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Rock crawling enthusiasts set to make a splash

rock crawlers remote control
Rum City RC member Brodie Pashley (from left) and Fraser Coast Crawlers' Jim Hughes and Peter Marendy with some of the rock crawler vehicles that will be in action at the Bundy Botanic Bash event at the Bundaberg Botanic Gardens on March 20.

A passionate group of Wide Bay remote control (RC) rock crawling enthusiasts reckon it’s time to end the stigma surrounding their beloved hobby.

Bundaberg’s Brodie Pashley has formed the Rum City RC club and is joining forces with the Fraser Coast Crawlers, a club drawing on members from Maryborough, Hervey Bay and Gympie to promote the RC vehicle hobby which they consider more of a lifestyle.

Fraser Coast Crawlers will send a small contingent of club members to the Bundy Botanic Bash, an event hosted by Rum City RC at the Bundaberg Botanic Gardens on Saturday, March 20, to promote rock crawling.

Brodie said the stigma surrounding the hobby was based on misconceptions arising from earlier RC vehicle models.

“It used to be that the vehicle would take six hours to charge and you’d get about 10 minutes of fun from it,” he said.

“Now it takes about half an hour to charge and you get 2.5 to three hours of fun.

“It’s also different today, with the mechanics of the vehicles today so close to the real thing.”

rock crawlers remote control
Rock crawler vehicles are near perfect miniatures of the real thing.

These small-scale beasts behave just like 4WDs, which many of them are modelled on, being equipped with solid axles, ladder chassis and tyres that grip, and other features that allow them to climb over obstacles that would not have been contemplated by owners of past RC vehicles.

The vehicles are not made for speed but rather for torque, climbing and 4WD and such is the attention to detail shown by dedicated rock crawler enthusiasts, that their ‘toys’ are scale miniatures of the real thing in every facet.

This includes the type of tyres used, number plates, stickers, accessories such as tow ropes and winches, working lights, and even miniature camping gear, surfboards, and anything else the owner can imagine, provided it can be bought or made.

Brodie said a passion for rock crawling could also lead to improved health and fitness, citing himself as an example after he had gained weight and lost mobility while recovering from injuries sustained in a car accident.

“I’ve lost 15kg to date,” he said. “Rock crawling made me get up and get active.”

Fraser Coast Crawlers club members Jim Hughes and Peter Marendy agreed that rock crawling had a physical aspect that was not often considered by those not involved in it.

“We were at Mount Mothar, near Gympie, last weekend and the trail was 1.6km to the top and then 1.6km back,” Peter said.

Jim added: “It was the most hectic walk I’ve done in about six years!”

rock crawler remote control
The modern rock crawlers are built to go where remote controlled vehicles of the past would not dare.

Although prices of rock crawlers vary depending on their size and capability, the group agreed that an initial outlay of between $250 to $300 would secure a solid starter level model for newcomers wanting to try the pastime.

However, be warned, the initial outlay could be the start of a life-long love of rock crawling.

The trio have found rock crawling addictive, each owning multiple vehicles and constantly on the look out for new vehicles, accessories, and places to exercise their passion for it.

The Bundy Botanic Bash will be conducted beside the Japanese Garden at the Bundaberg Botanic Gardens, beginning with a ‘show and shine’ at 11am, with interested onlookers to be invited to judge for their favourites, followed by rock crawling demonstrations.

Children and adults are welcome, and a sausage sizzle will operate, and cold drinks will be available. For more information visit the Rum City RC Facebook or its Bundy Botanic Bash Facebook events page.

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