A jeep winch is a device used to pull a stuck or stationary vehicle either out of a sticky situation or, in extreme cases, to tow the car back to a garage or destination. Using a jeep winch is easy and can be done by anyone. However, to avoid damage to your vehicle (and your safety), you should read all instruction manuals and safety practices before operating the Winch.
Winching is not new to the Jeep. This company has been manufacturing winches for its vehicles for many years. With so many models of Jeep in the market, you are bound to find a model that comes with a winch. However, the question is, which Jeep winch is the best?
There are many Jeep winches out there for sale. But unfortunately, many of them are just re-branded versions of each other. That’s why it’s challenging to figure out which one is the best Winch for your Jeep. This blog will give you insight into 12 of the best Jeep winches on the market and some things you should look at before buying a Winch.
- Warn VR12-S Winch [ Best Overall Winch]
- OFF ROAD BOAR Electric Winch [Best Value]
- Smittybilt GEN 2 XRC Winch [Best For Wet Conditions]
- ZEAK 13000lb Electrical Winch
- RUGCEL 13500 lbs Winch
- Stegodon 13000 lbs Winch
- X-BULL 12000 lb Electric Winch [Best Steel Cable Winch For Jeep]
- ORCISH IP67 Electric Jeep Winch [Best Affordable Jeep Winch]
- Superwinch LP8500 Gen II Winch [Best Jeep Winch Under 500]
- WARN ZEON Platinum Winch [Best Premium Pick ]
- Rough PRO Series Electric Winch [Best Cheap Winch For Jeep]
- WARN M8000 Series Winch [Best For Jeep Jk]
12 Best Jeep Winch To Buy
Warn is a Reputed brand of manufacturing quality winches. The VR12-S is made with a durable and robust alloy frame material and is mounted with a powerful motor that can pull up to 12,000 pounds. The VR12-S is a 12,000-pound, 12-volt Winch with a 3-stage planetary gear train that is heavy-duty, compact, and ergonomic. This Winch is an excellent addition to your Jeep. Easy installation and smooth while using.
The Warn VR12-S Winch is a high-quality, high-performance winch used for many applications. It has a 12,000 lb capacity, and it features durable construction with aluminum housing. In addition, the Warn VR12-S Winch has a synthetic rope that provides superior performance in all conditions.
The Warn VR12-S Winch is designed to work on the most challenging jobs, and it has the best warranty in the industry (lifetime). It also comes with an automatic brake system that locks up when the load reaches total capacity to prevent damage to your vehicle or property.
|Easy installation with low profile design||Costly than similar models|
|Multiple mounting patterns to relocate the control box||No wireless remote control|
|Automatic brake system|
|Lifetime mechanical warranty with seven years of electrical support|
The electric Winch is a good value choice for anyone looking to buy a winch for their off-road Jeep. The OFF-ROAD BOAR Electric Winch has a total pulling capacity of 13,000 lbs. The Winch comes with a wireless remote control switch, a wireless remote control receiver, and a battery pack. The Winch is 4.5-inches wide and 12.5-inches long. The Winch uses a steel cable that can be extended to 120 feet. The battery pack is a 12V 7.5AH VRLA sealed lead acid battery. The battery pack can be charged using a standard 12V cigarette lighter adapter.
The Winch is fitted with a 7500-rated motor with a gear ratio of 6.69:1. In addition, the engine is equipped with a thermal overload protector to help it avoid overheating. The Winch has a total weight of 55 lbs. This is a heavy-duty, reliable, and durable electric winch. It provides you with the best value for your money.
It is designed to be used on off-road vehicles, boats, and ATVs. The OFF-ROAD BOAR Electric Winch has a power of 13,000 lbs and has a maximum line pull of 3,000 ft. The OFF-ROAD BOAR Electric Winch is made from high-quality materials resistant to corrosion and weathering. Its steel cable provides you with the strength needed for any job.
|13000 pounds loading capacity||Positive side wire cable can be short|
|6.4 ft./min pulling power at full load||Trouble in re-spooling the cable|
|Water-resistant with IP67||Torque is too much to handle sometimes|
|Easy to install with synthetic rope|
|Less expensive than many other competitors|
The Smittybilt GEN 2 XRC Winch is a robust 12,000 lb. winch with an 82 ft. long wire rope and a 4.8 hp motor. The Winch has a pull capacity of over 10,000 lbs. and is capable of withstanding an enormous strain of up to 5,000 lbs. on the line. The Winch has an automatic load-holding brake and a built-in solenoid lock. It is a compact unit that measures 17″ x 12″ x 14″.
The Smittybilt Gen 2 XRC Winch is a reliable winch for off-road enthusiasts. It comes with a 12,000 lb. capacity and a 13 ft. of line out. It is suitable for wet conditions because it has waterproof sealed components to keep the water away from the motor and gears. This Winch is also easy to install and operate to get back on the trail quickly after installation.
|Easy to install with the good build quality||A bit expensive|
|Having a lifetime mechanical warranty||Bit longer positive wire cable|
|Waterproof with IP67|
|Remote control system|
|Pulling power of 17500 pounds|
The ZEAK 13000 lb Electric Winch is a heavy-duty winch suitable for heavy-duty jobs. It comes in a beautiful and durable black and yellow color that make it look like a workhorse. It has many features that make it stand out from the crowd. For instance, it is water-resistant and has an IP67 waterproof rating. In addition, it can withstand extreme weather conditions and moisture. This makes it perfect for various uses, including off-road use.
The ZEAK 13000lb Electrical Winch is designed for heavy-duty use. This Winch can be used to pull anything from a tractor to a house. It has an adjustable cable length and is suitable for indoor and outdoor use. This Winch is powered by an AC power outlet, which can be used in any location. The Motor operates at 18-volts and can easily pull up to 13,000 pounds.
|Great performance||It could be noisier if gears are not greased|
|Waterproof with IP68||Remote connector is unreliable|
|Power cable for heavy-duty|
RUGCEL offers a wide range of quality winches for your Jeep. The winch series is the most popular and is available in three different models: the 13500, 15500, and the 17500. The 13500 is one of the best Jeep winches due to its high quality and performance. It comes with a 3-stage planetary gear set capable of lifting to 13500 pounds. The RUGCEL 13500 Jeep winch is also equipped with a drum brake to stop the cable within five seconds. Another helpful feature of this Winch is its 52-inches of roller fairlead that can be used to change the direction of the line.
The Rugcel 13500 lbs Winch is a heavy-duty winch perfect for those who need to pull heavy loads. This Winch has a powerful motor that can easily handle loads up to 13500 pounds. The Rugcel 13500 lbs Winch also features a two-stage planetary gear system that makes it easy to wind and unwind the rope. This Winch also comes with a remote control that makes it easy to operate.
|Built quality is excellent||Not good for long interval usage|
|Easy to install||The remote controller is not waterproof|
|Synthetic rope for heavy-duty|
|Suitable remote controller (wireless or wired)|
|1 year electrical warranty|
The Stegodon 13000 lbs Winch is a heavy-duty winch suitable for harsh environments. It has a 13000-pound capacity which is more than enough to handle most of your Jeep winching needs. The Stegodon is a 12v DC winch with a 13ft wire rope. It has a built-in roller fairlead and a hook with a safety latch.
The Stegodon 13000 lbs Winch is a powerful, reliable, and durable winch perfect for any off-road or recovery situation. With a massive 13,000 lb pulling capacity, this Winch can handle anything you throw at it. In addition, the rugged and durable construction ensures that this Winch will stand up to the most demanding conditions, while the easy-to-use controls make it simple to operate.
So whether you’re looking to recover a vehicle from a problematic situation or want a reliable winch to help you get through challenging terrain, the Stegodon 13000 lbs Winch is perfect.
|The budget is very reasonable||Proper wiring is hard|
|Steel cable can be replaced with synthetic cable||Short battery cables|
|Both control options (wireless or wired)||Installation is tricky|
|Suitable to use with numerous vehicles|
|Excellent load capacity|
The X-Bull 12000 lb Winch is electric. This means that a battery powers it. This battery is charged through a DC power plug. When the battery is fully charged, it can run for up to 15 minutes before it needs to have its battery recharged. This Winch has a 12000 lb capacity. This means that it can pull up to 12000 lbs of weight. This Winch is perfect for a variety of Jeep models. It is one of the best winches for Jeep Wrangler. It is also ideal for Jeep Cherokee, Jeep Commander, Jeep Liberty, and Jeep Patriot.
Looking for a top-quality electric winch that can handle up to 12,000 lbs? The X-BULL electric winch is an excellent choice for those who need a reliable and durable winch for their Jeep or other off-road vehicles. Made with a heavy-duty steel cable, this Winch is built to last and can handle even the most challenging towing tasks. In addition, the X-BULL electric winch comes with remote control for added convenience. So if you’re in the market for a top-notch electric winch, the X-BULL 12000 lb electric winch is worth considering.
|100% waterproof motor||There should be a synthetic cable|
|1-year limited warranty and technical support for lifetime||Cables are short in length|
|Very compact and small in size|
|It is safer as it has a brake system|
ORCISH is a renowned Jeep winch brand, and their IP67 Electric Jeep Winch is an excellent example of how the company makes quality products. The ORCISH IP67 Electric Jeep Winch weighs in at about 62 pounds. This is not the lightest model on this list, but it’s about average for the price. Unfortunately, it does not come with remote control, but you won’t need one with 13,000 pounds of pulling power.
The ORCISH IP67 Electric Jeep Winch uses a 12-volt motor and 150 feet of ¾ inch-diameter nylon rope. The engine is built-in, so there is no need to purchase one separately. In addition, the model has a 12-month limited manufacturer’s warranty. The model can be mounted on your Jeep’s front or the back. It has a cable drum that measures 2 ½ inches.
|1-Year limited warranty||The quality of steel cable is not good.|
|One pair of free gloves||The battery is not long lasting.|
|Waterproof with IP67 certification||It doesn’t have remote control.|
Superwinch LP8500 Gen II Winch is the best Winch for jeeps under 800. This Winch is a self-contained, 12-volt powerhouse that can pull 8,500 pounds and get you out of the most challenging situations. This Winch comes with a 15-foot-long cable and is easy to mount on your vehicle. The main reason why many people love this Winch is that it is very affordable. Most people assume that a winch that can pull 8,500 pounds will be very expensive, but it’s not.
The Superwinch LP8500 Gen II Winch is a top-of-the-line winch perfect for those who need a reliable and powerful winch. With an 8,500 lb. pulling capacity, this Winch is ideal for pulling heavy loads. Additionally, the Superwinch LP8500 Gen II Winch comes with a wireless remote so that you can operate the Winch from a distance.
|Efficient planetary gearbox||No IP67 certification|
|Satisfactory line speed|
|Wireless remote control|
|The sealed solenoid keeps it safe from dust, rain, and snow|
The Warn Zeon Platinum is a commercial-grade winch with remote control and a durable solenoid for extreme environments. The Winch has an impressive rating of up to 10,000 pounds, and it is an ideal winch for recovery operations. The Warn Zeon Platinum can be used for the toughest of obstacles, with a massive power rating of 10,000 pounds and a line speed of up to 200 feet per minute. The Zeon Platinum is a beast of a winch and can pull a stuck wildfire truck or even a bus.
The Warn Zeon Platinum is a premium winch with a price tag. However, if you need a winch that can handle the toughest of jobs and even goes on a few off-road, the Warn Zeon Platinum is practically the only way to go.
|Waterproof with IP68 certification||Rope may require Extension|
|It is equipped with a modern wireless remote control system||The battery charge doesn’t last long due to wireless control|
|Easy to install and use||Too much costly|
|Standard limited warranty|
The Rough PRO Series Electric Winch is a great winch for your Jeep. It is a heavy-duty
winch, which means it can hold 10,000 pounds. This Winch is easy to install and easy to use. It is made from superior materials, including a solid steel winch cover. It has an impressive 12.5 feet of wire rope and is designed with a self-tailing mechanism. In addition, this Winch has been engineered to be completely sealed and waterproof to withstand even challenging conditions.
The Rough PRO Series Electric Winch is the perfect tool for those who need a little extra help when it comes to getting their vehicle unstuck. This Winch features a powerful electric motor that can quickly and easily pull your vehicle out of any challenging situation. Additionally, it is easy to operate the Winch from a safe distance. So whether you’re stuck in the mud or snow, the Rough PRO Series Electric Winch will get you out.
|Designed for off-road and winter driving||Comparatively expensive|
|Bold tread pattern for enhanced traction|
|Studdable for extra traction in winter weather|
|Standard limited warranty|
The WARN M8000 Series winch is the best Winch for Jeep JK because of its design and power. It is the best Winch for the money. The WARN M8000 has a 9,000-pound pull capacity. It is designed for the Jeep JK Wrangler 4-door models. It comes with a radiator guard to protect the radiator from damage. It comes with a synthetic rope that is abrasion-resistant.
The WARN M8000 Series winch is a powerful and reliable winch perfect for any off-road vehicle. With an 8,000 lb. capacity, this Winch can handle any job you throw at it. The WARN M8000 Series winch also features a wireless remote control so that you can operate it from anywhere.
|Easy to install and use||Little bit costly|
|Line speed is efficient||The plastic material of the control box|
|The remote control can be mounted and operates from any place|
Frequently Asked Questions [ FAQs ]
How do I find out what size winch I need?
The first step is to obtain the Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) of your car – which should be easy to find online for most models. Then, you have to add the weight of everything inside it, such as all occupants and their cargo.
Finally, it is recommended to consider 1.5 times that weight to select a winch; for example, if your car’s GVW is 3000 lb, you should take 1.5 * 3000 = 4500 lb as the base figure to choose your winch model.
Now, the most common situation is to have that number fall between two winch options. In that case, it is always better to choose the higher one, so its capacity will be higher than the demand rather than lower.
Does a Jeep come with its own mounting plate?
No. Mounting plates depend on both the geometry of the car’s structure and the winch’s mounting points, so you will have to purchase a mounting plate – in practice, it is common for the winch kit to include its specific mounting plate.
What Jeep does to make that installation easier is to provide standardized mounting points and a winch-prepared bumper. In other words, a bumper which can be easily removed to have the winch installed, can be reassembled with some extra spacing to accommodate the winch, and includes a specific opening through which the hook will pass.
Benefits of Jeep Winches
All benefits come from the base fact that you will have access to what a winch does. The regular use of a winch is to pull another vehicle, so you will have a possibility to rescue other people’s cars from places where they cannot get traction, or you can be rescued yourself by another person whose car has a winch.
Another important situation where a winch might be necessary is when you come across large objects, such as a fallen tree. A winch is definitely handy to help you clear the path ahead.
What is a winch used for?
In short, a winch is attached to one car and is used to pull another one which is unable to move. It is usually attached to the car’s front bumper, on a specific region. The winch has a motor and a cable, so the user takes the end of the cable and attaches it to the other vehicle, then activates the motor to pull it to a safer location.
This is particularly useful in off-road trips, where a car might have a technical problem or simply get stuck on a surface where it cannot get enough traction to keep moving by itself.
Another typical use is to move large objects, such as removing a fallen tree from the road.
Do I need a winch plate?
Winch plates are essential to securely assemble the winch on the car’s bumper. Their geometry depends on both the design of the car’s structure and the winch’s mounting points, so it is essential to purchase a compatible winch plate.
What IP rating should my winch have?
In short, the IP rating indicates how much protection does the product offer against the intrusion of solid objects, and of water in electrical enclosures. Ratings are written as “IP68”, for example, where the first digit represents the first type of protection mentioned above, and the second digit represents the other.
Considering that the winch is an electrical device meant to be used in an off-road environment, it must offer as much protection as possible in order to prevent excessive wear (due to the ingress of dust, mud etc.) and to avoid the possibility of hurting yourself by accidentally touching the winch in inappropriate regions.
Having all that in mind, we can say that IP68 is an appropriate rating for a winch. The “6” digit represents dust-tight construction, which completely prevents dust entry. The “8”, in turn, means that the winch is also protected against immersion in water for prolonged periods.
How much do winches cost?
Most winches in the range of 10,000-15,000 lb of capacity are available for US$ 300-500 online.
Much cheaper winches usually have lower capacities and/or come from manufacturers of questionable reputation, so they should be avoided. On the other hand, more expensive models often feature even higher capacities.
Which is better? Steel cable or synthetic rope for winching?
Nowadays, winch ropes are made with materials that make them just as resistant and strong as some steel cables, especially the synthetic ones. This is important because they have become perfectly comparable to steel cables for this application.
Another important issue to address is the event of failure. Either option will be broken in two parts, and they will be quickly propelled in an unpredictable direction. It is much easier for a steel cable to hurt you in that situation than a rope.
In other words, since both options are resistant enough, it is better to choose the one that provides the safest operation.
Do I need to upgrade my electrical system when adding a winch?
Car models focused on off-road driving are designed to properly support a winch, even if they do not come with one from the factory. When it comes to the electrical system, a more relevant question is whether you need to purchase and install an additional battery.
The general answer is that you do not need one, but it can provide additional help. Usage time and winch capacity are directly related to energy consumption, so you will certainly need a second battery if you frequently engage in activities where a winch is eventually needed and/or drive with people whose cars are large and heavy.
On the other hand, there is always the possibility to keep the engine running while you are using the winch. That is also the only solution you could consider in case your car makes it impossible to safely install a second battery.
Are there any other items I should consider getting when I buy my winch?
While winch capacity, type of motor, and type of cable may be considered the most important variables in this decision, there are others which should not be neglected.
- Reduction mechanism: the spur gear offers high wind speed but requires the winch to have an automatic brake and a powerful motor; epicyclic gear has complex construction, so it tends to be more expensive to repair, but takes minimal space; the wheel reduced with worm gear allows high reduction ratio and small size but offers low performance.
- Winding speed: we all appreciate waiting less time for the winch to pull the vehicle, but you should bear in mind that high speeds require a powerful motor and greatly increase energy consumption. Besides, if the cable ever breaks, its whiplash becomes more dangerous – that is particularly important if you are using a steel cable.
- Cable length: while longer cables may seem more convenient at first, the truth is that they are also less practical. It is known that the maximum traction occurs on the portion of the cable next to the drum. Besides that, the longer a cable is, the more likely it is to get stuck or twisted while unwinding, which may accelerate its wear.
- Winch controller: most winches come with a wired controller for the winch, but also offer the option of a wireless one. Since the latter comes at an extra cost, it is only worth it in case you plan to use the winch frequently.
- Gear weight: winches are an extra item you are attaching to the front end of your car. They will provide extra weight, so it is normal for the front to descend to some extent; more if you are using a steel cable. Usually, differences of around ½” are acceptable.
How do I know what rating I need for my Jeep Winch?
The IP rating standardizes how much protection the product (the winch, in this case) offers against both the intrusion of solid objects and the ingress of water in electrical enclosures. At a first glance, we can say that the highest standards are the best, but they can also drive up the winch’s price.
In practice, it is always possible to analyze where and when you usually go for off-road driving to plan how much of that protection would you effectively need. However, the truth is that winches are used the most often in unexpected situations. The best answer here is to get a winch with the highest IP rating you can afford.
How to Set Up a Jeep Winch
In general, you have to remove the bumper and skid plate, disconnect the fog lights, assemble the mounting plate, assemble the winch’s parts, install it on the mounting plate, connect it to the battery, and reinstall bumper and skid plate.
In practice, that procedure may become more or less complex depending on the model of your car and your winch. The best winches may come with their own mounting plate, not to mention detailed instructions on the owner’s manual. Those are extremely important steps to guide you and help you make a safe installation.
Older Jeep models may not feature a winch-ready bumper, so you may be required to purchase one of those as well. That is an important step because those specific bumpers are designed to accommodate the winch’s geometry and to provide an easy passage for the hook.
How strong should a winch on my Jeep be?
You have to start by calculating 1.5 times the weight of your Jeep. That number is the minimum capacity your winch must have. For example, if that weight is of 4,000 lb, your base figure will be of 6,000 lb. Therefore, you may choose winches of at least 6,000 lb of capacity.
In short, such round-up is necessary to compensate for additional static and dynamic effects.
We are considering gear and people’s weight and the resistant pressure which intends to pull the powered vehicle towards the other one, especially when the latter is at a lower surface.
How do I mount a winch to a stock jeep bumper?
- The first step is to remove the skid plate and the bumper cover. Both are made of plastic and their bolts are usually easy to remove. It is also necessary to disconnect the fog lights.
- Some vehicles, such as the Jeep Wrangler JL, have a specific steel beam up front whose only function is to provide specific mounting points for the bumper. Since that specific beam has no structural demand, it may be removed as well.
- In general, cars are not prepared by the manufacturer to receive winches. At this point, you have to install a proper mounting plate to which the winch will be attached later. Since they are specifically made for each Jeep model, they are designed to fit perfectly.
- The next step only concerns the winch. It is necessary to properly connect its electric wiring so as to only take it to the car once it is fully prepared. Although specific steps for that depend on the winch’s make and model, they are all written on the owner’s manual.
- Now, it is time to properly bolt the winch on the mounting plate. Having it fully prepared beforehand comes in handy at this point because all you have to do is pull its positive and negative cables and connect them to the battery.
- At this point, everything is ready for you to install the bumper back. There may be specific additional steps for each car and winch model, such as removing an endcap on the bumper to expose the opening through which the hook goes.
- The final steps are attaching the cable or rope to the winch’s drum and the standardized connector to the hook and installing the skid plate back.
Is a 3000-pound winch too small for my jeep?
The rule of thumb is to obtain its Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW), add the weight of its occupants and their cargo, and multiply the resulting amount by 1.5; the final number will be used to find an appropriate winch.
The Renegade is the smallest Jeep currently on sale, and it weighs around 3500 lb. Considering the calculation above, the initial weight alone is enough to determine that a 3000-pound winch is not enough for a Jeep vehicle.
What is a good winch for a Jeep Wrangler?
At its base version, the Wrangler has a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of 5,000 lb; that is the highest total weight it can bear while remaining safe to drive, so it is a good figure to consider for calculations in a safe scenario.
The rule of thumb is to multiply that weight by 1.5, which gives us 7,500 lb. That is the capacity we must consider when selecting a winch model. A typical winch option available in the market is prepared for 9,500 lb. That is appropriate in order to have a higher capacity than needed rather than lower.
What winch brands are considered to be the best for Jeeps?
Warn, Smittybilt and Superwinch are often highly praised for Jeeps. Their winches provide adequate capacity, bring detailed owner’s manuals, and provide all the necessary parts to help the owner make a safe installation.
What are the most important factors to look out for before considering a winch?
- Capacity: it is simply impossible to use the winch at all if the typical loads you need it to pull end up too heavy for it.
- Motor: you must decide between a hydraulic and an electric winch. The former uses the power steering pump and has complex installation. However, they are suitable to be used many times and/or throughout the day because there is no risk of overheating.
Electric winches, on the other hand, are cheaper and much easier to install. However, they are only appropriate for short periods at full power. They are the best options for casual users, such as leisure off-road drivers.
- Cable: steel cables are cheaper and are more resistant to heat and abrasion but are also heavy (around 8 kg) and vulnerable to pinching, and much more potentially harmful in case they come loose or break.
When it comes to synthetic ropes, the advantages and disadvantages are pretty much the opposite. They are lighter and have a safer operation, but also more sensitive to friction and are more expensive. However, in case of an emergency, you can always work around a broken rope by tying a knot.
- Dimensions: there is only so much space available on the car’s bumper. If it comes with a specific off-road bumper, the cost-efficient solution is to measure the available room and use that to narrow the winch options from which to choose.
Is having a winch worth the stress?
In practice, it depends on how much you expect to need it. The more often you and your friends or family engage in off-road driving, the more likely it will be for someone in the group to eventually need their car to be pulled and for you to find large obstacles on the way.
On the other hand, if you drive in the city or on the highway most of the time, going through the procedure of calculating the required capacity, browsing stores, and installing the winch might not be necessary.
What does a 2 door Jeep Wrangler weigh?
The 2022 Jeep Wrangler weighs 3,948 lb with the 2-door body at the base version Sport.
I hope you enjoyed our article about the best winches and winch accessories. The winches featured in this article are designed to handle the most challenging jobs, from the best all-around Winch to the best budget winch. Everyone knows that a winch is an essential piece of gear for any off-road vehicle, and we hope you can use this article to find the right one for you!
Not all winches are the same, there are several choices you can make, but the most important thing is to make sure you choose the right Winch for your vehicle, the job, and the type. The Winch is a must-have accessory if you love off-roading. But choosing the right one can be a daunting task, especially when there are so many options. However, with this guide, you can pick. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment.