Title:
Tent Hub Assembly
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A hub assembly for opening and closing a tent between an open configuration and a closed configuration has a base with a plurality of pairs of radial walls forming slots, each radial wall having an engageable surface and a plurality of outer walls positioned at an outer end of a respective slot and forming a lip. A plurality of engagement members positioned in a corresponding slot pivotally engage a respective pair of the engageable surfaces of the walls of the respective slot in a snap-fit configuration. A plurality of poles pivotally engage a respective engagement member with an intermediate portion of each pole resting on a corresponding lip of the slot in the open configuration, and each engagement member and the corresponding first end of each pole pivots to rest within a respective slot in the closed configuration.



Inventors:
Fang, Miao Sheng (Xiamen, CN)
Application Number:
14/565585
Publication Date:
06/18/2015
Filing Date:
12/10/2014
Assignee:
JIN KI HO
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04H15/32
View Patent Images:
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Foreign References:
WO2007123314A12007-11-01
Primary Examiner:
HAWK, NOAH CHANDLER
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
John H. Choi & Associates LLC (Ridgefield Park, NJ, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A hub assembly for opening and closing a tent between an open configuration and a closed configuration comprising: a base; a plurality of pairs of radial walls peripherally positioned around an outer portion of the base, each pair of radial walls forming a slot, each radial wall having an engageable surface; a plurality of outer walls peripherally positioned around the outer portion of the base, each outer wall positioned at an outer end of a respective slot and forming a lip; a plurality of engagement members each positioned in a corresponding slot and pivotally engaging a respective pair of the engageable surfaces of the walls of the respective slot in a snap-fit configuration; a plurality of poles having a first end, a second end, and an intermediate portion therebetween, each pole pivotally engaging a respective engagement member at a first end, the intermediate portion of each pole resting on a corresponding lip of the slot of the respective outer wall in the open configuration; wherein each engagement member and the corresponding first end of each pole pivots to rest within a respective slot in the closed configuration.

2. The hub assembly of claim 1, wherein each pole pivotally engages the respective engagement member with a pin.

3. The hub assembly of claim 1, wherein each engagement member has a longitudinal length less than a radial length of the respective slot to entirely fit within the slot in the closed configuration.

4. The hub assembly of claim 1, wherein only the first end of each pole is within the slot in the closed configuration.

5. The hub assembly of claim 1, wherein a first surface of each first end of each pole is substantially flush with a corresponding inner surface of each outer wall in the closed configuration.

6. The hub assembly of claim 5, wherein each outer wall and the inner surface thereof extends substantially perpendicular to a bottom surface of the base.

7. The hub assembly of claim 6, wherein each first end of each pole is substantially perpendicular to the bottom surface of the base when the first surface of each first end of each pole is substantially flush with a corresponding inner surface of each outer wall in the closed configuration.

8. A hub assembly for opening and closing a tent between an open configuration and a closed configuration comprising: a substantially circular base having a bottom surface; a plurality of pairs of radial walls peripherally positioned around the circumference of an outer portion of the base, each pair of radial walls forming a slot, each radial wall having an engageable surface; a plurality of outer walls peripherally positioned around the outer portion of the base, each outer wall positioned at an outer end of a respective slot and forming a lip substantially parallel to the bottom surface; a plurality of engagement members each positioned in a corresponding slot and pivotally engaging a respective pair of the engageable surfaces of the walls of the respective slot in a snap-fit configuration; a plurality of poles having a first end, a second end, and an intermediate portion therebetween, each pole pivotally engaging a respective engagement member at a first end, the intermediate portion of each pole resting on a corresponding lip of the slot of the respective outer wall in the open configuration, with the intermediate portion oriented substantially parallel to the bottom surface of the base; wherein each engagement member and the corresponding first end of each pole pivots to rest within a respective slot in the closed configuration.

9. The hub assembly of claim 8, wherein each pole pivotally engages the respective engagement member with a pin.

10. The hub assembly of claim 8, wherein each engagement member has a longitudinal length substantially equal to a radial length of the respective slot to entirely fit within the slot in the closed configuration.

11. The hub assembly of claim 8, wherein only the first end of each pole is within the slot in the closed configuration.

12. The hub assembly of claim 8, wherein a first surface of each first end of each pole is substantially flush with a corresponding inner surface of each outer wall in the closed configuration.

13. The hub assembly of claim 12, wherein each outer wall and the inner surface thereof extends substantially perpendicular to the bottom surface of the base.

14. The hub assembly of claim 13, wherein each first end of each pole is substantially perpendicular to the bottom surface of the base when the first surface of each first end of each pole is substantially flush with a corresponding inner surface of each outer wall in the closed configuration.

15. A method for folding a tent between an open configuration and a closed configuration, with the tent in the open configuration having a base, a plurality of pairs of radial walls peripherally positioned around an outer portion of the base, each pair of radial walls forming a slot, each radial wall having an engageable surface, a plurality of outer walls peripherally positioned around the outer portion of the base, each outer wall positioned at an outer end of a respective slot and forming a lip, a plurality of engagement members each positioned in a corresponding slot and pivotally engaging a respective pair of the engageable surfaces of the walls of the respective slot in a snap-fit configuration, and a plurality of poles having a first end, a second end, and an intermediate portion therebetween, each pole pivotally engaging a respective engagement member at a first end, the intermediate portion of each pole resting on a corresponding lip of the slot of the respective outer wall in the open configuration, comprising: pivoting each pole to move each respective intermediate portion off of the corresponding lip; and pivoting each engagement member to move the engagement member to rest within a respective slot in the closed configuration.

16. The method of claim 15, further comprising: pivoting each first end of each pole to rest within the slot in the closed configuration.

17. The method of claim 15, wherein each pole pivotally engages the respective engagement member with a pin, and each pole pivots about the respective pin.

18. The method of claim 15, wherein each engagement member has a longitudinal length less than a radial length of the respective slot to entirely fit within the slot when pivoted to rest within the respective slot in the closed configuration.

19. The method of claim 15, further comprising: pivoting the first end of each pole to be positioned within the slot in the closed configuration.

20. The method of claim 19, wherein pivoting the first end further comprises: moving a first surface of each first end of each pole to be substantially flush with a corresponding inner surface of each outer wall in the closed configuration; and pivoting each pole to be substantially perpendicular to the bottom surface of the base when the first surface of each first end of each pole is substantially flush with a corresponding inner surface of each outer wall in the closed configuration.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims foreign priority to China Application No. 201320833238.9, filed on Dec. 17, 2013, which is incorporated by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND

The present application relates to a hub assembly for a tent, and in particular to a hub assembly which facilitates folding and unfolding of the tent.

For novice campers, foldable tents are a popular alternative to conventional assemble-to-use tents. Foldable tents, which are commonly referred to as “instant tents,” “one-touch tents” or “pop-up tents,” are sold preassembled, making opening and folding the tent easy and less time consuming.

Instant tents include hub assemblies for pivotally connecting the poles of the tent. In a typical hub assembly each pole is connected directly to the hub. In such a configuration, each pivotal connection bears all of the stress from each pole. This stress could become overwhelming and cause failure. Also, in most hub assemblies the pivotal connection is exposed and the tent fabric is susceptible to damage especially when the tent is folded.

SUMMARY

The preferred embodiments are intended to overcome at least the disadvantages described above, namely, to provide a hub assembly that alleviates the stress on each pivotal connection and to provide a hub assembly constructed to eliminate exposure of the pivotal connections so that the possibility of damage to the tent fabric is minimized. The preferred embodiments are also intended to provide additional advantages which are described in detail below.

The following presents a simplified summary in order to provide a basic understanding of some embodiments. This summary is not an extensive overview and is not intended to identify key/critical elements or to delineate the scope of the embodiments. Its sole purpose is to present some embodiments in a simplified form as a prelude to the more detailed description that is presented later.

In a first embodiment, a hub assembly for opening and closing a tent between an open configuration and a closed configuration comprises: a base; a plurality of pairs of radial walls peripherally positioned around an outer portion of the base, each pair of radial walls forming a slot, each radial wall having an engageable surface; a plurality of outer walls peripherally positioned around the outer portion of the base, each outer wall positioned at an outer end of a respective slot and forming a lip; a plurality of engagement members each positioned in a corresponding slot and pivotally engaging a respective pair of the engageable surfaces of the walls of the respective slot in a snap-fit configuration; a plurality of poles having a first end, a second end, and an intermediate portion therebetween, each pole pivotally engaging a respective engagement member at a first end, the intermediate portion of each pole resting on a corresponding lip of the slot of the respective outer wall in the open configuration; wherein each engagement member and the corresponding first end of each pole pivots to rest within a respective slot in the closed configuration.

In the first embodiment, the hub assembly also includes wherein each pole pivotally engages the respective engagement member with a pin. The hub assembly also includes wherein each engagement member has a longitudinal length less than a radial length of the respective slot to entirely fit within the slot in the closed configuration. The hub assembly also includes wherein only the first end of each pole is within the slot in the closed configuration. The hub assembly also includes wherein a first surface of each first end of each pole is substantially flush with a corresponding inner surface of each outer wall in the closed configuration. The hub assembly also includes wherein each outer wall and the inner surface thereof extends substantially perpendicular to a bottom surface of the base. The hub assembly also includes wherein each first end of each pole is substantially perpendicular to the bottom surface of the base when the first surface of each first end of each pole is substantially flush with a corresponding inner surface of each outer wall in the closed configuration.

In a second embodiment, a hub assembly for opening and closing a tent between an open configuration and a closed configuration comprises: a substantially circular base having a bottom surface; a plurality of pairs of radial walls peripherally positioned around the circumference of an outer portion of the base, each pair of radial walls forming a slot, each radial wall having an engageable surface; a plurality of outer walls peripherally positioned around the outer portion of the base, each outer wall positioned at an outer end of a respective slot and forming a lip substantially parallel to the bottom surface; a plurality of engagement members each positioned in a corresponding slot and pivotally engaging a respective pair of the engageable surfaces of the walls of the respective slot in a snap-fit configuration; a plurality of poles having a first end, a second end, and an intermediate portion therebetween, each pole pivotally engaging a respective engagement member at a first end, the intermediate portion of each pole resting on a corresponding lip of the slot of the respective outer wall in the open configuration, with the intermediate portion oriented substantially parallel to the bottom surface of the base; wherein each engagement member and the corresponding first end of each pole pivots to rest within a respective slot in the closed configuration.

In the second embodiment, the hub assembly also includes wherein each pole pivotally engages the respective engagement member with a pin. The hub assembly also includes wherein each engagement member has a longitudinal length substantially equal to a radial length of the respective slot to entirely fit within the slot in the closed configuration. The hub assembly also includes wherein only the first end of each pole is within the slot in the closed configuration. The hub assembly also includes wherein a first surface of each first end of each pole is substantially flush with a corresponding inner surface of each outer wall in the closed configuration. The hub assembly also includes wherein each outer wall and the inner surface thereof extends substantially perpendicular to the bottom surface of the base. The hub assembly also includes wherein each first end of each pole is substantially perpendicular to the bottom surface of the base when the first surface of each first end of each pole is substantially flush with a corresponding inner surface of each outer wall in the closed configuration.

A method is also included for folding a tent between an open configuration and a closed configuration, with the tent in the open configuration having a base, a plurality of pairs of radial walls peripherally positioned around an outer portion of the base, each pair of radial walls forming a slot, each radial wall having an engageable surface, a plurality of outer walls peripherally positioned around the outer portion of the base, each outer wall positioned at an outer end of a respective slot and forming a lip, a plurality of engagement members each positioned in a corresponding slot and pivotally engaging a respective pair of the engageable surfaces of the walls of the respective slot in a snap-fit configuration, and a plurality of poles having a first end, a second end, and an intermediate portion therebetween, each pole pivotally engaging a respective engagement member at a first end, the intermediate portion of each pole resting on a corresponding lip of the slot of the respective outer wall in the open configuration, the method comprising: pivoting each pole to move each respective intermediate portion off of the corresponding lip; and pivoting each engagement member to move the engagement member to rest within a respective slot in the closed configuration.

The method further includes pivoting each first end of each pole to rest within the slot in the closed configuration. The method also includes wherein each pole pivotally engages the respective engagement member with a pin, and each pole pivots about the respective pin. The method also includes wherein each engagement member has a longitudinal length less than a radial length of the respective slot to entirely fit within the slot when pivoted to rest within the respective slot in the closed configuration.

The method further comprises pivoting the first end of each pole to be positioned within the slot in the closed configuration. The method further includes wherein pivoting the first end further comprises: moving a first surface of each first end of each pole to be substantially flush with a corresponding inner surface of each outer wall in the closed configuration; and pivoting each pole to be substantially perpendicular to the bottom surface of the base when the first surface of each first end of each pole is substantially flush with a corresponding inner surface of each outer wall in the closed configuration.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The foregoing summary, as well as the following detailed description of presently preferred embodiments, will be better understood when read in conjunction with the appended drawings. For the purpose of illustrating the embodiments, there are shown in the drawings embodiments which are presently preferred. It should be understood, however, that the embodiments are not limited to the precise arrangements and instrumentalities shown.

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a side expanded plan view of the hub assembly in the open configuration;

FIG. 2 is the top side perspective view of the base of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a side cross-sectional view of the base of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a top side perspective view of an engagement member;

FIG. 5 is a top side view of a pole;

FIG. 6 is a bottom plan view of the hub assembly in the open configuration;

FIG. 7 is a side cross-sectional view of the hub assembly of FIG. 1 in the open configuration; and

FIG. 8 is a side cross-sectional view of the hub assembly of FIG. 1 in the closed configuration.

To facilitate an understanding of the embodiments, identical reference numerals have been used, when appropriate, to designate the same or similar elements that are common to the figures. Further, unless stated otherwise, the features shown in the figures are not drawn to scale, but are shown for illustrative purposes only.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Certain terminology is used in the following description for convenience only and is not limiting. The article “a” is intended to include one or more items, and where only one item is intended the term “one” or similar language is used. Additionally, to assist in the description of the present embodiments, words such as top, bottom, upper, lower, front, rear, inner, outer, right and left are used to describe the accompanying figures. The terminology includes the words above specifically mentioned, derivatives thereof, and words of similar import.

Referring to FIGS. 1-8, a hub assembly is disclosed for opening and closing a tent between an open configuration and a closed configuration. The hub assembly has a base 10, a plurality of poles 20, and engagement members 30 for connecting the poles 20 to the base 10. Each pole 20 has an end portion 40 including a first end 41 pivotally connected to a respective engagement member 30 with a pin 43 through pivot apertures. Each pole 20 also has an intermediate portion 44 positioned between the first end 41 and a second end 45 of each pole 20. Each engagement member 30 is pivotally coupled to the base 10 in a snap-fit configuration. Accordingly, each pole 20 is not directly coupled with the base 10, but instead is coupled to a respective engagement member 30 which, in turn, is pivotally coupled to the base 10.

Referring to FIGS. 2-3, the base 10 has a bottom portion 12 with outer walls 14 and radial walls 16 extending upward from the bottom portion 12. Pairs of the radial walls 16 are peripherally positioned around an outer portion of the base 10. In an example embodiment, the base 10 is substantially circular, and the outer walls 14 and the radial walls 16 are positioned around the circumference of the substantially circular base. Each pair of radial walls forming a slot 142, and each radial wall 16 has an engageable surface 144 inwardly directed toward the complementary radial wall 16 forming the slot 142 therebetween. The outer walls 14 are peripherally positioned around the outer portion of the base 10, with each outer wall 14 positioned at an outer end of a respective slot 142 and forming a lip 18.

Referring to FIG. 4, each engagement member 30 has a first end 32 and a second end 34. The first end 32 has pivot members 322 extending from a pair of opposing sides of the engagement member 30. The pivot members 322 are shaped, for example, in the form of substantially cylindrical members for being rotationally and slidably engaging a respective engageable surfaces 144 of respective radial walls 16 of the slot 142 in which the engagement member 30 is positioned. The pivot members 322 engage their respective engageable surfaces 144 in a snap-fit configuration, allowing each engagement member 30 to pivot within the respective slot 16, and also allowing the engagement member 30 to optionally be inserted and removed from the slot 16 by engaging or disengaging the first end 32 with the pivot members 322 from the snap-fit with the engageable surfaces 144, as shown in FIG. 1.

Referring to FIG. 5, each pole has a first end 41, a second end 45, and an intermediate portion 44 therebetween. The first end 41 has a pair of end walls 422 for forming a slot therebetween for receiving and pivotally engaging a respective engagement member 30 at the second end 34 of the engagement member 30, for example, by a pivotal coupling using the pin 43 through complementary apertures in the first end 41 of the pole 20 and in the second end 34 of the engagement member 30.

Referring to FIGS. 6-7, the hub assembly is shown in the open configuration, with the poles 20 coupled with respective engagement members 30 which, in turn, are positioned in the slots 142 of the base 10. Referring in detail to FIG. 7, in the open configuration, the intermediate portion 44 of each pole 20 rests on a corresponding lip 18 of the respective slot 142 of the respective outer wall 14. Optionally, the bottom 12 of the base 10 has a substantially planar bottom surface 200, and each lip 18 is substantially planar and parallel to the bottom surface 200, so that each pole 20 rests on a respective lip 18 such that each pole 20 is substantially parallel to the bottom surface 200 in the open configuration, thus providing a stable configuration of the poles 20 extending from the base 10. The bottom 12 of the base 10 also have voids or cut-outs 50 positioned at the lower ends of the slots 412 so that the engagement members 30 could be inserted therethrough during factory assembly. Such voids 50 also provide a cost-saving measure for materials.

Referring to FIG. 8, when the poles 20 are moved from the open configuration to the closed configuration, each engagement member 30 and the corresponding first end 41 of each pole 20 pivots to rest within a respective slot 142. In one embodiment, each engagement member 30 has a longitudinal length less than a radial length of the respective slot 142 to entirely fit within the slot 142 in the closed configuration. In another embodiment, the longitudinal length of each engagement member 30 is substantially less than or substantially equal to a radial length of the respective slot to entirely fit within the respective slot 142. In another embodiment, only the first end 41 of each pole 20 is within the slot 142 in the closed configuration. Optionally, in the closed configuration, a first surface 46 of each first end 41 of each pole 20 is substantially flush with a corresponding inner surface 19 of each outer wall 14.

As shown in FIG. 8, each outer wall 14 and the inner surface 19 thereof extends substantially perpendicular to a bottom surface 200 of the base 10, and in the closed configuration, each first end 41 of each pole 20 is substantially perpendicular to the bottom surface 200 of the base 10 when the first surface 46 of each first end 41 of each pole 20 is substantially flush with a corresponding inner surface 19 of each outer wall 14.

In addition, the present disclosure includes a method for folding a tent between an open configuration and a closed configuration, with the tent in the open configuration having the base 10, the plurality of pairs of radial walls 16 peripherally positioned around an outer portion of the base 10, each pair of radial walls 16 forming a slot 142, each radial wall 16 having an engageable surface 144, the plurality of outer walls 14 peripherally positioned around the outer portion of the base 10, each outer wall 14 positioned at an outer end of a respective slot 142 and forming a lip 18, the plurality of engagement members 30 each positioned in a corresponding slot 142 and pivotally engaging a respective pair of the engageable surfaces 144 of the walls 16 of the respective slot 142 in a snap-fit configuration, and the plurality of poles 20 having a first end 41, a second end 45, and an intermediate portion 44 therebetween, each pole 20 pivotally engaging a respective engagement member 30 at the second end 34, the intermediate portion 44 of each pole 20 resting on a corresponding lip 18 of the slot 142 of the respective outer wall 14 in the open configuration.

As shown in FIGS. 7-8, the method includes pivoting each pole 20 to move each respective intermediate portion 44 off of the corresponding lip 18, and pivoting each engagement member 30 to move the engagement member 30 to rest within a respective slot 142 in the closed configuration.

The method further includes pivoting each first end 41 of each pole 20 to rest within the slot 142 in the closed configuration. The method also includes each pole 20 pivotally engaging the respective engagement member 30 with a pin 43, and each pole 20 pivots about the respective pin 43. The method also includes each engagement member 30 having a longitudinal length less than a radial length of the respective slot 142 to entirely fit within the slot 142 when pivoted to rest within the respective slot 142 in the closed configuration.

The method further includes pivoting the first end 41 of each pole 20 to be positioned within the slot 142 in the closed configuration. The method further includes pivoting the first end 41 by moving a first surface 46 of each first end 41 of each pole 20 to be substantially flush with a corresponding inner surface 19 of each outer wall 14 in the closed configuration, and pivoting each pole 20 to be substantially perpendicular to the bottom surface 200 of the base 10 when the first surface 46 of each first end 41 of each pole 20 is substantially flush with a corresponding inner surface 19 of each outer wall 14 in the closed configuration.

The present embodiments may have other specific forms without departing from its spirit or essential characteristics. The described embodiments are to be considered in all respects only as illustrative and not restrictive. The scope is, therefore, indicated by the appended claims rather than by the foregoing description. All changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are to be embraced within their scope.