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RC Nightmare Community Blog

Understanding the Different Types of RC Vehicles

When you get into RC Racing, there are so many different options and types of vehicles, many of them having different functions. This can be really overwhelming if you don’t know the differences or which one is right for you. This will be a basic look at some of the main types of vehicles and their features so you may want to do even more research after you get a general understanding.

Now, Jeremy already covered the difference between nitro and electric RC vehicles in one of our videos – “What is RC Racing – Nitro and Electric Explained” so I won’t cover that here. Check that out in the videos section of our website because that is important as well. 

Ready To Run vs. RC Kits

Next, there are ready to run (RTR) models or RC Car or Truck kits. The RTR models have something to offer both novice and expert RC enthusiasts alike. They come pre-assembled and usually include everything you will need to run the vehicle right out of the box as the name suggests. Some RTR’s do require additional items for completion, such as a battery and charger or nitro fuel.

RC Kits basically mean that you are buying a box of parts that will need to be assembled by following an instruction manual. This may be something for racers with a bit more of experience. Because of the additional skills needed, these are typically designed to be competition level vehicles.

Some manufacturers such as Losi have designed an RC vehicle called a race roller. If you are looking for a vehicle that has the performance-capabilities and customization options of a kit but you do not have the time for assembly, you will appreciate the convenience of a vehicle like this.

On Road or Off Road

Next up, we have certain classifications for the terrain as well. On road RC race cars can compete on paved race tracks. These cars can achieve and maintain the top speeds during the race but only if used on a paved track.

Off road RC race cars as you’ve probably guessed, are designed to be used off road. These cars can grip the ground much better than on road cars and so therefore are capable of reaching and maintaining top off road speed. These cars handle well during races that have obstacles or mounds.

Size and Type

The Slash 4x4

The last thing I’ll discuss are the actual type of vehicle and this is pretty self explanatory. You have RC cars, trucks, buggies, and truggies. You can get a 2WD or 4WD truck that suits your needs and other than that, it’s based on what you are going to be using the vehicle for. You may want to use your large trucks for RC bashing (also covered in a video on our site) and your cars or assembled trucks for racing.

So like I said, just wanted to give you a general description of the vehicles involved in RC. If you have more in depth questions or comments, feel free to post them below. Thanks!

3 thoughts on “Understanding the Different Types of RC Vehicles

  1. Kenneth J says:

    Might not like me after this one, but critisiam can be constructive and thats what I mean this to be. I was excited to read this blog as it has potential to be a very good blog for new comers to the r/c world, as you said, there is alot to choose from. However after reading it, sorry to say, I was very disappointed. For the most part, it is a common sense blog. I think it could be beneficial to readers to include some personal insight as an experienced r/c hobbiest. Like how the kits give the owner the experience of how to put it together for when they break. Where as the pre-assembled rc breaks, it can look very intimidating for a new r/c owner. Sometimes so much that they would rather pay to have it fixed than risk messing it up it further. The onroad vs offroad section is kinda well lacking in everything except the obvious. Why can onroad cars maintain high speeds, how is there design different? Same goes for the offroad, what about the ability for them to complete jumps without breaking, and howdoes their design differ? Lastly I would have liked to have seen a little about how the performance differs on 2wd vs 4wd, as to better help suit my needs.

    Again I do not mean to bash, but I would have liked to seen a little more from this one. So helpfully this opinion, as thats all it is, help in future writings. As how can you give us want we want if we don’t say anything. Thanks guys

  2. jeremy says:

    wow, just the opposite. I am really glad you took the time for such a well thought out response and thank you for it. Since blogging is new to us I wanted to keep things sort of basic, until I found out what my readers wanted. If more advanced is what people want then I am really happy to provide it. I am here for you guys, and I hope you will continue to provide the feedback and read our blog, your comments force us to be better.

  3. [...] Ready to Run model trucks do in fact come with a battery, normally a Nimh.  When you look at the outside of a box, say a [...]

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