Having access to your own RC track is a nice convenience. You can have friends over for your own events or you could use it to try out setup changes before heading to your local track. The track in my backyard is not very big, it can host about 4 1/10 scale cars comfortably, but it has really helped me with the tuning aspect of the RC hobby. It is great to be able to change something on my rig in the “Man Cave” and then head out back to see how the changes affect the handling. Here are a few tips and suggestions to help you if you are thinking of building a Backyard RC Track.
– For the surface, a good quality clay is expensive but easier in the long run. Topsoil is less expensive and will work but requires much more maintenance.
– Whatever you use try and pack it down, wet it and pack it down again and repeat.
– You want to hard pack the ground to help avoiding dust ups or if you have access to a water source, you can water it down prior to racing. This will also help to ensure a smooth landing area out of the jumps.
– 4” Drainage pipe or corrugated pipe to use as lane dividers.
– 12” Galvanized Spikes to hold the pipe in the ground. You can also use 3/8″ or 1/2″ Rebar and cut it to length, this option is usually less expensive.
– This a neat video, showing a another way to build hold downs.
You may not have many options for locations when building a backyard track, put it in a place where it is easy to access, you will be dragging a lot of tools back and forth. Stay away from windows and oil tanks around houses.
– You can build around trees, but it is better to remove them in order to ensure a good line of sight.
– Drainage is a big thing; build the track so water will drain off of it. Even your straightaways should have a slight slant that encourages proper drainage away from the track, or at least off of the racing lines.
– You want to add dirt to the track, do not dig if at all possible. Digging could lead to potential drainage problems or flooding if you’re not careful.
– Mark out your track layout with paint or string and test drive it. Make sure you are happy with the layout and make changes as necessary.
Lane sizes should be determined by the size and number of vehicles you plan to run on the track. If you are only running two 1/10 scale trucks, you could easily get away with 6ft wide lanes, if not less. Remember this is your track, how do you want it? If you plan on hosting sanctioned events, then you need to make sure your build is accurate and to spec.
– Banked corners are fun and allow you to carry your speed. They also can to be a little narrower than the straightaways and this can save room.
– Depending the size of vehicle you want to run and the space you have, these are the minimum ideal lane widths.
|Scale/Class||Surface||Minimum lane width|
|1/10 Electric||off-road||Off-road 8 feet|
|1/10 Fuel||off-road||Off-road 8 feet|
|1/8 Electric||off-road||Off-road 10 feet|
|1/8 Fuel||off-road||Off-road 10 feet|
Jumps & Table Tops:
Jumps are an inexact science and for the most part it will be hit or miss unless you have a computer program to do all of the math. I don’t. Jumps are fun, but if they are not built properly they can lead to vehicle damage. Just remember trial and error and be patient.
– You can build temporary ones out of wood and try them out; this will give you an idea of the sweet spot for the type of jump you are trying to accomplish. When you are happy, you can remove the wood and fill it in with dirt to the same degree and size as the wooden jump.
– Lots of pictures and measurements will help with your final outcome.
– You can also experiment with some different types skate board and bike ramps. This will give you ideas as well.
– Try to have the length of the jump at least one and a half times the length of the biggest vehicle using the track. This will help ensure a smoother transition during takeoff.
– Wet down the jumps and compact them as you build them. You really want these to harden up.
– Gather your friends, you are going to need help.
– Renting a Bobcat or other equipment will save a lot of work.
– You can kill off grass with weed killers, but you can also just cut it real short, invite your friends over and let the RC’s remove the grass for you.
– Electricity for charging batteries, running air compressors etc.
– Water for cleaning vehicles, drinking and wetting the track
– Room for track marshals to operate. Don’t forget about them when planning your layout, it helps if they have someplace to go.
– Try out the Zanthrax Track maker to help you visualize the track before breaking ground. Track Maker
– Check the ROAR rule book to give you some more ideas. ROAR Rule Book
– Check out our listing of RC Tracks to give yourself some layout ideas.