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Publication numberUS20050194029 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/070,422
Publication dateSep 8, 2005
Filing dateMar 2, 2005
Priority dateMar 5, 2004
Also published asCN2692277Y
Publication number070422, 11070422, US 2005/0194029 A1, US 2005/194029 A1, US 20050194029 A1, US 20050194029A1, US 2005194029 A1, US 2005194029A1, US-A1-20050194029, US-A1-2005194029, US2005/0194029A1, US2005/194029A1, US20050194029 A1, US20050194029A1, US2005194029 A1, US2005194029A1
InventorsBrian Goldwitz
Original AssigneeOpac, Llc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Shelter having a tarpaulin supported by a cable assembly that is selectively tightened
US 20050194029 A1
Abstract
A roof assembly for a shelter having an eave assembly and a cable assembly with a first cable portion extending between corners of the eave assembly horizontally and a second cable portion extending from each corner to an apex. A center post has a lower end coupled to the first cable portion and an upper end coupled to the second cable portion. When the cable assembly is tightened, the center post supports a tarpaulin. A mechanism, integral to the eave assembly, includes a lever rotatably mounted to a first elongated tube of the roof assembly, the first tube defining an elongated slot and receives a second tube. An arm extends from the lever and through the elongated slot to engage the second tube such that when the lever moves, the eave assembly expands to tension the cable assembly.
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Claims(15)
1. A tightening mechanism for a shelter having a roof assembly at least partially supported by cable, the tightening mechanism comprising:
a lever rotatably mounted to a first elongated tube of the roof assembly, the first tube defining an elongated slot and an interior for receiving a second tube; and
an arm extending from the lever and through the elongated slot to engage the second tube such that when the lever moves, the arm moves between first and second positions,
wherein at the first position, the second tube is urged out of the first elongated tube so that a size of the roof assembly is increased and, at the second position, the second tube is urged into the first elongated tube so that the size of the roof assembly is reduced.
2. A tightening mechanism as recited in claim 1, further comprising a second lever rotatably mounted to a third tube of the eave assembly, the third tube defining an elongated slot and an interior for receiving an adjacent tube; and
a second arm extending from the second lever and through the elongated slot of the third tube to engage the adjacent tube such that the second lever moves the arm between first and second positions, wherein at the first position, the size of the eave assembly is further increased, at the second position, the size of the eave assembly is further reduced.
3. A tightening mechanism as recited in claim 1, further comprising a corner tube, the corner tube forming a shoulder for connecting to the second tube at one end and a spring loaded button for engaging a corner connector at another end.
4. A tightening mechanism as recited in claim 1, further comprising a plurality of turnbuckles coupled to the cable for further tightening the cable.
5. A tightening mechanism as recited in claim 1, further comprising a center post supported by the cable.
6. A tightening mechanism as recited in claim 5, wherein the center post telescopes.
7. A tightening mechanism as recited in claim 5, wherein the arm is pivotally mounted to the lever.
8. A roof assembly for a shelter comprising:
a) an eave assembly for coupling to a plurality of supporting legs;
b) a cable assembly including i) a first cable portion extending between opposing corners of the eave assembly in a substantially horizontal manner and ii) a second cable portion extending from each corner to an apex, the apex being above the eave assembly;
c) a center post having a lower end coupled to the first cable portion and an upper end coupled to the second cable portion; and
d) means for selectively increasing tension in the cable assembly.
9. A roof assembly as recited in claim 8, wherein the roof assembly is pyramidal shaped.
10. A roof assembly as recited in claim 8, wherein the means is a tightening mechanism for selectively expanding a size of the eave assembly, the tightening mechanism including:
a lever rotatably mounted to a first elongated tube of the roof assembly, the first tube defining an elongated slot and an interior for receiving a second tube; and
an arm extending from the lever and through the elongated slot to engage the second tube such that when the lever moves, the arm moves between expanded and reduced positions.
11. A roof assembly as recited in claim 8, wherein the means is a telescoping feature of the center post.
12. A roof assembly as recited in claim 8, wherein the means is a plurality of turnbuckles connected between each corner and the cable assembly.
13. A roof assembly as recited in claim 8, wherein the lower end of the center post is selected from a group of configurations consisting of a circular disk defining two channels, a tube defining four holes, four tubes extending from a central body, and four tubes extending generally perpendicularly to the central post for receiving the first cable portion.
14. A roof assembly as recited in claim 8, further comprising a tarpaulin secured to the shelter and substantially covering the eave assembly, cable assembly and center post.
15. A roof assembly as recited in claim 8, wherein the eave assembly is substantially square.
Description
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims priority to Chinese Patent Application No. 200420020871.1, filed Mar. 5, 2004, which is incorporated herein by reference. This application is related to U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/793,369 filed Mar. 4, 2005, which is incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The subject disclosure relates generally to shelters, and more particularly to an improved shelter having a covering supported by a cord structure that can be tightened.

2. Background of the Related Art

Over the years, many tents and other shelters for providing protection from the elements have been introduced. Such structures are commonly used to provide shelter during camping trips, picnics, parties, military operations and other like outdoor activities. A common structure includes a plurality of tubular portions interconnected to form a supporting frame such as that shown in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/282,283 filed on Oct. 28, 2002 which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety. After constructing the supporting frame, a tarpaulin or cover is sashed thereto to provide the desired protection.

However, there are problems associated with shelters that have been introduced heretofore. The supporting frame tends to be difficult to assemble as assembling the roof eaves is a challenging, multiple person task that requires multiple step ladders. Similarly, disassembly is equally as difficult. Despite such shortcomings, the attempts at overcoming these difficulties by forming collapsible or pop-up canopies still have shortcomings. For example, the collapsible shelters do not provide the strength and rigidity required for withstanding harsh outdoor winter conditions.

There is a need, therefore, for a shelter with a roof supporting structure that is superior to those known in the prior art. In particular, a shelter that can be easily assembled, yet still effectively supports a cover is desired.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

One embodiment of the present invention is directed to a tightening mechanism for a canopy having an eave assembly and a roof at least partially supported on the eave assembly by cable, the tightening mechanism including a lever rotatably mounted to a first elongated tube of the eave assembly, the first tube defining an elongated slot and an interior for receiving a second tube and an arm extending from the lever and through the elongated slot to engage the second tube such that the lever moves the arm between first and second positions, wherein at the first position, the second tube is urged out of the first elongated tube so that the cable is taut and, at the second position, the second tube is urged into the first elongated tube so that a size of the eave assembly is reduced to create slack in the cable.

Another embodiment is directed to a tightening mechanism for a shelter having a roof assembly at least partially supported by cable. The tightening mechanism includes a lever rotatably mounted to a first elongated tube of the roof assembly, the first tube defining an elongated slot and an interior for receiving a second tube and an arm extending from the lever and through the elongated slot to engage the second tube such that when the lever moves, the arm moves between first and second positions. Wherein at the first position, the second tube is urged out of the first elongated tube so that a size of the roof assembly is increased and, at the second position, the second tube is urged into the first elongated tube so that the size of the roof assembly is reduced.

In another embodiment, a roof assembly for a shelter having an eave assembly and a cable assembly with a first cable portion extending between corners of the eave assembly horizontally and a second cable portion extending from each corner to an apex. A center post has a lower end coupled to the first cable portion and an upper end coupled to the second cable portion. When the cable assembly is tightened, the center post supports a tarpaulin. A mechanism, integral to the eave assembly, includes a lever rotatably mounted to a first elongated tube of the roof assembly, the first tube defining an elongated slot and receives a second tube. An arm extends from the lever and through the elongated slot to engage the second tube such that when the lever moves, the eave assembly expands to tension the cable assembly.

It is an object of the subject disclosure to provide an inexpensive and efficient method for effectively assembling a shelter with a canopy securely and aesthetically secured to a frame.

It is another object of the subject disclosure to provide a shelter which, upon tensioning a roof supporting strucutre, results in easy assemble and ample strength to support the cover.

It is another object of the subject disclosure to provide a shelter which does not pucker or hang loosely in the corners.

It is another object of the subject disclosure to provide a shelter which has inherent flexibility in the roof to reduce the risk of blowing over.

It should be appreciated that the present invention can be implemented and utilized in numerous ways, including without limitation as a process, an apparatus, a system, a device and a method for applications now known and later developed. These and other unique features of the system disclosed herein will become more readily apparent from the following description and the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

So that those having ordinary skill in the art to which the disclosed system appertains will more readily understand how to make and use the same, reference may be had to the following drawings.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a tarpaulin covering a roof assembly of a shelter constructed in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the subject disclosure.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the roof assembly of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is an exploded view of a tightening mechanism of the eave assembly of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a localized perspective view of the assembled tightening mechanism for the roof assembly of FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view of the tightening mechanism of FIG. 3 in a disassembled position.

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view of the tightening mechanism of FIG. 3 in an assembled position.

FIG. 7 is an exploded view of the connection of the eave assembly of FIG. 2 at the corner connectors.

FIG. 8 is a localized view of a turnbuckle mechanism of the cable assembly of FIG. 1.

FIG. 9 is a localized, exploded view of the center post of the cable assembly of FIG. 1.

FIG. 10 a perspective view of another center post of a shelter constructed in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the subject disclosure.

FIG. 11 is a perspective view of still another center post of a shelter constructed in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the subject disclosure.

FIG. 12 a perspective view of yet still another center post of a shelter constructed in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the subject disclosure.

FIG. 13 is a perspective view of still another center post of a shelter constructed in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the subject disclosure.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The present invention overcomes many of the prior art problems associated with shelters and shelter roofs. The advantages, and other features of the system disclosed herein, will become more readily apparent to those having ordinary skill in the art from the following detailed description of certain preferred embodiments taken in conjunction with the drawings which set forth representative embodiments of the present invention and wherein like reference numerals identify similar structural elements.

Referring to FIG. 1, a roof assembly 100 of a shelter is shown wrapped by a tarpaulin 20 in accordance with the subject disclosure. The roof assembly 100 with tarpaulin 20 forms a pyramidal or pavilion shape. The roof assembly 100 is supported above the ground or other surface by four legs (not shown). It is envisioned that more or less legs may be utilized depending upon the size of the shelter. The legs engage corner connectors 102 by locking into a hole formed therein or other well know means to those of ordinary skill in the pertinent art. In a preferred embodiment, the legs, corner connectors 102 and like components are PVC pipe, aluminum tube, combinations thereof or other similar materials as would be known to those of ordinary skill in the pertinent art.

Referring now to FIG. 2, the roof assembly 100 of FIG. 1 is shown without the tarpaulin 20 attached. The roof assembly 100 is a substantially pyramidal shaped. Eave assemblies 104A-D extend between each corner connector 102 to substantially form a square. In the preferred embodiment, the eave assemblies 104A-C are identical but eave assembly 104D includes a tightening mechanism 130 as described hereinbelow. In brief overview, during assembly, the tightening mechanism 130 moves along directional arrow 118 and, thereby, the eave assembly 104D expands along directional arrow 119.

A cable assembly 106 extends between the corner connectors 102 to support a center post 110 in an upright position. The cable assembly 106 includes one or more cables, cords, elastics, ropes, other similar structures or combinations thereof that extend across and above the eave assemblies 104 to help establish the pyramidal shape. Preferably, two cables 184 extend diagonally across the substantially square shape formed by the eave assemblies 104 in a substantially horizontal manner. Additional cable 185 extends diagonally upward from each corner connector 102 to the center post 110. The center post 110 forms a central apex 22 in the tarpaulin 20. Upon assembly, the tightening mechanism 130 expands the length of the eave assembly 104D and, thereby, the size of the roof assembly 100 to increase tension in the cable assembly 106 so that the tarp 20 is effectively supported.

Referring now to FIG. 3, an exploded view of the tightening mechanism 130 is shown. The tightening mechanism 130 includes a first tube 132 that functions as part of the eave assembly 104D by interconnecting therewith. A hinge 134, a sleeve 136 and pin 138 pivotally mount a lever 140 on the first tube 132. A grip 142 mounts on the lever 140 to provide a secure surface for a user. The first tube 132 also defines an axially elongated slot 144 into which an arm 146 extends. At one end 148, the arm 146 passes through the slot 144. At the other end 150, a pair of nuts 154 secure the end 150 to an axle 156 rotatably disposed within the lever 140. As a result, the arm 146 moves axially within the slot 144 when the lever 140 rotates.

A second tube 158 is radially smaller than the first tube 132 so that the second tube 158 can slideably extend within the first tube 132. The second tube 158 defines a hole 160 that aligns with the slot 144 for capturing the end 148 of the arm 146. Thus, as the arm 146 moves, the position of the second tube 158 moves. The second tube 158 couples to a third tube 160. The third tube 160 forms a shoulder 162 for coupling to the second tube 158 and spring loaded buttons 164 for coupling to the corner connector 102 as shown in FIG. 7.

Referring now to FIGS. 4 and 5, the lever 140 is shown upright prior to expanding the eave assembly 104D, e.g., the disassembled position. In other words, the second tube 158 has been moved along arrow 166 within the first tube 132 by rotating the lever 140 along arrow 168. As a result, the overall size of the roof assembly 100 is reduced to create slack in the cable assembly 106.

Turning to FIG. 6, the lever 140 is shown adjacent to the eave assembly 104D after expanding the eave assembly 104D, e.g., the assembled position. In other words, the second tube 158 has been moved along arrow 170 by rotating the lever 140 along arrow 172. As a result, the overall size of the roof assembly 100 is increased to create tension in the cable assembly 106.

Referring now to FIG. 8, a plurality of turnbuckle mechanisms 180 are included in the cable assembly 106 to further increase the tension therein. It is envisioned that each turnbuckle mechanism 180 may be the only cable assembly tightening mechanism and, alternatively, that the tightening mechanism 130 may be the only one. The turnbuckle mechanism 180 consists of a turnbuckle 182 for each cable 184, 185 that extends to the respective corner connector 102. Each turnbuckle 182 has opposing hooks 186 for coupling to the corner connector 102 and cable 184. The turnbuckles 182 operate to selectively increase tension in the cable assembly 106. In alternative embodiments, other devices such as would be known to those of ordinary skill in the art are utilized instead of turnbuckles to accomplish the same desired additional tensioning.

Referring now to FIG. 9, is a localized, exploded view of the center post 110 of the cable assembly 106. The center post 1 10 has a tube 121 that defines four holes 122 at the upper end 124. Each hole 122 receives the cable 185 to facilitate proper positioning of the center post 110 when the cable assembly 106 is taut. The lower end 126 of the center post 120 (see FIG. 2) also defines through bores for receiving the cable 184 to facilitate proper positioning of the center post 110.

Preferably, the tarpaulin 20 has a reinforced portion 24 to provide enhanced durability at the central apex 22. The center post 110 also includes a dome shaped end connector 194 for engaging the reinforced portion 24. In one embodiment, the reinforced portion 24 and dome shaped end connector 194 securely couple together by hook and loop fabric. In another embodiment, the center post 110 telescopes to further tension the cable assembly 106 and vary a height of the central apex 22.

Upon tensioning the cable assembly 106 with the tightening mechanism 130 and turnbuckle mechanisms 180, the center post 110 is rigidly set in an upright position. The tarpaulin 20 can then be secured to the roof assembly 100 by cords (not shown), as shown in the patent applications incorporated herein above or other means known to those of ordinary skill in the art. Accordingly, a very easy to assemble, lightweight and sturdy roof assembly 100 is provided.

Referring to FIG. 10, another center post 210 for use in a cable assembly 106 is shown. For simplicity, minimal numbering is utilized on FIG. 10 and, whenever possible, the following description is directed only to the differences of the center post 210. The lower end 226 of the center post 210 consists of four tubular extensions 228. Each tubular extension 228 rests substantially horizontally when assembled. The additional length of the tubular extensions 228, relative to the lower end 126 of the previously described center post 110 of FIG. 2, allows the center post 210 to more widely distribute loading on the cable 184. As a result, less tension will be required to effectively position the center post 210.

Turning to FIG. 11, still another center post 310 for use in a cable assembly 106 is shown. Similar to FIG. 10, minimal numbering is utilized on FIG. 11 and, whenever possible, the following description is directed only to the differences of the center post 310. The lower end 326 of the center post 310 consists of a circular portion having two channels 328 for retaining the cable 184. The lower end 326 rests substantially horizontally when assembled and allows the center post 310 to more widely distribute loading and effectively remain upright. As a result, less tension will be required to effectively position the center post 310.

Turning to FIG. 12, still another center post 410 for use in a cable assembly 106 is shown. Similar to above, minimal numbering is utilized and the following description is directed only to the differences of the center post 410. The lower end 426 of the center post 410 consists of a circular portion having two centered channels (not shown) for retaining the cable 184. Referring to FIG. 13, yet another center post 510 for use in a cable assembly 106 is shown. Similar to above, minimal numbering is utilized and the following description is directed only to the differences of the center post 510. The lower end 526 of the center post 510 consists of four tubular portions 530 extending from a central body portion 532 for retaining the cable 184.

While the invention has been described with respect to preferred embodiments, those skilled in the art will readily appreciate that various changes and/or modifications can be made to the invention without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims. For example without limitation, the subject roof assembly, in whole or in part, may be utilized with a pop up type canopy having scissor linkages.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7814723Sep 25, 2007Oct 19, 2010Vanelverdinghe Jeffry LBeam and truss structure for a canopy
US8658916 *Jul 5, 2011Feb 25, 2014Denis L. NelsonSnow shield for a truck scale
US20130008727 *Jul 2, 2012Jan 10, 2013Nelson Denis LWind shield for a truck scale
US20130008728 *Jul 5, 2011Jan 10, 2013Nelson Denis LSnow shield for a truck scale
Classifications
U.S. Classification135/98
International ClassificationE04H15/00, E04H15/28, E04H15/32
Cooperative ClassificationE04H15/322, E04H2015/326
European ClassificationE04H15/32B
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