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Best Choosing the Perfect RC Rock Crawler: A Beginner’s Guide

RC Rock Crawler

If you’re here, you must be looking for the best RC rock crawler for beginners. While I haven’t included a review of the best RC rock crawlers, I have done you one better: a beginner’s guide to choosing the most suitable RC rock crawler. This write-up will help you narrow down the list. 

Many people love RC rock crawlers because they are more beginner-friendly than their counterparts. For instance, they are rather slow and offer better maneuverability, making them more effortless to control. Depending on what you are looking for, numerous RC rock crawler models are on the market, so a buying guide like this will be handy. 

Best RC rock crawling is an enthralling and delightfully challenging hobby. RC rock crawlers are excellent for outdoor and indoor use with the kids, traveling through dirty and rocky tracks, or even exploring more wet surroundings, provided the electric parts are waterproof. 

Generally, rock crawlers are small trucks with 4-wheel drive abilities and are well-capable for traversing rough and rocky terrain. Fortunately or unfortunately, they are available in multiple colors and sizes. 

Let me not keep you waiting; here is a beginner’s guide to choosing the perfect RC rock crawler:

Best Choosing an RC Rock Crawler with Perfect Accessibility & Performance

As I have pointed out a few times when purchasing an RC rock crawler, many options are available. How will you pick the most suitable one for your needs?

For starters, consider the kind of car you want. The market is flooded with cars that provide various performances and features. Some are more user-friendly than their counterparts. However, the most suitable option for you as a beginner is the RTR RC rock crawler, also known as Ready to Run. 

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This rig is suitable for you who want to go outdoors and drive without the burden of worrying about tweaking or building anything before you take it for a drive. 

On the other hand, if you aren’t completely new to this and are looking to have more control over your car, you can always purchase a kit and build it yourself. With a kit, you only have to assemble the parts according to the manufacturer’s instructions, and you’re done!

Either way, you’ll drive around with an RC rock crawler that suits your needs perfectly. 

What To Consider when Choosing the Perfect RC Rock Crawler

There are numerous features, colors, designs, sizes, and even prices on the market. It’s critical to know what you need before you make a purchase.

For instance, an off-road model will be a perfect fit if you’re looking for a car that can tackle tough terrain but isn’t as swift as other RC Cars. Again, a macro crawler is your best bet if you don’t require a full-size car but need a more lightweight option. 

That said, here is how to choose the perfect RC rock crawler:

Type of Motor

Typically, RC crawling features a brushless or brushed motor:

Brushed Motor 

These motors have an open design to ensure they remain cool, preventing overheating. However, due to its open nature, it does present the issue of accumulating sand and debris. This eventually damages the engine. Rigs with this type of motor are cheaper than rock crawlers equipped with a brushless motor. 

Brushless Motor

Brushless motors offer more regarding speed and durability. Nonetheless, they are pricier. Fortunately, they have a longer lifespan than brushed motors. Still, they are prone to temperature degradation, and replacing them will cost an arm and a leg. 

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A brushless motor is the way to go if you want more power and speed. Rock crawler motors are interchangeable so you can purchase an RC crawling with a brushed motor, and when you sharpen your skills, you can substitute it for a brushless unit. 

Type of Rock Crawler 

These small but supremely efficient cars come in three types:

Technical Crawlers 

Even though they are not the most common, technical crawlers are designed to drive through rough terrain and sizable obstacles. 

Rock Racers

These are the most popular and are engineered to race, so they offer higher speed than their counterparts. This helps them overcome barriers faster than their counterparts. 

Trail Rigs 

These are rather slow yet incredibly powerful. You can drive them through the largest obstacles and the most difficult terrains. Nevertheless, they are not designed for competition. 


This is debatably the most vital RC rock crawler performance factor to consider when making a purchase. It would be best to choose reduced gear ratios to better prepare your car when climbing over boulders and other huge obstacles. 

Ground Clearance 

When driving, especially on rough terrain, you will have to push a few obstacles out of your way. For this reason, your rock crawler must have good ground clearance. While having less ground clearance is an excellent idea, it could damage the body and undercarriage of your RC rock crawler. 

The best option is to choose an RC rock crawler with great ground clearance. This will hinder damage from occurring as you traverse through obstacles. 

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Tires are an important part of your RC rock crawler. They are in direct contact with the surface you’re driving on, so looking for a car with great tires would be best. Those with more tread are more suitable for grasping rocky terrain. Also, ensure they are properly bead-locked. That said, you can always replace the tires. 


Your rock crawler should be able to drive through uneven and even surfaces effortlessly. A compliant suspension can tackle rough terrain easily. Besides, the suspension of your RC rock crawler will determine how good or bad the driving experience is. 

Waterproof Electronics

Your RC rock crawler will, at some point, come into contact with wet surroundings. In this case, buying one with waterproof electronics would be best to avoid damaging them. Also, this helps prevent dust and debris from accumulating and eventually ruining your car’s electric components. 


Another essential aspect is how your RC rock crawler handles itself. You want a responsive car that is fast enough to keep up with your adventures. This is where the steering comes in. Go for a servo steering since it is swifter and more responsive. 


To narrow down your options, some more consider the best brands. RC rock crawlers come from numerous manufacturers, but the best brands include Traxxas, Redcat, and Axial. Consider the kind of rig you want, your features, and your budget when factoring in brands. 

These three brands are the best, but you can also consider Vaterra and Altair. Hopefully, this write-up has helped narrow down the available options. Have fun shopping!

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