6 Tips for Transporting a Grill
Grilling away from home can be tons of fun, whether you’re tailgating, camping or just slinging burgers at a friend’s cookout. Moving the actual grill, however, isn’t much fun at all — and the bigger and heavier your grill, the more trying an experience it can be. So, that’s the bad news. The good news is that if you follow some relatively simple tips for transporting your grill, it doesn’t have to be such an ordeal! These six crucial tips for moving your grill will help you get your BBQ baby safely to its destination.
Get A Sturdy All-Terrain Cart For Your Grill
Before you do anything else, take note of this optional tip that can make your grill-moving journey a whole lot easier. Purchasing an all-terrain cart for your grill will give it more stability and make it substantially easier to move across your yard, over a gravel parking lot or up a trailer ramp. The best carts usually have steel frames, wide wheelbases and rugged rubber wheels with steel bearings. Many also have built-in points for attaching tie-down straps, which can make the grill much easier to secure in a truck or trailer. Speaking of which…
Prepare Your Transportation Before You Strap In
Are you moving your grill in a trailer? Truck bed? Cargo van? However you’re getting your grill there, you need to make sure you’ve got a transportation solution that works. First, make sure the grill will actually fit comfortably by measuring all three dimensions against the space available in the cargo area. The last thing you want is to discover that your grill is too tall for your cargo van, or that it won’t fit in with other stuff you need to transport.
Next, look for tie-down points in the cargo space that you can use to securely attach your ratchet straps, lashing straps or whatever else you’re using to hold your grill in place. To protect its parts, it’s best to secure the grill in an upright position, rather than lying down. When strapping in your grill, wrap your straps through the grill’s handles and legs to keep it still, and don’t be afraid to use a few extras. If the grill has wheels, use its wheel brakes, or get some rubber or wooden chocks to prevent them from moving.
Clean Your Grill And Remove Any Sensitive Parts.
You don’t want your grill spilling out ash, charcoal or anything else while it’s in transit, so give it a good cleaning before you pack it up. Clean out any ash from the bottom of your charcoal grill. Pellet grill owners should be sure to clean their firebox thoroughly. Empty the grease pan if your grill has one, and consider giving your grill a general once-over cleaning (including the body and grates) while you’re at it.
Some types of grills will need various parts removed before you transport them. If you have a gas grill, disconnect and remove the propane tank. Strap it in separately, in an upright position and with the valve completely closed. For those with kamado grills, you’ll want to take the ceramic lining out and pack the pieces separately in a well-padded box or bag to prevent cracking.
Cover The Grill While You’re Transporting It.
A durable grill cover provides an easy way to keep your grill safe and sound while it’s in your truck, van or trailer. Using a cover will help protect the grill’s body from scratches, which is especially important if you’re transporting it in an open-bed truck or trailer, where rocks and other road debris might be flying at it. A cover will also prevent your grill from flying open if the ride gets a little bumpy.
If you don’t have a proper cover, using a tarp or an old blanket is definitely better than nothing. However, transporting your grill is also a great excuse to finally buy yourself a real grill cover! They’re great not just for travel but for day-in, day-out protection as well. The best ones are made from heavy-duty materials like high-denier polyester, and it’s often possible to find one that’s made to fit your individual grill model.
Think About Power Sources (If Your Grill Requires Them).
Some grill types, notably pellet grills and any other type of grill with smart features, require electricity to use. If you’re taking your grill on a camping trip or even to a tailgate, remember to plan around the possibility that outlets might not be easily available everywhere. In that case, you’ve got a few options:
- If there’s an outlet that’s just a little too far away, pack a heavy duty extension cord with your grill.
- No outlets around? A portable power station or diesel generator could be a good option, although some places may restrict diesel models due to their noise and fumes.
- AC power inverters are an increasingly popular option for power on the go. Just plug in a 12V DC battery to the inverter and then connect your grill for stable 120V AC power.
Sure, you’re probably a careful driver who always obeys the speed limits and follows all the traffic laws (wink wink), but we’d like to encourage you to drive even more carefully than usual. Even when your grill is properly strapped down, you really don’t want to take chances with rough driving or bumpy roads — so slow down and stay sharp!
It’s also important to remember the extra weight that your grill will add to your vehicle. Adding heavy cargo can make a vehicle drive differently, especially if you’re towing a trailer, so try taking your vehicle around the block with the grill in the back to see how it handles before setting out for your destination. When you’ve got your grill safely to its destination, fire it up and make yourself something tasty. You’ve earned it!