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Publication numberUS3223098 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 14, 1965
Filing dateSep 12, 1963
Priority dateSep 12, 1963
Publication numberUS 3223098 A, US 3223098A, US-A-3223098, US3223098 A, US3223098A
InventorsDole Jr Charles M
Original AssigneeDole Jr Charles M
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Collapsible shelter construction
US 3223098 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Dec. 14, 1965 M. DOLE, JR

GOLLAPSIBLE SHELTER CONSTRUCTION 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Sept. 12, 1965 INVENTOR. m 700.94%. BY

Dec. 14, 1965 c. M. DOLE, JR 3,223,098

COLLAPS IBLE SHELTER CONSTRUCTION Filed Sept. 12, 1963 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 VIIIIIIIIII/ L? h /5 a, IIIIL INVENTOR. ,1 M fla%.

33 QYM M da-M United States Patent 3,223,098 COLLAPSIBLE SHELTER CONSTRUCTIQN Charles M. Dole, In, Greenwich, Conn. (288 Lexington Ave, New York 16, N.Y.) Filed Sept. 12, 1963, Ser. No. 308,522 2 Claims. (Cl. 1354) This invention relates to the construction of shelters and more particularly to the construction of improved collapsible shelters.

In recent years many shelters have been developed utilizing frame members which are disposed exteriorly of the shelter enclosure. While facility in the erection and collapsing of such shelter structures has been greatly enhanced through the elimination of awkward procedures such as the erection of poles within a partially collapsed tent, such structures remain beset with one or more of the following shortcomings, such as, (a) the exterior framework is comprised of a multitude of individual parts which must be severed prior to the compaction of the shelter and its framework into an easily portable package, (b) the severed parts are very susceptible to being mislaid or lost during the collapsing and/or transportation of the shelter, (c) the fitting together of individual pieces of the shelter framework is often tedious and difficult, (d) the shelter enclosure is not an integral component of the entire shelter structure, (e) many of the structural parts are of such unwieldly shapes and sizes that the folding and packing thereof consumes excessive time, and (f) fabrication of the relatively complex prior art structures is costly.

Accordingly, it is one of the objects of this invention to provide a collapsible shelter construction which is not beset with the aforenoted shortcomings.

It is a further object of this invention to provide a shelter construction which is quickly set up and collapsed.

It is a still further object of this invention to provide a shelter construction having a sectioned exterior framework, the individual sections of which remain interconnected whether in set-up, collapsed, or folded condition.

It is a further object of this invention to provide a shelter construction which is foldable into a very small package to facilitate the transportation thereof.

Another object of this invention is to provide a shelter construction which is complete within itself and thus requires no components other than those included in the single shelter unit.

Further and additional objects will appear from the description, accompanying drawings, and appended claims.

In carrying out this invention in one form, an exterior framework having four tubular legs depending from a common junction or peak plate is provided, each leg being constructed of a plurality of hollow sections fabricated from resilient materials such as aluminum and/ or fiberglass. Interconnecting the individual sections and passing through the interior portions thereof are elastic cords which are kept under partial tension to urge the individual sections to assume set-up positions when they are collapsed and to urge the sections to remain in set-up position once they are set up.

Erection of the shelter is accomplished by inserting the foot of each leg into sockets provided respectively therefor on tabs extending from each of the four corners of the floor of the shelter which results in the legs assuming a bowed or arched position. The shelter enclosure or tent cloth, being permanently attached to each of the four legs, automatically distends to its predetermined set-up position immediately upon anchoring the feet of the legs into their respective tab sockets.

To collapse the shelter the leg sections are disconnected and are foldable along the ready-made pivotal axes provided by the interconnecting elastic cords into a very small and portable package.

For a more complete understanding of this invention, reference should now be had to the drawings, wherein:

FIGURE I is a perspective fragmentary view of the set-up frame for the collapsible shelter construction and showing the shelter enclosure in broken lines.

FIGURE II is an enlarged fragmentary perspective view of one frame leg about to assume a set-up position.

FIGURE III is an enlarged fragmentary perspective view of one of the permanent connections between the shelter enclosure and a frame leg.

FIGURE IV is a side elevational view of the collapsible shelter in its folded compacted position.

FIGURE V is an enlarged fragmentary perspective view of the underside of the common junction and the interconnected individual sections which are telescopically fittable into it.

FIGURE VI is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view of one alternate construction for a frame leg section connector.

FIGURE VII is a top plan view of the collapsible shelter construction shown in FIG. I.

FIGURE VIII is an enlarged bottom plan view of the common junction shown in FIG. V.

FIGURE IX is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view of a second alternate construction for a frame leg section connector.

FIGURE X is an enlarged fragmentary view partially in section of a third alternate construction for a frame leg section connector.

Referring now to the drawings and more particularly to FIGURES I, II and VII, a collapsible shelter construction 10 is shown which has a pliable clothlike shelter enclosure or tent member 21 provided with a substantially rectangular base or floor portion 11. The embodiment shown is of a type suitable for use as a two-man explorer tent or shelter, it being understood, of course, that the invention is not to be limited to a structure of this precise character. The application of the improved shelter construction to a two-man shelter, is merely by way of example for the purpose of facilitating understanding of the invention.

The floor portion 11, in this instance, includes a plurality of radial apertured tabs 12a, 12b, 12c and 12d respectively which extend from and are appended to each of the four corners thereof. The function of these tabs will be described more fully hereinafter.

Supporting the tent member 21 in an erected position and disposed exteriorly thereof is a collapsible frame 10, which in the illustrated embodiment, includes four elongated legs 23, 24, 25 and 26 and two peak bars 20a and 20b, ail of which project or depend from a junction unit 13. Unit 13 is normally disposed at the highest point of shelter frame 10, when the latter is in erected operating condition. Unit 13, in this instance, includes a disc or plate 13 and a substantially V-shaped front ferrule section 14 and a substantially V-shaped rear ferrule section 15 both of which are disposed on and afiixed to the underside 13a of plate 13, as shown in FIGURES V and VIII. Front section 14 and rear section 15 are disposed on plate 13 so that their respective bends 14a and 15a are arranged adjacent each other, the bisectors of each lying in substantially common planes.

Mounted on and afiixed to the top side 13b of plate 13' is an elongated peak ferrule section 16 the longitudinal axis of which is disposed substantially fore and aft, see FIG. VII. Disposed telescopically within opposite ends of peak section 16 are bars 20a and 17, each of which includes a tubular section 17a or 17b which has an outside diameter roughly corresponding to the inside diameter of peak section 16. Afiixed to and co-axial with the distal or outer end of either section 17a or b is a second tubular section 19a or b which is of substantially like dimension to that of section 17a or b. To retain the sections 17a-19a or 17b-19b in proper relation with respect to one another when the frame is set up, a sleeve section 18a or b is provided. The ends of section 18a or b are adapted to receive the adjacent ends of sections 17a or b and 19a or I), see FIG. V.

A preferred embodiment would have the lower onehalf of sleeve section 18a or 1817 permanently bonded, glued, or mechanically secured to the upper end of the respective section 19a or 1% so that when the peak bar is in set-up position, the combination of section 19a or 19b with sleeve 18a or 1815 will create a receptacle element which readily accommodates the outer end of respective sections 17a and 17b. This type of construction will be discussed in greater detail hereinafter with respect to the leg sections. In the illustrated embodiment sections 17a and b and 19a and b are formed of tubular material such as fiberglass or the like.

Threaded through the respective interiors of peak section 16, tubular sections 17a, 17b, 19a, and 19b, and sleeve sections 18a and 18b is a continuous elastic shock cord 22 which is disposed therein under slight tension effectively insuring that all the individual sections of peak bars a and 2% will remain in engaged relationship with one another. Peak bars 290 and 20b may easily be disassembled by pulling longitudinally on the various sections against the shock cord tension until the various sections are out of telescoping relation whereupon the sections may be folded relative to one another when the tent is collapsed. The presence of elastic cord 22, it will be seen, creates a potential pivotal axis between each individual section joined thereby, which greatly simplifies the jackknifing thereof into a small portable package.

Leg members 23, 24, 25, and 26 also include a plurality of individual interconnected sections, as is illustrated in FIGURES I, IV, V, and VII. Depending from the corresponding ends of front ferrule section 14- are legs 23 and 24 and in a like manner legs 25 and 26 depend from the corresponding ends of rear ferrule section 15.

In the particular embodiment shown, leg 23 includes coaxially aligned tubular sections 27a, 29a, and 31a. The ends of section 29a are arranged in abutting relationship with the lower end of section 27a and the upper end of section 310, respectively, when the frame is in set-up position. Also arranged in an end to end abutting relationship ane tubular sections 27]), 29b, and 31b of leg 24; tubular sections 34a, 36a, 37a, 38a and 40a of leg 25; and tubular sections 34b, 36b, 37b, 38b and 40b of leg 26. All of the aforenoted leg sections in this instance are fabricated from a flexible, resilient tubing material such as fiberglass or the like. It is noted (though not shown) that the sections comprising rear legs 25 and 26 are of a slightly greater cross sectional diameter than those of front legs 23 and 24 to compensate for the longer spans of the rear legs. It is also to be noted that the number of individual sections included in each leg is not critical and depends only upon the size and shape of the folded portable package desired as illustrated by FIGURE IV and upon the size of the shelter member supported by the frame.

The upper ends of sections 27a and 27b of legs 23 and 24 are in loose telescopic engagement within ends 14b and 140, respectively, of V-shaped section 14, and the upper ends of sections 34a and 34b of legs 25 and 26 are in loose telescopic engagement within ends 15b and 150, respectively, of V-shaped section 15 when the frame is in set-up position, as shown in FIGURES 1, VII, and VIII.

Securing the individual abutting sections against angular or lateral movement with respect to one another while set-up are overlying sleeve or connecting sections 28a and a for leg 23; 28b and 30b for leg 24; a, 37a, 37a" and 39a for leg 25; and 35b, 37b, 37b, and 39b for leg 26. In this particular instance, approximately one-half of each sleeve section is permanently bonded, glued or otherwise affixed to the upper end of the next lower succeeding section so as to form a receptacle element within which the lower end of the next higher tubular section is telescopically fittable. Thus in FIGURE V, it will be seen that sleeve section 35b which is made of aluminum (as are all of the sleeve sections in this instance) is bonded with an epoxy glue for about one-half of its length (see 35b) to the longitudinal periphery of tubular section 36b. In FIGURE V, sleeve 35b is shown disengaged from section 34b as would be the case when shelter frame It is being collapsed. To place section 36b in set-up position with section 34b, the receptacle formed by sleeve 35]) is simply slipped over the end of section 3412 until the lower end thereof makes contact with the upper end of section 36b.

For reasons which will be hereinafter explained, the fit between sleeve 35b and section 34b (as well as the corresponding receptacle elements. to be discussed) is preferably loose. Thus, as to leg 23, sleeve 28a is permanently bonded to section 29a and receives the end of section 27a; and sleeve 30a. is permanently bonded to section 31a and receives the end of section 29a. For leg 24, sleeve 28b is permanently bonded to section 2911 and receives the end of section 2712; and sleeve 3% is permanently bonded to section 31a and receives section 2%. For rear legs 25 and 26, sleeves 35a and 35b are permanently bonded, respectively to sections 36a and 36b and receive the ends of sections 34a and 34b; sleeves 37a and 37b are permanently bonded, respectively, to sections 37a and 37b and receive the ends of sections 36a and 36b; sleeves 37a. and 37b" in turn are permanently bonded to sections 38a and 38b and receive the ends of sections 37a and 37b; and sleeves 39a and 3% are likewise bonded, respectively, to sections 46a and 40b and receive the ends of sections 38a and 38b.

Subtending the bottom ends of legs 23, 24, 25 and 26 and telescopically and coaxially engaged therein with the aid of an epoxy glue or other means are feet 32 which are hollow along their longitudinal axes, see FIG. II. Each foot is of like configuration and includes an upper end 32a which has its longitudinal periphery in proximal engagement with the interior of the end section of the leg. End 32a may be affixed to the leg and section by an epoxy glue as aforenoted. Each foot 32, in this instance, is fabricated of aluminum while the leg end section in which it is accommodated is formed of fiberglass or the like. An annular shoulder 32b is provided in the projecting portion of the foot adjacent the end of the leg section and serves to limit the inward travel of foot 32 when a load is applied thereto. Normally, shoulder 32b will be in abutment with the end of the leg section. Another shoulder 320 is provided on the bottom tip of foot 32 which is spaced longitudinally from shoulder 32b by a narrow cylindrical portion 32d. The function of each foot will be described more fully hereinafter.

As in the case of peak bars 20a and 29b, previously described elastic shock cords are threaded through the interior portions of the legs and kept under slight tension to interconnect and continuously urge the individual sections thereof to remain in telescopic engagement with one another. In this construction, an elastic cord 33 is threaded through the feet and individual sections of legs 23 and 24 and V-shaped section 14 of junction unit 13.

Similarly, as shown in FIGURE V, an elastic cord 41 is threaded through the feet 32 and individual sections of legs 25 and 26 and through V-shaped section 15 of junction unit 13.

To keep the cord under proper tension, knots 33a are appropriately disposed on the ends of cord 33 adjacent the bottom of each foot which are sized to prevent passage therethrough and in a like manner similar knots, not shown, are provided at the ends of cord 41. Of course, it will be understood that other means such as metal clips or clamps may be used to functionally accomplish the same result as the knots.

The interconnection with shock cords of all sections of the peak bars and legs in the manner described results in a shelter frame which continuously desires to achieve and remain in set-up condition. To facilitate the proper engagement of all sleeves with their respective tubular sections, the sleeve sections are designed to fit freely with said tubular sections so that, if necessary, a slight shaking or vibrating of the frame, when held by junction unit 13, will cause the various leg and bar components to automatically line up and slidably engage each other. When the individual sections are disconnected and jackknifed into a bundle utilizing the multitude of pivotal axes provided by the interconnecting shock cords, as shown in FIG. IV, the release of such bundle unless tied or otherwise fastened (not shown) results in the ind-ividual sections automatically unfolding and snapping together into the various legs and peak bars with the end result that the entire frame assumes a planar or flat condition. It will be noted that when the individual sections are disconnected and folded together about the pivotal axes provided by their respective elastic cords, the cords, through the further expansion induced by such folding are placed under even greater tension resulting in an increased attraction toward achieving assembled position and thus further simplifying and easing the erection thereof.

Once the individual sections are properly engaged, the legs and peak bars created thereby are relatively stiff while still retaining a certain amount of resiliency. In this instance, the sections comprising the front legs are of slightly less diameter than those of the rear legs and thus are characterized by somewhat greater resiliency. To place the shelter framework in erected set-up condition, the foot of each leg is inserted into the innermost aperture or socket 442 provided in the appropriate tab 12a, 12b, 120 or 12d which extends from a corner of shelter floor portion 11. To understand the operation thereof, FIGURE II discloses foot 32 in a position wherein it is about to be inserted in socket 42. When placed therein, leg 23 is caused to assume a bowed or arched condition, the tension caused thereby forcing narrowed foot ortion 32d to press outwardly against a peripheral portion of the socket 42.

The feet of the other legs are caused to fit in a similar manner the innermost sockets of the other tabs and produce the same outward radial pressure on said tabs. Floor portion 11 is constructed in this instance of neoprene coated nylon so as not only to be waterproof but also to withstand the radial stresses exerted thereon by the bowed legs.

The bending of the resilient legs into a tensed bowed condition and the retention of such legs in such condition by anchoring means such as the sockets provided herein produces a strong, rigid shelter frame which still retains sufiicient flexibility to absorb the pressures of sudden wind gusts which may be directed broadside against the erected shelter enclosure 21.

To protect against dislodgement from the intended location of the shelter, an outer aperture 49 is provided an each tab end and is adapted to accommodate a wood or metal stake which may be driven therethrough into the ground beneath shelter floor portion and thus anchor the tent in the intended location. Subtending socket 42 and attached to the underside of each tab is loop shaped retainer 48 which provides a stop for the bottom of the foot so that the leg will not slide through socket 42.

Shelter enclosure or tent 21 which is made from a water proofed sheet like material such as canvas or the like, is permanently affixed to certain of the sections of the legs 23, 24, 25 and 26 by clamps 45, see FIG. III. Each clamp is of conventional construction having a pair of jawlike pieces 45a and b which are held in assembled relation by an adjustable fastener 45c. Aligned openings 45d are formed in pieces 45a and b through which extends a ringlet 44 which serves to connect the clamp 45 to a loop 46 which is sewn to the roof portion of shelter enclosure 21.

Additional clamps or tie means may be used if necessary to retain the shelter enclosure in its most desirable erected shape. To provide ventilation even during heavy precipitation, peak bars 29a and 20b support, respectively, awning-like or eave sections 50 and 51 as seen in FIG- URES I and VII, beneath which it is possible to keep uncovered segments of screen netting 52 and 53 open so that air may pass therethrough.

FIGURE IV shows the shelter construction when it is in its completely folded or jackknifed condition whereby it forms a portable pack suitable for being strapped under the arm or over the back of a person. The shelter enclosure being pliable and permanently afiixed to the legs of the shelter frame, readily folds up simultaneously with the frame sections.

It will be obvious that certain modifications of the specific embodiment may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of this invention. For example, if a fioorless shelter enclosure were desired, a system of straps or lines could be utilized to maintain the legs in their bowed set-up condition, to be detached when it is desired to collapse the shelter.

Other alternate constructions of the means utilized to interconnect the individual leg sections are shown in FIG- URES VI, IX and X. In the FIGURE VI, only a short segment of elastic shock cord 54 is utilized which has the opposite knotted ends 54a thereof secured to the end portions of two abutting tubular sections 56 and 57 by an apertured, shrunk fit or pinned cylindrical holding block 55a in section 57 and a similar block 55b in section 56. A telescoping sleeve 58 is permanently bonded to either section 56 or 57 and the operation thereof is in all ways similar to that of the aforediscussed construction.

In FIGURE IX a coiled tension spring 59 is substituted for cord 54 of FIGURE VI. To obtain suificient expansion of spring 59 to expedite the jackknifing operation, one end of the spring is immovably fastened to tubular section 56 by a fixed block 62 and slidably retained within section 57 by an enlarged washer 60 carried by the end of the spring. When sections 56 and 57 are disconnected the washer 60 is pulled down within section 57 until it engages an internally fixed block or collar 61 through which washer 60 will not pass. A sleeve section 58 is permanently bonded to section 56, as shown in FIG. IX. Operation of the construction shown in FIG- URE IX is again similar in all respects to that heretofore discussed.

A third alternate construction is shown in FIG. X wherein a slidable sleeve or collar section 63 is employed which, when in one position of adjustment, is adapted to overlay the opposed proximal ends of tubular sections 64 and 65 and hold the latter in aligned relation. Each opposed proximal end is bifurcated so as to pivotally accommodate one end of a double hinge element 67. Hinge 67 is pivotally connected to section 65 by pin 71 and may be pivoted to a substantially perpendicular position with respect to section 65 by reason of'slot 68 formed in the end of section 65. The other end of hinge 67 is pivotally connected in a similar manner to the bifurcated end of section 64 and also may be pivoted to a position substantially perpendicular with respect thereto. Pivotal movement between the hinge and leg sections occurs only when sleeve 63 is moved downwardly to its inoperative position as shown in FIG. X. To lock the joint in the set-up or non-pivotal condition, collar 63 is slid upwardly over hinge 67 until edge 63a thereof comes into contact with a protuberance 66 affixed to the periphery of section 65.

Another structure (not shown) which would function as connectors of individual sections would comprise the use of a coiled spring exteriorly disposed around the periphery of the two sections being interconnected, the ends thereof being permanently attached to their respective tubular sections, which in combination with a sleeve section which envelopes and is exposed exteriorly of the spring and is longitudinally slidable with respect thereto would provide an easily connectible and disconnectible joint for use in the above described shelter construction.

It is to be understood that in any embodiment shown or described herein where it is not essential for means to be threaded through the interior of a plurality of individual sections that such sections need not be tubular in cross-section but may be of solid cross-section.

Therefore it will be seen that a collapsible shelter construction having a framework of resilient interconnected individual sections with a shelter enclosure permanently attached thereto is provided which may be quickly set up into erected position or collapsed and jackknifed into a small, portable bundle or pack, The shelter is all inclusive and does not need any separate, easily lost or mislaid elements and through the unique means devised to interconnect the sections effects very expeditious erection thereof into set-up position.

While several embodiments of this invention are shown above, it will be understood, of course, that the invention is not to be limited thereto since many modifications may be made and it is contemplated, therefore by the appended claims to cover any such modifications as fall within the true spirit and scope of this invention.

I claim:

1. A collapsible tent construction comprising a pliable shelter member adapted, when in an erected position, to provide a cover for a predetermined base area, and a frame engaging said shelter member and supporting same in said erected position, said frame being disposed exteriorly of said erected shelter member; said frame including a plurality of collapsible legs, said legs when in operative condition depending angularly from a common member disposed above said erected shelter member, the lower ends of said legs resiliently engaging interconnected portions of said shelter member delimiting said base area whereby said legs assume outwardly bowed configurations; each leg being formed of a plurality of complemental tubular sections disposed in endwise interlocking engagement, when said leg is in said operative condition, and a resilient, extensible element connected to and extending through all sections of a leg whether the latter be in a collapsed or operative condition, said element having a portion thereof in continuous connection with said common member; at least said one resilient extensible element extending through said common member and the sections of two legs.

2. The tent construction recited in claim 1 wherein said common member includes conduit means through which extends the resilient extensible element connecting the sections of two legs.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 963,634 7/1910 Newmeyer -46 1,906,218 4/1933 Patchell 287-98 X 1,977,180 10/1934 Forbes 287-98 X 2,430,512 11/ 1947 Johnson 287-98 2,543,684 2/1951 Blanchard 135-4 2,705,015 3/ 1955 Langlais. 2,763,506 9/1956 Denker et a1. 287-98 X 2,969,074 1/1961 Willis 135-3 FOREIGN PATENTS 972,971 9/ 1950 France. 926,369 5/1963 Great Britain.

HARRISON R. MOSELY, Primary Examiner.


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U.S. Classification135/126, 135/156, 135/118, 135/127
International ClassificationE04H15/34, E04H15/42
Cooperative ClassificationE04H15/425
European ClassificationE04H15/42A