Title:
Collapsible cooking stand
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A collapsible stand that may be attached, for example, to a grill, a stove, or a tabletop. The collapsible stand includes wheels and a handle that permit a user to grasp the handle and pull the stand and anything attached to it (e.g., a grill) when the stand is in a collapsed state.



Inventors:
Cabrera, Kelley D. (Wichita, KS, US)
Showalter, Todd W. (Derby, KS, US)
Application Number:
11/126695
Publication Date:
11/17/2005
Filing Date:
05/11/2005
Assignee:
The Coleman Company, Inc. (Wichita, KS, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47J37/07; F24C5/00; (IPC1-7): F24C5/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
COCKS, JOSIAH C
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LEYDIG, VOIT & MAYER, LTD. (CHICAGO, IL, US)
Claims:
1. A grill, comprising: a firebox; and a stand attached to the firebox for supporting the firebox, the stand comprising: a first leg; a second leg rotatably attached to the first leg so that the legs are movable in scissors fashion; at least one wheel attached to the first leg or the second leg; and a handle attached to the first leg, the first and second legs being movable between a first position where the first and second legs support the firebox and a second position where the first and second legs are collapsed and the firebox may be transported on said at least one wheel while being pulled by the handle.

2. The grill of claim 1, further comprising a base for the firebox, and wherein the first leg is rotatably connected to the base, and the second leg is rotatably connected to the first leg.

3. The grill of claim 2, wherein the second leg includes a first end attached to said at least one wheel, and a second end that is removably connectable to the base.

4. The grill of claim 2, wherein the base comprises a piece separate from the firebox.

5. The grill of claim 2, wherein the base comprises a bottom portion of the firebox.

6. The grill of claim 1, wherein the first leg is retractable.

7. The grill of claim 1, wherein, in the second position, one of the first leg and the second leg is received in the other of the first leg and the second leg.

8. The grill of claim 1, wherein, in the second position, the first leg and the second leg extend substantially parallel to one another.

9. The grill of claim 1, wherein the first leg is rotatably connected to the firebox at one end and to the handle at the other end.

10. The grill of claim 9, wherein the second leg includes a first end attached to said at least one wheel, and a second end that is removably connectable to the base.

11. A stand for supporting an item, comprising: a first leg; a second leg rotatably attached to the first leg in scissors fashion; at least one wheel attached to the first leg or the second leg; and a handle attached to the first leg, the first and second legs being movable between a first position where the first and second legs support the item and a second position where the first and second legs are collapsed and the item may be transported on said at least one wheel while being pulled by the handle.

12. The stand of claim 11, further comprising a base for the item, and wherein the first leg is rotatably connected to the base, and the second leg is rotatably connected to the first leg.

13. The stand of claim 12, wherein the second leg includes a first end attached to said at least one wheel, and a second end that is removably connectable to the base.

14. The stand of claim 12, wherein the base comprises a piece separate from the item.

15. The stand of claim 12, wherein the base comprises a bottom portion of the item.

16. The stand of claim 11, wherein the first leg is retractable.

17. The stand of claim 11, wherein, in the second position, one of the first leg and the second leg is received in the other of the first leg and the second leg.

18. The stand of claim 11, wherein, in the second position, the first leg and the second leg extend substantially parallel to one another.

19. The stand of claim 11, wherein the first leg is rotatably connected to the item at one end and to the handle at the other end.

20. The stand of claim 19, wherein the second leg includes a first end attached to said at least one wheel, and a second end that is removably connectable to the item.

Description:

REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/569,944, filed May 11, 2004, and incorporated herein by reference.

TECHNICAL FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed to stands, and more particularly to a collapsible stand.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Camping and tailgating are popular recreational activities enjoyed by many. Some people camp so that they may enjoy the outdoors, and others use camping as an inexpensive alternative to staying in hotels. Tailgating is a great way to meet and eat before ballgames, and has become quite the ritual for many season ticket holders.

Although many campers enjoy being in the outdoors, often campers like to enjoy the luxuries of home while camping. For example, many campers bring lounge chairs or hammocks, portable air mattresses or cots, and similar accoutrements to make a camping experience more comfortable.

One thing that most individuals enjoy while camping or tailgating is cooking on a grill or campstove. Typically, at home, an individual is accustomed to the luxuries of an indoor stove and a large outdoor grill. However, many conventional grills are bulky and oversized, so their portability and thus use for camping or tailgating is limited.

The assignee of the present invention, The Coleman Company, Inc., has addressed the portability of grills by producing and selling a grill under the trademark “ROADTRIP.” The ROADTRIP grill is a highly portable gas grill (a charcoal model is also available) that folds to a compact configuration for transport and storage. In a first version, the ROADTRIP grill included a separate base having legs. The legs folded into the base for compact storage. In a second version, wheels were added to the base to make it more portable.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The following presents a simplified summary of some embodiments of the invention in order to provide a basic understanding of the invention. This summary is not an extensive overview of the invention. It is not intended to identify key/critical elements of the invention or to delineate the scope of the invention. Its sole purpose is to present some embodiments of the invention in a simplified form as a prelude to the more detailed description that is presented later.

In accordance with an embodiment, a collapsible stand is provided that may be attached, for example, to a grill, a stove, a cooler, or a tabletop. The collapsible stand includes wheels and a handle that permit a user to grasp the handle and pull the stand and anything attached to it (e.g., a grill) when the stand is in a collapsed state.

In accordance with an embodiment, the collapsible cooking stand is configured for one-hand operation. When the stand is in a deployed (i.e., erected) state, a user may stand on a handle (which is on the ground in the deployed position) on the stand and grasp another handle positioned, for example, on a base to which the stand is attached, and release the stand by pulling outward on the base handle. The stand may then be folded, in a scissors fashion, to the collapsed state.

In accordance with an embodiment, a latch is provided for releasably locking the stand in the deployed state. The latch may be, for example, a flexible clip to which a rotating leg of the stand attaches. The rotating leg is released from the clip and is rotated relative to a second, fixed (i.e., attached in the deployed and collapsed states) leg. The rotating leg rotates in a scissors fashion relative to the fixed leg so the two legs can be moved to the collapsed state.

In accordance with an embodiment, a second latch is provided for locking the rotating and fixed legs in the collapsed state. The second latch permits the stand and anything attached to it, such as a grill, to be hung from the handle, for example on the wall of a garage, without fear of the stand unfolding while hanging.

If desired, the handle may be retractable so that the stand may be stowed in a compact configuration. To this end, the fixed leg, which includes the handle at its end, may include a telescoping portion which may be latched outward or may be retracted to provide stored and deployed positions.

Other features of the invention will become apparent from the following detailed description when taken in conjunction with the drawings, in which:

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a side perspective view of a grill incorporating a stand in accordance with an embodiment of the invention, with the stand shown in a deployed state;

FIG. 2 is an exploded side perspective view of the grill and stand of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a front view of the grill and stand of FIG. 1, with the stand showed in a collapsed state;

FIG. 4 is a bottom view of the grill and stand of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a bottom side perspective view of a grill and stand in accordance with an embodiment, with the stand moving towards a deployed state;

FIG. 6 is a front view of the grill and stand of FIG. 5, with the stand partly unfolded;

FIG. 7 shows the grill of FIG. 5 in a collapsed state;

FIG. 8 shows an alternate embodiment of a stand in accordance with an embodiment of the invention, the stand shown for use with a table; and

FIG. 9 is an exploded side perspective view of a stand and grill in accordance with an alternate embodiment of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

In the following description, various embodiments of the present invention will be described. For purposes of explanation, specific configurations and details are set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of the embodiments. However, it will also be apparent to one skilled in the art that the present invention may be practiced without the specific details. Furthermore, well-known features may be omitted or simplified in order not to obscure the embodiment being described.

Referring now to the drawings, in which like reference numerals represent like parts throughout the several views, FIG. 1 shows a grill 20 attached to a stand 22. In accordance with an embodiment, the stand 22 is configurable between the deployed state shown in FIG. 1 and a collapsed state shown in FIG. 3.

The grill 20 includes a firebox 24 having a lid 26. The firebox 24 includes a base 28 (FIG. 4) along its lower surface and handles 30 extending out of each of its sides. In the embodiment shown, removable side tables 32 are attached to the grill 20, as is shown in detail in FIG. 2.

Although this embodiment is described with reference to the stand 22 being attached to the grill 20, the stand 22 may be attached to an intermediate structure, and/or may be used with other structures. For example, the stand 22 may be used for supporting a stove, camp furniture, a cooler, a turkey fryer, or any other item for which it is desired that the item be accessible at a raised level during use and that the stand 22 be collapsible for storage or transport.

The stand 22 includes a fixed leg 34 and a rotating leg 44. The fixed leg 34 and the rotating leg 44 rotate relative to one another in a scissors fashion to move between the collapsed state of FIG. 3 and the deployed state of FIG. 1. The fixed leg 34 is “fixed” in that it is attached to the base 28 in both the deployed state and the collapsed state of the stand 22-. The rotating leg 44, on the other hand, is releasably attached to the base 28, and is detachable from the base 28 to permit the scissoring action. Although the fixed leg 34 typically remains fixed for rotation relative to the base 28, its attachment to the base 28 may be removable, such as a by a removable pin (not shown) or some other detachable structure.

In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1-4, the fixed leg 34 includes an upper bar 35 (FIG. 2) that extends through a sleeve 36 (FIG. 4) on the bottom of the base 28. The upper bar 35 is mounted for rotation in the sleeve 36, permitting the fixed leg 34 to rotate relative to the base 28. The fixed leg 34 includes two tubes 38, 40 (FIG. 1) extending from the upper bar 35 to a handle 42. However, one tube or more than two tubes (such as the tubes 38, 40) may be used, and structures other than tubes may be used for the fixed leg 34.

The rotating leg 44 includes wheels 46 mounted at a lower end on an axle 48. In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1-4, the rotating leg 44, like the fixed leg 34, includes two tubes 50, 52. Again, one tube or more than two tubes may be used, and other structures may be used to provide the function of the rotating leg 44.

A pivot pin 54 extends through the fixed leg 34 and the rotating leg 44, approximately halfway along their lengths. The pivot pin 54 permits free rotation of the rotating leg 44 relative to the fixed leg 34 so that the two legs 34, 44 may provide the scissoring action.

An upper bar 56 (FIG. 2) extends along the top of the rotating leg 44 between the two tubes 50, 52. In an alternate embodiment shown in FIGS. 5-7, the upper bar 56 may be replaced by two protrusions 57 that extend outward.

A latching mechanism is provided on the bottom of the base 28 for holding an upper portion of the rotating leg 44, such as the upper bar 56 or the protrusions 57, in the deployed state. A single clip 59 (FIG. 4) receives the bar 56 to provide this function. In the example shown in FIGS. 5-7, the latching mechanism is flexible steel clips 58. These flexible steel clips 58 permit the protrusions 57 to be pressed therein, latching the protrusions 57 into the clips 58. To this end, the clips 58 include rolled outer lips 60 (FIG. 5), which permit the protrusions 57 to be move into the clips 58, forcing the outer portion of the clips 58 outward until the protrusions 57 are snapped into a rounded portion 62 of the clips 58, as can be seen in phantom in FIG. 5.

The stand 22 is configured so that a user may, using a single hand, move the stand 22 from the deployed state shown in FIG. 1 to the collapsed state shown in FIG. 4. The stand 22 may also be moved from the collapsed state to the deployed state using a single hand. Beginning with the stand 22 being in the deployed state shown in FIG. 1, a user removes the side tables 32 and grasps the handle 30 on the right (FIG. 2) of the grill 20 and pulls upward and outward (to the right in FIG. 1), while standing on the handle 42. The scissoring action of the fixed leg 34 and the rotating leg 44 causes the upper portion of the rotating leg 44 to move to the left in FIG. 1, pulling the bar 56 out of the clip 59 or, for the embodiment shown in FIGS. 5-7, the protrusions 57 out of the clips 58. To do so, a user pulls outward on the handle 30 a sufficient amount to overcome the spring tension in the clip 59 or the clips 58. However, the spring tension in the clips 58 can be chosen appropriately so that significant force is not needed. After the protrusions 57 have been removed from the clips 58, the upper portion of the rotating leg 44 is in the position shown in FIG. 5.

The user may then press the handle 30 and the grill 20 toward the left (e.g., to the position shown in FIG. 6), while maintaining the user's foot on the handle 42, causing the grill 20 to lower and moving the fixed leg 34 and the rotating leg 44 toward the collapsed state.

This movement continues until the fixed leg 34 and the rotating leg 44 extend parallel to and adjacent to one another. In accordance with an embodiment, one of these two legs 34, 44 is received in the other. To this end, the protrusions 57, because they extend outward, permit the fixed leg 34 to extend within the rotating leg 44 and through the separated protrusions 57. In this manner, the fixed leg 34 and the rotating leg 44 extend along the same plane when laid flat, as shown in FIG. 7.

When the stand 22 is in the collapsed position shown in FIG. 7, a user may grasp the handle 42 and transport the grill 20 and the stand 22 on the wheels 46.

The stand 22 is advantageous in that it can be moved from the deployed state to the collapsed state with a single hand, as described above. Moreover, the weight of the grill 20 or any other item attached to the top of the stand 22 presses down on the top end of the fixed leg 34 and the rotating leg 44, forcing the tops of those two legs 34, 44 apart. Thus, gravity ensures that the protrusions 57 stay in the clips 58. When the user grasps the handle 30 to move the stand 22 to the collapsed configuration, the effect of gravity is removed. Thus, the clips 58 do not require much spring action to hold the protrusions 57 in place.

In accordance with an embodiment, a latching mechanism, such as additional clips 64 (FIG. 4) may be provided for locking the fixed leg 34 and the rotating leg 44 in the collapsed state. This feature permits the stand 22 and the grill 20 to be hung from the handle 42, without fear that the stand will unfold from the collapsed configuration. Thus, the stand 22 and the grill 20 may be stored in this manner, for example on a garage wall.

If desired, in accordance with an embodiment, multiple clips 58 (multiple clips not shown) may be provided underneath the base 28. The upper bar 56 or protrusions 57 may be positioned in a different set of clips or a single clip so that varied height of the grill 20 may be provided.

In accordance with another alternate embodiment, the fixed leg 34 may be retractable so that the handle 42 may be pressed closer to the base 28 when the stand is in the collapsed state, providing a more compact storage configuration. As an example, as shown in FIG. 1, separate holes 66 may be provided on a lower leg 67 through with a detent (not shown) attached to an upper leg 68 of the fixed leg 34 extends. By pressing the detent inward, the lower leg 67 may be released relative to the upper leg 68, and the lower leg 67 may be pressed upward into the upper leg 68, providing retraction of the fixed leg 34.

The rotating leg 44 may also be arranged to be retractable. In addition, different types of retraction mechanisms may be supplied, including tension brackets, internal elastic bands, or other suitable structures.

FIG. 8 shows an alternate embodiment having a stand 22 for attachment to a table 68. As described above, the stand 22 and other stands in accordance with the invention may be attached to a number of different structures, and the table 68 and the grill 20 are but two examples. In accordance with an embodiment, the table 68 includes abutments 70 for receiving a campstove or a grill. Other structures may be provided on the table 68 as desired.

FIG. 8 also shows a bent fixed leg 72 in accordance with another embodiment. The bent fixed leg 72 permits the handle 42 to extend downward away from the table 68 (or the grill 20) and be more accessible to a user when the stand 22 is in the collapsed state. The fixed legs 72 or 34 and/or the rotating leg 44 may be curved or bent as desired to present the handle 30 and wheels 46 in a particular configuration.

FIG. 9 shows yet another alternate embodiment in which the cook box 24 is mounted on a base 80. The cook box 24 may be set on top of the base 80, or may be fastened, clipped, or otherwise attached to the base 80.

A leg assembly, such as one of the previously- described leg assemblies, is attached to the bottom of the base 80. The embodiment of the leg assembly shown in FIG. 9 includes a fixed leg having a single wide post 82. The wide post 82 connects to flanges 84 on the bottom of the base 80.

A rotating leg is formed by a pair of bars 86 that extend on opposite sides of the wide post 82. Protrusions 87 are included on the ends of the bars 86 for clipping into clips 88 on the bottom of the base 80.

The wide post 82 includes a handle 90 at a bottom end, and in the embodiment shown is extensible by having a lower section 92 that may retract within the wide post 82 so as to shorten the length and reach of the handle 90.

In an embodiment, an extension (not shown) or other structure may be provided so that the stand 22 may support the grill 20 in an upright position. For example, a user may pull the grill 20 in the configuration shown in FIG. 3, for example at a 45 degree angle to the ground. The handle 42 may then be lifted, raising the grill to closer to vertical, and supporting the grill on the extension and the wheels 46.

This feature may be provided, for example, by an extension upward from the axle 48, a feature built into a side of the grill or a base for the grill, an extension somewhere else on the stand 22, or by an additional set of wheels, as examples. By supporting the grill 20 in the upright position, the user may release the handle 42 without having to lay the grill on the ground.

Other variations are within the spirit of the present invention. Thus, while the invention is susceptible to various modifications and alternative constructions, a certain illustrated embodiment thereof is shown in the drawings and has been described above in detail. It should be understood, however, that there is no intention to limit the invention to the specific form or forms disclosed, but on the contrary, the intention is to cover all modifications, alternative constructions, and equivalents falling within the spirit and scope of the invention, as defined in the appended claims.

All references, including publications, patent applications, and patents, cited herein are hereby incorporated by reference to the same extent as if each reference were individually and specifically indicated to be incorporated by reference and were set forth in its entirety herein.

The use of the terms “a” and “an” and “the” and similar referents in the context of describing the invention (especially in the context of the following claims) are to be construed to cover both the singular and the plural, unless otherwise indicated herein or clearly contradicted by context. The terms “comprising,” “having,” “including,” and “containing” are to be construed as open-ended terms (i.e., meaning “including, but not limited to,”) unless otherwise noted. The term “connected” is to be construed as partly or wholly contained within, attached to, or joined together, even if there is something intervening. Recitation of ranges of values herein are merely intended to serve as a shorthand method of referring individually to each separate value falling within the range, unless otherwise indicated herein, and each separate value is incorporated into the specification as if it were individually recited herein. All methods described herein can be performed in any suitable order unless otherwise indicated herein or otherwise clearly contradicted by context. The use of any and all examples, or exemplary language (e.g., “such as”) provided herein, is intended merely to better illuminate embodiments of the invention and does not pose a limitation on the scope of the invention unless otherwise claimed. No language in the specification should be construed as indicating any non-claimed element as essential to the practice of the invention.

Preferred embodiments of this invention are described herein, including the best mode known to the inventors for carrying out the invention. Variations of those preferred embodiments may become apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art upon reading the foregoing description. The inventors expect skilled artisans to employ such variations as appropriate, and the inventors intend for the invention to be practiced otherwise than as specifically described herein. Accordingly, this invention includes all modifications and equivalents of the subject matter recited in the claims appended hereto as permitted by applicable law. Moreover, any combination of the above-described elements in all possible variations thereof is encompassed by the invention unless otherwise indicated herein or otherwise clearly contradicted by context.