4WD MODIFICATIONS - STORAGE
SUV Doorstop is a small, foldable step that allows safe and easy access to roof racks and roof-mounted solar panels.
We’ve all had to load and unload roof racks at times and it can be a tricky operation.
Some racks have side or rear ladder access, but it can be very dangerous walking around on a roof rack.
Most people don’t want to get onto a roof rack, but they do want to able to load and unload items in safety.
We’ve tested wheel-mounted steps that clip over the rear tyres and they work fine. However, they’re bulky.
The simplest solution we’ve come across is a temporary step that clips to the door lock staple on a vehicle’s B- and C-pillars. However, some of the low-priced ones – from as low as $11 – that we’ve checked out are not very well made and aren’t load-rated.
The SUV Doorstep is a patented design that’s made from aircraft grade aluminium (6106) and is rated to support a 230kg load. It comes with a one-year, full-refund warranty and for that peace of mind we reckon it’s worth paying $40, plus delivery from Melbourne.
The folded unit measures 173mm x 90mm x 50mm and weighs only 320gm. The attachment hook folds flat, allowing the Doorstep to slip into a small carry bag that can easily fit into a vehicle door pocket, where it’s right at hand when required.
Our test SUV doorstep had a rubber protection pad, to prevent scratching door pillar paint and came with a spare pad.
A bonus is a glass breaking percussion pin set into the rounded end that can be used to break glass in an emergency.
The hook clips over the common staple lock fitting found on nearly all door pillars and these have manufacturer-guaranteed anti-burst properties that can handle loads of more than one tonne. It’s unlikely that a person’s weight could cause any lock damage, unless the lock is faulty, of course.
We tested the SUV Doorstep on an older LandCruiser 75 Series, a Suzuki Grand Vitara and an Isuzu Ute D-MAX. It clipped to all these locks very easily and allowed safe roof rack and solar panel access.
In the case of the ‘Cruiser and the Grand Vitara it was easy to step onto it from the door sill, but in the case of the D-MAX it was necessary to make an interim step onto the seat cushion. A cloth on the seat kept dirt off the upholstery.
Our SUV Doorstep now has a permanent place in the LandCruiser’s passenger side door pocket. It makes it easy to keep our roof-top solar panel clean when we’re on trips. If we need to stow long items on the roof rack of our Suzuki we take the SUV Doorstep with us to the hardware store.