Batteries are a necessary evil in most electric radio-controlled vehicle activities, and at some point, you are going to need to come to terms with batteries for your RC vehicle. Traxxas is one of the major producers of batteries for the radio-controlled hobby sector, and the brand has become a common name in the industry. But are Traxxas batteries for your RC vehicle worth the money?
Traxxas RC vehicle batteries and chargers are worth the money if you are a beginner in the RC hobby. Once you have been involved in the hobby for a while, you will be looking for ways of cutting the cost of battery replacements. Other batteries and chargers are cheaper but more complicated.
If you are just getting into the electric RC world, or even if you have been involved in it for a while, you will see some queries being raised about the Traxxas batteries, such as why they are so expensive, are they worth the extra cost and is there any benefit to using these batteries over any other brand?
Are Traxxas Batteries Worth It?
Traxxas is a company that does not only supply batteries to the RC community; it is only a small part of their involvement in the industry. They also produce radio-controlled vehicles such as off-road vehicles, on-road vehicles, RC boats, and drones.
Traxxas also manufacture parts and accessories for all these RC models. They introduced their own branded batteries for their RC models, and many model-producing companies who don’t produce their own batteries started making their models compatible with the Traxxas batteries or with adapters for the batteries.
The popularity of the Traxxas RC vehicles led to popularity in the Traxxas branded batteries, but are these batteries worth the money that you pay for them?
Are these batteries better than other batteries available in the market for RC vehicles, or has Traxxas simply made use of some marketing advantages to sell their batteries?
Why Are Traxxas Batteries So Expensive?
Traxxas batteries have a reputation in the RC community for being expensive, actually substantially more expensive than other brands. Is this additional expense warranted, and do you get better value for your money buying a Traxxas battery?
If you do some research in the RC community, you will find many mixed results with the use of Traxxas batteries, and there is some controversy around the topic.
Many RC vehicle operators have started questioning the value of the Traxxas batteries for a number of reasons.
- They have not had good experiences with Traxxas batteries.
- Traxxas batteries are significantly more expensive.
- Traxxas has proprietary connections for its batteries and chargers.
- The batteries do not offer any significant performance enhancements.
The reason that Traxxas batteries are significantly more expensive is because of their marketing and branding strategies and also because they lock people into using their battery products when they buy Traxxas RC vehicles that only use their batteries.
Traxxas has also put a significant amount of development into their batteries and chargers, especially to simplify the charging of LiPo batteries which are quite substantially more complicated and difficult to maintain correctly than the NiMH batteries.
This research and development costs money, and the costs for the development of the batteries, connectors, and chargers are passed on to the end consumer, you, the RC vehicle operator.
Traxxas batteries can be up to 2.5 times more expensive than other batteries, which is a significant difference. At some point, you may decide that the simplification of the battery system is not worth the additional expense of the equipment.
How Long Does A Traxxas Battery Last?
This is a question where there is some controversy over the topic. Some people have had good performance and longevity of the Traxxas batteries and report that the batteries have worked well for around 4 years.
This is a good lifespan for an RC vehicle battery that gets repeatedly drained and charged and is placed under high stress during use.
Many other RC vehicle operators report that the Traxxas batteries do not last long, and their lifespan is unacceptably short in comparison to other batteries. Some have reported that the batteries puff up and become unusable after a few short months of use.
Of course, this information is subjective, and there is no way of knowing the full conditions that these batteries have been used in, which may have contributed to their early demise.
Are Traxxas Batteries Better Than Other Batteries?
Some people in the RC community that have not had a problem using the Traxxas batteries have indicated that while they are a decent quality product, they do not offer any significant advantages either. They do not offer any longer duration, performance enhancement, or better longevity of the batteries over cheaper batteries.
A significant number of people in the RC community have indicated that they have had a poor experience with the Traxxas batteries and that the batteries tend to puff up after a short period of use, have difficulty charging, and in many cases are no longer chargeable after a short lifespan.
While much of the reposts about bad experiences with the Traxxas batteries may be due to user error, or people not taking proper care of their batteries or managing their batteries properly, these user errors cannot account for all the problems that RC operators experience with the batteries.
From many of the reports from RC users, we can establish that the batteries themselves do not offer any performance enhancements over other batteries that have the same chemical composition and the same ratings as the Traxxas batteries.
The advantage that Traxxas batteries and chargers do offer is a simplification of the charging process, especially for the LiPo batteries that are notoriously difficult and complicated to use and charge.
The Traxxas iD system allows their chargers to identify the type of battery plugged into the charger and the charger will run optimized charging programs specific to the type of battery connected to the charger.
What this has done is simplify the charging process, and this makes it easier for people who are new to RC vehicle operation to operate and charge the batteries. However, you will be paying a premium price for the chargers and the batteries for this convenience with no noticeable benefit in the performance of the battery in your RC vehicle.
Should You Use Traxxas Batteries?
This is a question that is difficult to answer and would probably depend on your experience in the RC hobby.
If you are a beginner and you do not understand the battery technology that is used in the operation of RC vehicles, then it may be well worth your will to use Traxxas batteries and chargers and their proprietary technology. This is because it will simplify the battery charging, maintenance, and management.
Once you become more familiar with the RC vehicle battery technology and you begin spending money replacing batteries, you may begin to question whether the expense of these batteries and chargers are warranted.
Other LiPo battery charging systems are available for the RC market, but they are significantly more complicated to operate and understand. However, once you have gained some experience with the technology, you will be more comfortable with the operation of these systems at a fraction of the cost.
NiMH batteries can last for thousands of recharges, but LiPO batteries have a shorter lifespan of around 100 to 200 cycles, so you will be replacing these batteries more frequently.
Most people who have been involved with RC vehicles will look at saving costs in this area and, thus, will start questioning the additional cost of Traxxas batteries and will seek out cheaper alternatives. At this point, they will probably have the knowledge and understanding of the battery technology to use the other brands of batteries and chargers that are more complicated.
Batteries, their care, charging, and maintenance are an integral part of RC vehicle operation. You will need to become knowledgeable in this technology to fully understand your options when it comes to your choices for batteries and chargers for your RC vehicle.
As a beginner, the Traxxas batteries are a great option because they are easier to use, charge and manage. Once you have some experience in the hobby, you can begin to explore alternative brands of batteries and chargers to power your RC vehicle.
Until you have this understanding, you would probably do better to keep the process and the management of the batteries simple with the Traxxas system. It could work out cheaper than damaging other batteries with more complicated charging processes.