Hitch locks - Fiberglass RV

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Old 02-05-2006, 11:29 AM   #1
Yves Pelchat's Avatar
Trailer: Bigfoot 17 ft (15B17G) / Chevy Astro AWD
Posts: 84

I would like to have more information about hitch locks. What are the different hitch locks available, and where to purchase them.



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Old 02-05-2006, 12:45 PM   #2
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Hope we are on the same wavelength and you mean locking the trailer coupler as opposed to a locking pin on the hitch stinger......coupler locks won`t stop real thieves from stealing your trailer, only the honest ones....and stopping the honest ones is as easy as locking an old hitch ball in your coupler with a decent padlock thru the latch on the coupler.....apparently real thieves will close couple your trailer to their hitch with a chain and tow it away to a place where they can remove the hitch lock at their leisure......seems that the best systems lock at least one wheel of the trailer so it doesn`t turn.....there should be others on here shortly with types and suppliers of hitch locks...Benny

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Old 02-05-2006, 01:47 PM   #3
Frederick L. Simson's Avatar
Name: Frederick
Trailer: Fiber Stream
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MASTERlock Coupler lock
I use product #377DAT, in addition to a long shanked padlock through the coupler latch.
Frederick - The Scaleman
1978 Fiber Stream 16 named "Eggstasy" & 1971 Compact Jr. named "Boomerang"
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Old 02-05-2006, 07:46 PM   #4
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Name: Byron
Trailer: 2006 Scamp 13' towed with a 2005 Dodge Dakota 4.7l Magnum W/full tow package (over kill)
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Hitch locks are one way, but a chain wrapped around the coupler will defeat it. A better way might be this one.
Byron & Anne enjoying the everyday Saturday thing.
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Old 02-05-2006, 08:45 PM   #5
Trailer: Bigfoot (25B21RB) 2007 Bunkbed version
Posts: 31
In addition to a hitch pin lock and a hitch ball lock I also use a wheel lock (Trailer Keeper available from Cabelas ). The advantage of Trailer Keeper over other wheel locks is that the wheel cannot be removed in order to bypass the wheel lock. The lock mounting bracket attaches to one of the lug nuts which is inaccessible when the lock is in place.

I also have installed in my trailer an electronic security system called Security Guard III from Desert Security Systems. This has a motion detector for the interior and a sensor mounted on the door. If someone breaks in, it triggers a very loud siren and since there are houses all around my parked trailer, someone is going to hear it. I think the warning signs (which come with the system) I have placed on all sides of my trailer also serve as a deterrent (If the bad guys are literate!).

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Old 02-05-2006, 09:14 PM   #6
Trailer: 72 Boler
Posts: 46
I use both types of hitch locks and I also
fixed up a 2 foot threaded rod with a heavy chain on it
I drove the rod into the ground and then wrap the chain
around the and through the yoke and padlock it with
a case hardended lock. It wont stop a determined thief
but it sure makes it difficult. I also have a light on the garage that comes
on when there is movement as light is the last thing a thief wants.
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Old 02-06-2006, 06:50 AM   #7
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Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Posts: 23,908
stopping the honest ones is as easy as locking an old hitch ball in your coupler with a decent padlock thru the latch on the coupler.
Seems to me you'd also want to hack off the shaft off the ball too. Otherwise what's to stop a thief from bolting their stinger to the ball, reinstalling the stinger into the receiver hitch and driving off???
Donna D.
Ten Forward - 2014 Escape 5.0 TA
Double Yolk - 1988 16' Scamp Deluxe
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Old 02-06-2006, 07:42 AM   #8
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Trailer: Scamp 19 ft 5th Wheel Custom Deluxe
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Years ago I worked as a recovery agent (repo man). Nothing on the hitch would slow me down. A quick chainup and I was gone. Trailers with any type of wheel lock would be drug down the street to a "safe area" and undone. What DID stop me was a trailer with no wheels.
Also a cable around the axle and a fixed object was a problem. Easy grab for me was a trailer with any kind of hitch lock in a nice quiet, no light, no neighbors, no dogs area. The last thing I wanted was to be noticed. Being shot at did not make for a good night. Mike
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Old 02-06-2006, 07:44 AM   #9
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Trailer: 1986 U-Haul CT13 ft
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...what's to stop a thief from bolting their stinger to the ball, reinstalling the stinger into the receiver hitch and driving off???
Time. Time is the thief's enemy. Anything that slows him down increases his risk of being caught in the act. Short of setting it in concrete, you can't make your egg perfectly theft-proof - but there's a whole spectrum of things we can do to make it less convenient for thieves. Each of us makes his own choice as to where, on that spectrum, he feels comfortable.
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Old 02-06-2006, 11:48 AM   #10
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Name: Brian
Trailer: Boler (B1700RGH) 1979
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I believe that Benny's ball-in-coupler scheme is an economical alternative to the coupler locks such as those shown in Frederick's Master Lock page. The biggest difference to me is that the actual locking mechanism of the commercial coupler locks is in addition to anything done on the latch, and probably much harder to cut or otherwise disable.

I agree with Donna that this would be more secure with the stud removed; if I were to go home and do this today and wanted to avoid the effort of sawing off a 3/4" stud, I would use an old ball which has a threaded hole (used with a bolt) instead of a stud (used with a nut). The threaded hole could be filled with epoxy (or whatever) to keep the prospective thief from bolting up to it. This is a less common type of ball, but I have two on my garage shelf, so I know they're out there.

I find Mike's comment about wheel removal interesting. In some discussions of this subject, it seems to be assumed that any well-prepared thief can come up with a generic wheel (with tire) or two, so removal is ineffective. It may be that the time to mount wheels is significant. It seems to me that it would also be advantageous to have an oddball bolt pattern, so a prospective thief's wheels would not fit.

Finally, on that spectrum of levels of inconvenience which Jack mentions, I have to consider that what takes a thief's time also takes mine: its not just what makes me comfortable, but what I am willing to do in order to unlock my trailer. If you use nothing but a simple padlock on the coupler latch and your trailer is stolen, I won't be telling you that you should have done more - it's your trailer, and the thief is the one to blame.
1979 Boler B1700RGH, pulled by 2004 Toyota Sienna LE 2WD
Information is good. Lack of information is not so good, but misinformation is much worse. Check facts, and apply common sense liberally.
STATUS: No longer active in forum.
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Old 02-06-2006, 12:05 PM   #11
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Trailer: 84 16 ft Scamp
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Just thinking about this, some time ago a co-worker of mine lived in an semi-rural area that was "hit" several times by thieves. We were working as a group of electrical engineers and came up with motion detectors that set off high powered repeating strobe lights. These were installed by any of the residents in that area that were interested. Most were. Problem solved.

I said high powered, but since the flash is just for a split instant, no much electrical power is needed to produce a huge amount of light, especially on a dark night. Also this attracts a lot of attention. It shouldn't be too hard or expensive to outfit a small camper with such a system.
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Old 02-06-2006, 07:04 PM   #12
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Trailer: 74 13 ft Boler and 79 17 ft Boler
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Yes Donna, I thought about the stem on the ball but didn`t put it in my post, and if I did use that system to lock the trailer coupler I would cut off the stem with the friction saw or blow it off with the arc welder at 300 amps,LOL......Funny that with 2 trailers, I have a coupler lock but don`t use it....both trailers are insured and if someone wants them bad enough they can have them....sometimes it doesn`t matter what you do it`ll be stolen or vandalized anyway........and Brian, the hitch balls with the internal thread are good for use in applications on equipment where you may need a stem longer than 2-3 "....have a couple of them around here too.....Benny
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Old 02-07-2006, 07:04 AM   #13
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Trailer: 84 16 ft Scamp
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It's one thing to have your rig stolen or vandalized when parked at home and quite another when on a vacation.

My policy is to not look too rich or spiffy especially when traveling. It isn't that I want to appear scruffy. Well traveled is ideal. No obvious damage, but a significant amount of wear-and-tear in the right places to portray an image of experience. Used but not abused.

I used to have a NRA sticker on the trailer door window and an empty gun rack in the back window of my pickup, though I've never even owned a firearm. However in the last 10 years or so where political correctness has become an issue, I don't use these props any more. It just might be that they would invite a break-in to steal a non-existent firearm.

I've never had an incident or even a close call. My favorite response to a noisy group nearby is to tell them I'd like to join them, but I already drank more than I should have and am nursing a nasty hangover.

It's amazing how most times they start to empathize and even apologize for the noise.
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Old 02-07-2006, 08:25 AM   #14
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Posts: 153
Anyone think of a means of locking the handle of the tongue jack? If the trailer was raised at sufficient height, and the handle was secured, would it mean extra work to connect to a tow vehicle (this in addition to the hitch lock)?

Rick B

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