1. A portable entrance unit for mobile homes and the like comprising an integral step and porch platform unit formed of reinforced plastics material, said unit having a relatively thin wall thickness and being essentially hollow and open at its bottom and being sealed on all of its side faces and top faces, the tread faces of the step and porch platform sections of the unit being recessed, and inserts of non-slip pliant material disposed in the recesses and extending over the major portions of all top faces of said unit, said unit having an overall height whereby it may service the entrance needs of substantially all makes of mobile homes.
2. The structure of claim 1, and said unit comprising a polyester resin reinforced internally with fiberglass.
3. The structure of claim 2, and said tread inserts comprising individually formed sections of artificial turf or carpeting.
4. The structure of claim 1, and said unit having an overall height of approximately 27 inches and having a wall thickness of approximately 3/8 inch.
5. The structure of claim 1, and plural integral braces molded in spaced relation into corner portions of said unit.
6. The structure of claim 1, wherein said integral step and porch platform unit comprises a forward plural step section and a rearward rectangular box-like porch platform section of even height with the step section and projecting substantially on opposite sides of the step section symmetrically.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
The use of a mobile home has always presented a problem in terms of providing a safe, attractive and adequate entranceway. A variety of schemes have been utilized ranging from the use of one or two cement blocks as temporary steps to elaborate porch additions constructed from masonry or wood and being of such a permanent nature that they must be left behind when the owner chooses to move the mobile home. A variety of in-between measures have been attempted, many of which are unsafe or unsightly, and thus far no known completely satisfactory solution to the problem has been devised in terms of portability, economy, safety and neatness and attractiveness in appearance.
Some examples of the patented prior art on porches for mobile homes are shown in U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,608,951 and 3,750,351. These patented devices, while useful, fail to satisfy many of the above-enumerated required features for a completely satisfactory entranceway for a mobile home, and consequently, it is the principal objective of this invention to improve upon the prior art through the provision of a unitary entranceway for mobile homes which will be entirely satisfactory in terms of the needs and qualities which have been specified.
Other detailed features and advantages of the invention will become apparent during the course of the following description.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWING FIGURES
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a portable entranceway unit for mobile homes embodying the invention.
FIG. 2 is a plan view thereof.
FIG. 3 is a side elevation of the unit.
FIG. 4 is a bottom plan view thereof.
Referring to the drawings in detail wherein like numerals designate like parts throughout, the numeral 10 designates in its entirety an entrance unit for a conventional mobile home 11 having an entrance door 12. The entrance unit 10 embodies steps 13, such as three steps and an enlarged rectangular platform section 14 integral with the steps and forming a porch.
The entire unit 10 is formed of molded fiberglass reinforced resin, such as a polyester resin, saturating a lay up of fiberglass over a suitable form. After hardening, the reinforced molded unit becomes extremely strong and durable, does not require painting, will withstand extreme weather conditions, is fire-resistant and non-conducting. The unit 10 can have imparted thereto during manufacturing any color scheme desired. Most importantly, the step and porch unit 10, due to its toughness and strength, can be constructed with a small wall thickness, such as 3/8 of an inch, and is therefore rendered lightweight and readily portable. In a practical embodiment, the unit 10 need not exceed 80 to 90 pounds total weight. It is rigid and unitary.
While the dimensions of the entrance unit are not extremely critical, the principal dimensions have been chosen after a careful study of the needs and dimensions of a variety of makes of mobile homes. For example, the overall height of the porch platform section 14 is preferably about 27 inches. This height will enable the unit 10 to service the entranceway of most mobile homes including those with the highest ground or road clearance. If need be, to accommodate certain mobile homes with lower ground clearance, the portable unit 10 may be entrenched a few inches below ground on a level base adjacent to the mobile home doorway. With minor adjustment of this type, the unit 10 may be installed satisfactorily to serve as an entranceway for almost any known mobile home.
Preferably, the porch platform section 14 is about 4 feet 2 inches square although these dimensions may vary slightly. The step section 13 is preferably about 2 feet wide and 21/2 feet in its distance projecting forwardly of porch section 14 and centered laterally with respect thereto, as shown.
For increased rigidity and strength, referring to FIGS. 3 and 4, the hollow box-like porch section 14 of the unit is reinforced at several points along its upper corners at the sides and back with thin diagonal braces or gussets 15, molded integrally with the adjacent side walls and top walls of the unit. The step section 13, being inherently rigid, requires no further reinforcement.
An important feature of the step and porch unit 10 is the provision on the tread faces of the steps and similarly on the tread surface of the porch platform of non-slip inserts 16 and 17. These inserts are individually formed from fibrous plastics material or matting, such as polypropylene. If preferred, other forms of non-slip matting may be used for this purpose such as the well-known "ASTRO TURF" used on athletic fields and the like. Sections of indoor-outdoor carpet could also be used. The tread inserts 16 and 17 are seated within shallow recesses in the step and porch platform faces formed by molding, and such recesses are about 1/4 inch deep. The tread inserts may be adhered within the recesses or they may be placed removably therein, if preferred. Tread inserts of the type described are readily cleanable with a vacuum cleaner and by washing.
A major convenience feature of the invention, due to its lightness and unit form, is that it may be upended and passed through a standard doorway to the interior of the mobile home 11 for transportation with the other home furnishings. Therefore, there is no necessity for discarding and leaving behind the entrance unit 10 as would be the case if it were constructed from bricks or masonry or other heavy-weight materials or made in such a form that it could not readily be carried along. In this sense, the invention effects a great saving of money over a long period of time in addition to its economical construction at the outset. The product is attractive and neat, entirely safe, and in general forms a complete and practical and adequate entranceway unit for almost all mobile homes. The various features and advantages of the device should now be readily apparent to those skilled in the art without the need for further description. However, it should be made clear that the thin-walled molded plastics structure is essentially hollow and fully open at the bottom, although closed and weather-tight on all sides and on the top.
It is to be understood that the form of the invention herewith shown and described is to be taken as a preferred example of the same, and that various changes in the shape, size and arrangement of parts may be resorted to, without departing from the spirit of the invention or scope of the subjoined claims.