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Slow, reliable off-road RC cars

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Skotty, Sep 13, 2016.

  1. Skotty

    Skotty 2014 Model S P85

    Jun 27, 2013
    Kansas City, MO
    A bit off topic here, but we are still talking about electric mobility!

    I've been looking around a bit at RC cars. I'd like to get one at some point for my children to use. It can be expensive. I'm interested in quality.

    My problem is, most of the expensive RC car market I've seen is geared towards going fast, and people often talk about breaking parts. I want something completely different. I want slow, reliable, and as off-road capable as possible. Ideally, something that can drive on grass without getting stuck.

    Anyone have any recommendations? Fast and breakable is exactly the kind of thing that will just frustrate my children and end up not getting used. The ideal RC will be slow, solid, and able to drive around my backyard without getting stuck.

    Ideally something that is not more than $250, but if necessary for good quality, I could maybe go up to $500. I know there are models that can be up to $1000, but anything over $500 just seems ridiculous to me, so I'll set that as the upper limit. As far as slow is concerned, it seems to be that walking speed would be fast enough; something capable of jogging speed is maybe ideal. That's about 8 MPH, far less than the 50 MPH I've seen advertised on many models. A big quality battery is also preferred.
  2. bmah

    bmah Moderator, Model S / Model X Forums

    Mar 17, 2015
    Lafayette, CA, USA
    I think our goals were slightly different from yours but...

    My 9-year-old son drives a Traxxas Stampede...this is his first hobby-class RC car, after a succession of toy-store type RC cars. I think it was around $200-ish, ready to run. (For various reasons I was opposed to spending any more money than this.) Top speed is somewhere around 30 mph but there's a learning mode that limits it to half of that. It's a monster truck-type car, and it does a great job on grass and dirt. These cars are great for learning how stuff works (he's rebuilt the suspension twice). He's broken a couple things (steering) but he knows how to fix them now. He also knows that parts cost money, and that we can only get over to the hobby store on weekends, so he needs to treat the car well and drive carefully. This car was a hit (er in a figurative sense) when he brought it to an NDEW event last weekend.

    (Two aftermarket parts I would recommend are a wheelie bar to keep the truck from flipping over during fast acceleration and a front bumper to protect the truck when it inevitably runs into something. Both of these have paid for themselves already. I can look up more details if you're interested.)

    You can buy larger, aftermarket batteries for this thing (it uses 7-cell NiMH battery packs). It's nice to have more than one battery pack so you can be charging one while driving on another (it's a battery swap program that works!). It comes with a charger that plugs into a 12V port. The Model S's 12V port works fine for this, but in general I didn't want my son just hanging out in my car (and randomly hooking stuff up to it). I ended up buying a wall charger, although when we were at the NDEW event last weekend he was charging his EV from my EV. :)

    Hope this helps, good luck!

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