Title:
Tomcatz stabilizer
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The Tomcatz Stabilizer is made of steel and designed to brace 5th-wheel camper main jacks. It is used for stability to minimize motion. It will eliminate the need for other stabilizing devices such as the bipod or tripod which always need to be set-up, collapsed, and stored. The Tomcatz folds for self-storage so there is no need to remove it once it has been installed.



Inventors:
Hulbert, Thomas Lloyd (Mingo, IA, US)
Application Number:
11/269056
Publication Date:
01/11/2007
Filing Date:
11/09/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04G25/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MCDUFFIE, MICHAEL D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Thomas Lloyd Hulbert (Mingo, IA, US)
Claims:
What I claim as my invention is:

1. Apparatus for stabilizing 5th-wheel campers when parked or stored, said apparatus comprising: a pair of adjustable, tubular sleeves mounted on 5th-wheel camper jack legs with the use of 2-piece mounting brackets with 1″ spacers, and L-shaped brackets. When the jack legs are lowered and the tubular sleeves are secured with locking knobs, the camper is stabilized.

2. Apparatus of claim 1 wherein said tubular sleeve is telescopic and square relative to both of said sections.

3. Apparatus of claim 1 wherein said 2-piece mounting bracket comprised of four 90° angles and containing 6 holes for bolts and a 1″ spacer is made from flat strap steel and painted relative to both of said sections.

4. Apparatus of claim 3 wherein said tubular spacer is made of aluminum relative to both of said sections.

5. Apparatus of claim 3 wherein said tubular spacer is made of brass relative to both of said sections.

6. Apparatus of claim 3 wherein said tubular spacer is made of copper relative to both of said sections.

7. Apparatus of claim 3 wherein said tubular spacer is made of nylon relative to both of said sections.

8. Apparatus of claim 3 wherein said tubular spacer is made of steel relative to both of said sections.

9. Apparatus of claim 3 wherein said tubular spacer is made of plastic relative to both of said sections.

10. Apparatus of claim 1 wherein said L-shaped bracket made of painted angle iron with two holes for securing the stabilizer to the camper jack legs/frame relative to the plurality.

11. Apparatus of claim 1 wherein said plastic locking knob with a threaded steel shaft relative to both of said sections.

12. Apparatus of claim 1 wherein said aluminum locking knob with a threaded steel shaft relative to both of said sections.

13. Apparatus of claim 1 wherein said brass locking knob with a threaded steel shaft relative to both of said sections.

14. Apparatus of claim 1 wherein said nylon locking knob with a threaded steel shaft relative to both of said sections.

15. Apparatus of claim 1 wherein said steel locking knob with a threaded steel shaft relative to both of said sections.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

I own a 5th-wheel camper and wanted it to be more stable when camping. I stopped at a couple of dealerships to see what was available. All I found was the bipod and tripod stabilizers on the market. They presented a storage issue, having to set up each time, and it wasn't as stable as I wanted.

I started drawing sketches, bought materials, and built the first prototype. After that, a few minor adjustments were made:

    • Going from a perforated hollow tube to a non-perforated hollow tube
    • Changing from a one-piece bracket to a two-piece bracket
    • Replacing the locking bolt with a padded knob
    • Changing the hole size from 5/16″ to 11/32″ for ease in bolting
    • Adding paint to brackets and tubes
    • Revising the original to adapt to other types of 5th-wheel campers
    • Changing the L-shaped bracket from a flat strap to an angle iron

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The stabilizer is made of steel, and designed to brace 5th-wheel camper main jacks for stability when camping and when storing the camper. The stabilizer fits most 5th-wheels. The extension of the jacks on campers may vary. With a slight revision the stabilizer will fit those campers as well.

The stabilizer braces the 5th-wheel to minimize the motion from wind or movement of those inside when camping or while storing. The stabilizer braces the camper and minimizes sway.

Once installed, for proper use of the stabilizer, the jacks are lowered and the camper is leveled. By tightening the two locking knobs, the Tomcatz is in place and will stabilize the 5th-wheel.

After initial installation, there is no need to remove the Tomcatz Stabilizer. For moving the camper, loosen the locking knobs, and raise the camper jacks into transport position. Tighten the locking knobs and the stabilizer is in place for travel.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWING

FIG. 1, 7/8: 1 is bracket #1

FIG. 1, 7/8: 2 is bracket #2

FIG. 1, 7/8: 3 is bracket #3

FIG. 1, 7/8: 4 is the inside tube

FIG. 1, 7/8: 5 is the outside tube

FIG. 1, 7/8: 6 is the locking knob

FIG. 1, 7/8: 7 is the one-inch spacer

The above description also applies to the drawing in FIG. 2, 8/8 and to the drawing in FIG. 3, 8/8.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The Tomcatz Stabilizer was invented to minimize side to side motion of 5th-wheel campers with the ability of self storage.

The following parts are made in my shop:

Using a flat strap of steel measuring 1¼″×7⅜″×⅛″, centered ½″ from the end, an 11/32″ hole is drilled. Measuring ½″ in from the opposite end of the flat strap, another centered 11/32″ hole is drilled. From that same end, measuring 1½″ from the end, a third 11/32″ hole is centered and drilled in the flat strap. Measuring 2¼″ from the end with the two holes, a 90° bend is put into the flat strap. Measuring 4″ from the end with one hole, another. 90° bend in the opposite direction is put into the flat strap. The above describes the process of making bracket #1 in the drawing on 1/8.

Using another flat strap of steel measuring 1¼″×8″×⅛″, centered ½″ from the end, an 11/32″ hole is drilled. Measuring ½″ in from the opposite end of the flat strap, another centered 11/32″ hole is drilled. From that same end, measuring 1½″ from the end, a third 11/32″ hole is centered and drilled in the flat strap. Measuring 5⅛″ from the end with the two holes, a 90° bend is put into the flat strap. Measuring 1⅛″ from the end with one hole, another 90° bend in the opposite direction is put into the flat strap. The above describes the process of making bracket #2 in the drawing on 2/8.

Using a piece of angle iron 1½″×⅛″×20′, cut it into 1″ sections. On each 1″ section, ½″ in from the end, drill a centered 11/32″ hole. Repeat on the opposite side. The above describes the process of making bracket #3 in the drawing on 4/8.

Using 16-gauge ¾″ square tubing, cut to a length of 47″. Measure ½″ from the end and drilla centered 11/32″ hole all the way through both sides of the tubing. The above describes the process of making the inside tube in the drawing on 5/8.

Using 14-gauge, 1″ square tubing, cut to a length of 47″. Measure ½″ from the end and drill a centered 11/32″ hole all the way through both sides of the tubing. On the opposite end, after rotating the square tubing once, measure 1½″ from the end and drill a centered 11/32″ hole through one side only. Weld a 5/16″ nut spaced evenly over this hole. The above describes the process of making the outside tube in the drawing on 6/8.

After the parts are made, all of the parts below are gathered for assembly:

    • 2 bracket #1 (drawing on 1/8 and on 3/8)
    • 2 bracket #2 (drawing on 1/8 and on 3/8)
    • 4 bracket #3 (drawing on 2/8)
    • 2 ¾″×47″ tubes (drawing on 5/8)
    • 2 1″×47″ tubes (drawing on 6/8)
    • 10 nylon locknuts
    • 2 3″ bolts ( 5/16″ in diameter)
    • 2 flat washers (center hole 5/16″)
    • 4 2″ bolts ( 5/16″ in diameter)
    • 4 1½″ bolts ( 5/16″ in diameter)
    • 2 plastic handled locking knobs (with threaded 5/16″ shaft)
    • 4 1″ bolts
    • 2 1″ spacers (1″ long with 9/16″ outside dimension and ⅜″ inside dimension)

Below are the steps the purchaser needs to follow to install the Tomcatz Stabilizer:

If the jack legs on the camper are mounted with 2½″ tubes protruding from the bottom of the camper, install the stabilizer by using these four easy steps:

Step 1:

Line up bracket #1 and bracket #2 to form a square in the middle, making sure the holes are aligned. On the end with two holes, place the 1″ spacer between the innermost holes. Secure the 1″ spacer, bracket #1 and bracket #2 with a 2″ bolt and nylon locking nut. Repeat to make the second mounting bracket.

Step 2:

When facing the camper, mount one of the assembled brackets to the right leg with the two holes pointed toward the center of the camper. Bracket #2 (drawing on 3/8) will be facing you.

When facing the camper, mount the other assembled bracket to the left leg with the two holes pointed toward the center of the camper. Bracket #1 (drawing on 3/8) will be facing you.

Step 3:

When facing the camper, mount bracket #3 to the first open hole at the bottom of the camper jack leg. Place bracket #3 on the inside of the right leg with one hole facing the leg and the other hole flush with the back side of the jack leg. Bolt bracket #3 to the leg putting the 3″ bolt through the bracket and then through the leg. Place the flat washer on the end of the bolt and fasten it with a locking nut.

Still facing the camper, place another bracket #3 on the inside of the left leg with one hole facing the leg and the other hole flush with the front side of the jack leg. Bolt bracket #3 to the leg putting the 3″ bolt through the bracket and then through the leg. Place the flat washer on the end of the bolt and fasten it with a locking nut.

Step 4:

Slide the ¾″ tube (drawing on 5/8) into the 1″ tube (drawing on 6/8) making sure the holes are aligned at opposite ends. Put a locking knob into the welded nut just to hold the tubes together. Repeat for the other set of tubes. Using a 1½″ bolt, secure the ¾″ tube to the outside of bracket #3 on the opposite leg with a locking nut. Only slightly tighten the bolt so the tubes can pivot. Repeat for the other set of tubes.

If the camper does not have 2½″ tubes protruding from the bottom of the camper, bracket #1 and bracket #2 are not used. The following steps apply:

Step 1:

When facing the camper, mount bracket #3 to the first open hole at the bottom of the camper jack leg. Place bracket #3 on the inside of the right leg with one hole facing the leg and the other hole flush with the back side of the jack leg. Bolt bracket #3 to the leg putting the 3″ bolt through the bracket and then through the leg. Place the flat washer on the end of the bolt and fasten it with a locking nut.

Still facing the camper, place another bracket #3 on the inside of the left leg with one hole facing the leg and the other hole flush with the front side of the jack leg. Bolt bracket #3 to the leg putting the 3″ bolt through the bracket and then through the leg. Place the flat washer on the end of the bolt and fasten it with a locking nut.

Step 2:

When facing the camper, place bracket #3 on the main frame of the camper and secure it using bolts included in the kit. Bracket #3 on the top left needs to match up to bracket #3 on the bottom right of the jack leg in order to secure the tubing (step 3 of the instructions below).

Still facing the camper, place the last bracket #3 on the top right of the main frame of the camper. Bracket #3 on the top right needs to match up to bracket #3 on the bottom left of the jack leg in order to secure the tubing.

Step 3:

Slide the ¾″ tube (drawing on 5/8) into the 1″ tube (drawing on 6/8) making sure the holes are aligned at opposite ends. Put a locking knob into the welded nut just to hold the tubes together. Repeat for the other set of tubes. Using a 1½″ bolt, secure the ¾″ tube to the outside of bracket #3 on the opposite leg with a locking nut. Only slightly tighten the bolt so the tubes can pivot. Repeat for the other set of tubes.

After the Tomcatz Stabilizer is installed, to use properly, the jacks are lowered and the camper is leveled. The two locking knobs are then tightened. The Tomcatz Stabilizer is then in place and will stabilize the 5th-wheel camper.

When ready to move the camper, simply loosen the two locking knobs, raise the camper jacks into transport position, and tighten the two locking knobs. The camper is now ready for travel.