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Is the Traxxas Summit a Crawler?

Is the Traxxas Summit a rock crawler? It’s a simple enough question, and the answer is just as simple. It is not. The Traxxas Summit was released when rock crawling was solidly and essentially alone in the RC spotlight. That is certainly why so many people assume that the Summit is Traxxas’ entry into the crawler segment. Traxxas, however, has always dubbed the Summit as an “extreme terrain monster.” And, it is indeed a monster truck and not a single-purpose rock crawler. It can also take on some amazing terrain, so I’d say Traxxas’ one-liner is right on the money. Again, to be perfectly clear, Traxxas has never marketed the Summit as a rock crawler.

While I’m not a Traxxas fanboy or of any other brand, I do readily proclaim that I have a soft spot in my heart for the Summit. While I am first and foremost a racer, I am also a basher and a rock crawler. That is why I think the Summit is the cat’s…paw. The Summit is the best of both worlds. It has go-fast bashing covered and, with the flip of a couple of switches, it can crawl on the rocks. Oh my, did I just say it was a rock crawler? Depends how you define “rock crawler.” If you define a rock crawler as something that would be competitive at a rock crawling comp then no, it’s clearly not a crawler. If, however, you define a rock crawler as something that can crawl on rocks, it’s a rock crawler.

Now, as far as I can recall, I’ve never called the Summit a rock crawler. This is because I define a rock crawler as a vehicle that is specifically designed to crawl on rocks–and the Summit isn’t. As I previously described, it’s more of a hybrid. I think of it as a really versatile monster truck. That said, it can crawl. Will it win a comp? No, but so what? It can crawl. So, am I saying it is a crawler? No. Confused yet? Think of it this way. I can bake a cake…but that doesn’t make me a baker. And, conversely, just because I’m not a baker, it doesn’t mean I can’t bake. Ahhh!

So, is the Summit a rock crawler? No…or yes…or maybe a little bit. I’d suggest not worrying too much about what box it’s supposed to fit in. What it is is a pretty amazing off-roader. My point is to not think in black and white. It’s not about absolutes. One of favorite sayings is people who only think in absolutes are often absolutely wrong. My second point is that there is no need for “hardcore” crawlers to hate on the Traxxas Summit and that brings me to the last part of this commentary piece is for the haters. It’s titled: “Can Your Crawler do This?” In the name of good fun, I took my Summit LT (a Summit monster truck converted into a 2.2-esque machine) and put it through its paces to show its versatility. Will my Summit LT win a comp? This is the #1 and essentially only argument the haters have against the Summit and the answer is nope. But, it can do all of this…

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25 Comments

  1. Thanks, Matt, just what I needed – another project! 🙂

    All kidding aside – I say the STOCK Summit is NOT a crawler, or if it is, it is BARELY on this side of that line – with the large tires and tall stance, its a stretch – BUT, with the setup you have in the above LT – thats cool 🙂 Actually, that might be just the ticket I am looking for – my son likes to whip the snot out of his monster truck, and still likes to crawl – thats two trucks for me to maintain… I might have to keep an eye out for a Summit and consolidate him down to one – race in “Revo” form, and crawl in “LT” form 🙂

    Awesome setup though!

    Bob

    1. Thanks, Bob. While I don’t ever plan on entering my Summit LT in a pure rock crawling comp, it is simply a blast off-road. I did enter it in a Tough Truck style comp and other than having a fairly bad turning radius, it did alright.

  2. Your an idiot. the summit isn’t a crawler. Your steering people wrong. Id like to see some kid show up at a comp with one and get laughed at. It’s not crawler, never was a crawler and never will be a crawler

    1. Thanks for checking out the article, Tyson. I hope you liked the video as well. Think of it this way: I have an Axial Wraith that I put a brushless setup in with a 3S LiPo. It’s pretty fast. In a straight line it will actually smoke a lot of my other trucks in a drag race. Does me saying that mean I think I have a drag car? If someone stated that if I brought my Wraith to an actual drag race that it would get smoked make my original statement false?

      1. Hi Matt. You answered the Tyson Guy in a very nice manner. I like the scaled down summit because I can relate to it. In the rctruckstop.com I talked to you about it. I went out and bought a summit and the slayer parts purely for the sake of making an LT. Nobody said it was going to be a comp.crawler so why the insult?!. Any way thanks again for doing the research and leg-work to bring us this cool new twist to an already cool truck.

    2. Hey can you help me you seem to be into this I’m just starting out and live in the country and would like to find a good reliable waterproof 4×4 electric rc truck just wondering if you knew any good ones

      1. Hi, Howard. First, thanks for visiting RC Truck Stop. You’ve come to the right place. Okay, I may be a little biased, but the point is we’ll help you get exactly the right truck for you.

        As for your truck search, what are you looking to do? If you’re looking to go fast and bash around, check out the Traxxas Slash 4X4. If you want a basher and like Monster Jam, check out any of Traxxas Monster Jam trucks (these are 2WD Stampedes and pretty affordable). If you like monster trucks, but want one with more scale handling, HPI makes a waterproof version of its Wheely King. If you want something with more of a scale off-road truck, the Traxxas Telluride is a good choice. If you want to sometimes crawl and sometimes go fast, the Vaterra Twin Hammers is also waterproof like all of the previously mentioned trucks, but additionally features a locked solid rear axle (lots of traction) and a 2-speed transmission.

        There are a lot of choices when it comes to waterproof 4WD trucks. We’ve reviewed the Vaterra Twin Hammers and Traxxas Telluride 4X4 and have firsthand experience with all of the others.

        Let us know if any of these are close to what you were thinking of.

    1. I used Traxxas Slayer rims which meant the rims were essentially a direct fit. The Pro-Line 2.2 tires, however, had to modified to fit the rims. Using curved body scissors, I cut the inside diameter from 2.2 to 3.0 inches. I also cut the foams as needed. Overall, the modification was easy and the end result looks factory.

  3. Hi Matt like the videos and setup with your summit and comparisons as well. I have one question though, is the axial ridge crest waterproof, as in mud bogging right out of the box? also just to let you know i have all traxxas vehicles and i pretty much clean them the same which is flush them with a garden hose. lol

    1. Hi, Drew. Thanks for coming to RC Truck Stop and thanks for the kind words. To answer your question, no, the Ridgecrest is not 100% waterproof. It is made to handle wet conditions, but it is not hose-and-go like the Traxxas vehices you mentioned.

    1. Maybe, maybe not. The Summit LT is pretty impressive out on the trail. I have a modified Axial Wraith and love it, but not sure it is any better than my Summit LT. Thanks for checking out the article and video and commenting.

    1. No, Ned. The Summit is sold in two versions–one with NiMH packs and one with Traxxas brand LiPo packs. The Summit LT shown in the video is a customized Summit that uses Slayer Pro components to narrow it for a more scale stance.

  4. hi matt, i have a Summit NiMH packs version. since it has 16.8volts, right?!my question is. Is it ok to put two 3s Li-Po packs? equivalent to 22.2volts. is the ESC and motor can handle this extra 5.4volts?? thanks.. and another question how can i change or what gears do i have to change, if i want upgrade the stock Hi gear to Higher gear speed and also the stock Low gear to much Lower gear speed..
    information is appreciated!
    Thanks Matt.

    1. The two 3-cell batteries is, unfortunately, a no go. The extra 5.4 volts, while it doesn’t sound like much, will probably be enough to let the magic smoke out.

      Traxxas offers a close gear set for the transmission, but I personally wouldn’t bother as it doesn’t really do what you’re looking to achieve. I’d leave the gearing stock or maybe switch pinions to get the speed you want.

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