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Trailer Coupler Locks - Pros And Cons
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Trailer Coupler Locks  -  Pros And Cons

Its bad enough having to worry about having your vehicle stolen, and unfortunately nowadays you have to worry about your trailer being stolen as well. I've heard many stories of people leaving their trailer in their driveway or parked out on the street in front of the house, only to find one day that someone actually in fact stole their trailer. Another complaint I have heard often is when people have friends who "borrow" their trailer when they did not ask permission first. I had one man tell me of his friend who thought it wasn't a big deal to borrow his trailer while he was gone. This friend of his forgot to crank the tongue jack all the way up and ending up bending it to hell on a curb. The man telling me the story was coming in to buy the $80 replacement tongue jack. Although I didn't want to add fuel to the fire, I asked him anyways "Think you should consider getting a lock for the trailer?".

If you are considering purchasing one, let me give you a pat on the back for saving yourself a lot of trouble beforehand. Here's some of the most popular types you'll find.

Latch Type: These are very basic locks that are smaller in size and basically fit through the hole in the latch on top of the coupler that locks the ball into place. They usually are the cheapest option and although something is better than nothing, they are easy to cut through with the right bolt cutters. Most look like a small padlock or a straight bar with a locking end on one side. These might get you through leaving the trailer unattended in a busy lot during business hours, but you may want something a little more heavy duty if the trailer will be unsupervised overnight or longer.

Ball Type: I call these the ball type because they consist of a pseudo hitch ball that has a U shaped bolt on top of it. The ball fits up into the coupler and the U shaped bolt clamps down over the coupler with the ball inside. These tend to be more money, but you get a lot more protection. They are universal and one lock will fit 1 7/8", 2", and 2 5/16". The U shaped bolt is also a lot thicker and in some locks, hardened. Go with the hardened if you can as it is more resistant to cutting and being drilled out.

Lip Type: This type of coupler lock slips over the lip of the coupler that surrounds where the hitch ball goes into. They usually have a pin that goes up inside the coupler when locked as well. These also run a bit more money, but the real nice thing is that the pin is inside the coupler, making it protected from cutting. One of the only downsides I have seen with this type of lock is when the lip on the coupler gets bent enough or the coupler gets twisted a bit, then the lock won't fit anymore. However, if your coupler is twisted bad enough it's probably time to get a new coupler anyways. You can also take out a lot of bends in the lip with a crescent wrench as well.

I hope this little guide has helped you learn a bit about trailer coupler locks. Although there are variations of the ones I've mentioned, make sure to grab yourself one and prevent the trouble of having to deal with a stolen trailer.


Street Talk

well done article, you did quite well, but there are a few of us out there that believe none of the categories above are preferable to our "fully enclosed" model. Our product the megahitch lock encloses the coupler on 5 sides, has 500 key combinations, unlike the Balltype you discuss above those anchor hard to the coupler and like they are in a vice, most can be hack sawed in three minutes with little noise, The Diversitech is the best according to our testing, see videos at our site . The only security lower than the lip type is a bent nail. Hopefully you find some humor in this. I have studied the competition and we have developed our newest lock the "Coupler Vault" tm. The only better security than this is no trailer at all.

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  about 1 decade ago
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