How to Keep a U-Haul Trailer from Being Stolen

Because of its size, you may have to park your u-haul trailer where it may get stolen. And this can be very worrying, especially if you’re in the process of moving and all of your possessions are inside the trailer. 

To keep your u-haul trailer from being stolen:

  1. Use a chain and a padlock. 
  2. Park strategically.
  3. Have security keep an eye on it.
  4. Completely lock up your trailer.

You’ve probably heard horror stories about entire trailers full of everything someone owns getting stolen. Fortunately, there are many simple ways to protect yourself from thieves and put your mind at ease. In the rest of this article, I’ll explain the above precautionary measures further. You can also read What To Do if You Lost a U-Haul Key

construction equipment trailer parked on residential neighborhood street

1. Use a Chain and a Padlock

If there is nowhere for you to directly attach a padlock to the hitch that connects your trailer to your vehicle, then you will need a chain and a padlock. You will use these to secure your trailer and prevent it from getting stolen.

Some u-haul trailers have chains already attached. In this case, you can implement this security measure without having to go buy a chain that you will probably never use again. You will need to have your own padlock, though.

How to do it:

  1. Take the chain and straighten it out. Remove any kinks or knots.
  2. With the hitch already attached and tightened, wrap the chain around the back of it. Then wrap the chain under, over, and back under again.
  3. Repeat the wrapping pattern around the hitch attachment until you run out of chain. When this happens, grab your padlock and find a good location to place it.
  4. You should put the padlock in an area that will make it difficult to tamper with or cut the lock. Once you have the padlock in a location you feel good about, you are done.

A padlock and chain is a simple and effective method of securing your trailer hitch to your vehicle. Having that connection locked in this manner will deter thieves, especially if you’ve placed your padlock in a place that will make things difficult for them. 

2. Park Strategically

U-Haul park strategically

I know many of you may read ‘park strategically’ and think it means you should park your u-haul at some impossible angle. Driving with a trailer is hard enough. While you can park the trailer at angles to make it nearly impossible to steal, many simpler strategic parking methods exist. 

How to do it:

  1. Only park your u-haul trailer in well-lit areas. Parking in a place with a lot of light will deter thieves. Thieves don’t want to be seen, so they will avoid light.
  2. Park as close to where you’re staying as possible. Whether it’s a hotel, apartment, or house, park the u-haul as close as you can to where you will be sleeping. Parking this way will help put your mind at ease.
  3. Park near security cameras if possible. As I noted above, thieves don’t like anyone to see them. So they will try their best not to be captured on camera. If you park in direct view of a camera, your u-haul will be left alone. 

You can combine these tips to make your u-haul even more secure. You can park in a well-lit area right outside the window of your apartment. Or if at a hotel, you can ask to park in the front. The front of the hotel may not be near your room, but it will be well-lit and in view of a security camera.

3. Have Security Keep an Eye on It

There will likely be a security guard if you’re staying at a hotel or even a more upscale apartment complex. A good thing to do is to let the hotel reception or apartment management staff know that you have a trailer and would like security to ensure it stays safe.

security guard

If you’re staying at a hotel, you may be able to park your u-haul where the overnight reception staff will be able to see it and ensure no one messes with it. You can park it up front where they can keep a direct eye on it or in a location close to your room under a security camera that security can keep an eye on.

If there’s a security guard where you’re going to be leaving your u-haul, you have nothing to worry about even if you don’t inform security ahead of time. They will do their job. However, letting them know about your trailer will ensure its safety.

4. Completely Lock Up Your Trailer

One thing that will attract even petty thieves is an unlocked back door of a u-haul trailer. They may take things from the trailer or decide they like everything and take the whole trailer. Therefore, even if you’ve secured the trailer to your vehicle’s hitch properly, you still need to lock the trailer’s back door.

Leaving the back door unlocked will encourage thieves to try and take your entire trailer. If they can get into the trailer and browse around a bit, they may decide that it’s worth trying to cut your locks off your hitch and steal everything you have.

It is imperative to lock the back door of your u-haul trailer. If you don’t take this small precaution, you will attract all kinds of thieves. You may even find your trailer and hitch intact but all the contents gone. Lock the back door, not just the hitch.

Final Thoughts

If you follow this guide and use common sense, nothing will happen to your trailer or its contents. You can combine these methods to  ensure your trailer stays completely safe.

You will not have any issues with thieves if you:

  • Lock your trailer with a chain and padlock.
  • Park strategically. 
  • Alert security about the trailer’s presence.  
  • Lock the trailer’s back door.

Using the four tips together will create an environment where it’s highly unlikely that anyone will even attempt to steal your trailer. And anyone who tries to do so will be caught.

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