Backyard RC track ideas

Written by dennis hartman
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Backyard RC track ideas
Some RC vehicles have tires that work even on very rough terrain. (rc - modell image by andreas from Fotolia.com)

RC racing is a hobby involving radio-controlled cars and trucks. Racers often construct or modify an RC vehicle and race on a variety of different types of tracks that range from undeveloped fields to carefully designed and paved courses. Drivers who want to build their own backyard RC track can choose from several ways to make a course that is challenging and unique.

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Surfaces

One way to make your track interesting is to use a variety of different surfaces, which will force drivers to adapt their driving style throughout the race. While dirt and grass are the most obvious surfaces, consider adding a short, low-friction carpet, a bed of gravel or a paved section to your track for even more variety. Also, you can plan to add water to various parts of the track before a race, creating muddy or slick surfaces that give drivers even more opportunity to show their skills.

Turns and Track Width

Sharp turns and odd angles are another way to make a backyard track more challenging. Before you begin construction, measure your yard and carefully plan out the track you want, including all of the turns and materials. Besides helping you plan a budget, this will also be your chance to design the layout of the track itself, which will be hard to change once you begin construction.

Another decision is how wide you want your track to be. Standard tracks use 20-inch lanes, which are best for 1/24 scale RC cars. Medium tracks use 33-inch lanes, while wide tracks use 44-inch lanes and can accommodate larger RC trucks.

Jumps and Obstacles

Another fun part of any track is the series of jumps and obstacles. Water and sand pits can slow down drivers who take a corner too quickly and veer off the track, while dirt ramps can take a car airborne to clear a patch of grass or another obstacle. While you shouldn't clutter your track with fancy details, one or two elements like this will become the highlights of every lap.

Existing Yard Features

Finally, you can design your backyard RC track to incorporate elements that are already part of your yard, including paved pathways, gardens, ponds and streams. When you measure and map out your yard to design the track, note the location of these elements and don't automatically mark them for removal. You may want to still use your backyard for more than RC racing, so keeping the existing landscaping intact can be a good way to keep the track affordable to build and add some one-of-a-kind touches to the racecourse.

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