In the past, RC car competition was always about being the quickest guy or girl around the local track. Then RC Rock Crawling came along and turned the hobby on its head. You no longer needed to be the fastest guy with the latest equipment to be top dog. Instead, with RC crawling, the idea is to get your truck up and over the toughest set of boulders utilizing the right line and the raw power of your high turn motor. Yes, I said high turn motor. Unlike RC race cars which need low turn motors for high rpm performance, RC crawlers use high turn, high torque motors to power their way up the hill. While some enthusiasts do enter official crawling competitions, the vast majority of those who buy a rock crawler make use of them in their back yards. That is another beauty of the RC Crawler. You’d have a tough time making use of that high power pan car in your driveway but just about anyone can stack a few rocks in their yard to have a blast with a crawler. With a little imagination and a stack of junk laying around your house you could even use these trucks indoors!
Where does RC Crawling originate?
Its hard to put your finger on exactly when or where RC Rock Crawling first started. Sure, guys have been modifying their RC trucks for decades but most weren’t what you’d call an RC crawler today. The first time RC crawling popped on our radar was back in the early 2000s when a few members of a small RC truck forum began trying to mimic full scale crawling by modifying their Tamiya Clod Busters with custom made suspension systems meant to give maximum articulation.
What Truck Should I get?
RC Rock Crawling has come a long way. It wasn’t all that long ago when your only choice was to buy a Clod Buster and modify it or to start from scratch. Either way you knew that you’d need to spend quite a bit of time choosing the right parts and fabricating what you couldn’t find. Today, however, you can buy one of the many ready made RC Rock Crawlers available on the market. Some good trucks to start out with are the Axial AX10, Tamiya CR01, or Losi Night Crawler.
While most RC Rock Crawlers feature massive tires, low slung bodies and radically long suspension arms, there are many hobbyists that chose to keep the scale aspect of the trucks in check. Scale crawlers, sometimes known as trail trucks, are designed to look just like a full sized production truck modified for fun on the trail. Some good trucks to get started in scale crawling would be the Tamiya CC01, Axial SCX10 and RC4WD Trail Finder.
Like we said earlier, unlikely most other types of RC competition, RC Rock Crawling doesn’t require high end equipment to compete and have fun. When hobbyists first began building their own RC crawlers the only motor choice was the stock silver can motor. Then one bright builder realized that by using a 55t lathe motor you could get a lot more torque and the rest, as they say, is history. Today, RC crawling enthusiasts still use that motor, as well as a few crawling specific brushless motors and ESCs. Noteworthy motors include the Tekin ROC412 and FXR as well as the Novak Rock Star.
RC Rock Crawling Video: