Peninsula Tank Build – Road Trip

This is Part #2 in a series of blog posts about my 225 gallon peninsula tank build.

I live about six hours from Coast To Coast Custom Aquariums in New Jersey so it is a long trip down and back to pick up a tank, especially when you do it in one day. But I am used to long drives and during these crazy times with COVID I did not want to take a chance and stay overnight in a hotel. An adventure to pick up my new peninsula reef tank was about to begin!

The last time I picked up a tank at CTC I rented a Budget box truck and it worked out great. These trucks have a wooden bottom that make it possible to screw small wooden blocks into the floor to prevent the tank from sliding around during transit. There are also metal loops on the floor you can use to attach come alongs to further secure the tank.

I did some research and found out the rental price for the truck was going to be around $800. I can’t recall if I paid that much the last time but for this trip I decided to investigate other options to save money.

Transporting the Peninsula Tank – The U-Haul Option

I do have a tow hitch so I looked into renting a U-Haul cargo trailer. The price was a heck of lot less, around $50 for a 48 hour rental, but the trailer did not have a wooden bottom. The trailer also did not have shock absorbers, a feature you get with a Budget box truck. Nonetheless, I decided to go for it.

My plan was to pick up a 4’ x 8’ sheet of ¾” plywood and put it over the floor of the 5’ x 8’ trailer. It barely squeezed in but I was able to shut the door so it locked into place quite nicely. Mission accomplished.

When I arrived I met Patrick, the owner of CTC, and he led me into his shop to see the tank. After I inspected it he prepped it for transport and then loaded it into the trailer. We secured the tank and then I hit the road and headed back to Vermont.

coast to coast custom aquariums

The Long Road Back

Most of the drive was highway driving but the trailer did bounce around pretty good over some bumps. Was I worried? Yes, especially since the last leg was going to be some winding, single lane roads with frost heaves from past winters. Unfortunately, Mapquest took me on a route that included an unpaved road. And let me tell you, the trailer bounced pretty good on this road.

I was pretty bummed out. I feared the worst and did not want to pull over after making it over the road to check on the tank. I pressed on and relaxed a bit after hitting a paved road. But my anxiety reached a new high when I had to cross an even bumpier road under construction. I went 5 MPH and kept my fingers crossed.

Eventually I made it to my road and pulled into my driveway, opened the door to the trailer and did a quick inspection of the tank. It was still in one piece, although the true test would come a few weeks later after it is filled up with water.


In hindsight I would do two things differently. First and foremost, I would rent a box truck with shocks. Secondly, I would do a much better job mapping out my route home. Pavement is a really good thing when transporting a tank.

Additional Resources

If you would like some help with a new tank build, including help designing a custom aquarium, or help re-configuring your current setup then you can visit this page for more information. And if you are looking to add some equipment, I do sell GHL, Pax Bellum, Reef Octopus Calcium and Kalk Reactors and Royal Exclusiv products, including Dreamboxes, which is the equipment I use and recommend. I also sell Reef Brite metal halide and LED fixtures as well as Maxspect & IceCap Gyres.

As for additional insights and information, please explore my many other reef tank and SPS related articles as well as my YouTube channel. For an even deeper dive into reef tank care you can check out my Reef Keeping Master Class. This online course is an immersive and one of a kind educational tool designed to help reef aquarium hobbyists build and maintain a beautiful SPS reef tank. The course is a series of video presentations with some supplemental video from my YouTube channel. There are also quizzes to help students retain and understand the information presented in the course.

Need some frags…..I can help with that as well 🙂 Please visit my SPS Frag store to see what is available.

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