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Equipment Discussions >> Equipment

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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: 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
I'd Rather Do It Myself


Reged: 01/08/07

Loc: Under the SE Michigan lightdom...
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment [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
I'd Rather Do It Myself


Reged: 01/08/07

Loc: Under the SE Michigan lightdom...
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment [Re: JimMo]
      #5710142 - 03/03/13 08:50 AM Attachment (22 downloads)

OK, one more to show the sides.

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cheapersleeper
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 01/22/10

Loc: Sachse TX
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment [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
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 04/30/10

Loc: Sunny South Florida
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment [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
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 12/23/08

Loc: Sacramento suburbs
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment [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
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 09/28/03

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

Reged: 06/09/09

Loc: Northern Arizona
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment [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

Loc: Under the SE Michigan lightdom...
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment [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
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/11/07

Loc: Nevada
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment [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
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/11/10

Loc: Boulder, CO
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment [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
super member


Reged: 04/19/09

Loc: far outside the wire
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment [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
*****

Reged: 01/23/11

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

Reged: 05/08/03

Loc: Freedonia
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment [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
member
*****

Reged: 02/09/12

Loc: Beggs, Ok
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment [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
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 02/22/10

Loc: nj
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment [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
super member


Reged: 04/19/09

Loc: far outside the wire
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment [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
Vendor (EyepiecesEtc.com)
*****

Reged: 06/24/03

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment [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
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment [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
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 06/17/05

Loc: Portland, Oregon
Re: Vehicles Use for Transporting Telescope Equipment [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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