Return to the Cloudy Nights Telescope Reviews home pageAstronomics discounts for Cloudy Nights members
· Get a Cloudy Nights T-Shirt · Submit a Review / Article

Click here if you are having trouble logging into the forums

Privacy Policy | Please read our Terms of Service | Signup and Troubleshooting FAQ | Problems? PM a Red or a Green Gu… uh, User

Equipment Discussions >> Reflectors

Pages: 1
klim
member


Reged: 08/24/08

Loc: Matamoras, PA
Largest Dob to fit in a mini-van????
      #5646705 - 01/27/13 06:59 PM

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

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

Thanks in advance for your replies.

Regards,

Mark.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
GeneT
Ely Kid
*****

Reged: 11/07/08

Loc: South Texas
Re: Largest Dob to fit in a mini-van???? new [Re: klim]
      #5646879 - 01/27/13 08:31 PM

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

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


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Bill Weir
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/01/04

Loc: Metchosin (Victoria), Canada
Re: Largest Dob to fit in a mini-van???? new [Re: GeneT]
      #5647185 - 01/27/13 11:35 PM

My guess is in a solid stucture it would be the Starstucture Horizon. http://www.starstructure.com/starstructure3_024.htm

Did you notice this thread? http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/5624167/page...
The 26" is supposed to have smaller dimensions than a standard 22".

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

Bill


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Bob S.
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/14/05

Re: Largest Dob to fit in a mini-van???? new [Re: Bill Weir]
      #5647443 - 01/28/13 06:03 AM

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

Edited by Bob S. (01/28/13 08:20 AM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
deepskydarrell
member


Reged: 03/09/08

Loc: Abbotsford, BC Canada
Re: Largest Dob to fit in a mini-van???? new [Re: Bob S.]
      #5647982 - 01/28/13 12:09 PM

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

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

DSD.

Edited by deepskydarrell (01/28/13 12:10 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Largest Dob to fit in a mini-van???? new [Re: deepskydarrell]
      #5648605 - 01/28/13 04:15 PM

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

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Tom Clark
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 11/14/07

Loc: North of Deming, NM
Re: Largest Dob to fit in a mini-van???? new [Re: klim]
      #5649403 - 01/28/13 10:33 PM Attachment (20 downloads)

Mark,

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


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Tom Clark
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 11/14/07

Loc: North of Deming, NM
Re: Largest Dob to fit in a mini-van???? new [Re: Tom Clark]
      #5649409 - 01/28/13 10:39 PM Attachment (22 downloads)

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

Edited by Tom Clark (01/28/13 10:50 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
klim
member


Reged: 08/24/08

Loc: Matamoras, PA
Re: Largest Dob to fit in a mini-van???? new [Re: Tom Clark]
      #5649783 - 01/29/13 07:18 AM

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


Regards,

Mark


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Peter Natscher
professor emeritus


Reged: 03/28/06

Loc: Central Coast California
Re: Largest Dob to fit in a mini-van???? new [Re: klim]
      #5650020 - 01/29/13 10:43 AM

Hi Mark,

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

Quote:

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

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

Thanks in advance for your replies.

Regards,

Mark.




Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Peter Natscher
professor emeritus


Reged: 03/28/06

Loc: Central Coast California
Re: Largest Dob to fit in a mini-van???? new [Re: klim]
      #5650146 - 01/29/13 11:55 AM Attachment (16 downloads)

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

Quote:

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

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

Thanks in advance for your replies.

Regards,

Mark.




Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
klim
member


Reged: 08/24/08

Loc: Matamoras, PA
Re: Largest Dob to fit in a mini-van???? new [Re: Peter Natscher]
      #5650980 - 01/29/13 07:22 PM

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

Edited by klim (01/29/13 07:23 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pages: 1


Extra information
15 registered and 23 anonymous users are browsing this forum.

Moderator:  ausastronomer, Phillip Creed, JayinUT, okieav8r 

Print Thread

Forum Permissions
      You cannot start new topics
      You cannot reply to topics
      HTML is disabled
      UBBCode is enabled


Thread views: 1330

Jump to

CN Forums Home


Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics