View Full Version : Use ramp on trailer for cooking

09-24-2012, 10:05 AM
We recently upgraded our competition setup to include a toyhauler. We've used it a couple times and have so far just unloaded our cookers and cooked under the canopy. I've seen other teams set their cookers on the ramp and cook out there. I'm wondering if there is anything special you have to do besides setting a couple automotive stands under the tailgate to keep it level. The ramp is heavy as hell and feels darn sturdy, but I'm not sure if it is sturdy enough to hold 300 pounds of smoker and 300 pound man from time to time. Thanks in advance.

09-24-2012, 10:14 AM
I've seen a lot of teams use that setup. Pitbulls up in smoke was able to put his dual chamber smoker on the back of his trailer, and that thing weighs over 1200lbs.


09-24-2012, 10:24 AM
Check the rating on your ramp from the manufacturer. Mine is rated at 2500 lbs, so I figure 600 lbs of cooker plus 300 lbs of me is just fine :) I did ask the manufacturer about that before I bought and they weren't concerned.

I use three adjustable jack stands (the kind that you can screw to adjust) and level the ram front to back and side to side.

09-24-2012, 10:24 AM
DO NOT just place two jack stands under the end of the ramp - you will dent the bottom side of the ramp. Place a 2x10 across the stands to spread out the load. Also, you may want to place a jack stand under the rear of the trailer where the door hinges.

09-24-2012, 10:32 AM
Believe me. stepping up and down gets old real quick.

And you cant close the ramp if it starts raining. I would just roll it out. I cooked on the ramp the first few times and found it to be easier just walking to the bottom.

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09-24-2012, 10:34 AM
Like this?


Don't use the WSMs too much anymore. Now use a Stump's Prince which is heavy. There's 2x8s on the diagonal between the stands and the gate.


09-24-2012, 10:57 AM
I always used jacks stands (4 of them) and 2 4x4 posts - placed one at the end and one in the middle - no worries - worked very well! I also carpeted the 4x4 so I didn't jack up the paint on the ramp.

09-24-2012, 11:05 AM
This is our 2nd toyhauler and on this one and the last one we always cooked on the back gate. If we knew it was going to be terrible weather for the cook, or terribly cold, we would roll the cookers off and close up the back but 99% of the time we just rolled them out the back. On the old one we had 2 FEC100s and several people on the gate with no trouble at all. On the new one we just have 1 FEC100 and a small Traeger. We put 2 axle jacks under the back gate and have never had any trouble with bowing or bending of the gate. They are designed to handle golf carts and motorcycles that are much heavier than our cookers and people. As someone mentioned, the weight limit on some of the doors is upwards of 2000 pounds if not more. Check with the manufacturer of the toyhauler you have but I think you should be fine.

09-24-2012, 11:34 AM
I had the jacks built in to the ramp... You can see them across the top of the closed ramp. They work pretty well, though I haven't actually used them at a comp...


Not the best pic... but jacks in action -

09-24-2012, 12:12 PM
Thanks for the input. Will check the rating on the ramp before getting too far into this. We're not sold on doing this for certain, but doing some due diligence just in case. I can see it making sense when the contest has the room and the weather is nice, but can also see bad weather and cramped spots being trouble.

09-24-2012, 12:17 PM
Like this?

Don't use the WSMs too much anymore. Now use a Stump's Prince which is heavy. There's 2x8s on the diagonal between the stands and the gate.


I have cooked with Russ on his rig.
What makes it really neat is the screen/canvas cover over the rear opening.
Keeps the heating/cooling pretty much inside but still easy to walk through.

Well designed rig and a Sweet setup.


09-24-2012, 04:15 PM
If you cook on the ramp, you'll need some kind of leg extention for most EZ-Ups if you use one to protect you from the weather. I've seen a variety of solutions, including steel, aluminum, PVC and 4x4 posts.

09-25-2012, 06:53 AM
CivilWar is correct. If you look closely at my setup above, you can see my take on leg extensions. Unfortunately that particular canopy got wrecked about two competitions after this picture in a high wind storm.

The vinyl/screen back 'wall' is called add-a-wall for Cargo Trailers. I ordered it from the local RV store. Wasn't expensive. I wanted it for the reasons Tim mentioned but I also really hate flies.