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NastyPirate 08-19-2013 09:48 AM

Are you a wincher?
I see a lot of winches on Jeeps. So, one of two thoughts come to mind:

1. It's a really useful tool for some, saving themselves or others from potential harm, or

2. really great poser add-on to look aggressive

This new Jeep will be going to Belize, which is not awash with Jeep clubs, or winched vehicles at all, and has some fairly rugged terrain. I am not a crawler, but could see needing to get myself out of a pickle. This will be a DD on paved, gravel and sand, with occasional stream and mud use.

Is a winch overkill for me? What size gets the job done, as opposed to having enough raw power to haul an Abrams A1 out of a ditch?

For those of you who have them, do you USE them? If not, why not? Are there bumpers that allow for a lower inset so that I can add a 20" light bar?

I can see potential use, but don't want to bother if its going to be a useless appendage.


BB1857 08-19-2013 09:56 AM

A winch is merely an insurance policy for the most part. You won't have any idea if you need one until you find yourself in a spot that you need one! If what you described is accurate I'd have one for sure just for peace of mind! An 8000lb is probably minimum and then you can go from there based on budget.

nwbronco 08-19-2013 10:08 AM

Mine gets used about 25 to 30% of the wheeling trips we go out on. I have used it 3 or 4 times for self recovery. Many times for vehicle extraction. I am the primary recovery vehicle in or group. The task gets spread around when others upgrade and add gear to their rigs.

Bob K.

ahsumtoy 08-19-2013 10:13 AM

I've been to Belize and seen some of the back roads and how muddy it can get. In my opinion, I would put one on for where you are going.

i82much 08-19-2013 10:16 AM

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Not sure if you have problems with fallen trees blocking the road, but up here in the Pac NW a winch and a chainsaw can be really useful during hunting season when it is rainy.

wrh3 08-19-2013 10:16 AM


Originally Posted by BB1857 (Post 4096025)
A winch is merely an insurance policy for the most part. You won't have any idea if you need one until you find yourself in a spot that you need one! If what you described is accurate I'd have one for sure just for peace of mind! An 8000lb is probably minimum and then you can go from there based on budget.

^^ This........after almost getting stuck alone without one, I now wheel with others and have one ;)

Monster75 08-19-2013 10:32 AM

Like others have said you wont know that you need one until your axle deep in mud and know one is around. For me its a must I go wheeling a lot buy my self and my winch has got me out of several binds.

NastyPirate 08-19-2013 11:46 AM

great info, guys. I do see it as insurance, so there's that.

Which bumpers allow the winch to sit down lower so that I can add a 20" light bar?

Rancho 08-19-2013 12:35 PM

In my years of using Warn winches, I have only used the winch on my rig about 12 times ( and there was no way around it) but have used it much more on other rigs. So to me worth every penny to get myself off the trail and others too!

This ledge I used it!

Bertman 08-19-2013 12:38 PM

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Mine is the real deal. I winched up the mountain to camp that night also. Others were winching DOWN the mountain in the morning.

WhiskeyMike 08-19-2013 01:47 PM

I want to be a wincher, but haven't had much of an opportunity. Got a winch for Christmas and was able to use it to get someone else out once. Despite many trips out, I haven't gotten stuck. Had I not had the winch, I'm sure I would have gotten stuck a dozen times by now. But it's good peace of mind.

Finally got a Jeep 08-19-2013 02:21 PM

Mine is an insurance policy. The wife and I love to get off the beaten path and explore dirt roads whenever the opportunity arises and we're usually alone. I haven't needed to to date (knock on wood) and hope I never do but it's nice to know it's there just in case.

Rogerg 08-19-2013 08:09 PM

I firmly believe that if you go off roading a winch is a must. Granted I have only used my winch once on my own jeep but that time I was deep in the desert by myself. I would have been totally screwed if I didnt have one. Easily a half day hike to a nearest road but I always have enough water and supply when I do that kind of stuff. I normally dont go out on my own but I was bored out of mind at the time.
You can always buy the cheapest one you can find if you know that you wont be using it much. The only thing different that I notice with brand name and generic is how fast it pulls.

peanut09 08-19-2013 09:07 PM

I have actually worn winches out... However that was due to breaking trail in the mountains of Colorado in the middle of winter and taking all night to do it LOL. I remember getting out of the jeep at times in snow that was more than waist deep :rofl:
Anyway that being said I think it is good insurance :rolleyes:

MrJones944 08-21-2013 01:16 PM

I bought mine thinking it would be good insurance. Then I went wheeling with a buddy on Drummond Island in MI. A few hours into the trail we came to a vertical climb that neither of us could get up. Both jeeps had to be winched up. Without it we would be back peddling through the entire trail. Since then Ive used it plenty. Mostly for others and once or twice more for myself when I was stuck.

Honestly one of the best uses is pulling out bushes and trees.

Couple fav moments:
JK Wrangler Bundy Hill Snow Run 3-2-13 - YouTube

NastyPirate 08-21-2013 01:30 PM

Great, guys...So WINCH (check)

Now, which one's do you like. Remember that I will be in a hot and humid (and rainy) area in Belize. Beautiful weather most of the time, but when its not......

Are winches winches? I know the big marketing names, but does it make a difference?

3JKs1H1 08-21-2013 01:52 PM

Simple answer, Buy a Warn. Something like an M8000. The problem with foreign (Chinese) winches is that they may die 2 years down the road and you're not going to find parts for it. of course it will die when you need it, so you get that as well.

Get a snatch block as well (about $50), allows doubling of line pull - so more than 8K. I like synthetic line but for occasional use steel works fine. Syn line adds around $200 to price.

I've used winches for around 20 years now, they are useful on the trail and around the house or farm (for pulling anything).

bdcvg 08-21-2013 02:05 PM

I went ENGO because 2 or so years ago 4wheel mag tested 5-6 winches and the Engo was bang for buck. I only use it for draggin trees and people out of ditches plus occasional recovery.

Greg__Berger 08-21-2013 02:45 PM

I got stuck about three weeks after buying my '13 JKUR. After taking over two hours to hand crank out with a chain hoist (only by good fortune did we find some local guys that had one) it was an easy decision. Since then I've used it only twice for self recovery, but another 3 times for recovering other vehicles.

JayHawker45 08-21-2013 03:11 PM

Along with the winch, either buy or put together a recovery kit, 2 extra Clevis shackles, recovery strap, cable extension strap, tree protector strap and a good snatch block. If you get a winch with steel cable, keep a blanket or use a cable dampener in case you have a cable separation under load(can be deadly). Once you assemble your recovery kit, either take a recovery class or get someone you trust to show you how each and every component is used. Rigging for vehicle recovery can be dangerous.

ohioviper 08-21-2013 03:20 PM

One week a month my wife is an ole winch does that count.

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