How to Secure a Trailer from Theft

travel on car with caravan trailer by highway

Published Date: July 4, 2022

If you enjoy camping and the outdoors, you might own a trailer. A trailer is a great way to transport all your camping gear. But, we live in dangerous times and not even your trailer is safe from theft anymore. Determined thieves will steal absolutely anything, so it is important to secure a trailer just as you would your vehicle and other belongings. There is more than one way to secure your trailer and keep it safe.

Why Should Keep Your Trailer Safe

Camping, moving, traveling – these are all times when a trailer comes in especially handy for moving or storing items safely. Lockable trailers are best for camping and can be used to store extra equipment, food, and even clothing. The last thing you want is someone hauling away your trailer in the dead of night.

Having adequate insurance is both important and necessary. Insuring your trailer is just as important as insuring your vehicle and can help you claim for your stolen items. As the old saying goes, “prevention is better than a cure.” It is up to you to ensure the safety and security of your trailer. Thankfully, we have the best advice on locks, alarms, and tracking devices you can use to deter theft and add an extra layer of protection and extra security for your trailer.

The Best Locks for your Trailer

Several locks are available to keep your trailer safe when it is not in use. Whether connected to your car or not, it is an easy target for thieves. Let’s take a more in-depth look at some of the most recommended and best locks you can buy to keep your trailer safe and deter anyone with sticky fingers.

While some believe that a padlock and chain, combination, or cable bike lock is enough to keep their trailer safe, these are no match for professional thieves who have devices to cut through chains and locks instantly.

Lucky for you, we have a few helpful suggestions on effective locks that are proven to work and keep your trailer safe and secure while you enjoy your holiday or carry on with your everyday life.

#1. A Chock Lock

A chock lock is one of the best deterrents to keep your trailer safe. The lock attaches to the wheels and prevents them from turning. This is an effective way to secure your trailer and renders it completely useless. The only way someone will steal your trailer with a wheel chock lock is if they somehow manage to carry it away, which is highly unlikely considering its weight.

Choose a lock that has bright coloring and is easy to see. Often just the sight of a brightly colored chock lock is enough to deter possible theft of your trailer.

#2: A Hitch Lock

This lock works by securing your hitch to your vehicle and trailer. Whether the trailer is connected to your vehicle or not, a trailer hitch lock will keep it safe by keeping the hitch pin in place. Thieves will try almost anything to steal a trailer and can simply remove the hitch from your vehicle and attach the trailer to theirs. A hitch lock prevents this from happening.

#3: A Tongue Lock

The trailer coupler is one of the important parts of a trailer and provides a secure connection between your trailer and vehicle using a ball mount. However, this is not a strong enough deterrent for thieves. A tongue lock attaches to the trailer coupler, where it connects to the ball mount and essentially makes it inoperable. A tongue lock is used when the trailer is disconnected from a vehicle and can be used at home or away.

hitch lock handle on the towing ball towbar

Alarms and Tracking Devices

Just as you would install an alarm in your car and your home to deter thieves, you can install an alarm for your trailer. While these are not connected to any security or armed-response companies, alarms with a sound or buzzer might be enough to stop thieves in their tracks.

Alarms that can be connected to your trailer vibrate or buzz when certain parts of the trailer are touched or tampered with. Wireless alarms are great and can be easily attached and detached to your vehicle and trailer to keep it safe while you are out and about.

Tracking devices are another useful way to keep your trailer safe. They do not prevent theft but can be used to locate your trailer easily should it be stolen. Several wireless tracking devices link to mobile apps to make tracking your trailer quick and easy. Ensure that you install the tracker correctly and that the application is up to date. Test the device before you go on holiday.

Most vehicle insurance companies require a tracking device to be fitted to your vehicle to insure it. Go through your portfolio to see their rules on tracking devices and trailers to ensure that you have all the necessary measures in place to cover your trailer with your current insurance provider.

Other Tips and Tricks for Keeping your Trailer Safe

Locks, alarms, and tracking devices are great but can be costly. There are a few other ways to keep your trailer safe while on the road or at home. Here are our best-tried tips and tricks for keeping your trailer safe.

Be aware of where you park

If parking at a campsite or in a parking lot, always take note of the surroundings. Park in a well-lit area, possibly under a floodlight or near any large lighting. Thieves are sneaky and rely on the dark to stay hidden while they carry out their work.

If you are parking your trailer at home or a holiday home, park your trailer behind gates or even in a garage. Add in a hitch, chock, or tongue lock for extra protection. While professional thieves might be able to access your yard or garage, a lock provides an extra security barrier and might make thieves think twice before attempting to steal your trailer.

Another great tip is to park your trailer against something with your vehicle in front of it. Park against a wall or tree with your trailer hitched to your vehicle. This prevents your trailer from being moved when parked for long periods.

Customize your trailer

Add a few details, stickers, or paint to make your trailer look as unique as possible. No matter how skilled, a thief will be less likely to steal a trailer that is easily identifiable or draws attention to it. Should your trailer be stolen, a customized or unique trailer is easier to spot on a highway or road by police and law enforcement. Report your stolen trailer to the police as soon as possible.

Before you Travel – A Trailer Checklist

Before you embark on your travels with your trailer, there are a few important things that you should do. Apart from checking that the license is in order and that the tires are in good condition and are inflated according to the load, there are a few more things you should “check off” before you travel.

Test tracking devices and alarms

If you use a wireless tracking or alarm device to deter thieves, test the units before leaving your home. Make sure that all batteries are charged and, if applicable, that applications are updated and working correctly.

Make sure your trailer is identifiable

Use colored tape, stickers, or even fun colored paint to make your trailer stand out from others. A unique-looking trailer is easier to spot and thieves will be less likely to make off with it when it attracts attention on the road.

Make a note of all your trailer’s information

Take down your trailer’s VIN, number plate, and any other information that would be useful for tracing your trailer should it be stolen. Keep these handy by adding them to your vehicle registration papers or storing the information on your mobile phone.

Conclusion

While it is nearly impossible to completely prevent the theft of your trailer and other belongings, many tools, devices, and applications can deter or delay thieves from doing away with your belongings. Refer to our lock guide, information about apps and alarms, and follow our “before you travel” section to ensure that you have the most important information on hand if your trailer is stolen. Be safe and happy travels!

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