How to Build a Towable Grill

Towable grills are usually too large to move by lifting one side up and pushing it to another location.

They are often used for large parties at a lake or for selling barbecue at a road side stand, because they can be moved easily by attaching them to a trailer hitch and pulling them behind a vehicle. Check your local Department of Motor Vehicle for specific licensing requirements. Building a towable grill from scrap materials and a trailer that has been deemed out of commission is a task that can be completed in one weekend. The grill will serve many barbecue events.

Sketch out the design for the towable grill. Determine if you will only need a basic grill, or other features like a sink for washing vegetables, a stove top for cooking other side items, or storage to hold cooking utensils. Determine an approximate size for these features.

Locate a trailer large enough to hold the pre-determined features. Look in local papers or online sites that offer used items. It is not recommended to purchase a new trailer since the cost will be much higher. A single unit jet-ski trailer is the appropriate size for a simple towable grill that will only have the grill feature.

Locate a large metal drum, or other large metal structure. This will be used for the grill feature.

Cut an opening in the top of the drum using a metal grinder. Keep the cut out portion because it will be used as a lid for the grill. Cut the opening large enough to allow full access to the inside of the drum.

Scrape away any loose large flakes of rust with a wire brush. Repeat with the trailer if needed.

Clean the drum with soap and water. Wait for the drum to dry completely. Repeat with the trailer if needed.

Place the drum inside the trailer between the side walls. Position the drum so it sits level. Weld the drum in place.

Paint inside and outside of the drum and trailer with high temperature rust resistant paint. Apply two coats of the paint; wait for each coat to dry completely before applying the next. This will protect the metal from the heat of the coals and help protect it against the rain if left outside.

Attach the lid back onto the drum using small hinges and the included screws. Only use one large hinge if the outside surface of the drum is completely flat. Use the smaller hinges to fit between the ridges of the drum.

Mark the height of where the grills will be placed inside the drum. Drill 3-inch screws through the drum to the inside along this line. Space each screw 5 inches apart. Attach a washer and nut to the end of each screw to hold it in place. Place a level on two screws at a time to ensure that they sit level. Place the wire grill racks onto the screws.

Attach a wooden dowel and floor trim to the front of the lid. Drill a screw through the dowel and into the drum. Attach a nut to the back of the screw. The dowel will be used as a handle. Attach the floor trim to the bottom front of the lid. This will prevent the lid from falling inside the drum.

Attach other features to the trailer using clamps and screws where needed. Ensure that each feature is secure.

Burn the grill the first time without cooking food. This will ensure that the remaining elements are burned off before cooking.

Things You Will Need

  • Used trailer
  • Oil drum or other large metal find
  • Metal grinder
  • Wire brush
  • High temperature paint
  • Small hinges
  • Level
  • 3-inch screws
  • Washer and nuts
  • Drill
  • Wire grill racks

Tip

  • Place aluminum trays at the bottom of the drum to hold the charcoal, instead of placing them directly into the base of the drum. This will allow for easy clean-up later. Attach a portable water tank for use when there is no water available. Place spare batteries and a 12-V battery converter to use when there is no electricity hook up.

About the Author

Meg Warren began writing how-to articles professionally in 2009. Born and raised in St. Louis, Miss., Warren has always been a creative person through art, writing and music. She is currently pursuing an associate degree at Patricia Stevens College for interior design.