So you’re looking to push the boundaries of your RC truck by attempting to climb dirt clods and rocks, but you’re having a hard time. Perhaps this is the first obstacle your RC truck can’t handle, and if the thought of conquering tough terrain with RC vehicles excites you, then it’s time you upgrade to a rock crawler. Rock crawlers are somewhat new to the RC hobby, but they’ve risen in popularity and there are now special competitions that focus on rock crawling across Australia, America and Europe. Operating one presents a brand new set of skills and challenges for RC enthusiasts in learning how to drive over rough rocky terrains like steep hills or trails, rock formations, obstacle courses or dry river beds.
Unlike RC trucks, RC rock crawlers don’t focus on speed. Instead, the focus is on problem-solving through maneuverability, power and torque. This is where the 4×4 drive, ground clearance, high torque and flexible suspension of the RC rock crawler come into play. As a first time buyer, these are the key aspects you should be looking out for when shopping for an RC rock crawler. Additionally, you need to consider whether you want an electric or a nitro/gas crawler. For beginners, electric-powered crawlers are the better choice, since they’re much easier to use and maintain. All you have to do is charge the batteries and you’re good to go. As you become more experienced, you might want to try out a gas model, as they offer more power and sound better.
In order to get a better understanding of rock crawlers, you might also want to consider building one yourself from scratch. That way, when your rock crawler gets damaged, you’ll have the knowledge to repair it yourself. However, building an RC vehicle from scratch isn’t an easy task – it requires a lot of focus and dedication, and you might curse some. If you’re not very handy with tools, the extra effort isn’t worth it, and that’s fine – there’s plenty of ready to run models you can pick from. But if you do have the skill set required to build a crawler, then it can be a very enjoyable experience.
Lastly, as you probably know if you’ve owned any type of RC vehicle, crawlers come in various sizes. The most popular sizes are the 1/8 and 1/10 scale, although you’ll find them in 1/16 and 1/5 as well. 1/16 are generally used for indoor obstacle courses, while the larger sized models are great for outdoor use.