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Publication numberUS3399922 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 3, 1968
Filing dateFeb 21, 1966
Priority dateFeb 21, 1966
Publication numberUS 3399922 A, US 3399922A, US-A-3399922, US3399922 A, US3399922A
InventorsBurton Erroel H
Original AssigneeErrol H. Burton
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Automobile camper
US 3399922 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

p 1968 E. H. BURTON 3,399,922

AUTOMOBILE CAMPER Filed Feb. 21, 1966 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR.

ERROL H. BURTON ATTORNEY Sept. 3, 1968 E. H. BURTON AUTOMOBILE CAMPER 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Feb. 21, 1966 INVENTOR.

ERROL; H. BURTON ATTORNEY sept- 1968 E. H. BURTON AUTOMOBILE CAMPER 4 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed Feb. 21. 1966 INVENTOR.


AUTOMOB ILE CAMPER Filed Feb. 21, 1966 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 INVENTOR.

ERROL H. BURTON ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,399,922 AUTOMOBILE CAMPER Errol H. Burton, 34 N. Perry Lane, Tempe, Ariz.

Filed Feb. 21, 1966, Ser. No. 529,063 7 Claims. (Cl. 296--23) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE My invention relates to a camper and more in particular to a camper combination of which a usual pickup truck comprises a part, and which is adapted to accommodate the needs of at least four people on a camping trip.

Many types of devices have been developed for the purposes of accommodating the living needs of people who are spending a night in normally less accessible places when they are participating in such activities as fishing or hunting, or merely sightseeing. Camping has frequently involved the use of a quickly erectable tent with provisions for sleeping in sleeping bags, with all other activities including food preparation and eating taking place in the open. Many types of trailers have also been designed for this purpose, some withcooking facilities and some merely providing sleeping accommodations and in a simplest form, a low box like trailer in which all of the needs of the camper including a tent can be stored and a passenger automobile can draw the trailer at fairly high speeds. In recent years, it has become a common practice to fit a body over an ordinary openbed pickup truck, with all of the gear merely loaded in the bottom bed of the pickup truck. Campers such as these can accommodate satisfactorily not more than two people, but it is not uncommon for at least four people to enjoy together the experience of outdoor living during fishing and hunting trips.

So-called campers of the type utilizing a pickup truck have had many advantages, however, because they move at relatively high speeds, they can generally venture into more hazardous areas than ordinary passenger auto-mobiles, usually provide greater clearance, and have the advantage thatthe top rig is placed over the pickup truck and is easily removed and stored.

The principal object of my present invention is the provision of a camper of the type utilizing a pickup truck which has all of the advantages inherent in this type of camper as heretofore produced, but overcomes substantially all of the disadvantages heretofore found to exist.

Another object is the provision of a camper which can comfortably accommodate at least four people for sleeping purposes.

Still another object is the provision "of a relatively inexpensive camper of the type identified which is relatively inexpensive to produce, but which has practically all of the advantages of a so-called sport trailer for outdoor activities.

Other objects and provisions of the invention will be apparent'fromthe following detailed description of the accompanying drawings herein:

FIG. 1 is a side elevation view showing one embodiment of my present invention as it is associated with a common type of pickup truck;

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary slightly enlarged perspective view showing one of the extra sleeping bunks in position;

I Patented Sept. 3, 1968 FIG. 3 is a fragmentary perspective view showing a part of FIG. 2, but with fabric covering or awning in a position to cover the sleeping area;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary, sectional view taken along the line of 44 of FIG. 3, and showing one manner in which the fabric or the light covering or awning may be held in position;

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary sectional view taken along the line of 55 of FIG. 3 and showing the detail of the frame which supports the covering or awning;

FIG. 6 is an enlarged fragmentary perspective view showing a detail of importance in supporting the panel which provides a sleeping area;

FIG. 7 is an exploded view of a ridge frame which supports the covering or awning above a sleeper;

FIG. 8 is an enlarged fragmentary, sectional view, partially in elevation, showing the manner in which the ridge frame is held together;

FIG. 9 is a perspective view and looking in from the inside of the camper and showing several details including the manner of attachment of the covering or awning within the camper body: and

FIG. 10 is an exploded view showing the parts which are supported within the storage area and which are employed to provide sitting and sleeping capacity within the camper.

Referring now to the drawings showing a simple embodiment of the camper of my invention, I utilize the standard type of pickup truck indicated generally by reference character 11 and a camper housing 12 adapted to set down within the bed of the truck and to be supported in position by any suitable means, many of which are known in the art.

The truck has relatively shallow side frames 12 which extend above the bed 13 (FIG. 9) of the truck. In the form shown, the usual tailgate has been removed, and a narrow rear sidewall 14 appears at each side of the rearmost portion of the truck body. The camper includes sidewalls 16 and a rounded top 17 which may be integral with each other and comprise a single piece unit. The camper body 12 has a rear panel 18 in which the door 19 is placed for access to the inside of the body. It may be provided with a window 21 for visibility both by those that may be inside the camper body as well as for the driver of the truck.

A front panel 22 is positioned to seal against the truck body at the front end and it also may be provided with a window (not shown) if desired.

Since my invention is not concerned with the particular manner in which the camper body is supported on the truck, I have not shown this feature in detail. It will be noted, however, that the camper has a floor 23 which is integral with the sidewalls 16 of the camper as well as with the front panel 22 and rear panel 18.

Further reference to the anchoring of the camper body to the pickup truck will be explained hereinbelow.

As shown particularly in FIGS. 1, 2, 3 and 6, I provide, at the sides of the camper body, bottom hinged panels 24 containing at least one and preferably two window frames 26. These panels are adapted to be held by chains 27 in horizontal relation exteriorly of the body of the camper.

Suitably, the frame comprising the panel has a hole 28 through which a hook 29 at the bottom end of the chain 27 is engaged. The top link of the chain 27 engages a. clevis 31 carried by a small plate 32 held by screws 33 on the outside of the camper housing.

The windows are slightly recessed from their frames within the camper and I take advantage of this recess to place a suitable filler panel insert 34 on the panel 24 where it is in horizontal position as shown particularly in FIG. 2. When the recessed panel 34 is so placed, the top surface of such panel and the top surface of the win dow panel frame are aligned. The top surfacerin FIG. 2, therefore, provides means for accommodating the person sleeping, and, of course, both sides of the camper are provided with the same arrangement.

Above the openings in which the window panels 24 are fitted is a longitudinal framing member with a fiat portion 36 held tightly against the outside face of the sidewall 16, with an out-flared bottom portion 37 acting as a rain guard to prevent entering of moisture even during heavy rains.

The covering or awning indicated generally by the reference character 38 (see FIG. is foldable for storage, and has a marginal portion extending around three sides with a series of snap fasteners 39 adapted to engage complementary snap fasteners members 41 on a three sided frame strip 42 secured on the inside of the camper. Around the top and two sides of the opening normally closed by the window panel 24 (FIG. 9) as a support for the covering or awning placed over the sleeping area provided by the panel 24, I provide a ridge frame. This ridge frame includes a horizontal rod 44, two side rods 46, and two tubular connecting members 47. A projection 48 is provided in the sidewalls 16, one on each side of the opening in which the panel 24 fits. One end 46' of each of the side rods 46 engages into one of the projections 48 to hold the entire ridge frame in the position shown particularly in FIGS. 2 and 3. The cover or awning 38, as FIG. 3 shows, has a generally rectangular shape with ends 51 and slightly slanting top 52 and an outside apron-like portion 53. Ties 54 are provided on the outside of the awning to secure it to the ridge frame in the manner shown in FIG. 3, and thus to hold the entire covering or awning above the sleeper.

It will be noted by reference to FIG. 3 that the end walls 51 and the portion 53 of the awning extend down below the window panel 24, and I may merely depend on the hanging weight of the material comprising the awning to hold it in position. I provide, however, preferably, a positive sealaround the three exposed edges of the awning, and to secure these edges, a strip 56 (see FIG. 4) around the three sides of the awning; this strip 56 carrying a plurality of snap fasteners 57 adapted to engage complementary snap fasteners 58 on the frame portion 59 of the window panel 24. These snap fasteners 58 are clearly shown in FIGS. 4 and 6, but for convenience of illustration, the relative size of the parts have not been indicated in FIG. 2.

Referring now again to the frame structure of the camper, it will be noted by particular reference to FIGS. 2, 3, 9 and 10, that the frame portion of the camper is made to fit snugly within the bed of the pickup truck so as to avoid the possibility of dislodgement. In the form of the invention shown, the sides of the pickup truck have an outfiared portion 61, and the sidewalls 16 of the camper also have a matching outfiared portion 62 and a generally vertical continuation 63 which engages the floor 23 of the camper. A storage compartment is formed between the portions 63 and an upright 64. A top cover 66 for the storage compartment rests on the top edge of the upright 64 and on the supporting strip 67 (see FIG. 10) secured to the inside face of the sidewall 16. On the bottom forward edge of the cover portion 66, there is a pair of spaced strips 68 and 69 which prevents shifting of the cover 66. A cushioning mat 71 is adapted to be placed on top of the cover 66 to provide a seat for the occupants of the camper.

The storage compartment formed between the Wall portion 63 and upright 64 is so constructed and arranged that it can store all of the appurtenances forming a part of the camper as well as gear needed on a camping trip. A foldable mattress 72 is adapted to fit over the panel 24 after the member 34 has been placed in position over the glass window 26. The order in which the parts are assembled for storage is shown in the exploded view comprising FIG. 10.

The camper is constructed to set down bodily within the pickup truck by lowering it directly vertically into position. Any suitable and convenient method for accomplishing this result may be employed. The pickup truck, therefore, can be used for any desired purpose when the camper is not in use. When the camper is placed down over the truck, the closeness of the engagement within the sidewalls of the truck usually is adequate to assure that it will not become dislodged. Separate positive fastening members may be used if desired (not shown). When the camper is removed, all of the appurtenances associated with the provision of sleeping quarters and the like, as shown in FIG. 10, will be in storage within the compartment provided, and everything needed for camping can remain in the camper during the time that it is not in use. It will be noted that there is no way.of entering the camper except through the door 19 and this door may be provided with a lock for safekeeping.

Normally, when moving to a camping site, all of the associated gear will be stored in the storage compartment, and one or more of the camping party may ride within the camper. It is, of course, obvious that some equipment which will be used, such as fishing gear, guns, lanterns, cooking utensils, and the like, may simply be stored in their normal containers on the floor 23.

When the party reaches its destination, the camper and its accessories are assembled, as shown in FIG. 3, to form two comfortable sleeping places entirely outside the body of the truck. It is also possible to sleep with reasonable comfort on the pad 71, and, of course, one or more sleeping bags may be accommodated on the floor 23.

Those skilled in the art will recognize, of course, that a significant feature of my invention is the utilization of a hinged side panel, advantageously a window and frame combination normally forming a part of a side wall for extension of the lining, and particularly the sleeping, area without extending the overall size of the camper. While this feature is very desirable in a camper for use with a pick-up truck, it may be used with other camping devices, such as, without limiting the generality, a sports type trailer or the like.

I have shown and described a satisfactory embodiment of my invention and the scope thereof is defined by the claims.

I claim:

1. In a camper of the character described,

(a) a camper housing having sides, a top, a bottom member, a front end wall and a rear end wall,

(b) said camper housing dimensioned to set down inside of side walls of an open pickup truck with the housing bottom resting directly on the trucks bed,

(c) a pair of bottom hinged window bearing panels,

one in each housing side,

(d) strands with ends engaging the panels and housing to hold the panels in horizontal position for sleeping,

(e) a filler panel covering the window portion of said panels to provide a planular surface for sleeping,

(f) a foldable pad mattress dimensioned in area and shape with each bottom hinged panel,

(g) a ridge frame of general shallow U shape,

(11) means for attaching ends of said ridge form to the housing to support the same above the bottom hinged panel,

(i) a covering fabric supported by the ridge frame above the panel to provide a sleeping cubicle acceptable from within the housing and having top, side and end portions, and

(j) means securing edges of said top and end portion to the housing and for securing said side and end portions to a marginal portion of the panel.

2. A camper as defined in claim 1, including means forming elongated storage space at each side of the housing for storing said covering, ridge frame and mattress pad, said means including a removable top member providing seating capacity for occupants of the camper.

3. In a camper of the character described,

extending around said side and ends of the covering, and mutually interlocking fasteners on said strip and a contiguous marginal portion of said panel for firmly attaching said side and ends to said panel.

(a) a housing dimensioned to set down within the sides of an open pickup truck,

(b) said housing having sides, a top, a front end wall and a rear end wall,

(c) at least one bottom hinged panel in a side of said 5 housing,

(d) means for supporting said panel in a horizontal position, and

(e) means providing a covering with a top spaced above said panel when horizontal, said covering including m side and end walls enclosing said panel and providing access to said panel only from inside said truck, and camper housing, said covering top and end walls projecting through the opening in the housing normally closed by said bottom hinged end panel, and a plurality of fasteners securing said projecting portions of said covering top and end walls Within the housing marginally of said opening.

4. A camper as defined in claim 3, including a strip 5. A camper as defined in claim 3 wherein said covering means includes a generally U-shaped ridge frame releasably attached to said housing above said panel when horizontal, and a flexible covering member with top, side and end Walls supported by said ridge frame and said housing to provide sleeping space accessible from inside the camper housing.

6. A camper as defined in claim 3 wherein said housing includes a bottom member resting directly on the truck bed when said housing is in operable relation to a pickup truck.

7. A camper as defined in claim 3 wherein said housing includes a bottom member resting directly on the truck bed when said housing is in operable relation to a pickup truck, and a door in the end wall for access to the camper housing, a bottom edge of said door being approximately aligned with said bottom member of the camper housing.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,788,238 4/1957 Baird 296-232 1,643,965 11/1927 Simons 29623.2 512,273 1/1894 Brown 296-23.2

PHILIP GOODMAN, Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US512273 *Jan 9, 1894 Hunting-wagon
US1648965 *Nov 14, 1925Nov 15, 1927Simons John AVehicle body
US2788238 *Jun 2, 1953Apr 9, 1957Baird Earl LSemi-collapsible camping shelter
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3508781 *Aug 23, 1968Apr 28, 1970Anderson Charles ACamper body structure
US3514147 *Feb 26, 1968May 26, 1970Forsyth John PConvertible camper vehicle
US3743346 *Mar 8, 1972Jul 3, 1973Senn GFolding camper extension
US3744840 *Sep 23, 1971Jul 10, 1973Van Cleave MTwo-piece units longitudinally adjustable with each end terminating in means interlocking a camper body with a truck body
US3788018 *May 13, 1971Jan 29, 1974Standard Fabricated Prod CoPrefabricated multi-story stair assembly
US4188963 *Oct 18, 1978Feb 19, 1980Janoe Charles EPortable tent/canopy for jeeps
US5067716 *Jul 20, 1990Nov 26, 1991Namanny Kerry TPortable miniature golf system and method of use
US5339852 *Nov 6, 1992Aug 23, 1994Bull Danny CPermanent portable weatherproof blind
US5667267 *Feb 15, 1996Sep 16, 1997Talucci; John K.Mobile fitness center
US5829812 *Feb 25, 1997Nov 3, 1998Gionta; Mark S.For the back of an open truck
US6588819 *Dec 14, 2001Jul 8, 2003David C. BlockTruck shell
US6863337Jul 8, 2003Mar 8, 2005David C. BlockTruck shell
US6983980Aug 11, 2004Jan 10, 2006Happijac CompanySystem for moving a bed using an endless drive
US6988760 *Aug 11, 2004Jan 24, 2006Happijac CompanySystem for moving a bed using a chain
US7121612Oct 19, 2005Oct 17, 2006Rasmussen C MartinVehicle including multiple items that move vertically
US7121613Jun 16, 2006Oct 17, 2006Rasmussen C MartinVehicle including multiple items that move vertically
US7198320Aug 11, 2004Apr 3, 2007Lippert Components, Inc.System for moving a bed using a rack and gear
US7350850Oct 19, 2005Apr 1, 2008Lippert Components, Inc.Bed that moves vertically and converts into a couch
US7384093Jun 6, 2006Jun 10, 2008Lippert Components, Inc.System for lifting various objects in a vehicle
US7744142Jun 9, 2008Jun 29, 2010Lippert Components, Inc.Strap bed lift
US8038193May 13, 2010Oct 18, 2011Lippert Components, Inc.Strap bed lift
US8365472 *Dec 13, 2010Feb 5, 2013Opacmare S.P.A.Foldaway railed balcony, particularly for boats
US20110023925 *Nov 10, 2008Feb 3, 2011Weatherhaven Resources Ltd.Extendible height container and shelter
US20110138700 *Dec 13, 2010Jun 16, 2011Opacmare SpaFoldaway railed balcony, particularly for boats
DE3514036A1 *Apr 18, 1985Oct 30, 1986Andreas MoeslingerCamping installation for motor homes, caravans and the like
U.S. Classification296/164, 135/116, 296/26.15, 52/69, 135/117
International ClassificationB60P3/32, B60P3/34
Cooperative ClassificationB60P3/341
European ClassificationB60P3/34B