Best Winch for Car Trailer in April 2024: Never Stuck Again!

Are you tired of getting your car trailer stuck in tough terrain? Say goodbye to this nightmare with the best winch for car trailers.

At WinchingHub, we understand the importance of having a reliable winch that can pull your car trailer out of any tricky situation.

In this article, we’ll take you through the essential features to consider when selecting a winch, including weight capacity, cable length, and motor power. We’ll also provide you with our top recommendations for the best winches for car trailers.

Don’t let a stuck car trailer ruin your off-road adventures. Join us as we explore the best winches for car trailers and make sure you’re always ready for whatever the road throws at you!

Editor’s Choice

From our list of best winches these are the ones you must keep an eye on.

Best Overall: Warn 89120 ZEON 12 

Anyone who is looking for the best pick in terms of durability and strength should go for this winch. It will certainly leave a dent in your pocket but it’s well worth the money.

Best Bang For Buck: Smittybilt X2O GEN2

A winch well spoken of for its fast line speed and versatility. This one’s for people looking to get the most at an affordable price along with a great warranty option. 

10 Best Winch for Car Trailer

Having the right set of winch is more than just a necessity. It is something you need to make sure you have the best in order to keep your vehicles going the way they should. 

We have listed our top handpicked winch for car trailer which are worthy of the money they cost. Let’s take a look at the chart for an overview of how they are different and then we go into detail for each of these products.

WinchWinch CapacityPowerGear TrainGear RatioCable TypeIngress   Protection Rating (IP Rating)Wireless Remote
Warn 89120 ZEON 1212000 lb.12V 3 Stage Planetary162:1Steel (80 ft)IP 68Available (Separate Buy)
Smittybilt XRC GEN2 9.5K9500 lb6.6 HP
3 Stage Planetary161.28:1Steel (94 ft)IP 67Available (Separate Buy)
Champion Power Equipment-145604500 lb1.6HP
3 Stage Planetary180:1Steel(38 ft)Water Resistant(No IP rating)Available(Included)
OFF ROAD BOAR 13000-lb13000 lb6 HP
3 Stage Planetary265:1Synthetic(85 ft)IP 67Available(Included)
VEVOR Electric Winch 6000lb6000 lb4.02 HP
3 Stage Planetary185:1Synthetic (42.65 ft)IP 67Available(Included)
X-BULL 4500 lbs 4500 lb1.5 HP
3 Stage Planetary136:1Synthetic (50 ft)IP 66Available(Included)
Superwinch 1595200 Tiger Shark9500 lb5.2 HP3 Stage Planetary218:1Steel (95 ft)No
AC-DK 13000 lb.13000 lb 6 HP
3 Stage Planetary265:1Synthetic/Steel(85 ft)IP 67Available(Included)
WARN 103255 VR EVO 12-S12000 lb12V3 Stage Planetary234:1Synthetic/Steel(90 ft)IP 68Available
Smittybilt X2O GEN210000 lb6.6 HP
3 Stage Planetary218:1Synthetic(98.5 ft)IP 68Available(Included)

1. Warn 89120 ZEON 12

The Warn 89120 ZEON 12 winch is a great choice for off-road enthusiasts who need a powerful winch that can handle a variety of challenges. Whether you need to unload your trailer, pull your boat out of the water, or just pull your vehicle out from a tough spot, the Warn Zeon 12 Winch has got you covered. 

This winch features a powerful  3 stage planetary gear system and a 12V DC series wound motor for efficient power transfer. It can handle a load capacity of up to 12,000 lbs and comes with 80 feet of galvanized steel cable which is resistant to rust and corrosion

The convertible control pack makes it easy to mount the car trailer winch in a variety of positions. Zeon 12 has an Ingress protection rating 68, so it’s ready for whatever the weather throws at it and will function effectively thanks to the high-quality sealing that keeps mud or water away from electrical components.

The winch also comes with wireless and wired remote options so you can operate it from as far as 50 foot away. You’ll get a full 7 year warranty on electrical components with this winch, which gives you peace of mind that if anything goes wrong, you’ll be covered.


  • Even weight distribution
  • Galvanized steel cable
  • Convertible control pack for varied mounting positions.
  • Great Build with durable cast aluminum
  • Resistant to corrosion
  • Waterproof and dustproof 


  • Big-budget winch

2. Smittybilt XRC GEN2 9.5K

The Smittybilt XRC GEN2 is a great car trailer winch with a lot to offer. A winch you can put your trust on comes with a pulling capacity of 9500lbs, an absolute and perfect solution to handle whatever your truck or trailer can throw at it.

With its 6.6 horsepower motor and 3 stage planetary gear, you can be sure that your winch will be able to pull you out of critical situations. Smooth and fast pulling action ensured by the sliding ring clutch.

It also comes with an IP 67 rating dustproof and waterproof construction, which means you can be stress-free for operating the winch in a muddy and dusty environment. The 500 AMP solenoid is completely sealed and protected from dust and water ingression.

The winch is equipped with 94 feet of anti-corrosion long steel cable, which will help prevent rust from forming on your winch as you use it for years to come. It’s also equipped with an automatic braking system. The roller fairlead confirms smooth spooling action. Smittybilt offers a 3-year warranty on electrical components and lifetime warranty for mechanical parts.


  • Great Pricing
  • Simple installation
  • includes full installation wiring
  • 3 years of warranty for electrical electrical components
  • Great Build.


  • Weak mounting hardware

3. Champion Power Equipment-14560

Champion Power Equipment-14560 car trailer winch kit is a budget friendly piece that delivers high quality results. It’s a smaller winch compared to the others in our list with a pulling capacity of 4500lbs.

This winch features a 1.6 HP 12V DC permanent magnet motor with a gear ratio of 180:1 it produces an impressive line speed of 4.6 feet per minute when fully loaded and 12.8 feet per minute without load. A three stage planetary gear train delivers exceptional dragging power so it will be smooth sailing for your vehicle and its trailer.

The air-craft grade durable galvanized steel rope is 38 feet long and won’t fray easily. Additionally, 4-way roller fairlead makes the winding process smoother. It even has wireless control from 50 feet away, making it safe and easy for you to control your winches from a safe distance and a mini rocker switch that can be mounted on the handlebar.

Automatic power cutoff feature will ensure minimum energy usage and extend the life of this powerful piece of equipment by cutting off power when the winch is not in use.


  • Aircraft grade steel cale
  • Affordable
  • Impressive line speed
  • Auto-off feature
  • Wireless control upto 50 feet away.
  • 2 year limited warranty


  • Complicated to manage wires during installation
  • Overheats

4. OFF ROAD BOAR 13000-lb

Off Road Boar 13000-lb winch, is an affordable heavy duty trailer winch with huge pulling capacity. It’s a good choice for any job that requires pulling heavy loads around. 

It has a capacity of 13000 LBS, which means it’s ready to handle anything you throw at it whether that’s hauling logs, dragging your car out of a ditch, or even pulling a large trailer.

With its 6.0 HP 12 V series wound motor and 3-stage planetary gear and 265:1 gear ratio, it can pull at a rate of 22 feet per minute when under no load and 3.6 feet per minute when fully loaded. The synthetic rope is 85 feet long and has a high grade billet 10 aluminum hawse fairlead for maximum durability.

This car trailer winch has an automatic load-holding brake for added safety as well as dual remote control modes so you can operate it from any distance using either wireless remote controls or wired controls. It’s protected from rain and moisture by the IP67 weatherproof design. It comes with lifetime technical support and one-year limited warranty.


  • Cost Effective option
  • IP 67 Waterproof design
  • Wireless control included
  • 1 year limited warranty


  • Mounting can be challenging

5. VEVOR Electric Winch 6000lb

The VEVOR Electric Winch 6000lb is a cost-effective product that delivers fast, quiet, and reliable power. It’s lightweight yet incredibly strong, and can pull up to 6000 pounds of load.

The efficient copper motor delivers 4.02 HP of power which is connected to a 3-stage planetary gear system with gear ratio of 185:1 for stronger pulling power and faster speed.

Auto in drum braking ensures that the winch will stop when you need it to stop. The high-precision wireless remote control allows you to better operate and control the winch without standing near it, so you can be safe. The winch is made of heavy-duty steel to ensure strength & durability. It has an IP 67 rated waterproof control box suitable for harsh environments.

Finally, the VEVOR Electric Winch 6000lb comes with a 42.65 feet high tensile synthetic rope that’s lightweight but strong enough for harsh environments. This winch is ideal for pulling vehicles onto a trailer. Anyone who needs a light duty car trailer winch at an affordable price with a decent lifetime you should check this out.


  • Low Cost
  • Wireless remote included
  • Comes with all the wires required for installation
  • Lightweight synthetic rope
  • IP 67 rated control box


  • Installation can be confusing 
  • No warranty available

6. X-BULL 4500 lbs 12V Electric Winch Kits with Fairlead

The X-BULL 4500 lbs Winch is a reliable, powerful winch that you can use to pull your vehicle. It features a powerful 1.5HP  copper motor and three stage planetary gear, which deliver an impressive line speed of 8.6 ft /min under full load  and 20.5 ft /min without load. It has a 5% duty cycle at maximum load.

The winch also has a dynamic brake holding mechanism that keeps your vehicle securely in place while you’re using it. You can easily control this winch from 32-38 feet away with its wireless remote control configuration, as well as a mini rocker switch that can be mounted at the handlebar.

The synthetic rope is 50 feet long made of 12 fine stranded rope making it a durable one.

This winch is also diamond-shaped so it’s more conductive to heat dissipation than other designs, ensuring long operation for years to come.


  • Easy installation
  • Amazing price
  • IP 66 Rated
  • Quiet operation
  • Consistent performance


  • Not a high standard build
  • Not recommended for heavy usage

7. Superwinch 1595200 Tiger Shark

The Superwinch Tiger Shark is durable, powerful, and easy to use. It’s also affordable, that’s even better!

This unit is extremely durable and built with stainless steel. With a weather-sealed 5.2HP motor and sealed submersible contactor solenoid, this winch is built to handle abuse against water, snow and dust.. It features a three stage planetary gear and 218:1 gear ratio delivering a line speed of 19 feet per minute under no-load.

The free-spool clutch is ergonomically shaped and is easy to use and work with. It offers a mechanical automatic load holding brake which is an added safety feature. 

95 feet of Steel cable with a heavy duty 4-way roller fairlead ensures a smooth spooling process. The company provides two years of limited warranty so you have a peace of mind to operate this car trailer winch even under stressful situations. 

Installing this piece of machine is very easy if you follow the instructions on the user manual properly. This product is great for anyone who needs to use a winch on a regular basis, whether that means pulling their own car out of mud or getting help lifting something heavy.


  • Exceptional Durability
  • Ergonomic free spool clutch
  • Weather sealed Motor
  • Submersible contantor
  • 2 years of limited warranty


  • Slower Line Speed

8. AC-DK 13000 lb. Electric Winch kit, 12V Waterproof IP67 Winch

The AC-DK 13000 lb electric car trailer winch is a powerhouse at a competitive price. It has a pulling capacity of 13000 lb which is enough to save your vehicle from getting stuck in badlands, or pulling your trailer.

It’s a safe and powerful tool for extreme use. It’s perfect for use in muddy environments, as it has IP 67 rating, which means it’s protected against dust and water ingression.

This winch offers a 6 HP series wound motor with 265:1 gear reduction ratio, three stage planetary gear ensures flawless and smooth operation while delivering a line speed of  21.3 feet per minute under no load and 3.7 feet per minute under full load. 

With the overload protector, hauling heavy objects is worry-free. This device is extremely safe and effective to use because of the automated braking feature.

Additionally it comes with a wireless remote, allowing you to safely operate your winch from a distance without being near it.  It is an ideal choice for pulling heavy loads and you can choose between steel or synthetic rope of 85 feet. You will be getting lifetime technical support and a two year limited warranty from AC-DK. 


  • Sturdy build quality
  • IP 67 waterproof design
  • Option to choose synthetic or steel rope
  • Strong 6HP motor


  • Motor overheats
  • wireless control is not water-proof

9. WARN 103255 VR EVO 12-S

Warn is the most popular brand in the winching industry. They have a reputation for producing high-quality expensive winches. The VR evo 12-s is one of their high performance winches.

It’s powered by a powerful series-wound motor and three stage planetary gear train, which deliver faster line speed under load, with lower amp draw. And with a gear ratio of 234:1, it reaches a line speed of 28 feet per minute under zero load and 4 feet per minute under full load (12000lb).

The VR EVO 12-S comes with a high performance albright contactor for reliable operation. Convertible control pack makes it easy to mount the winch in a variety of positions.

This winch is IP68-rated and powdercoat finish waterproof construction lets you take it on all kinds of adventures without any worries of getting wet. And with two-in-one remote control options, you can use either wired or wireless controls. The 90ft synthetic rope is durable and lightweight making it safer to use for heavy loads. 

You’ll get a limited lifetime mechanical warranty and a 7-year warranty on electrical components from warn.


  • Heavy Duty Winch
  • Exceptional Build Quality
  • Waterproof Construction
  • Heavy Duty Contactor
  • 7 year electrical warranty and lifetime mechanical warranty


  • Expensive

10. Smittybilt X2O COMP – Waterproof Synthetic Rope Winch

The Smittybilt X2O COMP is perfect for off-roaders and weekend warriors who demand the best in performance and reliability. 

It has a loading capacity of 10000 lbs. Featuring a powerful 6.6 HP series wound motor and three-stage planetary gear train it can deliver faster line speed than its competitors.

The 3-stage planetary gear system and sliding ring gear clutch ensure smooth, efficient operation, while the series wound motor provides plenty of power. 

This winch has a waterproof and dustproof design, making it perfect for use in any environment. Its components are built with stainless steel. The winch comes with a 98.5-foot-long synthetic rope which is very strong to pull heavy loads.

You can use both wired and wireless remotes which will be included with the package to operate the winch seamlessly. Smittybilt offers a lifetime mechanical warranty and five years of warranty for electrical components.


  • Great build Quality
  • Faster line speed
  • Well-protected from moisture, corrosion, and UV rays
  • Wired and wireless remote options
  • Quiet operation
  • Anti corrosive
  • 5 years of electrical warranty and lifetime mechanical warranty


  • Overpriced spare parts

Things To Consider While Buying A Winch

Winch Motor

Permanent Magnet Motor: 

  • Drains the battery less compared to series wound motors. 
  • Better suited are suited for light and medium duty winching. 
  • Generate more heat as a result overheats easily.
  • Not recommended for lifting heavy objects.

Series Wound Motors:

  • Requires more current supply.
  • Efficient and faster operation.
  • Recommended for heavy duty winching.
  • More expensive compared to permanent magnet motors.

Gear Type

Planetary Gear:

  • Efficiency 65%.
  • Tends to free spool.
  • A braking system is required.
  • Popular and cost effective.
  • Moderate amperage draw.
  • Accumulates heat.

Worm Gear:

  • Efficiency 35-40%.
  • Greater endurance.
  • Self-braking ability.
  • Requires Clutch mechanism for free spooling.
  • Reduced line speed.
  • Better for industrial winches.

Spur Gear:

  • Efficiency 75%
  • Tends to free spool 
  • A braking system is required.
  • Faster line speed.

Winch Drum Size

The pulling capacity and line speed are significantly impacted by the drum diameter. In comparison, a wider drum is better because the wire spools up faster in smaller drums and loses its pulling capacity more quickly.

Two or Four Solenoids

2 solenoid configuration:

  • Found in permanent magnet motor winches
  • Less Powerful and cheaper

4 solenoid configuration:

  • Found in series wound motor winches.
  • Stronger and reliable.

Cable Type

Synthetic cable:

  • Lighter and easier to handle (Approximately 8 times lighter than steel cable).
  • Energy dispurses if cable breaks.
  • Will Not Rust.
  • More Expensive.
  • Holds Moisture (Risks of rusting the drum).
  • More prone to abrasion, Burs and Frays.
  • Less Durable than Steel Cable.

Steel/Wire cable:

  • Heavier (hard to handle).
  • Better durability.
  • Priced Cheaper.
  • Stronger compared to synthetic cable.
  • Resistant to abrasion.
  • Rust and fray.
  • Potential Injury (If snaps it comes back at high speed as it stores potential energy).

What Size Winch Do I Need For My Car Trailer?

The general rule of thumb to choose the winch size is to multiply the Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) by 1.5(minimum) or 2 (preferable) to find the perfect size of winch. You can always use a bigger winch because who knows when the power may come in handy. It’s better to use one with at least 9000 lb pulling capacity to tow a trailer. Do your research and take all the features mentioned above into consideration. Because investing in a good winch will serve you for years to come.


How much can a 5000 lb winch pull?

Ans: A 5000 lb winch can pull upto 25000 pound when the grade% is 10.

Can I power a winch through the trailer plug?

Ans: The power coming from the trailer’s plug is not sufficient enough to run an electric winch. You have two options to power the trailer winch kit. The first one is to connect your vehicle’s power source to the winch using a quick disconnect. The other one is to use a separate battery that acts as the power source to run your car trailer winch with a wireless remote.

Is synthetic winch rope better?

Ans: Both synthetic and steel rope have their pros and cons. A synthetic rope is safer to use because if the rope breaks it will fall into ground rather than snapping back with high energy.

Can I put a synthetic rope on a cable winch?

Ans: Yes. It’s possible to use a synthetic rope on a winch designed for steel cable. However it’s recommended to use a rope the winch is designed for.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to towing and hauling, you need a quality winch that can be counted on when you need it most. Winch kits are a great purchase when you find just the right one. Hopefully you have learned about some great car trailer winches from our in-detail comparison of best winches for car trailer. Each of these winches comes with great advantages. You’ll need to pick one that fits your requirements. We are happy to help!

Ricardo Vaughn
Ricardo Vaughn

Vaughn is a seasoned off-roading expert and professional winch specialist. When he's not out on the trails, he shares his knowledge and experiences through his writing as a blog author in the off-roading and outdoor lifestyle space.

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