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You pull into a new town and set up camp, then head out for dinner and a celebratory night on the town. Imagine your horror when you discover that your camper is gone when you get back. You left it right there, but there’s no sign of it.
Now that you’ve digested that nightmare scenario, take a walk around your trailer. How easy would it be to steal? The answer might shock you. Next, take a stroll around the RV park or campground and size up your competition. What percentage of your neighbors lock their trailers, and how do they do it? You’ll probably get some good security ideas, but you might also walk away surprised that thefts don’t occur more often.
Locking up a trailer isn’t hard to do, and with suitable locks, you can accomplish it quickly and effectively. Here are some things to watch out for and some of the best locks for travel trailers.
Shopping Guide – What To Know Before Buying a Trailer Hitch Lock
What To Look For In the Best Trailer Hitch Lock
Trailers are the targets of theft more often than you may realize. Unfortunately, many people tow their RVs or travel trailers without realizing just how vulnerable they are to theft. This is precisely why there’s an opportunity for thieves–many people are new to towing and are unfamiliar with securing their trailers properly.
Most travel trailers and RVs have some sort of lock on the door. This is your first line of defense. Just like at home, you don’t want someone wandering in while you’re not around and taking your stuff. But trailers are by their nature mobile–so security means more than locking the door. Unless you want the door and everything behind it to roll off, you need something to ensure that your trailer stays where you left it.
There are various products on the market to help you lock your trailer up, but the selection varies from disappointing and flimsy to hefty and bulletproof.
Benefits And Drawbacks Of Trailer Hitch Locks
There are very few reasons not to lock your RV. Even if you live in the quietest rural area with no one around, trailers occasionally sit unattended for months at a time. Generally speaking, no one will notice if it goes missing one day until you go looking for it.
Putting locks on your trailer is relatively easy and painless. Once you know the types of locks to buy and the things to look out for, it’s easy to pick up a few and beef up security.
The pros of adding locks are to increase your deterrents. As you’ll see once we dive into the details, it’s impossible to put off every possible theft. But the more locks you add, the more you will deter opportunistic thefts. And that’s a win.
On another note–you might want to look at your RV or trailer’s insurance policy very carefully. Many policies do not cover the loss if you leave the vehicle or trailer unlocked. If you use and secure a basic lock, at least you are contractually covered under your policy.
The only real negative to locking up your trailer is the time it takes to do it. But if you pick your locks wisely and keep your keys organized, you can accomplish what you need to do in just a few minutes. The locks generally replace things you need to install anyway, like the hitch receiver pin. Yes, it’s a bit of a hassle to use a lock here, but in the grand scheme of things, we’re talking about the difference of a few seconds.
You usually could list cost as a negative for adding equipment to your trailer. However, in the case of locks, you can add some level of security to your rig for as little as $20.
It should be noted that a real hassle can ensue from locking your trailer if your locks fail. Padlocks have a lot of moving parts and they rust or corrode easily. You’ll be leaving your trailer locks on all the time, outside in the elements. If you buy a cheap lock, you can expect it to seize up. If it gets stuck in the locked position, you may find yourself practicing those thieving skills yourself on your own trailer.
To keep this from happening, exercise the locks regularly and use a lock lubricant often. Find locks that have weather seals, and invest in the best ones you can afford.
Different Types Of Trailer Hitch Locks
No single lock can secure your trailer completely. There are too many attachment points and “weak links,” so to speak.
How you lock your trailer will depend on whether or not it’s attached to the tow vehicle. Most people need to have two different security lock arrangements–one while towing and one while the trailer is parked and not attached. Here’s a list of the most common locks you might want to add for security to prevent tow away theft.
- Receiver hitch locks
- Coupler latch pin locks
- Coupler locks
- Kingpin locks for 5th wheels
- Wheel chock locks to block tires
Receiver Hitch Trailer Locks
The hitch receiver is the part of the tow package that is bolted onto the chassis of your truck. The hitch ball slides into the receiver and is secured by a hefty pin. Standard pins are secured with nothing more than a hairpin-style cotter pin. Yes, it is literally that easy to steal.
So the first step to securing not only your rig–but also the hitch ball when you aren’t towing–is to buy a receiver hitch lock. This replaces the pin with one held in place by a locking mechanism instead of a cotter pin.
Coupler Latch Pin Trailer Locks
Once the trailer is on the ball, a simple latch secures the coupler onto the ball. This coupler latch is held in place by a quarter-inch pin. To remove the trailer from your tow vehicle, you pull this pin, open the latch, and jack the trailer up a few inches.
So step two in securing your tow vehicle is to replace that simple pin with a locking hitch pin. Like the hitch receiver lock, these locking pins aren’t very complicated or expensive.
Trailer Coupler Lock
Next, you’ll need to think about your trailer while it isn’t attached to your tow vehicle. We all store our RVs and travel trailers when not in use, and sometimes this can’t be done in high-security areas. And also, don’t forget about those times that you’ve set up camp at your destination and take the truck into town for dinner and a night out. Chances are, you want to find the trailer where you left it.
The coupler latch lock is a good start because if you leave it in, the thief will have trouble getting the coupler on their tow vehicle. But if they work at it a bit, a few bolts are all that stands in their way. They could just remove the coupler latch assembly and be on their way.
To keep that from happening, all you need is a coupler lock. This is basically a dummy hitch ball that secures inside the coupler and locks in place. Unfortunately, coupler hitch locks are generally very bulky items–plus they’re large enough to catch the eye of potential troublemakers and put them off trying.
Fifth-Wheel King Pin Locks
In the same way, you can lock your 5th wheel’s kingpin. A king pin lock does the same job, but it is boot or shackle-shaped to fit around the kingpin. That way, if someone tried to attach it to their truck, it would never fit inside their receiver.
Wheel Chock Locks
Finally, you’ll need to consider other options in high-risk areas. A thief can bypass all of these options with enough time and ingenuity, no matter how beefy they are. Think about it–you can remove the entire coupler with a few bolts, and replacements are available at every Wal-Mart.
So how else can you secure your camper? Obviously, all opening doors and cubbies need to be locked to keep your stuff safe. But the trailer as a whole?
Wheel chock locks are another beefy option. They secure around your tire, like a police boot. Plus, they’re bright yellow or orange to catch the eye. In the world of security, you want something that catches a thief’s eye before they bother trying any funny business.
Alternatively, you could accomplish the same with a cable or heavy chain looped through the wheels and around the frame. Finish it off with the biggest padlock you can find, and you’ve created a system of deterrents that will aggravate the most dedicated criminals.
Compatibility When Selecting the Best Trailer Lock
Trailer hitches come in a variety of sizes, and you can mix and match every part of the assembly to suit your towing needs. So before you invest in locks, make sure you know exactly what sizes you need.
The hitch box on your truck’s receiver will be anywhere between 1-1/4 to 3 inches. The most common sizes for travel trailers are 2 or 2-1/2 inches. Two-inch boxes come on Class III and IV hitches, while 2-1/2 inch boxes are also found on Class V hitches. Some small tear-drop campers might use a Class II hitch with a 1-1/4-inch box, while some of the biggest travel trailers require a Class V with a 3-inch receiver.
The pin that holds your trailer ball into the receiver box depends on the size of the holes in the two parts. This is the first problem to solve if you are replacing it with a locking pin. Common sizes are 1/2 or 5/8-inch diameter pins.
Another potential problem might be the length of that pin. There’s no standard on these locks, so if you have a very beefy hitch, it is possible to find a locking pin that is too short. This is especially true with custom or heavy-duty factory hitches. If your hitch setup looks thicker than average around the pin, measure your existing pin and check the lock manufacturer’s websites. Make sure the new locking pin will fit before you order.
The following sizing issue is the ball itself–and, therefore, the size of the coupler. Balls come in either 1-7/8, 2, or 2-5/16 inches. Larger 3-inch balls are reserved for gooseneck trailers–not usually for RV applications.
Know the size of your ball and coupler before you purchase a coupler lock. This lock mimics the size of the ball, so buying one too small means that it will not properly secure the trailer.
Finally, 5th wheel kingpin sizes are more standard, with RV using 2-inch king pins. Ultra-heavy semi-trailers use larger 3-1/2-inch pins.
Keyed Alike vs Keyed Differently
Many of the locksets you find will be marked at keyed alike. This simply means that the company is selling you a set, and each lock in that set uses the same key. It does not mean that a thief can buy the same set and get the same key–their set would have a different key.
The purpose of keyed alike sets is so that you have the convenience of only having one key. It’s like when you have the same key at home for your front and back doors. Does the same key open your neighbor’s house? No.
Unless you see a locksmith or special order the locks from the manufacturer, the only way to get keyed alike locks is to order them as a set.
If you buy your locks separately, you get them keyed differently. This means every lock has a unique key. So to unlock your trailer and hook it up, you might need three or four different keys.
There’s no difference, practically speaking, in the level of security provided by a keyed-alike vs keyed-differently padlocks and trailer locks.
Who Makes The Best Trailer Locks? Best Trailer Lock Brands
Master Lock is the undisputed champ in the lock world. They make everything from the combo padlock you used on your middle school locker to high-security extreme weather locks for any purpose. Their products are good quality yet value priced. They aren’t the highest security options, but they are easy to come by and easy on the budget.
AMPLock advertises itself as the most robust lock on the market. They make nothing but trailer locks, and their designs are certainly the toughest you’ll find anywhere with an advanced locking mechanism that’s more or less impossible to hack. Unfortunately, they’re also the most expensive option. But it’s probably worth the price considering how much money you might have into your trailer.
Trimax makes an assortment of locks and trailer hitch balls for RV use. They also have a complete line of padlocks and door locks engineered explicitly for the security of the interior of your trailer. Trimax locks are ultra-heavy-duty and usually feature high-security barrel lock keys.
BOLT (Breakthrough One-Key Lock Technology)
BOLT has a unique concept for their line of trailer locks and padlocks that will have you wondering why no one thought of that sooner. Upon receiving your lock, you program it to your vehicle’s ignition key. That way, you don’t need to search for the correct key for each lock. You don’t even need to carry anything other than your one car key!
Besides coupler and hitch pin locks, BOLT makes padlocks and locking cables. Just make sure to purchase the locks that match your vehicle’s make and year specifics.
Reese is a brand-name supplier of aftermarket towing and cargo accessories. Their stuff is very high quality and well-regarded. So whether you need the whole hitch for your tow vehicle, hitch ball mounts, brake controllers, or just locks, Reese has got you covered.
Curt makes a full line of trailer accessories for RV or work/cargo trailers. You’ll find hitches, 5th wheel accessories, electrical supplies, and everything you need for towing.
Securing a Trailer More Robustly with the Best Hitch Lock
To completely secure your trailer against theft, you need to think like a thief. Walk around your rig every time you park it and think, “How easy would this be to steal right now?” However, before you give yourself ulcers, be sure to balance this “what-if” with a dose of reality. How likely is it in your present location? Is anyone around–both in terms of potential thieves and their potential spectators? Is the area well-lit?
Don’t forget that a significant security component is simply the appearance of security. Did you know that you can buy yard signs for fake home security companies? Why would anyone do that? Is it genius or pure stupidity?
Think about it as if you were the thief. You drive around, casing a neighborhood. You see two identical houses. One has a yard sign, and one does not. Which one is your first target? Sure, there are intelligent thieves out there who might catch on–maybe who even read this. But the fact is, a yard sign shows you’ve put more thought into security than the folks without any sign. You’re probably more likely to lock your doors and, in general, make it harder for thieves than the no-yard-sign house.
Apply this logic to the camper. If your camper is sitting in an empty lot, no one around watching, with no apparent locks or security, it is an easy target. Everything you add to the mix that makes it harder puts off one more potential thief. Adding a security sticker or something that makes your trailer very identifiable might be enough to discourage a thief. Imagine if you had the only camper in America wrapped in mint green and neon pink. Probably something you couldn’t tow very far without getting caught.
Add a coupler lock, and it becomes harder to steal. Add a cable lock or wheel chock lock, and it’s even harder. Is it impossible? No, it’s never impossible. But like the hikers running from the hungry grizzly, you only need to run faster than the slowest guy!
Weak Links in Trailer Security
There are a few weak links in the trailer security setup that require some thinking through. If you attach your trailer to your truck, and both the receiver and coupler latch are locked, the trailer is secured to the truck. More importantly, your truck is parked in place, so they’d have to move the trailer to get it onto their tow vehicle. This in itself is added security.
A trailer parked for storage, with no tow vehicle, is a much more attractive target. A coupler lock is the first place to start, but it doesn’t immobilize the trailer. If the thief has a coupler on hand, they could just take yours off and put theirs on. In most cases, it’s a few bolts. Some owners solve this by spot welding the bolts in place.
Even if they leave your coupler, what’s to stop them from just hooking the trailer with safety chains and driving off? Of course, it’s not going to tow safely, but then, it’s not their trailer. Once somewhere away from prying eyes, they can use an angle grinder to chop off those pesky locks.
So with all that in mind, the only way to immobilize the trailer is to utilize a wheel chock lock. Some owners use heavy chains around the wheels and frame. Any of these measures will require significant time for you to set, but also give more level of security.
The Best Trailer Locks for Transporting Large Tools or Materials
You can’t forget about everything in your RV or travel trailer, either. All those cubbies and doors often have very cheap locks.
Equipment trailers usually have beefier handles, but they are still only as secure as the lock that holds them in place. Therefore, you’ll want to invest extra time in finding the best possible locks to secure your load if you’re carrying something valuable inside.
GPS Trackers and Other Tricks
As stated above, no lock is impenetrable. With some ingenuity, a thief can probably figure a way around your best attempts at security. With a rechargeable angle grinder, they can probably be on their way even faster.
Some owners like the idea of installing a tracking device on their trailer. This way, if anyone absconds with it, you could theoretically lead the police right to the thieves. Trackers are cheap these days.
Something as inexpensive as an Apple AirTag or a Tile might be worth considering in the city. These tags use existing Bluetooth infrastructure to track objects through websites and apps, but they only work when the Tag is near a compatible device.
If you’re worried about your trailer in the country, consider a cellular-based GPS tracker. There are even low-profile solar-powered options available that will work when not connected to anything else and will allow you to track your vehicle or trailer from anywhere. Most trackers require a monthly subscription to work.
Buying Guide – Best Trailer Hitch Lock Reviews of 2022
Best Complete Lock Sets
If you are just starting and need a complete solution, it makes a lot of sense to buy a trailer lockset. This way, you get all of the necessary components, and they are keyed alike. All of these different locks have similar keys, so to avoid the hassle of having a keychain full of jewelry, stick with one key for all your trailer locks.
Trimax Keyed Alike Towing Kit
The Trimax Combo Pack includes all three locks. The pack comes in two different versions. Both are universal sets that fit couplers between 1-7/8 and 2-5/16 inches. The TCP100 is the best of the two, with the beefy premium coupler lock.
The TCP50 includes the UMAX50 coupler lock, a lower profile model that might work better on small trailers.
Both kits include the TC123 coupler latch lock and the TS32 barbell-style receiver pin lock. The TC123 has three locking positions to adjust its length–7/8, 2-1/2, and 3-1/2 inches. The TS32 receiver pin is 1/2 inch with a sleeve to enlarge it to 5/8 inches for bigger receivers.
The kits also include six keys that fit all of the locks, a plus considering most sets only include two. The keys are barrel-style locks for added security against lockpicking. The set also includes a handy carrying case to keep them all organized in your truck cab when not in use.
Master Lock 3 Component Set Keyed-Alike
This simple and inexpensive Master Lock set includes everything you need to secure your trailer, whether it’s parked for storage or on the road. Best of all, they are keyed alike, so you only need one key to open all three locks. You get these three components in the set.
- Coupler lock
- Receiver lock with 1/2 and 5/8-inch pins and right angle lock
- Coupler latch lock, adjustable
- Two keys
The 389DAT coupler lock fits nearly all 1-7/8, 2, or 2-5/16 couplers. It’s bright red and conspicuous, too, to put thieves off fast.
The 2866DAT receiver lock comes with two chrome-plated steel pins for the two pin sizes you might need. The single brass lock swivels on the pin for easy opening. The lock features a weather seal for added protection and longevity.
The 2847DAT coupler latch lock is adjustable in length. Six positions allow it to secure any length between 9/16 and 2-3/4 inches. It’s made of rust-free stainless steel and has a weather seal over the lock mechanism.
Master Lock 2 Piece Set Hitch and Coupler Pin Locks Keyed Alike
If you like the idea of a keyed-alike set for the road, but you need the bare essentials, the Master Lock 2848DAT set includes just the receiver lock and coupler latch lock. Like the three-part set above, this set includes weather-sealed lock barrels and all the sizes you’d need for any trailer.
The receiver pin lock includes two pins, one 1/2 inch and one 5/8 inch. The latch pin is adjustable to fit a variety of latch widths.
This is an excellent choice if you want something more secure for locking the coupler when the trailer is in storage, or you just need the minimum to keep your trailer safe while towing and traveling.
Reese Towpower Tow ‘N Store Lock Kit
The Reese Towpower keyed alike set includes their hefty bright yellow coupler lock, receiver lock with two pins, and a padlock-style latch pin lock.
The universal coupler lock fits in any size coupler and includes a hefty chromed steel bar that attaches it around the coupler frame.
Unfortunately, as beefy as these locks look, many users report trouble with the locks seizing up. The locks are not weather sealed, and corrosion is a known problem. No matter which locks you decide on, it’s a good idea to use WD-40 or graphite lubricant to keep any corrosion at bay. Even if the outside looks good, if moisture gets into the lock itself, it will usually self-destruct rather rapidly.
Receiver Locks – Best RV Hitch Lock
If you want to piece your set together, here are some options. Receiver hitch locks are great to keep your trailer attached or just to keep your hitch ball attached.
Ensure that the receiver lock is rated for your hitch class and has the correct pin diameter. Some locks come in both sizes, some have a sleeve to increase the pin diameter, and others only fit one size. Never use a 1/2-inch pin in a 5/8-inch hole–the load will not be secure and can produce enough force to break the pin.
Master Lock Swivel Head Receiver Lock for Class I-IV Hitches, 1/2 and 5/8-Inch Pins
The Master Lock 2866DAT receiver lock has a few excellent features and is dirt cheap. It’s rated for Class I through IV hitches, and it comes with both 1/2 and 5/8-inch pins.
There are two keys, and a rubber weather RV cover protects the lock itself. It’s not impervious to corrosion, but it is much better protected than some brands. Finally, the lock assembly swivels at a 90-degree angle to the pin, making it easy to get your key in and out.
Rhino USA Trailer Hitch Lock
If you think most of the locks and pins you find at big box stores don’t look beefy enough to be a part of your towing rig, you’ll love the looks of the Rhino USA hitch lock. It’s made from solid forged steel, and the barbell locking mechanism is hefty. It’s built for the biggest Class III and IV hitches with a 5/8-inch pin, so it should work in any 2-inch receiver box. For larger hitches, the usable pin length on this lock is around 3-1/8 inches.
The lock has a sliding weather cover to keep most road gunk out, but the lock isn’t entirely as weather-sealed as some others. And, despite the product’s brand name, this lock is manufactured in China.
BOLT 5/8-Inch Receiver Lock One-Key Technology — Uses Your Ignition Key (Pick By Tow Vehicle Make)
BOLT stands for Breakthrough One-Key Lock Technology. BOLT fixes the problem of multiple keys by making locks that you can program to match your ignition key. Since each truck maker has slightly different blanks, you’ll need to find the BOLT lock that suits your make and model.
These are hefty receiver lock pins for 5/8-inch pin receivers. It works with Class III, IV, or V hitches. BOLT says it’s rated for 16,000 pounds of tow rate, even though this number depends more on your hitch and vehicle’s specs than on the pin. Smaller 1/2-inch pin versions are also available.
The BOLT lock is also very well weather sealed, with a snap-in-place stainless steel shutter. This keeps dirt and road grime out of the locking mechanism and requires no fiddling around with a rubber cap on your part.
If you like the BOLT setup and want to use your ignition key, you can get pretty much all of your trailer locking needs from them. They also sell a coupler latch lock, regular padlocks, and bicycle-style chain locks. They are compatible with Chevy, GMC, Ford, Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram, Toyota, and Nissan locks.
The product here works with Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram keys, but you can find all versions on Amazon.
Best Trailer Coupler Lock
A trailer tongue lock is the best prevention against trailer tow away theft. The best coupler locks make themselves be seen–they’re beefy and obvious. An unattended trailer might be attractive, but if it has a huge bright red or yellow lock on the front, you can tell it’s not ready to follow you home without a key.
Amplock Coupler Lock for 2-5/16-Inch Couplers
This Amplock coupler lock is the top-of-the-line lock for an unattended RV trailer. It’s the most expensive lock you can buy, but is it worth it?
It is undoubtedly one of the heftiest and most impenetrable locks you’ll find. While you could cut off many other options in a few minutes with a cheap angle grinder, this one has an enormous steel arm that wraps around the entire coupler assembly. The lock is integrated into the thickest part of the steel ball, so it’s not easily smashed or hammered off, either.
However, the problem is that you’ll need to be very careful with getting the right Amplock. This one is for 2-5/8-inch couplers, but the precise measurements and shape of your trailer’s tongue matter a lot. Thankfully, Amplock provides the minimum and maximum dimensions right on the product information.
The Amplock is also available for smaller 2-inch couplers and for different flange designs on your coupler.
Reese Towpower 7088300 Heavy Duty Coupler Lock
The best feature about the Reese coupler lock is its apparent size and color. A thief would have to be pretty blind not to notice this thing hanging there. It’s a universal design made for any coupler from 1-7/8 to 2-5/16 inches.
The lock is made of steel and is pretty beef. The lock has a weatherproofing seal, protecting it from some moisture and corrosion. Unfortunately, this lock’s less expensive regular version has a sub-par design, with a simple steel bar that wraps around the coupler. It’s beefy, but it could be cut with an angle grinder or perhaps even hammered off given enough time.
The heavy-duty version ups the anty with a little more heft in every part of the lock. While the smaller and cheaper yellow model gets abysmal reviews, the heavy-duty lock is a 5-star winner that is well worth the money.
To make sure this lock will work for you, ensure that the upper steel hook will wrap all the way around your trailer tongue. Unlike other designs, this might not be nearly as “universal” as Reese wants you to believe.
Master Lock 377DAT Coupler Lock for 1-7/8 to 2-5/16-Inch Couplers
The Master Lock 377KA is a beefy coupler lock built for 1-7/8, 2, and 2-5/16 inch couplers. Instead of wrapping around the entire coupler like the Reese or Amplock, it has a simple bolt lock that connects it to the trailer. This allows a near-universal fit. But the lip on your trailer tongue keeps it in place, so fitment is still dependent on your precise application.
Unfortunately, it also has no weatherproofing on the lock. Many reviewers also report a limited number of keys available that fit it, with duplicates a little too easy to come by. So while it’s a beefy lock, it might be a little too common and a bit too easy to bypass.
Best Fifth-Wheel King Pin Locks
Fifth-wheels don’t have a traditional coupler–they have a 2-inch kingpin. They can be secured the same way, with a locking cover over the king pin to ensure no one drives off with your tow.
Amplock U-LPCVR 5th Wheel Lock for King Pin
This heavy-duty conical king pin lock is made of cast steel and deflects the fifth wheel plate on a thief’s trailer. This is a heavy lock that weighs over ten pounds. They even state that it resists liquid nitrogen or torch cutting!
To make it even better, this Amplock has an unpickable high-security lock cylinder that has the potential for millions of key combinations. So if you have other Amplock locks, you can have them keyed alike with your unique key code.
Trimax Fifth-Wheel King Pin Lock
Built like a tank and bright red, the Trimax King Pin Lock doesn’t mess around. It’s hardened steel and includes a barrel-style locking key that isn’t easily picked.
Curt 5th Wheel Lock 2-Inch King Pin
If you’re looking for the simplest security for your fifth wheel, the Curt 2-inch king pin lock is an easy choice. It’s inexpensive and easy. It’s a shackle-shaped pin with a locking barbell pin that holds it in place. Imagine a receiver lock attached to a collar, and you’d have the idea.
The barbell lock has weather seals to protect the lock. This lock is lightweight and straightforward–not qualities you want for a high-risk scenario from a security standpoint. But it will make it very hard to properly connect a 5th-wheel, so that’s a plus.
Coupler Latch Pin Locks
The couple latch is the little lever that clicks into place to lock your trailer onto the ball on the truck’s hitch. It engages a lock that keeps the trailer on the ball even on bumpy roads. If you can’t release that latch, the trailer can’t come off the ball.
To keep someone from simply disconnecting the trailer from the truck, replace the simple pin that secures the latch with a locking pin.
Curt Tounge Coupler Lock 1/4-Inch Pin, Black
Most of the latch pin locks you find at long pieces of stainless 1/4-inch rod that slide into a separate locking clasp. This design is fine, but it’s not that hard to cut through such a thin piece of stainless–some hefty bolt cutters will do the trick.
The Curt padlock-style latch lock is much beefier. Unfortunately, you’ll want to double-check to see if your latch can accept such a tight lock. Since it doesn’t adjust, the latch cannot be more than 3/4-inch across.
The Curt padlock is pretty basic. It’s a brass padlock with a black coating on the outside. There’s no weather protection, but it works well as long as you keep the keyhole clean and free from corrosion.
Reese Towpower Professional Chrome Coupler Lock
One step up is the Reese Towpower Chrome latch lock. This is a beefier version of the same design–although the Reese model only offers 5/8-inch clearance.
The added benefit here is that this lock is weather-sealed. There are o-rings integrated into the design to keep moisture out, and the key slot is sealed with a hefty rubber weather cap. For something that’s likely going to be on your trailer most–if not all–the time, it makes sense to get something that will last for the long haul.
As with the Curt lock, it’s the dimensions of this lock that hurt it most. With such a modest clearance, it will work for many small trailers. But if you have a bulkier coupler latch, chances are it just won’t fit.
Master Lock Stainless Adjustable Coupler Latch Lock
If you’ve got fit problems with the heavier padlock-style latch locks, this Master Lock adjustable slide lock will suit you best. It’s a simple pin, but it’s entirely adjustable for spans from 9/16 to 2-3/4-inches wide.
The lock is weather-sealed with a rubber cap. It’s not a high-dollar lock, and it’s not impenetrable–but when you can’t get anything else to fit, it’s a good option. Make sure to latch it in the tightest possible configuration to reduce the chances that someone could cut it off.
A determined thief can defeat most security measures fairly easily. Therefore, one of the most effective deterrents is using a wheel lock to chock the wheels. This immobilizes the trailer, and a wheel lock is much more challenging to get off than a coupler lock.
Of course, the disadvantage of these locks is the fact that they take more time for you to put on and off. And while they are hefty and big, a determined thief could hack saw through them given enough time.
Trimax Wheel Chock Locks 7.25-Inch
Bright yellow, this club-style wheel chock locks in place and prevents your trailer from going anywhere. It’s visible and effective. They’re made from rugged powder-coated steel and have a rubber finish applied to the arms to protect wheel finishes. You can use these on any type of vehicle.
The Trimax chocks come in two sizes, so make sure to measure your trailer tires and get the one that fits best. It features a high-strength pick-resistant lock. This model measures 7.25 inches when locked.
Curt 23175 Adjustable Trailer Wheel Lock
The Curt wheel lock is very similar to the Trimax. It’s yellow powder-coated steel with rubberized tips. It expands to fit on various tire sizes from R12s to R16s.
Unlike Trimax, this unit has a weather cap for the lock to keep grime out, a nice feature if you’re parking in muddy or dusty areas.
Tevlaphee Wheel Lock 2-Pack Keyed Alike
Two wheel locks are better than one, but few come in a keyed-alike set. This pair from Tevlaphee have beefy barrel-style locks protected by a weather cover. They’re adjustable to different size tires, and you can put on on either side of your trailer or vehicle for maximum RV security.
For sizing, the maximum tires these will fit over measure 11.8 inches across.
In the End, the Best Hitch Lock is the One You Use
There are many ways to make your trailer a less attractive target for theft. At a minimum, you want a complete set of locks for it. You might also want to add extra features like welded bolts, chains, or tire chocks if you’re leaving it unattended in a dodgy area. Remember, most of the battle is maintaining an appearance of high-security to deter opportunistic thieves.
Trailer Hitch Lock FAQs
Should I lock my trailer hitch?
Common sense is the only way to know if you should lock your trailer. If you hook and unhook your trailer repeatedly and are in quiet areas, chances are locking it up would be more trouble than it’s worth.
If you’re traveling through unfamiliar areas or parking in spots that feel like trouble, however, a trailer lock will deter thieves and give you some peace of mind.
What’s the best anti-theft lock for travel trailers?
The type of travel trailer lock you pick will depend on whether or not the trailer is attached to the tow vehicle or not. When left unattended, the best trailer coupler locks are those that both block the coupler and lock the latch pin in place. You can accomplish this with two separate locks or one combined unit.
When attached to your truck, the best locks secure the trailer hitch into the receiver with a locking pin. Additionally, they secure the coupler latch closed so you cannot lift off the trailer the ball.
How do you lock a trailer so it can’t be stolen?
There are multiple styles of locks available on the market to secure a trailer, whether it is parked for storage or attached to your tow vehicle and ready to roll. Locks are an essential deterrent to put off would-be thieves by making the idea of stealing anything more trouble than it’s worth. Of course, any thief can get around these basic security measures if they are dedicated. It’s up to you to exercise common sense based on where you park your trailer and how secure you make it.