Best Winch for Dodge Ram 1500 & 2500

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Last Updated on August 2, 2022

Finding a good winch for Dodge Rams is tricky, isn’t it? It’s hard to match the brand reputation and pulling capacity when you’re on a limited budget. There are quite a few options, but the best winch for ram 1500 & 2500 needs to have at least 15K lbs pulling capacity along with a few other factors, such as,

  • A durable cable
  • Waterproof
  • Wireless control
  • Good motor and speed
  • Affordability

So far, I have found only one winch that’s both affordable and has sufficient pulling power. I’ll mention it along with two other winches that I think are worth considering.

Top Pick
Smittybilt X2O

Smittybilt X2O

The Smittybilt X20 17.5K lbs winch is the best winch for Dodge Ram 1500 & 2500 both – sheerly because it’s got the massive amount of pulling power and the overall performance of this winch is excellent!

Best  Winch for Ram 1500 & 2500 

Smittybilt X2O Winch

Pros

  • Smittybilt 2nd generation technology in its build design
  • Pulling capacity of 17,500 lbs is the perfect fit for a Dodge Ram
  • Easy to control with the given wireless remote control
  • Amphibious motor with 6.6 horsepower
  • Motor and the solenoid is rated at IP67 for waterproof property
  • High gear ratio of 265:1 makes it one of the fastest winches
  • Dynamic braking technology was a pretty sight
  • Steel cable to endure the huge weight of a dodge ram

Cons

  • A bit weak on the crossbar
  • Wireless remote has problems functioning after a while
  • You’ll have to cut the rope to replace or remove the hook

Smittybilt has been on the scene for almost 30 years now. And what haven’t they manufactured? Anything related to vehicles, you name it, they have it. So, it’s not a surprise that they are continuously improving their products. Here we have the X20 comp series winch.

The first point I want to mention is the wireless remote. It’s a pretty nice addition to a winch of this price. Then you have an IP67-rated waterproof solenoid. Do you want your winch to work in water? This winch, with its waterproof solenoid, will get the job done.

Now, the maximum pulling capacity on this unit is huge. At 17,500 lbs, it sits on top of its product line. Your dodge ram’s gross weight is almost half of that, depending on which one you have. So, you should be sitting pretty if you buy it.

Though you should keep in mind one thing; the wireless remote control might give up on you unless they have improved the circuitry on these units.

The fact that it has a massive amount of pulling power makes it the best winch for Dodge Ram 2500.

WARN 103254 VR EVO 12 Electric 12V DC Winch

Pros

  • This WARN 3rd gen VR winch comes with a motor improvement
  • Motor is more customer service efficient than the last time you’ve seen them
  • Winch got a pulling capacity of 12,000 lbs which puts it right on the spot
  • IP68 rating for waterproof properties and ability to work submerged in water
  • Gear ratio is 218:1 is just enough for a good speed
  • Comes with wired and wireless controllers
  • Rope on this winch is a steel wire known for higher durability

Cons

  • A bit pricier than Smittybilt
  • Not going to be enough for the Dodge ram 2500
  • A bit slower than Smittybilt’s X20 series

Quality-wise, I would keep Warn winches on top of Smittybilt’s winches. They are built slightly better, and the electrical components last longer. However, they do cost more. Not surprising, is it? 

First thing’s first, if you own a Dodge Ram 1500, you’re looking at a winch that can handle it. The 12,000 lbs pulling capacity will easily pull your 8000~ lbs vehicle out of any gutter. WARN doesn’t have a more powerful version yet on their product line.

It has many things similar to the Smittybilt X20 winch I mentioned earlier. It’s got the same features, such as a wireless controller and a steel wire rope.

But so far, WARN has proven to be better with its wireless controller in terms of durability and out-of-the-box functionality. The steel wire is just as good as any out there. 

Now, it does fall behind when it comes to speed. Although the gear ratio is good for energy consumption, it is slower than Smittybilt and its competition. 

Having said that, at this price range with all its features, I think we can look past its slight limitations. It won’t be reaching too far if I say that it’s the best winch for Dodge Ram 1500.

ZEAK 12000 lb Electric Winch

ZEAK 12000 lb Electric Winch

Pros

  • Cheapest top-value solution for heavy Dodge Rams
  • Got just enough pulling power to handle a dodge ram 1500
  • An impressive 236:1 reduction gear ratio
  • A spooling clutch
  • Dynamic braking system similar to Smittybilt
  • You can get a wireless remote with it alongside the wired one
  • A thick 84-feet long cable

Cons

  • A sub-par instruction manual; might be hard to install for beginners
  • It’s the slowest winch on here

Now, you might or might not have heard of Zeak winches. It’s the new player on the “cheap but good” scene. These winches were hard to get since you had to import them. It should be a lot easier now that they have gained a bit more recognition.

And why wouldn’t it? It’s got all the bells and whistles of a mid-range winch at a low-range price.

I had to double-check everything about this machine since the features seemed too good to be true. For example, it’s got a wireless remote control that can allow you to have a 50-feet distance between you and the vehicle.

Then, you have its waterproof property, and it’s IP68 rated. This has held so far in my research.

Now, even though a heavy vehicle like a Dodge Ram might have required a more durable cable like a steel wire, a synthetic rope should suffice. You can repair it easily, unlike a steel wire. 

The motor on this unit is a 6HP DC motor. And as far as quality goes, it’s not going to be a reason for worry lines on your forehead.

It’s not going to be a fast winch even compared to a Warn VR EVO with 4.6-feet per minute. But, I think we can ignore this bit.

If you are short on budget, you can trust this Zeak 12000 lb winch. It’s not the best, but it’s really good.

Verdict

The verdict is this; You can take the WARN VR EVO winch if you’re an owner of Dodge Ram 1500 since it matches your requirement. It’s slightly better than the Smittybilt in terms of quality.

However, the WARN winch can’t handle a heavier Dodge Ram since 12k is its max pulling power. The Smittybilt X20 17.5K lbs winch is the best winch for Dodge Ram 1500 & 2500 both – sheerly because it’s got the largest pulling capacity. And it’s also the better choice for your finances.

Dodge Ram Winches Buying Guide

Dodge Ram Winch

Here are some things to consider before purchasing a winch for your dodge ram: 

Winch Capacity: Make sure to choose a winch with a capacity that exceeds the gross vehicle weight of your dodge ram. This will ensure that your winch will be able to handle the weight of your vehicle in the event that you need to use it.

Winch Type: There are two main types of winches: electric and hydraulic. Electric winches are more common and tend to be less expensive, but they require an external power source (such as a generator) to operate. Hydraulic winches are more expensive, but they do not require an external power source and can be operated using the power of your vehicle’s engine.

Mounting Location: Winch mounts can be either front-mounted or rear-mounted. Front-mounted winches are more commonly used, but rear-mounted winches may be necessary if you have a particular type of trailer hitch or if you want to keep your front bumper clear for other accessories (such as a bull bar).

Winch Accessories: Some winches come with accessories such as fairleads and remote controls. Choose the accessories that best suit your needs.

Price: Price is always a factor to consider when making a purchase, but be sure to compare apples to apples when looking at winches. Some winches may appear to be a great deal, but they may not have all the features you need or want.

Warranty: Make sure to choose a winch that comes with a warranty.

Customer Service: Choose a winch manufacturer that has good customer service in case you have any problems with your winch.

FAQs

How do you mount a winch on a Ram 2500?
There are a few different ways to mount a winch on a Ram 2500. The most common way is to mount it onto the bumper using brackets. Other ways include mounting it onto the frame or using a winch plate.

Can you put a winch on a Ram 1500?
Yes, you can put a winch on a Ram 1500. There are a few things to consider when doing so, such as the weight of your Ram 1500 and the type of winch you wish to use. The heavier your Ram 1500 is, the more powerful winch you will need to use.

About the Author: Brian Silvestro

Brian Silvestro is the founder and chief editor of OffroadersArena. He spends his free time tending to his BMW iX SUV and explaining its merits to anyone who'll listen.

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