Choosing a hitch lock
A common sight on many caravan storage compounds is a vast array of hitch locks. But what should you look for in a hitch lock for a caravan? In this article we will look at the role of a hitch lock and help owners new and old on choosing the perfect hitch lock for the caravan. We have teamed up with Prima Leisure to give some insight into security devices. But, to begin with let’s start with the basics.
The purpose of a hitch lock
As the name might suggest a hitch lock, locks the hitch. Hitch locks come in a wide range of sizes, shapes and colours but their aim is unified. To prevent the hitch handle from being raised, and to stop a tow ball being inserted into the caravan hitch head.
They work by locking an object in the hitch head while also preventing the hitch handle from being raised. The hitch lock achieves this by using a heavy metal shroud that covers the hitch handle and is locked in place with substantial security locks.
Choosing a hitch lock
As I have mentioned the marketplace is full hitch locks at various price points, so below are a few items to check when choosing a hitch lock.
- Look for official test approval. Either SCM Approved, or Sold Secure. Both are industry recognised testing facilities that test and grade security devices.
- Check that your caravan insurer recognises the hitch lock make and manufacturer. In some instances, insurance companies may offer a discount on your premium if a specific hitch lock is fitted.
- Finally, don’t be afraid to ask a caravan dealership on security devices they recommend.
When to use a hitch lock
Your caravan insurance policy will have some details regarding locks and when to use them, but generally you should apply a hitch lock when the caravan is not connected to a towing vehicle. When the caravan is on a campsite, your caravan should have a hitch lock connected and locked as per the instructions. The same should also be the same when the caravan is held on a Secure storage compound. However, some CASSOA Gold storage sites require you not to connect a hitch lock so the storage facility can move the caravan to and from its bay. If this is the case, be sure to notify your insurance provider.
When not to use a hitch lock
I mentioned the hitch lock should be used when not connected to a towing vehicle, but what about when you are towing? Although there is no actual legislation stating you should or shouldn’t use a hitch lock while towing, it is frowned upon to use a hitch lock whilst towing by the emergency services. Locking a hitch while towing will prevent quick rapid detachment of the caravan if required. for example, in the event of an accident or fire, a caravan should be able to be quickly removed from the towing vehicle. A hitch lock will slow this procedure down considerably.
Another thing to consider is some hitch locks will prevent the stabiliser handle from engaging and will stop any hitch head stabiliser from working correctly.
It is unlikely that a caravan will be removed from your tow car whilst in motion, but if you do stop over on a Motorway services or at a rest area, apply a hitch lock and other locking devices while stationary.
We hope this article has been useful and gives you some knowledge on hitch locks for your caravan.
For more information on hitch locks, why not head on over to the Prima on-line shop and browse their range of security devices.
With special thanks to Dan Trudgian for this blog post.