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If you have a set up that would pull a trailer you need a number of different pieces. Obliviously you need to have a trailer and a hitch set up on your vehicle to have something to pull. But beyond that, you need to consider keeping your trailer set up secure.
If you are hauling your trailer and stop to have a meal, rest for the night, or even stop for a quick break at a rest stop, there is the possibility that someone could try to steal your trailer.
The best way to keep your trailer safe is to look into a locking mechanism. In some setups you can slide a padlock to attempt to keep things safe. However, this is still open to some issues as you could use a bolt cutter to slice off that lock.
To give you a more secure option there are some trailer locks on the market. But what makes the best trailer hitch lock out there? We’ll dive into it in this article.
Best Trailer Hitch Lock – Our Top Picks Compared
|editors-choice||Best Product||Best Value|
|item-title||Master Lock 2866DA TSC Swivel Head Receiver Lock||Trimax T-3 Black Premium 5/8” Key Receiver Lock||Master Lock 1469DAT 5/8” Heavy Duty Receiver Lock||Reese Towpower 72783 Universal Coupler Lock||Trimax UMAX50 Universal ‘Die-Cast’ Dual Purpose Coupler Lock||Master Lock 377KA Trailer Coupler Lock|
|item-review||read review||read review||read review||read review||read review||read review|
|Size Compatibility||Size Compatibility|
Both 1 1/4 inch and 2 inch Receiver
2 inch receivers
2 inch receivers
1 7/8 inch, 2 inch, and 2 5/16 inch
All standard couplers
1 7/8 inch, 2 inch and most 2 5/16 inch
|editors-choice||Best Product||Best Value|
Trailer Hitch Lock Reviews – Which One is The Best?
To help you in your quest for the best hitch lock GarageChief.com editors have done their homework. We have gone through the options that are on the market today and have come up with a list of six models that truly stand out.
Then we’ll also flag out our picks for the best product and the best value to give you a quick answer for the top model as well as a more budget-friendly pick. We’ll let you know about all the strengths of each model as well if there are any downsides.
Now, let’s take a look at these six options.
Master Lock 2866DATSC Swivel Head Best Receiver Lock
- Style: Receiver Lock
- Size Compatibility: Both 1 1/4 inch and 2 inch Receiver
One of the best models that we found on the market today was the Master Lock 2866DA TSC Swivel Head Receiver Lock, (chrome). This model comes with two separate pins and the company states that it will work in both 1 1/4 inch receivers as well as larger 2-inch receivers, but selecting the correctly sized pin.
The ½ inch pin goes with the smaller receiver and is designed for Class I and Class II trailers with a rated weight of up to 3,500 pounds.
The 5/8 inch pin goes into the larger receiver and is meant to pair with a Class III or Class IV trailer hitch receiver, this one being rated to handle a load of up to 10,000 pounds.
Each pin is 2 ¾ inches long to ensure that it is long enough to work in nearly any set up.
The lock itself secures on but sports a swivel head, making it easier to get one of the two included keys in, no matter which way it is turned. The head also has a weather-resistant seal and cap. This is in place to ensure that water and dirt don’t find their way into the locking mechanism.
Even with this protection, the company states that this set up isn’t designed to be left on your vehicle for extended periods of time.
Trimax T-3BLACK 5/8″ Best Premium Key Receiver Lock
- Style: Receiver Lock
- Size Compatibility: 2-inch receivers
If your set up is one that sports a two-inch receiver there is no better value out there than the Trimax T-3 Black Premium 5/8” Key Receiver Lock (Rugged Black epoxy powder coat).
This lock has a 5/8 inch pin that is designed to work perfectly with a 2-inch receiver set up to ensure that your hitch can’t be taken out without you knowing about it. The lock end features an O-ring sealed cap that is made to keep water and debris from fouling the locking mechanism.
This one is meant to be paired with Class III, Class IV and Class V trailers.
One issue with this style of lock can be that you don’t get the locking mechanism fully engaged and then the lock can seem to pop open when it is bumped or can seem to be falsely locked.
This model is designed to have the lock engaged with a mere quarter turn. This means that you won’t have to worry if you have it fully engaged or falsely locked and it shouldn’t pop open on you while driving.
Master Lock 1469DAT 5/8″ Best Heavy Duty Receiver Lock
- Style: Receiver Lock
- Size Compatibility: 2-inch receivers
If you are wanting a heavy receiver lock to keep your big loads secure, look no further than the Master Lock 1469DAT 5/8” Heavy Duty Receiver Lock.
This is a big beefy lock that has been designed to pair with a 2-inch receiver that is hauling a Class III or Class IV load and is rated for up to 10,000 pounds.
The 5/8 inch pin comes in a 3-inch long length, this makes sure that you have the ability to get your lock through the holes and still have plenty of space to sure the locking end.
The lock itself is sealed with a cover that can help make sure nothing gets its way into the mechanism. It also comes with two keys so you can leave one in your vehicle and the other in a safe place as a backup.
The locking head swivels, even with the lock engaged, to ensure that you can easily get to the lock face side and don’t have to bend your arm in unnatural ways to unlock this model.
Reese Towpower 72783 Best Universal Coupler Lock
- Style: Coupler Lock
- Size Compatibility: 1 7/8 inch, 2 inches, and 2 5/16 inch
Of course, there are also some fantastic coupler locks on the market. One stand out example is the Reese Towpower 72783 Universal Coupler Lock.
This one is designed to mate with the most popular size couplers on the market, namely the 1 7/8 inch, 2 inch and 2 5/16 inch options. The aluminum body has a ball that fits into the coupler and then you just fit the stainless steel bar over the top of the coupler and it mates securely with the body.
There are eleven different positions that the bar can lock into the body, meaning that no matter the size or height of your hitch coupler there is a setting that can ensure this lock is snuggly locked.
Keeping it snug means that those who might like to steal your trailer won’t be able to fit anything in to try and pry the lock off. The body is bright yellow to make sure that it is highly visible. This allows you to very quickly make sure that the lock is still in place with a simple glance.
The pair of keys is attached to the back of the package to ensure that you have the ones mated to your lock.
Trimax UMAX50 Universal ‘Die-Cast’ Dual Purpose Coupler Lock
- Style: Coupler Lock
- Size Compatibility: All standard couplers
The Trimax UMAX50 Universal ‘Die-Cast’ Dual Purpose Coupler Lock is designed to provide a high level of security to your trailer, no matter what size coupler is employed. The company claims that this lock will fit any coupler on the market.
This model sports a hardened steel body and bar, giving you that added level of protection. It is also finished with a hammer tone epoxy, this is done to give the whole system a rust proofing that is necessary if your trailer may spend some time outside in the weather and elements.
The lock features a barrel key instead of a flat key. There is a debate over which is better, but it seems that barrel key locks tend to take longer to pick over a flat key option. The keyhole has an attached cover that is designed to keep out dirt and debris.
The bar that locks over the coupler is crafted from a hardened steel that is 5/8 inch thick. The shape of the bar and the body have been assembled with the thought of making them as easy as possible to get on and off.
Master Lock 377KA Best Trailer Coupler Lock
- Style: Coupler Lock
- Size Compatibility: 1 7/8 inch, 2 inches and most 2 5/16 inch
The Master Lock 377KA Trailer Coupler Lock takes a bit of a different approach when it comes to coupler locks. This one doesn’t have a bar that completely comes off and fits over the whole assemble.
This model has a base with the ball to fit into a coupler and then a locking device that is permanently attached. This means that there is no way you can lose part of the lock if you put it down in two pieces. It also means that someone can’t simply cut the bar on the top and swivel the two sides out of the way.
The whole lock has been designed to resist both prying and picking, meaning that it will be that much harder for a determined thief to get the lock off and steal your trailer. It is also coated to resist rust and corrosion, adding to the longevity of the lock and more useful life for you.
Best Trailer Lock Buyer’s Guide
It is easy to say that a hitch lock locks your trailer to your vehicle. But there is more to it than that. Many people think about the thought of keeping your trailer connected to your vehicle while traveling. Sometimes people forget that there is a threat to your trailer even if it isn’t connected to a vehicle.
If you were to leave your trailer sitting in your driveway anyone could drive up, connect your trailer to their vehicle and drive off like they own it. If you have a hitch lock in place you can overcome both of these possibilities.
When we are thinking about these locks we need to consider the idea of deterrence and protection. Most people think a trailer lock overs protection, stopping thieves in their tracks and keeping your trailer completely safe.
The sad truth is that that isn’t the case. A lock only offers a deterrence to a thief. If they are truly set on stealing your trailer and have enough time and supplies they will be able to get through any lock.
One of the things that you are paying for when you purchase one of the top trailer hitch locks is the materials that it is made from. If you purchase a cheap option they tend to be made of low-grade steel. This material can be overcome by a few sharp blows with a sledgehammer.
Higher quality steels won’t be broken so easily. They can still be overcome with tools like a blow torch or angle grinder. This will end up taking longer and being noisier, which is more likely to attract attention.
When you come down to it there are two basic models that you can choose from when you are looking to lock your trailer hitch. The first is a universal model and the second is a deadbolt lock. Each has its pluses and minuses.
In a universal model sports a metal ball that can fit into your trailer hitch’s coupler. There is then a bar or bridge or other form of rod that goes over the entire hitch assembly. This means that you can keep anyone from attaching your trailer to their car without a key.
The universal option can work with a large range of couplers. This means that if you work with a lot of trailers you can just work with a single trailer lock.
The other option is a deadbolt lock. These are also known as hitch pin locks, since they look like a pin that attaches through the handle of trailer hitch. These tend to be smaller and can be found for a cheaper price.
However, you need to ensure that you have the exact size to match with the hole in your particular trailer hitch. If you have a lot of trailers that you work with you might need a series of these style locks.
On the plus side, this style of lock can be used both while attached or not attached to your vehicle.
If you are really looking for the best option you can always combine the both of them. This will offer you more deterrence to those that might look at taking away your trailer.
However, it will also mean that you will have to keep track of two sets of keys and lock and unlock both sets of trailer locks everything you want to use your trailer.
Considerations – What To Take Into Account When Buying Trailer Hitch?
What are the top three things that go into picking the best trailer hitch lock on the market? It boils down to three simple things.
- The first is durability. As we have mentioned above a lock needs to be made of a sturdy material. First off, this will keep the lock from being easily broken, as a broken lock doesn’t deter thieves.Also, it has to stand up to the elements. This might not be as important if your trailer is always inside a garage, but most trailers spend some amount of time outside. This means that your trailer and the lock are exposed to the elements and weather.
- The second major consideration is ease of use. The simple truth is that if you end up with a lock that takes twenty steps to operate, it doesn’t matter if it is the best lock on earth. Most likely you are going to stop using it. And a lock that is not used is a useless lock. You need to find one that is simple enough to use that you feel comfortable doing it in the dark, as there are many times that you could end up being called on to do just that.
- The final major consideration is compatibility. If you have just one trailer then you can get on that is sized for that. The issue starts coming in if you have a number of trailers or if you are looking to future proof your set up. In these situations, you’ll end up locking yourself into a certain sized trailer or need to go with a universal option to cover a wider range of hitches.
Specifications & Trailer Hitch Classes
One of the first specs that you will look at is the size trailer hitch you are working with. The size trailer hitch you have can dictate the size lock you need. The size of the hitch is dictated by the class of the hitch and the class is based on the weight of the loaded trailer.
There are a lot of sizes to look at when you are considering a hitch lock, but not all of them will affect the lock itself.
The first thing we’ll look at is the class of the trailer. For ease of discussion, we’ll group Class I & Class II together as well as Class III & Class IV. Class V will end up standing alone.
In the first group you have loads no larger than 3,500 pounds, the second group can range all the way up to 12,000 pounds. Class V can hit 18,000 pounds.
You might see a receiver size, the first group will be 1 ¼ x 1 ¼, the second 2 x 2 and finally 2.5 x 2.5. All of these are in inches. These can come in handy if you are looking at a hitch receiver lock.
The next size to look at is that of the trailer ball. These can range from 1 7/8 inches all the way up to 3 inches. For the most part the larger the load the larger the ball. If you are looking for the best hitch coupler lock, these are the sizes that you will be looking at. Sometimes lock companies will group these into two major categories, 1 7/8 into 2 ¼ in and then 2 5/16 into 3 in.
How do Trailer Hitch Locks Work?
As we have mentioned, trailer hitches deter thieves from making off with your precious cargo. This can either be a couple lock that will stop them from attaching your trailer when it is not attached to your vehicle or a receiver lock that can stop them from detaching it from your vehicle and making off with it.
As far as how to use your lock, various models will differ but overall the two main styles can be explained somewhat easily.
For a coupler lock, with your trailer disconnected, you will fit the ball into your trailer hitch coupler. Once it is in place you’ll fit the bar or rod over the hitch assembly and lock it into place. Now you will need the key to unlock it before anyone can attach it to a vehicle.
For a receiver style lock you’ll make sure that your receiver is in place in your vehicle and then slide the bar through the hole in the receiver and mount. You will then attach the locking side and your receiver is secure.
Some models can also be used in a hole through the engage handle of your hitch, meaning that if you have your trailer attached you’ll have to unlock and remove it before you can release the trailer.
Now, a lock isn’t a total solution. Given enough time and privacy any lock can be defeated, one way or another. If you are concerned for safety there are some other tools you can use along side your pick for the best trailer lock.
The first is wheel locks. These attach to the wheels in a variety of ways and stop them from being able to turn. With these in place even if a thief manages to attach your trailer to their vehicle they won’t be able to drive off (find out more here).
Some people will add in GPS trackers as well, so that if a thief does steal their trailer, they’ll at least know where it is being taken. It is best to conceal these somewhere that a bad guy might not think to look (get one here).
One other option for securing your trailer is adding in a camera set up. You might have a home security set up that features a few cameras that give you a look at your trailer. Why not also put one onto your trailer, it is best to have it aimed right at the coupler. This way successful or not, you’ll have a good look at anyone that has been trying to mess with your gear.
Trailer Hitch Lock for Sale – Cost And Where To Buy It
There is a range of prices when it comes to purchasing a trailer hitch lock. It is important to remember that a higher price doesn’t always mean a better model.
In general, once you find a few high-quality options they will give you an acceptable range of prices. If you find one that falls well outside that range, either above or below, you’ll want to look into why that one is priced differently. You might find a hitch lock that works great for your needs or you might find a reason for the difference in price that doesn’t work for you.
One other consideration to make is where to purchase your hitch lock. You might find the best hitch lock in a local brick and mortar store, but you might not. One of the issues you will come across is that many of these stores only offer one or two choices.
The best way to come across a very wide selection of options is to go with a large online store. This gives you the best range of options. You will want to choose one that also offers competitive prices as well as a good shipping policy. Luckily, Amazon tends to check all of these boxes.
While we think about safety and security when we discuss a lock, you also need to make sure that the lock set up that you pick works well if with the other gear that you have. If you end up with something that isn’t quite the right size or not designed to work well with your set up, it could end up breaking while driving which can cause damage to your vehicle as well as damage to other on the road. Additionally, when ever you use any of your trailer gear you should double check that everything is properly attached and in good condition.
Best Trailer Hitch Lock: The Bottom Line
At this point you should have all the knowledge that you need to keep your trailer safe and secure. These are the best way to make sure that your trailer stays with your vehicle, even if you have to stop for a break in your drive. The best trailer hitch lock will not only provide you with function but some can even look good while doing it.
We started out with our list the of the top six top models on the market. Our top pick is the Master Lock 2866DA TSC Swivel Head Receiver Lock as this one stood out for all of its features. If you are looking for a wallet-friendly option consider the Trimax T-3 Black Premium 5/8” Key Receiver Lock.
After that, we went into our buyer’s guide. Here we discussed some of the features that make a lock stand out as one that could be considered the best trailer coupler lock. With all of that information you should be fully armed and ready to make the selection that will work best for you and your needs.
Lastly, we’d love to hear from you. If you have some experience with any of our picks, please tell us about it in the comments section below.
Last update on 2020-07-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
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