Remote Control Vehicle – The best thing you and your son can do together.


When I was young I always wanted a grasshopper remote control car.   Unfortunately my dad had no real interest in doing things with me lol.  So I didn’t get my first remote control car until later in life and had to to take a crash course in RC on my own.

Remote control cars are relatively inexpensive and like their real counterparts have a huge aftermarket parts availability to make your car/truck better and faster.  This is where a father and son can spend quality time replacing and upgrading parts.  Wrenching on an RC car teaches kids basic mechanical skills.  Another great thing about RC cars is gearing, different gears provide different speeds and torques.  This is great in teaching kids math skills and they really have an interest in it.  You can build tracks and ramps, the list is endless.

To help get you started I wanted to share a few things about the hobby.

There are 2 types of RC cars RTR (ready to run) and Kit (un-assembled).  RTR is usually the most cost effective option and throughout the vehicles life you will dissemble and upgrade it many of times.  Just like drills, RC vehicles are starting to use brush-less motors.  And let me say the difference is insane, brush-less motors scream!  There is also different radios, some use the digital 2.4ghz band while lower end models use the FM/AM band.  Digital will give you the best range and almost glitch free operation.

Batteries come in different variations also, there is Lipo and NIMH.  Lipo’s pack a major punch and have long run times but cost more.  NIMH have been around forever and provide a cost effective power option.  There is a host of different chargers, depending on your battery type.  Kids really get into the power aspect of the hobby, they need to figure out the different voltages with the different gears to produce a fast vehicle without overheating the battery, motor or the electronic speed control (ESC)

Some models use nitro glow fuel which adds to the realism.  They are noisy and produce smoke just like the real thing.  But tend to be less reliable than their electric counterparts and are more expensive to maintain.

There are different scales and all sorts of models from 4×4 to tracked vehicles one brand that is a good starter and has lots of vehicles and parts is:

Traxxas:  Traxxas is widely known in the hobby and basically invented the RTR.  They have the most bang for the buck, are durable, most units are waterproof and parts are available anywhere.  It sucks when you get a lesser known brand because there may not be parts at your local hobby shop when you need it and upgrades are not available.  Most kits from Traxxas have everything included to get started, including batteries.

Traxxas has everything from trucks, to cars to boats and they are the leader in RC.  The Traxxas Slash is a great vehicle to get started in the hobby.  It takes a punishment and keeps on ticking and  aftermarket upgrade parts are plentiful. Check out Traxxas


  1. Great article Dan. I have wanted to get a remote controlled car for a long time but (right now) my wife would KILL me. My 3 year old daughter and I built a tiny fairy house for the tree in the yard. I got to use my tools, she loved it, And it didn’t cost anything.

  2. Thanks Guys! This wasn’t even supposed to get posted yet, it wasn’t finished or proofread. O well its up now lol We are redoing our back end and it accidentally got posted.

  3. I’ve seen some pretty wicked set-ups when it comes to RC’s. can’t believe the money people spend on them as well as the races/sponsors. Seems to be a pretty competitive “sport.” Nice article for us noobies.

  4. I saw the post on fb about brushless but then I clicked on it and it said sorry we cant find the page you were looking for.

  5. I had an rc back in the day. It was a dodge stratus race car from team associated. I now remember that it had a brushless motor and always wondered what the heck is that. But it was super fast for electric. The batteries only got me about 11 minute runtime which isnt much. It was as awd and man did it have some grip for tight high speed turns. This article brought back some good memories

  6. I’m gone pass on that hobby i spend to much money with paintball my girl friend would kill me if she caught me buying a 200$ rc car but it look so cool

  7. Hi, Dan! Fascinating to read articles like this especially for those who were not allowed such precious memory-making items, how long did it take to assemble one of these? Thanks!


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