At the beach or on the grass, racing RC trucks is a great hobby for the whole family to enjoy.
Here are the six best monster trucks, including nitro-powered options, and the best for off-road, among other choices — for bashing, or just for driving around the block with your kids.
So, from expensive to affordable, and from battery powered to actual gasoline, there’s an RC truck in this list for you. Some are easy to tinker with and make improvements on, while others are ready to drive straight out of the box. Discover your new hobby with our ranking of the six best RC monster trucks to buy.
Our Top Picks
Gentlemen, start your engines. Here’s a quick look at the RC trucks we reviewed.
|Best Overall: Traxxas Nitro-Powered 4WD Monster Truck.
Powerful and fast, the Traxxas Nitro-Powered 4WD Monster Truck is the best in our ranking.
|Runner-Up: Exceed RC Rally Monster Off-Road Truck.
The Exceed RC Rally is one “tuff truck” that just keeps going, based on feedback.
|Gas-Powered Pick: Exceed RC ThunderFire Nitro Gas Truck.
For a gas-powered RC truck, we like the Exceed ThunderFire: small and fast, at a price that can’t be beat.
|Deluxe Pick: Exceed-RC 1/5th Giant Scale Hannibal Monster Truck.
“WOW” is all that RC truck enthusiasts can say about the Exceed Hannibal, the most deluxe RC truck we reviewed.
|Under $200: Redcat Racing Volcano EPX.
Quick and sturdy with good 4-wheel traction, the Redcat Racing Volcano is the best RC monster truck for under $200.
|Under $100: ARRMA RC Monster Truck.
And for the very best deal under $100, we like the RC Monster Truck from ARRMA.
A Closer Look: Best RC Monster Trucks
Pop the hood and kick the tires. Here’s a closer look at each RC monster truck in our ranking.
1. Traxxas Nitro-Powered 4WD Monster Truck
The best nitro RC trucks and overall top pick.
Brand: Traxxas | Power: TRX 3.3 Racing Engine | Control: TQi 2.4GHz Transmitter | Features: TSM Stability | Price: 💰
Arriving RTD (ready-to-drive) with an NiMH receiver pack and EZ-Start battery, the Traxxas Monster Truck is the best nitro truck we reviewed. It runs on a TRX 3.3 racing engine with a TQi 2.4GHz transmitter and TSM stability control, among other quality features. That list includes a tunable and sealed front end, an auto-shifting 2-speed transmission, and rear differentials.
All combined, this makes the Traxxas truck beyond fun to use, based on feedback. There’s a training mode on the remote, which is good for beginners. And with Bluetooth connectivity, the truck is also compatible with a wider range of mobile devices, much more so than earlier models were.
Otherwise, the handling is great, the reaction time is good, and it has the best shocks on the market, according to reports.
- Very durable and fast
- Great fun, ready to roll
- Cool truck with all the power
- Looks bigger in pictures
- Some break-in time required
2. Exceed RC Rally Monster Off-Road Truck
Brand: Exceed | Build: 2.5 mm Light Aluminum Alloy | Control: Oil-Filled Shocks | Features: 100% Assembled | Price: 💰
Another great RC monster truck in our ranking is the Rally from Exceed. This RTD truck comes factory assembled. It can be put through hell, we learned, and just keeps running. It’s even the best for bashing, we learned.
Suspension response on this beast is improved by the new lightweight suspension arms, and the shocks are oil-filled with firm-tuned springs that help keep the rubber on the road. Otherwise, the starter kit and 1 quart of nitro fuel are all you need to get it running, while the 2-speed transmission shifts nicely, based on feedback.
Some had to tighten down the screws on the throttle and brake linkage to cut down on vibration, however. But otherwise, this RC truck is awesome, running good and looking great, according to reports.
- Lightning fast!
- Great for the money
- Good for first-timers
- Best for just “messin’ around”
- Some wheels arrive tight, won’t turn
- Angle of one front wheel had to be adjusted
3. Exceed RC ThunderFire Nitro Gas Truck
The best gas-powered RC monster truck.
Brand: Exceed | Power: 7 CXP Engine | Control: Metal Disc Brakes | Features: Fuel Line Filter | Price: 💰
A true gas-powered monster truck just like the big boys drive is up next in our ranking. With metal disc brakes and a 7 CXP engine, we chose the Exceed ThunderFire as the best gas-powered RC monster truck on the strength of the 5-star ratings.
We also discovered that it’s an excellent truck even though it’s small, starting quickly and running fast, with a built-in fuel line filter that keeps the engine and components running clean. This beast also stops smoothly, with a smooth ride on account of the oil-filled shocks and long suspension arms.
The truck could be more durable, some say, but others add it stands up well under every day thrashing. It’s not for beginners, though, and replacement parts are a bit tough to source.
- Small but fast
- Just perfect, fast
- Definitely recommended
- Could be faster
- Gotta buy parts online
- Hard to drive straight, some say
4. Exceed-RC 1/5th Giant Scale Hannibal Monster Truck
The best deluxe RC truck.
Brand: Exceed | Power: Front & Rear Shock Tower | Control: Fiberglass Disc Brakes | Features: Solid Joint Cups | Price: 💰
Although it’s spendy, the next RC monster truck is probably the highest-quality truck we reviewed. Most importantly, it runs excellently, it’s fast, and it’s a lot of fun, according to reports. For the price, you get a solid roll cage, an extra-width front and rear suspension arm, and a powerful engine, running on a mixture of gasoline and stroke oil.
Feedback on the Exceed Hannibal calls it a great product, and it comes with everything you need to get started. It reaches top speeds from between 35 and 40 mph when fully broken in. But some do upgrade the steering servos, we learned.
Overall, though, most say this RC truck is everything it’s said to be, and more.
- Love the color
- Truck runs great
- Fuel and remote batteries all you need to get started
- Some break-in time required
- Actually a 30cc motor, not 32, some say
5. Redcat Racing Volcano EPX
The best RC monster trucks under $200.
Brand: Redcat | Power: Battery | Control: 2.4GHz Radio | Features: Lightweight Lower Chassis | Price: 💰
Shopping for an RC monster truck on a budget? Our next pick is the best to get for under $200. The Red Racing Volcano EPX is quick, we found out, with a sturdy frame and chassis. Also, the 4-wheel traction is good, and the transmitter range is nice and long. There’s also dual shocks, a reinforced bumper, and fully-adjustable suspension.
Even if you flip the thing, or jump it, or just beat it up in general, the truck just keeps going, we discovered. And it’s an excellent truck and a great basher for all experienced levels, from beginners to advanced. It’s also possible to swap out a brushless motor, if that’s what you prefer. But as is, the truck has lots of speed and is built very well, according to reports.
- Nice tires and wheels
- Remote bonds immediately
- Great entry-level, hobby-grade RC truck
- Battery could be stronger
- Trim takes minor adjustment
- Battery/component connector durability issues
6. ARRMA RC Monster Truck
The best RC monster trucks under $100.
Brand: ARRMA | Power: All-Terrain | Control: Double-Wishbone Front & Rear Suspension | Features: Bashing Optimized | Price: 💰
For the absolute best deal on an RC truck, though, turn to ARRMA. Their RC monster, optimized for bashing, is our pick for the best monster RC truck under $100. But not just that: this truck is also RTD, with top load oil-filled shocks, adjustable body mount and ride height, and foam tire inserts for better handling.
And when we heard the ARRMA offers the best bang for the buck on the market, we knew we had to include it in our list. Kids in particular love it, but so do older RC enthusiasts, and it’s a particularly good chassis for anyone who is mechanically inclined to tinker with and make upgrades on, based on feedback.
- Races and jumps well
- Good for yard, street, grass
- Performed well in snow, but not fully waterproof
- Slow charging time
- Controller wires may need re-soldering
- Poor battery life with stock battery (can be replaced)
For this guide on RC Monster Trucks, our team spent 4 hours researching the most popular options from all popular brands and manufacturers. We then read user reviews (both positive and negative) to discover what shoppers thought about each truck. After comparing this data, we narrowed our list down to the top 6 options on the market. You can count on this research to guide you to a mindful purchasing decision.
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