RC Model Crawlers

Operating a radio-controlled (RC) vehicle in any conditions is a tremendous amount of fun but being able to use them on any type of terrain takes it to an entirely new level. Some RC car enthusiasts are only into speed and that's fine. However, watching a vehicle move up and down hillsides and roll easily over rocks, vegetation and obstacles is great fun. That's what RC model crawlers do best.

What is an RC model crawler?

Most RC vehicles like cars, boats and planes are meant to go fast. RC model crawlers, frequently referred to as rock crawlers, climb over rugged terrain surfaces that a regular RC car, truck SUV or even tank could not. Many of these RC off-road vehicles resemble the monster trucks that are often seen competing in arenas and weekend fairs. Other names for crawlers include rock racers and trail rigs. Remote control rock crawlers use big tyres and stronger suspension to climb hills, rocks, sand dunes and anything else without being damaged.

What are some features of an RC model crawler?

When selecting an RC model crawler, consider these factors:

  • Size
  • Motor
  • Steering
  • Suspension
  • Wheels and tyres
  • Battery type
  • Radio frequency

RC vehicles, like other model vehicles, are rated by size called scale, which is the ratio of the size of the RC vehicle to an actual vehicle. RC rock crawlers are typically available in scaled like 1:8, 1:10, 1:14 and 1:24. So, a 1:10 scale RC model crawler is 10 per cent the size of what a real crawler would be. Most RC rock crawlers feature brushed motors with one- to three-speed transmissions while more powerful units come with twin motors. Large wheelbases and wheel sizes will allow your vehicle to traverse rockier terrains than those with small wheelbases and wheels. Knobby tyres help the vehicle keep a grip on rocks and slippery surfaces. The batteries can be one of three types: lithium-ion, nickel-cadmium or nickel-metal hydride.

What accessories should you have for using an RC model crawler?

For RC model crawlers, extra wheels and tyres are always handy. Choose different treads for your vehicle for going over multiple types of terrain like rocks, dirt, mud and sand. Having an extra battery or two will allow you to charge a battery while the other one is being used. This prevents having to stop the action to recharge a battery, which can take up to 20 minutes or more. A rapid battery charger can help cut wait times down significantly. Cleaning solvents and hobby brushes can help keep your vehicle clean and in top working condition at all times.