Best RC Trail Truck

Best RC Trail Truck: King Of Off-Road Terrain?

Introduction

Asking yourself if you’ve chosen the right RC truck? Any sensible man would, to be honest. After all, the outdoors can be quite grueling, and buying a faulty truck wouldn’t help anyone.

So how do you determine whether your off-road RC truck is worth its weight in gold?  That’s where our post on the best RC trail truck comes in.

We came up with a top 5 list of the best RC trail trucks in our post. This post came at the expense of our research team slaving for days on end (don’t worry they were well paid for this).

But that’s not all!

We’ve even thrown in an extra buying guide for your convenience. This will educate you on the know-hows of RC trucks.

Now, let’s shift things into gear and move onward!

Comparison Table

Product Overview

First up we have the Traxxas TRX4 Trail Crawler. Throughout the years, Traxxas has given rise to several high-performing RC models. So, it’s no surprise how the TRX4 tops our list as the number one pick.

So let’s look at a few of the features of the TRX4, shall we?

It provides excellent off-road performance due to a lot of reasons. For starters, all of its electronics are water-sealed. This makes its electronics immune to weather hazards and water.

Besides, the TRX4 utilizes its state-of-the-art portal axles to minimize chassis torque twists. This coupled with its steel ladder frame ensures maximum ground clearance to avoid debris and large obstacles.

Lastly, it supports one of the best batteries in the business; the Traxxas 3S 5000mAh. This allows it to have a staggering 2 hours of runtime from 1 charge!

Pros

  • The excellent Damping effect of shock-absorbers 
  • Has a higher ground clearance  
  • Extremely durable steel frames  

Cons

  • Batteries are sold separately

Product Overview

Next up, we have The Perseids’ Hobby-Grade Military truck. This one does take the second spot on our top 5 list for a lot of reasons. Let’s go over a few of its features, shall we?

The Perseids is one of the most accurate 1:12 models in the market. Even its tires are made with premium rubber and anti-wear grip.

Here, its detailed design comes with functioning doors and LED lights. This enables it to operate in pitch darkness which is a rare trait.

Its all-terrain compatibility along with the 4WD propulsion system enables it to be the best climber of the bunch. This coupled with the high-grip vacuum tires means the Perseids can overcome any obstacle in its path.

Lastly, it has a stable control range of about 100 meters, courtesy of the 2.4 GHz transmitter. However, it has a long charging time of 2-3 hours for only 20-30 minutes of runtime.

Pros

  • Has an excellent climbing prowess
  • LEDs enable it for nocturnal activities
  • Comes with a smooth Dampening effect

Cons

  • Subpar battery performance

Product Overview

Team Associated’s CR12 Tioga trail truck comes in third in our top 5 list of trail trucks. So what makes the CR12 so special?

Well, to begin with, it is the lightest of the trail trucks on our list. That too, by not sacrificing any off-road staples such as high-grip and endurance to survive in the harsh outdoors.

Besides, its lightweight attribute also makes it the most nimble and agile of the bunch. Its fluid-filled shock absorbers mean that it can take a beating which is an important attribute for an off-road truck to have.

Other than that, it has a decent quality build and chassis which provides decent support. The CR15’s 4-link suspension, threaded shocks, and soft rubber tires provide the traction and performance required to climb even the most difficult terrain. 

Pros 

  • Has a better endurance
  • Comes with comfortable handling
  • Has a decent battery life

Cons

  • LED quality is poor
  • Least detailed model of the 5

Product Overview

The 4th seat belongs to a familiar brand known for its reliable makes. Just like the 3rd one in our list, the 4th seat belongs to Team Associated’s ASC40105. 

By now you can tell that Team Associated makes excellent RC models and this one is no different.

The Enduro trail truck has behind the axle steering (BTA) and steering plates made of solid aluminum. Also, the groundbreaking Stealth(R) X gearbox is at the core of the Enduro. 

Although the appearance appears to be a standard 3-gear transmission, the interior is anything but standard. The Stealth(R) X’s rear-drive ratio can be adjusted independently of the front-drive ratio on three levels. So, that’s a relief!

Pros

  • Has a superior handling
  • It’s durable
  • Has an excellent gearbox

Cons

  • Poor battery quality
  • Shocks prone to leaking

Product Overview

Last but not least we have the Gmade 57000. This is the only RTM trail truck on the list, or in other words, you have to assemble it yourself.

Now, the Gmade 57000 is a special one. After all, it did beat quite a few worthy RC trail trucks to grab the last spot on our list. So, it would be foolish to write it off just yet.

Here, if you’re a DIY enthusiast that likes to have the feel of modifying your car, the 57000 is for you. It comes with easy-to-follow instructions on how to put it together. This provides the users with a hands-on experience that other trail trucks don’t.

And, it even comes with an extremely durable GS02 chassis, which is one of the best in the market. Its rear-cage hinge provides it protection from external impacts and the inside is protected by the dustproof electronic box.

Lastly, its rear cage can easily be detached to provide a good view of what’s on the inside. 

Pros

  • Made of durable high-quality parts
  • Has decent endurance
  • Can be easily tuned

Cons

  • A lot of parts like the transmitter, motors, and servos have to be bought separately
  • Not suitable for wet conditions

Buying Guide

Even though we’ve given you our top 5 recommendations for off-road trail trucks we believe we can do more. For your convenience, we’ve even added a buying guide for you to read through. 

There are certain things you need to consider before buying an RC car. Be it trail truck or RC cars such as stampede and rushtler. Our buying guide on trail truck covers each of these important factors.

The factors mentioned below determine how effective your truck is. So let’s go over them-

Scalability Of The Car: What Does It Mean?

One of the most common labels you’ll find on a scaled model is the ratio scale on it. These include common scales of 1:10, 1:18, 1:32 etc.

So what does this mean exactly?

Scalability talks about the proportional ratio of the RC model in contrast to the “real-life” version of the car. It’ll be easier to explain using an example-

Let’s take the HPI Racing Ford Mustang as an example. Its real-life dimensions are 4784mm in length, 1381mm in height, and 1916mm in width. 

So the 1:10th scale of the RC model is close to 1/10th of the real size; 431mm lengthwise, 127mm in height and 200mm in width.

Now, some scales like the 1:8 or the 1:10 ratios are regarded as being common. There is a certain advantage to buying an RC model of a common scale. Common scales have better availability of parts.

It’s also important to note that the availability of parts decreases as the models get bigger and (ex- 1:10 would have more parts than 1:5 scales). They also get more expensive as they get bigger, to no one’s surprise.

RC Grading: Toy-Grade Vs Hobby-Grade

The RC models are normally graded according to their function. There are mainly two types of grading available in RC cars: Toy-Grade and Hobby-Grade. The specifics about each of these are mentioned below-

Let’s start with the toy grade. The grade was made in the image of a toy as per its name. These were built to be less powerful, easily replaceable, and less sturdy. You can also easily take toy grades apart.

However, if a toy grade gets wrecked, you have to buy the whole thing again.

This is where the hobby grade differentiates. Hobby grades have a longer lifespan and have greater availability of changeable and replaceable parts. This in turn makes it comparatively more expensive compared to the toy-grade.

It is also because hobby-grades offer more functions on the cars like steering fine-tuning, lights, throttles, etc. But it is also more easily upgradable.

Engine System: Electric Vs Nitro

When it comes to your RC vehicles there are two types of fuel sources: Electric batteries and Nitro engines.

Electric engines are the most common type and use batteries as a fuel source. They are easier to maintain and parts can easily be replaced.

Battery-powered RC vehicles are faster compared to their Nitro-Engined counterparts and also quieter. This means you won’t be getting any complaints from your neighbor as it’s environment-friendly.

Nitro Engines, on the other hand, are for hobbyists that like to have the feel of driving a real vehicle. It uses a combination of fuel and oil to act as a power source.

These engines can be tweaked and upgraded more easily than battery-powered RCs. This is a feature that might appeal to model motorists as it closely emulates an actual car.

The Significance Of Your RC’s Weight.

Last but not least, one of the most underrated things for you to consider is the truck’s weight. Now, the weight of an RC vehicle has certain advantages and disadvantages, especially for off-road trucks.

A lightweight truck would be far more nimble and easily maneuverable than a heavier one. Its speed and acceleration would also be higher given that the power supply remains constant, in contrast to a heavier one.

However, that’s not always the case. A heavier truck would enable the truck to stick to the road or surface more. This will improve traction which is a valuable factor in off-road performances. You can counteract the loss in power by retrofitting a heavier but more powerful battery. 

FAQs

Question: Is buying an RC car an expensive hobby and should I stop?

Answer: Not necessarily, but they can turn into an expensive pastime if you keep on buying expensive replicas and keep customizing them always. Honestly speaking, hobbies aren’t something that can be considered a waste of time or money.

Question: What will happen if I use a high-powered motor for my truck?

Answer: It will either fry all the cables or wires in the trail truck’s system because it’s incompatible or act like steroids for your truck by making it go faster.

Question: How do I make my RC trail truck go faster by changing only one thing?

Answer: One of the most efficient ways you can make your trail truck go faster is by changing the batteries. If you increase the output of the batteries you can effectively increase the RC trail truck’s speed by 15-20 miles per hour (mph).

Bottom Line

This list was made to shortlist the best off-road trucks in the market. We’ve tried to cover most of the basics along with giving you a few suggestions on what to look out for. So, choosing the best RC trail truck should be a walk in the park for you now. 

You can compare and contrast the pros and cons of each truck because they’re all built for off-road conditions. We truly hope you choose one of the products we recommend.

We wish you the best of luck in your quest for the best off-road RC model. And, as always, stay safe and drive responsibly.

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