Everyone knows the sinking feeling of discovering that someone made off with your belongings. It’s even worse when you learn the missing property is your trailer! You go outside and your trailer isn’t where it’s supposed to be. All your belongings are gone in the blink of an eye.
If you’re lucky, the police will catch the thief, but more often than not, your stuff is gone for good. Sure, most of it can be replaced, but some items might be one-of-a-kind.
Fortunately, you don’t have to be that person. You can take precautions to ensure this never happens to you. Here are our top 5 tips on how to secure a trailer from theft.
1. Don’t Park Your Trailer in the Open
You could invest in expensive security devices, but they can be hit-or-miss in a fight against determined thieves. While some thieves are opportunists, some are professionals that can break through anti-theft devices.
Either way, the best way to keep your trailer safe is by ensuring thieves don’t see it in the first place. Leaving it out in the open is a big temptation for thieves, and they can take all the time they need to case the situation before making off with it.
Make sure you park your trailer away from prying eyes when it’s not in use. Avoid leaving an unused trailer in parking lots, front yards, and workplaces. Instead, try to keep it inside a garage, shed, or at least in your backyard and off the street.
The only time you should park a trailer in well-lit areas is when you’re actively using it and can keep a constant eye on it. For example, if you’re on a trip, you can park it in the designated lot because you can constantly watch it. No would-be thief will target your trailer if they think you’re going to come out at any time.
If you must park it in an open space, ensure you don’t park it in the same place for long periods. Parking in the same place repeatedly will attract potential thieves because it’s a sitting target they can learn more about before stealing.
2. Use Strong and Reliable Locks
No safety and protection plan is complete without a good set of locks for extra security. Luckily, security companies make locks specifically for protecting trailers. We recommend investing in a hitch lock or a coupler lock.
The coupler is one of the weakest parts of a trailer because it’s not securely attached to the frame. You can’t trust a bolted coupler because a thief can easily remove the bolt and steal your trailer. The best option is to invest in a strong lock that only works with your key.
The lock should be made of reinforced steel that thieves can’t cut through. You should also ensure the steel is treated so it doesn’t rust over time. Don’t forget to look for a lock covering the entire system so there are no weaknesses thieves could manipulate.
Unfortunately, thieves are getting more innovative and intelligent, so it’s up to you to find a robust lock system that is bolt-cutter proof.
Hitch locks are another great way to secure a trailer from theft. Hitch locks work by securely attaching your trailer hitch and receiver, and can only be opened with a key. A thief can’t steal a trailer that’s already attached, now can they?
While thieves can still attempt to steal any belongings within your trailer, they will be forced to leave your trailer behind. You only have to make sure your lock fits onto your trailer and any other equipment. Installing a hitch lock is relatively easy, and you don’t need any professional help.
The most significant advantage of using hitch and coupler locks is that they are mutually compatible. You can just throw them in your car and attach them when the need arises. They are also quick to attach, and finding the right size is relatively easy.
3. Focus On the Wheels
People often focus so much on the trailer itself, they forget about the wheels. Adding security measures to the wheels can stop thieves from stealing the trailer as a whole. If the trailer can’t roll, it’s not going anywhere.
The easiest way to secure your trailer wheels is by inserting locking lug nuts. Lug nuts are heavy-duty bolts that keep the wheel attached to the vehicle. They are almost impossible to remove once you connect them.
An experienced thief might still try to remove them, but they’ll struggle for such a long time that you’ll either catch them in the act or they’ll make enough noise that they’ll draw attention to themselves.
Wheel locks work because a thief can’t easily remove them. Unlike ordinary bolts that can be removed with a spanner, you need a highly specialized key to remove the lug nuts. Please remember that the key is so unique that losing it means you can’t move the wheels.
The key is as unique as a fingerprint, and a locksmith won’t be able to help if you get into trouble. As a result, ensure you always keep a copy of the key in your glove compartment or any other safe place in your car.
Wheel clamps are another wheel safety measure you can use. We know you probably associate wheel clamps with law enforcement, but there’s a reason why authorities trust them. Wheel clamps deter theft by making it impossible for the wheel to move. A wheel clamp completely immobilizes the wheel, and the only way to remove it is by using a key.
Traditional wheel clamps use padlocks, but newer versions have digital or keypad locks. Either way, you can rest easy knowing your trailer isn’t going anywhere.
The benefit of adding this layer of security is that wheel locks are lightweight and easy to use. It might get annoying to keep on adding and removing them, but it’s worth it. Also, they’re a powerful visual deterrent because they show thieves you take security seriously.
In many cases, thieves think they can steal the wheels if they can’t steal the entire trailer. Adding wheel protection shows them they can’t steal anything from you.
4. Add a GPS Tracker
We know this article is focused on stopping theft in the first place, but sometimes it doesn’t matter how many preventative measures you use. Determined and well-experienced thieves may still succeed against all your security measures. So, even if those thieves get away with your trailer, we want you to still have options.
With a 95% success rate, GPS tracking is the easiest and best way to find a stolen trailer. In cases where the trackers fail, it’s usually due to installation problems, not a failure of the device itself. If you install a tracker correctly, you can easily find your stolen trailer.
Modern trackers don’t attract much attention. Previous versions had weak battery life that required constant checking and replacement. Most modern trackers have batteries that can last for years on end. Of course, it’s up to you to ensure the battery is always full, but there’s less labor involved now.
Also, you can now use apps and Bluetooth to keep track of what’s happening with the device, and you can set up alerts for the moment your trailer is taken out of a certain range.
A GPS tracker is also beneficial because it can reduce your insurance premiums. If you have the right insurance, you can use the tracker information to file a claim and succeed.
5. Make Sure It’s Clearly Marked
An easily identifiable trailer can deter potential thieves. They don’t want to be stuck with a trailer that’s hard to sell off because the owner (and the police) can easily identify it.
For example, a trailer with bright and electric colors is easier to find than one painted plain black. If you don’t want to add popping colors, you can add a single distinguishable mark that’s difficult to remove.
You can also photograph your trailer to add an extra layer of protection. Take pictures from all angles, and make sure to include your special mark in the photos.
Apps can help as well by recording other special details. A record of your trailer’s information is valuable evidence if your trailer gets stolen as it provides proof for an ownership claim.
Final Word On How to Secure a Trailer from Theft
Securing a trailer is a relatively easy process. You don’t need outside help, and you can take small steps to ensure your trailer is safe. You should remain mindful of where you park, and you should invest in anti-theft devices such as wheel locks and coupler locks. You can also make use of technological advancements such as a GPS tracker.
Whether you’re looking for a preventative measure or looking for what to do after a theft, we’ve got you covered. We hope this article taught you how to secure a trailer from theft. If you’re interested in more articles or buying guides, please check out the other content on our site.