R/C Steam Hauler

Engine / Boiler: Regner Kompakt
Chassis / Body: Tamiya 1/14 King Hauler
R/C: Futaba 3 Channel
Misc. Parts: rc boat propeller shaft, Cheddar condenser
Fuel: Butane / Propane Mix
Running Time: 20 mins
Operating Pressure: 20-40 PSI


 This was a project that took some time to put together. It was a fairly easy hack job compared to some of my other creations, but it took a while to find the right parts for the hack job. I started with an used Tamiya King Hauler that I won from ebay. The chassis and most of the parts were in great shape, and it had ball bearings upgrade / hop up.
Tamiya King Hauler has a 3 speed transmission, and suited for 3 channel r/c (one for throttle, one for steering, and one for shifting gears). This was the first time that I had a gear shift transmission in one of my steam machines, so it was really fun to hack. At first, I wanted to mount the engine in the front, where a normal semi engine would be, and also where the original electric motor was. However, I was unable to, given the placement of steering and transmission servos. So I came up with the hacky solution of cutting a hole through the transmission box, mounting the pinion gear on the end of a model boat propeller shaft, and running though the back side. The transmission needed to be at an angle in order for this to work, luckily it all fit. Just barely....

The first test engine I used was a vertical Cheddar Plover steam engine and boiler. It was a nice proof of concept (it worked), but I didn't like the look and feel of the vertical boiler, and I wanted a more powerful engine for this puppy. I found Regner marine plants through traindept.com. I've heard a lot of great things about Regner locomotives, so I figured that I can't go wrong with one of their marine plants. This Regner Kompakt marine plant is bigger engine and boiler than the Cheddar, and it was horizontal, which made it look sleeker. I didn't put on any wood lagging insulation on the Regner boiler, because I wanted the whole thing to be black and tough looking, matching the body work.
I usually rather prefer a more SteamPunk look and feel. However, after completing it, I am rather pleased with how it turned out. It just look like a tough semi truck fitted with a water tank. It is not apparent that it is steam powered, until you see the steam coming out of the dual stacks. Several people have told me that it looks like something out of Mad Max.... well a clean Mad Max.... ?

This is the first time that I've done something that is more to scale, and it was quite fun. For steam exhaust, I decided to loose the boiler's smoke stack, and route the steam exhaust into the truck's pipes instead. From the condenser, steam exhaust fed through a silicone tube, and split at a T (found a nice t connector at a pet store, used for splitting airlines for fish tanks) and routed them though the truck's pipes. Holes were drilled through the body to hide the silicone tubing as much as possible. I tried to use one of the cosmetic tanks on the truck as a condenser by drilling holes for silicone tubing. It melted. Luckily I was able to turn the melted plastic parts around so that it is not visible from the outside/top. It is now setup with a small cheddar condenser, which is a bit too small for the Regner, as you can see in the video, the pipes spews out quite a bit, getting everything wet, within a few minutes of run.
I really like driving this steam powered tractor trailer, the combination of steam and 3 speed manual transmission makes it really fun to operate. Check out the pics and video below :)



Steam Hauler in Action

Pulling me on a skateboard

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