To the OP (OneDragon), what process did (do) you use to get your charcoal going?
For a long term smoke, I'd fill the basket about 3/4 full with my charcoal, with a few chunks of smoking wood, then get a full chimney of charcoal going off to the side, and when that is glowing hot to the top, dump that on top of the unlit stuff in the basket. I might let it settle for a few minutes, but then would slap the lid on.
I would then let it smoke like hell and stabilize for about 20 minutes to half an hour, waiting for the white smoke to clear out. Then the meat would go on, the lid closed and nothing but smoking would happen for the next several hours. Light blue smoke and temps at 225, hour after hour.