If you’ve ever wondered what sets the best RC Rock Crawlers apart, check out our handy guide comparing some of the best on the market. Remote control cars are often synonymous with racing cars. But when it comes to rock crawlers, these remote control vehicles are designed to cover rugged terrain easily and relatively slowly.
If you have ever wanted to drive a modified jeep up some steep rocks, but don’t want the cost or wear and tear on your actual vehicle, RC rock crawling could be for you. RC crawlers also appeal to kids who love being outside and still want to play with electronic toys.
Best RC Rock Crawlers
Durability, maneuverability, and performance are all important features to considers when comparing RC crawlers. The cost can also be steep, although there are budget options that we will explore in this article. Whether you are looking for toy or a competition-ready model, we’ve rounded up some of the best RC rock crawlers on the market to get you started.
Axial makes reliable, high-end rock crawlers and this is no exception. Complete with a driver figure, the SCX10 Deadbolt not only looks great, but it also handles well. The durable AR44 single piece axle with integrated C hubs and lockouts, adds ground clearance and better driveshaft angles, so you can cover more complex terrain.
The AX10 Transmission is ultra-compact so you get a wide range of gear choices. The only complaint that users had about this crawler was that the out-of-the-box tires are not great. They are functional but do not provide as much grip as possible. However, this is easily changed, as the rig is highly customizable.
Another thing to note is that the battery and charger are not included.
The Axial Capra 1.9 is one of the best RC rock crawlers out there with no detail left unaccounted for. Even the interior is realistic with molded figures and a mock GPS system. Unique features include a DIG function on the transmission that allows you to change from 4WD to FWD for a tighter turning radius. Its tunable oil-filled shocks and 4 link suspension geometry provides exceptional crawling abilities.
The Currie F9 Portal Axles add a significant amount of ground clearance while also providing a 7.39:1 gear ratio. Metal parts in the gears, and throughout the crawler, help with durability. Users found this to be a great rig straight out of the box able to handle some surprising terrain. If you are looking for a high end, customizable crawler, this is it.
Note that it does not come with batteries or a charger.
This RC rock crawlers is a great first rock crawler. It is not the highest end item, but for the price, it is a good option. It will operate on tough terrain such as rocks, grass, sand, and snow. The 1:18 ratio is smaller and less detailed than some of the higher-end options. But, this is perfectly adequate for a child or adult just learning how to use an RC rock crawler.
The independent suspension springs are not as high performing as the higher end oil-filled shocks, but they will help cushion the ride. The tires are durable and skid-resistant and it has dual motors to provide the power. It includes four AA batteries for the vehicle and three for the transmitter. At maximum speeds, the batteries will last for about 15 minutes.
This remote control truck has the look of an aggressive monster truck but the capabilities of a rock crawler. It is on the slower side, but you can easily upgrade it, including the motor. That being said, users have a lot of fun with it right out of the box.
The large, aggressive tires, plenty of torque, and an articulating suspension allow you to take this crawler up rugged trails. The tires stick to rocks like suction cups, said one reviewer. The truck comes with batteries and a charger. The electronics are all waterproofed which allows you to use it in puddles or storms. The battery will last for about 20 minutes on a single charge.
This Panda Hobby Tetra is top of the line when it comes to a 1:18 scale remote control rock crawler. Of course, it isn’t going to compare to the larger, more expensive, 1:10 scale models. But for someone who doesn’t want to spend a lot of time or money customizing a crawler, this is a great option.
This vehicle comes with a three-speed transmission, alloy oil-filled shocks, and a water-resistant steering servo. The tires have weight blocks for more stability while crawling. And controllable lights add a nice touch to the overall look of the vehicle. Several users called this the best mini crawler on the market, due to the features that you usually only find on larger models. You get two batteries and a USB charger with your purchase and you have your choice of four great color options.
This rock crawler looks and feels like a real off-road vehicle. With a two speed transmission, 4-link suspension, and locked differentials, you are able to go anywhere a remote control car could go. The low center of gravity helps prevent the vehicle from rolling.
The brushed RC550 motor powers it up steep rocks and varied terrain. And oil-filled shocks absorb the bumps for a smooth ride. It has an IPX5 water resistance rating so you can play wherever your heart desires. The vehicle also has nn electric winch and LED lights — the little touches that make all the difference. A battery and a charger are included with your purchase.
7. Redcat Racing Everest Gen7 Pro 4WD Rock Crawler
The powder-coated frame and details on the Everest Gen7 Pro are top of the line. Although more expensive than its sibling, the Everest 10, if you are looking for a real-to-life look and some higher quality components, it’s worth the added cost. Metal differential lockers, higher clearance, and CV axles in the front differentiate the Gen7 from the 10.
Users appreciate the waterproofing and durability. Plus, this RC rock crawler operates pretty well straight out of the box. Or you can customize it to your needs as there are plenty of modifications available. It doesn’t have a great turning radius, but for a crawler, that isn’t as necessary. To change the battery or make modifications, the body flips up for easy access. A battery and charger are included with your purchase.
If you are on a budget and looking to get into RC rock crawlers, this is an affordable option. It is easily upgradable, with parts also available on Amazon, so you can see what you like and change what you do not. One feature that sets it apart is the detachable roll cage giving you easy access to the chassis. And you can take it out any time of day or night, thanks to the bright LED headlights.
Users appreciated the durability of this crawler. Even after many crashes into rocks and concrete, it still remained solid. It is easy to control with tight steering right out of the box. The bumper is also spring-loaded to protect the rest of the vehicle when it crashes into something. It comes with two sets of batteries and a USB charging case.
This tiny 1:24 scale crawler would be great for indoor crawling adventures. Despite the pocket-sized body, this vehicle has great features. The tires are soft and grippy for traction on different surfaces.
A multi-link suspension system and coil spring shocks help with the RGT’s crawling capabilities. And the low center of gravity will help keep this small vehicle from rolling. The body is made of nylon composite material. And, the scale details are similar to crawlers many times the size. Add four AAA batteries to get started, and you are ready to rock crawl!
This mini crawler is another good budget option. The fun and unique graffiti-style cab makes this vehicle a perfect introduction to crawling for a young child. And the detailed interior complete with a driver adds character. The dual motors provide enough power to climb steep or variable terrain, and the 4WD system adds stability.
The independent bumper protects the vehicle from crashes. It is also waterproofed which means you can use it any time, anywhere. Even in those muddy puddles! This is a good quality RC rock crawler for anyone who wants to learn to rock crawl outside. It is easy to control and steer. Also, it comes with a rechargeable battery pack.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is RC rock crawling fun?
RC rock crawling is a lot of fun if you enjoy being outside and exploring trails, and you want to drive a remote control car. But, if you want to drive fast, you probably won’t enjoy RC rock crawling. In that case, you are better off finding an RC race car or offroad racing vehicle.
The most fun part of rock crawling is finding the most extreme terrain that your crawler can go over. There are even RC rock crawling tournaments.
If you enjoy tinkering with your remote control vehicles and finding better ways to build them, you will probably enjoy RC rock crawling. There are a lot of ways to upgrade each vehicle and customize it to your needs and interests.
How fast is an RC rock crawler?
RC rock crawlers are not super fast. They are typically a lot slower than other RC vehicles, because their purpose is to have the power and capability to crawl up over rocks and roots on rugged trails. They can reach speeds from a few miles per hour up to ~30mph, depending on the model.
Most faster vehicles would be considered offroad racing vehicles and are not made to be crawlers. It is possible to upgrade a crawler to have a faster engine. However, at that point, you might want to consider a different type of RC car.
What should I look for in an RC rock crawler?
There are a few key features to consider when purchasing your RC rock crawler.
High clearance: To get over the rocks and roots that you will be driving over.
Torque: Look for low gear ratios and two motors to have the sustained power to move up and over steep terrain
Suspension: A flexible, forgiving suspension system will help you keep all wheels in connection with the ground while moving over obstacles. Look for oil-filled shocks as opposed to spring-type shocks.
Tires: Look for tires with lots of tread. Softer is better for gripping rock. Make sure that they are bead locked to the rim.
Ilana Newman is a writer, photographer, and life long learner. Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, and recently relocated to the desert and mountains of SW Colorado, she spends her free time climbing, running, and skiing in the mountains. She is passionate about sharing stories that can impact lives.