Today I review the Traxxas TRX-4 Scale and Trail Crawler, which is one of the newest RC vehicles from Traxxas for 2017. Now, I usually absolutely love these things, but the TRX-4, which is chock full of the latest high tech RC features and is also based on a real life Land Rover truck, proved to be just about as frustrating as it was fun—maybe even more so. But I do still think that some RC hobbyists, particularly those with a love of modding, may really like it a lot. Read on for the full story.
Traxxas TRX-4 Features and Specs
The Traxxas TRX-4 has some pretty serious features going for it. Its Grippy Canyon Trail tires and 4WD capabilities make it ideal for off road adventuring, and it’s even got a gear down feature (controlled by a switch on the transmitter) that engages a low gear for extra torque when you really need it. This means you can tackle obstacles and get over even the roughest of landscapes with the TRX-4. Other features include metal gears in the transmission, transfer case, and portal axles, as well as the Traxxas 2075 metal gear servo (for a tougher and more robust drivetrain than you’ll find on many other RC vehicles), oil filled coil-over GTS shocks (for greater damping and shock absorption when you’re bouncing over rocky terrain), and a remotely locking differential with sleeved micro cables (so you can lock or unlock both the front and rear differentials at any time while driving). There’s also a high-speed gear for when you need to go faster, the Traxxas 4-channel TQi transmitter offers a cool cruise control feature, and 3.14 inches of ground clearance thanks to the TRX-4’s portal axles (which raise the differential). There’s no shortage of useful and innovative features at hand with this RC scale and trail crawler, and it’s all wrapped up in the beautiful (in a utilitarian way) Land Rover Defender body, which comes in at a 1/10 scale ratio and includes such details as side mirrors and moulded in headlights, a gas can, a moulded in jack, and a spare tire that actually does work and can be rotated into the mix at any time. It’s a very cool looking off road vehicle that’s not only built to climb, but that really can climb quite well.
My Off Road Experience with the Traxxas TRX-4
Unfortunately my experience driving the Traxxas TRX-4 Scale and Trail Crawler was a bit of a rocky road. I took it to an area with lots of tree stumps and rocky bumps to try and drive it over, and I found its climbing capabilities to be very impressive. There wasn’t a whole lot that the TRX-4 couldn’t get over, but on flatter ground it had excessive difficulty turning (even only slightly) without rolling over. In fact, I had more rollovers than I’ve ever had with any other RC vehicle, and things started to become very frustrating after just a few minutes of driving.
I certainly don’t want to knock the TRX-4 too badly though, because it does have a number of excellent features going for it, but it’s definitely not one of my favourite Traxxas vehicles that I’ve ever tested. I think that for expert hobbyists that know how to implement modifications and make adjustments that could lead to greater overall stability, the TRX-4 is likely to be heaps of fun. However, for the novice or non-expert user such as myself, it may end up being more frustrating than fun, and that’s a real shame because the TRX-4 is certainly a beautiful truck. From an aesthetic standpoint, I think it’s as good as anything that Traxxas has ever done.
Maybe in subsequent releases they’ll find a way to lower the centre of gravity (and, along with it, the vehicle’s rollover rate). Until then, my preference will be for vehicles like the all new Ford GT and the super cool Traxxas Bigfoot (that’s based on the Stampede chassis). I recently reviewed both of these models as well and absolutely loved them. Especially the Bigfoot!
Examining the Video Evidence
Please take a few minutes to see the Traxxas TRX-4 in action. I took the truck to a woodsy area that had some stumps and rocks to try and get over, and for the most part it did that part just fine. Unfortunately, it also flopped over quite a bit—particularly on the flatter areas where I was trying to just drive evenly. Turning was where the problems really came in. You’ll see a few of those in the following video:
The Traxxas Ford GT is a unique combination of fun and frustration in the world of Traxxas RC vehicles. I don’t personally recall ever having another RC vehicle that had such a difficult time staying on all 4 wheels. The LaTrax Teton was also a bit top heavy and did topple over a few times, but nothing quite as serious as this. But I don’t want to be too critical of the TRX-4 because it really does have some nice things going for it too, and it can climb quite well. If you’re the type of RC hobbyist that loves a bit of a challenge and would enjoy trying to keep this thing steady (and maybe even undertake some modifications that could add to the truck’s stability), then you may well want to give this vehicle a chance. I think that maybe adding some weight to a low section of the truck (over removing some from the top half) may help. Either scenario would lover the centre of gravity and maybe keep the TRX-4 from rolling so often. And I’m sure that many of you expert hobbyists are cleaver enough to come up with a number of other interesting ways to potentially solve the problem as well. But whether or not you’re the type to tackle an engineering issue like this yourself, you certainly can’t complain about the look and styling of the Traxxas TRX-4. It’s a beautiful off-road RC vehicle that’s highly detailed and feature rich.
See both of Best Buy’s colour options for the Traxxas TRX-4 Scale and Trail Crawler HERE.