Step By Step Guide On How To Build An RC Car Track
Ok, so you have your own RC car and you’ve driven it around on the road or at a field – but now you want to put it to the test – right? This guide will teach you how to build your own RC car track. Tracks are built in various sizes which include standard, medium and wide. But, when it comes to building your own RC track, the sizes, shapes and variations are really up to you – it’s your track – build it the way you want!
So first thing’s first. When it comes to building your own RC car track, make sure to take your budget into consideration. You also need to determine what type of track you really want. So, ask yourself this question: Do I want a pro race track or do I want something casual for at home use? If you said pro- you’ll be in for a bigger, more expensive and time consuming project. If you said casual, which most people are, then this task won’t be too difficult for you.
Building An At-Home RC Car Race Track
Plan Your Race Area
Ok, lets get started. The best way to go about doing this is to build it in your garage, driveway, basement or backyard. I recommend leaving it to the basement or garage because then you won’t have to worry about rain, snow, mud and all that other grossness that will come on your track from nasty weather (unless you live in Hawaii of course). The maintenance factor will also be easier in a covered area, so anything undercover would be best.
Prepare Yourself For Fun!
Surface Area – Don’t Look Over This Step
Before you even get on to constructing your masterpiece, you’ll need to take a look at the floor conditions. Depending on where you want to have your race track, you’ll need to make sure that the surface you’re going to build on is durable and flat. If it’s not, you might have to make some changes to the original surface – like pouring concrete to make the surface flat. Pouring concrete doesn’t have to be a scary word for those of you who can’t even build a birdhouse – just go down to your local hardware store and ask for some help!
I recommend making the surface to your track carpet. A thin, low-friction carpet is best (not the kind that you keep in your living room!). You can find this at a local shop that sells carpet.
Design It For You!
Grab yourself some graph paper here so you do it right from the beginning. Don’t just do this on a whim. Measure out the space you’re going to build in with a measuring tape – then transfer that on to your graph paper. If you only have 16 feet by 16 feet to work in, make sure that on your graph paper you properly measure out each foot so that you aren’t over/under sizing your track.
On To The Design
Ok, so there’s no real set rule on how your track should look. No matter what anyone tells you, it’s your track – make it look however you want it to look. Make turns wherever you want – have some fun and be creative. Just keep in mind this: make sure you leave enough room for your RC to turn corners, etc. If you’re planning on racing a couple RC cars on it, then you’ll need at least 4 to 7 feet of space from wall to wall (lane width). If you draw it out on your graph paper, with the right measurements, there’s no reason why you can’t have the track designed the way you want.
Depending on the size of your vehicle, you’ll need to make your track accordingly. If you have a 1/5th-1/10th scale RC car or truck - these tracks below generally aren’t suitable for your vehicle – you’ll need more space, and a more ‘custom’ design on your part.
- Standard - These tracks have 20 inch lanes, and are more suitable for micro RC cars & trucks (about 1/24th scale)
- Medium - These tracks have 33 inch lanes, also for smaller RC vehicles. Usually fits into a 12 x 14 foot space if you make it into an oval shape.
- Wide - These tracks have about 4 feet lanes (44 inches) – better for vehicles a little bigger than usual. This is probably your best bet size (or bigger, depending on the size of your vehicle).
These are just sizes that other people use to build their tracks. Like I said, you don’t have to follow these sizes, just make sure that you build lanes and tracks big enough for whatever type of vehicle you have.
Constructing Your Masterpiece – Putting Your Design To Life
Ok, this is not that difficult – don’t stress! If you’ve chosen to use concrete, then I’m assuming you’ve already laid it over the old surface and is now flat and smooth. All you need to do now is make the outline of your track by using garden hose (thicker than just regular house hold garden hose). It’s really as easy as that! Just super glue the hose to the concrete, and voila – an easy- low cost – RC car track! Just make sure you get a hot air glue remover for when you want to remove the hose from the ground. If you don’t want to use garden hose, you can also use plastic piping or wood for an outline.
Using Carpet/Other Surfaces
So you don’t want to use concrete and re-lay a new floor? No problem! Here’s what you’ll need:
- Carpet (low-friction, thin)
- Garden Hose (thicker than usual), Plastic Piping, or Wood
Cut individual pieces of plywood to the shape of your RC track. Look at your design, and measure out the width, shape and length of your pieces. I recommend cutting out the straight-aways, corners and jumps all separately (make sure they are properly measured). Then, super glue all the pieces of plywood together, basically creating the base of your entire RC track.
Next, roll out your carpet. Cut your carpet to the size and shape of the plywood base. Using a staple gun, staple the edges of the carpet to the plywood. Make sure you pull real tight on the carpet so there’s no rifts or lines in the carpet.
After you’ve done that, simply out line the edges of the plywood with plastic piping or garden hose (or wood) by gluing them to the sides of the plywood. Now your RC cars wont go flying off the track. I recommend using garden hose because it will be soft on your RC car. If you use wood or plastic piping, you can outline the insides with a grassy mat material (like fake golf grass mats) or something soft so that you keep the front and sides of your RCs protected.
Total Supplies Needed
- Graph Paper + Pencil
- Measuring Tape
- Table Saw (or hand saw)
- Staple Gun (or industrial hand stapler)
- Concrete OR Plywood and Carpet
- Garden Hose / Plastic Piping / Wood
- Super Glue / Industrial strength glue
If you follow these steps – they don’t have to be exact. Use common sense, go down to a hardware store and ask for help if you need it! Have fun racing on your new at-home RC car track track!
Also see: RC Nitro Cars
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