How to Move a Hot Tub Using an Auto Transport Trailer Rental

There’s a lot to like about having a hot tub in your backyard. No matter the size or shape, a hot tub transforms just about any backyard into a relaxation hub for many years to come. But if you have a move coming up, you may be wondering what’s the best way to move a hot tub, especially if you won’t be hiring movers. It’s a fair question when you consider the odd shape and bulky size of most hot tubs.

The good news is a hot tub can be moved from point A to point B with relative ease when you have the right equipment, starting with a U-Haul auto transport trailer rental. Although auto transports (AT) were designed to haul vehicles, the easy-access loading ramp and ability to tow with your own vehicle or a U-Haul truck rental make ATs a convenient option for hauling other large or heavy items, like hot tubs.

Things to Consider Before Moving Your Hot Tub

How Much Does My Hot Tub Weigh? – Standard hot tubs weigh anywhere between 500 and 1,000 lbs. empty, depending on the seating capacity. Get an idea of your hot tub’s weight before moving day so you can plan accordingly. (Note: the auto transport load capacity is 5,290 lbs.)

How Wide/Long is My Hot Tub? – The length/width of your hot tub will determine whether it will fit on an auto transport (the deck width is 79” and length is 148”). It’ll also help you plan your pathway and whether you’ll need to make extra room by removing patio doors or disassembling a fence.

Does My Hot Tub Need to Be Drained? – Yes! An empty hot tub weighs considerably less than a hot tub filled with water. Most hot tubs can be drained by attaching a garden hose to the drainage spout and activating the drain valve. Be sure the hose is placed in a suitable drainage area.

Hot Tub Moving Equipment Needed

How to Move a Hot Tub in Five Steps

1. Measure Your Hot Tub

Verify that the hot tub will fit on the Auto Transport deck using measuring tape. For reference, the deck length is 148” and the width is 79”.

2. Build Your Rail System

Build two wooden rail systems using four 8-foot long 2x4s. Connect two 2x4s together using wood screws to make one wood rail system. Repeat to make a second wood rail system. Place the wood rail systems on the trailer deck parallel to the ramps.

3. Prep the Hot Tub for Loading

Wrap the hot tub with shrink wrap/Mover’s Wrap. It should be nearly entirely wrapped. Place two 8-foot 2x4s flat on the ground. Elevate the 2x4s by placing two smaller pieces of wood underneath them to make it easier to lift the 2x4s from the ground.

4. Load the Hot Tub on the Auto Transport

With the help of a few friends or family members, gently place the hot tub on top of the 2x4s. Lift the hot tub off the ground using the 2x4s and place it on the rear of the trailer so that the 2x4s are perpendicular to the rail systems. Push the hot tub along the rails until it is just forward of center on the trailer. This will help you position more weight in front as instructed in order to achieve sufficient tongue weight during transit.

5. Attach the Ratchet Straps

Attach one end of a 15' ratchet strap to the D-ring found on the inner rear of the driver’s-side deck. Attach the other end of the ratchet strap to the outer lip of the front passenger’s-side deck. Tighten the ratchet straps. Repeat on opposite side of the trailer.

IMPORTANT: Make sure to check the ratchet straps regularly to ensure that they are tight and secure.

Safety Advisory

Please keep these safety tips in mind when operating auto transport trailer:

  • Load heavier in front
  • Secure your load
  • Drive slower than normal
  • Wear your seatbelt

For more information refer to the Auto Transport Instructions Guide.

Move Your Hot Tub Today with U-Haul

Ready to move your hot tub to your new home? Reserve an auto transport trailer today to get your move started. Visit for more information about equipment rentals, or view more trailer and moving tips from U-Haul.


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