Winch hitch mount?

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Jul 11, 2022
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I feel like this should be a common question, or maybe my search skills are not what they were.

I like the idea of getting a winch, but I dont like the idea of carting all that weight on the front of my car when 95% of the time I'm not even close to a situation when I might need a winch.
Some internet searching has pulled up people basically using a tow ball square hitch mount, to mount their winch on the front for the times they need it, and take it off other times.

What is the general consensus about this? Difficult to get right, but worth doing? Just not worth it at all because of the dickin around when stuck?
Or should I just 4wd more often and make that 90% a 50%?

One thing that really attracts me to the concept is I could have mounts for front and back, so depending on if I need dragging out forward or backward I can make it work (already have an Anderson plug on the rear tow bar wired to the aux battery).
 
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JMO, but it's going to take quite bit of work to get a receiver mounted to the front of your rig. No one is making a bolt on solution to accomplish this. My second concern is strength. I'm not sure how well hitch mounted winches hold up to pulls at what could be off angles. Winching out of a bad spot off road can apply very different forces than pulled a car up on a trailer for example. My third concern is having to install the winch once you're already stuck. Standing in knee deep mud trying to hook it all up sounds like no fun. If you install it prior to leaving the hard top then you're sacrificing approach angle by having the winch sticking out from the front of your truck.

I'd recommend an aftermarket bumper or a hidden winch mount. The weight isn't all that significant, IMO. I installed an ARB and Ramsey winch on my 100 and all took was 5 turns if the torsion bar and I was right back to normal. I've got no issues with this set up and see no need for aftermarket torsion bar at the moment.
 

2020 Rocks

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JMO, but it's going to take quite bit of work to get a receiver mounted to the front of your rig. No one is making a bolt on solution to accomplish this. My second concern is strength. I'm not sure how well hitch mounted winches hold up to pulls at what could be off angles. Winching out of a bad spot off road can apply very different forces than pulled a car up on a trailer for example. My third concern is having to install the winch once you're already stuck. Standing in knee deep mud trying to hook it all up sounds like no fun. If you install it prior to leaving the hard top then you're sacrificing approach angle by having the winch sticking out from the front of your truck.

I'd recommend an aftermarket bumper or a hidden winch mount. The weight isn't all that significant, IMO. I installed an ARB and Ramsey winch on my 100 and all took was 5 turns if the torsion bar and I was right back to normal. I've got no issues with this set up and see no need for aftermarket torsion bar at the moment.
When researching my harbor freight badlands winch, one thing I came across repeatedly is a bad or weak mounting of the winch plate can lead to disastrous results. Saw bad stuff on youtube on just straight pulls to car trailer where things buckled and ripped, I personally would not consider a tow hitch mounting option.
 
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its an option but maybe not the most practical for most applications. i had a cust that came into the shop with a front hitch mounted winch and it killed the front ground clearance to the point that the winch was lower than the skid plate. it is nice that it adds the versatility of being able to mount to the rear hitch to pull you back and you dont have to drive around with it if you just on pavement and not planning on hitting the dirt. i would be concerned about side loading it or an off angle pull torquing the hitch mount and bending it
 
Joined
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Australia
I'm not too worried about the mounting and the side forces, since I can engineer that away, but I do heed the advice of the more experienced people that it's probably not a great idea. There is a general rule of thumb that applies to life that says if you don't see everyone else doing it, then good chance it's a terrible idea.

I also looked into the wiring with more detail, and the anderson plug on the back is only wired for 20A. Which means I have to run a whole new cable for it to work. Then you add that, plus the point above that I would bet 70% of the time it's going to be a pain to try and hoik a 40kg winch into a tiny hole, while standing in mud, on the side of a hill

I'll think I'll stick with plan A, get the winch and redo the suspension.

Thanks team!
 

80t0ylc

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Receiver hitch mounted winches suffer from being a compromise in the 1st place. Winches are designed to be supported by the vehicle's frame, mounted between the 2 frame rails. On a receiver mount, the plate that the winch is mounted to may be sufficient in strength, but it is then connected to the vehicle through a single point, the hitch and receiver. Side or off angle pulls create tremendous stress that can easily exceed what the receiver/hitch is designed for. And believe me, winching situations rarely don't include some off angle stress. You haven't mentioned what rig you're driving, so for recommendations for winch size or mounts, you'd need to provide your vehicle.
 
Joined
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Receiver hitch mounted winches suffer from being a compromise in the 1st place. Winches are designed to be supported by the vehicle's frame, mounted between the 2 frame rails. On a receiver mount, the plate that the winch is mounted to may be sufficient in strength, but it is then connected to the vehicle through a single point, the hitch and receiver. Side or off angle pulls create tremendous stress that can easily exceed what the receiver/hitch is designed for. And believe me, winching situations rarely don't include some off angle stress. You haven't mentioned what rig you're driving, so for recommendations for winch size or mounts, you'd need to provide your vehicle.
Thanks for the reply, but I'm going to move away from the hitch mount concept. As you mention its going to take a lot of engineering to get the design right, and I'm taking a bet that on a practical level I'll never actually want to switch from front to back.

As I said, if it was a good idea I would see everyone doing it!
 

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