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Equipment Discussions >> Equipment

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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 [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
*****

Reged: 04/16/10

Loc: Dublin, Ohio
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment [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 [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
*****

Reged: 09/28/03

Loc: Prescott, AZ
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment [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 [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 [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 [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
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment [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
*****

Reged: 12/26/05

Loc: Raleigh, NC
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment [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 [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 [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
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment [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
*****

Reged: 01/06/05

Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment [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 [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 [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 [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
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment [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 [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 [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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