RC Car for kids - 1/18 scale "Sandy Land" Review - - 2CoolFishing
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Old 07-07-2016, 10:30 AM   #1
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RC Car for kids - 1/18 scale "Sandy Land" Review -

I posted this up on one of my RC car forums, then some of ya'll may want to see it too. there have been a few threads about "want an RC car for my kid", this one may be a good fit without spending a few hundred dollars...

Also, those of you that know me know that I am into hobby grade cars. This little truck is not quite up to "hobby grade" but it is much better than the toy grade cars you would get from Walmart and other big box stores... Anyway, on with the review -

I recently received a PXtoys Sandy Land 1/18 4wd Monster Truck. So far, I am still in the “getting to know the truck” stage, so this review will be more of a First Look. I will try to update this post as I get drive time on the truck. BangGood.com sent me this truck as a review sample. Most of the below was written for the BangGood review, before I realized they only can take 500 words… LOL
Truck can be found here

History - After I finally got my 1/16 sct running right, and I started having a lot of fun with the small truck, I also started to realize how limited I am when running my big RC’s around the yard. Most of my RC’s are 1/10 or 1/8 scale, and very fast. I have a lot of fun with them, but need a lot of room to let them “stretch their legs”. Running them in my yard is a bit frustrating, because they are simply too fast. That 1/16 sct, though, seemed about right. This leads me to think I need to expand my collection of cars in the 1/18 and 1/16 size range. This leads me to the Sandy Land. When I first looked at the Sandy Land, I was not sure if it would fall in the Hobby grade, or Toy grade, but decided to jump anyways…

Unboxing –

The package arrived in what I have learned is typical for a lot of Chinese postage – Badly smashed looking.

Opening the box, though, was good news – no damage.

The Sandy Land is a 1/18 scale Monster Truck. Compared to my other models, this make it quite small, and I was concerned about its ability to run off-road and in the grass (more on this later).

The motor is a 380 sized, brushed motor – which is a bit larger than most ‘toy grade’ cars of this size. The truck can put that power to use, though, with its 4wd, and big monster truck style tires. Speaking of the tires, they are kind of a ’combo’ tire – they have the traditional monster truck chevron pattern, but then it has small pins on the top of the chevrons – this give it great bite running in grass and dirt. The tire compound seems a bit hard, so hopefully they will last a while. Also, they came out of the box with a bit of a flat spot on the bottom of all for tires – probably from sitting in a hot warehouse for who knows how long. However, after a few minutes of running, the tires rounded out fine. Suspension is 4 wheel independent, with soft spring shocks. The truck takes bumps well, but gets a bit bouncy at times – expected with the spring shocks.

Driving – With the 380 motor, and 4wd, this truck really shoots off the line! Hit the gas on dirt, and you get some nice wheel spin, and rooster tails of flying dirt – the kids love that! It gets to its max speed of about 17 mph (on pavement) pretty quick. Trying fast turns on pavement will make the truck roll over almost every time, so either slow down, or make wide turns. Brakes work solid – the truck will almost lift the rear wheels. Once the truck is stopped, cycling from brake to neutral back to brakes will engage reverse, at a reduced power. As for running in grass – with the big monster truck style tires, it did OK in my un-mowed yard – my grass is a bit thin from the heat, but it is as tall or taller than the truck. Still the truck had no issues plowing thru. After running the little motor is quite hot, so be careful switching the power off. As far as issues with my first run – there were two minor issues – one, a steering link popped off (easy to pop back on)

Second was a front arm overextended and jammed up one of the dog bones. Again, easy fix, just rotate the wheel till it popped back into the drive cup. The dogbane is captured in the diff-side drive cup, so hopefully there will be no issue with losing the dog bones.

Electronics – The truck comes with a 2.4ghz pistol grip style radio. It is a pretty light weight unit – used 3 AA batteries, on-off switch, on-off-bind light, and had a steering trim wheel. Pretty simple radio. The Antenna is only about an inch long, and feels a bit fragile, I feel like I will need to be careful with it. The steering wheel has a thin, firm, foam ring around the wheel.

As with all 2.4ghz radios, there is not a “frequency” that matches the car, rather you must “bind” the radio to the car. There was no instructions on this, but it was not hard to figure out. 1st turn on car (Car will show a fast blinking led) 2 – turn on radio (radio light will blink). 3 – wait a few second, car will beep, and both radio and car light will go solid on. If you want to run more than one car at a time, be sure to give time to bind them separately, or you will end up with one radio controlling all the cars. In the truck, there is a combo receiver and ESC unit, with a build in switch, and a tiny 1cm/1/2” antenna.

Once the battery gets low, the Electric Speed Controller (ESC) goes into LVC mode – Low Voltage Cut-off – to protect the Lipo battery. If the truck stops running, and the LED on the radio box is showing a slow blink, that is LVC, time to charge the battery. Steering is controlled with a tiny micro-size servo, with a servo-saver built into the steering bell crank system. Note - the Servo is a 5-wire.

The included battery is a 2-cell Lipo, 850mah, and runs the truck for quite a while. My first run was on the ‘storage charge’ from the factory – about 3.9v per cell, or around 60-67% charged, and the truck ran for 10+ minutes. I plan on getting a proper run time measurement and reporting back. The wires on the balance plug (the 3 wire plug) are much thicker than normal, but I think that is because the included charger uses the balance plug to charge the battery. No 28g wire there, it looks like 18g or so…

Drive train – I have not opened it up yet, but from looking at the outside, this is what I can tell – it has front and rear diffs. In the center, it appears to be locked. The drive shaft to the front and the dog bones look like nickel-plated steel. Drive cups on the diff side are plastic, steel on the wheel side. I will, at a later date, open the front and rear gear box to get a look at the diffs and pinion spur, but that will wait till my next update.

Notice in this last picture – the shock, - it has a slot in it! A bit of a different shock design. It works, though. Also note, on the wheel hub, the bronze bushing/bearing. I also noticed, in the spare parts list on line, the diff shows bronze bushings. For a hobby grade kit, this is a negative, not having ball bearings. However, if you compare to toy grade kits, they will have plastic bushings, so the bronze is an upgrade. Also, I feel like the target market for this truck is a first RC car kid – they will not want to maintain ball bearings, so the bronze bushings are a great low-maintenance option that will last a long time. As I tear into this truck, I will verify if it has bronze bushings throughout.

Negatives – No Paperwork! No instructions on how to bind the radio to the truck. No info on LVC mode. No instructions on proper care of Lipos, or warning that they can catch fire if abused.

Overall, so far, I like this truck, and so does my 6yo girl. It is a great speed for small areas – fast enough to be fun and get a little wild, but slow enough to not outrun a smallish play area. Compared to my bigger hobby cars, it does seem a bit toy-ish, but compared to the toy grade RC’s my kids have had from Wal-mart or Radio-shack, this truck is leaps and bounds better. Fast. Proportional steering and throttle. Real brakes! And my girl likes that is has a lexan body with body clips “just like daddy’s big toy cars” At around $50, it sits between the low end hobby grade cars ($100) and the Wal-mart toys ($30). For a small kid, I think it would make a great first car.

I will continue to test this truck (read: play) and report back if I find anything new.

Y’all have fun!
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Old 07-12-2016, 06:15 PM   #2
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Wow good write up. Thanks for the info was looking at getting something like this for my son.
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