Do you lock your towbar tongue onto your car?
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Thread: Do you lock your towbar tongue onto your car?

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    UFO
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    CitroŽn Tragic UFO's Avatar
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    Default Do you lock your towbar tongue/draw bar onto your car?

    When I bought the C5 I had a tow bar and connections installed by the dealer. The tow bar is one of those where the draw bar fits into a square socket and is held in place by a locking pin and tensioned with a bolt in the bottom of the fitting to stop trailer rattling and minor wobbles. Standard securing of the locking pin is with a simple spring clip that goes through a hole in one end of the pin.

    At the time I got the car we were living in the inner west of Sydney, and I looked at the arrangement and thought that someone else would take a too easy liking to either the usually fitted square blanking plug with Citroen logo, or if the draw bar was fitted they would help themselves to that. So I found a suitable small padlock (Masterlock brand I think) and fitted this in place of the spring clip. The key for the lock is kept inside the car and the spare at home.

    These days it surprises me to see the vast majority of other car owners don't even think about things like this and happily drive around and park their cars in public places with the draw bar in place held there by a spring clip. They usually also have one or two D shackles hanging there too.

    All too easy for some tea leaf to come along and help themselves to an expensive piece of metal or even worse, if you have your boat or trailer attached and are away from the vehicle take that too.

    FWIW I also have another small padlock that I use as the safety catch on the socket handle of the towed trailer. Gives me reassurance that it is done up properly and some confidence that no one else can fiddle with it.

    I had an experience some years ago in a suburban street going across a railway line at slow speed when the empty trailer I was towing bounced of the ball. Some numpty had forgotten to check the socket handle was secure. His the minor obsession about locking the socket handle on now.

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    Last edited by UFO; 20th April 2014 at 07:23 PM.
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    Craig K
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    Contented Peugeot Driver addo's Avatar
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    Had I the Hayman Reese style of removable hitch, for sure I would - there are plenty of tidy ways to secure the tongue.

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    BVH Roger Wilkinson's Avatar
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    You blokes must live in Sin City. I don't bother locking mine. I might in Sydney or Melbourne though.

    Oh, and even Hayman Reese has gone to the dogs. Yesterday, in Repco Warrnambool buying some ridiculously cheap oil, I noticed the Hayman Reese branded hitch inserts. In small print on the boxes was "Made in China".

    Roger

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    Contented Peugeot Driver addo's Avatar
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    I have seen a tow hitch "escape" from a ute on Pittwater Rd, in heavy afternoon traffic. That was very interesting; sooner or later it was going to do damage to a car or motorcyclist. At least, a lock may prevent the hitch securing pin backing out.

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    1000+ Posts pgti6's Avatar
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    Roger, we don't manufacture anything here anymore. I was also surprised when my Hayman Reese load distribution hitch turned up to find MIC stamped into it. Oh well, at least I own a couple of non Dong Feng Peugeot's!

    As for locking down the coupling, I use a small padlock to satisfy myself that the trailer & race car won't part ways with the Ford. When not in use the tongue (which is now a bloody huge & heavy part of the distribution hitch system) is remove & replaced with a HR square rubber plug. At least it keeps the spiders out!
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    I use a locking pin with a key hole at one end. There was one on it when I bought it and had to get it off for the roadworthy. Took about 15 minutes to drill it off. So not completely thief proof.

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    Hi UFO,
    I have had a HR tow ball and tounge nicked from a work ute. Of course not noticed until I wanted to actually use it. I put the new one in and secured it with a bolt and nylox nut instead of the pin. That seemed to work OK.

    My mate locks his trailer coupling with a small padlock and it also secures it in his yard too. Easy enough to do.
    cheers jaahn

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    1000+ Posts Goddess fan's Avatar
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    I used to employ a small padlock, instead of the spring clip, as you describe UFO, and then one of those steel hitch locks to secure the trailer, loaded or otherwise, to the tow car when it was parked. Now, as the Adventra has a simple stowage system for the towing hitch etc, I just pack it away between towing duties.
    I've made simple errors, like not securing the ball properly, and it's only been the "heavy-on" nature of the load that's saved me from a ruinous day...... Funny, at work, I'd never make these thoughtless mistakes. A decent double safety chain, crossed over, always looks good too.
    I stupidly fitted a pair of cheap driving lights to a HiLux, without burring the threads behind the nuts, and some thief took them the first night I left that ute out on the street at a previous address. A cheap lesson for me.

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    I should add that when I'm not towing or about to, the drawbar sits in the spare wheel well, because it upsets the reverse sensors, I'd hate to reverse into someone's car and it hurts like crap when you walk behind it and smack your shin!
    Craig K
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    Fellow Frogger! sfrawley's Avatar
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    A good laugh for the lads is to remove the pin from the hitch and then stand around and watch as you take off and the front of the trailer/van falls to the ground. Having said that I don't have a lock on mine as the environment around there is harsh and I don't want a padlock that ends up corroded and seized.
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    1000+ Posts Renomad's Avatar
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    I store mine in the spare wheel well and have the HR square plug secured with an Allen headed bolt when the hitch is not in use.
    Cheers Renomad

    "Today's mighty oak, is just yesterdays nut that held it's ground"

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    Funny. NONE of that sort of stuff happens 'up here'. Wish we had some Crime.....~Steph.

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    1000+ Posts pgti6's Avatar
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    I guess you don't carry keys over there, you just shoot the bloody lock off!
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    1000+ Posts renault8&10's Avatar
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    I live in western Sydney and don't secure the tongue without issue. My car is parked in the driveway always. I do have a small lock for the trailer hitch for when I travel or store the car trailer however, and I use a hitch lock on the car trailer when not in use, but don't secure the box trailer but the box trailer is stored at the side of the house furthest away from the side gates.
    KB


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    Keys are a bit overated,but,Bullets ARE kinda expensive...and noisy...that's when a Silencer comes in handy. Nearly all the Car's I have I've left the Key's in the Ignition on more than one occasion. Not many People really want one of my huge Yank-Tanks. And when they're back @ the Garages,the Key's stay inside the Ignition Switch. Key's are a pain to carry around,plus they're heavy! ~Steph.

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    1000+ Posts michaelr's Avatar
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    I am puzzled that no one has pointed out there is a specific hitch lock on the market... simply a locking pin that replaces the standard pin and clip.

    But like most locks, I guess it will only stop the honest people.

    Do you lock your towbar tongue onto your car?-hitch-lock.jpg
    Haymen Reese Hitch Pin Lock - Straight - Supercheap Auto Australia
    Michael
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    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Gee's where do you guys live .... My towbars and keys are usually easily found ........................ Right there in the ignition and on the back of the car ... right where I left them. Though I swear I've bought countless bloody D shackles and there's never one to be found when I need one

    I've even had one of the guys at work laugh at me and tell me only I'd leave all the windows down and the keys in the ignition in the work carpark............. I checked my pockets ... and yep, he was right, the keys were in plain view swinging in the cars ignition. Oh well I figure no-one is going to really want to steal old Citroens........ Not having the key for an ID19 would only slow me down from starting it by about 10seconds either way.... (whip the glovebox liner out, short the back of the ignition and your away)...

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    Contented Peugeot Driver addo's Avatar
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    What's the risk of some idjit kid jumping in, managing to find a gear and then running over someone in short order? At least fit a kill switch or something?

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    I have always worked by the rule that when not in use the draw bar resides in side the vehicle. One badly injured leg while working in a drive in bottle shop in my youth has made me think of not injuring someone. In fact I think it should be illegal to have a draw bar attached when not towing.

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    Contented Peugeot Driver addo's Avatar
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    It is an offence in some states - I think it falls into the "seldom prosecuted" category, rather like P-plater restrictions on vehicles.

    If the swan neck sort were easier to fit/remove I'd take mine off in a jiffy; the number of times I've smeared black grease all over my shins...

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    Contented Peugeot Driver addo's Avatar
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    It is an offence in some states - I think it falls into the "seldom prosecuted" category, rather like P-plater restrictions on vehicles.

    If the swan neck sort were easier to fit/remove I'd take mine off in a jiffy; the number of times I've smeared black grease all over my shins...

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    Quote Originally Posted by michaelr View Post
    I am puzzled that no one has pointed out there is a specific hitch lock on the market... simply a locking pin that replaces the standard pin and clip.

    But like most locks, I guess it will only stop the honest people.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	hitch lock.jpg 
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    Haymen Reese Hitch Pin Lock - Straight - Supercheap Auto Australia
    That's the same as what I have.

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    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by addo View Post
    It is an offence in some states - I think it falls into the "seldom prosecuted" category, rather like P-plater restrictions on vehicles.

    If the swan neck sort were easier to fit/remove I'd take mine off in a jiffy; the number of times I've smeared black grease all over my shins...
    Gee's I just fitted one to the front of the range rover as well as the back........... Does that mean I'll get fined twice
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    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by addo View Post
    What's the risk of some idjit kid jumping in, managing to find a gear and then running over someone in short order? At least fit a kill switch or something?
    VERY VERY high .... I need to watch him these days ............... actually that's a damn good point. I might have to start throwing the keys up in the cant rail. I just have to make sure he doesn't see them get put there (or retrieved from there). A kill swtich wouldn't work, the first thing he'd do is copy the exact sequence I do when I get in the car ... ie: kill switch, then key, then gearstick no this is NOT an exaggeration

    Whatever you do, if you have multiple cars around the place (especially non runners, or cars that don't get moved often) .... DON'T SEPERATE THE KEYS FROM THE CAR!!! Gee's you can never find the bloody things in 6weeks/6months time when you want them
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    ^^What He said^^. With the amount of old Car's I have sitting,it pays to keep the Keys in them. Even the Duplicates. Some of these Cars have a 'Kill Switch',but since they're inside,they're pretty useless,but I activate 'em when I'm out. As for Hitches,up here,Folk's tend to leave them hanging out of the Reciver,even when there's no Trailer attached..........makes for an even more interesting aftermath in the event of a rear-end collision(American's for the most part LOVE to 'Tailgate'.......)! ~Steph.

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