New Build - Smoker on Tailgate Trailer

Discussion in 'Reverse Flow' started by tsywake, Jul 14, 2009.

  1. tsywake

    tsywake Fire Starter

    So I am finally getting around to building it. Last year about this time I had a dream to build the ultimate tailgating rig for our football games at WFU. I was able to pick up an old camper frame last year on Craigslist for $250. Its a nice double axle trailer, that I'm slowly but surely working on. I hope it'll be ready by football season. Its going to have the following on it eventually: Reverse flow smoker, gas grill, gas fryer, cooler, kegerator, and plenty of storage for our tailgating supplies.

    Below are the first pictures from the build. I've put the smoker on, and the freezor (eventual cooler) is just sitting on there. I scored an old kerosene tank from a tobacco curing barn from my uncle for free to use as the main chamber. I've got an old metal water tank that I'm converting into the burn box. I've welded a good portion of the frame on there. I hope to have some more advanced pictures in the coming weeks, but this will at least give you an idea of what is to come.






  2. bigbaldbbq

    bigbaldbbq Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Looks good so far. I hope you have it done before football starts.
  3. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Looks like your well on your way to quite a nice set-up there. Hope you finish it by football season. The only questionI have for you is what is that WFU thing? That doesn't sound anything like UF Gators. Just kiddin
  4. tsywake

    tsywake Fire Starter

    While our tailgating scene isnt quite up to SEC standards, our little school can hold their own against many of the other conferences. In recent years, we've turned into a great tailgating school. I wish we could play you guys at some point, considering we play the other two big Florida schools. I'm sure you wont enjoy the black and gold color finish when I'm through either.

    One interesting tidbit I found. In measuring the front and the rear bumpers, the front bumper is a good 3/4" shorter than the rear. I'd cant come up with any reason why the camper would have come from the factory shorter on the front than the rear [​IMG]
  5. tsywake

    tsywake Fire Starter

    I've been working dilligently the past few days, much to the dismay of my girlfriend who already hates the trailer, but I've made a lot of progress. Big changes since the last time are grinding off all the rust, priming the metal, and adding in the metal floor. Still hoping to have it finished by the first game, Labor Day Weekend. My primary goal is to have the trailer finished, the smoker I can still work on down the road if need be.


    I came across an old 1960's era water heater on my grandfathers property. I'm using it as my burn box. The curves of both tanks made cutting/welding them together an interesting task, especially with my relatively little experience and using a stick welder. I'll eventually have a door here on the side to access the burn box.

    Two coats of rusty metal primer, hoping to prevent any and all rust from forming. The metal floor went down surprisingly easy considering it was scrap metal my dad had lying around his shop.


    I designed the smoker to be accessed/opened from on the trailer. I'm not to sure about having to get off the trailer to walk around and feed the fire box, but we'll see how she turns out. If nothing else, I'll have learned something for my next build. The original kerosene drum was 7.5 ft long, but I took 2 feet off so it'd be a more manageable 5.5 ft.

    Lights about to go on the frame. One of my next steps is to put siding on the framework. I'm leaning towards an unfinished thin diamond plate that I can paint over.

    Inside of the burn box. I'm going to patch those two holes in the back, then she'll be airtight.....until I add the draft holes in the bottom.

    This is one of the coolest parts of the trailer IMO. During the offseason, our football stadium replaced the field turf. A friend raided the dumpster and got some extra pieces of the new turf going down. That'll be the floor of the trailer once it is complete.
  6. waysideranch

    waysideranch Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Looks like its going to be a nice set up. Good luck.
  7. Hi Tsywake,
    Looks like a good build for you! The only thing that kind of sends a Red Flag up is the material that you got from football stadium. Is it made from
    Polyester? I would hate to see it go up in flames especially if anybody was on it at the time. Other then that it looks like a fun build.

  8. the dude abides

    the dude abides Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Looks like a nice rig. Love the turf feature. Keeping in mind what Thomas said about it melting or catching fire.
  9. tsywake

    tsywake Fire Starter

    I put the large grate (formerly a rock separator from a quarry) around the fire box. There's at least 8 inches between where the turf will end, and the fire box, so I am hoping the grate will dissipate the heat by the time it works it's way over there. Between the distance, and the airflow around the grate, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it cools down enough. I'm going to be extra careful the first few times I use it to make sure though. As soon as I can cut into the smoker, I'm going to do a burnout so that should give me a good idea.
  10. tsywake

    tsywake Fire Starter

    Finally got around to taking some more pictures. Doing an entire trailer has taken more time than I would have liked. Had it just been the smoker, I'd have finished it a long long time ago.

    The firebox is ready for the intake holes to be cut.

    Inside of the tank with the wood grate. I've got it about 4" off floor of the fire box to allow for good airflow coming in and up through the fire.

    Gas grill for burgers and brats. The turf was rough cut. Once the walls go up, it'll be more finely cut.

    30 minutes and 3 cutting blades later, I've got a door to the smoker.

    Inside, which was in much better shape than I had expected. A little brushing, a quick burnout, and some pam and she'll be ready to smoke.

    Inlet hole from firebox to the smoker. I'd have never imagined lining up two round objects would have been so difficult.

    I've still got to fabricate the fenderwells, but the outside metal is ordered. I got the local metal shop to break a piece of steel for me to use as the reverse flow sheet. I'll take some more pics once it arrives.
  11. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Looks like it is starting to take shape, keep up the good work... [​IMG]
  12. Youre havin more fun than should be allowed!
    great lookin build, can't wait to see some more in progress pix, and the completed rig!
    man, that's gonna be sweet!
    nice work!!!!!!
  13. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    Going to be a tail gaters dream when finished.
    Like the smoker build also. Have you thought about ash removal from the fire box ? in the pic that grate looks like it might be tough to get out of the fire box.
  14. dutch

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

    Nice build! All you need now is a fridge to keep the drinks cold. Might want to step it into high gear and get 'er done. Football season is soon upon us!

    Go Utes!
  15. tsywake

    tsywake Fire Starter

    I've got enough space between the grate and the bottom that I should be able to let it pile up until I finish the smoke. I'll find out for sure when I fire her up for the first time. I do have a contingency plan in place though....if push comes to shove I can build an ash pan below and just cut a hole in the bottom of the fire box. That might have to be a later addition though, since I doubt I'll have time fabricate it before football season.

    I've got an old vertical top loading freezer (not in the latest pics, but in some of the 1st ones) that I'll be using as a meat cooler/drink holder. It doesn't work, but it'll still hold ice like a champ. I'm searching for another old freezer that I can convert into an ice kegerator since we get at least one keg per game, but so far it's been futile.

    I'm concerned about getting it finished before football season as well. I'm supposed to have a get together on 8/22/09, so I'm hoping to get at least the smoker finished by then. If push comes to shove, I've got the entire week of before football season to work on it.
  16. smokingohiobutcher

    smokingohiobutcher Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Wow! Awesome job! Good luck and keep working hard! Sounds like some of BBQ Engineers work ethic got spread onto you! [​IMG][​IMG]
  17. elde

    elde Smoke Blower

    As they say, "you know why the Bible is black and gold"? [​IMG][​IMG]

    I'm not much of a football fan, but Wake is my hometown school... (I can even remember when the soccer stadium was where the students hung out played Frisbee.)

    Go Deacs!
  18. rw willy

    rw willy Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Don't forget to weld a hook on the rail for your "Crying Towel" go TERPS.

    Hey the build looks great. Keep up the good work.
  19. tsywake

    tsywake Fire Starter

    Hey Willy, remember what happened the last time the Terps came to Winston-Salem? Many a turtle left the stadium that day with tears in their eyes. If you happen to be coming down for the game on 10/10, let me know. We'll have to meet up.
  20. rw willy

    rw willy Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    I wish I could. You had a great season last year. Enjoy the games and the smoker.
    Good Luck to you.

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