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WARN VR Winches vs. WARN ZEON Winches - A Full Comparison

WARN VR Winches vs. WARN ZEON Winches - A Full Comparison

The next-generation of WARN VR winches was launched in early November 2016  at the SEMA Show and there’s been quite a buzz: Upgraded components. Attractive styling. Approachable price. However, there have been questions about what the differences are between the new VR winches and the popular line of ZEON winches. Well, to address these inquiries WARN put together a chart that’ll help you GO PREPARED when it comes time to choose your winch.

Below we are comparing two of the most popular winches in both the VR and ZEON lineups: the VR10-S and the ZEON 10-S. Both pull 10,000 lbs. Both are a mid-frame configuration (e.g. they mount feet down). But there are differences, and we’ve highlighted these below:

VR10-S ZEON 10-S ZEON BENEFIT
Features      
Winch Drum 2.6in (66mm) diameter welded steel drum 3.15in (80mm) diam. Zinc-alloy Drum Dissipates heat and reduces rope/cable wear
Anchoring System Drum flange screw and thimble Patented through-drum technology Holds 10,000 lbs by the anchor, eliminating anchor failure
Motor and Geartrain Armor None Full metal armor Protects vital components from impact and damage
Control Pack Material Plastic Full metal armor Protects electrical system from impact and damage
Wiring Traditional motor terminals Automotive OE-grade bus bar Hides unsightly wires and provides superior connection
Remote Control Traditional remote with toggle swich IP68 Waterproof ergonomic remote with large rocker switch Waterproof and greater user comfort
Synthetic Rope 90ft (27.4m) Standard Duty Rope 100ft (30.5m) Premium Spydura Rope Longer proprietary synthetic rope with 15% greater strength and 50% greater durability
Fairlead Cast ductile iron Cast aluminum Superior surface finish and corrosion resistance
Final Point of Assembly Warn-exclusive Partner in China Warn facility in Oregon, USA Higher % of US-sourced components
Performance
No Load Line Speed 25.9 ft/min (7.9 m/min) 33 ft/min (10m/min) 26% faster no-load line speed
Full Load Line Speed 2.3 ft/min (0.7 m/min) 4.8 ft/min (1.5 m/min) More than twice full-load line speed
Rated Load Amp Draw 502A 409A Higher efficiency and 20% less amp draw places less burden on the vehicle electrical system
Corrosion Resistance 204 hr salt spray test 408 hr salt spray test Tougher coating = twice the corrosion-resistance
Ingress Protection Winch is dust tight, weather-resistant, with IP68 waterproof electrical contactor Entire winch unit is rated IP68 waterproof, for submersible operation Fewer points of water/debris entry, superior sealing, and total protection from the elements
Geartrain Durability  ✪ ✪ ✪  ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ Larger, stronger gears designed to repeatedly handle high loads and shock loads
Motor Standard-duty Warn-engineered motor High-performance, high-efficiency motor, exclusive to ZEON Stronger pulls with greater efficiency and durability

 

The VR is the gateway to the WARN brand and delivers WARN quality and reliability at an attractive price. ZEON ups the game with enhanced durability and premium performance.

Hopefully, this clarifies some differences between these two winches. Many of these features also pertain to the VR8, ZEON 8, VR12, and ZEON 12 winches. 

Planning Auxiliary Power Setup and Wiring For Your Overland Vehicle

Planning Auxiliary Power Setup and Wiring For Your Overland Vehicle

Building a modern overland/expedition vehicle requires a lot of auxiliary power and a little planning to set it up correctly. Afterall, you're going to power multiple LED offroad lights, a winch, compressor, fridge/freezer, and all the in cabin tech—so proper auxiliary power setup is essential. 

First thing's first...map out a plan.

We recommend setting up your auxiliary power system as your first step in any overland/expedition build. Begin by mapping out all of the planned accessories you intend to include for your ideal overland/expedition vehicle. Include all lights, supporting electronics, and your intended daily use on the trail (how much power will you really need?). Do a little research about the amp draw for each auxiliary component and begin to add that up to understand your overall system load and power needs.  At the same time, map out positions and get some clarity on wiring distances—this is important to understand wiring gauges to support the accessory.

By doing this, you'll understand the number of auxiliary items you need to connect/support, and the overall amp-draw for each, so you can effectively wire up a system that is safe and supports your power needs. 

WINCHES: Typically winches should operate on their own circuit directly connected to your battery because of their high load draw. We also recommend a manual battery kill switch in between that connection. 

Accessory Power Control

Auxiliary Fuse Block

One of the most common ways to control power and properly protect circuits is with an auxiliary fuse block and max-amp circuit breaker. There's a variety of manufacturers who make auxiliary fuse panels that will support anywhere from 6-12 fuse positions, or 6-12 auxiliary power connections—up to 125amps in total. We recommend the fuse blocks and circuit breakers from Blue Sea Systems as they're durable and easy to set up. We also recommend setups with a negative bus, as they provide a very solid ground (important for proper function and protection) and helps eliminate the need for searching for a solid ground to power your electronics. 

Fuses

Each auxiliary connection should be protected by a fuse that is as close to the amp draw for the accessory. For example, if you have a 17 amp light bar, then a 20 amp fuse should be used. No more than 30 amps per fuse position on a standard Blue Sea fuse block. If greater amp protection is necessary, consider a higher capacity circuit breaker instead. 

Here's an example of a 12 position fuse block that supports 90 total amps:

Why Include A Circuit Breaker?

Safety. Period. In the event of a system overload or short, you want to make sure you don't blow your entire system and run the risk of starting a fire. We always recommend a circuit breaker that 1) is less than the max amp load of your fuse block panel and 2) just above the maximum amps you will need. For example, if your fuse panel is rated to 125 amps, but you only intend to draw less than 90 amps at ANY given time, then a 90 amp circuit breaker is recommended. This provides proper preventative protection should there be a short or overload in the system. You want that circuit breaker to trip so you can assess and repair if you have a short, ground failure, or overload. 

Don't Forget About Relays...

Most accessory switches cannot withstand the constant amp draw that most electronic accessories demand. Even low-amp, modern LED lights. Most switches support 3 amps or less of current draw and therefore require the use of a proper relay to handle and control the load. NEVER hook up a switch without observing the accessory amp load, and amp capacity in the switch. In most cases, you will need a relay to properly connect your switch to your accessory. 

Fuse Block Custom Bracket

We've seen a lot of different methods overland enthusiasts mount their fuse block setups. Many fabricate their own fuse block brackets based on where they want to access the fuses for a tucked, clean look. There are a few manufacturers who make custom brackets for fuse block setups. Just Google your make and model. If you have a 5th Gen Toyota 4runner or a Toyota FJ Cruiser, check out the fuse block brackets that we make here

sPOD 

A relatively new technology eliminates the need for fuse blocks altogether. sPODs are amazing little devices and give you even more control in a clean package that's protected up to 30 amps per connection! They're not cheap, however, they include smart technologies like low-voltage cut-off protection so you won't kill your battery when running accessories without solar connection or the vehicle on. They also come with Bluetooth connectivity options for your smartphone. Current models offer up to 8 auxiliary power connections, each protected up to 30 amps and can support up to 100 amps in total.

Overland Equipped - sPOD - How to Setup Auxiliary Power Systems

 

GAUGING YOUR WIRING NEEDS

This is the most important step in setting up your auxiliary power setup. Improper gauging can lead to vehicle fires and continuous headaches (like voltage drop) with powering your accessories. There are three factors to consider when selecting wire gauge:

  1. Amp draw for the accessory and/or overall system
  2. Distance between accessory and fused power supply 
  3. Wiring material

For the first two factors, a simple guide will help you choose the correct wiring gauge (and length) so you avoid voltage drop and potential fire hazards:

DOWNLOAD VEHICLE WIRING GAUGE CHART:

How to determine wire gauge. Wire gauge chart for automotive.

 ALWAYS USE THE SAME GAUGE WIRING FOR POWER AND GROUND.

Wiring Material

For automotive purposes, we recommend stranded copper wire with PVC insulation for the greatest flexibility, conductivity, and durability. 

There you have it, if you follow some of the simple tips and recommendations in this post, you'll be well on your way to safely power all the accessories for your overland vehicle.