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How to choose the right winch
Written: January 20, 2011
by Andy Lilienthal
So you're looking to buy a WARN winch. How do you know which one to get? Well there is a formula for making sure you get enough winch for your truck, ATV, or side x side.

For trucks, it's simple. Take the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) and multiply it by 1.5. For example, if you've got a new Jeep Wrangler Rubicon two door. A quick visit to Jeep's website shows the vehicle's GVWR is right about 5,000 lbs. (2,268 kg). Multiply this by 1.5 and you'll get your minimum capacity. In this case, it's 7,500 lbs. (3,402 kg). A WARN M8000 is a good place to start, but for some extra grunt, you can move up to a 9,0000 or 9,500 lb. winch. Remember, you can always go up in capacity.

On the powersports side of things, it's slightly different. If you've got a sport quad or a smaller ATV (under 300cc), a 1,500 lb. winch, such as the XT or RT15, is a good winch to get. If you've got a larger ATV (300cc or greater in size), then you'll want to setup up to a 2,500 lb. winch, such as the RT or XT25. For the biggest ATVs, a 3,000 lb. winch i(XT or RT30) is the way to go. Now, if you've got a side x side, you'll likely want the RT or XT40 with its 4,000 lb. capacity specifically designed to pull the extra heft of a UTV/side x side.

One note for powersports buyers: You'll have a choice between wire and synthetic rope. Keep in mind wire rope is better for utility tasks and for winching in abrasive situations that might be hard on synthetic. However, synthetic is lightweight, easy to handle, and is great for use in mud.

If you're looking for industrial applications, it's best to contact WARN Customer Service to be sure you're getting the right winch for your application.

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Tags: winch, winches, product
Filed under: Truck/Jeep/SUV, Powersports

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#1
John
says
March 17, 2011 at 08:07 AM
What is the difference between winches that are listed as MT___ or RT___ or XT___? How does that affect choices?

#1
John
says
March 17, 2011 at 08:07 AM
What is the difference between winches that are listed as MT___ or RT___ or XT___? How does that affect choices?

#2
removed
says
July 05, 2011 at 12:54 AM
Comment has been removed

#2
removed
says
July 05, 2011 at 12:54 AM
Comment has been removed

#3
Clarence
says
November 22, 2011 at 03:45 PM
What's the difference between line capacity and pulling capacity? Which is stronger? Your website shows the RT25 with 2500 pound pulling capacity and the XT25 with 2500 pound line capacity.

#3
Clarence
says
November 22, 2011 at 03:45 PM
What's the difference between line capacity and pulling capacity? Which is stronger? Your website shows the RT25 with 2500 pound pulling capacity and the XT25 with 2500 pound line capacity.

#4
null
says
November 29, 2011 at 09:50 AM
In that case, they are interchangable.

#5
Raymond Guillemette
says
November 27, 2012 at 01:03 PM
I am looking at putting a warn winch on my new Honda 420PG. (2500 lbs) My Question is what is the difference between a ProVantage winch to the RT Or XT.
Does the pro also have a 3 stage planetary gear train like the XT or RT. Is it a cheaper "newer" design or does it replace the XT and RT. Confuse!
Thanks
Raymond

#5
Raymond Guillemette
says
November 27, 2012 at 01:03 PM
I am looking at putting a warn winch on my new Honda 420PG. (2500 lbs) My Question is what is the difference between a ProVantage winch to the RT Or XT.
Does the pro also have a 3 stage planetary gear train like the XT or RT. Is it a cheaper "newer" design or does it replace the XT and RT. Confuse!
Thanks
Raymond

#6
null
says
November 28, 2012 at 09:05 AM
Raymond,

All of our powersports winches have the three-stage planetary geartrain. The ProVantage winches are the newest models, and are replacing the XT/RT lineup. In addition, we have added the Vantage line, which has a more affordable price.

#7
Will C
says
January 16, 2013 at 06:01 PM
Looking for a winch for my utv. What is the difference between a Warn RT winch, a Vantage winch and a Provantage winch?

#7
Will C
says
January 16, 2013 at 06:01 PM
Looking for a winch for my utv. What is the difference between a Warn RT winch, a Vantage winch and a Provantage winch?

#8
removed
says
February 21, 2013 at 07:12 PM
Comment has been removed

#8
removed
says
February 21, 2013 at 07:12 PM
Comment has been removed

#9
david deutsch
says
July 15, 2013 at 07:55 AM
I have a car hauling flat bed trailer that is capable of hauling 5,000 pounds. I would like to put a winch on it to pull cars onto it. What size winch do I need to be able to do this?

#9
david deutsch
says
July 15, 2013 at 07:55 AM
I have a car hauling flat bed trailer that is capable of hauling 5,000 pounds. I would like to put a winch on it to pull cars onto it. What size winch do I need to be able to do this?

#10
null
says
July 15, 2013 at 07:59 AM
David,

A WARN 3700 DC utility winch would be a great winch for your trailer.

WARN 3700 DC Utility Winch


#11
Jason Balius
says
August 04, 2013 at 02:43 PM
Just purchased an F350 Super Duty. I would like to put a wench on the front AND rear of my truck. Guidance?

#11
Jason Balius
says
August 04, 2013 at 02:43 PM
Just purchased an F350 Super Duty. I would like to put a wench on the front AND rear of my truck. Guidance?

#12
null
says
August 06, 2013 at 07:57 AM
We don't make any rear mounting systems for the F350, except for a Multi-Mount setup, which can hold up to a 10,000 lb. winch.

WARN Multi-Mount

#13
Joseph Samaritano
says
August 24, 2013 at 02:02 PM
I have a RT 25 I will have a 350 cc Yamaha Bruin from 2005 can I advance to the pro vantage 3000 or the vantage 3000 on this machine.Or is machine not built to handle a 3000 pound winch?

#13
Joseph Samaritano
says
August 24, 2013 at 02:02 PM
I have a RT 25 I will have a 350 cc Yamaha Bruin from 2005 can I advance to the pro vantage 3000 or the vantage 3000 on this machine.Or is machine not built to handle a 3000 pound winch?

#14
null
says
August 26, 2013 at 08:45 AM
Joseph,

A ProVantage 3000 should go right on.

#15
Joseph Samaritano
says
August 26, 2013 at 12:27 PM
Ok the pro vantage would go on, what bout the vantage? What I was really asking is any 3000 lb winch that you make ok for this 350cc ATV THAT I HAVE, or is it to much winch for my. Size machine?

#15
Joseph Samaritano
says
August 26, 2013 at 12:27 PM
Ok the pro vantage would go on, what bout the vantage? What I was really asking is any 3000 lb winch that you make ok for this 350cc ATV THAT I HAVE, or is it to much winch for my. Size machine?

#16
null
says
August 26, 2013 at 12:41 PM
Yes, Vantage will also fit. For a quad your size, any of our Vantage or Provantage winches between 2000-3500 lb. will be fine.

#17
Joe Samaritano
says
August 26, 2013 at 01:21 PM
Ok thank you , the one I have is excellent and still kicking with no problem , I have a big job comming up and want more power one last thing can I use all the same wiring that's on my machine from the 2500lb winch?

#17
Joe Samaritano
says
August 26, 2013 at 01:21 PM
Ok thank you , the one I have is excellent and still kicking with no problem , I have a big job comming up and want more power one last thing can I use all the same wiring that's on my machine from the 2500lb winch?

#18
null
says
August 26, 2013 at 02:33 PM
Joe,

The new winch will come with wiring that is a larger in diameter. We'd suggest you use the wiring the comes with the new winch.

#19
Joe Samaritano
says
August 26, 2013 at 05:10 PM
Ok thank you for all your help

#19
Joe Samaritano
says
August 26, 2013 at 05:10 PM
Ok thank you for all your help

#20
Lance
says
October 20, 2013 at 09:05 AM
Could someone please answer the question of "what are the differences between the rt25 and pro vantage 2500 winches?" other than they replace the rt series. Are there any physical differences in specs between them? Thanks

#20
Lance
says
October 20, 2013 at 09:05 AM
Could someone please answer the question of "what are the differences between the rt25 and pro vantage 2500 winches?" other than they replace the rt series. Are there any physical differences in specs between them? Thanks

#21
null
says
October 21, 2013 at 07:54 AM
The ProVantage features different fairlead, hook, tie bars, and finish. In addition, the ProVantage winches have a longer warranty: Three years for electrical and limited lifetime on mechanical.

#22
Justin Rorrer
says
October 28, 2013 at 05:54 PM
I am considering buying the xt30 or the vantage 3000-s for my 2013 outlander 500. Can you please tell me the difference between these 2.

#22
Justin Rorrer
says
October 28, 2013 at 05:54 PM
I am considering buying the xt30 or the vantage 3000-s for my 2013 outlander 500. Can you please tell me the difference between these 2.

#23
null
says
October 29, 2013 at 07:09 AM
Justin,

The Vantage 3000 features a composite housing, whereas the XT30 has a metal housing. The XT30 also features a short-throw clutch compared to the Vantage's clutch dial. It's a bit like of an "apples to oranges" comparison. The ProVantage 3500 is more aligned with the XT30.

report #24
Saud Al Harbi
says
December 04, 2013 at 11:51 PM
I have 4x4 ford expedition 2012 model. the gross weight is 7371 lbs, after calculation, I figured minimum 5 tons I should be installing... What is the concept behind your equation? what effect may happen if I install lower capacity and violate the equation?

report #24
Saud Al Harbi
says
December 04, 2013 at 11:51 PM
I have 4x4 ford expedition 2012 model. the gross weight is 7371 lbs, after calculation, I figured minimum 5 tons I should be installing... What is the concept behind your equation? what effect may happen if I install lower capacity and violate the equation?

report #25
Don
says
January 30, 2014 at 11:52 AM
What is the best winch for a 600 ATV that does a lot of snow plowing? I have a RT2500 and is making lots of extra noise right now. Not sure why.

report #25
Don
says
January 30, 2014 at 11:52 AM
What is the best winch for a 600 ATV that does a lot of snow plowing? I have a RT2500 and is making lots of extra noise right now. Not sure why.

report #26
sajjad
says
February 14, 2014 at 10:10 PM
Hello
I wanna select some equipments, such as winch,wire rope,sheaves,....
Our company has a projects which needs these equipment
I don't know,How i can select the suitable equipments for this project.
Maximum load that winch must hoist is 10 ton
Thnks

report #26
sajjad
says
February 14, 2014 at 10:10 PM
Hello
I wanna select some equipments, such as winch,wire rope,sheaves,....
Our company has a projects which needs these equipment
I don't know,How i can select the suitable equipments for this project.
Maximum load that winch must hoist is 10 ton
Thnks

report #27
PAUL ORTH JR
says
April 02, 2014 at 11:29 AM
I live in a snowy mountain state and don't own a truck or suv my question is is there a winch I could put in or on my car

report #27
PAUL ORTH JR
says
April 02, 2014 at 11:29 AM
I live in a snowy mountain state and don't own a truck or suv my question is is there a winch I could put in or on my car









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report #38
S. DelaFuente
says
May 08, 2014 at 11:54 AM
I want to install a winch in a 1999 Plymouth Voyager Minivan to be used only if I get stocked in the mud. It is for emergency situation and nothing else.
Your recommendations would be appreciated in terms of winch options, practical/realistic rope length and type.
Also, where could I have the winch professionally installed, my Zip is 22181.
Thanks.

report #38
S. DelaFuente
says
May 08, 2014 at 11:54 AM
I want to install a winch in a 1999 Plymouth Voyager Minivan to be used only if I get stocked in the mud. It is for emergency situation and nothing else.
Your recommendations would be appreciated in terms of winch options, practical/realistic rope length and type.
Also, where could I have the winch professionally installed, my Zip is 22181.
Thanks.