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Winch Buying Guide: Best Brands, Sizes for Your Vehicle, and Winch Accessories

off-road vehicle

If you’re like most off-road vehicle owners, you most likely think about the accessories you can get. Customizing your interior is always an appealing option, but it’s wise to consider accessories that can help you get out of a jam or protect your occupants and cargo.

Protecting your cargo is typically a matter of installing a durable and secure tonneau cover such as the popular BakFlip G2. When it comes to getting out of a jam, however, the serious off-roader should give some thought to mounting a winch. The right winch can make all the difference in how things turn out if you’re stuck in rough terrain and in need of a recovery.

What To Look for When Buying a Winch

There are more than just a few brands to choose from. Reading reviews of the popular manufacturers’ winch models can be helpful. Most reputable online parts dealers post FAQs, reviews and expert vehicle-and-winch match-up guides to help you make the best choice. You should, however, make it a priority to consider what will be required to pull your vehicle out of a jam. If your winch doesn’t have the power to pull your fully loaded rig, it may not be very useful when you get stuck.

Recovery winches are rated by the amount of weight they can pull. If your rig exceeds the winch’s pulling weight, your vehicle could remain stuck. To avoid that type of unhappy scenario, plan on getting a winch that can pull at least 1.5 times the weight of your fully loaded vehicle. If, for example, your loaded vehicle weighs 8,000 pounds, plan on a winch that can pull at least 12,000 pounds. Electric winches must also be matched to your battery’s strength. Be certain that your battery can supply the power and ampdraw your winch will need to pull your rig.

Winch Size and Mounting Hardware

Winches and their mounting accessories are not a one-size-fits-all affair. Take note of your winch mount’s capacity. You’ll need it to remain securely attached during a challenging recovery. You may also need an aftermarket truck bumper that can handle the type of winch a recovery may require.

A good way to find the right-size winch and mounting hardware is to check out the wide range of Warn winch parts. One of the top winch companies, Warn has been producing off-road recovery winches since 1958 and remains one of the most respected winch and mounting accessory manufacturers.

Protection for Your Cargo During a Recovery

In a severe off-road recovery operation, your winch may be pulling a fully loaded rig up a bumpy and steep incline. A secure tonneau cover will be a well-appreciated accessory if your truck bed is loaded with cargo or camping gear. A sturdy and tight-fitting truck bed cover, such as the Truxedo Lo Pro QT tonneau cover, can assure you that your cargo is protected in a range of situations, one of which may be an off-road recovery.

Like winches and their accessories, there are several manufacturers producing a variety of styles and types of tonneau covers. You’ll find helpful guides and vehicle-match charts when you search online for the off-road parts and accessories you need.

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