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Badland 2500 lb Winch Review (ATV/UTV)

Badland 2500 ATV Utility Winch from Harbor Freight is made with plenty of power to assist in ATV recovery, Off-road hauling, and beneficial for shops and garages. Harbor Freight is known for making winch at a reliable price; you get what you pay. Let us see if this nice little ATV winch can be an excellent addition to the recovery.

In this article on Badland 2500 lb winch review, we will go through the outlook of the winch, its features, what customers liked and disliked the most, finally, and above all, do we recommend this winch or not.

Badland 2500 ATV Electric Winch Review

Badland 2500 lb Winch (61297 model) is a compact machine that delivers effective functioning over long periods of use. In its class, the 2500 lb Electric Winch with wireless remote control is a lower-powered model best suited to deal with smaller sporty ATV’s, Utility for workshops and garages.

The model 61297 is an upgrade to the 61258 model, the only difference being the size of the control box and its wire is a lot smaller in the 61297 model.

Their smaller build allows them to tuck in nicely within the vehicle’s frame, not necessarily used for challenging daily tasks. The winch’s affordability is the main highlight, and it certainly proves as a useful backup in unexpected situations.

Model Number 61297
Dimensions 11-1/8″L x 3.93″W x 4-1/2″H
Load Capacity 2500 Lbs (1134Kgs)
Remote Wireless
Fairlead Roller
Cable Steel
Brake Automatic Load-Holding
$$$ Check Price

Compact Power: Badland 2500 ATV winch is equipped with 1 HP 12V DC permanent magnet motor designed for ATV/UTV, draws less current. Single-stage planetary gear system with a gear ratio of 153:1 allows fast-line speeds. The free spooling feature enables a faster line-out function.

Roller Fairlead: A 4-way roller fairlead with nylon lining creates ease of engaging with a highly durable galvanized steel cable. The pre-spooled steel cable comes with a sturdy hook for your pulling needs.

Wireless Remote: Wireless remote offers a range of 20 feet. The remote comes with the lithium two CR2032 battery.

Pro Tip: It is recommended to carry an extra battery with you when it comes necessary. The Duracell 2032 3V Lithium Battery delivers long-lasting power, which is very reliable and efficient for remote controls.

Badland 2500 ATV Electric Winch Review

Overload Protection: The Badland 2500 lb winch comes with the 50 amps circuit breaker that can help prevent overloading your winch. It is advisable to use your winch, not above the maximum capacity it can handle.

Pro Tip: Avoid pulling or hoisting unknown weight. Ex: tree stump or boulders.

Waterproof: Badland 2500 lb winch has an IP65 waterproof rating, which is very dust-tight and provides resistance from low-pressure water jets at any angle.

Safety Brakes: An Automatic Load-Holding Dynamic brake protects from preventing motion even if the clasp or the hook comes undone in the middle of the recovery. There’s a high probability that neither you nor the load will receive any harm in unforeseen circumstances.

In the Box: 2500lb badland winch, winch drum spooled by steel cable and a hook at the end, 50 amps circuit breaker, solenoid box, wireless remote key chain, a roller fairlead, and instruction manual.

The mounting bracket doesn’t come with the winch; fortunately, badland has its own ATV/Utility Winch Mounting Plate.

If you are buying the winch, as well as purchase a winch cover that provides all-weather protection for your winch. Neoprene Winch Cover from Mile Marker (Fits 2500 lb. to 3500 lb. Electric Winches) is best suited for this winch. The elastic material fits snugly around the winch. It is made especially for form-fitting an ATV winch.

Badland 2500 lb Winch Installation & Instructions Manual: Download


  • Compact Winch
  • Budget-Friendly
  • Easy to Operate & Install
  • Wireless Remote
  • Inline Circuit Breaker
  • IP65 Waterproof Rating


  • 2500 lbs Pull Capacity is Questionable
  • Changing Battery in Remote is Laborious
  • No Wired Remote
  • Cable Hook is Not Removable
  • Instructions Manual Not Clear

Buyer’s Feedback:

Badland 2500lb Winch Review: Many new Badland 2500 lb winch users find the winch performance satisfactory. They feel that the winch delivers more than enough power to ease up their recovery tasks. The wireless remote is recognized as a great feature by many, and the overall worth of the winch is far greater than the affordable price tag.

For the long-haulers, the Badland 2500 lb winch has lived well-beyond its servicing years. Even with all the tasks, it has undertaken and that too over its general pulling capacity, the winch has still lasted them so long and continues to do so. Of course, the motor gets overheated due to excessive use but utilizing a snatch block makes the winching work easier.

Check Price on Amazon.com

Badland 2500 lb Winch Installation Guide

Installing the Badland 2500 lb winch requires a bit of technical and mechanical knowledge and you must make sure you have all the parts ready before you begin any sort of assembly or Installation.

  • The first thing to do is mount the winch on to the front of the Vehicle.
  • The winch mounting plate is to be kept perpendicular to the centerline of the marked or designated mounting area and the holes are drilled accordingly.
  • Tighten the fasteners going by the listed torque values.
  • Next comes mounting the Solenoid box to the tie bars of the winch and routing the cables from the solenoid box to the winch and the vehicle battery.
  • Simply make sure you do not leave the cables hanging in the way of moving parts of the vehicle; secure any loose cables.
  • Before you begin winching, ensure the cable is firmly coiled without any stopgaps to avoid damage to the load or yourself during the trial operation.

Also, Check-Out: Badland 2500 lb Winch Wiring Diagram

Badland 2500 lb Winch Troubleshooting

Badland winches are considered products that come for a price. However, every product is prone to issues instantly or in the long run. Here are some common issues for troubleshooting that will help you in dealing with beforehand.

No Mounting Plate 

The mounting plate for the Badland 2500 lb winch has to be brought separately. You have to buy a mounting plate that fits your winch. It is not a sounding concern since you are already getting this winch at a lower price.

Badland has its Winch Mounting Plate designed for 2000 lb and 3000 lb ATV/ UTV winches that you can buy OR The winch mount from KFI products is a well-made universal receiver carrier mount with a handle that can support 2500 lbs winch.

Installing Roller Fairlead

The major problem seen by many is difficulties in installing the roller fairlead. The hook in the cable is too big to get through the roller. The hook didn’t have a shackle, nor it is removable from the cable.

You have to remove one of the roller bars in the front to pass the hook through the roller.

Remote Delays & Stop Working

The wireless remote comes with the badland winches have a delay in action. There’s always a two-second delay even pointed straight at the controller box from ten feet away, and they are too small to handle when wearing gloves.

To solve this issue, buy a universal wireless remote for the winch to stop delays.

We have written a separate article on Badland winches remote problems. Read it through in case you face any of the mentioned complications.

No Wired Control

You cannot use it without the remote. In case your wireless remote doesn’t work or the battery dies, having a direct line option without the remote would be very convenient.

We recommend getting a hand remote for your badland winches, which is more reliable than wireless options. You can attach the remote on the handlebars of the ATV for timely action.


A steel tensioner in the badland 2500 winch is ineffective. You have to keep the tension on the cable at all times to avoid uneven spooling.

We recommend installing a synthetic rope with an aluminum hawse fairlead. 3/16″ x 50′ Synthetic Rope from Ucreative is very lightweight than steel, fits the drum better than steel cable, and spools nicely without much assistance.

The ATV Hawse Fairlead from Ranger supports winches of 2000-3500 LBs. The anodized finish hawse will not tangle or fray the winch rope.

Should You Buy This Winch or Not?

With fair complaints regarding the remote, installations, and overheating motor issues, it’s not a bad deal for the price. We recommend buying this if you know how to workaround remote issues, already have a mounting plate, and handle installation with ease.

Our Recommendation: Champion 2000-lb. ATV/UTV Winch, (Model No: 12003)

Equipped with the identical features of Badland 2500 lb winch, it is a 2000lb winch and has the equivalent power, motor, cables, braking system, and costs the same as Badland 2500 lb winch.

Champion 2000-lb. ATVUTV Winch

It is a 2000 lb easy to use winch, more robust inbuilt quality.

It contains handlebar-mounted flexible remote control for superior winching and which is asked by many ATV enthusiasts in Badland 2500 lb winch.

A wired remote control free from issues.

The mounting plate with the Champion 2000 lb winch can save you 10$ to 12$ includes shipping from Harbor Freight.

Champion winches offer a more reliable 2-year limited warranty with FREE lifetime technical support, whereas Harbor Freight provides only a 90-day guarantee; the additional 2yr warranty comes for a price of 27$.

Alternate Option: Buy a Champion 3000 lb. ATV/UTV winch with a gear ratio of 171:1, a three-stage planetary gear system has a faster line speed and thin cables when compared with Champion 2000 lb winch.

FAQs of Badland 2500 lb Winch

Can I get a replacement remote?

Harbor freight does not sell a replacement piece for the remote. You will have to buy a new one. Then follow the transmission settings for the new Remote as given in the manual.

Is it waterproof?

It is IP65 rated, which is very dust-tight and provides splash resistance from low-pressure water jets at any angle. It cannot tolerate total submersion.

Can this be connected to the trailer wiring harness for power?

It is not recommended because the winch will draw excess energy when activated. However, you can run a dedicated power supply to the rear of the vehicle.

If I connect to my ATV battery, do I have to install a switch not to draw current all the time? Or does it draw power only when the remote is active?

The winch comprises a solenoid and an inline circuit breaker. If these parts are properly installed, then there should be no draw on the battery when not in use.

Does it have a warranty?

Yes, there is a 90-day warranty from Harbor Freight. There are also options to buy an additional 2-year warranty.

Will it work with 120V AC?

It would help if you had a 12V DC power supply. The unit pulls 106A at 2000 pounds, which does not have an alternate cheap battery solution. It would be better to buy an ATV battery and hook it up to a trickle charger.

Does it have an internal power source?

It does not have an internal power source. You have to hook it up to a car battery (12V).


Our Conclusion on Badland 2500lb Winch Review: The Badland 2500 lb winch is a compact piece of machinery that delivers excellent recovery power within its class. Many users have installed it with ease on varied vehicles and used the same for various purposes. The Badland winch’s affordability and durability have appealed to many, even with the frequent motor overheating and remote issues.

It is a handy and compatible carrier that will accompany you on your off-road adventures. While the pulling capacity or speed may be limited, but the durable cable ensures completion of the task at hand without breaking under duress.

The Badland 2500 lb winch is a pocket-friendly option if you look for a suitable and more reasonable winch for your ATV/Utility needs.

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