We Name Our Favorite Remote Control Fire Engines!
There is one vehicle amongst all traffic that always gets the attention of the little ones in the car. Spurring imagination and excitement, the humble fire engine always grabs the eye. Miniaturized, of course, these Remote Controlled Fire Trucks give your little ones the chance to experience the thrills of driving their own fire truck to the rescue!
- The Top-Rated RC Fire Trucks
- Our Top Pick: Double E RC Fire Truck
- Early Education: Take Apart Toys with Electric Drill
- Double the Fun: JOYIN Remote Control Take Apart Fire Truck & Police Car
- RC Fire Truck Buying Advice
The Top-Rated RC Fire Trucks (2020)
|Editor’s Pick||Make and Model||Rating|
|Our Top Pick||Double E RC Fire Truck||4.7|
|Great For Toddlers||Take Apart Toys with Electric Drill||4.4|
|Double the Fun||JOYIN Remote Control Take Apart Fire Truck & Police Car||4.6|
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Our Top Pick: DOUBLE E Licensed Mercedes-Benz Fire Engine
RTR | 1/20 scale | Ages 8+
- Controller: 10-channel, 2.4GHz
- Scale: 1/20
- Running Time: 30 minutes
- Battery: Rechargeable, 2700mAh
- Control Range: 10-100M
- Realistic lights & sounds
- Included mute switch
- USB charging
- 360-degree cab rotation
- Extendable ladder
- Working water pump
- 4-wheel drive
For those older kids looking for a bit more realism for the ultimate in firefighting roleplay, the DOUBLE E Licensed Mercedes-Benz Fire Engine has the works. Sporting a highly detailed mold of one of the Mercedes-Benz Antos lines of trucks. This remote controlled behemoth sports everything that you could wish for, with fully directional steering, retractable ladder, remote-controlled water pump, remote engine start, lights, sounds, the works!
Inside the DOUBLE E Licensed Mercedes-Benz Fire Engine is a considerable-sized water tank with an easily refillable reservoir under a simple flap. While the water pump isn’t as strong as some of the others on this list, it can still hit a target easily at 4 meters and despite the shorter length, having a 4×4 drivetrain with sturdy, grippy rubber tires and a 360-degree rotating platform, means adjusting position mid squirt is easy and seamless. There is also an extending ladder completely controllable from the remote control.
With the 2.4GHz connection, you’ll have no problems with signal dropouts or running multiple trucks alongside each other. Imaginative children building their own time trial firefighting course will have hours of fun perfecting their aiming speed, all while enjoying the realistic noises and sirens from the engine and crane.
The included warning and brake lights can easily light a dark room, but as with most of our premium choices, there is a handy mute button to allow for some more silent operation.
Playtime is also able to last much longer with the included 2700mAh rechargeable battery, with charging handled via the included USB cable. While there is no power brick included, any reasonable USB charger will work with this set. However, 2xAA Batteries are required for the remote, which are unfortunately not included.
Overall, Double E has made a cracking product for those kids looking for a bit more realism!
Early Education: Take Apart Toys RC Fire Truck
RTR | Ages 3-6
- Ages: 3+
- Controller: 2-channel, 2.4GHz (forward, reverse)
- Battery: 5xAA’s
- Control Range: 30m
- Great STEM learning toy for younger children
- Sturdy molding
- Creative and multi-functional
- Realistic sound effects
- 2-In-1 remote
- Easy to assemble
- Screws can be too short
- No turning via remote
For those kids who love to build, the Take Apart Toys RC Fire Truck is the perfect introduction to mechanics. With an innovative, modular design that comes included with over 54 pieces to pick and choose from, this truck is much more than meets the eye.
Included is a combination of a remote and electric drill, which can be used with the included pieces to build your own design of trucks from a variety of plastic shells and accessories. Everything from the wheels, bumpers, cabin, and tools can be mixed and matched, not only letting your child express their creativity but also to give them their first experience in construction.
Each part is held together with some simple plastic screws that all combine into the chassis base to hold the finished truck. Once complete, the screwdriver can be removed from the drill, removing the motor assembly and when inserted into the bottom of the chassis, provides power for the wheels. The handle of the electric drill then becomes the remote control, seamlessly combining creation and action with instant satisfaction.
With an impressive 30m range due to its 2.4GHz radio, there’ll be no problem driving all over the house and beyond, and the 2xAA batteries (Not included) for the drill, give a lengthy playtime.
Unfortunately, due to the lack of controls and the rigid wheel design, movement is limited to simple forward and backward momentum, but the action itself, while slow, is accompanied by sounds along the way. There is also an option for continuous forward movement, for those who don’t want to bother using the radio controls, instead just having something for the kids to run along with.
The only fault we found is that some of the screws can have a hard time securing into the car, owing to their slightly too short size. And that if you do have smaller children, there may be a choking hazard. The modular design also poses a risk of pieces becoming lost, leaving an incomplete set that could frustrate both kids and parents.
If your child is careful, the Take Apart Toys RC Fire Truck will be a set that will give endless hours of fun and creativity for little tinkerers.
Double the Fun: JOYIN Remote Control Take Apart Fire Truck & Police Car
RTR | Ages 3-6
- Ages: 3+
- Controller: 2-channel (forward, reverse)
- Battery: 10xAA’s
- BPA free plastic
- Double the fun!
- Fun sounds, and working lights
- No turning via remote
The Take Apart RC Fire Truck & Police Car from JOYIN is a great offering that not only comes with a ton of tricks but double the fun!
The bundle comes with both a fire engine and a police car, both including figures and a host of hidden extras inside. With the included toy electric drill and wrench, kids can have fun performing their very own pitstops! By taking apart both the wheels and tops of the cabins with the tools included, parts can be swapped around before repairing them and heading off on their own mini rescues!
Build quality is of a sturdy, BPA free plastic that’s colorfully styled with plenty of details adorned around the sides. The police truck opens up to reveal a command center inside, while the fire engine has a rotatable and extendable crane nozzle. While the nozzle doesn’t squirt water, it does at least mean you won’t have a mess on the carpet during play sessions. The included toy officers can be seated within the front of the trucks by flipping up the windscreen.
Controls are handled with each truck receiving their own remote. With forward movement and a combined reverse left turn, there isn’t a whole lot of control to be had in terms of movement. However, both do come with remote ignition, sounds, and music buttons to keep kids entertained.
Our main gripe is the excessive amount of batteries to get everything up and running. Requiring a total of 10 AA batteries for both trucks, receivers, and the drill. It’s certainly worth picking up a bundle of batteries before giving the Take Apart RC Fire Truck & Police Car as a gift.
Another minor fiddly thing to remember is that while the remotes can control either car, they will pair in the order that the vehicles and remotes are powered on.
Being able to include a package that’ll keep a pair of siblings occupied is a rare find, and with plenty on offer to keep both entertained. While the lack of real steering is a downside for anyone looking for more control, younger kids will have a great time taking apart, building, and racing these trucks together!
RC Fire Truck Buying Advice
- Interactive Features
- Size/ Scale
- Run time & Batteries
- Remote Control Types
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With fire trucks, you’re looking for a little bit more than simple remote-control steering. Many models now include interactive features such as lights and sound, with some higher-end models including their own working water pumps, retractable and rotatable ladders, and even remote startup!
These functions are commonly found on the controller, although they can also be relegated to buttons on the actual Fire Truck itself, so it pays to make sure you get exactly what functions you want, where you want.
Depending on if your kids will be playing in your vicinity, and how much noise you can tolerate, one thing to consider is the option of a mute button to allow your kids to play while also keeping yourself sane. While this might not be a problem if your child plays with their toys in their own room. If they are instead frequently playing in areas with other people, having a mute switch can be a lifesaver!
An easily-missed thing to think about is just how large the model itself is. With some models being pocket-sized 1/43 scale little nippers, that may pose a choking hazard for younger children, to obnoxiously large 1/8 scale models, where finding a place to store it may be an issue.
Some models might also prove unwieldy for younger children and might be a bit more painful when someone accidentally drives it into your ankle!
Run time & Batteries
Batteries. Nobody likes to run on empty, which is why knowing what powers your vehicle is important if you like long uninterrupted play sessions.
Many cheaper remote control models will use simple AA batteries that can be replaced easily. However, some may include rechargeable batteries, either being able to charge by USB or by using a proprietary charger.
Some smaller micro models may also include a charging function from the remote itself. Whereas many larger models can also include removable battery packs that can be inserted into an external charger for faster, more reliable charging times.
There may also be times where the battery is of a much more obscure, even unique type, which may require sourcing replacements directly from the manufacturer.
The main three forms of rechargeable batteries:
Lithium-ion (Li-ion) offering powerful output and capacity but can be more volatile and the most expensive.
Nickel Cadmium (Ni-Cd) is the middle of the road and most common in mid-range price points, offering a good balance between price and performance.
Nickel-Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) is an older form of battery that still sees some use in lower-end models but has the lowest capacity.
When comparing capacity, look for the rated milliampere-hour (mAh) of the battery. A higher mAh will give longer run times with a greater charge capacity.
Remote Control Types
The most common remotes you will find come in 2 distinct styles. One is the more traditional “Dual stick” type transmitter, using a more familiar gamepad style layout, with steering and acceleration placed on individual sticks, with any extra functions placed around these.
The alternative is the more recent “Gun” style transmitter. With a trigger for acceleration and braking, and a steering wheel style dial for turning left and right.
Most camera-enabled RC Cars can be controlled using an included remote. However, you may find some include extra options when paired with a companion smartphone app.
Some may allow for things like Gyroscopic or Touch controlled steering via the app, which may or may not be more responsive than using the included remote.
Connectivity is an important factor to consider depending on your ideal use scenario.
Most radio-controlled models today tend to use 2.4GHz connections, which are much more user-friendly, enable more devices to be used simultaneously and are less prone to interference.
Another connection type that is becoming more common is Bluetooth remote control models, which can be controlled using a smartphone via an app often included with the car itself.
However, for camera-enabled cars, most will use an Ad-Hoc Connection to your device using WiFi. In some cases (See the SunFounder Pi enabled car) models can also be controlled via web servers for even greater range limited only by the connection to the car itself.
On limited occasions, you may find Infrared (IR) remotes being used, which can be limited by factors such as distance and line of sight.
In rare instances, controls may also be tethered to the device physically with a cable.
The control range is dependent on a lot of factors, ranging from the connection type, distance, obstructing objects or walls, and the strength of the antenna in your device or smartphone.
In most cases when talking about RC remote channels, most are referring to the number of channels you can assign each car and remote to. This is to prevent signals from one remote affecting an unintended car.
However within the context of RC products such as Forklifts, and other such vehicles that are doing more than just turning and steering, the term “Channels” is referring to the individual signals, and therefore the individual commands that the transmitter can send and receive.
For example, an RC Car that only turns and accelerates, will typically only have 2-channels. One for each function. With a Forklift that has many functions that require additional motors, such as adjusting the mast, these will all be assigned a different radio frequency channel. This allows it to control that function independently without affecting other parts of the excavator.
With this in mind, the number of “Channels”, is referring to the number of individual controls available to the user.
The second thing to consider is the frequency numbers. If devices all use the same frequency, multiple vehicles will all receive the same signal from a single remote. This makes it impossible for multiple children to use different models at the same time.
Some models may have their radios linked to a specific vehicle itself, while others will have selectable channels on both the remote control and the model itself to allow users to pick and choose who controls which vehicle.
MHz Crystal radios Vs 2.4GHz
A much more obsolete and now rarely seen with the advent of 2.4GHz transmitters are FM Crystal synced transmitters, which work by using the oscillating signal from a tiny quartz crystal.
These work by sending specific frequencies to a receiver set to listen for a signal from the same frequency. They are however prone to all sorts of interference, are limited in the number of available channels due to a set range within government-regulated standards, and require physically modifying the hardware to change signals between devices.
2.4GHz based devices are not limited by these setbacks as they are encoded to listen specifically for it’s set receiver and transmitter when paired together, Thus have widely overtaken the market for modern devices.