Franklin Replica - 500gal propane tank build

Discussion in 'Smoker Builds' started by bigbearsmoke, Aug 22, 2016.

  1. bigbearsmoke

    bigbearsmoke Newbie

    Hello Everyone, it's been a while since Ive posted as life got busy. Finally have taken major steps in completing my Aaron Franklin 500gal replica trailer smoker. When I started the research on this build about 2 years ago, it was extremely difficult to get hard and fast info, numbers, measurements, etc. Since then, Aaron has published a book, filmed BBQ with Franklin and given all the info you need to replicate his original smoker and the design philosophy behind all of his cookers. My ultimate goal is to build this smoker trailer as well as a concession trailer and open 1 day a week on Saturdays for lunch until the food runs out. It's more of a hobby for me but there is some part of me that wants to sell the finished product and see where it goes. Now....on to the build!!!

    Started with an old trailer that used to have an RV camper on it. I bought it as just the frame as seen below. Paid $200 for it and blew 2 tires on the way home. Kept driving and have let it sit for a year. Put new shoes on her for $550

    Put new shoes on her for $550 and already looks better.

    Cut, rewelded and replaced some supports to get her ready for decking. Also sanded and prepped for paint.

    All painted and ready for decking

    Decking complete!

    Next is getting the tank on the trailer. Picked up a 2 ton engine hoist at Harbor Freight with the 20% off coupon for $192. Best money I ever spent, lol. It's going to come in very handy through this entier build.

    Spent yesterday welding up the stand and attaching it to the tank. I'm sure my HOA was loving me yesterday...

    Next phase is building the firebox which will consist of a 330 gallon propane tank (30" diameter) and an inner pipe that is 24" in diameter. This will give a 3" air gap around the inner pipe and provide a partially insulated firebox.

  2. bmudd14474

    bmudd14474 Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Looks like you have made great progress. Can't wait to see the results.
  3. Looking good. I just completed a similar build myself.
  4. bigbearsmoke

    bigbearsmoke Newbie

    Just saw the pic of yours. Looks great!!! Any pointers or things you'd do different? How's she cooking for you?
  5. It works very well. It doesn't take a lot of fire/wood to keep the temp where you need it.
    Did you see all of the pictures I posted?
    The biggest challenge I had was trying to lift everything without having a forklift.
    If you run into any questions I will be more than glad to try to help you. I made some "rings" to help keep the inside pipe centered when I put the fire box together and I would recommend doing that because it helps keep everything centered.
  6. How is your build going?
  7. rstroup10

    rstroup10 Fire Starter

    I am getting ready to start a build similar to this. I am building my own trailer (tandem axle). How did you center the propane tank on the trailer. Was it centered over the tandem or centered On the trailer. I am worried about weight distribution. I look forward to seeing more of the build.
  8. Here is a picture of how I set mine on a trailer.
    The firebox end is heavy so you don't want your axles centered on the CC. Let me know if you need any measurements.

    rstroup10 likes this.
  9. rstroup10

    rstroup10 Fire Starter

    Thank you. Here is my initial design.
  10. Looks good.
  11. lemans

    lemans Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Aaron would be proud

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