Things to consider before buying RC rock crawlers

Things to consider before buying RC rock crawlers

Have you seen those huge vehicles that can easily climb rocks, cross obstacles effortlessly, and efficiently operate in adverse weather conditions? While the large-sized versions are SUVs, the miniature-sized, radio-controlled versions are RC rock crawlers.

From the outside, these bear a striking resemblance to their real-life counterparts, with their massive wheels and solid bodies. Falling under the category of off-road radio-controlled cars, they enjoy a tremendous appeal amongst all hobbyists, including amateurs and experienced. 

RC trucks 4×4 are primarily operated on rough conditions and challenging trails. You could take them off-road, with trails dotted with rock formations, uneven surfaces, and roads caked in mud and dirt. 

Successfully maneuvering your crawler through various obstacles gives you a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. With your rig as your companion, you can enjoy an entire day outdoors, fulfilling your passion for rock crawling.

However, you must buy a rock crawler to your liking and serve your purpose efficiently. Here is some information that helps you do that. 

Why are they called 4×4?

4×4 vehicles refer to those where the engine (usually electric) supplies power to all four wheels equally, instead of two. Such a system has various benefits, including better traction in difficult driving conditions, better grips (due to weight distribution), and maximum power.  

What makes them unique?

One unique quality distinguishing 4×4 radio-controlled trucks from other cars is their scale realism. The models accurately reproduce the looks and engineering of full-scale vehicles that run on rugged terrain on backcountry trails.

Rock crawler manufacturers focus on realism because that is one of the primary demands of RC hobbyists from these vehicles. For example, a model of Ford Bronco features an officially licensed hard body with mirrors, roof rails, and molded door handles. It even incorporates minor details, such as a tire mount with a spare tire.

Realism is also reflected in the engine of these RC models, most having a chassis similar to real-life models. For instance, some engine features include high and low gear transmissions, rugged drivetrains, oil-filled shocks, and multi-link suspensions.

Things to consider before buying 

Completion level

It refers to the components, features, and parts required to operate a vehicle. Amateur drivers should stick to ready-to-run models, leaving the kit for experienced drivers. For instance, if you buy a model with a portable kit, some things you will require to complete its installation are: 

  • A 2+ channel transmitter with the receiver
  • 14T pinion gear
  • Battery
  • ESC and Motor
  • Compatible battery charger
  • Four-body door ready for finishing 


Most crawlers come with a 4WD drivetrain, in which an engine uses all four wheels, thus enabling them to tackle rough driving conditions easily. It also lends increased power and safety to the vehicle. 

Pinion tooth count

Pinion refers to a small gear located on a vehicle’s drivetrain, and it reduces the torque on the drivetrain’s various components, leading to better driving performance. You can choose between 14 and 15 pinion tooth count in RC crawlers.

It would be best to consider the factors mentioned above before buying RC trucks 4×4. After finding a rig that you find appealing and meets your specific requirements, you can take it out into the country trails and enjoy the thrill of driving on rugged terrain. 

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