For RC car enthusiasts, there's nothing better than a good old-fashioned dirt track outdoors. It has the feeling of a real racetrack, especially when the dirt starts flying off the track during a fast-paced race. It's also a great way to get the whole neighbourhood involved and find more people interested in racing and new friends that share your hobby. Building an outdoor RC car track is an easy thing to do, and it ensures that you always have a place to race--as long as the sun's out.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Dirt (optional)
- 2-by-4 wood pieces
- Garden hose
Decide on the location of your outdoor RC car track. This might sound easy, but just building in your backyard might not work. You need dirt for traction and a large space. You also need areas outside the track where racers can stand during a race.
Examine the surface of the area. If you're picking a grassy area, you'll need to add your own dirt to the surface. Running these cars on grass for an extended period of time can damage the undercarriage and stop the cars from working. Try looking for areas with hills, which let the cars do great leaps during the race.
Decide on the general layout of your track. You can sketch out a design for the track on a piece of paper if you don't have a lot of room or if you're worried about setting up specific sizes and dimensions. An oval track is always one option, but you can also experiment and create multiple curves and turns, similar to a road course.
Lay down 2-by-4 wood pieces of different sizes to set up the boundaries of the track. Some people also prefer to use garden hoses or other types of coiled materials. Remember that you need an outside boundary and an inside boundary. The inside boundary shows where the middle of the track is, while the outside shows where the racers stand.
Use a rake to scrape the surface of your track and apply water with a garden hose. Basically, you want to roughen up the dirt before you start, which creates traction for the cars. Then apply enough water to wet the area without saturating it. This creates a smooth surface and also removes any debris leftover from the building process.
Tips and warnings
- Consider the size of the cars you plan to run when you set up your track. Larger cars need more room, especially when it comes to turning the corners, while smaller cars use less room.
- Check the ordinances in your town before you start inviting friends over. Some areas require a special permit to build tracks like this.