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Remote Control rock crawlers make some of the best birthday gifts for both kids and adults – they’re a great way to have fun, catch up with friends, and relax after a whole week of work or school. They are designed mainly to climb rocks, overcome different kinds of obstacles, and tackle different types of terrain. Generally, they move at a slow pace, so they cannot race, even though you can find fast models on the market.
Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned crawler enthusiast, choosing the best rc rock crawler can be quite a daunting task. There are so many for sale out there, all of them bringing something to the table. Each crawler has its own unique features, and to find the right one, you have to satisfy your preferences and purpose.
To assist you in making the most informed decisions, out experts went into the market, tried and tested numerous RC crawlers, then compiled a list with in-depth reviews of the very best ones. In addition to that, we’ve come up with a buying guide with everything that you need to consider when shopping for a crawler, to ensure that you get value for your money. In this article, we will look at the top RC crawlers on the market and make it super easy for you to choose the perfect RC rock crawler for yourself or for your kid.
Extra features: radio system with waterproof receiver, forward and reverse transmission
The Everest 10 packs a bang for your buck and comes with all those awesome features you have been looking for in an RC crawler. For starters, it features front and rear multilink suspension, which means that the crawler has an incredible ability to flex more and conform to the angle of any terrain a whole lot better. The Everest 10 also features a front and rear transmission and deadlock tires, making it easy for the crawler to drive over anything as long as there is traction.
The shocks included in this RC crawler are aluminum capped and oil–filled to increase stability, and the radio system is a 2.4 GHz system. With a system like that, you have no reason to worry about frequency jamming, and you and your friends will be able to run your crawlers at the same time with no problems.
Perhaps one of the best things about this RC crawler is that the electronics are waterproof, which means you can play through rain, snow, or puddles, without worrying about damages. The next best thing is that if the inevitable happens and you crash it, spare parts will be easy to find.
What we liked:
Ready to run
Suitable for all kinds of terrains
Beadlock rock climbing tires
2.4 GHz radio system
What could be better:
The servo system could cause problems for beginners
Extra features: waterproof electronics, 3S Power System, exclusive GTS aluminum shocks
The Traxxas TRX–4 is one of the best crawlers on the list, and for several good reasons. This RC crawler promises capability, versatility, and all the right features in all the right places. Traxxas is a brand renowned for its quality products, and this creation does not disappoint. One of the key features of this remote control rock crawler is its superb build quality. The shocks are filled, the screws are just right, and the gear mesh exactly how it’s supposed to be. The next key feature is the remote locking diffs that offer two turning styles. Once you unlock the diffs, the crawler becomes highly maneuverable and can do a 180 in no time. On the other hand, when you lock the diffs, the crawler goes wherever you want it to. It has a better range in front steering.
This crawler is not the fastest you will come across, but it has some nice tricks that will make driving so much more fun. For instance, you can do 180’s and 270’s without tripping over.
The most exciting thing about it is that it is a multi–terrain crawler, meaning that it will perform just as well on rocky roads, grass, and mud as it would on smooth pavements. The stock tires give the crawler a perfect balance of grip and a looser hold, making it perform well on both smooth and rocky terrains.
What we liked:
Great cruise control
Large battery box
An incredibly smooth ride
Easy to read and follow manual
Up to 2 hours use
What could be better:
Standard body clips that could become loose or bend with ease
Not inclusive of a proprietary battery
Short shocks that could make for limited articulation
Extra features: 2 batteries, dual motors, LED headlights, shock absorber, TPR anti-slip tires, 165ft. distance
This is one of the most phenomenal rock crawlers on the list because it comes with dual motors that give it powerful torque. A powerful torque makes it easy to control a car, and even easier to maneuver any difficult moves. Apart from that, this rock crawler has two rechargeable batteries, which means you can enjoy 90 minutes of driving.
Its 2.4 GHz radio frequency makes it possible to use multiple cars continuously in the same area, and with the two anti-slip tires – playing on difficult terrains is no problem at all. It also has a shock absorber for conquering uphill. The body structure is strong, the wheels are installed in independent suspension springs, and the car is resistant to bumps and falls.
Extra features: up to 260 feet control range, heavy duty wheels & anti–shock suspension system
If you are looking for breathtaking and fantastic fun, and if you feel that a crawler with a brushless motor is what you need, this rock crawler from VCANNY is a great choice. The rock crawler is powered by a built–in electric 390 motor, making it capable of reaching a speed limit of up to 30 mph – the kind of speed that will make you and your kids scream with excitement and thrill. This incredible machine comes with 7.4V long–lasting batteries, a pistol–like remote controller that offers the optimum remote driving experience, a 2.4 GHz radio, and a steering wheel. You can use the remote within a range of up to 250 feet.
The wheels on the crawler are heavy duty, and it features an anti–shock suspension system that comes with shockproof gaskets. In addition to all that, the crawler also features four-wheel drive independent suspension technology, with an anti-collision head, making it capable of driving on all terrains, including mud, grass, concrete, rock, and beach sand.
Extra features: controller range of up to 260 feet, four suspension springs prevent damages caused by vibrations
This an off-road four-wheel drive RC monster truck that is one of the most reliable in the market. This rock crawler has been designed with the purpose of delivering the best off-road experience you can possibly have. It features front and rear motors that make for a strong and stable drive. Double motors provide a powerful torque that will help you strive for different kinds of terrains without any hustle.
The crawler also sports an independent suspension system that prevents damages by controlling vibrations. It comes with a top–quality rechargeable 6V battery, a charging time of 2 to 3 hours, and a playtime of about half an hour. The crawler also comes with a 2.4 GHz radio system and has a range of up to 260 feet, which is fairly impressive. The steering wheel is extremely responsive and highly ergonomic, which makes for better handling. If your kids have been asking for a rock crawler, then this is the perfect gift for them – an affordable, yet high-quality model.
This SIMREX rock crawler is an impressive truck. It features a 2.4 GHz radio system and is ready to run straight out of the box. One of the best things about this crawler is that it comes with a speed of up to 20km/h. The crawler comes with a suspension system, and four–wheel shock absorbers. Note that this model is a two-wheel drive, which will be good news for all the drift lovers out there.
Many customers have reported that the car is quite durable, despite its low price point. However, it is still best to avoid hitting objects when going at top speed, to avoid any potential damages. All spare parts are readily available on Amazon though, so you don’t have to worry about replacements.
This is a great car for kids and adults alike, and can be used in a variety of settings, whether you want to drive it around the home or test it on the rocks! The rock crawler also comes with a comfortable remote control, ergonomic in design, to enable you to use it with great ease.
The only downside to this rock crawler is the control distance which, while decent, is significantly lower than that of other models that we looked at.
What we liked:
What could be better:
2 wheel drive
50 meter distance
10 minutes use
Things to Consider
There is a staggering number of options to choose from when it comes to remote control crawlers, and getting the best one can be tasking, even for skilled enthusiasts. There are different types of RC crawlers and you need to first decide on the type you want before you go for a precise model. When choosing a remote control rock crawler, there are a multitude of things you need to consider. Ask yourself, are you looking to get a toy-grade or a hobby-grade vehicle? Hobby-grade are advanced models that come with different qualities, and they are not simply toy crawlers. Some other points to to consider are the purpose, size, and type of the crawler. Here is a detailed list of everything you need to remember when making your decision.
Reasons to Buy a Remote Control Crawler
Most people would argue that remote control cars are toys and that only kids need them. However, that could not be further from the truth. Of course they’re toys, but adults can have as much fun as kids with them, especially when it comes to crawlers! Modern RC crawlers are actually so tech-advanced that kids cannot use some of them, or require adult supervision while using them. Owning one of these beautiful creations can open doors to one of the best hobbies you have had yet, and if you still need convincing, here are some more reasons why you need to own an RC crawler.
They offer tons of fun
When you choose one of the best rock crawlers in the market, you will have a lot of fun with it. Different versions of remote control cars come with different experiences, and crawlers happen to offer some of the best, because you get to compete on rough terrain. In addition to that, you get to enjoy quality time with your friends, or even family, which in this day and age is something to treasure.
Live your adventures
Remote control cars are one of the best reasons to get out and spend time outdoors. For people who lead a sedentary lifestyle, things could change because there is no fun in driving a remote crawler indoors. You can participate in competitions and have the time of your life. Once you start, you’ll never want to go back!
If you have been looking for a new reason to socialize and meet new people, this is it. With a remote control car or an RC helicopter , you will get to meet other enthusiasts, make friends, share your interests, create connections, and on top of that, get in some physical exercise.
Features to Consider When Choosing an RC Rock Crawler
There are several components and factors you need to look for and consider before you make a final decision. The speed of the crawler, the durability, and the power source are some of the things you need to consider. Here is a full list.
Your budget should be on top of the list of your considerations. How much are you willing to part with for your crawler? How often will you be using it? If very often, investing in a good RC crawler will be well worth it. Some of the more expensive RC crawlers are very durable, and they generally last longer than cheaper models would.
Speed and Range
When it comes to RC crawlers, there are two types of speeds, which are the actual speed and the scale speed. Hobby grade models have a standard speed that ranges from 10 to 70 mph. Some models, especially the modified crawlers, can go as high as 100 mph. On the other hand, range refers to the actual distance the crawler can be operated from the control. This is also something you need to consider before you make a purchase.
There are two types of motors in the RC world, namely brushless and brushed.
Brushed motors are usually open to the environment to help with staying cool, thereby preventing overheating. The downside to that is that they are always open to sand, dirt and debris, which wear the motor down very fast.
Most remote control crawlers with this type of motor are cheaper compared to their counterparts.
On the other hand, Brushless motors offer so much more, like more speed, more durability, and they are definitely more expensive. They don’t wear out as quickly as brushed motors, but they are vulnerable to high temperature degradation, and they are more expensive to replace. However, if you need more power and speed, then brushless is the way to go. RC crawler motors can be upgraded though, so if you are a beginner, you can start out with a brushed motor and once you get the hang of things, upgrade to a brushless motor. Although with rock crawlers, a brushed motor does best, because they have slow speed control and you need accuracy.
Type of Rock Crawler
There are three types of rock crawlers:
Technical rock crawlers overcome near impossible terrain and obstacles
Rock racers are designed with speed in mind, so they are faster and they overcome obstacles
Trail rigs are much slower but much more powerful. These tackle even the highest of boulders and the trickiest of terrains. These are definitely not for competition.
Ready to Run (RTP) or Build Your Own (Assembly)
Rock crawlers may come ready to run, or you may have to build your own out of the box. Ready to run are already set up, and as the name suggests, you can start using them immediately. On the other hand, assembly cars come in a kit, and you have to assemble all the parts before you can even call it a car. When you assemble one for yourself, you get an understanding of the inner workings of the car, and how to build it, which will make replacing parts or repairing a lot easier. On the other hand, ready to run vehicles come with full instructions for those who would like to disassemble and assemble again, so you can opt for that instead.
Remote Control Distance
The remote of your RC crawler refers to the remote control unit that you will use to control the car. Different brands have different remote designs, but they all include the most basic control buttons. The frequency of the remote refers to the radio signal sent from the transmitter to the receiver, and it determines at what distance your remote can control the crawler. Some crawlers come with a relatively short distance and you need to be very close to the vehicle to control it, while others have a generous distance that allows you to watch it run without following it.
If you are a beginner who has not mastered the craft, then you should probably get a cheap model to practice with, and upgrade to a more expensive one when you get the hang of it.
Remote control crawlers can be quite hard to handle and it becomes very tricky maneuvering them through tough terrain. Experienced users, on the other hand, should get nitro–powered crawlers as they provide more independence.
Metal is preferred across the board because it withstands heat, especially for nitro–crawlers. Plastic is not ideal since nitro crawlers emit too much heat. Electric RC crawlers are also available in plastic and metal and while plastic might be cheap, it is less durable than metal.
The durability of the car will highly depend on the build material, and how well you maintain it. Before you settle on a car, you should know what kind of maintenance it needs. Standard models are easier to maintain compared to hobby-levels cars. Electric ones are also easy to care for since they don’t have fuel engines.
Waterproof and weather-proof ability
All-weather RC trucks are pretty awesome because you can have fun during summer and winter. If you get a waterproof crawler, then you can even compete in puddles and not worry about any damages to the car. The Redcat Racing Everest, for instance, is waterproof and great for all terrains. If you’re looking for a waterproof car, an RC buggy can be a great option to look into.
The durability of the crawler will highly depend on the brand, the quality of materials used for construction, as well as how well you maintain it. High quality RC crawlers are durable, as they come with well–designed and constructed components. However, these are so much more expensive.
This will depend on the terrain. Two–wheel is cheap but very challenging to control, making them best for smooth terrains. Four-wheel, on the other hand, are easy to maneuver, best suited for rough terrain, but more expensive.
If the running time on your RC crawler is shorter that you would like, the best way to increase it is by adding another battery to it. Some crawlers come with batteries as low as 350 mAh, which runs about 15 minutes. All you have to do is upgrade your battery and get something like 6.4V 1600 mAh, or more, which will run for a longer time.
If you get an all–terrain RC crawler, then you can play with it when it’s raining or snowing. All-terrain RC crawlers are usually designed waterproof, making it possible for you to run them even in the rain.
There are far too many RC crawlers in the market, and it may be overwhelming, especially if you are a beginner. However, if you take into consideration that rock crawlers are supposed to be crawling, and not speed driving, you can narrow your options. When you make all the considerations we have listed above, then you will narrow your options further, getting closer to a great choice for your needs. Try to get a truck that can survive the most rugged of terrains, within your budget, of course.
The Redcat Everest-10 is our top pick because it is suitable for all terrains. Traxxas TRX-4 is the second best because it has an exceptional running time, and the SGOTA rock crawler made it third on the list, as it makes for the best 4–wheel drive.
Other features like durability, waterproof ability, and shock-tolerant outer shells should be on your list of important criteria as well. Your intention should be to play with your RC crawler as hard as you want and end up with everything intact after every crawling session.
Overall, your RC crawler should give you your value for money, regardless of the price. With the options listed above, you can choose one that matches your needs, or you can shop for other options depending on your preferences.