Redcat racing has introduced several entry level RC vehicles over the years. These vehicles have allowed many newcomers to enter the hobby without spending much money.
Redcat now offers low cost rock crawlers in the 1/8 scale and the 1/10 scale range. Today we will look at the 1/10 scale Rockslide RS10 rock crawler.
Even though you might be lead to believe this is an entry level crawler, you will find that it has some features for the seasoned crawler as well. It’s time to take a closer look at the Rockslide RS10.
Name: Rockslide RS10 RTR
Price: $199.99 varies with dealer
Length: 17.72″ Width: 10.55″
Height: (w/body): 9″
Weight: (w/battery): 4lb & 15.5oz
Motors: Two Brushed 70T 380 motors and one fan cooled ESC
Drive Train: 4 wheel drive, 4 wheel steer, motors on axles.
Included Battery: 7.2v 1500mAh NiMH 6-cell square battery pack with wall charger.
Radio equipment: (Included) LanSu 3ch FM computer radio system, 4ch receiver, & 2 standard servos.
- Eight AA batteries for radio
- Ready to run
- Motors on Axles
- Fan cooled ESC
- Nice FM computer radio
- Four wheel steering mixing
- Lots of articulation
- Aluminum tie rods
- Outstanding value
- Tires could be softer
- Servos could use more torque
The first thing I noticed upon opening the box were the tires. They’re not replicas of full scale crawler tires but they look very cool.
Upon inspection I found many aluminium and zinc alloy parts were used in the construction of the RS10. The overall quality of the vehicle has impressed me this far.
The painted body is perfect for a rock crawler. The body you see does not have any decals on it at all. Everything you see, including the grill, lights, and logos are printed on the inside of the shell. You will not have to worry about decals getting tore up from dings and scrapes.
I did trim the body a little before test driving the RS10. I trimmed the front of the body directly below the grill and the rear of the body below the tail lights. Slightly trimming the front and rear corners also helps with tire rub.
Included with the RS10 RTR are controller, 6-cell battery pack, charger, and instructions. I would like to see some more in depth technical data on the included electronics, but the instructions do include a decent trouble shooting guide and an adequate how to section. The highlight of the instruction booklet is its in depth parts list with detailed exploded views.
Wheels, tires, and drive train
One of the great features of the RS10 are the axles. Both front and rear axles are angled to allow more clearance for the center gear housing. This is a great design that keeps the center of the axle from hanging down lower than the steering knuckles. The less the rocks can grab a hold of the better off we are. Good job!
As you’ve probably noticed from the pictures, the RS10 is a “motors on axles” rig. “MOA” for short. Not only do you get more power but this also frees up the suspension some from the lack of drive shafts.
MOA is beneficial in many ways. Not only is the weight from the motors on the drive shafts, the battery and electronics can also be lower in the chassis which creates a lower center of gravity. A very important aspect in rock crawling.
Each of the axles contains plastic gears, except for the pinion gear of coarse. The gears are supported with a full set of ball bearings.
The Diff gear, or spool gear, is locked in place with two plastic plates and four screws. Locked diffs is a set standard for rock crawlers. This allows both left and right tires to equally grab as much traction as possible.
Steel dogbones are used to transfer the power to the wheel spindles. Each wheel is seated on an aluminum hex and is held on with a standard self locking M4 nut.
Each beadlock rim consists of a plastic center and two zinc alloy retainer discs. The zinc alloy discs add weight to each wheel which helps with traction. Each tire/wheel combo weighs 7.5oz. The tires are a medium-soft compound with an aggressive tread.
A descent 3ch computer radio is included with the RS10 RTR. The LanSu 3TD transmitter uses a 27MHz FM frequency and includes features like digital trim for all three channels, dual rates, and most impressive, four wheel steering mixing.
It is easy to toggle through all four of the 4WS modes. Pressing a button on the transmitter grip will toggle through the four different modes. The first mode is front wheel steer only. The second mode is crab steer (all wheels point in same direction) and the third mode is four wheel steer (front and rear wheels turn in opposite directions). The fourth and final mode is rear wheel steer. Pressing the button again will cycle you back through the different modes.
The included 4ch receiver is the LanSu LS-202-R. The receiver is perched on top of the crawler’s aluminum chassis and is held in place with double sided servo tape.
Two steering servos are needed to steer this 4WS crawler. Each standard size servo is mounted to an axle and their performance is expected from a ready to run crawler. They have enough torque for bashers, but if you plan on doing some serious crawling you might consider upgrading.
Motor, ESC and Battery
A Beiji Guang 70T 380 sized motor is mounted to each of the RS10 axles. The motors appear to be wired in parallel which should help with clod stall. Clod stall is when one of the motors stalls and the other keeps running. This could happen if either the front or rear wheels are in a bind or just under a heavier load. It is common for the rear wheels to stop spinning when making steep climbs with minimal throttle. Clod stall was named after the most popular MOA truck of all time, the Clod buster.
Directing power to the motors is a fan cooled LanSu electronic speed controller. This ESC is designed for rock crawlers and uses an electronic brake system to hold the vehicle in place on inclines. The ESC specs below were taken directly from the website.
The included 7.2v 1500mAh NiMH battery fits nicely in the battery compartment located in the base of the chassis. Having the weight of the battery at the bottom of the chassis will help the crawlers ability to climb and maneuver inclines with more stability.
The battery is held in place by a u-shaped rod which pivots at one end and is bent at the other to fit into two small holes at the bottom of the chassis. This rod which is called the battery retainer clasp holds the battery effectively, although it does tend to be a little difficult to disengage at times.
A wall charger is also included with the Rockslide but I recommend buying a descent inexpensive peak charger for better control. The included charger has an output rate of DC 7.2v with 500mA and is of course UL® approved.
The four link suspension has loads of smooth articulation thanks to the uniquely designed upper links. The two upper links join into one pivot point for smooth movement. The parallel bottom links also act as lower shock mounts, thanks to four plastic clamps. This design makes adjusting ride height very easy and allows you to make minute increment adjustments.
The oil filled shocks are plastic bodied with aluminum top and bottom caps. You can change performance by mounting the tops of the shocks in one of many different mounting holes.
All the links are aluminum which should minimize breakage. A feature that is much appreciated on such an affordable RTR vehicle like the Rockslide RS10.
Performance & Handling
I found the perfect place to test drive the RedCat Racing Rockslide RS10. It’s an old rock crawler course that is rarely used anymore. Perfect!
Before I could go have fun I need to charge the battery. I used my dynamite vision peak 2 charger instead of the included charger because I like to see the progress of the charge. The included wall charger does charge at a rate of 500mA, but there’s no way of telling how close you are to being done.
Once the vehicle was charged and eight AA batteries were installed into the transmitter, I was ready to rock.
I set the RS10 at the foot of the first obstacle and applied a little throttle. The throttle is smooth and the truck has a good throttle response.
Once the front wheels were on the large boulder, I tried to creep up and over but the crawler went head over heels. The approach I needed to take required a bit more momentum. I crawled the front wheels onto the boulder, I goosed it, and the truck hopped onto the rock. Sweet!
It didn’t take long for me to get accustomed to how the RS10 likes to be driven. Some obstacles needed to be crept over and others required some testosterone. I was having a blast!
The stock tires are a little stiff, but I was amazed at some of the stuff I could get over. I can see that I’ll be doing some work on them soon. Cutting the treads in half will allow the tires to flex and fold a little more. Scoring an X-shaped pattern into the back side of the tire with a small grinding stone attached to a dremell will also add some more flexibility. You must be VERY careful not to go too deep or you will ruin the tire. The easiest option would just be spending $20-$30 on some new meats.
The four wheel steering saved me from many spills. It doesn’t take long to remember the mode sequence. Before long I was beeping through them without thinking.
Like most RTR crawlers, the steering servos don’t have enough torque to turn the tires while in a bind. Even though this probably saves on broken parts, if I decide to enter any competitions I’ll invest in a couple of servos, but for playing around and having fun, these will do just fine.
Clod stall was mentioned earlier in this review and I did notice some at low speeds. While crawling up steep inclines the rear wheels would stop spinning. This troubled me at first, but then I found I could use it to my advantage. Don’t get me wrong, I can get all tires to spin by applying more throttle, but when going up steep inclines I would get a good look at the underside of the vehicle. I prefer looking at the top much better! I found that if you allowed the clod stall to happen it was advantageous to getting up the obstacle. The front tires would pull more than the rear and lessen the chances of flipping backward. Works for me!
The last thing I need to mention is how well all four tires stay planted on the ground. When a rock crawler has as much articulation as the RS10, it’s easy to get twisted on the rocks. I was surprised at how little that actually happened. There were some instances where the suspension got itself into a bind, but 90% of the time, all four tires hooked up. This could be do to the lack of torque twist caused by drive shafts.
I must say I was excited taking the RS10 out for testing, but I was very surprised at how well it crawled for a stock RTR. The RedCat Rockslide RS10 performed very well and held up great to abuse.
I can sum up my experience with the Rockslide RS10 with three words. Fun, fun, and fun. This crawler has good quality and it costs less than $200. I give the RS10 an A++ for value!
I was able to get around six hours of crawling in with the RS10 and not only did nothing break, I had an enjoyable yet surprisingly relaxing time. There’s something about conquering that obstacle that gives me a sense of accomplishment. I also can’t deny that I just like running over things.
Distributed by: REDCAT RACING
23 West Watkins Street
Phoenix, AZ 85003
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