Traxxas Nitro Trucks Radio Controlled Trucks A Dummys Guide to the Three Key Types

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There are many segments within the radio controlled cars arena however the vast majority are powered by three main fuel types: electric, nitro, and gas. There are boats powered by diesel and steam but these are very much in the minority. The models on the market vary widely in speed and performance however some general statements can be made.



Electric boats are very popular because they are simple to use and easier to operate - without the fuel fumes or noise. They tend to be the least expensive, and there are a lot of low cost "toy" quality trucks in this category. They are slower than their nitro or gas counterparts and reach 30-50mph.



Electric engines operate with brushed or the more powerful brushless motors. They have a tendency to slow down as the run time increases as the battery runs down. Run time will depend on the power of the battery (or batteries) used but can be as low as 10 minutes. Additional batteries are needed to keep the boat going.



Nitro boats use nitromethane fuel and are mid price range. Nitromethane is used as a fuel in racing, particularly drag racing, rockets and remote control vehicles and is commonly referred to in this context as 'nitro'. Nitro fuel is made of methanol, nitromethane and oil and sold by the can or bottle in hobby shops.




Nitro boats are fairly easy to operate and deliver 20 to 30 minutes of run time per tank. Nitro delivers more power so the size of the engine can be minimized. Full power is available as long as there is fuel in the tank. Nitro boats can hit top speeds of 30-35mph sometimes higher



Also radio controlled boats with "glow engines" and a "glow plug" are also commonly classified as nitro powered. The standard nitro engine is different to the nitro engines on RC cars and planes because it is water-cooled not air-cooled. Water enters through a tube under the boat, passes through the cylinder head and then out, taking engine heat with it.



Gas boats use regular car gasoline with 2 cycle/stroke oil mixed with the fuel. The proportion of oil to fuel mix changes after the boat engine is "broken in". Gas boats get the highest speeds as they are capable of hitting the 40 to 45mph range. They can cruise for up to 45 minutes on a tank of gas.



Gas engines are much larger than the typical nitro engine so they tend to be put into much bigger (size) RC boats. For instance the Traxxas King of Shaves Gas powered boat is almost 6 feet long. This means they are too big for swimming pools and need the open water.




There are many varinats to choose from but they all provide fun and entertainment as well as a challenge.

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