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I have a fairly solid hitch pin that I've been using for 20 years. Has a little corrosion on it but it otherwise in good shape. I've used it a number of times to tow a fairly heavy trailer (9000 lbs) and it shows NO sign of any stress or wear.

The problem I'm having is that it's a locking hitch pin and the lock itself is basically shot. It's so caked inside with crud that you can slip anything into the key slot, twist, and it will open.

I'm looking for a replacement locking hitch pin and I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions.

- Needs to be able to handle a 10k trailer
- Needs to have a lock
- Lock should have a cover to keep debris and water out of the lock cylinder

What have you got to offer???
 
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I don't use any of the locking ones, seen/heard of to many that get stuck on and have to be cut off. The ones with the rubber caps seems to be the worst since the cover just holds moisture in. I never leave the hitch in unless they trailer is hooked up so I don't feel the need for one either.
 

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I don't use any of the locking ones, seen/heard of to many that get stuck on and have to be cut off. The ones with the rubber caps seems to be the worst since the cover just holds moisture in. I never leave the hitch in unless they trailer is hooked up so I don't feel the need for one either.
I agree with you that leaving a hitch insert in when not in use is a bad idea. As a matter of fact, it is one of my pet peeves. Why do people leave these in when they drive these vehicles to the mall, grocery store, and office parks? And then, they park them with the insert hanging out over a sidewalk or in a walkway! :nunu:

That said, I do use a locking pin. Sad to say, I have heard stories of punk kids removing the clevis/clip and partially removing the pin to cause accidents. I have heard the same for the release on the 5th wheel hitch. I don't lock the 5th wheel but use a carabiner that would cause them to struggle longer to perform this act of vandalism. I have also had a friend have an insert stolen during a "temporary" installation. Using the locking pin on a short term basis, I expect it to last forever.

I realize that in some commercial applications, there is logic to a near permanent installation. If I was leaving the insert in on a permanent basis, I think I would be more inclined to use a hardened bolt with nylock nut.

Lee
 

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I think I got my locking pin from Harbor Freight (so I know it's of the highest quality! :laugh:) I don't leave it in all the time, but so far it's been fine.

I also have a couple of padlocks made by the same people that made the locking pin linked to in Post #2. It seems to be a good quality lock and it's great to not have to have another key on my ring to open it. I use one lock in my Jeep to keep my ammo-box console locked and another on my storage unit.

I know that Tractor Supply also carries locking pins.
 

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I agree with you that leaving a hitch insert in when not in use is a bad idea. As a matter of fact, it is one of my pet peeves. Why do people leave these in when they drive these vehicles to the mall, grocery store, and office parks? And then, they park them with the insert hanging out over a sidewalk or in a walkway! :nunu:


Lee
I heard (don't know for a fact) Morgantown city and Mon County Sheriff dept were handing out tickets for folks leaving receivers in. I had heard it was a state law, not sure, if it isn't it needs to be.
I know I have busted my shin a couple of times walking through a parking lot. Have also seen a lot of other people walking into receivers ,seen one get into a fight with the owner of a pickup with the receiver still in the hitch.

My only thought if you are to lazy to remove the receiver you're one of the thousand driving down the road with the trailer lights not plugged in. :dunno::banghead::banghead::banghead:
 

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I'm guilty of leaving my hitch in all the time. I don't tow at the time but I'm ready, also comes in handy if I need to get out my yank-um strap. Another reason is I'm tired of coming out to the parking lot only to find some joker parked against my bumper.
I've had my locking pin almost as long as the truck, no issues with it yet. ??


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I'm guilty of leaving my hitch in all the time. I don't tow at the time but I'm ready, also comes in handy if I need to get out my yank-um strap. Another reason is I'm tired of coming out to the parking lot only to find some joker parked against my bumper.
I've had my locking pin almost as long as the truck, no issues with it yet. ??


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I'm also guilty of leaving the insert in. I don't tow all the time but do tow pretty frequently and 80-90% of the time the truck is on the farm or going from one farm to the other or places where trucks with tow hitches are common such as Tractor Supply, hardware store, feed store etc. I've had one lynch pin taken when the truck was in a parking lot. I don't know if it was a prankster or someone was in the process of stealing the insert and got nervous but I didn't notice it until I got home. The insert and pin were still on the truck but I got the shakes thinking about the possible issues if a trailer was involved. Now, checking for that is part of my trailer hook up process.

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I always remove the insert - only took a couple knee or shin knocks and that was enough for me. Plus leaving it in it just gets rusted in there. I keep 3 different inserts in my tool box so I have with me what I might need.

Pulling the 5th wheel pin - I've seen that done before with big trucks - not funny!
 

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I'm guilty of leaving my hitch in all the time. I don't tow at the time but I'm ready, also comes in handy if I need to get out my yank-um strap. Another reason is I'm tired of coming out to the parking lot only to find some joker parked against my bumper.
I've had my locking pin almost as long as the truck, no issues with it yet. ??


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We have a hitch on our van. When we bought it in 2009 people thought it was fun to steal the rubber insert that the dealer had installed. Apparently hunks of rubber with a big Honda 'H' are a prized possession. After the dealer replaced the fourth one free I had enough and now use an aluminum hitch insert with a lock pin. Makes it easy to find the van in a parking lot.




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I always remove the insert - only took a couple knee or shin knocks and that was enough for me. Plus leaving it in it just gets rusted in there. I keep 3 different inserts in my tool box so I have with me what I might need.

Pulling the 5th wheel pin - I've seen that done before with big trucks - not funny!
Could be the area conditions and what they use on the roads, but mine isn't really rusty. I also use it as a step up to the bumper, that bumper gets higher every year!
 

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After cutting off a few of those locking hitch pins off trucks at work I started putting the hitch receivers in with a GR8 bolt and locknut. Its enough of a deterrent to keep them from walking off and I can easily remove it when needed.

My own stuff I just use a regular pin. The receiver comes out when the trailer comes off.

Also don't yank on a ball with a tow strap, the ball can shear off and become a cannon ball and kill someone. I have a spare receiver that I keep on hand with no ball on it that I can pass a receiver thru.

 

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Discussion Starter #14
We have a hitch on our van. When we bought it in 2009 people thought it was fun to steal the rubber insert that the dealer had installed. Apparently hunks of rubber with a big Honda 'H' are a prized possession. After the dealer replaced the fourth one free I had enough and now use an aluminum hitch insert with a lock pin. Makes it easy to find the van in a parking lot.




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I can see the benefits as you pointed them out, but I would personally be concerned about galvanic corrosion using an aluminum insert in a steel receiver.


The pin that ZachinCO linked to is available at Home Depot for short money - I may give it a try. I generally do not leave my hitch installed in the receiver for all of the reasons cited already (including the fact that it is actually against the law in many places). So, I'm not concerned about it getting frozen in or the lock getting frozen or whatever.

As far as why to use a locking pin, I agree that anything you can do to deter people from monkeying with your stuff while you're away from the vehicle, the better. When I had the sleds, the hitch was locked to the receiver, the trailer was locked to the ball, and the sleds were locked to the trailer. There are plenty of ways that someone could make off with my stuff even with it all locked like that, but again... The more you can do to be a smaller needle in a bigger haystack, they better off you are. Let them steal or mess with the setups where people HAVEN'T taken some additional precautions against theft or what-not.

Thanks for the comments and suggestions.
 

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After cutting off a few of those locking hitch pins off trucks at work I started putting the hitch receivers in with a GR8 bolt and locknut. Its enough of a deterrent to keep them from walking off and I can easily remove it when needed.

My own stuff I just use a regular pin. The receiver comes out when the trailer comes off.

Also don't yank on a ball with a tow strap, the ball can shear off and become a cannon ball and kill someone. I have a spare receiver that I keep on hand with no ball on it that I can pass a receiver thru.

I'd really like to see the complete setup when that happened.
 

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Not sure about that pic specifically but one of the long time members of my 4wd club always recounts a story that happened to him when a new member asks why its against club rules to yank on a tow ball.

While out the trail one day the club came across 2 fullsize trucks(mid 80s), one stuck in the mud the other pulling him out. They were using a tow chain looped over a ball. After the 4 or 5th good healthy tug the ball sheared off and smacked into the tailgate of the of the other truck leaving a good sized dent. Probably would have punched right thru a new aluminum tailgate. :laugh:

2 things they did wrong; First never use a chain or cable for yanking on. Always use a kinetic rope or nylon strap rated for the task. If you must use a chain or cable, take up the slack slowly and pull steadily and evenly to avoid shock loading. 2nd is never yank on a ball. Balls are typically rated for 2000-12,000#. A full size truck weighs 7000-8000#. When yanking you can multiply that force by 3 or 4 times depending on how aggressive you are. Also that ball is mounted in single shear and subject to side/bending loads when yanked on. It may not break the first time but after 5 or 6 good yanks? The owner said that he had pulled on that ball numerous times before it broke.
 

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No doubt that would scare the crap out of anyone!

My strap is usually around the whole hitch assembly.
 

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The only time I use a lock pin is if I'm traveling. Otherwise the hitch is just stored. If I use the hitch with a tow strap I put the loop in the receiver then put the pin through the loop.
 

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The only time I use a lock pin is if I'm traveling. Otherwise the hitch is just stored.
Same hear.
I use a receiver plug. Makes things look clean.

Hurting my shine only takes one time.
 
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