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Large Dob Transport Ramps and Loading Board

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#1 JMW

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 11:02 PM

I have been hauling around an Obsession 20 inch f/5 for last 4 years. I have been placing it in my 2002 Toyota Highlander and it was a bit hard on the back folded down seats. I just bought another 2013 Highlander to replace a 1994 Honda Civic. I now have pair of them. I want to keep the inside of the car looking a little nicer but still load it up with astronomy stuff. I have a 5x8 astronomy cargo trailer for multi-night camping trips but it is more of a hassle for a 1 night viewing session.

I bought a pair of lightweight aluminum dirt bike loading ramps. They are 82 inches long, fold in half and hold 400 pounds each. I didn't want the aluminum ramps directly touching the back of the car so I created a couple of 2x4 wood supports. I ripped 1/3 off the lower support to give it a 45 degree angle from ground. I finished them and put some outdoor carpet on the sides that touch the car and the ground. I put 2 bolts on the top and bottom of each rack and put holes in the 2x4s to hold the bolts in place when the ramps are placed on the boards. I use a elastic cord to hold the ramps up against the car so the upper board won't pull away from my back bumper.

Here's a picture of the ramps and support. If you google dbf-8206 you can find resellers of the ramps online. The ramps have high enough sidewalls to keep the wheelbarrow tires on the ramps. The support boards keep the spacing of the ramps correct for the width of the wheels.

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#2 JMW

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 11:07 PM

I bought a 4x8 3/8 plywood board, cut it to fit the back of the car. I sanded, sealed and put a few coats of spar urethan to keep the board from breaking down or warping due to moisture. I bought a 6x9 piece of outdoor carpeting and glued it to the board. I completely wrapped the board so I wouldn't have bare wood scuff the car when installing/removing the board from the car. The carpet also provides a less slick surface so the heavy stuff won't slide around like it could on bare wood. I have 4 moving pads that I bought from Harbor Freight that I put between the heavy items and the sides of the car. I can use one of the pads for cover the area of the car exposed between the top of the ramps and the board when loading and unloading the dob.

Here's a picture of the carpeted board and the top of the ramp secured to the car.

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#3 Mirzam

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 06:42 AM

Very nicely done!

JimC

#4 cloudmagnet

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 07:13 AM

Love the idea of the carpeted plywood insert! I too just bought a '13 Highlander and love it, but was a bit disappointed to see that while the folded seats are reasonably flat, the plane they form is NOT level, and has several gaps. Almost makes me long for my old '87 GMC Suburban - When folded, it's seats formed a perfeclty flat, level area just slightly smaller than a regulation football field!

#5 csa/montana

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 08:50 AM

Beautiful job! Looks very professional, and will really protect the interior.

#6 csa/montana

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 08:52 AM

Almost makes me long for my old '87 GMC Suburban - When folded, it's seats formed a perfeclty flat, level area just slightly smaller than a regulation football field!



Agreed! I have a '87 Suburban, with a 100-gal water tank in it! :lol:

That plywood insert would be just the thing for your new Highlander!

#7 JMW

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 10:55 AM

My first car was a 70s Pontiac Catalina station wagon with a huge V8 engine I bought from my parents for $400. I could put full sheets of 4x8 plywood in the back. Very affordable to drive when gas was about 60 cents a gallon.

#8 NewMoonTelescope

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 08:02 PM

Bravo! Getting big dobs in and out efficiently and quickly without damaging either the scope or the SUV (mostly tbe scope ;)) is the name of the game.

#9 GeneT

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 08:09 PM

Your minor tweaks made a big plus-up to your ramps. Thanks for posting.






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