I saw this cooker at Lowes a couple weeks ago and it's at least 25lbs lighter than the keg. I'd be careful of using a really cheap pie pan at the bottom of the fire grate to catch ashes. About 1 1/2 yrs ago, after a brisket cook, somehow the ash pan caught fire with a really dark and stinky smoke. The flames were almost coming out of the lower vent. I had been using a cheap pie pan before with no problems, but that incident was enough for me to stop. I would recommend something heavier.
I've also used a shop vac, but it just seems to create a mess for me.