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Tack
02-18-2012, 09:03 AM
I have decided to downsize my comp equipment this year due to the cost of gas. I usually pull my 18 foot trailer with the mounted cooker and refridgeration but the cost was killing me. I have downsized to using a modified Brinkman offset and a modified New Braunfels offset. I can get everything I need for a comp in the bed of my pickup.

Has anyone else downsized or changed equipment due to the economy?

QueNivorous
02-18-2012, 09:08 AM
If things keep going the way they are we might downsize some comps but not the equipment. Less comps = Less Fuel = Less Dollars type thinking.

Bbq Bubba
02-18-2012, 09:13 AM
What were you cooking on before a Brinkman? You sure you wanna compete with a unit like that?

Fat Woody
02-18-2012, 09:50 AM
What were you cooking on before a Brinkman? You sure you wanna compete with a unit like that?

What's wrong with competing on an old Brinkmann? We use this old beast for comps and even though she's not the Cadillac of Smokers, if you know how use it, she'll kick out some terrific Q!

After all, it's not the size (or in this case price) of the wand, it's the magic in it. :shocked:

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/picture.php?albumid=572&pictureid=5104

Mike - CSBBBQ
02-18-2012, 10:16 AM
Went in the pickup to Lakeland and really missed the coach. However saved big $ It is a hard decision for me because I like comfort in my old age LOL That being said I will probably do a few more in the truck (especially when solo and making a quick trip. Catering is reducing the number of comps this year.

Bbq Bubba
02-18-2012, 10:22 AM
What's wrong with competing on an old Brinkmann? We use this old beast for comps and even though she's not the Cadillac of Smokers, if you know how use it, she'll kick out some terrific Q!

After all, it's not the size (or in this case price) of the wand, it's the magic in it. :shocked:

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/picture.php?albumid=572&pictureid=5104

I dont think thats a modified Brinkman offset.

WineMaster
02-18-2012, 10:28 AM
I dont think thats a modified Brinkman offset.

Ya thats the Brinkman that is like the Bandera right?

Fat Woody
02-18-2012, 10:41 AM
Ah-so, it's the horizontal Brinkmann we're talking about, not the upright, my mistake! It would be a bit more of a challenge to cook on horizontals, we tried that too and gave up in favor of the Lefty Bandera clone. I have a NBBD and you could do a comp with two of 'em, but it would me a major pain in the A$$!

Tack
02-18-2012, 11:55 AM
I was originally cooking on a homebuilt,not by me, cooker that is 6 feet long and 3 feet front to back. Basically it looked like a large steel box. I put the fire in one end and the meat in the other and let it roll. It really shouldn't have produced good q but I never had a complaint except for that pesky judge 6.

Rich Parker
02-18-2012, 01:42 PM
I decided to fuel the economy by upgrading my trailer from 12' to 20'. ;)

Q-Dat
02-18-2012, 04:10 PM
I'm actually trying to work it out with my technique where I can do a comp with three Weber Kettles, and one 18" WSM.

Anybody care to guess which meat is going on which cooker?

manbearpig
02-18-2012, 06:02 PM
Oh man , I can't imagine going back to truckin the equipment after having a trailer.I use a truck now and by the time I unload my Superior and set up the canopy I am whooped . Call me lazy , but if I had a trailer with the conveniences you mentioned I would consider doing one or two less comps. Just sayin.

Tack
02-18-2012, 08:43 PM
I actually did a comp last year, Harrisburg Pa, without the trailer and had a much better time. No problems getting in or out, no traffic troubles. And cooked much better Q with the older and smaller cookers.

Candy Sue
02-18-2012, 08:53 PM
Took the Jambo to the carwash this morning, towed for the first time with the Ford Edge. Behaved beautifully on the road and didn't seem to cost much on fuel efficiency. I believe if I had to leave the van at home, I could make downsizing work. If not with the Jambo with the WoodMaster T1000 for sure. Puts a whole new spin on competing on a shoestring!

Alexa RnQ
02-18-2012, 08:58 PM
We used to haul everything in a 5' x 8' trailer that was crammed to the last cubic inch. We got really tired of sucking gas to the tune of 12mpg, and only being able to go 55 on some stretches of road.

We took a long, hard look at what we were taking along. Basically we had covered every freaking "what if?" that might possibly happen, plus backup, and had a bunch of crap we just didn't need.

We made a conscious decision to streamline everything, to bring ONLY what we KNEW we would use and not a thing more. The only thing we pack along now that we don't use on every single outing is the first-aid kit and the fire extinguisher.

As a result, we now fit 4 WSMs, 2 canopies, 3 6' tables, 1 4' table, two side tables, two coolers, a Cambro, and everything else we need for a contest into the back of a minivan. In August 2010 we did our first outing without a trailer, and haven't looked back -- 33 contests later, we haven't wished for any of the extraneous junk we used to haul.

We still use nearly every cubic inch, but now get about 24 mpg and can cruise over 70 to get there. We cut a couple of hours off long trips, which increased our range. Packing and unpacking is still a drag, but at least we know there's not one bit of it that's redundant or unnecessary.

Smokin' Gnome BBQ
02-18-2012, 09:05 PM
I have been thinking of ways to lighten the load as well. I probably will stop bringing all the "just in case" stuff, extra gloves, cutting boards, etc. that I bring just in case someone else needs it. I really hate to say it but if I can drop the in "case stuff" it will save me some $$$. not only in fuel but in the stuff I give away. it all adds up.

Tack
02-18-2012, 10:35 PM
I am just wondering how much money I could save on charcoal if I still lived where DivaHerself lives LOL. Gets so damn hot there I figure 1 bag should be good for 2 comps

CTSmokehouse
02-18-2012, 11:38 PM
Ah-so, it's the horizontal Brinkmann we're talking about, not the upright, my mistake! It would be a bit more of a challenge to cook on horizontals, we tried that too and gave up in favor of the Lefty Bandera clone. I have a NBBD and you could do a comp with two of 'em, but it would me a major pain in the A$$!

I cooked Lime Rock with a Bandera and a NB Black Diamond... 2nd chicken, 3rd Brisket, 4th beef ribs, 5th overall..

Yes it was labor intensive...

Come to think of it was some of the best Q I've cooked...

Maybe I'll do a retro cook..

Yours in BBQ,

Cliff

TomB
02-19-2012, 05:14 AM
I've done just two comps in the past two years so don't have much experience. Part of the reason I haven't done more is I don't have something large enough to store/haul the equipment or something that provides a bed and bathroom for my wife. I rented a cargo van the last comp to give me room for the 2nd WSM. Pain to pack and unpack, expecially after just a couple of hours of sleep the night before. I'm looking for a traiiler but wonder if I should also be looking closer at what I bring.

bdodd444
02-19-2012, 07:46 AM
I cooked next to a team with a super small foot print. They towed a smoker, had a popup and a couple of chairs. Everything else fit into two plastic containers and a tool box as I recall. They only had a two gallon water jug and and bottle of greased lightening for clean up. Super efficient and inspiring. Last comp, I dropped the hose and used a 2 gallon water bladder. Saved me 10 mins on both sides of set up and tear down.

smokeyw
02-19-2012, 08:15 AM
I have been hauling my stuff in a pickup but would really like to have a 6' x 12' enclosed trailer. It would be really nice to not have to unload everything and load back up next time. Just unhook the hitch when you get home. You may need to replenish a few things and wash up a few things but just put those items close to the door.

Brew-B-Q
02-19-2012, 08:23 AM
I downsized last year, sort of. Went from hauling a 7x14 cargo trailer to a trailer mounted smoker. As a result, I've had to cut off a significant amount of stuff that I was hauling around. I now have to fit everything in my pickup, which is also where we have to sleep. It definitely makes you think twice about what is on your packing list. I plan to cut it down even further as I still haul around a bunch of crap that I either don't use, or don't need as much of.

rawtalent
02-19-2012, 08:42 AM
For the past seven years I have done 40+ contests with my Lang 84D and a Jeep Grand Cherokee. Used to have a 2.6 elec water heater that's been replaced with a chef's butane stove and a 6qt stock pot which provides hot water and cooks friday nite feed sometimes. Had a laundry tub sink which gave way to 3 gray bus tubs that double as meat prep stations and 3 bay sink. I carry 1 or two ez-ups with sides, a folding bed frame with a queen size aero bed. 3 gal of water (no more hose).

Envy the trailer guys when it's windy and the tent is trying to fly away but not when I watch them try to get their rigs in and out etc. If (when) gas goes to $4 iot will cost me and extra $15 to go compete in Tryon...and I wouldn't miss it for that!

manbearpig
02-19-2012, 09:21 AM
I'd love to hear more opinions on this subject. Some of you more experienced competitors have probably hauled it every way possible . I just know I envy those guys in the enclosed trailer , toy haulers , and campers when its cold raining and windy out there.

jbrink01
02-19-2012, 09:37 AM
I just ordered a custom rig with living quarters and a porch. If fuel get's crazy, I'll skip a contest or two so I can be comfortable at the other 12 or 14 a year. I have a friend that is top tier (think Jack win, AR win, multiple GC's every year). Who has his Jambo behind his truck and only puts the EZ-Up out if he needs it when he goes to a distant contest. If he's close to home he has an enclosed trailer.

JD McGee
02-19-2012, 10:32 AM
We pull a 6x10 trailer with our Honda Ridgeline...it is not as economical as we would like but is plenty big enough for all our gear. We enjoy the convenince of the enclosed trailer...especially when the weather turns nasty or we have to sleep on-site...:thumb:

http://i183.photobucket.com/albums/x206/johnrhana/BBQ%20Toys/TrailerPics001.jpg

sweetracks
02-19-2012, 01:28 PM
I've started going through our inventory recently too. I can fit everything into our minivan as long as I take the seats out. That however doesn't leave room for the kids so we end up taking two vehicles with us usually. I'd like to be able to get it down to fitting in the minivan with a row of seats still in. I don't think it will be that difficult since we are usually prepared for the apocalypse at every comp. I would guess we use about 2/3 of what we bring :loco: I'm guessing that is more typical than not though.

We do conserve space by not packing the extra eats and beverages. We don't take any cold stuff with us with the exception of our meats and one Magic #9 (to be drank as soon as we get to our site). We pack other stuff in the empty coolers. We check for local grocery stores and make a run once we get setup.

JimmyDAL
02-20-2012, 07:35 AM
I have a 20x8 trailer and towing it with my F-350 isn't the cheapest but, some comps you are allowed to vend and that requires more equip. Which also brings up the point about where you store it after. I simply set up my trailer to do both, allowing me the flexability without the inconvenience of having to unload for this I have to pay the fuel cost. That being said, vending even at my home town I believe will far surpass the Comp money and expenses.

INmitch
02-20-2012, 08:59 AM
I think the ole c-pap express will be putzing along at 58 mph instead of 67 mph. I can get 12.5 mpg @ 58.

Scottie
02-20-2012, 10:14 AM
I'll probably have to slow down from 79 MPH in the RV... to save money, I bought a Jambo...

Rich Parker
02-20-2012, 11:37 AM
I'll probably have to slow down from 79 MPH in the RV... to save money, I bought a Jambo...

That's no lie! I got behind you on US131 after Traverse City and couldn't keep up.

abangs
02-20-2012, 12:05 PM
I've had probably a half dozen customers trading into multiple smaller units lately....mostly from Competitors into twin Party's and Trip Chubby's. Portability seems to be more of a trend than capacity lately....

We are trimming our competition schedule this year. Did about a dozen last year. Probably cut back to 7 or 8. I've looked at some of the event applications around here and some of the events went up on their entry fees. We also have been using my 26ft Class C RV and pulling our 16ft enclosed trailer with it but we'll haul the trailer with a pickup truck and leave the RV at home this year......especially if gasoline hits the "predicted $4 mark"....at about 8 miles to the gallon that RV might stay parked....for a long time..!

Garth57
02-20-2012, 06:39 PM
We pull a 6x10 trailer with our Honda Ridgeline...it is not as economical as we would like but is plenty big enough for all our gear. We enjoy the convenince of the enclosed trailer...especially when the weather turns nasty or we have to sleep on-site...:thumb:

http://i183.photobucket.com/albums/x206/johnrhana/BBQ%20Toys/TrailerPics001.jpg

JD,

You have pics of the way you setup the inside of trailer? I just bought a 6x10 w/ramp and side door. Looking to get some ideas. My smoker takes up 2 1/2' x 3 1/2' of the floor space floor to ceiling. Had to cut down the smokestacks and make them detachable for travel.

tmcmaster
02-21-2012, 06:26 PM
I actually did a comp last year, Harrisburg Pa, without the trailer and had a much better time. No problems getting in or out, no traffic troubles. And cooked much better Q with the older and smaller cookers.
Same comp, I got all my stuff into a 2007 Chevy Aveo!

Tack
02-21-2012, 09:08 PM
And ya went home with an extra cooker!!!!

CivilWarBBQ
02-21-2012, 09:53 PM
Late in 2010 we experienced a game changing event when the Powerstroke in our E450 box truck experienced cataclysmic failure on the way home from a contest. We limped through the rest of the season with borrowed trailers and spent the winter meditating on where we went from there.

Our 8x20 car hauler featured AC and a complete mobile kitchen, but it was aging and heavy. We'd have to come up with at least a one ton truck to pull it, and those 350 duallies don't come cheap. Examining all the options, it looked like we were at a crossroads: take out a loan for toyhauler RV or downsize to a small, basic cargo trailer. After long consideration, we chose the latter.

Our rig is now a 6x12 V-nose that is used soley for competition. Rather than buy the biggest trailer we could afford and fill it up with extra junk, we first pruned our kit down to just what we needed to cook a KCBS contest. Then we ordered a trailer to fit that gear. Yes, when she's packed there's no extra room in the trailer, but this is by design. We cook on ceramic grills, and a snug fit means the gear can't shift around in transit and damage something.

We sacrificed AC and the mobile kitchen for a pair of ez-ups, but with the money we saved not buying an RV we could afford to build a slick portable sink unit for cleanup. We also book a hotel room for getting out of the elements - having a good bed and hot shower is a bonus. I picked up a used Ram 2500 with plenty of mileage left on the Cummins. This truck pulls the loaded trailer plus the bed full of coolers with ease at about 16 mpg ( twice the fuel economy we were getting). Another advantage is we no longer need an oversized cook site or upgraded electric, which both cuts our entry costs and gives us the opportunity to cook at some shows we couldn't fit into before.

All things considered, downsizing has been a good move for us, but it very much depends on the makeup of your team and your motivation for doing contests. We are a 5 man, sponsored Pro team that doesn't mind splitting shifts and sharing a hotel room, but if we were a husband & wife team that was more camping oriented we might very well have gone the RV route.

That's our story anyway, for what it's worth.

-gf

Scottie
02-22-2012, 09:08 AM
That's no lie! I got behind you on US131 after Traverse City and couldn't keep up.


After getting my butt banded to me by Derek in brisket and pork. That would be called "throwing gravel".....

BigDaddyJT
02-23-2012, 07:48 AM
Interesting Topic. We've been looking into this as well. Having finished our "rookie" season last year, renting a trailer and bringing everthing under the Sun for comps. Loading and unloading became a chore real fast. So we've decided to get a 7 x 12 open air trailer to haul around our gear: 2 Stumps cookers, 2 pop ups, Cambro, 2-3 tables, propane tank, coolers etc. The plan is to mount the cookers on the trailer and use it as much as possible minimizing loading and unloading.....My back is loving this idea!! I have no intentions of downsizing my cookers!! But not having to load and unlaod them anymore will be a real bonus. We only compete in a handful of events so fuel costs were not a defining factor. However now that gas has reached $4.00/gal out here in CA, we may just do really local comps (w/ in 100 miles). At least that's the plan for now. But things change.

Tack
02-23-2012, 07:43 PM
Shame your on the other coast, I have an 18 foot open air trailer for sale

daveinwestmont
02-23-2012, 10:45 PM
I started comps last summer with one minivan loaded with two tables two easyups, 2 weber kettles, a uds, chairs , 3 boxes of stuff, 3 coolers, and a tent. Finished with 1 uds, 1 kettle, 1 table, 2 and 1/2 boxes, 3 coolers, and a blow up mattress for the back of the minivan.

This season it will be a towable smoker, 1 ezup, 3 coolers, 2 boxes of stuff, 1 or 2 chairs if the wife/kids come, mattress and a tent.. Less is more!!!!

Scottie
02-24-2012, 09:47 AM
I started comps last summer with one minivan loaded with two tables two easyups, 2 weber kettles, a uds, chairs , 3 boxes of stuff, 3 coolers, and a tent. Finished with 1 uds, 1 kettle, 1 table, 2 and 1/2 boxes, 3 coolers, and a blow up mattress for the back of the minivan.

This season it will be a towable smoker, 1 ezup, 3 coolers, 2 boxes of stuff, 1 or 2 chairs if the wife/kids come, mattress and a tent.. Less is more!!!!


Hook, line and sinker.... you know Quau is selling his big RV....:becky:

Stoke&Smoke
02-24-2012, 12:46 PM
We actually decided to go the opposite way. Shot fairy has something called Reynoud's Syndrome, I oddly have it also, but not as impacted as she is. It's a circulation issue, that causes her fingers and toes to lose circulation if the weather is the slightest bit damp. If you've seen her wearing gloves at 60 or 70 degrees at a comp, that's why.

So after 1 and a half years in the tent, we'd had enough, and sprung a little more for the pop up. That worked out ok, until last year, when everything seemed to break down almost all at once. Besides, I'm well on my way to my 3rd 21st birthday, and cranking that puppy up and down, and moreso, packing and unpacking it had become a major PITA

So we sprung for a smallish travel trailer. We won't be going that far this year for comps, mostly within a two hour drive. So gas isn't quite as big a concern for the most part. We made up our minds after last season that to really enjoy ourselves, we needed a better "home base"

daveinwestmont
02-24-2012, 09:51 PM
Hook, line and sinker.... you know Quau is selling his big RV....:becky:

The toy hauler with the International cab? Oh Kim I need 250K for a new truck to tow the meat monster!!!!:blabla::blabla:

SmokinGuitarPlayer
02-25-2012, 09:04 AM
Great topic! We're doing a few things this year to cut down on the work / weight / etc.

We're going through ALL the gear and removing everything that isn't NECESSARY ..that is going to cut a lot of wasted stuff out.

We are outfitting the inside of our RV with stainless table / etc. to use as prep kitchen so we don' t have to use EZ ups if we don't want to ... and we'll pull a Jambo with the RV (for closer comps)

For further distances, I think I'll just use the minivan and 2 Guru Onyx cookers ..... we won't have the comfort but will save a ton on gas.

That being said, I'm also only doing "closer" comps.

Big George's BBQ
02-25-2012, 10:59 AM
I cut back on Comps last year only 1 Cant cut back much more but finances are going to get even tighter

Coz
02-25-2012, 05:59 PM
We are just starting to search for a small enclosed trailer to compete out of.I built a smaller lighter cooker and we have slimmed down what we take but I would like to move into an enclosed trailer .Most of the folks we compete against know that we show you better have your rain gear. :oops::oops::oops::oops::oops::oops:

Harbormaster
02-25-2012, 06:04 PM
Sure, The Rainmaker is going enclosed. Figures! :becky:

Well, when you haul your stuff to Samuels, stop by so I can see if there is anything I want!

Coz
02-25-2012, 06:13 PM
Clark ,the old trailer is stayin intact and stayin here. Also going to cook one category on a WSM if I cant get a smaller insulated cooker for higher temps.