Drive Your RC Rock Crawler in the Winter with Some Smart Tips

Whether or not you like the cold winter days, you probably don’t want to stash your RC rock crawler in the garage and wait for the first spring days to run it.

And I bet the rest of your family objects to your attempts to drive it indoors. Who can blame them – especially if you have a noisy nitro RC rock crawler, which won’t only bring headaches but will also contaminate the indoor environment with its fuels!

Dilemma! Isn’t it? To wait for spring or argue with the family? Neither.

Snow or rain, let’s take the RC rock crawler out. With our helpful tips, you won’t miss the fun or deal with frown faces at home. After all, half the fun of having RC crawlers is to see them crawl in the harshest conditions. But hey, you don’t want them ruined either, right? So, stick around. We have the best winter RC rock crawler driving tips for you.

Put on scarves, gloves, and hats, grab the rock crawler and off you go!


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The Winter Enemies of Your RC Rock Crawler

What’s the usual weather conditions in the winter? Cold, rain, and snow. And thus moisture. Such conditions take their toll on the parts of RC crawlers. Made of steel? Steel will get rusty when the RC car is exposed to damp environments. Made of plastic? This material will become brittle and thus susceptible to breakage.

And then it’s the engine of nitro RC crawlers and the motor of the electric crawlers! They are definitely affected by moisture, water, or even low temperatures.

And don’t forget that snow is basically frozen water. So, the snow covering all parts of your crawler will find its way into its electronic system as soon as it starts melting. And as you probably know, electronics and water DO NOT go hand in hand.

What we are trying to say here is that if your RC rock crawler is not waterproof, it will get damaged. Does that mean you will not be able to see your RC car crawling in the winter? Hmm, not quite!

Which RC Rock Crawlers Run Better in the Winter?

To make a long answer short, electric RC rock crawlers are more resistant to the cold and humid winter weather. With that said, let us just stress out that all remote control crawlers will be negatively affected by the cold weather.

But nitro RC crawlers get a worse beating. That’s because they work with an engine. The fuel alone will get thicker if the temperatures are really low. And that’s not good for the engine.

Not to mention the damage caused to the electronics by water leaks. But it will also be hard to start the engine out in the cold. Doesn’t happen the same thing with real cars? So, you might need to start its engine in a warm environment.

You might have similar problems with the batteries of electric RC crawlers. If the car won’t start, bring it inside. Although brushless motors of electric crawlers are high technology, their electronic speed control will also be ruined if it comes in contact with water.

And then basic RC rock crawler construction materials are also sensitive to cold temperatures and thus rainwater and snow and in turn moisture. Steel is corrosive and plastic can fracture easily if it freezes.

Another problem would be the reaction of such plain materials to the temperature fluctuations – cold outside and warm inside. They contract and expand and such reaction can cause damage and affect the performance of the RC car.

I feel your disappointment and frustration! But don’t give up just yet.

The ultimate solution is to get waterproof RC rock crawlers, which operate safely in wet and cold environments. If you are going to buy plastic crawlers, make sure plastic is mixed with nylon.

They are much more resistant to cold temperatures. Electric crawlers are the safest, but there are also some nitro RC models which will work fine in the winter with the right maintenance.

And that’s the key word for keeping your RC vehicles going. But it takes good preparation too. Let’s see.

Tips to Protect Your RC Crawler

Got waterproof RC crawlers? All the same, you have to be extra careful when you drive them outdoors in the winter. I mean they are waterproof alright but there is no need to drive them through deep water pits.

Now, if your crawlers are not waterproof models but you don’t want to miss the fun in the winter, make sure their batteries, receivers, gears etc. are all covered with waterproof bags or balloons.

As an overall, you must prepare the nitro or electric RC rock crawlers before you take them outside but also take care of them when you come back.

Here is what you should do:

  • Warm the engine of nitro RC crawlers to keep it ready to work when you go outside.
  • The fun of driving RC crawlers is to see them go over rocks, hills, and ramps. But don’t overdo it during the winter days. Remember that both plastic and steel materials can easily become brittle and thus damaged.
  • It’s important to maintain the vehicles by spraying some lubricants to prevent corrosion.
  • It’s essential to wipe the moisture and clean the RC crawlers well when you come back home. By drying them well, you prevent damage and corrosion.


What if you want to break-in the new nitro crawler in the winter!

The process of breaking-in the nitro RC crawler is very important. But the temperatures matter too. The ideal temperatures to heat up the engine is 200-215 degrees.

The sleeve and piston of the engine are the two most important parts here since they enable correct compression. If you break-in the crawler in cold conditions, these two parts won’t expand as they should causing damage. The crawler might work for a while but it won’t last and there might also be excessive wear.

So, here is what to do:

  • Always heat up the engine in a warm environment.
  • But don’t break it if the temperatures are lower than 35 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Never lean the engine in an effort to increase the temperatures because lubes will be decreased and so the sleeve and piston will soon wear.
  • One solution is to cover the cooling head to keep the engine protected from the cold weather but the temperatures must not exceed the 215 degrees either.

Got the picture?

Cold and wet environments are the worst enemies of your RC rock crawlers. But since most and most people want to play with them all year round, some models are waterproof and much sturdier. So, if you are going to buy a new RC crawler now and want to drive it in the snow, choose the most winter resistant model.

All the same, you need to follow some rules to avoid damage and thus extra expenses and disappointment. So take precautions before you go out and be extra caring when you come back. And never let your crawler dive into deep waters. This is not a tea bag but a remote control car with motors and electronics! Keep that in mind to have peace of mind and still lots of fun.





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