18 Best Place to Drive RC Cars (All-terrain)

RChobby Lab Profile Picture Ted Dulles
Reviewed by Kristen Ward
Updated on
Reviewed by Kristen Ward

Remote control (RC) cars open up a world of driving fun, whether you’re new to the hobby or a seasoned RC veteran. With a huge variety of RC cars available, from small indoor models to large, powerful outdoor beasts, one question always comes up – where exactly can you drive them?

The location you choose to drive your RC car is crucial. The wrong terrain can easily damage your vehicle or annoy bystanders. But pick the right spots and surfaces, and you’ll get the most enjoyment from your model without any nasty surprises.

In this complete guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about choosing RC driving locations, including:

Follow our advice and you’ll quickly master exactly where and how to drive for maximum RC fun!

Best Indoor RC Car Driving Locations

Indoor spaces offer a safe and controlled area for driving small-scale RC models. With a perfectly flat floor and no surprises like bumps or puddles, indoor driving is ideal for rookie RC drivers and smaller, more fragile vehicles.

Here are some great indoor locations for RC driving and what you can do there:

1. Living Rooms

A standard family living room is a common spot for driving lightweight RC cars. Models like the Team Associated SC28 are perfect for sliding around on the hard floors.

Just be sure to avoid furnishings and fragile items like vases, which are easily knocked over by speeding 1/24 or 1/28 scale RC cars. And check the floor for any cables or obstacles you might not notice when driving at speed.

Living rooms are best for low traction drifting and parking lot-style simulated stunt driving. Fit some foam tires for controlled sliding action.

2. Basements and Garages

Like living rooms, basements provide expansive flat spaces for practicing RC skills without worrying about your vehicle. Unfinished basements and garages have the added benefits of bare concrete floors.

The slick concrete surface allows true-to-life drifting, spinning and pirouettes with both on-road and off-road style RC cars.

Just be sure to sweep and clean the floors thoroughly before driving. Even small stones can jam moving parts and dirt causes excessive wear.

3. Kitchens

Tile and vinyl kitchen floors offer wonderfully slick and smooth driving surfaces. The shiny floors enhance realism and drifting control.

Kitchen Island counters are also great for parking lot stunt simulations, with smooth 180° spins and boosted jumps. Just avoid knocking over any glasses or precious crockery!

As always, keep the floor free of any dust or debris that could interfere with your RC car’s progress or mechanical parts.

4. Offices and Stores

After hours, workplaces with hard floors offer similarly ideal RC driving potential. Check for any cables crossing the floor though, and avoid driving under furniture.

DIY and hardware stores can allow driving when closed too. Just be extra careful not to damage any merchandise with flying models!

5. Indoor Play Spaces

Spaces designed for kids playing are RC-friendly too. Softplay centers and trampoline warehouses often allow RC use outside regular opening hours.

The padded floors mean crashes are no problem. Just be aware of any raised sections or walls dividing areas. Speeding RC cars can easily become airborne and collide at height.

Outdoor inflatable playgrounds are another exciting option, allowing huge jumps and off-roading adventures.

For reckless driving fun with less risk of damage, indoor play areas are tough to beat.

6. Multipurpose Halls

School multipurpose halls, gymnasiums, and church halls provide large flat spaces for speeding RC cars around safely, especially when not in use.

Watch for any sound-boosting materials though, which can make RC cars disturbingly loud. The high ceilings also allow flipping stunts and careening crashes without damage.

Expert Tips for Indoor RC Driving

Beyond choosing a suitable indoor space, keep these tips in mind for maximum interior RC enjoyment:

Use the Right Scale RC Car

Pick small-scale cars for indoor driving. Popular scales like 1/24, 1/28 and 1/32 provide plenty of detail and performance in compact packages, ideal for home use.

Larger models become uncontrollable at speed in confined rooms. Always check a car’s dimensions before purchasing.

Fit Foam Tires

Rubber foam tires greatly enhance sliding traction on indoor hard floors while minimizing damage if you bump into furnishings. They also fly over smooth floors with minimal resistance compared to treaded rubber.

Stay Low

Avoid lifting the front wheels when accelerating, Stoppies, wheelies and jumps. With low ceilings, flips and crashes from height can seriously damage your RC car.

Keep it Slow

Resist the temptation to hit full throttle indoors. Even with foam tires, traction is low. Faster speeds make crashes more likely.

Clean the Floors

Sweep floors before driving to avoid traction-reducing dust or debris jamming sensitive mechanics.

Use Rugs

Position rugs and mats to create exciting artificial obstacles like tunnels or ramps.

Best Outdoor RC Car Driving Locations

While indoor spaces are ideal for smaller RC models, larger scales like 1/10 and monster trucks are at home outdoors. Their big tires and robust construction are designed for off-road adventures.

Here are some prime outdoor spots for RC driving:

1. Backyards

A backyard with some open flat spaces is the classic RC playground. Grass provides sufficient grip for regular driving while absorbing crashes harmlessly.

Just watch out for flowerbeds and be wary of kicking up dirt with over-eager drifting. Stay well clear of swimming pools too!

With agreeable weather, backyards allow casual driving any time. But do check how sound travels to avoid disturbing neighbors, especially with loud gas/nitro models.

2. Driveways & Sidewalks

Paved driveways and sidewalks adjoining your property are perfect for realistic on-road use. Their smooth, consistent grip mimics real roads wonderfully.

Driveway RC use avoids noise concerns and offers quick access outside. Avoid porous asphalt driveways though, as the rough texture damages tires.

Any RC car can be driven on pavement, but models with proper treaded rubber tires optimize grip while minimizing wear.

3. Empty Parking Lots

Vast, smooth parking lots provide authentic spaces to hone RC driving skills. Copy real-world maneuvers like lane discipline, cornering and acceleration drills.

School parking lots are wonderfully empty during weekends and vacations. Business park lots also drain of cars out of hours.

Visit at quiet times to avoid curious crowds. And take care not to scratch parked vehicles with thrown gravel.

4. Basketball & Tennis Courts

Like parking lots, sports courts offer expansive, undisturbed flat tarmac areas. Their grippy, tactile surfaces are ideal for RC tires.

Try tennis courts for rallycross-style dirt driving – their fine red clay has variable grip. Or race around a high school basketball court, with twisting hoops as obstacles.

Do check that courts aren’t booked before driving. And be wary of loose gravel at the edges – it can damage paintjobs.

5. Skate Parks

Both outdoor and indoor skateboard parks contain diverse bumps, ramps and curves for adventurous off-road RC driving.

Just be sure to visit when no skaters are present, as RC cars and skateboards do not mix! Early morning visits are best for grabbing some exclusive RC skate park time.

These realistic obstacles will truly test your control skills and suspension setup. Just watch for exposed metal edges on ramps, which slash RC car bodies.

6. Dirt Trails & Tracks

Dedicated off-road RC tracks provide the ultimate driving challenge. Or make your own dirt trails around a local park or countryside field.

Freedom from pedestrians, unpredictable surfaces and obstacles let you focus purely on driving. Practicing on dirt allows tuning trucks for specific conditions like mud or gravel.

Do ensure you have permission before making impromptu tracks on public land though. And take care not to disturb wildlife.

7. Open Fields

In rural areas, fields offer huge open spaces for high-speed trail driving. While ideal for out-of-town RC models, avoid tempting grains crops – stay well clear to avoid damage.

Football, rugby and soccer pitches work well when not in use too. Their thick grass has predictable traction, absorbing crashes.

Take care driving after rain – slick mud and deep puddles easily damage RC cars when approached incautiously.

8. Beaches

Coastlines provide the ultimate RC playground, with endless wet and dry sand driving challenges. Test yourself tackling slopes, ridges and rock pools.

Be wary of incoming tides cutting off routes – keep to larger open beaches. Avoid rocky sections which easily flip vehicles.

Sand driving enhances realism but increases wear. Wash down chassis and gears thoroughly afterwards to avoid long-term damage.

Expert Tips for Outdoor RC Driving

When driving RC models outside, be aware of your surroundings and take steps to avoid issues:

Avoid Crowds

Don’t drive models in busy parks or public places. Fast RC cars easily startle passers-by and moving unpredictably heightens accidents.

Prioritize Pedestrians

If walkers approach your driving area, stop immediately and let them pass unimpeded for safety.

Keep Distance from Wildlife

Respect nature and wildlife when driving off-road. Never purposefully chase or frighten animals with your RC car.

Stay Quiet in Neighborhoods

When running noisy gas RC models, be sensitive to neighbors, keeping reasonable hours. Electric RCs are much quieter.

Clean Up Debris

Don’t leave scattered gravel, dirt and ruts after driving off-road. Fill in any substantial holes or furrows.

Obtain Permission

Always seek permission before driving on private land or commercial property not designated for RC use.

Follow road rules

Even on empty roads or parking lots, follow all real driving rules. This greatly improves RC driving realism.

By being careful and considerate where you drive outdoors, you avoid conflict and repercussions from annoyed residents or authorities.

Best RC Driving Locations for Beginners

If you’re just starting out in RC driving, stick to large, open spaces free from obstacles and people. This builds confidence without the stress of potential crashes or interference.

Here are some RC driving locations perfect for beginners.

1. Home Carpet

Smooth low-pile carpet in your living room or rec room provides a safe, endlessly forgiving surface as you learn RC car control.

Traction is moderate, allowing maneuvering without fear of losing control. And walls or furniture stop uncontrolled cars safely.

2. Backyard Grass

Well-trimmed backyard lawn is another ideal training ground. Grass provides decent grip for maneuvering while absorbing any crashes or mistakes.

Just ensure sprinklers are off – puddles can soak and damage RC internals.

3. Empty Parking Lots

Get out amongst the obstacles with an empty parking lot. Painted lines assist learning steering control and stopping distances before you progress to maneuvering around parked vehicles, light poles and other features.

Just be wary of loose stones and gravel accumulating along edges – these can easily jam moving parts.

4. School Sports Fields

School sports ovals offer expansive, undisturbed grass driving areas when not in use. Their consistent grip builds confidence in acceleration and braking.

Mark out your own routes between obstacles using cones for driving practice. Progress from simple ovals to complex handling exercises.

Final Thoughts

Choosing locations and surfaces carefully is crucial to RC driving success. Avoid unsuitable spots and you’ll prevent damage while maximizing enjoyment.

Smaller RC cars thrive indoors, where flat predictable floors allow learning car control safely. For larger off-road models, head outdoors to open spaces offering room to pick up speed.

Always be considerate of others when picking RC driving spots, keeping away from crowds. And thoroughly clean vehicles after driving on any abrasive or dirty surfaces to prevent premature wear.

With the right location, you’ll be able to push your skills to the limit with any RC car. Just take things slow as a beginner on simple surfaces, and work your way up to more challenging terrain.

Now it’s time to get driving on the paths, surfaces and spaces you enjoy most. Just be sure to capture all your RC exploits on video – amazing driving needs an audience!

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Written By Ted Dulles

I'm Ted Dulles, an avid RC hobbyist extraordinaire! My passion for the world of remote-controlled (RC) models ignited in 2018. Just a year later, fueled by this passion, I took a bold step and opened my own RC shop in California. I have a deep fascination with all kinds of RC models – be it cars, planes, or boats. I'm always eager to take on new challenges and absolutely love the thrill and excitement that come with this hobby.

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