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Old 02-23-2014, 07:16 PM   #1
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Hitch & pin lock systems

We are newbies to trailers. Hence, we'd appreciate recommendations, reviews, and suggestions regarding trailer hitch lock systems. Online reviews are pretty sketchy.
Thanks, Greg
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Old 02-23-2014, 07:36 PM   #2
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Greg all you need is a hitch lock at the tongue that goes through the ball latch. Very common on most trailers. You can go to any RV parts place or trailer lot to see what I am talking about.
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Old 02-23-2014, 08:39 PM   #3
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Some trailer owners are convinced that someone will pull the ball mount out of their hitch receiver, and thus they need the ball mount pin (such as any of these at eTrailer) to lock as well - we have one of these, and I have used it on trips.

There are kits containing both a latch locking pin (as Chuck mentioned, such as this Master Lock) and a ball mount locking pin that use the same key, to keep the proliferation of keys down; here's one set (big one for the ball mount, small one for the coupler latch).

The coupler locks are likely easy to break, so deter the more determined thief, some people resort to a coupler lock which occupies the ball space when unhitched, such as these at eTrailer. The number of keys is really getting out of hand now, so you can get all three locks using the same key, such as in this MasterLock set.

Even more extreme are wheel locks (like a Denver boot that you put on voluntarily)... there are many kinds, such as these The Club units at eTrailer. I think those are typically only used for trailers left unattended in storage.

I think you need to assess your own level of paranoia and equip yourself appropriately. No security locks of any kind are actually required, but most people seem to use at least the coupler latch lock, as Chuck described.
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Old 02-23-2014, 08:51 PM   #4
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I use the coupler latch lock, mostly to reassure myself that I'm securely attached to the ball.
At camp, the coupler latch is a handy place to store the lock.
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Old 02-23-2014, 09:09 PM   #5
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I have a small brass receiver lock, only because I don't want some idjit to steal the ball mount while I'm running around with out the trailer. It would be easily defeated with simple tools, just trying to slow down the crime of opportunity. The coupler lock is the one that I use to lock the gate at my sticks 'n bricks home where the trailer is stored.
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Old 02-23-2014, 09:12 PM   #6
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Thanks Guys! I appreciate the feedback. Have looked at the Masterlock 3794DAT set that uses the same key for all three locks. Too easy to either overdo or underdo when you are new to the field. Then again, as a friend used to say .. "just 'cause you aren't paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to getcha". LOL Take care.
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Old 02-23-2014, 09:15 PM   #7
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Hi Donna, You came while I was prepping the reply. But you are one of the 'guys' too, eh? Thanks for the comments. Yeah, I want to keep the trailer secure at home too. Trailers are pretty popular in the neighborhood but then none of them are Escapes!
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Old 02-23-2014, 09:53 PM   #8
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Everyone needs to deal with the level of comfort for themselves. I'm not about to tell you not to be paranoid. I don't live in your neighborhood or travel the same miles. Locks are cheap insurance. If it slows down the crime of opportunity as I mentioned already. AND, carry good insurance!
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Old 02-24-2014, 12:55 AM   #9
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...AND, carry good insurance!
Also carry spare copies of any keys, so if you use a coupler lock you are not stranded unable to hook up due to misplacing one key, and if you use a latch lock you are not unable to unhook to set up camp due to misplacing that key. At least if you can't unlock the ball mount lock, you can deal with that when you get home.
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Old 02-24-2014, 07:55 AM   #10
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Thanks Brian . . Good points. The number of keys I need for the truck is growing . . the vehicle itself, the gas cap, the bike rack, the kayak rack, and now the trailer! Ah .. the keys to freedom, eh? Greg
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Old 03-27-2014, 11:41 AM   #11
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Also carry spare copies of any keys, so if you use a coupler lock you are not stranded unable to hook up due to misplacing one key, and if you use a latch lock you are not unable to unhook to set up camp due to misplacing that key. At least if you can't unlock the ball mount lock, you can deal with that when you get home.
That happened to me while camping at Hunting Island State Park in South Carolina. My wife didn't have a backup key for that particular lock so I had to cut it off. Luckily, my son lived about five miles from the campground so I simply borrowed his Dremel and a cut-off wheel and made quick work of the lock. I now carry my keys on a chain that I can fasten to my belt keeper!
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Old 03-27-2014, 02:26 PM   #12
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Additionally, because of the way the trailer door lock works you can lock your keys inside and become locked out. I keep a complete set of spare keys in a magnetic key box hidden in the frame a under my 19'...had to use them once...glad they were there.

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That happened to me while camping at Hunting Island State Park in South Carolina. My wife didn't have a backup key for that particular lock so I had to cut it off. Luckily, my son lived about five miles from the campground so I simply borrowed his Dremel and a cut-off wheel and made quick work of the lock. I now carry my keys on a chain that I can fasten to my belt keeper!
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Old 03-27-2014, 03:52 PM   #13
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Additionally, because of the way the trailer door lock works you can lock your keys inside and become locked out. I keep a complete set of spare keys in a magnetic key box hidden in the frame a under my 19'...had to use them once...glad they were there.
No longer hidden….
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Old 03-27-2014, 04:43 PM   #14
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No longer hidden….
Yea, but the spare keys are protected by Smith & Wesson...
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Old 03-27-2014, 06:02 PM   #15
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I hid my keys in a magnetic box under the frame of my Escape, now I cannot find where they are. I suspect somewhere down the highway.
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Old 03-27-2014, 07:50 PM   #16
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Best bet to HIDE spare Keys on a vehicle is in a plastic baggy wrapped with black tape then black taped to a wire bundle that is accessible or covered with a piece of wire loom with ends taped to a wire bundle ( the black ringed stuff found all over cars). The chances of someone looking at the wire bundles under a vehicle and knowing one is a little thicker then it should be is almost nil. Even though I just put it here for all to see I would bet $10 bucks you could not find mine if your coming to the Eastern Rally and want to take me up on it let me know :} It will cost you $20 to try ( just incase I have to re-tape stuff pays for my time :}) LOL

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Old 03-27-2014, 08:27 PM   #17
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Nah, you're all missing an obvious idea. In a plastic baggy in with the stinky slinky.... Nobody will go looking for it there...
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