There is no denying that RC Crawlers and Scale trucks are by far the fastest growing RC niche market, and everybody wants in. From young kids wanting a mini RC truck looking just like dads, to grown men wanting a small replica of their own truck or maybe their dream truck that they can take off-road, rock crawl and even bash without the costly repairs of a full size car.
RC rock crawlers are usually slow RC vehicles, designed for rock and obstacle clearance and crawling.
There are a few aspects that you must consider before buying your first RC crawler. In this article, we will review 5 best RC crawlers for beginners and also guide you on how to buy the best beginner RC crawler by stating some important points.
If you do not want to read the full review of all products and want to know what is the best RC crawler for a beginner. The Team Associated Element RC 1/10 Enduro 4×4 Trailwalker is the best beginner RC crawler in this list because it provides superb performance, is very durable, offers great aftermarket upgrade support, and can serve anybody from beginner to pro alike, all that at a low price.
1. Team Associated 1/10 Enduro Ecto Trail Truck RTR
If you are looking for your first RC crawler that is strong as well as provides excellent capability, then the Team Associated Element RC 1/10 Ecto Trail Truck is the best option for you. You can easily use this crawler on the rock, and if set-up right even win a few competitions, or just bash around in the backyard. The parts are more durable that most scale RC trucks, and the slower speed also helps kids and beginners learn to driver well without damaging it when bashing.
It features a Reedy 5-slot 16-turn brushed crawler motor, with great torque and smooth power delivery on rocks. The 90 mm aluminum shocks give good damping, and the supplied tires are good for bashing and last long, although you will want to upgrade to a compound and tread with more grip if taking part in more advanced rock crawling or competitions. The Element RC Ecto Trail Truck is sufficiently waterproof to bash through backyard puddles.
2. Traxxas TRX-4 Sport 4X4 1/10 Scale Crawler
The Traxxas TRX-4 is one of the most popular electric off-road RC crawlers and cars, both for its functionality, and it’s durability. It comes out of the box all the functions you may need for either rock crawling or even backyard bashing, including a front and rear lockable differential and a two speed selectable gearbox so you can change between fast for bashing and slow for crawling right from your radio. This makes it perfect for beginners who want to learn on slow mode and start going faster as their skill improves.
It features tough portal axles for clearance under the axle over rocks and obstacles. It is waterproof out of the box, so it will not self-destruct if a beginner accidentally drives through a deep puddle.
3. Axial SCX10 II Deadbolt 4WD RC Rock Crawler Off-Road 4×4 Electric RTR
Having gained a reputation as one of the top manufacturers in the RC crawling world, Axial never disappoints, and always delivers good value for money, good performance and with durability to suit.
The Honcho is built on the SCX10ii platform, which is very well supported in the aftermarket, with upgradeable or replacement parts available for almost every single part on it. The AR44 axles on the SCX10ii have been proven to offer great durability, good steering geometry and a lot of upgradeability. You can never go wrong with an Axial SCX10ii as your first RC rock crawler, or even for your 10th RC rock crawler.
4. RGT RC Crawlers RTR 1/10 Scale 4wd Off Road
As the lowest priced option on our list, this one may be best suited for budget conscious individuals. With the added hard plastic featured on the body like the flares, wipers, grill, snorkel and mirrors, kids and beginnners love the look and feel of this RC crawler. RGT has quickly built a name as good value for money in the quality hobby grade RC rock crawler market.
The standard tire this crawler comes with offer plenty of grip, and the included battery and charger make it super value for the price.
5. Redcat Racing Gen8 V2 International Scout II 1/10 Scale Rock Crawler Scale Truck, Green
The Redcat Racing Gen8 V2 Scout II Rock Crawler is a strong and powerful crawler that you can use on any type of terrain, both rock crawling and backyard bashing. It offers strong portal axles with metal wheel hexes and sealed ball bearings for bashing.
This crawler is pre-assembled and ready to drive and set-up to your liking with adjustable wheel base, ride height, toe and shock positions.
Buying Guide: How to Buy the Best RC crawler for a beginner?
Here in this buying guide, we will tell you how to buy the best RC crawler for a beginner and tell you some important points that you must consider before buying any RC crawler.
Types of RC crawlers
When you are looking for a remote control crawler, you must choose one with the functions needed to crawl slowly over rocks maintaining maximum traction. There are two major sizes of crawlers.
Large crawlers: The large crawlers are usually 1/10 scale, and knock down almost anything that gets in their way depending on the size scale; this quality is shared with real models. A 1/10 scale crawler is more suited to outdoor RC crawling and bashing. A crawler is not fast, but they have excellent suspension and large tires.
Small crawlers: A 1/24 scale RC crawler is ideal for indoor and flatter terrain since its small wheels do not make it easy for you to travel through steep or very complex terrain, however don’t be fooled by their small size, some of these small crawlers are super capable and will crawl up most obstacles that gets in its way.
There are two types of battery, nickel (Ni-Mh) or lithium-polymer (Li-Po). NiMh ones are quite common and used a lot in beginner trucks and in the kits supplied with batteries, it is the least expensive option, however their power drops-off much faster than the newer LiPo technology batteries, so you would want to upgrade to LiPo as soon as you can afford it. The LiPo batteries are more dangerous to handle, store and charge, so just make sure you take the proper care when storing and charging them.
Beginners do not need to worry too much about tires, most factory supplied tires crawl well enough for the skill-level of a beginner and last well when backyard bashing. As your skill improves though, you can then upgrade to purpose-made sticky rock crawling tires, that stick like glue to rocks and obstacles. Just be aware that those tires compound wear out much faster when bashing around with them on.
This will depend on your experience, most beginners will be better suited to slow brushed crawlers, even when bashing, to learn how to steer and handle them properly before upgrade or setting them faster.
As long as you have the possibility of finding something affordable, I advise you always to go to a manufacturer with a good reputation. The famous brands like Traxxas, HPI, Element RC, RC4WD, Axial, Team Losi, RGT, ARRMA and Redcat offer you replacement parts and good customer service.
Kit or RTR?
If mechanical stuff interests you, or you truly want to understand all the workings of your RC crawler, a kit will be better suited to you. Most beginners however, prefer to start with a RTR RC so they can first enjoy it whilst learning how to set it up right.
2WD or 4WD?
The 2WD option is not suited for rock crawling at all, so if you only want to play with it fast or backyard bash, 2WD is fine, if you want to learn how to rock crawl too, 4WD is the only option.
I hope you like this best RC crawlers for beginners review and comparison; if you like this article, please share it so more of your friends can read it too.
What is a good RC Crawler?
Generally any of the RC crawlers made by the large reputable brands like Traxxas, Axial, Element RC and Redcat are good RC crawlers to buy. Not only are they built well and tough, but they also have good parts support.
Does Traxxas make an rock crawler?
Yes, the RC crawler range from Traxxas is branded under the TRX-4 category, with various different models available. They are known for being tough in build quality, and quite capable out of the box with a large support for aftermarket parts and upgrades.
What is the best RC Crawler in 2022?
We still choose any of the Element RC rock crawlers still as the best RC crawler when the price, build quality, capability and features are all considered, with the Traxxas TRX-4 following close behind.
When you use the link above to shop for one of the products, we receive a small commission from the sale, at no extra cost to you. This helps us keep this site going, and does not affect the price you would pay usually in any way whatsoever.