Review: Carisma GT24T R/C Monster Truck

Review: Carisma GT24T R/C Monster Truck

Small and speedy sum up this brushless-powered, 1/24-scale, 4-wheel drive monster truck.

Smaller-scale (1/18 and under) radio-controlled vehicles can get a bad rap for not being on-par with their larger-scale counterparts. I’ve written, on more than one occasion, how my view of these small machines has changed over the years. Smaller doesn’t always mean less.

The GT24T is labeled as a monster truck. That name evokes images of massive, thunderous machines, something that the 1/24 size doesn’t allow for. What this model lacks in physical size, it more than makes up for in speed and handling. When you marry a brushless motor (8000KV) to a lightweight chassis, you get a combination that can provide fun no matter where you’re driving.

My personal “fun meter” was pegged the first time I popped a fresh battery into the GT24T that Carisma supplied me with. With each run after that, that meter was pushed to its limits.

Carisma GT24T Specifications

  • Scale: 1/24
  • Height: 64mm
  • Length: 180mm
  • Width: 107mm
  • Wheel Base: 119mm
  • 2 or 4-wheel Drive: 4-wheel drive
  • Brushless Motor (8000KV)
  • Friction shocks
  • Rubber tires
  • Kit/RTR: Ready-to-Run (RTR)
  • Price: $99.99 (no-battery) $109.99 (with battery)

Carisma GT24T 1/24 Monster Truck

What’s Included:

  • 1 Carisma GT24B 1/24-scale buggy
  • 1 Carisma CTX8000 2-channel transmitter/controller
  • 1 USB charging adapter and cable
  • 2 AA batteries (for the transmitter/controller)
  • 1 Instruction manual
  • 1 Decal sheet

Unboxing the Carisma GT24T Monster Truck

Note:

  • I incorrectly referred to the GT24T as a “stadium truck” in the video. I suppose you could go either monster truck or stadium truck with the official category, it’s up to you.
  • The ATV dial on the transmitter controls the Adjustable Travel Volume of the steering servo. I was unfamiliar with the “ATV” term, but thanks to Futaba’s Glossary of Terms (http://www.futabarc.com/techsupport/glossary.html), I was brought up the speed quickly.

The Chassis

The GT24T shares the same base chassis and suspension components as the other vehicles in Carisma’s GT24 lineup. What makes this model a “monster truck” are the “beefier” steering components, larger wheels and meaty tires. While the monster truck name may indicate a top-heavy, lumbering machine, the GT24T couldn’t be farther from that idea.

The handling of this machine is impressive, both on carpet and concrete. The tires provide ample grip for launching off of ramps and obstacles, but still allow for plenty of slide and drifting ability on a variety of surfaces. On a full charge, a 1S LiPo battery launches the GT24T like a rocket, and you can see some front-wheel lift under the right conditions.

file_002

The friction shocks perform well and have an impressive amount of travel. In pushing down on the truck, it takes a substantial amount of force to bottom-out the chassis. In my tests, I rarely experienced contact between the chassis and ground. If you’re after a true performance-tuned machine, swapping the stock shocks for the optional oil-filled shocks, or changing the stock springs to the harder optional set might be worth the investment. When taking on bigger jumps, the “bounciness” of the stock shocks shows through.

I’ve often pointed to Traxxas (and their entry-level LaTrax brand) as being the gold standard of chassis and component durability. It seems you can put their vehicles through just about any type of thrill-seeking torture and they come out looking, and functioning, perfectly. Although my experience with Carisma vehicles has been limited, I may have to put the GT24 series build quality at or near Traxxas level.

Whether I was driving around my basement and having close encounters with furniture and abandoned toys or outside playing bumper tag with one of my children (who were driving another Carisma GT24 machine), nothing we did to them pushed them past the breaking point. Knowing you have a vehicle that can stand up to a little rough and tumble action is nice peace of mind to have.

The Motor

Along with the chassis, the heart of the GT24T is a brushless, 800KV motor. While I’ve driven several brushed and brushless vehicles, the stock speed and power that this model has is simply impressive. No matter what I was looking to do with the GT24T, straightline speed runs, zipping through a makeshift race course, or jumping ramps, there was no shortage or either torque or top-end speed.

Carisma GT24T 1/24 Monster Truck

The model that I was sent to review didn’t include a LiPo battery, so I needed to supply my own. After some research, I found a 3.7V 1S LiPo option from Dromida that fit the snug battery compartment of this monster truck. It’s worth noting that the Carisma GT24T can handle a 2S LiPo, however, the included USB charger won’t be able to charge it as you’ll need a charger with a balance cable.

If speed is truly what you’re after, Carisma offers a 12000KV Mini 130 brushless motor that will really make any GT24 series vehicle scream.

The Body

When you glance at the GT24T, you might not notice a missing component that many other R/C cars and trucks have. The body on this monster truck is free of any exposed body posts or body post holes. Attached to the chassis with Velcro, the body remains intact through many rough and tumble episodes. I experienced some body shift after a few awkward landings, but it wasn’t anything that caused long term issues.

The body design is what you’d expect from a monster truck, however the visual graphics are especially appealing, not to mention easy to spot when driving.

The Controller

The GT24T controller may be the most surprising piece of this RTR package. I’ve come across many a number of small-scale radio-controlled vehicles during my time in the hobby, and you never know what to expect from the controller. The physical size of the included CTX8000, a 2.4GHz, 2-channel transmitter, is the same as what you’d find in a 1/10 (or larger) model. It feels great when holding it and the amount of steering wheel tension may be the highest that I’ve ever come across.

Carisma CX8000

Outside of the comfort and feel, there are several settings and adjustments that can be made on the CTX8000. Throttle and steering direction, trim, steering servo travel, and an included function button are all easily available from the right-side panel. As far as RTR-packaged controllers are concerned, this model might be my favorite.

Where the Rubber Hits the Road (or Carpet)

Small-scale radio-controlled vehicles have appealed to me for a variety of reasons, the primary being their compact size and ability to drive just about anywhere. Living in Wisconsin, our winters tend to be a bit drawn out and dreadful, so many of my wintertime R/C adventures take place indoors. Having vehicles that I can quickly take off the shelf and drive is a great way to pass time or practice skills if the weather outside is…frightful.

Carisma GT24T 1/24 Monster Truck

The Carisma GT24 monster truck is pure fun to drive, no matter if you’re indoors our outside. While most of my testing came in the form of indoor, carpet driving, I did take this model outside and witnessed it on pavement. No matter the driving surface, this truck is easy to slide, spin, jump, and race around.

The turning radius isn’t as tight as I’d like it to be (when driving in restrictive spaces), however, this doesn’t diminish the overall fun that I’ve had with it. For taking on ramps and other obstacles, I’ve been having a blast launching the GT24 into the air and working on my landing technique.

Is the Carisma GT24T the Right Small-Scale R/C Vehicle for You?

The decision to buy a radio-controlled car or truck ultimately comes down to personal preference and driving location. Again, the beauty of compact vehicles such as the GT24T lies in their size and nimble performance. This is a model that you can drive just about anywhere and not miss a beat in terms of fun.

Carisma offers two versions of GT24T, one with an included 1S LiPo battery ($109.99) and one without ($99.99). While these two options don’t present a noticeable price difference, you’ll ultimately save on shipping cost as this model runs on a LiPo battery and is being shipped overseas. Paring this model with a third-party/aftermarket battery is one way to save on shipping costs, but the choice is up to you.

Carisma GT24T 1/24 Monster Truck & Carisma GT24B 1/24Buggy

As small-scale vehicles are concerned, I haven’t driven many that have left such a lasting, feel-good impression on me as this model from Carisma has done. For the price, you’ll get hours upon hours of fun out of it, and may even sharpen your R/C driving skills along the way.

Where to Buy the Carisma GT24B 1/24-scale R/C Buggy