This is the thread I am starting specifically for the Rough Country series winches. I decided to be a guinea pig and be one of the first to try them out.
(This is not a winch comparison thread, or my winch is better than your winch thread. Let's keep it to honest reviews and criticisms of the Rough Country Winches).
Ordered the winch on Tuesday, it got here today. The box was in rough shape, but I expect that with nearly 90# of metal bouncing around in it for three days.
Initial Impressions: Winch appears solid and sturdy. The only issue I had was with the solenoid box, had a chunk where a screw or something cracked the housing leaving an odd shaped hole. (FWIW I called RC and they asked for some pics and said they would make it right. Since I sent the pics after they closed, I'll update on their response).
I decided to hook up the winch anyway only to verify that it worked and that there were no issues.
1) Heavy in construction.
2) Value, includes a wireless and wired remote.
3) Tow hook appears solid and up to the task.
1) Solenoid box is fairly thin plastic. Looks like this might be an issue with them if they don't modify/beef them up a bit.
2) The wiring cables from the solenoid box to the winch could be a bit longer. They are difficult to manipulate to hook up.
3) Tight clearances on my bumper where the fairlead goes, could be more of a function of my bumper than the winch.
I got mine on the 9th of february, So technically you weren't the first, . Took 2 days to install due to bumper issues. Mine had no issues from shipping or packaging. Keep us updated on their customer service on fixing the issue. I love the wireless remote feature, it beats plugging in the hand controller and trying to route it inside for use. Yeah the heavy gauge cables from control box to the motor could be a couple inches longer but i got everything hooked up fine. I still haven't had a chance to go out and put it to good use yet .
And yeah I hope this doesn't turn into a Warn is the best everything else is junk thread like the last one. Lets keep this one about Rough Country winches.
Me to, considering I can't get a reply from Rough Country. Why they have the option to contact them by email if they are never going to respond to it is beyond me. I have never done business with Rough Country so I don't know what their customer service is like, but I'm not very impressed so far.
I was looking at Smittybuilt XRC winch when Rough Country came out with theirs, I got my RC winch on trade for some website work I did for a 4x4 parts supply house, When I asked the owner which winch to get HE STRONGLY SUGGESTED ROUGH COUNTRY on their Customer Service alone !!!!! He said they always stand behind their products..... That was enough - I WAS SOLD.
I compared my new winch to the specs of a Warn 8000lb and the horsepower and gear ratio were very impressive in comparison. I hope to maybe do some tests against a friends new WARN to see how they are side by side (NO I DO NOT WANT TO MAKE THIS A WARN VS. THE WORLD THREAD), Yes I will submit that Warn is a better manufacturer, and Warn is built right here in the USA, and the Rough Country in China, but I am curious how they stand up next to each other in USE.
I now have my RS9500 winch (with synthetic rope) installed, just finished it today - On a side note NEVER use a universal winch mount - they suck - but it was free from a friend so the price was right!!!!!
So far I am impressed with Rough Country Winch quality of construction, I LOVE THE WIRELESS REMOTE, and can't wait to put it through its paces..... I will report back as soon as I have a few pulls on it.
Called Rough Country up again today during lunch. Mentioned I was having issues getting in touch with them via their website. They gave me another e-mail address to send the pictures of the damage to. By the time I got off work, I had an e-mail stating that they would be sending out a replacement part tomorrow.
Good news on the customer service. It will make future buyers rest a little easier in their choice.
bryweb... I would love to see a side by side real use comparison between the Warn 8000 and the Rough Country winch. I tried to talk my brother in law into getting the Smittybilt XRC8 for his YJ so we could do the same, But alas, he bought the Rough Country 9500 as well.
if their winches are anything like their suspension products I hope you don't ever have to depend on it to save your life. I'll stick with my Warn thanks. More expensive yes, but I know I will never have to worry about it crapping out and breaking on me at a bad time
92 YJ. High Output 4.0L
Rubicon Express 4" Lift Kit, 2" Body Lift,15x8" AR 767s, 35x12.50 Xterrains, Home Made Snorkel, Sanden OBA, Home made rocker gaurds. 8.8 Rear with Discs, 4.10s F&R, ARB rear, Detroit EZ Locker front, WarnM8000 with Viking Synthetic Line, Beadlocks, Tons of Mods
My RigRater Score: 682RRv1.0 with a BOA of 13.47
I'm now doing custom bumpers and lift installs in So-cal
Rough Country and Smittybilt are pretty evenly priced, Warn, Superwinch, and Ramsey are higher priced in the same size winches, MileMarker and some other Off Brand winches can be had for less, But there are diffrences from one maker to another.
The Rough Country 9500# winch (with steel cable) is $299 plus shipping. With the Jeepforum discount I paid just over $312 to have it shipped.
The Smittybilt XRC8 (with steel cable) is about the same price but rated at 8000#. The Smittybilt XRC8 came out initially a few years back and had some mixed reviews. They modified the design and honestly I can say that I have read nothing but good reviews since.
I chose the RC winch for it's slightly larger capacity for the price. The wireless remote is also a plus. The relative newness is a risk, but IMO just like any other product, someone has to be the first to try it.
I also don't feel that everything made overseas is junk. FWIW the OEM wheels on my JK are made in the same country that makes the RC winch. If I am willing to risk my life to four rims made in China, I can definitely accept a winch made there.
Warn winches at the 8000# range are about $500 ish.
While I haven't read a lot about WARN failures online, I have talked to a few Jeepers who have or know of failures with WARN winches.
Now for the real world test. Even though my solenoid box did have the crack in it, I installed it just to test out the winch and I left it on during my Olympic Mountain Snow Run last weekend. I used it twice to extricate myself when the snow got deep and I had difficulty turning around. This was a solo vehicle trip and both times I needed it the winch performed flawlessly. In both cases I was probably well over 15 miles from the nearest help, and 5-10 miles from an area with cell phone reception.
I don't know what everyone else's thoughts are on number of reliable cycles, but the fact that it pulled me out twice gives me the confidence that the next time I need it, it will work.