This is what I am trying to decide now. In a perfect world we could try them all and then pick the best one. With RC Models that’s a bit tough unless you own a hobby shop or have a youtube channel with a huge following.
I have been spending my hobby time building and flying foam airplanes and diy kit built quadcopter models.
My son who is 10 really wants to get a truck or car.
Should I buy ready to run or a kit?
When I was younger I built the Grasshopper and The Frog Buggy Kits. It seems most of the current RC truck models come ready to run with the assembly done by the manufacturer.
I don’t think my son has quite enough patience to assemble a kit without me doing it for him. So this is why we are looking at RTR setups.
Monster Truck or Short Course Racing Truck?
This is a much tougher question for me to answer since I like them both. Eventually I am sure we will end up with at least one of each. To start out I think the 1/10 scale short course trucks are the better option. They are definitely the most popular. It looks like they stay wheels down and take jumps a little better due to the lower center of gravity. You can also buy a different truck body and larger wheels to turn your short course into a monster.
What are the top short track RTR trucks for beginners?
This one is the number one seller on amazon: Redcat Racing Volcano EPX Electric Truck, Blue/Silver, 1/10 Scale
#1 in Toys & Games > Hobbies > RC Vehicles & Parts > RC Vehicles > Trucks – I am assuming that’s because it has the best price under $150.00. If I were only concerned about getting a good truck for the money this would be the one for us. It has great reviews and is upgradeable. The pro version is brushless 4 wheel drive with better parts for a great price as well.
This brings me to the next question 2 wheel drive or 4 wheel drive?
The 2 wheel drive truck are less expensive which makes them the ideal starter truck. The best move ups you can make in a truck are from a brushed motor to brushless and from 2WD to 4WD. You can upgrade most models to brushless with ease. Two or four wheel drive is another story. You should get this right in the beginning.
For my son and I 4 wheel drive is going to be the way to go. We have an always wet mud hole next to our house.
In addition to the Red Cat Racing truck show above. Here are some other trucks I have researched extensively. All of these trucks are a great buy depending on your budget. I will mention two trucks to avoid at the end of the post.
Traxxas Slash 2WD or 4WD – The lower end 2WDs are under $250 and 4WD trucks are under $400 – Traxxas have by far the best parts support in local hobby shops if you break something.
Team associated sc10 – This was the top dog brand back in the day. Their kits are generally more expensive. However I did find some brushed kits for under $200 on amazon.
Then we have Hobby King’s trucks. These are really attractive to me because they are brushless and it looks like you can run 3s LiPos in them without having to upgrade. I already have a bunch of 3s LiPos. The only con to HK is the shipping can be expensive and there can be long wait times on replacement parts coming from the international warehouse. They do have a good selection of vehicles in the regional warehouses though.
I read the Losi kits are the best but they look too expensive for a first timer.
I want to get a 4wd Traxxas based on the reviews. But based on budget for a first short course truck I think we were going to go with the basic two wheel drive Traxxas under $250.
And the winner is the 1/10th Scale RTR Hunter BL 4×4 SCT. This was not one that I had considered because it is not a popular as the other trucks. It’s not the least expensive truck either. It’s a little larger and beefier, some of the parts like the shocks are the same as the Hunter 1/8th scale trucks. Everything except a battery and charger is included. You should also order and extra front bumper and a metal geared steering servo, these are the only two weak points on the truck. The price is just under $300 which is mid range and a great buy for the quality.
Here is a video of the Hunter BL getting run really hard.
Should we even take a look at and short course two wheel drive race trucks?