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Jan 18, 2020, 01:54 PM
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Please help an old-schooler Need advice on what to buy


Hi folks,
This is my first post here. I'm in need of some advice.

I want to buy an RC truck for my 6 year old child who already flies a drone around the inside of our home. I am in my 50's but when I was young, I grew up building RC stuff.. even designed some of my own. I used to have boats, and RC10, gliders, stunt planes, and even a couple of helicopters including one of the first Crickets to come out.

Problem is, I'm not into the hobby anymore but I do want to purchase a ready made car/truck for my child. We live out in the countryside on a small hobby farm type of property.. nothing paved around here except a small pad in front of the garage, so I need something that does well in the grass and on a stone driveway.

I'm a lithium-ion battery expert, in fact, I have a solar system that charges 30kW worth of batteries I pulled from crashed Chevy Volt's and I have more 18650's than I know what to do with, so with that in mind, I'd like to find something that uses lithium batteries. ..

I'm looking for a ready-made vehicle. 4 wheel drive would be nice but not required, and something that can possibly keep up with a dog.. just for the fun of it. I'm not opposed to purchasing something in good used condition either.

What should I look for and what should I stay away from? My knowledge of what's good these days is absolutely zero.. In my RC years, if it wasn't made by Futaba, you didn't buy it.

Also, I want to spend $100 to $150 or so.. not looking for an $800 rocket ship on wheels, and used is fine.

Thank you from Michigan.
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Jan 18, 2020, 08:52 PM
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For a young kid, there is nothing better than a Traxxas. Super durable and parts are very easy to find. Avoid the non main stream cars as parts are hard to find and they aren't much cheaper.
Jan 18, 2020, 09:55 PM
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Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by yakky
For a young kid, there is nothing better than a Traxxas. Super durable and parts are very easy to find. Avoid the non main stream cars as parts are hard to find and they aren't much cheaper.

Thank you!
Jan 19, 2020, 12:00 AM
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Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by yakky
For a young kid, there is nothing better than a Traxxas. Super durable and parts are very easy to find. Avoid the non main stream cars as parts are hard to find and they aren't much cheaper.
So I started looking around and those Traxxas are a lot of money.. $170 just for a low end model and that doesn't even include another $100+ for battery and charger.

Anything out there that's a bit less?
Jan 19, 2020, 09:30 AM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by Murphy625
So I started looking around and those Traxxas are a lot of money.. $170 just for a low end model and that doesn't even include another $100+ for battery and charger.



Anything out there that's a bit less?


Redcat is ok and a bit cheaper but you'll be stuck ordering parts online. The Piranah is right in your price range. I think Losi and Arma have some trucks in that range.

Anything cheaper is going to mean ordering parts from China and probably limited availability after a few years.

I'd say look at Amain and put in your price criteria and see what comes up. Then look at how well stocked the parts are.
Jan 19, 2020, 11:50 AM
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bill_delong's Avatar
ECX offers a really nice lineup in your price range, they are considerably more durable than most Traxxas cars out of the box:
https://www.horizonhobby.com/SearchD...ain=&pageView=
Jan 19, 2020, 12:34 PM
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I recently had a similar situation in trying to decide on a car solution for my grandkids aged 6,8, & 10. I first bought a 1/10 scale Vkar Bison, but quickly realized it was way too fast for them to handle. It was also too big to effectively run in my driveway and backyard.

I finally settled on a Xinlehong Q901 1/16 truck for each of them. These have brushless motors and a full metal drivetrain. They also have two speed settings on the transmitter, so they can go slower until the kids can handle the high speed setting. The only negative I have found is that they do not come with oil filled shocks, although these are available as an option. Another negative is that you have to order them from Banggood in China, so they take a while to get to you. Price is right, though, as they are $90 right now, and spare batteries are $12.60. There are also several youtube reviews of this truck, and also the Q902 and Q903, which share the same drivetrain and chassis. Spare parts are available from Banggood, but also from Xinlehong themselves on their website.

Good luck with your decision.
Jan 19, 2020, 03:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bill_delong
ECX offers a really nice lineup in your price range, they are considerably more durable than most Traxxas cars out of the box:
https://www.horizonhobby.com/SearchD...ain=&pageView=


I'm genuinely curious as to how they are more durable than a Traxxas. I've had my stampede for almost 25 years. I've run it with 12 cell batteries on a modified motor and crashed into everything. The only time I need parts is if I play chicken with another Traxxas.
Jan 19, 2020, 03:53 PM
Did I make the A Main?
bill_delong's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by yakky
I'm genuinely curious as to how they are more durable than a Traxxas. I've had my stampede for almost 25 years. I've run it with 12 cell batteries on a modified motor and crashed into everything. The only time I need parts is if I play chicken with another Traxxas.

Many of the Traxxas cars have too many design flaws which need to be addressed with expensive aftermarket upgrades, it would be so much more cost effective to go with a modern design without design flaws so you don't have to buy twice, but don't just take my word:
https://rogershobbycenter.com/from-b...w-opinion.html


Quote:
Originally Posted by RogersHobbyCenter
ECX is a durable brand of cars. Too durable, in fact. Since weíve been selling ECX (after the 2012 reboot), our parts sales have declined sharply. ECX vehicles donít break regularly enough to sustain the brand. Selling cars is nice, but the simple fact is that hobby shops donít make much at all on the vehicles we sell. What keeps R/C shops in business is the parts sales that come as a result of vehicle sales. Few broken parts makes it hard to sustain. Traxxas proved that the battle for market share and TOMA (Top Of Mind Awareness) is won in hobby shops.







Traxxas Stampede XL-5 RTR Review (7 min 33 sec)
Jan 19, 2020, 05:56 PM
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DC1138's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by yakky
I'm genuinely curious as to how they are more durable than a Traxxas. I've had my stampede for almost 25 years. I've run it with 12 cell batteries on a modified motor and crashed into everything. The only time I need parts is if I play chicken with another Traxxas.
ECX appears to use a slightly softer plastic for many of their parts. More give means less breakage. That being said, it depends on how you drive your cars and what you expect out of them. I've broken more parts on 6S Arrmas than brushed Traxxas vehicles, but I pushed the Arrmas harder.

Bills has an agenda and hates Traxxas, so his advice always needs to be taken with a grain of salt anyway.
Jan 19, 2020, 07:22 PM
Did I make the A Main?
bill_delong's Avatar
Hate is a very strong word, in fact there are times where I do recommend Traxxas, and that's only to people I see in person who limit their selection to what is stocked locally. It's going to be way more expensive to maintain Traxxas which I also explain, but you are paying more for the convenience of having "most" parts in stock generally, but I also caution that I have been burned many times with common break parts going out of stock too often. For those who are internet savvy and willing to do some research, they will quickly find better value options with better durability than what Traxxas has to offer for comparable vehicles in the same price range.

More on my thoughts about Traxxas here so my thoughts are kept in context:
https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...oycott-Traxxas
Jan 19, 2020, 07:24 PM
Registered User
From the article you posted:

"In the end, many customers have opted to sell off their ECX vehicles and switch to Traxxas or other similar brands as they progress through the hobby, leaving ECX with little market share in high-end bashers."
Jan 19, 2020, 07:40 PM
Did I make the A Main?
bill_delong's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by yakky
From the article you posted:

"In the end, many customers have opted to sell off their ECX vehicles and switch to Traxxas or other similar brands as they progress through the hobby, leaving ECX with little market share in high-end bashers."
Quote:
Originally Posted by Murphy625
...I want to spend $100 to $150 or so.. not looking for an $800 rocket ship on wheels....


The OP is not looking for a "high-end basher", they want something cheap and durable, but note that Roger's Hobby provided an update toward the end of the article which mitigates your concern, at least with respect to 2WD offerings:



Last edited by bill_delong; Jan 19, 2020 at 07:46 PM.
Jan 20, 2020, 08:28 AM
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RustyUs's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bill_delong
ECX offers a really nice lineup in your price range, they are considerably more durable than most Traxxas cars out of the box:
https://www.horizonhobby.com/SearchD...ain=&pageView=
What gets me, is the fact that I would have to drive 59 miles to the closest Horizon Certified Partner Plus hardware store to pick up the RC. I personally think Horizon made a wrong decision going with In Store Only.

Total turn off for me? Yes.
Jan 20, 2020, 10:11 AM
Did I make the A Main?
bill_delong's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by RustyUs
What gets me, is the fact that I would have to drive 59 miles to the closest Horizon Certified Partner Plus hardware store to pick up the RC. I personally think Horizon made a wrong decision going with In Store Only.

Total turn off for me? Yes.

I believe you can contact your nearest LHS directly and have then ship ECX products to your home as well.


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