Hitch Lock for 5.0TA With Andersen Hitch - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 06-20-2016, 04:03 PM   #1
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Hitch Lock for 5.0TA With Andersen Hitch

So we pick up (FINALLY!) our trailer Friday morning, and one thing I kinda maybe searched for but didn't find, was a lock for the kingpin (not sure if that's what its called) when the trailer is not attached to the truck. I haven't found a way to lock the Andersen Ultimate Hitch 2 (the new version) to the truck either.

Seems to me, anyone with the right size socket could come along, and in short order, disassemble both parts very easily and could have either an excellent hitch, or an excellent hitch and an excellent trailer to go with it.

If any of you know of a solution, I'd love to hear it!

And in case anyone has any ideas, I'm not saying where or when we are going after pickup!
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Old 06-20-2016, 04:57 PM   #2
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An interesting problem. I can't think of a coupler lock which work for the Andersen Ultimate coupler, but it hardly seems worth bothering anyway, since very few people would have a ball at the height needed to tow a trailer converted to this system, unless perhaps they have a high flatdeck with a ball of the same diameter. Even with a coupler lock, I agree that a minute with a couple of wrenches (and preferably one hex key to loosen the clamping screws first) would expose the stock kingpin; an effective lock would need to cover the heads and nuts of the bolts which secure the coupler to the kingpin.

I don't think the recent (and somewhat mysterious, not published on the Andersen website) design modification to the Ultimate frame makes any difference to security. The rail-mount version attaches to the rails with four pins like any other rail-mount hitch; if those are sized the same as an available locking pin (would a 1/2" diameter locking coupler pin work?) they could be locked. I bet even a padlock to fit could be found, but padlocks are not intended for this service and may be too brittle to use as hitch pins.

If you have the "gooseneck" version (anchored to a bed-mounted ball), then perhaps some combination of holes in parts and padlocks or locking pins could make the hold-down system non-removable.

There's also the pin which holds the Andersen Ultimate ball into the supporting frame. I would check the size and see if some available locking pin (including the locks offered by Andersen for other types of hitch) would fit. No one is likely to steal the ball for its value, but if taken by a vandal the rig would be disabled until a replacement is found. You could just remove the ball when unhitched and lock it away in the truck cab or the trailer.

It would be pretty awkward to tow the trailer away without retracting the landing gear, so a reasonable lock on the gear compartment doors would help. As with any trailer, the wheels can be secured by various methods (some effective, all inconvenient, some ineffective, and some just bad).

Of course the obvious approach would be to just ask Andersen. It seems that they no longer respond to email (I've been waiting a month for a response), and I wouldn't recommend Facebook as way of interacting with any business, so I suggest a phone call.
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Old 06-20-2016, 08:08 PM   #3
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Thanks Brian. I looked o Andersen's website but didn't see any security specific to the Ultimate Hitch. And you are right, the turnover ball is also a weak link in that there is no way to lock that. Oh well, I guess I won't worry...until I have to. Thanks again!!
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Old 06-20-2016, 09:00 PM   #4
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any 5/8 pin lock for a receiver will work with the Andersen mounted to rails.
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Old 06-20-2016, 09:03 PM   #5
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Sorry to not specify, I have the gooseneck/ball option, not the rails. Maybe some sort of wheel lock would work?
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Old 06-20-2016, 09:11 PM   #6
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When looking at the Andersen and 5.0 TA set up I spoke to them about the cable connection being unlocked while unattended. They said they were working on a lockable set up. This will not help your bed receiver while unhooked and disappearing, but hooked up they may now offer a locking cable set up.
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Old 06-20-2016, 09:41 PM   #7
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Don't go with Myron to Rodeo's and you'll probably be fine....
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Old 06-20-2016, 09:47 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
When looking at the Andersen and 5.0 TA set up I spoke to them about the cable connection being unlocked while unattended. They said they were working on a lockable set up. This will not help your bed receiver while unhooked and disappearing, but hooked up they may now offer a locking cable set up.
The possibly locking cable release is what I asked them about in an email sent 2016 May 20... still no answer. I think their sales people are all playing on Facebook.

A lockable coupler release would also provide a tiny bit of security for the trailer when unhitched, as you could lock a ball into the coupler so that a thief couldn't trivially pick the trailer up with their ball.
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Old 06-20-2016, 09:53 PM   #9
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The rail-mount version attaches to the rails with four pins like any other rail-mount hitch; if those are sized the same as an available locking pin (would a 1/2" diameter locking coupler pin work?) they could be locked.
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any 5/8 pin lock for a receiver will work with the Andersen mounted to rails.
Good info for those with the rail-mount version.
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Old 06-21-2016, 09:29 AM   #10
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Lock for the Andersen Coupler Block (Escape 5.0TA). Go to www.ftknoxlocks.com and look for Andersen Ultimate Conv.lock. We will get our 5.0TA on Aug 19, '16. I have the Andersen Ultimate 3200 (Rails) and the Ft Knox lock for the couple block in hand, just waiting for August to arrive. I considered the fact that the odds of a thief having a ball at the right height and location on his thief TV were pretty slight, but leaving the trailer all day while sight seeing from a strange RV Park or site or even here at home in our Sr Park TV storage lot, the opportunity is there. With the size of the 5.0TA, it still could probably be winched on to a flatbed. Still, the FT Knoxlock is going to be tough to deal with. Waiting for Andersen to come up with a fix for secure locking the coupler to the ball. First experience with a "fifth wheel"; seems real easy for a stranger to just come a long and give the knob a twist and pull. Same ole stuff, do your walk around check every time you park and before you go!
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Old 06-21-2016, 09:43 AM   #11
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This is something I just can't be bothered to worry about. I can't imagine why someone would want to steal the coupler, let alone have the wrenches to do so. Is the worry that they remove it to use a regular 5th wheel hitch to steal?

My plan is to ensure my insurance is up to date, and just deal with it should it ever happen. A quick overnight delivery would get me new parts.

Seeing I towed my temp trailer home from where I bought it, before realizing I had not locked the ball to the coupler with nothing happening, I think just a quick check now and again (something I do more regular now ), is good enough, no locking needed. It would take a monstrous bump, one that would take your suspension out, to bounce all that weight off the ball. Not a good idea to test it out though, so I will be more diligent into the future.

My Anderson hitch does not lock being the gooseneck type too, but I do close the tonneau cover when not towing (though rarely lock it unless other stuff is in there).

You do have to realize that this is coming from a guy who never used a hitch lock in the last 25 years of using a bumper tow, and never had a trailer stolen.

Though, for my cargo trailer loaded with tools, I have a ballmount lock, hitch lock, tongue lock, wheel lock, key locks and puck locks for the doors, in order to make it a more difficult target for thieves.
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Old 06-21-2016, 09:59 AM   #12
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Jim, not sure if you have noticed, but you can see the lock handle position from your rear view mirror when traveling. I put my coupler lock on the driver side and periodically check it when in motion. I think you could also see it, if mounted on the passenger side.
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Old 06-21-2016, 10:05 AM   #13
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Jim, not sure if you have noticed, but you can see the lock handle position from your rear view mirror when traveling. I put my coupler lock on the driver side and periodically check it when in motion. I think you could also see it, if mounted on the passenger side.
I have never actually checked while under way, but will look for it next weekend. It certainly would be a good, easy check.
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Old 06-21-2016, 12:56 PM   #14
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Correct me if I'm wrong but did you not have a tool truck stolen a couple of years back, Jim B?
My point being, especially after Myron having his stinger stolen, is opportunity seems to knock everywhere for the devious while the honest ones are always the victims.
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Old 06-21-2016, 01:14 PM   #15
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Correct me if I'm wrong but did you not have a tool truck stolen a couple of years back, Jim B?
My point being, especially after Myron having his stinger stolen, is opportunity seems to knock everywhere for the devious while the honest ones are always the victims.
Hi: cpaharley2008... Locks are only there for honest people... and those who misplaced the keys!!! Alf
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Old 06-21-2016, 01:45 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by ethanallen2 View Post
Lock for the Andersen Coupler Block (Escape 5.0TA). Go to www.ftknoxlocks.com and look for Andersen Ultimate Conv.lock.
Their lock for the Andersen Ultimate coupler is the tenth item listed - about half-way down - on the products page.

This looks similar to one of the locks for a conventional coupler which was discussed recently in EscapeForum, with the "puck" lock on the end.
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Old 06-21-2016, 02:05 PM   #17
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This is something I just can't be bothered to worry about. I can't imagine why someone would want to steal the coupler, let alone have the wrenches to do so. Is the worry that they remove it to use a regular 5th wheel hitch to steal?
I'm seeing both concerns expressed in this thread:
  • the entire Andersen hitch system could be stolen
    • several hundred dollars of value, and leaves you with no way to tow your trailer
    • the same problem as any fifth-wheel hitch - it could be stolen if not locked - but a more obscure hitch and so presumably less attractive to thieves
    • hitch hardware has been stolen, although I don't generally worry about this myself
  • once the Andersen coupler is removed then the trailer is easy to tow with a normal fifth-wheel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Bennett View Post
My plan is to ensure my insurance is up to date, and just deal with it should it ever happen. A quick overnight delivery would get me new parts.
Realistically, this could easily be four days - theft on Saturday, talk to supplier on Monday, two-day shipping (to remote locations there is rarely an overnight service) arrives Wednesday. But hey, you're on vacation so just enjoy where you are.
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Old 06-21-2016, 02:14 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Correct me if I'm wrong but did you not have a tool truck stolen a couple of years back, Jim B?
My point being, especially after Myron having his stinger stolen, is opportunity seems to knock everywhere for the devious while the honest ones are always the victims.
Yep it was, and insurance covered everything. Everything but the hassle of going out to replace the tools that is. Way more of a pain in the butt than losing a hitch, or even a travel trailer, would be.

This is kinda like comparing apples to oranges though, as construction vehicles and trailers are commonly targeted by thieves, as they contain tools which are a quick and easy sell for them. Something like a trailer hitch, not much of a quick sale market for them. Even stolen RV's are very rare compared to vehicles, especially those containing tools. Besides, I had it locked up tight, but they stole the whole truck, and then had to use a grinder to cut the door off the back, and there is little else I could have done. Sure GPS tracking, a nuisance alarm system, etc, but I just don't want that kinda hassle.
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Old 06-21-2016, 02:26 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
I'm seeing both concerns expressed in this thread:
  • the entire Andersen hitch system could be stolen
    • several hundred dollars of value, and leaves you with no way to tow your trailer
    • the same problem as any fifth-wheel hitch - it could be stolen if not locked - but a more obscure hitch and so presumably less attractive to thieves
    • hitch hardware has been stolen, although I don't generally worry about this myself
  • once the Andersen coupler is removed then the trailer is easy to tow with a normal fifth-wheel


Realistically, this could easily be four days - theft on Saturday, talk to supplier on Monday, two-day shipping (to remote locations there is rarely an overnight service) arrives Wednesday. But hey, you're on vacation so just enjoy where you are.
That just sounds like a whole lotta worry I would just rather not deal with. My doctor says I have great blood pressure, and I wish to keep it that way.

I know I sound like the ostrich with it's head in the sand, but I believe karma will deal with those who do my wrong, and reward me for things I do right.
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Old 06-21-2016, 03:36 PM   #20
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That just sounds like a whole lotta worry I would just rather not deal with. My doctor says I have great blood pressure, and I wish to keep it that way.
That makes sense to me. I don't worry much about trailer or towing equipment theft, but that was the question of the thread.
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