How to Mount A Winch On A Trailer


Off road enthusiasts and workers know how useful a winch is, whether it be for utility use or for off road adventures. Winches have a wide variety of uses, whether it be for self-recovery when stuck or for hauling or hosting equipment. Some winches are designed to haul or hoist, while some are used for pulling a car or boat into a trailer. They can be the best attachment you can get for your vehicle especially more so for utility and off road use.

Installing a winch into your vehicle can be extremely useful for your off road needs. If you are looking into installing a winch on a trailer, you might wonder how do you install one? Hiring a technician or going to a shop to have it installed can get pricey. So you might want to consider installing one by yourself.

Installing a winch on a trailer can help you utilize most of the winch’s capabilities. Note that installing a winch on your trailer can get technical. Technical it might be, with our guide, we can help you install a winch on your trailer without any prior experience. Installing the winch takes a while, so follow out steps carefully and bring the following tools with you:

  • Tape measure
  • Marker
  • Winch and winch kit
  • Drill
  • Ratchet set
  • 3/8-inch bolt


As with handling all kinds of tools, do remember that they can be dangerous if not handled well. Make sure to follow our proper guidelines of safety before installing a winch on your trailer.

  • Keep Area Clean: Make sure the area you are going to work on is neat and tidy. There might be objects lying around that might cause you to stumble or might cause some hazards.
  • Wear Gloves: Winches are designed to haul or hoist objects, and some of them have rated capacities that can pull thousands of pounds. Also, winch cables also might have metal splinters on them, so be sure to wear gloves to protect yourself from accidents.
  • Do Not Wear Loose Clothing: Winches are designed to push and pull, and wearing loose clothing is hazardous. Your clothing can get caught with some of the winches moving parts and that might cause injury.

For more detailed information on how to handle a winch safely please see this guide.

Mounting The Winch

Now that you have followed the right procedures if safety, let’s get on installing a winch on your trailer.

  1. Choose The Right Winch: Before you install any winch, be sure they meet the right specifications. They need to be aligned with your purpose of installing a winch and have the rated capacity needed for your use. 
    • Getting the wrong winch can cause problems when installing it, they might not be a fit for your vehicle model. They might also not be able to withstand the weight that you intended to use. Get a winch that is designed for your vehicle model and have a rated capacity needed for your use.
  2. Choose The Placement: Use a tape measure to find the center of the front of your trailer. Choose a spot that’s as close to the front of the trailer as much as possible. Mark that location as that will be your guideline later on.
  3. Mark Using The Mounting Plate: The winch you bought should have a mounting plate bought along with it. If not, buy a mounting plate that is rated to withstand the winch’s weighted capacity. Also, be sure that a mounting plate is a place where a winch can perfectly fit on it.
    • Place the mounting plate at the spot where you marked where the center is. Trace the outline of your mounting plate, they also come with holes in them, be sure to mark the holes also.
  4. Drill Holes: Start drilling holes to the locations you have previously marked. Make sure that the drill holes line up with the holes in the mounting plate.
  5. Attach The Mounting Plate: Attach the mounting plate to the trailer and screw them tightly with bolts using the ratchet. Align the bolts to the holes you previously drilled into.
  6. Drill Another Hole: You need to drill another hole so that you can have a place to insert your wires into. The wires are for connecting the winch into the trailer’s battery.
    • Your winch kit should have rubber on it, place the rubber and wrap it around within the hole. Then run the wires through the hole to connect to your winch and the battery.
  7. Mount the Winch: Mount the winch into the winch mount and secure them tightly with bolts using the rachet.
  8. Wiring The Winch: Connect the positive wire to the positive post and connect the negative wire to the negative post.

Winch Mount Recommendations

The winch kit you have bought might not have any winch mounts packaged with it. If so, consider our recommendations for a winch mount.

  1. CURT 31010 Trailer Hitch Winch Mount
  2. WARN 63885 Foot Down Fixed Winch Mount for Trailers
  3. ZESUPER Winch Cradle Winch Mounting Plate


Now that you have safely installed your winch, get out there and use it! Do you have any thoughts to share on this matter? Leave a comment below. We also offer other tips and guides as well, such as Best X Bull Winch Review and Winch Buying Guide.