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Outfitting a Truck Bed For Astronomy Gear

equipment observing outreach
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#26 Keith Rivich

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Posted 03 October 2020 - 09:49 AM

I've used the Line-X for years and am quite happy with the product. However, its very hard and can scratch up cases and the bottom of the rocker box. For that reason I use a rubber mat on top of the bedliner when transporting my scope. 

 

As for a cover I switched from a full camper top to a lift type shell. Like this. When I take my 18" I need that extra few inches of bed height to clear the altitude bearings. 



#27 lphilpot

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Posted 03 October 2020 - 10:03 AM

Louisiana is not exactly known for mountains.. The highest point is 535 feet. My Frontier is a 5 speed, important for driving "underpowered" vehicles in the mountains.. Driving over Wolf Creek Pass (~11,000 feet) in a 1981 VW Diesel pickup with my wife to be, three boys and our camping gear is something I'll always remember.

Yep  :)   And Driskill "Mountain" would be unnoticeable if not for the sign at the "summit" in the middle of a forest.

 

NKJYdbl.png

 

What I would give to live in the hills...


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#28 csrlice12

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Posted 03 October 2020 - 11:47 AM

Get a Rhino Liner in the bed.



#29 Chuck2

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Posted 03 October 2020 - 11:55 PM

Look at a one piece fiberglass tonneau cover with dual gasket seal. Mine is 99% waterproof. I have frequently been caught in rain storms while transporting my expensive gear and never had any water damage.

 

i also use a rubber bed liner and multiple tie down hooks in the walls of the bed to prevent my gear from sliding and shifting in transport. I found my spray on bed liner material too slick. 



#30 Richie2shoes

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Posted 04 October 2020 - 08:06 AM

Yeah bed extender. I friend talked me into the Trac, his is 2006. They didn't make a 2007. This one is 13" longer 4" wider, and 2800 pound heavier than the original, with independent rear suspension, plus a V8 6 speed. Best vehicle I own. Most import in fit in the standard garage. 

 

Loaded the back of it with so much telescope imaging equipment when heading out to the hill country I had to get a bumper carry with 7 cubic feet rack and weather luggage bag for my wife's clothes. 

 

Never did did get to bring back goodies from all the hill country shops.

 

I see a few say no carpet, guess their beds must leak. 

 

Jess

I have a love/hate relationship with the bed extender that came with my Frontier.  I like using it to limit the space immediately in front of the tailgate for things like groceries and packages, but I have to remove it whenever I transport my dob.  Otherwise the dob only fits in the middle of the bed and there's no room for the base.

 

The issue with the carpet isn't a leaky bed, it's that it eliminates the main purpose of the truck.  Haul a load of red dyed mulch or gravel in the back of the truck and the carpet is toast.  Not to mention what deer blood, fish slime or muddy tires will do to it!


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#31 rhetfield

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Posted 04 October 2020 - 01:14 PM

I have a love/hate relationship with the bed extender that came with my Frontier. I like using it to limit the space immediately in front of the tailgate for things like groceries and packages, but I have to remove it whenever I transport my dob. Otherwise the dob only fits in the middle of the bed and there's no room for the base.

The issue with the carpet isn't a leaky bed, it's that it eliminates the main purpose of the truck. Haul a load of red dyed mulch or gravel in the back of the truck and the carpet is toast. Not to mention what deer blood, fish slime or muddy tires will do to it!

so you are saying bed carpet and horse manure don't mix😀
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#32 John Fitzgerald

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Posted 04 October 2020 - 01:24 PM

I recommend a topper the same height as the roof of the cab.  That leaves room for larger things.  I would not be able to haul some of my gear like Dob bases with a tonneau cover alone, unless I broke them down and laid them on their sides.  Plus, you can sleep back there if need be.  We have done that on a few trips.  On one, we transferred the scope stuff to the cab and locked it up while we slept in the topper.  It's on a 4 door F150 with 6.5 foot standard width bed.


Edited by John Fitzgerald, 04 October 2020 - 01:25 PM.

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#33 GrandadCast

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Posted 04 October 2020 - 10:02 PM

I have a love/hate relationship with the bed extender that came with my Frontier.  I like using it to limit the space immediately in front of the tailgate for things like groceries and packages, but I have to remove it whenever I transport my dob.  Otherwise the dob only fits in the middle of the bed and there's no room for the base.

 

The issue with the carpet isn't a leaky bed, it's that it eliminates the main purpose of the truck.  Haul a load of red dyed mulch or gravel in the back of the truck and the carpet is toast.  Not to mention what deer blood, fish slime or muddy tires will do to it!

Let's think about this, if I use the outdoor carpet to place on the ground to setup my telescope and have room to lay on the ground on said carpet so as not to get dirty and to look up at the stars while imaging, it must require that said carpet to be taken out of the bed of the truck. Is it something you all do up in the north that you cannot removed said carpet out of the bed BEFORE you put dirt into the bed? Perhaps a dumb truck law? lol.gif

 

I leave the extender hanging in the garage until needed. I picked up two plastic cement mixing container 10"x 36"x 24" (about that size) at Lowe's and use them to slide onto the tail gate, put grocery in and slide them back. Works really well too. Recommended. 

 

Jess


Edited by GrandadCast, 04 October 2020 - 10:09 PM.


#34 lphilpot

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Posted 04 October 2020 - 10:08 PM

I just had a ~1/4" thick rubber mat in my truck bed (with the mandatory Dodge logo embossed in the middle...). It helped level out the floor a bit (minimizing the undulations of the steel bed) and it provided some traction so stuff didn't slide too much. In fact, almost too much traction... I had rubber feet on some of my "stuff" and it was an almighty effort to slide it in and out at times!  :)  But it was just a mat, so I could remove it if needed. And being rubber, a quick hose-off was all it needed at most.


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#35 Richie2shoes

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Posted 05 October 2020 - 09:20 AM

Let's think about this, if I use the outdoor carpet to place on the ground to setup my telescope and have room to lay on the ground on said carpet so as not to get dirty and to look up at the stars while imaging, it must require that said carpet to be taken out of the bed of the truck. Is it something you all do up in the north that you cannot removed said carpet out of the bed BEFORE you put dirt into the bed? Perhaps a dumb truck law? lol.gif

 

I leave the extender hanging in the garage until needed. I picked up two plastic cement mixing container 10"x 36"x 24" (about that size) at Lowe's and use them to slide onto the tail gate, put grocery in and slide them back. Works really well too. Recommended. 

 

Jess

Nope, but the original post had a fully carpeted bed liner that isn't easily removed.  If you want to go full 70's shag, have at it!  In my opinion it's just one more thing to deal with.

 

Good idea with the mixing containers!  I'm going to look into that.



#36 Spacefreak1974

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Posted 05 October 2020 - 01:34 PM

I've used the Line-X for years and am quite happy with the product. However, its very hard and can scratch up cases and the bottom of the rocker box. For that reason I use a rubber mat on top of the bedliner when transporting my scope. 

 

As for a cover I switched from a full camper top to a lift type shell. Like this. When I take my 18" I need that extra few inches of bed height to clear the altitude bearings. 

Those fiberglass lift ups are super nice



#37 Spacefreak1974

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Posted 05 October 2020 - 01:37 PM

I just had a ~1/4" thick rubber mat in my truck bed (with the mandatory Dodge logo embossed in the middle...). It helped level out the floor a bit (minimizing the undulations of the steel bed) and it provided some traction so stuff didn't slide too much. In fact, almost too much traction... I had rubber feet on some of my "stuff" and it was an almighty effort to slide it in and out at times!  smile.gif  But it was just a mat, so I could remove it if needed. And being rubber, a quick hose-off was all it needed at most.

I'm learning a lot of folks go with Line-X in my part of the country, but get a cheap Husky rubber mat so as to not chew up their knees. Might be a good plan. My Pelican cases are pretty chewed up on the bottom anyways, so im not too concerned with that, but the rubber mat might help from sliding around


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