All RC enthusiasts look forward to the rush of adrenaline and the thrill of racing their latest RC car! Whether you buy an all-terrain RC car or a super-slick racing RC car, the thrill and expectation are the same!
RC cars can run on water if the conditions are right and the correct type of RC car is used. The RC car must be waterproof and capable of achieving the right speeds needed to skim across the water. Aftermarket accessories are necessary to allow the RC car to drive on water.
Many RC enthusiasts buy a particular RC car to perform certain functions according to their specific interests. An off-road enthusiast will buy an off-road RC car, while a speed freak might buy a racing RC car. Imagine what you could do with an all-terrain RC car capable of not only driving on land but also on the water!
Can RC Cars Safely Run On Water?
Some RC cars are waterproof, but that does not necessarily mean that you can drive your RC car through bodies of water. Waterproof simply implies that the scale-down model of the original vehicle should be able to negotiate the terrain that the life-sized vehicle could. So, if a life-sized car can handle a water-crossing, so too should the RC version without suffering any damages.
Generally, RC cars should be safe to run through bodies of water that reach up to the center of the wheel hubs without causing any damage to the vehicle. Only certain parts of the car are designed to be waterproof and not the entire body – never submerge your RC car unless it is entirely waterproof!
If you will use your RC car as an all-terrain vehicle, check that it has waterproof electronics first.
A quick internet search reveals many videos of RC enthusiasts driving their RC cars over pools and ponds, so it can be done! Most of these RC cars have been customized to allow them to achieve the high speeds necessary to skim over the top of the water, and most of them have been wholly waterproofed to enable them to do so without suffering any damage.
We provide our top RC cars for driving over water later on In this article.
Can RC Cars Get Wet?
If your RC car has waterproof electronics, it can get wet up to a point. Splashing through puddles is ok and won’t harm the RC car, but don’t try and drive it through a pond as it will be ruined.
Please see my article If you want to know how wet RC cars can get
Although most electrical components on an RC car are waterproofed, other parts aren’t. If you are going to experiment with your RC car and are planning on driving it over or through water, try these methods to waterproof the electrical components first and to prevent your RC car from coming to a sudden halt in the middle of the water and sinking below the surface:
- Place the ESC inside a balloon with the cables exiting from the mouth. Seal the mouth of the balloon with zip ties or electrical tape.
- Cover the ESC and the servo with rubber paint.
- Tape receivers and rectangular components with electrical tape, but leave the cables out.
- Cover the servo gears below the top case with Vaseline
- Protect the bearings with bearing oil and all the other metal parts with WD40 oil.
After driving your RC car through wet conditions, dry off the car as quickly as possible to remove all the accumulated dirt and to prevent rust from forming. If you can, use a brush and compressed air to remove all the dirt.
Always rub WD40 oil over the metal parts after drying the RC car off. Proper maintenance will ensure that your RC car survives to drive again!
Related post: How To Waterproof An RC Truck: Step By Step
How Fast Does An RC Car Have To Go To Drive On Water?
Many RC Car enthusiasts have often considered driving their RC cars over water but are unsure of the outcome. Is it possible to drive an RC car on water, and what speeds would the RC car need to achieve to get the job done?
For an RC car to drive on the water, it needs to build up speed. The best speed to even attempt driving your RC car across any body of water is 20 kph (12.4 mph). Any faster and the car could lose control, any slower and it won’t skim over the water, and it will sink!
The size and bodyweight of the RC car should be considered before you attempt to drive it on the water. Ensure that you have the right-sized engine to produce the power that you need to drive your RC car over the water!
Do Nitro RC Cars Handle Water Better Than Electric RC Cars?
Brushed motors are waterproof and will easily survive wet conditions without long-term damage. The bushings will need to be lubricated every time after the motor is used in wet conditions, and the brushes may wear down quickly, but overall, a brushed motor is better for using in wet conditions.
Please see my article: Can A Brushed RC Motor Get Wet?
Brushless motors should not be used in extremely wet conditions, even if they are labeled as waterproof! Brushless motors use stainless steel shielded bearings that are not watertight or even water-resistant and are only designed to keep debris out.
Sensorless motors should not come into contact with water unless you are adept at performing disassembly and maintenance of the motor.
Sensored brushless motors are not waterproof due to the sensors and should not come into contact with water.
Nitro RC cars can be used in wet conditions but generally require additional modifications to improve their resistance to water.
You might want to check out my article: Can A Nitro RC Car Be Run In The Rain?
Nitro RC cars are not as resistant to water as electric models since the moisture can get into the sparking mechanisms and be sucked into the motor’s exhaust, causing damage to the engine.
Related post: Can Nitro RC Cars Run In Cold Weather?
Which RC Cars Can Run On Water?
Now that we know that some RC Cars can safely run on the water, let’s find out if there are any that you can buy from a supplier and which models they are.
1. Traxxas Slash 4X4 RC Truck
The Traxxas 4 x 4 RC Truck is equipped with a Velineon brushless power system. This allows a high speed of 60 mph (96 kph), which is more than enough speed for skimming over the water.
Buy the aftermarket paddle tires, fit high-speed gearing and a Power Cell3s LiPo battery, and run this RC car out over the open water!
(All the above links take you to Amazon)
Watch this incredible video below on what maneuvers the Traxxas Slash is capable of performing!
2. Traxxas X-MAXX
The Traxxas X-MAXX ultimate monster truck is engineered to conquer the most extreme terrain. With maximum speeds of 50 mph (80 kph), this monster truck is engineered to be the world’s toughest ready-to-drive monster truck!
Please check out my detailed review of the Traxxas X-Maxx
The 1275kv sensorless, brushless motor provides all the 8S power that this beast needs to perform at its best every time!
Check out the video below to see how this masterpiece of engineering performs on the water:
Before attempting to operate your RC car out on the water, check your owner’s manual first to confirm that your model has waterproof electronics.
While your modified RC car might be able to skim across the water, remember, it is not an amphibious vehicle, and it cannot swim!
Owning and driving an entirely waterproof RC car allows the RC enthusiast to get more enjoyment and thrills while enjoying this incredible hobby and constantly challenging their RC car racing skills.