|Publication number||USRE42198 E1|
|Application number||US 09/205,318|
|Publication date||Mar 8, 2011|
|Filing date||Dec 3, 1998|
|Priority date||Nov 10, 1994|
|Also published as||CA2162420A1, CA2162420C, US5579820|
|Publication number||09205318, 205318, US RE42198 E1, US RE42198E1, US-E1-RE42198, USRE42198 E1, USRE42198E1|
|Inventors||Robert Lepage, Michel Paradis|
|Original Assignee||Rite-Hite Holding Corporation|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (51), Non-Patent Citations (10), Referenced by (2), Classifications (12), Legal Events (2)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to collapsible vehicle shelters such as those having a structure made of assembled tubular members and cross-members and a complementary covering therefor made of a flexible plastic material and, more particularly, to a roll-up door for the door opening defined at the front of such vehicle shelters.
2. Description of the Prior Art
The present invention relates to roll-up closures for use in collapsible automobile shelters of the type illustrated in U.S. Pat. No. 4,887,627 issued on Dec. 19, 1989 to Audet. Audet discloses an improved collapsible shelter comprising a structure made up of tubular members and cross-members forming an assembly having side walls diverging from top to bottom and a roof section with the structure being covered by a covering complementary in shape to the assembled structure and made up of a weather proof flexible plastic material. At the front of the shelter, there is defined an opening which, in the Audet patent, is rectangular and is closed by curtain-type flexible plastic sheet doors provided on one or two sides of the opening. The opening is obviously intended for allowing the vehicle to access the shelter.
In other shelters, the front opening extends the whole width of the shelter, that is from side wall to side wall of the assembled structure, thereby having the shape of an isosceles trapezoid. Such openings are practical as they are as large as the shelter itself. However, it is difficult to adapt any closure to such a trapezoid-shaped opening and, to this date, roll-up curtain-type flexible closures have been used therefor with these closures being manually rolled-up from one side of the assembled structure laterally towards the other side thereof, whereat they are retained by strings.
Also known is a rectangular closure made of the same flexible material as the vehicle shelter itself which by way of cables and pulleys can be manually raised, in a way more or less similar to horizontal Venetian blinds, towards its retracted position. A number of spaced apart horizontally extending elongated rigid members are fixed to the closure so that the closure includes three sections which fold substantially like conventional garage doors. The sides of the closure are guided in a pair of parallel vertical rigid frame members.
U.S. Pat. No. 4,495,736 issued on Jan. 29, 1985 to Lamontagne discloses a vehicle shelter intended to house the front engine compartment of the automobile. This shelter includes a flexible canvas which surrounds the engine compartment substantially up to the windshield of the vehicle. Warm air is blown under the engine compartment so as to warm not only the crank-case but also the battery and other parts situated therein. The shelter is provided with a vertically rolled-up conventional and rudimentary closure 9. U.S. Pat. No. 4,150,682 issued on Apr. 24, 1979 to Ryce discloses a vehicle shelter comprising a closet-type enclosure with doors which contains a plurality of arched hoops having ground engaging skids and with a flexible covering being attached to these arched hoops. In storage, the hoops and the covering are retracted into the enclosure. The hoops may be pulled out manually from the enclosure and over a car parked in front thereof. The shelter itself does not actually include any flexible door for access thereto, when expanded.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,123,474 issued on Jun. 23, 1992 to Smith discloses a roll-up closure device made of a flexible material which is rolled-up on a motor driven tubular cylindrical drum journalled at the ends thereof on bearings. The closure is guided in vertical tracks which define therebetween a rectangular opening with the closure being of rectangular complementary shape.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,042,556 issued on Aug. 27, 1991 to Ruiter discloses a door assembly for a rectangular doorway opening, such as a garage opening, which comprises a flexible door panel which is guided around rotatable guide wheels between a vertical closed position and a horizontal open position.
U.S. Pat. No. 3,878,879 issued on Apr. 22, 1975 to Manns discloses a roll-up door having a flexible door-leaf arranged to be wound about a roller for closing and opening the rectangular door with trolleys running in guide rails being located at the vertical side frames for maintaining the door-leaf in a laterally stretch condition, and with a movable pulley loaded by a weight being provided for maintaining the door-leaf in a vertically stretched position.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,163,495 issued on Nov. 17, 1992 to Lichy discloses a closure assembly for closing a rectangular opening which comprises a pair of vertical guides and a closure member engaged in the guides so that the closure member can slide along the guides. The closure member includes a pair of vertical tape-shaped tracking members disposed on opposite edges thereof and which are retained within the guides. A biasing assembly which enhances lateral tension on the closure member is also suggested.
U.S. Pat. No. 3,749,107 issued on Jul. 31, 1973 to Laberge discloses a collapsible shelter which comprises a plurality of upstanding parallel spaced apart arched members, the lower ends of which being received in a pair of channels fixed to the ground. A flexible covering is spread over the arched members with the lower edges of this covering being held by the channels.
U.S. Pat. No. 3,463,174 issued on Aug. 26, 1969 to Heller discloses a portable cover structure for a vehicle, wherein foldable frame sections have curtain tracks attached thereto, the frame sections being pivotally hinged so as to form, when expanded, a continuous covered level frame defining an uninterrupted curtain track which receives a curtain for completely enclosing the level frame.
U.S. Pat. No. 2,886,104 issued on May 12, 1959 to Swan discloses an awning of rectangular shape which can be displaced between an inoperative retracted position and an operative extended position wherein, when extended, the awning will provide a roof enclosure having its fabric maintained in a taut condition.
U.S. Pat. No. 3,460,602 issued on Aug. 12, 1969 to Hugus discloses a tensioning device for a rectangular flexible roll-up closure, wherein the flexible closure membrane is fastened to a bottom rail which is displaceable relative to an upper roller around which the membrane can be wound and unwound as the closure opens and closes. Tension is applied to the flexible closure membrane by way of a spring and cable system which biases the bottom rail away from the upper roller. The membrane is guided along a pair of vertical trackways.
It is therefore an aim of the present invention to provide an improved closure device for vehicle shelters.
It is also an aim of the present invention to provide an improved roll-up closure device adapted to close a shelter door opening having a tapered shape and, more particularly, an isosceles trapezoidal shape, wherein the parallel sides of the trapezoid correspond to the horizontal sides of the door opening, with the door being wound in an horizontal position at the top of the door opening.
It is a further aim of the present invention to provide a roll-up closure device for vehicle shelters which is driven by a reversible motor which can also preferably be actuated from a remote location.
It is a still further aim of the present invention to provide a roll-up closure device for vehicle shelters wherein the flexible closure or door includes laterally inward biasing means for maintaining the flexible closure taut during the opening and closing thereof, and for allowing the flexible closure to somewhat yield depth-wise.
Therefore, in accordance with the present invention, there is provided a roll-up closure device typically for use on vehicle shelters of the type defining at a front end thereof a door opening having lateral sides which diverge from top to bottom, comprising a pair of guide means adapted to be mounted to the vehicle shelter substantially at the lateral sides of the door opening and substantially parallel thereto, an overhead roller means adapted to be rotatably mounted inside the vehicle shelter and substantially horizontally above the door opening, a flexible closure means adapted to be secured at a top end thereof to said roller means, at least a section of said flexible closure having a shape substantially complementary to that of the door opening and including diverging lateral side edges adapted to be engaged in said guide means, whereby a rotation of said roller means causes said flexible closure to displace along said guide means and to wind around said roller means or to unwind therefrom for displacing said flexible closure towards an open or a closed position thereof, respectively.
Having thus generally described the nature of the invention, reference will now be made to the accompanying drawings, showing by way of illustration a preferred embodiment thereof, and in which:
Each support plate 18 is provided with a pulley system and a cable system which will be described in details hereinafter. Only one of the support plates 18 and, more particularly, the left one in the drawings is provided with a motor 26 coupled to a reducer gearbox 28 which drives by way of a toothed belt 30 a shaft 32 which extends transversely above the door opening and which is journalled at its ends to the support plates 18. Asides from the motor 26, the reducer gearbox 28 and the toothed belt 30, the equipment provided on each of the support plates 18 is identical.
A flexible closure 34 made of a plastic sheet material which is well illustrated in
The side edges of the closure 34 and, more particularly, the loops thereof enclosing the cables 36 and the lower blocks 38 enclosing both the closure loops and the cables 36 are received into the guide rails 22 which each define an inwardly facing longitudinal slot 40 for allowing the closure 34 to extend through the guide rails 22, inwardly from the cables 36. As seen in
As best seen in
A retaining arm 56 is mounted slightly above the guide pulley 44 for ensuring the engagement of the cable 36 with the guide pulley 44, as best seen in FIG. 4.
As seen in
As seen in
As seen in
As seen in
With reference to
The elastic portion 54 of each cable 36 acts as a binder to ensure that the cables 36 remain taut during the operation of the closure 34 in view of the fact that, during rotation of the double pulleys 46, the amount of cable which is being wound around one of the outer and inner pulleys 48 and 50 thereof is normally different from the amount of cable which unreels from the other one of the outer and inner pulleys 48 and 50, respectively.
Even though there are elastic portions 54 in the mechanism for driving the closure 34 between the open and closed positions thereof, the motor 26 acts directly on the closure 34 during the ascension thereof, i.e. its displacement towards its open position, as it is the unextendable cables 36 which act on the closure 34, the binder mechanism provided by the elastic portion 54 being only functional during the lowering of the closure 34. This configuration allows the motor 26 to exert direct forces on the closure when it is being opened thereby enabling the motor 26 to dislodge the lower end of the closure 34, for instance, from ice having built up thereat while the closure 34 was closed.
Alternatively, the elastic portions 54 can be replaced by springs 84, as seen in
The elastic members 58 again will ensure that the slack gradually provided in the closure 34 when it is raised is taken up substantially centrally of the closure 34 and not at the lateral edges thereof in order to ensure a proper sliding action of the closure 34 along the guide rails 22, that is to prevent a jamming of the lateral edges of the closure 34 in the slots 40 of the guide rails 22.
A reverse operation of the motor 26 causes the cables 36 to wind around the outer pulleys 48 of the double pulleys 46, whereby the closure 34 is pulled downwards along the guide rails 22 and thus unwinds gradually from the inner tapered pulleys 50 of the double pulleys 46.
As well known in the art of garage doors, a remote control can be provided for remotely operating the motor 26 thereby allowing the user to open and close the closer 34 at a distance and, for instance, from within a vehicle.
When the closure 34 is closed, the elastic members 58 can still be somewhat extended in order to allow for the closure 34 to sufficiently yield when a force is applied thereon, such as by snow being thrown thereon by a snowplow or the like, thereby preventing rupture of the closure 34.
As seen in
For manual opening and closing of the closure 34 in case of a failure of the motor 26 or in case of the closure 34 becoming jammed in the guide rails 22 due to ice, there are provided a pair of side zippers 86 (see
Accordingly, by way of the closure device D of the present invention, a flared door opening defined in a vehicle shelter C can be completely closed in a substantially taut way and, when the closure is being raised or generally when it is at least partly wound around the overhead shaft, the closure is wound in an orderly and taut fashion around this overhead shaft. The closure device of the present invention thus allows for a motorized closure to be installed on a vehicle shelter without reducing the effective width of the door opening thereof.
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|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US20130094906 *||Jun 11, 2011||Apr 18, 2013||Cornelis Elisabeth Rijlaarsdam||Water barrier|
|US20150211282 *||Jan 29, 2014||Jul 30, 2015||Fernand Potvin||System for remotely opening a door on a canvas car shelter|
|U.S. Classification||160/268.1, 160/271, 160/273.1, 160/323.1|
|International Classification||A47G5/02, E04H6/04, E06B9/13|
|Cooperative Classification||E06B9/13, E06B2009/2494, E04H6/04|
|European Classification||E06B9/13, E04H6/04|
|Feb 19, 2002||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: RITE-HITE HOLDING CORPORATION, WISCONSIN
Effective date: 19990311
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:LEPAGE, ROBERT;PARADIS, MICHEL;REEL/FRAME:012616/0465
|Oct 4, 2011||CC||Certificate of correction|