Home » Tires & Towing » Best Trailer Hitch Lock: Keeping Your Trailer Secure

Best Trailer Hitch Lock: Keeping Your Trailer Secure


Last Updated on

); ?>

Call of the Open Road is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a small commission at no cost to you.

Editors Choice

MasterLock 2866DAT Swivel Head Receiver

Master Lock Receiver Lock, 1/2 in. and 5/8 in. Swivel Head, Weather Resistant Trailer Coupler Locking Hitch Pin with Keys for Protecting Trailers, RVs, 2866DAT

The Swivel Head Receiver from Master Lock wins our best trailer hitch lock award due to its reliable and adaptable features. It has a patented swivel head, made of solid high strength steel, that rotates 360 degrees to make the key-in to this padlock-style lock easy to access. You can also skip the pin and clip with its handy push-to-lock system making key removal a breeze.

This heavy-duty lock has a durable design to protect the locking mechanism against weather and dirt. It is versatile and works for motor vehicles, trailers, and RVs fitting 1/2″ and 5/8″ receivers. It also has a four-pin cylinder that protects your hitch lock against picking.

This excellent trailer hitch lock is built tough, rated for class i and ii 3,500-pound loads with the 1/2″ pin, and class iii and iv 10,000-pound loads with the 5/8″ pin. Its receiver pin has a usable length of 2.75″ and it has a brass keyhole that is corrosion resistant.

You can’t go wrong with this Swivel Head Receiver. It’s reliable, full of features, and easy to use, making this our best trailer tongue lock.

Best Towing Hitch Locks Reviewed: Giving You Security and Peace of Mind

A towing hitch lock is a trailer accessory designed to add security to your hitch and protect your trailer from theft. Anything you might tow behind your car is large enough that you can’t take it into a gas station bathroom or hotel with you, yet easy enough to steal if someone else decides to reattach it to their vehicle and drive away with it. 

Trailer hitch locks are a small investment as compared to the hassle of trying to recover a loss. This review will give you the information you need to track down the best hitch lock for your needs.

Want to Find the Best Trailer Lock?

  • Why hitch locks for trailers are a good investment
  • Which trailer lock features should you pay attention to
  • Reviews of the best trailer hitch locks on the market

How to Choose the Best Hitch Lock for Your RV

What is a Trailer Hitch Lock?

An RV hitch lock will bolt together the trailer hitch on your tow vehicle to the hitch receiver on whatever it is that you are towing. Many people make the mistake of referring to ball mounts as hitches when the ball mount is actually an accompaniment for it.

The hitch pin is the slender metal rod that prevents a ball mount shank from dropping out of a receiver tube. It is inserted crossways into a receiver so that it goes through the ball mount shank and out the other side. There is also a spring stainless steel clip that goes into a hole on the end of it to make sure the pin doesn’t fall out.

Best RV Bike Rack_Banner

A receiver lock, or trailer pin lock, is usually composed of metal pins with two lockable ends, or with one locking end and one that is bent or curved so that it can’t be pulled through. A trailer hitch pin lock blocks the fastener hole where the hitch meets the vehicle frame so that another vehicle can’t attach. 

Receiver hitches are such a common type that people often simply call it a “trailer hitch.” A receiver-style model bolts onto the rear underside of a vehicle and is essentially a tube that is ready for a ball mount or other accessory. Hitches vary from tow vehicle to tow vehicle, though the receiver size is standardized and categorized into classes.

Any given hitch class is based on the weight that a trailer hitch can safely tow. For example, class i goes up to about 2,000 lbs and is suitable for even small cars. Class iii are common on CUVs, SUVs, and vans. Class v is rated for over 20,000 lbs of gross trailer weight and so can only be used with substantial pickup trucks.

Why Do You Need a Trailer Lock?

While trailer insurance is also a good idea, and actually requires a lock to be used in most cases, a travel trailer hitch lock is a simple way to avoid the hassle of dealing with cops, insurance companies, and replacements. Trailer locks for hitches are made of heavy-duty, sturdy materials so no one can gain access to your trailer without the code or key.

The first layer of defense is as a visual deterrent: a would-be opportunistic thief will likely reconsider when faced with a lock since it’s a formidable obstacle. Beyond that various methods are used to prevent picking, prying, or drill-outs to keep your trailer safe.

Knowing that your trailer and goods are safely locked is reassuring and allows you to have peace of mind to focus on enjoying yourself instead. In addition to saving you losses from a successful theft, a lock that keeps thieves from messing around with your hitch can save you money you might otherwise spend fixing the damage done during an attempted theft.

Features to Look for in Trailer Locks


As stated above, a visual deterrent is the first benefit of locks for hitches, so shopping for a high visibility option is one way to maximize this advantage. A decent-sized lock that is brightly colored will be easily noticed from a distance off and will let thieves know to steer clear. Red and yellow are standard colors used for this purpose.

Ease of Use

You don’t want your locking up routine to be arduous. For one thing, if it’s a pain, you may not bother to lock up every time, leaving yourself vulnerable to theft even though you own a lock. Most locks are built for convenience and functionality so that you can hook them up quickly and so that no one without the correct key or code can hook your trailer up at all. Make sure to go for a locking style that you like.


For a receiver hitch lock, you need to know the size of the hitches pin-hole and the size of the receiver. Generally, receivers come in four sizes: 1-1/4″, 2″, 2-1/2″, and less commonly 3″. Pins that are 1/2″ and 5/8″ are the most common. Class i or ii hitches typically lock with 1/2 inch pins and 1 1/4″ receiver. Class iii to v hitches require a 5/8 inch pin and a 2″ receiver.

The best options on the market offer some degree of size versatility for different types of trailer hitches. You want to find a size of lock that matches your towing habits. It is best practice to consult your hitch and receiver manufacturer’s guide, which is an excellent resource for dimensions and capacities.


Unfortunately, some locks on the market use keys that are mass-produced to save the manufacturer money, yet this poses an inconvenient risk for the consumer. Without unique keys, if someone has a key from the same manufacturer that works with your lock design, they can gain access to your trailer without having your key. Good hitch locks have distinctively designed keys, and for ultimate security, that’s what you want. After all, the objective of your lock purchase is security.

Alternatively, a resettable combination is a feature of some hitch locks. This allows you to never worry about losing or forgetting your key. Once the lock portion is removed, you rotate the rings to set or reset your personal combination code.

How to Secure an Unattached Trailer

Sometimes you might need to secure your trailer when it’s not attached to your vehicle. For that application, you need a coupler lock that will prevent another person from coupling their vehicle with your trailer. Coupler hitch locks are common and keep your stand-alone trailer safe from an unauthorized driver hitching up and driving off.

These locks are U-shaped and fit over the coupler on the trailer’s tongue. A trailer hitch ball lock is a coupler with a ball-shaped element that fits into the space where the ball unit on your vehicle would couple so that other ball hitches can’t be inserted there.

When looking for the best trailer coupler lock for your needs, you will need to know the size of the ball. A 2″ coupler ball will require a 2″ coupler trailer ball lock.

Choosing the Right Hitch Lock for You

No matter what style you decide on, it makes sense to pay for quality and make sure that your purchase is a durable locking system that can tolerate forceful hammer blows, can’t be frozen or otherwise damaged nor easily picked. Look for solid hardened steel alloys and stay away from materials like zinc or aluminum. The five top trailer hitch locks listed below should set you on the right path to finding an excellent tow hitch lock for your rig.

The Best Trailer Hitch Lock Reviews

MasterLock Swivel Head Receiver (2866DAT)

Editors Choice

Master Lock Receiver Lock, 1/2 in. and 5/8 in. Swivel Head, Weather Resistant Trailer Coupler Locking Hitch Pin with Keys for Protecting Trailers, RVs, 2866DAT

This list is noticeably heavy on Master Lock products, and for a good reason since this company has a well-earned terrific reputation. This option has a reliable heavy-duty all solid high strength steel structure, so you know it’s a product that can live up to the company’s lifetime limited warranty. 

Another noteworthy feature is its snap-on weather-resistant rubber cap that helps keep moisture, as well as dirt, out of the keyhole This 2866DAT model also has a 360-degree rotating locking head allowing the keyhole to always face forward for ease of accessibility. The anti-lockpicking four-pin cylinder is another excellent feature.

This receiver-style hitch lock has a convenient push-to-lock mechanism that makes installation and removal easy. To lock, press the head decisively into the pin and remove the key.

This versatile option fits 1/2″ and 5/8″ receivers and is suitable for hitches from class i to class v. The only drawback we found was with the integrity of the keys themselves. They could be made with a more robust metal as they may be prone to breaking if you don’t treat them with some delicacy.

  • PROs

    • Affordable
    • Easy to use
    • Lifetime limited warranty
    • Universal size
    • Solid hardened steel construction
  • CONs

    • Keys lack durability

Bottom-Line: This is our choice for best locking hitch pin due to its sturdiness, versatility, and ease of use, and all of this for a great price.

Reese Towpower 72783 Coupler

REESE Towpower 72783 Coupler Lock, Adjustable Storage Security, Heavy-Duty Steel, Yellow and Chrome

The Reese Towpower 72783 is an affordable anti-theft security device that is easy to install and remove. At 9″x9″x3″ and with a bright yellow finish, the Towpower 72783 is an excellent visual deterrent. 

It’s a universal coupler lock with eleven locking positions for the ratchet. It can be used with 1 7/8″, 2″, and 2 5/16 inch couplers.

The lock itself is made of durable steel to withstand drill-outs or other attempts at lock picking, although unfortunately the main body is made of aluminum.

Unfortunately, the key set is a little fragile and prone to breaking. This receiver lock comes with two keys, as insurance against key loss (or perhaps breakage).

  • PROs

    • Affordable
    • Universal
    • High visibility
  • CONs

    • Aluminum body
    • Keys lack durability

Bottom-Line: Reese is a household name in heavy-duty towing, and this affordable lock with its high versatility and visibility makes it a great practical choice.

MasterLock Universal Coupler 389DAT

Master Lock - Universal Size Fits 1-7/8', 2', and 2-5/16' Couplers - Trailer Locks #389DAT

This Universal trailer lock features a universal fit so it can pair with couplers varying from 1 ⅞ inch, 2 inch, and 2 5/16 inches. It’s reasonably priced, and it’s built to last with robust, corrosion-resistant hardened steel to prevent rust and corrosion. Of course, this toughness also helps against tampering.

This is a standout receiver lock as a visual deterrent because it comes in a bright red color. It’s 6.5″ x 4″ x 7.5″ and weighs 1.5 pounds. It has a sophisticated locking mechanism that provides a meaningful safeguard against pry bars and lock picking.

Removal and installation are both notably simple. Unfortunately, this option doesn’t have a unique key design, which puts some limits on its ultimate security. It does come with two keys in case you misplace one.

  • PROs

    • Universal
    • Easy to use
    • Affordable
    • Lifetime limited warranty
    • High visibility
  • CONs

    • Key design is not unique

Bottom-Line: This company always offers high-quality products, this lock included. This particular model is extremely robust and durable and advertises itself to would-be thieves with its bright red color.

Proven Industries 2516 AS

Proven Industries Model 2516-AS Trailer Lock, Fits (1997-2019) 2 5/16-Inch Airstream Couplers, Made in The USA (Black)

The Proven Industries 2516 AS has been dubbed “bolt cutter proof” due to its 1/4” impenetrable heavy duty steel structure. It’s made in the USA, comes with a lifetime warranty, and is easy to use both in its installation and removal.

It has two holes low on the outer shield to allow you to padlock your safety chains and your coupler lock together. In most cases, these trailer coupler locks can be secured by 5/16 inches safety chains (though not all chains are uniform). This steel lock could also be used for other accessories.

This is a superior quality trailer hitch lock and has a high-end price tag to match. The black powder coat finish doesn’t lend to making it a high visibility visual deterrent, and yet, since this steel lock is virtually indestructible, that may not matter. One major point to note though is that the 2516 AS model is specifically designed to only fit airstream trailers.

  • PROs

    • Easy to use
    • Lock heavy duty steel construction
    • Warranty
  • CONs

    • Very expensive
    • Only fits airstream trailers

Bottom-Line: If you have an airstream trailer then this option is a reliable, lifelong, heavy-duty coupler lock investment.

MasterLock 377KA

Master Lock Trailer Hitch Lock, Fits 1-7/8 in., 2 in., and Most 2-5/16 in. Trailer Couplers, Weather Resistant Automotive Hitch Lock with Keys, 377KA

The 377KA Trailer Coupler Lock is simple, affordable, and easy to use with dimensions of 5.6″ x 4.3″ x 2.8″. It weighs just under two pounds and the body is made of zinc making it rust and corrosion-resistant, suitable for even harsh weather conditions. The locking mechanism of this coupler lock is made of solid hardened steel.

It gets high marks for versatility since it’s designed to fit 1 7/8″, 2″, and most 2-5/16 inches couplers. This option has an advanced locking mechanism to protect you against picking and prying and can also be keyed alike for your convenience if you have multiple trailers. On the downside, the key designs are not unique.

  • PROs

    • Lifetime limited warranty
    • Universal fit
    • Easy to use
    • Affordable
  • CONs

    • Key design is not unique
    • Made from zinc

Bottom-Line: This model has flexible sizing and durability, and also offers the convenience of key sharing between your hitch locks if you have multiple trailers.

Last update on 2024-07-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Leave a Comment