In recent years, the popularity and availability of all kinds of RC vehicles have experienced an uptick. Just about any activity that involves a specialized vehicle in the real world has an RC counterpart that can bring a scale version of the experience to nearly anyone. One specific offshoot of the RC scene for which this is true is the world of RC trail trucks.
The remarkable products available on the market today provide a realistic adventure of incredible “rock crawling.” While it may not be quite as exciting as the real deal, RC rock crawling is an exhilarating experience at a fraction of the cost. However, with the flood of products on the market today, it is important to know the best available options. To assist you on your journey, we have put together a selection of the greatest choices. Read on to see our top picks, based on a variety of factors including quality, functionality, and price.
Topping our list is what we feel is the best RC rock crawler, living up to everything an RC rock crawler should be. In terms of extra features and quality, the TRX4 checks all the boxes. As for price, it is on the spendy side. However, we feel that those who can afford to invest the extra money up front will find it worth the cost. Along with everything that already comes included with the base package, a number of sweet upgrades are available to soup up your ride later on.
Due to the popularity of the Traxxas brand, there is an abundance of fun and exciting aftermarket components. Alongside other features that make the Traxxas TRX4 stand out is the increased weight and durability of a steel frame and chassis. In spite of the added weight, this heavy crawler can reach a decent speed when in high gear. Visit here to see the price.
- Higher clearance for increased mobility
- Steel frame for increased durability and minimal flex
- Waterproof electrical components
- Remotely controlled locking differentials
- Adjustable 2-speed transmission
- Phone connectivity via Bluetooth
- 8 channel radio for less chance at interference with other RC vehicles
- Higher price range
- Not a particularly fast model, built more for rock climbing then open terrain
- Known to have some servo issues, but relatively easy to fix
Our second recommendation is the Team Losi NightCrawler SE. The biggest difference between the NightCrawler and our top pick is the versatility. While the TRX4 takes a middle of the road approach between rock crawling and trail driving, the NightCrawler focuses primarily on climbing. Even so, the base model may leave something to be desired for the most in-depth users.
Luckily, there is a great selection of aftermarket products to help you reach the top. Something that sets this model apart from others is the design of the wheel assemblies. Rather than glued-on tires as seen in some other options, the NightCrawler has a beadlock design that allows for easily changing the tires on the fly. This can be particularly advantageous if you like to change tire options during the same run without much hassle. Please have a look at the price here.
- Precision 4-link suspension system for superior handling
- Extra exoskeleton and roll bars for taking that extra beating
- Powerful LED lights: front, rear, and top
- Tough aluminum axle and drive shaft
- Adjustable shocks for customizable results
- Battery and charger are not included
- Base model tires are a bit small
- Lower quality, 2 channel radio
Axial SCX10 II
Another thoroughbred rock crawler, the SCX10 II is an upgraded spin on the intensely popular original SCX10 model. The arena where these RC crawler trucks really stand out is in their attention to detail. Appealing to hobbyists as well as trail and crawling enthusiasts, the SCX10 II has the option to be purchased as a kit that allows you to assemble the truck yourself.
It also has more options than your typical kit, featuring a selection from five different body styles. With all steel transmission components and debris proof and water-resistant components, it is hard to find a more field ready and durable machine. Have a look at the price here.
- Adjustable wheelbase
- Servo mounted on chassis
- Choice from five different bodies
- Ultra-realistic and detailed scale components
- Sweet LED lights included
- 35T water resistant brush motor with integrated cooling
- Base electronics, including servos, are better if upgraded
- Lacks two speed transmission option
- Battery and charger are not included with base package
Redcat Racing Everest 10
If you are looking for something on a budget, but still with quality characteristics, the Everest 10 may be just what you need. While an experienced RC scale crawler may notice the difference in performance caliber, most beginners and hobby drivers will find this rig an absolute steal at a significantly lower price. Another factor that makes this a great pick is the truly “ready out of the box” state of the base model.
It comes fully assembled with everything you need, including the battery pack and charger. Although the price is incredibly low compared to our other options, the component quality is much higher than one might expect. This, combined with an unusually high clearance, will take you anywhere that the “big dogs” can go. Click here to see the price.
- Durable, affordable, and easily replaceable parts
- Ready to use straight from the package
- Water proofed electrical components
- Slightly handicapped handling and steering capabilities
- Slower than average on flat pavement
No matter what you are looking for in an RC rock crawler, we are confident that these options will get you there. Whether you are comfortable spending a pretty penny to get the “best of the best,” or simply looking for a fun time at a more affordable price, we have you covered!
With so many options to choose from, it is important to evaluate what you are looking for from your RC vehicle and make an informed decision based on the features and characteristics of each vehicle you consider. If you take this personalized approach, you are sure to find something that meets and exceeds your expectations, allowing you to blaze new trails!