Transporting a large telescope in a regular cab truck

Talk or ask questions about the hardware used in astronomy.
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Posts: 1
Joined: January 17th, 2019, 8:03 pm

Transporting a large telescope in a regular cab truck

Post by camstout »

Hello all!

First, thank y'all for the warm welcome the other night. I'm excited to finally be a member.

I have a question about telescope transportation. I have an Apertura AD10 and a regular cab Dodge Ram 2500.

Here's a picture of the telescope

And here's a picture of the truck

If I want to transport just myself and the telescope, the OTA can ride in the front passenger's seat and the base can ride in the bed. However, if I'm transporting another person I don't know how I would safely transport the OTA. I don't have a case or bag, and no bed cover.

Any suggestions on how I could put both pieces in the bed and safely get them from A to B?

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Joined: December 12th, 2018, 10:11 am

Re: Transporting a large telescope in a regular cab truck

Post by sdcadwall »

That's a good question and I'm not sure there's a right answer here. The main thing you're trying to do is keep the tube from rolling around and maybe provide a little cushioning to keep anything from jarring the mirrors out of place or denting it up too bad. The safest way is to just pick up a case and find a way to tie it down to the truck bed to keep it from moving about. Other than that, most people like to use the box that the tube came in to transport the scope from place to place on short trips, which also works pretty well (I mean that's how manufacturers move it around in the back of trucks while shipping, right?). But if you don't have a case and you don't have the shipping box, you're going to have to get a little creative. Off the top of my head? I'd say grab some large pillows or some thick blankets and bungee cord them around the tube, then tie the whole thing down in the bed of the truck. Or if you could find (or make) a large enough box and fill that with some cushioning, that might work too.

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Joined: December 27th, 2010, 12:31 pm

Re: Transporting a large telescope in a regular cab truck

Post by mhess »

I don't have a Dob but another BRAS member built a cradle to hold the scope during transport, then tied everything down so it didn't bounce around. They put felt padding on the inside of the curved supports so the tube didn't get scarred. They also covered it with a tarp that they secured with bungie cords so it didn't get dust and rain during transport. The trick with that is wrapping it so the wind doesn't whip the tarp around and damage the scope. From my experience, I found that anything sitting directly behind the cab didn't get wet while driving in the rain. The cab acted as a shield so the only time the rain landed back there was during stops or while moving slowly.

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