What Are The Best Hitch Mounted Winch

Last Updated on June 20, 2023 by Will Sabel

Off-roading can be fun, but what if your car gets stuck in the mud? It can then surely be a challenge for you to get it out. 

This is where a hitch mount winch comes into action. However, some of the common problems that many users face with most hitch mounted winch are with the durability, convenience of usage, and also affordability. 

So, to aid you with all these issues, our automotive experts have come up with some of the best hitch trailers that ensure perfect design for optimum towing; along with a lot of variations in terms of quality, performance, and reliability. 

Therefore, keep reading to know all the top-rated hitch mount winches that you can pick for your vehicle. 

Top Rated Hitch Mounted Winch

In this section, I’ll let you know all the ins and outs of the top hitch-mounted winch you can get to make your overall pulling pretty convenient.

1. Smittybilt GEN 2 XRC Winch

Smittybilt gen 2 xrc winch

For over 50 years, Smittybilt has been a trusted brand that customers have relied on for their hitch-mounted winches. Smittybilt GEN 2 XRC Winch comes in a few different load capacities. It comes with the motor, the cable, and the wireless remote controller packed securely to prevent any damage during transportation.

One of the best that there is, its power and efficiency are both of top quality, so you really won’t have to worry about regular maintenance costs. Even though it is a little heavier than most other winches, it is a perfect option for heavy-duty tasks.

Being completely waterproof enables you to use this winch through any road in any situation. Its three-stage planetary gear system lets you power through the toughest and stickiest roads.

The kit comes with everything needed, so you are no longer required to spend more time than required. With this winch, you don’t need to worry about the installation wiring, as the kit has all the wiring needed. 

Thoroughly updated with all sorts of heavy-duty features, this winch is a beast of its kind. With its dimensions being 22.3×5.4×9.4, weighing in at 78 pounds, and requiring 12 Volts, this winch is recommended to be used with a minimum of 650CCA. 

Moreover, this updated version is made for more durability and to ensure you get the most out of your preferred winch. 

The 168.28.1 gear ratio on this allows you to work through the toughest of situations within its power. It has a black textured finish with a 94-inch cable length and 5/16 inch diameter.

Moreover, the sliding ring gear-type clutch and the automatic in-drum enable an easy and precise effect. This winch is an all-in-one package for any situation and undeniably an all-powerful recovery system to have in emergency cases. 


  • Heavy built
  • Comes with all the necessary parts for installation
  • It’s waterproof
  • Several load capacities to choose from


  • Heavier than other
  • A bit pricey

2. Zeak 13000 pounds Electric Winch

zeak 13000 lb winch hitch mount

This electric winch is suitable for any vehicle with a larger wheelbase. It’s a highly powerful and efficient winch with a 6-horsepower DC permanent motor for heavy-duty performance. 

Through the muddiest of roads, this powerful hitch-mounted winch comes with a control box, a hawse fairlead, mounting bolts, a hook, and every other essential you would need to work with the winch mounting plate.

With IP68, this waterproof winch provides it with a corrosion-resistant surface that reduces any appearance of scratch. This enables you to use the hitch-mounted winch through any sort of weather and environment.

Equipped with stronger synthetic cable sizes, 3/8 inch and 86 feet long, run by an equally strong motor. This ensures a high pulling ability to carry out heavy-duty tasks with ease.

It has a traction drag speed of 21.3 feet per minute and a maximum load of 13000 pounds, drags speed at 5 feet per minute, making it an all-in-one hitch-mounted winch.

You can easily use the hitch with vehicles like the jeep, SUV, UTV, and ATVs. That’s not all — the hitch-mounted winch can also be used for tow boats and trailers.


  • Galvanized finish
  • Powerful features include the circuit breaker and the powerful motor
  • Maximum synthetic cable length for towing
  • Rust, corrosion, and snow resistant
  • Ideal for heavy-duty towing


  • Bolts to the drum secure may get loose over time
  • The wireless remote control may be dysfunctional at times

Zeak 13,000 lbs Winch Test Video

3. Champion Power Equipment – 100427

Champion hitch mounted winch

This robust winch mount comes with synthetic rope and remote controls with a 12000 pounds-rated line pull with a gear reduction of 216:1, enabling you to enjoy the full load easily. With the mighty 6.0 horsepower and a 12 Volt DC motor, pulling power can pull you out of any sticky situation.

The 2-inch hitch adapter is specially designed to enable you to easily mount and transport any type of cargo within the mentioned. Its 85 feet long and 11/32 inches synthetic wire rope has the least breaking strength of 15000 pounds. 

Which is guided by 2.5 inches by 8.8 inches drum through the roller fairlead. This strong pulling power by the synthetic rope ensures no fraying or curling up of the ropes.

It has a 3 positioned adjustable handle conveniently attached as guards to protect the winch. The winch can withstand a line speed of 2.3 feet per minute with a full load.

With a black anodized aluminum finish, this lightweight hawse fairlead perfectly secures the synthetic rope and elongates its life. 

The free spooling clutch, planetary gear, and braking system provide incredible control, making it work much more efficiently. It also comes with a snatch box that can be used to maximize the pulling power and guide in angle towing.

Suitable for off-roading on SUV or truck mounting adapter. It’s also available to suit different types of needs for different cars and vehicles, this winch holds back nothing and checks all the necessary boxes. It is a quick-working winch with various options suitable for your needs.

Moreover, this hitch mounted winch is pretty easy to install and convenient to operate, making it a great addition to your car.


  • Available with several options
  • Ease of mounting the winch
  • The hook and straps are packed separately for security
  • Pretty simple to install
  • Perfect for off-roading


  • Bulky and heavy lifting for an average person

4. Superwinch 158202 LP 8500 Winch

Superwinch LP 8500

This is the perfect winch you buy in order to create a small change with your transportation of trailer hitch or cargo. Rated more than just a standard winch, it ensures to provide long and safe towing. This is a reliable winch with 12 volts that you can take off-road with wire rope, and the house failed with an 8500 pull power.

The 12 volt DC motor, the horsepower of 4.5, a ratio of 231:1, and an all-steel planetary three-stage gearbox are sure to serve you for a long time. This winch is designed to handle stress and torque, quickly and silently turning the drum.

It’s available in 2 different types to suit your need for towing capacity; this winch’s versatility is not limited to cars only. You can use this hitch-mounted winch on most ATVs, UTVs trucks, and SUVs-like vehicles to tow heavy objects through mud or other weather conditions.

94 inches of 5/16 inches of steel cable length with a fully loaded 8500 pounds pulling capability; this will not cause any break, force, or friction, allowing you to recoil the line of wire rope at your convenient pace.

The 15-inch rubbered wireless remote control allows you to be at a safe distance while using it to operate this hitch-mounted winch. Generally, its remote is known to perform as well and is helpful when at a distance.

However, before buying it, proper research is recommended to ensure it suits all your needs and is the perfect size and height.

Weather conditions do not affect this winch as it has a powder-coated solenoid and circuit breaker. With an entry-level 4×4 receiver, it is convenient to attach to most small or large vehicles.


  • Driving is safe and requires nothing more than the standard need of bolts
  • A great addition to any car and requires no extra maintenance
  • Comes with all the pieces, making it pretty simple to install
  • Rated very well among users and known to save time and money for the price
  • Its flexibility is designed to help users to ensure it fits in any tight spots


  • Not great for rear bumper

5. Superwinch 1130220 LT3000 12V DC Winch

Superwinch LT 3000 ATV winch

The 12V DC powerful motor on this has a pull line of 3000 pounds and comes with a sealed 1.2 horsepower permanent magnet motor and a roller fairlead mounting plate. Its stage 1 planetary gearbox with a gear ratio of 136:1 makes it a suitable winch for vehicles.

The winch comes with both a handlebar rocker switch and a remote to pull and get the job done safely. A full 100% loaded holding, and dynamic brake system ensures complete security.

It has a maximum line pull power of 3000 pounds at 15 AMPS motor draw and 4 feet per minute line speed. While at minimum, the pulling power of this steel wire rope is 15 amps motor draw and 27 feet per minute line speed, with a decent capacity to rely on.

The free-spooling and ergonomic control of the clutch are easy to wrap your head around and a breeze to get used to it. It is designed to be quiet and also an easy fit on most cars.

Easy and perfect to drive through prolonged hours and also through any weather conditions. Moreover, the metal clasp does not weigh much, and the overall lightweight and waterproof nature makes it one of the top choices.


  • Available to buy on Amazon and other websites
  • Includes handlebar and remote for rocker-mounted switch
  • Perfect price for the products you purchase
  • Circuit breaker protected
  • Requires no additional tool to install


  • Requires simple wash with water to remove debris

6. WARN 92000Vehicle Mounted 

Warn winch ideal for hitch mounts

Available in two different variants, this is among the best hitch-mounted winch with an electric option that you could buy. The winch is also compatible with the right tool for most hitch receivers or vehicles if mounted in tight spots.

This is a rather small size for winches but packed and loaded with enough power, such as having a 1.6 horsepower permanent magnet DC motor. Moreover, its cost-efficient services and value for money have an outstanding duty cycle even for heavy-duty performance.

Ideally made to fit and be used on a trailer or hitch mounts, this is a sturdy model that is wired to perfection for better lifting equipment performance in the market.

With 35 feet-long cables and a 10.7m of 4.7mm steel wired rope, it comes added with a hook and a clasp included for battery-powered winching. Suitable for pulling lighter loads like trailers and hitch mounts, you can hook it up to your vehicle and power through long hours through any weather, including snow and sand.

The comfortable gripping handle allows more control over the vehicle and the cargo as you speed up. That’s not all; the dynamic braking system ensures great control and convenience of the handle placement to be just enough to receive the rider’s hand.

Its top coating prevents rust and corrosion while also protecting it from debris, sand, and any other exterior particles that may cause it to appear unclean. The overall top coating also makes it highly attractive and premium-looking compared to other winches.


  • Portability enables easy traveling
  • High and strong quality carbon gear minimizes the appearance of long-term use of wear and tears
  • One way ratchet enables perfect recoiling each time with a safe distance
  • Affordable winching makes buying it a great option to tow
  • Remarkable dynamic brake system


  • It might be too small for some larger vehicle

Video: 4X4 Recovery With Hitch Mounted Warn Winch

What to Look for in a Hitch-Mount Winch?

Yes, choosing the best receiver hitch winch mount can be challenging for many people, especially when it’s their first time getting one. 

So, to aid with all these issues, I have come up with some of the best and most effective methods by which you can easily choose the right hitch-mounted winch. Below I have explained all the essential factors you need to look for to grab the best deal.

Cable Type

Synthetic cable steel cable

When choosing trailer hitch-mounted winches, you need to look for the cable length and type you require.

I would strongly recommend choosing either synthetic cable or steel cable since both cable types are robust and durable.

Although steel cable can undergo a lot of stress, especially when the pulling power increases, this can eventually result in the steel cable reaching its breaking point.

On the other hand, synthetic lines are compatible, light, and have more flexibility. Therefore, these cable types are more durable and highly efficient.

Electric Winch

electric winch installed on vehicle

Electric winches are designed to use your Jeep battery to power up the motor. The best side of this is that these electric winches can be operated at an accelerated speed without any hassle.

Moreover, the electric winch is pretty easy to install and use as they come with remote control, giving you access to the full control box.

Therefore, while choosing your hitch-mounted winch mount, check whether your electric winch has this remote control box to give you more access to winch mounts.

Weight Capacity

Different types of hitch-mounted winches have different weight capacities. So, you must be aware of the weight capacity of the winch mount you pick.

To ensure heavy lifting, your trailer hitch must be able to take on at least 1.5 times the weight of the vehicle. Therefore, never go on getting a winch quickly without knowing its weight capacity and other additional hitch receiver features.

Moreover, the synthetic rope of the receiver also needs to be durable to easily pull and lift heavy items without getting stuck or showing signs of wear and tear. That’s not all; larger winches have a bigger and more powerful motor with better stability and side guards.

Therefore, you can also go for a larger hitch-mounted winch mount as they are more robust and have the caliber to take on heavy-duty tasks.


Pricing plays a huge role, especially when you plan to get a trailer hitch with the best features.

The overall pricing of a hitch-mounted winch usually ranges from $100 to even $1000, depending on the advanced and additional features the hitch-mounted trailer has got to offer.

So, before you go on purchasing a trailer hitch receiver, always check the necessary factors like the gear reduction ratio, winch plate, free spooling clutch, and so on.

If you see that your desired winch has all the necessary features, then finally check whether it fits within your price range or not.

Mounting a Winch on Trailer Hitch

Winches help load and unload different things. However, mounting a winch on a trailer hitch has been a challenge for many people. 

So, how do you mount a trailer winch then? Different trailers have different procedures. So, to aid you with this matter, I have explained some different procedures to mount your winch on different trailer hitches.

Flatbed Trailer Winch Mounting

Flatbed trailer winch

Utility trailers have winch mounting plates. So, if there are any rail plates, then you need to follow car trailer protocol. You must use a winch plate with a 3/8-inch U bolt to ease your work.

After that, you need four of the same-sized U bolts, not pin bolts. Unhook the trailer’s battery 2 inches lower to put the winch above the wheels.

Flatbed trailers don’t come with any extra plates or rail beds, so get U-bolts and a winch mounting plate.

However, permanent mounting requires a D ring and pulley rocks. We don’t actually recommend placing rail beds on wooden flatbed trailers as it’s comparatively pricier.

Finally, secure your bed floor to the flatbed trailer frames while using winch, D rings, and also hitch pins.

Gooseneck Winch

Gooseneck trailers have two tow-vehicle connections. The trailer is triangle-shaped from above. Although a custom-welded mount plate can repair the mounts, D rings are better than pins, especially for gooseneck trailers.

However, adding permanent winch mounts to your gooseneck beams and trailer is indeed a smart choice. Putting a 6,000lb winch on a gooseneck trailer’s beams should be the best option for you. Then finally, insert those bolt pins through your wrench holes.

Winch on Enclosed Trailer

Enclosed trailers prevent theft and falling off, but mounting any winch is indeed a challenge. You can attach your winch to your trailer’s floor first. After that, you’ll need brackets and a ratchet set.

You can even winch on an enclosed trailer or hitch mount. Just make sure, instead of 6 inches, add 5 inches to your winch. We recommend bracketing to fix the hitch trailer winch, but not a ratchet set for optimum repair. However, if you are a newbie, you should hire professionals to do this job for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

How big does your winch need to be?

To determine the size of the winch your trailer or vehicle needs, add around 30% to the working GVW. Let’s say if your GVW comes with 6,700 pounds, you would require a winch mount that provides you with around 8,000 pounds of pulling capacity.

How much can a winch pull?

It varies from one winch to the other. However, you need to ensure that your winch can pull 1.5 times the weight of the vehicle. 

You can simply find it by multiplying the GVW by 1.5. This is the overall minimum rating of your hitch-mounted winch. However, you should still take suggestions from the seller to know the exact threshold capacity of your winch mount.

Can a snatch block drastically increase the winch power?

snatch block to increase pull power

Yes, it does. A snatch block is mainly a pulley that has a plate that can swing open so that you can effortlessly feed your winch cable through the wheel by itself. This snatch block is important for mainly 2 reasons: It can double the power of the winch and even aids the pulley in changing the directions. 


There are too many options for winches at different prices and load limits. However, If you are searching for a good and affordable winch that gets all your job done efficiently, then the mentioned products are simply the best hitch mounted winch.

The Smittybilt GEN 2 XRC Winch is our top pick because of its versatility and efficiency. Perfect for all types of needs and suitable for maximum types of vehicles.

The hitch is ideal for heavy-duty tasks and can easily withstand wear and tear without showing no signs of significant damage.

hitch mounted winch

Author: Will Sabel

Will Sabel is an avid car enthusiast. When he's not writing for RidersWant, you'll find him cruising the country in a new car. People are always wondering how many cars he has!

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