LAST UPDATED: July 28, 2019
Best Trailer Hitch Locks: Add More Security to Your Trailer and Car
Secure your trailer, boat, and cargo with these trailer hitch locks
The Review Team
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PUBLISHED ON July 28, 2019
Trailers are one of a thief’s most sought-after pieces of equipment. They can easily be hooked up to any vehicle with a hitch and driven away in minutes. A trailer hitch lock is one way to make sure your trailer stays were you leave it. It acts as a barrier to protect your belongings and makes it more difficult for someone to steal your trailer. Check out the best trailer hitch locks to secure your boat, jet skis, trailers, RVs, and more.
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Benefits of Trailer Hitch Locks
- Visual theft deterrent. Trailer hitch locks are a great way to prevent your trailer and haul from being stolen, and they are also easily noticeable. A thief looking to steal your valuables can see the lock and might think twice before trying to tamper with your stuff.
- Peace of mind. If you constantly worry about your trailer when you leave it behind, a trailer hitch lock can help put your mind at ease. Law enforcement officers often advise vehicle or trailer owners to invest in an anti-theft device to better protect their property. The lock provides an extra layer of security so you don’t have to worry about the possibility of it being stolen.
- Saves money. Owning a trailer hitch lock can lead to you saving some cash. Without one, thieves can find a way to unhook the trailer from your vehicle and get away with it. This could lead to pricey expenditures such as fixing a damaged or bent hitch or buying a new trailer and gear.
- Locks down your trailer. Whether it’s a heavy, metal lock or a thin, pipe lock, a trailer hitch lock will prevent anyone from hooking up your trailer to their own vehicle. They are built of sturdy materials that are more difficult to crack, break, or unlock without the proper key.
Types of Trailer Hitch Locks
A coupler lock is the most common of all trailer locks. It fits over the couple on the trailer’s tongue. This prevents anyone from hooking up a vehicle and driving off with your trailer.
This type of lock works by sliding into the fastener hole where the hitch meets the frame of your vehicle. Some are bent at the end for an extra layer of security for anyone trying to force it out of the hitch.
Master Lock was founded in 1921 by Harry Soref in Oak Creek, Wis. The company created the first laminated steel padlock in 1924 that was specifically designed for bank vaults. Today it focuses on developing locks for trailers, vehicles, and combination locks. Two of its most well-known products are the Master Lock Universal Size Trailer Lock and the Master Lock 2866DAT Swivel Head Receiver Lock.
Connor is responsible for creating high-quality locks for towing and trailer equipment and has been developing them for the past 15 years. Its headquarters are in Oceanside, N.Y. and one of its best-rated products is the Connor Trailer Hitch Lock.
Owned by Horizon Global and founded in 1952, Reese is a designer, manufacturer, and distributor of top-of-the-line towing, trailer, cargo equipment, and accessories. Its main office is located out of Bloomfield Hills, Mich. One of its top-rated trailer hitch locks is the Reese Towpower Universal Coupler Lock.
Trailer Hitch Locks Pricing
- Under $30: You’ll find the most common trailer hitch locks in this price range. They will be made of durable metal materials and can range from pin locks to coupler locks.
- $30 and Up: While you should be able to find a lock in the cheaper price range that does the job of locking down your trailer hitch, this range features products made of tougher materials. Another benefit with those at this price is they often include additional locking mechanisms.
Check out the type of material used on the lock. The majority are developed with a strong metal, while others are reinforced with tough steel construction. Either will ensure anyone looking to steal your trailer has a much more difficult time doing so. A strongly built lock will resist being broken.
While not all hitches are the same size, the best trailer hitch lock should be able to fit the majority of modern hitches. To make sure a lock will fit your specific hitch, double-check with the manufacturer’s guide to see the exact specifications of the hitch.
One of the best ways to help prevent the theft of your trailer, boat, or RV is to make sure you have a visible lock on the hitch. A good way to deter thieves is to get a bright color lock or a large one that is easily spotted from a distance; colors such as red or yellow are the most common.
- Ease of Use: You may want to consider getting a trailer hitch lock that is simple to use. Many can come with a difficult routine to properly lock them down, but the majority are convenient. However, being easier to handle doesn’t take away functionality. You should always opt for locks that are quick to hook up but are also secure and durable.
- Size: While a larger hitch lock may seem more appealing, consider where you are going to store it when you are not using it. You may also find some pin locks can be too large for the fastener hole. You can chisel them down to fit, but that may take away from their security. Make sure to choose a lock that’s sized to work for your trailer so you don’t have to deal with the inconvenience of more bulk than you need.
- Locking Mechanism: Finding a lock with a top-rated locking mechanism will make all the difference when it comes to keeping thieves from stealing your stuff. A weak locking design can be broken by a pro in no time, so you will want to invest in a durable hitch lock that can withstand a few hammer blows and cannot be sprayed, frozen, and broken.
Best Trailer Hitch Locks Reviews & Recommendations 2020
This universal coupler lock is designed to fit any type of trailer hitch easily and securely. That includes all 1-7/8-inch, two-inch, and 2-5/16-inch trailer couplers. Plus, its bright-red finish makes it stand out, discouraging thieves from getting near your cargo. Another benefit is the lock is corrosion-resistant against rust, so leaving it outdoors in the elements won’t harm its locking mechanism. One feature we found particularly beneficial is the advanced locking mechanism included inside of the coupler. Master Lock fits this universal trailer lock with a detailed design that resists picking and prying from tools and other equipment. This also means it can only be opened by the set of keys included with the lock. Even if someone has another Master Lock trailer lock, his or her key will not work on your lock.
Outside of its tough design, lock system, and flashy red color, the lock can be a bit loose on some hitches. However, this may be due to its universal design to fit a number of trailer hitches. Another downside is the locking mechanism can freeze up in the extreme cold, making it difficult to turn the key. Also, it is on the more expensive side when it comes to trailer hitch locks.
This durable pin lock is designed to fit most modern hitch receivers. It easily slips into the fastener hole, keeping the hitch securely linked with the frame of your vehicle. The metal is capable of withstanding all types of weather conditions, making it resistant to rain, snow, and ice, plus the rubber cap protects the keyhole from filling with water, dirt, and rust. The lock comes with a barbell locking mechanism for an extra layer of security. The design helps make the lock fit more snugly and tightly to your hitch. Another added benefit is the lock comes with two sets of laser cut keys, so you will have a spare in case one goes missing or you leave it behind.
While it may be able to fit any standard class I, II, III, and IV hitches, you may find trouble with the width of the hitch. It will not be able to fit into anything smaller than 2.75 inches. Also, even though it does come in two finishes, neither one stands out from afar as a visual deterrent against theft.
Reese’s premium universal coupler lock is constructed with an aluminum body and heavy-duty stainless steel lock bar. The lock’s ratchet design can be adjusted with 11 different locking positions to suit your needs. The lock’s vibrant yellow finish makes it easy to spot from a distance to deter anyone who may want to steal your cargo. It provides secure protection with its easy-to-install design. The durable locking mechanism is equipped to resist picking from lockpicks or other tools, while the metal shell fights against prying and drilling. Another benefit is the design is able to withstand the effects of rust and corrosion.
The term universal may be a bit of a stretch for this coupler lock. Many consumers report it does not properly fit their specific hitch. You may want to check your hitch and compare it with this lock to see if it is compatible. It may also need a bit of adjusting to fit snugly onto most hitches.
The Trimax UMAX100 Premium Universal 'Solid Hardened Steel' Trailer Lock is a great option because it fits all coupler types from 1-7/8 inches to 2-5/16 inches. Weighing six pounds and made from high-quality materials, this trailer lock features a ballistic-grade nylon housing that is designed to absorb impact and provide protection in all types of weather. It is also constructed to resist drill-out attempts. The rugged, durable, seven-pin key is spring loaded and built to last, while the keyhole cover has a cover to prevent dirt, grime, and water from intruding. Users like its beefy construction and its ability to hold up to most types of attacks from would-be thieves.
There have been some complaints about the housing being plastic, not metal. Also, due to its universal fit, the lock is a little loose on a two-inch coupler.
The Master Lock 1/2 in. and 5/8 in. Swivel Head Receiver Lock comes with two pins, two keys, and a locking swivel head. The chrome-plated, corrosion-resistant, hardened steel pins resist cuts and shearing. The 5/8-inch pin fits two-inch receiver tubes (Class III and IV) and is rated up to 10,000 pounds, while the 1/2-inch pin fits 1-1/4-inch receiver tubes (Class II) and is rated up to 3,500 pounds. The locking swivel head rotates 360 degrees and has a push-to-lock locking mechanism for security. Simply push the head firmly onto the pin, and take the key out. The lock has a snap-on cover to keep dirt and moisture out, while the four-pin cylinder is an extra layer of protection against attacks. Master Lock also provides a limited lifetime warranty should you experience any issues.
One problem is that the rubber cap doesn't stay on very well and may not protect the lock barrel as well as it should. Also, the device may rust shut if you leave it on the hitch for a prolonged period of time.
- For extra protection, consider parking your trailer in a well-lit and frequently visited area. This could be a trailer park, parking lot, or storage unit. Trailer hitch locks are not a permanent solution to making sure your cargo isn’t stolen. If a thief wants it badly enough, they will try their best to get away with it.
- Check with the manufacturer to see if it offers a guarantee to cover part or all of your insurance deductible should your trailer get stolen while their device is in use.
- For anyone who has dealt with a stuck or jammed locking mechanism, you can spray dry graphite lubricant inside to try and loosen it.
Q: What do I do if I lose my lock’s key?
A: Most trailer hitch locks should come with a spare key. If yours doesn’t or you misplaced both sets, you can call a locksmith to open the lock before you try to break it or remove it yourself. You could also contact the manufacturer to see if it makes replacement keys for your specific model lock. Depending on the lock, keys may be covered by a lifetime warranty.
Q: Can another trailer hitch lock key be used to open my model?
A: Each device should be keyed differently to help prevent anyone with a similar device from unlocking another.
Q: How do I choose the correct size trailer hitch lock?
A: To successfully find the correct size trailer hitch lock, you can use a tape measure or ruler to find the width and height of the opening of your vehicle’s hitch. The most common sizes for hitch receives are between 1 to 2 inches.
Consider the Master Lock Universal Size Trailer Lock to help deter would-be thieves and lock down your cargo while you’re away.
You could save a bit of cash and still get a high-rated trailer hitch lock with the Cocoweb Chrome C-Lock Heavy Duty Locking Hitch Pin.