A hitch lock exists in order to dissuade thieves from stealing your trailer from your truck, RV or recreational vehicle, van, or boat. It's a good and worthwhile investment that keeps your trailer hitch and receiver from being unhooked from your vehicle then hooked unto some other vehicle, like the robber's getaway vehicle.
These locks can only be unlocked with a key and they're different from your usual collection of padlocks because they've been made specifically to cater to the trailer hitch. There are many variants to this lock type, just like how a traditional lock can end up using the pin lock, tongue lock, or combination lock system.
The Many Types of Hitch Locks:
- RV Travel Trailer Padlocks: These are padlocks you can put through the hitch coupler hole in order to keep others from hitching your trailer out of your hands. These RV travel trailer locks can be unlocked as easily as a padlock as well. When going for this lock type, make sure your coupler is closed or else it can easily be pulled out. Any padlock that fits the RV travel trailer can be considered this type of lock as long as it fits into the coupler hole.
- Fifth Wheel Hitch Locks: In regards to fifth wheel hitch locks, they're the locks that are specifically made for fifth wheel hitches because unlike normal hitches which are designed for padlocking, these hitches require a specific lock in light of how they're made and how they function. They don't come with a hole you can snap a padlock into that protects them from thievery and trailer-jacking. It's also possible to get a hardened link chain you're supposed to wrap around the pin with a padlock in order to secure this type of trailer.
- RV Multipurpose Cable Locks: Multipurpose cable locks for RVs is a cable lock system that protects both types of trailers, the ones with the fifth wheel or RV travel hitches alike. This lock type is especially effective when it comes to the tandem axle variety of trailer with spoke-style wheels. This lock runs through the wheels on one side in order to "lock" them together with the hitch, thus this makes it more difficult for trailer-carjackers to move the trailer since the cable lock immobilizes both the wheels while also tying the hitch up. It's kind of like a more sophisticated wheel clamp for trailers.
- Ball Shank Replacement Hitch Locks: A lock isn't usually enough because thieves-in-the-know can use wrenches in order to unscrew the nut holding the hitch ball, thus allowing them to remove the lock and get away with your trailer scot-free. The best hitch locks should address this design flaw with something that replaces the nut under the hitch ball. This then prevents unattended trailer theft with a surefire lock they can't break. That's what the ball shank replacement hitch lock brings to the table.