Home Forums Truck Camper Forum Winch for truck camper rig.

This topic contains 6 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Don Nelson Don Nelson 1 week ago.

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  • #16512
    Profile photo of Brent
    Brent
    Participant

    I have a front bumper with grill guard on my ’16 Ram 3500 that has a mounting plate for a winch. I carry a pop-up camper to keep total weight under 10K Lbs. I am hesitant to install a heavy 16.5K winch. Does anyone have experience using a 12K winch with a similar truck camper rig?

    #16524
    Profile photo of Mello Mike
    Mello Mike
    Keymaster

    The rule-of-thumb is to get a winch rated for 1.5 times your truck’s weight. I don’t think a 12k-pound winch will meet that standard. JMHO.

    2016 Northstar Laredo
    2013 Ram 3500 4x4
    1998 Jeep Wrangler

    #16526
    Profile photo of Brent
    Brent
    Participant

    Thanks for responding Mike. I know the rule-of-thumb that all the winch sales people use. I will not be driving through 2′ of mud or climbing over rocks like some off road enthusiasts take on just because the have a winch to pull them out. I am not going to be crazy and go where I know I shouldn’t. My wife and I like the solitude and we don’t typically travel with anyone else so my thoughts about a winch is just an insurance in case we get stuck and no one else is around to help. My question was has anyone used a 12K winch without issues? The 12K winches are available with synthetic rope which saves a lot of weight. With the bumper and a heavy winch on the front end will it affect the handling of the truck.

    #16532
    Profile photo of Jefe4x4
    Jefe4x4
    Participant

    Brent,
    Having owned and used 6 or 7 winches on all kinds of rigs over my lifetime, I would say the intended use has a lot to do with the size of winch. For a straight pull, synth rope is fine if you have a meticulously smoothed and burr free fairlead, and it’s a straight line pull. Unfortunately, this is not a position you can depend on. My neighbor was pulling a tree down at an angle and his synth rope got tangled up and snapped. Not a good outcome. Lightweight though.
    You can use a 12K winch on your truck with these caveats:
    1. Check the duty cycle. It must be a very high percent to pull your truck. My favorite winch of all time was my Warn 8274 rated at only 8K pounds. But that pound rating did not tell the whole story. The 8274 was the fastest line speed of all the winches that I’ve ever seen, including my old PTO factory winch on my 1966 Toyota Land Cruiser. You could use the transmission gears to change the line speed. Going through the gears while winching…what a concept.
    2. Get the longest cable you can because with an under rated winch you are going to want to use a snatch block to almost double the pulling power while halving the line speed. Most higher pound rated winches have shorter cables because the the cables are thicker. Most higher rated winches get that high rating by gearing down to the 300:1 or higher range. The 8274 (weighs 125 pounds with carrier) had 150 feet of 5/16’s” or 3/8’s” wire rope. My Warn 15K winch (weighs 160 pounds with carrier) has 90 feet of 7/16’s or 1/2″ wire rope. But i don’t need to use a snatch block on the 15K. If you are really good, you could use an 8K rated winch to do the chores you need to have done, but you would be working right on the edge.
    3. You may be looking at the China Freight 12K winch, but from personal reports, I don’t have a lot of faith in them. What’s the woe? Small bearings for the load. On one I had originally on my Dodge pickup, the entire end bearing cap and support structure first deformed and broke, bound up, and failed. Yes, I was overworking it and pulling at too sharp an angle. Duty cycle too low. It will melt into one piece, no moving parts if used too long at a time, or in trying to move too heavy an object. Why is that? The amp draw. Even my old 8274 would draw an unbelievable 300 amps at dead stall. That’s a lot of heat, and a lot for your alternator and batteries to keep up with.
    4. The other aspect to consider is the carrier. Be sure the thing that holds your winch is up to the task. I pulled a brand new front Warn 8K winch and Warn winch carrier/bumper completely off my 1970 FJ-55 after using it about 20 times in a row to get downhill through 4 feet of snow. It’s a long story, but seems kind of funny now many years later watching that whole front end catapult forward about 10 feet.
    5. If I were to get an under rated winch on a rig just to have some half-way insurance and piece of mind, I would compare the weight, wire rope length, attachment security, duty cycle, and user reviews before making a final choice.
    6. Then there is, “which end do I put it on?” I had an old jeeping buddie who had an 8K winch in front and a 6K winch on the rear. Why the discrepancy? Pulling yourself out backward takes less ‘oomph’ than pulling forward further into the obstacle. Oh no, another choice?
    7. You will use a winch ten times to winch someone else out of a jam for every one time you will need to use it for yourself.
    8. The most important decision is whether you really need a winch or not. Mine was easy since I use winches to pull trees down; drag logs or boulders around and get myself through many feet of snow. Another use would be during loss of traction, as in sand, mud, or snow.
    9. If you do decide to get a winch, do get all the ancillary parts: snatch block that fits your wire rope. Tree saver. Cat Choker. 30K pound, 4 inch, 20-30 foot tow strap with loops on both ends. A few different sized ‘D’ rings. One very large hook with clevis. This should guarantee that you will never, ever have to use any of it. But in your mind, it will be there.
    regards, as always, jefe

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks ago by Profile photo of Jefe4x4 Jefe4x4.

    '01.5 Dodge 2500 4x4, CTD, Qcab, SB, NV5600, NV241HD, 4.10's, Dana 70/TruTrac; Dana 80/ TruTrac, Spintec hub conversion, H.D. susp, 315/75R16' AT3's on 7.5" and 10" wide steel wheels, Vulcan big line, Warn M15K winch '98 Lance Lite 165s, 8' 6" X-cab, 200w Solar

    #16561
    Profile photo of Brent
    Brent
    Participant

    That’s all good information that will help me make a decision. When you get down to it adding a winch is not a simple matter. I need to decide if I really need one. I guess if I go out and get stuck I will know if I need one or not.

    #16607
    Profile photo of Jefe4x4
    Jefe4x4
    Participant

    Brent, then there’s the other mystery element: do you go looking for trouble/the edge? Early on, I loved the smell of ozone when all those driven wheels were churning away, digging eventually to rest on the frame. There is just something therapeutic about it. If you have never been a hard core 4 wheeler, then i suspect you won’t need a winch. Just have a plan B when you start to begin to commence to loose it. For a TC, a minimum would be a 1-foot square ‘jack board’ and a 12 ton hydraulic jack that will fit under the axle on the side that has a flat tire. A farm jack is just about useless on a TC as you can only lift the front end. I would say I’ve used a winch at least 500 times in my time. One Warn 8000 I had on my Land Cruiser FJ-55 was used over 300 times, by design, and that tiny bronze spur gear that ran the big bull gear finally had no teeth. It never got hot and always had a surplus of duty cycle. That was one tough winch. The Chinese winches…not so much.

    '01.5 Dodge 2500 4x4, CTD, Qcab, SB, NV5600, NV241HD, 4.10's, Dana 70/TruTrac; Dana 80/ TruTrac, Spintec hub conversion, H.D. susp, 315/75R16' AT3's on 7.5" and 10" wide steel wheels, Vulcan big line, Warn M15K winch '98 Lance Lite 165s, 8' 6" X-cab, 200w Solar

    #16647
    Profile photo of Don Nelson
    Don Nelson
    Participant

    When I traded in the old TJ on a RAM 3500, the M8000 winch stayed with me.

    Years ago I did a lot of club 4-wheeling in SoCal. Everyone had the M8000 – except me. My Samurai was a hopeless wincher, but a fine winchee.

    When I did get around to a “real” Jeep, the first accessory was an M8000. (The second and last was Duratrac tires.) That winch pulled several big trucks out of iced over creek fords, though tire chains on the Jeep, and strapping it to trees were sometimes required. And even though I retired up here to the frozen north and had no intention of actually getting stuck, it got used for self-recovery twice. Yep, right through that same ice.

    So, will the M8000 work on the one-ton? For me, yes. I carry snatch blocks and straps and cables and logging chains and am pretty sure I can rig up whatever’s necessary to get unstuck with it. I’d rather have a 1200 or bigger winch, but the Warn M8000 is it until it breaks or something. Like that’s gonna happen.

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