I use a variation of Phils method.
My method varies in the fact that I have never used a hose, towel, trowel, etc. Now that is partly since my unit is only 1 year old, and is only used, on average 1 time a month in the Winter/Spring 2-3 times month in Summer/Fall.
I use heavy duty foil on the bottom and change that each and every time, but thats it for the walls. Racks come out each and every time for a full scrubbing. I never leave my racks go. So most of the fat is cleaned up. Water pan clean, foil on bottom changed, and anything that hits the baffle just sizzles right off in the cook process.
Once the coals are about gone, I dump them and the ashes into a pile in the garden. Use those big blue leather gloves in the Bash Pics. No need to wait for the grates to cool down.
Then I take the hair dryer that I have just for cooking purposes (read: end is all deformed from the farking heat while turbo igniting coals in the charcoal pan of the WSM or ECB) and blow all that ash out of the firebox.
twice a season, I will take the hose to the inside of the firebox, just because all that peeling paint and crap I wanted to get out. Then dry it real good to fight the rust.
I use an oversize grill cover for like a big ass Weber gas grill, and it covers the Bandit nicely.
"Boots and Pants and Boots and Pants and Boots and Pants..." - Maxwell
Bandera, M-BGE, WSM, Gold Kettle, Kenmore Gasser, 36Qt Turkey Fryer, ECB, Dutch Oven