I have an ATV winch that I use on my 2010 1500 Silverado to pull an aluminum boat & trailer up a pebble beach.
The winch is mounted on the headache rack. Reason: To pull the boat/trailer up high so that I can drop the trailer down onto the truck hitch. And so the trailer tongue is high enough that it doesn't dig into the sloped ground.
Recently, I tried to use the winch with the cable running over the top of the tailgate and down to the boat. But the tailgate couldn't take the weight; the cable bent/crunched the tailgate up like a tin can (although it sprung back into shape afterwards without much permanent damage). Additionally, the cable was angled off to one side so it jammed the winch.
I want to solve those issues by mounting a fairlead to the top of the tailgate. I think that would prevent damage to the tailgate (if adequately braced to spread out the weight) and guide the cable straight so that it spools correctly.
How can I attach the fairlead to the top of the tailgate?
Ideally, the fairlead would be easily removable from the tailgate when not in use. But I'm open to ideas. The truck has stake pocket anchors installed.