Hitch-Mounted Winch for Heavy Duty Off-Roaders

hitch mounted winch

The mention of the word off-roading probably triggers some memories that make you want to get into your truck right away. Off-roading is such a cool way to push one's limits. One of the main goals of an off-road trail is to overcome its challenges, including getting stuck at some point. When you get stuck, your best bet out of the situation is a hitch-mounted winch. You can get stuck in mud or a ditch, but getting out of it matters most.

There are a lot of winches out in the market that may make getting the right one a bit hard. However, we will walk you through all you need to know so that you can drive confidently, knowing you will get out of it. So what is a hitch-mounted winch before we show you the best in the market?

What is a Hitch Mounted Winch?

A winch is one of the towing accessories that consists of a wire rope built into a drum that pulls it with consistent tension. Winches are normally found on a car hauler or a tow truck. The winch mount can be on a receiver hitch or the steel bumper. The winch is then used for pulling stuck vehicles from ditches or mud.

Therefore, a hitch-mounted winch is a winch attached to a trailer hitch to turn vehicles into towing machines. Most winches are either installed on the back or the front hitch of a truck. However, if your vehicle has a front receiver, then you are a step ahead in installing a hitch-mounted winch as long as the receiver fits.

There is a lot we could say about hitch-mounted winches. We will talk about all you need to know later in the article. But, first, the best hitch-mounted winches on the market today.

What Is Best Hitch Mounted Winch?

Best Hitch Mounted Winch

1) Champion Power Equipment Winch Mount

Champion Power Equipment-100427 Truck/SUV Synthetic Rope Winch Kit with Speed Mount, 12,000-lb
  • Powerful – 12,000-lb. rated line pull powered by a...
  • Efficient – Line speed of 2.3 feet per minute with a full load,...
  • Convenient – Speed Mount 2-inch hitch adapter, included...
  • Hassle-Free – The hawse fairlead creates a smooth pull with the...
  • Reliable – Champion Support includes 2-year limited warranty...

Power Equipment has your back if you are looking for a whole package kind of deal. The winch mount comes as a whole set with a speed mount and every other accessories that you may need. If you already had the curt winch mount, you are in luck because you can add these tools to your collection. Champion is, by far, the most popular winch set in the market and for good reasons.

Image Source: Championpowerequipment. com


  • set of everything you need
  • Highly reviewed product
  • 12 000 pounds rated
  • Speed mount


  • The accessories may be too much if you only needed the winch.

2) Champion Power Equipment

Champion Power Equipment-100427 Truck/SUV Synthetic Rope Winch Kit with Speed Mount, 12,000-lb
  • Powerful – 12,000-lb. rated line pull powered by a...
  • Efficient – Line speed of 2.3 feet per minute with a full load,...
  • Convenient – Speed Mount 2-inch hitch adapter, included...
  • Hassle-Free – The hawse fairlead creates a smooth pull with the...
  • Reliable – Champion Support includes 2-year limited warranty...

If the winch is the only thing you are looking for, this is the best you can get. The set will give you the best and safest bet while attaching to parts like the curt front mount accessories with ease. The hitch-mounted winch mount is remote-controlled and is the safest you can get on the market. You can operate the set from a distance and transform your truck into the ultimate towing machine with parts like the curt winch mount handles.

Image Source: Championpowerequipment. com


  • Heavy-duty winching
  • 2-years limited warranty
  • Remote control
  • Hand-crank for optional manual operation


  • Hand-cranking reduces safety as no one should be at the scene when towing occurs.

3) Smittybilt Winch

Smittybilt X2O COMP - Waterproof Synthetic Rope Winch - 10,000 lb. Load Capacity
  • Your purchase includes: Smittybilt X20 Comp Synthetic Rope Winch,...
  • Winch can be operated with the remote or manually
  • Technical Specification: 6.6 HP Amphibious motor, 3-Stage...
  • Overall Dimensions: 22.3"L x 5.4"W x 9.4" H. Mounting Bolt...
  • Completely Waterproof, state-of-the-art 500AMP Solenoid

Water is one of the enemies of winches. However, you will find yourself in muddy situations. Luckily, this winch is waterproof, which is one of the major reasons it made it to this list. The winch checks all the other boxes, including working with curt winch mount handles. You choose to operate the hitch-mounted winch mount either remotely or physically. Whether you are using Curt winch mount handles, the Smittybilt winch will get you out of the mud.

Image Source: Smittybilt.com


  • Waterproof
  • Remote or manual operation
  • Lightweight


  • Can not support more than 10 000 pounds

4) ORCISH Synthetic Rope Winch

ORCISH 12V 4500LBS Electric Synthetic Rope Winch Kits for Towing ATV/UTV Off Road Trailer with...
  • 【Easy to operation】Two modes of operation Remote or Manually....
  • 【Exclusive design】This model is specially designed for...
  • 【Upgrade materials Ultimate Protection】The waterproof...
  • 【Efficiency and safety】1HP efficient motor is installed in...
  • 【Professional after-sales team】All winches are provided with...

The exclusive design will match nicely with the Curt winch mount. Mounts aside, this is a rope winch to check out. The winch is made of a synthetic rope that solves the rusting problem. ORCISH is an electric winch with high efficiency and is the safest winch you can get in this category.

Image Source: Amazon.com

ORCISH is the winch you are getting for the extreme sport you plan with your friends.


  • Safe
  • Weatherproof
  • Easy operation
  • Exclusive design


  • Low weight capacity

5) ZESUPER Truck Winch

ZESUPER 12V 13000-lb Load Capacity Electric Truck Winch Kit Synthetic Rope, Waterproof Off Road...
  • Your purchase includes a ZESUPER 13,000 lbs winch. Special...
  • Heavy-duty sealed contactor, state of the art 500 Amp relay.High...
  • Total dimensions: (length x width x height): 516*160*200mm. Drum...
  • Fast circuit speed and high sensitivity of remote...
  • All winches are provided with lifetime technical support and...

13 000 pounds is the number we need to discuss when dealing with winches. Imagine how much you can do with this winch. You have the option of remote control, for instance, when you are alone, and you have to winch a truck. This product is a unique line of winches, unlike most. You will not have to worry about rock damage on this masterpiece, which has many benefits. You can get all you need, including the snatch block, but if you have this piece in your arsenal assortment, you can be sure to get out of the situation.

Image Source: Amazon.com


  • Heavy duty
  • High sensitivity remote control
  • Compact design for easier transportation
  • Auto-brake design


  • Not recommended for use underwater

All to Know Before You Buy a Hitch Mounted Winch

There are many things to consider, including the amount of weight you will be dealing with when towing a stuck truck. You have to consider what class the hitch-mounted winch mount on your vehicle is in before you subject it to pulling weight. Your truck can be the ultimate towing machine if you consider the following things.

a) Weight

Weight will always be a huge factor when it comes to towing accessories. However, before you consider whether the hitch is a front or a back mount trailer hitch, you must think about the trucks you are planning to pull. The winch operation might be perfect, but your truck may not have the muscle for it.

If the front axle is underweight, you will have a harder time stopping and steering. Your troubles will not end there because you will have an even harder time keeping traction with the vehicle, reducing the vehicle's general performance. The winch operation will not be the problem there, but the efficiency of your vehicle. You need always to ensure the hitch-mounted winch mount can handle the weight of whatever you will be pulling behind you.

Before mounting trailer hitch accessories on your truck, ensure the coupler has the right ball for your hitch pin and other parts.

Remember, every back or front mount trailer hitch receiver belongs to a class. The classes range from Class 2 to Class 4, which vary in the weight limit. For example, class 2 is lightweight, class 3 medium, and class 4 trailer hitch pin is heavyweight. These classes can guide you on which way to go regarding hitches.

b) Power Connection

You can have an electric winch operation or one connected to the truck system. You may need a power adapter in some cases. While the hitch mount may have different towing possibilities, it would be no good if the winch did not run. If you had the strongest winch constructed from the best materials, you still need to run it.

Consider how you will power the hitch-mounted winch before you buy one. You will probably use the winch in a remote location, and it better works. A winch can make a difference between getting stuck in the woods for hours or days and enjoying your time out there. Before you install a winch, ensure it is working.

c) Compatibility

When mounting the winch, you want to ensure the hooks are compatible with the winch mount trailer hitch receiver. Compatible parts are efficient, but they offer extra protection when using the hitch-mounted winch. The parts need to be easily attached without any slight incompatibility. Remember that you are dealing with tons of pounds of force and do not want to find out what that is capable of in case of a mistake.

Ensure you install the winch plate correctly before installing the hitch-mounted winch.

d) Adjustable Design

Getting a hitch-mounted winch with an adjustable design is advantageous to your set-up. The mount should be equipped with a receiver tube with three mounting holes to adjust the winch. The extra three holes on the shank provide added clearance. You need a solid mounting place, and these are some of the ways of getting a perfect set-up.

An adjustable design offers comfort when the winch is in action, and you can be sure the winch will do its job with any truck.

Hitch-Mounted Winch Safety Precautions

A hitch-mounted winch mount is one of the most useful accessories you can have as an off-road enthusiast. However, safety always has to come first when attempting to tow a vehicle. When you mount accessories on vehicles, they are not manufacturer-installed and may have faults here and there. How you operate the parts also matters. You want to keep safe always, and here are some ways to ensure you will be around to have fun with your friends next time.

i) Stay Clear

Always ensure no one is near the winch when pulling another vehicle. The winch mount may have multiple mounting holes, and your truck might be the ultimate towing machine. However, you do not want to take unnecessary risks. The tension between the two vehicles is immense, and I am sure you have watched enough movies to keep you away from such situations.

Kids and pets tend to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. You want to ensure no kids are around the area and grown-ups too. Ensure the mount accessories are well set up before you start towing. The hitch-mounted winch mount is to be checked before any engine is revving.

ii) Know the Limits

When towing a vehicle using a hitch-mounted winch mount, you have to deal with limits. Having the winch constructed in the best way possible does not permit you to exceed the weight limit. In addition, the receiver hitch needs to stay intact after you are done towing. Do not attempt impossible towing possibilities without caution.

The winch rope has a safety recovery capacity to it. The information should be specified in a user's manual. If you have a synthetic rope or a steel rope, you may have to use a double-line ratio when connecting a tow vehicle in some instances.

iii) The Bonnet

If you have a vehicle operator, one way of protecting them is by opening the bonnet. In case of the winch snaps, the bonnet might be able to block any accidental whips. High-strength steel winch ropes are not things to joke around. The bonnet gives you that added edge when it comes to protection.

If you have a solid mounting place that is easily attached, you will not have to worry about rock damage. You can comfortably tow an SUV or an ATV without much worry. A front hitch-mounted winch mount poses a potential risk to the operator, and the bonnet must be up. If the hitch-mounted winch mount is at the back, the operator can be at rest.

iv) Water

Immersing the winch in water is not the best idea. The multiple mounting holes are not for water to pass through but to make the winch mount as sturdy as possible. Waterlogging into parts like the receiver tube will reduce the life span of the winch. In addition, the wire rope is susceptible to rusting if exposed to moisture. The best thing to do for the winch is to ensure it is dry every time you are done using the winch.

While some parts are sold separately and easy to replace, you want to keep the original parts like the built-in skid shield.

Final Take

The winch is an accessory that is sold separately, and you have to choose the one you want on your own. This gives you the opportunity to pick the best, which is a chance you do not want to waste. Install the winch correctly, following every step on the owner's manual as that is the responsibility you have to take. Get high-strength steel-protected options if you have any, and enjoy yourself out there without fear of getting stuck.