Bashing the Winter Away!
Hello this is Heikki from EuroRC! Hope you all good and happy with your RC! This week I want to talk with you about challenges of driving your RC in winter conditions. Everyone loves winter and why not! It is cold, wet but dark. Perfect setup for any precious electronic gadget out there! Seriously tough, bashing RC in the cold climate is super fun and can be done safe with few small extra steps.
Here in Finland we usually get some serious snowfall and temperatures can dive down even to Siberian Hell levels. We know that all of you people cannot get this kind of luxury so these tips here are anyhow universal and good to keep in mind when rolling RC's at low temps.
Preparing for the skate
- Pack some extra batteries with you, cold climate sucks batteries dry faster! Remember to keep your batteries as warm as possible.
- Make sure that your setup is completely waterproof! Keep in mind that snow is water and it melts to water (It really does!). Humidity denses with temperature changes and may cause unpredictable surprises in mysterious places. Please read our waterproofing article for some waterproofing tricks!
- Get a Dusty Motors protective bag. It works excellent against the snow! Apply a liquid surface coating to ensure easy cleaning procedure! Did you know that these quality accessories are made in Europe?
- Take your RC Car out 30 min before driving and let it cool down to ambient temperature. Why? If you run warm truck in the cold snow you can be sure that soon you have a huge snow ball with tires under! May sound fun but actually is not so let your rig cool down first.
- Note that tires may or more like will reshape themselves if you don't have any holes poked to them.This is because air packs itself tighter when getting cold. Poke some vent holes for your tires and tape up the holes in the wheels to prevent snow packing inside the tire.
- Slick carpet tires may not be the best choice. Depening of your rig and power these Sling Shots from Pro-Line or some other paddle tires may be something you should really consider about. Scale crawlers usually do fine with regural soft compund offroad tires. Snow tracks are also something to try out! Do not forget the shovel!
Driving in sub-zero
- Take it easy! Cold temperatures make plastic parts of your more fragile as they lose much from their natural flexibility. This should be kept in mind especially with thin RTR bodies. Your car wont be able to take the regular beating so don't brake your rig!
- Remember that the battery will die faster in cold climate! Check the volts regularly and stop driving in time. Get a Battery tester.
- Big jumps in snow can be tempting but keep in mind that icy ground is a rough surface to land on! Icy banks are hard as concrete and concrete is harder than your car.
- Your radio transmitter is not waterproof even though the receiver is! Do not let the snow get inside it. (We have some serious gear for that!) LCD-screens are also infamously slow in cold temps. Take your time with it or maybe even leave your best radio equipment home today and use that old RTR radio! Remember to waterproof the receiver!
- Your rig wont stop on icy surface at all. Forget the brakes, it is a sledge now!
- Do not put your tongue in to frozen metal bits. You have been warned!
- Remove body and hit your truck hard to remove all the snow and slush. Hit it baby one more time!
- Remove battery from the car immediatly and for real this time. Melting snow will turn your battery case to a small swimming pool. Do not charge cold battery! Let it get in to room temp first.
- Place your car without the body upside down in your shower or any warm place what has a sewer under or use bunch of towels. Shake and wait. It may be good idea to give your truck a little flush (Never with high pressure!) with fresh water especially if there has been salt on the slush. Salt with water loves bare metal surfaces and will make them rust in no time.
- Clean and grease. Repeat until clean and greased! When in doubt, lubricate!
Radio Control Hobby can and should be enjoyed no matter what time of the year it is! From our very useful RC Information pages you will find more interesting reads and how-tos, have a look and thanks for your time! See you at the shop!
Yours truly, Heikki from EuroRC
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