How to Wire a Winch On a Trailer

Wire a Winch On a Trailer

A winch is an excellent tool for your trailer, but if you want to wire a winch on a trailer, you need to know how to do it. This guide will walk you through how to do it.

Most trailers have their winches mounted on the rear of the vehicle. That means the winch is placed at the rear side of the trailer, whether near the back of the vehicle or on the side of the trailer.

Because the trailer is detached from the main vehicle, winches get an additional battery connection to enable them to continue to operate. They do not need to depend on the vehicle battery to power operation.

Along with its battery, straps, and cables, the entire winch is stored in a protective box called a toolbox placed on the rear of the trailer.

How to wire a winch on a trailer?How to wire a winch on a trailer

Safety guidelines to follow before winching on a trailer:

Before we dive into the specifics of wiring winches of the trailer, it is important to adhere to specific safety rules since you’ll be working with many wires and electrical connections.

Let’s look at what the guidelines are:

  • Take care since you’ll be dealing with many electrical items. Winches are designed to handle massive amounts of force, so make sure to keep this in mind when working.
  • Be sure to tidy your workspace so you don’t trip or fall.
  • Always wear gloves when touching anything. They shield your hands from electric currents.
  • Wear tight-fitting clothes before starting your work. Untidy clothes could be stuck in the parts of the winch.

Types of winching

There are 3 kinds of winching that can be purchased effortlessly using the Winch Installation Kit, which comes with the kit you’ll buy. Like,

Light duty

  • The capacity of your weight is less than the capacity of your winch.
  • Medium to small gradient

Medium duty

  • It matches the capacity of the winch of the weight
  • Medium inclines

Heavy duty

  • Close to the maximum winches weight capacity and heavy-duty
  • Terrains are tough and rough
  • A battery backup is required for the winch’s power source.
  1. Wiring it to the vehicle power source

This way, you utilize the quick disconnect method to connect your vehicle’s power source to the winch mounted on your trailer. This technique is perfect for Light and Medium-duty usage daily. You must ensure a minimum of 440 cold cranking amps in your vehicle’s battery and a sixty-amp alternator.

Always wear protective glasses for your eyes to protect yourself when working with the battery.

  • Choose a place at the rear of your vehicle to connect to the fast disconnect. The disconnector has two wires: a longer power cord and an even shorter ground cord.
  • Make sure you connect the shorter cord to a metal structure on the vehicle’s frame, or it works if there is an existing grounding source.
  • The longer power cord should be routed from the vehicle’s rear to the front and connected to the vehicle’s battery. Avoid locations where the cable could get hot or be pinched by other vehicle components.
  • Under the car’s hood, Connect the power cord to the positive end of the car battery. Ground to the battery with a cable from the terminal that is negative to an appropriate grounding source.
  • Make sure you connect the circuit breaker in line using the winch’s power cable that connects to your vehicle’s battery.
  • Connect your winch as per the manual’s instructions. You can install an uncoupler at one end of two wires that originate from the negative and positive posts at the end of your winch. The disconnector is connected through your trailer’s coupler, at which point it connects to the disconnector on the rear end of your vehicle.
  1. Wiring it to a separate trailer-mounted battery

This way, the winch does not depend on the vehicle’s battery for operation. A separate battery functions as the power source, and the trailer is removed from the main vehicle and still used by the winch whenever required. It would be better to use a standard method to ensure your battery is fully charged.

It is possible to connect your trailer’s connector to the battery in your vehicle to guarantee that it is charged regularly to the battery that is separate by using additional wiring.

Verify that you have a clean battery working order before you connect the winch. Beware of contact with acid in the battery and other contaminants.

  •  It is suggested to place the Battery and the Winch, along with the connections, inside a toolbox to shield it from weather and other elements, thus prolonging the component’s lifespan.
  • Attaching the toolbox to the truck or trailer will require lots of drilling and sawing to put all the parts before fixing them.
  • Connect the winch to the battery the same way you would with your car’s battery.
  • Follow the manual steps and ensure you have installed them in line with the In-line circuit breakers to safeguard against overloads.
  • While operating the winch, disconnect the electric connections to the vehicle’s primary connections. This connection is intended to recharge the trailer’s battery.
  • If the connection is not closed during operation, it can overburden the wire that supplies current to your battery on your trailer and harm the whole circuit connected to the battery.

You can also put the 12-volt solar charger on the top of the toolbox to charge the winch and other tools.

Be sure not to load your winches to exceed their weight capacities. If you take extra care of the Auxiliary battery and the connections to your winch, you will be sure of the efficiency of all winning operations over the long term.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I require a circuit breaker to wire a winch onto the trailer?

There is no need for an electrical circuit breaker to the wire. Other devices like switches and fuse boxes aren’t needed since they generate a lot of currents. It is possible to use higher-quality MNFRs and be aware, however, when necessary.

How powerful a winch do i need?

It’s best to choose a winch that is 1.5 times the weight of your vehicle. The heavier your vehicle will be, the more powerful a winch you’ll require. Even though it’s the minimum requirement, the power will depend on a few factors.

How can I ensure that the battery for my winch is fully charged?

There’s no need to purchase an extra charging device to recharge the batteries in your winch for trailer use. Connect an electrical wire with the batteries, and that’s all there is to it. The battery will be fully charged even while driving!

Does lithium battery work for winches?

Yes, they’re great. If you want greater winching power and less drain, go to lithium-based batteries, which can last longer!


I hope you know how to wire a winch to a trailer and what you should remember. Of course, it’s not easy to put in such a thing; however, it’s also not too difficult. If you can follow the instructions and the steps, you’ll be able to complete the task correctly.

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