Informational Guide

How To Mount A Winch On A Trailer

We show you how to mount a winch on a trailer so you can make any job more manageable.

If you enjoy off-roading, then it’s likely you have been stuck in the rocks or mud at least once, requiring the use of a winch. But, you can also use this handy tool on your car or utility trailer, especially when you find the best winch.

We show you how to mount a winch on a trailer so you can make any job more manageable.

We can teach mounting a winch on a utility trailer, but it’s helpful to first understand how it works and what the benefits are. Winches are powered by numerous sources, but the overall action is the same. A cable or synthetic rope wire is attached to an object.

The spool turns and tugs the cable to pull an object closer to the winch. When you learn how to mount a winch on a car trailer, you can load your trailer quicker and easier without as much effort.

Choosing a Winch for Your Trailer

Winches for a trailer are going to be far different than your UTV winch. First, you need to determine what type of winch you are going to use and where you are mounting it. For example, if you need a boat trailer winch, make sure you choose an appropriate model that can pull your equipment. Determine whether you want a manual or electric winch to get the job done. You also need to consider the weight requirements because you don’t want to overload your winch. Finally, make sure you have the appropriate cable and accessories to use the winch.

Mounting A Winch On A Trailer

Do you know the best way to mount a winch on a trailer? We provide detailed instructions for a variety of situations you might find yourself in. Whether you want to mount a winch on your boat trailer or on your car trailer, we can give you the steps you need.

Equipment Needed

Installing a winch on a trailer doesn’t require a lot of equipment. In many cases, these are the items you will want on hand.

  • Marker
  • Tape measure
  • Winch and winch kit/hardware
  • Mounting plate
  • Ratchet set
  • Drill
  • 3/8-inch bolts

Where to Mount the Winch on the Trailer

For the most part, you will want to mount your winch to the front or rear of your trailer. It’s best to have it in the center of the trailer, so you will want to use your tape measure to determine what point this is. Go as close to the front of your trailer and mark the center spot before getting started.

Attaching the Winch to the Trailer

Now, you will remove the template from your winch kit. This is a flat metal sheet that is shaped like a winch. It contains holes, making it simple to attach the winch to your trailer. Center this template to the spot you previously marked. Trace the outline with your marker and indicate spots where the holes meet up with the trailer.

To mount a winch on a car trailer, you want to drill holes on those spots. Then, line up the winch so the holes match perfectly. You can use a friend to hold the winch in place. You want to slide below the trailer with your ratchet set and bolts. Put one bolt in each hole to ensure that the winch is completely aligned.

If you want to know how to mount an electric winch on a boat trailer, you will also have to consider the wiring. However, using a manual option when mounting a winch on a utility trailer or mounting a winch on a gooseneck trailer doesn’t require electrical wiring.

If you need a visual representation of mounting a winch on your trailer, this video should be helpful.

Wiring a Trailer-Mounted Winch

If you are using your winch for light- to medium-duty jobs, you can wire the winch with a kit. However, if you plan to focus on medium- to heavy-duty winching or you will be winching often, you might prefer to wire it to a separate trailer-mounted battery. Drill a hole in your trailer where you can run the cables to your trailer’s battery. Make sure you affix the red wire to the positive post on the battery and connect the black wire to the negative post.

People Also Ask (FAQs)

Are winch mounts universal?

Just like with Jeep winches, you can find universal mounts that are compatible with a number of trailers. Just make sure you get the best fit to achieve a secure mount.

How long does it take to mount a winch on a trailer?

Installation typically takes at least an hour, depending on your level of expertise. You will also need to take time and learn how to use a winch.

Will a winch drain my battery?

While the winch is not being used, it will not draw power from the battery unless there is a defect or it was set up incorrectly.

Can you power a winch through trailer plug?

Electric winches require a direct connection to the battery for power. Trailer wiring is not a large enough gauge to power your winch effectively.

What safety equipment will I need? What other safety considerations are there when mounting a winch?

Winch safety is vital to a job well done. Wear gloves during operation and stand back as far as possible. Double-check all of the equipment and never exceed the load limits.

What does using a snatch block achieve?

Snatch blocks permit you to change the cable direction by off-setting your anchor point.


You already know how an ATV winch or a truck winch is beneficial, but you should never overlook the versatility of a trailer winch. Make loading and unloading easier than ever with our simple truck winch installation guide.