Title:
Inflatable car-wash-configured water toy and method
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A method for preparing an inflated car-wash-configured slide assembly for recreational purposes. The method includes inflating a deflated car-wash-configured slide assembly to produce an inflated car-wash-configured slide assembly comprising a tunnel including a tunnel side wall; passing a slide mat through the tunnel such that after the slide mat passes through the tunnel, the slide mat is detached from the tunnel side wall; and dispersing water inside the tunnel onto the detached slide mat. An inflated car-wash-configured water slide assembly comprising an inflated climb section; an inflated platform section coupled to the inflated climb section; and an inflated slide section coupled to the inflated platform section. The inflated car-wash-configured water slide assembly further comprises an inflated pool section coupled to the inflated slide section and a tunnel assembly having a tunnel which extends through the inflated car-wash-configured water-slide assembly. The tunnel has a tunnel side wall. The inflated car-wash-configured water slide assembly also further comprises a detached slide mat disposed within the tunnel such as to remain detached from the tunnel side wall; and a water-dispersing member which contacts the detached slide mat and passes into the tunnel for dispersing water onto the slide mat.



Inventors:
Sefchick, Eileen Megan (Los Angeles, CA, US)
Mckee, Geoff A. (San Carlos, CA, US)
Popek, Bruce Peter (South Windsor, CT, US)
Warner, Harry (Westerly, RI, US)
Application Number:
12/154574
Publication Date:
05/28/2009
Filing Date:
05/23/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63G21/18
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
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20090264211RIDEOctober, 2009Smythe
20080064514Maneuverable entertainment and training systemMarch, 2008Larsen
20050075177RAMP SYSTEMApril, 2005Bork et al.
20090124402Inflatable play structure with integrated air sourceMay, 2009Amberg
20090105002ROTATING ADAPTER FOR PLAYGROUND SWINGApril, 2009Kahn et al.
20030203759Mechanized structures for the launch of cars in installations for amusement parks such as, for instance, roller coasters or similar attractionsOctober, 2003Begotti
20080113605Amusement apparatusMay, 2008Johnston
20070049391Diaper with swing-attachment strapMarch, 2007Groff
20070129158Springpole recreational apparatusJune, 2007Watts
20050075183Spring containing cap attachmentApril, 2005Gleekel



Primary Examiner:
DENNIS, MICHAEL DAVID
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Law Offices of John W. Carpenter, LLC (Placida, FL, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A method for preparing an inflated car-wash-configured slide assembly for recreational purposes comprising: (a) inflating a deflated car-wash-configured slide assembly to produce an inflated car-wash-configured slide assembly comprising a tunnel including a tunnel side wall; (b) passing a slide mat through the tunnel such that after the slide mat passes through the tunnel, the slide mat is detached from the tunnel side wall; and (c) dispersing water inside the tunnel onto the detached slide mat.

2. The method of claim 1 wherein said dispersing of water inside the tunnel onto the detached slide mat comprises dispersing water through a plurality of apertures.

3. The method of claim 1 wherein said inflated car-wash-configured slide assembly comprises the tunnel and a pair of side walls, said tunnel extends through the inflated slide assembly from one side wall to the other side wall.

4. The method of claim 2 wherein said inflated car-wash-configured slide assembly comprises the tunnel and a pair of side walls, said tunnel extends through the inflated slide assembly from one side wall to the other side wall.

5. The method of claim 1 wherein said dispersing of water inside the tunnel onto the detached slide mat comprises dispersing water through a plurality of apertures of a tubular member inside the tunnel.

6. The method of claim 4 wherein said dispersing of water inside the tunnel onto the detached slide mat comprises dispersing water through the plurality of apertures of a tubular member inside the tunnel.

7. The method of claim 2 additionally comprising dispersing water onto the detached slide mat outside of the tunnel.

8. The method of claim 6 additionally comprising dispersing water onto the detached slide mat outside of the tunnel.

9. The method of claim 1 additionally comprising dispersing water onto the detached slide mat outside of the tunnel through a plurality of apertures of a tubular member extending from inside of the tunnel to outside the tunnel.

10. The method of claim 8 wherein said tubular member inside the tunnel extends from inside of the tunnel to outside of the tunnel, and said additional dispersing of water onto the detached slide mat outside of the tunnel comprises additional dispersing water through the plurality of apertures of the tubular member.

11. The method of claim 1 wherein said detached slide mat has an end wall connected to an end of the detached slide mat, and said end wall is situated beyond a side wall of the inflated slide assembly.

12. The method of claim 11 wherein said end wall comprises a section that is wider than the width of the slide mat and wider than a tunnel opening of the tunnel.

13. The method of claim 10 wherein said detached slide mat has an end wall connected to an end of the detached slide mat, and said end wall is situated beyond one of the side walls of the inflated slide assembly.

14. The method of claim 13 wherein said end wall comprises a section that is wider than the width of the slide mat and wider than a tunnel opening of the tunnel.

15. The method of claim 1 additionally comprising passing water into a hose member supported by an arch of the inflated slide assembly for dispersing water onto a slide ramp of the inflated slide assembly.

16. The method of claim 13 additionally comprising passing water into a hose member supported by an arch of the inflated slide assembly for dispersing water onto a slide ramp of the inflated slide assembly.

17. The method of claim 1 additionally comprising flowing water into a perforated tubular member for dispersing water onto the detached slide mat inside the tunnel while simultaneously flowing water into a hose member supported by an arch of the inflated slide assembly for dispersing water onto a slide ramp of the inflated slide assembly.

18. The method of claim 16 additionally comprising flowing water into the tubular member for dispersing water onto the detached slide mat inside the tunnel, while simultaneously flowing water into the hose member supported by an arch of the inflated slide assembly for dispersing water onto a slide ramp of the inflated slide assembly.

19. The method of claim 1 wherein said tunnel side wall of said produced inflated slide assembly terminates at a surface which supports the inflated slide assembly.

20. The method of claim 1 additionally comprising withdrawing the detached slide mat from the tunnel.

21. The method of claim 20 wherein said tunnel side wall terminates at a surface which supports the inflated slide assembly.

22. The method of claim 1 additionally comprising exposing a tunnel opening of the tunnel to a surface which supports the inflated slide assembly by withdrawing the detached slide mat from the tunnel.

23. The method of claim 18 additionally comprising withdrawing the detached slide mat from the tunnel.

24. The method of claim 23 wherein said withdrawing of the detached slide mat exposes a tunnel opening of the tunnel to a surface that supports the inflated slide assembly.

25. The method of claim 24 wherein said tunnel side wall terminates at a surface which supports the inflated slide assembly.

26. An inflated car-wash-configured water-slide assembly comprising: an inflated climb section; an inflated slide section coupled to the inflated climb section; an inflated pool section coupled to the inflated slide section; a tunnel assembly having a tunnel extending through the inflated car-wash-configured water-slide assembly, said tunnel having a tunnel side wall; a detached slide mat disposed within said tunnel such that after the detached slide mat is disposed with said tunnel, said detached slide mat remains detached from the tunnel side wall; and a member contacting the detached slide mat and passing into the tunnel for dispersing water onto the slide mat.

27. The method of claim 1 wherein said passing a slide mat includes disposing the slide mat through the tunnel.

28. The method of claim 25 wherein said passing a slide mat includes disposing the slide mat through the tunnel.

29. The method of claim 5 wherein said tubular member contacts said slide mat.

30. The method of claim 1 wherein said tubular member contacts said slide mat.

31. The method of claim 5 additionally comprising introducing water, prior to dispersing the water, into the tubular member at an intermediate section thereof.

32. The method of claim 30 additionally comprising introducing water, prior to dispersing the water, into the tubular member at an intermediate section thereof.

33. A method for preparing an inflated car-wash-configured slide assembly for recreational purposes comprising: (a) inflating a deflated car-wash-configured slide assembly to produce an inflated car-wash-configured slide assembly comprising a pair of side walls, a tunnel having a tunnel side wall and extending through the inflated car-wash-configured slide assembly from one side wall to the other side wall; (b) disposing a detached slide mat through the tunnel and beyond the pair of side walls of the inflated car-wash-configured slide assembly; (c) introducing water into a perforated tubular member at an intermediate section thereof, said perforated tubular member is in contact with the detached slide mat and extends along with the detached slide mat through the tunnel and beyond the pair of side walls of the inflated car-wash-configured slide assembly; (d) dispersing water onto the detached slide mat through apertures of the perforated tubular member; and (e) passing water into a hose member for dispersing water onto a slide ramp of the inflated car-wash-configured slide assembly.

34. The method of claim 33 wherein said detached slide mat remains detached from the tunnel side wall after being disposed.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This patent application is related to Provisional Patent Application having application No. 60/931,732, filed May 25, 2007, and fully incorporated herein by reference thereto as if repeated verbatim immediately herein. Benefit of the May 25, 2007 filing date for the Provisional Patent Application is claimed. This patent application is a continuation-in-part application of co-pending patent application having Ser. No. 11/433,925, filed May 15, 2006, and claims the benefit of Provisional Patent Application having application No. 60/755,830, filed Jan. 3, 2006.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of Invention

The present invention broadly relates in general to an inflatable slide and method. More specifically, the present invention provides an inflatable car-wash-configured water toy and method.

2. Description of the Background Art

Numerous conventional water slides are available. However, conventional water slides do not provide the feature of being inflatable in combination with providing the feature of a slide mat for sliding along with a support surface.

SUMMARY OF EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION

Embodiments of the present invention provide a method for preparing an inflated car-wash-configured slide assembly for recreational purposes. The method includes: (a) inflating a deflated car-wash-configured slide assembly to produce an inflated car-wash-configured slide assembly comprising a tunnel including a tunnel side wall; (b) passing a slide mat through the tunnel such that after the slide mat passes through the tunnel, the slide mat is detached from the tunnel side wall; and (c) dispersing water inside the tunnel onto the detached slide mat.

Embodiments of the present invention also provide a method for preparing an inflated car-wash-configured slide assembly for recreational purposes. The method comprises: (a) inflating a deflated car-wash-configured slide assembly to produce an inflated car-wash-configured slide assembly comprising a pair of side walls, a tunnel having a tunnel side wall and extending through the inflated car-wash-configured slide assembly from one side wall to the other side wall; (b) disposing a detached slide mat through the tunnel and beyond the pair of side walls of the inflated car-wash-configured slide assembly; (c) introducing water into an intermediate section of a perforated tubular member which is in contact with the detached slide mat that extends along with the detached slide mat through the tunnel and beyond the pair of side walls of the inflated car-wash-configured slide assembly; (d) dispersing water onto the detached slide mat through apertures of the perforated tubular member; and (e) passing water into a hose member supported by an arch of the inflated car-wash-configured slide assembly for dispersing water onto a slide ramp of the inflated car-wash-configured slide assembly.

Embodiments of the present invention further also provide an inflated car-wash-configured water slide assembly comprising an inflated climb section; an inflated platform section coupled to the inflated climb section; and an inflated slide section coupled to the inflated platform section. The inflated car-wash-configured water slide assembly further comprises an inflated pool section coupled to the inflated slide section and a tunnel assembly having a tunnel which extends through the inflated car-wash-configured water-slide assembly. The tunnel has a tunnel side wall. The inflated car-wash-configured water slide assembly also further comprises a detached slide mat disposed within the tunnel such as to remain detached from the tunnel side wall; and a water-dispersing member which contacts the detached slide mat and passes into the tunnel for dispersing water onto the slide mat.

These provisions, together with the various ancillary provisions and features which will become apparent to those skilled in the art as the following description proceeds, are attained by the assemblies and methods of the present invention, preferred embodiments thereof being shown with reference to the accompanying drawings, by way of example only, wherein:

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an embodiment of the slide assembly after inflation.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of another embodiment of the slide assembly after inflation.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of another embodiment of the slide assembly after inflation.

FIG. 4A is a perspective view of another embodiment of the slide assembly after inflation, wherein the slip 'N slide section is detached from the body of the slide assembly.

FIG. 4B is a perspective view of the slip 'N slide section removed from underneath of the body of the slide assembly.

FIG. 5 is a top plan view of another embodiment of the slide assembly, with the body of the slide assembly resting on the separate slip 'N slide section of FIG. 4B and with the tunnel hose in position for placing water on the slip 'N slide section.

FIG. 6 is another perspective view of an embodiment of the slide assembly after inflation.

FIG. 7 is another perspective view of an embodiment of the slide assembly after inflation.

FIG. 8 is an enlarged perspective view of the coupling assembly.

FIG. 9 is another enlarged perspective view of the coupling assembly.

FIG. 10 is a top plan view of the coupling assembly.

FIG. 11 is an end elevational view of an embodiment of the slide assembly after being inflated and showing the slide section.

FIG. 12 is an end elevational view of an embodiment of the slide assembly after being inflated and showing the climb or ladder section.

FIG. 13 is a side elevational view of an embodiment of the slide assembly after being inflated and showing the slide hose and an end of the tunnel hose.

FIG. 14 is a side elevational view of a side of the slide assembly opposed to the side of FIG. 13.

FIG. 15 is a top plan view of an embodiment of the slide assembly after being inflated and showing the top of the tunnel hose extending along a side wall of the slide substrate.

FIG. 16 is a bottom plan view of an embodiment of the slide assembly after being inflated and showing the bottom of the slide substrate.

FIG. 17 is another perspective view of an embodiment of the slide assembly after inflation.

FIG. 18 is an end elevational view of an embodiment of the slide assembly after being inflated and showing the slide section.

FIG. 19 is an end elevational view of an embodiment of the slide assembly after being inflated and showing the climb or ladder section.

FIG. 20 is a side elevational view of an embodiment of the slide assembly after being inflated and showing the slide hose and an end of the tunnel hose.

FIG. 21 is a side elevational view of a side of the slide assembly opposed to the side of FIG. 20.

FIG. 22 is a top plan view of an embodiment of the slide assembly after being inflated and showing the top of the tunnel hose extending along a side wall of the slide substrate.

FIG. 23 is a bottom plan view of an embodiment of the slide assembly after being inflated and showing the bottom of the slide substrate.

FIG. 24 is another perspective view of an embodiment of the slide assembly after inflation.

FIG. 25 is a perspective view of another embodiment of the invention illustrating an inflated car-wash-configured slide assembly.

FIG. 26 is a perspective view, top plan view, side view and back view of another embodiment.

FIG. 27 is a perspective view of another embodiment of the invention illustrating an inflated car-wash-configured slide assembly.

FIGS. 28-30 is a perspective view of yet another embodiment of the invention illustrating an inflated car-wash-configured slide assembly.

FIG. 31 is a perspective view of a further embodiment of the invention illustrating an inflated car-wash-configured slide assembly having a slide.

FIG. 32 is a perspective view of a yet further embodiment of the inflated car-wash-configured slide assembly.

FIG. 33 is a perspective view of another embodiment of the inflated car-wash-configured slide assembly.

FIG. 34-37 are views of a further embodiment of the inflated car-wash-configured slide assembly.

FIG. 38 is a perspective view of yet another embodiment of the inflated car-wash-configured slide assembly.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION

In the description herein for embodiments of the present invention, numerous specific details are provided, such as examples of components and/or methods, to provide a thorough understanding of embodiments of the present invention. One skilled in the relevant art will recognize, however, that an embodiment of the invention can be practiced without one or more of the specific details, or with other apparatus, systems, assemblies, methods, components, materials, parts, and/or the like. In other instances, well-known structures, materials, or operations are not specifically shown or described in detail to avoid obscuring aspects of embodiments of the present invention.

Referring in detail now to the drawings, there is seen for various embodiments of the invention, a slide assembly 10 generally comprising a generally hollow collapsible member which is inflatable from a collapsed posture into an expanded posture. The slide assembly 10 (e.g., the expanded embodiment of the slide assembly 10) comprises a base 13 supporting a climb or ladder section 12, a slide section 14, a platform section 16, and a pool section 18. The base 13 includes a pair of upstanding opposed base side walls 15 and 17. Base side wall 17 is formed with opening 410 to which an air hose 230 may connect, preferably integrally connects. Air hose 230 connects to a blower/compressor 500 for causing air to flow through the air hose 230 and into the collapsed slide assembly 10 for inflating the same into an upright posture. Preferably, the blower 500 continually blows air into the inflated slide assembly 10 to compensate of air losses. Base side wall 17 also includes an openable/closable opening 400 for deflating the inflated slide assembly 10 back into a collapsed posture. The opening 400, as best shown in FIGS. 17, 19 and 22 may be defined by a plastic and/or fabric tube, integrally connected to opening, and tied close by a suitable string 710. Conveniently disposed around the perimeter of the base 13 are pouches or bags 300 which may be filled with any suitable “weighty” matter (e.g., water) to add weight and stability to the slide assembly 10 when inflated. The bags 300 have a sealable opening (not shown) through which weighty matter (water) may be poured to fill the bags 300. The slide assembly 10, including the air hose 230, may be manufactured from any suitable material. Preferably, the slide assembly 10, including air hose 230, comprises a fabric (e.g., a fabric formed from a polyester, or polyester and oxford, material) covered by a plastic layer (e.g., a PVC layer, or any other suitable plastic material, such as polyethylene, polypropylene, and the like).

The climb section 12 provides a section for a person to climb to the platform section 16. From the platform section 16, a person may slide down a portion of the slide section 16 for landing in water contained in the pool section 18. The sliding procedure is facilitated by water flowing down a ramp of the slide section 16. The slide assembly 10 also comprises a tunnel assembly 20, and may be manufactured from any suitable material, such as, by way of example only, a plastic and/or fabric (e.g., polyethylene, polypropylene, polyester oxford with PVC coated, etc).

Climb section 12 is bordered by side walls 22 and 24 supported by base side walls 15 and 17 respectively. Climb section 12 includes a climb platform 26 and a climb ramp 28 having recesses 30 for receiving a foot and having handles 32 for being gripped or grasped while climbing toward the platform section 16.

Platform section 16 includes a platform arch 36 supported by sidewalls 38 and 40 which are respectively supported by base side walls 15 and 17. Sidewalls 38 and 40 connect integrally with sidewalls 22 and 24 of the climb section 12. Grips 23-23 are provided on sidewalls 38 and 40. The platform section 16 also includes a platform 44 connecting with or to the climb ramp 25 and is covered by the platform arch 36. The platform arch 36 has an opening 600 through which a slide hose 120 passes for being conveniently disposed around the inside of the platform arch 36 to spray of disperse water through apertures 210 in the slide hose. A person leaves the platform 44 for sliding down the slide section 14. As will be further illustrated and explained below, the platform arch 36 holds a portion of a hose (a hose termed “slide hose” hereinafter) which has a structure defined by apertures from which water is sprayed or otherwise dispersed to land on the platform 44 and flow down a section of the slide section 14 to facilitate the sliding procedure. After the water finishes flowing down a portion of the slide section 14 it accumulates in the pool section 18 to form a pool of water.

The slide section 14 includes a slide ramp 48 which integrally connects to the platform 44 of the platform section 16. The slide section 14 also has a pair of side walls 50 and 54 at opposed sides of the slide ramp 48 and supported by base side walls 17 and 15, respectively. The side walls 50 and 54 respectively connect to side walls 40 and 38 and possess respective sinusoidal-shaped ridges 50a and 54a.

Pool section 18 has a bottom 60, a pair of opposed side walls 62 and 64 supported by the base 13 and secured to the bottom 60 and to the respective side walls 62 and 64 of the slide section 14. A generally arcuate-shaped end wall 68 is integrally connected to the side walls 62 and 64. Side wall 62 is formed with an opening 70 which facilitates exiting the pool section 18.

The tunnel assembly 20 includes a generally cylindrical tunnel 76 having a generally cylindrical tunnel wall 80 and formed in the opposed base sidewalls 15 and 17. The tunnel assembly 20 also includes a tunnel base member 84 (a slide mat) which provides a surface for people to slide on, particularly after becoming wet. The tunnel base member 84 may be detached from the slide assembly 10, as shown in FIGS. 4A-5, or the tunnel base member 84 may be integrally connected to the slide assembly 10 as shown in FIGS. 1-3.

In an embodiment of the invention, the tunnel base member 84 is bordered in one section by a pair of opposed sides 86 and 88, and bordered in another section by opposed sides 90 and 92 which terminate in a generally arcuate-shaped end wall 96. The tunnel wall 80 borders the tunnel base member 84 at an intermediate section thereof between opposed sides 90 and 92 and opposed sides 86 and 88. Longitudinally extending along side wall 88, along a lower side or section of tunnel wall 80, and along side 92 is a perforated tunnel hose 124. As illustrated in FIG. 37 tunnel hose 124 includes apertures 200 where through water may be sprayed or otherwise dispersed of landing on tunnel base member 84. Water on tunnel base member 84 facilitates the bodily sliding of a person along tunnel base member 84. In an embodiment of the invention both the tunnel hose 124 and the slide hose 120 (including the portion of slide hose 120 under the platform arch 36) come connected to their associated structural slide-assembly structures (or associated structural slide-assembly hose supports). Thus, the tunnel hose 124 and the slide hose 120 are collapsible with the slide assembly 10. When the slide assembly 10 is in its collapsed posture, the tunnel hose 124 and the slide hose 120 are also collapsed and included within the collapsed slide assembly. Thus, there is no need to separately provide and connect the tunnel hose 124 and the slide hose 120 to their appropriate structural locations.

The slide assembly 10 also includes a tubing assembly 100 (see FIGS. 8 and 9) for appropriately watering the tunnel base member 84 and the platform 44 (including the slide ramp 48). The tubing assembly 100 comprises a coupling assembly 104 (see FIG. 10) having conduit 106 and conduit 112 which respectively releasably engage the slide hose 120 and the tunnel hose 124. A valve 108 controls and/or diverts the flow of water to and/or through conduits 106 and 112 (and thus through tunnel hose 124 and slide hose 120). Valve 108 appropriately meters the desired amount of water through conduits 106 and 112. Valve 108 is capable of completely cutting off the flow of water through tunnel hose 124 or through slide hose 120, or splitting the flow of water such that water flows through both hoses 124 and 120 in a desired quantity, such as 50% through respective hoses. The tubing assembly 100 also includes conduit 114 for releasably engaging a water hose 140 (e.g., an ordinary gardening hose engaged to an external faucet) for furnishing water to the tunnel hose 124 and the slide hose 120.

In an embodiment of the invention where the tunnel base member 84 is integrally attached to the slide assembly 10, the slide assembly 10 may be assembled from a collapsed posture. In a collapsed posture the slide assembly 10 is generally rectangular or cubical in geometric shape. The collapsed posture of the slide assembly 10 is unfolded such that the tunnel base member 84 and sides 90, 92, 86, 88 and end 96, all in a collapsed position, are lying flat on the ground or any other suitable surface. In this unfolded position the remaining sections (i.e., the climb section 12, the slide section 14, the platform section 16, and the pool section 18) are transversely collapsed on top of an intermediate section of the tunnel base member 84. The air hose 230 is then connected to opening 410 while opening 400 is sealed. Air hose 230 is connected to the blower/compressor 500 which is subsequently activated to commence the flow of air through the air hose 230 and into the collapsed slide assembly 10 for inflating the same into an upright posture. Preferably, air initially commences to inflate the remaining sections (i.e., the climb section 12, the slide section 14, the platform section 16, and the pool section 18) that are transversely collapsed on top of an intermediate section of the tunnel base member 84. More preferably, the climb section 12 and the slide section 14 are commenced to be initially inflated. All of the sections (including sides 90, 92, 86, 88 and end 96) of the slide assembly 10 pneumatically communicate with each other so that flowing air is capable of inflating the slide assembly 10 into a fully expanded posture. Water may be introduced through the tunnel hose 124 for dispersing water through the apertures 200. For this embodiment of the invention the water is dispersed through the apertures 200 and onto the integrally connected tunnel base member 84. Water may also be introduced through the slide hose 120 for dispersing water through apertures 210 and onto the platform 44 to flow down the slide ramp 48 and into the pool section 18. The blower 500 continually blows air into the inflated slide assembly 10 to compensate for any air losses. Pouches or bags 300 may then be filled with water to add stability to the inflated slide assembly 10. The bags 300 have a sealable opening (not shown) through which water may be poured to fill the bags 300. When the inflated slide assembly 10 is to be deflated for storage, blower 500 is stopped, and opening 400 is unsealed to begin the deflation procedure by air flowing outwardly there through. Preferably air initially commences to exit or leave from the pool section 18 and/or the climb section 14 before the other sections. Water is removed from the bags 300 at any suitable time, preferably before unsealing opening 400.

In another embodiment of the invention where the tunnel base member 84 is detached from the slide assembly 10, the slide assembly 10 may again be assembled from a collapsed posture, which again may be generally rectangular or cubical in geometric shape. The collapsed posture of the slide assembly 10 is at least partially unfolded until opening 400 is exposed. In this at least partially unfolded position the climb section 12, the slide section 14, the platform section 16, and the pool section 18 may be partially transversely collapsed. The air hose 230 is then connected to opening 410 while opening 400 is sealed. Air hose 230 is connected to the blower/compressor 500 which is subsequently activated to commence the flow of air through the air hose 230 and into the collapsed, or partially unfolded, slide assembly 10 for inflating the same into an upright posture. Preferably, air initially commences to inflate the climb section 12, the slide section 14, the platform section 16, and the pool section 18. More preferably, the climb section 12 and the slide section 14 are commenced to be initially inflated. All of the sections of the slide assembly 10 pneumatically communicate with each other so that flowing air is capable of inflating the slide assembly 10 into a fully expanded posture. After the slide assembly 10 has been inflated into its fully expanded posture, the tunnel base member 84 may be disposed through the tunnel 76. As was seen for other embodiments of the invention, water may be introduced through the tunnel hose 124 for dispersing water through the apertures 200. For this embodiment of the invention the water is dispersed through the apertures 200 and onto the separate, detached tunnel base member 84. As was seen for other embodiments of the invention, water may also be introduced through the slide hose 120 for dispersing water through apertures 210 and onto the platform 44 to flow down the slide ramp 48 and into the pool section 18. The blower 500 continually blows air into the inflated slide assembly 10 to compensate for any air losses. Pouches or bags 300 may then be filled with water to add stability to the inflated slide assembly 10. The bags 300 have a sealable opening (not shown) through which water may be poured to fill the bags 300. When the inflated slide assembly 10 is to be deflated for storage, blower 500 is stopped, and opening 400 is unsealed to begin the deflation procedure by air flowing outwardly there through. Preferably air initially commences to exit or leave from the pool section 18 and/or the climb section 14 before the other sections. Water is removed from the bags 300 at any suitable time, preferably before unsealing opening 400.

Referring now to FIGS. 25-38, there is seen another embodiment of the invention. An inflated car-wash-configured slide assembly, generally illustrated as 318, is illustrated as having a generally hollow collapsible member which is inflatable from a collapsed posture into an expanded posture. The car-wash-configured slide assembly 318 may have one or more features of the slide assembly 10 illustrated in FIGS. 1-24, such as the features of the detached mat broadly illustrated in FIGS. 4A and 4B. Thus, for the car-wash-configured embodiments of the invention broadly illustrated in FIGS. 25-38, it is to be understood that any and all of the features previously described for the embodiments of the slide assembly 10 illustrated in FIGS. 1-24 are to be fully incorporated by reference into the description and drawings (i.e., FIGS. 25-38) for car-wash-configured embodiments of the invention, even though the car-wash-configured description and drawings (i.e., FIGS. 25-38) may not specifically address or illustrate any of the described or illustrated embodiments of the slide assembly 10.

The car-wash-configured slide assembly 318 (e.g., the expanded embodiment of the car-wash-configured slide assembly 318) comprises a base 322 supporting a climb section 326, a slide section 330, a platform section 334, and a pool section 338. The car-wash-configured slide assembly 318 also comprises a scrub assembly 610, a hot wax assembly 614, a rinse assembly 618 and a dry assembly 622, as shown in FIG. 31. As further shown in FIG. 31, a car/vehicle/slide member 620 may be provided to ride on and slide down a ramp, such as ramp 621 that is laden with water.

It is to be understood that when any assembly uses air, such as the dry assembly 622, the air emanates from the body of the car-wash-configured slide assembly 318 which has been inflated with air that is typically (continually) fed into the body by a blower. It is to be further understood that when any assembly uses water, the water will be conducted to the respective water-using assemblies from a hose assembly that is coupled to a water source (e.g., garden hose emitting water). A portion of the hose assembly for feeding the water would extend into and/or through the body of the car-wash-configured slide assembly 318 and couple to the assembly using the water.

The scrub assembly 610 includes an inflated arch 630 having a plurality of scrub members 634 extending down there from. Water may be dispersed from the top of the inflated arch 630, such as from a hose supported by the inflated arch 630.

The hot wax assembly 614 comprises an inflated arch 638 for supporting or integrally having water dispersing members 642. In an embodiment of the invention, one or more cylinders 646 are rotatably supported by the inflated arch 638, or stand alone as illustrated in FIG. 33. The stand alone cylinders 646 may at least partially (completely) rotate as shown in FIG. 33, The cylinders 646 may completely rotate or partially rotate and/or are capable of bending. A plurality of cone members 630 [fabric cone members] are provided for the assembly 614. In FIGS. 26 and 27 the cone members 630 are connected to the inflated arch 638. In FIGS. 31 and 33 the cone members 630 are connected to the cylinders 646. Referring now to FIG. 33 there is seen another embodiment of the hot wax assembly 614. A cylinder 650 straddles a pair of arms of the inflated arch 638. The cylinder 650 may be at least partially (or totally) rotatable, and supports a plurality of (fabric or cone) members 654 and/or inflatable members 632 that may be capable of dispersing water.

The rinse assembly 618 is defined by an inflated arch 660 that emits water. The inflated arch 660 may support a perforated hose that discharges water onto the ramp, such as ramp 621. The dry assembly 622 includes inflated arch 680 that emits air for drying. The inflated arch 680 may support (fabric) fingers 684 which move when discharging air. Alternatively as illustrated in FIG. 33, the inflated arch 680 may have (or support) a plurality of openings where through air is discharged. The car-wash-configured slide assembly 318 may also comprise an inflated rear arch assembly, generally illustrated as 690.

The base 322 includes a pair of upstanding opposed base side walls, one of which may be formed with an opening to which an air hose may connect. The air hose also connects to a blower/compressor for causing air to flow through the air hose and into the collapsed car-wash-configured slide assembly 318 for inflating the same into an upright posture. Preferably, the blower continually blows air into the inflated car-wash-configured slide assembly 318 to compensate of air losses. One of the base side walls includes an openable/closable opening for deflating the inflated car-wash-configured slide assembly 318 back into a collapsed posture.

It is to be understood that any element that dispersers or sprays water communicates with one or more hose member/hose assembly communicating and/or coupled to a water source and passing/extending on and/or through the body of the car-wash-configured slide assembly 318.

The car-wash-configured slide assembly 318 may also include the tubing assembly 100 (see FIGS. 8 and 9) for appropriately watering the tunnel base member and the platform (including the slide ramp). The tubing assembly 100 may comprise the other elements and features which have been previously identified and described, such as coupling assembly 104 (see FIG. 10), valve 108, conduits 106, 112, and 114, etc.

Reference throughout this specification to “one embodiment”, “an embodiment”, or “a specific embodiment” means that a particular feature, structure, or characteristic described in connection with the embodiment is included in at least one embodiment of the present invention and not necessarily in all embodiments. Thus, respective appearances of the phrases “in one embodiment”, “in an embodiment”, or “in a specific embodiment” in various places throughout this specification are not necessarily referring to the same embodiment. Furthermore, the particular features, structures, or characteristics of any specific embodiment of the present invention may be combined in any suitable manner with one or more other embodiments. It is to be understood that other variations and modifications of the embodiments of the present invention described and illustrated herein are possible in light of the teachings herein and are to be considered as part of the spirit and scope of the present invention.

Additionally, any directional arrows in the drawings/Figures should be considered only as exemplary, and not limiting, unless otherwise specifically noted. Furthermore, the term “or” as used herein is generally intended to mean “and/or” unless otherwise indicated. Combinations of components or steps will also be considered as being noted, where terminology is foreseen as rendering the ability to separate or combine is unclear.

As used in the description herein and throughout the claims that follow, “a”, “an”, and “the” includes plural references unless the context clearly dictates otherwise. Also, as used in the description herein and throughout the claims that follow, the meaning of “in” includes “in” and “on” unless the context clearly dictates otherwise.

The foregoing description of illustrated embodiments of the present invention, including what is described in the Abstract, is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise forms disclosed herein. While specific embodiments of, and examples for, the invention are described herein for illustrative purposes only, various equivalent modifications are possible within the spirit and scope of the present invention, as those skilled in the relevant art will recognize and appreciate. As indicated, these modifications may be made to the present invention in light of the foregoing description of illustrated embodiments of the present invention and are to be included within the spirit and scope of the present invention.

Thus, while the present invention has been described herein with reference to particular embodiments thereof, a latitude of modification, various changes and substitutions are intended in the foregoing disclosures, and it will be appreciated that in some instances some features of embodiments of the invention will be employed without a corresponding use of other features without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention as set forth. Therefore, many modifications may be made to adapt a particular situation or material to the essential scope and spirit of the present invention. It is intended that the invention not be limited to the particular terms used in following claims and/or to the particular embodiment disclosed as the best mode contemplated for carrying out this invention, but that the invention will include any and all embodiments and equivalents falling within the scope of the appended claims.





 
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