Getting Started With Remote Control Cars And Trucks
Thinking about getting into the exciting world of RC racing and/off-roading? Well, you've found the right place! Not all RC cars and trucks are like the toys you played with as a kid. Some RCs can take nitro fuel and can go up to 100 mph! But RC cars like that take a lot of expertise and technical know-how. And that brings me to my first and most important point...
Start simple! You wouldn't give the keys to your Lamborghini to someone who has never driven before, would you? If you drop a ton of dough on an RC super machine without any prior RC experience, you are likely to get overwhelmed, frustrated and at worst, have a brand new totaled RC. Many RC vehicles are upgradeable, so it might be a good bet to buy a solid base model and add hop ups or performance parts when you get a little more experienced.
What Remote Control Vehicle Is Right For Me?
That depends what kind of RC driving action you are looking for. Do you have a need for some pure on-road speed? Does your heart race when thinking about pulling off exciting stunts and tricks? Or does navigating through wild off-road terrain more your thang? Do you prefer simple two wheel drive or more complicated 4 wheel drive RCs? Scale is another thing to think about. Scale refers to the size relationship between the RC vehicle and the actual vehicle is emulates. The bigger they are, the more expensive and impressive they usually are. But don't get overwhelmed. Here are the basic types of RC vehicles you can get:
Most RC cars are built for on-road racing have minimal suspension. They are tuned for pure speed and taking sharp corners. If you are looking for a classic racing experience, this is the RC vehicle for you.
RC trucks usually are built with oversized shocks, heavy suspensions and giant off-road tires. Perfect for tearing around the wilderness, these babies are built for serious off-road all-terrain racing. They can take a lot of abuse and survive jumps that would thrash other RC vehicles.
RC Buggies And Truggies
Mix together a dash of RC car plus a touch of RC truck and you get a RC buggy! These offroad rippers usually can't take quite as much punishment as their RC Truck counterparts. But from what they lack in durability they make up in speed. If pure off-road racing is what you want, then you need either a RC buggy or truggy.
Short Course Trucks
With the gaining popularity of Lucas Oil Offroad Racing Series, these highly specialized RC speed machines are really a hot item these days. Most short course RC trucks are more advanced and require way more upkeep than their RC Truggy brethren. If you are starting out in RC, this probably isn't the easiest and most user friendly route to begin with. But if you love Short Course Truck Racing and are up for the challenge, then go ahead and give it a shot!
RC Monster Trucks
Colossal tires, powerful engines and unstoppable torques are the main qualities that define RC Monster Trucks. These things are great climbers and crowd pleasers as well, but they do require a lot of work under the hood. If power is your number one priority, top speed isn't a major concern and you don't mind getting your hands dirty, then you might want to think about grabbing one of these hot mamas.
If you want to be able to rip through any type of terrain then a RC rock crawler is for you. Snow, mud, gravel, sand, steep, logs, ice, cliffs, streams, jumps… Mother Nature has got nothing that can stop these RC juggernauts. If making your own trails sounds fun to you and speed isn't a major concern, then RC rock crawlers are for you!
RTR (Ready To Run)
If you are beginner RC racer, then it's probably best to stick with a RTR (Ready To Run) RC vehicle. RTR RC vehicles are ready to drive out of the box. They usually come with a radio transmitter and all the rechargeable batteries you need to get started. This is perfect for RC newcomers who want to get into the RC world running. And loads of RTR vehicles can be upgraded later after your skills have improved, so keep that mind when you make your purchase. No matter what you go with, it's always good to have replacement parts ready so you can get back into the action quickly.
Kits require assembly. You'll get all the necessary parts to assemble your own personal beast. You might need to purchase a few parts separately on super high end models though. You are also going need a full tool set and some artistic talent to paint your RC the exactly the way you want it. Although Kits take a lot more time and energy to get going, you'll gain a better understanding on how your RC works and will have a better idea on how to maintain/upgrade it.
Electric Or Nitro Powered RCs?
Electric powered RCs are the standard these days. They usually are more affordable, quieter and the best bet for RC newbies. Powered by rechargeable batteries, these RCs can roll for about 9-12 minutes at time. It might be a good idea to get a few extra battery packs and a quick charger if you are going to race in the field for a few hours. The average speed of electric off-road RC vehicles usually varies between 10-50 mph while electric on-road vehicles can go between 15mph-100 mph!
Nitro powered RCs are favored by most hardcore RC enthusiasts and are powered by a special type of gasoline called nitro fuel. You have to worry more about maintenance and tuning see our How To Maintain Your Nitro Fuel RC Vehicle guide if you need some help. Nitro RCs also control and maneuver more like their real life counterparts, so if realism is important to you, then nitro is the way to go! Most off-road nitro RC vehicles can go between 20-60 mph while on-road nitro RC vehicles can go around 25-80 mph!
By: Jacob Anderson