Building a Rock Crawler: A Comprehensive Guide for Beginners


Are you looking to build a rock crawler but don’t know where to start?

Look no further!

In this comprehensive guide, we will take you through the steps of building a rock crawler from scratch. We will cover everything from choosing the right frame and wheels to selecting the perfect electronics and components. By the end of this guide, you will have a fully functional rock crawler ready to tackle any terrain.

Step 1: Choose Your Frame

The first step in building a rock crawler is to choose your frame. There are many different types of frames available on the market, including solid axle, independent suspension, and adjustable ride height. For beginners, we recommend starting with a solid axle frame like the one from Trail Tech or Axial. These frames are easy to work with and provide a good balance between stability and mobility.

Step 2: Select Your Wheels

Once you have your frame, it’s time to select your wheels. For rock crawling, you will want wheels with deep lugs and aggressive tread. We recommend starting with a set of 35-inch tires on 17-inch rims like the ones from Falken or BF Goodrich. These tires provide excellent grip and durability on rocky terrain.

Step 3: Install Your Electronics

Next, you will need to install your electronics. This includes your radio, speakers, battery, charger, and any other components you may need for your specific build. It’s important to choose high-quality components that are designed to withstand the rigors of rock crawling. We recommend using products from companies like Vitalium or T-Maxx.

Step 4: Select Your Suspension

Suspension is a critical component of any rock crawler. For beginners, we recommend starting with a basic suspension system like the one from Rough Country or BDS. These systems provide good balance and control on the trail while keeping costs down.

Step 5: Install Your Lights and Winch

Finally, it’s time to install your lights and winch. Lights are essential for navigating in low light conditions, while a winch is necessary for getting out of sticky situations. We recommend using products from companies like Rigid or Warn. These products are designed specifically for rock crawling and provide excellent performance and reliability.


Building a rock crawler can be a fun and rewarding project, but it requires careful planning and attention to detail. By following these steps and using high-quality components, you can build a fully functional rock crawler that is ready to tackle any terrain. Remember to always wear appropriate safety gear and never push your limits on the trail.