I posted a Q in the Celestron scope forum as it wasn't really about an observatory, more about outside storage of an 8SE, but all the comments were about ways to transport gear more efficiently. Not quite what I was after, so I'll try a slightly different formulation here, if I may. I went through most of the links in the sticky, didn't find what I'm looking for.
Short version is that I'm in Ottawa Canada so winters get cold, summers get warm to hot. I'm in a suburb and occasionally set up in the backyard, but some nights I would love to set up for an hour or so, but I have to open my garage, cart everything to my backyard -- the tripod+mount, OTA, power, EPs, filters, dew shield, other accessories, and some basic EAA gear if I'm doing imaging too. Setup takes 10 minutes, but add in hauling, and it's closer to 20-25, plus another 20-25 at take down. You all know the pain I'm talking about.
The problem is I have limited space that my wife will let me use permanently in the backyard. I have two spaces that are about 6' by 6', but she wouldn't be thrilled about the first one and the second isn't in a great spot for observing anything except to the South. Soooo, that leaves me a potential slab, BUT I could build myself a little storage shed right next to it and then easily move my scope to the spot five feet away. Someone had shared a setup where they put their collapsed tripod on a custom wooden dolly, and I *could* do something like that perhaps a few feet, but seems like I'd be tripping over the cross beams under a smaller tripod space to get close enough to view. In an ideal setup, the little "shed" would also be perpendicular to the slab, not from an end i.e. pull it out to the south, and then slide it to the east to the observing spot.
So my Qs are probably:
Have people done smaller "storage sheds" before they go full observatory?
If you do store-and-move rather than open a roof, would/do you leave your mount, tripod and OTA set up i.e. the storage has to be big enough to hold the tripod in full setup mode (or at least half-height tripod extension)? Seems a bit heavy to move all three together. I don't have an option for a pier.
Equally, what are thoughts on leaving your OTA in an unheated outdoor storage shed before observing? Will dew be a factor or is dew only a factor once you take off the front cover and light streams in? My current setup is an unheated but indirect warmed garage, but are there concerns with it being in a full outdoor shed over a winter?
For EPs, do people bring them into the house for warmth? Or just for safety/theft security? Or just get a really good lock setup?
Need some thoughts from people who have streamlined their home setup without going full observatory...