After some careful research on form and function, we opted to purchase some rock sliders/steps from GenRight Offroad. I chose these since they offered the most coverage for my Jeep, double as a step, came in a nice textured black powder-coated finish, and they are made close by in Simi Valley, CA.
These were available in a lightweight aluminum but strength is always an issue vs. steel. GenRight offers something called a Rash Guard. These $250 pieces bolt over the Rocker Guard and take most of the beating and add some strength to the setup. Overall, it is still lighter than the steel solution and its riveted design looks great too.
My friends recently took my family and I up to Big Bear, California and signed us up for a guided Jeep tour. We took a trail called Little John Bull and despite my best efforts, I came crashing down on my brand new guards along the way. First war wound. I am happy to say that it did not even dent the rash guard. There are scuffs on the powder coating as expected…but no denting. If I ever want to replace the guards where the rock hit, its just the $250 rash guard that needs replacing. The guards are highly recommended and are not available on all online sites (nor is the textured powdercoat option!). Call GenRight, they are great folks (I drove there).
While I do miss the convenience of a step lowering down so I dont have to climb in/out of the Jeep, I have to say that having the peace of mind that nothing is going to break (aka AMP PowerStep motors) while I am off-road is a decent trade-off. RockSlide Engineering makes a set of power steps that double as rock guards. With all the pieces to make it work properly, it would have been more money out of my pocket and I’m still worrying about motor life. I ended saving a few hundred bucks on the GenRight solution vs. my AMP steps but none of this was about cost really. I wanted a solution that protected my Jeep well, looked clean, and matched my AEV bumpers and wheels. The rivets also happened to compliment the beadlock bolts. GenRight fit the bill. We are 100% happy.
Enjoy the pics and let me know what you think!