I have the Chargriller with side box and I don't use a water pan. I have put hard cider in a drip pan while doing indirect grilling (fire on either side of the main chamber).
Using the side box I have two baskets for my fire. I bought them at Loews (vegetable shaker baskets I think) and cut the handles off. I made some supports out of mild steel, do not use galvanized. I start the charcoal in a half full chimney. I pour that over charcoal and wood chunks in the basket. When I start getting low on fuel during a cook I fill the other basket with more fuel and then dump the burning coals over the top. Be careful, it is hot.
I usually don't have to restart charcoal once I have things moving, unless I don't pay attention and let the coals burn down too far.
You do need to be careful as it is really easy to get the main box too hot (get a good smoker probe). If you flip the ash pan over before running the side box it helps keep the smoker box cooler and more consistent.
"First you start with a pound of bologna..."
-My Grandmother on how to make ham salad.