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Publication numberUS20060266399 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/136,506
Publication dateNov 30, 2006
Filing dateMay 25, 2005
Priority dateMay 25, 2005
Also published asCN101228329A, WO2006127672A2, WO2006127672A3
Publication number11136506, 136506, US 2006/0266399 A1, US 2006/266399 A1, US 20060266399 A1, US 20060266399A1, US 2006266399 A1, US 2006266399A1, US-A1-20060266399, US-A1-2006266399, US2006/0266399A1, US2006/266399A1, US20060266399 A1, US20060266399A1, US2006266399 A1, US2006266399A1
InventorsWilliam Ferrari
Original AssigneeWilliam Ferrari
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Tent structure
US 20060266399 A1
Abstract
A tent structure utilizing a support member having a body portion providing a plurality of channels for confining four frame members of the tent structure. Three of the four frame members of the tent structure are rotatably connected to the support member to form horizontal and vertically extending structures.
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Claims(15)
1. A tent structure utilizing a first horizontal frame member, a second horizontal frame member, an upwardly extending frame member, and a downwardly extending frame member, comprising:
a support member including:
a. a body portion having a wall with an outer surface;
b. a first channel, said first channel confining a portion of the first horizontal frame member;
c. a second channel confining a portion of the second horizontal member, said second horizontal member, rotatably connected to said body portion;
d. a third channel confining a portion of the downwardly extending frame member, said downwardly extending frame member rotatably connected to said body portion; and
e. means for rotatably connecting the upwardly extending frame member to said outer surface of said body portion.
2. The structure of claim 1 in which said means for rotatably connecting the upwardly extending frame member to said outer surface of said body portion comprises a pivot in linked to said body portion.
3. The structure of claim 2 in which said pivot pin extending through said second horizontal member confined to said second channel of said body portion.
4. The structure of claim 1 which further includes a stop for rotation of said second horizontal member.
5. The structure of claim 4 in which said stop comprises a shoulder formed on said body portion and a boss projecting from the second horizontal member, said boss contacting said shoulder during rotation of said second horizontal member.
6. The structure of claim 1 in which said body portion further in a slot through said wall of said body portion, said means for rotatably connecting the upwardly extending frame member to said outer surface of said body portion comprising a pivot pin linked to said body portion, said pin extending through said slot of said wall portion.
7. The structure of claim 6 in which said pivot pin extending through said second horizontal member confined to said second channel of said body portion.
8. The structure of claim 6 which further includes a stop for rotation of said second horizontal member.
9. The structure of claim 8 in which said stop comprises a shoulder formed on said body portion and a bass projecting from the second horizontal member, said boss contacting said shoulder during rotation of said second horizontal member.
10. A tent structure utilizing a first upwardly extending frame member, a second upwardly extending frame member and a sheet of material at least partially supported by first and second support members to extend therebetween, said sheet of material including a first sheath having a passageway therethrough and a second sheath having a passageway therethrough, said passageways of said first and second sheaths, respectively, lying a crisscross configuration relative to one another, said structure further comprising a first elongated element extending through said first sheath, a second elongated element extending through said second sheath, a first anchor maintaining said first elongated element within said sheath, and a second anchor maintaining said second elongated element within said second sheath.
11. The structure of claim 10 in which said first and second anchors are located at said sheet of material.
12. The structure of claim 10 in which said first and second anchors are positioned in the vicinity of said first and second support members.
13. The structure of claim 11 in which said first and second anchors are positioned in the vicinity of said first and second support members.
14. The structure of claim 11 in which said first and second anchors each comprises a pair of recesses in said sheet of material.
15. The structure of claim 14 in which each of said pairs of recesses include a grommet.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a novel and useful tent support structure.

Tents are normally used in conjunction with air mattresses or pads which are directly placed on the floor of the inside of the tent. Such supports or pads serve as a sleeping platform for the user who normally uses a sleeping bag, blankets, or the like to maintain warmth while inside a tent.

Reference is made to U.S. Pat. No. 4,914,768 which describes a notable advance in the field of shelters such as tents. In this patent, a portable shelter is employed which uses a tent frame structure in conjunction with a cot that serves as the bottom of the tent. Since the tent is collapsible, separate hinges are employed for the structure, which forms the base of the tent and the upper portions of the tent. Such hinges provide a stand, in the form of looped feet for the bottom portion or base of the and a canopy or upper portion of the tent above the ground surface. The tent described in the referenced patent noted also includes a top portion which extends between the upper frame members in a saddle-like structure.

A tent structure which utilizes a structure that eliminates hinge members and provides a dome structure would be a notable advance in the outdoor gear field.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with the present invention a novel and useful tent structure is herein provided.

The tent structure of the present invention utilizes a support member which is used in conjunction with first and second horizontal frame members, an upward extending frame member to support the upper portion of the tent, and a downwardly extending frame member to raise the base and upper portion of the tent above a ground surface. The support member includes a body portion having a wall with an outer surface. The body portion also provides a first channel which confines a portion of the first horizontal frame member. Likewise, a second channel confines a portion of the second horizontal member. The second horizontal member is rotatably connected to the body portion to allow the tent associated with the tent support structure of the present invention to fold into a compact configuration. Such first and second horizontal frame members form the base of the tent, which resembles the portable shelter shown in U.S. Pat. No. 4,914,768 hereinabove described.

A third channel is also found in the body portion of the support member and confines at least a portion of a downwardly extending frame member. Again, the downwardly extending frame member rotatably connects to the body portion and is employed to raise the base of the tent formed by the first and second horizontal frame members above a ground surface.

Means is also found in the present invention for rotatably connecting the upwardly extending frame member to the outer surface of the body portion. Such means may take the form of a pivot pin which is linked to the body portion. The pivot pin may also extend through the portion of the second horizontal frame member, which is confined to the second channel of the body portion. In this manner, the second horizontal member is supported in its confinement within the second channel of the second body portion. Moreover, body portion may be provided with a slot through which the pivot pin extends. The slot allows the upwardly extending frame to fold into a compact configuration when the tent associated with the support structure of the present invention collapses into a storable configuration.

A stop is also found in the present invention for preventing the rotation of the second horizontal frame member which is rotatably connected to the body portion of the support member. Such stop may be fashioned by the formation of a shoulder on the body portion, as well as a boss projecting from the second horizontal member, intended to contact the shoulder during rotation into its horizontal position.

In addition, the tent structure of the present invention utilizes a pair of upwardly extending frame members and a sheet of material at least partially supported by such members. The sheet of material is formed with a pair of sheaths that include pathways that intersect one another in a crisscross configuration at the top portion of the tent. Elongated elements, such as poles, are extended through the pair of sheaths and anchored to the tent. Such anchoring may take the form of providing the sheet of material with recesses in the vicinity of the first and second support members which support the sheet of material. Thus, pairs of recesses would be associated with each elongated element and may include the provision of a grommet through the sheet of material for the purpose of strengthening such anchors.

It may be apparent that a novel and useful tent support structure has been hereinabove provided.

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a tent support structure which eliminates hinges and miscellaneous hardware associated with tent structures of the prior art having multiple supports for the sheet-like material forming the tent body and the base of the tent.

Another object of the present invention to provide a tent support structure in which a support member is provided that allows the tent to assume the configuration of one having a raised base and an upwardly extending canopy.

A further object of the present invention to provide a tent support structure in which a support member easily allows the tent structure to fold or collapse into a storable mode.

Another object of the present invention to provide a tent support structure which includes a base portion that is raised above the ground surface and may be employed as a chair having a back support.

Another object of the present invention to provide a tent support structure in which a dome or raised portion is provided in order to shed water in an efficient manner.

The invention possesses other objects and advantages especially as concerns particular characteristics and features thereof which will become apparent as the specification continues.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWING

FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of a support member employed in the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a left side elevational of the support member of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a right side elevational view of the support member of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a side elevational view of the support member of FIG. 1 confining four support members.

FIG. 5 is a side elevational view schematically depicting a tent structure employing the support member of the present invention.

FIG. 6 is a top plan elevational view showing the dome producing structure at the upper portion of the tent of FIG. 5.

FIG. 7 is a sectional view depicting the anchor structure employed with the present invention taken along line 7-7 of FIG. 6.

For a better understanding of the invention reference is made to the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments of the invention which should be taken in conjunction with the above described drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION

Various aspects of the present invention will evolve from the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments thereof which should be referenced to the prior described drawings.

Preferred embodiments of the invention are depicted in the drawings by reference character 10 followed by an uppercase letter to distinguish the same. With reference to FIGS. 1-4, and embodiment 10A of a support member is depicted. Support member 10A includes a body portion 12. Body portion 12 further possesses wings or flanges 14 and 16. Support member 10 is formed of any suitable rigid or semi-rigid material such as metal, plastic, ceramics, and the like. Body portion 12 is further defined by walls 18 and 20. Outer surfaces 22 and 24 form the exterior of body portion 12. A brace 26 provides strength to support member 10A.

With further reference to FIGS. 2 and 3, it may be observed that body portion provides a first channel 28, a second channel 30, and a third channel 32. Channels 28, 30, and 32 are generally rounded.

Looking at FIG. 4, it may be seen that body portion 12 of support member 10 is employed to accommodate tent structures. Namely, first channel 28 confines first horizontal frame member 34. Second channel 30 confines or accommodates second horizontal frame member 36 which is crooked or bent. Generally, the top portions of first and second horizontal frame members 34 and 36 lie along a plane 38 to provide a bed or cot, as will be apparent as the specification continues. Second horizontal frame member 36 is rotatably attached to support member 10A via a pivot pin 40. A protuberance 42 contacts shoulders 44 and 46 of wall portions 22 and 24, respectively. That is to say, protuberance 42 extends through the body of second horizontal frame member 36 and projects therefrom on either side. Directional arrow 48 indicates the rotation of second horizontal frame member 36 when the tent structure associated with the support member is folded or collapsed.

Third channel 32 confines at least a portion of downwardly extending frame member 50. Pivot member 52 permits the rotation of downwardly extending frame member 50, directional arrow 54 during the collapsing of the tent associated with the support member 10A of the present invention. Since downwardly extending frame member angles, as is depicted in the drawings, third channel 32 supports frame member 50 in this position when in use.

Means 56 is also found in the present invention for rotatably connecting upwardly extending frame member 58 to body portion 12. Means 56 may take the form of pivot pin 40 extending through upwardly extending frame member 58 via slot 60 through wing 14, and another identical slot (not shown) through wing 16. Thus, upwardly extending frame member 58 lies along outer surface 22 of wing 14. It should be apparent that pivot pin 40 and upwardly extending frame member 58 are free to travel along slot 60 during the establishment of the upper portion of a tent frame associated with support member 10A and when upwardly extending frame member 58 is employed as the back of the seat.

Turning to FIG. 5, it may be observed that a tent structure 62 is depicted schematically for use with support member 10A and a similar support member 62. Of course, another pair of support members similar to support members 10A and 62 are used on the opposite side of tent structure 60 to hold horizontal frame members and the opposite ends of upwardly extending frame members 58 and 84 and downwardly extending frame members 50 and 82, which are generally U-shaped. Tent structure 60 also includes a sheet of material 64 which encloses the tent structure. Ground contacting feet 66 and 68 are also rotatably attached to tent structure 60 by hinges 70 and 72, respectively. Feet 66 and 68 are also U-shaped and require similar hinges on the opposite side of tent structure from that depicted in FIG. 5. An opening 74 in tent structure 60 formed by gathering a portion of sheet of material 64 into a roll 76 which is held by straps 78 and 80. In this regard, tent structure 60 closely resembles that of the tent depicted in U.S. Pat. No. 4,914,768, with the exception of support member 10A. Downwardly extending, U-shaped member 82 and upwardly extending U-shaped member 84 are also held by support member 62 in the same manner as heretofore described with respect to upwardly extending frame member 58 and downwardly extending frame member 50 relative to support member 10A. Support members 66, 82, 50, and 68 rest on ground surface 86 and provide a base or cot type structure 88 within opening 74.

It should be seen that sheet of material 64 and upwardly extending frame member 58 may be used as the back of a chair when frame member 84 is rotated downwardly.

Referring now to FIG. 6, it may be observed that tent structure 10B includes a raised or domed portion 90. Upwardly extending support members 58 and 84 provide the support for dome portion 90 which is formed of sheet of material 64. Strap and clip extensions 92, 94, 96, 98, 100, and 102 hold the edges 104 and 106 of dome portion 90. Sheaths 106 and 108 are formed along the top of dome portion 90 in a crisscross fashion. Sheath 106 includes a gap 110 to allow such structure. Each sheath 106 and 108 includes a passageway similar to passageway 112 of sheath 108, FIG. 7. Of course, such passageways also lie in a crisscross configuration relative to one another. Elongated elements 114 and 116, such as flexible poles, extend into passageways of sheaths 106 and 108. For example, elongated member 116 is depicted in FIG. 7 as extending through sheath 108. Elongated elements 114 and 116 are anchored to tent structure 60 to maintain their position within sheaths 106 and 108 and to create a bow in tent structure 60, which is evident on FIG. 5. With reference to FIG. 7, it may be seen that exemplar strap and clip extension 102 is sewn to sheet of material 64 at sew lines 118. Strap 120 provides a recess or opening 122 which catches the end of elongated element 116. Thus, an anchor 126 is formed thereby. Anchor 126 may be reinforced by a grommet 128 if needed. It should be noted that the four ends of elongated elements 114 and 116 form an anchor similar to anchor 126.

In operation, the user extends tent structure 60 according to the configuration generally shown in FIGS. 4 and 5. Such extension accomplished through the use of support member 10A and a trio of support member identical thereto. In this regard, support member 10A supports horizontal support member 34 and rotatably supports horizontal support member 36. In addition, downwardly extending support member 50 and upwardly extending support member 58 are also rotatably held to support member 10. Dome portion 90 is provided by the use of prefabricated sheaths 106 and 108 and elongated elements 114 and 116 which extend across dome portion 90 in a crisscross pattern. Elongated elements 114 and 116 are each anchored to tent structure 60 by the use of a pair of anchors similar to anchor 126 illustrated with respect to elongated element 116 and sheath 108, FIG. 7. Tent structures 60 may be collapsed and stored in the usual manner according to prior art methods. Tent structure 60 may be formed into a chair be downward rotation of support member 84, following removal of elongated elements 114 and 116 from sheaths 106 and 108, respectively.

While in the foregoing, embodiments of the present invention have been set forth in considerable detail for the purposes of making a complete disclosure of the invention, it may be apparent to those of skill in the art that numerous changes may be made in such detail without departing from the spirit and principles of the invention.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7971596Sep 2, 2009Jul 5, 2011Rose MorrisPortable confinement device
Classifications
U.S. Classification135/96, 5/113, 135/136
International ClassificationE04H15/02
Cooperative ClassificationE04H15/38
European ClassificationE04H15/38