Author Topic: Need help deciding if this is the right truck!  (Read 4350 times)

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Offline EricJ320

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Need help deciding if this is the right truck!
« on: December 07, 2009, 09:53:14 PM »
I know there aren't a bunch of car guys that hang out on this forum, but maybe it's worth a shot!

Anyway, looking for a RC monster truck for my "almost" 7 year old son, as he would say!   ::)  A good RC truck may be a touch early for him right now, but I can't bring myself to pay half of this price for a Wal-Mart junk RC car or truck.  I'd rather spend the extra cash and get something that runs good, and can be repaired/upgraded with local parts rather easily.  Something that will entertain dad ain't a bad quality either!  ;D

I am looking at this...
http://www.advantagehobby.com/product.php?productid=85077
I am set on electric, I don't want to deal with nitro for him at this age.  I like this truck cause it's a price I can live with, $156 with discount and free shipping.  It seems to have good parts, battery, and reviews, it's waterproof, and seems to be a very popular brand and model.

My question, is this a good truck?  Or, are there any other trucks that you might recommend over this truck, that would be near that price, have similar availability of parts, and would be something a child could handle?  This says it will do 30mph if you install the included 23T pinion, but I'm going to leave it stock for awhile so it's a bit slower.  Even then it may be a bit fast for him, but I was think maybe I could rig up some kind of physical limiter on the throttle trigger that would block how far he can move it.  Is that a crazy idea, or might it work?

Other things another recommendation would need, I really want a monster truck like this vs. a lower truck, like the Slash.  I've read that this runs so much better in grass than a low truck, due to the higher clearance, but what do I know!  ;)  Also, he LOVES monster trucks, and he'd think this is the BOMB! (Or whatever word the kids are using in place of "cool" these days!  ;) )

Anyway, any help would be greatly appreciated, even if it's a simple "yes, that's a good truck!"

Thanks guys,
Eric

Edit: Disregard the part about limiting the throttle trigger, after more reading on this truck, it appears to have a training function that limits the truck to 50% power for young and new drivers! 
« Last Edit: December 08, 2009, 01:22:46 AM by EricJ320 »
Eric
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Offline Valkyrie_1520

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Re: Need help deciding if this is the right truck!
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2009, 07:29:25 AM »
Eric,

This is a good middle of the road truck and would be a good choice for a beginner. When he (and you!) are ready, you can step up to the E-Maxx or the Slash. One thing I would check on is the amount of parts readily available at HobbyTown for the Stampede. If he breaks something, he will want it fixed in short order as opposed to waiting a few days on parts to be airlifted in.

I know that they have a ton of parts for the E-Maxx...
Tim

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Offline i1afli

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Re: Need help deciding if this is the right truck!
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2009, 11:00:34 AM »
Hey, its a subject that i'm not a newby on...now maybe i can return the favor and be as helpful as you were with my plane selection (MS Composit Citabria). ;D

If its going to be used in the grass, i would highly recommend the 4wd E-maxx...the 2WD can have a hard time transmitting all of that torque through the slippery grass...it will get stuck on hillsides where the 4wd will plow ahead.  I've had a nitro T-maxx for years and once removed the front dogbones to make it 2wd so that i could do better donuts and wheelies, but went back to 4wd becuase it didn't go through the grass nearly as well.  As for replacement parts, you're correct, Hobbytown stocks tons for the Traxxas products.   Your son will love the monster truck.  My son started driving my nitro T-maxx when he was about 5 yrs old...just had to make sure we were standing in the bed of my pickup so as to protect our ankles.  :o

Offline Valkyrie_1520

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Re: Need help deciding if this is the right truck!
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2009, 02:06:34 PM »
My son Tyler has a T-Maxx... That thing is awesome..... We haven't had it on radar yet, but i would say it runs in the mid to upper 50's and the engine is still a bit rich for breaking in.... :)
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Offline Flying_fox

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Re: Need help deciding if this is the right truck!
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2009, 06:29:31 PM »
This looks like a good deal for the money, it seems to have good parts support, and its RTR and Brushless out of the box for less than $200.   There is a brushed version for $110

http://www.nitrorcx.com/brtr.html

Im actually looking at one of the 4wd buggies to play with. Only when it too windy to fly of course  ;D
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Offline EricJ320

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Re: Need help deciding if this is the right truck!
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2009, 11:29:16 AM »
Thanks for the replies guys!  From what reading I have done this seems like a good truck, gets good reviews, it's been well proven, and people seem to really like it.  I'd love to get a 4wd, but WOW, the price almost doubles!  I can't really commit to that much of an investment on a truck for a 6 (almost 7 ;D) year old, at least until I know he will enjoy it and use it.  From the reviews, and videos I've watched on it, I think this will do what I'm looking for, driving on the road, driveway, backyard, maybe even take it to the hill and bash it around there!  If it slips in grass a bit, and gets stuck on hills some, well... he and I will just have to be ok with that.  ;)

It seems like $156 is a great price, that coupled with the training feature this truck has, and the availability of the parts, I'm pretty sure I will get this one.  I do appreciate the recommendations on the other trucks, although I can't do them now, this being Traxxax as well I'm hoping it's close to as good as those you guys recommended.

Drew, I agree those trucks look nice, and brushless power sounds awesome, but they have NONE instock.  Plus, I really want to have the parts available locally.  If you have to pay to ship parts regularly, the cost savings over buying Traxxax, or another higher dollar truck, quickly fade away.  Plus, they advertise this truck as "Brushless Ready", so I could always do that later!  And people say it runs good, or even better, on a 2S pack.  Now, for bashing around in a truck, I may do a 2S 5000mah pack or two from Hobby City for $20!  (oh, I can hear Kerbob already! ;D)  They just recommend adding one of those $3 lipo low voltage alarms, since the ESC isn't technically lipo compatible.

Anyway, thank again guys!
Eric
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Offline Flying_fox

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Re: Need help deciding if this is the right truck!
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2009, 12:35:03 PM »
Crap, Sorry I didnt even notice they were out of stock  ::)
Yeah local parts availability is a real plus especially when a 6 (almost 7) year old really wants to race  ;D
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Offline Kerbob

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Re: Need help deciding if this is the right truck!
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2009, 09:56:25 PM »
hehe hehehe hehehe (Beavis and Butthead laugh).  Eric said Hobby City. :D  We've converted a Fan Boy!
 
You couldn't have expected to let it slide could you??!?
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Offline i1afli

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Re: Need help deciding if this is the right truck!
« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2009, 09:31:26 AM »
Eric,
How about an update on the truck...did you, or Santa maybe, pull the trigger?  If so, how was it received?  Inquiring minds want to know.

Offline EricJ320

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Re: Need help deciding if this is the right truck!
« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2009, 11:54:16 AM »
Thanks for asking!  Yes, I ended up getting this Traxxas Stampede XL-5 2WD.  I see what you meant about the 4WD going better in grass, but to be honest where we will be driving, this 2WD will do just fine for the time being.  It still goes very well! 

The best part was the day or two before Christmas we went to TNT Hobbies to get the F-16 that Yvi won.  On the wall Tom had a poster of a Traxxas monster truck, and he kept looking at it, and finally said "Dad, I want one of those monster trucks for Christmas".  In one of my best poker faces, I told him he'd better ask for it for Christmas next year, all the time knowing it was wrapped and under the tree already!  When he opened it, he, as he says, "FREAKED OUT!"  It was great, and he had it driving around the front yard in no time, pajamas and all!

We took it to my parents in Indiana for the weekend.  They got quite of bit of snow. (any advice on what to do after getting wet would be great)  It was packed and covered in snow, and ran great, and still runs great! 

The trainer function of the ESC works great, it limits it to 50% power for him, and allows full power for me!  I am very happy with this truck and would feel completely comfortable recommending this to anyone who's new to trucks and wants to get something good, that is also relatively cheap.  It's truly great fun!
Eric
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Offline EricJ320

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Re: Need help deciding if this is the right truck!
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2010, 10:45:57 PM »
I did some moding to the frame of the monster truck to fit some Turnigy 2S 5000mah packs in it.  They are less voltage than the original 7 cell NiMH pack, although they should be able to push more amperage, so I was anxious to see exactly what kind of speed I was getting from both packs.  To find out just how much that would be, I strapped an old Garmin GPS Palm unit on it and took it for a drive with fresh packs of each kind. 

The GPS logs the top speed, so I zeroed that out before each run.  The Traxxas 7 cell NiMH pack came in at 24.9mph, while the 2S lipos were slightly faster at 26.1mph.  I think the difference would be even more noticeable if I changed out the gear for the faster one that came with it.  My guess is the NiMH pack is being pushed to it's limit for amp delivery, and the faster gear would draw the voltage down even more.  While it might be faster still, I don't think the difference between the two packs would be near as close.  I think the lipo would truly show it's higher power the more that is being asked from the power setup. 

Some pics below showing the mod needed to fit these packs in.  A word of note for anyone who may do something like this, the ESC is not Lipo compatible, so I added one of those 2S lipo alarms that alerts you when the cell voltage reaches 6.6v pack voltage.
Eric
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Offline Flying_fox

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Re: Need help deciding if this is the right truck!
« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2010, 08:12:01 PM »
Nice job with the fit, looks like it belongs in there  :)

Whats the difference in run time?
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Offline EricJ320

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Re: Need help deciding if this is the right truck!
« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2010, 09:36:54 PM »
I haven't had a chance to truly time it yet, though it did appear to last longer.  The first almost full discharge he did was at KCRC the other day, about the only place I let him run it on full power, in the open field on the opposite side of the road. 

Like I said, it seemed to last longer.  The stock NiMH pack is a 3000mah, these are 5000's, so as to not run it down too low, I am shooting for nothing less than 4000mah out of it.  So in theory, it should last about 1/3 longer than the stock pack, but with amp draw slightly more, I'd guess a 25% increase is more accurate.  He ran it down to about 7.55v, so just slightly higher that the bottom voltage I am shooting for, less discharge is never a bad thing.

One thing that was extremely noticeable to me was power, the lipo provided nearly as much power at the end as it did when first connected.  The NiMH stock battery losses a significant amount of power for about the last 10 minutes of the discharge.  So all in all, I'd say lipo is definitely the way to go, not a shocker, but a nice affirmation that even a lipo with less voltage can be a great power source for stock NiMH cars and trucks.


BTW, welcome back Drew, I was just asking Tim last night if he'd heard from you!  Just been kind of quiet lately!
Eric
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Offline Flying_fox

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Re: Need help deciding if this is the right truck!
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2010, 07:47:48 PM »
Sounds cool, I am starting to get the itch to get a buggy now just to have something to play with when I cant get out to fly, or the weather suck, which is pretty much all the time right now :)

Thanks for the welcome back, I had a super crazy couple weeks at work, then I sold both of my computers (So I could get my wife to let me buy my new tablet laptop) and went a whole week and a half with out a  computer, thought I was gonna die  :D
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Offline i1afli

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Re: Need help deciding if this is the right truck!
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2010, 09:19:41 PM »
This disucssion about a father, his boy, and his monster truck (along with a well-timed "can i drive the T-maxx" question from my son) motivated me to get the old nitro T-maxx started again...been about 3 years since it ran.  Took awhile to get it going but finally did so.  I had forgotten how fast it is.  Its on it's third engine...a Trinity .21 (stock is .15).  This discussion also has me wanting to strap the gps to it, something i've thought about but never done.

Also, the discussion of Lipos vs. NiMh is also timely.  I'm recommisioning a Walmart-grade R/C semi-truck of my son's and debating switching it from 9.6v NiMh to 11.1v Lipo...this thread has me leaning towards the Lipos.

Does the Stampede do wheelies?  Has it done any good donuts yet?  If he watches the Monster Jam truck competitions on TV he'll get some great ideas of "tricks" he can try, which will probably result in dad heading to Hobbytown for replacement parts.