5 Best 1/5 Scale RC Trucks

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RC cars, trucks, and buggies come in many sizes with varying capabilities. They can be low-cost or expensive, hobby-grade and life-like, or toy-grade and pretend. The point is there’s something for everyone at any level and for all budgets. This guide reviews five 1/5 scale RC hobby-grade beasts. These are gas and electric-powered models scaled down to one fifth the size of the original.

Most folks looking for 1/5 scale models are experienced hobbyists who know what they want. Keep reading this short introduction if you’re new to the world of large-scale off-road RC.

RR 1/5 Rampage Chimera
Electric/Gas: Gas-powered motor
Model Type: Rally Car
RTR, tuned exhaust, dual disk brakes, multi-terrain capable, racing cones.
Check Amazon
Best Value
Traxxas Pro Scale Desert Racer
Electric/Gas: Electric-powered
Model Type: Desert Racer
Easy to control, Pro-Scale™, extreme suspension travel, fast top speeds.
Check Amazon
Top Pick
Losi 1/5 Scale Desert Buggy
Electric/Gas: Electric-powered
Model Type: Desert Buggy
Waterproof electronics, flip top cage, LED light bar, MAXXIS Creepy Crawler tires.
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Why 1:5 Scale RC

Large scale RC or R/C vehicles are nothing new, but they’re getting better and more realistic. Fans of big models used to opt for 1/4 scale, but 1/5 seems to be the most sought after now. The reason is they’re slightly smaller and provide the ideal power-to-weight ratio. RC manufacturers create these huge models for off-road enthusiasts. They are people who love multi-terrain challenges and bashing.

Bashing is a word that describes racing off-road with few or no rules and regulations. It’s an aggressive style of competing that tests the vehicles and their drivers to the limits.

There are 6 types of RC off-road trucks, each with unique appeal.

  1. RC monster truck
  2. RC short course truck
  3. Stadium trucks
  4. Rock crawlers
  5. RC Buggy
  6. RC Truggy

#1 RC Monster Trucks

Monster trucks are as indestructible as R/C models get. No terrain is too tough for these beasts. RC’ers who choose vehicles from this category are into off-road bashing and mudding. Mudding is also known as mud racing, mud drags, mud bogging, and mud running. It all means the same thing.

#2 RC Short Course Trucks

RC short course trucks are fast gaining in popularity among aggressive racers. Their super-wide tires allow them to ride over multiple terrains with ease. These realistic scale models have beefy, full-fendered bodies and chunky bumpers. Their customized designs let them get more physical than other trucks. Short course vehicles are currently available in 1/8 and 1/10 scale versions.

#3 RC Stadium Trucks

An oversized buggy with a touch of monster is the best way to describe RC stadium trucks. They have long shocks, extended suspension arms, and big wheels. They became a popular alternative to traditional buggies because they’re easier to handle. You can find these vehicles in both 2WD and 4WD versions. Gas or electric-powered models exist in large scale, including 1:5.

#4 RC Rock Crawler

RC rock crawlers—crawl. That’s why it’s known as the snooze class. These are customized trucks designed to navigate rocky terrains. They have massive tires and long-travel suspension. Fans of this off-road pursuit are patient and persistent. Seriously, rock crawling is much harder than it sounds. Makers produce these highly-modified models as 4WD Toyotas, Jeeps, and others.

#5 RC Buggy

Makers of RC buggies base them on full-scale versions of the real-world vehicles. These are typically desert racers capable of moving across sandy terrains at high speeds. RC buggies come in both 2WD and 4WD versions. There’s a 1/5 scale 4WD ready to run (RTR) gas-powered buggy reviewed below. The main attraction of buggies is their ability to race on-road as well as off-road.

#6 RC Truggy

RC Truggies are a unique class of high-performing vehicles. The name is a portmanteau of truck and buggy, hence truggy. These are off-road racers defined by several unique features. They have a powerful engine at the front, a tube chassis, and an integrated race cage. Other features are oversized off-road tires, long-travel suspension, low gearing, and locking differentials.
OK, that sums up the types of off-road RC models and their unique appeal.

About My ‘1/5 Scale RC’ Guide

Large-scale RC is a niche market that’s growing in popularity. There’s now a decent range of 1/5 scale electric and gas-powered RC trucks and buggies to choose from. I selected the 5 here based on personal research and feedback from owners. I also looked at the opinions of industry experts before finalizing the shortlist. The first three are Best Budget, Best Value, and the Top Pick, in that order.

Soundbars Under $200 Comparison Table

Make and ModelElectric/GasModel TypePrice
Redcat Racing Rampage 1/5 XRGas-poweredRally CarCheck Price
Traxxas Unlimited Pro Scale DRElectric-poweredDesert RacerCheck Price
Losi 1/5 Scale 4ED DBXL-E RC DRElectric-poweredDesert BuggyCheck Price
Losi 1/5 K&N DBXL 4WD Gas RTR BuggyGas-poweredDesert BuggyCheck Price
Losi 1/5 Scale 5Ive-T 2.0 RC 4WD TruckGas-poweredShort Course TruckCheck Price

1. Redcat Racing Rampage 1/5 XR Rally | Best Budget

Redcat Racing Rampage 1/5 XR RallyView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.3/5

The Best Budget 1/5 RC model goes to the Redcat Racing Rampage XR rally car. It’s a gas-powered, large scale 4WD vehicle with a detailed body and incredible oomph.

  • Best feature 1: Hobby-grade metal components
  • Best feature 2: Detailed rally body
  • Plus points: RTR, tuned exhaust, dual disk brakes, multi-terrain capable, racing cones
  • Minus points: No reverse gear, restricted play options

RC 1/5 Rampage 1/5 XR Rally Highlights

Redcat used hobby-grade metal components in its Rampage XR rally car. Some of those include metal gears, a heavy-duty 4mm aluminum T6 chassis, and oil-filled aluminum bodied shocks. It’s the car for X-treme RC rally racers to consider if they can handle the powerful 2-stroke 30cc gasoline engine. Other highlights are the tuned exhaust, dual disk brakes, and the 500cc fuel tank capacity.

The suspension is fully adjustable, and the car drives well over multiple terrains. The model arrives ready-to-run (RTR), and includes 4 racing cones, a battery, and a charger in the box.

The Not So Good

There isn’t a reverse gear with the Rampage XR rally car. That’s not unusual with most large-scale, gas models, but it’s still a disappointment. This car is big, and because it’s gas-powered, it makes a lot more noise than electric models. Size and sounds are half the appeal, of course. But it does require plenty of space, and there are restrictions on where you can and can’t drive this beast.

View on Amazon

Tech Specs
Model type: Rally racing car
Engine: Gas 30cc HY 2 Stroke
Model Scale: 1/5
Power Source: 2-stroke fuel
Fuel Tank Capacity: 500cc
Transmission: Single speed
Drive System: 4WD
Dimensions: 33.2 x 19 x 12”
Shipping Weight: 39.8 lbs.
Max Speed: 32 mph (5o km/h)
Battery: 6V battery w/ charger
The Pros
Fast and powerful
30cc HY gas engine
Multi-terrain capable
Metal components
Detailed rally body
Ready to Run (RTR)
Large capacity fuel tank
Tuned exhaust
Independent suspension
Dual disk brakes
4 racing cones
The Cons
No reverse gear

2. Traxxas Unlimited RC Desert Racer | Best Value

Traxxas Unlimited RC Desert RacerView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.7/5

Best Budget goes to the pro scale 4X4 Traxxas Unlimited Desert Racer. It’s a true-to-scale RC car engineered around its inverted tub chassis and solid 4-link rear axle.

  • Best feature 1: Real truck dynamics
  • Best feature 2: Inverted tub chassis
  • Plus points: Easy to control, Pro-Scale™, extreme suspension travel, fast top speeds
  • Minus points: Needs space, battery & charger not included

Traxxas Unlimited Pro Scale Highlights

The spec sheet for the Traxxas Unlimited Desert Racer makes an impressive read. The Pro-Scale™ performance and real truck dynamics provide racers with serious fun. Appearance-wise there’s the Pro-Scale body, molded details, BFGoodrich® tires & wheels, and a detailed interior. The vehicle has a rugged tube cage, realistic side plates, and functional spares.

The suspension system is equally impressive. The model has heavy-duty front suspension and extreme suspension travel. There are also realistic sway bars and suspension limiter straps. You can expect to reach speeds of to 50+ mph with this beast thanks to its 6S power. The Unlimited Desert Racer is surprisingly easy to control and so much fun to drive.

The Not So Good

The Traxxas Unlimited RC Desert Racer is a big beast and needs plenty of open space. It’s not quite a 1/5 scale, but it is large. Experienced RC’ers could handle it in smaller areas, but that would soon get boring. The other negative is that you must buy batteries and charger as extras.

View on Amazon

Tech Specs
Model type: Desert Racer
Engine: Electric 2200kV
Drive System: Shaft driven 4WD
Model Scale: Pro scale
Power Source: Electric
Brake Type: Electronic
Speed Control: Velineon® VXL-6s
Dimensions: 27.3 x 13.6 x 10.3”
Product Weight: 13.4 lbs.
Max Speed: 50+ mph
Battery: 2x 3S (not included)
Running time: 30+ minutes
Charging time: Depends on charger
The Pros
Real truck dynamics
Inverted tub chassis
Easy to control
Molded body details
Detailed interior
Realistic side plates
BFGoodrich® tires/wheels
Rugged tube cage
Extreme suspension travel
Fast top speeds
Functional spares
The Cons
Needs lots of space
Battery & charger not included

3. Losi 1/5 4ED DBXL-E RC Desert Buggy | Top Pick

Losi 1/5 4ED DBXL-E RC Desert BuggyView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.8/5

Losi makes the Top Pick with its 1/5 scale ED DBXL-E RC desert buggy. It’s a fearless large-sized electric basher. This model guarantees to tear up wet or dry terrains with speeds of 50+ mph.

  • Best feature 1: 1/5 large scale, fearless basher
  • Best feature 2: Dynamite® 800Kv brushless power system
  • Plus points: Waterproof electronics, flip top cage, LED light bar, MAXXIS Creepy Crawler tires
  • Minus points: Expensive, batteries and charger not included

XL-E RC Desert Buggy Highlights

The Losi 1/5 scale XL-E RC desert buggy is another high-powered electric basher. It provides all the adrenaline-pumping fun and vivacity of a gas model, but without the mess. The car is also much easier to drive and maintain than a gas equivalent. The Dynamite® power system includes an 800Kv brushless motor along with a 1/5 8S Dynamite Fuze™ brushless ESC. All electronics are waterproofed.

The flip top cage is worth mention. It gives drivers quick, easy access to batteries, and provides full roll-cage protection. This model comes equipped with Genuine MAXXIS creepy crawler tires for enhanced traction and control. Night racing is possible thanks to the bright, realistic LED light bar.

The Not So Good

It’s an expensive 1/5 scale buggy, but you get what you pay for. Also, the battery and charger are extras, so they add further to the cost. You need 2 x 11.1V LiPos, 5000mAh 3S, or 14. 8V 5000mAh 4S 50C. The charger should be a quality 3–4 cell balance device with EC5.

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Tech Specs
Model type: Desert Buggy
Engine: Non-sensored brushless
Drive System: 4WD
Model Scale: 1:5
Power Source: Electric
Speed Control: 8S Fuze Brushless ESC
Dimensions: 27.3 x 13.6 x 10.3”
Product Weight: 13.4 lbs.
Max Speed: 50+ mph
Battery: 11.1V 5000mAh 3S or 14.8V 5000mAh 4S 50C LiPo (not included)
Running time: 30+ minutes
Charging time: Depends on charger
The Pros
Large scale, fearless basher
Crash-resistant build
Flip top cage
Waterproof electronics
Dynamite® 800Kv power
LED light bar
MAXXIS Creepy Crawler tires
Aluminum center differential
Updated body panels
Updated driver interior
The Cons
Expensive model
Battery & charger not included

4. Losi 1/5 Scale K&N DBXL 4WD Gas RTR Buggy

Losi 1/5 Scale K&N DBXL 4WD Gas RTR BuggyView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.4/5

Losi says its 1/5 Scale K&N XL 4WD gas-powered desert buggy is unstoppable, but are they right? It’s unlikely, but this large-scale beast is built to impress all the same.

  • Best feature 1: Withstands aggressive off-road racing
  • Best feature 2: Injection-molded roll cage
  • Plus points: 23cc gas engine, K&N air filter, 40 minutes on a full tank, aluminum chassis
  • Minus points: Engine needs breaking in, average servos, inadequate front bumper

Losi 1/5 Scale Gas RTR Buggy Highlights

Losi built its 1/5 Scale K&N XL gasoline desert buggy to withstand aggressive off-road racing. It has a protective, injection-molded roll cage and a multi-terrain capable 4WD drivetrain. The model uses a genuine K&N air filter and sports a legit, licensed K&N body. Its powerful 23cc gas engine will keep this beast going for a good 40 minutes with its 74cc fuel tank.

There are a few other feature highlights worth mention. The vehicle uses a 4mm aluminum chassis, independent suspension system, and dual disk brakes. It also has oil-filled, coil-over shocks, sealed differentials, and rugged all-terrain tires.

The items needed to complete are:

  • Suitable battery charger
  • 87–93 octane gas
  • 2-cycle oil
  • Gas can

The Not So Good

It’s not hard to run a new engine in, and it doesn’t take long. Problems occur when impatient novice users don’t follow the directions. Take heed if you’re new to all this. Overall, the components are of decent quality aside from the servos. The throttle and steering servos don’t seem to last very long. My advice would be to have upgrades ready. Finally, the overly narrow front bumper is inadequate.

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Tech Specs
Model type: Desert Buggy
Engine: 23cc gasoline w/ pull start
Drive System: 4WD
Model Scale: 1:5
Power Source: Octane gas, 2-cycle oil
Dimensions: 230.8 x 19.1 x 12.2”
Product Weight: 29 lbs.
Max Speed: 50+ mph w/ optional gearing
Battery: 6V 1700mAh Ni-MH 5-Cell Flat Receiver Pack
Running time: 30+ minutes
Charging time: Depends on charger
Transmitter: Spectrum DX2E
The Pros
Aggressive off-road racer
Realistic sounds
Injection-molded roll cage
Powerful gas engine
K&N air filter
K&N body (officially licensed)
40 minutes run time on a full tank
4mm aluminum chassis
Independent suspension system
Dual disk brakes
Oil-filled, coil-over shocks
Sealed differentials
Rugged all-terrain tires
The Cons
Engine needs breaking in
Low-average quality servos
Inadequate front bumper

5. Losi 1/5 Scale 5Ive-T 2.0 RC Short Course Truck

Losi 1/5 Scale 5Ive-T 2.0 RC Short Course TruckView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.6/5

Last on the list of 1/5 scale RC cars and trucks is another quality model by Losi. Meet the 5Ive-T 2.0 4WD RC short course, gas-powered vehicle with Bind-N-Drive technology.

  • Best feature 1: Bind-N-Drive technology
  • Best feature 2: Powerful Zenoah G320 32cc engine
  • Plus points: Large capacity fuel tank, plethora of updates/upgrades on the predecessor
  • Minus points: New model with little user feedback

Losi 1/5 RC Short Course Truck Highlights

Bind-N-Drive is a major attraction for a lot of serious RC’ers. It means you can choose a transmitter that best matches your unique style of driving. The 5Ive-T 2.0 4WD short course truck has a powerful Zenoah G320 32cc engine fueled by a large capacity 800cc tank. The model’s chassis layout reduces the angle of the front drive shaft. That results in more durability and enhanced 4WD balance.

This model boasts a bunch of feature enhancements on its predecessor. Losi has updated its front hood and upgraded the heavy-duty brakes. The shock bodies and hard anodized bleeder caps have also seen improvements. Others include the bar style steering rack and center differential orientation.

The items needed to complete are:

  • 2S LiPo battery for receiver
  • Suitable battery charger
  • DSMR compatible transmitter (Tx)
  • 87–92 octane gas
  • 2-cycle oil
  • Ratio Rite measuring cup

The Not So Good

This is a new model, and that means there’s little user feedback at the time of writing. That won’t bother loyal fans of Losi RC, but novice buyers like to see what others say before committing.

View on Amazon

Tech Specs
Model type: Short Course Truck
Engine: Genuine Zenoah G320 32cc
Drive System: 4WD
Model Scale: 1:5
Power Source: Octane gas, 2-cycle oil
Dimensions: 238 x 12.2 x 12.2
Product Weight: 25.2 lbs.
Battery: 2S LiPo for receiver (not included)
Charging time: Depends on charger
Transmitter: DSMR Tx (not included)
The Pros
Updated/upgraded R/C truck
Powerful gas engine
Large capacity fuel tank
Revised chassis layout
Updated front hood
Upgraded heavy-duty brakes
Upgraded anodized bleeder caps
Improved bar style steering rack
Improved differential orientation
Innovative clutch mount
Robust throttle servo brace
The Cons
Newly updated/upgraded model with very little user feedback
0/50 ratings