Many people pack up their RC gear for the winter or maybe even switch to indoor-only action. But what if cabin-fever gets to be too much to handle or you don’t have an indoor track near you? Well, even though it’s cold in the ‘hood, you can still fire up your RC truck and have some cold-weather fun. Check out these tips to keep Old Man Winter from wrecking your ride.
Moisture Protection. Moisture leads to rust and rust wrecks parts. Before running outdoors in wet winter conditions, spray all exposed metal parts down to tiny screws and E-clips with WD-40. It’s also a good idea to spray the suspension and underside of the chassis if running in really nasty conditions or in snow. This will help prevent corrosion and make cleanup a whole lot easier.
Snow Proof. If you’re running in snow, you’ll need to use a waterproof vehicle or waterproof your electronics. Many people even switch to stock Traxxas electronics for winter running because it’s waterproof and can be found fairly on eBay or for sale locally. Often the stuff for sale hasn’t even been used. As always, when it comes to buying RC gear, it’s buyer beware.
Cold Equals Fragile. Ever wonder why that gonzo jump didn’t present a problem in July, but has resulted in a yard sale of parts everywhere in January? It’s because plastic parts get brittle in cold weather. To prevent cold temps from ending your fun, make your outdoor runs short and heat your truck up with a hairdryer before heading out.
Crash Proof. While all plastic parts get more brittle as the temps drop, some plastic are stronger than others in cold weather. RPM’s proprietary blend of nylon has proven to work exceptionally in even deep cold conditions. Upgrade what you can. If you can’t, you can boil nylon parts in water. This rehydrates the material and makes it more flexible.
No LiPo Freeze. If you’re running at or near freezing, switch to a NiMH pack. LiPo chemistry cells do not perform well at or below freezing and permanent damage can be done to the cells.
Keep it Clean. After running, get your truck as clean and dry as possible. Putting it away wet and dirty is asking for trouble–don’t do it! A air compressor is a great RC investment and it will be extremely handy when running in winter. Use an air compressor to clean off the truck and then wipe the metal parts down with some more WD-40.
To learn more about surviving wet conditions, click here.
About the Author: Matt has over 25 years of experience in RC and has worked professionally in media for over a decade. Matt enjoys everything from racing to rock crawling to bashing, and he believes RC should be all about having fun. Matt is as at home covering a world championship in an exotic country as he is showing a new hobbyist how to set gear mesh. His desire to share the hobby with as many people as possible inspired him to create RC Truck Stop and RCTruckStop.com.