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Largest Dob to fit in a mini-van????

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#1 klim

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 06:59 PM

I'm looking to get the largest Dob I can fit into my 2003 Chevy Venture minivan. I had a 24" Starmaster that fit but I needed to tilt the mirrobox so that the altitude bearings could fit through the rear opening as I was sliding it in.

Which manufacturers have the smallest footprint, lowest profile etc. I can go on their websites and look this up but I'd like to hear from actual owners and what they were able to accomplish. At this time I have no desire to get a small trailer so that would not be an option.

Thanks in advance for your replies.

Regards,

Mark.

#2 GeneT

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 08:31 PM

Most vendors give detailed size specs on their web sites. I could get an 18 inch Obsession Classic in my Honda CRV--but it would be tight. I easily got an Obsession 18 UC in the CRV with plenty of room for accessories. I sold the 18 UC and now use my 12.5 inch Portaball exclusively. There is plenty of room with this telescope in my CRV. The telescope rests on the passenger seat and I have the rest of the auto for everything else.

When you think through the answer to your question, remember to figure in all the accessories you will need to haul--eyepiece case, accessory table, chairs, and wheely bars and ramps if you buy a larger telescope. The wheely bars and ramps take up a lot of room. If you buy a telescope that don't need them, and you can heft it into your mini-van, you will be able to fit a lot more in the vehicle. How many people will be accompanying you on your viewing sessions? All these are factors to consider.
You could cut cardboard boxes into the size of the telescope's components which would give you a better idea of how everything would fit.
Lastly, I recommend going a tad smaller than larger--you don't want to have to buy a larger vehicle because you mis-judged. :(

#3 Bill Weir

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 11:35 PM

My guess is in a solid stucture it would be the Starstucture Horizon. http://www.starstruc...ucture3_024.htm

Did you notice this thread? http://www.cloudynig...5624167/page...
The 26" is supposed to have smaller dimensions than a standard 22".

There might be other ultra lights out there but I'd worry about there rigidity

Bill

#4 Bob S.

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 06:03 AM

Mark, Without a doubt, the only two commercial scopes (I am purposely excluding Obsession UC's because of their reported stock design deficiencies as Gene T will attest) that meet your specs are the new Starstructure Horizon or a Spica Eyes from Tom O. The new Starstructure Horizon is sporting incredibly small dimensions as Bill pointed out. The height of their altitude bearings on the 26" f/3.3 is about 3-4" lower than my 20" f/3 scope. Simply amazingly compact for such high performance. Bob

#5 deepskydarrell

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 12:09 PM

The height of the door frame verses the height of the rocker box is one key factor. Tilting the rocker box to enter the door frame is another option that you've already experienced. I've used a shoulder strap clipped onto the mirror box and draped over my neck so I could pull back with my neck and tilt the mirror box when getting to the door frame -- a bit crazy but it worked. Wheelbarrow handles can be trimmed to fit if too long. Eventually the weight of the scope up the ramps becomes a factor and a winch may have to be an option -- that could be why trailers are chosen for the biggest ones.

For years I got my 16.5 inch f 5.3 easily into the back of my Geo Metro. It shows what a bit of imagination thru necessity can accomplish.

DSD.

#6 csrlice12

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 04:15 PM

Stick a focuser on the roof, convert the back window into a mirror, and put in some of those hydrolics.......

#7 Tom Clark

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 10:33 PM

Mark,

There are some telescope designs that fold up very small. I could put two of my 24s and a 16 into my Honda Odyssey all at once. I also had a 32" built to the same design that would fit into the van easily. It was 38x38x24 high when folded.

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#8 Tom Clark

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 10:39 PM

In 2010 we traveled the west going to star parties. We observed with the 24 in AZ, CO, CA, and OR. We also set up our 16 at many national parks for sidewalk astronomy. The 16 is a little friendlier for non-astronomers…

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#9 klim

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 07:18 AM

Very impressive, Tom. I purchased your book "Starry Starry Nights" during one of my visits to Chiefland and follow your NMAV site regularly. If only I lived in a similar community I wouldn't be limited by the size of scope that fits in the van. I hope to visit your new location one day and finally look through that 42", especially now that it's being fine tuned. In the mean time I just enjoy reading all the updates. Take care.


Regards,

Mark

#10 Peter Natscher

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 10:43 AM

Hi Mark,

My 24" StarStructure's stacked boxes assembly is a few inches smaller all around than my 24" Starmaster was. It is also a more rigid scope.

I'm looking to get the largest Dob I can fit into my 2003 Chevy Venture minivan. I had a 24" Starmaster that fit but I needed to tilt the mirrobox so that the altitude bearings could fit through the rear opening as I was sliding it in.

Which manufacturers have the smallest footprint, lowest profile etc. I can go on their websites and look this up but I'd like to hear from actual owners and what they were able to accomplish. At this time I have no desire to get a small trailer so that would not be an option.

Thanks in advance for your replies.

Regards,

Mark.



#11 Peter Natscher

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 11:55 AM

My 24" StarStructure LE rolls into my SUV with a 34" alt. bearing height when angled using the transport handle. The stacked boxes are 31" square.

I'm looking to get the largest Dob I can fit into my 2003 Chevy Venture minivan. I had a 24" Starmaster that fit but I needed to tilt the mirrobox so that the altitude bearings could fit through the rear opening as I was sliding it in.

Which manufacturers have the smallest footprint, lowest profile etc. I can go on their websites and look this up but I'd like to hear from actual owners and what they were able to accomplish. At this time I have no desire to get a small trailer so that would not be an option.

Thanks in advance for your replies.

Regards,

Mark.

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#12 klim

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 07:22 PM

Another option Peter. Let me when you're ready to move on to the next scope. :)






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