US 20040194393 A1
A tarpaulin cover with a water-weighted tube around its perimeter is provided. A three-inch diameter tube is located around the perimeter of the invention just inside of a series of grommets. A fill nozzle that accepts a standard garden hose connection is provided on the perimeter. At the opposite side of the tarpaulin, a release nozzle is provided to aid in the rapid emptying of the invention. When filled with water, the invention is almost impossible to blow away in high winds. It is intended to eliminate the usage of rocks, logs and other materials that are commonly used to hold tarpaulins down.
1. In a tarpaulin cover having a sheet like surface forming a peripheral boundary, wherein the improvement comprises:
a fluid containing bladder formed integrally within said peripheral boundary; and
a fill nozzle that accepts a standard garden hose connection and is in fluid communication with said fluid containing bladder.
2. A weighted tarp apparatus comprising:
a generally flat tarp planar surface bounded by a peripheral hem;
a perimeter tube circumscribing an outer perimeter of said tarp planar surface, said peripheral tube having a seamless upper tube sidewall terminated at each side in an attachment flange and a lower sidewall affixed to said attachment flanges in a water-tight, sealed manner.
3. The weighted tarp apparatus of
a closure valve in fluid communication with an inner conduit volume for filling or draining the perimeter tube.
4. The weighted tarp apparatus of
5. The weighted tarp apparatus of
6. The weighted tarp apparatus of
a nozzle that penetrates the upper tube sidewall and forms a threaded inner surface for receiving a fill cap;
a fill cap having an extended threaded outer cylinder for providing the treated insertion connection into the nozzle, said fill cap further having a filling penetration that can be blocked via insertion of a plug protruding from a plug cap head.
 The present invention was first described in Disclosure Document Registration 516,204 filed on Jul. 31, 2002 under 35 U.S.C. §122 and 37 C.F.R. §1.14. There are no previously filed, nor currently any co-pending applications, anywhere in the world.
 1. Field of the Invention
 The present invention relates generally to self-weighted tarps and, more particularly, to a tarp incorporating an integral water retaining conduit formed along a perimeter thereof which includes a one-way water influx valve and a water release valve.
 2. Description of the Related Art
 As is well known in the art, Tarpaulins or tarps, are commonly used to cover items and material located outdoors thus affording such objects protection from the environment. The list of objects covered by tarpaulins includes topsoil, mulch, firewood, building materials, outdoor furniture and the like. Should the tarpaulin be used in even light winds, it must be secured to prevent it from blowing away. The tarpaulin may be staked down using the integral grommets usually supplied on tarps, or it can be weighted down with nearby objects such as stones, bricks, logs and the like. However, such objects are not always handy, and if they are, they are prone to tearing the tarpaulin. Additionally, such weighting is not continuous or uniform around the perimeter and may allow a section of the tarpaulin to be picked up by the wind, thus jeopardizing the entire tarpaulin.
 A search of the prior art did not disclose any patents that read directly on the claims of the instant invention; however, the following references were considered related.
 U.S. Pat. No. 5,691,056, describing a hook for securing a tarp to a bale of hay.
 U.S. Pat. No. 5,564,232 describing a tarpaulin holddown device or retainer.
 U.S. Pat. No. 4,580,372 describing a tarpaulin incorporating a novel grommet and weighting structure.
 U.S. Pat. No. 5,111,554 describing a hold-down strap for holding a tarp.
 U.S. Pat. No. 5,335,685 describing a hold down channel assembly for tents.
 U.S. Pat. No. 6,334,455 describing a tent tie-down device.
 U.S. Pat. No. D426,147 describing a beach blanket stake.
 U.S. Pat. No. 5,299,331 describing a beach blanket assembly with raised border.
 U.S. Pat. No. 5,564,232 describing a tarpaulin holddown device or retainer.
 U.S. Pat. No. 4,712,672 describing a reusable waterproof cover.
 U.S. Pat. No. 5,189,866 describing am element protection cover applicator for round hay bales.
 U.S. Pat. No. 5,098,754 describing a poly-tarpaulin bag constructed to hold a bale of hay.
 And, U.S. Pat. No. 4,891,930 describing an apparatus and process for applying a cover to a bale of hay.
 Consequently, there is a need for a means by which tarpaulins can be secured in a manner without the disadvantages as described above.
 It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide an improved weighted tarpaulin.
 It is a feature of the present invention to provide an improved tarp incorporating an integral water retaining conduit formed along a perimeter thereof which includes a one-way water influx valve and a water release valve.
 Briefly described according to one embodiment of the present invention, a tarpaulin cover with a water-weighted tube around its perimeter is provided. Upon initial observation, the invention looks like an ordinary tarpaulin with a series of bronze grommets around its perimeter. However, after closer inspection, it can be seen that a three-inch diameter tube is located around the perimeter of the invention just inside of the bronze grommets. A fill nozzle that accepts a standard garden hose connection is provided on the perimeter. At the opposite side of the tarpaulin, a release nozzle is provided to aid in the rapid emptying of the invention. When filled with water, the invention is almost impossible to blow away in high winds. It is intended to eliminate the usage of rocks, logs and other materials that are commonly used to hold tarpaulins down.
 The use of the water weighted tarp provides a means to weight down a tarp that is quick, easy and effective.
 In accordance with a preferred embodiment, the present invention uses a ring of water to hold tarpaulin down and provides portable shield against the elements.
 An advantage of the present invention is that the water ring located around perimeter of tarp is sewn into place and provides continuous and uniform weighting of water that is almost impossible to blow away.
 Further, fill and release valves are also provided.
 The advantages and features of the present invention will become better understood with reference to the following more detailed description and claims taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which like elements are identified with like symbols, and in which:
FIG. 1 is a top plan view of a weighted water tarp according to the preferred embodiment of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a side elevational view thereof;
FIG. 3 partial elevational cross section taken along line III-III of FIG. 2; and; and
FIG. 4 is a detailed cross section of a closure value XX for use with the preferred embodiment of the present invention.
 The best mode for carrying out the invention is presented in terms of its preferred embodiment, herein depicted within the Figures.
 1. Detailed Description of the Figures
 Referring now to FIG. 1-2, a weighted water tarp apparatus 10 is shown, according to the present invention, having a generally flat tarp planar surface 12 anticipated as being of an otherwise conventional material and construction as tarps currently available. Shown here as rectangular in shape, it is envisioned that any geometry could also incorporate the teachings of the present invention. The tarp planar surface 12 is bounded by a peripheral hem 14, and is circumscribed out its outer perimeter by a perimeter tube 16. The peripheral hem 14 is shown forming a plurality of tie-down holes 20, each aligned with conventional metal grommets 22 for added strength and resistance to tearing. The peripheral tube 16 is shown in greater detail in conjunction with FIG. 3, and has a seamless upper tube sidewall 30 terminated at each side in an attachment flange 32. A lower sidewall 34 is affixed to the attachment flanges 32 in a water-tight, sealed manner. Similarly, the lower sidewall 34 is attached or affixed to the tarp planar surface 12 itself in a firm mechanical contact. The conduit 40 formed within the upper tube sidewall 30 and lower sidewall 34 assembly is designed for holding and retaining a ballasting liquid, such as water. A closure valve 42 provides access to the inner conduit volume 40 for filling or draining the perimeter tube 16.
 Referring to FIG. 4, the closure valve 42 is shown in greater detail. While it is envisioned that a separate closure valve can be utilized for each of the filling or draining functions, according to the best mode of the preferred embodiment as shown a combination valve is used for accomplishing both functions from a common perimeter point on the tarp 10. A nozzle 44 penetrates the upper tube sidewall 30 and forms a threaded inner surface 44 a for receiving a fill cap 46. The fill cap 46 has an extended threaded outer cylinder 44 a for providing the treated insertion connection into the nozzle 44. The fill cap 46 has a filling penetration, optionally impeded by a restriction flap 50, that can be blocked via insertion of a plug 52 protruding from a plug cap head 54.
 2. Operation of the Preferred Embodiment
 In operation, the present invention is uses similar to a conventional tarp in that it is removed from its package and unfolded. However, before covering the area to be protected the user must insure that access can be gained to the closure valve 42. With the fill cap 46 inserted into the nozzle 44, the perimeter tube 16 is filled with water. It is anticipated that the tube 16 will not be completely filled such as to create pressure that could cause the tarp to lift, but rather would be filled sufficient to provide a securing weight about the perimeter of the tarp. Upon completion of use, the fill cap 46 is removed and the tube 16 drained.
 The foregoing descriptions of specific embodiments of the present invention have been presented for purposes of illustration and description. They are not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise forms disclosed, and obviously many modifications and variations are possible in light of the above teaching. The embodiments were chosen and described in order to best explain the principles of the invention and its practical application, to thereby enable others skilled in the art to best utilize the invention and various embodiments with various modifications as are suited to the particular use contemplated. It is intended that the scope of the invention be defined by the Claims appended hereto and their equivalents. Therefore, the scope of the invention is to be limited only by the following claims.