Written By
Published Oct. 12, 2021

When you park a trailer or leave it unattended, it’s a good idea to use a hitch lock to keep thieves from stealing it. These locks keep your trailer hitch and receiver together, preventing another vehicle from towing away your trailer. They protect your belongings even when you’re not nearby and gives you peace of mind when leaving your trailer outside your home. Here’s a list of some of the best hitch locks for your trailer and features you should look out for.

Best Trailer Hitch Locks Reviews & Recommendations

If you’re concerned about finding the right fit for your hitch receiver, the Reese trailer hitch lock could be the solution. Designed to fit most receivers, it has a ratchet system with 11 locking positions, and the bright yellow color is a deterrent for thieves. Even if someone tries to remove the lock, it’s constructed to resist picking, prying, and drill outs. This sturdy trailer hitch lock is made of aluminum with a heavy-duty steel lock bar, and it’s painted, so it doesn’t rust. The lock is easy to install and remove, making it a fast and effective option, and the coupler lock comes with a spare key. It’s also reasonably priced. However, it’s not impenetrable. In addition, it may not be wide enough for certain applications.

Specs
  • Fits most receivers
  • Constructed of aluminum and steel
  • Weight 1 pound
PROS

Yellow color deters thieves

11 locking positions

Spare key included

CONS

Not as heavy duty as some rival brands

Not 100 percent impenetrable

Not wide enough for some trailer hitches

Our best choice for the money is Ohuhu’s steel chrome-coated device. It features a push-to-lock design for ease of use and requires no drilling or mounting for installation. This hitch lock can be used with loads of up to 10,000 pounds when used with a 5/8-inch diameter pin and is compatible with Class I, II, III, and IV receivers. The chrome coating prevents rust and corrosion from occurring, while a weather-resistant cap protects the locking mechanism against water and dirt. The three-piece design is simple to take apart for easy storage. It’s easy to install and remove and provides solid anti-theft protection. It’s also a great value. However, it’s not as heavy duty as you might prefer, and the keys are thin and not necessarily the best quality. Also, the rubber O ring can roll off as you push the pin through the holes in the receiver.

Specs
  • Push-lock design
  • Compatible with Class I-IV hitches
  • Weight 1.19 pounds
PROS

Suitable for use with loads of up to 10,00 pounds

Chrome coating is rust resistant

Easy to install and remove

CONS

Not as heavy duty as some rival brands

Keys are thin

Rubber O ring can easily come off

Solidly made and easy to use, the Gorilla Guard lock from Tow Ready lives up to its name. Designed to fit most 2-inch trailer couplers, this lock is a heavy-duty anti-theft solution and works with couplers that have a width of 3 13/16 inches and a coupler lip with a maximum height of 5/16 inches.

Although it’s a little heavy, it does a good job of securing your equipment and also includes a spare key and a one-year limited warranty. It’s well-built overall, and should someone try to remove it, it will take them quite a bit of effort. One downside is that the lock is awkwardly keyed on the bottom, but that makes it harder to pick. Another issue is that you cannot remove the key in the unlocked position.

Specs
  • Fits most 2-inch trailer couplers
  • No special tools required for installation
  • Weight 2.1 pounds
PROS

Easy to install

Tough design

Hard to pick

CONS

The key lock faces down

It can be a hassle to unlock

Heavy

Best Hassle-Free Lock

This option from Connor is a simple but effective trailer hitch lock that features an automatic lock-and-release mechanism, which allows users to easily remove the key after the device is unlocked. Simply push the key all the way in and wait to hear a click, then you know it’s locked properly. The lock is designed to be durable. The manufacturer used a minimal number of moving parts, so the device is less likely to break. It also features a rubber cap to keep out dirt, grime, and rain.

The lock has a grippy design and is protected against corrosion. Its simple and attractive design is a great option for Class III/IV 2-x-2-inch and Class V 2-1/2-x-2-1/2-inch receivers. However, it may rattle and slide around a bit, and it may be too big for some applications. In addition, the rubber O ring between the shaft and lock isn’t big enough to fill the gap that it is intended for, so you may need to add another O ring.

Specs
  • Alloy steel construction with a black-nickel finish
  • 5/8-inch hitch pin for Class III, IV, V hitches
  • Weighs 12.8 ounces
PROS

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

Includes a spare key

CONS

May be too big for some applications

Rubber O ring may not properly fill the gap

Master Lock’s receiver lock is a versatile and cost-effective tool that does a good job of protecting your trailer against thieves. The locking head rotates 360 degrees, making it convenient to install and remove. It’s rated at up to 10,000 pounds (Class III and IV) and is sturdy enough to lock whatever you need to tow. The four-pin cylinder design provides added security and is designed to prevent lock picking. It also features a snap-on cover that provides weather resistance, protects against dirt, and helps prevent rusting. Overall, the lock is easy to use and keeps things secure. It comes with a spare key and a limited lifetime warranty that provides peace of mind. One downside is that the rubber cap may pop open occasionally, so it won’t protect the barrel from the elements. It can also be difficult to turn the key to lock it.

Specs
  • Locking head can rotate a full 360 degrees
  • Fits Class I-IV hitches
  • Push-to-lock locking mechanism
  • Weight 1.1 pounds
PROS

Is rated up to 10,000 pounds (Class III and IV)

Snap-on cover protects against debris and weather

Four-pin-cylinder design prevents the lock from being picked

CONS

Rubber cap can pop open unexpectedly

Turning the key to lock it can be a hassle

Cocoweb’s heavy-duty C-lock hitch pin locks straight onto the trailer and is designed to work with standard 5/8-inch hitch receivers. The lock is weather resistant due to a rubber cap that keeps water and dirt out to prevent the lock from rusting. No drilling or mounting is required. Simply slide in the pin, lock it, and you’re all set.

It’s extra secure due to the inclusion of a barbell locking mechanism, which offers a snug and secure fit. The heavy-duty design is tough, durable, and easy to use. The lock also includes two laser-cut keys, so you’ll always have a spare in case you misplace one. However, it’s too short for some applications. It isn’t long enough to fit a Class IV hitch, for example. It can also be a little difficult to lock and unlock.

Specs
  • Suitable for 5/8-inch hitch receivers
  • Locking hitch pin
  • Weight 13.6 ounces
PROS

Easy to install, no drilling required

Spare key included

Weather-resistant

CONS

Too short for some hitches

Can be difficult to lock and unlock

How We Selected Trailer Hitch Locks

One of the most important factors we took into consideration was the anti-theft qualities of the trailer hitch locks we selected. After all, that’s their main purpose. We made sure to select durable, heavy-duty devices that are designed to last. We also chose products that are relatively easy to install, lock, and unlock, as well as those that are weather resistant and made of high-quality materials overall, ensuring a longer lifespan. We also made sure to include products that are affordable for the average trailer owner. In addition, we examined user feedback, which is a good indicator of how well a lock works after continued use over a long period of time.

Our product selections, rankings, and awards for this story are based on research. While we haven’t conducted real-world testing on all of these products yet, we’ve looked at consumer testimonials and data, tutorials, and general discussions on social media and in forums. We also consider price and specification in the context of the segment. And, of course, we rely on our institutional knowledge of the automotive landscape to weed out weak products.

Buying Guide/What to Look for 

The most common sizes for hitch receivers are 1 1/4 inch and 2 inches. The smaller receiver is usually found on passenger cars and small SUVs, while pickups tend to have the larger receiver. When choosing a hitch lock, it’s important to take the style into consideration as well as the materials used, ease of use, and budgetary constraints.

What to Consider When Buying Trailer Hitch Locks

Types

Coupler lock

A coupler lock protects your trailer when it’s not attached to your tow vehicle. It typically features a U shape and fits over the coupler on the trailer tongue. A ball is fitted into the coupler, and it’s locked down, preventing a thief from hooking it up to another vehicle.

Receiver lock

A receiver lock slides through the hitch receiver. It is designed to replace a standard hitch pin. However, it only protects your trailer when it’s attached to your tow vehicle. It’s not useful when you unhitch the trailer.

Key Features

Hitch Receiver Compatibility

First, make sure the lock is compatible with your hitch receiver. These devices are available in a wide range of sizes, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to find one that fits correctly. Check to see whether you have a Class I-IV hitch and whether the trailer hitch lock will accommodate it. Note: Some locks are designed with a universal fit and will accommodate most receivers.

Material

  • Steel

Steel is a strong, durable, and heavy-duty option. Trailer hitch locks made of steel tend to be less expensive than some alternatives, making them an appealing option, particularly if you’re on a budget. However, they tend to be on the heavier side, and if they don’t have a chrome coating or other type of finish, they have a tendency to rust.

  • Aluminum

Like steel, aluminum is also strong and durable, however, it’s lightweight, which makes it easier to handle. The advantage of aluminum is that it’s rust-proof and doesn’t require a protective coating like steel does.

  • Rubber

Some locks are designed with a combination of metal and rubber. They may feature a rubber cap on top of the locking mechanism, which keeps water and dirt out. Rubber is somewhat flexible compared to metal and is strong enough to form a tight seal. 

Budget

Receiver locks tend to be less expensive than coupler locks, so that’s something to keep in mind. However, it depends on what type of security you require: protection when the trailer is attached to your vehicle or protection when it’s not.

Ease of use

If you use your trailer regularly, it’s important that you choose a trailer hitch lock that’s easy to use. We recommend checking user feedback since that’s one of the best ways to gauge how these devices work in real-world conditions. 

Tips and Tricks

As with anything you do for decades, you pick up a few tips and tricks along the way in terms of selecting the right product and using it. That’s the case with us and trailer hitch locks. To help you bridge the information gap, here’s a selection of what we’ve learned along the way.

  • Trailer hitch locks can seize if they sit for a while, so it’s a good idea to cover the keyhole and spray it with a lubricant every couple months. 
  • Put the keys in a safe location. You may keep one on your keychain and the other in your glove box, for example. Just make sure they’re not visible to potential thieves.
  • For additional security, consider using a wheel chock lock when your trailer is unattended. It is another way to deter thieves from stealing your equipment.

FAQs

Q: What size trailer hitch lock do I need?

First, determine what type of receiver you have. If it’s a Class I or II receiver, you need a 1 1/4-inch receiver lock. If you have a class III, IV, or V receiver, you need a lock for a 2-inch receiver.

Q: How often are trailers stolen?

According to the website RV and Playa, trailers and recreational vehicles are the fourth most common vehicle stolen, representing about 6 percent of all stolen vehicles in the United States.

Q: Can I use a normal lock as a trailer hitch lock?

You can, but it likely won’t be hardened in the same way as a made-for trailer hitch lock will be, and thus could rust or not protect your investment.

Final Thoughts

Our pick for the best trailer hitch lock is the Reese Towpower Universal Trailer Hitch Lock. We like this option because it’s durable, made of heavy-duty materials, and has 11 locking positions. Its bright yellow color also works as a theft deterrent.

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