Come-along or winch?

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grubworm

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You can buy a 2500lb atv winch for less than $75 (I don't know what that is in Canuckistani pesos). It doesn't have to be mounted to the vehicle, use a synthetic choker and attach to your recovery points. Use a snatch block, now that 2500 is 5k.
This makes sense to me. Back in the 80's I had a Subaru Brat with a 1000# winch on the front and it got me out of every situation where I got stuck. I didn't try to go thru mud bogs, but getting high centered on a muddy dirt road or sliding off in a rut wasn't a problem for the small winch.
 

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I started with using come alongs and hilift jack as a winch just because it was cheaper and i figured lighter weight, over the years ive learned that its not so fun hand winching in 100°+ temp with 76% humidity a few feet at a time. So i started using an 13000lb electric winch with 85ft of cable, its so much easier and alot safer in my opinion i can hook my winch up and stand back 100ft with the remote and relax as it does all the hard work. Just know if you are using comealongs your only going to get a few maximum pulls out of it before it begins to break and if your pulling at inclines or deep mud expect them to wear fast and need replacing which over time will cost more than an electric winch. Ive broken hi lifts in about. Every manner possible also usually the most inopprotune time.
 
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DrivingTacoLoco

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I've done several trails so far where, had I pushed a little further and not made the wise choice (knowing I didn't have a winch or certain other recovery gear) I definitely would have needed one lol So ultimately I believe I can go places where I shouldn't without one, if that makes sense.

True words on the proper safety gear. Definitely a must.

That Haul-Master would be ideal - my vehicle only weighs about 3000lbs, so even loaded up with gear, I would still be waaaaay under the weight rating for that. Thanks for the info! At that price, I could buy one and keep it as a stopgap until I get a winch, and then it can augment for doing things like pulling the back end sideways for complex recoveries.
The problem with the weight calculation is that it is for lifting. You are not lifting wen winching. While the wheels may roll reducing force needed. Portions of the vehicle may be dragging adding friction that could equate to 1000's of lbs. Imagine if you had no tires and were pulling. Not only the weight of the vehicle but the friction of the ground. If you are in mud than add the suction of that. I've watched videos of Jeeps stuck in mud and against a rock holding the vehicle from moving. 2 10,000 lb winches on 2 vehicles additional vehicles keeping the pulling vehicles from moving or lifting.
 

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bgenlvtex

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This is definitely an intriguing possibility. Have you personally made use of this sort of setup? If so, are there any major drawbacks you encountered?
No, I have always used properly mounted winches, my circumstances are slightly different than yours.

The drawback is the potential to slingshot the whole affair into the grille if something breaks between the winch and anchor.

So with that in mind, you want the chokers to be as short as possible, so if it does break it won't throw it onto the hood or through the cooler pack.

You can weight it just like you will be weighting the cable, and you can also switch to synthetic rope to reduce stored energy.

Honestly, I would expect the winch to stall and release the magic smoke before anything (line, shackles, block) broke.

It will work and satisfy your requirements, it is not optimal, but it is miles ahead of a come-along or hi lift jack.
 

bgenlvtex

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Since you have access to fabrication equipment, for your "plate" you'll want two pieces, 3/4 or 1"mild steel bored for the shackle(s) and drilled/tapped or through drilled for bolts. Then tie those two pieces together with a piece of 1/4" or 3/8 to keep the two ends from twisting and breaking the winch structure. Easy job for anyone with any fabrication skills. Highly detailed bar napkin engineering drawing is not to scale. 2019-09-23 14.12.59.jpg
 
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The other Sean

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Sooooo.....

We have all kind of glossed over the thought of how stuck will the O.P. be in his CRV? Is it AWD or FWD? Almost all stucks I have been in with not overly " off road capable" vehicles really only needed a nudge to get unstuck. so, for the cost and fabrication effort, I'd go come along first. Especially with the O.P.'s stated budget.
 

Boostpowered

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Sooooo.....

We have all kind of glossed over the thought of how stuck will the O.P. be in his CRV? Is it AWD or FWD? Almost all stucks I have been in with not overly " off road capable" vehicles really only needed a nudge to get unstuck. so, for the cost and fabrication effort, I'd go come along first. Especially with the O.P.'s stated budget.
That really depends on what your personal definition of stuck is and what your stuck in. Is it gumbo clay, slick clay, sand, wet rocks, stuck in door high or higher silt mud, snow , ice, the loose gravel in a creek bed, slid off road into a drainage ditch, and any other conditions i may be forgetting. Are the tires just slipping or are you axle or frame deep in the nasty stuff? Then there is the question even if you have a comealong or a winch or whatever you decide to use, is there something to anchor to? Even with a winch ive found there are times when you have to use alternatives like jam a bunch of vegetation and sticks under your tires path for traction.
 

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In answer to the last two posts, my CR-V is Realtime 4wd. Basically it's a similar arrangement to the full time 4wd system, except it's FWD until it encounters a 3% or greater difference between the front and rear wheels rotational speed, at which point it hydraulically engages a clutch pack in the rear diff carrier that connects the prop shaft to the rear diff, and voila, 4wd.

In answer to the second question, I've only ever been "stuck" twice in my rig. Once was when I ran into soggy, deep snow high on a mountain track. In that case, there was very little to zero traction and deep, rutted, half frozen snow that blocked forward progress, but I wisely chose to turn around before I got so stuck that I couldn't go back. In that case, I believe that a winch and maxtraxx could have allowed me to get through.

The second time was at BC Overland Rally where a hill we came down on the way in to a trail run was just such a rutted soupy mud slicked mess that even a Rubicon and a twin locked, massively built 80 series couldn't climb it and had to be winched from the top. I made it a bit farther than the Rubicon, amazingly, but the traction just ran out and there was no going further. I got winched up by the same jeep that winched the other two.

I'll also add that the vast majority of places I off-road are heavily forested, so no shortage of anchors.
 

Boostpowered

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In answer to the last two posts, my CR-V is Realtime 4wd. Basically it's a similar arrangement to the full time 4wd system, except it's FWD until it encounters a 3% or greater difference between the front and rear wheels rotational speed, at which point it hydraulically engages a clutch pack in the rear diff carrier that connects the prop shaft to the rear diff, and voila, 4wd.

In answer to the second question, I've only ever been "stuck" twice in my rig. Once was when I ran into soggy, deep snow high on a mountain track. In that case, there was very little to zero traction and deep, rutted, half frozen snow that blocked forward progress, but I wisely chose to turn around before I got so stuck that I couldn't go back. In that case, I believe that a winch and maxtraxx could have allowed me to get through.

The second time was at BC Overland Rally where a hill we came down on the way in to a trail run was just such a rutted soupy mud slicked mess that even a Rubicon and a twin locked, massively built 80 series couldn't climb it and had to be winched from the top. I made it a bit farther than the Rubicon, amazingly, but the traction just ran out and there was no going further. I got winched up by the same jeep that winched the other two.

I'll also add that the vast majority of places I off-road are heavily forested, so no shortage of anchors.
You can get by with a 8000lb come along as long as you have plenty of Strap or chain to get further reach and dont mind the work out or hot/cold/wet weather and any incline. But i would go with a small 9k electric winch it would handle the weight of your crv in about any situation and should have around 95ft of cable to work with. Thats just my opinion though, i have a 13k winch but i still carry a comealong and straps for stabilizing and pulling from the side. Id say get a come along and straps they are fairly cheap and see if you like using it.

On your first stuck story you did the right thing and turned around, you never know how far that icey snow goes or if it gets worse the further you go especially on a mountain.
 
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The other Sean

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Do you have traction boards? I've found a shovel and traction boards gets the job done easier than the whole winching set up.

I've been in those off kilter in ruts thing in both mud and snow/ice and every time all I needed was a little nudge or just a little more traction to get out. Even in 2wd/rwd vehicles.

if it were me, Id go,
#1, shovel
#2, traction boards (buy within your budget)
#3 come along set up

and if 1-3 still fail you,

#4, winch setup.

All these ideas for winches and all that are great, but, when faced with a real budget and a family to feed, sometimes spending a little less and maybe a few extra minutes shoveling or hand winching is just fine. It can also be a learning and bonding experience with your kids and spouse when stuck.
 
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CR-Venturer

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Do you have traction boards? I've found a shovel and traction boards gets the job done easier than the whole winching set up.

I've been in those off kilter in ruts thing in both mud and snow/ice and every time all I needed was a little nudge or just a little more traction to get out. Even in 2wd/rwd vehicles.

if it were me, Id go,
#1, shovel
#2, traction boards (buy within your budget)
#3 come along set up

and if 1-3 still fail you,

#4, winch setup.

All these ideas for winches and all that are great, but, when faced with a real budget and a family to feed, sometimes spending a little less and maybe a few extra minutes shoveling or hand winching is just fine. It can also be a learning and bonding experience with your kids and spouse when stuck.
I do have some folding traction boards, and we did actually use them to get my buddy in his Taco unstuck when we were snow wheeling, but I do plan to invest in some maxtraxx style traction boards sometime in the near future. The $99 ones from Amazon seem to get good reviews, so I'll probably buy a set of those.

I'm leaning toward maybe getting a come-along of some sort in the short term with a view to maybe eventually getting a winch. Even if I eventually bought a winch, the come along can still come in handy, as you mentioned, so it's not like it becomes a wasted investment if a winch becomes the main tool.

BTW, I should add, thank you to everyone who has contributed to this thread so far. It's been extremely enlightening and helpful, and I welcome more input! One of many reasons OB is awesome.
 
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Something I have not seen mentioned yet is that a come along — especially a cable come along — puts the user (I.e. you) directly In harms way when the cable snaps. The forces you are asking the come along to work with have a lot of factors to them beyond the weight of the rig. Angle of pull, rolling resistance due to mud, friction if high centred, etc. all combine so that the ‘rule of thumb’ I’ve always heard is to get a winch that is rated for at least 1.5 times GVWR, and 2x is even better. So if you have a 5000 lbs car, at least an 8000 lbs winch would be minimum and 10k even better. This guidance assumes you will have a snatch block for really tricky spots which can effectively give you 4x GVWR in pulling power.

A come along whose cable is not rated for the real world forces could snap and injure or kill you or someone near by. A winch with a remote is far safer.

The other thing to mention is that for winches, load ratings are based on the cable on the drum — the first wrap. Subsequent wraps have a significant drop off in pulling strength. So a 10k lbs winch might only pull 5k if your Cable isn’t pulled out far enough. For this reason I would be cautious about relying on an ATV winch too. It’s probably better than nothing at all but it may not be adequate, so you will then have chased good money after bad.

I think your best bet for budget recovery gear is probably traction boards like MaxTrax or the cheaper versions of the same, and use them for a few trips. Ideally, do a couple of ‘test trips’ with a buddy, and tackle the toughest terrain you typically would see. Your buddy can be your "plan B" to pull you out, but it lets you see how well the traction boards work. You will likely find that they are excellent especially on a lighter vehicle like a CRV. Most folks who have MaxTrax rarely need a winch, and when they need it they REALLY need it, so you might find traction aids do most of what you need.
 

The other Sean

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Something I have not seen mentioned yet is that a come along — especially a cable come along — puts the user (I.e. you) directly In harms way when the cable snaps. The forces you are asking the come along to work with have a lot of factors to them beyond the weight of the rig. Angle of pull, rolling resistance due to mud, friction if high centred, etc. all combine so that the ‘rule of thumb’ I’ve always heard is to get a winch that is rated for at least 1.5 times GVWR, and 2x is even better. So if you have a 5000 lbs car, at least an 8000 lbs winch would be minimum and 10k even better. This guidance assumes you will have a snatch block for really tricky spots which can effectively give you 4x GVWR in pulling power.

A come along whose cable is not rated for the real world forces could snap and injure or kill you or someone near by. A winch with a remote is far safer.

The other thing to mention is that for winches, load ratings are based on the cable on the drum — the first wrap. Subsequent wraps have a significant drop off in pulling strength. So a 10k lbs winch might only pull 5k if your Cable isn’t pulled out far enough. For this reason I would be cautious about relying on an ATV winch too. It’s probably better than nothing at all but it may not be adequate, so you will then have chased good money after bad.

I think your best bet for budget recovery gear is probably traction boards like MaxTrax or the cheaper versions of the same, and use them for a few trips. Ideally, do a couple of ‘test trips’ with a buddy, and tackle the toughest terrain you typically would see. Your buddy can be your "plan B" to pull you out, but it lets you see how well the traction boards work. You will likely find that they are excellent especially on a lighter vehicle like a CRV. Most folks who have MaxTrax rarely need a winch, and when they need it they REALLY need it, so you might find traction aids do most of what you need.
Keep in mind, any "winching" with a come along is going to be in the reverse direction and not forward, so, in theory, the forces involved are greatly reduced. This is where my comments of only needing a Nudge to get unstuck come from.

I'll give my last stuck as an example. All I needed was to be pulled back about a foot to get unstuck. One gentle tug from my cousin's truck and I was good. Had we tried from the front, I would have had to be pulled up and over the mud that was not yet dug out by my tires. As you can see, rear tires are barley dug in, fronts, buried to the hubs.





 

Boostpowered

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Keep in mind, any "winching" with a come along is going to be in the reverse direction and not forward, so, in theory, the forces involved are greatly reduced. This is where my comments of only needing a Nudge to get unstuck come from.

I'll give my last stuck as an example. All I needed was to be pulled back about a foot to get unstuck. One gentle tug from my cousin's truck and I was good. Had we tried from the front, I would have had to be pulled up and over the mud that was not yet dug out by my tires. As you can see, rear tires are barley dug in, fronts, buried to the hubs.





Heres a scenario. What would you do to get out of this? Its whats called a tank trap right around 4 ft deep real silty mud kind of qicksand like. There are normal puddles all over so you assume this is another one go right in and get stuck, Your totaly alone. With no sturdy winch point.20190420_142145.jpg
 
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Pathfinder I

Keep in mind, any "winching" with a come along is going to be in the reverse direction and not forward, so, in theory, the forces involved are greatly reduced. This is where my comments of only needing a Nudge to get unstuck come from.

I'll give my last stuck as an example. All I needed was to be pulled back about a foot to get unstuck. One gentle tug from my cousin's truck and I was good. Had we tried from the front, I would have had to be pulled up and over the mud that was not yet dug out by my tires. As you can see, rear tires are barley dug in, fronts, buried to the hubs.






That’s true to a degree (Edit: ‘to a degree’ means that usually, if you are working with a come along you may prefer to pull backwards; however there are times when backwards is not an option). And I completely agree that often, a backward pull of a foot or two can make the difference. The trouble is I’ve not found a reliable way to know when a risky bit of trail is going to be one of those ‘foot or two backward’ times, or if it will be one of the more dire examples as described by Boostpowered. I often only find out once I’m already stuck!

And related, the example you gave (based only on the photos) might have been quicker and easier to get out of with traction boards like MaxTrax; given how easy and fast they are to deploy, I would almost always try them first before fussing with a winch or a comealong . Bang for the buck and pound, it’s hard to beat a set of traction boards as recovery gear.

Edit; I love the pics of that Nissan, super cool rig! The Pro4X in black just looks like I feel it is supposed to look with the mud up the sides — they should come from the factory looking that good!
 
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bgenlvtex

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Heres a scenario. What would you do to get out of this? Its whats called a tank trap right around 4 ft deep real silty mud kind of qicksand like. There are normal puddles all over so you assume this is another one go right in and get stuck, Your totaly alone. With no sturdy winch point.View attachment 118950
Light it on fire and call my insurance company.


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