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Old 03-07-2012, 08:45 PM   #1
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Winches...again

This has been mentioned before, I suppose, but I couldn't find a complete answer among all the threads.

What is the utility of a little winch? As opposed to the bigger one? And I'm not just thinking of the power of the winch itself, but also the mounting.

I've never needed one, but then again I tend to stay out of trouble. Knock on wood. But in stuck situations I tend to be with others, and tow straps seem to work great. I imagine there are places where a strap wouldn't work (tow vehicle can't get headway either) but a winch would. But even then it's often the case that just a little extra pull gets you going. If you're sunk over the axles in Moab mud, or crowned on sharp rocks I'm not sure a 12k pull is gonna get a 10k SMB going anyway.

So I'm wondering about a much less powerful winch. A simple snatch block and you can double your pull, although it takes more line. And it has the added advantage of spreading the load to another point on your vehicle.

I also like the idea of a hitch mounted system, since it has a lot of versatility. You can put it front or back (and my front hitch is welded to the frame, so it's probably stronger than my bumper) and even on another vehicle. Or even to something else, which I've heard jeepers have done with weird angles and such, although you'd probably be in real trouble with a van in that case. And people who use Griphoists and other hand winches commonly mount them off the vehicle which they consider a major selling point. Or using a Hi Lift. (Warn even makes a dingus that their portable winch uses that is a plate you put under the tire of a heavy vehicle which the portable mounts to.)

I suppose you can't go wrong, except for weight, with the bigger winch. But that is sort of a big deal. I don't think even a class IV bolted hitch mount is enough for a 12k winch, and I'd rather stall out the winch than rip up the van anyway. And to commit to a heavier bumper isn't what I wanna do.

So, anyone have experience with the lighter winches, even if it was someone else in a vehicle winching you (I remember a guy cracking a joke that HE wasn't gonna attach HIS winch to one of our vans for love nor money)?

Rob
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Old 03-08-2012, 11:37 AM   #2
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Re: Winches...again

In 39 years of Off-roading, and i have done lots of serious Off-roading, I have only used a winch a couple of times, even though I've mostly had one - and then all but one time it was to pull someone else out.

You will probably never need one, NEVER, but if you do it is nice to have, especially if you drive in very muddy conditions.

It is like most of what we want on our SMB's part of the image.

P.s. I have a 6000lb Ramsey Winch on a receiver mount that only weighs 40lbs or so and it has pulled out a seriously stuck Class C 26 footer.
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Old 03-08-2012, 01:37 PM   #3
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Re: Winches...again

I have debated getting a winch but I am realizing I will probably never use it. I have used my tow strap several times to pull other people out. Haven't gotten the big beast stuck yet so I may sing a different tune when I do.
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Old 03-08-2012, 01:38 PM   #4
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Re: Winches...again

Not with my SMB, but I've been on one trip where three rigs had to be winched, and one had to be winched back onto all four wheels.

Regardless, like with all recovery (& repair) equipment, know how to use it before you need it.


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Old 03-08-2012, 01:43 PM   #5
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Re: Winches...again

That's sorta been my experience. And some of the problems I've had couldn't be fixed with a winch (sometimes I wish we had load leveling jacks...I'd trade my hi lift for those any day).

I think I've figured out my own answer. I've got access to a power pull hand winch that on further inspection is rated for 3 tons in a horizontal pull (less vertically but it's VERY unlikely to get to that).Given that it's only about 30 lbs and has static line instead of cable, it looks like something I could stuff in there for desperate use, along with a couple of shackles, etc. I had to use one to move a trailer in my driveway, and I didn't realize it was a powerful as it was. I'm used to all kinda pulley work, so I'll give it a try. I've also got a bunch of tow straps, chain and other bits that I can make a decent rescue kit out of. I just had to check the specs to make sure I use them within their load ranges.

It's kind of interesting to see the differences between the hoisting/lifting practices offroad vs. in materials handling. And scary.

Rob
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Old 03-10-2012, 06:44 AM   #6
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Re: Winches...again

A winch seems to be one of those things that when needed, real glad you have it. One thought is the cradle mounted (like Superwinch makes) which can hold a portable electric winch. Take it when or if you feel necessary and can use on other vehicles front or back. Potential problem with a hand winch is that you leave the vehicle without a driver (in neutral) to use it. At a minimum, get a set of Maxtrax (which you will never regret!)
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Old 03-10-2012, 09:29 PM   #7
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Re: Winches...again

Many outback extractions can cost you half the cost of the winch but just because you have one doesn’t mean you’ll get out. I’ve had to pull myself out but have pulled others of a jam many more times. When I was stuck in snow once, a little winch would have worked fine…all I needed was a little help but I would never use a light winch to help pull my van up a hill.
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Old 03-30-2012, 07:34 PM   #8
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Re: Winches...again

How about a cheap, light, easy solution that can fit under your seat?


Sure it would require you to actually work, but as many others have said they rarely use the electric ones so it would hardly be used...
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Old 03-31-2012, 06:51 AM   #9
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Re: Winches...again

Just installed the Superwinch Talon 12.5 and will give some feedback soon on it. Fit great in the Aluminess bumper with a few adjustments.
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Old 03-31-2012, 06:57 AM   #10
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Re: Winches...again

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl
Just installed the Superwinch Talon 12.5 and will give some feedback soon on it. Fit great in the Aluminess bumper with a few adjustments.

Have any pictures of your 12.5 install?

I'll show you mine if you show me yours.
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