Best Winch for Car Trailers Today

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Top 3 Picks

pressed for time? Check out our top picks

best overall rating
★★★★★

Superwinch 1145220 Winch

Superwinch 1145220 Terra 45 ATV & Utility Winch (4500lbs/2046kg Rating)
  • Mechanical load holding
  • High performance
  • Heavy-duty latched hook
best overall rating
★★★★★

Superwinch 1130220 Winch

Superwinch 1130220 LT3000 12V DC WInch 3,000lb/1361kg Single Line Pull with Roller Fairlead, 3/16in x 50ft Steel Wire Rope, Corded Handheld Remote
  • More power for money
  • Affordable and functional
  • 2 year warranty
best overall rating
★★★★★

Smittybilt 97495 Winch

Smittybilt XRC GEN2 9.5K Waterproof Winch with Steel Cable - 97495
  • Waterproof winch
  • 9,500Lbs line Pull
  • High loading capacity

How We Decided: 25 products considered. 800+ reviews analyzed, 16 research hours spent, 25+ info. sources referred

A winch can prove the difference between having an easy time in the event your vehicle breaks down or having a difficult time towing your vehicle.

With a suitable winch, you will not require significant human effort to have your car issue addressed. It also adds on to the efficiency by accomplishing tasks effortlessly.

Top Car Trailer Winch Compared

ProductSpecificationsPrice

Superwinch 1145220

Motor: 1.6 hp
Rated Line Pull: 4500 lbs
Line Length: 55 ft

Superwinch 1130220 LT3000ATV

Motor: 1.2 hp
Rated Line Pull: 3000 lbs
Line Length: 50 ft

Smittybilt 97495 XRC

Motor: 6.6 hp
Rated Line Pull: 9500 lbs
Line Length: 95 ft

WARN 885000

Motor: 120V AC
Rated Line Pull: 1000 lbs
Line Length: 15 ft

Smittybilt 97510 X 2O

Motor: 6.6 hp
Rated Line Pull: 10000 lbs
Line Length: 98.5 ft

Master Lock Electric Winch

Motor: 12 volts
Rated Line Pull: 6000/5000/2000 lbs
Line Length: 30 ft

Superwinch 1331200 UT3000

Motor: 1.2 hp
Rated Line Pull: 3000 lbs
Line Length: 40 ft

Superwinch 1120210 LT2000

Motor: 2 hp
Rated Line Pull: 2000 lbs
Line Length: 50 ft

Superwinch 1595200

Motor: 6 hp
Rated Line Pull: 1500 lbs
Line Length: 30 ft

Superwinch 1585202 LP8500

Motor: 4 hp
Rated Line Pull: 8500 lbs
Line Length: 94 ft

Best Winch for Car Trailer

1.best overall rating

Superwinch 1145220 Terra 45 ATV Utility Winch

Superwinch 1145220 Terra 45 ATV & Utility Winch (4500lbs/2046kg Rating)

Best Utility Winch Overall

The Superwinch Terra 45 is a highly efficient winch that comes with a sealed permanent magnet motor of 1.6 hp.

It has made outstanding progress as compared to its competitors in utilizing planetary gear with twice the width of standard winches. Moreover, it comes with a circuit breaker to protect your machine from extreme power surges.

Key specifications

  • 1.6 hp permanent magnet motor
  • Length of rope – 55ft
  • Width of cable – ¼ inches
  • Line pull rating – 4500lb
  • Weather solenoid contact
  • Circuit breaker present
  • Oil pocket bronze bearings that are machined in
  • Weight – 22.1 pounds
  • Product dimensions – 15.1×4.5×4.8 inches

Pros

  • High performance
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Circuit breaker protected
  • Ergonomic free-spool control
  • Designed for tough conditions
  • The engine and gearbox are waterproof and dustproof

Cons

  • No wireless remote control

This powerful winch from Superwinch delivers exemplary performance due to its high line pulling rate and steel-reinforced drums. Its more extensive gear provides better engagement, and the bigger motor is stronger too.

The winch is a handy solution if you get stuck while on off-road adventures. The covering across its engine and gearbox protect the parts from being clogged by dust, mud, or water splashes, which may affect performance.

The manufacturers say it can fit in almost all sports vehicles with ease, and the warranty also covers you in case the product malfunctions after purchase.

2.best overall rating

Superwinch 1130220 LT3000ATV 12 VDC winch

Superwinch 1130220 LT3000 12V DC WInch 3,000lb/1361kg Single Line Pull with Roller Fairlead, 3/16in x 50ft Steel Wire Rope, Corded Handheld Remote

Best value for money

Designed for outdoor and off-road activities, this compact and yet all-purpose winch delivers an impressive pulling rate of 3000lbs. The engine delivers 1.2 hp and performs its work in silence.

Therefore, if you’ve been looking for a winch that makes the least noise, this is the right product for you. The product also gives you value for your money with its affordable pricing and multiple features.

Key specifications

  • Line pulling rate – 3000lbs
  • Motor – 1.2 hp
  • The solenoid is sealed and circuit breaker protected
  • Wire rope – 3/16” (diameter) by 50ft (length)
  • Dimensions – 13.2×4.25×4.25 (LxWxH)
  • Weight – 20lbs
  • Fairlead – Heavy duty 4-way roller
  • Drum – 2” by 2.9” (Diameter/Length)
  • Remote (handheld) – 12ft
  • Mechanical and dynamic brake

Pros

  • More power for your money
  • Has a roller fairlead with a mounting plate
  • Efficient brake system
  • Comes with a handheld remote
  • The sealed motor provides protection
  • The rocker switch is handlebar-mounted
  • 2 year limited warranty

Cons

  • Can be challenging to use for beginners

Superwinch has built itself a name as a trusted company that delivers excellent winches. And they have designed an impressive tool with the Superwinch 1130220 LT3000ATV.

Its fast, powerful, and comes at a moderate price for its all-purpose features.

The product is compact and ideal for someone looking for a reliable and functional winch within a budget. The remote eases your control of the device, and its small design means it can fit within the spaces of most vehicles.

3.best overall rating

Smittybilt 97495 XRC Winch – 9500 lb. Load Capacity

Smittybilt XRC GEN2 9.5K Waterproof Winch with Steel Cable - 97495

Highest load capacity winch

With a 6.6hp motor, this waterproof winch system is designed for those who need something more sophisticated. Its higher power output is a result of the planetary gear system that utilizes 3 stages.

This makes it ideal for more energy-demanding tasks and heavy loads.

Key specifications

  • 6.6 hp amphibious motor
  • Voltage of 12V
  • Wiring installation kit
  • Corded remote
  • Load capacity of 9500lbs
  • An IP67 waterproof rating
  • Product dimensions – 20.88×6.3×7.4 (L x W x H)
  • Weight – 78 pounds
  • Drum diameter – 2.5 inches

Pros

  • Limited warranty for steel parts replacement
  • Electrical warranty of 3 years
  • Powerful
  • High loading capacity
  • Waterproof

Cons

  • Suffers from constant breakdowns

Smittybilt has developed a reputable legacy of releasing functional and reliable winches for all vehicles. In the same spirit, they have given this XRC winch innovative features that will satisfy all your needs.

The recent updates of this winch have included heavy-duty features to improve on its durability and maximize its performance. The machine is simply a muscle for bailing you out in the toughest of conditions.

The winch comes with a kit that has all the wiring you’ll need for its installation. The waterproof aspect of it makes it usable in wet conditions or muddy terrains.

The corded remote gives you control as you stand at a distance for safety reasons.

4.best overall rating

WARN 885000 Corded PullzAll 120V AC

WARN 885000 PullzAll Corded 120V AC Portable Electric Winch with Steel Cable: 1/2 Ton (1,000 Lb) Pulling Capacity , Red

Best winch for energy efficiency

Manufactured in China, this winch boasts what many products from China do, efficiency delivered at a pocket-friendly price.

The device is built for people who need a highly durable and functioning winch, but they are constrained by their budget. It is also an excellent choice for beginners due to its lightweight nature and surprising ease of use.

However, it is essential to note that it cannot perform heavy tasks.

Key specifications

  • No-Load line speed of 13.8 fpm
  • Weight – 15 pounds
  • Dimensions – 19 x 12 x 12 inches
  • Length of rope – 15ft with 7/32” diameter
  • Led indicator
  • Variable speed control

Pros

  • Highly durable
  • Very efficient
  • Easy to use
  • Excess load indicator

Cons

  • Cannot handle heavy tasks
  • You will have to remove obstacles along its line of pull

The WARN 885000 Corded PullzAll winch has been designed to maximize the amount of work you can do with it. The electronic load limiter ensures that you do not overwork the device and cause it to malfunction.

The LED indicator also gives feedback on the progress of the machine during operation.

It is efficient for small tasks such as ironwork, pipe fitting, garages, and auto shops. However, you can transport it anywhere you like due to its light nature.

On a side note, you will have to ensure that there are no obstacles or elements that may hinder its safe operation while using it for a pull.

5.best overall rating

Smittybilt 97510 X 2O Waterproof Winch

Smittybilt X2O-10K Waterproof Wireless Winch Gen2 97510

Best waterproof winch

The Smittybilt 97510 X 2O is a state of the art 3-stage planetary winch ran by 6.6 hp motor. It is completely waterproof and comes with a Solenoid of 500 amps.

The winch exudes power and is capable of dealing with extreme jobs without much hustle.

Key specifications

  • Product dimensions – 22.3 x 5.4 x 9.4 (L-W-H)
  • Weight – 87 pounds
  • IP68 Waterproof rating
  • 3 stage planetary
  • A-rated line pull of 10,000lbs
  • 6.6 hp Series Wound motor
  • 2.5-inch drum diameter
  • 98.5 ft. cable
  • Remote control

Pros

  • Waterproof
  • Durable
  • Comes with remote control
  • Has a very long cable

Cons

  • The remote range of control is a little below what’s stated by the manufacturer

Smittybilt gave their all when designing this winch. It has the strength to handle powerful vehicles such as jeeps and SUVs. One of the best things about this product is the warranty you get from the manufacturers.

There is a 5-year electrical warranty combined with a lifetime mechanical warranty.

But above all, this winch has genuinely outdone itself in delivering impressive performance and handling heavy tasks with ease and efficiency.

It’s highly durable and rarely breaks down. The machine is a powerhouse that will never let you down.

For what it’s worth, it gives value for every dollar spent on it. The response to remote commands is also instant, but you need to be within less than 50 feet from it.

This is a winch that will not disappoint you in all aspects of its performance.

6.best overall rating

Master Lock Electric Winch

Master Lock Electric Winch, Portable 12-Volt DC Electric Winch, 2953AT

Best versatile winch

The Master Lock electric winch is DC powered unit that mounts to any flat surface. This alleviates the user of the need to purchase a new winch for all their vehicles.

For this reason, it finds use in any car, trailer, and even boats. The winch can pull up to 6000 pounds on land and 5000 pounds in water.

Key specifications

  • 12-volt electric winch
  • A capacity of 6000 pounds
  • Has maximum boat pulling weight of 5000 pounds
  • Can withstand 2000 pounds pulling capacity
  • Has a galvanized cable for extra safety

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Versatile, it can be used car, trailer or boat
  • Highly durable
  • Has a high carrying capacity
  • Convenient

Cons

  • The power cable is short
  • Very loud
  • Struggles with small weights

The Master Lock winch is quite capable of everyday use as compared to most winches. Its powerful 12-volt DC electric winch is more than capable of filling your daily needs because of how it can withstand up to 2000 pounds of pulling capacity.

The winch also finds great use in a variety of situations.

This is due to its ability to get attached to almost any flat surface. As a result, it can be used on trucks, trailers, and boats.

The master lock is also very convenient. This is attributed to the multiple features it comes with, such as the steel mounting plate and the hand crank.

7.best overall rating

Superwinch 1331200 UT3000

Superwinch 1331200 UT3000 Winch

Most convenient winch

This is a lightweight 12-volt winch that will offer you a range of applications.

It is highly efficient with about 40 feet of durable wire and a 1.2 horsepower motor with a pulling rating of about 3000 pounds.

It offers excellent value for money by having a multitude of features, all the while hosting a reasonable price tag. This sets it aside as an excellent tool for both work and recreational use.

Key specifications

  • 1.3 hp Pm motor
  • A 12’ cord with a rubber handheld remote
  • Circuit breaker protection and weather-protected solenoid
  • Power load in and out

Pros

  • Safe to use because of the rubber handheld remote
  • Powerful with a 3000-pound pulling rating
  • Protected against the weather
  • It’s versatile as it can power load in and out
  • Offers value for money

Cons

  • The cable is prone to getting stuck
  • Easily breaks

This lightweight winch lends itself to use as a work tool or for applications around your home and neighborhood. It can be temporarily mounted onto a vehicle or permanently onto a surface with its two-bolt pattern mounting plate.

This winch sets itself from the market as it has dynamic braking and also provides convenience. This is especially so as it offers power loads in and out, which has also improved its full metal differential planetary train system.

The winch is, however, prone to breakage. This could be due to its cheap construction material, which may be the reason for its friendly pricing.

8.best overall rating

Superwinch 1120210 LT2000 12-Volt ATV Winch

Superwinch 1120210 LT2000 12V DC Electric Winch 2,000lb/907kg Single Line Pull with Roller Fairlead, 5/16in. x 50ft. Steel Wire Rope, Corded Handheld Remote, Handlebar Rocker Switch

Best portable winch

The Superwinch 1120210 design is directed to making the winch a stand out in the market with its superior ease in powering loads in and out. It can be mounted permanently or be used as a portable winch.

Key specifications

  • Has a protective circuit breaker
  • Rated line pull of about 2000 pounds
  • Pulley block and D shackle
  • Gear ratio of about 153:1
  • A heavy-duty hook with a rope thimble

Pros

  • Safe due to its protected circuit breaker
  • Easy to use
  • Convenient as it can be mounted permanently or not
  • Portable
  • Has a sleek design

Cons

  • Poor build quality
  • Short lifespan

The Superwinch ATV LT2000 series is an excellent winch owing to its ease of use and versatility. It has a sleek and lightweight design that makes it fit for recreational use with hikers and campers.

However, the winch can also find permanent use with work-oriented people as it can be set up permanently for use.

The winch is also moderately powerful, offering a rated line pull of around 2000 pounds. This machine achieves this with its differential planetary feature. It is also protected from power surges by the circuit breaker.

The winch is great for people who need it for outdoor activities. However, it is not recommended for anyone looking for a winch with a long lifespan.

9.best overall rating

Superwinch 1595200 Tiger Shark 9.5

Superwinch 1595200 Tiger Shark 9500 Winch

Strongest winch

The Tiger Shark has done a great job in regards to redefining what is meant by a strong and durable winch. The standard issue of the Tiger Shark, with its features and benefits, is well suited for the high-level enthusiast.

These aspects include the severe duty-textured finish that is meant to protect the winch from abuse from the outdoors as well as off-road use.

Key specifications

  • Has a 6.0 Hp motor
  • The motor has a weather seal that protects is from the elements
  • An ergonomic spool control
  • 12 feet rubber handheld remote
  • Comes with synthetic rope and aluminum hawse fairlead

Pros

  • High-level features
  • Convenient owing to the 12ft rubber remote
  • Easy to use because of the ergonomic spool
  • Relatively powerful
  • Protected from weather elements

Cons

  • Very expensive

This winch sets itself apart from other models as it aims to bring high-quality features on a durable and long-lasting winch. It achieves this by delivering the grade features to its standard level design.

It also features an ergonomic design that makes it effortless to operate and easy to grip. The synthetic rope can withstand high tensions during pulls, and it does not have recoil in case it snaps.

Modifications have been made to direct your vehicle’s heat away from the cable so that it does not damage it. In the grand scheme of things, the product is a highly recommended winch.

10.best overall rating

Superwinch 1585202 LP8500 Winch

Superwinch 1585202 LP8500 Winch

Best power output

This winch is designed to fit medium to large 4×4 vehicles as well as RV’s and trailers. This is mostly due to its impressive 8500-pound line pull rating as well as 94 feet of 5/16” steel wire rope.

It’s a multipurpose product that offers you an excellent opportunity to handle different heavy towing tasks.

Key Specifications

  • 15’ rubber handheld remote for operating from long distances
  • Has a solenoid that is weather-proof
  • 4.5 hp motor
  • 8500-pound pulling rating
  • Power load in and power load out
  • 94-foot steel wire rope
  • Three stage planetary gearbox

Pros

  • Easy to operate
  • Very powerful
  • Comes with a remote
  • Quiet
  • Has an automatic load-holding braking system

Cons

  • It is prone to breakage

This winch is well suited for large vehicles such as trucks, recreational vehicles, and large trailers, and it was designed with power in mind.

The winch achieves its objective with a high pulling capacity of 8500 channeled by its 4.5hp motor.

It also has safety in mind with an automatic load breaking that prevents slippage in the case of a power outage or a power surge.

This winch is an excellent choice for anyone in the market for raw power. However, in the pursuit of power, sacrifices such as portability were made.

This makes it more suitable for industrial or heavy object moving-related jobs and not simple tasks.

Buying Guide for Best Winch for Car Trailer

Smittybilt 9500 lb 97495 XRC GEN2 Winch-9500 Pound Load Capacity

Whichever winch you go for, for hauling purposes of your car, it should be capable of handling the weight and power of your vehicle. Below are some of the considerations you may need to factor in before purchasing one.

Economics

As attractive as cheaper alternatives may be, quality should be at the forefront of your thoughts when looking for a winch.

Generic models will end up costing you more in the long run since they can easily break or fail to deliver in terms of tensile strength.

Such incidents may force you to buy others, thus making you pay more than if you had bought one high-quality winch. Your winch choice should be a quality choice fitting not only your requirements but also your budget.

Vehicle gross weight and winch capacity

The capacity of the winch to its weight is a critical consideration to bear in mind. The choice of car trailer winch you go for should be capable of handling 1.5 times the vehicle’s gross weight.

Having established this capacity, you can weigh whether or not your winch can accomplish a particular task at hand. It will also help you be aware of the winch’s pulling power.

Versatility

A car trailer winch is bound to move different weights from time to time. It isn’t very easy to tell what the next recovery is going to involve before the time comes.

As such, the choice of your car hauler winch should be versatile, enabling you to finish whatever task you set it to do.

The gross weight of the car should be established, the maximum capacity it can carry, and also how high and how long its trailer is.

Motor durability

A lot of motors have exceptional output but unreliable durability. As the winch gets used over time, it may begin to fail in its performance.

Therefore, it is crucial that you make sure the motor in the car trailer winch has been designed to last for a long time.

Warranty

The winch is composed of a variety of complex and, at times, fragile components.

It is wise to check the seller has a warranty provision before making a purchase. Some offer a warranty for a couple of years while others have a lifetime worth of warranty.

Why you need a Car Trailer Winch

Because you will be guaranteed strength, efficiency, and durability as you engage in your day to day activities of heavy load pulling using your vehicle.

Car owners show high demand for the device, although finding the right one can prove to be quite a challenge.

If you get the right winch, it will serve you for years and provide high efficiency in performing tasks. It will ease all your towing and car hauling activities whenever you need its services.

FAQs

If you have reached this point in this review and still have a few questions left over, take a look at the answers to these common questions below.

What is the optimal place for mounting the winch when pulling vehicles onto the car hauler?

The winch should be mounted to the trailer in order to avoid hitch adapters from cutting the hitch capacity installed in them by half.

How much capacity would I require for a trailer winch?

The load being loaded onto your trailer influences the kind of winch you should get. Other factors that come into play include the slope of the ramps, the weight of the vehicle, and if you will use a pulley for the job.

What are some of the accessories for winches?

What are some of the accessories for winches?

How can I determine ATV Winch’s capacity?

To calculate the ATV of your recovery winch, you need to know the winch’s capacity and the gross weight of the vehicle. Once you’ve determined the latter, simply multiply it by 1.5, and you will have the minimum capacity that your winch should reach.

Summary

When looking for the best winch for your car trailer, you must go for one that can provide the highest power from the motor.

This, along with other considerations that are recommended for pulling activities that are heavy duty.

The choice you make should offer the best functionality and quality based on your needs and line of work.

About Michael Adams

Michael is a handyman extraordinaire. He has been providing services for the last 14 years and takes pride in his workmanship. Michael also contributes as a writer, sharing his experience and knowledge on design projects to help people get started with their own designs.