JMediger, I considered buying a crock $30-99.......instead food grade 5 gallon buckets with lids were inexpensive, <$5 per bucket and $1 per lid, so I bought 10. I use them to store dry goods in addition to fermenting pickles and saurkraut.
They also make a good storage system for emergency water supplies if they aren't being used for anything else.
I bring veggies in from the garden in them too!
Good luck with the pickles, it's fun. (oops, kraut is even easier, no bloom) I did check them daily, clean the plate and brine in a gallon zip lock bag and any bloom on the top of the brine, and smell them to make sure they are good. For me it worked out best to ferment them next to the sink in the basement, the temperature was cooler, water supply right there.