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Author Topic:   Power Trailer Winches
home Aside posted 08-08-2013 10:44 PM ET (US)   Profile for home Aside   Send Email to home Aside  
Any recommendations for a Power Winch for my Sportsman Trailer. Brand names, capacity, special features, etc would be appreciated. It will be retrieving my 1985 Revenge 22 WT.

After being off work for two months (March-May) with 2 herniated disks in my lower back I've managed to make a pretty good recovery.

I've had the Revenge out twice this summer & delegated the hand crank winching to my sons. I don't think a lot of that would be conducive to keeping my back healthy.

Anyway, last Sunday I had the boat out on Lake St. Clair and upon getting the boat out of the water and about two cranks away from being into the trailers bow stop, the old hand crank Fulton T1801 gave up the ghost.

So I figure now is the time!!! Since I can't make the Isle Royale Trip this year I figure I'll spend the gas money I was saving on a power winch..... Thanks for any input


dfmcintyre posted 08-09-2013 07:06 AM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     
Pat -

Glad your on the mend. When we pulled the 25 Revenge out of the water up at Detour last Saturday, I was thinking the same thing...


jimh posted 08-09-2013 09:47 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
If you install an electrically powered winch on the trailer, you will have to supply 12-Volt battery power to it. I believe the usual method for doing this is to use the tow vehicle's 12-Volt battery power.

If you have a late-model GM truck or SUV, there is typically a pre-wired 7-pole connector near the trailer hitch. There is a circuit in the typical 7-pole trailer connector on GM vehicles which can be used to supply about 30-Amperes of current to the trailer. To use this circuit you will need to use the mating 7-pole trailer connector. This probably will mean re-wiring your trailer and installing the 7-pole trailer connector on a short cable that can reach to the towing vehicle. On my trailer I converted the wiring to a 7-pole trailer connector several years ago. I bought the 7-pole trailer connector as part of a molded assembly with a length of attached cable. I installed an electrical box on the trailer frame, and I routed the new cable to the box. I also routed all the existing trailer lighting circuits to the new box. Inside the box I installed a terminal strip and made connections between the existing trailer lighting conductors and the appropriate circuits on the new 7-pole trailer connector and cable.

In the towing vehicle, the electrical circuit for the 30-A power to the trailer 7-pole connector may not be activated. On my GM truck I had to locate the conductor, connect the conductor to the fuse block, which was set-up with an appropriate terminal post and position for a 30-Ampere fuse, and install the fuse in the circuit. That modification brought 12-Volt battery power to my truck's 7-pole trailer connector.

For details about the wiring of the 7-pole connector and the color coding used in it, as well as the color coding used by GM for the chassis wiring on the truck, see my article in the REFERENCE section on Trailer-Vehicle Connector Wiring.

I made all of these modifications to the trailer and truck in anticipation of installing an electrically power trailer winch, but, since doing this a few years ago, I have not gotten around to installing the new electrically powered winch. It is still on the list of projects to be completed, but something that seems more essential to be done on the boat keeps getting in the way of finishing this project.

Also, I am glad to hear you were able to get the boat in the water and enjoy some boating. I know that being laid up with back pain is not conducive to going boating, and it is great to hear you are on the mend.

home Aside posted 08-09-2013 09:52 AM ET (US)     Profile for home Aside  Send Email to home Aside     
Thanks for the information Jim, I sure am glad you only live about 5 miles from me.....LOL

I knew wiring would be an issue, also looking for recommendations regarding power, weight ratings, particular brands, etc....


Jefecinco posted 08-09-2013 10:21 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jefecinco  Send Email to Jefecinco     
When I had a power winch it came with a two [conductor] electrical cable and connector with a relay and a plug for the vehicle. I believe I connected it directly to the vehicle battery but it has been almost thirty years since doing the work. I could well have connected it to a terminal strip or any handy place. The cable plug connected to the winch so there were a few feet of cable left at the rear of the truck. I coiled it up and secured it with a velcro strap which also served to secure it to the bumper mounting bracket.

The advantage was that no changes were needed to the trailer wiring nor to the truck to trailer four wire connection and the cable, etc were included with the winch.

The winch performed well except that the steel cable (wire rope) could become jammed and the brake/clutch was a bit touchy. If it's possible to have a power winch that allows for the use of a fabric winch strap or synthetic rope that would be my choice. I worked with steel cable for virtually my entire working life and believe it is an extremely dangerous commodity. It can snap under load with no warning with disastrous results and small pieces of individual wire can break and cut very badly. We called them "meat hooks". If forced to use steel cable I would replace it often.


home Aside posted 08-09-2013 02:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for home Aside  Send Email to home Aside     
Butch, I went to a local Marine dealership, just to browse today, Wilson Marine in Commerce Twp, Mi. They didn't have any in stock but did have several supply catalogs with different manufacturers, Powerwinch, Dutton-Lainson, & TRAC to name a few.

TRAC does offer a winch rated for a 24' boat with 10,000 lb rating that comes in two models. one with cable and the other comes with the strap.


Ferdinando posted 08-09-2013 08:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for Ferdinando  Send Email to Ferdinando     
Dutton-Lainson is what I have. I'll be real honest I have a 19' Montauk and I was really getting tired of cranking it up on the trailer.

I installed a 5000 lb DL and will never look back. I have the strap line and it's going on 2 yrs without a hitch.

Once you try it you'll never go back to hand cranking.


Buckda posted 08-10-2013 08:38 AM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Pat - I would second the use of a strap, if available, over a cable. I had a powerwinch on the 18' Trailer when I bought it and immediately replaced it with a hand crank winch with strap. The cables need to be greased to operate properly, and if you do that, they are a HUGE mess on your clothes, your hands, etc. They also have a tendency to fray and splinter, which is unpleasant, too.

Sorry to hear about your back, but happy to hear you're on the mend. Hope to get a chance to go boating with you again real soon.


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