Feature Friday: 7 Winch Setups on the 5th Gen 4Runner

Super White 5th Gen 4Runner With C4 Lo-Pro Bumper, Smittybilt Winch & Red D-Rings

We Asked 7 5th Gen Toyota 4Runner Owners Why They Chose To Run A Winch & What They Like Most About Their Current Setup

This Week’s Topic: Winch Options

Welcome back to another Feature Friday! If you missed last week’s FF, we looked at aftermarket fog lights for the 5th Gen 4Runner. This week, we will be looking at seven popular winch options for the 5th Gen 4Runner.

As always, feel free to DM the owners on IG to ask any additional questions about their setup if needed.

Enjoy!

Top Products Featured

  1. Smittybilt XRC GEN3 9.5K Comp Series Winch: Check Price
  2. Smittybilt X2O GEN2 10K Waterproof Wireless Winch: Check Price
  3. Badlands Apex 12K Winch: Check Price
  4. WARN VR EVO 10-S 10K Winch: Check Price
  5. Rough Country 12K PRO Series Electric Winch: Check Price
  6. Agency 6 Winch Shackle: Check Price
  7. Agency 6 Fairlead: Check Price
  8. Factor 55 Winch Shackle: Check Price
  9. Factor 55 Rope Guard: Check Price
  10. Factor 55 Fairlead: Check Price

Why Add A Winch To Your 4Runner?

Winching At Hells Gate In Moab UT | Recovery Options For 5th Gen 4Runner

When you go off-road, it is a good habit to be as prepared as possible. This includes all of the gear and equipment necessary to get out of sticky situations that you may get your rig into. For any type of recovery operation, a solid winch is a must-have tool, especially for solo off-roading.

Adding a winch to your 4Runner definitely takes some commitment. I say this because as you’ll see with our features below, the easiest way to add a winch is by mounting it in an aftermarket front bumper. That inherently means cutting up some or most of your factory plastic bumper. There are ways to add a hidden winch to your OEM bumper, but an aftermarket bumper makes the installation process a lot easier.

When selecting a winch, consider the variety of line-pull ratings available. Keep in mind that even though your vehicle may be under 6000lbs, this doesn’t mean you should settle for that same weight capacity of line-pull.

Typically, when you get stuck, it’s in mud or sand. These environments add loads of extra friction that when added to the weight of your 4Runner, require a high-capacity winch. At a minimum, I’d recommend a 10,000lb winch to be safe. Those looking for commercial use will want an even greater line-pull rating. For occasional off-roading and leisure use, however, the former should suffice.

There are a variety of winch brands out on the market currently, all with different features and prices. Let’s now look at why these seven owners chose to add a winch to their overland/off-road ready 4Runners, and what they enjoy about their setup so far.

1. Dillon W. (@4runnerwanted) – Harbor Freight

5th Gen 4Runner With Harbor Freight Badlands Apex Winch

Winch Details

  • Model: Badlands Apex
  • Weight Capacity: 12,000lbs
  • Rope Type: Synthetic
  • Price: $650

Why Did You Need A Winch? What Do You Like About Your Setup?

This winch has many hours of use on Matt’s Offroad Recovery! The winch also has many reviews online that have said it’s one of the few things Harbor Freight has got right. It also has a warranty replacement program that is no questions asked.

The wireless controller has held its battery charge for months, which is great for weekend warriors who do not go out often. The winch fits very nicely in my CBI covert bumper, making for an easy install after the bumper was already in place with no relocation needed for the equipment behind the grill.

2. Will K. (@groovyrunner) – WARN Industries

White 5th Gen 4Runner With WARN VR Evo 10-S Winch & Bronze Wheels

Winch Details

  • Model: VR Evo 10-S
  • Weight Capacity: 10,000lbs
  • Rope Type: Synthetic 3/8” | 90ft
  • Price: $865

Why Did You Need A Winch? What Do You Like About Your Setup?

I was looking for a winch from a reputable company that I could count on when I needed it. I chose the Warn VR Evo 10-S because of its reputation, rated line pull, ability to fit in my low-profile bumper, and the 2-in-1 remote to give me the flexibility of controlling the winch via direct wired or wireless.

This winch checked all the boxes for me and the price was reasonable coming from WARN Industries.

3. Mark Rodriguez (@maarkrodriguez) – Smittybilt

Silver 5th Gen 4Runner w/ Smittybilt Gen 2 X20 Winch & Synthetic Line

Winch Details

  • Model: Gen 2 X20
  • Weight Capacity: 10,000lbs
  • Rope Type: Synthetic
  • Price: $600

Why Did You Need A Winch? What Do You Like About Your Setup?

This is my first Smittybilt winch and it fits perfectly in my C4 Lo-Pro bumper, the quality seems to be top-notch so far.

I haven’t had to use it yet for a recovery, but the 10,000lbs rated pull should be more than enough power to get me out of where ever I can get stuck.

4. Alex Alva (@house.of.the.rising.sun_) – Smittybilt

Low Profile Bumper w/ Smittybilt Gen 2 X20 Synthetic Line Winch

Winch Details

  • Model: Gen 2 X20
  • Weight Capacity: 10,000lbs
  • Rope Type: Synthetic
  • Price: $600

Why Did You Need A Winch? What Do You Like About Your Setup?

Our family loves to get outdoors and explore, so it was important for us to be able to know that we could get ourselves out of most situations.

The winch we chose to go with was the Smittybilt Gen 2 X20. Due to its long history of dependability and features, it was an easy choice. We love that it is lightweight, waterproof, and of course, the wireless remote switch was a must!

5. Carlo Donzelli (@trail_runn4r) – Smittybilt

Winch Setups For The 5th Gen Toyota 4Runner

Winch Details

  • Model: Gen 2 X20
  • Weight Capacity: 10,000lbs
  • Rope Type: Synthetic
  • Price: $600

Why Did You Need A Winch? What Do You Like About Your Setup?

This was one of the most common winches at the time and it was tested to fit perfectly in my C4 Lo-Pro bumper. It was a good balance between price and performance and comes with a synthetic line and a remote controller.

I’ve had no issues with this setup so far. The winch has performed great when needed both in cold and hot temperatures. It has also withstood mud, snow, and water and has done well.

6. Cecil Sebastian (@trd_grey_mamba_) – Rough Country

MGM 5th Gen 4Runner With Rough Country Pro Series Winch & Synthetic Line

Winch Details

  • Model: Pro Series Electric Winch
  • Weight Capacity: 12,000lbs
  • Rope Type: Synthetic
  • Price: $500

Why Did You Need A Winch? What Do You Like About Your Setup?

I chose this winch because I both heard and read good reviews about it. Needless to say, it works great! The line pulls easily and the remote control is a nice feature. Rough Country is a good brand and worth more than what you pay for, in my opinion.

7. Anthony Vargas (@yellow.t4r) – Smittybilt

Yellow Wrapped 5th Gen 4Runner With Smittybilt Gen 3 XRC Synthetic Line Winch

Winch Details

  • Model: Gen 3 XRC
  • Weight Capacity: 12,000lbs
  • Rope Type: Synthetic
  • Price: $760

Why Did You Need A Winch? What Do You Like About Your Setup?

I would’ve chosen a 10k winch but at the time I received my C4 Hybrid bumper, the 12k was one of the best options for me.

This setup has done so much for me and I have done many recoveries here in CA. I have helped pull friends and strangers out of mud, snow, and sand, and just used it to anchor myself. This winch is awesome because there is an LED at the spool so it makes spooling in the dark 100-times easier.

Final Thoughts

C4 Lo-Pro Bumper With Smittybilt Gen 2 X20 Waterproof Wireless Winch

Winches are definitely one of the accessories that you don’t really need right away, especially if you travel in groups. However, they are crucial when the situation calls for it or if you frequently hit the trails solo. Anytime I go out on a trail ride and I see that we have a rig with a winch, I feel a bit more secure knowing that the chances of getting stuck and stranded out on the trail are much lower.

We want readers to get inspired by a variety of rigs/products. Submit your build for Feature Friday here to get featured. Next week we will be showcasing Aftermarket Front Skid Plates. If you would like to submit your build for next week, include your setup details and an awesome photo that shows it off.

Have a great weekend everyone!

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