How to Secure Trailer From Theft: Trailer Anti-Theft Tips

It does not matter what kind of trailer you have—nobody wants to have their trailer stolen.

Whether it is a troop trailer, a horse trailer, a boat trailer, or a regular trailer, you want to make sure you have provided the best protection for it possible.

So how do you secure a trailer from theft? The best way to secure a trailer from theft is to use a combination of security systems like a trailer wheel lock, a hitch, and a coupler lock, and locking lug nuts. To further secure your trailer, install a GPS tracking unit on it, and do not leave it in desolate areas.

If you are here, you are most likely interested in the best ways to secure your trailer from theft when you are camping, boondocking, fishing.

Or, perhaps, you just want to know that you can safely leave your trailer somewhere unattended over the weekend.

Worry not. Below I go into more detail about the various ways you can add extra protection to your trailer.

how to secure trailer from theft

What You Need to Secure a Trailer From Theft

It is worth mentioning that every lock is breakable. There is no 100% effective anti-theft solution.

However, it boils down to return on investment and risk.

Here’s what I mean.

The more difficult your trailer is to steal, the lower the chance of it being stolen or even becoming a target. You want to make the thief invest too much time and effort to the point where they will rather not bother at all.

So without further ado, let’s take a look at the best ways to protect your trailer from thieves.

Trailer Wheel Lock

Trailer Wheel Lock

Use a trailer wheel lock to secure and safely lock the wheels so that a thief will not be able to just hook the trailer up and leave with it.

A wheel lock like the one from Trimax found on Amazon here is an excellent tried and tested choice. It is perfectly suitable for a variety of different vehicles, including, of course, trailers.

It is made from high-quality, heavy-duty steel construction, and the arms have a rubber coating to prevent any scratches and damage to your wheels.


Coupler Lock

Coupler Lock

One of the weak points when it comes to trailer security is the coupler and the way it is attached to the frame.

For the best security possible, the coupler needs to be welded to the frame. However, some couplers are bolted, and the bolts can be removed easily. After that, all the thieves need to do is put on another coupler, and they are good to go.

In which case, the padlock which goes through the locking pin becomes obsolete.

But even with welded couplers, the padlock is offering a very low level of security. Underneath the locking pin is a nut that can be removed, and the lock will fall apart.

One of the best coupler locks that cover the entire coupler, including the chains, can be found on Amazon here.

It is made of high-quality steel; the welds are clean, making the entire construction of the lock very durable and sturdy.

And being able to secure the chains is very important. Not a lot of locks are capable of that, and what can happen is the thief can just hook the chains to their vehicle and steal the trailer without even using the coupler.


Trailer Hitch Guard

Trailer Hitch Guard

A hitch guard is meant to protect the ball hitch.

Finding a good ball hitch lock can be tricky, but this one from Master Lock found on Amazon here is one of the top performers.

It is suitable for 1-7/8″ and 2″ couplers. The tough construction will prevent anyone from being able to easily attach the trailer to the hitch on their vehicle and leave.


Hitch Receiver Lock

Hitch Receiver Lock

By using a receiver lock like this one on Amazon here, you can easily add an extra layer of security to your trailer.

This receiver lock is made from stout steel, which has a diameter of 5/8″, and the usable length of the lock is 2.85″.

These receiver locks are usually inexpensive and serve as a protection against people removing the hitch ball mount.


Locking Lug Nuts

Locking Lug Nuts

Locking lug nuts can offer an extra layer of protection to your wheels. They are not completely impossible to remove, but they will definitely slow down any thief.

The reason you want to have locking lug nuts installed is not just about the wheels, however. Of course, the thief may decide that if they cannot steal the trailer, they can at least try and take anything they can get, like the wheels. But there is something more.

If you are using a wheel lock—as you should—they can try to remove and change out the tire, which has the lock on it.

Just make sure that you keep the key somewhere handy because if you happen to get a flat tire, you will need it. Keeping an extra key is always helpful as they can sometimes break.

A great set of locking lug nuts can be found on Amazon right here. It is a neat set of 4 locking lug nuts. They are made of through-hardened steel with triple nickel-chrome plating. And the way they are built makes them not just super tough but also very long-lasting and corrosion-resistant.


7 Additional Trailer Anti-Theft Precautions and Practices

Lock Your Trailer to a Secure Stationary Object

Do not underestimate the protection a simple heavy-duty padlock and chains can offer.

Use a high-quality chain and run it through the wheels and the axle. As a second layer of security, you can have another set of chains running though the wheels and through a stationary object like a tree or a fence post.

If you are interested in a very tough and intimidating looking security chain, I recommend the ABUS 12KS, which can be found on Amazon here.

Couple that with some sturdy and high-quality padlocks like the ones from Stanley on Amazon, and you will have an excellent security system in place, which will deter a lot of thieves from stealing your trailer.


Use a GPS Tracker

A GPS tracker can be a lifesaver—or to be more precise a trailer saver. A really good GPS can help you locate your trailer if it has been stolen.

A high-quality GPS tracker like this one on Amazon can help the authorities track down and recover your trailer.

Not just that, but it rocks some really neat features too.

For example, it can be used to set up a geo-fence that will automatically alert you if the trailer leaves or enters a predetermined area.


Leave Your Trailer in a Safe Location

Usually, you do not want to leave your trailer out in the open. Whenever possible, make sure it is left somewhere safe and out of sight.

You can try to back it up against a wall or behind your vehicle to make things extra hard for any opportunistic thieves.

The thing is that thieves will back up to the trailer, hook it up and leave with it. So make sure the trailer is not left in a visible and easily reachable area.

And always choose well-lit areas that are not secluded.


Remove the Wheels

In addition to the other methods of securing your trailer, you can also remove a wheel or two. After all, a trailer without wheels is going to be very tricky to move, and not many thieves will bring a spare set of tires with them.


Photograph Your Trailer and Gear

The rule of thumb is to always mark your trailer in a very clear and easily identifiable way.

Make sure also to recreate the same mark in another not clearly visible way so that thieves will not try to erase or remove it.

Take photos of your trailer on which you can easily see your unique markings so that you can use it as evidence if needed.

Photograph the title and the serial number of or the trailer. Make sure you have photographed your trailer from all sides, including all the gear you keep inside. Also, make sure not to keep valuable gear inside the trailer whenever possible.


Remove the Registration Plates

If you know that you will not be using your trailer for a while, you can remove the registration plates. A simple thing like this could attract the attention of the police if somebody steals the trailer.


Get Your Trailer Insured

Getting insurance for your trailer may be an investment worth making.

Insurance companies offer trailer insurance for all the different types of trailers like horse trailers, boat trailers, ATV trailers, car trailers, utility trailers, and more.

How much the insurance will cost, however, will depend on the trailer and how it is being used.


Also Read

6 Ways to Secure Your Tractor From Theft

How to Prevent Ring Doorbell Theft

Best Anti-Theft Wallets 2023

How to Prevent Wheelchair Theft?

Photo of author


Edward Clark
Edward Clark, with 15 years of hands-on experience, is a distinguished expert in smart locks and home security systems. He holds a B.S. in Computer Engineering with a focus on Cybersecurity and is a member of the Electronic Security Association (ESA). His credentials include certifications from ASIS International, IAPP, CompTIA, NTS, and CEDIA. With expertise spanning risk management, electronic security, and data privacy, he's been featured in The Guardian, Forbes, Wired, and more. Edward's mission: guiding individuals toward secure homes using the latest technologies.

3 thoughts on “How to Secure Trailer From Theft: Trailer Anti-Theft Tips”

  1. When the trailer is not connected to the towing vehicle, using a tongue lock is recommended. Because the thief won’t be able to attach the trailer to their towing vehicle, creating this lock will prevent a trailer from being stolen.

  2. How to secure a trailer against theft. Step 1: Secure the coupler with a padlock. Step 2: Install safety chains, straps and regular chains. Step 3: Adding a wheel or tire lock.More tips for touring with a trailer. Tip 1: Secure the keys in the locks. Tip 2: Be careful where you park. Tip 3: Install digital devices.

  3. There’s always a chance of thieves hitching up your trailer whether you’re on vacation or even when you want to secure a trailer in your driveway. Although many stores offer anti-theft trailer locks for maximum protection, you should make sure you buy heavy-duty products as there are some that are easy to beat with a few tools.


Leave a Comment