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View Full Version : A Class front wheel drive winch assistance?



Beemer
19-11-2013, 13:05
I have only been driving motorhomes for about 4 years, and the latest only since February this year, and until last month I have never had a problem with getting grip on loose surfaces with a front wheel drive m/h.
The A class I have now is the heaviest I have owned at a possible 4.5t, and it has ASR (Anti Slip Regulation) with a Fiat engine. I have seen the ASR in action and it seems to work, up to a point!
After spending 3 days trying to get out of a wood in south Wales, I am considering alternative self rescue methods.
Pierced steel planks are not the direction I want to go really, and I have also tried other 'under wheel' methods, unsuccessfully!
Ultimately, the method that did get me out of the 'mire' was a 'pull winch', this is a long steel cable connected to a 'ratchet' type winch working on a one metre chain, secured to a tree. As it moves the vehicle only one metre at a time, it took quite a while to move the distance required those days I was stuck.

Although a costly option, I am thinking about fitting an electric winch inside the engine bay, which would be out of sight when the large bonnet is closed.
I have had a look where the winch could be secured, and I believe there to be space enough to house, securely a winch and rollers.
I do not intend to go 'off roading', and would be avoiding slippery locations whenever possible, but to visit my parents down in Wales requires me to park in a nearby wood.

Has anyone else looked into this idea?
Has anyone got one fitted?
What capacity winch would I get away with?
What about the extra weight at the front?
Any recommendations?

Your help/advice appreciated. :D

Smaug
19-11-2013, 13:48
I've seen your pics of where you park at your parents, so I understand the issue!

My van has relatively little weight over the front wheels & they spin on wet grass if I am trying to get up hill, I have considered a manual winch & a power one. As you say, manual ones can only move you a short way at a time, and electrical ones are expensive, plus you need something to anchor the cables to. In your woods there are plenty of trees. But the only time I let myself get stuck was on Islay with no rocks or trees nearby. You can use a "land anchor" but I would hate to think of leaving the huge torn up chunks of ground behind me when I finally got off.

Adding weight to the front wheels should improve their traction if only a little, but I don't know how handling would be affected or even your van's legal axle weights as we are a small coachbuilt (under 3 ton).

Sparks
19-11-2013, 14:19
.

Smaug
19-11-2013, 14:29
I was considering one of these:

18658

Superwinch Winch in a Bag PLUS | eBay (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Superwinch-Winch-in-a-Bag-PLUS-/300876091801?pt=UK_Cars_Parts_Vehicles_Other_Vehic le_Parts_Accessories_ET&hash=item460d9cd199)

But for the amount of time I'd use it I went for a manual/slower/hard work winch like the one that got you out of trouble.

Mind you, I'll probably still get one when any spare cash turns up.

I see they have "forgotten" to list the current draw. ;) It could be significant, but you could probably sit in the driver's seat with the engine running & the remote in your hand so that you could add some drive from the wheels to the winch pull to get you out.

At 2,000lbs the pull doesn't seem an awful lot with most vans weighing over 3x that & I don't like the concept of an almost 1 ton pull on a 4.8mm "rope", but I expect they really mean that it is a WIRE rope. However, 180 is cheap enough if it IS man enough for the job - but it will still need an anchor point that will withstand a 1 ton pull.

EDIT, a cheaper 1 ton model (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Superwinch-Winch-in-a-Bag-/291012914825?pt=UK_Cars_Parts_Vehicles_Other_Vehic le_Parts_Accessories_ET&hash=item43c1b8ae89)from the same seller quotes 100A draw on full load & 10A on "no load"

Siimplyloco
19-11-2013, 15:49
We used these in the Army: they probably still do. Pull anything out of (almost) anything, the wire rope going through it can be as long as you like and loop it round a tree or rock. No electricity and all u need is a piece of bar to work it!
John

18659


tirfor winch | eBay (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/tirfor-winch-/231098476795)

mark61
19-11-2013, 16:03
For rare occasions I think I'd go for the Tirfor as well. Use at front or rear, (will you always want to be recovered forwards?).

Or get some M+S tyres, AT's even better.

If you carry a compressor, airing down increases traction by a considerable degree.

Does your handbrake work on the front, handbrake works better then ASR ever will in these situations. Plus you won't boil your brake fluid.

Of course, it there is no traction at all, back to Tirfor or winch.

Alf
19-11-2013, 16:27
I Carry a 4ft ground spike, set at an angle it's surprising what a Tirfor will pull I carry a one ton Tirfor one all the time but have a four ton one at home that I rarely use now
One of the simplest winches to use I suppose that is why the Army and NCB used them fairly foolproof

Alf




We used these in the Army: they probably still do. Pull anything out of (almost) anything, the wire rope going through it can be as long as you like and loop it round a tree or rock. No electricity and all u need is a piece of bar to work it!
John

18659


tirfor winch | eBay (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/tirfor-winch-/231098476795)

Siimplyloco
19-11-2013, 16:33
One of the simplest winches to use I suppose that is why the Army and NCB used them fairly foolproof

Alf

Careful Alf. I do have five 'O' levels..........!:D
John

m1cxf
19-11-2013, 16:37
I have used snow chains to get me out of a few sticky situations in the past with reasonable success. If that failed I would then get the 30cwt (no metric rubbish here) Tirfor out. Unfortunately the tirfor is no longer an option because of disability so I have to try to avoid these situations as much as possible now.

TJ

n brown
19-11-2013, 16:44
wasn't there anybody with a tractor in the vicinity ? I've got myself stuck many times in different vans,i get a bit adventurous sometimes ,but never felt the need for a winch,as there was rarely a handy tree,but always had a good towrope.tirfors are great,but the ones I've used need a fairly heavy cable and that weighs a lot and takes up a lot of room

Beemer
19-11-2013, 17:24
We used these in the Army: they probably still do. Pull anything out of (almost) anything, the wire rope going through it can be as long as you like and loop it round a tree or rock. No electricity and all u need is a piece of bar to work it!
John

18659


tirfor winch | eBay (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/tirfor-winch-/231098476795)

Yes, we used them too, when I was in the REs, to pull small Bailey Bridges, a Tifor winch. A substansive steel cable is required though, not something i could coil in the back of the m/h.

Siimplyloco
19-11-2013, 17:33
Yes, we used them too, when I was in the REs, to pull small Bailey Bridges, a Tifor winch. A substansive steel cable is required though, not something i could coil in the back of the m/h.

I was in the RE's for 12 years. Ex Chepstow boy, but being 66 now I must have been at least ten years ahead of you. I bet nothing changed over that time....
John

Beemer
19-11-2013, 17:37
wasn't there anybody with a tractor in the vicinity ? I've got myself stuck many times in different vans,i get a bit adventurous sometimes ,but never felt the need for a winch,as there was rarely a handy tree,but always had a good towrope.tirfors are great,but the ones I've used need a fairly heavy cable and that weighs a lot and takes up a lot of room

I think my father quite liked the idea of me getting myself out with the pull winch, although he did say on day three, that if he couldn't assist pulling me out with his Seat Alhambra, then he would get a friend down the road to help with his tractor...:mad1:
18665 18666
The second picture is my son 'taking his turn'...;)

I quite like the idea of the 'winch in a bag'... as mark61 already said, I could then pull backwards if needed..:p

Beemer
19-11-2013, 17:39
I was in the RE's for 12 years. Ex Chepstow boy, but being 66 now I must have been at least ten years ahead of you. I bet nothing changed over that time....
John

Joined as a Junior Leader at Dover in 73, my twin brother is an ex Chepstow boy, as is my father, and his father.

n brown
19-11-2013, 17:44
I must say that in the days when I drove round in old buses,if i'd have seen that winch in a bag,i'd have got one.i would have other uses for it,like pulling trees out of places after felling,just moving heavy stuff,as for the current draw,hopefully it's only under load for a short time . treat yourself !

Alf
19-11-2013, 18:21
John ........I think that was the point I was making !!




Careful Alf. I do have five 'O' levels..........!:D
John

theredman
19-11-2013, 18:23
Bloody hell lads, pull up a sandbag and swing a light, lol:dance::dance::dance:

Psychoman
19-11-2013, 18:27
If you do go for an electric winch, you'll need something a lot more beefy than the "winch in a bag" idea - thats basically an ATV winch!

Ideally you want a winch rated to twice the weight of the vehicle, including safety margin - typically something in the 9000lb range for a Landrover for example - that's for serious off roading, but the safety principle is the same. I would also recommend switching from steel cable to plasma bowrope - safer, lighter, easier to handle. You'll be looking at around 450-500 for a decent set up. No point buying a cheap winch that will likely fry itself the first time you use it in anger.

Personally - for your purposes I would stick with a tirfor, unless you want to spend the money on a proper electric winch.

For extra grip you can get plastic waffle boards now - lighter and easier to use than pressed steel sand ladders.

Siimplyloco
19-11-2013, 18:29
Bloody hell lads, pull up a sandbag and swing a light, lol:dance::dance::dance:

Give me a bucket of sand and I'll sing you a desert song as well!
Hurrah for the CRE!
John

Touringtheworld
19-11-2013, 18:45
I am not an expert but the winch would be pulling a rolling/driving subject not a vertical dead lift.

Psychoman
19-11-2013, 18:59
I am not an expert but the winch would be pulling a rolling/driving subject not a vertical dead lift.

True - but a badly mired vehicle can cause drag significantly higher than its curb weight. More than a dead lift under really horrible conditions.

I've been involved in offroading for a couple of decades and no one uses a winch of less than 5000lb unless its on a quad or ATV - they just don't have the umpf to move a full size vehicle - even if only mildly stuck. And if its that mildly stuck, then there are better recover solutions.

And if you do want a winch, you want a good safety margin - both in terms of the winch itself and all fixings, including the winch wire/rope, hooks, etc. Having seen the damage a steel wire can do when it lets go... nasty (You Tube it!).

The winch as advertised earlier might make a marginal difference, say getting a MH out of a damp field on the flat, with drive assist, but not much use for anything else. Don't waste your money.

Psychoman
19-11-2013, 19:08
Linky, just for fun - okay, it a buried 4x4 but watch were the hook goes, and how quick...
GK almost gets head taken off - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1NnL83UpuQ)

invalid
19-11-2013, 19:16
I had a small electric two ton boat winch with remote, used to pull boat and trailer up steep slippery slipways, great to pull small trees down ,sand bags one ton around the garden etc,etc.
Always carry it in MH plus long length of strong rope, be prepared as they say.
If all else fails get farmer with tractor.

Sparks
19-11-2013, 19:35
Post Deleted

Siimplyloco
19-11-2013, 19:41
True - but a badly mired vehicle can cause drag significantly higher than its curb weight. More than a dead lift under really horrible conditions.

The winch as advertised earlier might make a marginal difference, say getting a MH out of a damp field on the flat, with drive assist, but not much use for anything else. Don't waste your money.

There is such a principle as the 'Least Friction Pull' i.e. if you are going to pull anything heavy then the lifting pulley should be higher then the load, preferably at an optimum angle - which I've forgotten!

Getting back to the Miltary - sorry Alf - using this principle we could make recoveries that looked downright impossible!
John

Beemer
19-11-2013, 19:58
If you do go for an electric winch, you'll need something a lot more beefy than the "winch in a bag" idea - thats basically an ATV winch!

Ideally you want a winch rated to twice the weight of the vehicle, including safety margin - typically something in the 9000lb range for a Landrover for example - that's for serious off roading, but the safety principle is the same. I would also recommend switching from steel cable to plasma bowrope - safer, lighter, easier to handle. You'll be looking at around 450-500 for a decent set up. No point buying a cheap winch that will likely fry itself the first time you use it in anger.

Personally - for your purposes I would stick with a tirfor, unless you want to spend the money on a proper electric winch.

For extra grip you can get plastic waffle boards now - lighter and easier to use than pressed steel sand ladders.

Twice the weight of the vehicle???? kin ell! Don't want to pick the friggin m/h up off the ground ;)!.... seriously though, I would be looking at calling a tow company if It got that bad. My father in his car with road tyres was able to get me off the final bit of the ground after a bit of ground prep. Using a pulley system in conjunction with an electric winch would also increase pulling power.
As I said, a Tirfor would require a hefty cable which I would not want to carry, and plastic waffle boards or ladder type tracking did not help much at all with traction, the tracking just sank in and the wheels spun on the tracking due to the weight of the m/h. Thanks anyway for your tips. :D

mark61
19-11-2013, 20:05
There is a massive difference between whats needed for off road recovery and a slight pull on slippery surface, but I suppose the temptation is to go into place you wouldn't normally simply because you have a winch, thats when the little winch will leave you stranded.

Obviously difficult to say, but looking at pictures, I reckon airing down would have got you moving.

n brown
19-11-2013, 20:11
i'm with mark,flatter tyres could have done the job,but that winch with a decent block and tackle would be nice to have around.i have used a block and tackle with a small car and have moved some pretty good loads !

Beemer
19-11-2013, 20:12
There is a massive difference between whats needed for off road recovery and a slight pull on slippery surface, but I suppose the temptation is to go into place you wouldn't normally simply because you have a winch, thats when the little winch will leave you stranded.

Obviously difficult to say, but looking at pictures, I reckon airing down would have got you moving.

Yes, I suppose the temptation to to 'off road' could be a possibility, but I know I have a big lump of a m/h and to 'off road' would be rather silly.
Something I did not consider, was 'airing down', but hopefully will in the future, as I have an electric air pump on board the m/h.

Psychoman
19-11-2013, 20:20
All fair comments - but the key point is - don't use kit that is not up the job at hand. If you are winching a big vehicle, spec accordingly. Sure - my experience is more off-road biased but the safety aspect is the same. I would NEVER consider towing a 4 1/2 ton motorhome with a 1 ton shackle - thats just asking for trouble.

Apologies now if you think I'm being OTT on this subject, just trying to share experience of winch use, which (to be honest) not many people generally have. I'll get back in my box now.

Uncle Ray
19-11-2013, 20:23
a ratchet strap is also good just to give you a bit of movement but like a winch you need something to pull off

Beemer
19-11-2013, 20:35
All fair comments - but the key point is - don't use kit that is not up the job at hand. If you are winching a big vehicle, spec accordingly. Sure - my experience is more off-road biased but the safety aspect is the same. I would NEVER consider towing a 4 1/2 ton motorhome with a 1 ton shackle - thats just asking for trouble.

Apologies now if you think I'm being OTT on this subject, just trying to share experience of winch use, which (to be honest) not many people generally have. I'll get back in my box now.

No need to apologise, I asked for advice and you gave it..:)
I would love to be able to afford the best of the best equipment, and if I had the money, change the two wheel drive to six..:cool1:
It would not be possible to buy a 500 quid winch set up.... 200 tops maybe.
The pull winch I used in the woods was rated at 1 ton and easily done the job in that situation with a steel cable.

mark61
19-11-2013, 21:11
No need to apologise, I asked for advice and you gave it..:)
I would love to be able to afford the best of the best equipment, and if I had the money, change the two wheel drive to six..:cool1:
It would not be possible to buy a 500 quid winch set up.... 200 tops maybe.
The pull winch I used in the woods was rated at 1 ton and easily done the job in that situation with a steel cable.


Here you go. 5 difflocks too, lol :)

mark61
19-11-2013, 21:14
All fair comments - but the key point is - don't use kit that is not up the job at hand. If you are winching a big vehicle, spec accordingly. Sure - my experience is more off-road biased but the safety aspect is the same. I would NEVER consider towing a 4 1/2 ton motorhome with a 1 ton shackle - thats just asking for trouble.

Apologies now if you think I'm being OTT on this subject, just trying to share experience of winch use, which (to be honest) not many people generally have. I'll get back in my box now.

Yes you are right, recovery, winching etc can easily become lethal.

Makzine
03-12-2013, 20:51
[QUOTE=
It would not be possible to buy a 500 quid winch set up.... 200 tops maybe.[/QUOTE]

Just spotted this on Ebay as we were thinking about having self recovery option our selves.

RECOVERY WINCH 13000 lb 12v 4x4 WINCH-IT 2012 SPEC NEW MOTOR COOLER W/less rem | eBay (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/250983944482?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649)

Beemer
03-12-2013, 22:03
Just spotted this on Ebay as we were thinking about having self recovery option our selves.

RECOVERY WINCH 13000 lb 12v 4x4 WINCH-IT 2012 SPEC NEW MOTOR COOLER W/less rem | eBay (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/250983944482?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649)

I have considered this one.... I also have the ideal mounting point under the bonnet, so it cannot be seen normally.
I would consider this one too...
5 ton heavy duty electric winch with 13 meter steel wire rope | eBay (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/200852268328?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649)

Psychoman
03-12-2013, 22:16
Don't know the make - likely a chinese copy of a Warn winch - but not necessarily a bad thing. For occasional use this will be light years ahead of a quad winch. Just make sure you have a good mounting point on the chassis and heavy wiring to your batteries - big winches kill starter batteries for fun :)

sasquatch
03-12-2013, 22:19
Here you go. 5 difflocks too, lol :)
Is that how they deliver the money owed to me that they mention in the emails?

Makzine
04-12-2013, 07:39
I have considered this one.... I also have the ideal mounting point under the bonnet, so it cannot be seen normally.
I would consider this one too...
5 ton heavy duty electric winch with 13 meter steel wire rope | eBay (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/200852268328?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649)

I have had a smaller version of these and they were rubbish.

I was thinking of using a temporary fitting using our two towing eyes at the front or towing hitch at the back to attach to when needed and carry it in the boot out of the way when not.

maingate
04-12-2013, 08:13
I have considered this one.... I also have the ideal mounting point under the bonnet, so it cannot be seen normally.
I would consider this one too...
5 ton heavy duty electric winch with 13 meter steel wire rope | eBay (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/200852268328?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649)

The rope diameter is 5.4 mm. That is far too weak for the job .... and when it snaps it will decapitate anyone standing too close.

I am an experienced Engineer and my advice is to forget about the whole idea. Instead, don't drive anywhere without a walkover first. Don't throw away your payload with a heavy winch that you may never use (or only use because you think you are now invincible and can go anywhere). You can pay Farmers for a hell of a lot of tows for 200.

If you still feel the need to carry something then carry a good long strop rated at least 3 Ton, a folding shovel to prepare your way out of trouble and something to put under the wheels so you can get traction. If you are determined to carry something, why not consider the old fashioned rope blocks with a ratio of 5:1 or 6:1, they weigh little and may just make a difference.


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