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Publication numberUS3537218 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 3, 1970
Filing dateOct 31, 1968
Priority dateOct 31, 1968
Publication numberUS 3537218 A, US 3537218A, US-A-3537218, US3537218 A, US3537218A
InventorsMilo F Hindman
Original AssigneeMilo F Hindman
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Skirting for mobile homes
US 3537218 A
Images(2)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

M. F. HINDMAN SKIRTING FOR MOBILE HOMES Nov. 3, 1370 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Oct. 31, 1968 nuM.. RAM

O Tm m VM NWfN #HMM N.. K /M ,n l OL M y A l 101 6 w United States Patent O 3,537,218 SKIRTING FOR MOBILE HOMES Milo F. Hindman, Evergreen, Centralia, Ill. 62801 Filed Oct. 31, 1968, Ser. No. 772,271 Int. Cl. E04b 2/82; E04d 3/365 U.S. Cl. 52-169 13 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A skirting, for the space between the lower edge of a mobile home and the ground, has a number of panels which are held by attaching clips that are secured to panel supports which extend between that lower edge and the ground. The panels are made of relatively thin material, so they can be light in weight and so they can be bowed to facilitate the ready insertion of the upper and lower edges thereof into notches defined by the attaching clips; but the upper and lower edges of those panels have anchoring portions which will engage shoulders in those notches to prevent accidental separation of those panels from those attaching clips. The attaching clips can be set at different levels relative to the panel supports; and hence those attachin-g clips can define constant-level lines even though the panel supports must differ in length to accommodate different distances between the lower edge of a mobile home and the ground. The attaching clips can be set to permit the lower edges of the panels to overlap, but to be spaced short distances outwardly of, the upper edges of the next-lower panels, thereby minimizing drafts in the space .between the bottom of the mobile home and the ground while permitting the skirting to breathe Notches and slots are formed in some of -the panels to permit those panels to be bent to define the corners of the skirting; and those panels minimize drafts at the corners of the skirting, and also provide an attractive appearance for those corners. The panel supports include posts which have elongated recesses that accommodate rods and helical compression springs; and those helical compression springs urge the lower ends of those rods into engagement with the ground and urge the upper ends of those posts into holding engagement with the lower edge of the mobile home. The upper ends of the rods extend several inches up into the lower ends of the helical compression springs; and hence the posts can closely confine the rods even where the lower ends of the helical compression springs are close to the lower ends of the posts.

This invention relates to improvement in skirting for mobile homes. More particularly, this invention relates to improvements in panel supports and panels for the skirting for mobile homes.

It is, therefore, an object of the present invention to provide an improved panel and an improved panel `support for the skirting for mobile homes.

In many climates it is desirable to enclose the space between the bottom of a mobile home and the ground; and a number of skirtings have been developed for the purpose of filling that space. It would be desirable to provide a skirting which was light in weight and which could be installed readily, bu-t which would not come apart even when subjected to high winds. The present invention provides such a skirting; and it does so by providing a skirting which has attaching clips that are secured to panel supports and that secure panels to those panel supports. The panels are made of relatively thin material, so they can be light in weight and so they can be bowed to facilitate the ready insertion of the upper and lower edges thereof into notches defined by the attaching clips;

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but the upper and lower edges of those panels have anchoring portions which will engage shoulders in those notches to prevent accidental separation of those panels from those attaching clips. As a result, the skirting provided by the present invention can be light in weight and can be installed readily but will not come apart even when subjected to high winds. It is, therefore, an object of the present invention to provide a skirting for mobile homes which has panels that are made of relatively thin material, and that have anchoring por-tions on the -upper and lower edges thereof which will engage shoulders in notches defined by attaching clips.

The attaching clips, of the skirting provided by the present invention, can be set at different levels relative to the panel supports; and hence those attaching clips can define constant-level lines even though the panel supports must differ in length to accommodate diierent distances between the lower edge of a mobile home and the ground. Those constant-level lines are desirable, because they enable the panels to be horizontal. It is, therefore, an object of the present invention to provide attaching clips which can be set at different levels relative to the panel supports.

The attaching clips can be set to permit the lower edges of the panels to overlap, but to be spaced short distances outwardly of, the upper edges of the next-lower panels. The overlapping of the upper edges of panels by the lower edges of the next-higher panels is desirable, because it minimizes drafts in the space between the bottom of the mobile home and the ground. The spacing of the lower edges of the panels short distances outwardly of the upper edges of the next-lower panels is desirable, because it permits the skirting to breathe. It is, therefore, an object of the present invention to provide attaching clips which permit the lower edges of panels to overlap, but to be spaced short distances outwardly of, the upper edges of the next-lower panels.

Notches and slots are formed in some of Ithe panels, of the skirting provided by the present invention; and those notches and slots permit those panels to be bent to dene the comers of the skirting. Those panels minimize drafts at the corners of the skirting, and also provide an attractive appearance for those corners. It is, therefore, an object of the present invention to provide panels which have notches and slots therein to enable those panels to be bent to define the corners of a skirting for the space between the lower edge of a mobile home and the ground.

The panel supports include posts which have elongated recesses that accommodate rods and helical compression springs; and those helical compression springs urge the lower ends of those rods into engagement with the ground and urge the upper ends of those posts into holding engagement with the lower edge of the mobile home. The upper ends of the rods extend several inches up into the lower ends of the helical compression springs; and hence the posts can closely confine those -rods even where the lower ends of the helical compression springs are close to the lower ends of the posts. It is, therefore, an object of the present invention to provide panel supports which include recessed posts, helical compression springs within the recesses in those posts, and rods which have the upper ends thereof extending several inches up into the lower ends of those helical compression springs.

lOther and further objects and advantages of the present invention should become apparent from an examination of the drawing and accompanying description.

In the drawing and accompanying description a preferred embodiment of the present invention is shown and described but it is to be understood that the drawing and accompanying description are for the purpose of illustration only and do not limit the invention and that the invention will be defined by the appended claims.

In the drawing, FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of part of a mobile home and part of the skirting for the space between the lower edge of that mobile home and the ground,

FIG. 2 is an end elevational view of part of the mobile home and part of the skirting shown in FIG. 1,

FIG. 3 is a front elevational View, on a larger scale, of one of the panel supports of the skirting shown in FIGS. l and 2, and it shows part of the lower edge of the mobile home in section,

FIG. 4 is a side elevational view, on the scale of FIG. 3, of the panel support shown in FIG. 3 after panels have been assembled with that panel support, and it is taken along the broken plane indicated by the broken line 4 4 in FIG. 3,

FIG. 5 is a rear elevational View, on the scale of FIG. 3, of the panel support shown in FIG. 3 after panels have been assembled with that panel support, and it is taken along the broken plane indicated by the broken line 5 5 in FIG. 4,

FIG. 6 is a broken sectional view, on a still larger scale, through the panel support shown in FIG. 3, before panels have been assembled with that panel support, and it is taken along the plane indicated by the line 6 6 in FIG. 3,

FIG. 7 is a sectional View, on the scale of FIG. 6, after panels have been assembled with the panel support of FIG. 3, and it is taken along a plane indicated by an upward extension of the line 6 6 in FIG. 3,

FIG. 8 is a sectional view, on the scale of FIG. 6, through the panel support of FIG. 3, and it is taken along the plane indicated by the line 8 8 in FIG. 6.

FIG. 9 is another sectional view, on the scale of FIG. 6, through the panel support of FIG. 3, and it is taken along the plane indicated by the line 9 9 in FIG. 6,

FIG. 10 is a broken, front elevational view, on the scale of FIG. 6, of one of the attaching clips secured to the panel support in FIG. 3, and

FIG. 11 is a front elevational view, on a scale larger than that of FIGS. 1 and 2 but smaller than that of FIG. 3, of part of one of the panels shown in FIGS. 1 and 2.

Referring to the drawing in detail, the numeral denotes the lower edge of a mobile home; and that lower edge s usually defined by a yieldable material such as wood, hardboard, 0r the like. The numeral 22 generally denotes a post; and the cross-sectional configuration of that post is shown particularly by FIGS. 8 and 9. That post is preferably made as an extrusion; and it has a wall 24 with a rearwardly-extending flange 26`and a forwardly-extending flange 28. As shown particularly by FIGS. 8 and 9, the flanges 26 and 28 are located at the opposite edges of the wall 24, and they are disposed at right angles to the plane of that wall. A lip 30 extends along the front edge of the flange 28; and that lip is parallel to, and is co-extensive with, part of the wall 24, and it coacts with that part of that wall and with the flange 28 to define an elongated recess. The numeral 32 denotes a second wall which lies in the plane of the wall 24 but which is spaced away from that wall. A flange 34 extends rearwardly from one edge of the wall 32, and a flange 36 extends forwardly from the opposite edge of that wall; and those angesare disposed at right angles to the plane of that wall. A lip 38 is formed on the front edgeI of the flange 36; and that lip extends toward, and lies in the plane of, the lip 30, and it coacts with the Wall 32 and the flange 36 to define an elongated recess.

The iiange 26 and the flange 34 are in register with each other but they are spaced apart; and those flanges are held in vspaced relationship by the wall of a sleeve 40 which has an elongated slot 42 therein. That slot is opposite that portion of the wall of that sleeve which holds the flanges 26 and 34 in spaced relation. The post 22 can be made of any suitable length, but it will usually have a length in the range of twelve to forty-four inches. Where that post is made as an extrusion, it .can be cut to length by a suitable cut-off tool adjacent the extrusion die; or it can subsequently be cut to length by a suitable punching or sawing operation. As the post 22 is cut to length, the `bottom thereof will be cut to define a plane which is at right angles to the plane defined by the Walls. 24 and 32, but the upper end of that post will be cut to define two prongs 44; and those prongs are shown particularly by FIG. 3. Those prongs are sharp enough and sturdy enough to readily penetrate the material which defines'the ylower edge 20 of the mobile home. Abutments 46 are formed on the post 22 adjacent the lower ends of the prongs 44, and those abutments extend inwardly beyond the confronting edges of the lips 30 and 38 on that post. Those abutments are shown by FIGS. 3 and 7; and they constitute a restriction at the upper end of the space defined by-the lips 30 and 38.

The post 22 preferably is made from a material which isreadily extruded, which is resistant to corrosion, and which is relatively inexpensive. One material which has been found to be very suitable for the post 22 is aluminum.

The numeral 50 generally denotes anl attaching clip; and the details of that attaching clip are shown particularly by FIGS. 7 and l0. That attaching clip has an ear 52 which inclines forwardly and upwardly from the upper edge thereof, and that ear has a reentrant bend therein which defines a notch 54. A shoulder 53 is provided within the notch 54 defined by the ear 52, as shown particularly by FIGS. 6 and 7. The attaching clip 50 has an ear 56 thereon which inclines forwardly and downwardly from the lower edge thereof; and that ear has a reentrant bend therein which defines a notch 58. A shoulder 57 is provided within the notch 58 defined by the ear 56, as shown particularly by FIGS. 6 and 7. As shown particularly by FIGS. 4, 6 and 7, the ear 52 is shorter than the ear 56; and the notch 54 in the ear 52 opens downwardly whereas the notch 58 in the ear 56 opens upwardly. The attaching clip 50 has an ear 60 extending forwardly from the midportion thereof; and that ear is L-shaped in side view to define a notch 62. That notch opens upwardly and confronts the notch 54 defined by the ear 52.

The attaching clip 50 is made wider than the shortest distance between the inner face of the flange 28 and the confronting face of the lip 38, but is made narrower than the shortest distance between the confronting faces of the anges 28 and 36. The ears S2 and 56 are made narrower than the shortest distance between the confronting faces of the lips 30 and 38; and hence `the attaching clip 50 can have the edges thereof telescoped into the elongated recesses defined by wall 24, flange 28 and lip 30 and by wall 32, flange 36 and lip 38. As shown particularly by FIGS. 6-9, the ears 52 and 56 extend forwardly beyond the-outer faces of the lips 30 and 38. l t

Opening 64 and 66 are formed in the attaching clip 50; and the opening 64 is located between the ears 52 and 60, while the opening 66 is located between the ears 56 and 60. Theopenings 64 and 66 are located so they will be in register with the elongated space defined by the confronting faces of the flanges 26 and 34 whenever the attaching clip 50 is assembled with the post 22.

The numeral denotes an attaching clip which is shorter than the attaching clip 50; and the attaching clip 70 is shown by FIGS. 3 and 6. The attaching clip 70 has an ear 52 which is identical to the ear 52 onthe attaching clip 50; and the ear 52 on the attaching clip 70 has a reentrant bend which defines a notch 52. A shoulder 53 is provided within the notch54 defined by the ear 52,V as shown particularly by FIG. 6. The attaching clip 70 also has an ear 60 which extends forwardly from that clip. p

to define a notch 62; and the notch 62 opens upwardly to confront the notch 54. The attaching clip 70 has an.

opening 64 therein; and that opening is located between the ears 52 and 60. The opening 6.4 is located so it `will be disposed in register with the elongated space defined by the confronting faces of the flanges 26 and 34 whenever the attaching clip 70 is assembled with the post 22. The attaching clip 70 can be made by cutting away the lower portion of an attaching clip 50.

The numeral 74 denotes a self-tapping screw; and that screw is dimensioned so the shank thereof can readily extend through either of the openings 64 and 66 but the head thereof cannot extend through that opening. The thread on the shank of the self-tapping screw 74 can bite into the confronting faces of the anges 26 and 34 of the post 22, and thus can secure that self-tapping screw to that extrusion. Where the shank of the self-tapping screw 74 is passed through the opening 64 or the opening 66 of an attaching clip 50 before the thread on that shank is caused to bite into the confronting surfaces of the tlanges 26 and 34 of the post 22, that self-tapping screw can fixedly secure that attaching clip to that post. Similarly, where the shank of the self-tapping screw 74 is passed through the opening 64 of an attaching clip 70 before the thread on that shank is caused to bite into the confronting surfaces of the anges 26 and 34 of the post 22, that self-tapping screw can fixedly secure that attaching clip to that post. Because the space defined by the confronting faces of the anges 26 and 34 of the post 22 is as long as that post, the self-tapping screw 74 can be locked in position at any desired point along the length of that post. Consequently, self-tapping screws 74 can be used to secure the attaching clips 50 and 70 at any desired points along the length of the post 22.

The numeral 78 denotes a nut which is dimensioned to fit within the sleeve 40; and that nut will be telescoped into that sleeve through one of the ends of that sleeve. A wing bolt 80 has the shank thereof extending through the elongated slot 42 of the sleeve 40 and into the threaded opening in the nut 78. Tightening of that wing bolt will move the end of the shank of that wing bolt into engagement with the portion of the sleeve 40 that spaces the flanges 26 and 34 apart, and also will force the edges of the nut 78 into engagement with the interior of that sleeve. Consequently, tightening of that wing bolt will xedly lock that wing bolt and the nut 78 in position within the sleeve 40. However, loosening of that wing bolt will permit that wing bolt and the nut 78 to be shifted to any desired position along the length of that sleeve.

The numeral v82 denotes an elongated rod which has stops 90 punched outwardly from the opposite sides thereof adjacent the lower end thereof; and that rod also has stops 92 punched outwardly from the opposite sides thereof about four and one-half inches below the upper end thereof. The rod 82 has a diameter which is smaller than the inner diameter of the sleeve 40 but which is larger than the width of the elongated slot 42 in that sleeve. The stops 92 are dimensioned to extend toward, but to stop short of, the inner surface of the sleeve 40; and hence those stops permit the rod 82 to be telescoped within that sleeve, as shown particularly by FIG. 6. A foot 86 has a opening 87 therein, which telescopes upwardly over the lower end of the rod 82; and that opening permits the upper surface of that foot to be moved upwardly into engagement with the stops 90. The foot 86 will preferably be made from sheet metal, and it will preferably be made with downwardly-bent corners 88. After the opening 87 in the foot 86 has been telescoped upwardly over the lower end of the rod 82, that lower end will be planished, as indicated by the numeral 84, to make the transverse dimension of that lower end longer than the diameter of the opening 87 in the foot 86. As a result, the planishing of the lower end of the rod 82 will hold the foot 86 in assembled relation with that rod.

The numeral 94 denotes an elongated helical compression spring which is dimensioned to telescope into the sleeve 40; and that spring has an inner diameter which is dimensioned to acommodate the upper end of the rod 82. The upper end of the spring 94 bears against the nut 78, and the lower end of that spring bears against the stops 92; and that spring will bias the rod 82 for movement downwardly relative to the sleeve 40. However, that spring can be compressed to permit the rod 82 to be moved upwardly relative to the sleeve 40. The amount of force which the helical compression spring 94 will apply to the rod 82 will be a function of the position of the nut 78 relative to the sleeve 40 and a function of the extent to which the rod 82 is telescoped within that sleeve. The stops 92 permit the upper end of the rod 82 to telescope about four and one-half inches into the helical compression spring 94; and hence as much as four and one-half inches of the rod 82 will -be co-extensive with the helical compression spring 94 and the sleeve 40, even where the lower end of the spring 94 is adjacent the lower end of the sleeve 40. This is important; because it means that the sleeve 40 of post 22 will provide full and adequate support for the rod 82, even if that rod projects below the lower end of the post 22 so far that the lower end of the helical compression 94 is adjacent the lower end of the sleeve 40.

The post 22, several attaching clips 50, an attaching clip 70, several self-tapping screws 74, the nut 78, the wing bolt 80, the rod 82, the foot 86, and the helical cornpression spring 94 constitute an extendable and retractable panel support. The prongs 44 at the upper end of that panel support will be forced to penetrate the material which forms the lower edge 20V of the mobile home; and the downwardly-bent corners 88 of the foot 66 will tend to penetrate the ground, as shown by FIG. 6. The penetration of the ground by those corners will coact with the penetration of the material which defines the lower edge 20 of the mobile home to hold the panel support xed relative to that lower edge of that mobile home. If the lower edge 20 of the mobile home moves up or down relative to the ground, due to frost-induced heaving or due to drouth-induced shrinkage, the helical compression spring 94 will hold the downwardly-bent corners 88 of the foot 86 solidly in engagement with the ground, while also holding the prongs 44 solidly in engagement with that lower edge. The overall result is that once the panel support provided by the present invention has been set in engagement with the lower edge 20 of a mobile home and the ground, that panel support will remain solidly in engagement with that lower edge until it is desirable to remove that panel support.

The numeral 98 generally denotes one of the panels which is used to form the skirting that bounds the space between the lower edge 20 of the mobile home and the ground. That panel will be long and narrow-usually being about ten feet long and about six and one-half inches wide. That panel has a flat central portion 100, and it has a shallow, arcuate groove 102 along the center line of that at central portion. An offset 104 inclines forwardly and upwardly from the upper edge of the flat central portion and an offset 106 inclines forwardly and downwardly from the lower edge of that tlat central portion. A flat portion 108 extends upwardly from the 01T- set 104, and that flat portion lies in a plane which is parallel to, but spaced forwardly of, the flat central portion 100. A portion 110 inclines upwardly and rearwardly from the upper edge of the at portion 108; and a flat portion i112 extends upwardly from the upper edge of the inclined portion 110. The flat portion '112 lies in a plane which is parallel to, but spaced rearwardly of, the at central portion 100. An anchoring portion 114 inclines forwardly and upwardly from the upper edge of the flat portion 112; and that upper edge and that anchoring portion extend upwardly into the notch 54 defined by the reentrant bend in the ear 52 on the attaching clip 50. The anchoring portion 114 extends above and overlies the shoulder 53 in the notch S4. The numeral 116 denotes a flat portion which extends downwardly from the offset 106, and that portion lies in the plane of the flat portion 108. A portion 118 inclines downwardly and rearwardly from the lower edge of the ilat portion 116; and a flat portion 120 extends downwardly from the lower edge of the inclined portion 118. The at portion 120 lies in the plane of the flat portion 112; and an anchoring projection 122 inclines downwardly and forwardly from the lower edge of the flat portion 120. The lower edge of the fiat portion 120 and the anchoring portion 122 extend downwardly into the notch -58 defined by the reentrant bend in the ear 56 on the attaching clip 50. The anchoring portion '122 extends below and underlies the shoulder 57 in the notch 58.

The panel 98 is made of relatively thin gauge metal, and it has appreciable bends therein intermediate the portion 108 and the portion |110 and intermediate the portion 116 and the portion 118; and hence that panel can be readily bowed to facilitate the insertion of the upper and lower edges thereof into the notches 54 and 58, respectively, defined by the ears 52 and 56. After the upper and lower edges of the panel 98 have been disposed within the notches 54 and 58, respectively, defined by the ears 52 and 56, the force which was used to bow that panel will be released; and then the restorative forces within that panel will tend to hold those upper and lower edges within those notches. At such time, the anchoring portion 114 will overlie and confront the shoulder 53 in the notch 54; and the anchoring portion 122 will underlie and confront the shoulder S7 in the notch 56.

The numeral 123 generally denotes a panel which is identical to the panel 98, except for the fact that the panel 123 has a notch 124 in the upper edge thereof, has a notch i126 in the lower edge thereof, and has a narrow slot 128y between and in register with the notches 124 and i126. The notch 124 extends through the anchoring portion 114, the flat portion 112 and the upwardly and rearwardly inclined portion 110 of the panel 123, the notch 126 extends through the anchoring portion 122, the fiat portion 120 and the rearwardly and downwardly inclined portion 1|18 of` that panel, and the slot 122 extends through the groove '102, the offsets 104 and 106, and the at central portion 100 of that panel. Those notches and that slot defines a bend line for the panel 123, and that bend line enables that panel to have a portion thereof bent at ninety degrees to the rest of that panel; and hence the notches 124 and 126 and the slot 128 facilitate the bending of the panel 123 to form a corner panel. The fiat portions 108 and 116 of the panel 123 will hold the two bent portions of that panel in assembled relation, and will enable that panel to be strong despite the presence therein of the notches 1124 and 126 and of the slot 128. In one preferred embodiment of the present invention, the notches 124 and 126 and the slot 128 are spaced four feet from one end of the panel 123 and are spaced six feet from the other end of that panel. Such spacing is very desirable; because it makes the four foot portion of the panel 123 equal to one-half of the width of an eight foot wide mobile home, because it makes the six foot portion of that panel equal to one-half of the width of a twelve foot wide mobile home, and because it enables the four foot portion lof one panel 123 and the six foot portion of another panel 123 to equal the width of a ten foot wide mobile home.

The numeral 130 denotes a panel which closely resembles the upper half of the panel 98. Specifically, the panel 130 has an anchoring portion 114, a flat portion 112, an upwardly and rearwardly inclined portion 1,10, a flat portion 108, and an offset 104. However, instead of having a fiat central portion identical to the fiat central portion 100 of the panel 98, the panel 130 has a flat portion 132 which extends downwardly from the lower edge of the offset 104. Also, instead of having the arcuate groove 102 of the panel 98, the panel 130 has an arcuate lower edge 134. The anchoring portion 114 of the panel 130 is dimensioned to extend into the notch 54 defined by the reentrant bend of the ear 52 on an attaching front the shoulder 53 in that notch. The arcuate lower edge 134 of the panel 130 is 'dimensioned to extend into the notch 62 defined by the ear 60 on the attaching clipA 70. The panel is approximately three and one quarter inches wide, and thus can be used to fit into a gap which is too narrow to receive one of the panels 98.

Where a panel 130 is to be used as a corner panel, a

notch, similar to the notch 124, will be formed in the upper edge of that panel; and a slot, similar to the upper portion of the slot 128, will be formed in the lower edge of that panel. The portion 108 of 'a corner panel 130 will hold the two bent portion of that panel at the desired angle, and will provide the desired strength for that corner panel.

For convenience and economy of manufacture, the panels 130 can be made by severing panels 98l along the center lines of the latter panels. Specifically, a scoring line can be formed along the bottom of the shallow, arcuate groove 102 in a panel 98; and then that panel can be subdivided along that scoring line to form two panels 123. By severing a panel 98 to form two panels 123, the cost of making and maintaining separate rolls for the latter panels is obviated.

, The outer faces of the panels 98, 123 and 130 will preferably be overlain by a protective coating. In one preferred embodiment of the present invention, the outer surfaces of those panels are overlain by a hard, weather-resistant enamel. Also, the surfaces of the attaching clips 50 and 70 are preferably overlain by a protective coating; and, in the said preferred embodiment of the present invention, those attaching clips are overlain by a hard, weatherresistant enamel.

The extendable panel supports and the panels provided by the present invention can 'be stored and shipped economically. Specifically, each of the posts 22 can have a number of attaching clips 50, or can have a number of attaching clips 50 plus an attaching clip 7 0, in the channellike space dened by the walls 24 and 32, the anges 28 and 36, and the lips 30 and 38; and hence those posts and those attaching clips will occupy a minimum of space. The abutments 46 at the upper end of the post 22 will automatically keep the uppermost attaching clip 50 from falling out of the channel-like space defined by the walls 24 and 312, the anges 28 and 36, and the lips 30 and 38 during assembly. After sufiicient attaching clips 50, or a number of attaching clips 50 plus an attaching clip 70, have been inserted in the channel-like space defined by the walls 24 and 32,'the fianges 28 and 36, and the lips 30 and 38 to make those attaching clips essentially coextensive with the` length of the post 22, a self-tapping screw 74 can be passed through the opening 64 in the lowennost ,of the attaching clips to temporarily keep those attaching clips from accidentally ibecoming separated lfrom that post. The panels 98 can be nested, one within the other; and, similarly, the panels 130 can be nested one within the other. Also, the corner panels 123, and any corner panels similar to the panel 130, can lbe nested within each other. The rest of the self-tapping screws 74 can be enclosed within a suitable bag or box, as can the nuts 78 and the wing bolts :80. Ihe helical compression springs `94 can be disposed within the sleeves 40 of the posts 22; and the upper ends of those sleeves can be partially closed, as shown particularly by FIG. 7, to keep those springs from sliding out of those upper ends. The rods 82 and the feet 86 can be packagedseparately.

To erect a s-kirting around the space between the lower edge 20 of a mobile home and the ground, posts 22 of the desired length will be selected; and then attaching clips 50, or attaching clips 50 plus attaching clips 70, will beA suitably spaced along the lengths of those posts. Those attaching clips will be fixed relative to ythose posts by causing the Shanks of the self-tapping screws 74 to pass through the openings 64 and 66 of the uppermost and lowermost attaching clips and to bite into the confronting faces of the flanges 26 and 34. Because the ears 52 vof the attaching clips 50 `incline outwardly and upwardly from the upper edges of those clips, it is possible to have the upper ends of the notches 54 of the uppermost attaching clips 50 extend to the level of the abutments 46, and lbe immediately adjacent the lower edge of the mobile home. This is desirable; because it enables the skirting to substantially prevent drafts close to that lower edge. On the other hand, if desired, the uppermost clip 50 on each post 22 could be set in the position indicated by FIGS. 3-5 and 7, wherein the upper edge of the ear 52 is spaced a short distance below the lower edge 20 of the mobile home. Also, the positions of the clips being adjustable, they can be set for accurate horizontal alignment even though the bottom of the trailer may have irregularities such as caused by warped or uneven plywood holding insulation against the bottom of the trailer.

As indicated by FIIGS. 4, 6 and 7, it is possible to dispose the upper surfaces of the ears '52 on lower attaching clips I50 in engagement with the lower surfaces on the ears 56 on upper attaching clips 50; and, where that is done, the inner portion of the notch 58 will actually extend below the level of the inner portion of the notch 54, as shown particularly by FIG. 7. Such an arran-gement permits the lower edge of an upper panel 98 to overlie the uppermost edge of the next-lower panel. However, if desired, the attaching clips 50 can be assembled with the posts 22 to provide spaces between adjacent ears 52 and 56 of adjacent attaching clips. It will be noted that where the ears 52 and 56 abut each other, as shown by FIGS. 4, 6 and 7, the notch y58 in the ear 56 will be spaced yforwardly of the notch 54 in the ear '52. That spacing will hold the lower edge of each panel forwardly of the upper edge of the next lower panel-thereby enabling the skirting to breathe while keeping rain, sleet or snow from penetrating that skirting.

Where the length of each post 22 is slightly greater than an even multiple of the length of an attaching clip 50, a number of attaching clips 50 can be set in tandem relation, and an attaching clip 70 will not be needed. However, where the length of each post 22 materially exceeds a multiple of the length of the attaching clip 50, an attaching clip 70 will be used as the lowermost attaching clip.

yOnce the various attaching clips have been secured to the various posts 22 by the self-tapping screws 74, the nuts 718 and the wing bolts 80 will be set at desired distances from the lower ends of those posts; and the helical compression springs 94 will be telescoped into the sleeves 40 of those posts, and the upper ends of the rods 82 will be telescoped into the lower ends of those springs. The closer those nuts and wing bolts are set to those lower ends, the greater will be the downwardly-directed bias which those helical compression springs apply to the rods v82; and, conversely, the further those nuts and wing bolts are spaced from those lower ends, the smaller will be the downwardly-directed bias which those springs apply to those rods. As the upper ends of the rods 82 are telescoped within the lower ends of the helical compression springs 94, the ears 92 on those rods will force the lower ends of those springs upwardly within the sleeves 40, as shown particularly by FIG. 6. The resulting restorative forces within those springs will apply downwardly-directed forces to those rods.

It should be noted that, while this design readily facilitates doing the foregoing assembly at the job site, the aforedescribed components alternatively may be factory assembled with only the panels to be installed at the job site.

'Ihe prongs 44 at the upper ends of the posts 22 will then be forced into the material which denes the lower edge 20 of the mobile home, as shown particularly by FIGS. 3-5; and those prongs will x the positions of the upper ends of the panel supports relative to the lower edge of that mobile home. Usually, the panel supports will be spaced apart about forty inches, so that each ten foot panel will be supported by four attaching clips. With the downwardly-bent corners 88 of the feet 86 penerating the ground and the rods y82 vertical, the rods 82 are extended to force the prongs 44 into the material which defines the lower edge 20 of the mobile home.

After the panel supports have been installed, the corner panels 123, and any corner panels corresponding to the panel 130, should be installed. The uppermost comer panels should be installed first, and then each successivelylower corner panel should be installed. With an eightfoot wide mobile home, the corner panels will be set so the four-foot portions thereof extend toward and lap each other to close the ends of the space between the lower edge of that mobile home and the ground. With a ten-foot wide mobile home, the corner panels will be set so the four-foot portions of some corner panels will extend toward and lap the six-foot portions of other corner panels to close the ends of the space between the lower edge of that mobile home and the ground. With a twelve-foot wide mobile home, the corner panels will be set so the six-foot portions thereof extend toward and llap each .other to close the ends of the space between the lower edge of that mobile home and the ground.

In installing the corner panels, those panels will be bowed to enable the anchoring portions 114 thereof to extend into the notches 54 defined by the reentrant bends of the ears 52 of the attaching clips, and to enable the anchoring portions 122 thereof to extend into the notches 58 defined by the reentrant bends of the ears 56 of those attaching clips.

Once al1 of the corner panels havey been secured to the posts 22, by having the anchoring portions thereof inserted in the notches of the attaching clips mounted on those posts, straight panels will then have the anchoring portions thereof disposed in the notches in the various attaching clips. The ends of the straight panels will lap the ends of the corner panels, and adjacent ends of straight panels will lap each other. This lapping is possible because each of the notches 54 is dimensioned to accommodate the lapped anchoring portions 114 of two panels; and each of the notches 58 is dimensioned to accommodate the lapped anchoring portions 122 of two panels. Similarly, each of the notches 62 is dimensioned to accommodate the arcuate lower portions 134 of two panels 130 or of two corner panels similar to the panel 130.

The skirting constitutes an ornamental and attractive enclosure for the space between the lower edge of the mobile home and the ground; and it will conceal the jacks for, and the wheels of, that mobile home. That skirt will entrap a body of essentially quiet air immediately adjacent the bottom of the mobile home, and thus will minimize drafts through the space between that bottom and the ground. Consequently, the oor of that mobile home can be kept much warmer than could the floor of a mobile home which was not equipped with skirting.

The anchoring portions 114 overlie and confront the shoulders 53 within the notches 54; and the anchoring portions 122 underlie and confront the shoulders 57 within the notches 5S. In the event a strong wind is able to bow one or more of the panels, and is thereby able to make the upper and lower edges of said one or more panels tend to withdraw from the notches 54 and 58, respectively, the anchoring portions 114 and 122 at those edges will tend to engage the shoulders 53 and 57 respectively, within those notches. Any engagement between an anchoring portion 114 and a `shoulder 53 will substantially completely prevent accidental separation of the upper edge of a panel from the attachingclip holding that panel; and, similarly, any engagement between an anchoring portion 122 and a shoulder 57 will substantially completely prevent accidental separation of the lower edge of a panel from the attaching clip holding that panel. As a result, the anchoring portions 114 and 122 can coact with the shoulders 53 and 57, respectively, to prevent accidental separation of the panels from the panel supports, even when high winds apply substantial bowing forces to those panels. Also, since the ears 56 are relatively long,

1 1` they will 'ex upwardly somewhat under the force of outwardly directed winds, thereby closing the space between the notches 54 and 58 as the panels bow. This further improves the holding characteristics of the assembly under strong wind conditions.

It will be noted that the panels are secured to the panel supports without any need of tools. Further, it will be noted that the panel supportscan be secured to the lower edge of .a mobile home without any need of tools. Consequently, the skirting provided by the present invention can be installed easily and quickly.

If desired, the nut 78 and the wing bolt 80 could be dispensed with. In such event, the partially closed upper end of the sleeve 40, which is shown by FIG. 7, would serve to receive and hold the upper end of the helical compression spring 94. The use of a nut 78 and a wing bolt 80 is preferred; because it permits a shorter helical compression spring 94 to be used, and it permits the force applied by that spring to be adjusted.

Whereas the drawing and accompanying description have shown and described a preferred embodiment of the present invention, it should be apparent to those skilled in the art that various changes may be made in the form of the invention without affecting the scope thereof.

What I claim is:

1. A skirting for the space between the ground and the lower edge of a mobile home which comprises:

a plurality of panels, each including a plurality of angularly related sections across its width, the angularly related sections in the lower half of each panel being so disposed relative to each other that the lower edge of each panel is the lowermost portion of said panel and the angularly related sections in the upper half of each panel being so disposed relative to each other that the upper edge of each panel is the uppermost portion of said panel,

a plurality of longitudinally spaced panel supports for said panels,

said panel supports including posts,

a plurality of attaching clips secured to the post of each of said panel supports,

said attaching clips having upper ears thereon with reentrant bends to receive and hold the upper edges of said panels and having lower ears thereon with reentrant ,bends to receive and hold the lower edges of said panels,

said panel supports extending between, and receiving support from, said lower edge of said mobile home and said ground,

said panels having the upper edges thereof extending generally vertically upwardly of said panels and extending into and being held by said reentrant bends of said upper ears of said attaching clips,

said panels having the lower edges thereof extending generally vertically downwardly of said panels and extending into and being held by said reentrant bends of said lower ears of said attaching clips,

whereby said panels effectively span said space between said lower edge of said mobile homeand said ground.

2. A skirting as claimed in claim 1 wherein said lower ears of said attaching clips extend forwardly and downwardly of said upper ears of the next-lower attaching clips, whereby the lower edges of said panels are spaced forwardly and downwardly of the upper edges of said next-lower panels to enable said skirting to breathe while essentially keeping rain, sleet and snow from penetrating saidl skirting.

3. A skirting as claimed in claim 1 wherein said lower ears of said attaching clips are in register with and abut said upper ears of the next-lower attaching clips, and wherein said lower ears of said attaching clips are longer than and extend downwardly below the upper ears of the next-lower attaching clips.

4. A skirting as claimed in claim 1 wherein the lower CII ears 'of said attaching clips are in register with and abut l the upper ears of the next-lower attaching'elips, whereby said upper and lower ears automatically provide the desired positioning for said attaching clips relative to said panel supports.

5. A skirting as claimedr in claim 1 wherein some of said attaching clips are about-onefhalf the lengths of other of said attachingfclips andare adapted to hold panels about one-half the widths of other of said. panels,

6. A skirting as claimed in Vclaimvl wherein some of said attaching clips areabout one-half the lengths of other of said attaching clips and are adapted to hold panels about one-half the widths of other of said panels, and wherein said some attaching clips are essentially similar to the upper portions of said other attaching clips.

7. A skirting for the space between the ground and the lower edge of a mobile home which comprises:

a plurality or panels, Y

a plurality of longitudinally spaced panel Isupports for said panels, and

attaching clips secured to posts of said panel supports, i.

said posts having channel-like. spaces ytherein. to accommodate said attaching clips, said posts having lips, at the sides of said channellike spaces, which overlie portions of said attaching i clips, said attaching clips having rebent upper ears thereon which extend outwardly of said channel-like spaces and between said lips and receive the upper terminal edges of said panels, said attaching clips have rebent lower ears thereon which extend outwardly of said channel-like spaces and between said lipsA and receive the lower terminal edges of said panels, said panel supports extending between, and receiving support from, said lower edge of said mobile home and said ground, said panels being secured to said panel supports by said attaching clips to elfectively span said space between said lower edge of said mobile home and said ground. v 8. A skirting as claimed in claim 7 wherein the upper ears of said attaching clips incline forwardly and upwardly above the levels of the upper edges of said attaching clips and wherein the lower ears of said attaching clips incline forwardly and downwardly below the levels of the lower edges of said attaching clips, said lower ears of said attaching clips being longer and extending further forwardly and downwardly of said attaching clips than the upper ears of said attaching clips, whereby the lower edges of said panels are spaced further forwardly of said attaching clips than are the upper edges of said panels and are disposed below the upper edges of the next-lower panels.

9. A skirting as claimed in claim 7 wherein said posts have elongated slots therein in communication with said channel-like spaces, said elongated slots accommodating the shanks of self-tapping screws that extend through opening in said attaching clips and bite intofthe walls of said elongated slots to secure said attaching clips to said` posts. 10. A skirting as claimed in claim 7 wherein abutments restrict the upper ends of Vsaid channel-like spaces of said posts, said abutments preventing separation of said attaching clips from saidposts via said `upper ends of said channel-like spaces.

11. A skirting for the-space between the ground and thelower edge of a mobile home which comprises:

a pluralityof panels, l Y a pluralityV of longitudinally spaced panel support for said panels, v attaching clips secured to postsrof said panel supports,

said posts having channelflike spaces therein to ac,.

commodate said attaching clips,

said posts having lips, at the sides ofsaid channel-like spaces, which overlie ,portions of said attaching clips, f Y

said attaching clips having rebent upper ears thereon which extend outwardly of said channel-like spaces and between said lips and receive the upper terminal edges of said panels,

said attaching clips having rebent lower ears thereon which extend outwardly of said channel-like spaces and between said lips and receive the lower terminal edges of said panels,

said panel supports extending between, and receiving support from, said lower edge of said mobile home and said ground,

said panels being secured to said panel supports by said attaching clips to effectively span said space between said lower edge of said mobile home and said ground,

said panel supports including posts with elongated recesses therein, helical compression springs within said elongated recesses, and rods which have the upper ends thereof disposed within said elongated recesses and within the lower ends of said helical compression springs and have the lower ends thereof projecting downwardly below the lower ends of said posts.

12. A skirting as claimed in claim 11 wherein said upper ends of said rods extend several inches into the lower ends of said helical compression springs, thereby enabling said upper ends of said rods to receive adequate lateral support from said helical compression springs and from said posts even when said lower ends of said helical compression springs are immediately adjacent said lower ends of said posts.

13. A skirting as claimed in claim 11 wherein said rods have stops thereon spaced several inches below the upper ends of said rods, said stops being dimensioned to telescope freely within said recesses in said posts but not to telescope within said helical compression springs, said stops enabling said rods to reciprocate freely within said recesses in said posts, said stops applying the restorative forces within said helical compression springs to said rods.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,709,841 6/ 1955 Knabeschult 52-78 3,327,310 6/1967 Bethline et al. 248-356 324,499 8/ 1885 Taylor 52-547 1,829,976 11/1931 Bennett 52-385 2,859,494 11/ 1958 Hull 52-222 2,859,840 11/1958 Fantle 52--122 3,313,075 4/1967 Bachmeier 52--222 3,347,009 10/ 1967 Meddick 52-545 3,383,819 4/1968 Zimmer 52--483 3,451,180 6/ 1969 Straben 52-222 FOREIGN PATENTS 143,175 12/ 1953 Sweden.

HENRY C. SUTHERLAND, Primary Examiner U.S. C1. X.R.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3877188 *Oct 10, 1973Apr 15, 1975Silver Top Mfg Co IncHorizontal panel skirting for below dwelling
US4112638 *Mar 17, 1977Sep 12, 1978Technical Plastics CorporationSkirt mounting device for mobile homes
US4352261 *Jul 30, 1980Oct 5, 1982Louis WargoSkirt construction for mobile home
US6065260 *Apr 1, 1998May 23, 2000Variform, Inc.Siding panel with interlock
US6341464Mar 3, 2000Jan 29, 2002Variform, Inc.Siding panel with interlock
Classifications
U.S. Classification52/169.12, 52/478, 280/768, 52/155, 52/113, 52/DIG.300, 52/551
International ClassificationE04B1/343
Cooperative ClassificationY10S52/03, E04B1/34342
European ClassificationE04B1/343D1