Top 10 Best Winch For Car Trailer 2022 [Buyers’ Guide]

Published: 05/25/22 •  23 min read

DISCLAIMER: I’ve personally researched, compared, and hand-picked these jacks and have only listed the best that deserve inclusion.

Taking your vintage car out for long trips is always a risk. That’s where an enclosed car trailer comes in place. But you still need to put your car on the trailer.

And for that, you need a good winch installed on the trailer’s ramp.

A car trailer winch is a mechanical device that helps you pull significantly heavy loads through a strong cable, which is winded using an electric motor.

It is powered by the battery of your vehicle and could be mounted on the back of your trailer or in the front of your vehicle by installing a mounting plate. 

Spending a couple of hundred bucks on a car trailer winch would bring you peace of mind while pulling some heaving load on the trailer. Here are some car trailer winch mounting ideas that you may need to know before buying.

These winches come with different features and qualities, therefore you should know a thing or two about the product before getting one.

WARN 103254 VR EVO 12 Electric

WARN 103254 VR EVO 12 Electric 12V DC Winch

Editor’s Pick

  • 12000 lbs load pulling capability
  • Two in one remote(wired and wireless)
  • IP68 waterproof rating
  • 3-stage planetary gear train

Smittybilt GEN 2 XRC Winch

smittybilt 97495 XRC best bang for buck winch

Best Bang for Buck

  • 9500 lbs of load pulling capability
  • 3 staged planetary gear system
  • IP67 ingress protection rating
  • Completely waterproof

Best Winch for Car Trailer

Here is the list of the Top 10 winches available on the market which pay the best value for your money.

1. WARN 103255 VR EVO 12-S Electric 12V DC Winch

  • 12000 lbs load pulling capability
  • 12V DC series wound motor
  • Synthetic rope
  • Roller fairlead or hawse fairlead
  • Two in one remote(wired and wireless)
  • 3-stage planetary gear train
  • Rotating ring gear clutch
  • Spring break
  • Removable control box
  • One-piece cast-aluminum tie-plate
  • IP68 waterproof rating

Our top pick is a heavy-duty standard-operation electrical winch from Warn called the VR EVO 12-S, designed and engineered in the USA. This workhorse has lower amp draws and faster line speed under load due to the powerful series wound motor installed.

Makes an Ingress Protection rating of 68 (IP68) which means that dust or water wouldn’t damage the equipment as the high-quality sealing would prevent water or mud from getting inside the electrical components and it will perform efficiently in the toughest situations.

Operating the winch is very convenient with a state-of-the-art two-in-one remote which can be used as a wireless remote and wired as well, as most of us wouldn’t want to stand close to the vehicle when pulling it out of mud or rocky surface wireless remote is the solution.

The VR EVO S-12 comes with a synthetic rope which has a loading capacity of 12000lbs, it is suitable for a 1-ton pickup truck and large rigs that require a heavier and longer dragging. The High-performance Albright contractor is concealed inside the controller that can be relocated for low-profile mounts.

Warn offers a lifetime mechanical warranty for the mechanical components and a 7-year electrical warranty for this standard operation winch.

What we like

  • Heavy-duty and durable
  • Weighs only 54lbs
  • Waterproof
  • Easy to install
  • Low profile installation is possible
  • Lifetime mechanical warranty and 7 years electrical warranty

What we didn’t like

  • Costly

2. Smittybilt X2O COMP – Waterproof Synthetic Rope Winch

  • 10000 lbs of load pulling capability
  • Synthetic rope
  • Wireless remote control
  • 6.6 hp amphibious motor
  • 3-staged planetary gear system
  • Dynamic Breaking System
  • 2 Solenoid mounting options
  • State-of-the-art 500Amp Solenoid
  • Ip68 ingress protection rating

Number two on our list is this amazing Smittybilt X20 Comp- winch. It has a load capacity of dragging 10000lbs in a straight line, thanks to the powerful 6.6hp producing series wound motor installed. The 3-stage planetary gear system allows the motor to transmit power for winding the synthetic rope without any hindrance and ensures quiet operations.

The Smittybilt X20 COMP winch runs on a sliding ring gear clutch to ensure smooth transmission of power from motor to gear train. The automatic out-of drum braking is an inductive braking system to reduce heating. Talking about smooth and long-lasting operations, the winch comes with a forged hook for extra strength and an aluminum hawse.

It has an Ingress Protection rating of 68 (IP68) which ensures that the winch is completely waterproof and there is no chance that immersion in mud or water would cause any harm to your machine.

The package includes all the required accessories to install and operate the machine along with a rope sleeve. Operating the winch is very convenient as it comes with both wireless remote control which can also be used with the given cord.

Smitty offers a Lifetime mechanical warranty and a 5-year warranty for all the electrical components for this winch, which goes on to show that the manufacturers have good confidence in their product.

What we like

  • Heavy-duty and durable
  • 3 Staged gear system makes quiet operations
  • Could be operated with a remote or manually
  • Reduced heating for longer-lasting performance
  • Doesn’t get rusted or damaged by UV rays
  • Produces more torque than competitors

What we didn’t like

  • Controller gets plugged in from drivers side

3. ZEAK 13000 lb. Premium Electric Winch 12V

  • 13000lbs of load pulling capability
  • 3-staged planetary gear system
  • Corded and wireless remote
  • IP68 ingress protection rating
  • 6.0hp producing motor
  • Free spooling clutch
  • 400Amp series-wound Solenoid

ZEAK 13000lb. Premium Electric Winch is a unique design heavy-duty winch that goes with all kinds of trucks, SUVs, and trailers. It has the capability to pull 13000 lbs of weight with the 6.0HP producing 12V DC motor and a 3-stage planetary gear train which ensures strong pulling.

This premium quality winch from ZEAK is designed with the core purpose of providing strong and long-lasting performance to its consumers. It comes with a synthetic rope that is tightly breaded to ensure durability and the 400 AMP series wound motor provides a pulling speed of 5feet/min when fully loaded(13000lbs). Hence getting your vehicle out of a predicament or pulling some heavy load would be quicker than ever.

The Ingress Protection rating is 68(IP68) which makes it 100% waterproof and no amount of mud or water immersion could damage your winch.

To keep the machinery safe and longer-lasting the manufacturers have equipment this winch with a safety circuit breaker that cuts off the power in case of an incident. Comes with a wired and a wireless remote to wind and unwind the rope conveniently, speaking of which the machine has a hawse fairlead and a clevis hook.

All the electrical components in the winch are covered with a 1-year of limited warranty.

What we like

  • Strong and durable
  • Value for money
  • Circuit breaker installed for safety
  • Wireless remote ranges up to 32 feet
  • Drags full load at the speed of 5ft/min
  • Electrical components are covered by 1-year warranty

What we didn’t like

  • Wireless remote causes issues sometimes
  • Could overheat if used continuously

4. Smittybilt GEN 2 XRC Winch

  • 9500 lbs of load pulling capability
  • 3 staged planetary gear system
  • Fairlead 4-way roller
  • Wire rope
  • Completely waterproof
  • State-of-the-art 500 Amp Solenoid
  • 6.6hp producing series wound motor
  • Ip67 ingress protection rating
  • Three solenoid mounting points
  • Automatic in-drum brakes

Another amazing winch from Smittybilt made it to our list which is called Gen2 XRC Winch. This is a high-performance recovery system for your truck, trailer, or SUV which is capable of pulling 9500lbs of load. Hence, it would bail you out of any critical situation.

This winch runs on a 6.6hp series wound motor and a 3-stage planetary gear train that ensures strong and long-lasting pulling action. On the other hand, the sliding ring clutch transmits the power from the motor to the gear train smoothly making the process even more efficient and fast.

Ingress Protection rating is 67(IP67) which means it is safe from immersion between 15cm and 1meter in depth while being completely protected from dust ingression. Speaking of which the-state-of-art 500 AMP solenoid is completely waterproof, hence the winch is capable of performing in the toughest conditions. Although it comes with a steel rope instead of a synthetic one, it’s waterproof and anti-corrosion.

There’s a long list of features you get from this electric winch but automatic in-drum braking is the one that would be great in terms of safety of your equipment and durability. Besides that 4-way roller hawse makes the winding process even smoother and more convenient.

You get a lifetime warranty on the mechanical components and a 3-year warranty for all the electrical components from the manufacturer.

What we like

  • Low cost
  • IP67 waterproofing
  • Easy to install
  • Powerful motor
  • Comes with complete installation wiring
  • Lifetime mechanical warranty and 3 years electrical warranty

What we didn’t like

  • Fragile mounting piece

5. OPENROAD 10000lbs 12 Volts Electric Winch

  • 10000lbs of load pulling capability
  • 5.5hp producing series wound motor
  • 3-stage planetary gear train
  • Wireless remote control and wired control switch
  • IP67 waterproof rating
  • Winch control power-off button
  • Load holding brake

OPEN ROAD 10000lbs 12V Electric Winch is a phenomenal machine that has 10000lbs of load capacity and fits all kinds of harsh environments. It is powered by a 5.5HP/4.5 producing series wound motor which is good enough to fit your truck, SUV, or trailer. The motor has pure copper winding to make the winch temperature resistant, efficient and durable.

The 3-stage planetary gear train ensures smooth transmission and load distribution between gears to accumulate great pulling strength in critical conditions. Thus, the winding speed is 24.6ft/min when empty and 6.4 speed when loaded up to 10000 lbs.

A rope is one of the most essential parts of a winch and this 12V electric winch is occupied with a strand braided synthetic rope, which is rust and waterproof. The rope is extremely tough as it is wear-resistant, alkali resistant, UV resistant and even works perfectly below -20 degrees celsius.

The winch kit features a wired control switch and a wireless remote control that works within a 50ft radius for ease of usage. The control box come with a safety power cut-off button that makes it easy to turn off the power during the operation with just a click, this feature helps prevent unnecessary energy loss and preserves winch life.

Ingress protection rating is 67 (IP67) which means it is totally protected from dust ingression and protected from water immersion between 15 cm and 1 feet meter depth. Lifetime technical support is provided by the manufacturers along with a 1-year limited warranty.

What we like

  • Alkali and corrosion resistant
  • Waterproof
  • Power cut-off button to instantly cut off power
  • High UV resistance and works under -20 degrees celsius
  • Wireless remote operates under 50ft radius
  • Lifetime technical support and 1-year limited warranty

What we didn’t like

  • Heating issues

6. STEGODON New 9500 lb. Load Capacity Electric Winch

  • 9500 lbs of load pulling capability
  • 4.1KW/5.5HP 12V DC motor
  • 3-staged planetary gear train
  • State-of-the-art 500Amp solenoid
  • Synthetic rope
  • Sliding ring gear clutch
  • Wireless remote control

STEGODON S3 Electric Winch is another amazing machine on our list that would outclass most of the competitors in terms of technology and efficiency. The black frosted sprayed body does not rust and has better thermal insulation.

The winch can pull 9500lbs of load, it’s powered by a 4.5KW/5.5HP producing permanent magnet 12V DC motor. The sliding ring gear clutch makes the transmission of power-efficient from the motor to the gear train. The gear train installed in the machine is a 3-stage planetary that distributes the power evenly on multiple gears to achieve maximum speed ratio and small volume.

State-of-the-art 500Amp solenoid is heat insulated and provides sufficient power to the motor to avoid burning or capstan damage. The solenoid is concealed in the controller box for safety and waterproofing.

A powerful wireless control system is configured to the S3 winch, the wireless remote amplifies the transmitted signal and provides a range of about 325ft without obstacles.

The winch is backed up by lifetime technical support from STEGODON and a limited 1-year warranty.

What we like

  • Value to money
  • Stronger clutch handle that doesn’t crack
  • The solenoid is heavily sealed
  • High sensitivity remote control
  • Drags at the speed of 6.6 ft/min when fully loaded
  • Lifetime technical support with 1-year limited warranty

What we didn’t like

  • The motor could rust if not taken care
  • Wireless remote causes trouble at times

7. TYT T1 Series Winch 13000 lb. Advanced Load Capacity Electric Winch

  • 13000lbs of pulling load pulling capability
  • 6.0HP/4.5KW series wound electric motor
  • 3-stage planetary gear train
  • 500Amp High-performance solenoid
  • Aluminum hawse fairlead
  • Automatic load holding breaks
  • Sliding ring gear clutch
  • Remote switch(optional wireless remote control)
  • IP67 waterproof rating

The T1 13000lbs winch from TYT is a great product that is suitable for all kinds of road vehicles. It has a load capacity of 13000 lbs, powered by a high-performance copper motor. The series-wound electric motor delivers  6.0HP/4.5KW making the winch extremely powerful for pulling your vehicle out of any predicament.

The gear train is a 3-stage planetary that distributes the power among multiple gears to provide a stable winding process. It works with a sliding ring gear clutch that connects the gear train to the electric motor by transmitting power and making the winch more efficient.

The ingress protection rating for this winch is 67(IP67) which makes it protected from dust ingression while protected from water immersion between 15 cm and 1 meter in depth. Thus, the 500Amp solenoid is completely water and dustproof with a high-performance sealing ring.

The Automatic load-holding brake makes the winding process safer and the wireless control makes it more convenient.

TYT offers a 2-years limited warranty and lifetime technical support on the product.

What we like

  • 20%-30% faster than the conventional control box
  • Dual remote control and overload protection
  • Synthetic (Dyneema) rope is extra durable
  • 2 wireless remote controls
  • Drags at the speed of 7f/min when fully loaded
  • High-quality copper used in motor
  • Lifetime technical support with 2 years of service warranty

What we didn’t like

  • Problems with mounting bracket
  • Requires a professional to install properly

8. AC-DK 13000 lb. Electric Winch Kit, 12V Winch

  • Up to 13500lbs of load pulling capability
  • 6hp motor produces 4.5KW of power
  • 500Amps of solenoid
  • Synthetic rope
  • Wireless remote control
  • 3 staged planetary gear system
  • Automatic load holding breaks
  • 4-way roller or Aluminium fairlead
  • IP67 waterproofing
  • Lifetime technical support and 2 years Limited warranty

Here’s another 13000lbs winch on our list, it’s called the AC-DK 13000lb Electric Winch. It runs on a series wound 6.5HP/4.5KW motor which is connected to a 3-stage planetary gear system.

The gear train makes the winch more durable by equally distributing the load over multiple gears.

The winch is made with sturdy and durable stainless steel with sealing and corrosion resistance. A 4-way roller or aluminum hawse comes installed on the front of the winch for making the winding process smooth and efficient, and the synthetic rope adds on to it.

It has an Ingress Protection rating of 67(IP67), ensuring complete protection against dust ingression while liquid immersion between 15 cm to 1 meter wouldn’t harm the device at all. Hence, making it would hold back in any tough situation.

The wireless remote control makes it safe for you to operate the winch from a distance to avoid potential danger. An automatic load-holding brake makes the winding process, even more, safer for you and the device.

AK-DC provides lifetime technical support and a 2-year limited warranty on this electric winch.

What we like

  • Made with anti-corrosion durable steel
  • Waterproof
  • Runs smoothly on 4-way rollers and aluminum fairlead
  • Automatic power-off protection and Automatic in-drum breaks
  • Comes with complete accessories along with safety gloves and a winch cover

What we didn’t like

  • Wireless control isn’t waterproof

9. Champion Power Equipment-14560 4500-lb. ATV/UTV Wireless Winch Kit

  • 4500lbs of load pulling capability
  • 12V DC motor produces 1.6HP
  • 3 Stage planetary gear train
  • Free spooling clutch
  • Dynamic braking system
  • Galvanic Steel rope
  • Fairlead 4-way roller
  • Wireless remote control
  • Powers off automatically when not in use

Champion Power Equipment-14560 winch is relatively smaller than the rest of the devices on the list, yet it’s quite efficient and offers a great value for your money. The price is pretty low but the quality isn’t compromised, the load capacity of this winch is 4500 lbs.

This winch runs on a 1.6HP 12V DC motor, which gives a line speed of 4.6ft/min when fully loaded up to 4500 lbs and 12.8 ft/min without load. The 3-stage planetary gear train makes the hauling process stronger by evenly distributing power between multiple gears during the action. A free spoiling clutch efficiently transmits the power from the motor to the gear train making the mechanism stronger.

The package includes a mini-rocker handlebar switch which makes the winching process better. The rope is made from galvanic steel for strength and durability and goes through a 4-way roller fairlead. All these features help make the operation smooth and powerful.

Operating the wich is safe and convenient with the wireless remote that works within a 50ft radius. The device automatically cuts off power when not being used to preserve energy and winch life.

What we like

  • Easy to install
  • Low cost
  • Anti-corrosion steel cable
  • Drags with the speed of 4.6ft/min when fully loaded
  • Automatically cuts power off to save battery charge
  • Wireless control works within 250ft radius

What we didn’t like

  • Problems with winding the cable
  • Wires are short from the controller to the winch
  • No Warranty

10. OFF ROAD BOAR 9500-lb. Load Capacity Electric Winch Kit

  • 9500lbs of load pulling capability
  • 4.0KW/5.5HP series wound motor
  • 3-stage planetary gear train
  • IP67 waterproof rating
  • Wired and wireless remote control
  • Automatic load holding brakes
  • Free spooling clutch
  • 4-way roller fairlead

The last device on our list is OFF ROAD BOAR 9500 lb. Electric Winch, which is powered by a 5.5HP/4.5KW series wound motor. The powerful DC motor works on a 3-stage planetary gear train that distributes the power and delivers exceptional hauling operation. A free spooling clutch connects the motor to the gear trains by transmitting the power.

This compact robust kit offers a low-profile design that allows multiple mounting options making it perfect for trucks, SUVs, jeeps, and trailers. It comes with a wired switch and wireless remote control for convenient operation. Automatic load-holding brakes and overload protection make the process safe and efficient.

Considering the strength and durability of the winch the manufacturers have equipped this device with a 4-way roller fairlead to make sure that the steel rope winds in and out without causing any hindrance and making it easier to get your stuck vehicle out. The steel rope is attached to a clevis hook for better grip.

Ingress Protection rating of 67(IP67) ensures the waterproof construction and durable structure of the device, it can survive through dust ingression and water immersion. The manufacturers offer lifetime technical support and a 1-year limited warranty on the product.

What we like

  • Sturdy and durable
  • Waterproof
  • Multiple installation options
  • Small in size
  • Strong powerful motor and clutch
  • Lifetime technical support and 1-year limited warranty

What we didn’t like

  • The instruction manual is too complicated
  • The wires are pretty short

Learn More: How to Wire a Winch without a Solenoid

Buyer’s Guide for Car Trailer Winch

Before you hit the road, you have to make sure that you have the very best winch present in your toolbox to help you haul the wheels. Should your car ever be badly stuck in sand or mud?

However, when choosing the right winch for your vehicle there are quite a lot of things to be considered. But don’t worry, our buyer’s guide will help you make the right decision for picking out the best winch for your vehicle.

Reason to own a winch

The winch is a mechanical pulling device that you can install on your vehicle, it helps to free it or get it unstuck when you get in some difficult situation. It comes in handy as a safety device when you have no one to help you out of a difficult situation and makes you self-sufficient in those conditions.

Types of winches

Although all the winches are mechanical devices, they can be categorized on the bases of their working principles.

Power Takeoff or PTO winches

PTO winches are powered by the transmission or drive-train of a vehicle. It is designed to work with tractors or loading trucks. The truck’s transmission has one or more options for plugging in a PTO winch, therefore these winches are more powerful than the other types and perform more effectively.

Hydraulic Winches

The Hydraulic winches as the name suggest work on hydraulic pressure, it doesn’t need to have a powerful battery but a hydraulic pump to operate. These devices are very durable and designed to perform heavy-duty tasks.

Electric winches

The most commonly used type of winch for jeeps, SUVs, and other offroading vehicles is the electric winch. It takes power from the vehicle’s battery to run the electric motor installed in it. These winches have the capability of pulling multiple thousand-pound objects, especially in a stuck situation.

How to pick the winch that suits your vehicle?

In order to choose the right winch for your vehicle, you need to understand a few basic requirements.

Load dragging capacity

Electric winches come in different loading capacities, in order to choose the right winch for your vehicle you need to know the winch that has the load-pulling capability to pull your vehicle out of the predicament. The advised ratio is that the winch could be able to pull a quarter(one-fourth) of your vehicle’s weight.

Type of vehicle

The type of your vehicle should be kept in mind while choosing an electric winch. The manufacturers mention the compatibility of these winches in the description and it’s easy to find out if it suits your ride.

How to determine if a winch is sturdy and durable?

Manufacturers generally mention all the features of their product but you need to understand what you need for getting the job done.

Motor and other mechanisms

A motor is the main component that powers your winch and you need to make sure that the motor installed in the device produces sufficient power to get the job done. Besides the motor, the gear train and clutch system of the winch carries great importance to transmit power from the motor for winding the rope.

Rope and hawse

A rope is the only component that connects your vehicle to the pivotal point. Therefore, the strength of the rope used in the product is essential along with the hawse.

Insulation and waterproofing

Winches are generally used in harsh conditions where your vehicle is stuck in mud or water, so make sure that your chosen device is insulated and waterproof.



What do I need to know before buying a winch?

Find out the load capacity you require from a winch that suits your vehicle. Read the product description thoroughly to make sure it has a powerful motor, efficient gear train, strong rope, and waterproofing. Decent warranty coverage is necessary if you are getting an expensive winch.

What should you not do with a winch?

You shouldn’t run the winch continuously for longer durations, it can cause overheating and damage the motor. The rope should not be lost when you start the winding process; it can cause damage to the gear train and the rope itself.

How often should you run your winch?

Winches can be used as frequently as you require if there’s proper maintenance. A rule of thumb is that it should be serviced every 12 months but if it is used every weekend then servicing every 6 months would be a better idea.

How much weight can a winch pull?

Every winch has its own load pulling capacity which is mentioned by the manufacturer but it’s suggested to keep the load 500 pounds under that limit.

How much pulling power do I require?

It is ideal to have a winch with a load capacity that is one-fourth(¼) of your vehicle’s curb weight. Any winch that exceeds that ratio will totally be fine.


Winches are powerful hauling devices that are proven to be very helpful with these heavy-duty tasks but with the abundance of products available in the market, making the right choice could be baffling.

Hopefully, this article helps you understand the functionality and qualities that are needed to bring into consideration while making a purchase decision.