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Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment

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#151 thesubwaypusher

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 06:43 PM

Isn't that a beautiful plate? No, I'm not an egomaniac! The annual fee goes to charity. :grin:

#152 jrbarnett

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 09:17 PM

Dude, isn't that an SUV? Why no sand dune jumping or rutted trail pictures? :grin:

Just teasin' ya. Though I shudder when my AWD vehicles don't get better than 25mpg.

- Jim

#153 prichardson

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 10:22 PM

Purchased a Subaru Outback H6 last October. This is our first Subie after years of owning only Honda Accords. Overall it has been a positive experience. The main function is a family wagon hauling a 3yr old, not telescopes. We are planning a road trip in June to Arkansas were I will be taking two small scopes (and the 3yr old).

City MPG stinks, but I already knew that. Highway MPG a little better. Now I just need to do something about the pathetic sounding horn.

#154 jrbarnett

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 11:34 PM

http://www.subaruout...horn-replace...

I have the 2.5i Limited. Love the gas mileage, but compared to the H6, the H4 is a bit anemic and the CVT has a somewhat strange "moan" under acceleration load. The dividends though are on the mileage front. In stop and go I get 24-25mpg and on long freeway trips, I see 31-32mpg. My 2007 Forester, also an H4, but the last generation of that motor, averages about 22mpg combined in mixed driving. I find the mpg of the 2.5 Outback to be pretty impressive for an AWD vehicle with 70 cu. ft. of cargo capacity. On the other hand, I think the H6 is the better choice for loaded travel - especially if big hills are involved.

Regards,

Jim

#155 Shneor

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 01:29 AM

Back in the '90s, Steven Overholt showed up at RTMC with a 30" dob he'd transported there in a Ford Festiva! With a passenger!
He said it cleared the wheel wells on the side by an inch on each side, and that, when he saw it, he smacked himself in the head and said, "Darn! I could've built a 32!"
The poles went from the right dashboard top to the left hatchback window, diagonally through the car. The passenger had the poles a few inches away from her neck.
Big scope, small car, overall winner of all time.
Alvin Huey's 22" in a Bug is a runner-up.

I remember that scope, it was a 30" f/3. One glimpse through an eyepiece was enough, quite a lot of distortion in the image (and I'm relatively tolerant). I saw it at Blue Canyon. But amazing to fit it in such a small car.

Clears,

#156 thesubwaypusher

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 08:33 AM

Dude, isn't that an SUV? Why no sand dune jumping or rutted trail pictures? :grin:

Just teasin' ya. Though I shudder when my AWD vehicles don't get better than 25mpg.

- Jim


WHAT? No way man! Sand is like kryptonite to mechanics, especially CV joints.

Only busting b.... about the Subaru, they are great cars.

I know, the only way you buy this truck is after you drive it and realize that it handles like a Mazda. What they did to it is absolutely fascinating.

Thanks, Chris

#157 Starman1

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 10:11 AM

Back in the '90s, Steven Overholt showed up at RTMC with a 30" dob he'd transported there in a Ford Festiva! With a passenger!
He said it cleared the wheel wells on the side by an inch on each side, and that, when he saw it, he smacked himself in the head and said, "Darn! I could've built a 32!"
The poles went from the right dashboard top to the left hatchback window, diagonally through the car. The passenger had the poles a few inches away from her neck.
Big scope, small car, overall winner of all time.
Alvin Huey's 22" in a Bug is a runner-up.

I remember that scope, it was a 30" f/3. One glimpse through an eyepiece was enough, quite a lot of distortion in the image (and I'm relatively tolerant). I saw it at Blue Canyon. But amazing to fit it in such a small car.

Clears,

And one of the very few scopes I'd ever apply the adjective "flimsy" to.
But it was 30".

#158 prichardson

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 12:53 PM

http://www.subaruout...horn-replace...

I have the 2.5i Limited. Love the gas mileage, but compared to the H6, the H4 is a bit anemic and the CVT has a somewhat strange "moan" under acceleration load. The dividends though are on the mileage front. In stop and go I get 24-25mpg and on long freeway trips, I see 31-32mpg. My 2007 Forester, also an H4, but the last generation of that motor, averages about 22mpg combined in mixed driving. I find the mpg of the 2.5 Outback to be pretty impressive for an AWD vehicle with 70 cu. ft. of cargo capacity. On the other hand, I think the H6 is the better choice for loaded travel - especially if big hills are involved.

Regards,

Jim


We purchased the H6 Limited. My wife had been driving a 2006 V6 Accord (which has now passed down to me), so I wanted to keep the same type of performance. It seems to be about 19 at best for daily city, and 27 using cruise on flat highway. No hills in New Orleans, but you are faced with the possibility of bugging out each year with a loaded down vehicle. There were better vehicles for this purpose (Pilot or Highlander), but my wife refused to have a full-size SUV as an everyday vehicle.

Yes, I spent a lot of time on www.subaruoutback.org before our purchase. I'll check out what people are doing about the horn.

Cheers

#159 bilgebay

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 02:50 PM

This is what I've ordered 3 weeks ago:

Bed configuration

Warm room / Daytime configuration

Dimensions


You can see some photos here and here

Here is a video from the early days of production. You have the liberty of choosing the kind of wood and upholstery to suit your taste. You can also design both side walls to your taste.

4 person can dine inside and 2 can sleep. I plan to use it as my warm room during the winter and as a mosquito shelter during summer. I can easily remotely control my imaging ring from inside this.

At a maximum 400 kilos, it is very easy to tow almost with any car. I will be using my Honda CRV for this purpose.

They are built in Turkey and currently being exported to Holland. Mine will be delivered some time in May, June.

My mobile setup will consist of a Celestron VX Mount, C8 Edge and/or FSQ106. I can easily carry these either in the car on in the caravan.

This way, I will be able to reach the dark spots in the neighborhood within a 1-4 hour circle and comfortably stay there for a couple of nights.

#160 Phil Frederick

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 05:01 PM

Here's my little DARKSKY rig. 2001 VW Eurovan always garaged and fully ready for a camping/stargazing trip. Just load a bit of food, a few liquid essentials and a few scopes.

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#161 Phil Frederick

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 05:02 PM

..and for the record

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#162 jrbarnett

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 06:02 PM

Very nice Sedat.

I've looked at these:

http://tab-rv.com/

And these:

http://www.casitatra...t-exterior.html

By sticking with 4 cylinder motors my towing capacity (though higher with Subarus than with conventional I4 FWD and AWD vehicles) is somewhat limiting. Besdies, I have a nice collection of tents (Big Agnes Big House 6, Sierra Design Yahi 4, North Face Flying Frog 3, Mountian Hardwear Drifter 3, REI Passage 2, Marmot Hypno 2, REI quarter dome 1, etc.) and actually enjoy setting them up.

Regards,

Jim

#163 panhard

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 11:04 AM

Here is what I will be using this summer. uplander
A small tent, cooler. thermocell scope and eyepieces. = happy happy :grin: :jump:

#164 bilgebay

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 11:36 AM

Looks like it's upto the job Herb!

#165 bilgebay

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 01:01 PM

Hi Jim,

I wish I had the variety you have over there. This PI 2010 is the one and only model available to suit my purposes. I've checked the links you gave and I fell in love with the T@B.

I will contact them and get their prices. Maybe I can start importing T@B campers to Turkey, who knows :)

Tents are also good but this Pi 2010 will offer me better conditions...at least so I expect :)

Best wishes

#166 avarakin

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 12:33 AM

After suffering with Solara for few years (try to push 10" dob tube into back seat of a coupe), last Saturday I replaced it with 2013 RAV4. I like how it looks and drives, it has better mileage than old RAV4. Best feature: flat surface once you fold down the back seats which can be used as a couch/bed. I am almost 6" and dont have any problems fitting there.

Alex

#167 jrbarnett

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 10:01 PM

They tried to make larger T@Bs in Germany, but the timing wasn't right and the manufacturer went out of business. But they were lovely trailers.

http://squob.com/tra...e-burgher-king/

I think you could very easily convert a used Ford Transit Connect work van (made in Turkey!) into a camping and astronomy vehicle. Here are some conversions of that vehicle here:

http://www.expeditio...Connect-Camp...

http://kevinhornbyde...conversion/#...

Ooh and this one from the Netherlands...

http://www.youtube.c...feature=related

Regards,

Jim

#168 bilgebay

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 02:08 AM

Hi Jim,

Thank you for your input.

We have some weird tax laws here. According to the authorities a motorhome is a luxury item. Unless the van is a 5 year old one, you need to pay an additional 130% tax. Let's say the van is 20K dollars. You will pay USD 3600 VAT, which makes it $ 23600. Then you need to pay OTV ( Special Consumption Tax - whatever that means) and suddenly your cost becomes USD 54280.- And this, with only upto 1600cc engines. If your engine is 2000cc or more than it gets even crazier!

When it is a trailer, there is no tax other than 18% VAT.

What is the difference ? Go figure.

On the other hand, you can buy diamonds, the size of your fist or brilliants with zero luxury tax and almost zero VAT.

Even the tax on a 50m, 25 million Euro megayacht is much less than a motorhome.

My problem is, I don't want to pay this stupid tax and I don't want to buy a second hand 5 year old van for converting it to a motorhome.

We are working on this stupid tax issue but I am not very hopeful. Last time we spoke to the head of the tax office in Istanbul, she was very understanding and promising but then we discovered the tax increased from 80% to 130% :) I am afraid the next step will be 200% and trailers will be included as well :lol:

For the time being, I will be happy with my Pi 2010. The cost is approx USD 7500. It will have minimum effect on my fuel consumption and will be very easy to tow to the places I have in mind. Anything bigger could be a problem. It's like the scopes - more aperture will show more but if it is cumbersome to setup and take some hours to cool down you don't want to do it very often. A 4-5" refractor gets more use because it is easy to deploy and can be ready immediately or in less than 30 minutes.

Clear skies

#169 JayinUT

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 03:07 PM

Older thread but thought I'd do a follow up. I ended up getting an Outback and am VERY happy with my decision. I'll be picking it up this week after it comes in. I ordered mine as I wanted certain items not on the ones in stock. Again, I am VERY happy with this decision and everything will fit form the 14 up to the 21 I am going to get and my equipment.

#170 kevint1

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 03:35 PM

Great choice! One thing I like about this car, besides the huge amount of cargo space and the AWD, is that you can turn off all the interior lights so that when you open a door or have the tailgate open there is no light shining. I keep the tailgate open and use it as a dew canopy for my open eyepiece cases and other paraphernalia which I set on the edge of the back deck.

#171 SpaceConqueror3

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 03:44 PM

We have a Jeep Wrangler and a VW Golf. If the roads aren't terribly bad the VW with it's hatchback and split folding seat is great, I can easily get all my telescopes and camping gear in there and still have room for my wife up front and 5 1/2 yrs in the back. I went to the Mt Kobau Star Party in Southern British Columbia a few yeas ago and elected to use my Jeep Wrangler to get my XT10 up there. It was a good decision as I spotted a couple mufflers along the way and the people who ended up camping by me lost their on the way up too.

#172 Megabusa

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 07:56 PM

I like to rough it , :woot:

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#173 Doc Willie

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 08:12 PM

[quote name="Megabusa"] Life is too short to have a vehicle that is not fun. {/quote]
Hadn't noticed this thread before.
Posted Image

More at my car's website.

#174 Megabusa

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 08:28 PM

Cool Car !Ya gotta lov it, Star Trek , USS Enterprise Space Shuttle , Let me guess , It will do Warp 3 and still get 51 MPG. :waytogo: Live long and Prosper :cool:

#175 esd726

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 08:36 PM

My size 13s :lol:






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