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  #1  
Old 4th May 2018, 12:28 AM
Two23 Two23 is offline
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Year: 2014
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Default Winch Suggestions

I have a 2014 Forester. I don't do much hardcore off-roading, but do drive in desolate areas in winter. I drive a lot of back highways and gravel/dirt roads. In the past while driving my RAV4 I've gotten stuck in snow drifts, maybe up to 2-3 ft. deep. I carry snow shovel and tow ropes. I've had to dig myself out of drifts a number of times. The worst is when I slide off the road and into a snowy ditch. The problem is little traction, mostly.

What I'd like to do is buy a medium sized winch, which I'll carry inside the car. My plan is to mount it to a plate that can in turn be mounted on a 2 inch receiver hitch. I keep reading that I "need" an 8,000 lb winch, but I question that. I very rarely get stuck in mud, and when stuck in snow I dig the wheels free before getting pulled out. It doesn't seem to take much force. I'm thinking a 4,000 lb pull winch will work for me. Am I wrong? The winch will mostly be insurance for when I get stuck in snow in the middle of nowhere. It can hit 40 below zero out here. I'm looking closely at the Warn 4000 series winch with synthetic rope.

What hitch do I need? Don't have one now. I'm thinking I'd need at least 4,000 lb capacity to match the winch. I don't want to sacrifice much clearance though. Will use the hitch for occasional trailer and hitch mounted bike rack.

Finally, my plan as to where to fasten a winch line. I could stretch a line across the road to the base of solid fence lines on the other side--traffic on these roads is light to nonexistent. If I slide off a highway that's not an option. My thinking is to get two or three 15 inch lengths of 2 inch rebar, sharpen one end to a point, and pound those into the frozen ground and wrap an equalizer around them. Also considering attaching a snatch block to them (pulley) which will double the pull of my winch. (double line pull.)

So how does my plan sound? Any suggestions? I do run high quality winter tires (Blizzaks) in winter and they are great, but sometimes I still end up with snow wedged under the frame or slid down a short slope. I've had a 2-ton come-along before and am not fond of it. I can afford a medium sized winch but want to keep it under $400 for winch. Might not even need it every winter.


Kent in South Dakota
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  #2  
Old 4th May 2018, 01:39 AM
MiddleAgeSubie MiddleAgeSubie is offline
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I explored this question quite seriously a couple years ago. But since I am in the SW, the lack of anchor points killed the deal.

I was thinking exactly along the same lines, a 4500 Superwinch Terra 45 to use with a double line and thus 9000lb and an appropriately rated extension. I think I was able to have the entire setup with all ropes etc at well under 50lb, all synthetic. The price...I cannot recall because what I do recall did include anchor provisions. I was looking at Zoro for the winch since they do on occasion have big flash sales that literally last hours to a day.

I think sub-500 for the winch and all related gear is possible so long as natural anchors are not an issue.

Primitive, btw, offer precisely the winch I looked into and a winch mounting plate for a Forester. I am not sure of the weight of the plate, but the winch is like 22lb.

That said, I was thinking exactly like you, to carry it in the back. I also looked into whether I could use it at anchor point but that goes with carrying a powerful deep cycle battery as part of a power station setup for camping.

I spent many evenings on this. mostly designing anchor point setups and looking at ropes etc but never moved forward.
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  #3  
Old 4th May 2018, 02:41 AM
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Kevin Kevin is offline
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The Primitive option looks good! I have this for my ute:



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  #4  
Old 4th May 2018, 10:58 AM
Two23 Two23 is offline
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The Superwinch 45 looks good. Anchor points remain the only part I'm a little unsure of, but the ground here freezes as solid as concrete two or three feet down. I'm still thinking two, maybe three 2 inch diameter rebar pounded a foot & half into the ground with an equalizer looped around them at the base will do the job.


Kent in SD
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  #5  
Old 4th May 2018, 10:55 PM
MiddleAgeSubie MiddleAgeSubie is offline
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Well, if you do have an anchor problem then you are in my boat!

But, let me ask you this, are you still new to the Subaru? If so, chances are you do not need any winch. I now have a 4Runner Offroad but I would not dare challenge a lifted Subaru in snow or sand. A RAV4 is nowhere close in capability when it comes to slippery terrain.

Remember that traction control/VDC (so called, VDC is never off) button must be off in deep sand, snow, or mud. Otherwise, the car will stop in a few yards.

Chances are that all you need is a bigger shovel coupled with traction mats, not the pricey Maxtrax, which are not very useful with Subarus, but more like some foldable and much cheaper ones I recently saw somewhere (Overland expo pic?).

Bear in mind that last Saturday I managed to fail my first try at a volcano rim climb in the 4R because I was at 33 psi. Zero issues at 18 and with rear locker but my point is I was never stuck in the OB and never failed a climb in the OB. It is hard to get stuck in sand or snow in a Subaru.

As for anchor point...I never solved that satisfactorily and thus abandoned the whole idea. I had two concerns: mud, which is easily avoided here and a hill where something prevents me from climbing it successfully, which had never happened but could.

I was toying with this idea except with rope vs the bottom plate:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPOYzc8418w

At the end, considering the scarce likelihood of needing the winch and the enormous work that setting it up would have involved, I just laughed off the whole idea.

If you do get high centered in snow a lot, forum member Subie Lift OZ makes great lift kits and they cost the same as the cheapest US kit shipped. I had his 2" kit and it was great.
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(2006 B9; 1995 Legacy wagon).

Last edited by Kevin; 4th May 2018 at 10:56 PM. Reason: Unnecessary use of "Quote"
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  #6  
Old 6th May 2018, 03:38 AM
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idw idw is offline
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I've a 4500lb on the front of my old sf, the shorter cable for a double line pull kinda stucks but I've only had to used it a couple of times now, winch extension strap helps with anchor points a little bit.
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