Welcome to my review of the Traxxas Stampede 2WD 1/10 Scale RC Monster Truck. This truck has speed, power, incredible stability, and it’s beautiful to look at as well. I really like this one a whole lot, and I bet that you will too! Keep reading to see just how much fun the Traxxas Stampede is. But be warned: The more you learn about this toy, the more you’re going to want one!
The first thing I thought when I opened the box and saw this incredible monster truck was that it sure looks sweet, but that it’s so much smaller than the other 2 Traxxas trucks that arrived at the same time. As impressive as it was, I wasn’t really sure whether to be all that impressed or not. All of that changed, however, once I began testing the Stampede outside. I found it to be one of the most stable and relentless pieces of RC equipment I have ever had the pleasure of operating. Not only is the Stampede able to pull itself out of most sticky situations (obstacles such as long grass and steep ditches), but it practically always remains on all 4 wheels as well. I was not expecting a 2WD RC truck to be able to free itself so effectively, and I expected at least one or two flips or roll-overs during sharp, high-speed turning or flying over the ramp-like speed bumps in our back lane. I couldn’t have been more wrong!
Charting the Key Considerations
|How much set up time does the Stampede require?||The Traxxas Stampede is ready to use straight out of the box except for the initial charging of the battery. This takes in the neighbourhood of 45 minutes to accomplish. I’ve provided a special section on Batteries and Chargers below.|
|What type & quantity of batteries does the Stampede Use?||The Stampede’s remote control requires 4 x AA batteries to function, and the truck itself uses a rechargeable 7-Cell 8.4V NiMH 3000MAH Power Cell Battery. There’s more on this in the Batteries & Chargers section below.|
|What are the mobility (& range) characteristics of the Traxxas Stampede?||My Stampede easily achieved a range of between 200 and 300 feet, and its potential top speed is 48+ Km/h (or 30+ mph). It can move forward & backward, can steer as well as any real truck, and can do some fantastic spins, jumps, & slick driving maneuvers―given sufficient space and a challenging terrain.|
|Does the Stampede feature any special lights & sounds?||The Traxxas Stampede makes the typical sounds you would expect from a miniature motorized vehicle, revving noises and all! It does not have any lights, however.|
|What is the suggested age range of the Stampede?||The Stampede’s suggested age range is 14 and up. There’s a “Training Mode” that limits it to 50% of its maximum throttle, thus making it accessible to less experienced users. Even so, I would prefer not to allow those under 14 to use the Stampede without proper supervision. This thing goes so fast that it’s easy to find yourself zipping along quite out of control. If you hit someone with it at full speed, you may cause them serious injury. Do be careful!|
|How much of a WOW factor (on a 0-5 scale) does the Stampede have?||The Traxxas Stampede gets a very solid 4.5 / 5 from me, and the only reason I can think of not to go for the full-on 5 / 5 is that I still have the 2 higher-end Traxxas RC trucks to test and rate, and once I hit 5, there’s nowhere else that’s higher to go…|
Testing & Play
Playing with the Traxxas Stampede was pure awesomeness! I managed to achieve many cool jumps and spin-outs in my first 25 minutes of testing. From reading the box, I was only expecting about 15 minutes of play time, but I easily got a lot more than that. All through my initial round of testing, I had to put up with puddles and fallen leaves, but the Stampede didn’t care. With its full compliment of water-resistant parts and electronics, all my Stampede got was dirty. (Note that extra precautions are necessary when operating your model in wet conditions. Please consult your Traxxas Owner’s Manual for complete instructions.)
Controlling your Stampede is easy. Its controller is the Traxxas TQ 2.4GHz Transmitter (shown at right). This controller has a main wheel at the top for steering and a trigger underneath for forward and backwards throttle. You pull the trigger (like firing a water pistol) for forward, and push the trigger away from you for backwards. Leaving the trigger suspended in the middle (its natural position) effectively puts on the brake, though a more effective form of braking is to slightly move the trigger in the opposite direction from what you’ve been driving for a split second when you’re ready to stop. This makes the wheels turn briefly in the opposite direction and can lead to some awesome power stops. The controller also has a “Trim” knob at the far left just below the smaller “On” indicator light. Keeping this knob perfectly in the middle of its range makes for easy steering. The controller’s On / Off switch is located at the bottom (base) of the handle on the narrow side (i.e., just around the corner from the word “Traxxas” in the photo). Finally, there’s a small, red “Set Button” on the top of the controller for changing your servo (steering) or throttle directions. For most, this button will be superfluous unless the default settings somehow go awry.
Part of the play pattern for these toys is repairs and maintenance. To this end, Traxxas provides a heap of fun accessories with your Stampede. These include decals, a mini tool kit (mostly wrenches), and several minor replacement parts (i.e., washers, gears, cotter pins, etc). If you should happen to break some component of your truck, many replacement parts and upgrades are available at Best Buy. The coolest bit of all, though, is that you can learn how to replace these parts yourself. For those who like to run just a little bit rough, it’s good to know that a broken or damaged component doesn’t necessarily mean the end of your off-road career.
For & Against
For me, the biggest factor in favour of the Traxxas Stampede has a lot to do with the photo at right. This vehicle proved in testing to be even more stable than the much larger and more expensive Traxxas Summit that I’ll review in the coming days. I think that much of what accounts for this is the excellent shocks & springs that the Stampede’s suspension system has, as well as its very fine tires with their deep treads and extreme traction. Of course, I do not mean to suggest that the Summit has poor parts and systems in these places. Much of the issue here also has to do with balance and both vehicles’ center of mass. I would say that the Stampede’s weight distribution is optimal, with most of the weight carried low and towards the mid-line of the chassis. The Summit’s weight, alternatively, is more spread out and along the outer edges of the vehicle (more on this when I review the Summit). The bottom line here is that the Stampede continually exhibits exceptional balance & solid traction. It very seldom rolls or flips over, and that makes it a whole lot of fun to play with!
The biggest factor working against the Traxxas Stampede would have to be the fact that it is a 2WD rather than a 4WD, and that could lead to it getting hung up (and therefore stuck) under certain circumstances. For example, if you get the bottom caught on a small log or rock such that the rear wheels are no longer contacting the ground, then you ain’t goin’ nowhere!
This probably sounds quite a bit worse than it actually is. During testing, I didn’t get stuck anywhere once. Still, 4WD would have been great to have here because then the Stampede could probably go just about anywhere without fear of getting stuck. As it is, you may not have very many problems, but you’re more likely than not to get stuck at some point. (See the photo at left for a look at the motor that drives the Stampede’s rear wheels.)
Examining the Video Evidence
Please check out my short video overview of the Traxxas Stampede 2WD 1/10 Scale RC Monster Truck:
Batteries & Chargers
The battery for this one (shown at left) is a rechargeable, 7-Cell, 8.4V NiMH, 3000MAH Power Cell Battery. It takes about 45 minutes to charge with the (included) fast charger (shown below) or with the more versatile Traxxas EZ-Peak Plus Charger (shown further below). All up you should get 15-25 minutes of solid play time out of this battery.
Included with the Stampede is a fast charger that plugs into a standard car cigarette lighter (shown immediate right). I DO NOT recommend charging your batteries while driving, as this could be very dangerous. You may even cause a fire or have your battery explode. Instead, you may want to get a Traxxas AC to DC Power Supply Adapter that allows you to use this charger with a standard wall plug
Better still, you could just pick up a Traxxas EZ-Peak Plus Charger, which is both safe and easy to use. These chargers employ a system called “iD Auto Battery Identification” to automatically recognize (and adapt to) your specific Traxxas iD Battery. The charger can then optimize the charging conditions for that specific battery, which is very useful. Simply plug the battery (or cell pack) into the EZ-Peak Charger & press and hold the start button for 2 seconds. No extensive battery knowledge is required, and you’ll achieve the highest level of performance from both your batteries and your model.
Even If the batteries you use are not iD batteries, you can still charge them with the EZ-Peak Charger. You’ll just have to manually adjust the settings to get a proper charge. This is rather easy to do, and the charger even knows whether youre using NiMH or LiPo batteries & will adjust its function accordingly in the case of iD batteries. You can even get a Traxxas EZ-Peak Dual Charger for charging 2 sets of batteries at once. This is especially useful if your model requires 2 separate battery packs to operate.
This toy is an absolute winner! What more can I say? If you like RC vehicles―and particularly monster trucks―then you’re probably going to enjoy this one. If ground based RC vehicles are your thing, then you should definitely consider giving the Stampede a try!
Be sure to keep an eye out for my forthcoming reviews of the Traxxas Slash Fox 4WD 1/10 Scale RC Short Course Truck & the equally amazing Traxxas Summit 4WD 1/10 Scale RC Truck. Until then, have an excellent week!
Mini Gallery of Additional Photos