Written By Car Bibles Staff
Published Jan. 15, 2019

If you’ve ever towed a trailer loaded with valuable cargo, or perhaps a vehicle that means a lot to you, you’re familiar with the gnawing anxiety that can occur when you need to leave it unattended. Luckily, hitch locks are a simple and effective solution.

Trailer hitch locks keep your trailer hitch and receiver together and prevent other vehicles from connecting to the trailer. Hitch locks come in all shapes and sizes, so you’re guaranteed to find something that works with your vehicle. Since this handy device could be the one thing standing between thieves and your trailer, it’s important to choose one carefully. With this in mind, we’ve compiled a list of the best trailer locks on the market. Keeping your trailer safe from theft has never been easier.

The Best Trailer Hitch Lock

First to make our list is Cocoweb’s heavy duty C-Lock hitch pin. The device locks straight into your trailer, keeping it secure, and is designed to work with all industry standard 5/8-inch hitch receivers.

The handy lock is weather resistant, thanks to a rubber cap that keeps water and dirt at bay. This prevents the lock from rusting, ensuring it can be safely and easily used for many years to come. No drilling or mounting is required to use the lock either; simply slide in the pin, lock it, and you’re all set. It’s extra secure thanks to the inclusion of a barbell locking mechanism, which offers a snug and secure fit.

Key Features
  • Locking hitch pin, suitable for ⅝” hitch receivers
  • A rubber cap over the locking mechanism protects against weather and dirt
  • Easy to install, without the need for mounting or drilling
  • Barbell locking mechanism ensures a snug fit
  • Includes a spare key
  • Easy to use
Specification
  • Brand Cocoweb
  • Model HHLCL
  • Weight 13.6 ounces

If you’re concerned about finding the right fit for your hitch receiver, this Reese trailer hitch lock could be the solution for you.  It’s designed to fit any receiver with a ratchet system that has 11 different locking positions. The bright yellow color is a great deterrent for thieves, and even if someone does try to remove the lock, it’s capable of resisting picking, prying, and drill outs.

The sturdy design is constructed from aluminum and heavy-duty steel, and it’s painted to avoid rusting. Users say that the lock is easy to install and take off, making for fast and effective use. The coupler lock comes with a spare key, and at a great price, too.

Key Features
  • Designed to fit any receiver, with 11 different locking positions
  • Bright yellow color is designed to deter thieves
  • Resistant to picking, prying and drilling out
  • Made from aluminum and painted heavy-duty steel for strength and rust resistance
  • Easy to install and remove
  • Includes a spare key
  • Great value for money
Specification
  • Brand Reese Towpower
  • Model 72783
  • Weight 1 pounds

Master Lock’s locking hitch pin is a versatile and cost-effective tool that’s perfect for protecting your trailer against opportunistic thieves. The locking head can rotate a full 360 degrees, making it convenient to fit and detach. Rated to handle up to 3,500 pounds, the lock is also sturdy enough to lock whatever you need to tow.

The four pin cylinder design provides added security, too – crafted to prevent lock picking. It also features a snap-on cover, which offers weather resistance, protects against dirt, and helps prevent rusting. Users love the fact that the lock is easy to use and keeps things secure – it also comes with a spare key, ensuring the more absent-minded among us are covered.

Key Features
  • Locking head can rotate a full 360 degrees
  • Suitable for use with loads of up to 3,500 pounds
  • Four pin cylinder design prevents the lock from being picked
  • Snap-on cover protects against debris and weather
  • Includes a spare key
  • Includes a limited lifetime warranty
Specification
  • Brand Master Lock
  • Model 2866DAT
  • Weight 1.1 pounds

Connor’s hitch lock features a similar design to the previous option on our list, taking the simple but effective form of a lockable hitch pin. Unlike other hitch pin locks on the market, though, this one features a unique automatic lock and release mechanism, which allows users to remove the key after the device is unlocked, making removal far less frustrating and awkward.

The lock is also designed with durability in mind; the manufacturers have made minimal use of moving parts, so the device overall is less likely to break. This hitch lock also features a rubber cap to keep bad weather and dirt at bay, with an extra grippy design to keep water out and protect the lock against the effects of corrosion. Its simple and attractive design is a great option for the majority of standard hitch receivers.

Key Features
  • Hitch pin lock
  • Automatic lock and release mechanism for ease of use
  • Durable design with minimal moving parts
  • Rubber cap keeps locking mechanism safe from weather and dirt
  • Simple and attractive design
  • Includes a spare key
Specification
  • Brand Connor
  • Model 1615190
  • Weight 12.8 ounces

Solidly made and easy to use, this Gorilla Guard lock from Tow Ready lives up to its name. Designed to fit all 2” trailer couples, the trailer coupler lock offers users a heavy-duty anti-theft solution, which can hold its own even against blows from a hammer.

Users report that the lock is really easy to use, and although it’s a little heavy, the weight is worth it – adding up as it does to a really secure anti-theft solution. The lock also includes a spare key, and a one year limited warranty.

Key Features
  • Solid trailer coupler lock suitable for use with 2” trailer receivers
  • Design is tough enough to resist even hammer blows
  • Easy to install and remove
  • Includes a spare key
  • Includes a one year limited warranty
Specification
  • Brand Tow Ready
  • Model 63228
  • Weight 1 pounds

Making their second appearance on our list is Master Lock, with this versatile and easy to use anti-theft device. The coupler is designed to resist rust and corrosion, meaning it can hold up against the dirt, dust, and poor weather conditions that regular travel entails. The lock itself features an advanced mechanism that can’t be picked, or pryed.

Each lock comes with a set of two keys, perfect should one be displaced. Users report that the lock is tough enough to resist theft attempts even when would-be thieves use tools including hammers. The rugged appearance also acts as an additional deterrent.

Key Features
  • Heavy duty coupler lock
  • Resists corrosion, weather, dust, and dirt
  • Advanced locking mechanism cannot be picked or pryed
  • Includes a spare key
  • Rugged appearance deters would-be thieves
  • Strong enough to hold up against hammers
Specification
  • Brand Master Lock
  • Model 377KA
  • Weight 2.2 pounds

Designed to fit most common hitch setups, Connor’s second lock on our list is a versatile and durable security option whatever you’re towing. The device’s Push-to-lock technology allows you to achieve a snug and secure fit every time, while its sturdy steel construction makes for impressive durability and strength.

A rubber cap covers the locking mechanism, protecting it from corrosion, weather, and dirt. The nickel finish also contributes to this durability, preventing rust from forming along the length of the locking pin. Connor always endeavour to offer their customers “unbeatable quality and value”, and at under $15, we think they’ve really delivered with this product.

Key Features
  • Hitch pin lock compatible with most factory hitch receivers
  • Push-to-lock technology makes for a snug and secure fit every time
  • Constructed from nickel coated steel for strength and rust resistance
  • Rubber cap protects locking mechanism from weather and dirt
  • Great value for money
  • Includes spare key
Specification
  • Brand Connor
  • Model 1615320
  • Weight 11.7 ounces

This trailer coupler lock features a watertight dust cap, spare key, and durable black finish. Designed to prevent would-be thieves from attempting to steal your trailer, the lock is easy to fit with a simple quarter turn of the key.

Customers love the heavy duty design, constructed from strong and sturdy steel, as well as the easy fit. However, do bear in mind that the lock is not compatible with double walled receiver tubes.

Key Features
  • Hitch pin lock compatible with the vast majority of 2” hitch receivers
  • Easy to lock with a quarter turn of the key
  • Heavy duty steel design
  • Black coating prevents rusting
  • Watertight dust cap prevents dirt and water from interfering with the locking mechanism
  • Not compatible with double-walled receiver tubes
Specification
  • Brand Curt Manufacturing
  • Model 23518
  • Weight 11.2 ounces

This one-size-fits-all trailer ball lock features a unique design that provides 360 degrees of theft protection for your trailer. They key hole is covered by a sturdy cap, which keeps dirt and water at bay and preserves the locking mechanism.

The lock is housed in ballistic-grade nylon housing, which looks good, but also improves the device’s durability. It’s easy to install too – simply slide the ball into the coupler before replacing the U-shackle and locking into place. Overall, this hitch lock is a sturdy, durable, and versatile way to keep your trailer safe from theft.

Key Features
  • One-size-fits-all trailer ball lock
  • 360 degrees of theft protection for your trailer
  • Locking mechanism is protected by a sturdy cap, which keeps out dirt and water
  • Ballistic grade nylon housing is extremely tough
  • Simple to install
Specification
  • Brand Trimax
  • Model SS-SMS-4010235
  • Weight 4.7 pounds

The last hitch lock to earn itself a spot on our list is Ohuhu’s steel chrome coated device. The lock features a push lock design for ease of use, and requires no drilling or mounting to use. It can also be used with loads of up to 3,500 pounds, so you can rest assured it can handle whatever you need to tow.

The high-quality steel that comprises the lock is chrome coated to prevent rust, while a weather resistant cap protects the locking mechanism itself against the water and dirt that a long journey can entail. The three-piece design is simple to take apart for easy storage, too. Despite this, it fits together firmly enough to deter would-be thieves.

Key Features
  • Suitable for use with loads of up to 3,500 pounds
  • High-quality chrome coated steel is strong, durable, and won’t rust
  • Weather resistant cap protects the locking mechanism against water and dirt
  • Three-piece design is simple to assemble and disassemble
  • Great deterrent for potential thieves
Specification
  • Brand Ohuhu
  • Model 4332983961
  • Weight 9.6 ounces

Best Trailer Hitch Lock Buying Guide & FAQ

These 10 trailer hitch locks represent what we believe are the best of the bunch, and thanks to their versatility, we’re sure there’s something here to meet virtually anyone’s towing needs.

With so many options on the market – and so much at stake – choosing the right lock for you can seem like a daunting task. That’s why we’ve taken the time to work through some common questions and concerns that drivers tend to have about these handy products. We hope our buying guide and FAQ will help you find the security solution that works best for you.

Things to Look for When Buying a Trailer Hitch Lock

Exactly what you’ll need from a trailer hitch lock will depend on your individual circumstances. Below we outline some key factors to bear in mind when making this decision.

  • Your Vehicle’s Hitch Receiver

The first thing to check when purchasing a hitch lock is, of course, that 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. If in doubt, you might want to choose a universal lock, such as options two and nine on our list. 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.

  • Style

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.

  • Budget

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.

  • Ease of use

If you tow regularly, chances are you’ll want to use your new lock as often as possible – this means that ease of use is essential. When trying to figure out how easy a lock will be to use, we recommend checking customer feedback if it’s available, since this is the best way to see how the product works in the real world. You should also look out for quick release systems, which tend to speed things up a bit.

  • Materials

The best hitch locks tend to be made of a few sturdy materials, which we outline below.

Steel – Steel has 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 – Aluminum is also strong and durable, but it’s more lightweight than steel, so aluminum locks can be easier to handle. Aluminum also has the advantage of being rust-proof, even without a protective coating.

Rubber – 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 flexible enough to form a tight seal, and durable enough not to rot away itself.

Benefits of Using a Trailer Hitch Lock

Making use of a hitch lock during your towing adventures reaps a whole crop of benefits – below are a selection of the most significant:

  • 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
  • Different types of hitch lock can protect your trailer whether it is attached or decoupled from your towing vehicle
  • Hitch locks are small enough to be easily portable

Prevent Trailer Theft

Clearly, hitch locks are a really useful anti-theft device, which anyone can easily use. However, these handy devices aren’t the only way to keep your trailer and its contents safe from would be thieves:

  • Consider a Wheel Lock

If you plan to leave your trailer unattended for any length of time, you might want to buy a wheel lock, similar to those placed on illegally parked cars. This acts as a visual deterrent as well as physically preventing your trailer from being towed away.

  • Leave your Trailer Empty when Possible

Empty trailers are far less appealing to thieves, so if it makes sense to do so, unload your cargo and stow it somewhere secure when you arrive at your destination.

  • Consider Insurance

Trailers can be costly to replace, so if you’re really concerned about theft or damage, insurance could be a great solution.

  • Remove a Wheel

If the trailer isn’t going to be used frequently, removing one of its wheels could be a simple, free solution – this way, thieves won’t be able to tow it away.

  • GPS Devices

Installing a GPS tracker on your trailer can also counter the effects of theft. A trailer fitted with a tracker can be located by the authorities, making it much more likely that it will be returned to you. The mere possibility of GPS tracking is also a useful deterrent for thieves – one that’s likely to become more ingrained as GPS technology continues to become increasingly affordable.

  • Careful Parking

Parking a trailer and buying a home have one thing in common: both are all about location, location, location. If possible, it’s best to park your trailer in a well lit and busy area, as thieves are far less likely to strike when witnesses are about.

  • Alarms

Just like cars, trailers can be installed with audible alarms. This type of alarm will usually be cable that attaches the trailer to another item – the towing vehicle, another trailer, or even a nearby tree or pipe – much like a bike lock. When the cable is broken, as it would need to be in any theft attempt, a loud alarm will sound, deterring thieves and letting the neighborhood know about the attempted theft.

Best Trailer Hitch Lock FAQ:

Q: What is a trailer coupler lock?

Sometimes known as trailer tongue locks, these are U-shaped locks, which can be placed over the coupler located on your trailer’s tongue. Unlike locking hitch pins, these locks are attached to your trailer when it’s decoupled  from the towing vehicle, preventing potential thieves from hooking up their car and towing away your precious cargo. They’re a great option if you need to unhitch whatever you’re towing when you reach your destination – for instance, depositing your trailer at a car show before hopping back in your towing vehicle to go and grab a bite to eat. Coupler locks also tend to make great gooseneck trailer locks, since these trailers tend to be larger, so you’re more likely to need to leave them unattended every now and then.

Q: What is a locking hitch pin?

As their name suggests, these are simple pins that slide crosswise through the hole on the receiver, connecting it to whatever you’re towing. The main advantages of these locks is that they tend to be easier to fit, and they can be used on the go.

Q: How to choose the correct size trailer hitch lock?

Choosing the correct size is vital when it comes to selecting your trailer hitch lock, which means working out exactly how large the hitch receiver is on your vehicle. Luckily, this is very straightforward to do. With a tape measure or ruler, measure the height or width of the opening on your car’s receiver – they should be the same, forming a square shaped opening. The most common sizes for hitch receivers are 1-¼” and 2”, both of which are catered to by the options on our list. The smaller size is usually found on passenger cars and small SUVs, while pickup trucks tend to have the larger receiver.

Our Top Pick

For us, the best trailer coupler lock has to be Cocoweb’s heavy duty C-Lock hitch pin. One of the best things about this hitch lock is that it’s easy to install and doesn’t require any drilling. It’s also easy to use. Simply slide the pin in and lock it. It’s designed for use with standard 5/8-inch receivers. The weather-resistant lock has a rubber cap, which keeps water and dirt out, prevents rust from forming, and prolongs its lifespan. The hitch lock is very secure and features a barbell locking mechanism. There’s also a spare key in case you lose the original, which provides some peace of mind.

Sources:

  1. How Hitch Locks work –  How Stuff Works

MORE TO READ

Load more...