Travel With RC Gear

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Every year before the larger fly away races you'll find someone asking about how to best travel with your RC stuff to fly away events. There are many ways to do this -- but no mater whomever you ask there is one common theme to the responses -- make sure to carry on your cars and radio. At the end of the day, you can loose all of your checked items and still find a way to compete even if you have your cars and radio.


[edit] Packing Tips

[edit] Carry-on

  • Bring your radio, cars and lipos!
  • Place tape over the lipo battery connections to guard against short circuit. The TSA officials seem to appreciate this too.
  • When going through security take everything out of your carry-on bags so they are in clear sight of the TSA officials. You'll be surprised how many of the people working in the airport security teams know about RC cars.
  • Make your carry-on as heavy as possible because that is less you'll have to pay for checked bags.

[edit] Checked

  • Use air tight containers for any liquids. I'd recommend the stuff from Lock & Lock
  • If your bringing more than one checked bag make sure to balance the load across the two containers -- or make one of them super heavy to only take an overweight penalty with one bag.

[edit] Ship

  • You cannot travel with motor spray, paint or any other flammable liquid like traction compound -- so if you don't ship these things to the event yourself make sure to buy them as soon as you arrive before everyone else picks them up.
  • People are also skittish to bring shock oil and other greases. I think if you pack them in an air tight container you'll have no real problems.
  • Many people choose to pack up their heaviest items and ship them to the race with UPS. This can usually be done for less than what the airlines charge for over-weight baggage. If you plan it out with enough time and can ship ground its cheap I think around $20 for a 20x20x18 box that weighs 30 to 40lbs. It makes traveling SO much easier.
  • For the return trip I just box the stuff up again and then issue call tags for the return journey. The hotel or hobby shop don't have to do anything except be open for the pick up.
  • If you do ship stuff ahead be sure the items are clearly labeled as to who and what event they are for. You should also contact the receiver in advance so they are ok with holding the boxes until you arrive.

[edit] Gear

[edit] Carry-on Bags

  • Hard cased bags are great to carry and protect your cars and radio
  • A flexible bag, like a napsack, can be played off as a "personal item" so you can bring two carry on bags

[edit] Checked Bags

No matter which option you pick using a TSA certified lock or TSA certified luggage strap is a smart move to make sure your expensive cargo doesn't open up during transit. Since they are TSA certified the locks will not be cut off when you bags get inspected (they will be inspected). I usually get my travel locks from Amazon or Walgreens.

  1. Big Mistake: use your existing hauler bags -- they will fall apart eventually
  2. Decent Option: These Contico Storage Lockers are pretty cheap, not too heavy (~10lbs) but the hinges or locks usually break off. I've had two of them break before looking into something better. They are available from The Container Store or Walmart
  3. Baller Class: Storm or Pelican Cases. Don't bother buy the packing foam, it isn't necessary unless you want to waste hours custom fitting all of yoru stuff. I use the Storm iM2750

[edit] Guidelines

[edit] Airline Specific

[edit] Discussion

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