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You wonder “Are hitch pin locks safe?“, especially if you’re wondering if hitch pin locks are safe to use. Although some manufacturers claim their locks are rugged and secure, these claims might be misleading. This article is going to help you determine whether or not that’s the case for your particular brand of hitch pin lock. You’ll also learn what kinds of security features you should look out for on a product like this and what the different brands of strong-looking hitch pin locks have in common.
But yeah, the short answer is:
Yes, you can absolutely use the lock instead of a hitch pin and it will work great to safely transport the trailer, boat. However, make sure to tighten the lock as much as possible before using it.
It’s important to keep things in perspective, though. I’m not saying you shouldn’t buy hitch pin locks at all or that you should avoid using them. Just make sure you consider these factors carefully before making your decision.
Read More: Top Best Trailer & Caravan Hitch Locks
1. Will the lock’s pins fit into my hitch receiver?
There’s nothing more frustrating than buying a hitch pin lock that doesn’t fit your hitch receiver. Not only does it make you waste time hauling the lock around in your truck, but it also means you can’t use it.
Obviously, it’s going to depend on your particular equipment (and this means at home as well), but generally speaking, most receivers should accept a hitch pin lock with 2 1/4-inch pins. (And if you don’t know whether your receiver accepts hitch pin locks, ask your dealer!)
Be sure to read the instructions on the product packaging to find out whether or not your particular brand of lock fits in the hitch receiver well. If they’re not sure, call them up! They should be able to help you determine this.
2. Safety features needed on strong locks
Even if the pins on your lock fit into your receiver, you still have to secure them. There’s a lot of pressure pushing against those pins when you’re driving down the road. You need to make sure that they can’t be pulled out by someone who wants to steal your boat or trailer. Here are a couple of things that are going to help you do that:
A) The first thing you want is a lock with really big locking balls. The larger these are, the more they can handle and thus the more secure your lock will be.
B) You also need to make sure there’s a padlock built into your lock that can actually hold if someone pulls on the pin. This really adds to the strength of your lock because you’ve got an extra lock that can prevent someone from pulling out those pins.
C) A good way to measure the strength of the locking balls is to see what kind of key you need. You want a key that’s really big and bulky because larger keys are more resistant to pulling out from the lock.
D) A great thing about many strong hitch pin locks is that there are additional bars built into the lock to protect against shimming. (Shimming means using a credit card or something else thin and flat to force your pins out. If a thief is shimming, it’s going to be hard for them to accomplish this.)
3. A good hitch pin lock for your trailer
I mentioned in #2 that you need a padlock built into the lock that can actually hold if someone pulls on the pins. Well, these larger locking balls are even better because they can also prevent someone from shimming and pulling the pins out.
Related Article: Can You Use A Hitch Lock While Towing?
The hitch pin locks that are ideal for your trailer are going to have both a really large padlock and locking balls that can withstand a lot of pressure. However, even if you have a lock that’s ideal for your trailer, you still need to make sure it fits into the hitch receiver.
4. The importance of a good seal on strong hitches
It’s not enough just to ensure that the lock itself is strong and secure; you also need to ensure that the seal around your hitch receiver is firm as well. A good hitch pin lock can only do so much to protect your trailer if there’s a gap that someone can slip a tool into.
If you’ve got a hitch lock that’s secure, it’s important that you use it correctly and make sure the seal around your receiver is strong enough to prevent anyone from accessing the pins. A good rule of thumb is to make sure that no one can fit anything into this gap in between the license plate and receiver.
Hopefully, after reading this article, you’ll feel more confident about purchasing a hitch pin lock. If you have any questions after reading this article, I’d be happy to answer them for you in the comments section below.