Guide To The
Hobby of RC Trucks
Welcome to the hobby of
remote control RC trucks. It is easy to get started. This page explains
common terminologies and answers your frequently asked questions.
Here are some definitions
of terms frequently used in the r/c hobby.
- Refers to the size of the model kit. For example, 1/10 scale means
the model is ten times smaller than the real thing. Relatively
speaking, a 1/8 scale is bigger than a 1/10 scale. And 1/10 scale is
bigger than 1/24 scale.
(RTR) - These usually refer to
model kits that come with a radio control system and equipment needed
for the model to run right out of the box. RTR kits make it easy for
beginners to get started in the hobby. Usual there are just minor items
left to be purchased, such as batteries for the radio control system
and fuel for the nitro engine.
Control System - This consists
of a transmitter, receiver, and servos. The transmitter is what you
hold in your hand. It sends signals to the receiver and servos mounted
on your R/C truck. The servos in turn use mechanical movement to steer
the truck and control the speed.
The transmitter usually
uses 8-AA size batteries, while the receiver needs 4-AA sized
batteries. You may use Alkaline or rechargeable batteries.
Gas / Nitro Trucks
These are usually 1/10 -
1/8 scale remote controlled trucks powered by a 2-stroke gas / nitro
engine. Items you need are the truck kit, engine, radio control system,
nitro fuel, glow plug igniter, and starter.
RTR gas trucks usually
include the kit, engine, and radio control system. You will need to buy
the nitro fuel and glow plug igniter separately.
Gas Engine - Common size are
.12ci (1.97cc) and .21ci (3.5cc). These use special nitro fuel to run.
Instead of a spark plug, the engine uses a glow plug.
Fuel - The term nitro and gas
are frequently used interchangeably. For 1/10 and 1/8 scale models, the
term nitro and gas means the model is designed to use a special blend
of nitro fuel for R/C cars and trucks. You cannot use regular gasoline.
Not to be confused, there
are large-scale models (i.e. 1/6 - 1/4 scale) that have lawnmower type
engines which use regular gasoline.
Plug - Device that ignites the
air/fuel mixture inside the gas engine, similar to a spark
During the initial
starting of an engine, a 1.5v supply is applied to the glow plug. The
coils inside the glow plug heat up, igniting the air/fuel mixture. Once
the engine is idling, the 1.5v supply is removed.
Plug Igniter - The device that
applies the 1.5v to heat up the glow plug.
For more info, visit the Nitro
Electric RC Trucks
These are usually 1/28 -
1/8 scale remote controlled trucks powered by an electric motor. Items
you need are the truck kit, radio control system, battery pack and
RTR electric trucks
usually come complete with everything you need to get started. However,
some RTR kits do not include the battery pack and charger.
Pack - For 1/10 scale, a 7.2v
battery pack is commonly used. The basic choices are NiCad and NiMH.
NiCads are usually cheaper, while the NiMHs provide longer run times.
You will also notice
ratings such as 1700 MAH and 3300 MAH. The higher the number means
longer run times for your radio control truck.
For more info, visit the Electric
Gas or Electric?
Electric R/C trucks are
recommended as a first model for beginners. Then as you gain experience
you can buy the faster gas powered R/C trucks.
Here are factors to
consider for buying gas or electric models. Items in yellow mean it is
mph. Out of the box gas trucks are fast.
||Anywhere from 14-22 mph. Going
would require expensive batteries and modified motors.
tank. Simply refuel and you can play all afternoon.
||5-10 minutes per battery pack.
usually needs to be cooled down before running again.
||Initial cost is the same as
models. The only major maintenance cost would be fuel and rebuilding
the piston/sleeve of the engine every 2-4 gallons of running.
||Initial cost is cheap.
achieve speeds similar to gas trucks requires expensive motors and
|Ease of Operation
||Gas engines can be finicky and
refuse to start. Good engine tuning knowledge and skills are necessary.
battery pack and start playing.
||The sound of
2-stroke engine, the smell of nitro, and the shifting of a 2-speed
transmission makes gas trucks more fun.
||The noise factor must be
neighborhood or local city ordinance might have a law against noise.
Also nitro fumes
require that you play in well ventilated areas (i.e. outdoors).
you play indoors and outdoors without disturbing anyone.
Buy / Shop
Can I Buy Remote Control Trucks For Sale?
The hobby quality remote control trucks are usually sold in hobby
shops. You can visit your local hobby shop (LHS) to buy the model you
If you do not live near a
local hobby shop, try buying online. Factors to consider when buying
from an online hobby shop are: brand, availability, reputation,
merchant rating, and the total delivered price.
One good online hobby
shop I recommend is HobbyTron
Below is the link to the
homepage where you can find more guide, tips, and reviews of popular rc
RC Trucks - Remote Control Monster,
Nitro, Electric, and Mini R/C Trucks
40+ MPH nitro gas powered rc truck, fast electric remote control truck,
and fun mini r/c trucks.