Thursday, October 1, 2015

Stop Crime Before It Starts - Securing My Camp-Inn Trailer Part II

As we discussed in Part 1 of Securing My Camp-Inn Trailer, thieves don't care how hard you work to get your things. They only care how easy it is to take it from you. If you have seen my other videos or read my other blog posts, you know I bought a nice Camp-Inn 560 Teardrop Trailer last year. After hearing the horror stories of trailer theft, I started looking at various locking solutions, including coupler locks and wheel locks. No lock is perfect and therefore only a deterrent. So, I wanted my trailer to be less appealing a target to thieves. In Part 1, I talked about coupler options, which lock I chose and why. In this post, I will share more about the wheel lock I chose as a 2nd layer of protection for my trailer.

While the coupler lock is a good deterrent, I saved a long time to get the money to buy our trailer so I wanted to add another layer of security, therefore, I picked up a wheel lock as well. Again, there are a number of options out there with various designs. I wanted something that was easy to put on and take off, rugged and secure when attached, not easily removed by thieves and visible enough to act as a deterrent. I narrowed my choices down here to The Wheel Chock Lock by TriMax and The Claw by the same people that make The Club.

Both got favorable reviews from users and I think I would have been OK going with either option, but I ended up choosing the TriMax lock. It seemed to just meet my needs a little better and I was a little concerned about the design of the Club and how the locking bar attaches to the claw. I couldn't help but wonder if the attach points could be easily drilled out to remove the bar. I could be wrong and it may not be easily drilled out but I could not find any info either way. The TriMax design has square steel tubing and a plunger lock so there is no locking bar. To me, this just seemed like a better design with less weak points to be of concern and therefore, why I selected the TriMax over The Claw.

TriMax makes two different sizes of this design, the TCL 75 (for larger wheels) and the TCL 65, (my version). It looks to be made from 1/8th inch steel, weighs about 6lbs and is fairly rugged. It is powdered coated bright yellow providing a strong visual to would be thieves that your trailer is secure. It also has rubber tipped arms to prevent scratching or marring of your wheels/rims. The locking mechanism is a brass cylinder with high strength steel shank and a bullet style key/lock (comes with 3 keys) so I don't think it is easy to pick and should resist drilling. The lock is a spring loaded, plunger type and does not require the key to lock it making it easy to put on.

It also has a tire chock feature so that the wheel does not move easily once in place. As mentioned, it has square steel tubing so it is like a hitch/receiver design that fits snugly around the wheel. I have brakes on my trailer and it did not seem to interfere with the brakes in any way. The the version I have (TCL 65) retails for about $50.00 at the time of this posting and sold online and through retailers.

Now, as mentioned, there are also drawbacks to wheel lock solutions. One is that they don't secure the coupler but the other big one is that these are often defeated by just removing the wheel and putting on a temporary spare. There are some wheel lock designs that have a plate type design that covers the lug nuts but the claw style that I am using does not. Therefore, if you go with a claw style wheel lock solution, be sure to also use locking or keyed lug nuts. This will make it more difficult for thieves to remove the wheel and steal your trailer.  You can find locking lug nuts at your local automotive store or an online retailer like Amazon fairly easily. 

Between this lock and the coupler lock covered earlier, I think I have met the original objectives by providing enough of a deterrent so that thieves will decide to move on to an easier target. However, security products are only part of the solution. As I mention in my other blog post, get to know your camp neighbors, good neighbors will help keep an eye on your site while you are not around. If all else fails, I do carry insurance on it but I that is one thing I hope I never have to use.

I will be posting a youtube video of both my coupler lock and wheel lock showing them in more detail and how they install/remove. I will update this blog post with a link to the video once I have it ready. 

As always, feel free to leave a comment or question here or on my YouTube Channel and I will try to answer as best I can.

Until next time, take a bite out of crime and secure your trailer.
Jay T.