What Size Winch for Car Trailer is Best (Detailed Guide) in 2023

It may be used to pull a tractor out of the mud or a companion out of steep rocks when hiking. When you’re in such a scenario, a trailer winch might come in handy.

Car Trailer winches may be used for more than just getting out of a jam; they can also be used for recreational and utility purposes.

Once you’ve installed a winch on your trailer, you’ll be able to do more utility work with a lot more ease.

What size winch for car trailer is best?

There are a variety of winches on the market right now for various applications and winch sizes.

It might be difficult to decide which winch is best for your car trailer.

What Size Winch for Car Trailer is Best? Types of Car Trailer Winches 

1. Hydraulic Winches 

A hydraulic winch is a hand-operated device powered by a power steering pump. It increases your strength and allows you to lift large items against gravity and friction.

It also includes a ratchet that secures the hefty object to your trailer at any position. This allows a regular person to pull big loads with just a crank and basic gearing.

It’s also worth noting that this gadget can operate for extended periods of time without overheating.

The main disadvantage of this type of winch is that it is more expensive than the electric version. Besides that, it’s a fantastic choice for individuals that frequently use winches.

2. Electric Winches 

Electric winches, with exception of hydraulic winches, do not have a power source. Instead, robust DC motors are used, which are driven by the tow car’s electric system/battery.

Because of their low cost, these sorts of winches are quite prevalent. Furthermore, some electric models include a pulley to boost pulling power.

When it comes to big weights, they aren’t as efficient as hydraulic versions. This is due to the fact that they are lightweight and have a shorter run duration.

As a result, if you use them for an extended period of time, they may develop problems such as overheating. They are, nevertheless, suitable for mid-range utilitarian chores like pulling stalled SUVs.

What Size Winch for Car Trailer: Factors

The capacity and power of a winch are mostly determined by its size. Larger winches, for example, are more powerful. This qualifies them for activities such as towing and lifting big vehicles such as trucks.

Some winches, however, may be too heavy or large to attach to your trailer. Not to mention the fact that not all automobiles can hold all sizes of winches. As a result, before purchasing a winch, make sure that its size is appropriate for your car.

There are a number of variables to consider in order to do this. This includes factors like the winch’s rated capacity and your vehicle’s total weight. You must also examine other elements that may have an impact on the winch’s capability.

Here are some of the factors to check out: 

Gross Vehicle Weight 

The first step in choosing the proper winch size in estimating your vehicle’s gross weight. The GVW (gross vehicle weight) is determined by two variables. That is, the automobile’s curb weight and the weight of the things on/in the car.

Rolling load 

You must compute the rolling load after obtaining the GVW. Tractors, automobiles, and boats are often pulled into the trailer bed using car trailer winches. Thankfully, the majority of these loads have wheels and are classified as rolling loads.

The rolling load is typically a quarter of the overall vehicle weight. This enables the winch to draw a load more than its rated capability.

Other parameters, such as the slope, tire load, and topography, must also be considered. As a result, be sure the winch you pick can lift as much weight as the automobile you’re going to tow.

Winch Rated Capacity 

The utmost weight that a winch can lift is referred to as this. Different types of winches are made to handle various weight capabilities.

Let’s say the automobile you wish to tow onto the trailer is 5000 pounds. If that’s the case, multiply 5000 pounds by 1.5 to get 7500 pounds. This implies you may buy a winch with a draw capability of 7500 pounds to tow a 5000-pound automobile into the trailer bed.

Choosing The Right Winch

Many things must be considered before selecting the appropriate winch size for your trailer. It’s worth noting that not every winch will fit on your trailer; some are either huge or too heavy. Another consideration is that a winch’s weight capacity may be insufficient for your utilitarian or leisure requirements.

We’ll go through the variables to think about while purchasing a winch.

  • Price
  • Weight Capacity
  • Installation
  • Know The Brand
  • Size And Weight


Before purchasing a winch for your car trailer, keep these five factors in mind. Make sure you can afford it, that it has the weight capacity you want for your job, and that it is sturdy enough for your purposes.

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As an avid off-road enthusiast, I know firsthand the importance of having a reliable winch. That's why I created WinchAdvice – to help fellow off-roaders like myself make informed decisions when selecting their next winch. So whether you're an experienced pro or a beginner just starting out, my website offers valuable advice and guidance on all things winching.

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