Zerospace Keliwow Extreme-2 RTR Review
Review by Nicholas Turner, Staff Contributor
- Ready to Run - everything needed is supplied
- Nice looking color scheme (orange on black)
- My kids love that it looks similar to a Jeep body style
- Quality and build is above toy grade
- Tips/rolls over easily in the turns
- Not everything is secured in the box during shipping
- Front body retention pins come out easily during drives
- Manual is inconsistent on Lipo/Li-Ion
- Range is 200ft max
- Quality and build is below professional hobby grade
Unboxing and Set-up:
During the unboxing I had concerns about the packaging I'd like to see improved. The Lithium Ion battery is secured in the battery compartment of the truck, exposing it to potential harm during shipping. 2) Charger and bag of spare parts were loose in the box. Securing these items and safely protecting the battery will help decrease shipping damage. Despite these concerns, there was no damage and everything was in the box. The zip ties holding the truck to the inside cardboard keep proved to be too much for the cardboard, only 1 was attached and the other 3 had ripped through the cardboard. The instruction manual in my opinion could use some major updating. The battery chemistry mentioned in the manual is inconsistent, sometimes stating Lithium Polymer (Lipo) other times mentioning Lithium Ion (LiIon). The charging of the storage of the two different chemistries is huge, to help protect the buyer, referring to the battery consistently and accurately is advised. The truck comes with a 2 cell 1500mAh LiIon battery. The manual is in Chinese first, with English translation below the Chinese letters. The translation is one of the better ones I've seen.
Charging the battery takes 2-2.5 hours no matter the charger you use. This is a characteristic of LiIon packs. I have used my Hitec X1 Pro charger to learn the safety timer on the charger kicks in before a complete charge is achieved. Therefore I recommend using the supplied charger that charges via the balance port. A light on the charger will turn green to indicate the battery is charged. NOTE: proper storage of Lithium based batteries is critical, I recommend having a friend with a charger that supports what is referred to Storage Charge for LiIon packs, or investing in one yourself. Being Red/Green color blind, sometimes it is hard for me to know definitively if the light is green or red because it's a single light that changes based on charge state.
Out of the box the TX allows customization for left or right handed drivers by pushing the steering wheel in to protrude out the other side. I like how the TX has some trim and dual rate knobs to allow for adjusting the steering to your liking. The TX also has a 50/50 and 70/30 setting for the throttle trigger. I found I prefer the 50/50 setting. I felt like the truck wouldn't stop or go in reverse when I thought it should using the 70/30 setting. I didn't need to use the trim knob, but the dual rates knob is needed to tone down the sensitivity of the steering on a fresh battery pack.
First drive the truck took a beating. I was learning how the steering works/its sensitivity and the truck would just tumble over and over. Sometimes it'd land upright, other times it would need to be picked up. These tumbles made my two kids laugh and giggle. After running the truck a total of 4 times, it is clear the truck will just tumble in the turns if too much speed is carried. To prevent the tumbling I found it best to start out light on the throttle stick with a full charge and then letting off the throttle some before turning. I have driven the truck on gravel, pavement, short grass, and medium height grass. The truck handled all these surfaces well, the taller the grass, the more power it took to tear through the grass. Thus, shortening the drive time. The box advertises 15 minutes of run time per charge. However, if you don't have a charger that can put the pack on Storage Charge, I recommend keeping the run times to about 10 minutes as this puts the cells near/at the proper storage voltage. Being 4WD, the rooster tails of dirt, water, and grass clippings look really cool.
If you're looking for a competition truck or to race with your buddies that have Traxxas and other big name brand trucks, don't bet anything on the race. Being a brushed motor on 2S LiIon, she won't have the power or speed to compete with these high performance machines. Not to mention the range of the TX is about 100-200 feet, so a large enough track you can't control it all the way around. For fun I joined in an off the cuff race with three buddies. I was up against a Stampede, E-Revo, and Rustler. I quickly ran out of range and had to stand in the middle of the cones laying out the course, the truck tumbled in almost every turn, and she just couldn't keep up speed wise. As the battery approached 3.6V per cell, it was very clear the power wasn't there to keep up. BUT, if you want a truck you can beat and bash around the local park or your yard, it's a good choice. I tried crawling with it, just not enough chasis clearance to do so. But to run around the yard, it's a blast.
In conclusion the Keliwow Extreme-2 4WD Race Truck is a good high level entry vehicle to the r/c surface hobby. It's much better grade than most of the r/c trucks found in retailers like Wal-Mart, but not so high you'll break the bank buying one. My 4 year old loves the way it looks, how it rolls, and loves watching it perform a wheelie. In my opinion these are good trucks if you and your friends want to get together for a competition and have all the same specs or just something to have to beat around your yard. My kids and I will spend a lot of quality time together driving it. If you know a kid that loves trucks and looking for that WOW gift for a holiday or birthday, this truck is a good choice. If you'd like to see my full video review with footage, watch the video below.