No matter what kind of RC truck you are looking for, you have probably spent some amount of time digging through reviews online trying to decide which one is right for you. If this is true, chances are you have come away frustrated.
While looking at reviews can be a great way to figure out if a particular truck has any major issues (like: “the wheels snap off if you jump it too high”), they can also be a major pain.
There is always the concern of how much faith you can put in the reviews you find online. Do these people really know what they are talking about? What is the basis for their claims? Also, it can be very time consuming to jump from site to site, and dig through umpteen different reviews trying to figure out which truck you want.
If you are in a hurry, CLICK HERE to see some of our top choices.
I hope to make your experience on my site much better. It is my goal to provided you with all the reviews you need, all in one place, and to make those reviews as thorough as possible.
Is this truck intended for rock crawling, mudding, racing, general bashing, or all of the above? What level of driver is it for beginner, intermediate, or advanced? How is it’s durability, speed, handling? Does it have maintenance issues? We will be covering these questions and many more in our reviews.
I will try to be as thorough as I can. Drawing on my own experience as well as the opinions of top RC reviewers and other regular RCers just like you and me, I will do my best to lay out all the info you need to make an informed buying decision.
So, go ahead and dig through the reviews below. Also, don’t forget to check out some of my favorite trucks over here.
A Great Budget Option: The RedCat Caldera 10E
If you’ve been looking for a new truck to buy, I’m sure you’ve browsed through countless RC Truck reviews. Reviews are always great sources for product information, but oftentimes products can fly under the radar and don’t pick up much attention. The RedCat Racing Caldera 10E is one of these overlooked trucks that you may not have heard of.
The Caldera 10E is a four wheel drive model powered by a 3570 Kilovolt brushless electric motor capable of reaching a top speed of 35 MPH. The energy for the motor is supplied from a nickel-metal battery, though the truck can accommodate a lithium polymer battery with no modification. The transmission has both a forward and a reverse, the frame is made out of a sturdy plastic, and the wheels are made from real chrome. All of this for a price range between two and three hundred dollars makes the Caldera 10E a prime choice for the buyer on a budget.
There are two common complaints that come up when talking about this truck, the first being that the tires are sub-optimal and can have a hard time getting a solid grip. The second complaint is that the servos that control the steering are easily stripped, meaning that the steering will not function until they are replaced. This is certainly a much more serious problem, but not as difficult or expensive to address as it may seem.
Replacement servos are inexpensive, with most running in the vicinity of ten dollars. A novice driver may be intimidated and turned away by this, but I would encourage them to reconsider. With any RC truck, no matter the quality or price, you will eventually have broken parts. Knowing how to repair or replace these parts is a vital skill and learning early how to fix, maintain, or even modify your truck can both save you frustration down the road and deeply enrich your experience with the hobby.
That said, there are some fantastic features for this truck. The chassis itself is extremely durable, and should be able to take whatever punishment is dealt out to it by rough use. It makes a fantastic base for modification and customization, and with a top speed of 35 MPH it’s no slouch in a race.
Even including the cost of a replacement servo or changing the tires, the Caldera 10E is still cheaper than many two wheel drive trucks with brushed engines. This is a great price point for an entry level truck, and its value will only go up with experience.
Here is a cool video of the Caldera in action:
One of the Best Starter Options Available: The Traxxas Slash
The race is on. Your truck comes around the curve and heads for the jumps. It takes them with no problem, speeding past the competition as you work the radio control. Next up is the mud puddle across the track. A few of your opponents slow down and steer their vehicles around the obstacle. You drive straight in, splashing mud all over the timid. What a great day for a race.
All of that could be happening to you with the Traxxas Slash Short-Course Race Truck. This RC truck is perfect for most outdoor conditions. Its sturdy construction is matched by the water sealed receiver box and servos that protect it from most wet conditions that you may come across. Snow and mud will become just another obstacle for you to drive through as you put it through its paces.
The 2.4 GHz remote control will give you full control of the 1/10 scale truck in forward and reverse. The four-wheel independent suspension and oil-filled tires are specifically designed to replicate the look and performance of the Pro 2WD Class trucks that it is modeled after. The electric motor that comes with the truck will have it speeding along at up to 30 mph for 20 minutes to a charge.
The truck comes complete with a 7-cell 3000mAh NiMH battery, remote control and receiver, battery charger, and a manual. The 2WD truck’s components are all individually replaceable and upgradeable allowing you to customize your truck in the way that you want. It even has a tryout mode that limits it to 50% power to help you learn how to control it before you go full blast. This feature alone makes this one of the best RC trucks for beginners.
The battery has a 20-minute runtime, which is about normal for the type. You can buy an extra battery to keep the fun going for an even longer time. The main problem with the truck is the included charger, and even that is minor. The charger takes a considerable time to recharge the battery. Better and faster chargers are available and are inexpensive. Keeping your truck running is the priority, after all.
It has everything you need to start and it is modifiable after that. How can you possibly go wrong by getting this truck? In no time at all, you will be racing it through the snow, mud and water around your yard and racing it against your friends RC cars. It is time to show them what you have under the hood.
Here is a video of some Slashes racing at the track:
A Truly Awesome Beast of a Truck: The Traxxas Summit
It is a monster truck. What more needs to be said? You will have a blast crawling this radio-controlled beast over anything that gets in your way. You go strait up that steep, rocky hill as all of your friends send their cars around the side. You stop the truck at the top to take a couple pictures with your phone. You make sure that all of your friends cars are visible clustered around the bottom of the hill so that you can rub their noses in it later.
The Traxxas RTR Monster Summit will satisfy all of your adventure dreams. The Titan 770 electric motor drives all four large tires across the roughest terrain. The special, long travel suspension protects your truck against most shocks that might damage a lesser truck. It has front and rear running lights, so the adventure goes on after the sun goes down.
When you are tired of rock climbing, you can switch from low to high gear for a burst of speed. In low gear, the truck manages a respectable 10 mph that is plenty for the places that you will take it. When you put it in high, the speed jumps to 25 mph. But realistically, this truck is not meant for racing. Not over flat ground, anyway. The RC truck reviews give it high marks for the kind of off road fun that it was designed for.
The Summit itself comes complete and ready to go right out of the box. You will have to buy a charger for the two 7-cell NiMh 3000mAh that come with it. Charge it up and put four AA batteries in the included 2.4 GHz controller and you are ready to play. The truck requires both of the 7-cell batteries to power it. It is not a bad idea to pick up two more when you are buying the charger so you can rotate them and drive a bit longer. The batteries last 15-30 minutes depending on the terrain and the gear that you have it in.
There are always minor inconveniences with a RC vehicle, and this one is no different. The battery compartment is difficult to open for recharging or battery swaps and it is a bit on the small size. The largest battery upgrade that will fit in the box is the 4000mAh. The problems are mostly design issues that have no effect on the truck and will not interfere with your fun at all.
Playing King of the Mountain with RC monster trucks will be some of the most fun that you will ever have. Soon, you will find yourself searching for bigger and rougher obstacles to conquer. That is not a bad way to spend a day.
This is very thorough video review of the Summit:
I hope you have found these reviews helpful in your search for the perfect RC truck, and please feel free to check back in the future, as I’m sure this list will grow.