What Size Winch For Trailer? – Best Guide For ATVS, UTVS

What Size Winch For Trailer ? The size of the winch depends on several factors:

For a tongue weight of 1000 lbs, you would use a 4000 capacity winch with 10′ Cable or 25′ for 2500 lbs trailer.

There is not a thumb-up rule for size winch of trailers, but there are a few experts’ recommendations.

We recommend a 9.5k winch for most car haulers and 12 to 18k for heavy lifter trailers.

Winches are great to have because they can help you in miserable conditions where no one is available, and you are on your own.

They can help you while in slippery situations such as snow, sand, mud, and more.

The winches pull small vehicles out of the mud or snow.

A winch is a mechanical device that allows you to pull an object up or down by winding wire rope around a drum (rotor) and applying force to the other end of the rope.

Most winches have 2 components:

  • The motor, which turns the rotor
  • An attached load controller

They helps the user control the winch’s output.

The load controller is designed to be used by a human and can often be held in one hand.

Winch Size Depends On Factors Like

1. Pulling Capacity

It is the maximum weight that a winch can pull.

Pulling capacity can help you decide the size of the winch, like the more pulling capacity you need, the larger the size winch you will need.

2. Motor Horsepower

Motor Horsepower
Source: Tw controls

It is the power that turns the rotor.

The more powerful the motor you need, the bigger the size winch.

It depends on your pulling capacity and vehicle weight.

If your winch has enough pulling capacity and less weight, you don’t have to buy a powerful motor.

3. Cable Length

It depends on your pulling distance.

The longer the cable length you will need, the bigger the winch you will need.

The winch’s power depends on your cable length because a short cable can pull more weight than a long one.

Cable length
Source: Narda-Atm

4. Rope Diameter

The bigger the rope diameter you will need, the more powerful the motor you will need.

It depends on your pulling distance and cable length.

If a winch has enough power, it can pull up to 47% of its weight with 2 thick wire ropes, 30% with 3/8″ Cable, and 20% with 1/4″ wire rope.

Rope Diameter
Source: qualitynylonrope

5. Weight Of Vehicle

The vehicle’s weight also determines winch size because if your car is less in weight.

You don’t need a heavy-duty winch, but for a big truck or SUV, it needs two and more horsepower.

There are many models of winches available in the market, but not all can offer you the best quality.

Specifically Used Winches:

Off road winch
Source: zhme winch

Most winches are designed for a specific purpose, and due to their design, some of them cannot be used for other purposes.

For example, The Off-road winch is designed to use off-road vehicles such as ATVs, UTVS, and more.

The mounting style is different for the Off-road winch, and the gear ratio is designed to provide more pulling power.

The electrical wire connection of an off-road winch is also different from a regular winch because of its use on vehicles that are not driven much on paved roads.

The most common purpose of using a Winch is to pull out your stuck vehicle from mud, sand, snow, or any other place where you get stuck.

The winch is a valuable tool to use in an emergency where you need extra power to pull out your vehicle from mud, snow, or sand.

There are occasions when you get stuck at night or during the day, and then using your winch can be helpful.

The key component of a winch is its Cable which should have enough strength to do the task properly.

If it cannot provide enough pulling power, it will not help much in winching the load.

The most common cable type available in the market is a Round Steel Cable where you can find different diameters of cables.

Few Cable Types:

1. Dyneema Cable

Dyneema Cable
Source: angle netze

The other type of Cable available is Dyneema (Polyethylene) “Dyneema” or Spectra fiber which are very strong and lightweight.

Although it has lower breaking strength than steel.

It’s still very useful for multiple uses such as:

  • Line pulling
  • Hunting
  • Fishing

2. Flat Steel Cable

Flat Steel Cable
Source: india mart

Another kind of Cable is the Flat Steel cable which is also used in winches.

It’s very strong but has higher breaking strength than the Round Steel Cable.

It can also be used for multiple purposes:

  • Line pulling
  • Hunting
  • Fishing

3. Wire Rope

Wire Rope
Source: zojo

The Wire rope is different from the overhead cables because of its material, shape, and breaking strength.

Its breaking strength is much more than steel cable, but it offers less pulling power than steel cable.

What Size Winch For Trailer Car

Trailer car winch size is also not a specific set or number, but in most cases, there are two kinds of winch sizes for the trailer which is:

Light Duty Winch
Source: Ecvv

1. Light Duty Winch

Light duty winches are designed for light-duty work in which winch power is not needed in bulk, and a low capacity winch can also work well enough to complete the task.

The most common light-duty winch is the 3,000 lbs capacity winch.

2. Heavy Duty Winch

Heavy Duty Winch
Source: Amazon

The heavy-duty winches are designed for a single purpose which is to pull the heavy load out of mud, sand, or snow.

These winches are designed with high power to pull out heavy loads easily and fast. They have higher capacity than light-duty winches.

3. Ideal Winch For Car And Trucks

6,000 lbs capacity winch
Source: afterphotoshop

The ideal Winch for Car and Truck is the one that has enough power to pull out your car or truck from such situations.

The winch’s capacity is the factor you need to consider to get the exact size winch for your needs.

The most popular Size Winch For A Car is the 6,000 lbs capacity winch.

The most popular Size Winch For A Truck is the 10,000 lbs capacity winch.


Winches’ size matters a lot, and everyone should consider the weight of the load they want to pull by winch.

There should always be a couple of spare parts with the winch, which is specifically designed for that winch model so that you can replace it in case of any issue.

One of the most important considerations is buying a winch with enough power and capacity per your need.

There are many Winches models with different sizes, but the best way to find out the right size of a winch for you is by calculating what maximum load you want to pull.

If you know your need and consider these factors, you will surely get your hands on the best winch.

Video Guide: