Best Hitch Receiver Lock – One-Key Bolt Lock

Best Hitch Receiver Lock – One-Key Bolt Lock

If you want to keep your trailer safe on your hitch where you left it,  you need a receiver lock.  Heck, in some parts of town, if you want to keep your receiver from “walking away” even when you’re not hauling, you might want to keep it locked on.

The question is, what is the best receiver lock out there?  Ask a guy who practically lives in his pickup…

Bolt Lock BLT7018448 5/8'' Receiver Lock

BOLT Receiver Lock

My buddy Greg picked up a new receiver lock before he hauled his wannabe-Airstream down to Florida for the winter, because his old lock was so corroded it took a wrench to turn the key. Knowing he’d want to park and take his wife out on day trips in a rental car, or spend the weekend away with friends sometimes, he wanted a good lock, easy to use but seriously tough for a thief to pick, drill out or cut through, and one he could count on to work reliably, every time, even after a winter in the salty beach air.

Well, I’m not sure how Greg came to find out about the BOLT receiver lock (maybe he saw a demo at a trade show last fall?) but anyway that’s what he got. We both thought it was a clever piece of technology right from the get-go, and after he used it on the road for a time he was so pleased he went right out and bought another couple of locks by the same company.

BOLT Locks “Learn” Your Truck’s Ignition Key

When you get a BOLT lock, there’s no key that comes with it – because you set it up to work with your own ignition key. Whether you need a 1/2-inch or 5/8-inch receiver lock, a cable or padlock, a spare tire lock or a toolbox latch retro-fit kit, there’s a BOLT lock to work with the ignition key for all kinds of makes and models of vehicles.

See, how easy it is? When you buy a BOLT lock, you just pop the little seal that comes over the key entry hole, then put in your vehicle ignition key and turn it to the right until it stops, then pull out your key – that’s all it takes to customize the lock. Now it won’t open to any key except yours.

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Want to use two or three BOLT locks, or more?

No problem, your one ignition key can be used with as many locks as you want.

Instead of having a whole jangling ring of keys to fumble through when you need to unlock your truck toolbox in a hurry or release the hitch and hit the road, one key does it all. BOLT locks right down the line mean you’ll never worry about finding the right lock keys again.

And you don’t have to worry about whether you’ve got the right key with you when you leave home. It’s always with you, as long as you’ve got your vehicle.

Corrosion Proof and Trucker Tough

Strattec Security, the company that makes BOLT locks, just happens to make most of the OE locks for GM, Chrysler and Ford vehicles and they’ve got 100 years of business history behind them, so that makes me feel pretty happy that they know what they’re doing here.

The innards of the lock are all made of zinc, so there’s no worry about corrosion from weather or road salt. An automotive-quality seal covers over the key entry, to keep it free of grit that can jam up the works on a regular lock. And the whole thing has a grippable surface that feels rubbery, protecting the lock body and making it a heck of a lot easier to handle in hot or cold weather.

Bolt Locks

Meet the Bolt Lock Family

Now, I mentioned the convenience of having just one key to open all your locks, but you might be wondering why anyone would need more than one receiver lock? The answer is, there’s a couple of different BOLT locks for different purposes.

Besides the tough hitch receiver lock, the BOLT line includes a six-foot cable lock and a padlock to secure your trailer, tools, and whatever other gear you need to truck around on the job or on vacation.

They even make a spare tire lock for a Jeep, though I haven’t had a look at it yet it’s a fair bet it measures up to the rest of the BOLT family.

I’ve just been looking at the toolbox latch kit they put out, as well. It lets you retro-fit your truck toolbox lock to work as part of the whole system. It’s got the same handle as the original factory issue, so the look is the same, but the cylinder inside is a BOLT type that “learns” your key, just like the other locks. Is that a dandy idea? Just ask any guy who ever had to break into his own toolbox after driving 200 clicks to a job site and leaving his key at home!

[highlight color=”gray”]Click here to check BOLT locks prices on[/highlight]

It seems as if these locks must have been invented on purpose for a hard-working guy who needs his gear to work just as hard and not let him down. So it almost came as a surprise to find out these little beauties are not just for trucks!  As it turns out, Strattec makes BOLT locks to work with the ignition keys for a wide variety of makes and models of vehicles, types and years, from your nearly-new F150 to your father-in-law’s vintage Saturn – cars, vans, SUVs, jeeps, pickups, they’ve got all the popular vehicles covered.

Vehicle Compatibility Chart (PDF) available at

So there you have it.

If you hate juggling a mess of keys or remembering a load of combinations, you want to check the one-key BOLT locks from Strattec Security. Your ignition key works on every BOLT lock you own – just put in your key and turn it to customize the lock to open for your key only. That’s just one key to carry, no combinations to remember (or forget), and no worry about useless locks for as long as you’ve got your vehicle.

Photos: Receiver for hitch on 2008 Jeep GC by Christopher Ziemnowicz; Bolt Lock Family product images courtesy of, Bolt Lock/Strattec Security.


Solar-powered and semi-retired; a self-confessed hoarder of tool catalogs; big fan of spaghetti and classic chrome.

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