2021 RAM 1500 Owners Manual - TAILGATE



The tailgate may be opened by pushing the tailgate release pad located on the tailgate door.

The tailgate damper strut will lower the tailgate to the open position (if equipped).

Electronic Tailgate Release — If Equipped The key fob may be equipped with an electronic release feature for the

tailgate, allowing hands-free tailgate

opening. To activate, push and release the Tailgate Release button on the key fob twice within five seconds. The tailgate door will unlatch, and slowly lower into the open position.

If equipped, a button on the center overhead console inside the vehicle can be used to release the tailgate. An indicator light may also signal when the tailgate is open.

For the tailgate to lower, the vehicle must be stationary and in PARK or NEUTRAL.

The optional Tri-Fold Tonneau Cover page 97 may prevent electronic tailgate release. The Tonneau Cover must be removed or folded up before releasing the tailgate.


To close the tailgate, push it upward until both sides are securely latched.


The tailgate can be locked using the key fob lock button.


The 60/40 multifunction tailgate has two swing doors to allow for closer access to the pickup box with the doors open.

The tailgate must be latched closed to open the swing doors. Push the paddle down, then pull the release handle beneath the tailgate lowering handle. This opens the 60 split door.

Once the 60 split swing door is opened, pull the release handle on the inboard side of the

40 split door to open.


Always close the 40 split door first, then close the 60 split door. The swing doors must be securely latched before the tailgate can be lowered.

    When the swing doors are open, the maximum load placed on a door cannot exceed 180 lbs (82 kg).
    Pull back on the swing doors firmly after closing to ensure they are securely latched.


To remove the tailgate, follow the instructions below:

    Open the tailgate to a 45° angle.
    Lift up on the right side of the tailgate, lifting it off of the pivot.

    Without latching, rotate the tailgate to nearly closed. Then, while providing support to the tailgate, slide it slowly to the right, removing the tailgate from the left pivot.

Rest the tailgate on the bumper so that the entire tailgate is secure and supported.

    Let the tailgate rest on the support cables while having the tailgate naturally slide forward on the bumper.

    Remove the connector bracket from the sill by pushing inward in the locking tab.


Locking Tab

    Disconnect the wiring harness by pushing on the two release tabs, ensuring the connector bracket does not fall into the sill.

    — First Release Tab
    — Second Release Tab

    Connect the body side plug (provided in the glove compartment) to the body side wiring harness and insert the bracket back into the sill.

    Connect the tailgate plugs (provided in the glove compartment) to the tailgate wiring harness to ensure that the terminals do not corrode.

1 — Large Plug 2 — Small Plug

    Tape the tailgate harness and bracket against the forward-facing surface of the tailgate. This will prevent damaging the connector and bracket when storing or reinstalling the tailgate.
    Raise the tailgate slightly, and remove the support cables by releasing the lock tang from the pivot.

Make sure tailgate is supported by you and/or a 2

second person when removing support cables.


Your vehicle may be equipped with an extendable bed step on the driver’s side of the tailgate to provide easier entry and exit into the

1 — Bed Step 2 — Foot Tab

Locking Tang

    Remove the tailgate from the vehicle.
    Do not carry the tailgate loose in the truck pickup box.
    If the tailgate is closed with the wire harness disconnected, the tailgate can only be opened by removing the inside panel and unlatching the locking mechanism manually.

truck bed.

To extend the bed step, place your foot on the protruding foot tab located on the left edge of the bed step, and push rearward. A small amount of force will release the spring load, and extend the bed step out and away from the tailgate.

Once the spring load is overcome, the bed step will extend out quickly, so be sure to stand in a position that will avoid coming into contact with the step as it extends.

To stow the bed step back under the tailgate, push the bed step forward with your foot until the bed step is retracted by the spring load.

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