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How to Build a 100+ Gallon BBQ Smoker Trailer or Food Vending Trailer

Let’s face it: there aren’t many non-vegetarians who don’t appreciate good barbecue. Do you want to construct your own BBQ smoker trailer from the ground up? In this guide, we’ll show you how to put all you need to make your surreal smoker in one place.

bbq trailer

BBQ Trailer Safety Tips

Before we begin, there are a few essential preventative measures that must be taken.

Constructing your own BBQ smoker from the scratch necessitates transitional metalworking skills.

You don’t have to be a Jedi welder to pull this off, but it also shouldn’t be your first welding project.

If you slip up while welding, you could sustain critical injuries.

If you are not a seasoned welder, hire an experienced specialist to assist you, or choose a trusted builder if you want something custom-made.

Now that we’ve cleared the air, let’s get into the equipment and tools you’ll need to complete this project.


Checklist of Required Equipment

Building a custom BBQ trailer begins with determining your specific requirements and budget.

All you have to do is select your custom BBQ trailer size and equipment.

These items are entirely dependent on what you require.

Open Air Utility Trailer

A trailer to attach your smoker to is required.

A 5×10 foot trailer is more than enough space for most people to install a 120-gallon tank.

It will still leave some room for optional items or nice-to-have features.

Depending on the size and condition, most builders report spending $1,000 to $2,000 on a used trailer.

Propane Storage Tank

They commonly call the propane tank the smoking chamber.

We shouldn’t be telling you this, but the larger the propane tank, the more meat you can cook at once.

The larger the tank you install, the larger the trailer, you’ll need to transport it and support its weight.

Start with a smaller 60-gallon propane tank and even a small trailer if you want to keep costs low.

bbq trailer


The chimney is required to vent heat and smoke from the main chamber of your smoker.

Smaller smokers with 60-gallon tanks typically have only one chimney.

We recommend you install two chimneys for tanks larger than 120 gallons. 

One on each side to ensure that the heat has an escape route.

The chimney or exhaust can be made out of scrap metal.

Steel Racks

To put the meat inside the smoker, you’ll need some racks.

It’s best to mount these racks on tracks inside the grill so you can simply pull them out when necessary.

It will make using a grill much easier and handier.

You can also call them cooking grates or BBQ grids.


The firebox generates the heat.

You need the firebox because you do not want the blaze to be directly over your meat in the main chamber, as it would be in a conventional BBQ grill.

The goal is for heat from the firebox to flow freely throughout the main chamber and evenly smoke the meat.

Steel Wood Boxes

Steel boxes aren’t required for your BBQ trailer, but they certainly are so cool!

Many builders incorporate steel boxes that are used in a variety of ways into the trailer.

One typical example is storing wood logs in these crates for subsequent smoking.

Other pit masters build their boxes to fit their Icy cold fridges in here.

So that meat and beverages can stay cool.

Cutting Board Area

If you decide to install it, the cutting board area will only take up only a fraction of your trailer.

However, it will make meat cutting and prep easier for the pitmaster.

We recommend using a cheap plastic cutting board.

The boards are inexpensive and can be easily replaced if they wear out.


Another optional element is a roof or an awning.

Many of the smaller tailgating BBQ trailers don’t have a ceiling and do just fine.

There are several significant advantages to adding a roof or an awning.

First and foremost, you can cover the smoker to shied it better.

This can also protect your smoker from long-term exposure to the sun.

The cook can also benefit from the shielding benefits of the roof.

Especially if you don’t like the idea of standing in the sun all day.

Tools for Building a BBQ Smoker Trailer

This is a list of tools for building the ideal BBQ smoker trailer.

We already mentioned that having some prior knowledge of how these things work won’t hurt.

You don’t want to cut your finger! Nevertheless, you will require;

1. Welder

2. Welding helmet/mask

3. Gloves for welding

4. Circular saw

5. Steel Cutting blade

6. Steel racks 

7. Hammer

Rules of Using a BBQ Smoker Trailer

If you intend to use your BBQ smoker to start a food business, you will need to incorporate some extra components into your trailers to comply with state, county, and possibly city health codes.

If you want to start this as a company, check with your state and local health departments about food cart vending before you begin designing.

Legal provisions in your area will almost certainly influence how your trailer is built.

Many states, for example, will demand that you have hot + cold water and a 3-compartment sink fitted on the trailer in order to meet safety procedures.

If your trailer does not comply with the provisions, you will be unable to lawfully sell in that area.

 As a result, introducing things like a sink, pipework, and reservoirs adds to the difficulty of your setup.

Consequently, if you want to turn this into a commercial enterprise rather than just an enjoyable project, you must first learn the local laws that govern the area.

Lastly, before you begin buying devices for the setup, we recommend that you develop a strategy and a road map for your BBQ trailer.

For example, you may find an inexpensive propane tank to transform into your main lobby.

But if your trailer isn’t large enough, you won’t be able to use it.

Begin with the plan and then proceed to the purchase of equipment.

Final Words

Everyone enjoys the glimpse and aroma of a plate of succulent smoked brisket, sausage, or ribs.

You should approach your construction in the same way that every BBQ enthusiast claims to have a magic ingredient in their recipe.

Design a trailer that is functional, efficient, and long-lasting to meet your specific needs.

Who knows, with the right smoker trailer, you might be able to turn a hobby into a profitable business.


Frequently Asked Questions

Whatever their shape, smokers work in the same basic way: there is heat and there is smoke, and there’s a place to put the meat.

A horizontal smoker is better for folks who have a bit more experience with smoking and more space in their yards to smoke.

Strong 2.5mm steel body.

10mm thick.

Dig a pit 8 inches (20 centimeters) deep.

Roughly 1/3 of the volume of your cook chamber.

Thin 16 to18 gauge steel.

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