Title:
Game station with running water
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A portable, multifunctional table including one or more cutting surfaces and an independent source of running water—running water preferably without the need for connection to an external pressurized water source or pump. Running water is provided by positioning a pre-filled water tank above the table surface to provide hydrostatic head. The preferred table includes a frame or housing that supports a cutting surface. The table frame may be extendable at one or more of its ends to support the water tank, and an optional sink and/or optional garbage bag. The table can stand alone or optionally, may be mounted to a vehicle, such as an automobile, boat, trailer, or ATV.



Inventors:
Mickelson, Christian R. (Boise, ID, US)
Application Number:
10/886885
Publication Date:
01/13/2005
Filing Date:
07/07/2004
Assignee:
MICKELSON CHRISTIAN R.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A22B5/00; A22C17/00; A22C25/06; A47B3/00; A47B37/00; A47K1/02; (IPC1-7): A47B23/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PARSLEY, DAVID J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PEDERSEN & COMPANY, PLLC (BOISE, ID, US)
Claims:
1. A sportsman's table comprising: a frame having a top, a bottom, two sides, and a first and a second end; a cutting board supported by the frame at a level at or near the top of the frame; and a water reservoir supported by the frame and extending vertically above the top of the frame so that water flows from the water reservoir to the level of the cutting board under hydrostatic pressure.

2. A table as in claim 1, wherein the water reservoir is removable from the frame.

3. A table as in claim 1, wherein said first end of the frame is extendible in a direction generally parallel to the cutting board.

4. A table as in claim 3, wherein said first end is removable.

5. A table as in claim 4, wherein said first end is generally a U-shape and is adapted to be removed from the frame, placed around said water reservoir, and reattached to the frame to secure the water reservoir to the frame.

6. A table as in claim 5, wherein said U-shaped first end has two arms that connect to the frame and said water reservoir has two slots that receive the two arms.

7. A table as in claim 5, wherein said water reservoir further comprises a water hose that extends from the water reservoir to the cutting board to dispense water onto the cutting board.

8. A table as in claim 7, wherein said water reservoir further comprises an outer surface having a channel adapted to receive said water hose for storage.

9. A table as in claim 3, wherein said second end of the frame is extendible in a direction generally parallel to the cutting board

10. A table as in claim 9, wherein said second end is adapted to receive one or more removable work units.

11. A table as in claim 10, wherein said one or more removable work units are selected from the group consisting of a table surface, cutting board, sink, garbage container, and water tank.

12. A table as in claim 10, wherein said cutting board is removable from the frame.

13. A table as in claim 12, wherein said one or more removable work units and said cutting board are interchangeable in position on the frame.

14. A table as in claim 1, comprising no connection to a water source that is external to the table.

15. A table as in claim 1, wherein the water reservoir comprises no connection to an external water source.

16. A table as in claim 1, comprising no water pump.

17. A table as in claim 1, wherein the cutting board is anchored to the frame.

18. A portable table comprising: a frame having a top, a bottom, two sides, and a first end and a second end; and a first work unit supported by the frame at a level generally parallel to the top of the frame; and a water reservoir; wherein said first end is outwardly extendible in a direction generally parallel to the cutting board and adapted to secure the water reservoir to the frame.

19. A table as in claim 18, wherein the water reservoir is supported by the first end and extends vertically above the frame so that water flows from the water reservoir to the level of the work unit under hydrostatic pressure.

20. A table as in claim 18, wherein said first end is removable.

21. A table as in claim 20, wherein said first end is generally U-shaped and is adapted to be removed from the frame, placed around said water reservoir, and replaced in the frame to secure the water reservoir to the frame.

22. A table as in claim 21, wherein said U-shaped first end has two arms that connect to the frame and said water reservoir has two slots that receive the two arms.

23. A table as in claim 21, wherein said water reservoir further comprises a water hose that extends from the water reservoir to the work unit to dispense water onto the cutting board.

24. A table as in claim 23, wherein said water reservoir further comprises an outer surface having a channel adapted to receive said water hose for storage.

25. A table as in claim 18, wherein said second end of the frame is extendible in a direction generally parallel to the cutting board.

26. A table as in claim 25, wherein said second end receives or is adapted to receive a second removable work unit.

27. A table as in claim 18, wherein said first work unit is selected from the group consisting of a table surface, cutting board, sink, garbage container, and water tank.

28. A table as in claim 26, wherein said second work unit is selected from the group consisting of a table surface, cutting board, sink, garbage container, and water tank.

29. A table as in claim 28, wherein said first work unit and said second work unit are interchangeable in position on the frame.

30. A table as in claim 18, comprising no connection to a water source that is external to the table.

31. A table as in claim 18, wherein the water reservoir comprises no connection to an external water source.

Description:

This application claims priority from U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/485,477, filed Jul. 7, 2003, entitled “Game Station With Running Water,” and U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/512,404, filed Oct. 17, 2003 entitled “Game Station With Running Water”, the disclosures of which are incorporated herein by this reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates generally to portable utility platforms, and more particularly to a portable combination tabletop, cutting board, and sink with running water.

2. Related Art

There are a number of portable tables with sinks in the art, some of which are designed to be supported partially or completely by some type of vehicle.

Rasor (U.S. Pat. No. 4,766,621) discloses a portable fisherman's sink that alternatively mounts on the gunwale of a boat or is supported by removable legs. It also provides running water via a pump that draws water from an existing water body.

Spies (U.S. Pat. No. 5,649,734) discloses a portable table and sink that connects to and is partially supported by the tailgate of a pickup. It provides a storage area in addition to work spaces.

Shore, et al. (U.S. Pat. No. 6,254,473) disclose a portable fish cleaning surface that rests on an elongated arm that is adapted to be supported by the frame of a boat trailer or similar vehicle. An opening where a garbage bag can be attached is provided.

Ball (U.S. Pat. No. 6,336,413) discloses a tailgate table that mounts onto and is supported by an existing trailer hitch on the back of a motor vehicle.

Cawthon (U.S. Pat. No. 6,427,259) provides a portable sink with means for providing running water when connected to a hose or faucet. It also has an adjustable spigot and storage drawers.

Thus, there is a need for a compact, completely portable, multifunctional camp or boat table with running water that is independent of outside sources of water.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A multifunctional, portable table system is provided, which holds one or more work units with running water. The table system comprises an elongated frame having opening and/or support rails for receiving multiple work units, such as a table surface, cutting board, sink, garbage container, water tank, etc. The frame is preferably extendable in at least the longitudinal direction to provide additional opening/rail space for more or different work units. Preferably, the frame is extendable by sliding/telescoping, but may optionally use other extensions such as hook-on, screw-on, and/or fold up/down arms. Preferably, the table system includes a water reservoir positioned to deliver water to one or more of the work units under hydrostatic pressure.

In an especially preferred embodiment, the cutting/work surface is fixed relative to the frame. The frame is generally tubular and preferably bent from a single piece of material, and not welded. Preferably, the frame is extendable in at least the longitudinal direction for receiving various work units. In the especially preferred embodiment, the extendable portions of the frame are received in the open ends of the main body of the frame. Preferably, these extendable portions may be fixed in a desired location by various methods, for example a biased button system. After the extendable portions of the frame are fixed in their desired location, the work units e.g. sink, garbage bag, and water tank, are inserted in the space created by the extendable portions.

The table can stand alone or be attached to a trailer hitch for increased stability. Optionally, the table may be mounted to a variety of vehicles including automobiles, boats, and trailers. In addition to these supports, adjustable length straps may be attached near each corner of the frame and secured to the table legs, supporting vehicle, or the ground. Slight adjustments to the lengths of these straps allow the angle of the table to be adjusted, thereby controlling the flow of liquid off the table surface.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a side perspective view of the preferred embodiment of the invented table fully assembled and supported by the preferred table leg assembly.

FIG. 2 is a side perspective view of the table top from the embodiment shown in FIG. 1 in its collapsed configuration.

FIG. 3 is a bottom perspective view of the table bottom from the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 in its collapsed configuration.

FIG. 4 is a partially exploded bottom perspective view of the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1-3 in its collapsed configuration with four optional support systems shown.

FIG. 5 is a side exploded perspective view of the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1-4 with an upright support designed for use in fishing boats.

FIG. 6 is a side perspective view of the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1-5 with a universal hitch compatible support system and optional drawers.

FIG. 7 is a bottom perspective view of the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1-6 with a universal hitch compatible support system and optional drawers.

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the less preferred embodiment shown with the stand-alone support system.

FIG. 9 is a top perspective view of the embodiment shown in FIG. 8 with the cutting surface in place and the extension fully retracted.

FIG. 10 is a top perspective view of the embodiment shown in FIGS. 8-9, wherein the cutting surface is removed and the tank and sink are shown in their stored positions.

FIG. 11 is an exploded view of the embodiment shown in FIGS. 8-10, wherein three optional support systems are shown.

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of the embodiment shown in FIGS. 8-11.

FIG. 13 is an exploded view of the embodiment shown in FIGS. 8-12.

FIG. 14 is a top view of the especially preferred embodiment, wherein the table is shown in a compact orientation.

FIG. 15 is a top view of the especially preferred embodiment, wherein the table is shown in an expanded orientation.

FIG. 16 is a top perspective view of the embodiment shown in FIGS. 14-15.

FIG. 17 is a bottom perspective view of the embodiment shown in FIGS. 14-16.

FIG. 18 is an exploded view of the embodiment shown in FIGS. 14-17.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring to the figures, there are shown several, but not the only, embodiments of the invented table system. A preferred embodiment is shown in FIGS. 1-7. A less preferred embodiment is shown in FIGS. 8-13, and an especially preferred embodiment is shown in FIGS. 14-18.

A Preferred Embodiment

Preferably, the invented table system comprises a frame for supporting a cutting boards, and multiple other work units, such as a table surface, sink, garbage container, or water tank. The frame is preferably extendable in at least the longitudinal direction to provide additional opening/rail space for more or different work units. The preferred embodiment of the invented table system further comprises a water reservoir positioned to deliver water to one or more of the work units under hydrostatic pressure.

The work units are preferably designed so that they may be switched in location relative to each other, particularly in relation to the water tank, or so that they may be removed altogether. The water tank is preferably located at an end of the frame and is designed so that it takes up little space in the frame. Preferably, the tank is tall and wide relative to its thickness to provide for a good head of water without the tank extending across any portion of the other work units.

Preferably, there is no connection to an outside water source or any pumps or other means for pressurizing the water source other than the water tank being elevated above the surface of the cutting board and/or sink. The cutting board is preferably two-sided and can be mounted into the frame with either side facing up. Running water is provided by positioning the water tank above the table surface to create a hydrostatic head. Preferably, a flexible hose connects the water tank to a spigot providing running water to the sink or cutting board. Optionally, the table may include a garbage bag holder.

The positions of the cutting/work surface and sink may be changed relative to each other and the water tank as needed for a particular function. They may also be removed if the user so desires. This allows the table to be assembled to suit the varying needs of fishermen, hunters, camp cooks, and other outdoorsmen. When not in use, the table system may be broken down into its several component parts; some parts also collapse for more compact storage. Optionally, the water tank and sink may be removed from their mounts and stored inside the table frame, making it easy to store and transport the table system.

Referring to FIGS. 1-7, the preferred embodiment comprises a compact and portable table system, preferably including one or more cutting/work surfaces, a sink, and running water. The preferred embodiment also comprises a frame from which a plastic garbage bag may be mounted. Unlike other portable tables and sinks in the art, running water is provided the necessity of accessing an external water source. Preferably, the water source does not include any hose, piping or other permanent or semi-permanent conduit or connection to any external water source. A hose or other device could be brought to the tank to fill or refill it, but the tank should be able to provide running water without any such device or connection unless it is empty or nearly empty. Preferably, the water tank may be pre-filled at any convenient water source and then used wherever desired whether or not running water is otherwise available.

The water tank, preferably equipped with an elongated flexible hose connected to a valve spout, uses gravity to produce a pressure head to supply water to the sink and/or cutting/work surfaces, rather than by connection to an external pressurized water source or pump. In the preferred embodiment, the cutting/work surfaces are removable and have two reversible working surfaces. Also, in the preferred embodiment, a garbage bag mount is provided. When not in use, the tank and sink can be removed from their mounts, with the mounts collapsing/sliding into the table frame for easier to storage. Alternatively, the tank may be used to store any desired type of drink.

The table system preferably includes several interchangeable attachments which allow it to stand alone or to be attached to and supported by virtually any vehicle, boat, or trailer. An L-shaped support adapted to fit onto a universal hitch allows the table to be mounted to the back of any motor vehicle, including all terrain vehicles (ATV's), equipped with such a hitch. Also, a universal hitch may be mounted on the side of a trailer, for example a trailer used to transport boats or ATV's. A straight tubular support can be fitted into the seat receiver of a fishing boat and be used to mount the table. Alternatively, the table system can be attached to the receiving slot for an oarlock. The preferred embodiment may be constructed entirely from aluminum because of its durability compared to nonmetals and its light weight compared to other metals such as stainless steel. Alternatively, other metals, such as stainless steel, plastics, or combinations thereof may be used.

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 5, the preferred embodiment of the invented table 10 comprises a generally rectangular frame 20 that is open on the top 21, and having two side walls 23 and 24. A support receiver 11 is fastened to the bottom of the frame 22 at an approximately central location, as shown in FIGS. 3, 4, and 7. Referring back to FIG. 5 and FIG. 5A, a receiver 31 is attached to the inside of sidewalls 23, 24 respectively. A lip 16 extends from the top edge of sidewalls 23, 24 respectively toward the interior space of the frame 20′. The lip 16 and the top of the receiver 31 create a slot 16′ in which sink 80 or cutting/work surface 15 may be suspended, as shown in FIG. 5A. The ends of a roughly U-shaped extension 30 fit into receivers 31 allowing extension 30 to telescope into and out of receivers 31. Extension 30 functions as a support for sink 80 or cutting/work surface 15.

Extension 30 also can function as a support for garbage bag 50. One side of garbage bag 50 wraps around the end of extension 30. The opposite corners of garbage bag 50 are fixed to extension 30 by pins 51, preferably wire safety pins, which pass through holes 52 on the arms of extension 30. Optionally, other means such as clips could be used in place of garbage bag pins 51. Garbage bag pins 51 are placed in storage holes 54 on the end of extension 50 during storage.

A second C-shaped extension 73 fits into the opposite end of receivers 31 from extension 30. Locking pins 75, preferably wire safety pins, pass through extension holes 74 and frame holes 76 to lock extension 73 into one of two positions. When extension 73 is extended, a space 70 is created for holding a water tank 60. Extension 73 is held in place by pin(s) 75, whether in retracted or extracted position, which pass through holes 74 in extension 73 and holes 76 in frame 20 near end 25.

The preferred tank 60 comprises two legs 61, front 62, lid 63, slots 69, and handle(s) 64 or some means for grabbing tank 60 at or near the top. The most preferred handle(s) 64 are integral to the tank wall—i.e., they are created by making indentations or protrusions in the tank wall. Extension 73 passes through slots 69 in tank 60, which are preferably sized to create a tight fit, and hold the tank 60 in the space 70 between the frame 20 and the extension 73. Preferably, slots 69 and extension 73 are designed so that tank 60 cannot be slid into place when extension 73 is already inserted in receivers 31. Rather, extension 73 is placed through slots 69 prior to being inserted into receivers 31. This is advantageous because tank 60 is captured in extension 73 and cannot be removed unless the extension 73 is removed from the receivers 31. This creates a tight fit that prevents the tank 60 from tipping over appreciably. Tank 60, extension 73, and space 70 may be designed so that tank 60 is lowered into and out of tank holder 70, but this is not preferred because, if tank 60 were adapted to be lowered into and raised out of a holder or extension, the tank 60 would be held at only one point along its length and would be prone to partially tipping over towards or away from cutting/work surface 15 and/or falling out of the holder/extension 73.

The preferred tank 60 is thin compared to its width and height. Also, space 70 is small compared to the table surface, whether extended or not. The size of the space 70 corresponds generally to the thickness and the width of tank 60. Therefore, in order to minimize the required footprint for space 70, tank 60 is preferably at least four times as high and three times as wide as it is thick. Tank 60 is preferably about 24″ high by 16″ wide by 4″ thick. A hose 66 is connected to tap 65 and leads to a valve spout 67. Hose 66 is preferably made from flexible plastic or rubber to allow the user to move it as needed. Various valve spouts 67 may be used, but valve spout 67 is preferably operable with one hand by squeezing to release water and relaxing the grip to stop the flow. A channel 68 is cut into the front 62 of tank 60 and is designed and sized so that hose 66 and valve spout 68 may rest therein. Hose 66 may be any length found desirable and is easily and cheaply replaceable. However, the length of the preferred hose 66 is limited by the need for it to fit within channel 68. However, a longer hose could be used if it could be folded into channel 68 and/or channel 68 could be modified—e.g., widened—to allow the use of a longer hose 66 that could extend the full length of the table and sink. Optionally, hose 66 could be removable or otherwise storable by methods other than inserting it into channel 68.

Referring to FIG. 1, link 12 is placed at each bottom corner of front surface 23 and back surface 24. Straps 14, which are preferably adjustable in length, are attached to links 12. At the opposite ends of straps 14, hook 13 is attached to strap 14 and caught in the bottom of legs 102. This makes table frame 20 more stable, which is important because the weight of tank 60 might otherwise cause the table 10 to tilt or fall over. In alternative embodiments, straps 14 can be attached to a vehicle to which table 10 may be attached. For example, when the table 10 is attached to an automobile or car via a universal hitch, straps 14 may be connected to the bumper or some other portion of the vehicle.

A generally rectangular-shaped sink 80 is provided. There is a lip 81 around the perimeter of sink 80. Sink 80 and lip 81 are sized so that sink 80 fits in between the arms of extension 30 with lip 81 resting on extension 30 for support.

As shown in FIGS. 2 and 5, a rectangular cutting/work surface 15 fits into slots 16′ such that cutting/work surface 15 covers all but a small portion of the top 21. The preferred cutting/work surface 15 is reversible—i.e., the top and bottom surface both contain cutting surfaces that can be used interchangeably. In the preferred configuration shown in FIG. 5, one end of the cutting/work surface 15 abuts tank 60 and the sink 80 is placed next to the opposite end of cutting/work surface 15 and is supported by extension 30. Alternatively, sink 80 may be placed between cutting/work surface 15 and tank 60, with cutting/work surface 15 partially supported by extension 30. The preferred configuration is designed for use by fisherman cutting fish for bait or for cleaning fish, because it provides running water to cutting/work surface 15 where the fisherman is cutting or cleaning fish, rather than to sink 80, which is positioned so that finished fish and/or entrails may be easily be swept into sink 80. The alternate configuration is preferred when the table is being used for food preparation or cleaning dishes or other items because sink 80 is adjacent to water tank 60 so that dishes or food may be washed and/or rinsed over sink 80 and then moved to cutting/work surface 15, if desired. One may note that a substantial portion of the rectangular frame 20 is open at both its top and bottom portion (see space 20′), allowing space for the sink 80 or other deep objects to extend down through the frame 20.

When retracted, extension 30 is held in place by J-shaped pin 32 (see FIG. 5). The long portion of pin 32 passes through two holes 33 placed in the front and back at the level of slots 16′ just inside end 26. This prevents cutting/work surface 15 from sliding out of slots 16′ during storage or when in use. The short portion of pin 32 enters an adjacent hole 35 in the front 23 at the level of extension receiver 31. A hole in extension 30 receives said pin 33, preventing it from sliding. Holes 36 for this purpose are optionally available at various points to allow the extension 30 to be locked in place at various positions. Preferably, holes 36 in extension 30 would allow extension 30 to be locked into three positions: 1) fully retracted for storage; 2) partially extended such that sink 80 or garbage bag 50 could be supported thereon; and 3) fully extended so that sink 80 and garbage bag 50 could both be supported thereon. Pin 32 is held in place by Cotter key 34 on the top end of the long portion of pin 32 (see FIG. 5). Alternatively, other pins, clips, or fasteners may secure the extension 30 and/or extension 73 to the frame 20, allowing the extensions 30, 73 to be adjusted incrementally or continuously relative to the frame 20.

Table 10 may be supported by a variety of means, exemplified by the following means and equipment, shown in FIG. 4. In the preferred stand-alone embodiment, a support receiver 11 is fastened to the bottom 22 of the frame 20. A leg adaptor 100 fits tightly into support receiver 11. The top of the adaptor is a cylinder 104, which preferably has eight regularly spaced slots 105 cut into it. This makes it easier to place table frame 20 onto adaptor 100. Leg adaptor 100 preferably has four leg receivers 101, which are hollow rectangles. Legs 102 are fitted into the leg receivers 101 to support the table 10. The legs 102 are preferably secured to leg receivers 101 by pins 103, preferably wire safety pins.

Table 10 may also be mounted onto various land and water vehicles. For example, an L-shaped support 125 is designed so that one end 127 connects with a universal hitch and the other end 126 fits into support receiver 11, which preferably has eight substantially equidistant slots 128 cut into it to facilitate inserting it into support receiver 11. This allows table 10 to be connected to any universal hitch. By this method, table 10 may be mounted on vehicles, such as, a pickup, car, trailer, or ATV.

Support receiver 11 may be essentially identical to conventional attachment devices. For example, it is used to place seats in many fishing boats or tables in recreational vehicles (RV's). One optional support system 110 takes advantage of these conventional support systems. A straight, tubular support 113 is designed to fit into seat mount 111 at one end and support receiver 11 at the other end (note that both ends are essentially identical), with both ends preferably having eight regularly spaced slots 112 cut into them to facilitate inserting the end into support receiver 11. This allows table 10 be mounted onto most fishing boats, and other vehicles, such as RV's.

Many boats have receivers in the gunwale for the placement of oarlocks. An optional adaptor includes a bolt 117 sized to fit tightly into a standard oarlock receiver. It also preferably includes a plate 116 from which bolt 117 extends and which will come to rest on the gunwale when placed in the oarlock receiver. In the typical oarlock receiver, the end of bolt 117 will extend below the oarlock receiver and may be locked into place with Cotter key 118. Cylinder 115 is mounted on the opposite side of the plate 116 and fits into support receiver 11. Similarly to the other supports systems, there are preferably eight regularly spaced slots 119 cut into cylinder 115 to facilitate inserting it into support receiver 11.

Optionally, adjustable straps 14 may be used to stabilize the table 10 and compensate for the uneven distribution of weight caused by tank 60. Slight adjustments to the length of straps 14 cause table to tilt in various directions. This permits the user to control the flow of liquids off table 10, toward sink for example, rather than having it pool on cutting/work surface 15. Alternatively, other support and/or leg systems may be used in order to control the tilt of and/or stabilize the table.

Referring to FIGS. 6 and 7, optional drawers 40 may be installed by attaching L-shaped drawer supports 41 to the bottom 22. The preferred drawer may be locked in the closed position by a L-shaped pin 42 that passes through both drawer supports 41 and both sides of the drawer 40. The pin is preferably held in place by Cotter key 43.

A Less Preferred Embodiment

Similar to the preferred embodiment described above (see FIGS. 1-7), a less preferred embodiment of the invented table system, shown in FIGS. 8-13, also comprises a rectangular body/housing 220 having a cutting/work surface 215 suspended in the housing 220, a generally vertical tank 260 that extends above the rectangular housing 220 creating hydrostatic head, a sink 280, and a garbage bag 250. Preferably, the sink 280 and cutting/work surface 215 are interchangeable. In the less preferred embodiment, the rectangular body/housing 220 is open on the top 221, closed on the bottom 222, and comprises two opposing sides 223, 224, and two opposing ends, one closed 225 and one open 226. Unlike the preferred embodiment, only the open end 226 of the less preferred rectangular body 220 is adapted for telescoping with an extension 230, and the opposite end 225 is fixed relative to the rectangular body 220. In this less preferred embodiment, a crossbar 271 extends between the inner surfaces of opposing sides 223 and 224 near the closed end 225 of the rectangular housing 220. Preferably, the distance between the closed end 225 and the crossbar 271 is equal in width to the thickness of the water tank 260. In this less preferred embodiment, the crossbar 271, the closed end 225, the bottom 222 of the rectangular housing 220, and sides 223, 224 define a space 270 for removably inserting the water tank 260. Optionally, two vertical support pieces 272 may be inserted inside the bottom 222 of the housing generally beneath the crossbar 271 for providing further support to the water tank 260 to prevent tipping (see FIG. 10).

Additionally, in the less preferred embodiment, the depth between the top 221 of the rectangular body 220 and the bottom 222 of the rectangular body 220 is deep enough for storing both the sink 280 and the water tank 260 within its interior, as shown in FIG. 10.

Similar to the preferred embodiment, the table 210 may be supported by a receiver 211 attached to a stand-alone structure; an L-shaped support for attaching the table to a universal hitch; a straight tubular hitch; or, other support/leg structures (see FIG. 11).

An Especially Preferred Embodiment

Similar to the two previously disclosed embodiments, the especially preferred embodiment of the portable table 310 comprises a frame/housing structure 320, a cutting/work surface 315, a water tank (such as tank 60), a sink (such as sink 80), a garbage bag (such as garbage bag 50), and an attachment system comprising a receiver 311 and a generally L-shaped support 325. In the especially preferred embodiment, the frame 320 is generally tubular and is preferably all bent, not welded. In this embodiment, the cutting surface 315 is fixed relative to the main body of the frame 320. The cutting surface 315 may be secured to the frame 320 with adhesive, clips, or other fasteners.

When the table 310 is in its compact form, the extensions/ends 330, 373 of the frame 320 may partially extend beyond the ends of the cutting surface 315 for use as handles when transporting the table (see FIG. 14, 16, and 17). However, the ends 330, 373 of the frame 320 may also reside completely underneath the ends of the cutting surface 315. Preferably, the frame 320 is expandable at both ends 330, 373 in the longitudinal direction. Each extension/end 330, 373 of the frame 320 can be slid, adjusted, or anchored to various positions. The extensions/ends 330, 373 can either be incrementally adjusted or continuously adjusted to the desired position. Preferably, the extensions/ends 330, 373 are held in their desired position via a biased button system, wherein the user may depress a button extending out from the extension 330, 373 inward while at the same time pulling the extension 330, 373 to a point where the button pops through one of a plurality of holes in the frame, as will be understood by one of average skill in the art. The holes are spaced at various increments along the frame 320, so that the table 310 may alternate between a compact orientation, as shown in FIG. 14, and an expanded orientation, as shown in FIG. 15. Other methods of securing the extensions in a desired location may be used.

When the table 310 is in the expanded orientation, extension 373 is slid/telescoped away from the cutting/work surface 315 creating a space 370 for receiving the water tank 360, as shown in FIG. 15. Similar to the preferred embodiment shown in FIGS. 1-7, the tank 360 comprises slots for receiving the extension 373 prior to the extension 373 being inserted into the frame 320. This orientation is advantageous because the tank 360 is captured between the extension 373 and the cutting surface 315, and cannot be removed unless the extension 373 is removed from the frame 320.

Extension 330 is also slid/telescoped away from the cutting/work surface 315 creating a space 390 for receiving the sink 380, garbage bag 350, or other items. The sink 380 and garbage bag 350 are suspended on the extension in a similar manner as previously disclosed.

Further, the especially preferred embodiment comprises a receiver 311 fastened to the bottom of the cutting surface 315′ for receiving a variety of support members. Preferably, the support member 325 is generally L-shaped and is bent, not welded. Preferably, the ends of the support member 400 are lobed and/or crimped to facilitate inserting the support member 325 into the receiver 311 and into a universal hitch.

Although this invention has been described above with reference to particular means, materials, and embodiments, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited to these disclosed particulars, but extends instead to all equivalents within the scope of the following claims.