N-FAB Growler Running Board Review
A 7 inch Wide Running Board that’s Built to Last
If you’re looking for a lightweight, durable running board that will hold traction even in the harshest of environments, the N-Fab Growler is for you. This all aluminum nerf step bar offers a 7” wide step that provides the ultimate traction while giving your truck the aggressive look you crave. It’s unique style and open-tread design makes it easy to clean and use. Tack on a bolt on easy install and a textured finish via a matte black powder coat, and the Growler might just be the best all weather running board on the market. Let’s dive into our review of these sweet new step boards from N-Fab.
Bullet Point Breakdown of the N-Fab Growler Running Boards
No time to read this whole article? Just want the quick and dirty dets? “Too long; didn’t read” you’re fav acronym? Don’t worry. We hear ya. Here’s our Midwest Aftermarket Bullet Point Breakdown of the N-Fab Growler Running Boards:
- Aluminum Nerf Boards that will NOT rust
- Lightweight yet durable
- Available in cab length
- Backed by a 5 year finish warranty
- And a limited lifetime warranty / workmanship warranty
- These Fleet Side Steps are perfect in any climate
- 7” ultra wide step area is one of the largest on any running board
- Superior durability via powder coat finish and strong craftsmanship
- Corrosion Resistance
- Aluminum will never rust
- Stainless Steel rusts in harsh winter climates; not Aluminum!
- Textured black finish protects against every day wear and tear
- A Board that won’t break the bank and is built to last
- Ultimate traction in an aggressive style running board
N-Fab Growler Running Boards
When it comes to running boards in our neck of the woods, if you can’t hold up against harsh Midwest winters, you don’t even count as a board, my friend. And we’ve put these Growlers from N-Fab to the test, and let me tell you, we were pretty impressed.
Steel Nerf Bars Vs. All Aluminum Boards
These days a lot of us, myself included, are all about steel. I’m a Chevy guy, so I have a regular argument with my buddy who drives a Ford F-150, about how steel beds are superior to his aluminum one. I know there’s all kinds of controversy here, and I’m not going to go into too much except to say Chevy FTW!
Just playing, but in all seriousness, aluminum bed trucks do weigh less and hence they tend to get better gas mileage. And the Growler Running Boards are fairly lightweight because they are made from solid all aluminum materials with a powder coat finish.
This does mean they won’t add a bunch of access weight to your truck when you install them. It also means the install will be easier, and most guys will be able to do the installation solo since each board is so light. Not saying you shouldn’t call your best buddy over to have beers and pizza while you install these babies. Of course you should. It’ll just be easier cause they won’t be too heavy to hold up while you install ‘em.
What I’m getting at concerning aluminum boards though has less to do with weight and more to do with durability.
Yes, it is an endless debate. Once camp claims that steel is much more durable. The next shouts back that aluminum actually has a super high tensile strength for its mass. Of course, both are true and accurate statements.
Steel can take a bit more of a beating, but for the weight class, aluminum is super durable. So I’m calling that durability debate a wash. Don’t tell my F-150 driving friend, Cory.
Alright, so I’d still rather have an all steel truck bed. Call me old school. But when it comes to surviving the winters around here, I keep my truck in the garage if I can overnight, and I always have a tonneau cover installed when it’s snowing and raining. I also have a full spray in liner, but that’s neither here nor there.
And the reason for all of those things: garage, liner, tonneau, all of the above--is that steel rusts like a mo-fo. You’ve seen it. And if you’ve ever used Google, then you know what a misnomer “stainless steel” is.
It’s just science, really. You expose a hard metal like steel to oxygen and water, and bam, you got oxidation, a.k.a. Rust.
And that just will not do. Rusted metal becomes brittle, and it cracks. And if you’re rocking a stainless steel nerf bar and it gets all orange and brown with rust, then it’s about to break underneath me the next time I step on it. And that’s not only dangerous. It’s embarrassing.
Nothing worse than falling on your ass as you’re climbing into your truck outside the local 7-Eleven. Last time that happened to me, I spilled my Slurpee all over myself. Rough times.
Point is: if you want to rock some sweet steps here in the Midwest of the United States of America, you better make a product that’s gonna last. It needs to take a beating and still maintain its shape. And it needs to not rust out due to snow and rain and mud.
I’m not saying steel products are inferior, per se. Rather I mean that in our particular climate, and maybe in yours too, if where you live you get a lot of snow in the Winter, steel just doesn’t hold up as long as aluminum does.
The problem has to do with salt and other chemicals that are sprayed on our roads and driveways throughout the Winter months. These chemicals are designed to melt ice and slush and help your tires maintain traction when it's slippery out. And they do just that. The issue is that they don’t just stay on the road and under your tires. Instead they get flung everywhere, along with the semi melted ice and snow. This combination, coupled with regular wear and tear, can lead to scratches and exposed metal on your step bars.
Most of the steel products we sell are powder coated, and this helps a lot. But if that powder coat gets damaged, the steel underneath gets exposed. And once that salt and moisture gets in, there’s no easy way to stop those steps from rusting out.
And that’s why in areas that have harsh winters, aluminum steps are the way to go. Now let me tell it true, cause I kinda have to. It’s just the way I roll. People often say things like:
Aluminum steps will NOT rust.
And that’s only about half true, -ish. You see, when people make statements like that, they really mean that aluminum in general will not turn that orange and brown color when it oxidizes like steel does. We have grown to associate that discoloration and the brittleness that comes with it with rust. But not all metal rusts in the same way. I like to use the term oxidation for this reason. All metal will oxidize. It’s a common chemical reaction that occurs when oxygen mixed with water reacts with metal.
The differences in how the metal oxidizes has to do with the molecular makeup of the metal.
Not trying to get too technical here, but basically to sum it all up, when steel oxidizes, it changes into that brittle orangish metal corrosion. That’s no bueno for something like a step bar that needs to support your weight.
Aluminum too will oxidize. But when it reacts with oxygen in the atmosphere you end up with aluminum oxide, which is more of a grey color, not too dissimilar from regular old aluminum. And here’s the kicker: not only is it not brittle rust, when aluminum transforms into aluminum oxide it actually becomes stronger and more durable most of the time.
And there you have it. If you’re in an area where the winter’s get bad, you’re gonna get some rust on your steel exposed parts. But any aluminum parts on your vehicle are actually going to become stronger, not more brittle. So you have less to worry about when it comes to oxidation.
Now I’m personally a big fan of the Growler for all the great features above. I love the wide step area, the easy to clean open tread design, and the look of these running boards. But what really gets me--what makes me stick with N-Fab time and time again, is the quality of the design and the durability of this product over the competition. These N-Fab Growlers are going to last through the nastiest of Winters and come out looking like-new. Find me a steel nerf board that can do the same and then we’ll talk.
Again, I’m still all about that steel bed, but when it comes to running boards and nerf steps, I’ll go aluminum every time. It’s just as good at supporting my weight, it is lighter than steel so it won’t weigh down my truck as much, and it still acts as a nerf board protecting my truck from various collisions (especially in parking lots across America). We’ve all been there.
So if you’re in the market for a sweet looking step board that will last even through heavy snow, you need look no further. Get yourself a set of N-Fab Growler boards today. You’ll thank me later.
Our Promise of Exceptional Service and the Lowest Prices on the Interwebs
When you’re ready to order your N-Fab Growler Running Boards, we hope you’ll get yours from us here at Midwest Aftermarket. We only promote products we believe in and sell them at the lowest prices, shipping quickly to you for free if you’re in the lower 48 states. We have an excellent return policy and strive to get you the right product in perfect condition the first time.
What are you waiting for? Give us a call or place an order directly through our website. We’ll get your product out to you ASAP so you can enjoy your vehicle and make it your own. If you have a vision of what your truck or Jeep could be, let us help you achieve that image, that goal. We put aftermarket right at the tip of your fingers on your smartphone, web browser, and even via various apps, making ordering the parts you need super easy.
Let us help make your aftermarket dream possible. Let us help you build your dream machine. We want you to drive the truck or Jeep of your dreams right now. So when you get it installed and love it, make sure you share us some pics on social media so we can live vicariously through you. Because we too are aftermarket enthusiasts, truck and Jeep owners, who love and own many of the products we sell. In other words, we don’t just work aftermarket--we are aftermarket.
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