When you buy a heavy-duty vehicle you are purchasing not just a means of transportation, but a way to make your life easier in many other facets. Whether you have a sturdy truck, an SUV, or a heavy car you will have the ability to employ your trailer hitch in a variety of ways if you utilize a mounted winch. If you do off-road driving, being stuck in the mud and having to ask someone else to pull you out will be a thing of the past. With the right winch, you can pull your truck or Jeep or someone else’s vehicle out of the mud with ease.
Best Trailer Mounted Hitches: Top 3
Superwinch 1145220 Terra 45 ATV/Utility Winch
The big benefit of this highly effective winch is in how efficient and easy it is to use. You can use the hitch mounting plate to get it right onto your trailer hitch for nearly instantaneous usage. This hitch has a low amperage draw with 55 feet of steel rope. Safety measures are out in full force with a dynamic break, full featured steel material, a heavy-duty hook and a lifetime warranty. The winch itself weighs a total of just 22 pounds and is great for smaller loads as it is rated at 4,500 pounds.
Superwinch 1510200 LP 1000 Winch
We’re sticking to Superwinch for the second option on our list as it provides the same benefits mentioned above at a much higher hauling capacity. If you need to haul some serious weight then look no further. The Superwinch 1510200 is rated at 10,000 pounds and it comes packaged with 85 feet of steel cable. You have a completely steel bodied, weather sealed product with a heavy-duty motor and a great warranty. Using the trailer hitch mounting plate, you can affix this mounted winch to any 4×4, trailer, RV, or SUV in order to get your next project done. The same safety features we listed above make their appearance here.
Warn 2000 DC Utility Winch
The final winch on our list comes by way of the company Warn. This small but powerful winch is powered by a DC motor and sized to get you out of tight and sticky situations. It comes packaged with 35 feet of wire cable that is all powered by the 1.6 horsepower battery we just spoke of. This little beauty is great for utilization on trailers or as a 2,000-pound hauling winch on the back of your trailer hitch.
What EXACTLY is a winch?
To put it simply, a winch is a machine that is used to make pulling around large objects fairly easy for your vehicle. A winch is made up of gears, cable, and a central drum and other parts that keep everything moving.
As you look through the different trailer hitch mounted winches out there you will no doubt see that they come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Larger winches typically have larger motors, tougher cable, and more hauling capacity. When you look for a winch you should opt for something that has a pulling strength of double the weight of your own personal vehicle. Unlike other pieces of equipment in the auto world, bigger is better. So if you have to opt for a guess, defer to guessing for something much larger than you intend to use.
Power Source: Electric v. Hydraulic
Once you’ve scouted out the size of your winch you need to break down how you want it to be powered. There are manual winches, which can be used for other situations, but we’ve opted to leave them out in this discussion — instead of focusing on high-powered products. The two most likely winches you will come across are electric winches and hydraulic winches.
Electric: An electric winch utilizes your own battery in order to keep the motor powered. These types of winches can drain your battery but they operate much quicker with accelerated winding speeds. Many of the newer winches on the market which are powered by your car battery will be easy to install and even easier to use, especially when remote controls are being used. If you opt for this route make sure that your battery rating provides enough voltage to cover the electric option.
Hydraulic: The hydraulic winch is your second choice. Hydraulic winches utilize the power steering pump of your car to give the winch power. These winches are particularly revered because they do not need to utilize the vehicle’s battery and thus are more reliable. If you figure to be in watery or ultra muddy conditions often then you should consider using the hydraulic winch. Hydraulic winches, unfortunately, are much harder to install and thus require more serious and committed users.
Cable Material: Steel or Synthetic
Finally, we’ll talk about the guts of your hitch mounted winch: the cable. The cable is the single most important aspect when it actually comes time to start utilizing your winch. We’ve all seen the horror scenarios in the film where the cable fails and our heroes plunge to their potential doom. You don’t want that happening to your car or boat, do you? Right now we are seeing primarily steel and synthetic cables be manufactured with the new winches on the market. We’ll break down the pros and cons of both.
Steel: Steel cables are the most common and affordable options on the market right now. They are strong, long-lasting, and fight off abrasion at a fantastic rate. The downside to stable cables is that they can cause severe injury in the off-chance that they actually snap. Steel cables retain a ton of injury that can be turned into forceful damage if a snap occurs.
Synthetic: Synthetic lines are for more experienced users. They are lighter and safer in that the synthetic cable will not retain as much energy when snapped. The truth is that synthetic lines snap more often than cable lines, but they are still rated safer. We suggest learning on a steel cable and then transitioning to the synthetic line in the future.