Guide to Caravan Hitch Locks

Guide to Caravan Hitch Locks

Is it time to review your caravan security arrangements?

Caravanning is becoming ever more popular and there’s a strong market for second-hand caravans. Unfortunately, this hasn’t escaped the notice of unscrupulous people so it’s important to keep your caravan secure - on the drive, on the road and on-site. 

Best advice is to take a range of security measures to protect your caravan, including physical deterrents such as wheel locks and hitchlocks, alarms and trackers, and simply being smart about where and when you leave your property unattended. Hitch locks are undoubtedly one of the most popular caravan security devices, so we thought we’d take a look at them in some detail in this buyers’ guide.

What Does A Caravan Hitchlock Do?

The hitch lock's purpose is to stop somebody hooking your caravan up to their vehicle and towing it away. As a minimum the device will cover the caravan towing mechanism, so that it can’t be dropped onto a waiting tow bar. 

Some devices are designed solely for when you’re parked up, while others can remain fitted while you’re on the road (thereby preventing your caravan from being detached from your towing vehicle, should, for example, you stop at a service station.

They’re useful for security in storage as well. Connect your caravan up to a hitch post concreted into the ground, secure it with your hitchlock and that’s another reason for a thief to pass you by. 

With the right tools, time available and opportunity, a determined thief will defeat a hitchlock, but they’re likely to make a lot of noise doing so. Remember too that many caravan thefts are opportunistic. A hitchlock will persuade thieves to look elsewhere.

How To Choose A Caravan Hitchlock

A quick web search will show you that there’s a huge range of devices on offer at different price points and with different features. It pays to do your homework, as there’s little point in fitting something that a casual thief could smash off with a hammer!

Additionally, many caravan insurers will insist that you fix a hitchlock and a wheel clamp or wheel lock any time you leave your van unattended. Not doing so could invalidate your insurance, should you need to claim.

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Bailey Caravan Saracen Hitch Lock
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Bailey Caravan Saracen Gullwing Hitch Lock

How To Choose A Caravan Hitchlock

A quick web search will show you that there’s a huge range of devices on offer at different price points and with different features. It pays to do your homework, as there’s little point in fitting something that a casual thief could smash off with a hammer!

Additionally, many caravan insurers will insist that you fix a hitchlock and a wheel clamp or wheel lock any time you leave your van unattended. Not doing so could invalidate your insurance, should you need to claim.

When looking at hitchlocks, check that they’re made of high quality steel, have good quality locks and cover the hitch fixing bolts on your caravan. It’s important to get a good fit for your caravan model as well. The less ‘slack’ when fitted, the harder a hitchlock is to break.

It’s also worth considering how and where you will use it. If for example, you're leaving your caravan in a deserted location, where thieves can really go to town undisturbed, it’s worth paying for a top quality product. Conversely, many people choose a lighter model for travel.

You can get some useful additional features on hitchlocks, such as stability mechanisms and tamper alarms, and there are models designed for specific caravans, including those with an Al-Ko chassis.

Sold Secure And Caravan Security

Sold Secure is an independent testing and certification organisation for security products. It was originally set up by Northumbria and Essex Police in the early nineties, but is now owned and run (as a not-for-profit organisation) by the Master Locksmiths Association. 

Their laboratory team works closely with police services, insurers and security product manufacturers to identify emerging threats.  They provide impartial testing – certifying successful products as bronze, silver, gold and in some cases diamond.  

The Sold Secure rating is widely respected and is a reliable way for you to decide at-a-glance if a particular hitch lock is up to the job.

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Bailey Excalibur Wheel Lock

Other Security Measures For Your Caravan

As we mentioned, a suite of security measures, including your hitch-lock, is your best defense against theft. Here’s a brief run down.

Additional door and window locks: as well as keeping your property safe, additional locks will help prevent a thief accessing and disabling your caravan alarm.

Secure wheel locks: you need to lift your caravan wheels off the ground to fit most models, so these are best suited to long-term pitching or storage. They’re an excellent immobiliser.

Wheel clamps: great for on the move, as wheel clamps are relatively light and can be quickly fitted, for example in service stations or on short stays.

Caravan hitch posts: as mentioned above, these are sunk into concrete and allow you to lock your caravan to them if you’re parking up on your driveway.

Caravan alarms: a visible and audible deterrent to thieves. Some caravan alarm systems will call you over the mobile network if an alarm is triggered.

Caravan trackers: premium ‘proactive’ trackers will alert a call centre if unauthorised movement is detected for immediate tracking. Non-proactive versions rely on your discovering the theft and remotely activating the GPS tracker.

Integrating with your security systems at home: consider installing an additional PIR in your van if your system’s multi-zone and wireless. Ditto for cameras and security lights.

 Then the final caravan security measure is simply to be aware – about when and where you leave your caravan. There’s no need to be paranoid, but a little forethought can save you a lot of trouble! 

Find the right caravan security accessories for you in-store and online today. 

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