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
JMW
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/11/07

Loc: Nevada
Large Dob Transport Ramps and Loading Board
      #5831388 - 04/30/13 12:02 AM Attachment (47 downloads)

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

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

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

Edited by JMW (04/30/13 11:11 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
JMW
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/11/07

Loc: Nevada
Re: Large Dob Transport Ramps and Loading Board new [Re: JMW]
      #5831395 - 04/30/13 12:07 AM Attachment (39 downloads)

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

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

Edited by JMW (04/30/13 10:41 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Mirzam
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 04/01/08

Loc: Lovettsville, VA
Re: Large Dob Transport Ramps and Loading Board new [Re: JMW]
      #5831689 - 04/30/13 07:42 AM

Very nicely done!

JimC


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
cloudmagnet
sage


Reged: 12/04/08

Loc: Georgetown, Texas
Re: Large Dob Transport Ramps and Loading Board new [Re: Mirzam]
      #5831741 - 04/30/13 08:13 AM

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

Edited by cloudmagnet (04/30/13 08:14 AM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Large Dob Transport Ramps and Loading Board new [Re: JMW]
      #5831872 - 04/30/13 09:50 AM

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

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Large Dob Transport Ramps and Loading Board new [Re: cloudmagnet]
      #5831878 - 04/30/13 09:52 AM

Quote:

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





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

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


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
JMW
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/11/07

Loc: Nevada
Re: Large Dob Transport Ramps and Loading Board new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5832093 - 04/30/13 11:55 AM

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

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
NewMoonTelescope
Vendor


Reged: 08/31/12

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: Large Dob Transport Ramps and Loading Board new [Re: JMW]
      #5833210 - 04/30/13 09:02 PM

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

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

Reged: 11/07/08

Loc: South Texas
Re: Large Dob Transport Ramps and Loading Board new [Re: JMW]
      #5833220 - 04/30/13 09:09 PM

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

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


Extra information
19 registered and 31 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: 567

Jump to

CN Forums Home


Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics