US 3596981 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
vUnited States Patent  Inventor Henry J. Koziol 2,009,016 7/1935 Robinson 297/64 X 110 No Yana Drive Willow Springs, lll. 2,059,397 1 1/1936 Robinson 297/63 60480 2,261,519 11/1941 Jones 297/65  Appl. No. 835,500 2,558,171 6/1951 Chesley 297/357 X  Filed June 23. 1969 3,394,417 7/1968 O'Link 297/65 X [45 1 Patented Primary Examiner Paul R. Gilliam Attorney-Darbo, Robertson & Vandenburgh  SEAT-BED conver l e sea e par lCU ar y we SUI e 5Cliims,2l Drawing Figs. ABSTRACT A tbl tb d t l 1 11 t d for vans, sport vans, campers, remodeled buses, etc.. having  [1.5. CI 297/64, distinct base, horizontal bench type seat and back the 297/233- 297/357 5/37 horizontal seat being slideable horizontally, front and back on  lnt.Cl. A47c 4/00, the base the back induding arms which fi undelthe Seat A479 3/00 A47c 17/04 when the back is placed horizontally on the base. A plurality  Field of Search 297/62 f the seat d of hi i i placed in appropriate jux- 357; 5/37 taposition, provides at least six and up to 12 or more relatively easily achieved combinations for maximum utilization of the  Rdereuces cued seats. A preferred embodiment is conveniently collapsible to UNITED'STATES PATENTS provide minimum volume to facilitate shipping, or storage of 1,548,334 8/1925 Sebell 297/65 X the unit when not in use.
u POSITION I\ a0 3 3 J1] j A 5 33\ 76 T a! J I \M J j 6' L F m k I. I l I a L z o DOW/V POSITION J0 42' Q1? 52 47 JJ 44? PATENTEU AUG 3197! SHEET 3 OF A PATENTEI] AUG 3197! SHEET l [1F 4 SEAT-BED BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The seat-bed of this invention is intended for use primarily in vehicles such as vans, buses, and other passenger utilitytype vehicles to provide seats which are readily convertible into beds. Thus, the invention is particularly directed to the convenient conversion of such vehicles into camper use for camping trips, family outings, hunting and fishing trips. Seatbeds heretofore available, have been generally bulky and not particularly adaptable for quick installation and removal from a vehicle. Moreover, the seat-beds heretofore available have not been suitable for convenient removal from a vehicle and installation in a cabin or on a raised tent platform, for example. Moreover, the seat-beds heretofore available have been so bulky and inconvenient and difficult to assemble, generally, that their design did not lend itself to merchandising through mail order outlets, and did not lend itself to convenient installation by the vehicle owner himself. Also, when the seat-beds heretofore available were installed in a vehicle, it was substantially a permanent installation making it extremely difficult to return the vehicle, such as a van, to utility conditions with the seats removed therefrom. It is an object of this invention to provide a seat-bed arrangement for use in vehicles which can be converted, without tools, to a large number of different positions and arrangements.
It would also be highly desirable to provide a seat-bed which is extremely adaptable to a large number of different positions without disturbing the condition of the the base of the seatbed.
It is an important object of this invention to provide a seatbed which can be used in conjunction with another identical seat-bed to provide adaptability so that the individual seats can be conveniently adjusted to face each other, to both face frontwardly, to both face rearwardly, to convert the combined unit into a lounge arrangement, to bring the unit into a butting relationship, to permit the unit to be used en route as a sleeper-playpen for small children, etc. It is also an important object of this invention to provide a seat-bed which is readily installed using simple tools, and which can be shipped in a relatively compact package to facilitate distribution to users through mail order outlets.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The seat-bed in accordance with this invention includes a base means, back means, and platform means, the base means having horizontal slide or track means at the top thereof. The platform means includes mating slide or track for releasably securing the platform means to the base means, to provide for movement in a front and back direction of the platform means on the base means. The back means includes a plurality of arm members extending from the bottom of the back means, and a planar hind surface. The back arms are insertable under the seat means when the seat means in secured to the frame means. The planar hind surface of the back means rests on the horizontal slide means of the base when the back arms are inserted under the seat.
DESIGNATION OF THE FIGS. OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a side elevational view showing a pair of the seatbeds fixed to a floor in juxtaposition.
FIG. 2 is a plan view ofthe hind side ofthe back.
FIG. 3 is a plan view taken approximately along the line 3-3 of FIG. I.
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary plan view taken approximately along the line 4-4 of FIG. 1.
FIG. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary elevational view showing detail of construction, and showing the seat and back in a moved position.
FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a slide element which is secured to the underside of the seat platform in accordance with this invention.
FIG. 7 is an elevational view taken approximately along the line 7-7 ofFIG. 6.
FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a slide means which is secured to the base.
FIG. 9 is a perspective view of the supporting structural framing member which engages the back arm and which assists in the supporting of the back in the upright position.
FIG. I0 is an enlarged fragmentary cross-sectional view taken approximately along the line 10-10 of FIG. 5. FIGS. 6, 8, and 9 are positioned on the sheet of drawings to show the relative positions of the components shown in FIGS. 3 and 9 which are affixed to the frame and to show the orientation of the components shown in FIG. 6 with respect to the components shown in FIG. 8.
FIGS. III to 20 illustrate the various positions and arrangements which are possible in accordance with the preferred embodiment of this invention using a pair of seat-beds of this invention.
FIG. 21 illustrates the appearance of a preferred embodiment of this invention in which the base-framing members are enclosed by panels to provide storage space therein.
DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENT In accordance with this invention, seat-bed generally 30 includes base means 32, back means 33 and platform means 34.
Base means 32 includes vertical legs 36 preferably made from U-shaped metal stock, and base crosspiece 37 preferably made of angle stock to facilitate attachment of crosspiece 37 to floor 38. Legs 36 preferably include upper rounded corner 39 to facilitate pivoting of legs 36 around nut and bolt 41 which extends through a front or back horizontal crosspiece 42, 42'. It is preferred that the upper ends 43 of legs 36 butt base members which are fixed to the frame or base means 32 to enhance rigidity. When leg assembly 35 is in upright position as illustrated in FIG. 10, it is preferred that the position be doubly secured by second nut and bolt 45. Extending horizontally between legs 36 is inverted U-shaped horizontal member 47 secured to underside of horizontal member 42, 42' by nuts and bolts 48 passing through holes 49 and member 47.
Thus, each leg assembly 35, comprising legs 36 and base crosspieces 37, pivots inwardly around nuts and bolts 41, and is limited in its outward pivoting by abutment with crosspiece 47. It is preferred that legs 36 be secured at crosspieces 47 by suitable means such as nuts and bolts 50. Secured to the upper edge of horizontal crosspiece 42 is first slide means 55 which extends front and back and which constitutes the very topmost part of base means 32. First slide means 55 is fastened to horizontal crossmembers 42 by nuts and bolts 56 which pass through holes 57. First slide means or rail generally 55, includes a planar base 59, short vertical member 60 which runs the entire length of slide means 55 along one edge thereof, and slightly elevated ledge 61 which folds back toward the direction of elevated member 60 and which also runs the entire length of the edge of slide means 55 opposite the edge which includes vertical member 60. Thus, it is noted that even though members 47 and 55 are important functioning members in the operation of the seat-bed of this invention, they serve as important structural members adding to the strength and rigidity of base means 32.
Back means 33 includes cushion 53, planar backing member 65 at hind side of back means 33, and a plurality of legs 67. Legs 67 extend from that back edge 68 ofback means 33, which is downward when back means is in the relatively upward position indicated at the left of FIG. 1, which is also the inner edge 68 when back means 33 is in the down position as indicated at the unit at the right of FIG. 1. It is noted that legs 67 are merely extensions of angle members 69 which are secured to hindmost surface 70 of planar back member 65. It will be appreciated from a consideration of the operation of the novel seat-bed of this invention that it is necessary that legs 67 extend outwardly beyond edge 68 in a plane which is hindwardly or below the plane of surface 70 when the surface is upright or horizontal, respectively. Moreover, it will be better appreciated from the discussion hereinafter that it is also preferred that legs 67 and members 69 be positioned symmetrically on backing member 65 so that the distances from the center to the members is equal at all points.
In the illustrated embodiment member 69 is manufactured from angular stock, one base 71 being attached to backing member 65, and the portion 72 which is perpendicular to surface 70 assists in maintaining the back means in the proper alignment when the back means 33 is in the down position. However, elevated portion 72 also includes hole 74 for receiving stop means which will be described hereinafter. The outermost end 75of legs 67 is at sufficient length from backing member 65 to rest on crosspiece 47. Pin 76 is welded securely to legs 67 and extends beyond end 75 of legs 67. The particular function ofhole 74 and pin 76 in supporting back means 33 in an upright position will be described in detail hereinafter.
Platform means, generally 34, include seat cushion 80, rigid backing member 81, second slide means or rail 83, and stop means generally 84. Slide means 83 include a flat base portion 86 which is secured to backing member 81 by screws 87 which pass through holes 88 into backing member 81. Dependent skirts 90, 91 extend along the entire length of base portion 86 of slide means 83. Flange 93 extends outwardly from the bottom of skirt 91 and it also runs the entire length of skirt 91. Slide means 83 can be considered to provide an inverted U," the crosspiece of which is base portion 86 and the open arms of which are skirts or curtains 90 and 91. Within the enclosure of the inverted U," in the illustrated embodiment, is retaining member 95 consisting of flat base portion 96 and tab 97 perpendicular to flat base portion 96. It is noted that tab 97 is spaced apart from skirt 90 to provide gap 98 between tab 97 and skirt 90. A series of holes 100 are provided in a line through skirts 91 and 90 and tab 97. Base portion 96 of retainer 95 is secured to base portion 86 by suitable means such as spot welding. Preferably a pair of slide members 83 are positioned symmetrically on the bottom of backing plate or member 81 so that the members 83 are equidistant from a centerline of backing member 81. Thus, during assembly, platform means 34 is attached slideably to base means 32 by sliding members 83 into base slide 55 starting at one edge as suggested in FIG. 21. Flange 93 mates with overlying edge 61 and vertical member 60 resides in gap 98 between vertical member 97 and 90. As a greater portion of first slide 55 and second slide 83 come into engagement, and particularly when pairs of these slides are used in symmetry on opposite sides of seat means 34, seat means 34 becomes fixed with respect to motion in virtually every direction save the front and back direction parallel to slides 83 and 55. It is manifest from the above description and from the drawings attached thereto that slide means 83 and 55 must be positioned on their respective backing members 81 and 55 to mate as shown in FIG. 10. Thus, retainer member 95 assists in the maintaining of slide means 83 in mating relationship with slide means 55 although use of symmetrical opposing pairs of slide means 83 and 55 on opposite ends of seat means 34 with flanges 93 being directed toward the middle of the seat makes it impossible, for this additional reason, for seat slide means 83 to be removed from base slide means 55 other than by sliding in the front or back direction. This also makes possible the insertion of platform means 34 onto base means 32 in either direction, from front or back.
Retainer member 95 also serves to maintain stop means 84 and particularly bolt 101 passing through holes 100 in proper alignment with the holes 100 in skirt 90. Stop means or locking mechanism, generally 84, includes bolt 101 passing through holes 100, washers 102, spring 103 and cotter pin 104. Bolt mechanism 84 can be controlled manually by pulling centerwardly on bolts 84 or by pulling cable 106 to simultaneously partially withdraw bolts on both sides of the seat-bed as perhaps best appreciated from consideration of FIG. 3. Bolt 101, passing through either hole 107, 108, or 109 in vertical member 60 thus serves to lock the front back position of seat means 34 on base means 32.
OVERALL OPERATION In accordance with a preferred embodiment of this invention, leg assembly 35, comprising legs 36 and floor crosspiece 37, is initially attached to base means 32 solely by nut and bolt 41; and seat-bed 30 is shipped with leg assembly 35 pivoted to the folded-in condition, and with platform slide 83 mating with base slide 55. Back means 33 are shipped separated from base 32 and platform 34 and lying flat with cushion 53 facing cushion 80. Thus, the seat-bed of this invention is readily shipped in a relatively compact package. On being set up for use, leg assemblies 35 are pivoted outwardly, nuts and bolts 41 are tightened, and nut and bolts 45 and are inserted to thereby secure leg assembly 36 from movement in any direction. Stop means 84 is drawn inwardly to withdraw bolt 101 from hole 107 and permit slide means 83 to move along slide means to a desired position, for example, to bring bolt 101 into alignment with hole 107. Back means 33 can be positioned in an up position, for example, by inserting pin 76 in hole 107' in crosspiece 47 which is fixed to base means 32 and this brings hole 74 into alignment with holes 100, thus permitting bolts 101 to pass through holes 74 in leg members 72. It will be appreciated that when legs 67 are arranged to reside outside of, or laterally with respect to slide means 83, 55, as illustrated in FIG. 10, lateral movement of back means 33 is prevented. In this configuration bottom end 75 of leg 67 rests on crossmember 47, and pin 76 residing in hole 107' prevents pivoting of leg 67 around bolt 101 which passes through hole 74. Release of bolt 101 by pulling on cable 106 or manually withdrawing bolt 101 from both sides, permits seat platform means, generally 34, to slide in a front and back direction e.g., away from back member 33 as suggested in FIG. 21. In this condition, e.g. as shown in FIG. 21, back means 33 can be removed from base means 32 by simply lifting back means 33 upwardly a short distance. Back means 33 can be laid to rest on slide means 55, in which condition back means 33 contacts slide means 55 at surface 70 which is hindmost surface of backing member 65. Since legs 67, and generally speaking angle members 69, reside in a plane rearwardly of backing member when the seat is in the up position and below the plane of surface of backing member 65 when the seat is in horizontal position, legs 67 of back means 33 can and do pass below seat means 34 when the seat, in the horizontal position, is moved along slide means 55 to bring edge 68 of backing means into abutment with the rearward edge 111 of cushion as indicated in the right hand unit in FIG. 1. In this condition both seat means 34 and back means 33 can slide along in a front and back direction on base means 32. It is preferred that a plurality of stop holes 113 be provided to engage outwardly biased bolt 10] to limit front and back movement of seat means 34. It is more preferred that holes 113 be sized to permit only tapered end 114 of bolt 101 to pass into hole 113, thereby preventing the passage of bolt 101 through holes 113, leaving no opportunity for bolt 101 to engage or obstruct the free movement of back means 33 and more particularly leg means 67 from passing alongside vertical member 60 independently of seat means 34. Thus, upon movement of the unit illustrated in FIG. 1 in which back means 33 and seat means 34 on both units are positioned in the horizontal orientation as suggested in FIG. 1, from the condition indicated by the letter A" to the position marked by the letter B" in FIG. 1, a configuration substantially that illustrated in FIG. 15 is achieved, in which case the pair of seats is converted to a highly useful and practical bed. As presented in FIG. 3, slide means 83 are shown with backing member 81 removed, for the sake ofclarity and simplicity of illustration. Thus, as viewed from the top, one would not normally observe bolt 101 within the enclosed channel formed by'slide means 83 and 55. However, FIG. 3 is valuable as illustrating what is meant by opposed symmetrical positioning of the members 83, 55. Thus, it is apparent from the consideration of FIG. 3 that platform means 34 can be withdrawn from base means 32, rotated in a horizontal plane and reinserted in the opposite direction along slide means 55 of base means 32. It is further noted that holes a drilled in vertical member 60 of slide 55 are positioned such that all holes are symmetrically positioned inasmuch as holes will be positioned opposite one another when two members 55 are placed next to each other with vertical members 60 into abutment with each'other. For example, in an embodiment in which slides 55 are inches long, holes'are preferably positioned in member 60 at center, and l inch, 3 inches 8 /2 (in both directions) from center. Likewise, the holes 107 and 108 etc. in base crosspiece 47 are also symmetrically positioned so that two members 47 have opposing holes whether the pieces are laid next to each other or one of the pieces is rotated 180 and then laid next to each other. In this manner there is no right side or leftside with respect to the individual pieces and any piece 47, 55, 83 can be used on either side of the seat-bed of this invention. Stop means, e.g. holes 107, 108, 109, 113 are preferably provided to secure the horizontally slidable memberseg. 32, in every intended operating position.
Ordinarily, retaining member 95 is welded to one end or the other of member 83 so that any given seat-retaining member 95 is slightly behind rearward edge 111 of platform means34. Once retaining member 95 is welded into position, that piece is either a right-side or left-side piece, unless members 95 are positioned at both ends of member 83. Bolt 101 and the corresponding members on the other side are positioned to serve the double purpose of not only locking slide means 83 with respect to' base slideSS, but furthermore for the purpose of engaging leg 67 to supportback means 33 inupward position.
Upon withdrawal of platform means 34 to the right and slidingit off the right side of the unit as illustrated in FIG. 1, and rotating platform means 34 in the horizontal plane 180, and reinserting platform means 34 on base means 32, the back can be attached to base means 34 in theidentical manner illustratedabove to provide the structure illustrated in FIG. 12 attached hereto. FIG, 11, of course, represents the configuration with both backs in the "up position" as illustrated in FIG. 1. Upon release of bolt 101 and sliding seat means of the lefthand unit forward, followed by lifting of back means 33 and placing back means 33 next to platform means34, the condition prevailing in the left-hand unit of FIG. 13 is obtained.
Release of bolts 101 in the right-hand member, the sliding of platform means 34 toward the left-hand unit, and the moving of back means 33 centerwardly to bring back means pin 76 into engagement with hole 115 and hole 74 directly opposite center hole 109, reorients the members so that bolt 101 can again pass through all members including vertical member 60 i at hole 109 and leg means 67 at hole 74 to again lock the back means in an upright position approximately midway at the base of the unit. The'latter mentioned step provides the orientation illustrated in FIG. 13. In a similar manner, the details of the steps of which will not be repeated herein insofar as they are substantially identical to the steps described hereinbefore, a pair of seat means can be arranged in back to back position illustrated in FIG. 14, in either frontwardly or rearwardly facing lounge positions illustrated in FIGS. 13 and 16, seat-work space configuration illustrated in FIG. 17, which of course can also be arranged in a frontwardly facing direction and in the face to face arrangement illustrated in FIGS. 18 and 19 in which the seats are either brought into close proximity as illustrated in FIG. I8, or brought into abutting relationship as illustrated in FIG. 19. It is noted that the arrangement of FIG. 19 is particularly useful as a confining arrangement for use as a playpen or the like for permitting small children a limited degree of freedom. Likewise, both seats can be faced in the same direction, as illustrated in FIG. 20, opposite tothe direction illustrated in FIG. 11. It is noteworthy that all the various arrangements of seats illustrated in FIGS. 11 to 20 are achieved without moving or changing the position of base means 34 and without the use of tools of any sort.
- In a particularly preferred embodiment, side panels I20 are attached to structural members of base means 32 to enclose the area under the seats to provide highly useful storage area accessible through the top platform. It should be noted that leg 67 is preferably arranged in such an upright position that when seat means 34 is drawn forward, leg 67, secured by pin 76 in crossmember 47, rests against adjacent crossmember 42,
42' as perhaps best illustrated in FIG. 1. Thus, there is a minimum of strain of pin 76 in hole 49 even when seat means 34 ism'oved forward. This is highly desirable, i.e. the configuration in which bolts 101 are not required to secure leg 67 in upright positionwhen seat means 34 is moved forward to make accessible the storage area under seat 34.
ACHIEVEMENT Thus it will be apparent upon consideration of the disclosure of this specification that the seatbed of this invention is highly adaptable to a very large number of orientations and arrangements without the necessity of removal of base means 32 and without the use of tools. Moreover, the seat-bed of this invention readily converts from a seating condition in which back means 33 is secured in an up" position, to a bed in which the back means is secured in a down position without the use of tools and with a minimum of time. It is further apparent that the preferred seat-bed of this invention can be shipped or stored in a compact condition with the back means 33 lying on face-to-face abutment with platform means 34 and with leg assembly 35 folded or pivoted upwardly to provide a relatively narrow package. Furthermore, by use of symmetrical slide members and back-engaging; crossmembers, an absolute minimum of parts are required for the manufacture and assembly of the unit. The latter consideration are extremely important from the practical economic point of view. The first-mentioned considerations are extremely important from the utility and use point of view.
l. A convertible seat-bed including: base means, back means, and platform means; said base means including first slide means at the top thereof and above the remainder 'of the base means; said platform means including a cushion at the top thereof; second slide means at the bottom of the platform means, a portion of said second slide means engaging a mating portion of said first slide means, said first and second slide means when mated positioning the platform means above the remainder of the base means with a space therebetween. providing for'movement of said platform means with respect to said base means along a first horizontal line, and arresting movement of said platform means in any other direction; said back means including a cushion and a planar hind member, a plurality of arms extending beyond said planar member and beyond the rest of the back member, said arms residing in a plane which is parallel to the plane of said planar hind member, said arms extending downwardly when the back is in its relatively upright condition; said seat-bed also including releasably stop means for securing said platform means to said first slide means, ata plurality of platform positions thereon and releasable support means for securing said back to said base means in a plurality of relatively upright back positions, adjacent the platform means when the platform means are in one of the corresponding platform positions; said arms being inserted in said space under said platform means when the back means is positioned horizontally on said base means, in which condition the planar hind member rests on said first slide means and is anchored vertically by its position between the base means and the platform means; said combination including a planar floor support; said base means fixed to said floor support in such spaced-apart juxtaposition that said seat means and said back means, when lying horizontally on said first slide means of their respective base means, form a continuous bed.
2. The seat-bed ofclaim l in which the base means includes a pair of pivotal leg assemblies and includes: means for pivoting each of said leg assemblies through an arc from horizontally under the seat means to vertical position, the center of the pivot being near the lateral edge of the scat-bed; and means for preventing further pivoting of the seat assemblies in an outward direction beyond said vertical position.
3. The seat-bed of claim 1 in which the base means includes wall means for enclosing the space within the base means.-
4. In a convertible seat-bed having a seat with a cushion side and a mounting side, a back with a cushion side and a mounting side, and a frame, the improvement wherein said frame comprises: 7
a base having a top which is generally rectangular with two sides and two ends, said seat being positioned over said base with its mounting said adjacent the base;
a pair of crosspieces positioned respectively outboard of the ends, below and parallel to the ends and approximately the length of the ends;
a pair of generally horizontal base rails extending between said sides, each rail being adjacent a respective end and fastened to said base;
a pair of seat rails each supported on a respective base rail and fastened to the mounting side of the seat;
means releasably connecting said seat rails to said base rails;
a back support secured to the mounting side of the back and forming two legs, each of said legs being outboard a respective end extending downwardly from the respective end to about the respective crosspiece, said back support supporting said back in an upright position with respect to the seat, said legs being inwardly of the ends at the back; and
releasable mounting means connecting each leg to the respective end and connecting each leg to the respective crosspiece;
said seat overhanging said base at said ends,
whereby saidreleasable mounting means may be released and said back removed, said releasable connecting means may be released and said seat moved to a position at which it is approximately half overhanging said base thereby exposing portions of said rails, and said back mounting side positioned on the exposed portion of the rails with said legs hooked below the seat mounting side.
5. In a convertible seat-bed as set forth in claim 4, wherein said releasable connecting means and said releasable mounting means include:
said rails and said legs having a horizontally aligned series of openings therethrough,
a latch bolt movable through said openings, in a direction generally parallel to the top sides, and resiliently urged toward the respective ends, and
a pin and socket combination for each leg with one being on the leg and the other being on the respective crosspiece, said combination being aligned so that an upward movement of the leg will withdraw the pin from the socket.