Getting Started In Trail Truck R/Cs

     Trail trucks also known as scale trucks are a segment of the radio control hobby that aims to focus more on scale appearance and performance. Many feature a variety of different body styles and in keeping with their scale nature feature various officially licenced parts modeled after their real world products from brands such as Jeep, Chevy, Ford, Currie, Warn, Rigid Industries, Method Wheels, Goodyear, BF Goodrich and many more.

     New for 2020 are events tailored around 1/24 scale trail trucks, these trucks come completely ready to run out of the box and need nothing. They are also very affordable compared to their larger counterpart, however there are not as many options so I wont break down features of each. To compete in events the model must use stock parts which puts everyone on the same level and keeps the price down. To participate in the 1/10 scale events offered I have set specific requirements that will allow everyone who enters to be competitive with each other while providing many model options. At the time of this writing there are over 60 models (Kits/RTR) available to choose from.

Requirements for 1/24 Scale Events: Scale: 1/24, Body: Full, Supported Models
Axial SCX24 Models (Chevrolet C10/Jeep Wrangler/Deadbolt) $149.99 – $159.99
Electrix RC Barrage Models (Orange/Blue) $134.99

     Requirements for 1/10 Scale Events: Scale: 1/10, Body: Full, Tire Size: 4.75″ or smaller, Wheel Size: 1.9″ or smaller
Recommendations suggested below are based on price and ease of maintenance.

Model Recommendations – Pricing shown updated February 8th, 2020
Redcat Gen7 Everest Sport – $269.99
One of the most affordable 1/10 scale trail trucks available and offers a great way to get into scale trail trucks while keeping costs low. The new Gen8 has updated features but no charger and battery and costs 50% more. Local part support isn’t great requiring you to order any parts you may need. Features include 2000mAh battery, wall charger, licensed Interco Super Swamper tires, beadlock wheels, metal links and a 550 size motor. 
Vaterra Ascender 1972 Chevy Suburban – $349.99
This model has a couple upgrades compared to other Vaterra Ascender models, it supports normal batteries and has updated suspension geometry to improve performance. This model also requires a battery and charger with with a EC3 connector. Local part support is poor requiring you to order any parts you may need. Features include licensed 1972 Chevy Suburban body, licensed Interco Super Swamper tires & LED lighting.
Axial SCX10 II Deadbolt – $399.99
The SCX10 II is a very popular trail truck with great support. Higher priced SCX10 II models include upgrades like metal links, gears, licensed parts and lights. This model also requires a battery and charger with with a Deans connector. Local part support is good with most parts actively stocked. Features include licensed Method Wheels, Nitto Trail Grappler M/T tires, CRC bumper, roll cage with driver and light buckets.
Traxxas TRX-4 Sport – $459.99
The Sport model removes the hi/low transmission and remote locking differentials of the more expensive TRX-4 models which significantly reduces parts and maintenance. This model also requires a battery and charger with with a Traxxas connector. Local part support is good with most parts actively stocked. Features include aluminum shocks, portal axles, metal links and a 550 sized motor.
RC4WD Trail Finder 2 Marlin Crawlers – $649.99
RC4WD trail trucks offer greater attention to scale details and by design allow for full scale interiors but cost more due to the materials used. Local part support is good with most parts actively stocked. Features include 3000mAh battery, wall charger, metal axles, transmission / transfer case, steel front & rear bumpers, 1.7″ steel beadlock wheels,  Interco IROK tires, Superlift Superide 80mm Shocks and molded body.
Team Associated Element RC Enduro – $469.99
The Team Associated Element RC Enduro is a new trail truck on the scene but gaining popularity due to several unique features such as behind axle steering, factory overdrive and heavy duty parts. Local part support is still a bit weak but shouldn’t take long to order in. This model also requires a battery and charger with with a EC3 connector. This truck also features beadlock Method Wheels with General Grabber tires, a unique feature is the box doubles as a scale garage.
Battery/Charger Recommendations
Dynamite Prophet Sport Mini Charger – $39.99
This charger supports LiPo, LiFe, LiHV and NiMH battery types allowing you to charge any batteries you might use with your trail truck in about a hour. This charger is also very compact and includes a EC3 charge lead which is needed for the Vaterra Ascender. You can buy additional charge leads needed for other models here: Deans – $9.99, Traxxas – $9.99 & Tamiya – $8.99.
Venom 3000mAh NiMH Battery – $29.99
This battery features adapters for Deans, Traxxas, EC3 and Tamiya connector types. Estimated run-times for light trailing: 2 Hours, speed/mud: 1 Hour but will vary based on your driving style. Trail trucks featuring a 550 motor will see less run-time.

 

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