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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

has someone manage to install or to find a decent solution to have a self recovery tool like an electric winch in the DS?

I want some reassurance that I can help myself out when bogged.
 

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Hi Crashed, I can't really think of a scenario where you would want to attach a winch to a DS? I can't think what kind of terrain I would be tackling in a DS (more than once, by mistake) to make it a worthwhile addition.

I hope this isn't a totally patronising response but I'd just like to reassure you that you don't need a winch to feel confident about self recovery. My opinion on self recovery/capability in a DS could be broken down like this:
  • To reduce the chance of getting stuck in the first place - get decent tyres and get a tyre deflator so you can get the most out of the tyres. Then later, if you feel you need it, get a spring lift to give better clearance.
  • For self rescue if you do get stuck - get recovery boards and a shovel, get an appropriately rated snatch strap and D-shackles so someone else can assist you as a last resort (surely unlikely to be the other way around). After that get a decent compressor if you find yourself dropping your pressures or far from a servo often, maybe get an air bag or a high-lift jack (but probably not the easiest to use on a DS), and then last on my list might be a winch as it's far more expensive than a snatch strap, and even then I would only go for a portable winch or a hand winch rather than a mounted one. They're not the silver bullet of vehicle recovery that they may appear.
If money is no object then things might be different, and it also depends what terrain you're typically exploring. If you're constantly out in deep mud and rutted forest tracks where natural anchors abound then I'm happy to eat my words but I would still not recommend mounting a winch to a DS I'd consider a portable one or swap vehicles.

I do like to see what my DS can do but I don't often dive in at the deep end, I will feel my way up to trickier obstacles. I am still frequently, pleasantly surprised by its capability. If i do get stuck I'd much rather, drop the pressures, dig a bit of clearance, and drive out over Treds than snatch or winch. Plus, if you drive out were you even bogged in the first place?If I see someone else stuck i will help with shovel and boards as it's much safer for me and my car than towing, snatching, or winching.

I hope that helps! Interested to hear your thoughts :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hey!

First of all thanks for the comments patronizing or not it is interesting and welcome! ?

Unfortunately, where I live now the chances of ending up bogged in mud are quite high! Also is relatively low populated so I can’t imagine how long it might get until someone drives by and just to make matters worse the phone signal doesn’t cover the whole country. There my wish of been as self sufficient as possible.

I have lifted my car, installed taller and wider AT tires and have a set of foldable recovery tracks, air compressor a towing strap and a shovel.

The terrain here is thick forest with often muddy wholes covered by grass, multitude of small channels and rivers and areas of soft beach like sand.

I do my outmost to avoid treacherous places but I still like to explore and the DS has pleasantly surprised me for his capability.

Changing the car is obviously not an option, I already have enough toys and my use of the car is 90% regular roads and family camping trips.

So the thought of a winch sounds interesting.
You mentioned electric or manual?
What would be the power needed in order to be useful?
Any brand and model?



PS: I will look into a tire deflator, I don’t have one since I always assumed was just an extra unnecessary expense.
 

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OK, you've sold me on this ? loved all your comments and enthusiasm for getting your DS out there.

I don't know of anyone actually fitting a winch to the front end of a DS, I'm 90% sure you would need to add a big steel bull-bar to do it which would be a mistake in my opinion. That leaves 2 much more reasonable options:

The obvious one (which I have some limited experience of) is a hand winch - just google portable hand winch and you will find options (e.g., this one). A hand winch will allow you to winch from the front or the rear recovery point but you will definitely want a snatch block as well to reduce the load (and shackles, a tree sling, probably an extension strap, definitely heavy duty gloves). This would be the cheaper option and the more sensible one and it sounds like you won't need a land anchor.

The more interesting option would be to mount an electric winch on a tow-hitch cradle (e.g., this cradle) there are plenty of other options if you search. If you already have a hitch you may want to check what it's rated for (I think LR did a folding one that wasn't particularly heavy duty - just worth checking). By cradle mounting the winch you could keep it in the boot while you drive around and only attach it when needed, preserving the equipment and your departure angle, it may make synthetic rope a better option (longer, lighter) as it will be kept in good condition when not in use. I figure that you wouldn't need more than a 9000lb winch and could potentially go as low as 6000lb as with a rear mount you won't be pulling yourself up a slope (assuming you're unlikely to get bogged driving down a slope). Side pulls concern me a little for the chassis/hitch so a nice long rope should help reduce that. I'm not an electrician but even if you have a diesel you would at least want to upgrade your running battery as 2 mins of winching could wipe it out, at which point you could damage the battery or would at least need a jump start and may not have finished winching. Again, you would be better to speak to someone qualified about this but you could sit a big heavy duty leisure battery in the boot fully charged ready to use just for winching and have long, heavy duty cables to run to the running battery also, if needed. I'm 99% sure you couldn't power from the 12v outlet in the boot, I think the motor's current draw would be way too high without thick direct cables to keep the resistance low. I'm pretty sure you could get some leads installed with a 400A Anderson plug in the boot, or at the hitch, specifically for winching (or add them to a second battery you carry).
Down sides compared to a hand winch are cost, weight, electrical setup, and rear recovery only (which makes the most sense for something you're hoping not to need). Upsides compared to a front winch are cost, weight, everyday convenience (removal), and rear recovery. Either way, definitely speak to a local expert in winch usage and installation before investing any money in my harebrained ramblings.

The cost pretty quickly ramps up with electric and for a very occasional recovery the time lost with a hand winch is a small price to pay. I mostly drive on sand so it's not worth the consideration for me, except hypothetically for someone else ? Really interested to hear where you go with this idea

P.S., just get a single tyre deflator as it gives you more control than Stauns and is no time loss for low volume tyres like ours.
 

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I have lifted my car, installed taller and wider AT tires and have a set of foldable recovery tracks, air compressor a towing strap and a shovel.
What lift did you do? Eibach springs, or whatever Matzker is offering in Europe? Are you happy with the results on and off-road?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
OK, you've sold me on this ? loved all your comments and enthusiasm for getting your DS out there.

I don't know of anyone actually fitting a winch to the front end of a DS, I'm 90% sure you would need to add a big steel bull-bar to do it which would be a mistake in my opinion. That leaves 2 much more reasonable options:

The obvious one (which I have some limited experience of) is a hand winch - just google portable hand winch and you will find options (e.g., this one). A hand winch will allow you to winch from the front or the rear recovery point but you will definitely want a snatch block as well to reduce the load (and shackles, a tree sling, probably an extension strap, definitely heavy duty gloves). This would be the cheaper option and the more sensible one and it sounds like you won't need a land anchor.

The more interesting option would be to mount an electric winch on a tow-hitch cradle (e.g., this cradle) there are plenty of other options if you search. If you already have a hitch you may want to check what it's rated for (I think LR did a folding one that wasn't particularly heavy duty - just worth checking). By cradle mounting the winch you could keep it in the boot while you drive around and only attach it when needed, preserving the equipment and your departure angle, it may make synthetic rope a better option (longer, lighter) as it will be kept in good condition when not in use. I figure that you wouldn't need more than a 9000lb winch and could potentially go as low as 6000lb as with a rear mount you won't be pulling yourself up a slope (assuming you're unlikely to get bogged driving down a slope). Side pulls concern me a little for the chassis/hitch so a nice long rope should help reduce that. I'm not an electrician but even if you have a diesel you would at least want to upgrade your running battery as 2 mins of winching could wipe it out, at which point you could damage the battery or would at least need a jump start and may not have finished winching. Again, you would be better to speak to someone qualified about this but you could sit a big heavy duty leisure battery in the boot fully charged ready to use just for winching and have long, heavy duty cables to run to the running battery also, if needed. I'm 99% sure you couldn't power from the 12v outlet in the boot, I think the motor's current draw would be way too high without thick direct cables to keep the resistance low. I'm pretty sure you could get some leads installed with a 400A Anderson plug in the boot, or at the hitch, specifically for winching (or add them to a second battery you carry).
Down sides compared to a hand winch are cost, weight, electrical setup, and rear recovery only (which makes the most sense for something you're hoping not to need). Upsides compared to a front winch are cost, weight, everyday convenience (removal), and rear recovery. Either way, definitely speak to a local expert in winch usage and installation before investing any money in my harebrained ramblings.

The cost pretty quickly ramps up with electric and for a very occasional recovery the time lost with a hand winch is a small price to pay. I mostly drive on sand so it's not worth the consideration for me, except hypothetically for someone else ? Really interested to hear where you go with this idea

P.S., just get a single tyre deflator as it gives you more control than Stauns and is no time loss for low volume tyres like ours.
Again thanks for taking the time to write all that info.
I like the idea of the manual winch, cost and weight efficient.

The cradle is not available in Europe. At least I can’t find it anywhere.
I will look for something like the one you linked, and see how it goes.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
What lift did you do? Eibach springs, or whatever Matzker is offering in Europe? Are you happy with the results on and off-road?
I got the Eibach springs and Maxxis AT tires. The combination is a winner car handling off road is so much better and the ground clearance makes a huge difference.

Yesterday I got bogged at this sandy hill. After 2 min of shovel and using the tracks it got out without a problem.
7417
 

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Again thanks for taking the time to write all that info.
I like the idea of the manual winch, cost and weight efficient.

The cradle is not available in Europe. At least I can’t find it anywhere.
I will look for something like the one you linked, and see how it goes.
If you search "tow hitch winch cradle" in google shopping you'll definitely find some european products.

But... I reckon you're on the right track withe the hand winch solution. Way easier to set up - just make sure you get that snatch block to go with it!
 

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I got the Eibach springs and Maxxis AT tires. The combination is a winner car handling off road is so much better and the ground clearance makes a huge difference.

Yesterday I got bogged at this sandy hill. After 2 min of shovel and using the tracks it got out without a problem.
I got the Eibach's too - i was just checking you hadn't got the Matzker kit as they are German based - I was interested to know how that kit went.
The extra bit of clearance really does help! I haven't used foldable tracks before do you rate them for sand or are they better on the mud?

That looks like an awesome place to explore. Is that a Latvian flag on your account? Is that where you are? Looks great! More relaxing on trails without big rocks sticking out! I wouldn't want to hand winch up that slope, though ?

I'm off camping on a sand island down here tomorrow, for 4 days. Lot's of beach driving but the inland tracks can look a lot like your picture when it has been raining, I don't have any photos of tough parts though.

7418
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yeah Latvia indeed.
Is mainly a flat forest all around. With two very different types of soil. The sandy beach like the one on that picture and then some muddy full of water black soil that’s the one that worries me the most now specially after some bigger rigs have gone though leaving very deep tracks in the mud, they get quickly full of water and is hard to assess how deep they really are.
Unfortunately that type of hill is pretty much the biggest ones we can fund here, MISS THE MOUNTAINS! ?
I guess we always want what we can’t get.

The foldable tracks are great in sand and very convenient, I can keep all mu recovery gear nitty store in the trunk. The trick is to move slowly so they don’t roll up on the tire. I haven’t experienced that issue but I saw some reviews complaining about it. In my experience using the low traction mode of the DS works like a charm. Luckily I still haven’t been bogged in the mud so I can tell you how good or not they are for mud.

Beach driving, island camping... I envy you soooo much!
Love Australia, I always wanted to travel there and las December I expended 3 weeks in Victoria, NSW and Kangaroo Island. Right before the fires destroyed most it, so sad watching the news here!

Since I came back I am “dreaming” about the next trip down under, I wish to cross the outback from Adelaide to Darwin and then head east.

Anyway enjoy the camping! And share some pics if you feel like.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I have doing a fair bit of research as you suggested. Unfortunately everything seems to be designed to be mounted in an american hitch receiver, nothing for the european ball version or for the Land Rover detachable.
 

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I have doing a fair bit of research as you suggested. Unfortunately everything seems to be designed to be mounted in an american hitch receiver, nothing for the european ball version or for the Land Rover detachable.
I thought you would have a 50mm hitch somewhere behind the tow ball. Never mind, the manual seems the better option anyway!

You were lucky to visit those places before the damage! Especially now that international travel is off the cards for a while. We're back to the usual cycle of drought, fires, floods, cyclones here and now a pandemic to keep us on our toes. Camping seems like the best way to get away for a few days. Hopefully I won't need a winch now while I'm away!
 
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