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Choosing the Right RC Rock Crawler: Factors to Consider

Choosing the Right RC Rock Crawler Factors to Consider

If you’ve ever shopped for an RC rock crawler for you or your kids, you can relate to the frustration and difficulty. The process is challenging when you don’t know what to choose. You have to filter through the hundreds, if not thousands, of RC rock crawlers online or in your local hobby store. Here is the guide for choosing the right RC rock crawler.

There are numerous reasons why RC rock crawlers are perfect for beginners. First, they are slow and offer improved maneuverability, making them easy to drive. Also, as pointed out, RC rock crawlers have a broad scope, so you can always find one with your favorite design and color. 

With that in mind, to make the shopping process easier, here is a buyer’s guide, including what you should consider when choosing the right RC rock crawler so you don’t invest in the wrong thing!

What to Consider When Choosing the Right RC Rock Crawler

There are a few variables and features you should consider before making a purchase. Durability, speed, and power source for the rock crawler are just a few things you need to consider, though here is the complete list. 


This is the first thing to consider with any purchase, including RC rock crawlers. So, how much do you want to spend on the rock crawler? Also, consider how often you’ll be using it. This will help narrow down the available options. 

For example, choosing a more expensive RC rock crawler would be better if you’ll be using it for long. They tend to be more durable and long-lasting compared to the cheaper versions. 

Range & Speed 

For rock crawlers, you get two-speed types; the scale and actual speed. Generally, hobby models feature a standard rate that delivers 10 to 70 Mph. Other rock crawlers, the newer models, can go as fast as 100 Mph. 

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The range is the distance you can run the rock crawler from the remote controller. This is something you should weigh in before buying an RC rock crawler.

Type of Motor

Usually, RC rock crawlers come in a brushed or brushless motor. 

Brushed motors

These are open to the surrounding to ensure it stays cool, hindering overheating. The only problem with this motor is that they are also open to debris and sand, which swiftly ruin the engine. RC rock crawlers with this motor type are more affordable than thwart brushless motor counterparts. 

Brushless motor

Nevertheless, brushless motors are much better in terms of durability and speed. Similarly, it is more expensive. Moreover, they don’t wear as fast as their brushed counterparts. Nonetheless, they are susceptible to temperature degradation and are pricy to replace. 

On the other hand, this is the motor to choose if you’re looking for speed and power. Fortunately, RC rock crawler motors are replaceable; therefore, if you are a newbie, you can begin with a brushed unit, and once you upgrade your skills, you can replace it with a brushless one. 

But since rock crawlers aren’t designed for high-speed driving, a brushed motor is your best pick as they offer slower speed control, and you’ll require precision. 

Rock Crawler Type

RC rock crawlers come in three types:

Rock racers 

These are built for racing and hence have higher speeds than the rest. This way, they overcome obstacles faster than most RC cars. 

Technical Crawlers

While not as fast as their counterparts, RC rock crawlers can easily drive through rugged terrain and huge obstacles. 

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Trail Rigs 

Trail rigs are slow but impressively powerful. You can drive these through the highest boulders and the most challenging terrain. However, they aren’t built for competition. 

Build your Own or Ready to Run

You can purchase a ready-to-run rock crawler or buy a kit and assemble it. 

The ready-to-run rock crawlers are set up, so you can begin driving them immediately. However, assembly rock crawlers are a kit, so you have to put the pieces together before you can ride the rock crawler. 

When you do the assembling yourself, it can be highly educational since you better understand how the inner components of the rock crawler work. Also, with these skills, you can easily repair any faults. 

Nevertheless, ready-to-run units have instructions; if you want to disassemble, then assemble it once more. This might be a better option. 

Remote Control

This is the RC unit used to control the rock crawler. Different manufacturers use different remotes, though they all feature the most standard control buttons. The remote’s frequency is the radio signal sent to the receiver by the transmitter. 

This determines the distance the remote can control the car. Some models come with a short range, while others have a more extended one. The shorter range, the closer you have to be to drive your rock crawler, while the longer range means you don’t have to be close to the rock crawler to drive it. 


If you’re new to rock crawling, then you will have to buy a cheap and beginner-friendly RC rock crawler. You can go for a costlier one once you sharpen your skills. RC rock crawlers can be challenging to control and maneuver through rough tracks. 

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For the more experienced driver, you should pick the nitro-powered rock crawlers since they deliver superior independence. 


The body chassis is best built with metal since it can handle the heat precisely from nitro-crawlers. Most people dislike plastic body chassis because nitro-crawlers discharge excess heat. 

However, electric rock crawlers with plastic body chassis are cheaper but less durable than metallic rock crawlers. 


This will depend greatly on the material used to build the RC rock crawler and how well you care for it. So before you make a purchase, determine the type of maintenance it requires. 

Usually, standard rock crawlers are much more effortless to upkeep than hobby-grade rock crawlers. On the other hand, electric RC rock crawlers are easy to maintain because they don’t feature fuel engines. 

Weather-proof Capacity 

Lastly, you have to consider weather-proof ability. All-weather RC rock crawlers are an excellent option for winter and summer. Also, if you buy a waterproof rock crawler, you can race in puddles and other wet surroundings without worrying about damaging your RC rock crawler. 

For instance, the RedCat Racing rock crawler is waterproof and ideal for all terrains. Therefore, your best bet is an RC buggy if you want a waterproof vehicle. 

In Conclusion

Everyone wants to feel good about their purchase. With the wide range of RC rock crawlers available on the market, it may be frustrating, precisely if you are a newbie. Although, if you consider that rock crawlers aren’t for racing, you can narrow down the available options. 

Consider the factors listed here; you will have a reliable RC rock crawler quickly!

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Comments - 1

Kiara Cross

Kiara Cross

I gave my son an RC rock crawler for his 10th birthday, and he hasn’t stopped playing with it since! It’s such a cool and unique gift for kids who love adventure.

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