The 5 Best Car Hauler Winch For 2019 – Car Trailer Winches Reviews

A car trailer is a great thing to own and use, but if you have a dead car, it is not so great if you can’t get the car up the ramp and settled onto it. For that, you need a team of willing mates, and they are not always around when you need them. Enter the Car Hauler Winch!! This unseeming piece of kit will make your car recovery life so much simpler, you’ll be asking yourself why you didn’t have one sooner.

Here, in this Best Car Hauler Winches guide, we will show you what you need, how to choose the right one and how it works.

Comparison Chart

5 Best Car Hauler Winch 201​9 Reviews

1. Smittybilt 97495 XRC Winch - 9500 lb. Load Capacity

Smittybilt has been around since 1956, and design and manufacture some of the best products on the market today. This first winch in our list is from them, and is awesome in its entirety.

A 6.6 HP Smittybilt amphibious motor is at the heart of this extremely powerful machine, and combined with a 3 stage planetary gear system, makes it one of the best winches anywhere, providing a massive 9500 lb pull rating.

Smittybilt 97495 XRC Winch - 9500 lb. Load Capacity

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Waterproof to IP67, including the 500 amp solenoid casing, this piece of equipment can be used in the most rugged environment.

The winch casing is finished in a tough UV resistant coating. Oversized aluminum crossbars and stainless steel hardware make for a great looking winch system that will last a lifetime. The kit comes complete with all the necessary wiring, including a heavy duty corded  remote controller, a four way fairlead and a drop forged steel tow hook.

2. Superwinch 1585202 LP8500 Winch Gen II 12 VDC 8500lbs/3856kg

Superwinch is the largest, privately held, designer, manufacturer and marketer of winch systems and accessories in the world, so it is not surprising to see their products in this list, starting with the Superwinch LP8500 Gen ll.

The LP8500 was designed to exceed the performance of cheap winches, while at the same time allowing entry level buyers to be able to able to afford a high quality piece of equipment.

Superwinch 1585202 LP8500 Winch Gen II 12 VDC 8500lbs/3856kg

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It easily meets the brutal demands of off road as well as utility use. Those looking for a winch with the awesome power this one has, a very respectable 8,500 lbs pull rating, will not be in any way disappointed at it’s incredible build and performance.

A 3 stage planetary gearbox, with a 4.5 HP motor with weather sealed solenoid housing and circuit breaker, 94ft of 5/16" braided steel cable and drop forged heavy duty tow hook, are what makes this a powerful and formidable entry in the car haul winch stakes. 

3. Superwinch 1140232 Winch 2 Go 12V 4000SR Portable Winch System

Another offering from Superwinch is the 4000SR portable winch system. Everything you need in a good winch system, in a box the same size as your tackle box. It will sit in your car boot, on your ATV cargo rack, or in a boat locker.

If you don’t have the need for a permanently mounted winch, only an occasional use, then this winch is the one you need to look at.

Superwinch 1140232 Winch 2 Go 12V 4000SR Portable Winch System

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It has a pull rating of 4000 lbs, with a maximum rate of 8000 lbs. Connection to your battery, using 10 ft battery cables, will provide power to a 1.4 HP 12 volt DC motor, which will draw 220 amps at 4000 lb pull, with a line recovery of 5.5 ft per minute. 

This all in one kit comes complete with a hand held remote control unit, 3 ‘D’ shackles rated at 20,000 lbs, two heavy duty straps, a 16,000 lb pulley block, 10 ft of power cable and a pair of heavy duty leather winch gloves. Like it says on the tin, the one and only fully portable, fully equipped car haul winch you will ever need. It will take place on any list of best car hauler winch.

4. Smittybilt (97510) X2O Waterproof Winch - 10000 lb. Load Capacity

Another product out of the Smittybilt house is the X20, which features the well known 6.6 HP amphibious motor, found in many of their winch products, which is totally sealed against the elements, as well as a sealed 500 amp solenoid housing, which can be mounted in 2 positions.

The new removable controller is also included in the kit.

Smittybilt (97510) X2O Waterproof Winch - 10000 lb. Load Capacity

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The optimized gear ratios in the 3 stage planetary gear system deliver lightning speeds of  cable play out and recovery. A most impressive 10,000 lbs pull rating is achieved at a mere 320 Amps/Motor Draw at 8,500 lbs. 

The winch has 98.5ft of 3/8” diameter braided steel wire cable through a 4 way roller fairlead. Once again, Smittybilt does it right. This is another superb winch from them, and any buyer will be more than impressed with its performance

5. WARN 86245 VR8000 8,000 lb Winch

We are once again honored with a superb machine from a most reputable company, this time WARN Industries offer us the WARN VR8000, with a pull rating of 8800 lbs, making it perfectly suitable for trucks and jeeps as well as ATV’s.

The VR8000 is the first in a new line from WARN, aimed at first timers, or the buyer wanting to save money, but still have a high powered machine at his disposal.  It has a quick line speed, tough construction, 94 ft of 5/16” synthetic Spydura rope, and 12 ft of remote control cable.

WARN 86245 VR8000 8,000 lb Winch

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A 4.5 HP series wound motor provides the drive for the 3 stage planetary gearbox. Another feature you may be interested in is the removable winch control pack, it can be mounted anywhere on your vehicle, allowing you to control the winch in a position of your choosing.

How To Choose Best Car Trailer Winches

Any car hauler winch you are going to buy is going to need to do exactly what it’s description says, it is going to have to pull vehicles up onto your trailer. 

Winch Capacity and Gross Vehicle Weight

All good suppliers will tell you that you need to select a winch with a capacity of one and a half times the Gross Vehicle Weight.

For example, a Land Rover HSE weighing in at 6834 lbs is going to need a winch with around 9000 to 12,500 lbs pull rate, whilst a Hummer H2, with a weight of 8600 lbs, will need a winch with a pull rate of 12,500/16,500 lbs. 


Of course, unless you are going to be carrying out repetitive work with your trailer/winch combo, moving the same weight each and every time, you are not know exactly what it is you are going to recover until the time comes.

In this case, you need your Car Hauler Winch to be versatile, to be able to complete whatever hauling task you set it. So now you now need to know the kerb weight of your vehicle and/or trailer, its maximum weight carrying capacity, plus the length and height of its ramp.

With all this information, you can now calculate the minimum pull rate of winch you will need to pull the maximum weight allowed, up the ramp. 


Now sensibly, you are not going to buy just the minimum winch you need, as this might well prove false economy, as it will be working flat out on occasions, and will therefore most likely burn itself out.

To do this would be folly, and will likely cost you more than just a new winch, it will cost you in time, and, in some circumstances, revenue, if you are recovering something as a paid service. So, with this in mind, take a good long look at the market options.

The winches we have mentioned here in this guide are some of the best around of their type and price. They are of a quality which will satisfy most of the buyers we will see looking for such items.

It is probably fair to say there is a car hauler winch here which will suit not only your needs, but your pocket too, or at the very least, give you enough information to take your search further and see what else the companies mentioned here have to offer.

How Car Hauler Winches Works Perfectly

What’s in it?

A top rated car trailer winch contains several different parts, each with a particular job to do. They will have a cable or rope anywhere from 40 ft and usually around 100 ft, in length.

They will have a drum that the cable or rope will be wrapped around, the drum will rotate during use. A a gear train or gearbox, will be attached to the drum, which will take its power from an electric motor.

All these pieces come together to make the winch work, and the cable or rope is then played out to the vehicle, in this case, to be pulled, attached by a hook or some other kind of towing attachment, and slowly drawn back in and back onto the drum, all the time towing the vehicle to its resting place on your trailer


The motors on the Car Hauler Winches, as with all electric motors, have varied ratings, depending upon their size, usually measured in Horse Power (HP). Car Hauler Winches will usually start at no less than 1.4 HP, as in the portable unit mentioned above, and can go up to, but not limited to, 6.6 HP. Commercial motors will go way beyond this. On top of this HP rating is the Pull Rating. 


On board every Car Hauler Winch, is a gearbox, the drums on these types of winch will never be direct drive, and the gearbox will have a set of gear wheels inside it, usually called planetary gears, and mostly in sets of three,  and yes, as you might have already guessed these gears do work like planets orbiting the sun.

A smaller gear rotates around a larger gear, which makes it easier to pull up large objects. The gears also determine the Pull Rating of a winch.

Power Supply

Truck and trailer winches run mostly on simple 12-volt DC power taken off of the vehicle’s electrical system while the engine is running and the alternator turning. This helps the winch to be be more efficient as it will be taking more power than just that of a dry battery.

Winches of this type can draw a lot of current while under load, anything from 220 to 500 amps, so the battery needs to be either very large, or constantly charged.

Final Note

In this modern world of high technology, your options for choosing which one of these tools is the right one for your needs are better than good, especially as nowadays you can ‘see before you buy’ with the use of the internet.

But really, when it comes to selecting the right one, there are really only three things you need to think about, the pull rate of the winch should be greater, or at least equal to the weight of the vehicles you wish to tow. Are you a steel cable guy, or a synthetic rope guy?

Either will do the job, as long as it is the right thickness and rating. What does the warranty on the winch cover, and for how long. Read the Small Print.

If you have all of this in your mind, then you are ready to make your choice, and remember, it doesn’t hurt to ask. Hopefully now after reading our review on the best car hauler winch, you will be able to make a more informed choice about your purchase. 

Dennis P. Baughman

Dennis P. Baughman is the Editor of UnbeatenRolling. His disabilities couldn't stop him to be self driven person. He started this blog to share his personal knowledge about all kinds of wheelchairs and different tips and advice about chairs.

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