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We have heard many people give their opinion on using wireless winch remotes, some good and some bad. How will Warn's Wireless Remote system stack up?

First off, here is the part’s description from Warn Industries:

The Warn Wireless Remote Control System lets you remotely control your WARN truck/SUV winch from up to 50' away. The new system is plug-and-play: It simply plugs in where you'd normally attach your corded remote-- no wiring, no hassle. Will work with any five-wire WARN truck/SUV winch. Weatherproof transmitter has two large buttons making it easy to operate, even while wearing gloves. Two-color LED provides clear operator feedback. Easy plug-and-play installation. Sealed for protection against the elements. Activation sequence guards against accidental power-ups.


Over the years, we have talked with many people who have mixed emotions about using wireless remotes. The things we’ve heard are that they are unsafe and do not allow you to be as ‘in tune’ with the winch as needed when in use. However, safety with these is all in the competence of the user, just like the winch it is attached to. You have to be aware of what you are doing and treat it like a regular remote.

For ourselves, we used an off-brand style wireless remote 10+ years ago that turned out to be a horrible design. But seeing this Warn Wireless Remote Control System gave us the itch to try a 'wire-free' system again.

There are quite a few reasons why the Warn Wireless System works well. When doing demonstrations, this product makes it easy to control the winch from a distance. I prefer to be near the attachment points when people are doing the rigging. Then, to put tension on the line, the wireless remote works perfect because I can put tension on from that spot. I am not winching a huge length of line so it works out well.

Even still, you have to be aware of your surroundings and a nice feature in this situation is the Warn Wireless Remote shuts off after two minutes of non-use. When you have a wired remote hanging back at the winch, you are not near your attachments and you either need a helper to work the remote, or you have to yell to those watching – both of which could be somewhat distracting. Plus, the wired remote is always 'live' which presents the chance for it to be accidentally picked up or activated by someone inadvertently stepping on the remote.  

The next part of set up, if you are winching, is you should be in the drivers seat. Correct? What if you have a vehicle with a winch bumper and a large hood? The wired remote probably is just not long enough to reach into the cab to use. Sure you can buy a longer remote but then you have to find places to wrap the wire around so it doesn’t get caught in the tires, winch, etc. Warn’s Wireless System works well because you can have the flexibility to use without any fear of getting the wire caught.

One question we hear a lot - Does the wireless create more run on? Not with testing on our ti9.5, 8000lb, or a few others we tried. The amount of run on was the same. Now, this isn’t the Zeon Platinum Edition but it still works great with any five-wire Warn winch set up.

So the pros and cons of Warn's Wireless Remote Control System:


Great for being near the rigging during winch set up. You do not have to walk back and forth as much.

Shuts off after 2 minutes. Wired remote is always live and can be picked up while you are away from winch or stepped on.

User can be in any position and control. Not leashed to the winch.


Tends to lead user away from controlled view of the winch while in use (all relative to the competence of the user).


This Warn Wireless Control System is a good asset to your winching tool bag, but only when used properly. Make sure you can always keep an eye on the winch when possible and always control the situation. Watch how your cable or rope is spooled and keep everything in good working order. Do not winch unless you can see the situation and make sure that everything is clear. Overall, this is a great product that definitely can help with making nearly every winching situation easier.