Hitch Accessory 7: Pins, Clips and Locks

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Hitch Accessory 7: Pins, Clips and Locks

Some towing starter kits include a lock and key instead of a pin and clip to keep the ball mount fastened to the hitch receiver.

: Tony Hutchings/Getty Images

They're small items, but the pin and clip are essential accessories for any hitch. They're used together to attach the ball mount to the hitch receiver. The pin passes through holes in the receiver and the ball mount. Then the clip fits over the head of the pin to keep the pin from sliding out.

Some trailer owners prefer to use a hitch lock, which serves as a pin and clip but has the added advantage of protecting the ball mount from theft. Similar locks are made for the coupler. A coupler lock, which has a shank that passes through the locking hole of the coupler handle, prevents thieves and vandals from stealing your trailer.

Most manufacturers offer a towing starter kit to simplify the process of buying hitch accessories. Such a kit includes a hitch ball, a ball mount, a pin and a clip. Other packages include a lock and keys instead of the pin and clip.

We're not quite done with this line of safety-type hitch accessories. Keep reading to find out how our next hitch accessory will prevent runaway trailers.

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