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Equipment Discussions >> Equipment

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JayinUT
I'm not Sleepy
*****

Reged: 09/19/08

Loc: Utah
Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment
      #5608429 - 01/06/13 01:51 PM

I am just curious on one item and have a question on a second. So I'll go in reverse order. I currently own and use a Nissan Pathfinder 2001 to transport my stuff to my dark sites. The SUV works just fine with just over 100,000 miles, though it doesn't have great MPG at 18 to 20 mpg (yes, I track my mpg and gallons etc as I learned it from my dad in a little notebook I keep in the car). Anyway, I'm keeping the Pathfinder but looking to get something to transport to the field that gets better MPG with less miles. I am leaning toward the Mazada CX 5 or the Nissan Rogue. If you drive either let me know if you think the following would fit in the back of either with the seats down.

14" DobStuff Telescope (base, struts).
Eyepiece Case, Speciality Case (hold Catseye and Glatter Collimation systems); Sketching Case and Equipment Case. Mat to set up on. Observing Chair that will lay on its sides and the seat and footrest easily come off.
I rarely, and I mean rarely ever transport anyone to the field. Last, I'm six foot and am wondering in the summer when I stay at a site overnight if I can fit my body in the back (I bring a nice 6 inch memory foam to lay on that works perfectly) as I like to sleep off the ground. That's not a deal breaker as I have an Kamp Rite Oversize Tent Cot . That does take up more space.

So if you own a Rogue or Mazada CX 5 let me know what you think if that all will fit in the back and with the front passenger seat folded down.

Now on to what I hope is discussed here. What do you use to transport your self and equipment to a dark site? Does the cost of gas or has the cost of gas made you rethink what your doing? If you could have any vehicle to transport what would it be and why? Please realize that for me, a car just doesn't it cut based on where I go to observe.


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csrlice12
Postmaster
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Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: JayinUT]
      #5608487 - 01/06/13 02:10 PM

I have a 2005 Ford Escape I use, but it doesn't get much better mpg then you're getting. Love that little SUV though. Unfortunately, they ruined the Escape and turned it into a crossover last year. If you don't need "Off Road" capability, the Ford Edge (still a crossover, but bigger) might do. It's more a SUV/Van crossover. Has lots of room, but more of a car-type ride.

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Pinbout
Postmaster
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Reged: 02/22/10

Loc: nj
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: JayinUT]
      #5608657 - 01/06/13 03:39 PM

heres a 12.5 dob in my 2 door civic



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Phil Sherman
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 12/07/10

Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5608658 - 01/06/13 03:40 PM

Transporting my 8" metal tube Newtonian with GEM and full astrophotography gear was a requirement for me when I replaced my car a few years ago. I ended up with a Toyota Yaris, a very small hatchback with an unbelievable amount of cargo space. The rear seat folds flat and the entire space from the front seats to the rear of the car has a flat floor. Conservative driving on highways gets very close to 40mpg (stick shift) and the only problem I've had is the self inflicted damage to the rear drums.

The Yaris actually has more cargo space than my wife's Sienna van! I can carry more in the van but need to remove and store the rear seats to do that.

Phil


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Dick Jacobson
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/22/06

Loc: Plymouth, Minnesota, USA
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: JayinUT]
      #5609068 - 01/06/13 07:15 PM

I love wagons. My Passat wagon is perfect for transporting my 20" equatorial. Gets great gas mileage (about 35 on the road). Wagons combine the fuel and purchase economy and road handling of a sedan with about twice the cargo capacity. Unfortunately, Americans seem to hate wagons and the pickings get slimmer every year.

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kevint1
sage
*****

Reged: 04/19/11

Loc: Michigan
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: Dick Jacobson]
      #5609212 - 01/06/13 08:49 PM

+1 for wagons

I use my wife's 2010 Subaru Outback. Admittedly, I don't carry much more than what fits in the rear cargo area floor, but it has a lot of head room back there and the rear seats fold flat for more space. My eyepiece case(s) go on the floor behind the front seats where they won't slide around when braking for deer. The Outback gets great mileage and the all wheel drive gets me up the hill to the dark site with ease in the winter. You can turn off all the interior lights and leave the rear hatch open. I set my eyepiece case(s), notebooks and snacks on the rear cargo floor and the open hatch keeps the dew off everything in the summer.


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BradleyB
professor emeritus
****

Reged: 09/01/06

Loc: Olympia, WA
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: JayinUT]
      #5609348 - 01/06/13 10:21 PM

quote> "looking to get something to transport to the field that gets better MPG with less miles. I am leaning toward the Mazada CX 5 or the Nissan Rogue."

There is a large difference in the gas mileage of these two vehicles. Checking the www.fueleconomy.gov site for what other people get for mileage, the Rogue gets between 20.5 and 24.5 mpg. The CX5 gets between 22.7 with mostly town driving to 30.1 with highway driving. Our neighbor got one (and really likes it) and is claiming 40mpg on the highway, but one may want to dismiss outlying reports. I have not seen these up close so can't comment on space.

Space in a car can be deceiving. I currently own an old 1996 Rav4 4 door and a 2000 CR-V. The rear seats are very easy to remove from the Rav4 and when done has an incredible amount of cargo space. The rear seats in the CR-V would not be easy to remove and compared this way, the RAV easily has double the cargo space. I fit my 12.5 dob f/6 and all my camping gear into the RAV and it only comes up to the bottom of the windows. It gets about 24 in normal driving and 28 mpg on the highway.

The newer RAV4 is much larger than the old ones and still get about 24 mpg for the 4cyl. I traveled a good bit in one recently and it was quite comfortable and capable.

Brad

Edited by BradleyB (01/06/13 10:22 PM)


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jwaldo
Smart Mime
*****

Reged: 04/26/04

Loc: Simi Valley, CA
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: BradleyB]
      #5609444 - 01/06/13 11:20 PM

I transport my gear in a '96 Jeep Grand Cherokee. It holds my 8" Dob, 4" refractor, 66mm refractor, and a week's worth of camping gear with room to spare:



Unfortunately, it's also basically a giant money black hole that sucks in all fuel and replacement parts in a 100 mile radius. Not that I'd willingly trade it for anything else


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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
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Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: jwaldo]
      #5609555 - 01/07/13 01:10 AM

The most economical scope hauler we ever owned was a 1994 Ford Escort Wagon. It had plenty of room for my 16 inch Dobstuff plus a refractor and chairs, eyepieces etc... On the road it got around 35-37mpg....

Too bad they quit making em...

Jon


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rogercelliott
sage


Reged: 09/19/08

Loc: Redding, CA
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5609569 - 01/07/13 01:32 AM

I used to stuff my 10" f/4.5 into the backseat with the mounting and all its parts into the truck of my 92 Toyota Paseo! ANd I could get as much as 38mpg if I kept it below 65. I also still had room for a passenger! I miss that car.....

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Aquatone
sage


Reged: 03/23/06

Loc: Moraga, CA (Bay Area)
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: JayinUT]
      #5609575 - 01/07/13 01:38 AM Attachment (71 downloads)

I use a Sprinter Van to carry my 24" which I can wheel down ramps out of the side slide door. (Visible in the picture) As it is also a Class B RV it provides a comfy bed, air conditioning, electrical power as needed, cooking, cold drinks in the fridge, and a bathroom. It is also a diesel and does 20 to 22 mpg so quite economical for a hotel on wheels.

Chris


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Jeff Morgan
Postmaster
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Reged: 09/28/03

Loc: Prescott, AZ
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: JayinUT]
      #5609599 - 01/07/13 02:10 AM Attachment (60 downloads)

For larger, lower valued items a small trailer can dramatically expand what you can take along, regardless of vehicle. I use a Rack & Roll kayak micro trailer for my observing ladder. Yakima makes streamlined boxes that can be attached to the trailer to carry more valuable items that need key-lock security and protection from the elements.

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stratocaster
sage
*****

Reged: 10/27/11

Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: JayinUT]
      #5609609 - 01/07/13 02:29 AM

Quote:

Now on to what I hope is discussed here. What do you use to transport your self and equipment to a dark site? Does the cost of gas or has the cost of gas made you rethink what your doing? If you could have any vehicle to transport what would it be and why? Please realize that for me, a car just doesn't it cut based on where I go to observe.




Up to this point I use a Camry Hybrid. I can fit all my camping gear, a 10" solid tube dob, and a tripod, mount, and 4" refractor with case. And the front passenger seat is fully available for my wife.

A good portion of the camping gear goes in the trunk (which is smaller than the standard Camry trunk due to the space the hybrid-related gear takes up). The dob tube goes in the trunk. The base goes in the back seat. The refactor/case slides into the base in the back seat. Tent goes on the floor between the front and back seat. And various other somewhat creative placement of gear and supplies. But the whole back seat area is taken up.

So I can bring one passenger, but not two...unless I can get a bit more creative.

Mileage is between 34 and 36 mpg, depending on the season.

With this arrangement gas would have no bearing on a decision to go to a dark sky site.

If I could have any vehicle it wouldn't be a Camry (or my alternate vehicle, a Corolla). Probably something like a Honda Fit, but I really haven't thought about this much because I haven't been faced with having to make an actual decision. Good mpg would be a prerequisite, though. No way I'd get a vehicle that got 12-15 mpg. That may make me think a bit about long trips for a dark sky weekend.

We used to have a 2003 ford explorer. That thing got 18 mpg on the highway on a good day. Even at that I would think about the expense of long trips (remember when 20 mpg in the early 70's was considered great mileage?)


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CJK
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/05/12

Loc: Northeast TN
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: Aquatone]
      #5609679 - 01/07/13 06:48 AM

Quote:

I use a Sprinter Van to carry my 24" which I can wheel down ramps out of the side slide door. (Visible in the picture) As it is also a Class B RV it provides a comfy bed, air conditioning, electrical power as needed, cooking, cold drinks in the fridge, and a bathroom. It is also a diesel and does 20 to 22 mpg so quite economical for a hotel on wheels.

Chris




Wow, that's a beauty! Someday...

-- Chris


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Starman1
Vendor (EyepiecesEtc.com)
*****

Reged: 06/24/03

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: CJK]
      #5610671 - 01/07/13 06:27 PM

You don't need a large truck to carry a truss scope. I own a VW GTI (42 cu.ft. in rear) and I can easily carry a 16" LightBridge along with my 12.5" Teeter (I've done it).
When the Mrs and I go to star parties, we carry:
--12.5" dob
--5" Mak on iOptron MiniTower mount
--2 sleeping bags
--2 lawn chairs
--Starmaster astronomy chair
--folding table
--large duffle with winter clothes
--small duffle with winter clothes
--milk crate with parts and stuff
--3 eyepiece cases (the 12*18*8 size)
--large rechargeable battery pack
--large bag with books, blanket, pillows, and scope covers
--ground tarp
--2 thermoses
--binoculars mount
--tripod for binoculars mount
--binoculars
--2 prs boots
--couple bags of food
--butane stove and coffee pot
--laptop computer
--chargers for phones and laptop
and it all fits in the back of the GTI. My wife sits in the front and nothing is high enough in the car to block my view out the rear window.
And I get 32mpg on the highway with all that stuff in the car (I get a lot higher when the car is empty, but it never is when I go to star parties).

I could hold a scope up to about a 20" dob in the car if I were going to the mountains by myself. The picture on my website shows some of the stuff (but not all) I carry to the mountains with me every month, and nothing is above the window line.

You don't need a big truck to carry a lot of stuff. You just need to pack well. I should mention my wife and I have spent 10 days in Europe and took everything we needed in two carry-on bags. It's all about how you pack.


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GeneT
Ely Kid
*****

Reged: 11/07/08

Loc: South Texas
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: JayinUT]
      #5610692 - 01/07/13 06:38 PM

I was able to easily haul an 18 inch Ultra Compact with accessories in my Honda CRV. I could have hauled an 18 inch classic, but it would have been tight, and very little extra room for camping equipment. For my 12.5 inch Portaball, there is plenty of room for telescope, accessories and camping gear. For one or two nighters, I often sleep in the vehicle. South Texas rarely has the extreme cold to contend with. Heat, yes, but cold, no.

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StarStuff1
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 04/01/07

Loc: South of the Mason-Dixon Line
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: Starman1]
      #5610704 - 01/07/13 06:48 PM

In the early 90s I was searching for a scope toting vehicle. I had a small Chevy wagon and it was great but was wearing out. To me at the time a SUV was too heavy, more expensive and not enough storage capacity (sometimes I would take two other club members with their gear to observe nearly all night). I resisted getting a mini-van because I didn't want to drive a "soccer mom" car. But a good deal popped up for a low mileage Dodge Caravan. I loved it so much that when it was nearly worn out 6 years ago I bought a newer used one. This time it was the Sport model that could seat eight. That was great for taking a bunch of folks on a trip but normally it has only three seats installed to carry astro gear, the wife's shopping surprises, etc. The gas mileage is not fantastic at 23-27 on the road but it is dependable, roomy and has plenty of power.

Plus both Caravans had a rotary switch that not only dimmed the interior lights but turned them off completely.


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FirstSight
Duke of Deneb
*****

Reged: 12/26/05

Loc: Raleigh, NC
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: StarStuff1]
      #5610724 - 01/07/13 06:54 PM

2005 Ford Escape Hybrid compact SUV. It's been to Winter Star Party and back twice (950 miles each way), hauling me + two scopes (Orion 12XTi + refractor) + other astro gear (tripod, eyepiece boxes, foldable tables, viewing chair + camping gear (tent, sleeping bag, clothes) for a week. It's been my astro-vehicle on lots of shorter trips with BOTH astro and regular gear, including golf clubs (including to the beach).

It gets 28-31mpg.


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jeff heck
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 01/16/06

Loc: stl,mo.
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: FirstSight]
      #5610816 - 01/07/13 07:55 PM Attachment (46 downloads)

Here is how I travel with the 16" with the UTA assembled in a Dodge Grand Caravan. The back seat has been removed since this model was before "stow and go" seats.

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GeneT
Ely Kid
*****

Reged: 11/07/08

Loc: South Texas
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: jeff heck]
      #5610901 - 01/07/13 09:03 PM

Quote:

Here is how I travel with the 16" with the UTA assembled in a Dodge Grand Caravan. The back seat has been removed since this model was before "stow and go" seats.




How do you load the Teeter? Wheel barrel handles, or do you lift it in?


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Martin Lyons
sage
*****

Reged: 10/06/08

Loc: Cape Town, South Africa
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: JayinUT]
      #5612130 - 01/08/13 03:05 PM Attachment (56 downloads)

This is how I transport mine.
Using a trailor, It doesn't really matter what size car you use, so fuel economy is not an issue and I can buy and sell cars without having to worry about load capacity.

Martin


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ZRX-Steve
sage


Reged: 03/31/08

Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment *DELETED* new [Re: JayinUT]
      #5612582 - 01/08/13 07:36 PM

Post deleted by ZRX-Steve

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CJK
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/05/12

Loc: Northeast TN
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: ZRX-Steve]
      #5612727 - 01/08/13 09:12 PM

Dang! I didn't know they'd discontinued the Element! I always wanted the SC version!

-- Chris


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JimMo
I'd Rather Do It Myself


Reged: 01/08/07

Loc: Under the SE Michigan lightdom...
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: ZRX-Steve]
      #5612764 - 01/08/13 09:35 PM

We bought an Element for my son to use at grad school. He loved it but after he returned it to use I wasn't thrilled with the ride or it's cargo capacity. The gas mileage loaded up with my gear was only 20 miles per gal which I get with my 13 year old Jeep Cherokee.

My brother in law is a Honda dealer and he said the Elements sell at a premium now due to limited supply of used units available. Seems most folks hang onto them, and while we didn't we got a great deal trading it in.

I always thought a Chevy Astro van would be appropriate for hauling gear. I currently have the Jeep and a 2010 Chrysler Town and Country which is very astro friendly. The light kill switch was mentioned earlier and this model year doesn't have the flashing school bus lights when opening either side door like my last one had.


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: JayinUT]
      #5612936 - 01/08/13 11:35 PM

Howdy Jay.

I'm a Subaru guy. Love 'em. Indestructible, reliable, durable, capable, capacious, reasonably fuel efficient for AWD vehicles, and they hold their value well. I have two of 'em currently. A 2007 Forester with ~140k miles on it and a new 2013 Outback. I couldn't part with the Forester even though I bought the Outback. It's just too darned useful. It has become our "truck" for nursery and hardware runs and I use it to haul my kayak to and from the river. Best of all, Subarus drive like cars.

Here's the Forester in June at 11,500 feet:



You can see the rear of the new Outback here:



The Forester handles better (sharper, almost sporty) but is noisier and less compliant. The Outback is smoother, quieter, holds more cargo and actually gets a bit better fuel economy.

Regards,

Jim


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JayinUT
I'm not Sleepy
*****

Reged: 09/19/08

Loc: Utah
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5612965 - 01/09/13 12:00 AM

Jim,

Thanks. I watched a great review of a Forester over a Rav 4 (Rav is what one rides in, and the Forester is what one drives), Rogue and the Mazda CX 5. I am mow leaning to either the Forester or the Outback. A friend has an Outback 2002 with 201,345 miles and he just got a 2012. I like his 2012 A LOT.


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bierbelly
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/23/04

Loc: Sterling, VA
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: JayinUT]
      #5613607 - 01/09/13 12:08 PM

2006 Toyota 4Runner. A nearly perfect truck (and a REAL truck to boot, with body on frame construction). Average about 20.5 mixed, and about 24 highway. Don't bother with the V8, the V6 has great power/torque.

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killdabuddha
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 08/26/11

Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: kevint1]
      #5613689 - 01/09/13 12:59 PM

Quote:

+1 for wagons

I use my wife's 2010 Subaru Outback. Admittedly, I don't carry much more than what fits in the rear cargo area floor, but it has a lot of head room back there and the rear seats fold flat for more space. My eyepiece case(s) go on the floor behind the front seats where they won't slide around when braking for deer. The Outback gets great mileage and the all wheel drive gets me up the hill to the dark site with ease in the winter. You can turn off all the interior lights and leave the rear hatch open. I set my eyepiece case(s), notebooks and snacks on the rear cargo floor and the open hatch keeps the dew off everything in the summer.




We originally got a 92 Nissan hardbody pick-up for dark sky transportation, and recently added a 99 Subaru Outback for these winter months (it has heat). The mileage is disappointing at about 22 mpg, a real surprise for any 4-cylinder and considerin the pick-up gets almost 28 mpg.


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Shneor
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 03/01/05

Loc: Northern California
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: killdabuddha]
      #5614046 - 01/09/13 04:36 PM

I transport my 22" f/4 with all accessories (including an equatorial platform), large box of charts and books, observing chair, table, camping gear when I'm out for more than overnight, in a Honda Fit. I also sleep in the Fit, on a cot and Thermarest when I'm out for more than overnight. Mileage is 35-38 mpg depending on season (California winter gas is lower mileage). I need to drive 1.5-2 hours to usual observing sites depending on where I'm observing.

Clears,


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turtle86
Pooh-Bah Everywhere Else
*****

Reged: 10/09/06

Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: Aquatone]
      #5614111 - 01/09/13 05:17 PM

Quote:

I use a Sprinter Van to carry my 24" which I can wheel down ramps out of the side slide door. (Visible in the picture) As it is also a Class B RV it provides a comfy bed, air conditioning, electrical power as needed, cooking, cold drinks in the fridge, and a bathroom. It is also a diesel and does 20 to 22 mpg so quite economical for a hotel on wheels.

Chris




Chris, that's just awesome.


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turtle86
Pooh-Bah Everywhere Else
*****

Reged: 10/09/06

Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5614123 - 01/09/13 05:24 PM

Quote:

Howdy Jay.

I'm a Subaru guy. Love 'em. Indestructible, reliable, durable, capable, capacious, reasonably fuel efficient for AWD vehicles, and they hold their value well. I have two of 'em currently. A 2007 Forester with ~140k miles on it and a new 2013 Outback. I couldn't part with the Forester even though I bought the Outback. It's just too darned useful. It has become our "truck" for nursery and hardware runs and I use it to haul my kayak to and from the river. Best of all, Subarus drive like cars.

Here's the Forester in June at 11,500 feet:



You can see the rear of the new Outback here:



The Forester handles better (sharper, almost sporty) but is noisier and less compliant. The Outback is smoother, quieter, holds more cargo and actually gets a bit better fuel economy.

Regards,

Jim




Thanks for the comparo. My wife and I recently saw a new Forester and Outback on display at an art festival and both looked great. I'm pretty happy with my Honda Element for now. It's a bit spartan but it's very reliable and has an excellent cargo capacity. Since Honda is no longer makes the Element, some day one of those Subarus will most likely be my next set of astro wheels, though Chris's Sprinter Van also looks mighty tempting.


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Pat at home
sage


Reged: 03/16/07

Loc: Campbellton, New Brunswick, Ca...
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: turtle86]
      #5614209 - 01/09/13 06:18 PM Attachment (30 downloads)

This is it for me. 3500 dually 4x4 extended cab diesel.

Not kidding either.

We own an undeveloped piece of land with all around view of the sky, no neighbours for miles therefore no street lights or porch lights and a sea beach on a shallow warm water bay as a bonus. However access is a bit difficult as I've not built a proper road into the site yet but there is a trail wide enough to get this rig in. The 8 foot covered bed is big enough to carry any scope and mount I own and all the camping equipment and food for the family. The cab seats me, the boss, our daughter and the mutt.

Another place we go to is a small secluded camping park way outside of any nearby town. They deliberately turn off all outside lights when the telescope is out. So we drag a travel trailer with all the amenities, i.e. coffee maker, beer fridge and a comfy bed.


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gillmj24
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 12/06/05

Loc: PA
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: Pat at home]
      #5614246 - 01/09/13 06:36 PM

I'm keeping my 10 year old 9-5 as long as I can. It's orphaned now

Once I fit a Meade RCX400 12" in a HUGE JMI case (same case as the 14" LX200), Huge RCX tripod (which thankfully separated into 4 pieces), LX200R 10" OTA, LXD750 HUGE mount, and HUGE folding tripod (tall version). No room for passengers that night though. Also have fit a 20" f5 obsession, though the altitude bearings were hitting the roof.

Also mine is souped up a bit so at 300HP/285ft-lb max, it doesn't quite get the sticker mileage (24 is typical on the highway doing 65mph, rated 27 though I could get above 30 doing 55 driving slowly with scopes). I'd probably win any race among other scope haulers though!


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Alvin Huey
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 10/18/05

Loc: NorCal
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: Pat at home]
      #5614252 - 01/09/13 06:38 PM

Third one down

VW Beetle. I had two VW Beetles, the one with a supercharged VR6 has a blown tranny.



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Starman1
Vendor (EyepiecesEtc.com)
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Reged: 06/24/03

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: Alvin Huey]
      #5614265 - 01/09/13 06:43 PM

Alvin has me beat: twice the scope in half the space.

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CJK
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/05/12

Loc: Northeast TN
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: Alvin Huey]
      #5614300 - 01/09/13 07:03 PM

Quote:

Third one down

VW Beetle. I had two VW Beetles, the one with a supercharged VR6 has a blown tranny.






I was waiting for a picture showing all the clowns getting out

Seriously, you deserve some sort of award for most enormous scope in a small car

-- Chris


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bherv
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 03/10/06

Loc: WMass
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: Alvin Huey]
      #5614325 - 01/09/13 07:19 PM Attachment (22 downloads)

Not good on gas but great for hauling my equipment and towing my 21 foot camper, my 1998 Dodge Durango. Since my commute to work is only 4 to 5 miles each way, I am not spending a fortune on gas. I usually only have to fill it every two weeks.Plus I have a gas rewards card that I earn points on every day when filling my company truck and use points to save 10 cents or more a gallon when filling my Durango. It is only 45 miles to our club's dark sky site so it is not a big expense to go observing.
Barry


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Alvin Huey
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 10/18/05

Loc: NorCal
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: CJK]
      #5614397 - 01/09/13 07:53 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Third one down

VW Beetle. I had two VW Beetles, the one with a supercharged VR6 has a blown tranny.






I was waiting for a picture showing all the clowns getting out

Seriously, you deserve some sort of award for most enormous scope in a small car

-- Chris




And my supercharged Beetle moves really well. 0-60 in 4.6 sec. Now I gotta get that tranny replaced.


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Dan Watt
professor emeritus
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Reged: 10/13/09

Loc: Oceanside, Calfornia.
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: Alvin Huey]
      #5614576 - 01/09/13 09:58 PM

1985 Volvo 240 Wagon with 360,000 miles.



Got a cargo carrier for free!


I picked this up over a year ago for $420 off Craigslist, it wasn't running at the time. Tossed in a new fuel pump and everythings perfect now. I can haul an impressive amount of gear and two people can comfortable sleep in the back with the seats folded down. I've upgraded the suspension a bit and it has no problem traveling miles down washboard dirt roads and while it's a little slow I can still make it to all the faraway dark sites in the mountains while its fully loaded. Best of all, I get 25-30 mpg. Everything works, doesn't leak a drop of anything so I'm not going to be getting rid of it anytime soon. I recently looked at new cars and I really can't find anything that I'd be happier with. Considering it costs me maybe $500 a year in maintenance I think I'll keep it!

Edited by Dan Watt (01/09/13 10:01 PM)


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StephenW
member


Reged: 02/04/05

Loc: San Jose, CA
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: Dan Watt]
      #5614604 - 01/09/13 10:22 PM

Subaru Forester for me. Handles all my gear, drives like a car and isn't afraid of some off-roading

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Joe Bergeron
Vendor - Space Art


Reged: 11/10/03

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: JayinUT]
      #5614850 - 01/10/13 02:39 AM Attachment (37 downloads)

I transported a 6" refractor with G11 mount, a couple of smaller refractors, some art supplies, camping gear, and photo gear in a Chevy Sonic hatchback. 44MPG on the highway. No room for any passengers though. Also useless for anything off road, as it has no ground clearance to speak of.

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TL2101
professor emeritus


Reged: 09/17/10

Loc: Concord, Ca
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: Joe Bergeron]
      #5614883 - 01/10/13 03:30 AM Attachment (31 downloads)

Not the greatest for mpg but holds all the camping gear I could ever want and tows my 6,500lb boat along with my scope. Also leaves plenty of room for future larger scopes. I only use my 3/4 ton quad cab truck for recreation so mileage wasn't a huge concern for me. Has 4 wheel drive for off roading.

Edited by TL2101 (01/10/13 03:33 AM)


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Chucky
sage
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Reged: 04/16/10

Loc: Dublin, Ohio
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: TL2101]
      #5614942 - 01/10/13 06:42 AM

<< 1985 Volvo 240 Wagon with 360,000 miles. >>

Impressive indeed! With the money you've saved over the years, you can buy more astro toys. Looks like you have plenty of those things.


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roscoe
curmudgeon
*****

Reged: 02/04/09

Loc: NW Mass, inches from VT
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: Chucky]
      #5615011 - 01/10/13 08:06 AM

'98 Ford Ranger long-cab pickup with cap. Not impressive mileage, but it's a carpenter truck in real life, and with the tools out, there's lots of room for my 120mm refractor and gear..... usually, I put an old foam mattress in the back, which cushions my gear, and gives me a place to snooze.
Russ


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Jeff Morgan
Postmaster
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Reged: 09/28/03

Loc: Prescott, AZ
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: JimMo]
      #5615202 - 01/10/13 10:32 AM

Quote:

We bought an Element for my son to use at grad school. He loved it but after he returned it to use I wasn't thrilled with the ride or it's cargo capacity. The gas mileage loaded up with my gear was only 20 miles per gal which I get with my 13 year old Jeep Cherokee.




Ouch! My 2008 Honda CRV gets an average of 27 mpg. I usually set the cruise control on 80 mph, if I slow it down I can push that to about 30 mpg. It has 7" of ground clearance too. I won't do serious off-roading with optics in the car, just enough to get me clear of headlights on the road.


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: JayinUT]
      #5615324 - 01/10/13 11:31 AM

The new generation Outback is large inside and has lots of rear seat legroom for times when you're using it for passengers. One thing to keep in mind is this - in 2013 they updated the Outback with the new DOHC 2.5L engine. The 2012 and earlier Outbacks use the old 2.5L SOHC engine, as does my 2007 Forester. There is one chronic weakness with the old SOHC engine - it tends to develop external head gasket (oil only) leaks as the mileage piles on. Mine are "seeping" presently. I have a buddy in Australia whose HGs on a SOHC have been "seeping" for more than 50k km. This is common and doesn't really use enough oil to even require a top up between oil changes. If, however, the HGs start "leaking", you'll need to get them replaced and that's pretty expensive.

The new motor (which has been in the Forester for 3 years now and was added to the Outback for the current model year) is more modular and suffers less from the differential expansion that causes the issue. The other requirement for the old engine is that you need to change the timing belt every 105k miles. The new engine uses timing chains.

The last item that is necessary for all Subarus (due to the Symmetrical AWD system - an "always on" system) is that you must religiously rotate the tires. If you let the fronts wear more than about a millimeter more than the rears, you start putting stress on the AWD system as it has to cope with materially different rotational speeds between the axes.

All that said, these are the toughest most capable cars I've ever owned. The AWD system is fantastic for dirt roads. I've even done segments of the Old Mojave Road in my Forester. Two years ago I encountered a Jeep caravan headed the opposite direction on one of the segments. These guys had lifts, dual lockers, Cepek rock crawler rubber, etc. My only non-stock bits were some AT tires and a front belly plate to protect the oil pan and lower radiator. You should have seen the looks when I squeezed by them and headed down the portion that they'd just climbed without so much as a pause at the crest to spot it out.

Some men "play" soldier. Others drive Subarus.

More Subaru propaganda...

Two Australian brothers drove from the UK to Australia in a high-mileage second generation Forester:

http://www.london2sydney.net/

An Irish couple travel the world in an even older Forester:

http://www.getjealous.com/subaroute

I'm actually looking at a Mercedes/Sprinter 2500 Crew Van. I'd like to find a gently used one a year or two old, to sidestep some of the depreciation. It has huge capacity, decent fuel economy for its capacity, a turbo for elevation and there's just something "cool" about arriving in what looks for all the world to be a "moving van".

Regards,

Jim


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: Dan Watt]
      #5615331 - 01/10/13 11:37 AM

Love it!

Those 240s are another zombie car - hard to kill.

- Jim


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: killdabuddha]
      #5615336 - 01/10/13 11:40 AM

Yup. Subarus are notorious for lousy fuel economy. It's one liability of a full time AWD system. There's a lot more stuff to spin around even in situations where AWD is not needed. The new ones have improved fuel economy by virtue of dropping the venerable JAT 4 speed automatic in favor of a CVT transmission, switching to lighter weight synthetic oil, etc. Sad to say that my smaller, lighter Forester gets 10-15% worse fuel economy than the much bigger Outback.

Regards,

Jim


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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
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Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: roscoe]
      #5615350 - 01/10/13 11:48 AM Attachment (27 downloads)

Quote:

'98 Ford Ranger long-cab pickup with cap. Not impressive mileage, but it's a carpenter truck in real life, and with the tools out, there's lots of room for my 120mm refractor and gear..... usually, I put an old foam mattress in the back, which cushions my gear, and gives me a place to snooze.
Russ




My scope hauler was a 2003 Nissan Frontier extended cab with a shell but someone totaled it while it was parked. Now we have a 2004 Nissan Frontier extended cab with a cap. On a long trip, it gets about 26-27mph. Last May-June we did 7,000 miles of camping and visiting... On the freeway around here, about 25mph.

Jon

Edited by Jon Isaacs (01/10/13 11:49 AM)


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FirstSight
Duke of Deneb
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Reged: 12/26/05

Loc: Raleigh, NC
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: Alvin Huey]
      #5615488 - 01/10/13 01:00 PM

Quote:

Third one down

VW Beetle. I had two VW Beetles, the one with a supercharged VR6 has a blown tranny.






I fear to ask for more detail on one of your Beetles.


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Chucky
sage
*****

Reged: 04/16/10

Loc: Dublin, Ohio
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: FirstSight]
      #5615594 - 01/10/13 01:57 PM

<< We bought an Element for my son to use at grad school. The gas mileage loaded up with my gear was only 20 miles per gal. >>

My 2007 AWD Honda Element (5 speed manual) gets 27-28 mpg on the freeway if I hold the speed at 60 mph. Around town probably around 20 or so....maybe a tad higher if I take it easy with some open stretches. Best vehicle I've ever owned. Huge cargo area, especially if I pull out the rear seats, plenty of headroom, easy to clean, and AWD is awesome. Does it all for me - hauls my bikes upright, camping stuff, astro stuff. Nice not having to cramp everything like smaller vehicles. Plus the back makes an awesome sleeping area.....keeping me from having to setup a tent.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/cgulker/7228813644/in/set-72157629802671568

http://www.flickr.com/photos/cgulker/7228812510/in/set-72157629802671568

http://www.flickr.com/photos/cgulker/4893928846/in/set-72157624728850044


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Slow Astronomer
member


Reged: 05/01/10

Loc: Milky Way Galaxy
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: JayinUT]
      #5615720 - 01/10/13 03:19 PM

Jay, in 2008 I "upgraded" from a 2001 Ford Ranger (14mpg local/17 mpg hwy)to a 2009 Toyota RAV4 (22mpg local/30mpg hwy). Being retired the increase in mpg was huge.

It has a ton of cargo space and I swear it was designed for astronomers. The dome, map and rear door lights all have switches to turn them off. I can open the door and I don't get yelled at for a white light going on!

It hauls all my gear for the night easily. Despite all the recalls (which have not cost me a dime) I think I'll stick with my RAV4 for the time being. Clear skies,

Dave


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csrlice12
Postmaster
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Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: Slow Astronomer]
      #5615743 - 01/10/13 03:38 PM

Outside of the gas mileage (18 city/25 Hwy), my 2005 Ford Escape is one fun vehicle. It not only drives well and has lots of room, but I can switch off ALL the lights (interior and exterior) when going to a dark site.

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Doug Culbertson
Post Laureate
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Reged: 01/06/05

Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: Slow Astronomer]
      #5615774 - 01/10/13 03:54 PM

Quote:

Jay, in 2008 I "upgraded" from a 2001 Ford Ranger (14mpg local/17 mpg hwy)to a 2009 Toyota RAV4 (22mpg local/30mpg hwy). Being retired the increase in mpg was huge.

It has a ton of cargo space and I swear it was designed for astronomers. The dome, map and rear door lights all have switches to turn them off. I can open the door and I don't get yelled at for a white light going on!

It hauls all my gear for the night easily. Despite all the recalls (which have not cost me a dime) I think I'll stick with my RAV4 for the time being. Clear skies,

Dave




I have a 2012 RAV4, and I also like the gas mileage, cargo space and the way the interior lights can be switched to off. My only problem is that, unlike my previous Camry, I can't turn off the DRLs. Something that I forgot to check before I bought the vehicle.


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Slow Astronomer
member


Reged: 05/01/10

Loc: Milky Way Galaxy
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: Doug Culbertson]
      #5615811 - 01/10/13 04:12 PM

OK Doug, there's a reason they call me the "Slow" Astronomer. Whatsa DRL? Thanx,

Dave


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Doug Culbertson
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 01/06/05

Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: Slow Astronomer]
      #5615815 - 01/10/13 04:14 PM

Sorry! DRL = Daytime Running Lights.

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killdabuddha
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 08/26/11

Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: Doug Culbertson]
      #5616570 - 01/11/13 01:00 AM

Well Jim,

We love the solid and luxurious Outback, but wish that we hadn't Googled it afterward, but we were kinda compelled by the gas tank that doesn't fill, and in our state I'm breakin the law every time the attendant makes me pump my own. Even a 14-page thread at the Outback forum could do no better than to best-guess that it's spiders' affinity for charcoal (filters) that makes them lay their eggs there. And yeah, if you change the coolant, use the additive Subaru recommends, to protect the head gaskets. What else? Lots. Itsa high maintenance car, but figure we're almost breakin even. Thanks for the timing belt heads up.

(And I think the head gasket problems were to about 20% of them, but that the failures were early rather than late and havin to do with the adhesive used.)

Edited by killdabuddha (01/11/13 01:04 AM)


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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
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Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: killdabuddha]
      #5616854 - 01/11/13 08:52 AM

Quote:

What else? Lots. Itsa high maintenance car, but figure we're almost breakin even




Interesting..

I have always been attracted to Suburu's ever since I had a worn out '82 wagon for a short while. But from what I have seen, it does seem that compared to Toyota's, Honda's and Nissans, Suburu's are high maintenance vehicles and for me, that's a deal killer.

Jon


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RTLR 12
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 12/04/08

Loc: The Great Pacific NorthWest
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5616872 - 01/11/13 09:09 AM

Sometimes you have to get out of the library and experience real life. One example does not a reality make. So many experts...so many opinions.

Stan


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starrancher
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/09/09

Loc: Northern Arizona
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: RTLR 12]
      #5617471 - 01/11/13 03:34 PM

I love my Jeeps and wouldn't trade em for anything .
'89 Comanche , 20 mpg with 252,000 on the clock .
'92 Cherokee , 22 mpg with 206,000 on the clock .
Weather and mood dictate the choice .
'92 Wrangler and '92 Wrangler with 40,000 on the clocks .
Just a couple toys for the trails .


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csrlice12
Postmaster
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Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: starrancher]
      #5617511 - 01/11/13 04:01 PM

Sister in law's 92 Cherokee--less than 35,000 miles--caught fire and burned up on the side of the road....electrical short....unfortunately, bought used, out of warranty..... but her old Chevy pickup was well over 200K when it finally died...

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Tom Polakis
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 12/20/04

Loc: Tempe, Arizona
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5617564 - 01/11/13 04:31 PM

Quote:

More Subaru propaganda...

Two Australian brothers drove from the UK to Australia in a high-mileage second generation Forester:...





You can drive a Subaru across large bodies of water. Is there anything that all wheel drive won't do?


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Tom Polakis
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 12/20/04

Loc: Tempe, Arizona
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5617572 - 01/11/13 04:38 PM

Quote:

My scope hauler was a 2003 Nissan Frontier extended cab with a shell but someone totaled it while it was parked. Now we have a 2004 Nissan Frontier extended cab with a cap. On a long trip, it gets about 26-27mph. Last May-June we did 7,000 miles of camping and visiting... On the freeway around here, about 25mph.





Jon, a 2004 Frontier is also what my wife are using to haul both an Obsession 18" U-C and a 10" Newtonian, both with platforms. I have been known to say not very nice things about the U-C design, but that scope delivers when it comes to being compact. The truck has a gutless 2.5L engine, and its freeway gas mileage has been closer to 24 mpg.

Tom


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5617591 - 01/11/13 04:59 PM

Many Hondas and Toyotas also have timing belts that require costly replacement at around 100k miles. Subaru's new engines have moved to "lifetime" timing chains.

No Nissan, Toyota or Honda car-based AWD vehicle has off-pavement capabilities even close to Subaru's AWD system. Religious tire rotation (which by the way is recommended for *any* vehicle) is a relatively small maintenance item to address in order to get an AWD system that works as well as most two-range, open differential truck-based 4WD systems.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7dVFY5CxT0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6-ERc-DfhA&playnext=1&list=PL6AC38C85...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_MXK2nzt2Y

Epic fail.

The best cars money can buy, some say.

http://management.fortune.cnn.com/2012/11/19/subaru-best-cars/

Regards,

Jim


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Jeff Morgan
Postmaster
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Reged: 09/28/03

Loc: Prescott, AZ
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: RTLR 12]
      #5618035 - 01/11/13 09:17 PM

Quote:

Sometimes you have to get out of the library and experience real life. One example does not a reality make. So many experts...so many opinions.

Stan




Easy to try four different eyepiece brands. A little more problematic with automobiles, at least on my budget.


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starrancher
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/09/09

Loc: Northern Arizona
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5618186 - 01/11/13 10:59 PM

Quote:

Sister in law's 92 Cherokee--less than 35,000 miles--caught fire and burned up on the side of the road....electrical short....unfortunately, bought used, out of warranty..... but her old Chevy pickup was well over 200K when it finally died...




Bummer about that Jeep . That thing shoulda gone 360k easy . Taken care of the 4.0 straight 6 cyl tractor motor should go a half million miles .
All my Jeeps have the stock radios and cassette players in them . Actually they are all stock except for the addition of a CB radio mounted under dash and a K&N filter element in the air boxes .
Point is that I've seen vehicles burn to the ground due to an aftermarket radio that was installed incorrectly . Even a place that installs radios like Best Buy can screw up and burn ya to the ground . Nobody's going into my dashboards .
No tellin what the culprit was in this case but if aftermarket electronics were installed maybe ...... Aftermarket alarm ?


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Darenwh
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 05/11/06

Loc: Covington, GA
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: Jeff Morgan]
      #5618200 - 01/11/13 11:15 PM

2005 Ford F150 extended cab. Gas mileage is poor at 16mpg (Fords largest gas v8) but I got it used w/ a fiberglass cap two years ago for 13k with only 32k miles on it. Looks nearly new and is paid off. Since I only use it for Astro and the boat I am not worried about the gas. It's cheaper than a payment. Carry's everything and has plenty of room for more. Super reliable and parts/labor are cheap. What more could I want from it?

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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
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Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: RTLR 12]
      #5618244 - 01/11/13 11:53 PM

Quote:

Sometimes you have to get out of the library and experience real life. One example does not a reality make. So many experts...so many opinions.

Stan




Stan:

I am not quite sure what your point is... It is true that I keep an eye on the Consumers Report reliability records and Suburu's are not up there with the Honda's, Toyotas and Nissans... And reading the fuel economy stuff, they're not that good at that either....

For someone who views a car as a practical tool, buys used cars, those two factors pretty much ruled out a Suburu for me...

Jon


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ahopp
sage


Reged: 05/24/12

Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5618598 - 01/12/13 08:35 AM

2004 Hummer H2 pulling my 20'x8 1/2' mobile observatory.

Tony


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RTLR 12
Post Laureate
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Reged: 12/04/08

Loc: The Great Pacific NorthWest
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5619063 - 01/12/13 01:22 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Sometimes you have to get out of the library and experience real life. One example does not a reality make. So many experts...so many opinions.

Stan




Stan:

I am not quite sure what your point is... It is true that I keep an eye on the Consumers Report reliability records and Suburu's are not up there with the Honda's, Toyotas and Nissans... And reading the fuel economy stuff, they're not that good at that either....

For someone who views a car as a practical tool, buys used cars, those two factors pretty much ruled out a Suburu for me...

Jon




Jon,

My point is that choosing the right vehicle is not an easy thing to do. It is defiantly NOT an exact science...

When I testify in court about a certain problem with a vehicle and the expert witness for the other side testifies, it comes down to who tells the best story...not who's right.

Stan


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mountain monk
Carpal Tunnel
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Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: RTLR 12]
      #5619192 - 01/12/13 02:36 PM

We have a Prius and a Ford Explorer. The Prius (with cargo box) we used for years on our trips to Utah with the NP-101, the C8, a dog, and a week's worth of camping gear. The new dob fits in the Prius fine, but if I go to Utah in the Prius I suffer from 4x4 envy..., so maybe this year it will be the Ford. Together, they keep our gas expenditures at a reasonable level. We need the Ford because of where we live. I hated buying a Prius, but did it for my wife and now I must admit that I like it a lot--great car.

Dark skies.

Jack


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mountain monk
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 11/06/09

Loc: Grand Teton National Park
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: mountain monk]
      #5619233 - 01/12/13 03:03 PM

Suburu:

Suburu is far and away the most popular vehicle in Jackson Hole and has been for years. We have a solid six months of winter. So you have an issue that often comes up here: numbers versus experience. I do not look at reports, I ask people what their experience is, and the yes vote is solid-Suburu. I've never owned one, I tend toward trucks, but everyone I've know who owns them loves them.

Dark skies.

Jack


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Jon Isaacs
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Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: RTLR 12]
      #5619285 - 01/12/13 03:31 PM

Quote:

Jon,

My point is that choosing the right vehicle is not an easy thing to do. It is defiantly NOT an exact science...

When I testify in court about a certain problem with a vehicle and the expert witness for the other side testifies, it comes down to who tells the best story...not who's right.

Stan




Stan:

I agree 100%. It's important to know yourself, your needs and have some sort of strategy. I am very much a K.I.S.S type, simple cars last longer than fancy cars, there is less to go wrong with them. Roll up windows are simpler, much less expensive to fix and more reliable. Cars are not toys, I just want some thing economical, reliable, and safe. When I buy it, I want it to have another 100,000 miles in it, when I am finished, it's a beater...

Jon


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izar187
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 09/02/06

Loc: 43N
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: Doug Culbertson]
      #5619514 - 01/12/13 05:39 PM

Quote:

Sorry! DRL = Daytime Running Lights.




Daytime running lights that won't turn off really bite. One of the stupidest "accessories" automotive manufacturers ever came up with. It goofs up far more than just telescoping. I too will never again fail to check this out before buying. It just never occurred to me at the time that this could be an issue.

When I first started stargazing is when I first removed a bulb from a dome light. Interior lights that can switch off are a fine fine thing.

As others, I too do not buy new vehicles. I've found Consumer Reports to be a great resource for helping to figure out good used candidates. Specifically for mechanical reliability. Some makes and models do do better some years. Because their systems do or don't get redesigned, when they should or shouldn't have been, as they weren't broke or needed reworking. Year and model often matter significantly more then the make of the vehicle IME.


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RTLR 12
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Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: izar187]
      #5619545 - 01/12/13 05:56 PM

DRL are a safety device, not an accessory. They are mandated in some countries like Sweden, Denmark and others. The ability to turn DRL or any other safety device would defeat the purpose. There are ways around them, but if some one came into my shop and ask me to turn them off, I had to refuse. It is illegal to remove, alter, or disconnect a safety device.

Stan


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Jon Isaacs
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Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: izar187]
      #5619601 - 01/12/13 06:31 PM

Quote:

Year and model often matter significantly more then the make of the vehicle IME.




I have been reading the reliability reports since early 1960's. I read it the other way... there are certain manufacturers who make cars that are all very reliable.. There are certain manufacturers who seem unable to make a car that is reliable.

It's pretty difficult to find a Toyota that is not significantly more reliable than other vehicles. Hondas seem to be quite good too.

Jon


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Doug Culbertson
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Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: RTLR 12]
      #5619628 - 01/12/13 06:45 PM

Quote:

DRL are a safety device, not an accessory. They are mandated in some countries like Sweden, Denmark and others. The ability to turn DRL or any other safety device would defeat the purpose. There are ways around them, but if some one came into my shop and ask me to turn them off, I had to refuse. It is illegal to remove, alter, or disconnect a safety device.

Stan




My 2010 Camry SE had a DRL override on the headlight switch, so I could go with or without them. That's why it never occurred to me to check the RAV4 when I bought it, thinking that the override was a standard Toyota feature. My wife's 2004 Scion xB does not even have DRLs.

As far as I know, they are not mandatory in the US, so why would it be illegal to disable them?


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RTLR 12
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Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: Doug Culbertson]
      #5619653 - 01/12/13 06:57 PM

If I were to disable a safety devise, mandatory or not, I am exposing myself to the liabilities from any action, be it accident, citation, or anything else even remotely involving the devise. In the state of California it is illegal to mess with a safety device regardless if it mandated or not.

Stan


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Doug Culbertson
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Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: RTLR 12]
      #5619656 - 01/12/13 06:59 PM

Thanks for the explanation, Stan.

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Greyhaven
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Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5619713 - 01/12/13 07:36 PM

Can't beat my Subaru Forester for this hobby



Plenty of room for hauling my gear to "off road" sites.



to set up my equipment


for those once in a lifetime shots


Be Well
Grey

Edited by Greyhaven (01/12/13 07:39 PM)


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roscoe
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Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: Tom Polakis]
      #5619894 - 01/12/13 10:05 PM

Quote:

You can drive a Subaru across large bodies of water




Except I can tell you from experience (my wife's) that you have to keep the windows closed, because if you open one to yell for help when you just drove into a low spot in the road that had flooded in a thunderstorm, and your Subie is floating, as soon as you open the window, water starts coming in pretty fast through all the little holes in the floor panel that you didn't know were there...... Also, getting an engine back in operation (with only a subaru tool kit) because it was running when the nose went mostly underwater, is an astronomical adventure!
Other than that, great winter vehicles!
Russ


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izar187
Carpal Tunnel


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Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: RTLR 12]
      #5620067 - 01/13/13 12:32 AM

Quote:

If I were to disable a safety devise, mandatory or not, I am exposing myself to the liabilities from any action, be it accident, citation, or anything else even remotely involving the devise. In the state of California it is illegal to mess with a safety device regardless if it mandated or not.

Stan




This is how it was explained to me as well. An owner can disable them as a matter of free will. A licensed mechanic can not.
I get the "safety" aspect of them. In my experience there are certain color cars that arguably should never be driven without them on.


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Hilmi
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Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: izar187]
      #5620075 - 01/13/13 12:48 AM

I have a Toyota Sequoia out of the dealership 4 months ago. My gear completely filled up the boot last time I took it out to observe in the middle of the ever so famous Wahiba Sand dunes. You've got to love a 5.7 Ltr V8 when you have to go up a 35 to 40 degrees incline on soft puffy sand with a fully loaded car.

Even though the other cars made it to the top, everybody in the convoy complained that their cars struggled. Now I believe that on our next trip up the platuo, I will really appreciate the low gear on my way back down. I just wish I had better visibility over the bonnet. Car wasn't designed for 5' 4" people. Always feel like I'm gonna go over the edge of the mountain trail.


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Doug Culbertson
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Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: Hilmi]
      #5620244 - 01/13/13 07:42 AM

Re:DRL on the RAV4; last night I pulled the parking brake handle up one notch before putting the vehicle in Drive. This disabled the DRL without actually engaging the brake. Problem solved.

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RTLR 12
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Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: Doug Culbertson]
      #5620384 - 01/13/13 09:48 AM

That works on some Hondas too.

Stan


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edwincjones
Close Enough
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Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: RTLR 12]
      #5620543 - 01/13/13 11:13 AM

The best combination I have seen was Tom Clark's class A RV with a pull behind SUV for his big dob .
This gives a place to sleep, local transportation, and almost unlimited storage.
And this was a business expense, traveling across the country to different star parties for his AA magazine

edj


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BSJ
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Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: edwincjones]
      #5620956 - 01/13/13 02:42 PM

I can override the DRLs on my 2011 Chevy HHR. I can also program it to only turn on the interior lights when I hit the unlock button on the fob.

I replaced the interior lights with red LEDs.
http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showthreaded.php/Cat/0/Number/5481046/...


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hottr6
Carpal Tunnel
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Loc: 7,500', Magdalena Mtns, NM
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: Pat at home]
      #5621049 - 01/13/13 03:19 PM Attachment (27 downloads)

I too am off the beaten track, and do a lot of driving on forest roads at 7,000-10,000'. When snow falls, it falls in integer increments of feet. I've often hauled my 10" and Byers 812 to 10,700' over ungraded fire-access roads covered in 1-2' of fresh snow in my lifted diesel 4x4 Chevy truck. Two words are demanded of this task: Ground Clearance. Soccer mom SUVs need not apply.

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Jeff Morgan
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Loc: Prescott, AZ
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: RTLR 12]
      #5621244 - 01/13/13 05:05 PM

Quote:

DRL are a safety device, not an accessory. They are mandated in some countries like Sweden, Denmark and others. The ability to turn DRL or any other safety device would defeat the purpose. There are ways around them, but if some one came into my shop and ask me to turn them off, I had to refuse. It is illegal to remove, alter, or disconnect a safety device.

Stan





Which begs the question ... if you are having trouble with your daylight vision, why are you driving?

Hint - if it is electrical, it has a fuse somewhere ... like the fuse box usually under the drivers side dash.


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Bill Kocken
sage


Reged: 08/07/04

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Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: Jeff Morgan]
      #5621278 - 01/13/13 05:24 PM

" Hint - if it is electrical, it has a fuse somewhere ... like the fuse box usually under the drivers side dash. "
Be careful when pulling fuses. I once "borrowed" one from my vehicle to use in my dew controller. I thought it was a non-essential circuit, but to my surprise, after packing everything away, I started my truck and got a nasty light saying "Transmission Fault". I had to dig out the dew controller and replace the fuse. I learned my lesson and pack spare fuses now.


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Starman1
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Loc: Los Angeles
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: Bill Kocken]
      #5621309 - 01/13/13 05:39 PM

In modern vehicles, there are many small electronic control boxes, all of which are fused (my VW has 15 of them). If you pull a fuse for one of the lights, you may disable some other system. And re-installing the fuse may or may not reset the control. In my car, if you pull the fuse for the radio and reinstall it, you will have to enter a code, ID, and password to reactivate the radio, not to mention calling SiriusXM to reinitialize the radio.
This happens when a battery is replaced, too.
I NEVER recommend pulling a fuse for any interior light in recent vehicles.
So how to solve the problem?
Simple: Black Gaffer's tape--as sticky as duct tape yet leaves no residue. And it's opaque. I covered the footwell lights and rear hatch light and you can't even tell they're on when a door is opened.


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RTLR 12
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Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: Starman1]
      #5621325 - 01/13/13 05:48 PM

Quote:

Which begs the question ... if you are having trouble with your daylight vision, why are you driving?




Jeff,

The DRL are not to enable the driver to see better. They are for the vehicle to be more visible to other drivers.

Stan


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Peter Natscher
professor emeritus


Reged: 03/28/06

Loc: Central Coast California
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5621554 - 01/13/13 08:10 PM

Here's an interesting comparison over 12 years of operating my premium SUV vs. my wife's smaller Toyota RAV4 SUV, even though it not exactly an apples-to-apples comparison:

1999 Toyota RAV4, AWD, 4 cylinder, Auto Trans.
Uses regular gas
Cargo volume: 58 cu. ft.
MPG: 26 mpg
Mileage: 60k
Original cost: $20k
Maintenance cost over 12 years: $1,800
Resale value today: $8,000
Total cost to own over 12 years
(not incl. the cheaper gas or lower ins.): $13,800

1999 Mercedes Benz ML320, AWD, 6 cylinder, Auto trans.
Uses premium gas
Cargo volume: 72 cu. ft.
MPG: 20 mpg
Mileage: 145k
Original cost: $42k
Maintenance cost over 12 years: $18,000
Resale value today: $3,000
Total cost to own over 12 years
(not incl. the premium gas or higher ins.): $57,000

Even though these vehicles are in different classes, notice how the original cost, cost to maintain, and resale values are so different with a premium vs. standard vehicle. Both make great astronomy vehicles depending on your affordability and cargo volume needs.


Quote:

Quote:

Year and model often matter significantly more then the make of the vehicle IME.




I have been reading the reliability reports since early 1960's. I read it the other way... there are certain manufacturers who make cars that are all very reliable.. There are certain manufacturers who seem unable to make a car that is reliable.

It's pretty difficult to find a Toyota that is not significantly more reliable than other vehicles. Hondas seem to be quite good too.

Jon




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D_talley
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Loc: Richmond VA
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: Peter Natscher]
      #5621571 - 01/13/13 08:18 PM Attachment (22 downloads)

When I started in this hobby I decided to get a Jeep Grand Cherokee to carry my scopes and mount around. The one problem I ran into is forgetting to load parts to my mount. I would be an hour away from home and no cables or focus masks.

So I bought a trailer to store everything and now haul it with my Jeep. It freed up storage space in the garage and I never have to worry about forgetting anything.


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starrancher
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Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: D_talley]
      #5621586 - 01/13/13 08:25 PM

Quote:

When I started in this hobby I decided to get a Jeep Grand Cherokee to carry my scopes and mount around. The one problem I ran into is forgetting to load parts to my mount. I would be an hour away from home and no cables or focus masks.

So I bought a trailer to store everything and now haul it with my Jeep. It freed up storage space in the garage and I never have to worry about forgetting anything.




Where did you say you park that thing Dwight ?


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Shneor
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Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: Shneor]
      #5621656 - 01/13/13 08:53 PM Attachment (25 downloads)

Quote:

I transport my 22" f/4 with all accessories (including an equatorial platform), large box of charts and books, observing chair, table, camping gear when I'm out for more than overnight, in a Honda Fit. I also sleep in the Fit, on a cot and Thermarest when I'm out for more than overnight. Mileage is 35-38 mpg depending on season (California winter gas is lower mileage). I need to drive 1.5-2 hours to usual observing sites depending on where I'm observing.

Clears,



And here's a photo of my scope packed in my Fit (unloading at Lake Sonoma):


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D_talley
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Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: starrancher]
      #5621702 - 01/13/13 09:16 PM Attachment (21 downloads)

Quote:

Quote:

When I started in this hobby I decided to get a Jeep Grand Cherokee to carry my scopes and mount around. The one problem I ran into is forgetting to load parts to my mount. I would be an hour away from home and no cables or focus masks.

So I bought a trailer to store everything and now haul it with my Jeep. It freed up storage space in the garage and I never have to worry about forgetting anything.




Where did you say you park that thing Dwight ?




I will never tell!! This is what I carry in it so you can see why I now have room in the garage.....


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Jon Isaacs
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Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: Peter Natscher]
      #5621799 - 01/13/13 10:09 PM

Quote:


Even though these vehicles are in different classes, notice how the original cost, cost to maintain, and resale values are so different with a premium vs. standard vehicle. Both make great astronomy vehicles depending on your affordability and cargo volume needs.




Peter:

Your data supports my experience/intuition perfectly. "Fancy" vehicles cost a lot more to buy but depreciate more quickly and are much more expensive to operate. When it comes to cars and trucks, I pretty much a strict pragmatist. I am happy to spend money on things that will last a lifetime. Things that wear out, that are of consumer quality, not so interested. I like the mini-trucks because they have a frame, are available with a 4 cylinder motor, manual transmission, roll up windows, they're durable, economical and repairable. I look around, I still see lots of mini-trucks from the 1980s and 1990s providing solid service.

Cars, essentially all cars are engineered to a price point.. I believe a car could be built that was manufactured to the same standards as a PeterBuilt or Kenworth. I saw a statistic that 3 out of 4 trucks go a million miles without needing a major repair, that is, engine, transmission, drive train. Wouldn't that be interesting ???

Jon


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Pat at home
sage


Reged: 03/16/07

Loc: Campbellton, New Brunswick, Ca...
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5623489 - 01/14/13 09:47 PM

Here is what my daughter and I used on a recent mini holiday. However we only had space for an ST80 on a table-top EQ1.



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Peter Natscher
professor emeritus


Reged: 03/28/06

Loc: Central Coast California
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5623518 - 01/14/13 10:06 PM

When I bought the ML320 in 1999, I decided that it would be my only vehicle, my do everything vehicle -- astro/non-astro stuff. If I had chosen to have two vehicles for my entire lifestyle, then I would have chosen a more moderate car or SUV for non-astro stuff and a truck dedicated for my astro hobby. So, I saved some $$$ by using only one vehicle for everything.

Quote:

Quote:


Even though these vehicles are in different classes, notice how the original cost, cost to maintain, and resale values are so different with a premium vs. standard vehicle. Both make great astronomy vehicles depending on your affordability and cargo volume needs.




Peter:

Your data supports my experience/intuition perfectly. "Fancy" vehicles cost a lot more to buy but depreciate more quickly and are much more expensive to operate. When it comes to cars and trucks, I pretty much a strict pragmatist. I am happy to spend money on things that will last a lifetime. Things that wear out, that are of consumer quality, not so interested. I like the mini-trucks because they have a frame, are available with a 4 cylinder motor, manual transmission, roll up windows, they're durable, economical and repairable. I look around, I still see lots of mini-trucks from the 1980s and 1990s providing solid service.

Cars, essentially all cars are engineered to a price point.. I believe a car could be built that was manufactured to the same standards as a PeterBuilt or Kenworth. I saw a statistic that 3 out of 4 trucks go a million miles without needing a major repair, that is, engine, transmission, drive train. Wouldn't that be interesting ???

Jon




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EddWen
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Reged: 04/26/08

Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: Peter Natscher]
      #5624357 - 01/15/13 12:57 PM Attachment (46 downloads)

Well, this is showing off a bit, but I don't think it as one-of-a-kind. Many pilots I know have an interest in amateur astronomy.

In the '80s when I was paying myself well, I used this to commute on weekends from Orange County to a cabin I had in Big Bear. If you've ever tried to get out of O.C. eastbound on Friday evenings or back to on Sunday evening, you can imagine my pleasure overflying the 91 freeway.

I had a nice Celestron C8 at the time and it rode in its trunk in the baggage compartment.

Don't have the plane anymore, but it was fun times. Work hard, play hard. Retired now on a much slower pace.


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Hilmi
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Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: EddWen]
      #5624388 - 01/15/13 01:16 PM

So much for my 5.7 Ltr engine. Your ride makes mine look very pedestrian by comparison.

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CJK
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/05/12

Loc: Northeast TN
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: EddWen]
      #5624406 - 01/15/13 01:25 PM

I was wondering when somebody was going to post an airplane!

I thought it would be cheating, because I haven't ever carried a scope in a plane ...

-- Chris


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Tom Polakis
Carpal Tunnel
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Loc: Tempe, Arizona
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: EddWen]
      #5624429 - 01/15/13 01:36 PM

Quote:

Well, this is showing off a bit, but I don't think it as one-of-a-kind. Many pilots I know have an interest in amateur astronomy.




As the kids say, you just won the thread.

Tom


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Paul Romero
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 04/05/05

Loc: Reno, NV
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: Tom Polakis]
      #5624484 - 01/15/13 02:09 PM

Back in '82, I transported my C8 to Kona Village Resort via a 747.

clear skies,

Paul


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Jeff Morgan
Postmaster
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Reged: 09/28/03

Loc: Prescott, AZ
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: RTLR 12]
      #5624617 - 01/15/13 03:10 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Which begs the question ... if you are having trouble with your daylight vision, why are you driving?




Jeff,

The DRL are not to enable the driver to see better. They are for the vehicle to be more visible to other drivers.

Stan





I had hoped it was obvious that DLR's do not function to illuminate the road, but thanks for clarifying that.

But the question remains: if one is having that much difficulty with daylight vision, isn't time to hang up the keys?

Before this tangent spirals out of control, the larger point is that DLR's are a fairly ridiculous "safety" feature. 20/20 vision requirements should be sufficient.


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Jeff Morgan
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Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: EddWen]
      #5624622 - 01/15/13 03:13 PM

Nice!! I often thought of the remote areas I could reach with a Husky equipped with tundra tires. Might be cheaper just to by the land and build an observatory though

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izar187
Carpal Tunnel


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Loc: 43N
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: Jeff Morgan]
      #5626114 - 01/16/13 12:33 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

Which begs the question ... if you are having trouble with your daylight vision, why are you driving?




Jeff,

The DRL are not to enable the driver to see better. They are for the vehicle to be more visible to other drivers.

Stan





I had hoped it was obvious that DLR's do not function to illuminate the road, but thanks for clarifying that.

But the question remains: if one is having that much difficulty with daylight vision, isn't time to hang up the keys?

Before this tangent spirals out of control, the larger point is that DLR's are a fairly ridiculous "safety" feature. 20/20 vision requirements should be sufficient.





Once upon a time I owned a silver Civic.
Mechanically it was a very reliable vehicular telescope transportation device. Federal speed limit was 55 at the time, and at that it would do 40+ mpg easily on the highway. The short and narrow wheel base worked darn well on dry hard two tracks back into public land. You could often drive around the worst of the ruts left by the big boys who had been playing in the sometimes wet spots. Festiva's work even better at this.

But The Civic was small and silver. Kinda sorta stealth radar invisible to many other drivers. We were hit three times in that car, by other drivers who didn't see it until the last minute, locked up their brakes and slide into it. Damage was blessedly minor in each case, with no one hurt. This did not include all the other times we had to swerve, head to the shoulder, the median, swap lanes or lock up our brakes when others would pull right out in front like your weren't even there. Driving then without the lights on all the time was like a game of russian roulette.

There are several things I learned from owning that car. What DLR's are for being one of them. Others include not choosing another silver colored vehicle. As family and friends have experienced different versions of stealth radar invisibility as well, with their pretty silver vehicles. And to buy a bit more aggressive winter/summer regular life span tires. Little cars weigh little, and work significantly better with a little help in traction. For braking, and for rain, snow and trails. Also that while the 18' lake canoe fit well on the Civic, it did not on the Festiva that replaced it. But if you build in ultra light trailer to haul an 18' canoe behind your Festiva, then you can also use that trailer to haul your 13" solid tube Coulter behind your Festiva.

Edited by izar187 (01/17/13 05:56 AM)


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SteveTheSwede
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Reged: 09/28/09

Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: Jeff Morgan]
      #5626895 - 01/16/13 07:59 PM

Quote:


Which begs the question ... if you are having trouble with your daylight vision, why are you driving?





Quote:


But the question remains: if one is having that much difficulty with daylight vision, isn't time to hang up the keys?

Before this tangent spirals out of control, the larger point is that DLR's are a fairly ridiculous "safety" feature. 20/20 vision requirements should be sufficient.





Wrong questions and you are dead wrong. It increases visibility which in turn reduces fatal accidents, at night and in daylight. We've had these laws for decades and they have been collecting mountains of statistical data. It's a fact: lights on = fewer people die.

Steve


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D. Perry
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Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: turtle86]
      #5627340 - 01/17/13 01:34 AM

+1 for a current model Subaru Outback.

I currently have a 2006 4Runner Sport V6 2WD. It's been an excellent vehicle. No real complaints except that it's pretty worthless in moderately deep sand and on snow and ice, as would be expected with a RWD 2WD SUV. I'm sure the 4WD model would be fantastic in those conditions. But with the current models they changed things up as far as trim lines and features, which has led to much higher prices than when I bought mine. You're looking at $34K+ for a pretty basic model. I paid $31K for a brand new, mid trim level, with DVD navigation, built-in inverter, anti-theft system, power front seats, and several other niceties.

I'm looking seriously into an Outback. It'll allow me to downsize a bit while still getting good power and torque, better mileage, decent cargo, and much more capable while off-road or on sketchy road conditions. I'd avoid the older models as the mileage isn't as good and there have been complaints about road noise and other oddities.

Best,

Edited by D. Perry (01/17/13 01:39 AM)


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Dhellis59
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Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5707155 - 03/01/13 01:11 PM

You know Dwight, suddenly I feel less guilty about buying that extra eyepiece set that I didn't really need. Nice collection of scopes...real nice!

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Hilmi
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Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: Dhellis59]
      #5707237 - 03/01/13 01:58 PM

Daniel,

I can't comment about snow, but if you let down your air pressure to something like 18 PSI, you should be able to handle most sand areas except for dune bashing, which really needs 4WD and sometimes dif-lock


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cheapersleeper
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Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: Hilmi]
      #5708177 - 03/02/13 04:17 AM

I have a plan........to build a Teardrop trailer and keep it light so that I can tow it with whatever vehicle I have. Load it up with scopes, drive it where I want to observe, unload the scopes and have a place to sleep.

Sounds good to me.

Regards,
Brad


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JayinUT
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Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: cheapersleeper]
      #5708926 - 03/02/13 02:36 PM

Yes, I am learning heavily to the new Outback. I wonder how a dealer will react to my request to load all my equipment in the back (I'll bring it in my Pathfinder)? That and I have to make sure i can stretch out in the back after summer observing.

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brave_ulysses
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Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: JayinUT]
      #5709499 - 03/02/13 08:15 PM Attachment (27 downloads)

one day i hope to be using this to transport my scope

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Bill Weir
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Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: JayinUT]
      #5709865 - 03/03/13 02:09 AM

Quote:

Yes, I am learning heavily to the new Outback. I wonder how a dealer will react to my request to load all my equipment in the back (I'll bring it in my Pathfinder)? That and I have to make sure i can stretch out in the back after summer observing.




The dealer where I looked at a Volkwagon Golf station wagon and the other where I looked at the Subaru Forester both did. So did the Mazda guy. I did both of those things. If they don't then I doubt they really want to sell a vehicle.

I have yet to decide on a vehicle. I'm waiting until the all new Forester comes out later this March.

Bill


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Hilmi
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Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: brave_ulysses]
      #5709869 - 03/03/13 02:13 AM

Quote:

one day i hope to be using this to transport my scope




Problem with the Unimog is that you could probably get A top of the line AP Mount, AP Refractore, imaging gear, nice airconditioned/heated tent and money to spare for a small house. All for the price of one Unimog from the dealership. I have no idea how much the go for second hand.


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brave_ulysses
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Reged: 04/19/09

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Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: Hilmi]
      #5709908 - 03/03/13 03:36 AM

hi hilmi,

i have the unimog and the scope, just need to work on the 'mog to make it wife-friendly (if that is possible). it's a 1984 u1700.


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Hilmi
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Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: brave_ulysses]
      #5709918 - 03/03/13 04:13 AM

I tried for years to make my Mini Clubman wife friendly and the only solution was to Move to a Toyota Sequoia and take her on a shopping holiday. I had to fold down the seats and use the roof rack. After that she declared my new car was wife friendly.

I guess it's also scope friendly too since I can fit all my gear. Now all I need is a lifting kit and the same shocks used on the Ford Raptor, you know, all in the interest of a smooth ride and maintaining colimation on the rough roads.


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JimMo
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Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: cheapersleeper]
      #5710121 - 03/03/13 08:29 AM Attachment (16 downloads)

Quote:

I have a plan........to build a Teardrop trailer and keep it light so that I can tow it with whatever vehicle I have. Load it up with scopes, drive it where I want to observe, unload the scopes and have a place to sleep.

Sounds good to me.

Regards,
Brad




That was my idea, too. I wanted to build one, but after adding up all the costs it was going to be kind of $$$. I'd been also checking Craigslist for an old one to restore, but that was expensive, too. I found this one built by a fellow in Toledo that was only used once or twice and the price was less that building one myself. I can store all of my astro gear inside and it stays in my garage.

I've had it at one star party and pulled it with a Jeep Cherokee Classic to last years Peach State Star Gaze. I had my dob in the Jeep and the rest in the teardrop. I won't do it this way again as it lowered my Jeep's gas millage by 25% and with all my stuff in it I had no room to sleep while on the road. Most of the star parties I attend are at least two days drive and it would have been nice to just pull into a rest area, climb in the back, and sleep. Next time I'll pull it with my minivan where I'll keep most of the gear and then have room in the teardrop to sleep. At the star party it was awesome and I've never had a better nights sleep at a star party but must remember to park it with the windows facing north and south, the Sun woke me up too early and I had to jerry rig towels over the windows to use as drapes.

The first time I had ever seen a teardrop was six or seven years before at the Peach State. Ironically, that one was for sale this year for the same price I paid for mine. It was a hit at the star party and everyone had to come over to take a look.


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JimMo
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Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: JimMo]
      #5710124 - 03/03/13 08:30 AM Attachment (28 downloads)

Disclaimer: I in no way support Ohio State and refused to buy it unless the owner removed OSU stickers from all four sides. It is now adorned with a big block M, a Red Wing winged wheel, and a Tiger's D all on the tailgate.

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JimMo
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Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: JimMo]
      #5710141 - 03/03/13 08:48 AM Attachment (25 downloads)

Here is the tailgate opened to show the galley. The table fro the first pic attaches to the countertop and while I didn't really like this feature it proved very nice to spread out my star atlas. I positioned a 10' x 10' canopy over the tailgate and it kept the dew at bay and gave some more shade during the day. I might replace it with a lighter tarp and poles to help save weight and space.

It came equipped with a 84 amp/hr battery and 120v inverter. This along with my other 80 amp/hr battery I use for the scopes should keep me powered for at least four days before needing a charge. To charge I just plug in an extension cord and it charges automatically. It has a CD/Radio and four speakers in the tailgate. If I had added every feature it has to a home built I figure it would have cost me at least 1K more than I paid. RV stores are expensive places to buy parts, thought I'm sure you could scrounge around for parts elsewhere. So far I really like it. I hope to be making another trip to Deerlick Astronomy Village in April.


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JimMo
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Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: JimMo]
      #5710142 - 03/03/13 08:50 AM Attachment (22 downloads)

OK, one more to show the sides.

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cheapersleeper
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Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: JimMo]
      #5710144 - 03/03/13 08:51 AM

Jim M., that is really nice but it is a Caddilac. I was thinking of something much simpler and much lighter. Yours is truly a tiny home, I am looking for Instant Tent.

B

Edited by cheapersleeper (03/03/13 08:56 AM)


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Ed D
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Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: cheapersleeper]
      #5710191 - 03/03/13 09:30 AM Attachment (27 downloads)

Here's a pic of my ride, a 2010 Toyota Matrix. The equipment you see is only about 1/3 of the stuff that's packed inside. I installed a red LED light in the dome light for the back cargo area so I can use the space during the night, same for the light on the passenger side.

One thing that I didn't like at first was that the headlights come on automatically as soon as the car is on and the parking brake removed. The simple solution turned out to be to lower the parking brake BEFORE TURNING ON THE CAR, then pulling it up to the first 'click'. The lights don't come on and the parking brakes aren't holding the car. Once out of the area letting down the brake turns on the lights.

BTW, the clouds cleared a little after dark.

Ed D

Edited by Ed D (03/03/13 09:33 AM)


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ThreeD
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Reged: 12/23/08

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Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: Ed D]
      #5710499 - 03/03/13 11:52 AM

With my rebuilt base, I take my LB16 and all equipment (catsperch pro, roll up table, etc) in my Prius with room to spare. With care in packing I'm sure I could fit the XT8 too with room for one of my children to sit shotgun but I've not yet actually tried it. Oh and I've never gotten less than 45MPG on a tank and typically get 49MPG without even trying. (I'm sure I could get more if I worked at it.)

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Jeff Morgan
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Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: brave_ulysses]
      #5710823 - 03/03/13 03:07 PM

Quote:

one day i hope to be using this to transport my scope






With the demise Soviet Union maybe you could pick up a decommissioned SS-25 mobile ICBM launcher. It's all-terrain and could mount a formidable mirror.


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starrancher
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Reged: 06/09/09

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Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: JimMo]
      #5710971 - 03/03/13 04:42 PM

JimMo ; that trailer is way cool !

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JimMo
I'd Rather Do It Myself


Reged: 01/08/07

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Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: starrancher]
      #5711147 - 03/03/13 06:13 PM

Quote:

JimMo ; that trailer is way cool !




Especially with the Ohio State theme removed.

Luckily for me it's also Red Wing Red. It's more red than scarlet, anyway. It cost little more than a 4 x 8 cargo trailer and I also didn't need to do any mods at all.


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JMW
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Reged: 02/11/07

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Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: JimMo]
      #5711280 - 03/03/13 07:26 PM

The trailer advantage over a tent is that you can block out the windows with black 1/2 inch foam and sleep in under a full sun. That is the reason I purchased a 5x8 cargo trailer. Great for hauling the gear and my wife and I can sleep on a full size mattress in absolute darkness under the full sun. I go to the Golden State Star party each year and most of the time I go to bed between 4:30-5AM. The first year was without my trailer and I was cooked out of the tent by 8AM and feeling like a zombie after a couple of 2-3 hour mornings of sleep.

Upgrade your trailer with a large solar panel, controller and big battery and your won't worry about running out of power for your mount, laptop, and other stuff.


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HeyJP
sage


Reged: 12/11/10

Loc: Boulder, CO
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: JimMo]
      #5711304 - 03/03/13 07:41 PM

Jim M,

Looks like you have your priorities right for star parties: Scope in the car an a mini bar in the teardrop.

:-)

Jim in Boulder


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brave_ulysses
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Reged: 04/19/09

Loc: far outside the wire
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: Jeff Morgan]
      #5711393 - 03/03/13 08:23 PM

hi jeff,

the unimog will probably take me any place i have any business being.

when not getting to the remote dark sky location is not an option: vityaz transporter, ftw.

the guy with the 70" mirror might need something like the ss-25.

clay


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smallscopefanLeo
sage
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Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: Chucky]
      #5729613 - 03/13/13 02:38 AM

Quote:

<< 1985 Volvo 240 Wagon with 360,000 miles. >>

Impressive indeed! With the money you've saved over the years, you can buy more astro toys. Looks like you have plenty of those things.




I LOVE that Volvo, always been a big fan of the 240 series.
I sorta miss my old 740 now .. (but, it's still ticking, and in the family somewhat, since my Dad's friend drives it now )


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Paul G
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Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: JimMo]
      #5729717 - 03/13/13 05:47 AM

Quote:

Disclaimer: I in no way support Ohio State and refused to buy it unless the owner removed OSU stickers from all four sides. It is now adorned with a big block M, a Red Wing winged wheel, and a Tiger's D all on the tailgate.




Go Blue!


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James_826
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Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: brave_ulysses]
      #5730014 - 03/13/13 10:12 AM

Quote:

one day i hope to be using this to transport my scope



Nice unimog!


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Pinbout
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Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: brave_ulysses]
      #5730282 - 03/13/13 12:40 PM Attachment (18 downloads)

Quote:


one day i hope to be using this to transport my scope




it is nice to dream...


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brave_ulysses
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Reged: 04/19/09

Loc: far outside the wire
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: Pinbout]
      #5730589 - 03/13/13 03:58 PM

james - thanks.

danny - i like it! i now have a new background image for my computer.


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Starman1
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Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: brave_ulysses]
      #5730850 - 03/13/13 06:27 PM

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.


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jrbarnett
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Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: JayinUT]
      #5735019 - 03/15/13 09:29 PM

Most Subaru dealers are used to odd requests. They'll probably let you try it out. I will say this, though. The Outback has a large cargo area, and the distance between the tailgate and the backs of the front seats is enormous, but due to the generous rear leg room, there's a big gap between where the top of the rear seats end when folded down and the backs of the front seats. If you're tall you might have to lay at an angle, corner to corner. I'm not tall and can *just* fit but I have to use one of the rear seat headrests for my pillow as my head overhangs the folded rear seat back, dangling over the read footwell, by about 3 inches. The headrest adds about 5 inches to the length of the rear seat back.

I believe that the Forester actually has a slightly longer rear cargo area, though narrower.

If you go to cars101.com, an independent Subaru enthusiast data site operated by a Seattle-area dealer, you can find a nice photo of the cargo area with measurements shown to give you an idea of how you might or might not fit in the vehicle.

There's a brand new Forester now that looks very interesting and is a little less costly. Owning both a Forester (2007) and Outback (2013), the Outback is a much comfier, quieter, luxurious car, but it's also less fun to drive. If I were in your shoes, looking now, I'd drive both of 'em to see which one fit my preferences better.

Here's a nifty video trip report (crossing the Outback in a trio of 6-cylinder Outbacks):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YfTP2Uri9xM

I looked at both the H6 and H4 engines and went with the H4 for better fuel economy and fewer tickets. The H6s sometimes run a little hot when loaded (it's much tighter under the hood than the smaller H4), but the H6 definitely makes more grunt.

Good luck, Jay.

Regards,

Jim


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hbanich
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Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5735439 - 03/16/13 01:42 AM Attachment (15 downloads)

I've been driving a VW Eurovan for the last 10 years and have found it to be ideal for astronomy trips and observing in general. There's plenty of room in the back for my scope and everything else needed for observing. When the pop top is up there’s enough head room for me to comfortably stand up, and there's plenty of space for comfortable sleeping arrangements in the back at star parties.
The Eurovan has a smooth ride, is easy to drive and has good enough MPG to keep its operating costs reasonable. Over 129,000 miles to date it’s been wonderfully reliable. However, the pop top roof is fiberglass and it needs to be refinished because the gel coat is peeling. That will be an expensive but worthwhile repair.
The photo here was taken at the 2010 Golden State Star Party and shows my 28 inch scope set up near the van along with a nice view of the wonderfully clear skies.


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thesubwaypusher
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Reged: 07/08/04

Loc: New York City
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5737613 - 03/16/13 11:17 PM Attachment (32 downloads)

[quote)Cars are not toys,




To a lot of people they are. Life is too short to have a vehicle that is not fun.

My Trailblazer SS gets (according to its Driver Info Center on the dash) 12.8 miles to the gallon (drinks only 91+,) is fully loaded with electric everything that never malfunctions and when it does I'll simply fix it, has a Corvette engine and tuned suspension that was calibrated on the Nuremburg track in Germany. When I am leaving for somewhere, even if it is to work, I look forward to driving it because it is super fun. I can't (and don't like to) drive fast, but the rumble gives me that nostalgic Super Sport feeling that reminds me of American muscle cars back in the day.

Can it make it up that 45-degree incline in the video with its 65/35 AWD? Probably not. Who cares? (Actually, maybe, with her 400 horses.) I would much rather have its dual piston calipers on the brakes, since I tend to utilize brakes more than any hill climbing ability.

I do wheelies on the weekends at Floyd Bennett field, and in the country, she launches and opens up like a certified Nascar. When I am waiting for my scope to get a GPS lock, I check out the front and rear fascias, that make me smile and feel younger. The same with the racing tachometer and the SS stitching in the seats.

And yes, my astronomy equipment, coincidentally, is in the rear, and this shot was taken with the 40D I was using that day.

Beware of falling into oldness. It tends to snowball.

And buy American.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=la9QmmdAGP0






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ahopp
sage


Reged: 05/24/12

Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: thesubwaypusher]
      #5738155 - 03/17/13 08:25 AM Attachment (30 downloads)

My mobile observatory:

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thesubwaypusher
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 07/08/04

Loc: New York City
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: ahopp]
      #5739700 - 03/17/13 09:45 PM

Sweeeeet!

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thesubwaypusher
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 07/08/04

Loc: New York City
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: JayinUT]
      #5752536 - 03/23/13 07:34 PM Attachment (22 downloads)

Thank you Jay, for originating this thread. You reminded me to go out to the beach this weekend and have some fun with my TOY. And no, it didn't break down on me once on the 40-mile trip!

I washed it, got new plates, got new decals, got this kool Corvette emblem from Ebay (since the mechanics of the truck are Corvette based) and even bought a new bike rack. I got a new one because I was afraid of the old one breaking! Oh my!

(I was even going to buy a Subaru emblem, but nobody would believe that because they would see that this is a real truck.)

Then I had a ball for the rest of the afternoon just taking pictures!

CORVSS = Corvette Super Sport.

I was gonna get CHRISS!



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thesubwaypusher
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 07/08/04

Loc: New York City
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: thesubwaypusher]
      #5752538 - 03/23/13 07:35 PM Attachment (20 downloads)

Another...

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thesubwaypusher
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 07/08/04

Loc: New York City
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: thesubwaypusher]
      #5752543 - 03/23/13 07:36 PM Attachment (10 downloads)

Another..

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thesubwaypusher
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 07/08/04

Loc: New York City
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: thesubwaypusher]
      #5752544 - 03/23/13 07:37 PM Attachment (10 downloads)

Another....

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thesubwaypusher
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 07/08/04

Loc: New York City
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: thesubwaypusher]
      #5752546 - 03/23/13 07:38 PM Attachment (10 downloads)

Another.....

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thesubwaypusher
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 07/08/04

Loc: New York City
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: thesubwaypusher]
      #5752548 - 03/23/13 07:39 PM Attachment (10 downloads)

Another......

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thesubwaypusher
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 07/08/04

Loc: New York City
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: thesubwaypusher]
      #5752551 - 03/23/13 07:39 PM Attachment (18 downloads)

Last...

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thesubwaypusher
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 07/08/04

Loc: New York City
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: thesubwaypusher]
      #5752557 - 03/23/13 07:43 PM

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

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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: thesubwaypusher]
      #5752863 - 03/23/13 10:17 PM

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

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

- Jim


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prichardson
member


Reged: 10/26/11

Loc: Metairie, LA
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5752970 - 03/23/13 11:22 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.


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: prichardson]
      #5753082 - 03/24/13 12:34 AM

http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/104-gen-4-2010-present/40213-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


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Shneor
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 03/01/05

Loc: Northern California
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: Starman1]
      #5753192 - 03/24/13 02:29 AM

Quote:

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,


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thesubwaypusher
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 07/08/04

Loc: New York City
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5753456 - 03/24/13 09:33 AM

Quote:

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

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


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Starman1
Vendor (EyepiecesEtc.com)
*****

Reged: 06/24/03

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: Shneor]
      #5753696 - 03/24/13 11:11 AM

Quote:

Quote:

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".


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prichardson
member


Reged: 10/26/11

Loc: Metairie, LA
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5754063 - 03/24/13 01:53 PM

Quote:

http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/104-gen-4-2010-present/40213-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


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bilgebay
Post Laureate
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Reged: 11/06/08

Loc: Türkiye - Istanbul and Marmar...
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: JayinUT]
      #5754338 - 03/24/13 03:50 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.


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Phil Frederick
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 12/19/05

Loc: Seattle, WA & La Paz MX
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: bilgebay]
      #5754619 - 03/24/13 06:01 PM Attachment (15 downloads)

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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Phil Frederick
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 12/19/05

Loc: Seattle, WA & La Paz MX
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: Phil Frederick]
      #5754622 - 03/24/13 06:02 PM Attachment (33 downloads)

..and for the record

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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: bilgebay]
      #5754747 - 03/24/13 07:02 PM

Very nice Sedat.

I've looked at these:

http://tab-rv.com/

And these:

http://www.casitatraveltrailers.com/showroom/patriot/patriot-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


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panhard
It's All Good
*****

Reged: 01/20/08

Loc: Markham Ontario Canada
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5756039 - 03/25/13 12:04 PM

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


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bilgebay
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 11/06/08

Loc: Türkiye - Istanbul and Marmar...
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: panhard]
      #5756106 - 03/25/13 12:36 PM

Looks like it's upto the job Herb!

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bilgebay
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 11/06/08

Loc: Türkiye - Istanbul and Marmar...
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5756240 - 03/25/13 02:01 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


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avarakin
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/13/09

Loc: Parsippany NJ, USA
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: bilgebay]
      #5757370 - 03/26/13 01:33 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


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: bilgebay]
      #5759364 - 03/26/13 11:01 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/travel_trailers/tb-xl-the-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.expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/60107-Ford-Transit-Connect-Camp...

http://kevinhornbydesigns.com/specialty_vehicles/transit-connect-conversion/#...

Ooh and this one from the Netherlands...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KjbTgJ3V-M&feature=related

Regards,

Jim

Edited by jrbarnett (03/26/13 11:14 PM)


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bilgebay
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 11/06/08

Loc: Türkiye - Istanbul and Marmar...
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5759534 - 03/27/13 03:08 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

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


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JayinUT
I'm not Sleepy
*****

Reged: 09/19/08

Loc: Utah
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: bilgebay]
      #6106238 - 09/28/13 04:07 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.

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kevint1
sage
*****

Reged: 04/19/11

Loc: Michigan
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: JayinUT]
      #6106274 - 09/28/13 04:35 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.

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SpaceConqueror3
super member


Reged: 09/19/13

Loc: Phinney Ridge, Seattle, WA
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: kevint1]
      #6106293 - 09/28/13 04:44 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.

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Megabusa
professor emeritus


Reged: 05/28/12

Loc: Page ,AZ
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: GeneT]
      #6106579 - 09/28/13 08:56 PM Attachment (10 downloads)

I like to rough it ,

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Doc Willie
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 03/31/10

Loc: Mid-Hudson Valley, NY, USA
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: Megabusa]
      #6106597 - 09/28/13 09:12 PM

Quote:

Life is too short to have a vehicle that is not fun. {/quote]
Hadn't noticed this thread before.


More at my car's website.

Edited by Doc Willie (09/28/13 09:36 PM)

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Megabusa
professor emeritus


Reged: 05/28/12

Loc: Page ,AZ
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: Doc Willie]
      #6106610 - 09/28/13 09:28 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. Live long and Prosper

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esd726
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 09/30/04

Loc: Rochester, IN
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: Doc Willie]
      #6106624 - 09/28/13 09:36 PM

My size 13s

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Jeff Morgan
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 09/28/03

Loc: Prescott, AZ
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: Megabusa]
      #6106670 - 09/28/13 10:22 PM

Quote:

I like to rough it ,





Better get elected quickly, AF1 is getting used about three weeks out of every four now. Airlines don't even push their airframes this hard. (Not to mention the nine or so C-17 transports that follow it wherever it goes.)

But at least the First Dog is limited to travel via Marine Corps (silent "p") Osprey for his travel for his occasional summons.


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Jeff Morgan
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 09/28/03

Loc: Prescott, AZ
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: Doc Willie]
      #6106674 - 09/28/13 10:24 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Life is too short to have a vehicle that is not fun. {/quote]
Hadn't noticed this thread before.


More at my car's website.





I love it! Saw a Harley a few months ago with the Klingon Trefoil airbrushed onto the fuel tank - wish I would not have deleted the pic ...


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Megabusa
professor emeritus


Reged: 05/28/12

Loc: Page ,AZ
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: Jeff Morgan]
      #6106706 - 09/28/13 10:53 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I like to rough it ,





Better get elected quickly, AF1 is getting used about three weeks out of every four now. Airlines don't even push their airframes this hard. (Not to mention the nine or so C-17 transports that follow it wherever it goes.)

But at least the First Dog is limited to travel via Marine Corps (silent "p") Osprey for his travel for his occasional summons.


That's a good idea , I'll start taking out the V-22 that way I can put that Puppy down right there at the Star Party.

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Jeff Morgan
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 09/28/03

Loc: Prescott, AZ
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: Megabusa]
      #6106735 - 09/28/13 11:14 PM

Quote:

That's a good idea , I'll start taking out the V-22 that way I can put that Puppy down right there at the Star Party.




VTOL has it's advantages (not to mention style points), just remember to seal the optics against dust.


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starrancher
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/09/09

Loc: Northern Arizona
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: Jeff Morgan]
      #6106767 - 09/28/13 11:35 PM

Quote:

Better get elected quickly, AF1 is getting used about three weeks out of every four now. Airlines don't even push their airframes this hard. (Not to mention the nine or so C-17 transports that follow it wherever it goes.)

But at least the First Dog is limited to travel via Marine Corps (silent "p") Osprey for his travel for his occasional summons.




Amen ! Ain't that the truth .


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Pinbout
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 02/22/10

Loc: nj
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: starrancher]
      #6107993 - 09/29/13 06:28 PM

I designed it to fit on a bike



still haven't tried the real bike...



but I'm ok with it in the front seat.



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Jeff Morgan
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 09/28/03

Loc: Prescott, AZ
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: Pinbout]
      #6108375 - 09/29/13 10:44 PM

Wow!

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Dan Watt
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 10/13/09

Loc: Oceanside, Calfornia.
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: Jeff Morgan]
      #6110419 - 10/01/13 12:24 AM

Gave the Volvo to my younger brother (hes about to finish High School and he just got his license and got myself a 1985 Toyota Pickup 4x4. It was actually my fathers, he had bought it new in 1985 and never once took it off road. Several years ago the transmission gave out, paint was faded, and a blown head gasket meant it went into the garage when he bought a new truck. He finally got sick of it taking up space so I took it off his hands. Fixed everything up and painted it myself (I work in the autobody industry which has a few perks I guess) and now I'm taking it anywhere it will go, and nothing has stopped it yet. I can easily sleep in the back with the girlfriend and it holds all my gear with no complaints.



Drove it to the top of Santiago Peak a few nights ago, surprised I could easily see the Milky Way. A marine layer had come in and covered up Orange County and LA so it was nice and dark up there.

I'm going to spend a week in early November out in Death Valley for imaging and lots of off roading, should be interesting.


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Jeff Morgan
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 09/28/03

Loc: Prescott, AZ
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: Pinbout]
      #6115501 - 10/03/13 03:57 PM Attachment (9 downloads)

I came across something I have found to be very useful - a Yakima Skybox. Yes, it only adds 12 cubic feet of storage and Yes, all the stuff already fits in my car.

The beauty of this is lockable portable storage. I can have most of my observing kit stored on a semi-permanent basis. (Truss tubes, chair, two eyepiece cases, gel cel, toolbox, wheelbarrow handles, Argo Navis/ServoCAT controllers, charts, and cold weather clothing.)

On observing night (which always seems to come at the end of a busy day) I am 90% packed. Likewise, after the session is over there is almost no unpacking to do. I just unhook the trailer and roll into the garage. Catch a little sleep and I'm ready for the next session.


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Jeff Morgan
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 09/28/03

Loc: Prescott, AZ
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: Jeff Morgan]
      #6115505 - 10/03/13 03:58 PM Attachment (9 downloads)

Another view of the box. Still working on the most efficient packing arrangement. On the clothing, I'll probably just keep the observing vest and the snow pants in the box (the only use I have for these is observing.) The parka and wool sweater (aka "the wooly mammoth) will get moved back into the house as they consume a lot of volume.

Edited by Jeff Morgan (10/03/13 04:02 PM)


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lbsgville
sage


Reged: 06/15/10

Loc: Florida
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: starrancher]
      #6123257 - 10/07/13 06:01 PM Attachment (5 downloads)

I have a lot of stuff! After I got this trailer and the wife and I redid it I had to fill it up so nothing would flop around right. Her is a before shot.

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lbsgville
sage


Reged: 06/15/10

Loc: Florida
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: lbsgville]
      #6123261 - 10/07/13 06:03 PM Attachment (5 downloads)

and after

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lbsgville
sage


Reged: 06/15/10

Loc: Florida
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: lbsgville]
      #6123265 - 10/07/13 06:04 PM Attachment (5 downloads)

fully loaded

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lbsgville
sage


Reged: 06/15/10

Loc: Florida
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: lbsgville]
      #6123279 - 10/07/13 06:09 PM Attachment (5 downloads)

After I hit a cow at 60 mpr in my 01 Altima I got a proper towing unit, a pathfinder. I also use the back as a work station. I built a wood deck to put in place where the roll-up hide a cover goes. There is also a power outlet in the back so I can plug in the laptop.

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powerstroke01
sage


Reged: 06/19/07

Loc: Western Sierra Nevada Foothill...
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment new [Re: lbsgville]
      #6124295 - 10/08/13 08:27 AM

The back of my hauler.



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