M416 Military Trailer into smoker/grill * Nearly Done*

Discussion in 'Smoker Builds' started by jmatyas, Jul 7, 2010.

  1. jmatyas

    jmatyas Newbie

    I acquired a 1/4 ton military trailer and want to build a smoker/grill.  I have never built one and need some design/build suggestions.  I would like to keep the basic look of the trailer as is.

    My thoughts are to have a smoker/fire box, an area for wood storage, and an area for a large cooler.    Any suggestion on how to arrange this would be great?  The dimensions of the trailer are 70" x 40". 

    I have started on the tear down and will be sandblasting and preparing the trailer before starting the build.[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
  2. rio_grande

    rio_grande Smoking Fanatic

    Hate to see one of those turned into anything but what it is. But you have cool factor built in right off.. Cant wait to see what ya do with this

  3. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Way cool, I gotta see this----Wish I could help you with ideas. I'm sure you'll be getting a load of suggestions soon.

    In Dong Tam, we used to just wash it out & fill it with ice & beer for our bimonthly blowout.

    I'll be watching this one,

  4. matts

    matts Smoking Fanatic

    What is your cooker going to be?  Are you planning on using the box on the trailer for it?
  5. jmatyas

    jmatyas Newbie


    Here is a preliminary idea.  Just concerned about how the weight will sit on the trailer.  I assume1/8" steel for building material?  Maybe have to put some drop down legs on the back for support when cooking.  Preliminary dimensions for the smoker/cooker are 20" tall x 20" wide x 48" long with a single rack.  How big does should the fire box be?  The fire box will also not be able to sit below the cooker but will sit even.  Will this create a problem?  Most I have seen are below.   I guess I could cut a hole in the floor and drop it down. 

    Some help from you experienced guys.
  6. matts

    matts Smoking Fanatic

    Your looking at a 18.5" (6400 cu.ft) firebox for a pit that size.  You will want the firebox lower than the cooker.  Could you just raise the cooker up ten inches or so in the trailer?  
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2010
  7. tsywake

    tsywake Fire Starter

    If you keep the cooler full of ice/beverages it should help out with your back weight.  You can also get some RV style jacks to drop down if you need some extra support back there.

    If your firebox is level with the smoker, you'll have flow problems and the heat will just sit there.  Like Matt said, can you possibly raise your cooking chamber up a few inches?  I would also give you some more room to store wood underneath it while not in transport.
  8. jmatyas

    jmatyas Newbie

  9. rio_grande

    rio_grande Smoking Fanatic

    Getting there,,, I would love to get my hands on one of these.
  10. matts

    matts Smoking Fanatic

    There is a farmer out by me that has a military water tank trailer that has been just sitting out in this one spot for years.  Every time I drive by it I think how cool that thing would be as a smoker. 

    This is a google image that looks like it.

  11. new2que

    new2que Meat Mopper

    Are you opposed to hanging the firebox off the right side of the pit and doing a reverse flow design?  Would free up more room for wood/storage and would solve the problem of putting the firebox in the right relation to the pit (lower).  Our put gets pretty hot on both ends, want to be sure to put up some sort of firewall between the cooler and pit.

    This is going to look epic, can't wait to see the finished product!
  12. jmatyas

    jmatyas Newbie

    Finished sandblasting today.  I have some questions reference to paint.  After washing the sand off and drying I now have a film of surface rust that developed.  Is there a prepwipe or solution that I use prior to paint to take that off?  Also can someone recommend a paint to use.  I imagine that I should use some high heat grill specific paint.  Do most guys use a spray gun or can?  I will probably use a gun.  Thanks for the help. 


  13. matts

    matts Smoking Fanatic

    Well, after sandblasting you can breath on the metal and it will rust.  I think a quick rub down with some sand paper and you should be alright.  I prefer to use a air sprayer
  14. jmatyas

    jmatyas Newbie

  15. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Lookin' good JM !

    Ever think about making the finished product "Camouflage" ?

    It would be quite fitting for the old girl.

  16. jmatyas

    jmatyas Newbie

    Finished putting the axle, fenders, wheels, and tires back on and uprighted it.  Gonna start sandblasting the inside and get it ready to paint.  Also gonna sandblast and paint the wheels.  Picked up a 120 gallon compressor tank for $100.  It is in great shape.  It fits perfectly length wise with a few inches to spare. Gotta figure out what to do about a firebox.  Probably a square mounted on the back side of one end.  Any suggestions would be appreciated.



  17. lucky13

    lucky13 Smoke Blower

     Words to live by my friend.
  18. jmatyas

    jmatyas Newbie

  19. flyfishjeep

    flyfishjeep Smoking Fanatic

    Looking great so far!  I am with Bear on this one- I would add the camo and I'm sure the local military would love it. 

    Thanks for posting such good pics!
  20. fourashleys

    fourashleys Smoking Fanatic

    Another vote for the camo. Gotta see how this one turns out. Definite cool factor.

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