Trailers are one of a thief’s most sought-after pieces of equipment. They can easily be hooked up to any vehicle with a hitch and driven away in minutes. A trailer hitch lock is one way to make sure your trailer stays where you leave it. It acts as a barrier to protect your belongings and makes it more difficult for ...
Trailers are one of a thief’s most sought-after pieces of equipment. They can easily be hooked up to any vehicle with a hitch and driven away in minutes. A trailer hitch lock is one way to make sure your trailer stays where you leave it. It acts as a barrier to protect your belongings and makes it more difficult for someone to steal your trailer. Check out the best trailer tongue lock, trailer pin lock to secure your boat, jet skis, trailers, RVs, and more.
Hitch locks are designed to stop thieves from stealing your trailer. A hitch lock keeps your trailer hitch and the receiver together until you unlock it, often with a key. These locks prevent anyone from lifting the receiver, and they won't be able to unhitch the trailer unless the lock is off.
Hitches are divided into different classes based on how much weight they can tow safely. They range from Class I, which can haul about 2,000 pounds and could be pulled by small cars, to Class V hitches that can easily tow 30,000 pounds or more and should only be pulled by heavy-duty pickup trucks.
There are a wide variety of hitch accessories available to keep your trailer secure. They come in different shapes and sizes and can be placed on different parts of the trailer and receiver hitch, but their function is the same: to keep your stuff from being stolen.
Receiver hitch locks fit crosswise into a hole on the receiver connected to your towing vehicle. They're used to lock whatever you're towing into the hitch so they can't be separated without a key or number combination. These are usually metal pins with locks on the ends. Some have two locks on either side, and some have a crooked end that prevents them from being pulled out.
The most common trailer locks are half-inch and five-eighths of an inch in diameter. Class II receiver hitches use half-inch pins. Class III, IV, and V receiver hitches use five-eighths inch pins. You must make sure your lock matches up with what you're towing. What happens when your trailer is unhitched from your vehicle? What if someone were to try and tow it away while it's sitting in your driveway. These U-shaped locks fit over the coupler on the trailer's tongue and prevent someone else from hooking up his vehicle to your trailer. Many have ball-shaped, ball mount tops to go where the trailer ball unit on your vehicle would normally go into the coupler. This prevents another vehicle from hitching up to your trailer.
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Receiver Hitch Locks
Keeping your trailer safe from thieves is a relatively easy task, one that requires a lot less labor than some of the tasks involved with hooking up and towing a trailer. Receiver hitch locks are designed to fit crosswise into the receiver of your towing vehicle. They slide into a designated hole when the trailer hitch is hooked up and then lock in place. The pin slides between both the receiver and the trailer tongue inside it.
You remove a rubber cap at the end which hides the keyhole, insert the included key, and then turn to lock or unlock the pin. To use most coupler locks, you must insert the key to remove the top bar, open the coupler, place the ball-shaped top inside, lock the coupler, put the top bar back on, and lock the bar in place. With the lock in place, no one will be able to hook up to your trailer.
Travel trailers have the option of putting a padlock through the hole on the hitch coupler. If you choose this as your only protection, be sure to close the coupler and then put the padlock through the hole. A much better choice is a trailer hitch lock that is specifically designed to prevent theft. It clamps into the coupler in a way that stops the hitch from going over any ball, regardless of size. There are a variety of trailer hitch locks on the market.
Fifth-wheel trailers don’t come with any way to snap on a padlock to secure them. Fortunately, there are a number of specifically designed fifth wheel hitch locks available that will block anyone from snapping onto your RV and hauling it away.
You can also make do with a length of hardened link chain. Wrap it tightly around the pin and snap a padlock through it to secure it to the pin. The chain must be tight around the pin with no slack. Otherwise, the thieves will just unravel it, and off they go!
You can run a cable lock system through the wheels on one side and lock them together. If the wheels can’t turn, the trailer can’t be moved. A length of hardened chain and a padlock will work, as well. Cable locks are also available; they are advertised as next to impossible to cut and would be a more secure method. I use a cable lock system to secure my propane tanks to my trailer.
There’s more to worry about besides your whole RV disappearing though. Many people aren’t aware of the fact that the storage compartments on at least 75% of all travel trailers, fifth-wheel trailers, and motorhomes are accessed by the same key. If the key for your outside storage compartments has CH751 printed on it, then your storage areas can be accessed by almost every RVer on the road.
A trailer hitch coupler lock is the most common of all trailer locks. It fits over the couple on the trailer’s tongue. This prevents anyone from hooking up a vehicle and driving off with your trailer.
This type of lock works by sliding into the fastener hole where the hitch meets the frame of your vehicle. Some are bent at the end for an extra layer of security for anyone trying to force it out of the hitch.
Hitch locks prevent potential thieves from stealing your trailer.
The sight of a lock can be a great theft deterrent.
Hitch locks are an inexpensive form of theft prevention.
Hitch locks are easy to use.
Hitch locks protect your trailer whether it is attached or decoupled from towing vehicles.
Hitch locks are small enough to be easily portable.
Prevent Trailer Theft.
The first thing to check when purchasing a hitch lock is it will fit your vehicle. Fortunately, these handy devices come in a wide variety of sizes, and we’re sure you’ll find something on our top 10 list to fit your hitch receiver. These options are adjustable and will fit the vast majority of receivers. If you’re also using a drop hitch, make sure to check the size of the new receiver is compatible.
When selecting a lock, another factor to bear in mind is the style - you have a couple of different styles to choose from locking hitch pins and trailer coupler locks. Both perform the same function, but in different ways. We’ll discuss these differences in more detail later on.
As with any purchase, your budget will also be a consideration. Fortunately, this isn’t much of an issue with trailer locks, since they tend to be inexpensive. It is worth bearing in mind that coupler locks tend to cost a little more than locking hitch pins, however.
If you tow regularly, chances are you’ll want to use your new lock as often as possible so that ease of use is essential. You should also look out for quick release systems, which tend to speed things up a bit.
The best hitch locks tend to be made of a few sturdy materials, which we outline below.
Steel and stainless steel locks have the advantage of being strong and durable, like many metals. It’s also inexpensive, and budget-friendly locks tend to take advantage of this to offer you great prices. The main disadvantages of steel are that it’s heavier than some other materials with similar properties, and it’s liable to rust if not treated with a paint or chrome coating.
Aluminum is also strong and durable, but it’s more lightweight than hardened steel, so aluminum locks can be easier to handle. Aluminum also has the advantage of being rust-proof, even without a protective coating.
Some locks are partly coated in rubber, or have a rubber-like cap that sits over the locking mechanism itself to keep water and dirt at bay. Rubber is a great option for these purposes since it’s anti-rattle and flexible enough to form a tight seal, and durable enough not to rot away itself.
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Hitches and Towing
Hitches and Towing