Title:
Accessing an Upper Bed
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An upper horizontal surface 9, 10, 11, comprising an access-ladder 7 with step-landing-platform 52, the upper horizontal surface 9, 10, 11, defining at least one surface for use as any or all, a surface for sleeping on, a surface for sitting on, a surface for leaning on, wherein at least part of either or both the access-ladder 7 and the step-landing-platform 52, is positioned on or adjacent the upper horizontal surface 9, 10, 11, and the step-landing platform 52 facilitates access between the access-ladder 7 and the upper horizontal surface 9, 10, 11. The invention relates to improvements in accessing at least one upper bed for either or both domestic and commercial use within a room of a building, or within a passenger space; said passenger space defining a passenger cabin, either motorised or towable, and comprising any of, a motorised caravan, a trailer, a trailer caravan, a fifth-wheel trailer, a fifth-wheel trailer caravan, a boat, a ship, a bus, a coach, an aircraft, and a railway carriage.



Inventors:
Edwards, John Anthony (Bridligton, GB)
Application Number:
12/118774
Publication Date:
11/20/2008
Filing Date:
05/12/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
5/118, 5/507.1
International Classes:
A47C17/84; A47C17/80
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20070180616USER MODULE FOR A PATIENT SUPPORTAugust, 2007Newkirk et al.
20090306495PATIENT SUPPORT TABLE FOR USE IN MAGNETIC RESONACE IMAGINGDecember, 2009Scarth et al.
20090188731PUSH HANDLE WITH PIVOTABLE HANDLE POSTJuly, 2009Zerhusen et al.
20040244115Pad packDecember, 2004Adams et al.
20040199072Integrated electromagnetic navigation and patient positioning deviceOctober, 2004Sprouse et al.
20060059624Expandable width bedMarch, 2006Poulos et al.
20060162086SINGLE PATIENT, PERSONAL USE AIR MATTRESS HAVING A SINGLE PERIMETER SEAMJuly, 2006Davis
20060179567Helping hand chairAugust, 2006Fell
20080047777CHEERING STICKFebruary, 2008Chang et al.
20060162081Adaptive pneumatic sitting and reclining cushion for vehicles and aircraftJuly, 2006Kerekes et al.
20080313815Latex Based Composite FoamsDecember, 2008Guesquiere



Primary Examiner:
LYJAK, LORI LYNN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Auto Chaise (East Yorkshire, GB)
Claims:
1. An upper horizontal surface comprising an access-ladder with step-landing-platform, the upper horizontal surface defining at least one surface for use as any or all, a surface for sleeping on, a surface for laying on, a surface for sitting on, wherein at least part of either or both the access-ladder and the step-landing-platform is positioned on or adjacent the upper horizontal surface, and the step-landing platform facilitates access between the access-ladder and the upper horizontal surface.

2. An upper horizontal surface comprising an access-ladder with step-landing-platform as claimed in claim 1 wherein the upper horizontal surface is positioned within a passenger-space, the passenger space defining a motorised or towable passenger cabin, said passenger cabin comprising any of, a motorised caravan, a trailer, a trailer caravan, a fifth-wheel trailer, a fifth-wheel trailer caravan, a boat, a ship, a bus, a coach, an aircraft, a railway carriage.

3. An upper horizontal surface comprising an access-ladder with step-landing-platform as claimed in claim 1 and claim 2 wherein said access-ladder with step-landing-platform comprises integrated access-ladder and step-landing-platform.

4. An upper horizontal surface comprising an access-ladder with step-landing-platform as claimed in claim 1 through to claim 3 wherein the step-landing-platform is any of, fixed by means, movably fixed by means, detachably fixed by means on or adjacent either or both the access-ladder and the upper-horizontal-surface.

5. An upper horizontal surface comprising an access-ladder with step-landing-platform as claimed in claim 1 through to claim 4 wherein the access-ladder is any of, fixed by means, movably fixed by means, detachably fixed by means on or adjacent either or both the step-landing-platform and the upper-horizontal-surface.

6. An upper horizontal surface comprising an access-ladder with step-landing-platform as claimed in claim 1 through to claim 5 wherein there is provided at least one access-recess either or both within and between all or any said upper-horizontal-surface, and at least part of either or both said access-ladder and said step-landing-platform is positioned on or adjacent said access-recess to facilitate access between any or all said upper-horizontal-surface, said step-landing-platform, and said access-ladder.

7. An upper horizontal surface comprising an access-ladder with step-landing-platform as claimed in claim 1 through to claim 6 wherein at least part of all or any said upper-horizontal-surface is movable between a retracted first position for storage and a deployed second position for said use.

8. An upper horizontal surface comprising an access-ladder with step-landing-platform as claimed in claim 1 through to claim 7 wherein either or both said step-landing-platform and said access-ladder is movable between a first retracted position for storage and a second deployed position for standing on which facilitates access between any or all said upper-horizontal-surface, said step-landing-platform and said access-ladder.

9. An upper horizontal surface comprising an access-ladder with step-landing-platform claimed in claims 1 through 8 wherein there is provided either or both footstep means and handrail means positioned between said upper-horizontal-surface and said step-landing-platform to facilitate access between any or all said upper-horizontal-surface, said step-landing-platform, and said access-ladder.

10. An upper horizontal surface comprising an access-ladder with step-landing-platform as claimed in claim 9 wherein there is a plurality of either or both said footstep means and said handrail means.

11. An upper horizontal surface comprising an access-ladder with step-landing-platform as claimed in claims 6 through 10 wherein there is provided support means adjacent either or both said step-landing-platform and said access-recess to facilitate access between any or all said upper-horizontal-surface, said step-landing-platform, and said access-ladder.

12. An upper horizontal surface comprising an access-ladder with step-landing-platform as claimed in claim 11 wherein said support means comprises either or both banister support and surface support.

13. An upper horizontal surface comprising an access-ladder with step-landing-platform as claimed in claims 7 through to claim 12 wherein at least part of all or any said upper-horizontal-surface is movable about any of, a fixed axis means, a movable axis means, a detachable axis means between the retracted first position for storage and the deployed second position for use.

14. An upper horizontal surface comprising an access-ladder with step-landing-platform as claimed in claim 13 and the passenger cabin as claimed in claim 2 wherein any said upper horizontal surface axis means is either or between substantially parallel and substantially diagonal in relation to the longitudinal axis of said passenger cabin when viewed in plan view.

15. An upper horizontal surface comprising an access-ladder with step-landing-platform as claimed in claims 1 through 14 wherein the upper horizontal surface is provided with barrier safety arrangement means movable between a deployed first position which inhibits unintentional access between the upper-horizontal-surface and either or both said step-landing-platform or said access-ladder and a stored second position which facilitates access between any or all said upper-horizontal-surface, said step-landing-platform, and said access-ladder.

16. An upper horizontal surface comprising an access-ladder with step-landing-platform as claimed in claims 1 through 14 wherein the upper horizontal surface is provided with barrier safety arrangement means which inhibit unintentional access between the upper-horizontal-surface and either or both said step-landing-platform or said access-ladder.

17. An upper horizontal surface comprising an access-ladder with step-landing-platform as claimed in claims 1 through 16 wherein the step-landing-platform comprises at least one platform of any size, shape, profile and area that will facilitate movement between said upper-horizontal-surface and said access-ladder.

18. An upper horizontal surface comprising an access-ladder with step-landing-platform as claimed in claim 17 wherein said step-landing-platform supports at least part of a foot in a direction which is in addition to that, or other than that, where the longitudinal axis between big toe and heel is substantially parallel to the direction of movement between either or both the upper horizontal surface and said step-landing-platform or between said step-landing-platform and said access-ladder.

19. An upper horizontal surface comprising an access-ladder with step-landing-platform as claimed in claims 1 through 18 wherein there is provided a retaining element which any of, fixes, movably fixes, or detachably fixes either or both the access-ladder and the step-landing-platform on or adjacent the upper-horizontal-surface, said retaining element including at least one resilient means, said resilient means applying spring bias by any of, compression means, tension means and torsion means to reduce or tend to reduce all or any, movement, wobble and vibration between said upper-horizontal-surface, and either or both said step-landing-platform, said access-ladder.

20. An upper horizontal surface comprising an access-ladder with step-landing-platform as claimed in claim 19 wherein said retaining element comprises at least two grooved surfaces that mesh together in use to reduce or tend to reduce any or all movement, wobble, vibration and dimensional tolerance between said upper-horizontal-surface, and either or both said step-landing-platform, said access-ladder.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD OF INVENTION

improvements in accessing at least one upper bed for either or both domestic and commercial use within a room of a building, or within a passenger space; said passenger space defining a passenger cabin, either motorised or towable, and comprising any of, a motorised caravan, a trailer, a trailer caravan, a fifth-wheel trailer, a fifth-wheel trailer caravan, a boat, a ship, a bus, a coach, an aircraft, a railway carriage.

BACKGROUND OF INVENTION

Perceiving and identifying the cause and real nature of the problem, a problem & solution approach.

End users, and more particularly the elderly and infirm, have difficulty moving between a passenger cabin and the horizontal-surface of an upper-bunk-bed. Currently, a simple movable or portable access-ladder is provided, comprising two side members connected by parallel rungs. It is particularly difficult moving between the access-ladder and the horizontal-surface of the upper-bunk-bed. The end user has to move from a vertical position, standing on a rung of the access-ladder, to a horizontal position, reclining on the surface of the upper-bunk-bed. This is not an easy manoeuvre, even for a physically fit and ambulant person. Although there is usually a hook-over fitment on top of the access-ladder, the access-ladder tends to wobble, because the end user's centre of gravity tends to move outside the base of the access-ladder during the transition between the access-ladder and the upper-bunk-bed. However, even if the access-ladder didn't wobble, the transition between access-ladder and upper-bunk-bed is physiologically demanding, and extremely difficult, if not impossible for most elderly and infirm passengers. The elderly, because of their circumstances and ownership of disposable income, tend to comprise the majority of leisure vehicle users. So their needs are important, and must be addressed.

With regard to movable or portable access-ladders, prior art has focused on various means of storage, fixing and deployment. For example, see Knaus DE20300691-U1; Rossman GB254312 & 243005 Invastesa EP0212492; Kubesch DE20219175U1; Iveco EP1749965; Hymer EP1842720; Hymer EP1842721. The real nature of the problem relating to access between the passenger cabin and the surface of an upper-bunk-bed has not been identified, and therefore no solution has been invented. Significantly, the invention herein described is the product of innovation, where inventive step lies, in part, with the identification of the true nature of the problem, namely, how does an elderly and probably infirm passenger access between the vertical standing position inside a passenger cabin and a fully reclined position on the surface of a bed, in relative ease and safety, and do this particularly within the confines of a passenger cabin where space is at a premium.

Passenger cabin engineers have circumvented the issue by adding another low-level bunk-bed in the rear of the passenger cabin, and assigned the elderly and infirm user to this. Most domestic household beds are of the low level type, and this design has been adopted for the elderly. This is an obvious solution for skilled persons in the art. Any retained upper-bunk-bed has been re-assigned for use by more agile passengers such as young children or grand-children, who can be physically assisted by adults to move between the access-ladder and the horizontal-surface of the upper bunk-bed in relative safety.

Passenger cabins in general, and particularly motorhomes and caravans, are designed to utilize space economically, because space is very limited. Both fuel costs and parking issues influence the minimum weight & minimum space approach to motorhome and caravan design. Simply introducing another bed that requires additional floor space and abandoning the upper-bunk-bed for occasional use by younger and more ambulant passengers and visitors does not identify the real nature of the problem, and therefore does not address the problem. It merely sets the problem to one side. Ideally, for the best utilization of space, it is better to leave the bunk-bed in the upper position, and identify and address the cause of the problem, and thereby retain the economy of space utilization. There are several issues associated with the cause of the problem.

One issue associated with the cause of the problem is that of the physiological difficulty relating to movement between the vertical standing position on the rung of an access-ladder and the horizontal reclined position on the surface of a bunk-bed. That is, the transition between these two members and between these two physiological positions. This is a serious problem, even if there were only one passenger using the upper-bunk-bed.

A further issue associated with the cause of the problem is that of sleeping postures or sleeping profiles relating to end users. In current designs, end users sleep across the passenger cabin, with their heads toward one side and their feet toward the opposite side, in relation to the passenger cabin when viewed in plan view. When the person on the ‘inside’ wishes to move between the upper-bunk-bed and the access-ladder, they must first clamber over the person on the ‘outside’, that is, the person nearest the access-ladder. This not only disturbs the passenger on the ‘outside’, but makes even more difficult the task of moving between upper-bunk-bed and access-ladder.

Many bunk-beds, particularly in motorhomes, are positioned above the driver, in an over-cab compartment. So a further issue associated with the cause of the problem relates to aerodynamics. Fuel costs are rising, so the more aerodynamic the front roof of the motorhome over cab compartment or a caravan, the greater will be the miles per gallon obtained on journey.

So the cause of the difficulty is primarily related to the absence of creative perception in identifying the real nature of the problem. Secondly, the cause of the difficulty is also related to the subjects of aerodynamics, physiology and technical design engineering. Inventive step was required to identify the real nature of the problem, and then inventive step was further required to address the problem in a creative way, perceiving how these variables could be integrated and related in a way that would result in an innovative solution.

A number of related embodiments have been invented. The first solution was designed to fit existing floor plans and upper-bunk-bed designs. This is useful, since the design can be immediately sold to passenger cabin manufactures without the need to develop new floor plans, which is costly and time consuming.

Also, this design can be sold to existing passenger cabin end users, thereby providing a wide market for sales. This first solution comprises various embodiments of access-step with step-landing-platform.

A first working solution provides a partial answer to the cause of the problem, and is an improvement over prior art. The access-ladder with step-landing-platform provides the end user with the facility to turn and sit or to turn and kneel upon the surface of the upper-bunk-bed before moving to the recline position. In the reverse direction, the access-ladder with step-landing-platform provides the end user with the facility to move from the recline position to the sitting position on the upper horizontal surface of the bunk-bed, before turning their feet and maneuvering their body on the step-landing-platform to orient themselves for moving to a standing position on the access-ladder. This is physiologically easier than that provided by prior art. Usefully, the surface for standing on of the step-landing-platform deployed for standing on, is positioned below the surface for sleeping on of the upper-bunk-bed deployed for sleeping on. Conveniently, the distance between the surface for sleeping on of the bunk-bed and the surface for standing on of the step-landing-platform is the same or similar to the distance between the surface for sitting on of a dining-chair seat and the floor. Beneficially, this distance between the surface for sleeping on of the bunk-bed and the surface for standing on of the step-landing-platform will vary according to precise function and application. Advantageously, there may be applications where the surface for standing on of the step-landing-platform is either level or higher than the surface for sleeping on of the bunk-bed.

Prior art requires that an end user move directly from the standing position on the access-ladder to the reclined position on the upper-horizontal-surface of the bunk-bed. This is a very awkward manoeuvre, especially for an older passenger. The access-ladder with step-landing-platform provides an intermediate physiological position and respite. The end user can rest in the seated position and think through the next manoeuvre. So the transition between the access-ladder and the upper-horizontal-surface of the bunk-bed has been improved over prior art.

A second working solution is better than the first working solution, since it provides greater physiological support for the end user when moving between the passenger cabin and the bunk-bed, and particularly when moving between the access-ladder and the surface of the bunk-bed, by the provision of a hand holding facility. At least one access-recess is provided in any or all, the upper-horizontal surface of a bunk bed, or between two parts of the upper-horizontal-surface of a bunk bed, or between at least two separate bunk bed upper-horizontal-surfaces.

The access-ladder with step-landing-platform is positioned within or adjacent this access-recess. So the top surface of the bed adjacent the access-recess provides hand and arm support, especially during the difficult manoeuvre between access-ladder & upper-horizontal-surface. Additionally, it allows end users to move between the access-ladder and the surface of the bunk-bed without clambering over another passenger, since each passenger sleeps, one on each side of the access-recess. Each passenger can move between their bunk-bed and the step-landing-platform without disturbing or only minimally disturbing the other passenger. This second working solution also identifies & addresses the problem relating to aerodynamics. Passengers have the option to sleep with their head toward the rear, and their feet toward the front. So the front end of the passenger cabin can be a low profile aerodynamic shape when viewed in side elevation view.

A barrier is provided to prevent passengers from unintentionally failing from the surface of the upper bunk-bed to the floor of the passenger cabin. Said barrier has been creatively designed to interlock with a movable upper-horizontal-surface of the bunk-bed, so that the barrier has to be lowered before the upper-horizontal-surface can be raised, thereby preventing a barrier member, unintentionally left in the raised position, from striking the inner surface of the passenger cabin roof when the horizontal surface of the bunk-bed is moved to the raised position. This second working solution is particularly suitable for Class ‘C’ type motorhomes with an alcove, which have an over-cab upper-bunk bed.

A third working solution is similar to the second working solution, except that it is provided for Class ‘A’ integrated motorhomes, semi-integrated motorhomes and caravans. This third working solution usually comprises a single upper-horizontal-surface with two longitudinal sleeping positions, one each side of an access-recess. An access-ladder with step-landing-platform is positioned on or adjacent said access-recess.

Moreover, when the upper-horizontal-surface is not being used as a sleeping surface or a sitting surface, it is often used for storing cargo or for other support functions. This is especially true when the passenger cabin is in the travelling mode. The provision of a step-landing-platform provides a surface for standing on to facilitate the movement of items such as cargo between the upper-horizontal-surface and the passenger cabin.

Whilst other prior art upper beds are provided with access ladders which include a hook fixed to the access-ladder and a ‘U’ shaped bracket fixed to the upper bed, there is a tendency for the access-ladder to wobble in use. The tendency of the access-ladder to wobble in use is more severe if the centre of gravity of the person using the access-ladder moves outside the base area of the access-ladder. The tendency of the access-ladder to wobble in use is caused by a dimensionally loose fit in the joint between the hook and the ‘U’ shaped bracket.

To address this issue, also provided and described is an optional safety arrangement, said safety arrangement being adapted to minimise the risk of injuries occurring to a person whilst using the access-ladder. The safety arrangement defines a retaining element comprising a hook and a ‘U’ shaped bracket, and includes a resilient means for applying spring bias to reduce or tend to reduce the dimensional tolerance between the access-ladder and the upper bed.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

According to this invention, there is provided an upper horizontal surface comprising an access-ladder with step-landing-platform, the upper horizontal surface defining at least one surface for use as any or all, a surface for sleeping on, a surface for laying on, a surface for sitting on, wherein at least part of either or both the access-ladder and the step-landing-platform is positioned on or adjacent the upper horizontal surface, and the step-landing platform facilitates access between the access-ladder and the upper horizontal surface.

Beneficially, the upper horizontal surface is positioned within a passenger-space, the passenger space defining a motorised or towable passenger cabin, said passenger cabin comprising any of, a motorised caravan, a trailer, a trailer caravan, a fifth-wheel trailer, a fifth-wheel trailer caravan, a boat, a ship, a bus, a coach, an aircraft, a railway carriage.

Conveniently, said access-ladder with step-landing-platform comprises integrated access-ladder and step-landing-platform.

Usefully, the step-landing-platform is any of, fixed by means, movably fixed by means, detachably fixed by means on or adjacent either or both the access-ladder and the upper-horizontal-surface.

Advantageously, the access-ladder is any of, fixed by means, movably fixed by means, detachably fixed by means on or adjacent either or both the step-landing-platform and the upper-horizontal-surface.

Beneficially, there is provided at least one access-recess either or both within and between all or any said upper-horizontal-surface, and at least part of either or both said access-ladder and said step-landing-platform is positioned on or adjacent said access-recess to facilitate access between any or all said upper-horizontal-surface, said step-landing-platform, and said access-ladder.

Conveniently, at least part of all or any said upper-horizontal-surface is movable between a retracted first position for storage and a deployed second position for said use.

Beneficially, either or both said step-landing-platform and said access-ladder is movable between a first retracted position for storage and a second deployed position for standing on which facilitates access between any or all said upper-horizontal-surface, said step-landing-platform and said access-ladder.

Usefully, there is provided either or both footstep means and handrail means positioned between said upper-horizontal-surface and said step-landing-platform to facilitate access between any or all said upper-horizontal-surface, said step-landing-platform, and said access-ladder.

Advantageously, there is a plurality of either or both said footstep means and said handrail means.

Conveniently, there is provided support means adjacent either or both said step-landing-platform and said access-recess to facilitate access between any or all said upper-horizontal-surface, said step-landing-platform, and said access-ladder.

Usefully, said support means comprises either or both banister support and surface support.

Advantageously, at least part of all or any said upper-horizontal-surface is movable about any of, a fixed axis means, a movable axis means, a detachable axis means between said retracted first position for storage and said deployed second position for use.

Beneficially, said axis means is either or between substantially parallel and substantially diagonal in relation to the longitudinal axis of said passenger cabin when viewed in plan view.

Usefully, said axis means is substantially perpendicular in relation to the longitudinal axis of said passenger cabin when viewed in plan view.

Beneficially, said axis means comprises any axis which facilitates a pivoting action.

Usefully, the upper horizontal surface is provided with barrier safety arrangement means movable between a deployed first position which inhibits unintentional access between the upper-horizontal-surface and either or both said step-landing-platform or said access-ladder and a stored second position which facilitates access between any or all said upper-horizontal-surface, said step-landing-platform, and said access-ladder.

Conveniently, the upper horizontal surface is provided with barrier safety arrangement means which inhibit unintentional access between the upper-horizontal-surface and either or both said step-landing-platform or said access-ladder.

Beneficially, the step-landing-platform comprises at least one platform of any size, shape, profile and area that will facilitate movement between said upper-horizontal-surface and said access-ladder.

Usefully, said step-landing-platform supports at least part of a foot in a direction which is in addition to that, or other than that, where the longitudinal axis between big toe and heel is substantially parallel to the direction of movement between either or both the upper horizontal surface and said step-landing-platform or between said step-landing-platform and said access-ladder.

Advantageously, there is provided a retaining element which any of, fixes, movably fixes, or detachably fixes either or both the access-ladder and the step-landing-platform on or adjacent the upper-horizontal-surface, said retaining element including at least one resilient means, said resilient means applying spring bias by any of, compression means, tension means and torsion means to reduce or tend to reduce all or any, movement, wobble, vibration and dimensional tolerance between said upper-horizontal-surface, and either or both said step-landing-platform, said access-ladder.

Usefully, said retaining element is provided with at least two grooved surfaces that mesh together in use to reduce or tend to reduce any or all movement, wobble, vibration and dimensional tolerance between said ladder and said support means.

Advantageously, at least one said grooved surface comprises at least part of said resilient means.

Usefully, said step-landing-platform is movable about at least one axis means.

Beneficially, said axis means comprises any axis which facilitates a pivoting action.

Conveniently, said step-landing-platform is supported in either or both said stored first position and said deployed second position by means of at least one gas spring.

Beneficially, either or both said footstep means and said handrail means comprise ladder-rungs.

Conveniently, said step-landing-platform is provided with a non-slip surface overlay.

Usefully, said non-slip surface overlay includes either or both a printed image or an integral image.

Advantageously, said image is a logo.

Usefully, said image is a picture.

Advantageously, said step-landing-platform provides access for different sleeping postures on all or any said upper-horizontal-surface.

Beneficially, the profile of at least one said different sleeping posture is either or between substantially parallel and substantially diagonal in relation to said longitudinal axis of said passenger cabin when viewed in plan view.

Conveniently, said profile places feet substantially toward the front and head substantially toward the rear in relation to said passenger cabin when viewed in plan view.

Usefully, said support means comprises any or all hand support means, arm support means, foot support means, leg support means, knee support means and body support means.

Beneficially, said barrier safety arrangement means is manually movable between said first position and said second position.

Conveniently, said barrier safety arrangement means is provided with latch means to detachably fix said barrier means in said first position.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In order that the invention may be more readily understood, and so that further features thereof may be appreciated, the invention will now be described, by way of example, with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

FIGS. 1 and 2 are schematic top plan views showing the upper-horizontal-surface and the step-landing-platform in deployed positions.

FIGS. 3 through 8 are schematic perspective views showing a passenger or driver moving between the upper-horizontal-surface and the cab or main body via the step-landing-platform and access-ladder.

FIGS. 9 through 11 show two schematic side views and one schematic top plan view of a motorised (partially integrated design) caravan with the upper-horizontal-surface and step-landing-platform in both the upper stored position and the lower deployed position.

FIGS. 12 through 14 show two schematic side views and one schematic top plan view of a motorised (fully integrated design) caravan with the upper-horizontal-surface and step-landing-platform in both the upper stored position and the lower deployed position.

FIG. 15 and FIG. 16 show two detail perspective views of the upper-horizontal-surface, with a fixed safety barrier, and step-landing-platform in deployed positions.

FIG. 17 and FIG. 18 show two detail perspective views of the upper-horizontal-surface with a moveable barrier means, wherein the movable barrier means is shown in a lower stored position, and the step-landing-platform is shown in a deployed position.

FIG. 19 and FIG. 20 show two detail perspective views of the upper-horizontal-surface with a movable barrier means, wherein the movable barrier means is shown in an upper deployed position, and the step-landing-platform is shown in a deployed position.

FIGS. 21 through 24 show four detail schematic side views of a movable step-landing-platform, illustrating its movement between a lower deployed position (FIG. 21) and an upper stored position (FIG. 24).

FIG. 25 and FIG. 26 show schematic side views of two motorised (alcove design) caravans, one featuring a single cab design (FIG. 25) and the other featuring a double cab design (FIG. 26).

FIG. 27 is a first detail isometric cross sectional view showing a fixed upper-horizontal-surface, and a fixed or movable step-landing-platform, with either or both footstep means and handrail means.

FIG. 28 is a second detail isometric cross sectional view showing both fixed and movable upper-horizontal-surfaces and step-landing-platform in lower deployed positions.

FIG. 29 is a third detail isometric cross sectional view showing movable upper-horizontal-surfaces and access-ladder in upper stored positions.

FIG. 30 is a fourth detail isometric cross sectional view showing two separate and movable upper-horizontal-surfaces and step-landing-platform in lower deployed positions.

FIG. 31 is a fifth detail isometric cross sectional view showing two separate and movable upper-horizontal-surfaces in an upper stored position.

FIG. 32 is a sixth detail isometric cross sectional view showing movable upper-horizontal-surfaces in a lower deployed position, the step-landing-platform in a lower deployed position, and safety barrier means in an upper deployed position.

FIGS. 33 through 35 are seventh, eighth and ninth detail isometric cross sectional views showing movable upper-horizontal-surfaces in a lower deployed position, the step-landing-platform in a lower deployed position, and part of safety barrier means in an upper deployed position and part of safety barrier means midway between an upper deployed position and a lower stored position.

FIG. 36 is a tenth detail isometric cross sectional view showing movable upper-horizontal-surfaces in a lower deployed position, the step-landing-platform in a lower deployed position, and part of safety barrier means in an upper deployed position and part of safety barrier means in a lower stored position.

FIG. 37 is a eleventh detail isometric cross sectional view showing movable upper-horizontal-surfaces in a lower deployed position, and the safety barrier means in a lower stored position.

FIG. 38 is an twelfth detail isometric cross sectional view showing movable upper-horizontal-surfaces in an upper stored position, and the safety barrier means in a lower stored position.

FIG. 39 is a thirteenth detail isometric cross sectional view showing part of movable upper-horizontal-surfaces in an upper stored position with corresponding safety barrier means in a lower stored position and part of movable upper-horizontal-surfaces in a lower deployed position with corresponding safety barrier means in an upper deployed position, and step-landing-platform in an upper stored position.

FIG. 40 is a fourteenth detail isometric cross sectional view showing part of movable upper-horizontal-surfaces in an upper stored position with corresponding safety barrier means in a lower stored position and part of movable upper-horizontal-surfaces in a lower deployed position with corresponding safety barrier means in an upper deployed position, and step-landing-platform in a lower deployed position.

FIG. 41 is a fifteenth detail isometric cross sectional view showing part of movable upper-horizontal-surface in a lower deployed position, and part of barrier safety means in a lower stored position and part of barrier safety means in a lower deployed position.

FIG. 42 and FIG. 43 are schematic end elevation views showing a movable upper-horizontal-surface mechanically linked to part of barrier safety means. FIG. 42 shows the upper-horizontal-surface and part of barrier safety means in an upper stored position. FIG. 43 shows the upper-horizontal-surface and part of barrier safety means in a lower deployed position.

FIG. 44 through to FIG. 48 are detail isometric views of an upper-horizontal-surface, without an access-recess, to which has been fixed a fold-up step-landing-platform. FIG. 44 shows the step-landing-platform deployed, with an access-ladder attached to one side. FIG. 45 shows the step-landing-platform deployed, with the access-ladder removed to storage. FIG. 46 shows the step-landing-platform mid-way between a deployed position and a stored position. FIG. 47 shows the step-landing-platform in the stored position. FIG. 48 shows the upper-horizontal-surface mid-way between a deployed position and a stored position.

FIG. 49 and FIG. 50 are detail isometric views of an integrated access-ladder, step-landing-platform with either or both hand-rail means and foot-step means.

FIG. 51 through to FIG. 53 are detail isometric views of an integrated access-ladder and folding step-landing-platform and hand-rail means.

FIG. 54 and FIG. 55 are detail isometric views of an integrated access-ladder and folding step-landing-platform and hand-rail, wherein the step-landing-platform is provided with a non-slip surface.

FIG. 56 is a detailed isometric view of an access-ladder adjacent both an upper-horizontal-surface and a step-landing-platform.

FIG. 57 is a detail side elevation view and FIG. 58 is a detail isometric view showing an access-ladder positioned adjacent an upper-horizontal-surface with the hook means of the retaining element and ‘U’ shaped bracket means of the retaining element shown apart.

FIG. 59 through to FIG. 61 show detail section views of the retaining element, with the hook means of the retaining element and the ‘U’ shaped bracket means of the retaining element shown in the inserted position.

FIG. 62 is a detail isometric view and FIG. 63 through to FIG. 65 are detail section views of the retaining element, with the hook means of the retaining element and the ‘U’ shaped bracket means of the retaining element shown in the clamped position.

FIG. 66 and FIG. 67 show an exploded isometric view of the ‘U’ shaped bracket means of the retaining element.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring to FIGS. 9 through 14, and 25 and 26 of the accompanying drawings. The invention relating to improved passenger cabin upper-bunk-bed access can be used and applied in any type of passenger cabin, motorised or towable. For example, FIGS. 9 through 11 show an application for a partially integrated motorised caravan. FIGS. 12 through 14 show an application for a fully integrated motorised caravan or towable caravan. FIGS. 25 and 26 show an application for an alcove design of motorised caravan, where there is an over cab bunk-bed compartment.

Referring to FIG. 27 of the accompanying drawings. In a first embodiment of the present invention there is provided an upper-horizontal-surface 3, defining a surface as any or all, a surface for sleeping on, a surface for sitting on, storage means and support means. There is also provided step-landing-platform 52 fixed by means to step-landing-support-members 53, 54. Step-landing-support-members 53, 54 are fixed by means to upper-horizontal-surface 3.

Step-landing-platform 52 defining all or any, access surface means, support surface means, maneuvering surface means, and storage surface means. Also provided are either or both footstep means and handrail means 8, and access-ladder 7. Either or both footstep means and handrail means 8 are fixed by means to step-landing-support-members 53, 54. Access-ladder 7 is fixed by means to step-landing-platform 52.

Usefully, step-landing-platform 52 facilitates access between upper-horizontal-surface 3 and either or both cab area 35 (not shown) and main body 34, by enabling a driver or passenger to turn and manoeuvre, thereby facilitating a useful physiological relationship or orientation between the driver or passenger and upper-horizontal-surface 3 for a selected sleeping posture or sleeping profile. This is especially useful where the driver or passenger is less ambulant or semi-ambulant as a result of either or both age and illness. Similarly beneficial, either or both footstep means and handrail means 8 provide at least one intermediate support means when moving between step-landing-platform 52 and upper-horizontal-surface 3, thereby facilitating access between any or all upper-horizontal-surface 3, step-landing-platform 52, access-ladder 7 and passenger cabin generally designated 1.

Referring to FIGS. 9 through 20 of the accompanying drawings. In a further embodiment of the present invention there is shown movable upper-horizontal-surface 39 in a retracted position for storage, see FIGS. 10 and 12. There is also shown upper-horizontal-surface 39 in a deployed position for sleeping on, see FIGS. 9, 11, and 13 through 20. Advantageously, upper-horizontal-surface 39 moves between an upper retracted position for storage and a lower deployed position for sleeping on by the action of standard spring balance hinge and stay means 36, 37, 68 and 69.

Beneficially, and when viewed in plan view, upper-horizontal-surface 39 is shown with access-recess 4, into which is positioned, or adjacent to which is positioned, step-landing-platform 52. Advantageously, positioning step-landing-platform 52 forwardly within or adjacent access-recess 4 reduces congestion within main body 34 by providing additional unobstructed floor space. Usefully, access-recess 4 also provides support means 62, 63 and 64 to facilitate movement between any or all upper-horizontal-surface 39, step-landing-platform 52, access-ladder 7, cab area 35 and main body 34. Beneficially, support means 62, 63 and 64 comprise banister support means. Alternatively, support means 62, 63 and 64 comprise surface support means.

Typically there is shown fixed barrier members 80, 180 see FIG. 15 and FIG. 16. Usefully, fixed barrier members 80, 180 inhibits accidental or unintentional access from upper-horizontal-surface 39 to any or all step-landing-platform 52, main body 34 and cab area 35. Beneficially, fixed barrier members 80, 180 facilitates intentional access between any or all upper-horizontal-surface 39, step-landing-platform 52, main body 34 and cab area 35, by providing at least hand holding support means.

Typically, there are shown movable barrier members 40, 45, 145 and 140 movable between an upper deployed position for providing barrier means and a lower retracted position for storage, see FIGS. 17 through 20. Advantageously, stop means 81 and 181 are fixed by means to a suitable part of main body 34. Usefully, as barrier member 140 moves from a lower retracted position for storage to an upper deployed position for providing barrier means, stop foot 83 on barrier member 140 moves from stop foot housing 82 to a position adjacent to stop means 81, thereby preventing upper-horizontal-surface 39 from moving upwardly toward an upper retracted position for storage. Advantageously, this interlocking feature prevents upper-horizontal-surface 39 from moving from a lower deployed position for sleeping on to an upper retracted position for storage when barrier member 140 is in a deployed upper position for providing barrier means, thereby avoiding the possibility of barrier member 140 colliding with the ceiling inner roof surface of main body 34.

Beneficially, and in a similar way, as barrier member 40 moves from a lower retracted position for storage to an upper deployed position for providing barrier means, stop foot 183 on barrier member 40 moves from stop foot housing 182 to a position adjacent to stop means 181, thereby preventing upper-horizontal-surface 39 from moving upwardly toward an upper retracted position for storage. Advantageously, this interlocking feature prevents upper-horizontal-surface 39 from moving from a lower deployed position for sleeping on to an upper retracted position for storage when barrier member 40 is in a deployed upper position for providing barrier means, thereby avoiding the possibility of barrier member 40 colliding with the ceiling inner roof surface of main body 34.

Conveniently, barrier member 140 moves about axis 142 and barrier member 40 moves about axis 42.

Referring also to FIGS. 33 through 35. Usefully, barrier member 45 moves about axis 47. Beneficially, as barrier member 45 approaches an upper deployed position for providing barrier means, dowel-pin slot 48 engages dowel pin 43. Conveniently, when dowel pin slot 48 engages dowel pin 43, then barrier member 40 is prevented from moving downwardly from an upper deployed position for providing barrier means, to a lower retracted position for storage.

Beneficially, push latch means 46 is then operated by manually moving extending bolt means 49 to a latched position inside bolt slot means 44 to prevent barrier member 45 from moving from an upper deployed position for providing barrier means to a lower retracted position for storage. Advantageously, in this latched position, barrier member 40 and 45 are detachably fixed together in the upper deployed position for providing barrier means.

Conveniently, and in the reverse order, extending bolt means 49 is moved from a latched position inside bolt slot means 44 by inserting a key to release the latching mechanism inside push latch means 46. Advantageously, said key operated latch release system reduces the possibility of unintentional operation, particularly by children. Usefully, barrier member 45 is then moved from an upper deployed position for providing barrier means to a lower retracted position for storage. Beneficially, then barrier member 40 can then be moved from an upper deployed position for providing barrier means to a lower retracted position for storage, thereby moving stop foot 183 away from stop means 181 and allowing upper-horizontal-surface 39 to move from a lower deployed position for sleeping on to an upper retracted position for storage.

Similarly, and usefully, barrier member 145 moves about axis 147. Beneficially, as barrier member 145 approaches an upper deployed position for providing barrier means, dowel-pin slot 148 engages dowel pin 143. Conveniently, when dowel pin slot 148 engages dowel pin 143, then barrier member 140 is prevented from moving downwardly from an upper deployed position for providing barrier means to a lower retracted position for storage. Beneficially, push latch means 146 is then operated by manually moving extending bolt means 149 to a latched position inside bolt slot means 144 to prevent barrier member 145 from moving from an upper deployed position for providing barrier means to a lower retracted position for storage. Advantageously, in this latched position, barrier member 140 and 145 are detachably fixed together in the upper deployed position for providing barrier means.

Conveniently, and in the reverse order, extending bolt means 149 is moved from a latched position inside bolt slot means 144 by inserting a key to release the latching mechanism inside push latch means 146. Usefully, barrier member 145 is then moved from an upper deployed position for providing barrier means to a lower retracted position for storage.

Beneficially, barrier member 140 can then be moved from an upper deployed position for providing barrier means to a lower retracted position for storage, thereby also moving stop foot 83 away from stop means 81 to allow upper-horizontal-surface 39 to move from a lower deployed position for sleeping on to an upper retracted position for storage.

Referring to FIG. 1 and FIG. 2 and to FIGS. 28 and 29 of the accompanying drawings. In a further embodiment of the present invention, there is shown upper-horizontal-surfaces 9, 10 and 11, with access-recess 4, step-landing-platform 52 and access-ladder 7. Also shown are support surfaces 62, 63 and 64. Usefully, upper-horizontal-surface 9 is movable between an upper retracted position for storage and a lower deployed position for sleeping on. Upper-horizontal-surface 9 is shown in the lower deployed position for sleeping on. Preferably, upper-horizontal-surface 9 moves about axis 12. Beneficially, axis 12 is either or between substantially parallel and substantially diagonal in relation to the longitudinal axis of passenger cabin generally designated 1 when viewed in plan view.

Similarly and usefully, upper-horizontal-surface 10 is movable between an upper retracted position for storage and a lower deployed position for sleeping on. Upper-horizontal-surface 10 is shown in the lower deployed position for sleeping on. Preferably, upper-horizontal-surface 10 moves about axis 13. Beneficially, axis 13 is either or between substantially parallel and substantially diagonal in relation to the longitudinal axis of passenger cabin generally designated 1 when viewed in plan view.

Advantageously, upper-horizontal-surface 11 is fixed or detachably fixed or movably fixed to over-cab compartment floor 19.

Conveniently, edge profile 14 of upper-horizontal-surface 9 is diagonally angled in relation to the longitudinal axis of passenger cabin generally designated 1, when viewed in plan view. Consequently, and usefully, when upper-horizontal-surface 9 is moved upwardly about axis 12, the diagonal angle of edge profile 14 will fit under or against the corresponding diagonal angle of inside sloping roof 27 of over-cab compartment 2.

Similarly and conveniently, edge profile 15 of upper-horizontal-surface 10 is diagonally angled in relation to the longitudinal axis of motorised caravan 1, when viewed in plan view. Consequently, and usefully, when upper-horizontal-surface 10 is moved upwardly about axis 13, the diagonal angle of edge profile 15 will fit under or against the corresponding diagonal angle of inside sloping roof 27 of over-cab compartment 2.

Usefully, the angle of edge profile 28 of upper-horizontal-surface 11 corresponds to the angle of edge profile 14 of deployed upper-horizontal-surface 9 so that there is a minimal gap between upper-horizontal-surface 9 and upper-horizontal-surface 11.

Similarly and conveniently, the angle of edge profile 29 of upper-horizontal-surface 11 corresponds to the angle of edge profile 15 of deployed upper-horizontal-surface 10 so that there is a minimal gap between upper-horizontal-surface 10 and upper-horizontal-surface 11.

Beneficially, upper-horizontal-surface 11 also provides storage space for access-ladder 7. Usefully, upper-horizontal-surface 11 comprises additional space upon which to sleep or sit. Typically, upper-horizontal-surface 11 comprises any or all furniture means, support means or storage means.

Usefully, as well as providing easier access between upper-horizontal surfaces 9, 10, 11 and step-landing-platform 52, a sleeping profile that is either or between substantially parallel and substantially diagonal in relation to the longitudinal axis of passenger cabin generally designated 1 when viewed in plan view, with driver or passenger head toward the rear and driver or passenger feet toward the front, also provides aerodynamic benefits. Advantageously, interior wall surfaces 30 and 31 of over-cab compartment 2 are profiled so that they taper inwardly toward the front end of passenger cabin generally designated 1, when viewed in plan view. Correspondingly, the exterior wall surfaces of over-cab compartment 2 are also profiled so that they taper inwardly toward the front end of passenger cabin generally designated 1 when viewed in plan view, thereby providing an aerodynamic profile.

Usefully, interior ceiling surface 27 of over cab compartment 2 tapers downwardly toward the front end of passenger cabin generally designated 1, when viewed in side elevation view. Correspondingly, the exterior roof of over-cab compartment 2 is also profiled so that it tapers downwardly toward the front end of passenger cabin generally designated 1 when viewed in side elevation view, thereby providing an aerodynamic profile.

Conveniently, the innermost rear corner of upper-horizontal-surface 9 in a lower deployed position for sleeping on is at least partially supported by adjacent furniture means at position 32. Similarly, and usefully, the innermost rear corner of upper-horizontal-surface 10 in a lower deployed position for sleeping on is at least partially support by adjacent furniture means at position 33.

Referring also to FIGS. 3 through 8 of the accompanying drawings. Usefully, FIGS. 3 through 8 illustrate the relative ease by which driver or passenger 78 moves between upper-horizontal-surface 9, 10, 11 and passenger cabin generally designated 1 (not shown), when compared with means of access provided in existing prior art. FIG. 3 shows driver or passenger 78 ascending or descending access-ladder 7 (not shown) with their arms and hands extended to support themselves on support surface 62 of upper-horizontal-surface 10 and support surface 63 of upper-horizontal-surface 9.

FIG. 4 shows driver or passenger 78 standing on step-landing-platform 52 (not shown) with their arms and hands extended to support themselves on support surface 62 of upper-horizontal-surface 10 and support surface 63 of upper-horizontal-surface 9.

FIG. 5 shows driver or passenger 78 turning their feet and maneuvering their body on step-landing-platform 52 to orientate and align themselves in preparation for moving between upper-horizontal-surface 9 and step-landing-platform 52. Driver or passenger 78 has their arms and hands extended to support themselves on support surface 62 of upper-horizontal-surface 10.

FIG. 6 shows driver or passenger 78 moved to a sitting position on upper-horizontal-surface 9 with their arms and hands extended onto upper-horizontal-surface 9 to support themselves.

FIG. 7 shows driver or passenger 78 moving between a sitting position and a reclining position on upper-horizontal-surface 9, with their feet moving between step-landing-platform 52 and either or both upper-horizontal-surfaces 9 and 11.

FIG. 8 shows driver or passenger 78 in a reclined or sleeping position on upper-horizontal-surface 9 with their head substantially toward to rear and their feet substantially toward the front in relation to passenger cabin generally designated 1 and when viewed in plan view.

Referring to FIG. 30 and FIG. 31 of the accompanying drawings. In a further embodiment of the present invention, two separate upper-horizontal-surfaces 58 and 59 are shown. FIG. 30 shows upper-horizontal-surfaces 58 and 59 in a lower deployed position for sleeping on, resting on over-cab compartment floor 19. FIG. 31 shows upper-horizontal-surfaces 58 and 59 in an upper retracted position for storage to facilitate access between cab area 35 (not shown) and main body 34. FIG. 30 shows step-landing-platform 52 and access-ladder 7 deployed within or adjacent access-recess 4 to facilitate access between horizontal surfaces 58, 59 and any or all step-landing-platform 52, access-ladder 7, main body 34 and cab area 35 (not shown).

Usefully, upper-horizontal-surface 58 moves about axis 12, and upper-horizontal-surface 59 moves about axis 13. Advantageously, the assembly comprising step-landing-platform 52 and step-landing-platform-support-members 53, 54 is detachably fixed on or adjacent over-cab compartment floor 19. Usefully, access-ladder 7 is detachably fixed on or adjacent step-landing-platform 52. In FIG. 30, step-landing-platform 52, step-landing-platform-support-members 53, 54 and access-ladder 7 are show in a deployed position to facilitate movement between upper-horizontal-surfaces 58 and 59 and any or all step-landing-platform 52, access-ladder 7, main body 34 and cab area 35 (not shown). In FIG. 31, step-landing-platform 52, step-landing-platform-support-members 53, 54 and access-ladder 7 are detached and removed to storage (not shown).

Referring to FIG. 21 through to FIG. 24 of the accompanying drawings. In a further embodiment of the present invention, FIG. 21 through to FIG. 24 show step-landing-platform 52 moving between a deployed position for standing on, and a retracted position for storage. Usefully, step-landing-platform 52 moves about axis means 65, 165 between a deployed position that is substantially parallel with upper-horizontal-surface 39 and a retracted position that is substantially perpendicular to upper-horizontal-surface 39 and adjacent step-landing-platform-support-members 53, 54.

Conveniently, step-landing-platform-support-members 53, 54 move between a lower deployed support position and an upper retracted position for storage about axis means 55, 56. Beneficially, a first fixed part of gas spring 84 is movably attached by means on upper-horizontal-surface 39 at position 85 and a second movable part of gas spring 84 is movably attached by means on step-landing-platform-support-members 53, 54 at position 86.

Conveniently, as support members 53, 54 move between a retracted position for storage and a deployed support position, the direction of the linear force applied by gas spring 84 between position 85 and position 86 passes through an imaginary line drawn between axis means 55, 56 and position 85 when viewed in side elevation in relation to passenger cabin generally designated 1.

Consequently, the force applied by gas spring 84 holds support members 53, 54 in both the upper retracted position for storage and the lower deployed support position.

Usefully, the fixed part of axis means 55, 56 is attached by means to upper-horizontal-surface 39. Advantageously, the moving part of axis means 55, 56 is attached by means to step-landing-platform-support-members 53, 54.

Referring to FIG. 39 and FIG. 40 of the accompanying drawings. In a further embodiment of the present invention, FIG. 39 and FIG. 40 show a step-landing-platform 52 fixed by means to step-landing-platform-support-members 53, 54. Conveniently, step-landing-platform-support-members 53, 54 are movably attached by axis means 55, 56 to upper-horizontal-surface 11. Advantageously, assembly comprising step-landing-support-members 53, 54 and step-landing-platform 52 move between an upper retracted position for storage, and a lower deployed position for standing on, about axis means 55, 56.

Usefully, the fixed part of axis means 55, 56 is attached by means to upper-horizontal-surface 11. Advantageously, the moving part of axis means 55, 56 is attached by means to step-landing-platform-support-members 53, 54.

Referring to FIG. 32 through to FIG. 38 of the accompanying drawings. In a further embodiment of the present invention, axis 13 about which upper-horizontal-surface 10 moves is either or between substantially parallel and substantially diagonal in relation to the longitudinal axis of passenger cabin generally designated 1 when viewed in plan view. Barrier member 40 moves about axis means 42 between an upper deployed position for providing barrier means and a lower retracted position for storage. The detail view in FIG. 37 shows barrier member 40 in a lower retracted position for storage. Usefully, and referring to FIGS. 37 and 38, when barrier member 40 is in a lower retracted position for storage, upper-horizontal-surface 10 can move about axis 13.

Conveniently, and referring to FIG. 34, when barrier member 40 is in an upper deployed position for providing barrier means and adjacent stop means 41, upper-horizontal-surface 10 cannot move about axis 13. This interlocking safety feature prevents upper-horizontal-surface 10 from moving from a lower deployed position for sleeping on to an upper retracted position for storage when barrier member 40 is in a deployed upper position for providing barrier means, thereby avoiding the possibility of barrier member 40 colliding with over-cab compartment inner ceiling 27.

Referring to FIG. 41 through to FIG. 43 of the accompanying drawings. In a further embodiment of the present invention, axis 13 about which upper-horizontal-surface 10 moves is either or between substantially parallel and substantially diagonal in relation to the longitudinal axis of passenger cabin generally designated 1 when viewed in plan view. Barrier member 40 moves about axis means 72 between an upper retracted position for storage and a lower deployed position for providing barrier means. Advantageously, first connecting means 77 is fixed by means to barrier member 40. Usefully, first slide means 76 is fixed by means to upper-horizontal-surface 10. Alternatively, first slide means 76 is an integral slide means in upper-horizontal-surface 10. Conveniently, barrier member 40 is mechanically linked to upper-horizontal-surface 10 via first connecting means 77 and first slide means 76. Usefully, first connecting means 77 is movably attached to first slide means 76. Consequently, as upper-horizontal-surface 10 moves between an upper stored position to facilitate access between cab area 35 (not shown) and main body 34, and a lower deployed position for sleeping on, so barrier member 40 moves between an upper retracted position for storage and a lower deployed position for providing barrier means.

Usefully, second connecting member 71 is fixed by means to barrier member 40. Conveniently, second slide means 74 is attached by means to support panel 73. Alternatively, second slide means 74 is an integral slide means in support panel 73. Advantageously, second connecting member 71 is movably attached to second slide means 74. Beneficially, the position of end stop 70 is such that when upper-horizontal-surface 10 has moved from an upper stored position to facilitate access between cab area 35 (not shown) and main body 34, to a lower deployed position for sleeping on, then second connecting means 74 is positioned adjacent end stop 70. Consequently, upper-horizontal-surface 10 in a lower deployed position for sleeping on is at least partly supported by end stop 70 in support panel 73.

Referring to FIG. 44 through to FIG. 48 of the accompanying drawings. In a further embodiment of the present invention, step-landing-platform 52 is usefully fixed by means to upper-horizontal-surface 3. Beneficially, access-ladder 7 is detachably fixed by means to the side of step-landing-platform 52. Advantageously, upper-horizontal-surface 3 provides either or both banister support means and surface support means to facilitate access between upper-horizontal-surface 3 and any or all step-landing-platform 52, access-ladder 7, and passenger cabin generally designated 1 (not shown). Conveniently, either or both foot step means or handrail means 8 provides support means when moving between upper-horizontal-surface 3 and any or all step-landing-platform 52, access-ladder 7, and passenger cabin generally designated 1 (not shown). Advantageously, and referring to FIG. 45 through to FIG. 48, access ladder 7 is moved to a stored position (not shown). Usefully, step-landing-platform 52 moves in the direction of arrow ‘A’ about axis means 65, 165 between an upper retracted position for storage and a lower deployed position for standing on. Beneficially, step-landing-platform-support-members 53, 54 move in the direction of arrow ‘B’ about axis means 55, 56 between an upper retracted position for storage and a lower deployed support position. FIG. 48 shows upper-horizontal-surface 3 moving in the direction of arrow ‘C’, about axis ‘D’, from a lower deployed position for sleeping on to an upper retracted position for storage.

Referring to FIG. 49 and to FIG. 50 of the accompanying drawings. In a further embodiment of the present invention, FIG. 49 usefully shows access-ladder 7, step-landing-platform 52 and either or both foot-step means and hand-rail means 8, all of which are integrated to form integrated-access-means generally designated 87. Typically FIG. 50 beneficially shows access-ladder 7, step-landing-platform 52 and either or both foot-step means and hand-rail means 8, all of which are integrated to form integrated-access-means generally designated 102.

Advantageously, either integrated-access-means generally designated 87, or integrated-access-means generally designated 102 can be fitted to new or retrofitted to existing passenger cabins, generally designated 1 (not shown).

Conveniently, either integrated-access-means generally designated 87 or integrated-access-means generally designated 102 are any or all fixed, movably fixed or detachably fixed to upper-horizontal-surface 3 by means, at positions 88 and 89 as shown in FIGS. 49 and 50.

Advantageously, integrated-access-means generally designated 87 and integrated-access-means generally designated 102 move between a first stored position (not shown) to facilitate passenger movement within passenger cabin generally designated 1 (not shown) or facilitate access between cab area 35 (not shown) and main body 34 (not shown) and a second deployed position which facilitates access between upper-horizontal-surface 3 and passenger cabin generally designated 1 (not shown).

Conveniently, also shown is at least one, either or both, footstep means and handrail means 8 providing intermediate support means when moving between upper-horizontal-surface 3 and any or all step-landing-platform 52, access-ladder 7, and passenger cabin generally designated 1 (not shown).

Referring to FIG. 51 through to FIG. 53 of the accompanying drawings. In a further embodiment of the present invention, access-ladder 7, movable step-landing-platform 52 and either or both footstep means and handrail means 8, are usefully integrated to form integrated-access-means generally designated 92 which can be fitted to new or retrofitted to existing passenger cabins, generally designated 1 (not shown). Beneficially, integrated-access-means generally designated 92 is any or all fixed or movably fixed or detachably fixed to upper-horizontal-surface 3 by means at positions 88, 89. Typically, a means by which integrated-access-means generally designated 92 is any or all fixed or movably fixed or detachably fixed to upper-horizontal-surface 3 comprises retaining elements 99, 199 at positions 88, 89, see FIG. 53. Beneficially, retaining elements 99, 199 each comprise a hook and ‘U’ shaped socket assembly. Said hook is fixed by means to access-ladder 7, and said ‘U’ shaped socket assembly is fixed by means to upper-horizontal-surface 3.

Advantageously, integrated-access-means generally designated 92 moves between a first stored position (not shown) to either or both facilitate passenger movement within passenger cabin generally designated 1 or facilitate access between cab area 35 (not shown) and main body 34 (not shown) and a second deployed position for standing on which facilitates access between upper-horizontal-surface 3 and passenger cabin generally designated 1 (not shown).

Beneficially, and to facilitate storage in said first stored position, integrated-access-means generally designated 92 is reduced in size in at least one dimensional plane by moving step-landing-platform 52 from a second deployed position for standing on, as shown in FIG. 51, to a first retracted position for storage as shown in FIG. 52. Preferably, movable step-landing-platform 52 pivots about axis means 65, 165 between said first retracted position for storage and said second deployed position for standing on. Usefully, pivoting step-landing-platform 52 is supported in said second deployed position for standing on by step-landing-support-stays 90 and 91.

Advantageously, step-landing-support-stays 90 and 91 are movable by means to facilitate the movement of pivoting step-landing-platform 52 between said first retracted position for storage and said second deployed position for standing on. Usefully, step-landing-support-stay means 90 and 91 are movable by any or all pivoting means, sliding means, folding means, and bending means.

Typically, one end of step-landing-support-stay means 90 is movably attached to pivoting step-landing-platform 52 at position 97, and the opposite end of step-landing-support-stay means 90 comprises first sliding means 94 which is mechanically linked to access-ladder 7 via first connecting means 93. Conveniently, one end of first connecting means 93 is fixed by means to access-ladder 7, and the opposite end of first connecting means 93 is moveably attached to first sliding means 94.

Conveniently, one end of step-landing-support-stay means 91 is movably attached to pivoting step-landing-platform 52 at position 98, and the opposite end of step-landing-support-stay means 91 comprises second sliding means 96 which is mechanically linked to access-ladder 7 via second connecting means 95. Beneficially, one end of first connecting means 95 is fixed by means to access-ladder 7, and the opposite end of first connecting means 95 is moveably attached to second sliding means 96.

Consequently, as pivoting step-landing-platform 52 moves about pivot axis 65, 165 between a second deployed position for standing on and a first retracted position for storage, so first slide means 94 will move relative to first connecting means 93, and second slide means 96 will move relative to second connecting means 95.

Usefully, and to provide support for pivoting step-landing-platform 52 in a second deployed position for standing on, the end of first sliding means 94 that is furthest from position 97 will be adjacent and supported by first connecting means 93, and the end of second sliding means 96 that is furthest from position 98 will be adjacent and supported by second connecting means 95.

Conveniently, either or both footstep means and handrail means 8 provides intermediate support means for moving between pivoting step-landing-platform 52 and upper-horizontal-surface 3, thereby facilitating access between upper-horizontal-surface 3 and any or all pivoting step-landing-platform 52, access ladder 7, and passenger cabin generally designate 1.

Referring to FIG. 54 and FIG. 55 of the accompanying drawings. In a further embodiment of the present invention, pivoting step-landing-platform 52 is usefully provided with a non-slip surface 100 or alternatively, a non-slip surface 101. Advantageously, non-slip surface 100 includes a printed or integral logo image. Beneficially, non-slip surface 101 includes a printed or integral picture image. Alternatively, either or both non-slip surface 100 and non-slip surface 101 include images of any design or type.

Referring to FIG. 56 of the accompanying drawings. In a further embodiment of the present invention, access-ladder 7 is on upper-horizontal-surface 3 and adjacent step-landing-platform 52. Usefully, access between passenger cabin generally designated 1 (not shown) and upper-horizontal-surface 3 is via access-ladder 7 and step-landing-platform 52.

Advantageously, step-landing-platform 52 moves about lower axis means 65, 165 between an upper retracted position for storage and a lower deployed position for standing on. FIG. 54 shows step-landing-platform 52 in a lower deployed position for standing on. Beneficially, step-landing support members 53, 54 move about upper axis means 55, 56 between an upper retracted position for storage and a lower deployed support position. FIG. 54 shows step-landing support members 53, 54 in a lower deployed support position.

Conveniently, either or both footstep means and handrail means 8 facilitates access between upper-horizontal-surface 3 and any or all step-landing-platform 52, access-ladder 7, and passenger cabin generally designated 1 (not shown)

Referring to FIG. 57 and FIG. 58 of the accompanying drawings. Usefully, hook 103, 1030 are shown fixed by means to access-ladder 7. Advantageously, ‘U’ shaped bracket 107 is shown fixed by means via screw-bolt-hole bosses 109, 110 to upper-horizontal-surface 3. Beneficially, ‘U’ shaped bracket 1070 is shown fixed by means via screw-bolt-hole bosses 111, 112. Conveniently, resilient means 104 is contained within ‘U’ shaped bracket 107, and resilient means 1040 is contained within ‘U’ shaped bracket 1070.

Referring to FIG. 59 through to FIG. 61 of the accompanying drawings. Usefully, access-ladder 7 is shown in the tilted forward insert position, where the feet of access ladder 7 are raise above the floor. Advantageously, hook 1030 is shown inserted into ‘U’ shaped bracket 1070 around ‘U’ shaped bracket integral support bar 1080, so that the grooves in hook compression member 1050 align for meshing with the grooves in compression face 1060 of resilient means 1040, when hook 1030 is rotated about ‘U’ shaped bracket integral support member 1080. Beneficially, a similar relationship exists between hook 103, ‘U’ shaped bracket 107, resilient means 104, ‘U’ shaped bracket integral support bar 108, compression member 105, and compression face 106, (all not shown).

Referring to FIG. 62 through to FIG. 65 of the accompanying drawings. Conveniently, access-ladder 7 is shown in the tilted backward clamped position, where the feet of access-ladder 7 rest on the floor. Usefully, the grooves in compression member 1050 are meshed with the grooves in compression face 1060 of resilient means 1040. Advantageously, spring bias applied by resilient means 1040 on hook 1030, forces hook 1030 against ‘U’ shaped bracket integral support bar 1080, thereby eliminating any dimensional tolerance between hook 1030 and ‘U’ shaped bracket 1070. Access-ladder 7 is thereby firmly and detachably fixed to upper-horizontal-surface 3. It will be readily appreciated, that the action of tilting access-ladder 7 backward, so that hook 1030 rotates about ‘U’ shaped bracket integral support bar 1080 to move the grooves in compression member 1050 to mesh with the grooves in compression face 1060 of resilient means 1040 must apply a force that is equal to or greater than the spring bias force applied by resilient means 1040 to compression member 1050 of hook 1030. Advantageously, the torque generated by the mass of access-ladder 7 at its centre of gravity multiplied by the distance between ‘U’ shaped bracket integral support bar 1080 and said centre of gravity of access-ladder 7 is greater than the torque generated by the spring bias of resilient means 1040 multiplied by the distance between ‘U’ shaped bracket integral support bar 1080 and the point at which spring bias force is applied by resilient means 1040 to compression member 1050 of hook 1030.

A similar relationship exists between compression member 105, compression face 106, resilient means 104, hook 103, ‘U’ shaped bracket integral support bar 108, ‘U’ shaped bracket 107, access-ladder 7, upper-horizontal-surface 3 (all not shown).

Resilient means 104, 1040 applies spring bias by all or any of, compression force, tension force and torsion force.

Usefully, access-ladder 7 is moved from the clamped position to the unclamped and insert position by raising the feet of access-ladder 7 from off the floor until the grooved face of compression member 105 is substantially parallel with the uncompressed grooved face of compression face 106, and the grooved face of compression member 1050 is substantially parallel with the uncompressed grooved face of compression face 1060.

Referring to FIG. 66 and FIG. 67 of the accompanying drawings. Conveniently, ‘U’ shaped bracket 107, 1070 and resilient means 104, 1040 are illustrated in exploded isometric view to show how, during production assembly, resilient means 104 nests inside ‘U’ shaped bracket 107 for use, and resilient means 1040 nests inside ‘U’ shaped bracket 1070 for use.

In this specification the words comprise or comprises are used to mean “consists of an or includes” and the word comprising is used to mean “consisting of or including”.

In this specification the words upper and lower are defined in relation to passenger cabin generally designed 1 when viewed in side or end elevation views.