A good thief can steal pretty much anything with the right tools, time and knowledge. But if you can make your trailer look less appealing to thieves, you’ve won a good portion of the battle.
Keeping your trailer safe, secure and parked where it should be is a growing concern among all trailer owners–and any type of trailer you can think of is susceptible to theft.
When you think about it, a trailer is a fairly simple piece of machinery to steal. All a thief has to do is back up to the trailer in question, hook up his hitch and drive away. Which leads trailer owners to ask, “What can I do to keep my trailer safe and secure?”
The first thing a trailer owner can do is put themselves into the criminal mind-set. If you can think about what a potential thief might need or do to steal your trailer, you can come up with methods to ‘kybosh’ their efforts.
Thieves want something quick and easy to steal; if they cannot get in and out with what they want right away, they’ll go looking for an easier target. Think about it: if your trailer is parked next to one that has alarms and security measures installed on it, which do you think the thieves would target?
Unfortunately, a good thief can steal pretty much anything with the right tools, time and knowledge. But if you can make your trailer look less appealing to thieves, you’ve won a good portion of the battle. This is why we recommend having anti-theft devices installed on every trailer you own.
Conventional Coupler Locks
The marketplace has created many locking mechanisms to ensure our example above doesn’t happen to you. Conventional coupler locks come in different shapes and sizes and generally work by placing a ball or similar device into the coupler. Some of these locks have built-in machinery that covers the ball socket, locks it into place and doesn’t allow the coupler to be lowered onto the hitch ball.
Coupler Hatch Locks
These anti-theft devices for your trailer work by not allowing the latching apparatus to open. Coupler hatch locks have a shank that fits through the hole in the coupler’s latching handle and then a lock that attaches the entire package together. This option also averts thieves from lifting your trailer right off the back of your tow vehicle when parked out and about, since it makes the coupler unable to disengage from the hitch ball.
Locking Receiver Pins
Locking pins have been developed to ensure that conventional hitch balls don’t go missing. Since ball mounts are easily removed by pulling the spring clip out, a locking receiver pin will secure the ball into the receiver tube with a key lock.
Immobilize the Wheels
Even with a lock on the coupler, sometimes thieves will merely ignore the hitch completely and chain the trailer to their towing vehicle and drive it away.
By removing of one or more of your wheels, you are forcing thieves to replace the tire with one of their own in order to move it, which of course slows down their response time. To really thwart a wannabe burglar, mount locking lug nuts on the empty lug bolts. And if you have a spare tire for the trailer, remove it and place it somewhere out of sight and secured until you travel.
If jacking up your trailer repeatedly to remove a wheel or two is too much trouble, there are a number of wheel locking devices currently on the market that not only stop the use of the wheel, but are almost impossible to remove without a key.
Less Invasive (But Still Sneaky) Security Measures
If we go back to the original example used in this article, where many thieves won’t spend the time needed to steal an trailer that is more pain than gain, we can come up with a couple of more ingenious ways of keeping your trailer safe.
When parking your trailer, make sure it is in a well-lit area with lots of people around. The more strangers that may see someone fooling around with your trailer, the better. If this isn’t possible, park it instead behind another vehicle so that it cannot be easily hitched to and driven away.
If The Worst Happens
Unfortunately, you can go to a lot of trouble to make your trailer less desirable to thieves, and yet it may still get stolen. If the worst happens, call the police immediately and report what happened. Give them all of the necessary information (serial numbers, identifying marks and decals and equipment add-ons). Then, call your insurance company and let them know what has happened as well. Send them receipt copies for all of the anti-theft devices you’ve installed, and inform them of your call to the police as well.
If you take heed, think like a criminal and install some anti-theft devices on your trailer, you’ll be taking greater security measures to ensure the safety of your property – which can only help in the long run.
–by Pete Ybarra, Director of Sales | Internet-Trailer.com