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How to Lock Trailer to Hitch – Expert Tips for Attaching & Locking

Trailer owners worldwide always want to make sure that it is safe to tow or park their vehicles along with their trailers without fear of robbery. Therefore, they must thank the developer of trailer hitch locks who designed them to ensure safety and make things easy. Trailer hitch locks allow only owners to unlock and unhitch trailers when required. Along with knowledge on attaching a trailer, it is also important to know how to lock a trailer hitch.

Types of Trailer Hitch Locks

There are many types of locks available in stores

  • A quarter-inch coupler lock and a stainless coupler lock can be attached to the latch. 
  • Ring and Pintle coupler
  • Curt Hitch lock
  • Receiver locks

However, the most commonly used lock is the universal coupler lock.

Coupler Lock and Hitching Mechanism

People do not only use these to prevent tow-away theft and unhitching of trailers from vehicles. One of the most elementary forms of this particular type of coupler lock consists of a U-shaped lock (metal pin or a metal bar) that fits over a couple on the trailer’s tongue. This prevents someone else from hooking up their vehicle to the trailer and driving away. It also consists of a ball-shaped bottom piece where the ball unit on the vehicle normally goes into a couple. In other words, it helps in connecting both receiver tongues of the towing vehicle along the trailer ball hitch. You can lock this coupler lock by using a key or a code. In short, this added security prevents someone from unhitching a trailer from a vehicle.

How to Choose a Coupler Lock?

One must concentrate on the material of the coupler lock. It is important always to choose a lock that provides incredible security and best quality. In addition, it must be corrosion resistant, and it should always be a rust-free material.

How to Lock a Trailer Hitch?

Even if the trailer perfectly hooks up to a tow vehicle and chained to it, there’s no such thing as being too careful. One can add a latch lock instead of the usual standard coupler pin. A latch lock will again prevent someone from unhooking the trailer and moving it. Owners can also use a surround lock. As an added safety, owners can also use a wheel lock which has an advanced trailer locking mechanism. With a wheel lock, anyone can move a trailer even if it is unhitched.

How to Hitch a Trailer with a Vehicle?

  1. Before hooking up the trailer to the respective vehicle, it is crucial to wipe the ball clean and check for any damages like rust, cracks, or breaks.
  2. Then, it is important to ensure that the ball is solid to hitch and is compactly fixed to the frame. The next step is to coat a layer of grease on the hitch and inner side of the coupler. It is for the sake of safety.
  3. One must then carefully remove the latch pin and open the coupler lock. Then, they must slowly drop a coupler on the hitch ball. 
  4. To couple trailer to tow vehicle, owners must ensure that vehicle and trailer are in-line aptly. Then, move the vehicle slowly so that the hitch ball and coupler are perfectly aligned. It will be helpful to have someone beside to check whether everything’s perfect in position.
  5. Then the coupler must be pushed over the hitch ball. Owners can adjust their trailer’s tongue till it gets into the right position. It is one of the best ways to check whether everything’s in order. If the coupler and hitch ball don’t fit, they can check adjustments.
  6. The latch can be closed now, and one can use either a pin or a lock to make sure it doesn’t get unlocked and come out of place. 
  7. It is important to ensure that the coupler is fixed properly on the hitch ball. It is important to follow the locking mechanism properly since it helps the couple raise the back of the tow vehicle.
  8. One can use a Jack to check whether the rear end of a tow vehicle can be raised at least to an inch when a coupler is coupled with a hitch.
  9. The next step is to lower the raised vehicle and make sure that coupled hitch ball holds the trailer’s tongue weight and then fully retract jack or fold jack. Once completely retracted, drop the jack to not drag on ground.
  10. Once the trailer hitched to tow vehicles, put on safety chains, and plug in wiring as an added security. If coupling of hitch ball and coupler fails, this safety chain can secure the trailer to the vehicle.
  11. Chain must be crossed below the ball mount. In other words, this is to make sure latched chains catch the trailer if the hitch comes off.
  12. After hooking up the trailer to the vehicle, one must check by taking it for a short spin. This is to ensure safety of cars, trailers, and other vehicles on the road.


It is important to know how to tow a vehicle and hitch a trailer to a vehicle. If a person must move a truckload of cargo in a trailer or go far away to relax in a trailer, they must know about necessary safety precautions to keep the trailer safe and secure. As mentioned above, one can never be too careful. It is crucial to lock the trailer and add a lock on the latch and wheel. This is all to prevent tow-away theft and make sure it is safe in the hands of the owner.