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RC Rock Crawlers 101: Top Picks for Novice Enthusiasts

RC Rock Crawlers 101

RC rock crawling offers an exceptional challenge to the novice RC car enthusiast. As opposed to trying to optimize initial speed and performance, RC rock crawler racing calls for tactical moves on rough terrain to outdo the competition. For this reason, it’s unsurprising that these vehicles have become so popular. 

Nonetheless, as technology advances and the market broadens, I find more novices wanting to learn and even partake in this sport. That’s why I have researched and compiled this list of the top RC rock crawler picks for novice enthusiasts:

Axial Capra RC Rock Crawler 


  • Metallic gears & ball bearings 
  • Race line bead lock wheels
  • Modifiable oil-filled shocks 
  • Steel Hi-pinion gears 

What I Like 

  • It comes in two colors 
  • It has 4WD and FWD setups 
  • It has a robust metallic build 
  • It has aluminum shocks 

What I Don’t Like 

  • You have to purchase the charger and battery separately. 


Rock crawling and off-roading call for an RC car with a wider base for enhanced control and traction. The Axial Capra is an excellent pick for such environments; from steep hills and big boulders to pebbles and sandy terrain. This manufacturer is among the most common RC brands, thanks to their reliability and versatile products. 

Further, Novices will appreciate how user-friendly this buggy is, and its durability is unmatched. The ball bearings and gears offer high ground clearance, letting this off-road RC rock crawler navigate the most uneven terrain. 

Unlike most rock crawlers, this one can instantly shift from 4WD to FWD with the press of one button. This facilitates the car to drive through wet grass, bumpy roads, and muddy terrain. Additionally, shifting drivetrains make turning more effortless, even when driving at high speeds.

The sizable aluminum shocks absorb all bump effects and guarantee that all wheels remain on the ground. The interior looks amazing and features a driver, steering screen, and other passengers. 

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The LED headlamps and light bar shine brightly, allowing you to drive even after sunset. Unfortunately, you will have to purchase the charger and battery separately. 

Redcat Wendigo RC Rock Crawler 


  • It has a brushless ESC
  • It is weatherproof, waterproof, and dustproof. 
  • High-torque servo for smooth off-road driving 
  • Front and back steel frame for durability. 

What I Like 

  • It comes in multiple colors 
  • It has oil-filled shocks 
  • The complete roll cage is a nice touch. 
  • Top-quality tires. 

What I Don’t Like 

  • It is heavy.


This Redcat RC rock crawler is a different kind of beast on the track. While bulky, it is also durable and capable of racing at high speeds without letting go of its grasp on the road or track. Generally, regarding sturdy axle cars, you will lose control the more you accelerate. However, this won’t be an issue due to Wendigo’s weight distribution. 

With a 1/10 scale, this rock crawler sports a Hobbywing brushless ESC and a 300KV brushless engine. Moreover, the Interco tires can easily conquer uneven terrain, rocks, water, and mud. The axles are diamond-shaped,  coupled with the twin sheer mounting tips and front-positioned motor, translating to bashing any obstacle without rolling over. 

The durable and carefully designed chassis is merely a tinier version of what full-size vehicles offer, while the threaded shocks let you modify the car’s ride height. Again, the tire treads offer this rock crawler an impressive forward grip allowing you to operate with unparalleled accuracy on any trail. 

This rock crawler is an excellent pick for beginners who want to explore off-roading. You can get it in blue or red colors. 

Traxxas TRX-4 Rock Crawler 


  • Waterproof electronics for all-weather use.
  • Portal axles 
  • Locking differentials
  • Durable reinforced steel frames 
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What I Like 

  • It comes in many colors
  • It is waterproof
  • It’s an RTR model
  • The exterior is built to match that of a full-size Land Rover Defender.

What I Don’t Like 

  • It doesn’t come with batteries or a charger. 


Among the most recognizable cars is the Land Rover, and with good reason. This vehicle features a sleek exterior coupled with a large motor and the operation and handling of a sports car. Besides, the tank enables this rock crawler’s off-road abilities. 

The Land Rover Defender was launched in the 1980s and is a favorite among many. The latest model, the TRX-4 RC rock crawler, is designed based on this beautiful and highly capable model. 

It is a 1/10 scale of the full-size model, built with portal axles that boost the car around the tires for additional ground clearance and improved balance. It is also built to navigate all types of terrain, including water, mud, and rocks as well.

Some rock crawlers boost reaction but, in the process, sacrifice turning radius; fortunately, this is not the case with TRX Defender. The locking differentials unlock to allow the car to use the 45-degree steering position, leaving no hurdle too hard to overcome for this beautiful car. 

Furthermore, the remote control can switch the high/low transmission range on/off. Increasing the transmission range will help add more torque, boosting the engine to navigate steep hills and huge boulders. 

Dissimilar to other rock crawlers, this one is equipped with cruise control, facilitating longer drives. If you’re a novice or an RC rock crawler collector, this will be an excellent addition to your collection. 

Losi Desert Buggy 


  • DX3 transmitter
  • Smart brushless ESC
  • 1/5 scale 
  • Shock towers are made of aluminum
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What I Like 

  • It is waterproof for all-weather use
  • Maximum speed is over 50 mph
  • Impressive torque 
  • Carefully designed and beautiful exterior.

What I Don’t Like 

  • It is expensive 


All the RC rock crawlers in this review are nothing but awesome. However, this 1/5 scale buggy is the perfect option if you want something a bit bigger. Nonetheless, it is significantly more expensive than the other rock crawlers here. The larger motor, thick tires, and solid transmission all contribute to this car’s capabilities, adding to its value. 

Moreover, this RTR unit allows you to utilize it straight from the box. Integrated with the Fox Racing Insignia on one side, this car can travel at incredibly high speeds. Also, it can effortlessly tackle hills and rocks that are quite sizable than most 1/10 scale RC crawlers can. 

The chassis braces and drive pins make this desert buggy extremely durable and flexible. You might crash once or twice, considering you are a beginner, but this RC rock crawler can take a hit. 

The shock towers are made of aluminum and are one of the most robust on the market. The 160-amp brushless ESC and motor deliver incredible horsepower and torque for a small rock crawler. Besides, the DX2E radio setup, with a receiver and AVC, lets you drive within a long range. 

Everything about the Losi Desert Buggy is bigger and improved than the models here. Unfortunately, it is very expensive. Fortunately, with its price tag comes the ability to maneuver effortlessly on sandy, rocky, and muddy trails. 

Getting the right RC rock crawler for a novice enthusiast can be a long and cumbersome process. Hopefully, you will find one or more of the rock crawlers here to your liking. 

Happy shopping! 

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