I have a 2010 1500 Silverado and a small ATV winch.

I want to use the winch to pull a lightweight aluminum boat up a slight incline.

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I want to temporarily/occasionally attach the winch to the truck bed or rear bumper so that I can pull the boat and trailer up the incline to the truck.

  • I want the winch to pull the trailer hitch so that it's above the truck hitch. Reason: When the trailer is in position, I want to let the trailer hitch down onto the truck hitch.

How can I temporarily attach the winch to the truck bed or bumper?

My priority is quick & easy future installation. It can be a relatively lightweight setup since the boat and trailer don't weigh much. For what it's worth, I have a Back Rack installed on the truck.

2 Answers 2


Your truck has stake pockets in the top of the side rails. You'll find a pair close to the tailgate and another pair close to the cab. (There may be others in an intermediate location.)

The stake pockets are sized to fit a standard 2x4, and stake pocket accessories made of steel or aluminum are available in the aftermarket.

Fabricate a cross-piece that can span between the top rails and engage the rearmost stake pockets. Mount the winch to the cross-piece permanently so that when you want to use it, you can simply slip the contraption into the stake pockets. No need to fumble with fasteners. A 2x8 or 2x10 would probably be strong enough, but for lighter weight you could probably cobble together a frame from U-channel fence posts or similar.

The high position should make it easier to lift the trailer onto the hitch.

  • Thanks! Are you picturing the 2x8 or 2x10 sitting A) flat or B) on edge?
    – User1974
    Jul 4, 2023 at 13:42
  • @User1974 On edge, it's very easy to attach to 2x4s in the stake pockets, but you'll get some bowing when the winch takes a strain. Sitting flat, less chance of bowing but perhaps a little harder to measure and fasten between the stakes. Right angle corner braces / angle plates (using short screws) may be your best friend for this. I would do it in steel, but that's just me. Whatever works for you.
    – MTA
    Jul 4, 2023 at 13:56
  • For our notes, the stake pockets on this truck are slightly smaller than a 2x4: i.stack.imgur.com/Y30sn.jpg. So I would need to cut the 3.5" dimension down to 2 5/8".
    – User1974
    Jul 4, 2023 at 14:30
  • Alternatively, I wonder if I could use stake pocket anchors with the anchor loops parallel to the tailgate. And then fasten a 2x8 (placed flat, not on edge) to the anchors via bolts. Like this: i.stack.imgur.com/ZjU6p.png. Edit: On closer inspection, there's a review on the website that says, "Goes in the sidewall anchor points, not the stake pockets on the top." So those anchors wouldn't do what I want.
    – User1974
    Jul 4, 2023 at 14:45
  • 1
    @User1974 Your stake pockets would accept a standard 2x3. Beyond that, construction possibilities are endless and limited only by your imagination. For more ideas and feedback, perhaps start a conversation in Chat: chat.stackexchange.com/…
    – MTA
    Jul 4, 2023 at 15:00

I wonder if I could attach the winch to the Back Rack:

  1. On the bottom cross member, drill two holes in the middle of the square tube.
  2. Install bolts into the holes. The heads of the bolts would be on the window-side of the rack.

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  1. Use the factory holes in the winch to attach the winch to the Back Rack. Thread a couple of wingnuts onto the bolts.

The winch would be positioned vertically, due to the placement of the factory holes in the winch plate.


I wonder if winches are only designed to spool the cable when positioned horizontally. Maybe the cable would jam if the winch was mounted vertically.

Alternatively, I could use a U-Bolt on the bottom bar of the Back Rack to attach the winch. That way, the winch would be positioned horizontally, as designed.

This is the U-Bolt I used: Square U Bolt, Carbon Steel, Zinc-Plated, 3 x 2-in

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