How to Remove a Trailer Hitch Lock?

Last Updated on April 11, 2023 by Will Sabel

If you own a trailer then you have to ensure that it is safe from thieves while towing or while not towing.  A trailer hitch lock can protect your trailer from thieves.  If you want to unlock the hitch lock to remove it from the fastener hole, you have to use the provided key by the manufacturer. If you lose the key, there are some techniques for unlocking it. This article will explain how to remove a trailer hitch lock, coupler hitch lock, and latch pin lock (both with and without a key).

Removing Trailer Hitch Lock With & Without Key

Receiver hitch locks come in two different designs. Some receiver hitch lock pins have curved end, but some lock’s pin areas are straight with no curved ends. The steps for removing a receiver hitch lock with and without the key are outlined below.

WZx0juXkN0kD5knVOGpbAtkw6v nNgdnUndI4QAw9VNYLEPQ80vTScompV lKo7YVyRoaeWIK3BCp3gTPmu2d3UllRUUTs0qnSWzmPszpUhiLU

Removal of receiver hitch lock with key 

The procedure for removing the receiver hitch lock is the same for both the curved end pin and the straight pin. 

  • Take the provided key and place it in the keyhole.
  • Turn the key to unlock.
  • Remove the lock.
  • Then take out the pin.

Removal of receiver hitch lock without key 

There are several methods for removing the receiver hitch lock without the key. I have described many processes of removing the receiver hitch lock without a key below.

  1. Hammer and screwdriver 

You can use a hammer and a screwdriver to unlock the receiver hitch lock so that you can remove the lock. 

  • Put the screwdriver into the keyhole.
  • Hit the screwdriver with the hammer several times. 
  • Remove the screwdriver from the hole and start to hit the lock all around with the hammer.
  • Now Pull the lock and pin.
  1. Steel pipe 

You can use a steel pipe to remove the receiver hitch lock.

  • Put the pipe over the lock.
  • Pull the pipe all around so that you can break the lock.
  • Pull the lock as hard as you can from every angle if it does not break.
  • After breaking the lock pull the pin.
  1. Southord pick

 You can use Southord picks to unlock the hitch lock to remove it from the receiver hole.

  • Insert a Southord pick vertically inside the hole.
  • Take another Southord pick horizontally to the hole and try to cut the lock’s internal pins.
  • You can pull the lock after cutting all the lock pins.
Also Check: Top Rated Drop Hitch for Towing

How to Remove a Coupler Hitch Lock? 

Typically, the top of this lock is shaped like a ball and fits into the tongue of the hitch. Its U-shaped design makes installation incredibly simple. To attach the coupler hitch lock you must hook the lock beneath the unlatched trailer coupler. Then grab the lock’s hook and clamp it down. The process of removing a coupler hitch lock is described below.

v7pVG gQn0HDXakhg Eb2 aSavnw 8rC54

Removal of coupler hitch lock with key 

A coupler hitch lock is easily removed by using the keys provided by the manufacturer. Follow the steps below to remove the hitch lock.

  1. Take the provided key.
  2. Place the key in the lock hole and turn the key.
  3. Pull the hook to remove it.
  4. Unlock the latch and take out the hitch lock.

Removal of coupler hitch lock without key 

If you misplace your hitch lock keys and need to remove the hitch lock. Then there are some techniques for removing the coupler hitch lock without a key. Follow the steps below to open the coupler hitch lock without a key.

  1. Take a Tension pick and put it into the bottom of the keyhole.
  2. Then take a Rake pick and slide it through the keyhole.
  3. Start moving the rake pick all around.  After some time, the key will be unlocked, and you will be able to remove the coupler hitch lock.
  4. Pull the hook and then unlock the latch to remove the hitch lock.

How to Remove a Latch Pin Lock?

A latch pin lock is also known as a quarter-inch coupler lock. It connects to the latch on the trailer coupler.  This is a thread lock. The processes of removing the latch pin lock with or without the key are described below. 


Removal of latch pin lock with key 

  1. Take the key provided by the manufacturer and put it in the keyhole.
  2. Now start turning the key counterclockwise.
  3. You have to keep turning the key until it’s unlocked.
  4. Take out the latch pin lock.

Removal of latch pin lock without key 

If you lose your hitch lock keys and need to remove the latch pin lock. There are also methods for removing it without a key. 

  1. Take a tension pick and rake pick.
  2. Put the tension pick to the lock hole.
  3. Insert the rake pick in the center of the keyhole and continue to keep poking.
  4. After pocking a few times with the rake pick try to turn the tension pick. It will move an inch.
  5. Continue pocking with the rake pick and turning with the tension pick. After several tries, the lock will unlock and you can remove the latch pin lock.

Tips To Maintain and Prevent Issues with Trailer Hitch Locks

1. Clean and lubricate the lock regularly to ensure smooth operation and prevent rust formation. Wipe away dirt and debris using a clean cloth. Then, apply an appropriate lubricant to the lock’s moving parts for optimal performance.

2. Inspect the lock frequently for signs of wear, corrosion, or damage. Fix any issues promptly to maintain the lock’s effectiveness and security.

3. Always keep a spare key or record the combination code in a safe place to avoid being locked out or unable to remove the lock when needed.

4. Replace damaged or worn-out locks immediately to maintain the security and integrity of your trailer and hitch system. Regular replacement also prevents potential issues with stuck or malfunctioning locks.

Final Words

There are different types of trailer hitch locks available. Every trailer owner has different requirements, and the industry knows this. That’s why they manufacture different types of trailer hitch locks. In the above, I tried to carry over the removal process of some of those hitch locks.

Another common way of unlocking the hitch lock without a key is drilling. Take a drill machine and insert the pin into the keyhole. You have to keep drilling it until it’s unlocked.

How to remove trailer hitch lock

Author: Will Sabel

Will Sabel is an avid car enthusiast. When he's not writing for RidersWant, you'll find him cruising the country in a new car. People are always wondering how many cars he has!

Leave a Comment