Title:
Movable outdoor shelters
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A movable outdoor shelter is weight anchored, for example self-stable, includes a plurality of skid members, and is adapted and configured to be selectively movable. The movable outdoor shelter further includes one or more skid coupling mechanisms which are adapted and configured to be attached to a towing device, which in turn selectively attaches to e.g. a vehicle used to move such movable outdoor shelter.



Inventors:
Fralish, Anthony T. (Berlin, WI, US)
Application Number:
11/525646
Publication Date:
03/29/2007
Filing Date:
09/22/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
280/19
International Classes:
E04H1/12; E04B5/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BUCKLE JR, JAMES J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Northwind IP Law, S.C. (100 W LAWRENCE ST Suite 320, APPLETON, WI, 54911, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A movable outdoor shelter, for movable use upon an underlying support surface, comprising: (a) a plurality of walls which generally defines an upwardly extending perimeter of said movable outdoor shelter; (b) a roof structure connected to an upper portion of said plurality of walls; (c) a generally planar and continuous floor structure connected to a lower portion of said plurality of walls and vertically displaced from such underlying support surface; and (d) a skid assembly comprising at least two elongate skids generally laterally displaced from and parallel to each other, said movable outdoor shelter weight anchored upon a supporting land surface, whereby said movable outdoor shelter can be skiddingly moved, between a first location and a second location, while maintaining its structural integrity.

2. A movable outdoor shelter as in claim 1 wherein said movable outdoor shelter defines a bunk-style feed holder.

3. A movable outdoor shelter as in claim 1 wherein said movable outdoor shelter defines a feed holder.

4. A movable outdoor shelter as in claim 1 wherein said movable outdoor shelter defines a dog kennel.

5. A movable outdoor shelter as in claim 1 wherein said movable outdoor shelter defines a greenhouse.

6. A movable outdoor shelter as in claim 1 wherein said movable outdoor shelter defines a gazebo.

7. A movable outdoor shelter as in claim 1 wherein said movable outdoor shelter defines a chicken coop.

8. A movable outdoor shelter as in claim 1 wherein said movable outdoor shelter defines a livestock housing unit.

9. A movable outdoor shelter as in claim 1 wherein ones of said at least two elongate skids defines a generally square cross-sectional area, along a major portion of the length thereof.

10. A movable outdoor shelter as in claim 1 wherein said skid assembly is removably attached to said outdoor shelter.

11. A movable outdoor shelter, comprising: (a) a shelter assembly which includes a floor and a roof, said roof having first and second lateral most edges which define a roof width dimension therebetween; and (b) a skid assembly having at least first and second skid members laterally displaced from each other, each of said first and second skid members having an outwardly facing lateral surface, the distance between said outwardly facing lateral surfaces of said first and second skid members defining a skid assembly width dimension therebetween, wherein the magnitude of the roof width dimension is greater than the magnitude of the skid assembly width dimension.

12. A movable outdoor shelter as in claim 11 wherein said movable outdoor shelter defines a bunk-style feed holder.

13. A movable outdoor shelter as in claim 11 wherein said movable outdoor shelter defines a feed holder.

14. A movable outdoor shelter as in claim 11 wherein said movable outdoor shelter defines a dog kennel.

15. A movable outdoor shelter as in claim 11 wherein said movable outdoor shelter defines a greenhouse.

16. A movable outdoor shelter as in claim 11 wherein said movable outdoor shelter defines a gazebo.

17. A movable outdoor shelter as in claim 11 wherein said movable outdoor shelter defines a chicken coop.

18. A movable outdoor shelter as in claim 11 wherein said movable outdoor shelter defines a livestock housing unit.

19. A movable outdoor shelter as in claim 11 wherein ones of said first and second skids define a generally square cross-sectional area, along a major portion of the length thereof.

20. A movable outdoor shelter as in claim 11 wherein said skid assembly is removably attached to said outdoor shelter.

21. A movable outdoor shelter, comprising: (a) a shelter assembly which includes a roof, said roof, as viewed from above, defining a roof perimeter having a roof perimeter length; and (b) a skid assembly having a plurality of outwardly facing surfaces which, in combination, define a skid assembly perimeter having a skid assembly perimeter length, the magnitude of said roof perimeter length being greater than the magnitude of the skid assembly perimeter length.

22. A movable outdoor shelter as in claim 21 wherein generally no portion of said skid assembly extends outwardly beyond said roof perimeter.

23. A movable outdoor shelter as in claim 21 wherein said skid assembly defines a lowermost surface adapted and configured to skiddingly interface with an underlying support surface, wherein said skid assembly perimeter length is determined at the perimeter of said skid assembly, proximate said lowermost surface.

24. A movable outdoor shelter as in claim 21 wherein said movable outdoor shelter defines a bunk-style feed holder.

25. A movable outdoor shelter as in claim 21 wherein said movable outdoor shelter defines a feed holder.

26. A movable outdoor shelter as in claim 21 wherein said movable outdoor shelter defines a dog kennel.

27. A movable outdoor shelter as in claim 21 wherein said movable outdoor shelter defines a greenhouse.

28. A movable outdoor shelter as in claim 21 wherein said movable outdoor shelter defines a gazebo.

29. A movable outdoor shelter as in claim 21 wherein a first one of said at least two elongate skids defines a ground contact surface and a length thereof and generally lies under a first wall of said shelter, the magnitude of the length of said ground contact surface of said first skid being less than the magnitude of the length of said wall, whereby said first skid contact surface is relatively shorter than the length of said first wall.

30. A movable outdoor shelter as in claim 21 wherein said skid assembly is removably attached to said outdoor shelter.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a Non-Provisional Application, claiming priority under 35 U.S.C. 119(e) to U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/720,237, filed Sep. 24, 2005, which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND

The present invention relates generally to relatively small enclosures, buildings, and/or other structures, which address various needs of landowners and/or occupants. Exemplary of such landowners and/or occupants include, but are not limited to, rural homeowners, farmers, recreational farmers e.g. hobby farmers, city dwellers, and/or others. Namely, the present invention enables landowners and/or occupants to relocate relatively small enclosures, buildings, and/or other structures, as desired, without the use of wheels, tires, and/or other rolling-type running gear.

Although movable, the shelters of the present invention are primarily shelters and not vehicles, since vehicles are adapted and configured primarily for locomotive or other travel. To the contrary, the shelters of the present invention are primarily stationary structures, e.g. self-stable structures or mass-stable structures, which are adapted and configured to be movable over generally small or other distances.

Typical enclosures and shelters which belong to rural homeowners, farmers, recreational farmers e.g. hobby farmers, city dwellers, and/or others, include various animal feeder devices such as bunk and other livestock feeders, gazebos, greenhouses, and dog kennels.

Typical bunk feeders have no top enclosure or roof structure, whereby the feeder contents are generally exposed to weather, direct sunlight, and/or other elements or conditions. Also, typical bunk feeders are either stationary with no generally no provision for easy movement of the feeder or mounted upon a vehicle-type chassis or running gear, whereby the feeder rolls on wheels and/or pneumatic or other tires. Such vehicle-type chassis or running gear makes these feeders relatively expensive, compared to those without.

Typical gazebos are permanently-fixed in location. The floor is either a cement slab or elevated from the ground. The gazebo is typically anchored to the ground or other underlying surface by way of various building anchoring techniques, such as a plurality of posts anchored to the ground using concrete footings which extend into the ground.

Typical greenhouses are permanently-fixed in location. The floor may be a concrete slab, or an elevated patio deck. In any event, the floor is permanently affixed to the ground, the walls are built upon the floor, and the roof is supported from the walls.

However, there are some known “knock-down” i.e. portable by way of disassembly, greenhouses, where the floor is part of the assembly. In such knock-down portable greenhouses, the floor is not permanently attached to the ground. However, the greenhouse is portable only in the sense that it can be disassembled, the pieces moved to a new location, and then reassembled, whereby the inhabiting plants cannot remain in the greenhouse while it is being moved, because the greenhouse must first be disassembled in preparation for the move.

Typical dog kennels are permanently-fixed in location. Namely, a typical dog kennel includes fencing-type boundary walls which are attached to a concrete slab or other slab which prevents the confined dog from digging under the boundary walls and escaping. The concrete or other slab is not movable, whereby the typical dog kennel is fixed in location.

Accordingly, enclosures and shelters such as bunk and other livestock feeders, gazebos, greenhouses, and dog kennels, present numerous problems for uses, since they are typically fixed in location. As one example, since such enclosures and shelters are fixed in location, the particular location of such enclosures and shelters may on occasion interfere with e.g. family or social functions either by physical obstruction or by presenting an aesthetically non-desired appearance (referred to by some as e.g. an “eye-sore” or some other nuisance).

Accordingly, regardless of the particular style of outdoor enclosure, shelter, or housing unit, it might prove desirable and/or beneficial to provide outdoor structures, enclosures, and/or shelters which are weight anchored, self-stable, and which are suitably movable across, for example, relatively short or other distances, by way of e.g. dragging or skidding, as desired.

SUMMARY

The invention generally provides outdoor shelters which are movable yet weight anchored, for example self-stable, include a plurality of skid members, and are adapted and configured to be selectively movable. The movable outdoor shelter further includes one or more skid coupling mechanisms which are adapted and configured to be attached to a towing device, which in turn selectively attaches to an e.g. vehicle used to move such movable outdoor shelter.

In a first family of embodiments, the invention comprehends a movable outdoor shelter, for movable use upon an underlying support surface, having: (a) a plurality of walls which generally defines an upwardly extending perimeter of the movable outdoor shelter; (b) a roof structure connected to an upper portion of the plurality of walls; (c) a generally planar and continuous floor structure connected to a lower portion of the plurality of walls and vertically displaced from such underlying support surface; and (d) a skid assembly comprising at least two elongate skids generally laterally displaced from and parallel to each other, the movable outdoor shelter weight anchored upon a supporting land surface, whereby the movable outdoor shelter can be skiddingly moved, between a first location and a second location, while maintaining its structural integrity.

In some embodiments, the movable outdoor shelter defines a bunk-style feed holder.

In some embodiments, the movable outdoor shelter defines a feed holder.

In some embodiments, the movable outdoor shelter defines a dog kennel.

In some embodiments, the movable outdoor shelter defines a greenhouse.

In some embodiments, the movable outdoor shelter defines a gazebo.

In some embodiments, the movable outdoor shelter defines a chicken coop.

In some embodiments, the movable outdoor shelter defines a livestock housing unit.

In some embodiments, ones of the at least two elongate skids defines a generally square cross-sectional area, along a major portion of the length thereof.

In some embodiments, the skid assembly is removably attached to the outdoor shelter.

In a second family of embodiments, the invention comprehends a movable outdoor shelter, having: (a) a shelter assembly which includes a floor and a roof, the roof having first and second lateral most edges which define a roof width dimension therebetween; and (b) a skid assembly having at least first and second skid members laterally displaced from each other, each of the first and second skid members having an outwardly facing lateral surface, the distance between the outwardly facing lateral surfaces of the first and second skid members defining a skid assembly width dimension therebetween, wherein the magnitude of the roof width dimension is greater than the magnitude of the skid assembly width dimension.

In some embodiments, ones of the first and second skids define a generally square cross-sectional area, along a major portion of the length thereof.

In a third family of embodiments, the invention comprehends a movable outdoor shelter, having: (a) a shelter assembly which includes a roof, the roof, as viewed from above, defining a roof perimeter having a roof perimeter length; and (b) a skid assembly having a plurality of outwardly facing surfaces which, in combination, define a skid assembly perimeter having a skid assembly perimeter length, the magnitude of the roof perimeter length being greater than the magnitude of the skid assembly perimeter length.

In some embodiments, generally no portion of the skid assembly extends outwardly beyond the roof perimeter.

In some embodiments, the skid assembly defines a lowermost surface adapted and configured to skiddingly interface with an underlying support surface, wherein the skid assembly perimeter length is determined at the perimeter of the skid assembly, proximate the lowermost surface.

In some embodiments, a first one of the at least two elongate skids defines a ground contact surface and a length thereof and generally lies under a first wall of the shelter, the magnitude of the length of the ground contact surface of the first skid being less than the magnitude of the length of the wall, whereby the first skid contact surface is relatively shorter than the length of the first wall.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows a pictorial view of a first embodiment of movable outdoor shelters of the invention.

FIG. 2A shows a pictorial view of a second embodiment of movable outdoor shelters of the invention.

FIG. 2B shows a pictorial view of a variant of the movable outdoor shelter of FIG. 2A.

FIG. 3A shows a pictorial view of a third embodiment of movable outdoor shelters of the invention.

FIG. 3B shows a pictorial view of a variant of the movable outdoor shelter of FIG. 3A.

FIG. 4A shows a pictorial view of a fourth embodiment of movable outdoor shelters of the invention.

FIG. 4B shows a variant of the movable outdoor shelter of FIG. 4A.

FIG. 4C shows a pictorial view of another variant of the movable outdoor shelter of FIG. 4A.

FIG. 4D shows a pictorial view of another variant of the movable outdoor shelter of FIG. 4A.

FIG. 5A shows a pictorial view of a fifth embodiment of movable outdoor shelters of the invention.

FIG. 5B shows a pictorial view of a variant of the movable outdoor shelter of FIG. 5A.

FIG. 5C shows a pictorial view of another variant of the movable outdoor shelter of FIG. 5A.

FIG. 5D shows a pictorial view of another variant of the movable outdoor shelter of FIG. 5A.

FIG. 5E shows a pictorial view of another variant of the movable outdoor shelter of FIG. 5A.

FIG. 6A shows a pictorial view of a sixth embodiment of movable outdoor shelters of the invention.

FIG. 6B shows a pictorial view of a variant of the movable outdoor shelter of FIG. 6A.

FIG. 6C shows a pictorial view of another variant of the movable outdoor shelter of FIG. 6A.

FIG. 6D shows a pictorial view of another variant of the movable outdoor shelter of FIG. 6A.

FIG. 6E shows a pictorial view of a door extending through a wall of the movable outdoor shelter of FIG. 6A in a first, closed, position.

FIG. 6F shows a pictorial view of the door of FIG. 6D in a second, open, position.

FIG. 7 shows an exploded pictorial view of the movable outdoor shelter of FIG. 1.

FIG. 8 shows an exploded pictorial view of the movable outdoor shelter of FIG. 2A.

FIG. 9 shows an exploded pictorial view of the movable outdoor shelter of FIG. 3A.

FIG. 10 shows an exploded pictorial view of the movable outdoor shelter of FIG. 4A.

FIG. 11 shows an exploded pictorial view of the movable outdoor shelter of FIG. 5A.

FIG. 12 shows an exploded pictorial view of the movable outdoor shelter of FIG. 6A.

FIG. 13 shows a pictorial view of a first embodiment of skid assemblies of the invention.

FIG. 14 shows a pictorial view of a second embodiment of skid assemblies of the invention.

FIG. 15 shows a pictorial view of a third embodiment of skid assemblies of the invention.

FIG. 16 shows a pictorial view of a fourth embodiment of skid assemblies of the invention.

FIG. 17 shows a pictorial view of a fifth embodiment of skid assemblies of the invention.

FIG. 18 shows a pictorial view of a sixth embodiment of skid assemblies of the invention.

FIG. 19 shows a pictorial view of a seventh embodiment of skid assemblies of the invention.

The invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction or the arrangement of the components set forth in the preceding and following descriptions or illustrated in the drawings. The invention is capable of other embodiments or of being practiced or carried out in other various ways. Also, it is to be understood that the terminology and phraseology employed herein is for purpose of description and illustration and should not be regarded as limiting. Like reference numerals are used to indicate like components.

DESCRIPTION OF THE ILLUSTRATED EMBODIMENTS

FIG. 1 shows a movable outdoor shelter, e.g. movable outdoor shelter 5, which includes shelter structure 10, skid assembly 17, optionally skid coupling device 20. Movable outdoor shelter 5 is adapted and configured to enable a user to, as desired, move the shelter by dragging, pulling, towing, hauling, drawing, tugging, optionally pushing, from a first location to a second location.

A user uses a tractor apparatus, e.g. tractor apparatus “T” and towing device “TD” to drag, tow, haul, draw, and/or tug movable outdoor shelter 5. Tractor apparatus “T” includes, but is not limited to, all-terrain vehicles (ATV's), sport-utility vehicles (SUV's), trucks, cars, tractors, lawn and/or garden tractors, skid-steer loaders, and/or others.

Towing device “TD” connects movable outdoor shelter 5 to tractor apparatus “T.” Towing device “TD” includes a variety of generally rigid and generally non-rigid structures. Exemplary of such generally non-rigid structures suitable for use as towing device “TD” include, but are not limited to, cable, rope, chain, wire, and/or others. Exemplary of such generally rigid structures suitable for use as towing device “TD” include, but are not limited to, various pieces of tubing, piping, and/or other stock, as single pieces or as an assemblage of a plurality of pieces, such as a tow-bar and/or others. In some embodiments, towing device “TD” further includes various other components suitable to removably attach towing device “TD” to movable outdoor shelter 5, such various other components including, but not limited to, clevises, C-clips, spring-clips, and/or others.

Movable outdoor shelter 5 is a self-stable, for example, weight anchored, but movable, e.g. small enclosure, building, and/or other structure, which is generally devoid of wheels, tires, and/or other rolling-type running gear. Movable outdoor shelters 5 are movable over land surfaces such as ground, pavement, concrete, gravel, and/or other solid-land surfaces.

Movable outdoor shelter 5 is adapted and configured to sufficiently resist non-desired movement. Namely, moveable outdoor shelter 5 has a mass sufficiently great in magnitude and defies a coefficient of friction sufficiently great in magnitude between the shelter and the ground surface so that typically, the shelter remains stationary or static.

Accordingly, movable outdoor shelter 5 is sufficiently resistant to movement with respect to the ground that the shelter, itself, is stable with respect to the ground in normal operation, is not readily moved during the course of normal use of the shelter, until, unless intentionally moved by applying a force abnormal to the normal use of the building.

Since the movable outdoor shelters 5 are primarily structures or shelters and not primarily vehicles, the movable outdoor shelters 5 are movable with substantial effort, which can impose substantial stresses upon the shelters. Accordingly, movable outdoor shelters 5 are adapted and configured to withstand such stresses associated with moving the shelters, whereby movable outdoor shelters 5 are sufficiently strong, durable, and robust to withstand such moving stresses.

Shelter structure 10 includes any of a variety of relatively small enclosures, buildings, and/or other structures, which address various needs of landowners and/or occupants. Examples of such structures include, but are not limited to, (i) animal foodstuff holding or delivery devices which include various feeder devices, water tanks, and/or other foodstuff holding or delivery devices, e.g. bunk feeder 110 (FIGS. 2 and 8), (ii) recreational, storage, agricultural, or dwelling structures, e.g. gazebo 210 (FIGS. 3A, 3B, and 9) and cabins, shacks, sheds, horticultural buildings, botany buildings, agronomy buildings, and/or other plant care and/or rearing buildings e.g. greenhouse 310, (iii) animal housing enclosures such dog kennels, chicken coops, calf hutches, bird aviaries, feline e.g. exotic feline housing enclosures, rodent housing enclosures, and/or other animal housing enclosures, exemplarily illustrated as dog kennels 410 (FIGS. 5A, 5B, 5C, 5D, 5E, 11, and 12), and/or others.

Shelter structure 10 includes floor 12, upright posts 14, and roof 16. Floor 12 is generally planar, has a plurality of side edges which in combination define a generally polygonal perimeter which is illustrated as a rectangular floor perimeter in FIGS. 1 and 7.

In some embodiments, a plurality of elongate flooring members are arranged adjacent to each other, respective adjacent ones abutting and interfacing each other, optionally spaced from each other to enable easy draining of e.g. wash-water, and/or other liquids or various other materials, therebetween.

In such embodiments, the assemblage of the plurality of flooring members generally defines floor 12. The preferred material for the flooring members are planks of extruded material which includes recycled plastic, such as high density polyethylene, as a component, optionally as the entire extrusion. Such extruded planks are readily available, are UV resistant, and are non-porous. Thus, the plastic planks make a tough, non-absorbing surface which does not absorb and hold various non-desired substances which may come into contact with floor 12 during typical use of shelter structure 10.

Upright posts 14 are each an elongate member with a lower end and an upper end. The lower ends of upright posts 14 interface with, and are attached to, floor 12, namely the upper surface of floor 12. Upright posts 14 extend generally perpendicularly upwardly from the upper surface of floor 12 and terminate at the respective upper ends of the posts.

Ones of upright posts 14 are spaced from and are generally parallel to other ones of upright posts 14, generally about the perimeter of floor 12, as desired. In a given shelter structure 10, the particular number of upright posts 14 and their particular orientation, alignment, and other characteristics, are based, at least in part, on the overall size, shape, mass, configuration, and intended use environment, of shelter structure 10.

As desired, walls extend generally uprightly from floor 12. The walls extend between various ones of upright posts 14. In some embodiments, the walls extend upwardly along part of, but generally less than the entirety of, the lengths of the respective upright posts 14. In other words, as desired, the walls extend only part of the way between floor 12 and roof 16, whereby the magnitude of the length dimension of the walls is generally less than the magnitude of the length dimension of upright post 14.

In other embodiments, the walls extend along the entire length of upright posts 14. In other words, as desired, the walls extend generally the entire way between floor 12 and roof 16, whereby the magnitude of the length dimension of the walls corresponds closely to the magnitude of the length dimension of upright posts 14. Such full-length walls are desirable when, for example, a generally entirely enclosed structure is desired.

Regardless, of the particular number of upright posts 14 and their particular size, orientation, alignment, and other characteristics, and particular number of wall segments and their particular size, orientation, alignment, and other characteristics, the upright posts 14 and/or corresponding wall segments, individually and/or in combination, are adapted and configured to provide load bearing support to roof 16.

Roof 16 includes one or more generally planar roof panels which are adapted and configured to at least partially prevent, negate, or attenuate exposure of the interior of shelter structure 10 to e.g. weather precipitation, other climate influences and/or other atmospheric phenomenon. In general, roof 16 defines the uppermost portion of the assemblage of movable outdoor shelter 5.

Roof 16, illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 7, includes first and second roof panel portions. Each roof panel has a length and a width dimension, upper and lower surfaces, an inner edge, and an outer edge. The particular number, shape, and/or other characteristics of ones of the roof panels are selected based at least in part on the desired overall configuration and adaptation of movable outdoor shelter 5, whereby the roof 16 assemblage is suitable for its intended purpose, be it to shield a user from the precipitating elements, to shield a user from sunlight or other ambient influences, to shield a user from the precipitating elements while permitting sunlight to pass therethrough, and/or others.

The inner edges of the two roof panels are connected to each other. From the seam of joinder between the two roof panels, each of the first and second roof panels extends generally downwardly and away therefrom. In other words, as viewed from an end elevation view, roof 16 appears to generally define an inverted-V shape. The particular slope or pitch of the roof panels is selected to be suitable for the intended use environment of shelter structure 10 and depends on various factors which include, but are not limited to, the typical amount and type of precipitation in the end use environment, the rate of desired run-off of such precipitation from roof 16, and/or others.

Roof 16 interfaces with and is attached to the upper ends of ones of upright posts 14. In other words, the lower surface of roof 16 interfaces with e.g. the terminal end surface, or other surfaces, of the upper end of various ones, optionally all, of upright posts 14, whereby ones of the upright posts generally support roof 16 and attach the roof to the remainder of the shelter structure 10. Upright posts 14 are attached to roof 16 by any of a variety of attachment means, which include, but are not limited to, various hardware devices and components such as screws, nails, bolts and nuts, brackets, mending straps, and/or others, as desired.

Roof 16 can be made from any of a variety of suitable materials. Such suitable materials for use in roof 16 include various metallic and non-metallic materials and components. Exemplary of such suitable metallic roofing materials and/or roofing components include, but are not limited to, steel roofing materials e.g. standing-seam steel roofing materials, sheet steel materials, corrugated steel roofing materials, other steel roofing materials, aluminum roofing materials, tin roofing materials, and/or other suitable metallic roofing materials.

Exemplary of such suitable non-metallic roofing materials and/or components include, but are not limited to, wood based roofing materials, e.g. wood sheathing which may or may not be covered by various shingles, shakes, rubber or other membranes, tiles, and others. Further examples of such suitable non-metallic roofing materials and/or components include, but are not limited to, fiberglass roofing materials, various polymeric roofing materials, and/or others.

Skid assembly 17 is attached to e.g. the bottom portion of shelter structure 10 and includes one or more skid members 18, skid coupling device 20, and optionally one or more cross members e.g. cross members 30A, 30B, 30C (FIGS. 10, 11, and 12) and/or others.

As desired, skid assembly 17 can be removably attached to e.g. the bottom portion of shelter structure 10. As one example, skid assembly 17 and shelter structure 10 can have corresponding brackets or other suitable hardware, ones of which are correspondingly spaced and oriented with respect to each other, that are adapted and configured to accept e.g. hitch pins, linch pins, bolts, threaded rods, or other suitable hardware, through corresponding apertures which are in alignment with each other, which enables removable attachment of shelter structure 10 to skid assembly 17. Those skilled in the art are aware of other suitable methods of removably attaching shelter structure 10 to skid assembly 17 including, but not limited to, suitably sized and configured latches, toggle clamps, load binders, and/or others.

Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 7, each of skid members 18A, 18B, is an elongate member with a length dimension generally defined between first and second ends, a width dimension and a thickness dimension. The length dimension of ones of skid members 18A, 18B corresponds to the length dimension of shelter structure 10. As one example, in some embodiments, the ends of skid members 18A, 18B lie completely under shelter structure 10, whereby the ends of skid members 18A, 18B generally do not protrude outwardly beyond the perimeter of shelter structure 10.

As another example, in some embodiments, ones of the ends of skid members 18A, 18B extend outwardly beyond the perimeter of shelter structure 10, e.g. the magnitude of the length dimension of ones of skid members 18A, 18B is greater than the magnitude of the length dimension of shelter structure 10 and one or more of the ends of ones of skid members 18A, 18B extend outwardly beyond the perimeter of the shelter structure. In other embodiments, the magnitude of the length dimension of ones of skid members 18A, 18B is generally the same as or less than the magnitude of the length dimension of shelter structure 10, yet one or more of the ends of ones of skid members 18A, 18B extend outwardly beyond the perimeter of the shelter structure.

Each of skid members 18A, 18B includes at least one ramped end surface. In other words, at least one end of each skid member 18A, 18B, when viewed in side elevation, includes a beveled configuration thereof. Such beveled or ramped surface enables skid assembly 17 to traverse the ground surface relatively easier as compared to skid members which do not include such a ramped or beveled end. In other words, the ramped or beveled end of skid members 18A, 18B relatively reduces the likelihood of the end of the skid member becoming wedged into, plowing into, and/or otherwise hanging-up on or non-desiredly interfacing with the ground surface over which skid assembly 17 traverses.

Although the ends of the skid members are illustrated and generally beveled or ramped with generally straight-line beveled or ramped surfaces, other suitable ramped surfaces are contemplated and well within the scope of the invention. Exemplary of such other suitable ramped end surfaces include, but are not limited to, arcuately extending, concave or convex, in profile or otherwise, end surfaces, and well as end portions in which the entirety of such end portion arcingly or curvingly extends upwardly, and/or others.

Skid coupling devices 20 are adapted and configured to be removably attached to towing device “TD” as desired by the user. In general, ones of skid couplers 20 are attached to respective ends of the skid members. Preferably, at least two of the ends of the skid members, on first and second opposing sides of skid assembly 17, include skid couplers 20 affixed thereto. Such configuration enables movable outdoor shelter 5 to be relatively easily movable in first and second opposing directions by applying a pulling force to the shelter 5 in a first direction, transmitted through e.g. a first pair of skid coupling devices 20, and/or applying a pulling force to shelter 5 in a second, opposite direction, transmitted through e.g. a second pair of skid coupling devices 20 affixed to an oppositely facing portion of the shelter 5. In other words, ones of skid couplers 20 are preferably located upon and attached to portions of movable outdoor shelter 5 which enable a user to pull the shelter from different portions thereof in order to change the direction of shelter travel, rather than having to e.g. pullingly steer the shelter by, for example, pulling the shelter about a 180 degree radius turn to change the shelter to face an opposite travel direction.

Skid coupling device 20 includes cable loops 24A, 24B (FIGS. 1, 7 and 13). Cable loops 24A, 24B are each a generally flexible member made from preferably cable, optionally made from rope, wire, or other elongate flexible member. Cable loops 24A, 24B pass through a bore which extends through an end of ones of skid members 18A, 18B. The bores extend generally parallel to the ground, through the respective ends of skid members 18A, 18B. Preferably, the bore of skid member 18A is generally coaxially aligned with the bore of skid member 18B.

In some embodiments, the bores of skid members 18A, 18B pass entirely through the width of the skid members 18A, 18B, whereby the bores are through-bores. In such embodiments, cable loops 24A, 24B, as desired, pass axially through the entire bores and thus through the entire width of skid members 18A, 18B.

In other embodiments, the bores of skid members 18A, 18B pass through less than the entirety of the width of skid members 18A, 18B, whereby the bore are blind bores or other bores. In such embodiments, the ends of cable loops 24A, 24B, as desired, pass axially through less than the entire width of skid member 18A, 18B, and are anchored into the bores by way of e.g. mechanical securing hardware which extends through the upper and/or lower surfaces of the ends of skid members 18A, 18B, securing the ends of the cable loops 24A, 24B into the bores.

In yet other embodiments, skid members 18A, 18B are generally devoid of bores, whereby the ends of cable loops 24A, 24B are attached, mechanically or otherwise, to various outer surfaces of the skid members, e.g. the outer lateral surfaces, the upper and/or lower surfaces, portions of the ramped end surfaces, and others.

The particular number of skid members of skid assembly 17, the particular dimensions, qualities, and/or other characteristics of the skid members, the number of cross members used in skid assembly 17 and the particular dimensions, qualities, and/or other characteristics of the cross members, and/or the particular number, dimensions, qualities, and/or other characteristics of other components of skid assembly 17, are selected based at least in part on the overall desired characteristics of movable outdoor shelter 5, the intended end use environment, and/or other factors. In addition, the particular type, dimensions, qualities, and/or other characteristics of skid coupling devices 20 are selected based at least in part on the overall desired characteristics of movable outdoor shelter 5, the type of device e.g. tractor mechanism “T” used to locate/relocate outdoor shelter 5, the intended end use environment, and/or other factors.

Skid members 18A, 18B are spaced laterally from each other and in the complete assemblage of movable outdoor shelter 5 are generally parallel to each other. As desired, in some embodiments, skid members 18A, 18B are connected directly to shelter structure 10, whereby the upper surfaces of skid members 18A, 18B generally interface with the lower surface of floor 12. In such embodiments, skid members 18A, 18B are connected to e.g. floor 12 by way of various suitable means of attachment which include, but are not limited to, various hardware devices and components such as screws, nails, bolts and nuts, brackets, mending straps, optionally by weldment adhesion, and/or suitable means of attachment.

In such embodiments, each flooring member can be securely mounted to each of the skid members. As a result, the floor acts to hold the skids rigidly spaced from each other, and the securement of the flooring members to the skid members holds the flooring and skid member parallel to respective ones of each other, such that the movable outdoor shelter can tolerate the twisting forces which are inherent in the towing or other movement of the shelter.

In some embodiments, skid members 18A, 18B are attached to shelter structure 10 by way of intermediary structure(s). Exemplary of such intermediary structure includes cross members 30A, 30B. Each of cross members 30A, 30B is an elongate, generally rigid member which has a length, and upper and lower surfaces. Ones of cross members 30A, 30B extend between respective ones of skid members 18A, 18B and intersect the ones of skid members 18A, 18B generally perpendicularly. In other words, cross members 30A, 30B extend between and connect skid members 18A, 18B.

As illustrated in FIG. 7, the lower surfaces of cross members 30A, 30B interface the upper surfaces of skid members 18A, 18B. The upper surfaces of cross members 30A, 30B interface the lower surface of shelter structure 10, namely the lower surface of floor 12.

Cross members 30A, 30B interface with and are attached to shelter structure 10 and to the remainder of skid assembly 17, thereby joining the structure and skid assembly. Thus, as desired, ones of cross members 30A, 30B, 30C or other structures serve as intermediary structures which lie between and connect shelter structure 10 and skid assembly 17.

As desired, the overall width dimension of skid assembly 17 is selected at least partially based on, for example, the width dimension of shelter structure 10, and the overall desired characteristics of movable outdoor shelter 5. As one example, in some embodiments, the lateral edges of skid members 18A, 18B lie completely under shelter structure 10, whereby the sides of skid members 18A, 18B generally do not protrude outwardly beyond the perimeter of shelter structure 10.

As another example, in some embodiments, ones of the lateral edges of skid members 18A, 18B extend outwardly beyond the perimeter of shelter structure 10, e.g. the magnitude of the overall with dimension of skid assembly 17 is greater than the magnitude of the width dimension of shelter structure 10 and one or more of the outwardly facing sides of ones of skid members 18A, 18B extend outwardly beyond the perimeter of the shelter structure. In other embodiments, the magnitude of overall width dimension of skid assembly 17 is generally the same as or less than the magnitude of the width dimension of shelter structure 10, yet one or more of the lateral sides of ones of skid members 18A, 18B extend outwardly beyond the perimeter of the shelter structure.

Skid assemblies 17 and/or components thereof can be made of any of a variety of suitable materials, which include, but are not limited to, wood based materials such as wood planks or lumber, pressure treated wood planks or lumber, otherwise treated wood planks or lumber, steel, stainless steel, aluminum, or other metallic tubing, piping, or other metallic-stock, various polymeric materials such as polymeric tubing, piping, extrusions, mold-formed members, and/or others.

Non-limiting examples of various iterations of skid assemblies 17 are illustrated in FIGS. 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, and 19. The embodiment illustrated in FIG. 13 is similar to the embodiments illustrated in FIGS. 1, and 7. However, the skid assembly 17 of FIG. 13 defines a substantially planar upper surface. In other words, cross members 30A, 30B are recessed into skid members 18A, 18B.

In such embodiments, skid members 18A, 18B included recesses, pockets, dados, rabbets, and/or other receptacles, which extend into one or more outer surfaces thereof. As illustrated, the receptacles extend into the upper surfaces of skid members 18A, 18B.

The embodiment illustrated in FIG. 14 differs from the embodiments of FIGS. 1 and 7 in that e.g. it incorporates a different embodiment of skid couplers 20. Namely, the embodiment of FIG. 14 includes, as skid couplers 20, first and second eye bolts e.g. eye bolts 26A, 26B. Eye bolts 26A, 26B extend into the upper surfaces of skid members 18A and 18B respectively, and are threadedly or otherwise secured thereto. Eye bolts 26A, 26B include, but are not limited to, eye bolts, lag eye bolts, lag ring bolts, eye screws, U-bolts, J-bolts, hook bolts, and/or others.

The embodiment illustrated in FIG. 15 is similar to that of FIG. 14, and differs from the embodiments of FIGS. 1 and 7, in that e.g. it incorporates eye bolts 26A and 26B as skid couplers 20. However, the embodiment of FIG. 15 illustrates eye bolts 26A, 26B in a different location than those of the embodiment of FIG. 14. Namely, as illustrated in FIG. 15, eye bolts 26A, 26B extend into and are attached to, the end surfaces, e.g. the ramped end surfaces, of skid members 18A, 18B, respectively.

The embodiment illustrated in FIG. 16 is similar to those of FIGS. 14 and 15, and differs from the embodiments of FIGS. 1 and 7, in that e.g. it incorporates eye bolts 26A and 26B as skid couplers 20. However, the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 16 shows eye bolts 26A, 26B in a different location than those of the embodiments illustrated in FIGS. 14 and 15. Namely, as illustrated in FIG. 15, eye bolts 26A, 26B extend into and are attached to, the lateral surfaces, e.g. the outwardly facing lateral surfaces, of skid members 18A, 18B, respectively.

Referring now to FIGS. 2A, 2B, 8, and 17, the skid assemblies 17 illustrated in these FIGURES, like previously discussed skid assemblies, include first and second skid members 18A, 18B, and first and second cross members 30A, and 30B, which extend between and connect the skid members. In addition, skid assembly 17 includes at least one, illustrated as a plurality of, spacer posts 35.

Each spacer post 35 is a generally elongate, rigid, member with upper and lower ends. The lower ends of spacer posts 35 are connected to ones of cross members 30A, 30B, near or adjacent the intersection of cross members 30A, 30B and respective ones of skid members 18A, 18B. From such point of attachment with cross members 30A, 30B, each spacer post 35 extends generally upwardly therefrom, toward the particular embodiment of the shelter structure of movable outdoor shelter 5, and each terminates at the upper end of spacer post 35, distal the remainder of skid assembly 17. Nevertheless, it is fully contemplated, appreciated, and well within the scope of the invention, that ones of spacer posts 35 can extend e.g. upwardly from various other portions of skid assembly 17.

Accordingly, in some embodiments of skid assemblies 17, such as those of FIGS. 2, 8, and 17, spacer posts 35 space e.g. a shelter structure from the skid members in complete assemblages of movable outdoor shelters 5. The length dimension of spacer posts 35 is selected at least partially based on, and corresponds to, the desired distance between the bottom surface of the shelter structure and the ground and/or the skid members.

Referring now to FIG. 17, as desired, skid assembly 17 includes a generally rigid towing mechanism, in lieu of or in addition to e.g. ones of skid couplers 20 and/or towing device TD. Namely, as desired, skid assembly 17 includes tow bar 28.

Tow bar 28 includes various elongate rigid members, the assemblage of which defines a generally A-shaped structure. In other words, tow bar 28 includes first and second angled side-rails and a tongue bar. Each of the first and second angled side-rails has a length dimension, a skid facing end, and a tractor facing end.

The skid facing ends of the first and second angled side-rails are connected to the remainder of skid assembly 17 e.g. pivotably or otherwise connected to ones of skids 18A, 18B, cross members 30A, 30B, and/or spacer posts 35. From the respective points of attachment to the remainder of skid assembly 17, each of the first and second angled side-rails extends along a generally straight line path, angularly toward the other one of the first and second angled side rails.

The tractor facing ends of the first and second angled side-rails connect with each other and/or with an end of the tongue bar, distal the remainder of skid assembly 17. The tongue bar extends outwardly from the first and second angled side-rails, generally perpendicularly from skid assembly 17. A mechanical coupling mechanism is attached to the end of the tongue bar which is distal the skid assembly 17 and is adapted and configured to removably connect the skid assembly to e.g. tractor “T.”

Referring now to FIG. 18, in some embodiments, the dimensions, mass, and/or other characteristics, of movable outdoor shelter 5 make it desirable to provide skid assemblies 17 which include more than two skid members, whereby skid assembly 17 includes first, second, and third, skid members 18A, 18B, 18C, respectively.

Skid members 18A and 18C generally define the outermost lateral skid members. Skid member 18B lies generally between the outer skid members 18A, 18C. Each of the skid members 18A, 18B, and 18C extends generally parallel to the other ones of skid members 18A, 18B, and 18C. And cross members 30A, 30B extend e.g. generally perpendicularly across and connect respective ones of skid members 18A, 18B, and 18C to other ones of skid members 18A, 18B, and 18C.

Referring now to FIG. 19, in some embodiments, the dimensions, mass, and/or other characteristics, of movable outdoor shelter 5 make it desirable to provide skid assemblies 17 which include (i) more than two skid members, whereby skid assembly 17 includes first, second, third, and fourth skid members 18A, 18B, 18C, 18D, respectively, and (ii) skid members which define generally different length dimensions e.g. relatively shorter skid members 18A, 18D and relatively longer skid members 18B, 19C.

Skid members 18A and 18D, the relatively shorter skid members, generally define the outermost lateral skid members. Skid members 18B, 19C, the relatively longer skid members, lie generally between the outer skid members 18A, 18C, whereby skid member 18B is adjacent skid member 18A and skid member 18C is adjacent skid member 18D.

Each of the skid members 18A, 18B, 8C, and 18D extends generally parallel to and laterally displaced from the other ones of skid members 18A, 18B, 18C, and 18D. Cross members 30A, 30B extend e.g. generally perpendicularly across and connect respective one of skid members 18A, 18B, 18C, and 18D to other ones of skid members 18A, 18B, 18C, and 18D. As desired, skid assembly 17 can include one or more additional cross members which span between and connect, for example only skid members 18B, 19C, adjacent their respective ends.

The length and/or other characteristics of ones of skid members 18A, 18B, 8C, and 18D, are selected to as to provide some of the desired qualities and characteristics of the movable outdoor shelter 5. Namely, the length, width, ground interfacing surface area, ground interfacing surface characteristics, spacing between, and/or other characteristics, of the skid members are selected based on various indented end use considerations.

Such end use considerations include, but are not limited to e.g. the end use environment, end use support surface, the overall mass of the movable outdoor shelter 5, and others, whereby the length, width, ground interfacing surface area, ground interfacing surface characteristics, spacing between, and/or other characteristics, of the skid members are selected so as to provide a movable outdoor shelter which is weight anchored upon a supporting land surface, can be skiddingly moved, yet suitably resists non-desired movement due to environmental or use factors such as, incidental or purposeful contact from livestock or humans, or weather such as wind velocities of, for example, greater than about 40 miles per hour, greater than about 50 miles per hour, greater than about 60 miles per hour, and/or other wind velocities, which impart forces upon movable outdoor shelters 5 during use.

In some embodiments, such as those which are primarily used by humans e.g. gazebo 210 and greenhouses 310 it can prove desirable to provide skid assemblies which present little if any trip-hazards to user of such outdoor shelters 5. In such embodiments, the lengths of the individual skid members 18A, 18B, 8C, and 18D are lesser in magnitudes than the magnitude of the corresponding outdoor shelter dimension(s). In other words, skid assembly 17 is completely underlying or tucked beneath the outdoor shelter structure 10, whereby no part of the skid assembly 17 extends outwardly beyond the perimeter of the shelter structure 10 and thus presents no trip-hazard to the end user. Stated another way, in such embodiments, since the skid assembly 17 in its entirety lies beneath the shelter structure 10, the magnitude of the shelter structure 10 perimeter length is greater than the magnitude of the skid assembly 17 perimeter length.

In some embodiments, the skid members define outermost portions thereof, e.g. uppermost, outwardly facing portions of the skid assembly, which extend to or beyond the outer perimeter of the shelter structure 10. However, as desired, the skid members taper inwardly from such outermost portions, toward the ground interfacing surface(s) of the skid assembly 17.

The resultant structure defines a skid lower surface, i.e. lowermost surface or “foot print”, which interfaces with the ground, which is relatively smaller in perimeter length than the oppositely facing skid upper surface. Also, in some embodiments, such lowermost surface has a relatively smaller perimeter length than the perimeter length of the shelter structure 10. In those and other e.g. illustrated embodiments, the lowermost surfaces of the skid members, or ground contact surfaces, have magnitudes of length which are less than the magnitudes of the lengths of the sidewalls which are generally adjacent thereto and which are typically generally above the respective skid members.

In other words, movable outdoor shelters 5 are e.g. enclosures, buildings, and/or other structures which can be moved without disassembly, are devoid of any forms of wheeled support, and require no braking system to retain such enclosures, buildings, and/or other structures in a desired location. Thus, movable outdoor shelters 5 are weight anchored and self-stable, yet movable shelters.

Referring now to FIGS. 2A, 2B, and 8, movable outdoor shelters 5 include shelter structures which are animal-foodstuff holding or delivery devices, e.g. bunk feeders 110, which are connected to skid assemblies 17. Bunk feeders 110 are adapted and configured to be selectively movable and hold, store, and/or contain various animal foodstuff which include, but is not limited to, various roughages e.g. silages, dry roughages, alfalfa hays, clovers, lespedezas, timothy hays, prairie hays, brome grass hays, orchard grass hays, cereal hays, oats, corn, grain sorghum, barley, wheat, wheat bran, linseed meal, soybean meal, cottonseed meal, pelleted feeds, and/or others.

Bunk feeder 110 includes floor 112, upright posts 114, and roof 116. Floor 112 is generally planar, has a plurality of side edges which in combination define a generally polygonal perimeter which is illustrated as a rectangular floor perimeter in FIGS. 2A, 2B, and 8. Regardless of the particular composition of floor 112, for example whether floor 112 is made from wooden, metallic, or polymeric materials, floor 112 preferably includes a generally continuous and planar polymeric sheet covering or coating attached to the upper surface thereof. The polymeric sheet generally resists sticking and/or adhesion of various foodstuffs thereto.

Upright posts 114 are each an elongate member with a lower end and an upper end. The lower ends of upright posts 114 interface with, and are attached to, floor 112, namely the upper surface of floor 112, optionally to other lower portions of bunk feeder 110. Upright posts 114 extend generally perpendicularly upwardly from the upper surface of floor 112 and terminate at the respective upper ends of the posts.

Ones of upright posts 114 are spaced from and are generally parallel to other ones of upright posts 114, generally about the perimeter of floor 112, as desired. As illustrated, one upright post 114 extends upwardly from each of the four corners defined by the perimeter of floor 112.

Bunk feeder 110 includes four walls, one of which is pivotably actuatable, e.g. a gate/door type wall. Each of the four walls has a lower portion and an upper portion. The lower portions of the walls are generally closed, e.g. generally upright, planar and continuous and extend between respective ones of the corner upright posts 114.

The upper portions of the walls extend upwardly from the upper surfaces of the lower wall portions. The upper wall portions are generally open, e.g. have generally large apertures extending therethrough, adapted and configured to enable an animal to insert its head therethrough, in order to consume the foodstuff housed in bunk feeder 110.

Namely, the upper wall portions each have an upper wall edge defined by a horizontal bar, or elongate member, which extends generally parallel to the ground and generally perpendicularly between respective ones of upright posts 114. One or more generally upright bar or elongate member extends between the upper surface of the lower wall portion and the lower surface of the horizontal bar. As illustrated, the generally upright bars extend angularly between the lower wall portion and the horizontal upper bar, although as desired, the generally upright bars can extend generally perpendicularly therebetween or otherwise.

The pivotably actuatable wall member is adapted and configured to enable a user to, as desired, open the bunk feeder 110, in a gate or door like fashion, permitting access to the interior space of the bunk feeder 110. Thus, the pivotably actuatable wall member enables the user to insert foodstuff into the feeder, remove foodstuff from the feeders, clean the feeder, and/or otherwise utilize or maintain the feeder as desired.

The pivotably actuatable wall member is generally not fixedly connected to the ones of the upright posts 114. Rather, the pivotably actuatable wall member includes first and second upright lateral side bars which extend upwardly between the lower wall portion and the horizontal bar and which generally provide the rigidity and/or other structural integrity to the pivotably actuatable wall member, similar to the rigidity and/or other structural integrity afforded to the other three walls by respective ones of upright posts 114.

A hinge mechanism “H” attaches one of the upright posts 114 to a lateral portion of the lower wall portion of the pivotably actuatable wall member, and/or an upright lateral side bar of the pivotably actuatable wall member. Thus, hinge mechanism “H” provides the means through which the pivotably actuatable wall member is pivotably connected to the remainder of bunk feeder 110, and generally defines the axis of pivotation about which the pivotably actuatable wall member pivots.

A locking mechanism, e.g. locking mechanism “LM” is attached to an upright post 114 and is adapted and configured to selectively secure the pivotably actuatable wall member to such upright post. In other words, locking mechanism “LM” enables a user to selectively lock-closed bunk feeder 110, whereby all four walls are generally fixed with respect to the remainder of bunk feeder 110. Locking mechanism “LM” includes any of a variety of suitable mechanical locking mechanisms e.g. pivotable or rotatable members which can selectively extend across and/or otherwise interface with portions of the pivotably actuatable wall member, various hasp and other hinged locks, hook and eye locks, slide bolt locks, barrel bolt locks, and/or others.

Roof 116 is attached to the upper ends of upright posts 114 and includes first and second roof panel portions. Each roof panel has a length and a width dimension, upper and lower surfaces, an inner edge, and an outer edge. The inner edges of the two roof panels are connected to each other by way of, for example weldment, mechanical fasteners, or otherwise, depending on the material composition of roof 116, e.g. whether roof 116 is made from generally metallic materials or generally non-metallic materials.

From the seam of joinder between the two roof panels, each of the first and second roof panels extends generally downwardly and away therefrom. In other words, as viewed from an end elevation view, roof 116 appears to generally define an inverted-V shape. The particular slope or pitch of the roof panels is selected to be suitable for the intended use environment of bunk feeder 110 and depends on various factors which include, but are not limited to, the typical amount and type of precipitation in the end use environment, the rate of desired run-off of such precipitation from roof 116, and/or others.

Roof 116 interfaces with and is attached to the upper ends of ones of upright posts 114. In other words, the lower surface of roof 116 interfaces with e.g. the terminal end surface, or other surfaces, of the upper end of various ones, optionally all, of upright posts 114, whereby ones of the upright posts generally support roof 116 and attach the roof to the remainder of bunk feeder 110. Upright posts 114 are attached to roof 116 by any of a variety of attachment means, which include, but are not limited to, various hardware devices and components such as screws, nails, bolts and nuts, brackets, mending straps, and/or others, optionally weldments, adhesion, and/or otherwise, as desired.

In some embodiments, a plurality of generally horizontal bars or members attach ones of the upper ends of upright posts 114 to respective other ones of the upper ends of upright posts 114. Namely, the upper ends of upright posts 114 are attached to each other and provide a generally rectangular frame, as viewed from above, to which roof 116 is attached.

Referring now to FIGS. 3A, 3B, and 9, movable outdoor shelters 5 include shelter structures which are outdoor recreational structures and/or shelters, e.g. gazebos 210, which are connected to skid assemblies 17. Gazebos 210 are adapted and configured to be selectively movable and to provide a venue in which users can generally enjoy the ambient air while generally avoiding direct, downward, exposure to e.g. sunlight, precipitation, and/or other various environmental elements.

Gazebo 210 includes floor 212, upright posts 214, and roof 216. Floor 212 is generally planar, has a plurality of side edges which in combination define a generally polygonal perimeter which is illustrated as an octagonal floor perimeter in FIGS. 3 and 9.

Floor 212 can be made from a variety of suitable flooring and/or building materials. In some embodiments, floor 212 includes a plurality of elongate stringers which can be various dimensional or other lumber or building materials, e.g. 2×4's, 2×6's, 2×8's, 2×10's 2×1 2's and/or others. The stringers are arranged generally on edge and parallel to each other, so as to define a flooring frame or skeletal structure. A plurality of floor sheathing is affixed to the upper surface of the flooring frame which provides a generally planar and continuous flooring surface.

In other embodiments, floor 212 is generally devoid of continuous flooring sheathing. Rather, floor 212 includes a plurality of elongate flooring members or planks which are arranged adjacent to each other. Respective adjacent ones of the flooring planks abut and interface each other, optionally are spaced from each other to enable easy draining of e.g. wash-water, waste liquids, and/or other liquids or various other materials, therebetween.

In such embodiments, the assemblage of the plurality of flooring members generally defines floor 212, or at least the upper surface thereof. Although the flooring members can be wooden, the preferred material for the flooring members are planks of extruded material which includes recycled plastic, such as high density polyethylene, as a component, optionally as the entire extrusion. Such extruded planks are readily available, are UV resistant, and are non-porous. Thus, the polymeric planks make a tough, non-absorbing surface which does not absorb and hold various non-desired substances which may come into contact with floor 212 during typical use of gazebo 210.

Upright posts 214 are each an elongate member with a lower end and an upper end. The lower ends of upright posts 214 interface with, and are attached to, floor 214, namely the upper surface of floor 112, optionally to other lower portions of gazebo 210. Upright posts 214 extend generally perpendicularly upwardly from the upper surface of floor 212 and terminate at the respective upper ends of the posts.

Ones of upright posts 214 are spaced from and are generally parallel to other ones of upright posts 214, generally about the perimeter of floor 212, as desired. As illustrated, one upright post 214 extends upwardly from each of the corners defined by the perimeter of floor 212.

Gazebo 210 includes eight walls, one which has a door and/or doorway extending therethrough. The door is adapted and configured to permit entrance into and egress from the gazebo 210.

Each of the eight walls has a lower portion and an upper portion. The lower portions of the walls are generally closed, e.g. generally upright, planar and continuous and extend between respective ones of the corner upright posts 214.

The upper portions of the walls extend upwardly from the upper surfaces of the lower wall portions. The upper wall portions are generally open, optionally substantially open, e.g. have generally large window-type apertures extending therethrough. As desired, the wall apertures remain open or are covered with a, for example, screen material, storm or other windows, or other suitable covering.

Roof 216 is attached to the upper ends of upright posts 214 and includes eight roof side panel portions and optionally a center roof panel portion. Each roof panel has a length, an inner edge, an outer edge, and tapering side edges. Namely the magnitude of the length dimension of the outer edge is greater than the length dimension of the inner edge. Each of the tapering side edges extends from an end of the outer edge, tapers inwardly toward the inner edge and the other one of the outer edges, and terminates at the inner edge.

In embodiments which include a central roof panel portion, the central roof panel is e.g. generally planar and octagonal. Each side surface of the octagonal central roof portion interfaces a respective inner edge of ones of the side panel portions. And ones of the side panel tapering side edges interface with corresponding other side edges of other side panels. In other word, the entire assemblage of roof 216 generally defines an e.g. partial dome structure, with generally planar components.

Roof 216 interfaces with and is attached to the upper ends of ones of upright posts 214. In other words, the lower surface of roof 216 interfaces with e.g. the terminal end surface, or other surfaces, of the upper end of various ones, optionally all, of upright posts 214, whereby ones of the upright posts generally support roof 216 and attach the roof to the remainder of gazebo 210. Upright posts 214 are attached to roof 216 by any of a variety of attachment means, which include, but are not limited to, various hardware devices and components such as screws, nails, bolts and nuts, brackets, mending straps, optionally weldments, adhesion, and/or otherwise, as desired.

In some embodiments, a plurality of generally horizontal bars or members attach ones of the upper ends of upright posts 214 to respective other ones of the upper ends of upright posts 214. Namely, the upper ends of upright posts 214 are attached to each other and provide a generally octagonal frame, as viewed from above, to which roof 216 is attached.

Referring now to FIGS. 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D and 10, movable outdoor shelters 5 include shelter structures which are horticultural buildings, botany buildings, agronomy buildings, and/or other plant care and/or rearing buildings e.g. greenhouses 310, which are connected to skid assemblies 17. Greenhouses 310 are selectively movable, and are generally structures in which a user can grow/raise plants year round or during a major portion of the year. Greenhouse 310 is adapted and configured to enable a user to control various climate characteristics with the greenhouse. Namely, a user can control at least some of e.g. sunlight exposure, other light exposure, temperature, humidity, water, and/or other characteristics of the environment within greenhouse 310.

Greenhouse 310 includes floor 312, upright posts 314, roof 316, and utilities interface assembly 350. Floor 312 is generally planar, has a plurality of side edges which in combination define a generally polygonal perimeter which is illustrated as a rectangular floor perimeter in FIGS. 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, and 10.

In some embodiments, floor 312 includes a plurality of elongate stringers which can be various dimensional or other lumber or building materials, e.g. 2×4's, 2×6's, 2×8's, 2×10's 2×12's and/or others. The stringers are arranged generally on edge and parallel to each other, so as to define a flooring frame or skeletal structure. A plurality of floor sheathing is affixed to the upper surface of the flooring frame which provides a generally planar and continuous flooring surface.

In other embodiments, floor 312 is generally devoid of continuous flooring sheathing. Rather, floor 312 includes a plurality of elongate flooring members or planks which are arranged adjacent to each other. Respective adjacent ones of the flooring planks abut and interface each other, optionally are spaced from each other to enable easy draining of e.g. wash-water, waste liquids, soil, dirt, or plant matter, plant water, plant water overflow, condensed humidity, and/or other liquids or various other materials, therebetween.

In such embodiments, the assemblage of the plurality of flooring members generally defines floor 312, or at least the upper surface thereof. Although the flooring members can be wooden, the preferred material for the flooring members are planks of extruded material which includes recycled plastic, such as high density polyethylene, as a component, optionally as the entire extrusion. Such extruded planks are readily available, are UV resistant, and are non-porous. Thus, the polymeric planks make a tough, non-absorbing surface which does not absorb and hold various non-desired substances which may come into contact with floor 312 during typical use of greenhouse 310.

Upright posts 314 are each an elongate member with a lower end and an upper end. The lower ends of upright posts 314 interface with, and are attached to, floor 312, namely the upper surface of floor 312, optionally to other lower portions of greenhouse 310. Upright posts 314 extend generally perpendicularly upwardly from the upper surface of floor 312 and terminate at the respective upper ends of the posts.

Ones of upright posts 314 are spaced from and are generally parallel to other ones of upright posts 314, generally about the perimeter of floor 312, as desired. As illustrated, one upright post 314 extends upwardly from each of the four corners defined by the perimeter of floor 312, as well as along various other locations about the perimeter of floor 312, e.g. at various locations between the four corners defined by the perimeter of floor 312.

Greenhouse 310 includes four walls, one which has a door and/or doorway extending therethrough. The door is adapted and configured to permit entrance into and egress from the greenhouse 310.

Each of the four walls is generally clear, semi-clear, translucent, and/or otherwise light transferable, whereby the walls permit sunlight to generally pass therethrough. Each of the four walls is clear or semi-clear, generally upright, planar and continuous and extends between respective ones of the corner upright posts 314. Thus, the four walls of greenhouse 310 generally provide four closure structures which laterally enclose the sides of greenhouse 310, and extend from floor 312 to roof 316.

Roof 316 is attached to the upper ends of upright posts 314 and includes first and second roof panel portions. Each of the first and second roof panel portions is generally clear, semi-clear, translucent, and/or otherwise light transferable.

Each roof panel has a length and a width dimension, upper and lower surfaces, an inner edge, and an outer edge. The inner edges of the two roof panels are connected to each other by way of, for example weldment, mechanical fasteners, or otherwise, depending on the material composition of roof 316.

From the seam of joinder between the two roof panels, each of the first and second roof panels extends generally downwardly and away therefrom. In other words, as viewed from an end elevation view, roof 316 appears to generally define an inverted-V shape. The particular slope or pitch of the roof panels is selected to be suitable for the intended use environment of greenhouse 310 and depends on various factors which include, but are not limited to, the typical amount and type of precipitation in the end use environment, the rate of desired run-off of such precipitation from roof 316, and/or others.

Roof 316 interfaces with and is attached to the upper ends of ones of upright posts 314. In other words, the lower surface of roof 316 interfaces with e.g. the terminal end surface, or other surfaces, of the upper end of various ones, optionally all, of upright posts 314, whereby ones of the upright posts generally support roof 316 and attach the roof to the remainder of greenhouse 310. Upright posts 314 are attached to roof 316 by any of a variety of attachment means, which include, but are not limited to, various hardware devices and components such as screws, nails, bolts and nuts, brackets, mending straps, and/or others, as desired.

In some embodiments, a plurality of generally horizontal bars or members attach ones of the upper ends of upright posts 314 to respective other ones of the upper ends of upright posts 314. Namely, the upper ends of upright posts 314 are attached to each other and provide a generally rectangular frame, as viewed from above, to which roof 316 is attached.

In some embodiments, such as those illustrated in FIGS. 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, and 10, a plurality of joists, rafters, and/or other roof support members, span between corresponding ones of upright members 314, and provide load bearing and/or other support to roof 316.

Utilities interface assembly 350 is attached to at least one of the walls of greenhouse 310. The utilities interface assembly 350 includes a mounting plate, and an electrical input 355, a water input 360, and a water output 365, ones of which are mounted to the mounting plate.

Electrical input 355 includes a power cord which has a plug at a first end thereof, and an electrical outlet assembly, in electrical communication with a second end of the power cord. The electrical cord extends generally outside of greenhouse 310. The electrical outlet assembly is located generally inside greenhouse 310, relatively proximate or relatively distal the location through which the power cord passes through the wall as desired.

In some embodiment, such as those of FIGS. 4B and 4C, electrical input 355 does not include a cord extending outwardly from a wall as the input device. Rather, electrical input 355 includes, for example, an electrical junction-type box which houses one or more of an input receptacle, an input cord which can be stored in the junction box, and/or other suitable electrical input devices and mechanisms.

Still referring to FIGS. 4B and 4C, some embodiment of greenhouse 310 include switch housing 356. Switch housing 356 is, for example, an electrical junction-type box which housed switches and/or outlets therein. Switch housing 356 is electrically connected, by way of e.g. suitably wires and electrical connectors, to electrical input 355, and as desired is electrically connected to and switchingly controls various other electrical accessories in greenhouse 310.

The various other electrical accessories of greenhouse 310 include light 357. Lights 357 are adapted and configured to illuminate the interior of greenhouse 310 and/or to provide the wavelength(s) of light suitable to sustain and promote plant life, growth, and vigor.

Another electrical accessory of greenhouse 310, which is electrically connected to switch housing 356 and/or electrical input 355 is fan 358A (FIG. 4C). Fan 358A is adapted and configured to exhaust air from and/or otherwise ventilate greenhouse 310. Preferably, fan 358A is mounted relatively high upon an exterior wall of greenhouse 310, e.g. at a gable portion thereof or similar location. When fan 358A is mounted relatively high on an exterior wall, the fan correspondingly is able to exhaust the warmest air within the interior of greenhouse 310, which collects at the uppermost portion of the greenhouse interior space.

Fan 358A preferably includes louvers 358B, which can be pivotable or fixed and which are mounted to the outside of greenhouse 310, outwardly beyond the fan. Louvers 358B relatively reduce the magnitude of elemental exposure to fan 358A and correspondingly the amount of e.g. weather precipitation which blows into greenhouse 310 through the fan mounting aperture.

Accordingly, as desired, a user can extend an electrical extension cord from an electrical power source to the greenhouse power cord, connect the greenhouse power cord to the electrical extension cord, and thereby provide electrical power to e.g. the inside space of greenhouse 310.

Water input 360 is, for example, a section of hose or other tubing with a typical garden hose connection at one end thereof, which is generally housed outside of greenhouse 310. The other end of water input 360 communicates with and is attached to an e.g. water spigot which extends into greenhouse or is otherwise accessible from within greenhouse 360.

Accordingly, as desired, a user can extend a garden or other hose from a pressurized water supply to the greenhouse water input hose, and thereby provide a supply of pressurized water to the greenhouse 310.

Water output 365 is a spigot which is in fluid communication with the greenhouse water input hose or the interior greenhouse spigot. Accordingly, water output 365 enables a user to utilize pressurized water, from a single pressurized water source, both outside and inside of greenhouse 310 simultaneously as desired.

In some embodiment, such as those of FIGS. 4B and 4C, water input 360 is fixedly mounted to greenhouse 310, and extends through one of the generally clear exterior walls. Adjacent such exterior wall, water input 360 is attached to and in fluid communication with tubing member 362.

Tubing member 362 extends upwardly along the inside of such generally clear exterior wall, along at least a portion of the height thereof. The uppermost end of tubing member 362 is connected to and in fluid communication with water output 365. In other words, water input 360, tubing member 362, and water output 365, in combination, define a plumbing assembly which enables a user to easily access water while inside greenhouse 310, and control water flow from inside greenhouse 310 by way of water output 365. Tubing member 362 includes e.g. various polymeric, elastomeric, metallic, pieces of tubing, hose piping, and/or other structures suitable to convey water therethrough at the desire pressures and in the intended use environment.

Other plumbing assemblies are contemplated, and well within the scope of the invention, which include ones of water input 360, tubing member 362, and water output 365, and/or other plumbing accessories and components, as desired by the user, to develop a suitable water access or watering configuration within greenhouse 310. 5 As one example, tubing member 362 need not extend generally upwardly between water input 360 and water output 365. Tubing member 362 can extend along any path of extension as desired, preferably resulting in a relatively convenient mounting location for water output 365 which permits easy access thereto.

As another example, in some embodiments, tubing member 362 includes one or 10 more divisions or branches thereof. Ones of the tubing branches extend generally above the location of the plants, e.g. above shelves 320, and include watering or misting nozzles therein. In such embodiments, the user of greenhouse 310 can easily water the vegetation therein be e.g. connecting a garden house to water inlet 360 and in some embodiments also opening water outlet 365 or opening other valving within the plumbing assembly.

Referring now to FIGS. 5A, 5B, 5C, 6, 11 and 12, movable outdoor shelters 5 include shelter structures which are animal housing enclosures such dog kennels, calf hutches, bird aviaries, feline housing enclosures, rodent housing enclosures, and/or other animal housing enclosures, e.g. dog kennels 410, which are connected to skid assemblies 17.

Dog kennels 410 are selectively movable, and are adapted and configured to provide shelter, dwelling structure, and/or otherwise house animals e.g. dogs therein.

Dog kennel 410 includes floor 412, upright posts 414, and roof 416. Floor 412 is generally planar, has a plurality of side edges which in combination define a generally polygonal perimeter which is illustrated as a rectangular floor perimeter in FIGS. 5A, 5B, 5C, 6, 11, and 12.

Preferably, floor 412 includes a plurality of elongate flooring members or planks which are arranged adjacent to each other. Respective adjacent ones of the flooring planks preferably spaced from each other to enable easy draining of e.g. wash-water, waste liquids, urine, feces, and/or other liquids or various other materials, therebetween, optionally generally abutting and interfacing respective ones of each other.

The assemblage of the plurality of flooring members generally defines floor 412, or at least the upper surface thereof. Although the flooring members can be wooden, the preferred material for the flooring members are planks of extruded material which includes recycled plastic, such as high density polyethylene, as a component, optionally as the entire extrusion. Such extruded planks are readily available, are UV resistant, and are non-porous. Thus, the polymeric planks make a tough, non-absorbing surface which does not absorb and hold various non-desired substances such as food, urine, feces, and/or other substances which may come into contact with floor 314 during typical use of dog kennel 410.

Upright posts 414 are each an elongate member with a lower end and an upper end. The lower ends of upright posts 414 interface with, and are attached to, floor 412, namely the upper surface of floor 412, optionally to other lower portions of dog kennel 410. Upright posts 414 extend generally perpendicularly upwardly from the upper surface of floor 412 and terminate at the respective upper ends of the posts.

Ones of upright posts 414 are spaced from and are generally parallel to other ones of upright posts 414, generally about the perimeter of floor 412, as desired. As illustrated, one upright post 414 extends upwardly from each of the four corners defined by the perimeter of floor 412, as well as along various other locations about the perimeter of floor 412, e.g. at various locations between the four corners defined by the perimeter of floor 412.

Dog kennel 410 includes four walls, one of which has a door and/or doorway extending therethrough, e.g. door 418. Door 418 is adapted and configured to permit entrance into and egress from the dog kennel 410.

Each of the four walls is generally made from ones of e.g. chain link fencing, wire mesh fencing, poultry wire, tension wires, bars (FIGS. 5B, 5C) and/or other suitable materials.

Thus, the four walls of dog kennel 410 generally provide four closure structures which laterally enclose the sides of dog kennel 410 while generally permitting the ambient air to circulate through the kennel, and extend from floor 412 to roof 416.

Roof 416 is attached to the upper ends of upright posts 414 and is generally planar. Preferably, the planar roof 416 is generally slanted, sloped, or pitched which enables e.g. precipitation and/or other substances to generally run-off the roof.

Roof 416 is preferably made from various suitable metallic materials. Exemplary of such suitable metallic roofing materials and/or roofing components for roof 416 include, but are not limited to, steel roofing materials e.g. standing-seam steel roofing materials, sheet steel materials, corrugated steel roofing materials, other steel roofing materials, aluminum roofing materials, tin roofing materials, and/or other suitable metallic roofing materials.

However, as desired, roof 416 can be made from any of a variety of suitable non-metallic materials and components. Exemplary of such suitable non-metallic roofing materials and/or components include, but are not limited to, wood based roofing materials, e.g. wood sheathing which may or may not be covered by various shingles, shakes, rubber or other membranes, tiles, and others. Further examples of such suitable non-metallic roofing materials and/or components include, but are not limited to, fiberglass roofing materials, various polymeric roofing materials, and/or others.

In some embodiments, a plurality of generally horizontal bars or members attach ones of the upper ends of upright posts 414 to respective other ones of the upper ends of upright posts 414. Namely, the upper ends of upright posts 414 are attached to each other and provide a generally rectangular frame, as viewed from above, to which roof 416 is attached.

As illustrated in FIGS. 5A and 11, a space or void is generally defined between the uppermost surface of some of the dog kennel walls and the lower surface of roof 416. As desired, one or more elongate members such as bars, tubing members, piping members, and/or others extend generally horizontally between various ones to upright posts 414, which relatively reduces the opening dimensions of such spaces or voids between the respective walls and the roof 416.

FIG. 5B illustrates an embodiment which does not include typical fencing-type material(s), rather enclosure walls defined by e.g. bars. Such configuration is desirable when, for example, the kennel houses relatively dangerous animals therein or animals which are relatively apt to escaping through typical fencing-type material(s).

The embodiment of FIG. 5C illustrates yet another animal enclosure which incorporates wall structures defined by bars. The embodiment of FIG. 5C differs from that of 5B in that its bars are oriented generally vertically. A vertical bar orientation proves desirable when the confined animal might jump or stand on its hind legs, whereby a vertical bar orientation might pose a leg or foot catching hazard.

Other bar positions and configurations are contemplated, but in all such embodiments, the bars are positioned and/or oriented as desired, e.g. vertical, horizontal, orthogonal, interesting, spaced relatively near adjacent ones, spaced relatively far from adjacent ones, based on the intended use environment and/or the animal that will be housed therein.

As one example, the bars in some embodiments are made from one-half inch diameter stock. Adjacent one-half inch bars are spaced two and three-quarters inch from each other. In other embodiments, the bars are made from stock which is less than, optionally greater than, one-half inch diameter and adjacent ones of the bars are spaced less than about two and three-quarters inch from each other, optionally more than about two and three-quarters inch from each other, depending on the particular intended use.

Referring now to FIGS. 5D, 5E and 12, in some embodiments, dog kennels 410 generally define two separate and distinct enclosures or housing/dwelling areas, namely first and second compartments 420 and 430. Thus, in some embodiment, the dog kennels enable a user to physically separate the animal occupants of dog kennels 410, as desired.

Namely, in some embodiments, a divider wall extends generally medially and along the length of dog kennel 410. The space defined between a first sidewall of dog kennel 410 and a first side surface of the divider wall generally defines first compartment 420. The space defined between a second sidewall of dog kennel 410 and a second side surface of the divider wall generally defines second compartment 430. Door 418A is adapted and configured to permit entrance into and egress from first compartment 420 of dog kennel 410. Door 428B is adapted and configured to permit entrance into and egress from second compartment 430 of dog kennel 410.

As desired, the divider wall is made from materials which permit the housed animal to generally see therethrough such as the same materials from which as the dog kennel exterior walls are made, e.g. chain link fencing, wire mesh fencing, poultry wire, tension wires, bars (FIG. 5B, 5C) and/or others. Optionally, the divider wall is made from materials which generally do not permit the housed animal to see therethrough, e.g. solid wood sheets and/or others.

FIGS. 6A, 6B, 6C, and 6D, illustrate yet other exemplary animal housing enclosures as movable outdoor shelters 5. The embodiments of FIGS. 6A, 6B, 6C, and 6D are particularly well suited as, for example, chicken coops, poultry housing enclosures, and/or other bird and non-bird animal housing enclosures, e.g. chicken coops 510 which are connected to skid assemblies 17. In other words, although chicken coops 510 are described as such, it is fully understood that the chicken coops 510 are equally suitable for housing various other livestock or other animals as desired, such as rabbits, ferrets, dogs, and/or others.

Chicken coops 510 are selectively movable, and are adapted and configured to provide shelter, dwelling structure, and/or otherwise house animals e.g. poultry or other birds or animals therein. Chicken coop 510 includes floor 512 (optionally), upright posts 514, and roof 516. Floor 512 is generally planar, has a plurality of side edges which in combination define a generally polygonal perimeter which is illustrated as a rectangular floor perimeter in FIGS. 6A, 6B, and 6C.

In some embodiments, floor 512 includes a plurality of elongate flooring members or planks which are arranged adjacent to each other. Respective adjacent ones of the flooring planks preferably spaced from each other to enable easy draining of e.g. wash-water, waste liquids, urine, feces, and/or other liquids or various other materials, therebetween, optionally generally abutting and interfacing respective ones of each other.

Like the other floors described herein, the assemblage of the plurality of flooring members generally defines floor 512, or at least the upper surface thereof. Also like the other floors described herein, the flooring members can be wooden, polymeric, metallic, and/or other materials, as desired.

In some embodiments, such as that of FIG. 6D, floor 512 and the entire chicken coop 510 is elevated from the ground by a distance which is greater than the thickness dimension of the skid member(s). In such embodiments, spacer posts 35 span between skid assembly 17 and floor 512, similar to those of bunk feeder 110 (FIG. 2A). By elevating chicken coop 510, the birds are kept relatively further from e.g. predatory animals such as coyotes, dogs, and/or others. Also, the elevated chicken coop enable the user/handler to access the coop 510 from an upright standing position, which generally eliminates the need to squat, stoop, crouch, or otherwise bend to access the enclosure.

Upright posts 514 are each an elongate member with a lower end and an upper end. The lower ends of upright posts 514 interface with, and are attached to, floor 512, namely the upper surface of floor 512, optionally to other lower portions of chicken coops 510. Upright posts 514 extend generally perpendicularly upwardly from the upper surface of floor 512 and terminate at the respective upper ends of the posts.

Ones of upright posts 514 are spaced from and are generally parallel to other ones of upright posts 514, generally about the perimeter of floor 512, as desired. As illustrated, one upright post 514 extends upwardly from each of the four corners defined by the perimeter of floor 512, as well as along various other locations about the perimeter of floor 512, e.g. at various locations between the four corners defined by the perimeter of floor 512.

Chicken coop 510 includes a plurality of walls, one of which has a door and/or doorway extending therethrough, e.g. door 518. Door 518 enables entrance into and egress from the chicken coop 510.

The embodiments of FIGS. 6A, 6B, and 6C differ from various others illustrated, namely differ from the embodiments of FIGS. 5A, 5B, and 5C, in that they include more than one type of external wall. In other words, chicken coops 510 have a first portion made of e.g. continuous solid panels and a second portion made of e.g. fencing or other non-continuous surface panels.

The portion of chicken coop 510 which has solid, continuous wall segments, generally defines a closed portion of the coop, e.g. closed portion 520. The walls of closed portion 520 can be any suitable building material, including, but not limited to, wood and various wood products such as plywood, oriented strand board, and others, as well as various suitable non-wood, and other, building materials.

The other portion of chicken coop 510, namely fenced portion 530, does not have solid, continuous wall segments like those of closed portion 520. Rather, fenced portion 530 has wall segments made from, for example, poultry wire fencing, hardware-cloth, tension wires, bars, chain link fencing, and/or other fencing material or cage material. Accordingly, fenced portion 530 defines an enclosed yet fresh air environment for the livestock residing in chicken coop 510.

Chicken coop 510, in some embodiments, includes door “D” which enables entrance into and egress from the chicken coop 510, by the chickens, other poultry, or other animals (FIGS. 6E and 6F). Door “D” is pivotably attached, at its lower portion, to the lower portion of the door housing. The door housing is, in turn, mounted to a wall of the chicken coop 510. This configuration enables door “D” to also function as a ramp to ease the livestock's traverse into and out of the closed portion 520. In some embodiments, door “D” enables movement between closed portion 520 and fenced portion 530. In other embodiments, door “D” enables movement between closed portion 520 and the outside environment.

Closed portion 520 preferably includes various accessories and structures therein which are adapted and configured for use by chickens housed therein. Such accessories and structures include, but are not limited to, nesting boxes, roosting shelves which are preferably pivotably connected to the walls or otherwise collapsible, and/or others.

Roof 516 is attached to the upper ends of upright posts 514 and/or other upper portions of the walls of chicken coop 510. In some embodiments, such as the one illustrated in FIG. 6C, roof 516 includes a single, generally planar sloped segment.

Referring now to FIGS. 6A and 6B, roof 516 includes a plurality of generally planar sloped or pitched segments, which intersect each other at various peaks and/or valleys.

As desired, roof 516 can span or extend over less than the entire enclosure of chicken coop 510. Exemplary of such embodiments is the coop illustrated in FIG. 6D. The roof 516 of FIG. 6D extends only over closed portion 520. Fenced portion 530 includes a permeable top wall instead of a relatively watertight roof as in the other embodiments.

Like other roof segments described herein, roof 516 is preferably made from various suitable metallic materials such as steel roofing materials e.g. standing-seam steel roofing materials, sheet steel materials, corrugated steel roofing materials, other steel roofing materials, aluminum roofing materials, tin roofing materials, and/or other suitable metallic roofing materials. Although, as desired, roof 516 can be made from any of a variety of suitable non-metallic materials and components such as wood based roofing materials, e.g. wood sheathing which may or may not be covered by various shingles, shakes, rubber or other membranes, tiles, fiberglass roofing materials, various polymeric roofing materials, and/or others.

As desired, various ones of the portable/movable shelters can be adapted and configured for human occupancy. Such embodiments, for example, are largely analogous to the closed portion 520 of chicken coop 510. However, the structure is suitably modified, for example has insulated walls, the electrical and plumbing inputs of the greenhouse 310, and other suitable modifications.

Accordingly, the movable shelters can function as, for example, portable hunting or other recreational cabins, temporary living quarters, and/or other structures for temporary or extended human occupancy. In such embodiments, the movable functionality of the shelter enable a user to, for example, move the shelter relatively nearer a body of water during part of the year then move the shelter relatively further from the body of water and perhaps relatively nearer a woods during the remainder of the year. Thus, a user can enjoy diverse sceneries and locations, within a single piece of property, by moving the shelter, e.g. weekend cabin, between various locations as desired.

To use movable outdoor shelters 5, the user first selects which general direction he or she wishes to pull the shelter. Then the user attaches towing device “TD” to respective ones of skid coupling mechanisms 20, which generally correspond to, e.g. relatively most closely face, the intended direction of travel.

The user then attaches the towing device “TD” to the tractor mechanism “T.” Thence, the user drives or otherwise controls tractor mechanism “T” in the intended direction or along an intended path of travel, and arrives at the intended destination. At this point, upon arrival at the intended destination, the user disconnects the towing device “TD” from the skid coupling mechanisms 20 and/or tractor mechanism “T.”

It should be noted that while dragging, pulling, towing, hauling, drawing, tugging, movable outdoor shelter 5, the point of attachment of towing device “TD” and tractor mechanism “T” is relatively higher e.g. further from the ground that the point(s) of attachment of towing device “TD” and skid mechanisms 20 (FIG. 1). In other word, in use, towing device “TD” extends generally angularly upwardly from skid assembly 17 to tractor mechanism “T.”

Accordingly the towing force applied to skid assembly 17 has a generally horizontally directed force vector component and a generally vertically or upwardly directed force vector component. As such, when movable outdoor shelter 5 is towed or pulled by way of towing device “TD,” the leading edge(s) of the shelter is urged slightly upwardly in addition to being urged in a forward direction.

Also, when for example towing device “TD” is connected to skid coupling mechanisms 20 and a pulling force is applied by e.g. tractor “T,” the dynamic forces applied to movable outdoor shelter 5 are frequently different at each of skid coupling mechanisms 20. Keeping in mind that the mechanism for movement of movable outdoor shelter 5 is dragging the skid members along the ground, with all the associated friction between the skid members and the ground, which is a substantial force, the torsional, twisting, and/or other forces on movable outdoor shelter 5 can be substantial.

Because the user may have to pull movable outdoor shelter 5 along a path of travel which is, for example, curvilinear or otherwise not a straight-line travel path, different force intensities can be realized and different ones of the skid coupling mechanisms 20, which might be relatively more apparent when utilizing generally flexible towing devices “TD” such as cables, chains, ropes, and/or others.

Thus one skid coupling mechanism 20 may be experiencing all of the pulling force while another skid coupling mechanism 20 on the same end of the movable outdoor shelter 5 experiences no force whatsoever through the chain, cable, or other towing device “TD,” or only a small portion of the force. The different forces which are simultaneously applied to the movable outdoor shelter 5 must accordingly be resolved internally within the shelter in order for the shelter to move as a single unit. Such resolution is effected largely by the absorption of such forces in floor 16, 116, 216, 316, 416. Namely, the floor transfers the force differences from and between the respective skid members, as well as absorbing some of the force differences in the floor. Thus, the floor acts as a force distributor and absorber.

Preferably, movable outdoor shelter 5 is made of materials which resist corrosion, and are suitably strong and durable for normal extended use. Those skilled in the art are well aware of certain metallic and non-metallic materials which possess such desirable qualities, and appropriate methods of forming such materials.

Appropriate metallic materials for components of movable outdoor shelter 5 include, but are not limited to, anodized aluminum, aluminum, steel, stainless steel, titanium, magnesium, brass, and their respective alloys. Common industry methods of forming such metallic materials include casting, forging, shearing, bending, machining, riveting, welding, powdered metal processing, extruding, molding, and others.

Non-metallic materials suitable for components of movable outdoor shelter 5 are various polymeric compounds, such as for example and without limitation, various of the polyolefins, such as a variety of the polyethylenes, e.g. high density polyethylene, or polypropylenes. There can also be mentioned as examples such polymers as polyvinyl chloride and chlorinated polyvinyl chloride copolymers, various of the polyamides, polycarbonates, and others.

For any polymeric material employed in structures of the invention, any conventional additive package can be included such as, for example and without limitation, slip agents, anti-block agents, release agents, anti-oxidants, fillers, and plasticizers, to control e.g. processing of the polymeric material as well as to stabilize and/or otherwise control the properties of the finished processed product, also to control hardness, bending resistance, and the like.

Common industry methods of forming such polymeric compounds will suffice to form non-metallic components of movable outdoor shelter 5. Exemplary, but not limiting, of such processes are the various commonly-known plastics converting processes.

Movable outdoor shelter 5 is preferably manufactured as individual components, and the individual components assembled as sub-assemblies, including but not limited to, shelter structure 10, skid assembly 17, skid coupling mechanism 20, to device “TD.” Each of the aforementioned sub-assemblies is then assembled to respective other ones of the sub-assemblies to develop outdoor shelter 5.

Those skilled in the art will now see that certain modifications can be made to the apparatus and methods herein disclosed with respect to the illustrated embodiments, without departing from the spirit of the instant invention. And while the invention has been described above with respect to the preferred embodiments, it will be understood that the invention is adapted to numerous rearrangements, modifications, and alterations, and all such arrangements, modifications, and alterations are intended to be within the scope of the appended claims.

To the extent the following claims use means plus function language, it is not meant to include there, or in the instant specification, anything not structurally equivalent to what is shown in the embodiments disclosed in the specification.