Getting a boatload of fun with a cheap RC car doesn’t have an age tag. Whether you are aged 10 or 80, you can ease off the stress by getting yourself into RC car bashing right now. Remote control car bashing is genuinely fun. It can get you hooked in the right from the first minute. It is no wonder I fell in love with this activity the first time I joined the fun.
Even better, there are absolutely many kinds of RC cars you can select, beginning from the nitro RC cars, petrol RC vehicles to the electric RC cars. Even when you don’t have tons of cash to spare, you can always get a good but cheap RC car. For some with a limited budget, you can look for an electric RC car of size under 1/10 as they are usually cheaper than the one larger and with more power.
However, this doesn’t in any way mean you should purchase the first cheap RC car you see. It will be a disaster if you end up with a car that has too many flaws that limit your fun.
What to consider
Whether you are buying an RC car or a real car, it’s almost the same process because they are pretty serious and require a hefty financial investment from you. So, you shouldn’t cut corners when browsing for the right choice of essential equipment. Here are some important things you should consider before making your choice:
You can get the brushless or brushed motors on eBay for your RC car, but it’s essential to know the difference. Brushed motors are less expensive and quite popular in some less costly RC cars, but they require lots of maintenance, unlike their brushless counterparts. Most brushed motors are usually low-cost, so replacing the original one should not be a burden for any beginner. The motor is the most vital part of your RC car, so whichever you choose, always ensure the motor is right for your RC car to keep from burning out due to strain.
If you want to use a brushless motor, make sure that your RC car comes with the necessary aluminum parts that can handle the abuse on rocky roads. In fact, I would advise you to consider buying a ready-to-run RC car with a brushless motor instead of doing the upgrade later as this will come with all the required aluminum parts for enjoying your speedy run. While you need to pay more for the brushless version, you will be saving some money for buying the optional parts later. You might be interested in this post about how to upgrade an RC car with a brushless motor.
Pay close attention to the batteries; you probably don’t need one that demands a lot of care from you. Typically, RC batteries may be lithium-based, nickel-based, or alkaline AAs. Lithium-based batteries (e.g., LiPo) have better power and run time, but you might need special care and chargers for them. Nickel-based batteries like the NiMH don’t need special care and are less expensive.
For Wltoys RC cars, you will need to buy short LIPO batteries (eBay). While they are short in size, they are as powerful as the regular ones and very light in weight. You can learn how to handle the LIPO battery here.
Electric or nitro
Nitro-powered RC vehicles are more expensive and require lots of maintenance. But racers do love them due to their high speed, acceleration, and their unique feel of controlling a real car. If you search on Amazon, you should find that HSP is producing some lower-cost nitro-powered RC trucks (eBay). The Electric powered RC cars, on the other hand, are far cheaper and don’t need a lot of fuss like the nitro cars. There also run quietly and are perfect for newbies.
The electronic system
The electronic system in an RC car is very important, so you might want to consider buying a high-quality system if you want to race with your friends. A good quality servo is essential for steering. Low-quality servo usually has some gap that prevents the RC car from running straight. Also, a receiver with a good control range is also desirable. Usually, a receiver with a control range of 100 meters meets the minimum requirement. Radiolink RC4GS is one of those good systems that provide a good controlling range of 200 meters. On some online stores, you can get it for around USD 50. This system is good as it has an electronic device called Gyro that can make your RC car run straight. Click to learn about Gyro. Just remember, if you are joining a race, you can not use a Gyro in an RC car.
Electric speed controls
ESC makes sure your motors are running at top speed. So, you don’t want to overlook them. Naturally, a brushed motor needs a brushed ESC (eBay), and the brushless one pairs up with the brushless ESC (eBay).
However, not many RC cars come with an ESC and motor, so if you plan on building your own, you have to be cautious about it. Brushless ESCs might look a lot better because of their signal loss protection and anti-lock braking, but if you are too new, you might want to leave the building to the experts.
Due to saving money, some RC car manufacturers combine ESC and receiver in a single unit. So if the ESC or receiver gets damaged, you need to buy the whole unit again.
Bashing or racing
Your choice also depends a lot on what you would do with your RC car. Would you want to bash or race? Consider this carefully.
Bashing is a term that means everything else you do with the car that does not involve racing. It could be as little as running around your home or having fun around the local park. Even a race with your buddies on an empty lot is still considered bashing.
Racing refers to an organized event. It could be for the local club or an international event, but anything that needs serious data tracking and fierce competition is racing.
When bashing, you might want to go for the more durable vehicles because speed might not be an issue here. But when you want to get into a race, a cheap RC car can be a nightmare. In this scenario, you need a car that you can control accurately, and lightweight but durable. This is because speed and higher performance is the ultimate goal in racing.
You might want to get some cones to practice your driving skill.
Picking your cheap RC car
There are a lot of cheap RC cars out there, that should fit right into your budget. Which cheap RC car to buy depends on its upgradability, controllability, and horsepower. To help you pick the not so expensive but good RC cars, you can consider one of these below:
Who is Wltoys?
RC rock crawling has been a very popular activity around the world. Whenever we pay attention to these events online, it is not hard for us to see the advertisements from Axial. Axial is the key producer of RC rock crawling jeeps. While Axial has very high-quality RC jeeps, their prices are very high. Does that mean hobbyists must pay high prices for joining this hobby? Thanks to some Chinese producers in the market. Wltoys is one of the famous players. Wltoys is a toy company in Canton, a metropolitan in China. It has produced many kinds of cheap ready-to-run RC cars, boats, and airplanes. In fact, its main customers are from America, so you should be worry-free when it comes to quality.
You can find out more about this company by visiting his official website, https://wltoys.en.alibaba.com/.
What is 10428? This is a 2-speed RC rock racer (around $237)
Driving this 1/10 RC rock racer can make you feel like a professional driver. For its price and high quality, look no further. While you can get this RC rock racer at some online stores for about $250, it has a brushed 540 motor and its max speed goes up to 30 km/h. This WLtoys 10428, a superb racer, can bring you a wonderful experience in off-road running and cheer you up!
What Do I like about this RC rock racer?
- This RC car is RTR; that means you receive everything for your enjoyment. You do not need to buy any of the above mentioned items if you do not plan to upgrade your car any time sooner.
- It is 2 speed RC racer so you can have it run and crawl according to the different road conditions. It can be controlled easily.
- It has 4 LCD headlights so you can drive it day and night. These headlights are controllable for using the transmitter.
- The color scheme is attractive so you can still see it even you are far away from it.
- Its transmitter has an LCD screen so making adjustments for the jeep is easier.
- As it is using a 540 motor, its speed is reasonable; also, replacing it with a more powerful brushless motor is possible.
- This RC crawler has good articulations; thus, it can crawl over rocks easily.
The weaknesses of this RC racer
- The battery box is too small for a bigger LIPO battery.
- The shocks are not oil-filled. As a result, it is not as stable on the rough roads as its counterparts.
- Most components of the chassis are made of plastics.
- You have to do something to lock up the differential if you want this rock racer crawl well.
Parts are easily available online
As for upgrading and modifying an RC jeep is the main part of the fun in this hobby, the availability of parts is important. You can find all the parts on eBay.
WLtoys 12428 2.4G 1/12 4WD crawler RC car with LED light ($99.99)
This RC truck runs at a maximum speed of 50km/hr. It is a four-wheel drive and requires a 7.45V, 1500mAh Li-Battery. It also has a brushed motor and requires only about 3 hours when charging it.
WLtoys A959-B 1/18 4WD buggy off-road RC car 70km/h ($99.99)
This is yet another cheap RC truck you would love. It also needs you to purchase a 7.4V 1500mAh battery, and charging takes only about 6 minutes. It also runs at 70km/hr and comes with a 540 Brushed motor.
WLtoys A979-B 1/18 4WD superb fast 70km/h monster truck
This RC truck like the other two includes a 540 Brushed motor, and it runs at a speed of 70km/hr. It also consists of a battery and takes up to 2 hours to charge up. It is a four-wheeled truck, and you can control the car at about 100m. But you must also buy a 7.4V 1400mAh battery.
WLtoys 1/28 P929 2.4G RTR electric 4WD monster truck RC car with a high-quality brushed motor ($39.99)
This is an Electric four-wheeled RC truck with a 130 Brushed motor and includes a 2.4G Remote controller. You can control the truck at 100 meters away, but the maximum speed runs at about 30m/hr.
Cheap RC car or not?
Although the cheap versions seem a lot easy to your pocket, you have to be mighty sure that’s what you want. You don’t want to be stuck with a limited edition of the real deal. There are many good reasons you should always go for the more expensive RC cars. First and foremost, they are a lot more durable, easy to navigate, and might not need too much attention. Also, these cars give you a lot more speed and power than you can find elsewhere. For a more realistic experience, an expensive RC car is a lot cooler.
Pros and cons of getting a cheap RC car
- Excellent for beginners, as usual, they are ready to run
- A battery and a charger are usually included in the package.
- Less cost to replace the original brushed motor
- Easy to understand and use
- Useful for bashing if you get a good one
- Option parts are cheaper than the ones offered by the more popular brands such as Tamiya. While the aluminum parts can make your RC car look cool, it, in fact, can increase the adjustability of it. Here is a blog post about the reasons why aluminum parts are good for upgrading your RC cars.
- You might have a problem making the RC car run straight as they usually use a low-quality steering servo
- Usually, you cannot make any adjustments to the car without buying upgraded parts.
- Lower performance and longevity due to low-quality materials used. In fact, you should never give full throttle whenever you start your RC car; otherwise, you can get your gear stripped easily.
- The battery included usually can only last for 10 minutes.
RC car bashing is phenomenal, especially when you have a good model that gives maximum pleasure. A good model does not have to be expensive. As there are some excellent cheap RC cars out there, you can always get one of those and see if RC car bashing is right for you. Later, to improve your enjoyment, you will upgrade your RC car. Of course, you can get a more expensive one at the beginning. Whatever your choice, you can always come to this blog to get more tips and learn new ways to maximize your fun time.
Thanks for reading this post,