Which RGT Trail Rig  is Best for YOU?

Which RGT Trail Rig is Best for YOU?

RGT Pro Runner

The RGT Pro Runner EX86130 is just the latest in a growing line of interesting and capable RC crawlers and trail rigs. And hasn’t RGT been on a roll this past year or two!

On our YouTube channel, RGT has featured every now and then when there’s an interesting release to examine. But it was almost as if the company was just warming up for 2023’s big releases that we’re now so lucky to be able to choose from!

RGT’s Other Options

Fans of the channel will recall the well-received RGT Pioneer EX86110, which was arguably a forerunner of the current upper echelon of EX861XX models. (Find our RGT Pioneer video series here). With some careful upgrades on a budget, the Pioneer is an exceptional all-rounder. The EX86010-CJ is also a budget stand-out, while we’re at it. (Video here).

Also, I should note up-front that there’s a gap in our coverage of this family of models: the RGT Tracer EX86180Pro. This is a 4WS-enabled SCX10 Pro type vehicle, and one I think we should try to get hold of in the new year. For now, just be aware that it’s an option for those with a rock-crawling focus rather than trail aspirations.

3 RGT Models - Top

The Three Contenders

If you love a mix of trail driving and scale rock crawling, things are now very interesting. As of the start of 2024, there are three fantastic models that the discerning RC trail driver and scale crawler driver will want to know about:

Let’s take a look at them!

RGT Rescuer EX86190

There’s a complete article about this model on RC-TNT.com here – have a read when you’re done with this one. The scale crawling and trail driving community had their interest drawn to RGT’s mid-2022 release of the RGT Rescuer (EX86190). And it wasn’t just the attractive 70-series Toyota Landcruiser body – though unlicensed – that made this RC crawler something special. Sporting essentially the same feature set as the full-version Traxxas TRX4, the Rescuer’s scale looks, 2-speed and remote locking diffs made for a very attractive option.

What really stood out to me in my testing of this model was its fun factor. The vehicle rides on 4.75” tires and the live portal axles work under alu-shock, oil-filled, coil-over suspension on all corners. With a moderately high center of gravity, this leads to a scale model that moves pleasingly, with body roll that mimics the real thing. There are many RGT mods available. You can improve the vehicle’s CG (Center of Gravity), for better crawling with some brass parts. Or, you might better light the way  with bull bar and roof rack light bars complement the existing light kit. Maybe you want to improve the scale model experience with a complete, polycarbonate interior, with driver. You can do all of this!

RGT Challenger EX86170

On the heels of the Rescuer, RGT next released the Challenger. This was more of a retro style pickup truck and in my opinion, its features put it roughly in between the Rescuer and the Pro Runner. Like the Rescuer, the RGT Challenger sports a pair of portal axles, with a 2-speed transmission that incorporates a DIG (rear axle locking), opposite-spinning drive shafts to minimise torque twist, and a built-in 6.6% overdrive to the front axle.

This attractive machine also sports a rear-facing servo winch, sway bar system on the rear end and a functional light kit! Priced only marginally less than the Rescuer, this is another compelling model. I found there were a few ways to modify this model to make it more convenient to use, but there’s very little this vehicle needs addressing, out of the box. A solid choice.

RGT Pro Runner EX86130

I found the Rescuer to be fun and the Challenger to be quite complete. And so the RGT Pro Runner EX86130 took me quite by surprise, not least because it costs about 20% less than the other two! The Pro Runner is another unlicensed body that looks very close to the Traxxas TRX4 2021 Bronco, even down to the smaller details such as the ABS plastic folding side mirrors and similar front grille. (Quick note: the top photo in this article shows the Pro Runner with different tires. The plastic, silver beadlocks are standard, with the 4.19″ tires. See the rock test video for how good they are).

However, the Pro Runner is special for two reasons, I think. First, the price – in Australia at least, I can buy two Pro Runners for the price of one TRX4 2021 Bronco. That’s already quite significant. Secondly, the feature set – it is vast! Check this out: 2-speed transmission with DIG, 6.6% overdrive and opposing rotation drive-shafts, just like the Challenger; full-function light kit, including brakes and reverse options; straight axles rather than portals for added scale; front-facing servo winch; servo-on-axle hidden in such a way that you’ll miss it if you’re not looking for it; steel universal front axles for greater turning angle and strength than the CVD-equipped Rescuer and Challenger’s portal axles. What a list!

How Do You Choose?

That really is the question, isn’t it? I am in the process of making a video about this, and I suppose writing this article is helpful in distilling my thoughts on this difficult choice. There are some little quality-of-life things, like how the body attaches to each (see the below picture), but the unique blend of features, capability, appearance and handling all add up to something different in each case.

So, I do have some thoughts that you may find useful. I’ll try to use this to guide you on why you may (or may not) decide to select each one. Read on!

RGT Body Attachment

Fun

This is the first, and to my mind, most compelling reason to consider any of these vehicles. For trail driving with some crawling, one vehicle really stands out to me: the Rescuer. Why? Consider the remote locking diffs in the portal axles, for a start. The Challenger has portals and the Pro Runner straight axles, but being able to remotely run them unlocked means more scale fun on the trails. When traction gets harder to find, lock one or both ends!

The second part of the fun formula is scale handling to match the gorgeous looks. With the suspension setup on the big, bouncy tires, the Rescuer rolls and moves like few others. I’ve driven this through deep water, mud, rocky ground, and long dirt paths. It just keeps on trucking and it looks great doing it. Vote 1 for Rescuer if you’re shopping for fun!

Modding

There are two kinds of RC crawler owners: those who mod their rigs, and those who just haven’t done it yet. The Challenger is a very complete vehicle out of the box, yes. However, there are a few things you can do to improve its design for easier daily use. I actually cover some of these in my modding video, linked at the end of the article.

But, aside from fixing wiring and putting a body-stand in place, there’s one mod in particular that this vehicle is just begging for: converting that rearward-facing winch to power a rear towing assembly! They’ve actually done most of the work for you already. A boom assembly could be made from aluminum, braised from mild steel, or even achieved with some 3D-printed beams (the last of which I think might be the way I go with it). You already have the winch, so re-route the cable and add a tackle block under the end of the boom and you’ll be done! The Challenger gets my choice as most promising for mods.

Budget All-Rounder

Fun is subjective and not everyone wants to convert a trail rig into a tow-capable machine, I get that. Where I think we’ll all find common ground is on the subject of sheer value for money. On that front, the Pro Runner absolutely and completely delivers.

I took this car with me last weekend to a meet-up with a bunch of folks and we went on a 4-hour mudding adventure in the Aussie bush. Water crossings, treacherous rocky ascents, muddy gullies, greasy clay climbs – this day had it all (video here). I ran the Pro Runner on 3S, which the included WP-1060 allows (and all three vehicles have the same ESC and steering servo, by the way), and this vehicle was reliable and fun. It wasn’t the most capable, with those small 4.19” tires and straight axles, but oh, boy, was it satisfying to wheel. I can’t recommend the Pro Runner enough, if you’re on a budget and want a single all-rounder. Get this, you won’t regret it.

The Bottom Line

So where does that leave us with the choice? Chances are, you already have a pretty good idea of which you prefer after reading the above sections. And if you’re noticing that, wait a minute, none of these three has the remote locking diffs AND a DIG AND portal axles AND a winch, well, yes, you’re right. But not even Axial or Traxxas will give you all that, out of the box. The TRX4 2021 Bronco comes close, as it currently even includes a winch, at time of writing – but no DIG. The Axial SCX10 III gives you DIG and portals, but the diffs are locked full-time. And they are both considerably more expensive than any of the RGT offerings, at least, in Australia.

If you can’t decide and all three grab you, I do have one final suggestion: buy the one that moves you. Pretend you’re going with one of them and see how you feel about not getting either of the others. Repeat for all three vehicles; you may just find you’re most wistful about ‘missing out’ on one of them in particular, and that would be the one to get!

3 RGT Models Nose-In

Reviews & Test Videos

Now, if you’ve come this far and you’re pretty sure you know what you want, great! I have a growing catalog of videos that may be useful in helping you get to know any of these three vehicles better. Check them out here:

RGT Rescuer EX86190

Review & Crawl Test video

Muddy Trail Run video

All the RGT Mods video 

RGT Challenger EX86170

Review & Crawl Test video

First Mods video

RGT Pro Runner EX86130

Unboxing & Review video

Crawl Test video

Trail Run video: coming soon!

Mods video: coming soon!

 

Craig Veness

Craig Veness

RC-TNT

Craig has been into radio control since the 90s and into RC crawling since about 2010, when a Losi MRC started the obsession! Now it's all rocks this and crawl that and upgrade all the things! ...You know how it is, right? Welcome home 🙂

A note on affiliate links: although RC-TNT purchased all vehicles in this article, the AsiaTees links contained herein are affiliate links. This means we may be paid a small commission if you choose to click on them to make a purchase. As always, we make effort to ensure that no review is impacted by this. Integrity first, always. We still report on any bugs or issues encountered during product testing, along with fixes or solutions if found. Thank you for reading and happy RC-ing!

Redcat Marksman 1/8 RC Crawler

Redcat Marksman 1/8 RC Crawler

What Is It?

The Redcat Marksman is a different RTR RC crawler in more ways than its 1/8 scale size. It sports a (mostly) decent electronics package and 2.2” wheels. A pretty body with paint on the outside gives the polycarbonate body an interesting finish.

Whilst not a flawless execution, there’s a compelling case to be made for price to performance, especially if you’re after a trail-oriented rig. Join us as we take a closer look at this interesting, larger-scale crawler.

Redcat Marksman Front Bumper
Redcat Marksman Side-On
Redcat Marksman Wheel & Tire

How Big Is It?

For some comparison, we’ve put the Redcat Marksman between a Traxxas TRX4 2021 Bronco 1/10 and an Axial SCX6 1/6 RC crawler. Note that while the Marksman is similar in length to the TRX4 Bronco, the track width is considerably greater on the Marksman. Also, the overall vehicle size is similar to 1/10 scale rigs, but width is the greatest difference – if a little less than obvious at first glance.

The vehicle doesn’t weigh more than many 1/10 scale crawlers and its close enough in ‘feel’ that you could reasonably trail this with others driving 1/10 scale rigs and fit right in. Certainly, some rock problems that might defeat the Redcat Marksman may be traversable by smaller rigs on account of that track width! More on performance in a bit. First, let’s look at what you get with this RTR model.

Redcat Marksman Size Comparison 2
Redcat Marksman Size Comparison 3
Redcat Marksman Size Comparison

What’s In The Box?

There’s the vehicle itself, the radio transmitter, manual, scale accessories and ESC programming card. The Redcat Marksman is a Ready To Run (RTR) model, which means all you need to get it going is a battery for the rig and 4x AAs for the radio transmitter. The included Electronic Speed Control (ESC) is a HobbyWing WP-1080. This gives you the flexibility to run either 6-to-8 cell NiMH or 2S or 3S LiPO batteries.

Redcat also includes an accessories bag with some red plastic scale parts – though no obvious way to mount these to the body. There’s a spare wheel adapter for the back of the body – pictured below – but no spare wheel. We’ve used an old Axial Trepador from the original SCX10 on ours as its nice and lightweight and still looks convincing near the Marksman’s larger tires.

Redcat Marksman Box Contents

Radio System

The radio is the standard rebranded Flysky FS-GT2E AFHDS 2A transmitter, though the sticker calls it an RCR-2CE. This is the 2-channel unit Redcat Racing uses on their entire ground model range at present (2021 and 2022).

One nice thing to note is it runs Flysky’s AFHDS 2A protocol, so if you already have a FS-GT5 for other models, you can bind that to the Marksman here as well. The radio feels good in the hand and has a nice feel on the wheel. There is a sufficient, if sparce, amount of adjustment on the dials and it isn’t heavy. Overall, a good basic radio.

Redcat Marksman Radio
Redcat Marksman Transmitter
Redcat Marksman Radio Box

Holmes Hobbies For The Win!

The brushed motor in this machine is a Holmes Hobbies Crawlmaster Sport. This is a 13-turn 5-pole (or 5-slot) 550-sized motor. Being a 5-pole means you get buttery smooth torque at the expense of the punch delivered by 3-pole motors. On a crawler, this is generally desirable.

For trail use, the motor is a perfect choice. There’s sufficient speed for trail driving and still enough low speed control to be satisfying on the rocks. However, we found that if you’re more biased toward crawling than trailing with this rig, a motor with slightly more turns may give a more rewarding experience.

After some testing, we’d recommend the 16-turn 550 Crawlmaster Sport and the same gearing. On 3S power, you’ll be all set with long runtimes, good low speed control and more than ample speed for trail driving. If you keep the 13-turn motor, going down one tooth size on the pinion and sticking on 2S power could also be a reasonable way to slow it down enough to feel a bit better on trickier rock problems. Of course, this is largely a case of personal preference and the stock configuration is fine.

Redcat Marksman Motor

HobbyWing Is Good!

We have a good, solid radio system and a workhorse motor. Redcat have opted for a high-quality ESC for the Marksman in the HobbyWing WP-1080. This is a popular ESC for good reason. It delivers smooth and reliable control and is very customisable. We like this ESC so much that we’ve written an entire how-to article for programming it, right here on rc-tnt.com!

You can use the stock settings for the most part, but we would recommend making one change in particular before running it. Enable freewheeling, which is option 15 on the programming card. Set that to 1 instead of 2 and you’ll effectively have an active drag brake. That means the WP-1080 will apply braking to the wheels even while you’re giving throttle input, helping to hold the vehicle on a hill at the speed you’re indicating, rather than allowing the rig to run away down the hill. A good thing!

Redcat Marksman ESC

Servo Avoido

The electronics package with the Redcat Marksman is excellent! That is, until you come to the servo. This is the same Hexfly 25KG 4.8v-6.8v unit that Redcat puts in most of their vehicles, even their diminutive 1/10 short course truck (which is really a 1/12 sized machine). The servo is slow and too weak even on the smaller Redcat Gen 8 V2, we’ve found. That they’ve also put it on the Marksman leaves one wondering if they’ve actually, y’know, tested the big rig with it. Because it isn’t good.

If you change just one thing on the Redcat Marksman, make the servo your first upgrade. The WP-1080 has an adjustable BEC and while it comes at 6V by default, you can change that to 7.4V with an upgraded servo and the Marksman will be worlds better. Seriously, budget for this if you plan to buy this rig.

Nearly any other crawling servo would be better. Here are a few options we use and recommend, from cheap to expensive:

  • JX Servo WP-5318HV ~16.5kg @ 7.4v, waterproof, cored, metal gear (lower rating but much better than the stock Hexfly unit).
  • JX Servo CLS-6336HV 35kg @ 7.4v, waterproof, coreless, metal gear.
  • JX Servo BLS-HV7132MG 32kg @ 7.4, splashproof, brushless, metal gear, alu case. (Fast and doesn’t fade under heavy load. Probably our favourite semi-budget crawler servo).
  • JX Servo CLS-HV7346MG 46kg @ 7.4v, waterproof, coreless, alu case, metal gear.
  • Holmes Hobbies SCX500v3 ~42kg @ 11.1v (direct run from 3S), waterproof, brushless, ultra tough – our favourite comp servo!
Redcat Marksman Servo Mounted
Redcat Marksman Servo

Body and Accessories

In a break from the usual, the Redcat Marksman sports a polycarbonate body that has been painted on both sides! The matte green finish on the outside looks very smart. They’ve finished the inside of the body in a rust-brown color. If you think about it, as the outside green paint gets scratched off on rocks and branches, the underside’s brown will gradually show through, giving the appearance of rust! Very clever little scale-ageing trick they’ve incorporated there!

There are light buckets for headlights only – taillights are stickers on this body. The plastics and faux interior on the Marksman are all of a high quality. Finish is solid and this body should last well. It’s very attractive and is enhanced further by the spare wheel holder included in the accessories package. We’ve mounted ours and the weight difference is minimal on a bigger crawler like this, so we found it very worthwhile for the improved look. You do have to poke a few holes in the pretty body to add this extra bit, so think about it before you do it – but we can at least show you how it looks. We like it!

Redcat Marksman Scale Accessories

Chassis & Running Gear

The steel C-channel chassis rails are solid. Reinforced with plastic cross-braces, the Marksman has a nice, rigid feel. We like that the vehicle doesn’t weigh a lot, despite its size, and as you can see from the photo below, there’s a lot of spare room on the chassis. Included wheel wells are a nice touch also – you get the aesthetic benefits when the body is on, and they also work to keep crud and debris out of the internals.

The axles are solid and well designed. They’re straight rather than portals, which is nice to see when portals seem to be everywhere. You’re going to be scraping the diff pumpkins over rocks, given the width of the vehicle. Larger tires are helpful, but clearance will be something to keep in mind when driving. For us, this adds to the appeal of scale fun. The skid plate is also intelligently implemented and has a nice, smooth finish. Drive shafts are tough plastic with steel universals. All up, the Marksman is a strong and lightweight platform. Simple and reliable.

Redcat Marksman Chassis

Drive Feel

We said earlier we found this vehicle to feel a little faster than we’d like on the rocks. On the trail, the speed is good and it turns well at speed – impressive given its size and locked axles! The adjustability from the WP-1080 ESC means you can make the Marksman feel more like a cruisy trail rig or a precise rock crawler. It’s nice to have that control.

Another thing to note is torque twist. This is the phenomenon where the chassis twists under throttle in the opposite rotational direction to the drive shafts. It’s quite pronounced on this vehicle. On a smaller rig, torque twist can unsettle a crawler significantly. While it’s pretty pronounced on the Marksman, even to the point of lifting a wheel at times, the whole machine does not lose its track or become unsettled. It could be that the effect is weakened by its greater wheelbase and track width than on 1/10 crawlers. Something to be aware of, then, but not a deal-breaker.

The only let-down in the rig is that weak Hexfly servo. We almost never say this as we don’t like to waste things, but do budget in a better servo when you buy the Redcat Marksman. It’s the only shortcoming we’ve found after running several packs through it.

Redcat Marksman
Redcat Marksman Underneath

Our Verdict

This is a mid-range crawler as far as pricing goes. You have the choice of numerous 1/10 scale crawlers for similar money. If you like the idea of walking a trail and crawling obstacles as you find them, the Redcat Marksman could be for you. It’s not as capable as some 1/10 scale crawlers largely on account of that track width, but it’s a lovely, smooth machine. We haven’t driven it enough yet to give an idea of longer-term durability but will update this section in a few months to note this.

We love its look. Its simplicity under the body is alluring and it feels great on the rocks. What do you think? Feel free to leave comments and questions in our review video above and stay tuned for more videos in future on the Marksman’s performance, what upgrades we do (*cough* servo *cough*) and how we find its durability. After a few LiPO packs so far, we really like it.

Get Yours Here

AsiaTees sells the Redcat Marksman globally. Get it here.

Redcat Marksman Rear
Craig Veness

Craig Veness

RC-TNT

Craig has been into radio control since the 90s and into RC crawling since about 2010, when a Losi MRC started the obsession! Now it's all rocks this and crawl that and upgrade all the things! ...You know how it is, right? Welcome home 🙂

Remo Hobby 10275 – World’s Cheapest 1/10 Crawler?

Remo Hobby 10275 – World’s Cheapest 1/10 Crawler?

The Old Adage

The Remo Hobby 10275 is interesting for its features and price. There’s a real promise of value in this most budget of 1/10 scale RC crawlers – IF it performs! There’s an old adage in the motoring world that goes, “fast, cheap and reliable: pick two”. Apply it to RC crawlers and it may be something like, “capable, cheap and reliable: pick two”. The Remo Hobby 10275 may be attempting to cover all three of these measures – and honestly, on paper, it looks like there may be something to it.

Remo Hobby 10275 Top-Down

Trust, But Verify

As always, we test our 1/10 scale rock crawlers on our 6-problem course. This gives a decent, broad-level indication of performance relative to others. We’ll get to performance in a bit. First, let’s take a closer look at what you get when you buy a new Remo Hobby 10275.

Remo Hobby 10275 Unboxed

What’s In the Box?

Aside from the car itself, there’s a radio transmitter, manual USB charger, 1500mAh Li-ion 7.4v battery and a handful of basic tools and spare body clips. The manual is pretty good, for a cheapie. It includes basic operations, troubleshooting steps, exploded parts diagrams and a list of spares and upgrades available for the vehicle. The package is well assembled, protects the vehicle nicely and is attractive. This is about as nice as one ever might expect of cheap RC vehicles – five stars on inclusions and packaging here.

Remo Hobby 10275 Transmitter

Power Play

The radio transmitter requires just two AA batteries. You’ll need to supply these yourself, but that’s the only thing you’ll need to bring to this party. Remo has you covered for the rest. The Li-ion USB charger is slow but it’ll get the job done in a few hours. The Li-ion battery is made of two 18650 cells and is appropriate for this type of vehicle. As far as power and charging is concerned, this is a well-rounded package.

Remo Hobby 10275 Manual EPD

Assembly Required?

The wheels are not attached to the vehicle in the box. There are spacers on the axles to ensure the metal wheel hexes and drive pins remain in place, so you’ll have to remove them. Also note the tires are directional, so pay attention to that when putting the wheels on. The wheels are plastic, three-part bead-lock design with 5 self-tapping screws each. It’s easy to get the tires mixed up – evident in the photo below! – but otherwise, that’s it for assembly. Easy!

Remo Hobby 10275 Front Axle

About the Vehicle

The Remo Hobby 10275 has steel chassis rails and fibre-infused plastic spacers throughout. There is a standard 4-link design with plastic links with nylon ball ends on each end of the vehicle. The servo is chassis-mounted, with no panhard, so steering is imprecise and worsened when suspension is articulated. With a 4-link setup, you’d want the servo mounted on the axle itself rather than on the chassis in order to preserve steering accuracy and full throw. We modified ours after initial testing – more on that below.

The driveshafts are plastic, telescoping universals with E-clips holding the unis together. They’ll be strong enough on this vehicle to never need replacing, we think. There are unshielded ball-bearings are the pinion end of the diffs and brass shims on the rest of the vehicle. Though this is seen often as a negative, for this cheap, lightweight rig, shims could well be a good thing. They don’t seize up as readily after exposure to mud and water – something to consider!

Remo Hobby 10275 Chassis

Remo Hobby 10275 Suspension

Suspension on all corners is plastic bodied, oil-filled shocks with metal caps and coil-over springs. The springs are too firm for the low weight of the rig, but the shocks do not leak and some articulation is still possible. We modified ours after the initial rock test – again, we’ll cover mods in a bit.

Remo Hobby 10275 Shock

Body & Lights

The body is a single-piece, polycarbonate shell with through-holes for body posts and basic stickers applied on top. Our unit’s stickers were not applied with much care and things are poorly aligned in several spots. This is forgivable, given the low price of the model, we think. There are light buckets at each end for 2x 5mm white LEDs up front and 2x red LEDs in rear.

Remo Hobby 10275 Body

Remo Hobby 10275 Electronics

The company claims the Remo Hobby 10275 sports a 40A ESC (Electronic Speed Control). Under moderate throttle, our unit kept cutting out with the included 390 motor and stock gearing. We suspect the ESC is more likely to have a limit of somewhere around 20A, but this is unconfirmed. There is a way to address this – we’ll cover this in the Mods section, below.

The radio system is integrated with the ESC, along with a 5V 2A BEC (Battery Eliminator Circuit) that powers the steering servo. This 3-in-1 device has a single Futaba-style plug for the 3-wire servo and another micro-JST plug that outputs 3V to power LEDs. We installed a set of LEDs in ours and they powered perfectly from this second port, which is otherwise unused in the default configuration.

The radio transmitter is small in the hand but will suit kids very well. There’s a 50% throttle limiter button on the radio, as well as steering trim and steering dual-rate dials. It’s a basic unit but fine for this vehicle.

Steering

The Remo Hobby 10275 gets an entire section for steering, and that is unfortunately not for good reasons! The trim and dual-rate dial system on the radio creates an unnecessarily low limit to steering end-points. There is more throw available in the throttle than what the radio allows, in other words.

We tested this by maxing out the dual-rate dial first, then steering fully left and/or right, then holding the wheel and adjusting the trim further in that same direction. For both left and right we found there was more throw available in the servo. There’s no way to fix this without replacing the ESC with a discreet ESC and radio receiver, which would also mean a new radio transmitter too. Not ideal given this is possibly one of the world’s cheapest 1/10 RC crawlers – there will not be a budget for all that in most cases, we’d think. This is especially unfortunate given the CMS (Chassis Mounted Servo) and 4-link front setup already limit steering and so the car needs every bit of throw it can get from the servo!

Remo Hobby 10275 Servo

Fit For Purpose?

This is a very cheap RC car. It’s certainly not a bad vehicle – just search the web for “cheapest RC car” or “best cheap RC car” and you’ll find many blog and store sites loudly proclaiming how good this or that cheap model is. In our experience, most of these “best cheap” models really aren’t so good.

The Remo Hobby 10275 gets really close to being a good choice for bargain-basement 1/10 RC crawling. The electronics and components are not terrible! There are imperfections and limitations by design and everything is made to a price. Much is forgivable at this price-point.

However – and this is the kicker – the Remo Hobby 10275 is not a rock crawler in its stock form. The ESC cutting out is an issue, as is the poor steering and low traction. There’s a poor drag brake and a throttle delay when changing directions. See all of this in our video series below:

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Our Test Course

If you’re not familiar with how we test RC rock crawlers, we have a course that challenges any 4x4 RC crawler in many ways:

  • Approach and departure angle: these  are challenged on Problems 2 and 3;
  • Side-hill ability: tested on Problems 1, 3 and 5;
  • Breakover (skid clearance): tested on Problems 4 and 6;
  •  Suspension articulation and centre of gravity: challenged on problems 2 and 5; and lastly,
  • A punishing ascent on problem 6 tests all of balance, break-over, articulation, tire traction and approach and departure angles.

Put together, we have a gnarly, challenging set of problems that challenge all crawlers. If a rig can conquer 3 or more of them, chances are you have a reasonably high-performance rock crawler. There are some machines that can claim all success on all six in stock form – but not many!

As you've seen in the video above, our Remo Hobby 10275 only managed to finish Problem 1. Still, one is better than none, right?

What Is It Good For?

All is not lost with this model! For all the challenges we found with rock crawling, keep in mind that we tested this vehicle on the same course that challenges vehicles costing fully ten times this amount! The car is durable in its stock form and materials used are fully appropriate for its intended purpose.

Yes, it’s a poor rock crawler. But it will make a fabulous backyard basher. It’ll handle puddles and creeks and it’ll deliver fun while doing so! The light weight and bouncy suspension combined with the tall-ish gearing and fast 390 brushed motor mean this thing is a hoot on bumpy ground.

Remo Hobby 10275 Mods

Keeping in mind this is a very cheap new RC crawler, any changes we’d make to this model need to be low-cost. We can’t just rip out all the electronics and replace them with high performance gear and do the same with wheels and tires. That would defeat the purpose entirely!

No, for the Remo Hobby 10275 we want only to change or upgrade things whilst keeping the price as close to $0 as possible. We wanted to lower its center of gravity, slow it down, improve its steering and address that ESC cut-out issue. We managed to achieve all of this for about $15!

Remo Hobby 10275 Crawling II

Our Verdict

For the price, we think the Remo Hobby 10275 will deliver on both longevity and fun, particularly in the hands of kids. For this purpose, we recommend it. However, if you’re after a rock crawler first and foremost, look elsewhere.

Where To Get It

We have a 10% discount coupon available care of Banggood, who also graciously supplied us with the Remo Hobby 10275 for review and testing.

Remo Hobby 10275 Underneath
Craig Veness

Craig Veness

RC-TNT

Craig has been into radio control since the 90s and into RC crawling since about 2010, when a Losi MRC started the obsession! Now it’s all rocks this and crawl that and upgrade all the things! …You know how it is, right? Welcome home 🙂

Which Should I Buy – SCX10 II or III?

Which Should I Buy – SCX10 II or III?

June 6, 2022 – video comment from Ivo Anjos

I would like to see the SCX10 III Base Camp compared to a stock or mostly stock SCX10 II. There are some really good deals on SCX10 II and I would like to know if it is still a good budget option and how it compares with these more recent rigs.

A. I think you’ll find the SCX10 II will compare closely in performance to the Axial Base Camp. They’re similar enough in geometry and layout that there won’t be a lot in it.

You really could buy on price and get a similar experience – but there are a few things to keep in mind: over the 10.2, the Base Camp gives you adjustable chassis length and portal axles and, I think, better tires and definitely better shocks.

Equipment quality is generally equal to or better in the SCX10 III Base Camp, then. But if you can get the 10.2 for, say, 60-70% of the 10.3 it may well be worthwhile for you.

-Craig

Base Camp Descending Rock LHS
Element RC Enduro Ecto Trail Truck RTR

Element RC Enduro Ecto Trail Truck RTR

Element RC for Fun

If you are returning to the world of RC (Radio Control) after some years, you’ll be familiar with Associated Electrics (AE). You may not be so familiar with one of their newer brands, Element RC. AE is known for its off-road racing heritage, going back to the slot car era from 1965. Meanwhile, Element RC is a more fun and family focussed brand with community and exploration as core concepts rather than AE’s trophies and podiums.

Reedy Power is another AE brand. This covers motors, speed controls, batteries, chargers, servos and accessories. Under the one umbrella, AE can deliver a complete in-house package in the Element RC Enduro platform. And that’s what we’re looking at today.

Ecto Top-Down

The Elemental Platform

In recent years, Element RC has run on a single flexible platform known as the Enduro. There’s a current kit option in the Enduro Trail Truck Builder’s Kit 2. The rest of the range is RTR (Ready To Run) and models are differentiated by modular options of body, suspension, axle type and wheelbase.

We’ve reviewed and enjoyed the very capable Sendero HD, a trail truck with a scale body and live axles at each end. The Knightrunner is another interesting unit, also a scale trail truck but with IFS (Independent Front Suspension). Rounding out our collection is the Gatekeeper with its rear trailing arms and anti-roll bar.

At the heart of all these models is the same StealthX transmission, which provides drive to front and rear axles and a mid-mounted motor over the skid plate. The StealthX transmission features a 5.7% overdrive output to the front axle. Also, all Enduro vehicles include an additional gear set that grants 11.83% overdrive to the front instead of the default 5.7%. The vehicles all ship with a steel C-rail chassis, 5-pole motor, waterproof & metal geared steering servo, a Reedy brushed ESC and the XP-130 radio system. It’s a solid platform that allows a variety of implementations for different effects on the trail and rocks.

Gatekeeper & Ecto
StealthX Overdrive Gearing

Element Ecto Chamber

Given how similar the two vehicles are, our experiences with the Gatekeeper are going to be quite relevant to our expectations of the Element Ecto’s performance. We had a very good experience with the Gatekeeper when we tested it a few months ago. It was a very capable machine, if a little top-heavy with that hinged exocage on top. (Check out our GK series here on YouTube). With the modular design of the Enduro platform in mind, the Ecto would appear to be very similar indeed to the Gatekeeper. The only differences that jump out on first inspection are the lighter-weight polycarbonate body and the straight links, rather than the bent links of the Gatekeeper.

Both Ecto and Gatekeeper use the same Reedy 14-turn, 550-size brushed motor and other electronics. Gearing is the same and the trailing-arm rear suspension are identical too. The bent links of the Gatekeeper give the CVD joints (Constant Velocity Drive) in the drive shafts a slightly better angle on the Gatekeeper. Other than that, the Ecto appears to be the better-equipped of the two for sheer rock crawling performance – and that’s what we’re interested in.

Suspension Similarities

Fit For Purpose?

We wondered about this when we compared the Gatekeeper to the Axial Capra in a video last year (view that here, if you’re interested). The trailing arm suspension of the Gatekeeper is what we called “go-fast suspension”. Given the suspension choice, the Gatekeeper and Ecto are ostensibly more aimed at rock racing rather than rock crawling – faster rather than slower, technical driving.

However, we found that although the Capra did indeed outperform the Gatekeeper on the rocks, the GK wasn’t far behind. Both vehicles could complete our 6-problem course and the overdrive from the StealthX transmission definitely helped.

Gatekeeper vs Ecto
Underneath Ecto
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Our Test Course

If you’re not familiar with how we test RC rock crawlers, we have a course that challenges any 4x4 RC crawler in many ways:

  • Approach and departure angle: these  are challenged on Problems 2 and 3;
  • Side-hill ability: tested on Problems 1, 3 and 5;
  • Breakover (skid clearance): tested on Problems 4 and 6;
  •  Suspension articulation and centre of gravity: challenged on problems 2 and 5; and lastly,
  • A punishing ascent on problem 6 tests all of balance, break-over, articulation, tire traction and approach and departure angles.

Put together, we have a gnarly, challenging set of problems that challenge all crawlers. If a rig can conquer 3 or more of them, chances are you have a reasonably high-performance rock crawler. There are some machines that can claim all success on all six in stock form – but not many!

As you've seen in the video above, our Remo Hobby 10275 only managed to finish Problem 1. Still, one is better than none, right?

Ecto vs Gatekeeper vs Capra

The Element Ecto is lighter than the Gatekeeper. The Axial Capra is heavier than both. The Ecto’s COG (Center Of Gravity) is lower because of that polycarbonate body – the Gatekeeper’s exocage was heavy! We therefore expect the machine to do quite well on the rocks. However, the suspension and faster 14-turn 550 motor still make us wonder. Can it best the Capra on the rocks? The Capra has a DIG (DIsengageable Gear) that gives it quite an edge.

Honestly, we’re not sure. This article is being written during a week-long rain period here locally and while we’ve done a little testing in our review video this week, we still haven’t been able to get the Ecto onto dry rocks for a more precise comparison. Stay tuned for an Ecto vs Capra video soon as well as an Ecto vs Gatekeeper video. We are excited for both and can’t wait to see how they stack up!

Ecto on Rock

What’s in the Box?

Element RC Ecto RTR, XP-130 radio, manual, sticker sheet, spare plastics and body trim. No tools, no battery, no charger. That’s the default box contents. Check out our review (below) to see how we set our rig up in preparation for rock crawling. We’ve left it largely stock for comparison purposes, but even in that configuration we expect it will be a performer. Here’s the full review and initial rock run:

Should You Buy It?

If you’re into this style of body and are looking for a capable rock crawler, then yes – the Element Ecto is for you! If you’re on the fence about the body but still want a capable crawler and you like the Element RC Enduro range, take a look at the Gatekeeper or the Sendero HD. Both are superbly capable crawlers. Aside from suspension and motor turns in the Sendero HD, both share the same reliable and well-designed components of the Ecto.

If you’re after a capable scale crawler and are wondering what else might meet your needs, there are a few other rigs you might consider:

Whatever you choose, the selection available today is better than ever before. Any of these rigs will serve you well. We plan to have some head-to-head action between many of the above vehicles soon, too. In the meantime, the Element Ecto is impressive. Time will tell, but we think it may just be the cream of the Element RC Enduro crop.

More Info

See the manufacturer’s page here: https://www.associatedelectrics.com/element/cars_and_trucks/Enduro/Ecto_Trail_Truck/

Grab one here, shipping is world-wide (and using this link helps support us at no extra cost to you – thank you kindly if you use it)!

Ecto Approach Angle
Craig Veness

Craig Veness

RC-TNT

Craig has been into radio control since the 90s and into RC crawling since about 2010, when a Losi MRC started the obsession! Now it's all rocks this and crawl that and upgrade all the things! ...You know how it is, right? Welcome home 🙂