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What is the difference between TOY RC cars found at Walmart or Radio Shack and HOBBY QUALITY RC cars?

The toy cars found at most of the major big box retailers will sell for under $100.  They are perfect for very small children who really just need something that they can control.  Even if they do run it outside it typically will not be in bad weather, or be bashing around that vacant lot.  These cars and trucks are not built strong enought to take much abuse.  But at $50 or so, they are easily replaced.

True hobby quality remote control cars and trucks are tuneable with various parts and accessories.  Some even have the same parts you find on your family car such as disk brakes and a single piston motor.  These cars and trucks can reach speeds of over 45 mph!).  They can take the pounding of the backyard or vacant lot driver.  You can also race them in organized competition at specially made tracks all over the country. Here are just a few examples of what you can find with these kits...

  • Real working and tunable nitro engines and fast electric motors
  • Infinitely adjustable suspensions with oil-filled shocks and springs
  • Changeable gearing and smooth differentials just like full-sized cars
  • Special nitro fuel, high horsepower nitro engines, tuned exhaust pipes, fuel tanks, and air filters for the nitro gas powered rc cars
  • High powered batteries and variable electronic speed controls for the electric battery powered rc cars and trucks 

  • What is the difference between RTR and ARTR or kits?

    Ready to Run (commonly referred to as RTR) vehicles give you all the benefits of a hobby quality kit.  They have the same speed, realism, tunability, and upgradeability as the ARTR or kit vehicles.  The RTR's would be a better choice for a beginner.  

    The ARTR kits can be one of the most rewarding aspecs of the RC car hobby.  Most kits come with simple instructions, and will even suggest part for the required items.  The Remote Control Cars Store includes some sugestions at the bottom of the product information page for all our ARTR kits.  Don't worry most RC hobbyists are more than happy to give you their sugestions.  You can give us a call or email us at support@remotecontrolcarsstore.com and we would be happy to help. It truely is a rewarding experience to know that you did it all yourself.

    Should I go with Nitro or Electric?

    You are going to find out that the answer to this question is just like asking folks which is better Fords or Chevy's.  I will try to keep my answer as neutral as possible, so that you can answer this for yourself.   The expense in the end between the two is basically the same, so all this will boil down to what you want.  Speed is not the defining question either.  Nitro is very fast, but now there are sophisticated electric motors and electronics that can push the electric models even faster than most Nitro cars and trucks.  These motors are called brushless motors and will be covered in another article later. 

    The basic question is: Do I like the sound of a real Nitro gas buring engine? Am I a motorhead by nature and I like to tweek, tune, and otherwise work on engines?  If the answer is yes, then the Nitro burning cars would be your choice.  .  If the answer is no, I just want to charge up my battery and run, then I wouls suggest going with one of the many electric versions.  Tpically if you want to spend more time running and less time tuning, tweeking and other general maintainance, then electric is your choice.  This is where I stand, but my Nitro running buddies insist that I am missing out on some of the best fun this hobby has to offer.

    One thing that I will say about Nitro is, If you are buying for a young child, I would not recommend nitro burning cars or trucks.  The skill level necessary to tune and maintain the engine could be to advanced for young children.  If you (dad) want a project to teach the basics of auto-mechanics, and really want a toy you can have fun with also.. well thats a different story.  And yes this happens all to often !!!

    Which is cheaper Nitro or Electric?

    In the long run both will even out.  So here is the best comparison that I can think of:  The purchase price of the model itself is pretty even with these hobby grade models.  The price boils down to having most of your additional spending done at the front, or over time. 

    With electric cars and trucks, not only do you have to buy the batteries at usually $50 to $150 A piece, but you need to purchase a reliable charger that is intended for the type battery that you are running.  (I plan on having an article on the different kinds of batteries posted here soon).   The charger we run on our personal vehicles is a Venom Pro Charger and it runs around $150.  This charger will handle all types of batteries.  It is a peak detecting charger so it will guarantee a long and happy battery life.  This adds up as some pretty substantial upfront costs, but now that you have them, you have nothing else to purchase for many years to come.  The batteries are just plugged in and off you go.

    With the Nitro cars you do not have to buy the batteries or charger, but you do have to buy an endless supply of nitro fuel.  Nitro fuel runs around $30 a gal and you can easily go through one a month if you play every weekend like we do.  There are other required products but they are not really pricey. 

    Both Nitro and Electric vehicles will go through an endless supply of "AA" alkaline batteries in the radio receiver (Usually 8 at a time) and the Nitro vehicles use another 4 to run the servos on the car itself.  It might be a worthwhile investment to purchase a NiMH charger for the AA's and use the rechargable NimH's.

    Well I hope this gets you started.  I will be adding more articles as time goes on.  I am sure I have many more questions left to answer.   Please feel free to write or call and myself or one of my friendly staff would be happy to help you.

    Laura Wilson

    Email: support@remotecontrolcarsstore.com

    Phone: 1-888-RC-CAR-55 (1-888-722-2755)
    Remote Control Cars Store
    C/O Cyberspace Trading Company, LLC
    PO Box 804
    Moriarty, New Mexico  87035

    Hours of Operation: 8:30am - 10:00pm MST - 7 days a week

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