Tacoma Rock Sliders Buying Guide/Best Rock Sliders for your Toyota Tacoma

The Toyota Tacoma is built to easily take on the world’s nastiest terrain! From the skid plate to the TRD-tuned internal bypass to the wheels, the latest Tacoma TRD Pro has it all. However, this version of Tacoma or any older versions all requires a certain amount of care. If you want to make your machine last for a long time and give the best utility to you, then you must invest in a pair of rock sliders for this rig! That’s right, a pair of rock sliders can go a long way in ensuring the best off-road experience. However, most people are unaware of this product and its uses. Do not worry, as we are here to take you through the purpose of rock sliders and some of the best Tacoma rock sliders available on the market.

What Are Rock Sliders? 

Purpose of Rock Sliders

Jagged and sharp rocks usually damage the underside of an off-road truck. This compromises the overall structure of the truck and requires immediate repairs. However, a pair of rock sliders can help you by deflecting the damage that rocks and stumps cause. Rocks sliders are like two long bars that can be installed on the side of a truck, like a Toyota Tacoma. Once attached, these sliders resemble side steps that passengers use to get into the truck. However, they have a broader purpose than just being a pair of side steps.

Rock sliders are usually made from heavy-duty steel, a material that is capable of giving it sturdiness. The steel can be of two types: HREW (Hot Rolled Electric Resistance Welded) or DOM (Drawn Over Mandrel). DOM steel is stronger than HREW steel because it is just HREW steel that is cold worked over a mandrel. The choice of steel is an arbitrary process as both are good picks and very strong in nature. Both of them provide adequate sturdiness; however, the DOM steel is a bit more suited for constant off-road action.

Attached to each side of the truck are essentially bulkier versions of side steps. Their main purpose is to shield the truck’s underside from sharp rocks and other debris. Body protection is kept as the main objective when designing rock sliders, as off-road trucks need to drive over various types of rocks. The sliders extend outwards, protecting the underside of the doors and the truck. Any rock that tries to jump up at the car is deflected away by this extended sturdy device. Essentially the rocks “slide” around the truck without damaging its exterior.

Body protection isn’t the only benefit you get when installing a pair of rock sliders. Several rock sliders have unique design twitches that make them more useful. Most of them usually have a “kick-out.” A kick-out is a small steel extension on the back of the slider that allows the truck to be pushed away from a large rock or obstacle. It pushes the truck away from this large obstacle by putting itself between the truck’s body and the obstacle. The driver is alerted by this and drives accordingly.

Additionally, rock sliders can be used as pivot points. They can come in handy when making tight turns. Rock sliders can save the truck from scrapes and bruises during these tight turns as the driver uses the sliders as a pivot to make a perfect turn in tight spaces.

Types of Rock Sliders

There are two main types of Tacoma rock sliders available on the market. The first ones are called the “classic rock sliders.” These are primarily designed to keep the rocks away while also acting as a sidestep for passengers to get in and out of the vehicle.

The second type of rock slider is known as “sidesteps with rock slider support.” These are primarily side steps but can also be repurposed to serve as rock sliders. They serve both purposes, with the passengers getting in and out as the main goal.

There are two other types of rock sliders available on the market as well:

Power Running Boards: This electricity-powered slider hides underneath the vehicle when the doors are closed and comes out when the doors are open. While driving, these protect the car’s underside from rocks and other sharp objects.

Sliders with Rock Skins: A less popular way to protect the car is to use a pair of rock sliders with rock skins. Stripes of steel drilled into the car’s chassis around the slider region are called rock skins. They work just like the sliders do.

Your choice of rock sliders should depend on the type you want to get and on the two factors discussed below: type of installation and price.

Installation Choices

When you purchase a set of rock sliders, you have two installation options. You can either attach the rock sliders with bolts or weld them onto the truck’s chassis. Both or sturdy methods, but each has its con.

With the bolting option, you would have to drill holes into the truck’s chassis. This may go wrong if the drilling is not of a professional standard. Once you bolt them on, you can remove the rock sliders at any time and replace them with new ones. You do not particularly have to replace them; you can just remove them if you are not off-roading.

However, when you weld them on, they will be there forever. You would not have an option of replacing or removing the rock sliders from your Tacoma. Removing them permanently would require cutting them off, which is a hassle of its own.

Cost of Rock Sliders

Rock sliders can be brought from the market or can be custom-made. The custom-made ones are slightly more expensive than the standard ones available in the market. Depending on the material type, slider type, and design, a slider can cost anywhere between $300 to $1500. This is not a set range; however, most slider prices do fit this range. Having said that, let’s take a look at some of the best sliders available on the market for a Toyota Tacoma. We have compiled a comprehensive buying guide that considers factors such as price, design, and utility.

Three Best Tacoma Rock Sliders on the Market 

  1. Tyger Auto TG-AM2T20048 Star Armor Kit Compatible with 2005-2022 Tacoma

The Tyger Star Armor Kit is the perfect purchase for all Tacoma owners. It has got everything that a rock slider should and comes at an accessible price. Its features and cost make it our number one pick for this guide.

These sliders have been forged from premium carbon style and follow Tyger’s innovative triple tube design. It is treated for impurities, and a special e-coat is administered inside and outside to make it resistant to rust. Along with being rustproof, the ends are capped off to keep water and dust out. All in all, this is well-designed and can last for a number of years.

The sliders come with a manual that has instructions on how to install them. It has a bolt installation system; however, you don’t necessarily have to drill holes into your truck.

This pair is perfect for a double cab size Toyota Tacoma. Unfortunately, it does not come in other sizes; however, it is a good pick for the double cab size.

The pair weighs around 80 pounds and can handle weights of up to 500 pounds on each side. This is an important fact since it is going to be stepped on a lot; therefore, it is important to know that it can handle all the pressure.

This had to be our number one pick, supported by Tyger’s five-year warranty plan and many great customer reviews. The price also backs our claim as it is not as expensive as some custom-made sliders can be. It is also cheaper than some well-known brands; however, it delivers better quality than those brands. 

  1. APS Drop Steps Running Boards Rock Slider Compatible with Toyota Tacoma 2005-2022 

The APS Drop Steps come in a unique design and are built from a square aluminum tube. The aluminum design has a couple of advantages over the steel-makes of rock sliders. Aluminum is much lighter, so it is easier to ship and attach, plus it is as sturdy as its steel counterparts. The Aluminum steps also contribute to the MPG (fuel efficiency) of the vehicle as their steel counterparts are heavier and heat up more quickly. The unique and patented design ensures that each Tacoma that it is attached to gains fuel efficiency,

The rock sliders are coated in black powder to give them an aggressive finish. The coating also helps with rust and dust. The finishing allows the product to shrug off dust and rust, making it more durable. The product also comes with a five-year warranty, so even if you face any issue with it, you can get it solved by the company.

This piece also is able to hold around 500 pounds of weight. So, you can see it is built for heavy-duty purposes.

This design can fit the double crew cab size Tacoma from 2005 to 2022. So, it doesn’t matter what model of the Toyota Tacoma you have; this model can fit on most of them!

The price point for this model sets it apart from most of its competitors. This features on number two of this list mainly because it is very economical. It is far cheaper than the first pick and provides great utility too. The main reason for its price is the usage of aluminum; however, the materials are of high quality and do not impact the utility of the product a lot.

  1. OEDRO 6″ Side Step Compatible with 2005-2022 Toyota Tacoma 

These non-slip wide steps perform their protection and utility tasks with great efficiency. They are the most durable ones we have encountered up till now. Oedro’s unique guardian design gives it a rugged look that is finished off in a black powder coat. The coat gives it protection against rust and makes it UV resistant also.

The product is made from heavy-duty thick steel tubes resistant to corrosion. The bars weigh around 66 pounds and can hold up to 500 pounds of weight on them. This means that they are made to withstand a lot of weight without being compromised.

The installation for this product is also very simple. The package comes with bolt-on mounts and an instruction manual. You don’t have to drill holes on the sides of your Tacoma, as this product comes with the mounts. All you need to do is mount these on, and you’re good to go!

This slider is also durable with most Tacomas out there. It can be mounted onto the double cab size for models from 2005 to 2022. Therefore, you also do not need to worry about it fitting your truck.

The company even accepts returns if you are not satisfied with your product. That’s how much the company trusts this product!

It comes in at a very reasonable price, earning this product a rightful place on this list. It is a cheap and durable slider that is backed by plenty of great customer reviews.

Conclusion

As discussed earlier, rock sliders are not only just side steps; they are much more than that. As an off-roader, it is essential to the truck’s safety. Without these, the truck’s underside can easily be damaged, leaving you to spend tons on repairing the damage. However, investing in these sliders can save a lot of money in the long run. Go over our Tacoma rock sliders buyer’s guide to understand the pros and cons of each product. We have tried our best to explain everything about a rock slider; now it is up to you to make the right decision!

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