150 Gallon RF Rig...Upgraded!

Discussion in 'Reverse Flow' started by bruno994, Dec 21, 2012.

  1. bruno994

    bruno994 Master of the Pit

    Earlier this year (March) I completed my first build, a 150 gallon RF rig on a trailer.  My 2 purposes for building it were to start cooking in some competitions and give me more Qpacity.  It has done both admirably and the smoker itself doesn't need any upgrades, but the trailer she sits on did.  First off it was an old boat trailer that I picked up for $100, it needed new tires(another $200 later), but still not too bad.  The biggest problem with the boat trailer was the extended tongue, especially after I started hauling water and loaded ice chests near the front of it, started flexing alot.  Here is a pic of where I started at 2 weeks ago:

    The first thing we did was take about 3 1/2" feet out of the tongue, welded a new hitch just prior to the A frame of the trailer, added an A frame jack, then removed the cooler deck that was mounted over the A frame portion of the trailer.  It was a nice idea, but the weight of the coolers on the long span between axle and hitch really made the trailer flex a good bit.  It worked great hauling coolers to comps, but other than that, was never used while cooking or after I got setup at a comp.  I salvaged all the angle iron from the deck for later use on my upgrades.  In the place of the deck, I bought a tongue box from Tractor Supply for $99.  It is huge!  This should eliminate 1 storage box needed when I head out to cook.  I can store my lights, tools, extension cords, fire extinguisher, straps, etc., on hand at all times and not have to load and unload every time out.

    Next upgrade was taking the steel (1/4 x 1 1/2 x 1 1/2 angle) from the cooler deck and extending my countertop area around to the door side of the pit.  I already had countertop space on the opposite side where my sink is, but really had no place to take the food out of the pit and onto anything without having to travel a few feet with it.  Plus, as we all know in our inside kitchens, you can never have enough counter space, well the same goes for our outside kitchens.

    Fired it up last Friday at work and cooked all my supervisors ribs and sausage for lunch.  The shelf worked out superbly.  It was nice to be able to take the meat out, slap it on a countertop right there and slice 'em up!   Under the countertop, you will see my other additions to the rig, RV fresh water tanks.  Instead of using the old bladder type water tank for fresh water and an old spot sprayer tank for grey water, I ordered a 16 gallon tank ($45 on ebay) for my fresh water and a 21 gallon tank ($59 on ebay) for the grey water.  I have yet to finish plumbing these in, but it should be done by Christmas.  I am using a 2.9 GPM SureFlo water pump to move fresh water to the sink.  Also note in the above picture, on the upright directly in front of the water tank, a hook, I welded one on either side for a trash bag holder.  It always seems no matter what side of the trailer I'm on, I need a trash bag.  Here is a shot of the 21 gallon tank under the sink area:

    With the addition of the extra countertop space, my propane burner was going to be really close to that area, so I cut the tank holder and burner rack off and moved them away about 7".  It gives a good amount of clearance between the burner and countertop as well as being far enough away from the tongue box as not to melt the plastic.

    I still want to get the countertops (just plywood right now) wrapped in stainless or some other high quality, nonporous, long lasting surface, but that might have to wait for a bit.  I am not sure that tile will hold up to the traveling and formica probably won't last long since I store it outside in the elements.  I'm thinking pieces of 3/4" treated plywood wrapped with some decent gauge stainless sheet metal will work out great.  Durable and easy cleanup.

    I will post more pics as I make upgrades and other changes over the long holiday weekend.  Hopefully I'll get the tanks plumbed, a new shelf under the door mounted and some running lights and decorative LED's installed over the long weekend.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2012
  2. mike johnson

    mike johnson Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    lookin good.
  3. Nice. I really like your setup.
  4. jarjarchef

    jarjarchef Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Nice job...
  5. fishwrestler

    fishwrestler Smoking Fanatic Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    Nice build going
  6. Honestly, this is one of the best I have seen.  It is so very close to what I had in mind for mine that it's scary.  Can we get a pic of the inside of the cooker?  
  7. bruno994

    bruno994 Master of the Pit

    I will post some inner views this weekend along with a few other items I am either working on or have working.  My ultimate goal is to make the unit as self sufficient as possible, not only for traveling to comps, but also for big smokes (holidays, family gatherings, and such) here around the house.  Thanks for all the compliments folks.  Here is the original thread from my build earlier this year, I like where I started, but I think I am really going to like where I finish!

  8. Very nice!
  9. Good looking rig.
  10. bruno994

    bruno994 Master of the Pit

    Here is a pic of the pit this afternoon, with the umbrella covering the countertop area and most of the cooking chamber:

    The umbrella holder is a piece of 1/8 x 2 x 2 steel square tubing with 2 thumb screws drilled and tapped on the backside to anchor the umbrella down and straight:

    The other opening to the left of the umbrella stand is a pipe nipple welded in to hold a light stand.  I have 2 - 12 volt lights to light up the work area late at night and early in the mornings during comps or other long cooks.  They will be powered by the same 12 volt supply that runs the water pump. 

    Here is a pic of the end of the RF plate inside the pit.  The grease drain down the center is a 4' piece of 1/4 x 1 1/2 x 1 1/2 angle.  It runs from the firebox to the end of the RF plate.  About and inch and a half from the end of the RF plate in the angle iron, is the drain that exits the bottom of the pit.  Never mind the grease left on the RF plate, I haven't cleaned it since my rib cook last Friday!  Working on that right now...

    A pic of the triangle shaped, hardwood blocks that I cut to place my Maverick temp probes in while cooking.  I keep 8 in the pit, not sure why, I just like backups I guess.  The gauges on the outside are more for looks.  I cook to where my temp is on the center of the bottom grate, not what the door therms read.  These work great with the wide base and triangle shape, I can slide the edges under the edges of meat without touching the probes when I'm running a full pit.

    Another view from the open door of the pit (my new front shelf is drying after a coat of polyacrylic):

    And one last shot from the front:

  11. bmudd14474

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

    Looks great. On your shelf's did you brace them in the middle at all with being 49" wide?
  12. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Really nice setup! You're spot on with NOT using tile or Laminate for counter top surfaces. The expansion and contraction of the substrate due to moisture and or heat would be your biggest issue. Not to mention the grout between the tile is horrible to keep clean. We design outdoors kitchens and always advise against tile and laminates. Should your substrate get wet and or wet and freeze the bond will fail. Stainless would be the best bet for a moving rig. I would think though with proper support, a slab of granite should work too.
  13. If i ever find another tank like you have i will definately be building a rig similar. I really like the build. I can already picture it! Lol
  14. Very nice!

  15. Your smoking rig is coming along nicely.

    I did similar umbrella and light stands. I learned the hard way, you need the thumb screws to hold down the umbrella.

    I added hold downs later after the wind blew a new umbrella into the firebox and melted one end.

    I don't think the light stand needs one,  Haven't had a problem with the lights,  yet.
  16. Still one of the best looking rigs I have seen so far!!
  17. bruno994

    bruno994 Master of the Pit

    Thanks guys...it's a constant work in progress.  I'll finish the plumbing of the tanks after Christmas and a few other little items, then after a few comps (might have a Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo qualifier coming up mid-January, haven't decided on it yet) , I will be able to evaluate the changes and see if they have made my life any easier.   
  18. Great looking rig, nice and tight looking. starting my own 150 gallon trailer rig. thanks for sharing info, it will come in quite handy the next few months.
  19. smokingohiobutcher

    smokingohiobutcher Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    You could check into poly cutting board tops like we use in meat cutting rooms...hold up well...I think you can get different colors now and great for cutting on! They cut easily with any wood working saws.


    Last edited: Jun 1, 2013

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