Best Trailer Wheel Locks: Bring Your Own Boot
Put your vehicle’s safety first with our top picks for best trailer wheel lock
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BY Rebecca Henderson / LAST UPDATED ON July 15, 2019
Trailer wheel locks are a sight you always dread unless you put them on yourself. They are handy so you can lock up your car, truck, boat, trailer, etc. You know that when you set the wheel boot, no one will mess with your trailer. Consider this your official buying guide for choosing the best trailer wheel lock on the market.
Double the product means double the security. Zento Deals includes two wheel locks and two pairs of matching keys for clamp-style locks you can use on almost any vehicle.
- The pincer arms of these wheel locks are covered in a protective, rust-resistant coating.
- They’re lightweight and fit anything up to 11 inches in diameter.
- These clamp-style tire wheel locks may have trouble fitting around large, off-road tires found on trucks, SUVs, and RV campers.
This wheel lock is made of durable materials and is priced just right. For anyone interested in wheel clamps, this product from OxGord makes it easy to purchase, install, and sigh a breath of relief.
- This heavy-duty trailer lock comes with a pair of keys.
- Lightweight and easily visible, this wheel lock will work for anyone looking to add more security to his or her vehicle.
- OxGord’s trailer wheel lock can only accommodate car tires up to 10.5 inches in length.
- At this price, it may not be the most durable product either.
Rubber-coated arms, a heavy gauge steel frame, and a high-strength lock are a few reasons why we chose this product as our honorable mention for best trailer wheel lock.
- Both a trailer wheel lock and a wheel chock built as one, this product from Trimax is a must if you often park your trailer on an incline.
- Though this product does act as both a wheel lock and a wheel chock, an easy-carry handle isn’t available
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Benefits of Trailer Wheel Locks
- Add another layer of security. Modern cars and some that are a few years old have plenty of anti-theft devices built into their framework. However, it can make it easier to sleep at night if you’ve got one more deterrent that makes stealing your car that much harder.
- Prevent your car from rolling away. Older cars can suffer from ineffective parking brakes. If you attach a trailer wheel lock to your vehicle, it’s an extra precaution against it rolling downhill.
- Use it on a variety of platforms. Because most trailer wheel locks can be stretched or compressed to fit a wide variety of tires, you can easily use your trailer wheel lock on just about anything. Whether you use it on your current vehicle or keep it for your next one, you’ll always have it available.
- Deter thieves. Though you may laugh and point when you see someone booted for parking in the wrong spot, you know that they’re not going anywhere anytime soon. That’s likely the same thought thieves have when they see your car booted.
- Use it for prolonged storage. It can be stressful to leave your car on the street or even parked near your apartment for long periods of time. While it may be enough to rely on the anti-theft devices built into the car, having a physical device that will stop your car from being driven away can ease your worries.
- They’re durable and reusable. Trailer wheel locks aren’t just a tool you use once or twice and then discard. As long as they don’t sustain any lasting damage, you can simply reuse them, whether it’s on the same car or multiple cars across years and years.
Types of Trailer Wheel Locks
The most common type of trailer wheel locks are shaped like a clamp. Think of the pincers on a crab. These fingers can widen and retract to fit a wide variety of tire sizes. Sold singularly or as a pair, trailer wheel lock tire clamps also feature a lock that typically comes with two sets of keys. Clamp trailer wheel locks will also have a carrying handle that also doubles as another preventative measure against the car rolling away.
This type of trailer wheel lock looks similar to the parking boots you’ve probably seen in your town. They have the same pincers as a clamp trailer wheel lock as well as a circular arm that covers the center of the outward wheel face. Instead of one leg that prevents the wheel from turning, there are two juxtaposed from one another. These types of trailer wheel locks can be heavier than clamp wheel locks.
Clever manufacturers have integrated both a wheel lock and a chock in the same design. These lock chocks are shaped like the clamp type we mentioned above, but also include a small plate that braces against the ground with small, sharp teeth. These wheel chock locks are also lockable, similar to the clamp style.
Brace trailer wheel locks are mainly designed for dual axle setups where there are two or more wheels right next to each other. These braces resemble an X shape and are placed between the wheels. If either wheel tries to move towards the other one, the brace allows the second wheel to push back. Brace trailer wheel locks aren’t as common as other types but can be useful as an extra parking brake.
Based out of New York, Zone Tech has been providing customers with premium automotive accessories for quite a few years. Check out the 2-Pack Tire Lock Clamp Boot Claw if you don’t like the top three picks we selected for the best wheel locks.
Headquartered in Centennial, Colorado, the folks at Trimax have been in the trailering business for over 20 years. You can find a number of trailering solutions on their website, such as the Yellow Wheel Lock. It may be a bit pricey for personal use, but if you’re in the towing business, it’s the car boot you need.
Trailer Wheel Lock Pricing
- $20-$50: Most of the trailer wheel locks on the market will be in this price point. If you’re just looking for an entry-level wheel lock, spending about $30 will get you a decent setup. You can choose from a clamp, boot, or wheel chock trailer wheel lock.
- $50-$70: If you want to invest in multiple trailer wheel locks, you’ll have to spend around $60. These locks can be any of the types we mentioned above. Most of the two-pack wheel locks are of the clamp type, but you can also find wheel chock locks in pairs.
Whether or not your main reason for investing in a trailer wheel lock is to deter theft, being able to see the lock should be a high priority. That way you can easily tell when it’s engaged, and it allows others to see it’s there as well. Most manufacturers make their trailer wheel locks visible by painting them yellow and/or red.
The best trailer wheel locks are those that you can install and disassemble in just a few minutes. Clamps that are easy to use make it simple to shorten and widen the pincers to your desired width. Wheel chock locks work similarly but allow you to place the chock without having to perform acrobatics. The best brace trailer wheel locks fold out so they can easily be placed between the pair of tires.
No matter what style trailer wheel lock you choose, you’ll want to invest in something that’s going to take a beating and still be able to function properly. Most manufacturers understand that the trailer wheel lock is going to be used outside and in a variety of weather conditions, but make sure you find a wheel lock made of weather-resistant materials.
As well as being easy to install, trailer wheel locks should be lightweight. It shouldn’t be a workout to put a wheel lock in place. No one wants to lug a wheel lock from the garage or apartment, drag it over to the car, and then lift it up to where it needs to be placed. Yes, there will be some weight, but it shouldn’t be excessive.
Placing a trailer wheel lock shouldn’t deface your wheel and/or tire. Most wheel locks are coated with a protective layer that will cushion the force of the wheel lock when it’s installed. This protective coating can be made of rubber or plastic, but in the end, it should cover most, if not all, of the trailer wheel lock.
- Wheel Types and Number of Axles: The majority of trailer wheel locks are designed to slip between the spokes of your car’s wheel to clamp around the wheel and tire. If your car’s wheels have spokes that are very close together, it can be tricky to install wheel locks with larger clamp arms. However, trailers with dual axles can accept a variety of trailer wheel lock types.
Best Trailer Wheel Lock Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- If you’re looking for another way to secure your vehicle from thieves, look into steering wheel locks. They work similarly to trailer wheel locks, preventing the steering wheel from turning more than a few degrees. They can be easily placed and removed within a few minutes and can be stored behind the front seats when not in use.
- For trailers that are stored for long periods of time, you can also invest in hitch locks. Similar to trailer wheel locks, these hitch locks render the hitch inoperable. When used in combination with a trailer wheel lock (or two), hitch locks can be a powerful deterrent for thieves.
- Don’t keep valuables in your trailer. As long as you’ve insured the trailer, it can easily be replaced if stolen. In cases where you can’t easily remove what you’ve stored in your trailer, add in extra layers of security, such as multiple wheel locks, hitch locks, and even padlocks on the back and/or side doors.
- Trailer wheel locks can be used on your RV or camper on a camping trip. In fact, the wheel chock locks could be a great dual investment. Rather than just securing your vehicle, you can also stabilize it so it remains in the spot where you parked it. This is especially handy where camping spots may not be paved.
- You can easily use your trailer wheel locks on your motorcycle. It should fit around the wheel and tire as it would on any passenger vehicle. At the very least, it can add more weight to the bike so that if someone does decide to sling it into their pickup bed and steal it, there’s more weight to deal with.
- When parking your trailer in an unfamiliar area, make sure to find a spot that’s well lit. You should also try to find an area that’s frequented by large amounts of people. Both of these aspects will deter thieves more than the trailer wheel lock can because they don’t offer a quiet, undisturbed area where the theft can occur without notice.
- Locking lug nuts are another great way to secure your trailer. These lug nuts have a cone seat that makes it much harder to remove unless you've got the key. They're made from weather-resistant steel. When purchasing locking lug nuts, make sure you choose the right thread size.
- While a single trailer wheel lock will suffice, it can be a good idea to have a few on hand. This is especially true if you have multiple vehicles and/or trailers that you need to secure. Each wheel lock will come with two sets of keys, so you can easily place all the keys on separate keychains and then store one set with the locks and the other in a safe place.
Q: Do manufacturers sell replacement keys separately?
A: They usually don’t. You can easily call the manufacturer and speak to a representative about ordering another pair, but they likely won’t be able to accommodate you. If you’re worried about losing your keys, make extras as soon as you get your trailer wheel locks in hand.
Q: How many trailer wheel locks should I buy?
A: We recommend you initially buy only one trailer wheel lock. No matter what type you choose, you can work with it for a little bit and see which features you like and those you don’t. Then, if you feel the need to purchase more trailer wheel locks, you’ll know a bit more about what types you prefer and what features you need.
Q: How do I know if a certain trailer wheel lock will fit my car/truck/trailer?
A: When looking at potential trailer wheel locks, consider the features. Make sure you check the maximum width the wheel lock is capable of encircling, and compare it to the width of your car’s tire.
Q: Will trailer wheel locks prevent car theft?
A: Yes and no. Trailer wheel locks can easily be seen, which makes a statement. They do add an extra step for anyone who decides they just have to have your vehicle so it takes longer for them to complete the theft (which could also give you more time to call the police). Like any other anti-theft device, trailer wheel locks can make a difference, but they’re not a guarantee.
Q: How do I install a trailer wheel lock?
A: First, open the trailer wheel lock to the width you need. Place the two pincer arms around the tire through the spokes of the wheel. It’s best to find a place between the spokes that’s near the ground so it’s easier to install. Once you’ve placed the arms where you want them, simply tighten them down just a bit so they won’t come off the tire, and then lock them if so equipped.
Q: Will trailer wheel locks damage my vehicle?
A: Depending on the type of wheel lock you purchase, you shouldn’t have to worry about damage to your vehicle. Careful installation will likely prevent any problems with your wheel and/or tire. Most trailer wheel locks will be coated with a protective layering that should leave no mark if it does come into contact with your vehicle.
Q: Can I use a trailer anti-theft wheel lock to securely store my fifth wheel/camper?
A: Yes. Most trailer wheel locks can be used on any number of wheeled vehicles, from cars and trucks to ATVs and fifth wheels. No matter what style or brand you choose, you should be able to either install the clamp or boot or place the brace-style lock between the dual axles for maximum security.
Q: Won’t thieves just drill out the lock on the trailer wheel lock?
A: This is a possibility. However, even hand drills make quite a bit of noise so thieves are unlikely to use them unless they really want your car. Most locks are pick-resistant as well. If you’re worried about this happening, consider other security measures to act as backups.
Our top pick for the best trailer wheel lock is the Zento Deals 2-Pack Heavy-Duty Anti-Theft Vehicle Wheel Lock. These clamp-style wheel locks come with four keys total so you can rest assured your ride is secure.
The OxGord Heavy-Duty Wheel Lock won our pick for the best value. If you’re looking for an entry-level trailer wheel lock, it’s your best bet.