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Publication numberUS3680909 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 1, 1972
Filing dateDec 29, 1969
Priority dateDec 29, 1969
Publication numberUS 3680909 A, US 3680909A, US-A-3680909, US3680909 A, US3680909A
InventorsHerbert C Greif
Original AssigneeGila River Recreation Ind Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Tent camper
US 3680909 A
Abstract
A tent camper foldably stored in a storage unit mounted on the top of a vehicle; the storage unit includes a storage box and a closure member which are slidably and pivotally secured to each other to permit the closure member to pivot and slide relative to the storage box and assume a position horizontal to the ground and close to the ground to expand a tent secured to both the closure member and the storage box. Also disclosed are alternative embodiments of the invention suitable for carrying articles other than tents.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Greif 1 51 Aug. 1,1972

[54] TENT CAMPER [72] Inventor: Herbert C. Greif, Tucson, Ariz.

[73] Assignee: Gila River Recreation Industries,

Inc., Coolidge, Ariz.

[22] Filed: Dec. 29, 1969 [21] Appl. No.: 888,410

Related US. Application Data [63] Continuation-impart of Ser. No. 689,416, Dec.

11, 1967, abandoned.

52 US. Cl ..296/23, 135/1 A 51 Int. Cl. ..B60p 3 34 58 Field of Search ..296/23 R, 23 MC, 23.1;

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,907,077 10/1959 Pagsley ..296/23 X 5/1963 Muhr ..135/1 A 6/1967 Lundby ..135/1 A Primary Examiner-Philip Goodman Att0rneyEric P. Schellin and John A. Robertson 5 7] ABSTRACT A tent camper foldably stored in a storage unit mounted on the top of a vehicle; the storage unit in cludes a storage box and a closure member which are slidably and pivotally secured to each other to permit the closure member to pivot and slide relative to the storage box and assume a position horizontal to the ground and close to the ground to expand a tent secured to both the closure member and the storage box. Also disclosed are alternative embodiments of the invention suitable for carrying articles other than tents.

6 Claims, 10 Drawing Figures PATENTEDAUI: 1 m2 sum 1 or 4 INVENTOR.

HERBERT C. GREIF ATTORNEYS PATENTEnAuc 1 1912' sum 2 or 4 IXVENTOR HERBERT C. GREIF atum/5% '1 ATTORNEYS PATENTEDAUB 1 m2 SHEET 3 BF 4 INVENTOR.

HERBERT C. GREIF PATENTEDAUB 1 I972 SHEET 4 BF 4 INVENTOR.

HERBERT C. GREIF BY I ATTORNEYS TENT CAMPER This application is a continuation-inpart of my prior-filed application, Ser. No. 689,416, filed Dec. 1 l, 1967, now abandoned.

The present invention pertains to campers, and more specifically, to a camper constructed of tent material that may conveniently be mounted on a vehicle and expanded to its open position without removing the camper from the vehicle.

The utilization of campers and tents and variations of same have become very popular. This popularity has been attended with attempts in the prior art to provide a convenient means to permit camping from a vehicle without the necessity of the vehicle carrying all the accouterments of a camping trailer. The prior art attempts to expand an automobile or to add onto an automobile to provide suitable camping space have met with failure. Complicated disassembly and erection problems and the ever-present limitation of space has rendered automobile-type camper attachments generally unsatisfactory. An associated problem is that of storing and carrying on a vehicle various items of camping and sporting equipment, e. g., boats.

' It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a camper that is conveniently and foldably secured to a vehicle.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a tent camper that may be carried upon an automobile in a manner similar to a luggage rack and which may be expanded to provide a tent camper without detaching it from the vehicle.

It is still another object of the present invention to provide a folding tent camper that may be extended from a vehicle in a single simple move to provide substantial tent space including a floor supported horizontally to the ground.

Moreover, it is an object of this invention to provide a device which can be used for the storage and carrying of various articles in addition to said tent unit.

These and other objects of the present invention will become apparent to those skilled .in the art as the description thereof proceeds.

Briefly, in accordance with the presently preferred embodiment of the invention, a collapsible tent unit is provided which is adapted to be mounted and transported upon the roof of a vehicle and further adapted to be erected without removal from the vehicle. The tent unit comprises: a tent storage unit including a storage box and closure member secured to each other to permit pivotal and translational movement relative to each other; means securing the storage box upon the roof of the vehicle; a tent member foldably secured to the storage unit and having a front, back, and two sides, the tent front and a portion of each of the two sides being secured along a lower edge thereof to the storage box, and the tent back and a portion of each of the two sides being secured along a lower edge thereof to the closure member; hoop means operatively associated with the tent storage unit and adapted to extend as the storage box and closure member move relative to each other and to support the tent member when the tent unit is erected;-the closure member displaceable from a normally closed position upon the storage box to pivot outwardly and downwardly to rest near the ground adjacent the vehicle, extending the tent member between the storage box and the closure member and pivoting the hoop means to an upright position to support the tent member; the storage box and closure member secured to each other by a pair of support arms, one disposed on each side of the storage unit, each of the support arms having a sliding end and a pivoting end, the sliding end slidably secured within a slot extending along a side of the storage box, and the pivoting end pivotally affixed to the side of the closure member.

In another embodiment chosen for illustration, the present invention contemplates the utilization of a storage unit comprising a storage box and a closure member positioned on top of the box. A tent member is foldably stored in the storage box and is secured to both the storage box and the closure. The closure is slidably and pivotally hinged to the storage box so that the storage member may be slid to the rear of the box and pivoted approximately 180 to be lowered near the ground and supported horizontally thereto. The tent member secured to both the storage box and closure member is expanded during the movement of the closure member to. ultimately provide a completely erected tent with floor attached to and extending rearwardly from the vehicle upon which it is mounted.

The present invention may more readily be described by reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a vehicle having the tent camper constructed in accordance with the teachings of the present invention mounted thereon.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view, partly in section and enlarged, of the tent camper shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a side elevation of the tent camper of FIG. 1, partially erected.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the tent camper of FIG. 1 showing the tent camper completely erected.

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view of a portion of FIG. 4 taken along line 5-5.

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view of a portion of FIG. 4 taken along line 6-6.

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the invention when erected, sections of the tent being broken away to show the operative relationship of the hoop means.

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of an enlarged portion of a support arm, illustrating its operative relationship to the storage box.

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of an alternate embodiment of the invention, illustrating a boat attached to the carriage member ready for loading and storage on a vehicle.

FIG. 10 illustrates, stepwise, the motions involved in unloading an article such as a boat from the storage and carrying position on the vehicle.

Referring now to the drawings, the vehicle 10 is shown and includes roof mounting brackets 11 and 12 which may be any of a variety of forms of devices for securing equipment to the roof of automobiles. Such devices may be similar to luggage racks commonly 1 found on present-day vehicles. A storage unit 14 is 21 and a front wall 22. When the storage box and closure member are in contact as shownin FIG. 1, they form a closed storage unit within which a foldable tent is stored. The closure member 16 may also include a plurality of ventilating and drainage holes 25; similarly, the storage box may include ventilating and drainage holes 26 along the bottom thereof. The holes and 26 permit air to circulate within the enclosure formed by the closure member 16 and the storage box 15 when in the closed position, and more importantly provide a means of draining water shed by the tent to be described more fully herein. The storage box 15 and the closure member 16 are secured to each other through a pair of support arms 30 and 31 (support arm 31 is identical to 30 in all respects and is therefore not shown in the drawings). The support arms are pivotally attached to the closure member 16 by simply passing through the wall 17 as clearly shown in FIG. 2. The opposite end of the support arms are slidably supported in the wall 20 of the storage box 15; the wall 20 being provided with longitudinally extending slots 32. Thus, it may be seen that the closure member 16 may move relative to the storage box 15 by sliding the support arms in the slots 32 and by pivoting about the pivotal attachment of the support arms to the walls 17 and 18 of the closure member.

An alternative embodiment of the support arms 30, 31 arrangement is illustrated in FIGS. 8-10 inclusive. The base member 15a has a pair of rails 33 with support arms 30a slidably secured within the rails 33. The support arms 300 are pivotally attached to the carriage member 24. The support arms 30a are retained in the rails 33 by means of bolts 34 extending into the interior of the rails 33, the intruding ends of the bolts 34 engaging the tabs 9 on each of the support arms 30a to stop the arms 30a from leaving the rails 33. A plastic button 37 is provided to reduce friction between the rails 33 and the support arms 30a.

The storage unit also includes inner walls and 36, each extending longitudinally of the storage unit, the former being secured to the closure member 16 and the latter being secured to the storage box 15 and each forming a watertight connection with the member to which it is secured. A similar pair of inner walls (not shown) are disposed on the opposite side of the storage unit, the inner walls are utilized for attaching the edges of a collapsible tent to the storage box and closure 7 member. A pair of transverse inner walls such as the one shown at 35a are provided at the forward end (when in a closed position) of the storage box 15 and the closure member 16. Thus, a tent may be secured within the enclosure formed by the storage box and the closure member and will be secured around the edges thereof to the inner walls when expanded, as will be explained.

A tent member 50 is foldably stored in the storage unit and includes a front 51, sides 52, and back 53. The lower edge of the tent front 51 and the lower edges of the portions of the sides 52 extending along the storage box 15 are secured to the inner walls of the storage box. The rear portions of the sides 52 and the back 53 are each secured along the lower edge thereof to the closure member 16 such as to the inner walls 35 and 35a as shown in FIG. 2. Thus, the tent is secured to both the storage box and the closure member along the lower edge of the tent in such a manner that when the closure member and the storage box are displaced from each other, the tent will extend therebetween.

A pair of hoops 60 and 61 are pivotally secured to the rails within the storage box 15 and are secured in a suitable manner to the exterior of the tent so that when thetent is stretched between the storage box and closure member, the hoops 60 and 61 are pivoted to an upright position. To insure proper folding of the tent when it is replaced in the storage unit, an expandable cord such as that shown at 63 may be secured to the interior of the tent to cause the latter to fold at an appropriate location. A third hoop 65 is pivotally attached to the closure member 16. An alternate hoop arrangement is illustrated in FIG. 7 wherein only two hoops 73 and 74 are employed. Both hoops 73 and 74 are joined to the storage box 15 by means of a standard 18 affixed to the storage box 15. A plurality of legs.66 may be secured to the closure member 16 in any convenient manner to support the closure member parallel to and near the ground.

Resilient bumpers such as that shown at may be attached to the support arm 30 so that when the closure member 16 is lowered to the tent open position, the bumpers 70 will contact the automobile bumper. To provide an appropriate fit between the closure member 16 and storage box 15, an L-shaped guide 75 is secured to the edge of the wall 17 and engages a strip 76 secured to the edge of the wall 20, thereby providing a metal-to-metal sealing and fitting contact when the storage unit is in its closed position.

The device is operated as follows. In the normally closed position as shown in FIG. 1, the tent camperis conveniently mounted on the roof of a vehicle and provides a compact assembly having a minimum frontal area to thereby reduce wind resistance for highway travel. The tent camper may be erected by lifting the closure member 16 and sliding it rearwardly to cause the support arms to slide in the corresponding slots provided therefor in the storage box. When the storage arms have reached the end of the mating slots, the closure member 16 is rotated approximately 180 about the pivotal attachment of the support arms thereto. The operation of sliding and pivoting is described as two distinct steps; however, it will be obvious from an inspection thereof that the two operations will normally occur simultaneously. As the closure member 16 is rotated, the tent unfolds and the hoops pivot about their corresponding pivotal attachment points to cause the tent to assume the shape shown in FIG. 4. It may be noted that an extra length of tent 80 is provided that depends from the storage box 15. This extra length of tent is provided so that it can cover the rear end of the automobile and provide a complete enclosure. This extra length of tent may be forced against the sides of the automobile by any convenient means such as a drawstring, elastic band, or convenient plastic aluminum forms to force the edge 81 against the side of the auto.

Further convenience is provided by the structure of the present invention in the form of a tube 85 secured along the lower edge of the sides of the storage box 15 for permitting legs 86 and 87 to be inserted therein. The legs may be adjustable as shown in FIG. 4 to permit the legs to contact the ground and support the storage box 15 and allow the vehicle to be moved without necessitating the folding and restorage of the tent. Obviously, a similar pair of legs are provided for the opposite side of the storage box. In those instances where the legs are to be utilized to support the storage box and permit the auto to be moved, the extra length of tent 80 may be provided with a tent-like flap and zipper (not shown) to close the opening left by the auto when the latter is moved.

In an alternate embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 9 and 10, the storage unit 14a is shown mounted on a vehicle. This embodiment is specially adapted for loading, storing, transporting and unloading various articles and materials, such as the boat here shown. The storage unit 14a has a base member 15a and a carriage member 24 secured in such a way as to permit the carriage member 24 to move pivotally and translatably relative to the base member 15a. The base member 15a is secured to the vehicle by means of hooks 41. The base member 15a and the carriage member 24 are secured to each other by means of a pair of support arms 30a. The sliding ends 43 of the support arms 30a are slidably secured within the rails 33 and the pivoting ends 42 of the support arms 30a are pivotally affixed to the carriage member 24. The operation of the arms 30a has been discussed previously herein. Spring clips 44 are bonded to the carriage member 24 and engage the rails 33 when in the carrying position. The boat is attached to carriage member 24 in the embodiment illustrated by means of anchors 45 affixed to the carriage member 24. In FIG. 10 the sequential operation of unloading an article is illustrated. The load is moved translationally on the carriage member 24 until the hinged portion 46 of the support arms 30a clears the rails 33. The carriage member 24 is then lowered to the ground and pivots around the pivoting ends 42 of the support arms 30a to rest on the ground.

The translational movement of the carriage member 24 is, in one embodiment, accomplished by sliding the carriage member 24 along a horizontal flange 48 extending from the side of the storage box 15 and assisted by a roller 49 attached to the side 20 of the storage box 15.

It will be obvious to those skilled in the art that the embodiments chosen for illustration incorporates several details which are not necessary to the practice of the invention and which may be readily replaced by other minor design details to accomplish the same function in a similar manner. It is therefore intended that the present invention be limited only by the scope of the claims appended hereto.

Having now fully described my invention and the presently preferred embodiment thereof, I claim:

l. A collapsible tent unit adapted to be mounted and transported upon the roof of a vehicle and further adapted to be erected without removal from the vehicle, said tent unit comprising: a tent storage unit including a storage box and closure member secured to each other to permit pivotal and translational movement relative to each other; means securing said storage box upon the roof of said vehicle; a tent member foldably secured to said storage unit and having a front, back, and two sides, said tent front and a portion of each of said two sides being secured along a lower edge thereof to said storage box and said tent b c and a portion of each of said we sides being secure a ong a lower edge thereof to said closure member; a first and a second hoop disposed laterally within said tent member, the first hoop having ends pivotally attached to said closure member; said closure member displaceable from a normally closed position upon said storage box to pivot rearwardly and downwardly to rest near the ground at the rear of the vehicle, extending said tent member between said storage box and said closure member and pivoting said hoops to an upright position to support said tent member; said storage box and closure member secured to each other by a pair of support arms, one disposed on each side of said storage unit, each said support arm having a sliding end and a pivoting end, said sliding end slidably secured within a slot extending along a side of said storage box, and said pivoting end pivotally afiixed to the side of said closure member.

2. The combination set forth in claim 1, including a plurality of legs extending from said closure member for contacting the ground and supporting said closure member substantially parallel to the ground.

3. The combination set forth in claim 1, including a pair of resilient bumpers, each secured to a different one of said support arms for contacting a rear auto bumper when said closure member is displaced downwardly.

4. The combination set forth in claim 1, including detachable box support legs extending downwardly from said storage box to support said box and permit said vehicle to be moved without refolding and storing said tent bumper.

5. The combination set forth in claim 2, including a pair of resilient bumpers, each secured to a different one of said support arms for contacting a rear auto bumper when said closure member is displaced downwardly.

6. The combination set forth in claim 5, including detachable box support legs extending downwardly from said storage box to support said box and permit said vehicle to be moved without refolding and storing said tent member.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2907077 *Apr 9, 1958Oct 6, 1959Lawrence E PugsleyCamping assembly
US3088475 *Oct 31, 1960May 7, 1963Muhr JohnCamping device
US3323827 *Feb 12, 1965Jun 6, 1967Lundby EdwardFold-out camping shelter
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4050732 *Feb 2, 1976Sep 27, 1977Macisaac Gerard ConnorCamper assembly
US4465316 *Mar 29, 1982Aug 14, 1984Roisen David MCollapsible structure for use with a recreational vehicle
US4542932 *Oct 19, 1983Sep 24, 1985Whiteman Gary DFold-up camper
US20140090679 *Apr 4, 2012Apr 3, 2014Belron Hungary Kft-Zug BranchCanopy Structure
EP0129944A1 *Jun 26, 1984Jan 2, 1985Polec Project Engineering B.V.Tent construction to be fixed to a vehicle
Classifications
U.S. Classification296/161, 135/904, 135/88.18
International ClassificationB60P3/38, B60R9/042, B60P3/10
Cooperative ClassificationY10S135/904, B60R9/042, B60P3/1016, B60P3/38
European ClassificationB60P3/10D2, B60R9/042, B60P3/38