In the last few years, Redcat Racing has brought to the market a wide range of vehicles from 1/16 scale all the way to 1/8 scale nitro. They have also included in their line four 1/10 scale electric vehicles, making your selection even more abundant.
Everyone knows the bigger companies in the R/C market but I like to find the smaller companies with smaller price tags, quality products and good service! Redcat Racing has some very tough competition and will need vehicles that are affordable and can take abuse in order to compete.
The 1/8 scale Avalanche XPR is the big dog in their line, being slightly larger than the earthquake. First impressions were good. I love the wide stance and beefy look. This truck looks durable!
Model: Avalanche XP
Type: 1/8 Monster Truck
Ground Clearance: 3″
Weight: 7.25 lbs
Engine: M28 P3
Transmission: 1:17.7 Single Speed
Differentials: Metal Gear
Clutch: 3-Shoe Aluminum
Chassis: 2.5″ 6061 Aluminum
Shocks: 4 Adjustable Oil Filled
Brakes: Dual Steel Disk
Fuel Tank: 125cc
When you open the box you are greeted with a brightly colored body. There are optional bodies available if you don’t like the color or scheme of the one that comes with the truck. And you can always pick up a 1/8 scale body from your favorite hobby shop! The body that comes with this truck is complete and need no further decals!
There is however one little thing about the body on this truck, and it appears to be normal business for the Redcat line of Nitro cars and trucks. You will notice there is no engine opening and the body is not cut to provide clearance for the exhaust exit. Both are quick and simple things to take care of and I rather enjoyed working on mine. You will notice the body mount holes are pre-drilled!
This truck is sold as a ready to run (RTR) truck. That means it comes with everything you need to use the truck except for the transmitter batteries, fuel and field equipment.
The Avalanche comes with a 2.4GHz radio system that is quite sufficient for this truck. If you prefer to use your own radio you may have to replace the receiver to match your transmitter as the Redcat radio systems may not be compatible with other brands.
You will notice the Avalanche shares it’s chassis with other models in the Redcat lineup. However, it benefits from bigger tires, stronger shocks and towers. This truck is somewhere between a small monster truck and an overgrown truggy. Whatever you decide to call it, the Avalanche looks good and should take some punishment with this design.
The front suspension and steering system looks very robust. One thing I often order when I get a new truck is suspension parts. Roles, flips and cartwheels are hard on a truck of this size and it is not uncommon to snap a hub or control arm but the Avalanche appears to be quite robust and I hope to be pleasantly surprised when nothing brakes.
The rest of the suspension, shocks, shock plates and turnbuckles follow suit in quality. The shocks are adjustable and the connecting plate is simple to remove and adjust.
Now let’s turn our attention on what gets the Avalanche moving! A big block.28 engin from SH Engines is installed and ready to make smiles happen! When it is go time and you command full power from the engine, that power is delivered to the wheels by way of a quality 3 shoe clutch system. This type of clutch is my favorite design. The clutch hooks up hard and fast when you nail the throttle yet it engages smoothly and confidently if you ease into the power slowly.
The muffler on the Avalanche is a tuned pipe that does its job, but there are better pipes out there. Keep in mind this is a stock truck and you can’t have all the upgrades out of the box at this price, or even at a price 5 times this price!.
When you get your new Avalanche you will have to break in the engine. As this is not an article or teaching about proper engine break in and maintenance I will forgo the “how to” but let me just say this. Nitro engines turn at high RPM and have extremely tight tolerances that have to be “worn in”. Follow the instruction that come with your Avalanche to the letter – if you do nothing else do this! You will be rewarded with a longer lasting, more reliable and higher power producing engine. Nuf said.
I conduct most of my test drives at one of two places — The local track or a large open dirt and grass field. This truck, being so aggressive looking was begging for the sand! So I packed up my new truck and headed out to the beach where I found a variety of surfaces to drive on. I drove the paved parking lot, loose sand of the beach, hard packed sand near the water and the dunes just off the beach that provided me the opportunity to get some sick air!
With the single speed transmission of the Avalanche and it’s light weight, climbing the hills, banks and dunes was no challenge. Acceleration and handling was awesome with the 4 wheel drive and oversized tires and the Avalanche was even more fun in the air.
The suspension kept the Avalanche in contact with the ground even after high jumps the truck did not have a tendency to bounce. The truck flies well too. When this truck is in the air it is quite stable and the ability to set the angle with the brake is impressive. I was able to get mine to do a front flip and land on its wheels on command.
The dual brakes are great. They really work well and compliment the truck. No matter how hard I run, the brakes remain strong. They are also extremely helpful in balancing the truck in the air. In the times it’s needed, push the throttle back to hit the brake and the truck will help you balance for a smooth 4 tire landing. Well, most of the time anyway. I occasionally miss the mark, but that has to do more with the driver than the truck. The Avalanche makes jumping pretty easy.
I ran the tar out of this truck for about a week and I intentionally played rough with it. I was trying to break it so I could report just how hard you can expect to run the Avalanche. What I found was a surprisingly tuff truck. The body was banged up and I did manage to break one of the body mount posts (a quick fix). All in all this is a very good value and a well-built truck.
As much as I like this truck, and I will continue to buy and test other Redcat vehicles, it is not without its flaws.
The Avalanche could use a few small things to make a it a 10! A larger fuel tank would be my first upgrade. A better tuned pipe would be number 2, I prefer the adjustable type offering settings for more torque or more top end. Lastly I would replace the steering servo with a higher torque metal gear type.
Offsetting my list of upgrades are a few of the points that make Redcat trucks my favorite all around – back yard bashing trucks. The Avalanche is competitively priced with other trucks in its category. The Avalanche XTR as tested is strong and fast. It is predictable and can be driven on just about any surface. Not to mention Redcat has a great warrantee program on its engines and vehicles along with awesome customer support. I have put the customer support to the test with questions and product help. I called contacted Redcat about a warrantee concern about an unrelated product and was promptly shipped a replacement part. I have been quite happy with Redcat’s customer support.
Overall the quality of the Redcat products and the excellent customer support keep me coming back. You can be sure of one thing; you will see more Redcat product review from me as I intend to put many of the Redcat Racing vehicles and planes to the test.