Best Car Trailer Winch Mounting Ideas [All Trailers]

Published: 05/04/22 •  6 min read

A trailer vehicle is incomplete without mounting a winch as it is a basic mechanical tool to lift weights conveniently without putting in much physical labor and effort. For pulling up heavy vehicles, there is nothing better than winches on trailers. Placing a right winch at the right spot of a trailer can provide absolute results that help to get more work done with accuracy in less time

Different types of car trailers need different attachments to hold winches. For instance, the winch mounting mechanism is different in flatbed, gooseneck, tilt deck, or enclosed car trailers.

I have covered some of the most popular ideas of winch mounting for different car trailers.

You can also check out our review of top 10 best winch for car trailers!

Mounting Winch on Flatbed Trailers

If you have a flatbed trailer, the most convenient way is to mount the winch on the railing of the trailer.

In case you do not have the railing on the trailer, you can mount it using a winch mounting plate on the floor. For that, you can either weld the plate with 2-inch receivers or use U-shape bolts to fasten it with a trailer. An added advantage of using a mounting plate is that it can be removed easily in the future if needed.

Mounting Winch on Tilt Deck Trailers

The second type of car trailer is a tilt deck trailer. With a ramp and easily changing angles capability, these car trailers are most popular when you are trying to load or unload heavy objects. This trailer saves both time and money since no additional ramp is required to load or unload.

In the case of the tilt deck trailer, the winch needs to be mounted on the lower deck of the trailer by using a winch plate.  First, the winch plate is bolted on the deck, then the winch is mounted on that plate.

Another idea that is used is mounting the winch with a D-ring on the deck. This will help to lift heavy objects and keep the winch in its place while working in different directions.

An important point to note is that you do not need to place the winch in the middle of the trailer because it will lower the pulling capacity of the winch.

Mounting Winch on Gooseneck Trailers

A developed version of flat-bed trailers is a goose-neck trailer. It is named so due to its goose-neck shape. These trailers have the most loading capacity among all.  The winch for these trailers must be placed in the most suitable spot to avoid any inconvenience.

A custom winch mount is appropriate to mount the winch on this trailer. But first, mark the center of the trailer. Then, see if there is enough room for the plate. Weld the custom winch mount and bolt the winch on the plate. In this case, a D-ring attachment is necessary for easily lifting heavy objects and operating at different angles.

Mounting Winch on Enclosed Trailers

If you are carrying a material that can be damaged by a fall during travel. Then, you must choose an enclosed car trailer as it is the safest way to carry fragile loads.

To mount a winch on enclosed trailers you can use either of the following ideas.

  1. Mount Winch Inside: The first idea is to mount the winch inside the trailer, on the floor bed. But in that case, you will need a bracket to attach the winch. Your winch must be 6 inches above the floor to avoid the rope dragging.
  2. Mount Winch under the Trailer: A second option is to mount the winch under the trailer.  For that, you will need an in-floor winch mount. After that, cut the floor of the trailer according to the size of the winch mount. Place the winch inside, and tighten it with bolts.
  3. Mount Trailer Tongue Box: Lastly, a winch mount can also be attached to a trailer tongue’s box. For that, you will need mounting brackets welded to the trailer to support the winch.

How to Power a Winch?

Once you have mounted the winch, you need to power it. It needs high power to pull loads. A winch can be powered either through the vehicle’s power source or through a

n external battery.

From the Vehicle’s Power Source

To get power from the vehicle’s power source, you need a rapid disconnect and then connect it to the winch. For this purpose, a disconnector is required. The disconnector has two wires a long and short. Long wire is used as a power cord and short wire is used for the grounding purpose.

You need to select a comfortable place at the back of your vehicle to join the rapid disconnect. You have to ground your shorter wire to a neat metal surface on your vehicle and connect your long wire with the positive terminal of your vehicle’s battery. Again, ground the negative terminal of the battery. Install a circuit breaker that connects the long wire with the battery.   Lastly, wire up the winch using its manual and attach its two end wires to the disconnector.  The following circuit diagram explains the wiring connections of the winch.

battery wiring diagram
Figure 1-Wiring Circuit to power a Winch ©Smittybilt Winches

Working around the batteries may be dangerous so always wear eye protectors to ensure safety.

From a Separate Battery Mounted

Another way is to use a separate battery mounted on the trailer to power the winch. With a separate battery mounted on a winch, you no longer need to completely rely on the vehicle’s battery, and in need, you can use the trailer without connecting it to the vehicle.

Just fix a toolbox with the trailer, install necessary connections in the toolbox to get the maximum use of the battery. The wire connection is similar, as in the previous case. Don’t forget to install a circuit breaker. To avoid electrical overloading or damage to the entire circuit, remove the vehicle’s connections from the trailer’s connections while operating the winch.

Where do you Hook a Winch when not in use?

When spare, it is up to you how you cover the winch. You can either cover it up with some sort of neoprene cover or tie it with the hook at a suitable place on the trailer.

Can Winch be Removed from the Trailer?

Yes, the winch can be removed depending on how you have mounted it. If you have placed it using a winch plate, you can easily detach it by removing the bolts.

So, I have covered the mounting ideas that you can use depending on the car trailer. The winch powering mechanism has also been explained in detail.