Plenty of people buy high-quality trailer hitches, but few things are more effective for protecting a trailer than a high-quality hitch lock. These simple devices either connect your hitch and receiver together or prevent other vehicles from connecting to the trailer at all. Nobody’s just running away with a trailer, so preventing a connection is a key security measure.
Here are the best hitch locks currently on the market, as well as some things to consider when buying one.
Lock It Up: The Best Trailer Hitch Locks for Your RV
|Best RV Trailer Hitch Locks||Category|
|Master Lock 2866DAT Trailer Hitch Lock||Best Value|
|Trimax UMAX100 Trailer Lock||Best Heavy Duty|
|Master Lock Universal Size Trailer Locks||Best Coupler Lock|
|Reese Towpower Tow ‘N Store Lock Kit||Most Affordable|
Reviews of Our Top Locks
Okay, now that you know our top picks, let’s break each one of them down.
Master Lock 2866DAT Trailer Hitch Lock
Master Lock’s 2866DAT Trailer Hitch Lock is easily one of the best options currently on the market. It’s simple and straightforward to use, but it also has a variety of features that make it better for practically any buyer.
Notable features on this lock include a rotating locking head, a simple push-to-lock mechanism, and a snap-on cover that helps prevent dirt and moisture from entering the keyway. A four-pin cylinder helps prevent lockpicking, while the device itself fits both 1/2” and 5/8” receivers.
This lock also comes with a limited lifetime warranty, which is a useful precaution against any manufacturing defects. Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as a perfect deterrent. Any lock can be broken given enough time and tools, but the 2866DAT is enough to deter all casual and some serious thefts. That is, realistically, the best you can expect from a trailer hitch pin.
If there’s one drawback to this product, it’s the fact that they are not sold to be keyed alike. In layman’s terms, this means you cannot order more locks to match your existing keys. If it’s too easy to match them, then it’s possible to pick them, so a randomized key process helps add an extra layer of security. It’s inconvenient, but not unreasonable given the type of product.
The Fine Print:
- Fits: 1/2” and 5/8”
- Head: Swivel
- Class: I-IV
- # of Keys Included: 2
- The rotating head is easy to use
- It comes with both 1/2” and 5/8” pins for compatibility
- The locking mechanism is easy to use
- Can suffer from some problems in poor weather
- Not very resistant to corrosion
- Keys are soft and may deform
Best Heavy Duty Lock
Trimax UMAX100 Trailer Lock
Sometimes durability is the most important factor in a hitch lock, and this option certainly has a lot of that. The UMAX100 is a one-size-fits-all trailer lock that works on all coupler types and uses a sliding keyhole cover to prevent dirt and grime from getting in.
The parts that aren’t exposed metal are covered by ballistic grade nylon, which can absorb hammer blows and endure weather changes. The locking chamber uses a 7-pin system for high security, which resists drill outs. The keys themselves are also harder than usual, ensuring they won’t bend on you.
Frankly, I like this product more than the 2866DAT described above. Its sheer focus on rugged locking potential will deter any casual theft, as well as any professional attempt from any except the most-prepared thieves. Trimax even sells them in bundles if you need more than one.
The one major drawback to this product is the price. This is a relatively expensive trailer lock, although it’s still a relatively low price compared to the cost of replacing an entire trailer. Its durability is also a bit of a problem if it gets stuck and you end up needing to cut it off. I recommend buying a professional-grade tool and hiding it in your RV just in case.
The Fine Print:
- Fits: All coupler types
- Head: Fixed
- Class: Unlisted
- # of Keys Included: 2
- Easily one of the most durable options on the market
- Shields components with ballistic-grade materials
- Uses a durable ring key
- Still not durable enough to stop a truly determined thief
- Universal fit may be a little loose in large hitches
Best Trailer Coupler Lock
Master Lock Universal Size Trailer Locks
Master Lock’s Universal Size trailer locks fit most 1-7/8”, 2”, and 2-5/16” couplers. It’s also hard to beat the price. Unlike some other locks, this is designed to fit snugly over the end of a trailer where the ball is supposed to go, clamping on firmly enough to resist casual prying.
As a bonus, this coupler lock is also easy to put on and remove when you have the key. It’s also better for use in colder conditions, which can make hoop-style locks brittle and harder to use. This particular model comes in bright red, which is designed to deter casual thieves by telling them as soon as possible that the trailer has a lock on it.
That said, coupler locks suffer from a general weakness in that they’re relatively easy to pull out with a crowbar and a bit of leverage. This means that it won’t slow down any determined and prepared thief for very long, so you may want to supplement your purchase with additional security measures.
I recommend using cameras and, when possible, parking your trailer in a bright, highly visible area. Most thieves avoid well-watched areas, so those serve as powerful supplements to locks and other defensive measures.
The Fine Print:
- Fits: 1-7/8”, 2”, and 2-5/16”
- Head: Fixed
- Class: Unlisted
- # of Keys Included: 2
- Bright coloring helps deter casual thieves early
- Clamps firmly into place once installed
- Easy to put on and remove with the key
- Not as secure as it looks
- Compatible with old Master Lock keys, which means some people can open it easier
Reese Towpower Tow ‘N Store Lock Kit
Here’s what most lock companies don’t want you to know: Most trailer hitch locks are only designed to deter casual thefts and will not deter any serious thief. This is why just the appearance of a lock can help protect trailers, and if all you care about is that appearance, you don’t need anything besides the most affordable lock you can get.
The Towpower 7014700 is an affordable, bright yellow coupler lock with an additional hitch receiver lock. This allows it to fit a wider variety of trailers and hitches, and that alone is a great value for the cost. It’s also designed to fit snugly, which makes it much harder to get a bolt cutter through.
Overall, this is a solid product for the price. Like all of the locks on this list, it won’t stop a prepared thief, but it will keep generally honest people honest.
- Multi-lock set is more cost-effective than many other options
- Bright enough to let people know there’s a lock
- Resistant to casual strikes
- A bit hollow and easy to smash through
- Not even close to enough to deter serious threats
Recap: The Best Trailer Hitch Locks for Your RV
- Master Lock 2866DAT Trailer Hitch Lock – Best Value
- Trimax UMAX100 Trailer Lock – Best Heavy Duty Lock
- Master Lock Universal Size Trailer Locks – Best Coupler Lock
- Reese Towpower Tow ‘N Store Lock Kit – Most Affordable
Buying a Trailer Hitch Lock: What to Look For
There are a few things to keep in mind when shopping around for a hitch lock to secure your trailer.
Hitch Class & Coupler Size
Your trailer hitch has its own class, just like your RV. Hitch classes range from class I to class V – make sure the lock you choose is compatible with the hitch class! A couple of watch outs here:
- Pin size. If you have a class II hitch, you’ll need a lock with 1/2 inch pins. If you have a class III, IV, or V hitch, that size requirement changes to 5/8 inch pins.
- Receiver size. The size of the receiver on your hitch also varies by hitch class. Class I and II hitches need a 1-1/4 inch receiver lock and others need a 2 inch receiver.
For coupler locks, you need to make sure you match the hitch lock to the coupler’s ball size on your hitch.
Type of Lock
First, and this is more important than anything else, locks will never stop a sufficiently prepared individual. If you want to deter all theft, you must supplement a trailer hitch lock with additional security measures, preferably including cameras, alarms, and other tricks. This may sound like a lot of work, but it’s to protect a major investment. It’s absolutely worth the effort.
Given this, trailer hitch locks generally fall into one of two categories. The first type is receiver style hitch locks. Receiver style locks use metal pins with locks on them and are good locks when your trailer is hitched up. However, when your trailer is unhitched, these locks become effectively useless.
Coupler hitch locks are the second type. They can protect your trailer whether it is hitched or unhitched, which is a major advantage vs. the receiver style locks. The Master Lock above is a good example – these locks have ball-shaped heads and make it super difficult for someone to hook their truck up to your trailer and haul it away.
Outside of the quality of the lock, there are a few other factors to consider when buying a trailer hitch lock.
Often times, these large manufacturers will mass produce a bunch of repeating key combinations, making it easier to find a duplicate for the key you have on your lock. Look for manufacturers that have more unique keys, making it harder for thieves to find a match for your lock.
The price of the lock is also an important factor. Hitch locks can run up to several hundred dollars and still fail, so there’s a point where you should assume you’ll lose your investment. If an expensive lock doesn’t provide genuinely better protection, you should carefully consider how much you’re willing to spend on it. This is also something that you shouldn’t go bargain hunting for. There are a lot of cheap locks out there that can get picked easily, so try to avoid the cheapest options if you can afford to.
Finally, some trailer hitch locks have additional features that are worth considering. These can include things like caps to prevent moisture and dirt from getting in, corrosion-resistant materials, and impact-resistant covers to protect against hammers and other blunt tools.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Use A Lock Instead Of A Hitch Pin?
Absolutely. Hitch locks are almost identical to hitch pins except they have the added security of a lock. Hitch locks are also great if you keep your trailer hitch on your vehicle regularly because it will prevent it from being stolen.
How Much Weight Can A Hitch Lock Hold?
Hitch locks can often hold in excess of 100,000 pounds so you do not need to worry about breaking a hitch lock. Always double check with the manufacturer if you have any questions or concerns. Because the hitch lock undergoes the most torque of the vehicle and the hitch, they always have higher weight ratings than either the vehicle or the hitch itself.
Are Hitch Locks Hardened?
Some bolts are hardened, but they can damage your hitch. Because of the torque often experienced when pulling a trailer, especially uphill, hardened pins can put unwanted torque on the locking hole of your hitch and cause damage. We recommend not using hardened pins on your trailer hitch.