads and look more modern.
Great Flat Running Board Choice: APS H Series Running Boards
One of our best selling flat running board models that fit the 2020 Dodge Ram are the APS H Series. These boards are made from aircraft grade 6061 aluminum and have a rocker panel mounting style. Simply put: They look like OE.
Available with a metal or black powder finish, the flat boards have raised ribs that provide tons of traction without distracting from the sleek design.
Popular Round/Oval Choice: Westin Pro Traxx 5″ Oval Nerf Bars
These Westin round nerf boards have earned a perfect five stars with almost 200 customer ratings. The five-inch oval tubes have OE style bends and seamless ends. While the bars are either polished silver or matte black, the step pads are always tough black rubber with tons of traction. You can choose from cab-length or wheel-to-wheel. Your new round boards will be protected by a 3-year warranty.
3. Choosing Between Power and Traditional Models
Now, on to the convenience factors. You’ll want to consider the pros and cons of a power (aka electric) running board and a traditional, stationary model. Both serve the same purpose but one has a more futuristic feel and an added convenience factor.
Power running boards drop automatically when you open your door. They hook up quickly to your 2020 Dodge Ram via a plug-and-play system (typically using your OBD-II port), connecting via a pass-through harness. While the installation process can be a bit more complicated, the payoff is pretty big.
On the other hand, a traditional running board is stationary. Once you install it, the board stays where it belongs. You won’t have to worry about the board malfunctioning at any point. On the other hand, your stationary running board may collect some snow and ice if you park it outdoors during the winter.
Best Power Running Board Option: AMP Research Power Step Running Boards
If you decide to go with a power running board, the AMP Research Power Step is one of the best. These running boards have an integrated LED light, which makes it easier to see where you’re stepping in any conditions.
The step extends up to 12 inches in just one second when you open the door, and there is a 2-inch extension kit available for lifted trucks. The boards are made from durable aluminum and also have heavy-duty motor with anti-pinch technology. Plus, you maintain full access to your OBD-II port as you use it for your running boards. The boards are protected by a 5-year/60,000-mile warranty.
4. Going with Matte Black vs. Polished Metal
Not all of your choices boil down to functionality. Some of your options relate to the look of your Dodge Ram.
Do you want to complement the chrome rims on your ride or rock jet black running boards that look bad (in a good way)? The two main finishes available for most 2020 Dodge Ram running boards are powdered black and polished metal. In both cases, the stepping pads will typically be black rubber. There isn’t a fundamentally superior finish, given that even polished running boards and nerf bars are treated to be anti-rust and avoid corrosion.
Popular Black Option: Romik ROF Running Boards
The Romik ROF all-black boards have a European style, which makes sense, because that’s where they’re made. They can hold up to 500 pounds and have heavy-duty mounting brackets. Plus, the step area is super huge. Measuring 6.5 inches wide, the step area is also covered in Grip Assistance technology to keep you safe as you enter and exit your Ram.
As mentioned, the running boards are only available in black and covered by a Lifetime Warranty.
Popular Polished Option: Romik RB2 Running Boards
The Dodge Ram running boards are available in multiple colors, including stainless steel. There is a 6-inch gripping area and the boards are crafted from aircraft-grade aluminum. Significant ridges channel water and dirt out of the running boards as soon as you start moving, and also give you a place to scrape off the bottom of your shoes. These running boards are covered by a Lifetime Warranty.
5. Deciding If Truck Steps are Right for You
You may also want to think about whether truck steps are a better option for you. Depending on whether or not you frequently have passengers, and what your budget is, truck steps may be the better fit for your 2020 Dodge Ram.
Unlike running boards, these steps have room for just one foot at a time and install right beneath your door. Available in polished metal and black, truck steps are also a little more subtle than full boards but can be just as useful.
Universal Truck Step Option: Go Rhino Universal Truck Step
Want an easy-to-install truck steps that can fit any full size Dodge Ram? You’ve come to the right place.
The Go Rhino Universal truck steps feature heavy-duty steel tubing and durable steel brackets. You can choose from black powder finish, chrome plating, or mirror-polished stainless steel. While they’re certainly smaller than a running board, the truck steps have 12 inches of stepping space to accommodate even large work boots. Steps are sold separately and protected by a 3-year warranty.
Retractable Step Option: AMP Research BedStep2 Retractable Truck Step
Some truck steps are designed specifically for getting into your truck bed. If you don’t need running boards for the cab, consider one of the AMP retractable steps for use in the back of your Dodge Ram. The step folds down with a simple foot nudge, and fits in front of your rear wheels when not in use. Glass composite with a non-slip pattern are combined with stainless steel hinges to create a durable construction. The military-spec black anodized coating is also reinforced with Teflon. Your new step will be backed by a 3-year warranty.
Time to upgrade your 2020 Dodge Ram? Running boards are functional and make your truck look like a high-end model.
Most of our running boards successfully mimic the look of OE, too. Even better, when you get new Ram running boards from AutoAnything, you are covered by our Price Match Guarantee. If you find a better deal on the exact same running boards within one year of purchase — just let us know so we can beat the price by $1.