Title:
Retractable rigid roof system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A retractable roof assembly that includes at least two main hinges each connected to a telescope arm assembly used to support the opposite ends of a plurality of overlapping elongated shingles. The telescopic arm is made of a plurality of longitudinally aligned couplers designed to slide and lock together. Attached to the opposite ends of each elongated shingle is a coupler. During operation, couplers allow the shingles to be retracted and slide together into a stack configuration or extended with their adjacent edges overlapping. In one embodiment, the roof assembly extends outward from a fixed vertical support surface and supported at its opposite ends by two support arms. In a second embodiment, the roof assembly is supported by an RV slide out and automatically extends and retracts therewith. A drive rod is used that connects to a scissors frame that supports the shingles when extended. As the telescopic arms retract, the scissors frame retracts as the shingles slide together into a stacked configuration.



Inventors:
Rogers, Kim (Stanwood, WA, US)
Application Number:
12/218357
Publication Date:
01/15/2009
Filing Date:
07/14/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04B7/16
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
WENDELL, MARK R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DEAN A. CRAINE (BELLEVUE, WA, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A retractable roof assembly for a building or RV with a vertical support surface, said roof assembly, comprising: a. a pair of hinges spaced apart and attached to the support surface on a building or RV from which a retractable roof assembly is to be attached; b. two telescopic arm assemblies each attached to one said hinge, each said arm assembly capable to be being elongated and extended into perpendicularly aligned with said support surface or shortened into a retracted position; each said arm being attached at one end to one said hinge; d. a support rod extending between said hinges and substantially parallel to said support surface; e. a sliding roof assembly extending between and supported at its opposite ends by said arm assemblies, said roof assembly made of an inner shingle, at least one intermediate shingle, and an outer shingle, each said shingle including a receiver plate designed to slide into a complementary shaped cavity formed on the adjacent inner receiver plate located on an adjacent shingle, when said arm assemblies are longitudinally retracted, said receiver plates may be stacked together said main hinge on said side arm assembly; f. a scissors support frame disposed under said sliding roof assembly, said scissors capable of extending and supporting said sliding roof assembly in an extended position, and retracting when said sliding roof assembly when retracted, said scissor support frame folds and collapses against the outer surface of the support body; g. a hinge assembly mounted attached to said support structure, each said extension hinge assembly includes a pivoting tongue with a round sphere or cut-out formed therein; and, h. means for extending and retracting said arm assemblies from said support surface.

2. The retractable roof assembly, as recited in claim 2, wherein said means for extending and retracting said arm assemblies are two support arms attached to said arms.

3. The retractable roof assembly, as recited in claim 2, wherein said support arms are selectively adjustable in length.

4. The retractable roof assembly, as recited in claim 3, wherein each said support arm includes a distal end and a proximal end, each said distal end being pivotally attached to one said arm assembly.

5. The retractable roof assembly, as recited in claim 4, wherein said proximal end of each said support arm is pivotally attached to said support surface.

6. The retractable roof assembly, as recited in claim 3, further including a drive rod disposed between said support arms and said retractable arms wherein each said support arm includes a distal end and a proximal end, said distal end being attached to said arm assembly.

7. The retractable roof assembly, as recited in claim 2, wherein said means for extending and retracting said arm assemblies is an RV slide out.

8. The retractable roof assembly, as recited in claim 3, further including a drive rod attached to said RV slide out and attached to said retractable arms.

Description:

This is a utility patent application which claims benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/959,368 filed on Jul. 13, 2007.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention pertains to roof systems used on retractable buildings, and more particularly on roof systems that can be selectively extended or retracted.

2. Description of the Related Art

Covers that extend laterally from a vertical surface to cover a doorway or an adjacent patio are common. In some environments, it is desirable that the cover be selectively retractable to protect the cover during high winds and snow.

Heretofore, retractable covers are made of durable vinyl that is dispensed from a roll that is pulled outward to unfurl the cover. When extended, the roll acts as the cover's leading support that is horizontally aligned and supported at its opposite ends by two vertically or diagonally aligned legs. To retract the cover, the legs are removed or collapsed and the roll is pulled inward to rewind the cover. The roll is then stored in a box or in between brackets permanently attached to the sides of the building.

Retractable covers are also commonly used on recreation vehicles, hereinafter known as RV's, motor homes or trailers. Some RV's, motor homes, and trailers, also have retractable side extensions that expand outward to increase the living area inside the RV, motor home or trailer. During transport, the side extension slides inward into the main section of the RV, motor home, or trailer so that its overall width is small for transport on state and federal highways. When the RV, motor home, or trailer reaches its final destination, the side extension is pulled outward from the main section and locked in a fixed position to expand the living area.

Slide out extensions typically include a three-sided shell covered by a rigid roof designed to withstand normal weather conditions. When the side extension is retracted, both the shell and the roof are pulled inward into the living area as a complete unit. Unfortunately, like roofs on a building, insects, leaves, needles, and moss accumulate on the roof, which are deposited in the main living area when the side extension is retracted.

What is needed is an improved retractable roof system that is more durable then a vinyl patio roof and can also be used with a slide out extension on a RV, motor home or trailer.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of the present invention to provide an improved retractable roof system for a building, an RV, motor home, or trailer that is more durable.

It is an object of the present invention to provide such an improved retractable roof surface system that has the appearance of a rigid roof made of tiles or shingles.

It is another object of the invention that can be easily adapted for use with the slide out extension on an RV, motor home, or trailer.

These and other objects of the present invention are met by the retractable roof system disclosed herein that includes at least two main hinges each attached to the vertical sides of a building or RV. Each main hinge is connected to a perpendicular, telescopic arm assembly which extends perpendicularly from the side of the building or RV to support the opposite ends of a plurality of overlapping, elongated sliding roof shingles. During use, the sliding roof shingles, which are stored in a stacked, compact configuration on the side of the building or RV, are extend outward over the arm assemblies to create an extended cover.

Each arm assembly includes an inside coupler securely mounted to one of the main hinges mounted on the outside surface of the building or RV. The inside coupler includes a longitudinally aligned cavity in which an intermediate coupler may slide into and engage. The intermediate coupler also includes a longitudinally aligned cavity in which a third coupler called a terminal coupler may also slide into and engage. In the preferred embodiment, the inside, intermediate, and terminal couplers are keyed so that when they are longitudinally aligned, they are vertically and laterally locked and telescopically adjust to change the arm's overall length.

Connected between the two main hinges is a support rod that is aligned parallel to the main body's outer surface. In the preferred embodiment, a center mounting bracket is also attached to the outside surface of the main body and positioned equal distances between the two main hinges. Extended between the drive rod and the support rod is an X-shaped scissors supporting frame. During operation, the ends of the two inside arms and the two outside arms on the scissors supporting frame are supported by the support rod and the drive rod, respectively. During operation, the scissors supporting frame expands and collapse and continuously supports the middle sections of the elongated shingles when the roof is extended and retracted.

The elongated shingles are aligned in a parallel configuration with the inside edges overlapping the outside edge on an adjacent shingle. In the preferred embodiment, the ends of the inside elongated shingle extends over and attach to the top surfaces of the two main hinges. A middle elongated shingle is lapped under the inside elongated shingle and is attached at its opposite ends to the top surfaces of the two intermediate couplers. An outside elongated shingle is attached to the top surfaces of the two terminal couplers. In the preferred embodiment, the couplers in each telescopic arm slide together so that the outer and intermediate elongated shingle may slide freely under the adjacent elongated shingle when the arms are retracted. During operation, the scissors shingle supporting frame supports the middle section of each shingle yet also slowly collapses so that the entire roof assembly remains outside the building, the RV or the trailer.

In the preferred embodiment, the two main hinges and the inside edge of the inner elongated shingle are covered by a weather housing mounted on the outside surface of the main body. Also, each elongated shingle is made of aluminum or sheet metal and covered with protective outer layer. The scissors support frame is made of light weight aluminum and covered by lubricant layer so that the elongated shingles may slide freely thereover.

In both applications, the distal end of each arm assembly is connected to a drive rod which moves the entire roof assembly outward and inward. When used as a retractable roof for the patio or entrance on a home or RV, the two ends of the drive rod are connected and supported by two support legs. When used as a retractable roof on a slide extension, the drive rod is connected to the extension so that the roof automatically extends and retracts with the extension.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an illustration of a side elevational view of an RV with a slide out extension and the RV slide out extension roof system assembled thereon.

FIG. 2 is an illustration of the front elevational view of an RV showing the slide out extension in an extended posit ion.

FIG. 3 is an illustration of the front elevational view of an RV shown in FIG. 2 with the slide out extension in a retracted position.

FIG. 4 is an exploded perspective view of the RV slide out extension roof system described herein showing the relative locations of the elongated roof shingles, one side arm, the support rod, the drive rod and the scissors supporting frame.

FIG. 5 is a side elevational view of the RV slide out extension roof assembly in a retracted position.

FIG. 6 is a side elevational view of the RV slide out extension roof assembly shown in FIG. 5 partially extended position.

FIG. 7 is a side elevational view of the RV slide out extension roof assembly shown in FIGS. 5 and 6 in a fully extended position.

FIG. 8 is an exploded perspective view similar to the view shown in FIG. 4 showing the relative location of the two main hinges and the center support.

FIG. 9 is a top plan view of the scissors supporting frame.

FIG. 10 is a bottom plan view of the scissors supporting frame.

FIG. 11 is a top plan view of the roof assembly in a fully extended position on an RV showing the elongated shingles removed.

FIG. 12 is a top plan view of a slide rod/rotator coupler used to connect the ends of the arms used on the scissors supporting frame on the support rod and the drive rod.

FIG. 13 is a front elevational view of the slide rod/rotator coupler shown in FIG. 12

FIG. 14 is a side elevational view of the outside surface of the right telescopic arm shown in an extended position.

FIG. 15 is a side elevational view of the outside surface of the left telescopic arm shown in a retracted position.

FIG. 16 is an end elevational view of the telescopic arm shown in FIG. 14.

FIG. 17 is a top plan view of the telescopic arm in an extended position as shown in FIG. 14.

FIG. 18 is an exploded, right side elevational view of the inside coupler showing the outside surface.

FIG. 19 is an exploded, elevational view of the inside surface of the inside coupler.

FIG. 20 is an exploded front elevational view of the inside coupler.

FIG. 21 is an exploded, side elevational view the intermediate coupler showing the outside surface.

FIG. 22 is an exploded, side elevational view of the intermediate coupler showing the inside surface.

FIG. 23 is an end elevational view of the intermediate coupler.

FIG. 24 is an elevational view of the terminal coupler showing the outside surface

FIG. 25 is an elevational view of the terminal coupler showing the inside surface

FIG. 26 is an end elevational view of the terminal coupler

FIGS. 27 and 28 is a perspective view and a side elevational view of a slide rod connector hinge which includes a bolt support plate mounted on the front surface, and a pivotally attached drive rod connector arm which attaches to a drive arm.

FIG. 29 is an end elevational view of an RV showing the slide out extended with a retractable roof assembly attached to the slide out and a side door with a second retractable roof assembly located above the side door that is held in an extended position with at least one diagonal, extendable support leg.

FIG. 30 is an end elevational view of the RV shown in FIG. 29 with the side door closed and the second retractable roof assembly retracted and ready for transport.

FIG. 31 is a side elevational view of the retractable roof assembly in an extended position and being used to protect an outdoor HVAC unit.

FIGS. 32 and 33 are two embodiments of the retractable roof assemblies in an extended position and being used to protect a spa tub.

FIG. 34 is a partial top plan view of the retractable roof assembly positioned over a spa tub.

FIG. 35 is a front elevational view of the retractable roof assembly positioned over a HVAC unit.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT(S)

Referring to the FIGS. 1-35, there is shown a retractable roof assembly 10 that has the appearance and durability of a rigid roof but can also be retracted into a compact, stacked configuration on the side of a building 200 or RV 300. In one embodiment, the roof assembly 10 is designed to be used with an RV 300 with a slide out 305 that automatically extends and retracts with the slide out 305. The end of the roof assembly 10 is supported by the slide out 305. In another embodiment, the roof assembly 10 is designed to be attached to the vertical fixed 202 or 302 surface of a building 200 or RV 300, respectively, which is independently extended or retracted by the user. The end of the roof assembly 10 is supported by a pair of diagonally or vertically aligned support legs 400, 420, respectively.

The roof assembly 10 includes at least two pivoting main hinges 12, 12′ attached in an elevated position to the outside surface 302 of the RV 300 and above the slide out 305 opening. Each main hinge 12 includes a main body 14 and with a pivoting plate 16 attached thereto. In the preferred embodiment, at least two main hinges 12, 12′ are horizontally aligned and evenly spaced apart over the top edge of the slide out 305.

Attached to each main hinge 12, 12′ is a telescopic arm 20, 20′, respectively. In the first embodiment, the arms 20, 20′ longitudinally extends when the slide out 305 is pulled outward and longitudinally retracts when the slide out 305 is retracted into the RV 300. Each telescopic arm 20 includes an inside coupler 22 securely mounted to the main hinge 12. The inside coupler 22 includes a sliding cavity 23 in which a longitudinally aligned intermediate coupler 32 may slide into and engage. The intermediate coupler 32 also includes a sliding cavity 34 in which a longitudinally aligned terminal coupler 42 may slide into. In the preferred embodiment, the inside, intermediate, and terminal couplers 22, 32, 42, respectively, are complimentary keyed so that when they are longitudinally aligned and stacked together, they are vertically and laterally locked together so that they are telescopically extend and retract.

The couplers 22, 32, and 42 are all longitudinally locked together so that as the outermost coupler is pulled longitudinally and extended from the adjacent coupler, the adjacent coupler is pulled from its opposite, adjacent coupler. In the preferred embodiments, the intermediate couple 32 and the terminal coupler all include a downward extended tab that engages a longitudinally aligned groove formed on the inside surface of the adjacent coupler. The groove ends before the end of the coupler so that the tab on the downstream coupler is blocked.

Connected between the two main hinges 12, 12′ is a support rod 50. Connected between the two terminal couplers 42, 42′ is a drive rod 55. The opposite end of the drive rod 55 engages two slots formed on the two terminal couplers 42, 42′. Extended between the support rod 50 and the drive rod 55 is a scissors shingle supporting frame 60 which expands and collapses when the slide out 305 is extended and retracted, respectively.

During assembly, the scissors supporting frame 60 extends between the support rod 50 and the drive rod 55. In the preferred embodiment, a center mounting bracket is attached to the outside surface 302 of the RV 300 and positioned equal distances between the two main hinges 12, 12′. The two main brackets and the center mounting bracket all include holes through which the support rod may extend. During operation, the two inside arms 62, 62′ and the two outside arms 64 on the scissors supporting frame 60 are supported by the support rod 50 and the drive rod 55, respectively. The ends of the arms 62, 62′, 64, 64′ are connected to the support rod 50 and the drive rod 55 by slide guide/rotator couplers 120 shown in FIG. 11. During operation, the slide guide/rotator couplers 120 enable the ends of the arms 62, 62′, 64, 64′ to slide over the rods 50, 55 and pivot between a retracted position and an extended position. During operation, the scissors supporting frame 60 supports the middle sections of the elongated shingles and expands and collapses when the slide out 305 is extended and retracted on the RV 300, respectively.

When used with a slide out 305, as shown in FIGS. 7 and 8, at least two slide rod connector hinges 46, 46′ are attached to the front surface of the slide out extension 105 and used to hold the drive rod 55. In the preferred embodiment, each hinge 46, 46′includes a bolt support plate 47 mounted on the outside surface of the main body 101, and pivotally attached drive rod connector arm 48. Formed on the drive rod connector arm 48 is a hole 49 designed to receive the peg 56 on the drive arm 55. During use, the drive rod connector arm 48 moves inward and outward over the bolt support plate 47 when the slide out 305 is extended and retracted on the RV 300.

The roof assembly 10 includes a plurality of elongated shingles 70, 75, 80 designed to overlap from top to bottom and cover the top surface of the slide out 305. The shingles 70, 75 and 80 are connected to the adjacent coupler 22, 32, 42, respectively, via threaded connectors In the preferred embodiment, the opposite ends of the inside shingle 75 is attached to two inside couplers 22, 22′ on the two telescopic arms 20, 20′. The opposite ends of the middle elongated shingle 75 are attached to the top surfaces of the two intermediate couplers 32, 32′. The outside elongated shingle 80 is attached to the top surface of the two terminal couplers 42, 42′. In the preferred embodiment, the couplers on each telescopic arm are designed so that the lower elongated shingle may slide freely under the adjacent inside the elongated shingle when the intermediate and terminal couplers 22, 22′, 32, 32′ and 42, 42′retract, respectively. During operation, the scissors shingle supporting frame 60 extends under the shingles 70, 75, 80 and supports the middle sections of the elongated shingles 70, 75, 80 at all times as they extend and retract over the slide out 305.

As mentioned above, during operation, the two terminal couplers 42, 42′ are connected to opposite ends of the drive rod 55. The drive rod 55 includes a perpendicularly aligned guide rod 58 located at each that engages a bore 130 formed on the end of the terminal coupler 42. The drive rod 55 also includes a longitudinally aligned rear bar 57 with two free ends that slide inside an elongated slot 135 formed on the inside surface of the terminal coupler 42, 42′. Attached to the end of each rear bar 57 is a wheel 140 that rotates freely and rides along a longitudinally aligned groove 47 formed on the inside surface of the terminal coupler 42. An optional cover plate 45 may be placed over the terminal cover 42 to protect the wheel from dirt and water.

During operation, when the drive rod 55 is pulled inward, it pulls the two terminal couplers 42, 42′ inward towards the intermediate couplers 32, 32′. The outside shingle 80 attached to the two terminal couplers 42, 42′ slides under the intermediate shingle 75 when the terminal couplers 42, 42′ are retracted into the intermediate couplers 32, 32′. When the terminal couplers 42, 42′ have completely retracted into the intermediate couplers 32, 32′, an inward force applied to the outside drive rod 55 forces the intermediate couplers 32, 32′ to retract into the main couplers 22, 22′. As the intermediate couplers 32, 32′ are retracted the outside and intermediate shingles 75, 80 are both retracted under the first shingle 70. When the drive rod 55 is pulled outward, the above sequences of steps are reversed with the tabs on the intermediate and terminal couplers acting as stop surfaces to pull the adjacent couplers outward.

In the first embodiment, each roof shingle 70, 75 or 80 is sufficient in length to cover the slide out 305. Each shingle 70, 75, and 80 is made of lightweight material such as aluminum covered or sheet metal with vinyl. The scissors support frame 60 is made of light weight material, such as aluminum and covered by lubricant or Teflon so that the shingles may slide freely thereover.

As mentioned above, the roof assembly 10 may also be used as an independent structure from the slide out. When used as an independent structure, two support legs 400, 420 must be used in place of the slide out 305. The drive rod 55 is pivotally at its opposite ends to the two supports legs 400, 420. FIGS. 29-30 show an RV 300 with two different roof support assemblies 10, 10″with one being attached to the slide out 305 that automatically extends and retracts with the slide out 305 and a second independent roof assembly 10″ that the user manually extends and retracts over the side door 306 of the RV 300. On the independent roof assembly 10′, the overall structure is the same as the slide out 305 attached to the roof assembly 10 except that two support legs 400, 420 are used in place of the slide out 305. The drive rod 55 is supported at their opposite ends by the two support legs 400, 420. The lower ends 402, 422 of the two support legs 400, 420 are attached to two hinges 404, 424 mounted directly below the upper hinges. In the preferred embodiment, the support legs 400, 420 are telescopic or adjustable in length.

More specifically, FIG. 30 is an end elevational view of an RV 300 showing the slide out 305 extended with a retractable roof assembly 10 attached to the slide out 305 and a side door shown in an open position with a second retractable roof assembly 10′ located above the side door that is held in an extended position with at least one diagonal, extendable support leg. Prior to transport, the side door closed and the second retractable roof assembly 10′ retracted. FIG. 31 shows a larger version of an independent retractable roof assembly 10′ being used to protect a large outdoor HVAC unit 500 located outside the exterior wall of a building. A more detailed, top plan view of the retractable roof assembly and HVAC unit is shown in FIG. 35.

FIG. 34 is a partial top plan view of the independent retractable roof assembly 10′ positioned over a spa tub 600. FIGS. 32 and 33 are side elevational views show even larger roof assemblies that include outer support legs 610, 620 that extend downward and connect to the ground. In both embodiments, a secondary support rod 612 may be used that extends laterally from the support surface and connects to the top of the support leg 610, 620 or to the drive rod 55 to provide additional support.

In compliance with the statute, the invention described herein has been described in language more or less specific as to structural features. It should be understood however, that the invention is not limited to the specific features shown, since the means and construction shown is comprised only of the preferred embodiments for putting the invention into effect. The invention is therefore claimed in any of its forms or modifications within the legitimate and valid scope of the amended claims, appropriately interpreted in accordance with the doctrine of equivalents.





 
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