How To Build A Epic RC Track In Your Backyard

You can build a RC racetrack in your own backyard and using standard materials that are not that expensive to purchase. You can even get the help of your handyman friends to keep the costs down as you build.

What we will do here is give you tips and tricks as well as building information to help you build that ideal RC racetrack in your backyard.

Stage 1 – Planning 

Before you build, think about the other RC racetracks you have seen or used. Analyze what you think the builder did wrong and work to change those faulty designs. Then look at what you think they did right and improve on those features.

Not repeating the mistakes of others and working to improve on their successes is one way to build a great RC track in your backyard.

First things first

Before you get to building your new RC track, you need to draw up a very detailed plan. A good RC track does not build itself and you cannot wing it as you go. There is room for on the spot inspiration but those only come after you see the issues in your already well laid out plan. You need to decide what type of racing you will be using the track for. Eg. RC Short Course Truck Racing

The key to having a good plan is to make sure you do not leave any details out. Also, you will need patience at this stage so curbing your enthusiasm is a good thing to do at this moment. Enthusiasm is good for motivation, but it is not good when you are trying to avoid fatal errors that may spoil your racetrack.

Go over your plan a coupe of times and let a fellow RC racing enthusiast look it over to make sure you did not leave anything out. One other key element you need to keep in mind when designing your new backyard track—the size of the cars you will be racing on it.

Your car size will determine how wide your track needs to be for effective racing.

The tools needed

There is going to be some leeway here as all racetracks are not built the same and they do not encounter the same construction issues. A lot depends on the terrain in your backyard and what obstacles you need to overcome to build that perfect racetrack for your racing hobby.

Here is a list of the basic tools you will need when you move to step 2 and start construction:

  • Regular shovel
  • Flat nose shovel
  • Garden rake
  • Garden hoe
  • Hammers
  • Buckets
  • Water source
  • Saws (for tree removal)
  • Ax (for root removal)
  • Metal support stakes
  • PVC Drain pipe (Lane dividers)

Again, all the tools you need depend on the layout of your backyard and the obstacles in it.

A good foundation

You may want to stick with using your topsoil as your foundation, but this is not highly recommended. Topsoil is very hard to maintain, and a little bad weather can ruin the integrity of your racetrack.

Instead, we recommend that you use clay. It is firmer, easier to pack and you can create a solid foundation for your race cars. An alternative to clay would be to dig down 3-4 inches till you get to solid ground. You can level the solid ground to fit your track design.

Either way you go, you want your racetrack on solid footing. That gives you better traction for racing as well. Just make sure you have the ground packed nice and hard so your cars do not get stuck or lose their traction.

Stage 2 – Preparation and construction

When designing and building your track, make sure you plan for proper drainage. This protects you from flooding and expensive repairs to your project. Also, watch that yo do not do too much digging as that will affect your drainage and cause more problems if you do not compensate for the terrain alteration.
Building your track

The most and hardest work you will be doing is here when you start following your detailed plan and begin your racetrack construction. There is a lot of labor-intensive work involved so be fresh and ready before you start.
Here are some good instructions to help guide your work:

Dig your foundation first. Make sure you have solid ground to work on. After you start getting to your firm foundation start digging the outline of your track. These two steps have to be at the same time. After you have your base, use the dirt your removed to help form your banked edges. Or if you need to, haul in some new dirt from another source. Stick with common sense and do not make them too large or put them on a too wide of an angle. Your goal is to enhance your racing time without having the cars disappear over the edge of the turns.

Now that you built your bank turns, you can concentrate on building any jumps you have included in your design. The key is to use water when building your jumps. Lots of water. Also, be creative in your jump design, so you do not bore yourself as you race. Another important step to take here is to test your jumps before you declare them finished. You need to make sure they will work and do what you want.

Finally, mark your finish line and make it unique. You do not want it to look or be the same as your jumps.

Stage 3 – Perfect you lanes 

When it comes to making your track perfect, we suggest that you use a lot of water and do a lot of raking. Not only does this smooth out the track, it binds the dirt together giving you a firmer racetrack to race your RC cars. We also suggest you let the water soak in first before you start raking.

​Outlining your race lanes

How wide you get your lanes depends on two things. First, it is strictly up to your preference. There are no hard and fast rules governing how wide your lanes should be. Your racetrack, your preferences.

Second, the width of your lanes depends on the size and layout of your backyard. Obviously if your yard is on the small side, you cannot have very wide lanes. Use a little common sense here.
Plus, when you start building you need to take not account the obstacles that lie in your yard. While it is possible to race around trees, we do not recommend it. A slight mistake and you have damaged your RC race car. These racing mistakes can end up costing you a lot of money.

It is best if you remove any trees from your racetrack to make sure you do not spoil your fun. Once you have removed any trees or other temporary obstacles, lay out the PVC drain pipe to create your lanes. Then use 12” metal stakes and secure the pipe to your ground.

Stage 4 – Get your rc track “race ready”

A word to the wise. If you are planning on holding important organized events on your racetrack, then you need to build according to the rules of the organization you wish to participate with. This includes lane size, jump sizes and frequency and so on.

​Some jump building tricks to use

Unfortunately, there is no real rules to follow to help you build your jumps. You can use a computer to help you design your jumps or your old friend trial and error. Just remember that if the jumps are not designed or built right, you could damage your trucks.

Here are some pro tips you can use to help you design and build your jumps;

  • ​Build temporary wood jumps to test the design. When you are satisfied you can remove the wood model and replace it with dirt
  • ​Take a lot of photos and make lots of measurements to be sure
  • ​Try skateboard and bike ramps to help guide your construction
  • ​The length of the jump should be 1 ½ the length of your race car
  • Wet the dirt and compact it as you build

Stage 4 – Get your rc track “race ready”

You must have dedication to build your RC racetrack in your backyard. A loving and understanding wife is also important to have on hand. With a little hard work, and a few concessions to your wife, you can build your RC racetrack with ease.

It just takes the right materials, and a lot of patience. Remember Rome was not built in a day and neither will your racetrack. Take your time, follow the instructions and get help if you are stuck.

Tell us about your backyard track building experience. What tricks did you used to build a killer track? shout out in the comments below.

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