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4x4 Winches - How to choose the right one

Hey there, fellow off-roaders! Are you tired of getting stuck in the mud or sand and relying on your buddies to come rescue you? Fear not, because we have the ultimate solution: a 4x4 winch!

recovery winch

Now, we know what you're thinking. A winch? That sounds like something my grandpa would use. But trust us, a winch is like a superhero cape for your 4x4. It gives you the confidence to take on even the mist agressive trails and know that you'll always have a backup plan.

But before you go out and buy the first winch you see, there are a few things you need to consider. First and foremost, you need to figure out what kind of winch will work best with your ride. Do you want something heavy-duty that can move mountains? Or something small and lightweight that won't bog down your electrical system? The choice is yours.


Next, you need to take into account the weight of your vehicle and any aftermarket additions you've made. The gross vehicle mass (GVM) will give you a good idea of how much pulling power you'll need. Multiply that number by at least 30% to determine the minimum load capacity for your winch. But if you want to be extra safe (and who doesn't?), go for a winch with 50% more pulling force than your 4x4's weight.

Now, we know some of you may be thinking, "But I don't want to spend a fortune on a winch!" And while we understand the desire to save some cash, buying a smaller winch to save money is not the way to go. When you're stuck in the mud or sand, you need all the pulling power you can get. So trust us, it's worth it to invest in a winch that can handle the job.

In the end, choosing the right 4x4 winch is kind of like choosing the perfect pair of boots. It's all about finding the right fit for your needs and preferences. But with a little bit of research and some careful consideration, you'll be able to find a winch that gives you that sense of security and confidence you need to tackle any trail.

recovery winch

Winch Ratings

Alright, mate, let's talk 4x4 winch ratings. It can be confusing as hell trying to figure out what all those different numbers and terms actually mean. But fear not, I'm here to break it down for you in a way that even a caveman could understand.

First off, let's talk about the winch drum. That's the part that the cable gets wound around. Well, as you add more cable to the drum, the pulling power of your winch decreases. Crazy, right? So it's important to think about how much winch line you're gonna need for your situation.

Here's the deal: when you have a second layer of cable above the bottom layer, your winch's pulling power is reduced by almost 20%. And every subsequent layer reduces the pulling power by about 10%. So, if your winch is rated for 3,630kg (8,000 pounds), you might only be able to lift 2,950 kg (6,500 pounds) on the second layer, 2,500 (5,500 pounds) on the third, and as little as 2,177 kg (4,800 pounds) on the outer layer. That could be the difference between getting unstuck or being stuck in the mud, my man.

The good news is that the longer your winch is wound out, the more pulling power it has. And you'll see optimal power when you're operating your winch at about 50% of the line wound out. So, if you're trying to yank your ride out of a ditch, a tree 15 meters away is gonna be way more helpful than one that's only 3 meters away.

So there you have it. Don't get caught up in all the confusing winch ratings. Just remember that the more cable you have out, the more pulling power you'll have. And always aim for at least 50% of the line wound out for optimal power. Now go out there and tackle those tough trails like the tough 4x4 driver you are!


recovery winch


Winch Gears

First off, let's talk about the electrical system of your ride. Even if you have a beefy winch, it won't be able to pull more than your car's electrical system can handle. So, make sure you have a strong battery that can handle the power the winch motor needs to work at its best. The larger the battery's cold cranking and "reserve capacity", the better it'll be for your winching needs.

Next up, you gotta consider the type of winch motor and gear case design. You've got the sleek, low-profile planetary-gear winches and the bigger, bulkier worm gear winches. Don't count out the worm gear and spur-gear winches just because they're "old school". They're actually super strong and durable thanks to their big gears which can handle huge loads during winching. Worm gear systems also have a built-in "load reversing protection" which prevents the drum from reversing under load when power is cut off.

Waterproofing is another important factor to keep in mind. If you plan on doing any water crossings, make sure to check the winch's IP rating and how long it can stay underwater before getting damaged. Some winches even have breather systems to keep water out. Cool, hey! Check out the EFS Recon R13 Winch which has a waterproof motor!

Last but not least, pay attention to the duty cycle of your winch. This means how long you can run it before giving it a rest. A 50% duty cycle is pretty standard, but some high-performance winches and battery setups can handle more.

 recovery winch


Mounting your Winch

Alright, listen up 4x4 enthusiasts, let's talk about where to mount your winch. And let me tell you, it's not something you want to take lightly. You need to think about all the different situations you might encounter when you're out there tearing up the trails.

Now, if you're more of a city slicker and you don't plan on getting too dirty, a low-mounted or behind-the-factory-bumper-mounted winch might be just fine. It'll keep your ride looking fresh and clean, but make sure the winch and control cable/solenoids are as far away from the ground as possible. And don't let the bumper mount reduce your approach angle, because you never know when you might need that extra clearance.

But if you're planning on some serious off-roading, you need to consider sand, snow, water, and mud. Trust me, you don't want to be stuck in the muck with a winch cable that can't reach. So think carefully about your mounting location and make sure it can handle whatever the trail throws at you. Remember, your winch is only as good as its mounting location, so choose wisely. 

Don't forget that the smaller the winch's "face," the more air your engine will have to breathe. If you live in a place where the thermometer is as hot as a jalape√Īo, remember that your engine needs lots of cool air to stay cool.


Do you want to be able to use a winch when you need it, but don't want it sticking out like a sore thumb on your vehicle when you don't? Then receiver-style winches are the way to go! They're lightweight, small, and perfect for use with many different types of vehicles.

Now, let's talk about 4x4 winch rope versus steel rope. Synthetic winch rope is the safer option because it has more give, allowing it to stretch without causing damage. Plus, it's lighter so if it does snap, you won't have to worry about broken windows. This Runva Winch 3.5P 24V with Synthetic Rope should do the trick! 

Steel winch cables are definitely strong, but after a few years of salt, sand, and mud damage, they can become a real pain to spool and often get jammed up.

4x4 winch

Our Recommended Winches

OK, so now you should know all about winches and where best to mount them on your vehicle. Now it's time for us to tell you what our favourite tried and tested winches are, plus our top recommended. 

One of our top picks is the EFS Recon R13 Winch. The beastly ESF winch is a must-have for all you off-road junkies out there. First off, this bad boy can pull up to 5,895 kg of weight, so you can easily yank your rig out of any sticky situation. It's also got a 6.0 horsepower motor, which means it's got plenty of muscle to get the job done.

But wait, there's more! The EFS Recon R13 also comes with synthetic winch rope, which is safer than steel rope because it won't snap and send shrapnel flying. Plus, it's lightweight, which means you won't have to lug around a heavy steel cable.

Now, why do we highly recommend this winch for off-road 4x4ing? Well, it's simple. The EFS Recon R13 is built tough and designed to handle whatever you throw at it. It's got a waterproof solenoid, a wireless remote control, and it's even got an automatic brake system to keep things safe and under control.

So, if you want a winch that can handle the toughest off-road situations, we highly recommend the EFS Recon R13.

efs winch

 Now, second on our list is the Runva winch. Now Runva have a huge range of winches to suit any situation. Runva offers both synthetic and steel cable options. Synthetic rope is lightweight and safe because it won't snap and break your windows, plus it can stretch safely. Steel cable is stronger, but tends to jam up and become difficult to spool after a few years of salt, sand and mud damage. It's up to you to decide which option is best for your needs. The Runva Winch 3.5P 24V with Synthetic Rope 1588kgs is an excellent choice with a synthetic cable. 

Now, let's talk about the Runva Premium 12V 5897 kg winch. This bad boy is a powerhouse! It's perfect for getting you out of any tough spot while you're out on the trails. It comes with a wireless remote control, which is super convenient and makes it easy to operate from a distance. It also has a waterproof construction, so you don't have to worry about any water damage ruining your winch.

And drumroll, please... Our top pick for a Runva winch is the Runva 11XP Premium 12V! This winch is a beast with a 11,000-pound 4,900 kg pulling capacity, and it comes with a synthetic rope. It's perfect for off-roading adventures and can handle even the toughest terrains. Plus, it's waterproof and has a wireless remote control, making it easy to operate even when you're in a tough spot.

So there you have it, our off-roading friend. If you're looking for a reliable and powerful winch, Runva has got you covered. Whether you choose synthetic or steel cable, or go for the premium 12V winch, you can trust that you'll be able to get yourself out of any sticky situation on the trails.

runva winch

Brixton 4x4 Adventure has a massive range of winches for your 4x4. It's easy shop online! We offer fast despatch and delivery to almost every region in Australia including Gold Coast, Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and Perth.  Free shipping for all orders over $250 (exclude long, bulk or very heavy items). We also have numerous fitment and installation centres available. Plus you have the option of interest free payment option with Zip Pay. We also have AfterPay too.



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