I've been lurking this forum for a long time now it's necessary that I now contribute . It's been VERY helpful on my BBQ journey. I figured I'd make an account and share my experience with my smoker thus far.
I got a Charbroil smoker last December from Wally-world. I was terribly unhappy with the quality of it. It leaked heat and smoke from any and every place possible. It's taken a while, but I'm slowly getting it working better.
What I've done thus far: High temp RTV on all the leaky areas. Attached angled aluminum (probably should have used angled steel) around the bottom half of the chamber which the chamber's lid now rests on instead of original .25" gap. Added 2 more accurate thermometers on each side of the chamber. And today I bought a 58,000 BTU fish fryer (30 dollars from Academy sports 10lb adjustable regulator), pulled the burner and regulator, and made a new steel door for the firebox to accommodate the new propane burner. So far it seems like it will work nicely. I had the temp up to 200 F quickly and I think I should be able to get a steady 250F pretty easily.
This is before the angled aluminum lip, I was hoping the RTV ring around the chamber would suffice.
It still leaked smoke and heat like crazy after the first dosage of RTV
And tomorrow morning this 6lb butt will be thrown on to test the propane conversion.
What still needs to be done: Replace the cheap plastic wheels with some larger, beefier rubber wheels. Make a sturdier bottom shelf. Cut some tuning plates. And it's a Charbroil, so chase down all the other leaky spots and figure out how to seal them.
Thanks for all the info so far guys and gals. Keep on sharing!