What makes off-road cars so good and things to check before buying

by Maisie

If you have ever operated a remote-controlled car, you would be familiar with the excitement they provide. Watching your mini-vehicle speed on pavements and cross obstacles is the ultimate satisfaction you can get as an RC hobbyist.

There are different types of cars, including trucks, buggies, stadium trucks, and rock crawlers. Of these, rock crawlers are famous among hobbyists as the best off road RC cars that tackle rough terrain efficiently, have an appealing design, and, most of all, boasts scale realism.

These radio-controlled vehicles have gained rapid popularity over the years, attracting people of all ages. Various events are also organized by Crawling enthusiasts, who maneuver their cars together on challenging trails.

Although they deliver impressively on speed, that is just one factor that makes them famous. What are the other features that contribute to their popularity? What are some factors you should consider before buying one of these? Read on to find out.

What is scale realism?

The primary factor behind the popularity of rock crawlers is scale realism, in which manufacturers attempt to create a body, engine, and design as close to the actual models as possible.

When you look at the crawlers for the first time, they instantly remind you of those huge vehicles that easily negotiate mountain trails, rock piles, and other characteristics of rugged terrain.

Further, their framework or chassis resembles full-sized crawlers, including rough drivetrains, high and low gear transmissions, oil-filled shocks, multi-link suspensions, etc.

Things to consider before buying

Source of power

Although you will find off-road cars that run on nitro and gas, the best option is to go with electric ones. Electric crawlers are faster, more durable, and easy to maintain. Many also have brushless motors, allowing your crawlers to reach speeds between 30 to 50 miles per hour.

Motor types

Even though you can choose between a brushed and brushless motor, it is better to use a brushless one. Brushless ones don’t have brushes (small blocks usually made of carbon cause the engines to spin), making them more energy efficient.

In contrast, brushed motors utilize an electric brush to run. Although they provide a pretty good speed, acceleration, and efficiency and cost less, they have many disadvantages, including a short lifespan and repeated replacement (because of the wear and tear of the brushes, especially at high speeds).


It refers to automobile parts that connect the transmission to the driving axles. You can choose between 2, 4, and 6 WD. In a 2WD, the engine supplies power to two wheels, letting the other two spin themselves.

4WD cars have engines that power all four wheels simultaneously, while 6WD refers to vehicles in which the engine supplies power to all six wheels or at least two on each axle.

While 2WDs attain higher top speeds, have a longer run time, and are usually cheaper, four and 6WDs have the benefits of a taller vehicle clearance, better traction (ideal for off-road conditions), additional grip, and efficient controls.

Tire diameter

The tire size will determine your car’s ability to handle rough surfaces. Generally, experts suggest going with larger diameter tires unless you have a small wheelbase, in which case smaller ones work best.

Completion level

Some cars are called ready-to-run (RTR) and equipped with the necessary components, while others require a kit and additional parts to run. For instance, most 4WD cars need a kit consisting of servos, batteries, electronics, dig servos, and radio systems.

It would be best if you bought off-road RC cars from companies offering brands, colors, motor type, drivetrain, and completion level options. Once you purchase an efficient, robust, durable car, you can have a wonderful time driving it on the roughest terrain.

You may also like

Leave a Comment