How to Select the Best Trailer Hitch Lock
5 Steps for Selecting a Hitch & Trailer Lock
Selecting the right locks for your hitch and trailer requires thinking about your towing practices and needs. What size receiver does your vehicle have? How often do you tow? Do you own more than one trailer?
In this guide, we will lay out the types of locks along with the best hitch locks and trailer locks CURT has to offer, and help you answer some of the important questions to consider when purchasing a towing lock.
One lock for all your trailers!
The CURT tri-ball universal coupler lock is a unique trailer lock option, featuring a triple ball insert that fits 1-7/8", 2" or 2-5/16" couplers. The tri-ball keeps a trailer ball from being inserted into the tongue, while the lasso lock keeps the trailer latch secure.
This innovative lock also has built-in safety points to greatly deter tampering!
Step 1: Match receiver and trailer tongue size
One of the first steps to selecting the best trailer lock or hitch lock for your towing setup is to know the hitch receiver size and trailer coupler size. The lock must be the right fit for the application.
For example, if the receiver measures 1-1/4” x 1-1/4” with a 1/2" hole, a 5/8" hitch lock will not work.
Start by measuring your receiver tube opening, the diameter of the hole in the side of the receiver, as well as the trailer coupler latch and / or ball size. Shop for locks within range of those measurements.
Step 2: Consider frequency of use
Locking and unlocking your trailer is an added step that takes time. If extra security isn’t needed, a hitch lock or coupler lock may not be necessary. Instead, a hitch pin might be sufficient.
If you're frequently hooking up your trailer and need something to streamline the locking process, consider a lock that’s easier to access, such as a right-angle lock.
If you're planning to hook up once and leave your trailer connected for the duration of your trip, a higher security lock may be a wiser investment.
Helpful Hint: Most CURT hitch locks and coupler locks feature quarter-turn lock activation, making it easier to unlock using your key.
Step 3: Consider number of trailers / vehicles
The best lock for one trailer, might not be the best lock for two other trailers.
If you own more than one trailer, especially if they have different coupler sizes or styles, consider selecting a trailer lock that fits all of them equally. Some trailer coupler locks are adjustable or even universal to fit virtually any type of coupler, making them easier to transfer between trailers.
If you own multiple vehicles, consider a hitch lock with an adapter. Depending on the receiver size, the best locking hitch pin may be one that works for both vehicles or separate locks may be needed.
Step 4: Will you be leaving your trailer unattended?
For some applications, such as a quick trip to the dump, your trailer never needs to be uncoupled from your vehicle. In this case, a simple through-latch coupler lock may suffice.
However, for applications in which your trailer will be parked by itself and left alone, you may wish to enhance security. An over-lip trailer lock is one of the best trailer locking device options, inserting into the coupler opening so a trailer ball cannot be connected.
Step 5: Consider the conditions you’ll be driving in
Some locks are better-suited than others for long-term weather exposure. If you’re looking for some extra security for a trailer that’s always parked in the garage, a chrome-plated coupler lock will get the job done.
If you’re coupler lock will receive constant use and be exposed to a wide variety of outdoor elements – rain, snow, road grime, salt, sleet, UV rays – the best hitch lock choice is one made of stainless steel.
Best trailer hitch locks
1. Most comprehensive
2. Highest rated
Black barbell-style lock
3. Easiest to use
Blue anodized right-angle lock
4. Most weather-resistant
Stainless steel barbell lock
5. Most versatile
Deadbolt-style long-pin lock
1. Most comprehensive: Three-lock set
The best lock for complete security of your towing setup is the three-piece hitch and coupler lock set #23086. This triad of locks allows you to secure your receiver hitch and ball mount, your trailer coupler while towing, and your trailer while it is left unattended.
The receiver hitch lock in this set fits 2" receivers -- class 3, class 4 and most class 5 hitches. The coupler latch lock is extremely versatile, featuring a segmented pin to fit multiple latch spans. The over-lip coupler lock is great for deterring theft while your trailer is parked, and can be used in tandem with the latch lock for extra security.
2. Highest rated: Black barbell-style lock
The black-finish version of our 2” barbell-style hitch lock #23518 is one of the top-rated hitch locks. It fits most class 3 to class 5 hitches and has a simple quarter-turn locking mechanism for convenient use.
This hitch lock is a barbell-style, meaning it has a simple, subtle profile to help further deter tampering. The keyhole is accessed from the side and is covered with a watertight cap to help protect the internal components.
3. Easiest to use: Blue anodized right-angle lock
The right-angle hitch lock #23504 is one of the best hitch lock options when it comes to ease of use. The right-angle lock head provides ergonomic access when inserting the key, positioning the keyhole toward you instead of from the side. The head also swivels and rotates as needed to ensure easy access.
This hitch lock has a quarter-turn locking mechanism to avoid unnecessary twisting of your hand.
It has a 5/8" diameter pin and fits virtually any 2” or 2-1/2” receiver tube.
4. Most weather-resistant: Stainless steel barbell-style lock
The stainless steel barbell-style hitch lock #23519 is one of the best locking hitch pin options for weather resistance. If you’re planning to tow often and expect your vehicle-trailer setup to be frequently exposed to the outdoor elements, a weather-resistant lock is key.
Stainless steel provides this lock with protection against corrosion, even in the face of rain, snow, sleet and more. It also features a watertight cap that goes over the keyhole, protecting the lock cylinder’s internal components from damaging elements and debris.
5. Most versatile: Deadbolt-style long-pin lock
The deadbolt hitch lock #23021 fits virtually any receiver with a 2”, 2-1/2” or 3” opening. This makes it extremely versatile, being able to fit hitches on vans and crossovers, as well as the largest of pickup trucks. For any class 3, class 4 or class 5 hitch with a 5/8” pin hole, this lock provides a good fit.
The deadbolt receiver lock comes with a bent handle for security and an easier grip.
Best trailer coupler locks
1. Most comprehensive
Tri-ball universal lock
2. Best kit
3. Most compact
4. Easiest to adjust
Segmented right-angle lock
5. Most budget-friendly
1. Most comprehensive: Tri-ball universal fit lock
The CURT tri-ball universal coupler lock #23082 is an innovative and comprehensive security solution for any and all of your trailers. It features a unique triple-ball insert that blocks a hitch ball from coupling to your trailer, and it fits 1-7/8”, 2” and 2-5/16” couplers.
The tri-ball is a bright orange to warn potential thieves, and it has built-in safety points so that even if a thief breaks off the bottom portion, the orange ball remains inside the coupler, protecting against unwarranted tow-away.
The lock can also be used for extra security while your trailer is coupled! The integrated lasso lanyard keeps all of the components together to avoid lost pieces.
2. Best kit: Three-lock set
One of the best methods for locking up your towing setup is to not only lock your ball mount into your receiver hitch, but to also lock your trailer coupler onto the trailer ball. On top of that, adding another lock when your trailer is left unattended ensures maximum theft deterrence.
The three-lock set #23086 includes all three of these lock styles: a hitch lock, coupler latch lock and trailer tongue lock. The locks are conveniently keyed alike for one-key access, and they fit a wide variety of towing setups.
3. Most compact: Black padlock
For a low-profile lock to secure your trailer, whether you're towing it or leaving it parked, the #23521 coupler lock is the best trailer lock.
This simple padlock-style trailer lock attaches to the coupler latch, the pin passing through the latch hole. It stops the latch from being engaged or disengaged, and its compact construction maintains subtle security.
This trailer padlock fits a latch span of 3/4" and a 1/4" diameter latch hole.
4. Easiest to adjust: Segmented right-angle lock
If you own multiple trailers and prefer to have one lock between them, the right-angle lock #23503 may be the best coupler lock for you. It has a segmented pin, meaning it can be incrementally adjusted to fit virtually any span from 1" to 3".
This coupler lock also has a quarter-turn locking mechanism for easy key access, and its right-angle head ensures the keyhole is always facing toward you for ergonomic operation.
5. Most budget-friendly: Brass-plated padlock
If you're interested in saving some money on your coupler lock purchase, the brass-plated padlock #23022 may be best coupler lock.
This simple, compact trailer lock offers extra theft deterrence and helps ensure the coupler lock remains engaged or disengaged, featuring a hardened steel pin.
This coupler lock fits a max span of 3/4" and has a 1/4" diameter pin.