I have an Ford 04 E350 6.0 diesel Sportsmoile. It weighs about 10k pounds. I have Aluminess front bumper and after several emails back and forth with Chris at Aluminess, the largest warn winch that will fit is the VR12 which is 12k capacity. The Aluminess bumper is designed for a downward facing winch. He said people have clocked down the 16.5k winch to work in an Aluminess bumper but it voids any warn warranty.
I know a winch is supposed to be 1.5 times GVW. But I also know most sportsmobile owners aren’t mudding.
Have owners with similar weight rigs/setups had luck with the VR12s? Are there other options from other winch manufacturers that fit inside the Aluminess bumper?
Well for what it's worth I have a 12k Smittybuilt winch and an Aluminess bumper and I have used the winch quite a few times. The last time I maxed out the winch I heard a pop. I couldn't find anything wrong so I just stopped the winching process. Upon a later inspection I found that the bumper was angled upward significantly. The lower welds on the van bumper mounts broke allowing the bumper to move upward. Not a huge deal, removed the bumper and re welded and strengthened the bumper mounts. So in conclusion, at least in my case, the Aluminess bumper turned out to be stronger than the Ford factory bumper mounts.
Your 12K will get you out of most situations, but in the event you have other obstacles taxing that capacity (grade, terrain, depth of mud, etc) you can always initiate a double line pull. More importantly, you need to travel with the correct recovery gear.
I found this Winching article to be the most comprehensive & educational (also explains how to get more "pull" power out of your winch - should provide all the answers to your questions): https://expeditionportal.com/winchin...out-the-worry/