Winches are specialized trailer cables that assist loading and unloading goods or commodities. For example, your hitch won’t do the job if you want to tow a boat on your trailer. A hitch only distributes weight but doesn’t help you load or unload the boat. So, you have to add an extra trailer winch. But how do you exactly mount the winch to your trailer? The procedure is quite similar for different types of trailers. Here are our different ways to mount a winch below:
Tools required to mount a winch
- Winch mount
- Winch kit drill ratchet
- ½ inches bolt or factory-built bolts
- Tape measure
Mounting the Winch on a Car, Utility, or Flatbed Trailer
Car: Car trailers usually have small pieces of rail plates from front to back at the rear bottom. While checking that, you’ll find a ¾ or ½ inches hole at the base plate. You can try drilling holes through this plate to increase the pinhole or angle the bolts. Place your winch mount at a 180-degree angle and join the plate and winch with the bolts.
Utility trailer: This type of trailer comes with rail plates, or you must add an extra winch mounting plate. If there are rail plates, the procedure is the same as the car trailer. However, if you use a winch plate, a ⅜ inches U bolt should do your job.
Regular pin bolts won’t do; instead, you should get four same-size U bolts. If you want to place the winch mount above the wheels, unhook the trailer’s battery two inches lower.
Flatbed trailer: Flatbed trailers do not include any rail bed or extra plates, so we recommend getting an extra winch mounting plate and U bolts. Flatbed trailers are tricky because some want temporary winches and some permanent.
For permanent mounting, you must use pulley rocks and a D ring to lock the position with the trailer bed. Some flatbed trailers have wooden beds; we recommend installing specialized rail beds. However, it will cost you more.
Finally, attach the bed floor with flatbed trailer frames and winch using the D rings and hitch pins to complete the winch mount process.
How to Mount the winch On a Gooseneck Trailer?
- Gooseneck trailers usually have two different ends that connect to your tow vehicle. From a top perspective, the trailer has a triangle shape. However, a custom weld winch mount plate is a great option to fix the winch mounts. In the case of gooseneck, D rings come in handier than any other pins.
Make sure you measure the trailer tongue box positioning too.
- If you want to add a permanent trailer winch mount, a good option is to add them and connect them to the trailer and gooseneck beams. The trailer frame, rear bumper, and trailer winch connection with bolt pins should do the job in this case. For example, if you want to mount a 6,000 lb winch on your gooseneck trailer, then placing the winch on the beams should do the job. Then you must connect them using bolt pins through the wrench holes.
- Most prefer to mount at the bottom because most own convertible gooseneck trailers. You should join the wrench and mount using the bottom rail plates and possibly an additional winch kit.
We recommend using tape measures to point the holes and a ratchet set for ease. You can use a marker instead of a tape measure.
- The universal way to winch a gooseneck trailer is to use a snatch block, attaching it with bolts to the rear bumper.
How to Mount the winch On an Enclosed Trailer?
- While enclosed trailers are great for preventing theft or falling off, mounting a winch is tricky. Our first recommendation is to attach the winch to the bottom floor of the trailer. For this option, you will need your ratchet set and some brackets. The brackets should be I brackets, not the regular U ones.
Also, always keep a five inches distance between the floor and bracket to prevent damage to the winch. Finally, attach the winch with the brackets.
- You can winch on a trailer inside the cabinets of your enclosed trailer or receiver hitch mount. The procedure is the same as above, but you might have to add five inches of distance to the winch instead of six inches. You can not use your ratchet set here; instead, we recommend using the brackets to fix the winch.
- Ready-to-fit-in-floor winch mounts are popular these days. You have to cut the trailer floor to measure your winch mount size. We recommend doing this work through professionals or avoiding this option for newbies. After cutting the floor, you only have to bolt the winch mount with the four bolts.
- Another method is to mount the winch to your trailer frame using brackets or a trailer tongue box.
Mount On a Tilt deck trailer
Tilt deck trailers have no specific angle, and you can always change their pitch. These trailers are best for loading, hauling heavy-duty goods, and winching on a trailer. You don’t need to mount an extra winch for this type of trailer; also no need to drill holes. These are great for quick disconnects. But if you want to, then buy a ready-made winch mount. You must add the winch using a winch plate mount that acts as a hitch or combo bar.
Mount a winch On a Boat trailer
Before mounting, make sure to measure the weight capacity of the winch. If you tow two boats or kayaks, the winch should at least tow up to 2,000 lbs. The best position to winch on a trailer is the trailer frame or bumper. We recommend using winch mount plates and bolts to fix the position. Align the bolts, plate, and wrench mount, fix them using a 9.16 ratchet and pull a 90-degree motion to fix them completely.
Things to remember during mounting a winch
- Winches help eliminate unnecessary damages, but if you do not take enough safety precautions, they might damage your trailer or health. Most winches are heavy-duty, so always keep an extra hand while attaching them to your trailer. We highly recommend consulting a welding professional if you are new to the winch on a trailer.
- We have recommended the easiest ways and methods to install a winch on a trailer, but you should also follow your trailer, hitch, and winch mount manual. The places to winch and the max weight capacity are often written in the manual. Also, never mount without measuring the trailer and tow truck tongue weight. Also, the winch kit measurement should complement your trailer measurement of the winch on your trailer.
Also read: Simple Ways To Use A Hand Winch
You might need lots of practice to master the winch on a trailer. For short bed trucks, we recommend buying winch mount plates. Rough Country & Warn are some popular brands to check out for winch mount plates. However, boat trailer owners should avoid using a winch that shows rust. Again, if you are a newbie, take the necessary safety measurements before you mount a winch.