How to Wire a Winch on A Trailer

Winch is an essential in traveling and it is highly recommended for you to have one in your vehicle. It has the ability to recover your vehicle in case it gets stuck in mud, snow or other type of terrain. Winches come in different models which works on different types of jobs and vehicles. Some winches could be installed in trailers and there are some which could be used in rough terrains.

Though winch is highly convenient to have, installing it could be difficult and complicated. Hence, in this article, we shall provide you a guide on how to wire your winch on your trailer. Do not worry as we shall make the instructions easy to follow especially for those without any prior knowledge.

Before we go into details, let us first discuss the most important thing about winches and that is we should always and first observe safety.


Do not wear loose clothing – this will reduce the risk of your clothing getting caught in your winch machine.
Confirm the area is clear – ensure that your area is clean and clear especially whenever you are dealing with electrical devices.
Wear gloves – this reduces the risk of unnecessary injuries on your hands.

How to Wire a Winch on a Trailer

Winch’s Power Source Is the Car’s Battery

For your winch to work, it has to be directly connected to your car’s battery. This is its source of power

Rear of The Vehicle

  • Find the best place to install your quick disconnect. The quick disconnect is used whenever you would want to attach or detach the wires that connects your car to your trailer winch.
  • Install the negative wire (black) from the quick disconnect to clean, metal surface on the vehicle frame
  • Run along the wires from the quick disconnect to the vehicle’s battery. Ensure to avoid areas where your wires could get hot and overheat.

Under the hood

  • Connect positive wire (red) from the rear of the vehicle to the positive post on the battery
  • With the negative wire with eyelets at both ends ground the battery to clean, metal surface.

On the Winch

  • Attach positive wire to the positive post
  • Attach negative wire to the negative post
  • Run the opposite ends of the two wires, end with the quick disconnect.

Winch Has Its Own Power Source

The method below would only work if the winch has its own power source.

  • Find an area to mount battery for your winch’s power source. Ensure that the battery and the wirings are protected
  • Attach the power and the ground leads to the appropriate posts
  • Turn on the power and ground wires that are connected to the trailer mounted battery
  • Attach positive wire to positive post and negative wire to negative post.

Winch Recommendations

  • 5″ Snatch Block 4.5
  • Lewis Winch 400 MK2
  • Tree Saver Belt
  • Aircraft Cable With Hook
  • Trailer- Hitch Mount c/w Lock

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