Warn VR vs VR EVO Winch Review 2022

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Last Updated on June 29, 2022

The main differences between the WARN VR and WARN VR EVO series are the pulling power, line speed, amp draw, remote control, brake type, type of fairlead, IP rating, and price.

Besides those differences mentioned above, these two series have some more common features that definitely require your attention to help you decide on one.

In this write-up, I’m going to mention the core differences and similarities between WARN VR EVO and WARN VR series winches, the series-specific benefits and drawbacks, and some experimental data regarding pulling power and line speed for each model.

Without any further ado, let’s get started!

Warn VR vs Warn VR EVO Winch – Differences and Similarities 

  • VR Evo works slower with no load on the winch line than the previous VR series winches. With that said, at full load, VR EVO is almost twice as fast as the VR winches.
  • Surprisingly, the Warn VR series winches are more powerful than the VR EVO winches. The pulling power of VR EVO winches decreases with every added cable wrap on the drum.
  • Warn VR series winches offer hawse fairlead regardless of the rope type, which I believe is not the ideal deal. The steel cable works better with a 4-way roller fairlead, and the synthetic rope versions work well with hawse fairlead. Moreover, once the powder-coating of a hawse fairlead goes away, the steel cable tends to rust with the steel line. Warn VR EVO follows the standard rule, though. It offers roller fairlead with the steel cable and hawse fairlead with synthetic rope versions.
  • Warn VR EVO winches are IP68 rated, meaning their motor, gearbox, etc., are very much protected from water and other outside material like mud, dust, etc. On the other hand, the VR series winches are not this much protected from water and other outside materials. Nonetheless, the control pack of the VR series is completely waterproof.
  • Both these versions feature a waterproof Albright relocatable contactor pack to fit in the tight space.
  • VR EVO winches offer a lower amp draw than VR winches.
  • The VR series includes only a wired remote control with the kit. Whereas the VR EVO offers a state-of-the-art two-in-one remote that works as both wired and wireless remote control. However, both the options are easy to grip and operate.
  • The VR EVO costs lower than the VR series units regarding the price.
  • The VR EVO series boasts a more tactical and sleek appearance than the previous VR models.
  • Both automatic load-holding brake and spring brake are quite efficient in doing the job right. However, the automatic load-holding brake is slightly ahead of the spring brake construction. The VR series features an automatic load-holding brake, and the VR EVO features a spring brake. 

Warn VR EVO Series Winches

Warn VR EVO winches are some of the high-quality and effective winches intended to serve mostly the Truck and SUV/Jeep owners. So far, they have released three versions of winches varying in load capacity and two versions for each load capacity varying in rope type.

Before I go into the specific model’s introduction, let me list down the standard features, upsides, and downsides that the VR EVO series winches possess.

Upsides

  • Moderately compact and sleek appearance.
  • These winches draw a relatively low amp. Consequently, they remain easy on the electrical system and also don’t generate too much heat.
  • VR EVO works considerably fast at full load.
  • These have IP68-rated waterproof construction. The motor, gearbox, and other elements are genuinely protected from water, mud, and other outside elements.
  • Instead of offering a solenoid, VR EVO offers a waterproof ultra-reliable high-performance Albright contactor pack which is more reliable than a solenoid. As the contactor pack is relocatable, you can conveniently use the control pack for low-profile installations.
  • An advanced remote control having a substantially long cable comes with the package that works as a wired remote as well as a wireless remote control. Operating it is a breeze too.
  • Warn released multiple winches of this series, varying in weight capacity. Each load capacity has both synthetic rope and steel cable versions readily available to purchase.
  • All of the winches boast a 3-stage planetary gear train system, free spooling clutch, and well-functioning spring brake system.
  • The price is quite acceptable considering the high price WARN tends to set for each of its winches.

Downsides

  • VR EVO is weaker in pulling power than the previous models of 1st and 2nd-generation VR winches.
  • Instead of implementing a more reliable automatic load-holding brake, Warn implements a spring brake system for this series.

Now, let’s uncover some more about each VR EVO model.

1. WARN VR EVO 12 Winch 

VR EVO 12 winch is quite a handy option for towing heavy vehicles like jeeps, trucks etc., as it has a load capacity of 12000 lbs. As per the general rule of thumb, you would want to keep the gross weight of the vehicle up to 8000 lbs to get the best results.

This model features both the synthetic line (90′) version and steel cable (85′) version coming with a quality hawse fairlead and a 4-way roller fairlead, respectively.

Here are some practical data on VR EVO 12 pulling power per cable layer –

Layers of Cables on DrumWeight (lbs)
112000
29000
38000
47000
56000

As you can see, the pulling power at 5 layers of cable on the drum is 6000 lbs which is a bit disappointing compared to its VR 12 counterpart, which can pull about 8500 lbs.

Here are some data on the line speed against different loads –

LoadLine Speed (ft/min)
027
200014
400010
60008
80007
100006
120005

Video: Why You Should Choose VR Evo 12s

2. WARN VR EVO 10 Winch

VR EVO 10 winch has a weight rating of 10000 lbs, which is quite enough to pull most of the trucks like 1/2 ton pickup trucks and big SUVs, Jeeps, etc. To get the optimum results and ensure better safety while towing, you should keep the vehicle’s total weight up to 6666 lbs.

Both the synthetic rope and steel cable models come with a 90′ line.

Like the VR EVO 12, let me list down VR EV 10’s pulling power per cable layer –

Layers of Cables on DrumWeight (lbs)
110000
28500
37000
46000
55000

Data on Line speed against various loads – 

LoadLine Speed (ft/min)
028
200014
400010
60009
80007
100005

Let’s watch an unboxing & installing video of this winch:

3. WARN VR EVO 8 Winch

VR EVO 8 winch boasts a load speed of 8000 lbs, which is well capable of recovering vehicles like light SUVs, two-door jeeps, etc. As per the rule of thumb, the gross vehicle weight should be limited to 5333 lbs during the recovering process to get the best output.

Both the steel cable and synthetic line versions of this model feature a 90′ line coming with a 4-way roller fairlead and hawse fairlead, respectively.

Here is the pulling power per cable layer data table for VR EVO 8 winch – 

Layers of Cables on DrumWeight (lbs)
18000
26500
35500
45000

And also the data table line speed against various loads –

LoadLine Speed (ft/min)
025
100019
200013
300012
400010
50009
60008
70007
80006

WARN VR Series Winch

Like the VR EVO series, WARN VR Series has three different versions to offer varying load capacity (12000 lbs, 10000 lbs, and 8000) lbs. In fact, the VR series is the previous (2nd Gen) version of the VR EVO winches.

As you can see by the load capacities, similar to the EVO series, VR series winches are some of the ideal options for vehicles like trucks, SUVs, Jeeps, etc.

Let’s get to know some of the common upsides and downsides of VR winches –

Upsides

  • VR winches offer excellent pulling power.
  • Compact and has a nice tactical sleek appearance.
  • These units don’t weigh much.
  • An automatic load-holding brake is in place, along with other standard features like a 3-stage planetary gear, free spooling clutch, etc.
  • A relocatable control pack (high-quality waterproof Albright contactor pack) comes with the unit to make it easy to install for low-profile installations.
  • Some easy-to-install models.
  • Instead of using a tie rod to hold the case together, the VR series implements a tie plate that increases the strength to take the load of the control box. The tie plate helps to reduce noise as well.
  • A well-functioning wired (12′) remote control comes with these units.
  • These units are pre-wound onto the drum.

Downsides

  • These units come with only one corded remote control.
  • Both the steel cable and synthetic rope models come with a hawse fairlead. The steel cable version should have featured a roller fairlead.

So, let’s find out some of the model-specific handy data of each VR series winch.

1. WARN VR 12 Winch

You guessed it right. VR 12 winch has a weight capacity of 12000 lbs and can pull vehicles like trucks, large SUVs, jeeps, etc. You should consider limiting the total vehicle weight up to 8000 lbs to get the best output during the towing process.

Both the steel cable and synthetic rope versions come with a hawse fairlead. However, the steel line is 80′ long, whereas the synthetic rope is 90′ long.

Here is the pulling power per cable layer data table of the VR 12 winch

Layers of Cables on DrumWeight (lbs)
112000
211000
310000
49000
58500

Here are some data on the line speed against different loads –

LoadLine Speed (ft/min)
029
200012
400010
60008
80007
100005
120004

2. WARN VR 10 Winch

VR 10 winches have 10000 lbs load capacity, and they are some of the ideal options for pulling pickup trucks, large SUVs, Jeeps, etc. 6666 lbs should be the gross vehicle weight with this winch to get the optimum results and to avoid the chance of rope break under load.

The steel cable of VR 10 is 80′ long and the synthetic rope one is 90′ long.

Here is the data table of VR 10’s pulling power per cable layer –

Layers of Cables on DrumWeight (lbs)
110000
28000
37500
47000
56500

Now, let’s read the line speed data against different loads –

LoadLine Speed (ft/min)
026
200013
40009
60007
80004
100002

Video: Warn VR10 Winch Installation

3. WARN VR 8 Winch

WARN VR 8 winches are 8000 lbs weight rated. When it’s about using these sorts of winches for towing vehicles, you would want to use them to tow vehicles like small SUVs, two-door jeeps, or similar kinds of automobiles.

The steel cable version features a 94′ long cable and the synthetic line features a 90′ long rope.

Here is the VR 8’s pulling power data per cable layer –

Layers of Cables on DrumWeight (lbs)
18000
27000
36500
46000

Now, let’s read the line speed data against different loads –

LoadLine Speed (ft/min)
029
100022
200013
300012
400010
50009
60007
70006
80004

Final Words

If you want me to decide on one, I will be going for VR EVO as it’s the 3rd generation of WARN VR series and features some cool stuff like an IP68 rating, both wired and wireless remote control, works fast at full load, offers low amp draw, etc.

However, the VR series is not a bad choice either. They are more powerful than the VR EVO winches, feature a more secure and effective automatic load-holding brake, and are smart in providing the correct fairlead for each line type.

Other Winch Series By Warn:

Warn VR vs VR EVO Winch

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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