When it comes to safely loading/unloading roof mounted equipment or gaining safe access to the rear of your van then a rear van step is an essential requirement.
There are however, many different rear step options and here we give an explanation of the pros and cons of each type -:
Rear Steps – Non Towing
If you simply want safe access and do not have a tow bar fitted then a non towing rear step is your best choice. There are many different types and styles of rear steps for vans to weigh up however. Some provide safety benefits which will not only protect you or your van driver from slipping but will also protect your van from expensive repair costs caused by reversing accidents, called impact steps (see below). To get the best possible fit vehicle specific Rhino access steps (shown above) are available in twin or triple step widths and can be supplied with or without universal fitting rear parking sensors. See below for more parking sensor considerations.
Does your van have rear parking sensors?
Park Distance Control (PDC) options are increasingly fitted to vans as standard. They are a great safety device and make parking less stressful. When fitting a rear step however, they add another layer on complexity to consider. Fitting any thing behind rear sensors like a step may affect their normal operation. After all, isn’t that what sensors are for to tell you when something is behind the vehicle that you can’t see! I say “may” affect as there are many different types of sensors out there, so you will need to discus this issue with your sensor installer prior to choosing your step.
All rear steps that meet safety regulations can be supplied with or with out universal fitting rear parking sensors. These parking sensors are great if your van does not currently have sensors. They simply connect to the reverse light power feed. And protect your step from accidental damage whilst manoeuvring.
If your van already has sensors installed, it may be possible to retro fit them into your new step? Again you need to discuss this with your sensor installer. The latest development which is proving popular with van owners with factory fitted PDC is to order your step with Connect Plus. This sensor type simply plugs into your existing sensors and works in sequence with them. Sorted!
The Rhino AccessStep (Formally known as Safestep) is available with “Connect Plus” and attaches to the van via a vehicle specific mounting kit using the van manufacturers tow bar mounting points. This provides a solid attachment between step and van.
Towing Capable Tow Bar Steps
The most affordable steps are basic metal universal fitting tow bar mounted steps, suitable if you have a tow bar already fitted. However, they do not cover the full width of the van and are not designated safety steps that is, steps that meet certain safety standards for tread width, depth and visibility. The Rhino Tow Step or universal fitting Tow Trust Pro-Step are tow bar flange mounting steps that do meet the required standards for tread width, grip etc.
If you do not have a tow bar already fitted but need to be able to tow as well as safe access then take a look at the Tow Trust tow bar Pro Step (shown below). This towing capable Pro-Step combines one of Tow Trusts quality tough tow bars with two plastic high grip steps that attach directly on to the top. A flip up centre section can also be added to this step but only when the tow ball is removed! Also be careful not to confuse this step with the universal fitting tow bar Pro Step and non towing Pro Step. If you do get confused (and who could blame you!), email us at email@example.com and we will make sure you get the right version for your needs.
Impact Rear steps
Van owners wishing to protect their vehicle from low speed reversing and forklift truck loading damage should consider the Hope Safety Bar and the Rhino ImpactStep™ (shown below). These types of steps are designed to improve the lifetime costs of van ownership by removing the need for constant repairs. The Hope Safety Bar is available as a simple straight bar (With anti slip tape on the top) or with recessed step or with towing capability as well. Whilst the (non towing capable) Rhino ImpactStep™ comes as standard with slow speed impact absorbing technology. It is also available with universal fitting and vehicle specific “Connect Plus” parking sensors
I hope this guide has helped to clarify the options available. If not! For help selecting the right step at the lowest prices email us at firstname.lastname@example.org The products available on this website can be installed easily and with the exception of adapting factory fitted parking aids require no specialist knowledge prior to fitting. The safety steps are TUV approved and supplied ready to be installed.