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Short Course RC Trucks, What Are They?

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Short course trucks are a well-known facet in the RC hobby and if you have even looked at RC vehicles you have likely seen short course trucks for sale. Virtually every RC manufacturer has their own short course truck but what exactly does that mean? 

Short course trucks are designed after the full size trucks that are used in stadiums and other short course tracks. Saying short course RC trucks is simply a way to describe their design style and they are not any less durable and don’t have a shorter battery life than a typical RC truck. 

No matter whether you are planning on using these vehicles for racing or just bashing they are a great choice since  they imitate the full-size off-road racers. Recently, short course RC trucks have become incredibly popular and they are some of the most well known vehicles for RC racing. 

There are many reasons why these designs are so popular. 

For starters, they imitate the full-scale short course vehicles that race at outdoor tracks and stadiums all around the country. Besides the design of the vehicle, short course trucks are also exciting to race. A lot of short course designs are very similar to the top-tier 2-wheel-drive and 4-wheel-drive buggies that are at the  top of RC off-road designs so that is another reason for their popularity. 

Apart from just racing, RC short course trucks are also excellent for bashing anytime and anywhere. Also, because of their wide tires, they can run on a variety of surfaces. 

Their meaty bumpers and full-fender covered bodies help to keep the truck right side up when it knocks into other vehicles or curbs. This makes them a great choice for beginners and advanced racers alike which also helps boost their popularity. 

To see some of the best short course RC trucks (and some reasonably priced ones) click here

To see a comparison of four different RC short course trucks you can check out the video below. 

Traxxas Slash 2Wd Short Course Racing Truck, Red

If you love RC Trucks then you will love the 2WD or 4WD Traxxas Slash!

With a top speed of over 60 mph, you will love driving this RC vehicle!

What is a stadium RC truck? 

There are a lot of different types of RC cars on the market today and more and more types and models are being added all the time. While it used to just be cars and trucks there are now all sorts of different subtypes such as the Stadium RC trucks.

What exactly is a stadium RC truck though? 

A stadium RC truck is an RC vehicle that looks like a smaller version of the real life trucks that are used in stadium races. These RC vehicles don’t have to be used in stadiums, they are just named that because that is where the design comes from. 

Stadium RC vehicles can be good or bad to purchase depending on the brand and specs that they have as well as how you plan to use them. If you are planning on off-roading or climbing over large obstacles then these vehicles likely won’t work well since they don’t have much ground clearance. 

However, if you are planning on driving your Rc in the grass, dirt, or sand and love going fast then these models will likely work fine for you. You will of course want to check the specifics of the models that you are looking at and compare top speeds as well as other important information before deciding which model is best for you. 

Just because two different RC trucks look similar it doesn’t mean that they actually are the same or will work the same. In many cases toy grade RC cars and hobby grade RC cars will be similar in size but in performance they will be worlds apart. 

RC stadium truck vs short course truck 

If you have narrowed down your RC vehicle choice to a stadium truck and short course truck you likely will want to know exactly what the differences are between the two so you can make the best possible decision. 

Typically the only differences between these two models is the style, the tires, their size and their handling. They will normally have similar suspensions, motors, and drive train on both types of vehicles. 

The thing you will likely notice first about the two different models is the way they look. Short course trucks will often look more like a traditional truck than a stadium truck will. 

In regards to the handling, stadium trucks can make much sharper turns much more easily than short course trucks. Whether that is necessary or not depends on how you plan on using the RC vehicle.

The sizing is also different with most stadium trucks being smaller than short course trucks (although not always). Short course trucks will also normally have a longer wheelbase making them better for a variety of tougher terrains. 

Now that I have mentioned some differences between the two types of vehicles the next thing I want to discuss is which one is better. 

Of course each have different uses so they both have their pros and cons but I personally prefer the short course truck over the stadium truck as do many other people who are into the RC hobby. That isn’t to say that one is bad and one is good because both types have their place, I just prefer the short course models. 

What I would recommend anyone who is trying to decide between two models or types of vehicles do is go to a local hobby shop and put the two types or models side by side. 

Which one do you like the looks and size of? 

Which one do you like the specs of? 

When you get two items actually side by side it makes the decision much easier since you can compare them closely and not just by looking at two different pages on the Internet. 

Another thing that you can do is ask some friends to borrow either a stadium style truck or short course truck and try them out for yourself. Actually using the vehicles can have a large impact on how you feel about them so if at all possible try and use at least one of them if not both. 


I hope this article has been helpful in answering your questions about short course RC trucks. This is an incredibly popular segment of the RC car market and will likely continue to be going forward so you are likely to see many people using this style of RC vehicle. 

Of course no one can decide for you exactly which RC vehicle you should or shouldn’t purchase but a short course truck is so versatile that if you are planning on being in the RC hobby for any length of time at all it is likely one of the RC vehicles that you will want to have available for you to use on a regular basis. 

Some of the most popular short course RC trucks that are durable and not too expensive are: