Did you buy a new travel trailer or fifth wheel for your RVing adventures? I bet you’re now wondering how to lock a trailer so it can’t be stolen. Although towed RVs are more affordable than drivable motorhomes, thieves can still make money from trailers and their contents.
It’s never a good feeling to lose your possessions to thieves, especially when you’re in a secluded place. Help might be too far away to manage your predicament. The best way to keep a trailer from being stolen is by keeping it hitched to your tow vehicle.
However, some people don’t like this method. So, I’ll share some steps you can take to secure your trailer against thieves.
Table of Contents
- Things You Need for this Tutorial
- Steps to Locking a Trailer to Prevent Theft
- Step 1. Secure your trailer with a hitch coupler lock and hitch pin lock.
- Step 2. Install X-chocks between two tires if you have a dual axle RV.
- Step 3. Use a wheel chock lock to prevent trailer theft.
- Step 4. Install an alarm in the trailer.
- Step 5. Install a GPS tracking device in the trailer.
- Step 6. Design the trailer with fluorescent paint.
- Step 7. Replace your trailer’s hatch locks.
- Step 8. Replace your trailer’s door lock with an electronic mechanism.
- Step 9. Consider bolting a safe inside the trailer for your valuables.
Things You Need for this Tutorial
You don’t need any special tools for this guide, except for the security mechanism you intend to use in your trailer. For example, you can install hitch coupler and hitch pin locks, x-chocks, or wheel clamps. In such instances, you’ll want to prepare these items beforehand.
You might also want to consider installing a vehicle alarm or a GPS tracking device. Painting your trailer’s trims with a fluorescent substance also makes sense.
Steps to Locking a Trailer to Prevent Theft
Step 1. Secure your trailer with a hitch coupler lock and hitch pin lock.
The second best way to lock a trailer is to cover and secure the trailer’s tongue, hitch coupler, and hitch pin. These components are crucial for connecting the fifth wheel or travel trailer to your tow vehicle. Thieves can’t steal your trailer if they can’t connect it to their tow vehicle.
I recommend using the most secure tongue and hitch coupler locks you can find, preferably a combination lock. I don’t advise getting ordinary padlocks because they’re easy to pick. I also suggest getting a hitch pin lock to make it impossible to fit the thieves’ tow vehicle’s ball.
Step 2. Install X-chocks between two tires if you have a dual axle RV.
Here’s another step you can take to secure a trailer from theft. Unfortunately, this method only works if you have a dual axle trailer (two axles with two sets of wheels). A wheel chock can be wedged between the tires, making it impossible for thieves to run away with your trailer.
I also recommend inserting a cable lock to improve the x-chock’s security. Alternatively, you can install an x-chock with a built-in locking mechanism.
Step 3. Use a wheel chock lock to prevent trailer theft.
If you don’t have a double-axle trailer, you can use a wheel chock lock. This device is similar to a parking boot or wheel clamp that authorities use to prevent owners from moving their vehicles from a bus lane, after red light camera citations, or parking violation.
You can use the same technology to prevent people other than yourself from moving your trailer. The device clamps into your wheels, making them impossible to move.
Step 4. Install an alarm in the trailer.
One of the best steps you can take to prevent someone from stealing your RV is installing trailer anti theft devices. These technologies have high-tech sensors that blast an alarm if the vehicle moves without disabling the security system first.
I recommend getting a vehicle anti-theft device specifically for your trailer. It would be best if it had flashing LED lights to dissuade thieves and everyone else.
Step 5. Install a GPS tracking device in the trailer.
Unfortunately, no security device can prevent a determined and seasoned thief from running away with your trailer. That’s why I recommend installing a GPS tracker in your trailer to help you locate it if it gets stolen.
I suggest getting a GPS tracker with real-time location tracking and customizable alerts. Driver behavior monitoring, vehicle utilization metrics, route optimization, and other features might not be beneficial in locating a stolen trailer, but they are advantageous in other ways.
Step 6. Design the trailer with fluorescent paint.
Most thieves move their stolen trailers at night because it’s safer for them. That’s why I suggest painting your trailer with fluorescent pigments to help it glow in the dark. It’s a unique method of identifying your trailer even at night.
You don’t have to paint the whole trailer in fluorescent material. You can create patterns or paint the trims or edges.
Step 7. Replace your trailer’s hatch locks.
The methods I shared above are perfect for preventing trailer theft. Unfortunately, they don’t prevent criminals from breaking into your RV and stealing its contents. That’s why you might also want to secure your trailer’s interior.
Travel trailers have uniform hatch locks throughout the vehicle. You only need to open one key to open everything else. I recommend replacing the hatch locks with aftermarket products, ensuring only you have the keys.
Step 8. Replace your trailer’s door lock with an electronic mechanism.
Factory trailer door locks are mediocre. One can pick them easily with a few tools. That’s why I suggest replacing these with an electronic door lock.
The best part about this technology is that you don’t need a key to open the door. You would only enter the passcode into the control interface to secure trailer access. Unfortunately, this mechanism is quite pricey.
Step 9. Consider bolting a safe inside the trailer for your valuables.
Sometimes thieves don’t steal large items because they’re more challenging to conceal. Hence, they target smaller objects, such as smartphones, jewelry, laptops, tablets, cameras, cash, and more.
If you prefer leaving these valuables in your trailer when you go outside for a walk, I recommend installing a safe in your vehicle. The mini vault should be inconspicuous and hidden from plain sight.
I just gave you nine steps on how to lock a trailer so it can’t be stolen. Which of these methods do you think works best for you? Regardless of the techniques, it would be best to remember to secure both your trailer and its contents.
If you found this guide beneficial in securing your trailer, please share it with friends. And if you have concerns you want to address, you can always shoot me a line or two.
I am Stephen Ryan, content director for RV Web. After seven years of working as an interior decorator, I am confident in turning my clients’ dream houses into reality. I find it rewarding to help others make the best of their space and resources.