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Everybody’s Scalin’ For the Weekend – Running in the Snow

Winter is a brutal time to be into this segment of the hobby. Outside of a few very rare exceptions, there is no “winter indoor season” for scaling. If you don’t plan on letting your rig set for 3-4 months then you need to buck up and get out in the cold. With the cold comes snow. One of the most fun runs I’ve ever taken part in was just me and 3 friends alone in a park on a river trail with heavy snow falling. I’ve ran in the white stuff many times since that day; I’ve also learned a lot. If you plan on hitting the powder this winter here are a few tips I’ve picked up.

Waterproof – You absolutely need to be waterproof or water resistant if you plan on heading into a winter wonderland. Seriously. Every part of your vehicle will be soaking wet by the time you are done. I’ve written about this before so instead of spewing more words check out this article.

Leave Your Smaller Truck at Home -I’ve been snow trailing in different tire sizes and I can definitely report that smaller 1.9’s just aren’t as fun. 2.2 trucks are where it’s at for deep snow. This is obviously a preference thing, but the extra ground clearance of a bigger tire makes it so much more fun. I generally always prefer smaller, more scale tired rigs when in regular conditions so make of that what you will.

Watch Your Temps – A big misnomer about running in snow is that “hey, at least my temps will be down”. Ha. I’ve seen more motors go up in the white stuff than anything else. See, while the snow is definitely cold it’s also something that your truck is constantly pushing against. It may also gunk up in your motor or engulf the whole area under the body. In general you’ll also be heavier on the throttle for the duration of the run. This is a very bad combination. Whether you use a laser thermometer or finger method, keep aware of how your truck is doing. You don’t want to be the one to experience the “death smell” i.e. the scent of burning electronics.

Bring an Extra Battery or Two – In addition to the cold and water possibly wreaking havoc on your battery, as I said earlier you’ll also be much heavier on the throttle. This is because traction is limited and you’ll need wheel speed to keep chugging along. This results in sucking juice way faster than normal. A snowy trail typically makes me go through a battery 2x or 3x faster than normal. You’ll want to have a spare or two on hand to be prepared for this.

An Air Compressor and WD40 Are Your Friends – Blowing off your vehicle after a snow bash will make things so much easier on you. If you don’t have a compressor you can use canned air or stop by a service station that has one available to use. Snow gets into everything, which means water does too. You’ll want to thoroughly dry your vehicle to avoid rust. You can use WD40 or PB Blaster on certain areas if you get hit with the “R” word. Taking screws out and giving them a light soak and scrub usually does the trick.

Running in the snow is super tough on your truck but can also be one heck of a time. With a little planning and maintenance you won’t be singing the winter blues!

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Posted by in Everybody's Scalin', scale rc on Friday, January 16th, 2015 at 1:54 pm