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Old 03-29-2013, 10:04 PM   #1
Old Blue OP
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RC Truck Advice Please

My mom-in-law gave our 3 year old son an off-road RC truck for Christmas. The boy loves it. The trouble is that is kinda junky and eats batteries like nothing I've ever seen. It's a Maisto brand.

I'd like to get him something of much better quality that he'd be able to use for a while. With a rechargeable battery.

Most of what I've seen is way too fast for a three year old. The slow stuff appears to be junk.

Any advice on a good truck for him? I'd appreciate it.
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Old 03-30-2013, 12:26 AM   #2
Tripl Nikl
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Rechargeable batteries don't work in it?
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Old 03-30-2013, 02:21 AM   #3
Jimmy the Heater
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Oh boy, this is a whole wide world that you are walking into. And an expensive one I'm afraid. I'll try to be as brief as possible.

Most hobby grade RC's are designed for kids above 8 or so but there are several things that you can do.

I would recommend a 1/10th scale Monster truck such as the ECX Ruckus, Traxxas Stampede 2wd, or AARMA Granite in that order. The larger tires will let him run in a larger variety of terrain such as grass where a smaller vehicle would get bogged down or stuck.

Also budget a few extra $ for a fast charger and a few extra batteries. No 3 year old wants to wait 6 hours for the included wall charger to finish up. A fast charger cuts that wait to about 30 min depending on the size of the battery. You can have one charging while the other is in the truck.

As far as the speed goes, 2 options. Traxxas has a training mode that cuts the throttle by 50% electronically. However you can just put a spacer behind the trigger and that limits the throttle just as well.

One more word on batteries. Stick with a NiMh battery for now, no need to go to LiPo. Lipo's have more punch to them and there is a small fire chance if not cared for properly. Not something that you want to worry about right now.

Craigslist or Ebay is a great place to find used Hobby grade RC's to help make the entry cost a little more in line as well.

Any other questions just post up and I'm sure any of the RC guys or I can help.
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Old 03-30-2013, 03:51 AM   #4
Old Blue OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tripl Nikl View Post
Rechargeable batteries don't work in it?
They would, but I have held off buying them because I'm not sure I want to put a bunch of money into rechargeables that I'd only use on this truck. I'm not thrilled with the truck, so the money may be better spent on a better system.

Thanks for the replies, fellas.
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Old 03-30-2013, 06:31 PM   #5
bisbonian
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Originally Posted by Old Blue View Post
They would, but I have held off buying them because I'm not sure I want to put a bunch of money into rechargeables that I'd only use on this truck. I'm not thrilled with the truck, so the money may be better spent on a better system.

Thanks for the replies, fellas.
Does it use AA batteries? If so, most anything you're going to buy will use AA in the radio anyway, maybe use them in the truck now and then in the radio when you upgrade?
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Old 03-30-2013, 06:53 PM   #6
Old Blue OP
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Originally Posted by bisbonian View Post
Does it use AA batteries? If so, most anything you're going to buy will use AA in the radio anyway, maybe use them in the truck now and then in the radio when you upgrade?
Yes it does. Good point!

I've been drooling over the Traxxas Stampede. The "training mode" may be just what we need.
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Old 03-31-2013, 12:50 AM   #7
Jimmy the Heater
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Originally Posted by Old Blue View Post
Yes it does. Good point!

I've been drooling over the Traxxas Stampede. The "training mode" may be just what we need.

Don't know if you've seen it but here is how fast a Stampede goes in training mode.

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Old 03-31-2013, 10:52 AM   #8
Old Blue OP
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Jimmy,

Thanks for the video. That thing is FAST in training mode. I now want one for me even worse, but I'm not sure the boy is ready. He may be when he concentrates, but his attention span is that of a 3-year old! We may have to keep him on the slow, cheapo for a while yet.

Looks like a AA battery charger is in my immediate future while I figure out what comes next.

This stuff all looks like a blast. It's definitely going to be something we can grow into together.
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Old 03-31-2013, 11:37 AM   #9
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The Stampede is a great truck, we have two, one for each son. Maybe a little much for a 3 yr old but it will last a long time and all parts are replaceable. Extra cool that it's waterproof and works well enough in the winter.

On a side note, a friend has the 4x4 traxxas which he hot rodded with every mod he could. He was holding his 3 yr old son letting him steer while Dad controlled the throttle. The little one managed to get his hands on the throttle and drove the truck into the side of the house at around 70mph. Had to replace the battery and do some chassis work but it works fine.
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Old 03-31-2013, 03:26 PM   #10
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The Stampede is a great truck, we have two, one for each son. Maybe a little much for a 3 yr old but it will last a long time and all parts are replaceable. Extra cool that it's waterproof and works well enough in the winter.

On a side note, a friend has the 4x4 traxxas which he hot rodded with every mod he could. He was holding his 3 yr old son letting him steer while Dad controlled the throttle. The little one managed to get his hands on the throttle and drove the truck into the side of the house at around 70mph. Had to replace the battery and do some chassis work but it works fine.
That is a good point about RC trucks, most of the Traxxis ones have a HUGE aftermarket following, if you break it you can upgrade it. They even have aluminum chassis and such available.
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Old 03-31-2013, 05:53 PM   #11
Cat Daddy
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I had my daughters driving 1/18 scale rock crawlers at that age. They are slow enough without any mods and they're a hoot since the girls could drive them all over the house.

We used the Losi mini rock crawler. Not too expensive.
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Old 03-31-2013, 08:15 PM   #12
Tripl Nikl
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I had my daughters driving 1/18 scale rock crawlers at that age. They are slow enough without any mods and they're a hoot since the girls could drive them all over the house.

We used the Losi mini rock crawler. Not too expensive.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=odyLHBD-DCo

I ssssssssoooooooo want one!!!!!!
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Old 03-31-2013, 08:18 PM   #13
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Check out the traxxas summit. It's not as fast as some others and can go anywhere!
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Old 04-01-2013, 12:44 AM   #14
Jimmy the Heater
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Check out the traxxas summit. It's not as fast as some others and can go anywhere!

The Summit is a $600 RC though. Probably a bit steep for a first hobby grade.



Old Blue, keep in mind that you can tape a block behind the throttle to limit movement, and also change the end points electronically in the radio. So you can make it go as slow as you want, even to the point where it won't move.

My GF has a 3 year old, I totally understand the situation
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Old 04-01-2013, 02:20 AM   #15
manic mechanic
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Years ago I was the R/C repairman at a local hobby shop. We also had a small carpet track and held races on Sundays and Wednesdays. It was sometimes "funny" when a parent would bring in the young 'un and their department-store RC vehicle for repairs. It often took a while to convince them that we couldn't get parts to fix their toy. As part of the demonstration, I would take one of my Associated vehicles, power it up, then toss it across the room, get it on its wheels and drive it away. Then point to all the parts available fo it on the wall behind me. Sometimes the parents would bring the kids and toys to the track to race with us. The kids were amazed that their car with TURBO were lapped several times for each lap they made.
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