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Old 01-23-2017, 03:38 PM   #1
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Is a 15k Winch Overkill??

Getting a winch on the van and trying to decide on a 12k or 15k winch. The van is over 10k in weight when loaded up and want to make sure I have the right pulling power. Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-23-2017, 03:45 PM   #2
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Not necessarily overkill, but 12k has been sufficient for my 10,000lb van. And in a pinch you can use snatchblocks and double lines.
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Old 01-23-2017, 03:46 PM   #3
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Keep in mind that the capacity of the winch is the maximum capacity, and you'll only get that pulling power when there is only one or two wraps on the drum (most of the line/cable spooled out). That said, a 15K winch is very heavy and takes up a lot of room.

A pulley block can increase your pulling power, but no matter what, you need to know how to use the winch properly, and know how to rig (anchors, pulley blocks,...). A smaller capacity winch that is used properly is more important than a high capacity winch that is not used properly.


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Old 01-23-2017, 04:26 PM   #4
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The downside of a heavier rated winch (besides cost) is usually a slower line-speed, especially under light load.

I've winched my van AND trailer (22,000 pounds total) up some steep gnarly terrain, using my 12k winch and only a single line pull. I just make sure to winch off something as far away as I can reach. 1) more pull power 2) more likely to get you out without having to reset the anchor.
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Old 01-23-2017, 04:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eddyturn View Post
Getting a winch on the van and trying to decide on a 12k or 15k winch. The van is over 10k in weight when loaded up and want to make sure I have the right pulling power. Thanks in advance.
NO.

A 12k worked for me too though. The van was 10,500 loaded.

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Old 01-23-2017, 07:00 PM   #6
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I am no winch expert, so I will lay no claims to having the best answer--or even any answer at all--to this question.

However, I am struck by the overall lack of beef in the front frame rails and frame horns. To my eyes, the frame horns are not much more than heavy gauge sheet metal, barely more than tack-welded to the frame. The front portion of the frame itself is built to flex, and it has been my observation that it does so quite readily.

Given that lack of structure, I have to wonder about the potential for bending frames when using a winch--especially with winches at the more powerful end of the spectrum. Again--I'm not making claims here. I am just wondering. I'd love some thoughts from the more experienced folks...
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Old 01-23-2017, 08:28 PM   #7
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I am no winch expert, so I will lay no claims to having the best answer--or even any answer at all--to this question.

However, I am struck by the overall lack of beef in the front frame rails and frame horns. To my eyes, the frame horns are not much more than heavy gauge sheet metal, barely more than tack-welded to the frame. The front portion of the frame itself is built to flex, and it has been my observation that it does so quite readily.

Given that lack of structure, I have to wonder about the potential for bending frames when using a winch--especially with winches at the more powerful end of the spectrum. Again--I'm not making claims here. I am just wondering. I'd love some thoughts from the more experienced folks...
I don't want to say it's impossible, but it's pretty much impossible.
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Old 01-23-2017, 08:30 PM   #8
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Thanks for the input, I really appreciate it. I am attending a Bill Burke class in a couple of weeks and was hoping to have mine installed by then. I'll get the 12k synthetic line ordered.
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Old 01-23-2017, 08:38 PM   #9
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I don't want to say it's impossible, but it's pretty much impossible.
I agree. I've slid my heavy SMB forward a couple times pulling trees down with a 12k winch. E350 frames are strong. Reeeelly strong.
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Old 01-23-2017, 09:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glider View Post

I am struck by the overall lack of beef in the front frame rails and frame horns. To my eyes, the frame horns are not much more than heavy gauge sheet metal, barely more than tack-welded to the frame. The front portion of the frame itself is built to flex, and it has been my observation that it does so quite readily.

Given that lack of structure, I have to wonder about the potential for bending frames when using a winch
On my work trucks (which were heavy) I have broke the stock recovery hook when using a single hook in the past. This was done while winching from a super heavy tow winch. I've never had issues with the 12000lb winch on the bumper using a bridal set up though. Getting stuck was kind of part of my job. All steel rope and I've messed up a few of those but never jacked up the frame. Not saying you can't. On the sporty, I always try to distribute the pull using both recovery attachments on the Aluminess bumper. I always try to use the winch as an assistant, not something to just yank er out of the mud situation. I've never treated my van like my work truck
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