Best Winch for Gooseneck Trailer

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Last Updated on July 29, 2022

When it comes to bumper-pull units, Gooseneck trailers are no joke. They are generally the longest, widest, and heaviest vehicles in the category. Such build gives them the ability to take heavier loads, such as towing ATVs, tractors, SUVs, and cars.

It is a no-brainer that such mighty vehicles require equally durable and heavy-duty winches. Standard winches will be no match for them. Today, I will review a few candidates for the best winch for gooseneck trailer. I’ve picked them based on factors such as power, durability, operation, and value for the price.

Top Pick
Smittybilt X2O

Smittybilt X2O

I would recommend Smittybilt X2O as the best winch for gooseneck trailer for its robust performance at a budget.

Best Winch for Gooseneck Trailer

Below are my top 3 picks for winches for gooseneck trailers specifically. Hopefully, you will find one perfect for you!

1. Smittybilt X2O Winch – Top Pick


  • It can be operated both manually and with a remote – which is convenient
  • Waterproof – will not get affected by exposure to weather
  • 6.6 horsepower amphibious motor can pull your trailer effortlessly
  • 3-stage planetary gear gets the job done very fast 
  • The solenoid can be mounted in different positions based on your needs
  • Stainless-steel and aluminum build ensures durability
  • Exclusive brake feature reduces temperature by 66% – which is excellent for synthetic ropes


  • The spare parts cost too much
  • The instructions are not detailed enough

My top pick comes from Smittybilt – a brand known for making high-quality off-roader vehicle accessories without the name-brand price tag. Because of this, Smittybilt is widely loved in the off-roader community; and when you check out how great of a product this item is, it is not difficult to understand why.

The item has several varieties with different load capacities – 10,000 lbs., 12,000 lbs., 15500 lbs., 17,500 lbs. Among these, the 10,000 and 12,000 lbs. ones come with a synthetic rope. The rest have a steel rope. You can choose according to your needs from so many varieties.

This X2O features an enhanced motor, which combines its 6.6 HP power with the 3-stage planetary gearbox for enhanced pulling power, compared to previous versions of Smittybilt X2Os.

Also, the build of this product is robust, with stainless-steel hardware and aluminum crossbars.  So, you will get an ample amount of power to pull your gooseneck trailer fast and effortlessly.

As a cherry on top, you get a wireless remote that can be plugged in in case you run out of power. Do not mistakenly lose it, though, as spare parts will cost you a lot.

All in all, this item is perfect for those who want name-brand quality with a more affordable price tag.

2. WARN 103255 VR EVO Winch


  • Planetary gear and powerful motor perform faster with less amperage
  • IP68 waterproof rated winch – will not be rusty or damaged anytime soon
  • Control packs can be moved if you need a low-profile installation
  • 2-in-1 remote can be used both wireless and wired, which is convenient
  • Designed, built, and tested by engineers, ensuring the best possible performance
  • Fast draw yet needs lower amperage – saves power
  • It comes partially assembled and wired, which makes installation easy


  • The cable does not retract evenly on the spool
  • Load capacity higher than 12,000 lbs. is unavailable

Any list of winches would be incomplete without featuring a WARN product. There is a reason this brand is one of the first to come to mind whenever off-roader vehicle accessories are discussed.

The WARN EVO 12-S comes in three different capacities with two rope options. You can choose from 8000 lbs., 10000 lbs., and 12000 lbs. loads and steel or synthetic rope. 

As always, variance is appreciated because not everyone needs the same type of rope or load capacity.

This product comes almost assembled, which is the first thing that stands out about it. It also comes wired. The rest of the assembly and installation that is required can easily be done following WARN’s instructions.

No other brand can beat WARN when it comes to ease of installation. If you want to install your winch without the help of a professional, this is the product you should buy.

Because gooseneck trailers are pretty heavy, electric winches will naturally use a lot of power to pull them. This product smartly saves energy thanks to its hardy series-wound motor and planetary gear. 

It provides higher performance while also drawing less amperage – a combination you would not easily get anywhere else.

3. Smittybilt GEN 2 XRC Winch


  • All wiring needed for installation is given – no additional purchase is needed
  • Cable does not curl, splinter, or get kinked
  • Special coating on the cable prevents slipping – adding safety
  • Three mounting options available for different types of vehicles
  • Forged hook provides heavy-duty performance
  • The magnetic remote control can attach to many surfaces – easy storage
  • Larger clutch lever for ease of use with hand gloves
  • A fairlead is available that reduces friction and protects the rope from wear


  • It does not hold up against repeated moisture exposure
  • Not the best for heavy-duty usage

I am ending the reviews with another contender from Smittybilt. This series of XRC winches come in 4 different load capacities – 9,500 lbs., 12,000 lbs., 15500 lbs., and 17,500 lbs. All of them feature a synthetic rope, which comes with its own sets of pros.

Because the rope is synthetic, it weighs 7 times lighter than its steel counterpart – which helps keep the overall weight of the machine low. Also, synthetic ropes are not prone to getting wire splinters, kinks, or curls.

Additionally, the rope has been coated to prevent any slippage. It is resistant to UV rays and abrasion. So, rest assured, the rope will stay intact for a long time.

The Smittybilt GEN 2 XRC product also features a 4-way rolling fairlead made of high-quality billet aluminum. It protects the rope from wear and tears by reducing frictions and binding, which is bound to happen when you use the winch from an angle.

However, many users did not seem pleased with this machine when it came to demanding performances. It is made to perform well under load, but it is prone to giving up sometimes.

With that in mind, I would suggest that you get a higher load capacity if you decide to buy this even if you do not need it.

How To Install a Winch On a Gooseneck Trailer?

Most winches are designed to be mounted on a flat surface, so mounting a winch on a gooseneck trailer presents some challenges. Here are the steps that you should follow to mount a winch on a gooseneck trailer.

  1. Park the trailer on the firm-level ground and set the emergency brake.
  2. Position the winch approximately in the center of the trailer frame, ensuring enough room on either side for the fairlead brackets. Make sure to leave enough space between the winch and the trailer so that you can operate the controls without interference. 
  3. Mark where you will drill your holes for winch mounting using a felt-tip marker. 
  4. Drill pilot holes at your marks using a 3/16-inch drill bit. Countersink these pilot holes slightly so that your bolts will sit flush with or below the surface of your trailer frame 
  5. Install nuts on each bolt, then thread them into their respective holes in the winch mount kit supplied with your winch. Tighten all four nuts securely.

The below video will give you a detailed idea about the gooseneck trailer winch setup.


By now, you should be well aware of which one is best for you. Among the three featured, I would recommend the Smittybilt X2O for robust performance at a budget.

If you have a few hundred more cash to spare, you can also go for the WARN  EVO 12-S, which will have effortless installation and foolproof performance.

That is all for today. I hope my detailed reviews helped make up your mind about a winch for your precious gooseneck trailer.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much weight can you pull with a gooseneck?
There isn’t a definitive answer to this question as it depends on the specific gooseneck and the weight limit of the trailer that it is attached to. However, generally speaking, a gooseneck can typically pull 30000 lbs.

Where do you mount a winch on a gooseneck trailer?
You could attach a winch to the gooseneck of your trailer in several ways. One way would be to use a winch plate and mount it to the underside of the gooseneck. Another way would be to weld a couple of plates onto the gooseneck itself and bolt the winch down that way.

You might like to check our winch reviews for other types of vehicles:

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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