Powering a winch on a car trailer?

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Re: Powering a winch on a car trailer?

Postby ajhbike » Wed Aug 18, 2021 6:36 am

I put my battery and all the wiring in an old weatherproof electrical panel and bolted it to the front deck of the trailer. I don't use the winch that much so I don't worry about hooking it in to the charging system and I use the same battery for the logging winch. True earlier that the winches are supposed to run and then rest....I am always careful to throw a coat or a blanket over the cable somewhere so that if it snaps you don't get a face full.

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Re: Powering a winch on a car trailer?

Postby SONNY » Sun Aug 29, 2021 11:26 am

electric winches are a joke!!! --- IF you want a real setup, get a gear drive unit and power it with a gas motor. Neighbor junked his electric winch cause the 12,000 pound tag wouldnt pull an H up on his trailer! They are all over rated and for the most part really useless.

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Re: Powering a winch on a car trailer?

Postby Lt.Mike » Fri Dec 31, 2021 12:27 pm

I knowing a little late in the game but there are connectors available for electric boat winches you could buy from a marine store or is your tow vehicle already wired for electric brakes with a 7 pin hitch ? If so there is a pin which I believe is the center that is a constant 12v Power source. That should be wired thru a breaker. You can get yourself a plug and just use the pos & neg connections in it.
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Re: Powering a winch on a car trailer?

Postby ajhbike » Fri Dec 31, 2021 12:56 pm

Do the receiver mount so you can get it out of the weather and use it on the truck receiver as well. I had it that way and changed it and regret it. I always use a waterproof cover that I bought at TSC...It is a traveler that I bungie secure and it keeps it dry.

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Re: Powering a winch on a car trailer?

Postby Jim Becker » Fri Dec 31, 2021 1:10 pm

Lt.Mike wrote:. . . is your tow vehicle already wired for electric brakes with a 7 pin hitch ? If so there is a pin which I believe is the center that is a constant 12v Power source. . . .

I doubt that wire would be heavy enough for the current draw of a winch, even a fairly small one.

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Re: Powering a winch on a car trailer?

Postby Lt.Mike » Fri Dec 31, 2021 3:25 pm

Jim Becker wrote:
Lt.Mike wrote:. . . is your tow vehicle already wired for electric brakes with a 7 pin hitch ? If so there is a pin which I believe is the center that is a constant 12v Power source. . . .

I doubt that wire would be heavy enough for the current draw of a winch, even a fairly small one.

There are two 12v power leads fed by the fuse block besides that which power lamps. One is for electric brakes and the other a constant 12v power source. Both of those have a 10 or at least 12 gauge wire. That’s more than enough to power a winch.
If you bought a vehicle with a “tow package” even if it didn’t come with a brake controller installed if you open up the loom jacketing in the rear where it runs rearward from the fuse box under the hood you’ll find 2 lengths of 10 gauge wire with about 18” worth folded back along its length for this purpose. Both my Chevy K1500 and Jeep Commander had it from the factory.
Edit: the center pin is actually the back up lamps.
I’ll try to attach a diagram...
ok it’s #4 you want for positive and #2 for negative. On the fuse block end there will already be a relay circuit breaker.
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Re: Powering a winch on a car trailer?

Postby Jim Becker » Fri Dec 31, 2021 4:23 pm

That 10g wire is going to be 20 feet long, maybe more by the time it gets to the winch. That says it is good for maybe 30 amps. Lets be generous and say 50 amps. I don't know how big the circuit breaker is that feeds this wire. But I'm pretty sure nothing in my truck is more than 50 amps. A quick look at Warn's web site lists a 2,000# winch with this spec: "MAX AMP DRAW/ LINE PULL 80 Amp Draw/ 2000 Pound". So we're already in trouble. The original poster was talking about a 12,000 winch (469 Amp Draw/ 12000 Pound).

My truck came with a connector under the dash for plugging in the brake controller. All you needed to do was buy the little harness that matched the truck brand.

In the trailer connector, #2 is for the brakes. The ground is #1.

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Re: Powering a winch on a car trailer?

Postby SamsFarm » Fri Dec 31, 2021 5:45 pm

Best if you have a on-board deep cycle battery on your trailer.

The +12v on your trailer plug will help your on-trailer battery if you run the tow vehicle while winching!
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Re: Powering a winch on a car trailer?

Postby Urbish » Fri Dec 31, 2021 7:27 pm

SamsFarm wrote:Best if you have a on-board deep cycle battery on your trailer.

The +12v on your trailer plug will help your on-trailer battery if you run the tow vehicle while winching!


This is how I would do it. The same way my tow vehicle keeps the 12v battery on my travel trailer charged. When running the winch, the onboard battery will supply the juice. And only a little current will flow to the onboard battery through your 7 pin plug unless you completely deplete the onboard battery.
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