When it comes to RC vehicles you have an assortment to choose from. Street racers, 2 and 4 wheel drives, scale models and even vehicles that have never existed. It’s all about the style and the types of terrain that you like tackling. Today in our Vaterra Twin Hammers review we are going to talk about a vehicle designed for rough and rocky terrain. Let’s talk about the Vaterra Twin Hammers Rockracer and see what all of the hype is about. Does it measure up? Let’s take a closer look at this RC and find out!
The Twin Hammers
You might be wondering about the name of this vehicle and we are here to illuminate you on the subject if that is the case. In California’s Johnson valley the terrain is not only beautiful but it is rugged and difficult to traverse… if your vehicle is not up to it. Every year this challenging environment attracts the attention of Rockracers across the world that meet to challenge each other and to prove their mettle. The two most prominent and wicked of these tracks, known affectionately as ‘The Sledgehammer’ and ‘The Jackhammer’, are the Twin Hammers cited in this RC’s name.
How does it handle?
The handling is a bit of a mixed bag but as a specialized vehicle that is not too surprising. For one, let’s consider the top speed. At 16 miles per hour it is not the fastest RC around and many of the factors that make it supreme in the bivouac of climbing make it a poor street roadster. Mind you, this is only when it is unmodified, so with some alterations you can remedy this if you like. With rough terrain, however, that is another story. While it won’t climb very large rocks for dirt trails in the woods and smaller rocks it climbs very well. We also found that the Vaterra is excellent for jumps, though with the shocks in their stock condition you will get a bit of a ‘bounce’ when landing. This can add to the fun factor with a bit of creativity in the course that you set for it or you minimize it a bit with some upgrades that add to the overall weight. That’s all up to you! You can drive it in grassy areas due to the 4 wheel drive but we should warn you in advance, you will get some traction issues and due to the lower speed of the Rockracer taller grass is not something that this vehicle is going to do well with. Other than this limitation, it IS a 4 wheel drive vehicle so you will be able to navigate this in many places that would send your other RC’s rolling downhill in an epic state of ‘fail’, so the fun factor is definitely with this RC. You paid for a climbing vehicle and that is what you get, this is an RC you can play with when it’s raining (yes, it is fully waterproof), rock climbing, or even out on a sandy beach.
We liked the controller for the Vaterra Rockracer. The Spektrum DX4C that comes with the Vaterra is ergonomically sound, comfortable to hold and soft but solid. For navigating the RC there is a donut-style steering wheel that is responsive and up to the task of getting your climber where it needs to go. This unit utilizes 20 model memory and also DSMR 2.4 GHZ technology and as the controller battery is a Spektrum you can utilize a Spektrum smartcharger to get the most out of your charging sessions if you decide that you don’t like the stock charger.
The batteries for your Vaterra Rockracer
While we have mentioned the Spektrum battery for the controller, the actual RC vehicle packs a Dynamite 2S 7.4V 2000mAh LiPo. This is one part which we did not like about the Vaterra because it means that your run time is only going to be about 9 minutes. You may want to look into upgrades or stock up on additional batteries so that you can ensure that the good times do not end too early. This is a disappointment and definitely one area where we would like to see some improvement in future builds. 9 minutes is a bit short in this day and age and a short battery life might well be a deal breaker when considering the purchase of this RC.
Beyond the handling, controller, and the batteries there were a few other aspects of the Rockracer which we felt should be discussed. For instance, the spare tire that you see in the picture is not a prop, you can use it to change out one of the stock tires should you require it. This is the kind of attention to detail that we like
“This is the kind of attention to detail that we like to see”
to see. The 1/10 scale is also impressive and the vehicle looks suitably aggressive. The Dynamite brushed motor runs like a champ and is cooled well, we didn’t notice any temperature issues with this vehicle and shifting on the fly is simply a blast. You’ll see what we mean when you give it a try. Lastly, parts for this vehicle were fairly easy to find at local hobby shops, so you shouldn’t have to worry that you will have to mail-order parts should something go awry (but you still can if that is your preference. We prefer to give the business to the shops, however, to show our appreciation!)
The final verdict
The Vaterra Twin Hammers Rockracer is great for offroading and genuinely fun to drive but the short battery life iis a big disappointment for us. If keeping a lot of spares around is not a problem, however, you can have a great time with this vehicle as the traction and handling are excellent on rough terrain. So, if you don’t have a rock climbing vehicle yet and want to add some new terrain to the types which you can tackle with your RC fleet then the Vaterra might be a good fit for you!