What is Trailer Hitch Lock? and What are the Types? and How does it Work?

Who wants his trailer to be stolen without even frustrating the thief?

I bet you don’t.

I’m sure you care about your trailer and don’t want to let the thief steal it effortlessly. That’s the reason you are here to get the answers to some of the frequently asked questions like –

  • What is a trailer hitch lock?
  • What are the types of trailer hitch locks?
  • How does a trailer hitch lock work?

Yes, in this article, I’m going to answer all those three questions. In the process, I will introduce you to some good hitch lock brands of different types.

Without any further ado, let’s get our buts off.

What is a Trailer Hitch Lock?

Needless to say, these are some locks to protect your trailer from theft. Your trailer is in danger if you don’t use a hitch lock.

A trailer hitch lock basically makes the receiver and hitch ball mount stay together so that the thief isn’t able to lift the trailer easily.

If you don’t use a trailer hitch lock, then you are just letting the thief go on his merry way with your trailer. He will drive to the trailer, then hitch it and drive away.

Hitch locks are sometimes referred to as coupler lock. This is, of course, if you are using a coupler attached to the trailer frame. Once you start using a coupler lock, it basically locks the tongue of the trailer so that the thief can’t anchor it.

Yes, all hitch locks are not the same. They vary in nature, application, etc. I’m going to discuss that soon.

Here is the fret.

Unless you use some of the secured trailer hitch locks, you are not 100% safe. A thief can dislodge any ordinary hitch lock within a few seconds.

At least, you should use such a lock that takes a lot of time break, makes noise, and eventually makes thief frustrated, and finally, he gives up.

So, using a secured hitch lock is a must. Furthermore, you can take some cautionary steps to keep your trailer from being stolen. Knowing how to keep your trailer from being stolen is essential.

What are the Types of Trailer Hitch Locks?

In general, trailer hitch locks are of two types.

  • Receiver style hitch lock.
  • Coupler hitch lock.

It’s worth discussing these two types in detail. Although they do the same task that means protecting your trailer from being stolen, the way they work is not the same.

Receiver Style Hitch Lock

A receiver-style hitch lock is typically a metal stick that either has a lock on both ends or only one end. The one that has a lock on one end has a curve on another end. The curve eventually makes the life of a thief challenging to pull the lock off.

This type of hitch lock looks almost like a hitch pin.

Typically this type of lock has a weather-resistant cap on the lock end to keep the lock from dirt, grime, and protect it from corrosion.

When you are going to buy a receiver-style hitch lock, make sure you are buying a stainless steel hitch lock. Why? It’s because stainless steel is corrosion free, hence increases the lock’s longevity.

If you want to unhitch the trailer, then either use a coupler lock (I’m going to talk about it soon) or keep the trailer at a safe place. Don’t just keep it in an open space like your driveway.

Most of the reputed hitch lock brands make this type of receiver hitch lock, including Master Lock, Andersen Hitches, Bolt, Trimax, Motormic, Cocoweb, etrailer, etc.

You can go through our Master lock hitch lock reviews and Trimax hitch lock reviews.

receiver style Hitch lock

Coupler Hitch Lock

Using a coupler hitch lock, you will be able to discourage thieves from stealing your trailer even if you unhitch the trailer. In this case, the lock will be attached to the tongue of the trailer that means the coupler.

This type of lock has a ball-shaped top that goes into the vacant ball part of the coupler (where the hitch ball of the towing vehicle goes in) and makes the coupler impossible to hook or anchor.

When you are keeping your trailer unhitched, also not using this type of coupler lock, and you are keeping the trailer in your driveway, then it’s an easy-peasy task for a thief to steal it. So, it’s essential to use a coupler lock when you are keeping the trailer unhitched.

The reputed brands that make the receiver-style hitch lock, also make the coupler hitch locks.

How Does a Trailer Hitch Lock Work?

By now, you probably got the basic idea of how the trailer hitch locks work. The working procedure of receiver-style hitch locks is different than the working method of coupler lock.

How does a Receiver Style Hitch Lock Work?

In case of a receiver-style hitch lock, you must not unhitch the trailer, and the receiver of the towing vehicle should be in-place.

You then simply guide the hitch lock through the hole of the receiver tube and ball mount. After that, you have to use the key to lock it entirely.

What does this do?

It deters the thief from stealing the trailer as it requires some effort and time to break the hitch lock. Any professional thief can break the hitch lock effortlessly as he carries the needed tools with him.

However, it’s definitely a safety measure that deserves your attention.

How does a Coupler Hitch Lock Work?

Here the idea is to make the coupler impossible to anchor by using a coupler lock.

So, as I said, the coupler lock will have a ball-shaped head, and you will put it into the coupler’s vacant end where the hitch ball goes in. As a result, the thief won’t be able to hook the coupler with his hitch ball and run away.

With that said, it’s quite easy to break this kind of coupler hitch lock unless you use any secured hitch lock.

Moreover, if you don’t weld the coupler with the trailer frame and use the bolt-on system instead, then a coupler lock won’t work. It’s because the thief will unbolt the coupler and install a new coupler and run away with your trailer.


Final Words

As you can see, it’s quite a tough task to fully secure your trailer using a hitch lock or coupler lock. Nonetheless, you won’t mind using these locks rather than letting the thief steal the trailer without any hassle.

I’m sure you are now clear about the types of hitch locks and how to use them.