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12v Winch

Discussion in 'MOTORHOME CHAT' started by ChocNessie, Jan 3, 2013.

  1. ChocNessie

    ChocNessie

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    Does anyone know much about electric winches?

    I saw several motorhomes in France last summer with winches fitted to bull bars or front bumpers presumably for when you get stuck in muddy fields or the snowy alps. ;-)

    Then low and behold I saw one in operation - superb. The guy let out the steel wire, wrapped it round a tree, hooked the hook back on the wire and winched as he drove. Pulled his MH off the pitch as easy as pie.

    So I looked into it only to find that they draw somethinglike 350 to 500 amps under full load and even with no load it takes 50 to 80 amps.:Wink:

    How can that work..,.,. I know it is only for a short time but..,...
    At that rate it must use the vehicle battery and not the leisure ones as the cable run would need a huge swg to carry that much current - so shorter the better.
    My vehicle battery is a 100 amp/h and will crank at 830 amps, the alternator is an updated one so charges at 150 amps but only 80 of that goes to the vehicle battery.

    So would It harm the system to draw 500 amps over 5 mins and should the engine be on or off.

    With the engine on it would obviously assist the vehicle movement and reduce the strain (and current draw) on the winch, but the alternator would be trying to fill that 500 amp draw? Would it not?

    Any way any advice about the physics and mechanics would be appreciated,

    And before everyone starts - yes I know the best advice is to stay off the mud and snow as a motorhome is not a 4x4. However we do like to get out in the wild and fancy going over the alps may be not in the depths of winter snow but while there is still a bit about.....

    Many thanks
    Richard
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2013
  2. chesterfield hooligan

    chesterfield hooligan

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    :Smile: Hi not sure about the amps but I would carry a sling to go around trees, towbars, ect as it stops the wire rope kinking :Smile:
     
  3. Landy lover

    Landy lover Funster

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    A number of things you need to think about with a winch - first it is a modification to your vehicle so you will need to advise your insurance company that you have one fitted and it will most likely increase your insurance premium - not least of all because you have increased the value of your vehicle and secondly in the event of an accident the damage to to both vehicles will be greater than if inbuilt crumple zones were allowed to work.

    Next to be able to winch you need a fixed point to winch to - seldom do trees grow in the right place when you need them so to be guarenteed a chance of winching yourself out then you will need to carry a ground anchor

    Next you need to look at the weight of a winch - most motorhomes are already very close to weight limits - if you add a winch bumper to the front and a winch then you have to look at about 100kg for a serious bit of kit.

    I do think your anticipated power demand is wrong - you would be looking at less than that but the majority of people who winch have twin batteries fitted with a heavy duty split charge system to ensure that the power always comes mainly from the 2nd battery when winching and the charge always goes to the starting battery first. They generally have a Heavy Duty Alternator fitted as well so as to keep power going to the batteries.

    I have a full winching kit on the Landy and all up it adds about 150kg to it.

    IMHO if you want to carry a winch to get you out look at a small portable winch that you can hook onto a tow ball or your front tow eye - use anderson plugs for your power source if you cannot easily get to the battery from front or back http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/3000lb-12...227?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item416330a77b That will get you out of most situations and will not put massive weight on your payload. If you do decide to get a winch for your safety and others either buy a book on winching protocol or best go on a 1 day course and learn the dangers and safety issues they can easily kill.

    Best though walk the area first and don't get stuck :thumb:
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2013
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  4. trophychap

    trophychap Funster

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    Winches

    I had one on my Range Rover and yes they do draw a lot of amps it is essential to have the engine running when you are using them. Mine would stall at 3.5 tons weight so in theory would lift the Rangy vertically up a wall LOL never tried that though, the rangy weighs about two tons.

    Would need some serious mounting brackets to fix it to your chassis, a bull bar would be insufficient I would think. mine drew about 95 amps in use I believe probably a lot more under load sorry but I cant remember any figures, I can tell you though there was some serious battery draw.

    Alos you would have to consider the weight of the thing mine weighed about 50lbs plus the bracketry to fix it so its eating into your payload as well.

    Personally I wouldn't put one on my motorhome I dont think the chassis is sufficiently stong enough to cope without some extensive modification. So you would probably end up having about a hundredweight of very rarely used metalwork hanging off the front of your m/home.

    Pete
     
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  5. rainbow chasers

    rainbow chasers Funster

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    He sounds like a menace! Wrapping round a tree without a strop, connecting back to the cable and then driving as he winched......oh dear! :Doh:

    Winches will put on weight, and reduce fuel consumption and reduce ground clearance - so you need to consider how often you would use one.

    You would need a winch plate at least, and then a suitable winch for the weight of your van - than would probably negate electric winches as you would be near capacity - though you can snatch back to reduce load.

    You current system would run a winch for shorter periods - I doubt if you would run them for long anyway, and so long as you keep the engine running, it will be ok.

    You need to know what yuou are doing with winches, and how to use them. Taking your vehicle weight, at say 3.5t and buying a winch of that capacity would seem ideal - it isn't, as it would need to be of a larger capacity. You only have 3.5t pulling power when unwound - each layer that goes back on the drum reduces the capacity

    You then have to consider how to use it, say if you went on a site bogged yourself down and thought 'Great, I'll get the winch out' - you would need to know the algorythm for assessing the weights (which is why training is required) If bogged down on the level in mud, your winch will need to pull TWICE your vehicle weight. If that was on a slope, 20% for every degree on top of that. You then need something to winch from, a tree may not always be available - and it has to be capable of taking the forces you are asking it to - or else you will have a tree in your roof! Ground anchoes will get over this, but they are bulky, heavy and the owner may not like you shoving that in his lawn!

    Not saying don't do it - but research throughly before you buy - you need to assess how useful it will be before buying, and weigh up other options. A 'canadian winch' (branches) may be of more use where available.
     
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  6. Geo

    Geo Trader - Funster

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    I have a 7.5 Ton RV and never go anywhere without my towing out Kit
    Part No.000 1 a Toany Santara for road use
    Part No 0002 a Landy Lover for all close up and on site towing
    Marvelous bits of kit, add no weight to Rv, even saves on fuel, never go anywhere without it
    Cheers boys:thumb:
    Geo
     
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  7. JockandRita

    JockandRita Funster - Life Member Life Member

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    Hi Richard,

    I have used meaty winches either attached to, or built into the length of the chassis of Fire Appliances (front and rear operation) during rescue and recovery incidents. From my practical experience of them and what I know, and, taking into account the excellent advice above, I would never consider fitting one to the front of our MH, seriously. :Eeek: As well as all the technical reasons given, they can be lethal in inexperienced and untrained hands. :Eek!:

    In nearly eight years of MH'ing, I have only got stuck once, and that was only because the site owner wouldn't listen to my concerns about a heavy MH on a wet grass pitch at the bottom of a slope, in winter. :Angry: It was a case of "that's the pitch I have allocated you, if you don't like it, you can leave". Needless to say, I ripped up his nice grass pitch when leaving on the Sunday morning, with the aid of Grommet, Geo, Artona, KandS, and others pushing me out. :Doh:
    I declined to inform the warden of the damage to his pitch when leaving, and we've never had the slightest inclination to back to that site at Rutland again. :Rofl1:

    You could do what we do, ie, fit quality M&S/Winter tyres on the driving axle, and as advised above, walk the ground first before traversing. :thumb:

    Regards,

    Jock.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2013
  8. enery8

    enery8 Funster

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    IMHO if you want to carry a winch to get you out look at a small portable winch that you can hook onto a tow ball or your front tow eye - use anderson plugs for your power source if you cannot easily get to the battery from front or back http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/3000lb-12...227?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item416330a77b That will get you out of most situations and will not put massive weight on your payload. If you do decide to get a winch for your safety and others either buy a book on winching protocol or best go on a 1 day course and learn the dangers and safety issues they can easily kill.

    Best though walk the area first and don't get stuck :thumb:[/quote]

    I have one of these and although very slow it works. The one I bought also had an extra pulley so the cable can be doubled to give extra power but of course this slows it down a bit more. I have it wired to a 7 pin grey caravan plug and run the engine while using it so no problem with power to operate. Certainly beats pushing or being stuck. I also have a ground anchor as stated above. Useful piece of kit and cheap at the price.
     
  9. stcyr

    stcyr Funster

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    The 'Winch-it' portable 12v winch mentioned above is an excellent bit of kit. Only weighs 12kgs, hooks over the towbar or to a towing eye etc. Usually when we've got stuck 2 or 3 'passers-by' giving a push have been enough to overcome the inertia - in the absence of 'passers-by/onlookers' the winch does the job. A 3ft iron bar with a small T-head, hammered in the ground at an acute angle takes the place of the tree which isn't there when needed... :thumb:

    It was useful to raise the masts on our boats as well...
     
  10. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster

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    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/3000lb-12V-PORTABLE-BOAT-WINCH-TRAILER-ATV-9500lb-rolling-load-Tow-Ball-mount-/280837007227?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item416330a77b

    complete waste of time....this one has a 3000lb dead pull capacity and that is a little under 1.5ton

    A 3500kg motorhome stuck in mud would probably need a 12000lb (4,500kg) dead pull just to get rolling

    any winch which connects using crocodile clips aint worth bothering with.

    I had a 3000lb winch on my suzuki jeep (998kg kerb weight) and that made light work but only using a snatch block (half the speed, twice the capacity) and was connected directly to the battery by starter motor cables and a proper winch relay.
     
  11. scally

    scally Funster

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    I disagree, I carry one of these and it is only meant to be used to ASSIST your driving out of trouble. I have modified the wiring to an ex forklift plug set up on the front bumper direct onto the l/b's via an isolation switch. works well on 3.5 ton used this way. Obviously with care.:thumb::thumb:
     
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  12. Landy lover

    Landy lover Funster

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    Got to totally disagree with you there John - Although I have a hefty one on the front of the Landy I do have one of these and have regularly used it to pull dead Landys and Range Rovers onto a flat bed trailer- used with a pulley it is a slow old job but is does it quite well. Like all things it is the gearing that gives it the power these are very low geared therefore draw low power which I estimate at 20amps . When getting a vehicle off grass - unless the driver has buried it you will only be talking about a rolling load which is much less than a dead weight - if he has buried it then he will need a tractor.

    As you know I have been called on a few times to assist at rallies with the Landy - that can and has quite happily winched out of the mud 18 tonne RV's that have been half buried.
     
  13. aba

    aba Funster

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    i wouldn't want to be anywhere near that if something went wrong under load
     
  14. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster

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    I was referring to 'buried'....a decent tow rope and tug would pull most off muddy grass if the tug was on hard ground.
    my 480cc V twin hydraulic drive lawn tractor is capable of pulling a range rover from standstill on level ground.

    my little 3000lb Sealy superwinch stalled out trying to pull my 1ton jeep from this mudhole and needed the addition of a snatch block.
     

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  15. aba

    aba Funster

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    i dont really grasp this off roading thing but why did you drive into that hole in the first place???

    i say i dont get this off roading thing but at least its better having a 4x4 and getting bogged every now and again than 80% of 4x4 owners that the biggest bit of off roading it does is mounting the kerb when picking the brats up from school.
     
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  16. stcyr

    stcyr Funster

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    Well buried it won't budge, hammered in at an angle same as a tent peg - and everything's happening in slow motion anyway. Depending on the ground it's occasionally hard to pull out again when finished with, but obviously you pull it straight out the way it was knocked in. A danforth anchor works well too. Obviously we don't try to pull a bogged down vehicle out with the winch/bar/anchor but it's got us off a friend's orchard a couple of times after being parked up for a month or so, where by attempting to drive up the slope to the exit we would have dug in straight away. So, by using the winch assistance we avoid getting stuck in the first place. Used it on the car too, specifically to avoid churning up mate's grass - Rolling, the MH would drive up, no probs., so would the car - it's starting off on the slope that causes problems, overcoming initial inertia.

    The principle is the same as those picture hanging thingumajigs with the angled pin, which can hold silly weights in flimsy plaster. ....
     
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  17. reader

    reader Funster

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    Mate of mine does off roading with Landy's but no interest in motorhomes but agrees with advice given in Landy lovers 1st post 100%

    (his only experience with mh's is our Windsor which isnt that big and has rwd)
     
  18. stcyr

    stcyr Funster

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    ... the only vehicle we've had which wouldn't start off on wet grass on the flat was a rear-wheel drive lwb transit van - totally useless.

    The only one which never got stuck anywhere was our old Merc 608...

    :RollEyes:
     
  19. darklord

    darklord

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    I use winches for fun (landrover owner) and work (heavy recovery operator) and have done for twenty years. I have used winches from 1800 kgs, to 30 tons (the current vehcile i use at work has two thirty ton winches).

    I have also tought winch operatins,fitted numerous winches and the assorted electrical systems to allow them to work properly, ie split charge systems, (120 amp) seperate battery banks, solenoids etc, and my advice is......do not fit a winch to a motorhome.
    Some of the reasons have already been touched on, but the main one is, the type of vehicle a winch is normally fitted to, has a chassis, or is seriously braced to accept loads of up to 9 TON (4.5 ton winch being used with a snatchblock......if that goes over your head,then i am right).

    Winches weigh a fair bit, and even some landrovers uprate the suspension to compensate, a winch in untrained hands, will destroy a motorhome very quickly, and i would assume it will not be insured.

    Personally, i would not take my motorhome anywhere that could possibly need the use of a winch................and it is a shame, that a total retard has impressed you so much with his totally unnacceptable inad dangerous use of this bit if equipment.
    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYblbEGYw4g"]Albert road recovery doing what they do best! - YouTube[/ame]
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2013
  20. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    I've seen motorhome owners safely use light winches to good effect. Not a retard among them
     
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