Best way to secure a Max Coupler hitch when leaving the trailer in camp for the day

SBSYNCRO

Active member
So for those of you with a Max Coupler hitch, I'm just curious what you do to secure your trailer for the day while out exploring. Looking at it, I think the simplest solution is to pull the assembly out of the trailer tongue and put a locking hitch pin there, then take the entire towing rig and throw it in the Jeep for the day. The other thought is to go all the way and get a set of three locking hitch pins and detach the assembly from the Jeep, leaving everything attached to the trailer, but with all three pins locked. Or maybe there's even a simpler solution with a piece of stout chain and a good padlock...

Curious what other people do to secure their trailer for the day... Thanks
 

4runnerteq

Explorer
If Im in a regular campground I just throw the hitch assembly in the back of the 4runner and leave the teardrop. Otherwise yeah, locking pin and then assembly with me. Some guys use a wheel lock also. I have thought of adding that just for maybe safer keeping.
 

Wendell-R

Member
I drilled out the hole in the coupling pin and put a padlock through it - prevents someone from removing the pin when I'm in a parking lot somewhere also. My Max Coupler is bolted to the trailer - can't be removed. I generally run a chain through a wheel and the frame also.
 

4000lbsOfGoat

Active member
I don't use a Max Coupler but the issue applies to other types of couplers as well. My coupler assembly and chains are attached to the trailer using 2 hitch pins. I remove the whole assembly, including chains, and just lock it all inside the trailer. Even without a coupler of any kind a thief could still pull your trailer away using just the chains.
 

Jmanscotch

is a Texan
I have a Lock-n-Roll hitch and I pull the trailer side out, put lock pin back into the tongue (though I do leave the chains attached to the tongue). Then I run a hefty chain lock through the wheel and around the leaf spring.

Chain I use, pretty beef and has a protector sleeve on it not to mar up the wheels. It'd take more than bolt cutters to get it in pieces (lock too).



Could someone still take it? Yep, but they'll work for it and not just back up, attach and go. That's really about the best you can expect.

Here's how I leave it, sat here for 4 hours, chain is on the far side wheel (didn't want them to see it while driving up to the trailer).

 

jim65wagon

TundraBird1
I pull the pin and the chains and place them in a tote in the truck bed. The receiver side from the truck goes in the same tote, that way I'm not dragging it through the dirt and dust while exploring an area. Sometimes I'll put a cable lock through the wheels and suspension. The trailer side of the hitch should be unique enough to foil the lazy criminals at least.
 

4000lbsOfGoat

Active member
I pull the pin and the chains and place them in a tote in the truck bed. The receiver side from the truck goes in the same tote, that way I'm not dragging it through the dirt and dust while exploring an area. Sometimes I'll put a cable lock through the wheels and suspension. The trailer side of the hitch should be unique enough to foil the lazy criminals at least.
At the end of the day it's really only the lazy criminals we're trying to dissuade anyway! There is no stopping a determined thief...
 

calicamper

Expedition Leader
Had big over loaded trailers used as site storage at our sailing club stolen. Tongue weight easily over 1000lbs!!! One thief used a FJ😆. Hope it was his truck and its bent like a banana now.

We pull tires now. Its one thing to cut a lock or chain with a cordless grinder in 50 seconds vs try to find a wheel and lug nuts that fit.
 

Roaddude

Long time off-grid vanlife adventurist
.
I've had my trailer parked in different situations all over North America while unhooked--over 600 nights out--and use Bolt 5/8" Receiver Locks, all keyed to my ignition key. I don't like having a mess of extra keys for different locks.

I have one on the rear hitch receiver and one on the trailer through the Max Coupler square. Bolt Locks spin freely on the stainless hitch pin, and while not a complete deterrent to determined thieves, makes it harder for the long pipe guys to bust off in quick fashion, especially when the trailer's unhooked. Bolt Locks also have a "six plate tumbler sidebar and bump protection" to prevent lock picking.

MaxCoupler-n-boltlock-0894-900.jpeg
(This image makes me realize I need to add sanding/priming/painting to this year's prep work. 😊)

I want to do something better with my chains, though; to either more quickly and easily remove them altogether before leaving, or make them much harder for someone else to use. As noted earlier in this thread, trailers do get stolen without being hitched, but just hauled away by the chains. I know of a case in far west Texas where a flatbed trailer was hauled off by chains only.

Another deterrent: When camping and away from the trailer for a supply run or exploring, my trailer is usually too set up for wannabe trailer thieves to mess with or think it's a quick, easy, mark.

swissarmytrailer_8081-900.jpg
Extended stay base camp. I'm not always this set up with awning extensions etc.

The gen is always put away when gone and, depending on where I am, the bike is either locked to the swing-out on the rear of the trailer or put in the van with me.

I am usually tent up, awning out; maybe sidewalls when away from camp.

basecamp_2572-900.jpeg

I'm working on running constant power to a GPS device in my trailer too--probably an old iPhone or iPod Touch--making it clear through stickers at the hitch and eye level, that the trailer has 24/7 GPS tracking. There are apps to make it easy to track routes, etc. Seems to be getting easier to use old cell phones for both full-time security cams and GPS devices.

I have several Bolt Cable Locks, too, all also keyed to my ignition key, for running through a trailer wheel, securing my bike, canoe, or gen, or cargo on the tonneau cover.

Lastly, I've been known to block access to my spot when way off-pavement and post signs like this:

RoadResearch-2020-01-06-900.png

In almost four years of using this rig all over America, I've not had a theft problem yet. That sure doesn't mean it won't happen, though.

All in all, the best security is situational awareness. Know where you are, where you are parking your gear, and the degree of theft danger. West coast and far southwest seem more prone to theft from reports I see on forums. Knowing how to best secure your trailer and gear for your situation, and remembering to do it, is key.

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Mizzou77

New member
Hey, I’m new to this forum and have never towed anything in my life. That’s about to change in a few months when I pick up my new teardrop camper which comes with the Max Coupler hitch. Most of the very helpful ideas mentioned here focus on how to reduce the likelihood of theft once you reach your destination. However, what about when you’re on your way and stop for provisions or a bite to eat and you’re away from your trailer for 20-30 minutes? Keeping in mind I’ve never actually seen this hitch other than in picture/videos, what’s to keep someone from simply unscrewing the bolt that goes through the yoke that attaches to the tongue of the tow vehicle, pushing the trailer back far enough to back in another vehicle, reattaching the yoke to the getaway vehicle and taking off? Assuming you didn’t apply any other security like a wheel lock or chaining a wheel to the frame, wouldn’t this be fairly easy to accomplish? Thanks in advance for helping me become slightly less ignoran!

895816FB-C644-49A2-A84A-5BBF6094BF97.jpeg
 

Roaddude

Long time off-grid vanlife adventurist
Hey, I’m new to this forum and have never towed anything in my life. That’s about to change in a few months when I pick up my new teardrop camper which comes with the Max Coupler hitch. Most of the very helpful ideas mentioned here focus on how to reduce the likelihood of theft once you reach your destination. However, what about when you’re on your way and stop for provisions or a bite to eat and you’re away from your trailer for 20-30 minutes? Keeping in mind I’ve never actually seen this hitch other than in picture/videos, what’s to keep someone from simply unscrewing the bolt that goes through the yoke that attaches to the tongue of the tow vehicle, pushing the trailer back far enough to back in another vehicle, reattaching the yoke to the getaway vehicle and taking off? Assuming you didn’t apply any other security like a wheel lock or chaining a wheel to the frame, wouldn’t this be fairly easy to accomplish? Thanks in advance for helping me become slightly less ignoran!

View attachment 650132
.

Well, it's a pretty damned big bolt head and nut at 1.5" - not a typical socket and wrench in the common thieves tool box I wouldn't think, and they'd have to work at it. I've hauled mine all over and parked all over, from back country to downtown big cities and never had anyone mess with it.

All of my worries before hauling my trailer over 600 nights out that someone would mess with it just never came to pass.

Doesn't mean they won't, but in my experience it is pretty damned rare.
 

Pnwfullsize

Active member
Hey, I’m new to this forum and have never towed anything in my life. That’s about to change in a few months when I pick up my new teardrop camper which comes with the Max Coupler hitch. Most of the very helpful ideas mentioned here focus on how to reduce the likelihood of theft once you reach your destination. However, what about when you’re on your way and stop for provisions or a bite to eat and you’re away from your trailer for 20-30 minutes? Keeping in mind I’ve never actually seen this hitch other than in picture/videos, what’s to keep someone from simply unscrewing the bolt that goes through the yoke that attaches to the tongue of the tow vehicle, pushing the trailer back far enough to back in another vehicle, reattaching the yoke to the getaway vehicle and taking off? Assuming you didn’t apply any other security like a wheel lock or chaining a wheel to the frame, wouldn’t this be fairly easy to accomplish? Thanks in advance for helping me become slightly less ignoran!

View attachment 650132
At that point, let them have it and call Allstate
 
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