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Publication numberUS20040238021 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/847,132
Publication dateDec 2, 2004
Filing dateMay 17, 2004
Priority dateMay 28, 2003
Also published asUS20070295377
Publication number10847132, 847132, US 2004/0238021 A1, US 2004/238021 A1, US 20040238021 A1, US 20040238021A1, US 2004238021 A1, US 2004238021A1, US-A1-20040238021, US-A1-2004238021, US2004/0238021A1, US2004/238021A1, US20040238021 A1, US20040238021A1, US2004238021 A1, US2004238021A1
InventorsTimothy Holub, Suk Yoo
Original AssigneeThe Coleman Company, Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Modular tent system
US 20040238021 A1
Abstract
A modular tent system may utilize a multiple-sided central room, such as a four wall or five-sided central room, to which several different components may be attached. Included among these components are an awning, a screened room, a closet, and a three or four person tent. Each of the components is preferably configured so that it may fit against one of the walls of either the four-sided central room or the five-sided central room, and so that rain hitting the central room or a component is not directed into either the component or into the central room.
Images(13)
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Claims(18)
What is claimed is:
1. A shelter, comprising:
a canopy comprising a high side and a low side; and
at least one pole supporting the canopy and extending from the high side to the low side, the pole being bent at a position so as to define a first angle of decline of the canopy along a first length from the high side to the position, and a second angle of decline of the canopy along a second length from the position to the low side, the second angle being greater relative to horizontal than the first angle.
2. The shelter of claim 1, wherein the canopy comprises at least four poles extending from the high side to the low side, each having a bend at a position so as to define a first angle of decline of the canopy along a first length from the high side to the position, and a second angle of decline of the canopy along a second length from the position to the low side, the second angle being greater relative to horizontal than the first angle.
3. The shelter of claim 2, wherein the canopy comprises four corners, and wherein the number of poles is four, and the four poles extend outward toward the four corners.
4. The shelter of claim 2, wherein the first length is greater than the second length for each of the poles.
5. The shelter of claim 2, wherein the second length is approximately 31 percent of the entire length of the respective pole for each of the poles.
6. The shelter of claim 1, wherein the canopy comprises at least five poles extending from the high side to the low side, each having a bend at a position so as to define a first angle of decline of the canopy along a first length from the high side to the position, and a second angle of decline of the canopy along a second length from the position to the low side, the second angle being greater relative to horizontal than the first angle.
7. The shelter of claim 6, wherein the canopy comprises five corners, and wherein the number of poles is five, and the five poles extend outward toward the five corners.
8. The shelter of claim 6, wherein the first length is greater than the second length for each of the poles.
9. The shelter of claim 6, wherein the second length is approximately 26 percent of the entire length of the respective pole for each of the poles.
10. The shelter of claim 1, wherein the first length is greater than the second length.
11. The shelter of claim 1, wherein the second length is approximately 31 percent of the entire length of the pole.
12. The shelter of claim 1, further comprising a central hub with at least two poles extending outwardly therefrom, each pole supporting the canopy and extending from the hub to the low side, each pole being bent at a position so as to define a first angle of decline of the canopy along a first length from the hub to the position, and a second angle of decline of the canopy along a second length from the position to the low side, the second angle being greater relative to horizontal than the first angle.
13. The shelter of claim 12, wherein the canopy is shaped as a rectangle, the number of poles is four, and the four poles extend to corners of the canopy.
14. The shelter of claim 12, wherein the canopy is shaped as a pentagon, the number of poles is five, and the five poles extend to corners of the canopy.
15. A shelter, comprising:
a canopy having an outer portion; and
means for supporting the canopy so that the canopy is bent at an outer portion and so that water runs off the canopy without substantial pooling on the canopy.
16. A shelter, comprising:
a canopy; and
at least one bent pole for supporting the canopy, said at least one bent pole being arranged and configured so that an outer portion of the canopy comprises a greater angle relative to horizontal than an inner portion of the canopy.
17. The shelter of claim 16, wherein the canopy comprises four corners, and wherein the number of poles is four, and the four poles extend outward toward the four corners.
18. The shelter of claim 17, 7wherein the canopy comprises five corners, and wherein the number of poles is five, and the five poles extend outward toward the five corners.
Description
    REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
  • [0001]
    This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/473,680, filed May 28, 2003, and incorporated herein by reference.
  • TECHNICAL FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    The present invention generally relates to tents, and more specifically relates to a tent system having various components that are attached together to form a large covered or walled area in a campsite.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0003]
    Camping is a popular pastime enjoyed by many. Most campers utilize a tent while camping. Some campers also utilize a separate shelter that provides protection from the sun, rain, or insects during leisure periods while the camper is not in the tent.
  • [0004]
    One problem with the current use of tents and separate shelters is that these components are not connected, and a camper may have to dash from the tent to the shelter in poor weather conditions, such as rain. Although the components may be placed close together, they are often not configured so that water running from a shelter will not run into the tent, or vice versa.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0005]
    The following presents a simplified summary of some embodiments of the invention in order to provide a basic understanding of the invention. This summary is not an extensive overview of the invention. It is not intended to identify key/critical elements of the invention or to delineate the scope of the invention. Its sole purpose is to present some embodiments of the invention in a simplified form as a prelude to the more detailed description that is presented later.
  • [0006]
    In accordance with one embodiment, a modular tent system is provided. The modular tent system may utilize a multiple-sided central room, such as a four wall or five-sided central room, to which several different components may be attached. Included among these components are an awning, a screened room, a closet, and a three or four person tent. Each of the components is preferably configured so that it may fit against one of the walls of either the four-sided central room or the five-sided central room, and so that rain hitting the central room or a component is not directed into either the component or into the central room.
  • [0007]
    In accordance with another embodiment, a privacy shelter is provided that may be attached to the modular tent system. The privacy shelter includes one or more retractable walls that permit another entry into the privacy shelter, and allow a space to be closed for privacy, such as for a dressing room. The privacy shelter may be used to house a chemical toilet or a shower, for example.
  • [0008]
    The tents may be configured so that they are free standing, and may be used separately from the central rooms. A front end of the fly for the tents is configured so that it fits against a wall of the central room, and a cuff is provided on the wall of the central for overlapping the fly and providing rain and wind protection. One or more sets of fasteners may be provided for attaching the cuff to the fly of a tent.
  • [0009]
    In accordance with another embodiment, the canopy poles for the central room are provided with bends so that water does not pool at the outer edges canopy but instead rolls off the canopy. As such, the canopy provides a proved rain protection for a user.
  • [0010]
    The closet may include a similar front to the tents, but may not be as deep as the tents. As an example, a closet may be two to three feet deep, and provides additional storage space for users of the modular tent system.
  • [0011]
    In accordance with another embodiment, a lighting system is provided for the modular tent system. A single battery pack may be used to provide power for lights or other powered components, and extensions may be provided for routing power to desired locations in the modular tent system. As examples of lights that may be used, an overhead light may be provided for the central room and a smaller light may be provided for one of the sleeping rooms. In addition, in accordance with one embodiment, a tent finder, such as a small LED lamp, may be provided that may be attached to the outside of the modular tent system and which may be used for finding the modular tent system in the dark. The light system may utilize a number of extension cords for routing power to the various light components. The modular tent system may include a variety of attachments or wire holders for routing the extension cords and other wires of the lighting system through the modular tent system.
  • [0012]
    In accordance with another embodiment, an overfly is provided that may connect to one or more dome tents. The overfly includes an opening, such as a doorway, and a structure for connecting to a dome tent. A similar or different structure may be provided for attaching to another dome tent.
  • [0013]
    The overfly may include a central overhead pole and one or more wall poles. The wall poles are bent to form a dome configuration for the overfly, and in an embodiment extend to the ground. The overfly may include straps or other structures for connecting lower portions of the overfly and keeping the poles in tension.
  • [0014]
    Other features of the invention will become apparent from the following detailed description when taken in conjunction with the drawings, in which:
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0015]
    [0015]FIG. 1 is a side perspective view of a modular tent system in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention, the modular tent system utilizing a four-sided central room;
  • [0016]
    [0016]FIG. 2 is a side perspective view of another embodiment of a modular tent system in accordance with the present invention, with a central room having five walls;
  • [0017]
    [0017]FIG. 3 is a top, diagrammatic view of the four-sided central room of the modular tent system of FIG. 1, showing various components attached to the central room;
  • [0018]
    [0018]FIG. 4 is a top, diagrammatic view of the five-sided central room of the modular tent system of FIG. 2, showing various components attached to the central room;
  • [0019]
    [0019]FIG. 5 is a side perspective view of the pole frame for the four-sided central room of FIG. 1;
  • [0020]
    [0020]FIG. 6 is a side view of canopy poles for the four-sided central room of FIG. 1;
  • [0021]
    [0021]FIG. 7 is a side perspective, partial cut-away view of an inside corner of one of the central rooms of the modular tent system of FIG. 1 or FIG. 2;
  • [0022]
    [0022]FIG. 8 is a side perspective view of a pole structure for a tent of the modular tent system of FIG. 1 or FIG. 2;
  • [0023]
    [0023]FIG. 9 is a partial cut-away view of the front portion of the tent of FIG. 8;
  • [0024]
    [0024]FIG. 10 is a side perspective view showing the tent of FIGS. 8 and 9 being attached to the four-sided central room of FIG. 1;
  • [0025]
    [0025]FIG. 11 is a side perspective view showing components of a lighting system for the modular tent systems of FIGS. 1 or 2 in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0026]
    [0026]FIG. 12 is a side perspective view of a tent system having an overfly for use with two dome tents in accordance with an embodiment of the invention;
  • [0027]
    [0027]FIG. 13 is a side view of the tent system of FIG. 12;
  • [0028]
    [0028]FIG. 14 is an alternate embodiment of a tent system for use with a single dome tent in accordance with an embodiment of the invention;
  • [0029]
    [0029]FIG. 15 is a side view of the tent system of FIG. 14; and
  • [0030]
    [0030]FIG. 16 is a detail view showing attachment of an overfly of the tent system of FIG. 12 to a rain fly of one of the dome tents.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • [0031]
    In the following description, various embodiments of the present invention will be described. For purposes of explanation, specific configurations and details are set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of the embodiments. However, it will also be apparent to one skilled in the art that the present invention may be practiced without the specific details. Furthermore, well-known features may be omitted or simplified in order not to obscure the embodiment being described.
  • [0032]
    Referring now to the drawings, in which like reference numerals represent like parts throughout the several views, FIG. 1 shows a modular tent system 20 in accordance with an embodiment. FIG. 2 shows another modular tent system 20A in accordance with another embodiment. In the modular tent system 20 shown in FIG. 1, a shelter, in the form of a four-sided central room 22, is surrounded by components that may be attached to the four-sided central room 22. In FIG. 2, a shelter, in the form of a five-sided central room 24, is surrounded by components. In accordance with an embodiment, and as is further described below, components of the tent system are configured and arranged so that they may be attached to the four-sided central room 22 or the five-sided central room 24.
  • [0033]
    In the embodiment shown in FIG. 1, an awning 26 is one of the components that may be attached to the four-sided central room 22. In addition, a closet 28 is attached to another wall of the four-sided central room 22.
  • [0034]
    In FIG. 2, a privacy shelter 30 is attached to one wall of the five-sided central room 24. A screened room 32 is attached to another wall in the five-sided central room 24, and a sleeping room, in the embodiment shown a three person tent 34, is attached to another wall of the five-sided central room 24.
  • [0035]
    [0035]FIG. 3 and 4 show examples of how the components, such as the awning 26, the closet 28, the privacy shelter 30, the screened room 32 or the three man tent 34 may be attached to the four-sided central room 22 (FIG. 3) or the five-sided central room 24 (FIG. 4). In addition, as is shown in phantom in FIG. 3, the four man tent 36 may be substituted the three man tent 34. Accordingly, in accordance with one embodiment, the four man tent 36 is structured similar to the three man tent 34, but is slightly longer, such as two to three feet longer, than the three man tent 34.
  • [0036]
    The four-sided central room 22 and five-sided central room 24 are preferably configured similarly, in that the walls are substantially the same shape and size, and the only difference is the number of walls and the corresponding different configuration based upon the number of walls. To this end, the central room or a similar shelter may alternatively have three sides, six sides, or even more. The central room also does not have to be symmetrical, and may be provided as an irregular polygon, such as a rectangle. For ease of description, to the extent that the four-sided central room 22 and the five-sided central room or other central rooms include common features and/or components, the components and/or features of the four-sided central room 22 will be described.
  • [0037]
    [0037]FIG. 5 shows a pole assembly 38 for the four-sided central room 22. The pole assembly 38 includes four upright poles 40 extending to four corner hubs 42. Each of the four corner hubs 42 includes an extension 44 extending outward from the pole assembly 38. Each of the extensions 44 may be formed integral with the corresponding corner hub 42, or may be a separate pole segment attached to the corner hub. A horizontal pole 46 extends between each adjacent pair of corner hubs 42, and provides additional support for the pole assembly 38 and connection for walls for the four-sided central room 22, as is further described below. In accordance with one embodiment, the horizontal poles 46 provide sufficient support for the four-sided central room 22 so that guy lines are not needed.
  • [0038]
    A central hub 48 is located at the center top of the pole assembly 38 and is connected to four upper canopy poles 50 that each extend toward the four corner hubs 42. A lower canopy pole 52 is attached to the end of each of the upper canopy poles 50 and connects the upper canopy pole 50 to the central hub 48.
  • [0039]
    Although the canopy poles are described as having an upper canopy pole 50 and lower canopy pole 52, they may alternatively be provided as a single pole, or as a plurality of pole segments, connected end to end to form the canopy pole structure. For example, each of the poles 40, 44, 46, 50, and 52 may be provided as pole segments so that the pole assembly 38 may be stored in a compact configuration. In addition, if desired, one or more of the poles or pole segments could be formed integrally with the corner hubs 42 and/or the central hub 48.
  • [0040]
    In accordance with one embodiment, the canopy poles 50, 52 are configured so that there is a bend 54 along their length, as is shown in FIG. 6. In the embodiment shown in the drawings, the bend 54 is located just beyond the attachment of the lower canopy pole 52 to the upper canopy pole 50, near the end of the lower canopy pole 52 that attaches to the upper canopy pole 50. The bend 54 may alternatively be located at any position along the lower canopy pole 52, on the upper canopy pole 50, or on any segment of the canopy pole structure.
  • [0041]
    The bend 54 permits a canopy 56 (FIG. 1) for the four-sided central room 22 to extend at a first angle 58 (FIG. 6) to horizontal along a first length 60 of the canopy 56, and to extend at a second angle 62 along a second length 64 of the canopy 56. Preferably, the corner hub 42 and the extension 44 cause the second angle 62 to be continued for the canopy 56 beyond the second length 64.
  • [0042]
    The separate, second angle 62 for the outer portion of the canopy 56 is preferably greater than the first angle 58 for the upper portion of the canopy 56. This feature permits the canopy 56 to be arranged so that the outer edges of the canopy 56 do not droop, aiding in preventing the outer edges from holding water. Thus, unlike prior art canopies, the canopy 56 utilizing the bends 54 provides uniform shedding of water without pooling of water at the outer edges of the canopy 56. In prior art canopies, this pooling water accumulated until it reached a certain size of a puddle and then spilled out to cause a big splash over the side of the canopy. This puddling effect was an annoyance to campers, especially because the splash was much larger than normal amounts of rainfall shedding off of the canopy, and caused mud to splash back onto or into a shelter or on a camper. The bends 54 eliminate the pooling effect by tightening the canopy at the outer extremes and/or providing more angle at the outer extremes. The bends 54 also permit a manufacturer to provide a less angled canopy 56 for a majority of its span, and to create an aesthetically pleasing top for a shelter such as the four-sided central room 22.
  • [0043]
    In accordance with one embodiment, the first angle 58 is approximately fifteen degrees from horizontal, and the second angle 62 is approximately 27 degrees from horizontal. However, a person of ordinary skill in the art may alter these angles to provide a canopy 56 having desired characteristics. In addition, the lengths 60 and 64 may be altered as desired. However, for one embodiment, using the angles above, for the five-sided central room 24, the second length is approximately twenty-six percent of the total length, and for the four-sided central room 22, the second length is approximately thirty-one percent of the total length. Again, these lengths may be altered, along with the angles 62 and 64, so as to provide the desired effect. However, preferably the lengths and angles are chosen so that there is no pooling of water at the outer extremities of the canopy 56. Also, if desired, more than one bend 54 may be provided in the canopy poles 50 or 52 to provide the desired effect.
  • [0044]
    Thus, the bend 54 in the canopy poles 50, 52 provides a compound angle for each canopy pole, improving drainage of water off the canopy 56. If desired, the compound angle may be provided in other ways, such as by having an extension upward off of a central portion of the canopy poles 50 or 52, with the canopy being supported at the edges of the poles and by the extension. However, such an extension would not support the canopy 56 along its length, in the manner that the canopy poles having the bend 54 are capable of providing.
  • [0045]
    As can be seen in FIGS. 1 and 2, the four-sided central room 22 and the five-sided central room 24 include side walls 70 spanning between adjacent upright poles 40. If desired, one or more sides of the four-sided central room 22 or five-sided central room 24 may not include side walls 70, but instead may be open. In addition, a different structure, such as a partial side wall, or a side wall that is fully closed or that has one or more windows, may be provided.
  • [0046]
    The side walls 70 may be provided as a single continuous material that wraps around all of the upright poles 40, or each of the side walls 70 may be provided as a separate piece of material. In either event, the side walls 70 may be attached in a suitable manner, such as by hook and loop fasteners, toggle and loop fasteners, buttons, a zipper, or any other suitable fastening mechanism. The side walls 70 may be attached to one another, may be attached to the upright poles 40 and/or the horizontal poles 46.
  • [0047]
    The side walls 70 shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 include an A-frame door 72, best shown in FIG. 2. The A-frame door 72 includes a flat top 74. A single zipper 76 extends down a center of the A-frame door 72, and in the embodiment shown includes two zipper pulls 78. Cuffs 80 extend along the outer edges of the A-frame door 72 including the flat top 74. The cuffs 80 may be provided as lengths of waterproof or other fabric sewn or otherwise connected to the side walls 70.
  • [0048]
    The A-frame door 72 may be screen material, or may be formed of canvas, nylon, or another suitable fabric. If formed of screen material, separate flaps (not shown) may be provided on the inside or outside of the screen material for providing rain and/or wind protection in a manner known in the art.
  • [0049]
    The extensions 44 permit the canopy 56 to extend beyond the upper edges of the side walls 70, forming eaves 81 (best shown in FIG. 10). Thus, improved water drainage is provided. In addition, as can be seen in FIGS. 7 and 10, the eaves 81 formed by the canopy 56 permit an upper section 82 of the side walls 70 to be formed of a mesh or screen material, and for that screened section to be protected from rain. This screened section 82 provides improved air circulation and wind performance for the four-sided central room 22 or the five-sided central room 24.
  • [0050]
    In accordance with one embodiment shown in FIG. 7, an upper edge of the screened section 82 is wrapped over the horizontal poles 46, and the side walls 70 are connected by a loop 84 and toggle 86 fastener that extends over and around the screened section 82 and the horizontal poles 46. A series of these loops 84 and toggles 86 may be provided along the lengths of each of the side walls 70 for attaching the side walls 70 to the horizontal poles 46. Other mechanisms may be provided to fasten the side walls 70 to the horizontal poles 46.
  • [0051]
    Fasteners may also be provided for attaching the side walls 70 to the upright poles 40, even if the side walls are made as one piece that extends around the four upright poles 40. For example, a hook and loop fastener 88 is shown in FIG. 7 for attaching the side walls 70 to one of the upright poles 40. Similar fasteners may be provided along the height of the side walls 70, and may be provided on edges of the side walls 70 if separate side walls 70 are used between each upright pole 40. If a single structure is provided having all the side walls 70 and that structure is wrapped around the four-sided central room 22 or the five-sided central room 24, then separate hook and loop fasteners may be provided for attaching the loose ends of the structure.
  • [0052]
    As can also be seen in FIG. 7, a hook fastener 90 and a loop fastener 92 may be provided along the upper edges of the side walls 70. The function of such fasteners is described below. In the embodiment shown in the drawing, the hook fastener 90 and loop fastener 92 are provided just below the screened section 82, but can be arranged in different locations as is also further described below.
  • [0053]
    In accordance with an embodiment, each of the corner hubs 42 includes an integral lug 94 (FIG. 7) positioned on the inside of the corner hub 42. The lug 94 may be used for the hanging of a variety of different items, such as a clothesline, shelves, clothes hooks, food, or other items, one of which is described below.
  • [0054]
    [0054]FIG. 8 shows a tent pole frame 98 for the three man tent 34, the four man tent 36, and/or the closet 28. As described above, each of these components may include a similar structure but may be different in length. For the purposes of this description, the structure of the three man tent 34 is described, but the four man tent 36 and the closet 28 may be similarly configured, but may extend different lengths as desired. The tent pole frame 98 includes front poles 100 forming a modified A-frame with a flat top 102. The modified A-frame is structured in a similar fashion to the A-frame door 72, the benefit of which is described below. The tent pole frame 98 also includes back poles 104 which are structured similar to the front poles 100, including a flat top 105, but are slightly shorter than the front poles 100 so as to provide water drainage toward the rear of the three man tent 34. The flat top 102 and the similar top 105 for the back poles 104 are preferably slightly curved so that water does not pool at a top of the three man tent 34.
  • [0055]
    The three man tent 34 includes internal fabric 109 that extends below the tent pole frame 98 and is attached upwardly to the tent pole frame 98, such as by hooks (not shown, but known in the art). A fly 110 extends over the tent pole frame 98. The flat top 102 has a pair of holes 106 for receiving a pair of fly extension poles 108. These fly extension poles 108 provide an eave for the front of the fly 110, and form a structure at the front of the fly 110, the front end 112 of which is fitted to match the A-frame door 72 of the side wall 70.
  • [0056]
    As can be seen in FIG. 9, the front end 112 of the fly 110 includes a number of hook or loop fasteners 114. A toggle 115 is also provided on the front end 112. In the embodiment shown, the hook or loop fasteners 114 are evenly spaced around the front end 112, and the toggle 115 is positioned at the top of the front end 112. However, more than one toggle 115 may be used, and/or other fasteners other than hook and loop fasteners or a toggle fastener may be used on the front end 112. In addition, the toggle(s) 115, the hook or loop fastener(s) 114 and/or other fasteners may be located anywhere along the front end 112 of the tent 34.
  • [0057]
    A zippered opening 116 (FIG. 9) is provided at the top of the three man tent 34, just underneath the fly 110. Such a zippered opening has been used by the assignee of the present invention in prior art tents, but has utility in the described embodiment, as is further described below.
  • [0058]
    The three person tent 34 is configured so that it may be used alone, without the four-sided central room. In this manner, a user may go camping with just the three person tent 34 (or the four person tent 36).
  • [0059]
    The hook or loop fasteners 114 and the toggle 115 are configured to attach the front end 112 to the A-frame door 72. More specifically, the hook or loop fasteners 114 and the toggle 115 are configured to attach to the cuff 80 extending around the A-frame door 72. To this end, the cuffs 80 include hook or loop fasteners 118 (FIG. 10) for mating with the hook or loop fasteners 114, and a loop 120 for attaching to the toggle 115. Again, as described above, other fasteners may be provided for attaching the front end 112 to the cuff 80. However, the dual attachment system (the toggle 115 and loop 120, and the hook and loop fasteners 114, 118) of the cuff 80 to the front end 112 provides a secure attachment of the three man tent 34 to the side wall 70. Moreover, the cuff 80 extends over a portion of the front end 112 and along the fly 110. In this manner, rain engaging the side wall 70 and running along the cuff 80 runs onto the fly 110 and off the three man tent 34. Thus, rain or water flowing off the four-sided central room 22 does not flow into the central room or into the three man tent 34.
  • [0060]
    To ensure optimal engagement of the front end 112 of the three person tent 34 with the side wall 70, the angle of the front end 112 is preferably the same angle, or approximately the same angle, as the side wall 70. However, the cuff 80 may alternatively be configured so that it extends to cover any difference between the angles.
  • [0061]
    The awning 26 and the screened room 32 are configured to extend partly under the eave 81 formed by the canopy 56. These components may be attached, for example, to the horizontal poles 46, the corner hubs 42, the side walls 70, and/or another appropriate location on the four-sided central room 22. The use, structure, and configuration of these components are well known and detail will not be given here. However, the screened room 32 and the awning 26 are preferably sized so as to fit along the length of a side wall 70.
  • [0062]
    The privacy shelter 30 is a structure that is known in the art, and is typically used as a shower for camps. In general, the privacy shelter 30 is an upright structure having at least three walls 122 (FIG. 2). A chemical toilet (not shown), shower (also not shown), or other structures may be provided in the privacy shelter 30.
  • [0063]
    In accordance with one embodiment, the privacy shelter 30 is attached to the four-sided central room 22 or the five-sided central room 24 by two guy lines 130. These guy lines 130 may be connected to the corner hubs 42, the horizontal post 46, the side walls 70, and/or another suitable location on the four-sided central room 22. Curtains 132 hang from each of the guy lines 130. The curtains 132 are attached to the guy lines 130 by rings 134. The rings 134 permit the curtains 132 to be drawn closed, or to be opened, such as is shown in FIG. 2, so that an additional entrance to the four-sided central room 22 or the five-sided central room 24 is provided. The curtains 132 may be drawn closed to provide privacy, so that the area between the curtains 132, the central room to which the curtains 132 are attached, and the privacy shelter 30 may be used as a dressing room or another private area.
  • [0064]
    In accordance with an embodiment, a lighting system 140 (FIG. 11) is provided for the modular tent system 20. In the embodiment shown, the lighting system 140 includes a battery pack 142 having a plurality of ports 144. The battery pack 142 may be stored in a bag 146 having a strap 148 with a hook 150 on the end. The hook 150 may be hung on the lug 94, as is shown in FIG. 7, providing convenient storage and access to the battery pack 142.
  • [0065]
    A plurality of extension cords 152 may be provided for connecting to the ports 144. Each of the extension cords 152 shown in FIG. 11 includes ports 156 along the outside of a splitter box 154, and a plug 157 that may fit into one of the ports 144 on the battery pack 142, or one of the ports 156 on one of the extension cords 152. If desired, a switch 158 may be provided along the length of one of the extension cords 154 or on a separate wire (shown on a separate wire in FIG. 11) for selectively shutting on and off power to the end of the extension cord 152 or other component connected to the switch 158.
  • [0066]
    A central room light 160 may be provided having a plug 161 that may be attached into one of the ports 144 on the battery pack 142, or one of the ports 156 on one of the extension cords 152. Similarly, a room light 162 may be provided, also having a similar plug 163. In addition, an LED tent finder 164 includes a similar plug 165. The LED tent finder 164 includes a slot 166 on a back surface and is generally triangularly shaped. An LED lamp 168 is located on the apex of the triangle away from the slot 166.
  • [0067]
    In use, the wires for the extension cords 152 and the lights 160, 162, and 164, may be routed through the modular tent system 20 so as to provide power and/or light at desired locations. As an example, as shown in FIG. 7, the hook fastener 90 and loop fastener 92 may be closed around part of a wire for a light or one of the extension cords 152 so as to hold them against an upper edge of the modular tent system 20 and out of the way of users of the modular tent system 20. In addition, as shown in FIG. 1, the upper zipper pull 78 may be zipped slightly downward to allow part of one of the wires to extend therethrough. Also, as shown in FIG. 9, the zippered opening 116 may be opened to permit one of the wires to extend through that opening.
  • [0068]
    Although shown as attached to the hook fastener 90 and loop fastener 92, the wires for the lights 160, 162, and 164 or the extension cords 152 may be routed through the modular tent system 20 in any suitable manner, such as by clipping or otherwise attaching or routing the wires on, through, or around the horizontal poles 46, the upright poles 40, the side walls 70, the canopy 56, or any other suitable attachment locations. In addition, the wires may be routed on or through the various components in other manners.
  • [0069]
    In accordance with one embodiment, the room light 162 is positioned within the three man tent 34 (shown in FIG. 9), the four man tent 36, or the closet 28. Additional room lights 162 may be used for additional tents or closets. If desired, a separate switch 169 (FIG. 7) may be provided on the wire for this room light 162 or for any of the other room lights 160, 164 (switch for these not shown) for permitting a user to switch on and off the lights.
  • [0070]
    The central room light 160 may be suspended from the central hub 48, and switching may be provided in a similar manner. In addition, the LED tent finder 164 may be attached on the outer portion of the modular tent system 20, for example on the end of the awning 24 or on one of the eaves for the canopy 56. Again, switching may be provided as desired.
  • [0071]
    In use, the sleeping room light 162 and the central room light 160 may provide light during the night for a camper so that the camper may see his or her way through the modular tent system 20, or may be provided light for reading or other activities. The sleeping room light 162 and the central room light 160 preferably include fluorescent bulbs 170, 172 (FIG. 11), respectively, so that a minimum amount of power is used by the battery pack 142.
  • [0072]
    The LED tent finder 164 may be utilized for finding the modular tent system 20 at night. The LED light 166 for the LED tent finder 164 burns a minimal amount of power, and thus causes minimal drain on the battery pack 142. A user leaving the modular tent system 20 may switch on the LED tent finder 164, and may follow the LED tent finder 164 to return to the modular tent system 20.
  • [0073]
    The battery pack 142 may use any desired DC voltage, for example 8 D cell batteries, or a single large 12 volt battery. Other DC power sources having similar or different voltages may be used as desired by a designer of the modular tent system 20.
  • [0074]
    [0074]FIG. 12 shows a tent system 198 in accordance with an alternate embodiment. The tent system 198 includes an overfly 200 for connecting two dome tents 202, 204. Briefly described, the overfly 200 provides a sheltered area between the two dome tents 202, 204 and attaches the two dome tents. The overfly 200 attaches to the two dome tents 202, 204. In accordance with an embodiment, the overfly 200 fits with the dome tents 202, 204 to form continuous surfaces between the dome tents 202, 204 and the overfly 200. As such, the tent system 198, when assembled, looks like a large tent.
  • [0075]
    Dome tents, such as the dome tents 202, 204, are known. However, a brief description is given here for the benefit of the reader. The dome tents 202, 204 each include poles 206 for supporting the dome tents 202, 204 in upright, assembled configurations. The dome tents 202, 204 include two poles 206, although another number may be used. Each of the two poles 206 extends between opposite diagonal corners of the dome tents 202, 204 through sleeves 208 that extend along adjoining edges of side walls for the dome tents 202, 204.
  • [0076]
    In accordance with a manner known in the art, the poles 206 are typically straight, but are flexible, so they can be bent. When the poles 206 are installed, they are extended through the sleeves 208 and are bent into arcs and are attached at corners of the dome tent 202 or 204. The tension in the poles 206 places upward tension in the sleeves 208, and outward tension on the corners of the dome tents 202, 204, forcing the corners downward. Combined tension puts the tent side walls and the tent floor in tension, which is counteracted by the flexible nature of the tent walls. As such, the side walls of the tent are forced outward into the assembled position shown in FIG. 1. In addition, the tension in the poles 206 presses the corners of the dome tents 202, 204 outward, causing the floors of the tents to be placed into slight tension, removing wrinkles and maximizing floor space within the tent.
  • [0077]
    Thus, the connection of the poles 206 provides stability for the dome tents 202, 204, when the tents are assembled. The poles 206 are connected directly to the dome tents 202, 204, and the dome tents 202, 204 may be lifted while maintaining the configuration shown in the drawing. Thus, the dome tents 202, 204 are “free standing,” in that the dome tents 202, 204 do not need to be attached to the ground or another structure for stability. However, in practice, dome tents, such as the dome tents 202, 204, are staked to the ground to prevent movement of the tent, such as by wind.
  • [0078]
    Typically, dome tents include a rain fly, such as the rain flies 210 shown in FIG. 12, for covering the dome tent and preventing water from entering the doors and/or windows for the tent. In accordance with an embodiment and as is further described below, the overfly 200 attaches to the rain flies 210.
  • [0079]
    The overfly 200 includes a top ridge 212 and bottom edges 214. The structure folds over into an arc and outer edges extend against the rain flies 210 of the dome tents 202, 204. The overfly 200 in the embodiment shown in FIG. 12 includes a door 216. An additional door may be provided on the opposite side, and windows may be additionally be provided. The door 216 includes a zipper enclosure, but other door structures and attachments for the door may be provided.
  • [0080]
    Two flexible side poles 218, 220, similar in structure to poles, such as the poles 206, that are used for dome tents, extend through side sleeves 222, 224 on the overfly 200. The side sleeves 222, 224 extend from the bottom edge 214 of one side of the overfly 200, over the top ridge 212, and down to the opposite bottom edge 214. The side poles 218, 220 attach to the bottom edges 214 and extend through these side sleeves 222, 224.
  • [0081]
    A ridge pole 226 extends along the top ridge 212 within a top sleeve 227. The top sleeve 227 extends from adjacent to where the overfly 200 is attached to the two dome tents 202, 204.
  • [0082]
    Although the side sleeves 222, 224 and top sleeve 227 are disclosed for holding the side poles 218, 220 and the ridge pole 226, other structures may be used for attaching the poles including, but not limited to, a series of sleeves, poles clips, loops, or another suitable structure. In addition, although the two side poles 218, 220 and the ridge pole 226 are disclosed, other poles may be used to provide support for the overfly 200. These poles may be located in different places, or may be extend different lengths along the overfly 200. In addition, more or fewer poles than shown in the embodiment of the overfly 200 may be used.
  • [0083]
    Toggles 228 are provided at the outer edges of the overfly 200. These toggles 228 are positioned and arranged to connect to loops 230 (FIG. 16) provided on the rain flies 210 of the dome tents 202, 204. Other connecting structures may be used including, but not limited to, hook and loop fasteners, ties, hooks, fasteners, zippers, and other suitable attachment structures. Additionally, if desired, for appropriate rain run-off, flaps or cuffs 250 may be provided that extend from the overfly 200 over the rainflys 210 to allow for appropriate shedding of water.
  • [0084]
    A pair of straps 232 extend between the opposite bottom edges 214 of the overfly 200. These straps 232 counteract the tension of the side poles 218, 220, and keep the bottom edges 214 of the overfly 200 from flaring outward when the overfly 200 is assembled.
  • [0085]
    To assemble the overfly 200, a user inserts the side poles 218, 220 into the side sleeves 222, 224. As stated above, the straps 232 provide the appropriate spacing for the bottom edges 214 of the overfly 200, and cause the side poles 218, 220 to bend as they enter the side sleeves 222, 224. The ends of the side poles 218, 220 are suitably anchored in a manner known in the tent assembly art, for example by positioning the ends in sockets 234 located at the bottom edges 214.
  • [0086]
    The ridge pole 226 is then inserted into the top sleeve 227. The toggles 228 are then attached to the loops 230 on the rain flies 210 of the dome tents 202, 204. In this process, the ends of the ridge pole 226 are bent downward causing the overfly 200 to have a curved configuration.
  • [0087]
    If desired, the overfly 200 may be staked into position. In addition, stakes 236 may be provided for the straps 232, preventing a user from tripping over the straps 232 when the overfly 200 is assembled.
  • [0088]
    In use, the overfly 200 provides a common sheltered area between the dome tents 202, 204. A user or users may enter the door 216 and then may go from the door 216 into one of the dome tents 202, 204. Thus, in accordance with one embodiment, doors 237 for the dome tents 202, 204 face inward relative to the overfly 200. If the dome tents 202, 204 include additional doors, a user may enter the dome tents 202, 204 without going through the overfly 200. However, in the embodiment shown, the overfly 200 provides a weather-protected area through which the user may enter the dome tents 202, 204.
  • [0089]
    [0089]FIGS. 14 and 15 show an alternate embodiment of a tent system 238 incorporating a different overfly 240. In this tent system 238, the overfly 240 includes a blunt end 242 which is not configured to attach to a dome tent, such as the dome tents 202, 204. This blunt end 242 may be used for attaching a closet 244 (FIG. 15), a different type of tent, a privacy shelter, or any other suitable structure, for example as described in the above embodiments. Also, in accordance with an embodiment, a screen 246 may be provided at the blunt end 242.
  • [0090]
    The overfly 240 is assembled similar to the overfly 200; however, because there is not a dome tent at the blunt end 242 of the overfly 240, staking of the blunt end 242 is needed to bend a ridge pole 226 for the overfly 240 downward.
  • [0091]
    Other variations are within the spirit of the present invention. Thus, while the invention is susceptible to various modifications and alternative constructions, a certain illustrated embodiment thereof is shown in the drawings and has been described above in detail. It should be understood, however, that there is no intention to limit the invention to the specific form or forms disclosed, but on the contrary, the intention is to cover all modifications, alternative constructions, and equivalents falling within the spirit and scope of the invention, as defined in the appended claims.
  • [0092]
    All references, including publications, patent applications, and patents, cited herein are hereby incorporated by reference to the same extent as if each reference were individually and specifically indicated to be incorporated by reference and were set forth in its entirety herein.
  • [0093]
    The use of the terms “a” and “an” and “the” and similar referents in the context of describing the invention (especially in the context of the following claims) are to be construed to cover both the singular and the plural, unless otherwise indicated herein or clearly contradicted by context. The terms “comprising,” “having,” “including,” and “containing” are to be construed as open-ended terms (i.e., meaning “including, but not limited to,”) unless otherwise noted. The term “connected” is to be construed as partly or wholly contained within, attached to, or joined together, even if there is something intervening. Recitation of ranges of values herein are merely intended to serve as a shorthand method of referring individually to each separate value falling within the range, unless otherwise indicated herein, and each separate value is incorporated into the specification as if it were individually recited herein. All methods described herein can be performed in any suitable order unless otherwise indicated herein or otherwise clearly contradicted by context. The use of any and all examples, or exemplary language (e.g., “such as”) provided herein, is intended merely to better illuminate embodiments of the invention and does not pose a limitation on the scope of the invention unless otherwise claimed. No language in the specification should be construed as indicating any non-claimed element as essential to the practice of the invention.
  • [0094]
    Preferred embodiments of this invention are described herein, including the best mode known to the inventors for carrying out the invention. Variations of those preferred embodiments may become apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art upon reading the foregoing description. The inventors expect skilled artisans to employ such variations as appropriate, and the inventors intend for the invention to be practiced otherwise than as specifically described herein. Accordingly, this invention includes all modifications and equivalents of the subject matter recited in the claims appended hereto as permitted by applicable law. Moreover, any combination of the above-described elements in all possible variations thereof is encompassed by the invention unless otherwise indicated herein or otherwise clearly contradicted by context.
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Classifications
U.S. Classification135/97
International ClassificationE04H15/18, E04H15/42, E04H15/30
Cooperative ClassificationE04H15/30, E04H15/18, E04H15/425, E04H9/10
European ClassificationE04H15/30, E04H15/42A, E04H15/18
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
May 17, 2004ASAssignment
Owner name: COLEMAN COMPANY, INC., THE, KANSAS
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:HOLUB, TIMOTHY M.;YOO, SUK KEUN;REEL/FRAME:015342/0784;SIGNING DATES FROM 20040512 TO 20040513