Title:
Mounting system for RV furniture
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A mounting bracket for fold down furniture having a cushioning portion with upper and lower surfaces. The mounting bracket has an upwardly extending bracket portion with an upper end with a pivot location, and a lower end. It also has a pivot bracket with a first end and a second end, the first end being pivotally attached to the pivot location and the second end being fixed to an RV. The mounting bracket is connected at its lower end to a mounting rail that is positioned adjacent to the lower surface of the cushioning portion. The pivot location extends above an upper edge of the mounting rail. The distance between the pivot location and the upper surface of the cushioning portion is about equal to or less than a distance between the pivot location and the second end of the pivot bracket.



Inventors:
Stevenson, Edward F. (So. El Monte, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/138027
Publication Date:
11/30/2006
Filing Date:
05/26/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
5/136
International Classes:
A47C17/38
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
EDELL, JOSEPH F
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie LLP (Glendale, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A mounting bracket for mounting fold down furniture to a wall or other structure, having a cushioning portion with an upper surface and a lower surface, the mounting bracket comprising: an upwardly extending bracket portion having a lower end and an upper end, the upper end having a pivot location; and a pivot bracket which has a first end and a second end, the first end being pivotally attached to the pivot location of the pivot bracket.

2. The mounting bracket of claim 1, further comprising a mounting rail to which the lower end of the upwardly extending bracket portion is attached, which upper end extends upwardly above the mounting rail.

3. The mounting bracket of claim 2, wherein the mounting rail further comprises a mounting structure to which the lower end of the upwardly extending bracket portion is attached.

4. The mounting bracket of claim 3, wherein the mounting structure extends outwardly from the mounting rail.

5. The mounting bracket of claim 1, wherein the upwardly extending bracket portion and the pivot bracket are pivotally connected together with at least one pivot device.

6. The mounting bracket of claim 1, wherein the second end of the pivot bracket is detachably attachable to a mounting structure of an RV.

7. A mounting bracket for mounting fold down furniture to a wall or other structure, the mounting bracket comprising: an upwardly extending bracket portion having an upper end and a lower end, the upper end having a pivot location; and pivot bracket which has a first end and a second end, the first end being pivotally attached to the pivot location of the pivot bracket and the second end being fixable to another structure, wherein the mounting bracket is connected to a mounting rail having an upper edge, which mounting rail is positioned adjacent to a lower surface of a cushioning portion of fold down furniture, the cushioning portion having an upper surface and a height, wherein the upper end of the upwardly extending bracket portion extends upwardly and a distance between the pivot location and the upper surface of the cushioning portion is less than a distance between the upper edge of the mounting rail and the upper surface of the cushioning portion, and wherein the distance between the pivot location and the upper surface of the cushioning portion is about equal to or less than a distance between the pivot location and the second end of the pivot bracket, taking into account any compression of the cushioning portion and decrease of its height.

8. The mounting bracket for fold down furniture of claim 7, wherein the upwardly extending bracket portion and the pivot bracket are pivotally connected together with at least one pivot device selected from the group consisting of a bolt, a screw, a rivet, a pin, a rod, and a protrusion on one of the bracket portion and pivot bracket, and a complementary opening on the other of the bracket portion and pivot bracket.

9. The mounting bracket for fold down furniture of claim 7, wherein the mounting rail further comprises an outwardly extending mounting structure to which the lower end of the upwardly extending bracket portion is attached.

10. The mounting bracket for fold down furniture of claim 7, wherein the second end of the pivot bracket is detachably attachable to a mounting structure of an RV.

11. Fold down RV furniture, comprising: a cushioning portion having and upper surface and a lower portion and having a height; a mounting rail having an upper edge, which mounting rail is positioned adjacent to the lower surface of the cushioning portion; an upwardly extending bracket portion having an upper end and a lower end, the lower end being attached to the mounting rail and the upper end having a pivot location which is above the upper edge of the mounting rail; and a pivot bracket which has a first end and a second end, the first end being pivotally engaged with the pivot location of the pivot bracket and a second end being fixable to another structure, wherein a distance between the pivot location and the upper surface of the cushioned portion is less than a distance between the upper edge of the mounting rail and the upper surface of the cushioning portion, and wherein a distance between the pivot location and the upper surface of the cushioning portion is about equal to or less than a distance between the pivot location and the second end of the pivot bracket, taking into account any compression of the cushioning portion and decreases in its height.

12. The fold down RV furniture of claim 11, wherein the upwardly extending bracket portion and the pivot bracket are pivotally connected together with at least one pivot.

13. The fold down RV furniture of claim 11, wherein the mounting rail further comprises an outwardly extending mounting structure to which the lower end of the upwardly extending bracket portion is attached.

14. The fold down RV furniture of claim 11, wherein the second end of the pivot bracket is detachably attachable to a mounting structure of an RV.

Description:

BACKGROUND

The invention relates to the field of furniture for recreational vehicles including self-contained motorized vehicles as well as trailers hauled by pickup trucks and other vehicles, and more particularly to mounting systems for RV furniture, namely, a mounting system for foldable sofa/bed and a foldable table seating/bed that when deployed will remain relatively close to side walls of the recreational vehicle and yet will fold relatively flat against a wall of the RV when the RV furniture is stored.

In recent years, recreational vehicles and trailers (“RVs”) have been developed that include folding furniture. The use of folding furniture frees up space in the RV during times when the furniture is not needed and provides additional space for other items, such as items being carried, including motorcraft. In some designs, the folding furniture will fold up against a wall or walls of the motor vehicle when stored, and will swing down from the wall and remained attached thereto when deployed and set up for use.

However, in prior designs, some prior mounting brackets waste valuable space in the RV when furniture is deployed due to the design of its mounting system.

There accordingly remains a need for mounting systems for folding RV furniture that permits closer mounting of RV furniture to a wall or other mounting location.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a section of folding RV furniture in a deployed mode that is equipped with a prior art mounting bracket.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the section of folding RV furniture and prior art mounting bracket of FIG. 1 but in a folded up mode.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a section of folding RV furniture in a deployed mode that is equipped with an embodiment of the mounting bracket of the invention.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the section of folding RV furniture and mounting bracket of FIG. 3 but in a folded up mode.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a section of folding RV furniture in a deployed mode that is equipped with another embodiment of the mounting bracket of the invention.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a section of folding RV furniture in a deployed mode that is equipped with a further embodiment of a mounting bracket of the invention.

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of a pivot bracket for detachable attachment to a wall bracket.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a section of folding RV furniture 10 in a deployed mode that is equipped with a prior art mounting bracket 12. The RV furniture 10 often uses a mounting rail 14 that is fixed to a padded or cushioning portion 16, which can, for example, comprise a bed, back, or seat portion of RV furniture. The cushioning portion 16 typically includes an internal framework, such as formed of metal, wood and other materials 17 to which padding 19 and upholstery 21 cover. The mounting rail 14 be part of a folding furniture arrangement (including folding arms and other structures, not shown) as desired. In order to economize on materials and provide for lighter and easier to maneuver RV furniture, manufacturers are motivated to design the mounting rail 14 to be as narrow and lightweight as practical. Commonly, L-shaped metal stock is used, with a horizontal lower portion 14A and vertical side portion 14B. The horizontal lower portion 14A is typically attached (e.g. by bolts) to an internal framework (not shown) of the cushioning portion 16 and the vertical side portion 14B abuts a side face 30 of the cushioning portion 16. As shown, vertical side portion 14B of the mounting rail 14 is narrow relative to the thickness “T” of the cushioning portion 16, and vertical side portion 14B does not extend near to the top surface S of cushioning portion 16. The side rail 14 will generally be located parallel to a wall 18 of the RV or another structure of the RV to which the RV furniture is to be attached. Extending from the mounting rail 14 is a mounting structure 20 with a pivot point 22, such as a hole formed therein. Pivot 22 is located distance D2 away from the side 30 of the cushioning portion 16. The mounting rail 14 has an upper edge 32. The mounting bracket 12 pivotally attaches to the mounting structure 20, e.g., by a bolt, a screw, a rivet, a pin, a rod, and a protrusion on one of the mounting structure 20 and mounting bracket 12, and a complementary opening on the other of the mounting structure 20 and mounting bracket 12 at one end 26, and the mounting bracket 12 is attachable to the RV at its other end 28. The attachment can be by screws, bolts, pins, or other known methods to provide for either permanent attachment or detachable attachment. The pivot 22 is located on the mounting structure 20 about distance H1 from a top surface S of the cushioning portion 16. As shown, when the RV furniture is in the deployed mode shown in FIG. 1, there is distance D1 between the pivot 22 and the wall or other structure 18 to which the RV furniture is attached. In order for the RV furniture to be folded flat against a wall of the RV, distance D1 should be about the same or greater than the distance H1, otherwise upper surface S of the cushioning portion will be pushed against the wall 18 when the RV furniture is pivoted upwardly to a vertical position (as will be explained with reference to FIG. 2.) Thus, the sum of distances D1 and D2 will result in a relatively wide gap about equal to D1+D2 between the edge of the RV cushioning portion 16 and the wall 18 of the RV. This is wasted space in the typically limited internal space of an RV.

FIG. 2 is a side view of the section of folding RV furniture 10 and prior art mounting bracket 12 of FIG. 1 but with the folding RV furniture in a folded up mode that orients the cushioning portion 16 adjacent to the vertical wall 18 of the RV. This FIG. shows the importance of having D1 be about equal to or greater than H1 so that the RV furniture can be folded flat against the wall. Although it is possible that some compression of the cushioning portion 16 will permit D1 to be about equal to or slightly less than H1, if avoiding compression of the cushioning portion 16 is desired, D1 should be equal or greater than H1.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a section of folding RV furniture 16 in a deployed mode that is equipped with an embodiment of the mounting bracket 40 of the invention. Mounting bracket has an upwardly extending bracket portion 42 for connection to a pivot bracket 44. The upwardly extending portion 42 has a lower portion that connects to a mounting rail 14 (by bolts, clips, welding, etc.), either through a mounting structure 20 as shown, or directly to the mounting rail 14 (not shown). Near an upper end 46 of the upwardly extending portion 42, a pivot point 48 (e.g., a hole) is provided. The pivot bracket 44 has a hole at a first end 50 and is pivotally attached to the upwardly extending portion 42 with a nut and bolt, a screw, a rivet, a pin, a rod, and a protrusion (not shown) on one of the bracket portion 42 and pivot bracket 44, and a complementary opening on the other of the bracket portion and pivot bracket (not shown), or other known pivot mechanism. A second end 56 of the pivot bracket 44 is attachable to the wall 18 or other mounting structure of the RV. The attachment can be by screws, bolts, pins, or other known methods to provide for either permanent attachment or detachable attachment. Since the pivot point 48 is distance H2 from the top surface S of the cushioning portion 16, which is much less than distance H1 in the prior art embodiment of FIGS. 1 and 2, and distance D3 can be made much less too, so long as it is about equal to or greater than the distance H2. The distance H2 between the pivot point 48 and the upper surface S of the cushioning portion 16 is about equal to or less than a distance D3 between the pivot point 48 and the second end 28 of the pivot bracket 12, taking into account any compression of the cushioning portion and decreases in its height H1 as it is folded up against the attached structure 18 (e.g., wall) of the RV. In its horizontal mode, the RV furniture will have its cushioning portion 16 spaced apart by distance D3+D4 from the wall 18, which is much less than the distance D1+D2 from the wall 18 of the prior art embodiment of FIGS. 1 and 2, and yet provide for relatively flat folding of the RV furniture against the wall of the RV 18 when the RV furniture is in its stowed mode. Thus, by moving the effective pivot point upwardly relative to the mounting rail, the RV furniture can be mounted closer to the wall or other mounting structure of the RV. The mounting rail 14 is shown as L-shaped metal, but can have other shapes and dimensions. Also, the mounting bracket 40 has as an important function to affect a raising of the pivot point 48 closer to the top surface S of the cushioning portion 16, and the mounting bracket can have different shapes. For example, the mounting bracket can comprise an extension of the rail 14 (not shown.)

FIG. 4 is a side view of the section of folding RV furniture 16 and mounting bracket 40 and pivot bracket 44 of FIG. 3, but with the RV furniture 16 in a stowed away mode wherein the RV furniture 16 is vertically oriented relatively flat against the wall 18 of the RV.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a section of folding RV furniture in a deployed mode that is equipped with another embodiment 70 of the mounting bracket of the invention. This embodiment is similar to that shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, except that an elongate rod 72 is used to connect the pivot bracket 44 to the upwardly extending portion 42. This embodiment will permit the pivot brackets 44 to be mounted in desired lateral positions on a wall or other structure of an RV.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a section of folding RV furniture in a deployed mode that is equipped with a further embodiment 80 of a mounting bracket of the invention. It has an upwardly extending bracket portion 82 that extends from the mounting rail 14 (by bolts, clips, welding, etc., not shown) and has a pivot point 84 to which a pivot bracket 44 attaches (as in the embodiment shown and described in FIGS. 3-5) and attaches to a wall 18 or other support structure of an RV. It is also possible to directly attach the upwardly extending bracket portion 82 to an internal framework 17 of the cushioning portion 16 in cases where there is no mounting rail. This present embodiment is also ideal for RV furniture that does not include a mounting structure 20 extending from the mounting rail 14 and can provide for greater flexibility since the upwardly extending bracket portion 82 can be affixed at any desired position on the mounting rail 14.

FIG. 7 is another exemplary embodiment of a pivot bracket 90 that is detachably attachable to a wall mount bracket 100 attached to a wall or other structure of an RV. The pivot bracket 90 has a first end 92 in which is provided with a hole 94, and a second engagement end 96, and has a through hole 98. The wall mount bracket 100 has a second engagement 102, e.g., a pin, which is received in the through hole 96 of the pivot bracket 90, and a plate portion 104 for mounting to the wall of an RV. This embodiment of the pivot bracket 90 and its wall mount bracket 100 will thus permit attachable detachment of the RV furniture from the wall of the RV, and can be employed with any of the above described embodiments of the invention. Other type of detachable attachments can also be used.

Having thus described exemplary embodiments of the present invention, it should be understood by those skilled in the art that the above disclosures are exemplary only and that various other alternatives, adaptations and modifications may be made within the scope of the present invention. The presently disclosed embodiments are to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive.