Inexpensive vs. Expensive Winch

DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
Good question, really not sure I do to be honest, I don't consider myself an Overlander but use the overlanding ideas and ethos to get me off-grid to fish. My rig is class B+/C camper, it is 21' long, 9,500lbs, 10'5" high and 7.7" wide plus departure angle low due to only 14" rear clearance even with 4.5" lift. On east coast our trails are narrow with low canopy or trees obstructing path. I think the size of my rig is way more limiting than it being 2wd, again this is east coast.

I travel alone and boonebock off the beaten path but they are fire or forest road trails, My biggest concern is waking up or getting ready to move and rains soften ground enough under me or on way out and becomes slick enough that I need help. I think maxtrax in this situation would help, plus I can air down as I carry compressor, guages etc..

On east coast we have tons of trees so finding a tree is never an issue. The other concern is steep grade that becomes slick and need help getting up, but there is only one place I go to where I am concerned about this. Another thought is beach sand if I ever decided to take rig surf fishing.

So really winch is just a piece-of-mind insurance device that hopefully works when I need it. If it doesn't I have other gear to get out or I can wait for help to snatch or winch we out.

I don't have winch on my 4wd Jeep wk2 but if I did it would be a Warn since I take that into far rougher areas than camper van but still have never needed a winch with it. Even with its capabilities I don't rock crawl or go mudding with it so never got stuck.
Knowing your limitation is the best way not to get stuck but of course you can't know every possibility. To me when something is viewed as insurance is when you need to know it's going to work.

My thought is, paradoxically, cheap winches are fine for someone who uses and maintains them a lot. How do you come to trust it's going to work when you're asking it to do a full strength pull with your camper bogged in mud if you don't use it routinely? Maybe it will work, maybe it won't. Maybe the seals on the motor failed and after 2 years of just assuming its full of corrosion won't turn.

It's just my $0.02 but carrying a come-along, Max-Trax and tire chains would be more comforting to me.
 

luthj

Engineer In Residence
A big part of winch (or any equipment) longevity: Some questions you need to answer for yourself.
  • Duty Cycle
  • Environment
  • Maintenance
For Duty cycle the more expensive winches will out perform the cheaper ones. They will not fail/overheat when subjected to several pulls per hour. The cheaper units will have shorter lives and be less reliable if subjected to this usage. Duty cycle includes both duration and load.
Do you plan to use the winch in this manner? Specifically do you plan on long pulls at the rated load?

Environment. This ties into maintenance as well. Will the winch be used in an adverse envirnoment? Submerged in dirty water regularly? High humidity with rapid and regular elevation changes? Very cold or very hot weather? (sub zero and 100F+). Combined with duty cycle these conditions stress equipment. Do you plan to use the winch in these conditions regularly? Especially if combined with high duty cycle?

Maintenance. With more regularly maintenance, even cheaper components will last longer. With little or no maintenance, the more expensive winches will likely still operate with higher reliability. Do you intend to use the winch with minimal yearly maintenance? Especially if combined with stressful environment conditions?

For occasional usage without the need for extreme reliability and environmental tolerance, a cheaper winch may be a good value. Especially if you don't mind yearly and bi-monthly maintenance. This includes checking operation, spooling a few rotation each direction. Checking wiring for corrosion and water ingress, etc. Equipment with gear drives and motors needs to be rotated and cycled to prevent corrosion, spread lubricant around, and keep everything loose.
 
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Nonimouse

Cynical old bastard
The poster who mentioned taking it apart and giving it some love is on the ball...

Personally the only Warn winch I would ever touch is the 8274...the rest simply aren't built well enough

My personal favourite is the X9 Superwinch. It's just built well
 

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67cj5

Man On a Mission
Warrior Winches are as good as the most expensive brands, They fitted them to British Army Vehicles so that says something as to their quality, I did the warn thing before they started making them in China and they weren't that impressive even back then, Out of all the Brands Warrior and Superwinch get my vote.
 

67cj5

Man On a Mission
A big part of winch (or any equipment) longevity: Some questions you need to answer for yourself.
  • Duty Cycle
  • Environment
  • Maintenance
For Duty cycle the more expensive winches will out perform the cheaper ones. They will not fail/overheat when subjected to several pulls per hour. The cheaper units will have shorter lives and be less reliable if subjected to this usage. Duty cycle includes both duration and load.
Do you plan to use the winch in this manner? Specifically do you plan on long pulls at the rated load?

Environment. This ties into maintenance as well. Will the winch be used in an adverse envirnoment? Submerged in dirty water regularly? High humidity with rapid and regular elevation changes? Very cold or very hot weather? (sub zero and 100F+). Combined with duty cycle these conditions stress equipment. Do you plan to use the winch in these conditions regularly? Especially if combined with high duty cycle?

Maintenance. With more regularly maintenance, even cheaper components will last longer. With little or no maintenance, the more expensive winches will likely still operate with higher reliability. Do you intend to use the winch with minimal yearly maintenance? Especially if combined with stressful environment conditions?

For occasional usage without the need for extreme reliability and environmental tolerance, a cheaper winch may be a good value. Especially if you don't mind yearly and bi-monthly maintenance. This includes checking operation, spooling a few rotation each direction. Checking wiring for corrosion and water ingress, etc. Equipment with gear drives and motors needs to be rotated and cycled to prevent corrosion, spread lubricant around, and keep everything loose.
Sorry but that is just not true, A member here who is rather well known globally tested 12 brand new winches and the winning which was the Warrior/Runva Winch and the one that caught fire/started smoking was the Warn, when you consider that the Warrior/Runva are made in China the test proved just how good these winches are seeing as they are a 5th of the cost of the Warn.

Warn is now just another average brand that faces the same issues as all the other brands, Like all the rest they seem to have lost their way.
 
Go with your gut

I go a lot of places Solo

No way I would have a cheap winch on my cruiser or a winch that wasn’t tested by 1000s in everyday situations

I learned my lesson years ago when I installed a smittybuilt that was faulty

After that only warn on my cruisers
 

67cj5

Man On a Mission
Go with your gut

I go a lot of places Solo

No way I would have a cheap winch on my cruiser or a winch that wasn’t tested by 1000s in everyday situations

I learned my lesson years ago when I installed a smittybuilt that was faulty

After that only warn on my cruisers
Buying a warn guarantees Nothing, I have seen about 70% of brands with faults from new and I have seen used ones fail as well, warn are just a name that use to mean something and their best years are behind them, Bottom line is no brand is bullet proof and 99% of them are good winches but people want that pretty little "W" on the front of their vehicle even if it is made in china, Like Gucci it's a fashion item and they are made in the same factories as the cheaper brands,
 

Warn Industries

Supporting Vendor
I would like to point out that we put in an incredible amount of testing and r&d into our products and only our WARN VR EVO is made in China, and those winches undergo the same testing and have the same warranty - limited lifetime mechanical, 7 year electrical - as the winches that leave our factory in Clackamas, Oregon.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion; I'm fine with that. I'm just stating the facts.

Andy
 

67cj5

Man On a Mission
I would like to point out that we put in an incredible amount of testing and r&d into our products and only our WARN VR EVO is made in China, and those winches undergo the same testing and have the same warranty - limited lifetime mechanical, 7 year electrical - as the winches that leave our factory in Clackamas, Oregon.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion; I'm fine with that. I'm just stating the facts.

Andy
Sorry but that is incorrect this is not about me having an opinion It is about the Truth and I have the full review if you want it but because it is FACT, But the Truth is the Warn winch that started to Burn up was the Warn Magnum 10, which is Made in the USA,

The point is there are good and bad in all brands not just Warn and it also points out that even a $500 winch can be just as good as it's more expensive Cousins.

But just so you know that it is fact and not my own opinion heres the Video.

 
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rayra

Expedition Leader
Sorry but that is incorrect this is not about me having an opinion It is about the Truth and I have the full review if you want it but because it is FACT, But the Truth is the Warn winch that started to Burn up was the Warn Magnum 10, which is Made in the USA,

The point is there are good and bad in all brands not just Warn and it also points out that even a $500 winch can be just as good as it's more expensive Cousins.

But just so you know that it is fact and not my own opinion heres the Video.

Dude it's one test, that could be edited or conducted any way the reviewer wants. It's isn't proof of anything, nor Fact, nor Truth. It's a data point, nothing more.
Try to go find other vids of Warns burning up.*
/and I'm no fanboy of Warn

*try to find more than one vid of Badlands failing, for that matter. All I can find is the millenial tards with the red jeep jackassing around. The other vids I find show them working just fine.
It's the TOTALITY of reviews and anecdotes that matter. Warn has a long history and wide user base. They earned their rep. (they just cost a lot more than I want to pay)
 
I’m not trying to butt heads here but warn is by far one of the if not the most popular winch’s in existence.

If there were problem after problem after problem That would quickly get out to the community

I live in Colorado where winching is very common and I have never seen a Warn fail or not work but have various other brands.
They are made in the USA and have great support and will still be in business for years if there is a problem.

If it bleeds it reads and I don’t see much negative news about Warn but do others

Just my .02
 
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