Title:
Portable and retractable vehicle and equipment shelter
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A new concept in automobile and equipment covering that addresses several major inefficiencies in current cover applications (those covers that contact the surface of the stored item or serve as portable shelters). In its preferred embodiment, the instant invention includes a series of arched poles that support a weatherproof cover and facilitate quick set-up and full retraction(similar to the concept used on many convertible car tops). The shape of the shelter will likely be in the form of a half-dome or other similar shape depending on application. The design will also allow for the weight of the vehicle or equipment stored to anchor the shelter when closed. The instant invention significantly improves the current level of “car cover” protection because it does not contact the surface of the auto or other stored equipment thus it eliminates scratches, mildewing and wind-abrasion, and it fully retracts for ease of use.



Inventors:
Zebley, Eric Aaron (Bella Vista, AR, US)
Application Number:
10/929867
Publication Date:
05/18/2006
Filing Date:
08/31/2004
Assignee:
Zebley, Mr. Eric Aaron (Bella Vista, AR, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04H15/36
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20040060586Driving rope of large-sized umbrellaApril, 2004Ma
20080066795CANOPY WITH AUTOMATIC ROOF STRUCTURE HAVING IMPROVED STRUCTURAL STABILITYMarch, 2008Sy-facunda
20080028694Construction weather shield and shelter systemFebruary, 2008Wasitis et al.
20060070644Side supported umbrellaApril, 2006Schneller
20090056777Lighted CaneMarch, 2009Lawhead
20060124157Set up comprising an umbrella and a safeJune, 2006Bayour
20100078053Wheel chair canopyApril, 2010Hughes
20090255564SLIDING DEVICE USED ON THE SUPPORTING SHAFTOctober, 2009Xie
20080072941AMBULATORY AID WITH STEP COUNTERMarch, 2008Jackson et al.
20090065036MULTIPURPOSE CAMPING HAMMOCKMarch, 2009Johnson
20080283107Temporary shelter with adjustble door systemNovember, 2008Hotes



Primary Examiner:
YIP, WINNIE S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Mr. Eric Aaron Zebley (Bella Vista, AR, US)
Claims:
1. What I claim is: In an improved cover/shelter of the type laving any type of fitted fabric for autos, boats, motorcycles, equipment etc., the improvements comprise the following:

1. Said cover is designed in a tent-like fashion with poles made of a suitable material to hold the fabric up and away from the surface of the object in storage. The fabric may employ waterproof and sun-retardant qualities that will be suitable for periodic or long-term storage. The poles will fold or separate for compact packaging and quick set-up by the end-consumer. Or, the poles may he heavy-duty one-piece units depending upon application.



2. Said improved cover will typically consist of six main components but is not limited to any number of manufacturing elements. It will generally be constructed of 5 or more poles of suitable material and a fabric “tent” that may include vents, fasteners, and locks of suitable materials.

3. Said cover will he manufactured in many sizes to accommodate many applications from very small to very large. The tent fabric or another type of fabric affixed to it will partially cover the bottom of the shelter. This will allow anchoring of the shelter when the vehicle or other storage item is positioned on the fabric. Said cover may also be designed to be used for and applicable to other protection applications including but not limited to: equipment, working areas, weather shelters, merchandising tents, temporary human shelters, camping tents, hunting blinds, etc.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The instant invention provides a moderately priced, high quality, shelter assembly with durable components designed for a long useful life to reduce the need to dispose of or replace often. This invention was conceived to reduce the amount of time needed to operate a protective cover and eliminate the surface damage that often occurs when covers are placed on an unclean surface. It also creates an alternative to fixed fabric shelters that must be sized extra large to allow for drive-in and door operation (on cars). The existing fixed fabric shelters on the market take time to construct, do not retract, and are open at one end or both. The instant invention solves these inefficiencies by quick assembly and folding completely down to the ground on both ends after item is positioned to allow for easy drive-in and door opening (for vehicles). The complete closure over the item in storage eliminates dust and water infiltration while also providing an air barrier to allow circulation and increased protection from various types of impacts.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Covers and shelters are used extensively to protect high and low cost items to extend their useful life and new appearance. They are also used to facilitate quick set-up in outdoor setting where shelters are useful. Covering a vehicle or other object currently consists of unfolding or unrolling a large cumbersome fabric and “tossing” it over the vehicle. Subsequently the cover must be secured on all four corners and often underneath. This is time-consuming. If a cover is applied over a painted surface that is not completely clean, the movement of the fabric during application, removal, and during windy weather will cause scratches, and over an extended period can remove sections of paint. The time-consuming method of application and removal coupled with the damaging effects over time create an opportunity for improvement. Other less-prevalent fabric shelters feature more permanent designs that are cumbersome, complicated to assemble, not aesthetically pleasing, and often have openings that do not offer complete protection

Heretofore there have been no fully retractable, complete covering, non-touching vehicle and equipment shelters. The “convertible” dome design of the instant invention incorporates a quick initial set-up (similar to a camping tent or “pop-up” sunshade) and a very quick and easy deployment and removal method for everyday use. The cover will save time and reduce or eliminate the instance of surface damage on stored items.

The instant invention gives the consumer a new choice in timesaving and effective vehicle and equipment protection. Most consumers are familiar with car covers, camping tents, and convertible car tops. The instant invention builds upon said familiarity with the added timesaving benefit of the retractable cover and extra safeguard of a non-touching shelter for storage and protection.

In contrast to other vehicle covers, the instant invention is suspended over and around the stored object. In contrast to other tents the instant invention can be fully retracted to the ground without disassembly. In addition, in contrast to other fabric shelters, this invention is easily portable without disassembly and fully closes on all sides to form a protective dome for all-around protection.

The instant invention is new in concept and improved in application. It improves the ability to quickly and easily protect and preserve vehicles and equipment.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

With the above stated in mind, it is the principal object of the instant invention to offer a convenient, easy-to-operate, non-scratching, fully retractable, and portable shelter for all types of vehicles and goods. The shape of the cover creates an aesthetically pleasing, wind and weather-resistant structure that can be used to cover vehicles and equipment etc. quickly and more effectively than current car covers and fabric shelters.

Its overall design is meant to be durable, simple, and easy to manufacture providing a viable mass-market product solution.

DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

The invention will be better understood upon reference to the drawings and detailed description of the invention, which follow:

BRIEF DESCRIPTION

FIG. 1 presents a partial cross-sectional view of the shelter in the fully erect position.

FIG. 2 is a view of the shelter in the fully retracted position.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

FIG. 1 presents a side and partial top view of the cover/shelter. 1 refers to the fabric that provides weather and impact protection. 2 shows the poles that support the fabric structure and stay in position by fasteners that attach to the fabric. 3 refers to the pivoting connecters that hold the ends of each pole in position. 4 is the fabric that covers half of the internal floor space of the structure when closed. 4 allows the user to position vehicle or equipment on the fabric creating an anchor to the structure and helps hold the shelter in position.

FIG. 2 presents a side view of the instant invention in the retracted position. The retraction allows the user to access the vehicle or equipment in storage.

The poles (2) allow the shelter to easily be erected or retracted.

The instant invention has been described in connection with it's preferred and alternative designs and applications, it will be understood that there is no intention to thereby limit the invention. There is intended to be covered all alternatives, modifications, equivalents, and variations as may be included within the scope and spirit of the invention as defined by the appended claims which are the sole definition of the invention.

Patent Citations

U.S. Patent Documents

4695216September, 1987Erlandsson.
4711059December, 1987Layne.
4760682August, 1988King52/731.
4805362February, 1989Frommelt52/173.
4825607May, 1989Frommelt52/173.
5394662March, 1995Giuliani et al.
5442885August, 1995Laven52/731.
5473846December, 1995Giuliani et al.
5881514March, 1999Pryor52/223.
5943838August, 1999Madsen52/733.
6170204January, 2001Strobel52/173.
5217275June, 1993Ridge296/77.
5417469May, 1995Hammond135/88.
5423587June, 1995Ingram135/88.
5497819March, 1996Chiang150/166