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Portable Winch for Trailer

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  • Portable Winch for Trailer

    Looking for ideas here. I bought a cheap harbor freight 2000lb winch for my snowmobile trailer. I'm getting too old to drag a dead sled on to a trailer. I don't want the winch permanently attached so I had the following ideas. Let me know what you think.

    Option 1 - Use the winch off a receiver hitch. I would use some 2" tube and raise it high enough to clear the trailer floor from the back of my truck. The winch would be mounted on 1/4" plate.

    Option 2 - Mount the winch off the trailer hitch. - I would reverse the hitch insert, put a ball on it, and weld the plate to the sleeve.

    Currently I plan to power the winch from the tow vehicle, but could always put a battery in the trailer.

    I don't expect this to see a lot of heavy duty use, more backup in case one of my kids old sleds is having trouble. My thought was to have to portable enough in case I wanted to use it on my utility trailer as well.

    Any thoughts are appreciated.

  • #2
    Trailer Winch

    A while back my dad gave me a big Warn Winch for the front of my 4x4 truck. Last spring I bought a 4000 lb milling machine at auction. They could set it on my trailer with a fork lift, but could not push it forward far enough to properly balance the load. Before going to pick up my mill I welded a piece of hitch tube extension (bought at Harbor Freight) to the tongue of the trailer so that it faced back into the trailer. It worked great for pulling the mill forward on the trailer to balance the load. After securing my load I made the drive home with no problems.

    I didn't power it off the tow vehicle in this case. When I have the winch on the front of the truck I power it off a couple tap studs bolts I put on one of the batteries. (from stereo supply store). However on the trailer I just used a marine battery out of my boat. It works great and I didn't have to do anything special to hook it up. No long cables along the bottom of the truck and I didn't have to buy another battery. Just put it back in my boat when I get home.

    I tested the welds by using the winch to drag a 6800lb front loader with the front bucket pointed down in the earth and the front wheels off the ground. Figured if it held for that it would hold to slide a 4000lb mill on a smooth trailer bed.

    I'ld post a picture, but my poor little ego couldn't stand the criticizm of my welding ability that would surely ensue. LOL.

    Comment


    • #3
      So I am ruling out option 2 as I think there would be too much slop with the ball in the hitch. I want to have the winch high enough to have a gradual angle on the line when pulling. I was thinking of something like this. I would add gussets and can determine the right height of the rise. This would be for LIGHT duty use only.

      Thoughts?

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      • #4
        Option #3

        Why not mount a piece of 2" reciever hitch tubing vertically at the front of the trailer at the proper height? This would allow you to use the winch without having to un-hook it from the tow vehicle. Just make the winch mount like you have in the picture, without the reciever hitch insert, the receiver hitch would be on the trailer instead in a vertical position. Also when you wire up the winch, use heavy enough wire, long enough to reach the battery of the longest tow vehicle you have, with jumper cable clamps.You wouldn't need a seperate battery or a permanently mounted cable to run the winch from. It would work on any vehicle you pull the trailer with. I think you could label, this option#3.Do the same mount to the utility trailer and use the winch on either trailer as needed.
        Last edited by Bistineau; 08-27-2011, 05:27 PM. Reason: additional thought

        Comment


        • #5
          Perfect Sense

          Makes perfect sense to me. Just weld a receiver tube onto the trailer vertically. I would not have thought of that until I saw the OP's pictures. You beat me to it. That would not work for me since my winch is on a winch / hitch plate to slide into a receiver, and I carry it on my truck during hunting season. "Just in case."

          Receiver winch mount:
          http://www.harborfreight.com/9000-lb...nch-66409.html

          This is what I used on my trailer:
          http://www.harborfreight.com/18-inch...ube-97093.html

          And here is something else to make you think:
          http://www.harborfreight.com/dual-hi...der-99591.html
          Last edited by Bob La Londe; 08-27-2011, 07:24 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks for the feedback guys. My challenge that isn't shown in the pic's is that I have a drive on, drive off trailer. Mounting the receiver tube would prevent me from attaching the ramp to drive the sleds off. Also the entire trailer is aluminum. Hence why I am over complicating something that would normally seem much easier.

            The winch has much lighter cable attached to it than I expected. I think it is about 8ga. Definitely not stronger. My concern is more the rotational force of the mount. What size should the gussets be, etc?

            Thanks again for the feedback....all opinions are welcome.

            Cheers,
            Mike

            Comment


            • #7
              You could mount your winch in the middle front of your trailer and have receiver in front of each atv's, and you could mount a pulley on a 2" tube, using it on each receiver, just like a winch system that goes under the frame of jeep that pulls from the back using the front winch.

              Comment


              • #8
                Mount the vertical receiver tube at the front of the trailer with squared U-bolts. Or get 2.5x2.5x1/4 aluminum tube and weld it in. In the vertical position it would not even require the locking pin.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Plate...and pic's...

                  The plate you have is about 2x what you need...why go thicker than the plate the winch has as it's frame? Second; post some pictures of the trailer front and back...someone will give you the best 4th option. And NEVER stand in line of the wire when winching! (ps. the setup you show is not recomended...imo)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Doughboyracer View Post
                    The plate you have is about 2x what you need...why go thicker than the plate the winch has as it's frame? Second; post some pictures of the trailer front and back...someone will give you the best 4th option. And NEVER stand in line of the wire when winching! (ps. the setup you show is not recomended...imo)
                    Doughboy is right, you have way more mounting plate than you need. The portion under the motor doesn't even need to be there, all it's doing is adding weight. That part could be eliminated, and the thickness could also be reduced by at least half. If the winch spool were mounted directly over the 2" tubing, rotational force would not be a factor. You have the whole unit centered on the mount, where as the critical part(cable spool) is hanging off the side when it should be lined up with the tubing. Like he said, post up some pics where we can see what your dealing with and maybe you can get the best answer possible from us on your situation. I've never dealt with snowmobiles, they are pretty much useless where I live.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thank you...

                      Originally posted by Bistineau View Post
                      Doughboy is right... ...I've never dealt with snowmobiles, they are pretty much useless where I live.(with edit)
                      I have 2 sleds and know exactly what you are trying to do! I would look under the trailer for a place to cut a 2" square hole to drop the tube with a stopper ring on it through just in front of the threaded hole that the sled hold down bar cranks into. That is if you have that. Or do what the other post said, U-bolt the reciever to the front frame of the trailer and put a stopper on the winch post.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Bistineau View Post
                        Doughboy is right, you have way more mounting plate than you need. The portion under the motor doesn't even need to be there, all it's doing is adding weight. That part could be eliminated, and the thickness could also be reduced by at least half. If the winch spool were mounted directly over the 2" tubing, rotational force would not be a factor. You have the whole unit centered on the mount, where as the critical part(cable spool) is hanging off the side when it should be lined up with the tubing. Like he said, post up some pics where we can see what your dealing with and maybe you can get the best answer possible from us on your situation. I've never dealt with snowmobiles, they are pretty much useless where I live.
                        Thanks guys....This is what I was looking to hear regarding the force. I am trying to use the scrap I have so that is why I was using the thicker plate. I will cut it smaller and mount the spool over the vertical tube. I will also likely use 2 in tube on the horizontal piece as well and not the hitch pictured.

                        Unfortunately, my trailer is over an hour away, so I can't easily get you pic's of it. This is similar,Name:  4b1edebfbdc60ed6f591f34f8788dadf.jpg
Views: 1
Size:  6.9 KB but mine is a 4 place and much longer. I don't have a good spot to u-bolt to as the tongue jack is in the way, but I don't really mind having it hitch mounted. Makes it easier for me to power from the tow vehicle. I'll try an post updated pictures once I get a little further in the design.

                        Cheers,
                        Mike

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Can I suggest one of these...

                          http://www.amazon.com/Receiver-Adapt.../dp/B004DEBBPM
                          I don't know if you can make it for $30 or not but I would look into something like that...hope that helps you get the setup you want!
                          Last edited by Doughboyracer; 08-29-2011, 10:35 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Doughboyracer View Post
                            http://www.amazon.com/Receiver-Adapt.../dp/B004DEBBPM
                            I don't know if you can make it for $30 or not but I would look into something like that...hope that helps you get the setup you want!
                            I was thinking of the same thing. It may be tricky, and possibly dangerous, to try and pull something onto a trailer that isn't anchored to the tow vehicle. If the winch can't be attached to the trailer then the next best thing would be a design that allows the trailer to be attached to the hitch while winching a sled up.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              For me it would be a cum a long and a strap for the rare occasion I needed it, very portable.

                              Comment

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