The WPL C24 Waterproof 1/16 2.4G 4WD Crawler RTR Truck Is a highly realistic 1/16 scale radio “crawler” RC truck. I considered the original release my best bang for buck crawler owing to it's price, capability and scale look. This new release from WPL is being touted as waterproof, something that sets it apart from the standard edition. If this is true, this will really add to the kind of heavy off-roading courses you can run with these low speed powerful trucks.
If you are not already familiar with crawlers, they are a subset of RC cars that run at much slower speeds with a lot more torque and rather than travelling around tracks at speed, they are design for traversing rough terrain (like a full sale 4x4) with a scale look. Although the WPL C24 Waterproof has a fairly basic plastic build in order to achieve it's relatively low price point, there is a massive amount of upgrades available - everything from wheel weights for more grip to metal 2 speed gearboxes to larger diffs and of course grippier tyres. As you'll see from my review that follows though you'll realise that this truck performs great out of the box as is and will give you a great feel for crawling in all conditions (including water) with a minimal outlay.
From the car point of view it is the Ready to run vehicle with all electronics installed and ready to go. The bulk of the plastic pieces are mouldings to fit to the car to make it more scale realistic. There are a few extra plastic driveline and suspension pieces but nothing too exciting
A closer look at the truck
Overall the scale side of this is really impressive - great detail and could sit on the shelf as a scale model. Drive and suspension is well designed but is pretty much entirely plastic and this is how they have kept the cost down. There are plenty of options for upgrades if that is your thing.
Hard to believe that a cheap, surprisingly capable crawler looks this good.
How does it Drive?
Since this is identical to the non-waterproof version (except the waterproof part) I've lifted this part of the review directly from my look at the original C24:
For a sub $50 crawler this runs like a dream. The amount of plastic used in the driveline had me worried but so far so good - driveline is quiet and efficient - good for around 30 minutes of run time. (Update - I thrashed this car for 12 months before it showed any sign of damage and even then replacement parts were cheap and plenty upgrades available.)
Like most crawlers it is slow, but what it lacks in speed though it more than makes up in power due to the reduction box which reduces the speed from the high revving motor to a slow and powerful turns of the wheels. There is really nice fine, proportional control in this car which is crucial for precise crawling. The steering although still properly proportional has less "feel" than the throttle.
Plastic suspension is basic but like the driveline operates well and there is enough practical articulation to get you over a good deal of obstacles. Ground clearance is exceptionally good for a car this size with electronic components in particular kept well out of the way of dirt and splashes if that is your thing. This being the waterproof model though it is more resilient but more on this below
I'm on holiday so this is the best water footage I could do, it is capable of swimming much deeper
How Waterproof is "waterproof"?
As you can see from the marketing material and the product page, this is being marketed as waterproof but what does that mean? Splashes? Rain? Puddles? Submersion? Salt water? Fresh water? As I mentioned when I looked in the car in close-up, the only visible change I could see to make this car waterproof was the conformal coating applied to the main board. The main board is the receiver, the Esc and light controller all in one. The conformal coating (top-side only) essentially seals off the electrical components from water and air. However this conformal coating does not include other electrical elements - switches, connectors, the drive motor and servos.
So what does at that mean? Bearing in mind I am a fairly conservative reviewer that errs on the side of caution but my advice would be to go through puddles, even deep ones but try not to submerge it deeper than the top of the tyres. Then, after your crawling session remove the battery, rinse with clean water and allow to dry completely before plugging in again. Be conscious that doing this regularly will required the application of WD-40 or similar to disperse remaining water for longest life. DEFINITELY DO NOT RUN IN SALT WATER if you want it to run again the next time. Salt water conducts electricity more strongly due to dissolved salts so can damage plugs but more importantly will corrode everything metal outside of the conformally coated upper layer of the main board. If you still want to do this, make sure you rinse thoroughly with clean, fresh water straight afterwards.
The WPL C24 Waterproof is a low cost yet very capable 1/16 scale truck that is slow but powerful and able to climb substantial obstacles which puts it firmly in the "crawler" class of RC. It has a fantastic scale look of the classic Toyota Hilux which belies it's price. The specific model reviewed here has a claim of being waterproof but care needs to be taken to ensure it is still well looked after to ensure a good, long life. There are many spare parts available to replace or upgrade including options to improve the scale look and to improve performance, particularly the 2 speed gearbox with larger motor that I have my eye on...
Like the non-waterproof model before this one I highly recommend this RC car as a starter for crawling, it is particularly good for small areas or even for young ones to get familiar with throttle an steering control at less-than-damaging speeds.
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