A winch is a must-have Jeep accessory for off-road adventures and daily driving. This handy device is easy to install and stays tucked away until you need it most. Unfortunately, an under-sized winch can snap and create dangerous situations. Stay safe and haul yourself out of the mud with the right winch size. Shop for a new winch, Jeep fender flares and other helpful accessories today before hitting the trail.
Know Your Jeep Weight
Before you shop for any aftermarket accessory, it’s worth getting to know your Jeep. The make, model and year are a good start, but it’s also helpful to know the gross vehicle weight of your Jeep. Unlike the gross vehicle weight rating, which measures the maximum allowable weight, the gross vehicle weight of your Jeep lets you know how much it actually weighs.
This is important because winches are rated based on the amount of weight they can pull. A winch rating lower than your Jeep’s weight will obviously be too small, but even one that’s equal to your Jeep’s weight will be undersized for your needs.
Consider Your Winch Needs
The best way to choose a Jeep winch is to multiply your gross vehicle weight by 1.5. Adding 50% of the pulling weight to your winch rating ensures another passenger or being stuck in the mud doesn’t overload your winch. Some manufacturers suggest that 30% above the gross vehicle weight will work, but it’s best to be cautious and stick with 50% more.
The weight of your Jeep can change dramatically with additional accessories. The last thing you want to do is overload your winch just because you brought along another friend or threw a set of spare tires on your ride. This leads some off-roaders to invest in the largest winch that fits their vehicle. There’s no such thing as an over-sized winch.
Compare Winch Styles and Accessories
Most winches advertise their weight rating in a clear figure, but it’s not as straightforward as it may appear. Winches lose some of their pulling power as you unspool the cable. Every layer of unwrapped cable can reduce the pulling power by about 10%. This is another reason to consider a larger winch, particularly if you need to connect to a tree or vehicle that is far away from your struck Jeep.
Another factor to consider is the size of your battery. If you have a winch powered by your electrical system, then the size and cold cranking amps of your battery also limit the pulling power of your winch. Extra-large winches may require an additional battery or larger battery size than the OEM one in your Jeep.
Shop for Jeep Gear Today
When it comes to living life off the road, a name-brand winch is your lifeline. Once you determine the ideal winch, battery and other gear for your Jeep, it’s time to go shopping. Save time by shopping online at a reliable store. Search for name-brand winches, a great Jeep wheel and tire combo and other off-road essentials to prepare for whatever the trail throws your way.