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5 Quick Factors When Buying A New Or Used RC Model

Sep 15, 2008
Buying a new or used RC model car is a rewarding and exciting process. Gas or electric? Truck or car? Helicopter or plane? There are many considerations you must address before making these decisions. However, there are 5 top factors that will help you on your decision.

Battery or gas?

The major factors determining your choice here are run time and noise. Gas RC cars, trucks, planes, or helicopters are usually loud, even with a muffler installed. The advantage of gas RC's are that they can run a lot longer with a tank of fuel versus a battery powered RC. The average battery life on a RC vehicle will give you roughly 10 to 25 minutes of run time - at full speed. Some radio control trucks and cars deplete energy faster due to accessories like lights, horns and other gadgets.

Kit vs RTR?

When buying a new RC car or truck or even a plane, there are 2 directions you can take based on your patience, budget, and skill level. If you're the adventurous type and enjoy working on a project from beginning to end then a Kit package is your best option. Kits involve putting together the entire RC car, truck, or plane together from a box of pieces into the final product, which you can be proud of your accomplishment! Kit packages are usually more expensive but are more modifiable. RTR or "Ready to Run" packages are ready to go outside of the box. Charge the battery or fuel up the tank and you'll be enjoying your new RC within minutes, versus hours or even days compared to kits.

Location, Location, Location

Gas powered RC cars and trucks require space and are not ideal for apartment complexes or homes which could have neighbors calling in noise complaints to your local authorities. Radio controlled planes and helicopters need wide open spaces with little obstruction for safe operation. Electric RC's can normally be operated anywhere as they are considerably less noisy than gas RC's. Another consideration is terrain. Is your RC truck or car an off-road buggy or stomper truck or is it a track racer? For example, street RC's perform better and tires last longer on pavement versus asphalt.

Wear and Tear

There are great deals out there on unwanted RC models, however it is important to understand the wear-and-tear of these vehicle before you shell out your hard-earned cash. Start with the heart. That is check the motor, the most important piece to the model. If it's gas, check for oil leakage around the head and base of the motor. Shocks when worn out tend to leak oil as well so look at these with a close eye as well.

What's your Budget

With prices for used buggies around $75 to fully loaded USED RC Helicopters peaking over $1,500, it's best to have an understanding of your purchasing budget, but also your operational budget as well. After you buy your new or used radio controlled model the spending doesn't stop there as you will have maintenance costs for tires, batteries, fuel, bushings, blades, servos, and more. Depending on how serious you are involved with your RC model will determine how much of an operating budget you will need.
About the Author
Contributor and frequent shopper of RC gas trucks, cars, and helicopters on www.kyosho-rc-store.com the leader in new and used rc cars, trucks, planes, and helicopters by Kyosho.
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