How to Lock a Trailer Hitch? A Comprehensive Guide

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 Lock a Trailer Hitch
Trailers are beneficial for storage purposes, but they come with the risk of being stolen or easily broken into, which is why they are typically towed to a vehicle. We will guide you through the entire process of how to lock a trailer hitch on your own. This protects your trailer and the stuff inside as only the owner can unlock it. Moreover, it lessens the possibility of any hazardous situation while on the road.

To elevate your security measures, follow the rules we have outlined below. Read on and learn more!

Types of Hitch Locks


First and foremost, you must decide which trailer hitch lock is suitable for your trailer. The types of hitch locks are:

Type 1: Coupler Locks

It is a U-shaped lock that can easily be connected to the tongue of the trailer. Upon use, lift the top bar, insert the key to lock the coupler, then reposition the top bar to tightly lock it up.

Type 2: Ball Mount Locks

It is best if you buy two of these so the ball mount on the receiver will remain intact in one position. Note that you have to lubricate the ball mount then clean it before using it.

Type 3: Receiver Hitch

This type of hitch locks can be hooked on to the receiver in the vehicle. They are available in various shapes and sizes. It can only be unlocked using a key or a code. 

Type 4: Classes of Hitch 

There are different categories of hitch based on the weight of tow they can carry steadily. Class I is reserved for small cars, Class II has the capacity to pull passenger cars, Class III typically pulls minivans and SUVs, Class IV is for heavy-duty trucks, and Class V is usually for the heaviest automobiles. 

When purchasing a class of hitch, make sure that the diameter of the lock does not exceed that of the trailer.

A Guide to Lock a Trailer Hitch 

As long as you have the specialized tools for this purpose, you can accomplish the task without causing any damages.

Here is a beginner’s guide on how to effectually secure a trailer hitch:

Step 1: Choose a Suitable Location

Select a large vacant area where you can park your vehicle and trailer in a straight line.

Step 2: Reposition the Coupler Directly above the Hitch Ball

Raise or lower the coupler according to your needs by rotating the handle on the jack. The coupler should be raised a few inches higher than the hitch ball. You do not need a jack if your trailer is lightweight, then you can crank it up by yourself.

Step 3: Bring the Trailer and Vehicle in a Line

For this step, you will need someone to help you. One of you should reverse the car according to the other’s directions. This is to ensure that the hitch ball is exactly underneath the coupler. Stop the car once you are sure that the coupler and hitch ball is perfectly placed.

Step 4: Attach the Coupler to the Hitch Ball

Now unlock the coupler and lever it to the hitch ball at the back of your vehicle. You might have to give it a few tries before it finally fits in, so do not lose your patience.

Step 5: Secure the Coupler Lock

Once everything is in the right spots, lock the coupler with a pin or key depending on what kind of hitch lock you purchased.

Step 6: Use Safety Chains

For extra security, we highly recommend the use of safety chains. Wrap the hitch ball and coupler with chains in order to prevent detachment. In case of any mishaps, these chains will avert any of the parts from hitting the ground.

Step 7: Check Everything before Driving 

Check multiple times that the attachment is firm for a safe drive. If the coupler does not drop off the hitch ball when you lift the tongue of the trailer, consider it to be ready.

Step 8: Turn on All Electrical Networks

Lastly, all the electrical cords, including the trailer’s lights and brakes, should be plugged into the socket.

Lock Your Trailer Hitch Today!


Anyone can learn how to lock because a few components and the sets of information given above make it very doable.

These locks keep your trailer out of harm’s way both when the vehicle is moving and when it is stationary.

No more waiting, get to work now, and you’ll thank yourself later!

About the Author Todd Davis

Todd Davis is a DIY enthusiast, traveler and writer for a long time. He has a deep understanding of all types of paint sprayers, chairs, vacuums and door hardware.

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