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I am looking at winches and winch accessories. Are the WARNs really that much better? Also, when it comes to accessory kits, does it matter? Seems like the WARN stuff (in the accessory kits) is much more expensive.
I am looking to buy tow straps, etc. to help if someone gets stuck, but don't have a winch yet.

Thoughts?
 

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Well, Recovery gear can be your best friend or your biggest headache. I always try to have really dependable gear. It is the last thing you need to fail. In some situations, if your recovery gear fails it could be life threatening. For example, if you are stuck in the snow, can't get out and not prepared for a long walk in the winter!

Warn stuff is great. There is a reason it is the best selling brand in winches and has been for a long time. With that being said, it is also one of the most expensive names to buy. That is a big part of the price, name. YOu can get similar quality winches by other companies for less money. I would do whatever gives you the best peace of mind and I wouldn't go with a brand you have never personally used and trust.

I personally have been using Tabor for the last few years. It is made by Warn. It is thier entry level brand name. Yah, it dosn't have the same line speed and may get a little hotter or be short in the specs compared to the comprable Warn but it is also like half the price. It is also rebuildable like the Warns and uses many of the same parts so repair and maintenance is easy. I have used it quite a bit and I have never had even the slightest issue. It does get warm (especially when braking) so if you go with synthetic line be sure to get some fire line (made to not break down under high temps on the drum).

As far as the kits go, they seem pretty good. They don't seem to squeeze in items you will never use. The price just gets me though. I have always just bought the stuff seperatley.

Some items you WILL need are:
Shackles
Tree saver
Extension (between the stuff on the winch and the extension I like to have a MINIMUM of 150 ft, if not more)
Tow straps
Gloves
Snatch block
If you go with cable then a blanket to put over the line
I personally like to use synthetic though

I also have been wanting to get a small colapsable sand bridge but havn't gotten one yet. I spend a lot of time in the snow and think that could come in handy

For recovery, one of the very first mods I would do is to make sure you have good front AND rear tow points. That is the biggest things people miss. Also, your best freind is a Hi-lift. Problem is it is useless if you do not have jacking points. Preference would be to have two shackles on the front bumper, pwo on the rear and lifting points on the sides (like sliders).

Other then that, a shovel and axe come in handy. Don't forget some clothes. Chances are, if you are stuck it isn't pretty, mud, snow, water, whatever. I also keep an old pair of snow pants, gloves, rain jacket, boots, etc. Sometimes when your stuck it could be awhile!

In addition, I carry tools and a nice overlooked item can be a spill blanket. something to throw down under a leak or if you need to change a power steering hose that can absord the spill.


Al and all, I would say you could never have too much, or too high of quality recovery gear, spare parts and tools, lol.
 

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I've had good luck from T-Max winches, not so good luck from Warn ones. Superwinch offer some good products also.

I always use syn line and highly recommend it, it is easy to handle, much lighter, and much safer than steel cable.

The only winch accessory I use a lot is a tree strap. I carry two snatch blocks, but don't use them that often.

For recovery gear, you need at least a strap and a couple of shackles. Straps vary in quality from crappy easily snapped two straps to purpose built recovery straps. Do not use the tow straps with built in hooks as a recovery strap, they can be dangerous.

http://www.trailduty.com/index.php?cPath=21
 

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so far my recovery items are;

3 shackles
20' Pro Comp strap
6' Pro Comp tree saver
Shovel
Highlift

I plan to add another strap and atleast 1 snatch block. you really can never be to prepaired. What I had has got me out of jams so far but you never know. The right stuff can be the diffrence in a long sleepless night in the Jeep or driving home
 

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I've got a recovery kit from Trail Duty and am very happy with it. Great products, great service. You can't go wrong. :D
X2! I have a heavy duty recovery kit from Trail Duty and never had any problems with it. It also comes in a nice tote bag to keep everything together.
 

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ARB makes some nice recovery stuff. Some other "recovery" stuff to think about would be some extra clothes and a tarp to throw on the ground so you're not working underneath it in the snow or mud. And don't forget the BFH.

Bill Burke has a great DVD out called "Getting Unstuck" and while there are some shameless plugs for certain gear in it, he really is pretty thorough on the stuff that'll help you get out and how to use it to your best advantage.
 

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I have a warn ti 9.5. I'm happy with it. Whatever you buy, I would stay away from the champion brand. I've seen and heard nothing but bad things about them.

As usualy, YMV but after what I heard I decided to stay away from those.
 
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