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Red Winch Explorer 2

Red Winch Explorer-2
This lowline single motor winch is a great high performance compact lowline electric winch, capable of being used in the most demanding conditions.
The Explorer2 is an excellent choice when it comes to the best electric winch for your on-road or off-road vehicle.
RED Winches has designed and developed this winch for serious use and is just as happy on a road going Chelsea Defender as it is on a challenge truck.
All products at RED winches have been through an extensive design and testing program before going on sale so you can use all our winches with confidence they will not let you down.
This Explorer like all our engineered winches has the famous RED Winch air brake system, meaning the winch stops instantly when you take your finger off the button.
The winch is controlled from a sealed black control box, that can be mounted on the winch or remotely in your engine bay or under your seat if you so wish.

Like all of our electric winches we can supply with either 12v or 24v motor and solenoid.
Capable of pulling 7,500kg this winch can easily get you out of trouble quickly, quietly and with minimum effort time and time again.
The winch body is CNC machined from high grade heat treated aluminium from solid billets.
We only use the best machine tools and machining processes to ensure stress is kept to a minimum and strength to its maximum.

For the first time ever Red Winches give you 4 gearing / pulling power options to help you choose the capacity and line speed to suit your needs.

Explorer2 - Overdrive
2000kg (4,409lbs)
Final ratio 82:1
Average line speed 32 M/min

Explorer2 - Standard
4500kg (9921lbs)
Final ratio 185:1
Average line speed 21 M/Min

Explorer2 - Adventure
6000kg (13,228lbs)
Final ratio 285:1
Average line speed 14 M/Min

Explorer2 - Titan
7500kg (16,535lbs)
Final ratio 352:1
Average line speed 11 M/min

The drum is steel in construction and can accept 30m of 11mm synthetic rope
Attaching the rope to the drum is done using a plasma lock.

Explorer-2: What you will get
Winch mounted or remote mounted control box
Explorer2 winch Anodised RED, with air brake system
Ox motor
Air solenoid for brake operation
Albright Heavy Duty Motor Solenoid x 1
Copper Bus Bar System
Aluminium fairlead
As with all our winches, the Explorer2 winch does not come with a rope, this has to be purchased separately.

The Air Brake System
Spring pressure applies a steel disc to the brake material when the winch is not in use.
This applies the brake and stops the winch from spooling out, its a fail safe system.
If you have loss of power or air, the winch will stop and hold the weight of your vehicle
When you winch in or out you energise your Albright solenoid this also energises the air solenoid valve for the brake. This then allows air to go into a specially designed chamber that releases the brake instantly. When you remove your winching finger from the controls the air solenoid dumps the air and the springs apply the brake disc onto the brake pads.
One nice feature we strongly recommend is when you are lowering out you can switch your isolator off to the winch (no power to the motors) and just flick the winch out button / rocker switch. This fires the air solenoid and releases the brake and your vehicle only pulls out rope for the amount of drop your vehicle needs or moves. This means compared to normal winching you do not get overrun or excess rope causing snatching and jerking as the vehicle takes up the slack rope that has been spooled out.
We would expect a set of brake pads to last at least 24 months under regular use due to the material they are made from.
Brake pad sets and all spare parts can be ordered if needed.
Shipping Dimensions & Weights

Explorer 2 Box Size: 710mm x 310mm x 420mm
Explorer 2 Winch Nett Weight: 35kg
Explorer 2 Gross Weight: 39kg

Purchasing Options


Electrical Power
The electrical power of this winch is currently supplied by our Ox motor. These are supplied normally with a 12v supply from your vehicle. The high power Albright solenoid fitted inside the black control box is used to switch direction of the motor and to also provide a feed to the 12v air brake system. These are all proven components and widely available and have been used extensively in the competition and motorsport industry by RED Winches for many years.
Power of the winch is variable due to how your vehicle is setup and the quality of the components used. It also depends on the scale of electrical losses or inefficiencies in the wiring system. As a general rule running 12v DC Ox Motor with a good powerful supply and Titan gearing you can expect the winch to pull 7500kg...possibly more under certain conditions. Tested with x2 Odyssey PC1500 batteries, 12V supply and ground connections using 25mm2 cable.
The control voltage selection on the motor solenoid / Albright is for the voltage that wil be used / applied for the winch in / winch out signals
The winch power terminals to the motor can transmit 12v & 24v through them as standard.
Pneumatic Supply
You will need a small compressor on your vehicle to run this winch.
This will supply the air brake with enough air to operate.
5 bar (70psi) is all you will need to operate the winch.
No air tank is needed.
As a guide, an ARB CKSA12 compressor is a good option.

Winch: 35kg (Without Rope)
Shipping Weight: 38kg (with no rope or accessories)

Drum Capacity & Pulling Capacity
The drum can hold 30m (90ft) of 11mm rope.
Line pulling power with electrics is in a world of its own as you probably know…and depends heavily on the quality of your electrical setup
I would say the Explorer2 Titan can easily pull as a minimum 7500kg directly (hanging vertically with no support from the wheels) But this does mean you will need:
Good alternator (100A+) charging the winch batteries
Two batteries, one supplying the winch motor with enough power, and one battery for the 12v vehicle electrics
At least 25mm² high quality, high load electrical cable
Clean electrical joints and if in areas prone to water joints should have conductive grease applied
All our winches are now supplied with Plasma Locks to hold the rope onto the drum, proven and very reliable.
They are a nice simple solution to ensure you always have the minimum amount of line wraps on your winch drum. With the Plasma Lock installed you can pull your line to your anchor point with confidence that it won't leave you without any line on the drum!
The Plasma lock has been designed for a variety of line gauges and you can feel confident that at least 8-10 wraps remain on your drum, reducing greatly the chances of a slippage.
The Plasma Lock is made from double thickness, heavy duty bright red webbing and is 150mm x 40mm (approx).
Supplied free of charge with every winch, created and supplied by Ruftraks UK Limited.

Air Brakes
The air brakes work in a way that they only come off when a voltage is applied.
When a signal is sent to the winch to operate either forward or reverse that same signal is used to energise the air solenoids that feed the brake system.

The gearbox has been specifically designed for strength, power and ease of service. All gears are manufactured from 655-M13 nickel chromium molybdenum steel with excellent durability. The gearbox runs in grease not oil making it much easier to service in the field.
The Explorer has been designed with both road going self recovery, green laning, Overlanding and Competition use so ease of servicing servicing was one of the top priorities. The free-spool assembly is held in place with machine screws for ease of service. The Air brake system is behind the end cover, very easy to access in a matter of minutes.
Our Promise
We are confident to stand behind our products in competition use. All RED Winch Explorers are backed with a 2-year mechanical warranty. This covers all mechanical parts. Wearing parts, bearings, brake pads etc are excluded, as are electrical components, motors and solenoid packs

No data sheets available.

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  • Installing a Hornet - What I Need to Know

    These notes are supplied to allow you to install and operate the Hornet winch in a safe, efficient and correct way. If these notes are followed you will have problem-free winching for many years.

    Important note:
    If the instructions are not followed this may lead to poor performance, damage to the winch and possible damage to your vehicle. The electrical elements of the winch are not covered by the warranty. Likewise damage caused by poor installation is not covered.

    Electrical Setup
    The Hornet is a high performance winch that delivers both speed and pulling power, demanding high current from the batteries. Because of this, the electrical setup on your vehicle must be well maintained, efficient and of adequate capacity to cope with the demands this winch will place on it. The following are a few points you must check / follow:

    1. The main earth connection for the winch motors must go to the batteries and not to the frame of your vehicle.
    2. The earth connections for the Albright solenoids must not come from the winch motor earth connection.
    3. The positive connection for the motors must come to the winch via an isolation switch rated to at least 750A.
    4. The positive switching for the Albright solenoids must not be taken from the positive supply to the winch. It must be separate from the battery. Ideally from a battery not used for the winch.
    5. The power cables for the motors (Earth & Positive) must have a minimum cross sectional area (CSA) of 70mm². Ideally you should use high capacity / high efficiency/ low resistance cables.
    6. All cable lugs should be crimped with a proper crimping tool, to keep losses to a minimum, maximize performance and reduce voltage drop.
    7. If the winch is to be used in the wet / under water the breathers on the top of the solenoid valves
    8. (brake and Freespool) must be replaced with 6mm tube running to a high point on your vehicle

    12v or 24v System
    The Hornet winch is designed for a 12v supply voltage to the motors. The motors we use are rated at 12vDC. Some owners run 24vDC on their vehicles for their winches.
    The Hornet motors can run on 24vDC and will provide you with a really strong fast winch and we have had some great results from the 24v system. However, as mentioned before we do not warranty the electrical side of the winch for 2 years like we do with the mechanical so you have to be sure your 24v setup is correct before attempting to run the winch on it. We recommend periodically checking and cleaning of the brushes on each winch motor. If running on 24V through 12V motors, we recommend checking the brushes, and cleaning the brush end cap after each event.

    12v Heavy Duty Albright Solenoids
    The Hornet winch comes with our unique ‘Heavy Duty’ Albright solenoids. These can cope with 1000A and have a stronger spring inside to ensure better contact times and more sustained power through the internal contact tips.
    WARNING: The Albright solenoid signal wires run on 12v not 24v. Applying 24v to these units can damage them and affect the performance of your winch.

    Gear Ratios
    The winch can be supplied with standard or overdrive gear sets. The Standard set gives you a fast winch that pulls in 30m of rope in around 28secs when operating from a 12v supply. The overdrive gear set will give you another 20% increase in speed and in practice with a good installation, can bring in 30m of rope in 23secs when operating from a 12v supply.

    Servicing and Maintenance
    The end covers on each end of the winch are easily removed with a 5mm & 4mm Allen key.
    After prolonged underwater or wet muddy conditions the winch must be inspected for water ingress in both the gearbox and Freespool chambers. The grease must be replaced every 3 months if the winch is constantly being used in wet conditions.
    The grease must be replaced every year under normal conditions. Under constant severe wet and muddy conditions the seals on the bearings supporting the winch drum must be removed and the bearings re-greased after every couple of events to ensure the life of the bearings.

    We recommend Castrol Spherol L-EP 2 or BP Energrease LS-EP 2 grease.
    Waterproof grease can also be used but is expensive.
    As long as the grease is a medium viscosity and has high load characteristics you will be OK.
    On a cleaned and totally dry gearbox spraying a coating of motorcycle chain lube over the gears helps as it stays on the gears during their first use reducing initial dry rubbing.

    Winch Tray
    Your winch tray must be of sound condition and securely attached to your truck. These winches can pull over 5000kg so you need to ensure it isn’t going to leave the front of your truck when under load.
    The thickness of the winch tray is also important. We have shown in operation that the plates in the tray supporting the winch must have a minimum thickness of 8mm, ideally 10mm and be flat within 0.25mm.

    If you are mounting the Hornet on the bottom and front in the winch tray one very important factor is to ensure that these surfaces are exactly 90 degrees / square to each other. If not when you bolt the winch in you can affect the winch performance and Freespool. You can under certain conditions damage the winch if used under load when the mounting surface are not flat or square to each other.

    If in doubt please consult your local RED Winch partner or buy from a reputable winch tray / bumper supplier that has winch trays specifically for the Hornet or Trydent.

    Equipment Damage
    Report any damage immediately it is noticed, especially damage to the rope, which should replaced at once. In the interim do not use the winch. We cannot be responsible for damage if the winch was continued to be used.


    1. Always leave the drum and rope neatly spooled after use
    2. After a prolonged dirty wet winch session clean and wash the rope and also check gearbox and Freespool chambers for water ingress.
    3. Never attempt to disengage the Freespool whilst the winch is under load.
    4. Do not operate the winch for more than 2 minutes with the engine off and under load as it will flatten your batteries.
    5. Store the winch in gear (Freespool locked) when not in use.
    6. If the winch overloads, i.e. it stops under load, release the control button immediately and assess the situation otherwise you will damage the motors.


  • Fault Finding - Hornet

    Before contacting Red Winches for technical support, use the table below for initial fault-finding.

    Problem: Winch runs slowly/ performance not as expected

    • Check supply and ground cables are clean and tight at winch, isolator, and battery.
    • Check Winch supply voltage is correct (12V / 24V) between supply terminal and ground.
    • Check that the solenoid has 12V present between terminal and ground.
    • Check that you have adequate air supply to the brake solenoid to lift the brakes.
    • If you have checked all of the above and still have issue, it may be that you have a fault with either an individual motor or an Albright solenoid

    Winch drum stiff, when in Freespool

    • Check alignment of winch tray.
    • Any mis-alignment here will distort alignment of drum resulting in poor performance of the Freespool.

    Freespool won’t engage/disengage or is sluggish to operate

    • Check that an adequate air supply is available to the solenoid.
    • Check that the Freespool solenoid has a true 11.5 - 12V when operated and has an audible 'click' when operated.
    • Check air pipe to the Freespool swivel push fitting on the end of the shaft is not blocked or dirt has been allowed to get in.
    • If after checking the above Freespool operation is still inadequate, the Freespool end plate will need to be removed and the mechanical operation checked for possible water or dirt ingress.

    Brake housing getting hot with little use of winch ::

    • Check that an adequate air supply is available to the solenoid.
    • Check that the brake solenoid has a true 11.5 - 12V when operated and has an audible 'click' when operated.
    • Check air pipe to brake is not blocked or full of dirt

    Winch runs the wrong way 

    • Swap the two control wires to the Albrights.
    • Do not disturb the factory wiring between the two Albrights.


  • Will the Hornet fit a Warn mounting

    Yes, but we have more mounting bolts on our winch.
    The two inner bolt mounts will fit onto the standard mounting holes of a GP or Warn 8274
    The actual winch is physically smaller than a GP or Warn 8274 with a twin top housing fitted

  • Can a RED Winch Hornet be fitted with BOW 3 motors

    Currently the RED Winch Hornet cannot accommodate the BOW 3 motor due to its larger diameter. There are no immediate plans to update the design as the BOW 2 motors work extremely well. We also have two gear sets to choose from…

    Standard and Overdrive, giving you a choice to go faster if needed…

  • Are RED Winches customer focused...


    Our whole business has been built on supplying what the customer needs at a price that is fair to the performance you receive.

    This involves a few basics

    • Listening to the needs and wishes of our customers to deliver customer focused solutions and products
    • Ensuring the products we deliver are to the higest possible standards we can achieve
    • Reacting in good time when a customer requests help or advice
  • Do we charge VAT or Tax

    Yes & No......

    How we tax you in the UK, EU and the rest of the world is:

    • In the UK all products sold will have VAT added at the rate ruling at the time of purchase, currently 20%
    • All countries in the European Union (EU) will be charged VAT / TAX at the UK rate of 20% unless you provide a VAT number from your country
    • If you are within the European Union (EU) and can provide a valid VAT / TAX number we will not apply any tax to your purchase
    • Any countries outside of the UK and EU will not be charged any tax on their purchases  
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