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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
PORTABLE CAR COVER ASSEMBLY
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/1994/025303
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Car cover assembly (10) includes an elongate housing (11) containing windable rollers around which cover strips or sheets (22, 23) are stored and which can be withdrawn or retracted from the housing (11) through edge openings (20, 21). The housing (11) can be releasably mounted across a car roof (13) by lockable mounting means. Suction-type releasable fastener means (28) along the free edges of sheets (22, 23) allow attachment of the edges at a desired location to the car away from the housing (11). A stand-off frame means (30) connected to the housing beneath edge openings (20, 21), to extend or retract on either side of the housing (11), includes a transverse terminal member (31) on each side of the housing, connected to the housing (11) by a pair of folding linkage assemblies (32) to allow it to extend from the housing while remaining parallel thereto. The frame means (30) provides a gap and is held between the cover sheets (22, 23) and the roof (13) by the sheets (22, 23) when the latter is secured by the fastener means (28).

Inventors:
Guy
Christopher
Mervyn
Application Number:
PCT/AU1994/000209
Publication Date:
November 10, 1994
Filing Date:
April 22, 1994
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
Guy
Christopher
Mervyn
International Classes:
B60J11/00; (IPC1-7): B60J11/00
Foreign References:
AU5749790A
AU3232584A
AU6131580A
AU1852992A
US4971384A
AU1411488A
FR2586380A1
DE3500693A1
AU9035282A
AU5124879A
FR2413985A1
DE2731951A1
AU3042377A
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Claims:
CLAIMS
1. A car cover assembly including a portable elongate housing containing a windable roller constituting magazine means for a continuous cover strip or sheet; mounting means whereby the elongate housing may be affixed on a car roof to extend transversely thereof; a longitudinal edge opening in the elongate housing through which the cover strip can be withdrawn or retracted from said magazine means whereby a transverse free edge portion of the cover strip may be brought to desired extended position spaced from the housing to provide protection for the car roof portion therebeneath; suctiontype releasable fastener means along said free edge portion of the cover strip for releasable attachment to window glass or part of the car roof surface when the cover strip is extended to desired operative disposition, and standoff frame means connected to the housing adjacent to and beneath said edge opening and adapted to be extended or retracted along the car roof independently of and beneath said cover strip, said standoff frame means including a transverse terminal member pivotally connected by foldingtype linkage means to the housing in such manner as to permit movement to and away from the housing while remaining in parallel relationship thereto and to be held between the cover strip and the car roof surface when the cover strip is secured by said fastener means in extended operative disposition.
2. A car cover assembly according to Claim 1, wherein the windable roller is springloaded in such manner that the cover strip may be extended upon withdrawal against the spring action and will* be automatically re¬ wound on release from extended attitude, the cover strip > being of flexible plastic or the like fabric.
3. A car cover assembly according to Claim 2, wherein the cover strip has a reflective coating on that side which is arranged to face the sun when the cover strip is in withdrawn extended attitude.
4. A car cover assembly according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the suctiontype releasable fastener means along said free edge portion of the cover strip comprises three or more equally spaced roundshaped suction cups secured along a strengthened strip at said free edge portion.
5. A car cover assembly according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the standoff frame means is of plastic or other nonscratching material, and the linkage means connecting the transverse terminal member to the housing comprises two opposite pairs of elongate frame members, each pair being pivotally connected to one another at one set of ends, while the other or free ends of each pair are pivotally connected respectively to the housing and to the terminal member.
6. A car cover assembly according to Claim 5, wherein the terminal member of the standoff frame means and the pairs of elongate frame members have plastic or other nonscratching roof contact members at their lower sides.
7. A car cover assembly according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein said magazine means constitutes a first magazine means in said housing and said cover strip is a first cover strip to extend in one direction along the car roof, the housing being fitted with second magazine means for a second cover strip to be extended in the opposite direction along the car roof and having separate suctiontype releasable fastener means and separate stand¬ off frame means corresponding to those of said first magazine means and said first cover strip.
8. A car cover assembly according to any one of the preceding claims wherein the mounting means whereby the elongate housing may be affixed on a car roof to extend transversely thereof comprises one or more vacuumtype clamping assemblies secured to the housing and adapted to be actuated for suctional engagement with the car roof, security lock means being provided to render the or each clamping assembly tamper proof, said security lock means being adapted to be opened by key means to permit the or each clamping assembly to be rendered operative or inoperative as required.
9. A car cover assembly according to Claim 8, wherein each vacuumtype clamping assembly includes a suction diaphragm adapted to be operated by cam means to exert an effective suctional locking effect when the clamping assembly security lock is opened to permit actuation by an operator.
10. A car cover assembly according to either of Claims 8 or 9, wherein the vacuumclamping assemblies are two in number, each being disposed close to a respective end extremity of the housing.
Description:
"PORTABLE CAR COVER ASSEMBLY"

TECHNICAL FIE P OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a portable car cover assembly, and it has more particular reference to an assembly which may be mounted on a motor car roof in either compact inoperative attitude or in extended operative attitude, and which may be easily removed and stored when so desired.

EACKgRQVNP ART Many types of protective covers for cars have been devised in the past, mostly being adapted to fit over and cover the passenger compartment, including the front windscreen, to shield these vehicle areas from solar radiation or other elements. In other cases, to maintain the comfort of the passenger compartment of a vehicle that is parked in exposure to the sun on a hot day, it is common to unfold or extend a sun shading device across the front windscreen in the interior of the vehicle. Another common practice when vehicles are left exposed to the weather elements for extended periods of time is to cover the exterior of the passenger compartment, including the front windscreen, with a protective shield of some kind to protect the body finish. However, current types of car covers suffer from one or more major disadvantages, with the result that the average motorist does not bother to concern himself with endeavouring to enjoy the benefits which could be derived if very satisfactory cover assemblies could be devised. For example, many plain cover sheet arrangements require the cover sheets to be attached to vehicles by affixture brackets, or by ropes and the like, some being subject to being easily blown away, while most are unsightly in use and easily stolen, and there is the further disadvantage that most of the covers are difficult to fold and store between usages. Typical devices designed in an effort to provide acceptable covers are described in the patent literature and use flexible cover sheets adapted to be drawn out by

winding from roller mountings or to be retracted thereon when not in use, various types of connectors being used so that the leading edge of the extended sheet may be secured to a part of the vehicle spaced from the roller mountings. Examples of such cover assemblies are to be found in Australian patent specifications Nos. 32325/84 of Yates, 61315/80 of Smith, 18529/92 of Duval, 90352/82 of Jau, 51248/79 of Tornazakis and 30423/77 of McRobert, as well as French specification No. 2413985 of Hatzilakos and German specifications Nos. 3500693 of Fischer and 2731951 of Frank. However, I have considered all of these lacking in the features necessary to make them commercially acceptable, particularly in the need for correct placement of the protective sheets in spaced relationship to the roof surface when operative, and the need for the assembly to be securable firmly yet removably on the roof so that it may be easily removed and stored but will not be open to theft when used.

It will be apparent from study of the abovementioned and other even less relevant prior art that there is a considerable need for a car cover assembly and mounting system therefor whereby portability, demountability and retractability can be achieved in conjunction with efficiency and attractiveness in use. The present invention has been devised with these objects in mind, while a further and particular object of the invention is to provide a car cover assembly of the aforementioned type which lends itself to easy mounting on a vehicle roof without the need to pass penetrable fasteners through the roof or using window-affixed brackets or other arrangements which could lead to damage to the car or other vehicle, this being particularly pertinent now that vehicle roofs of cars are being designed without the side gutters which currently provide mountings for brackets for roof racks and the like.

Another object of the invention is to provide such a car cover assembly which may be used quickly and safely at

all times and can be made relatively inexpensively while catering for a wide range of different sizes of vehicles. Other objects and advantages of the invention will be hereinafter apparent. DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION

With the foregoing and other objects in view, my invention resides broadly in a car cover assembly including a portable elongate housing containing a windable roller constituting magazine means for a continuous cover strip or sheet; mounting means whereby the elongate housing may be affixed on a car roof to extend transversely thereof; a longitudinal edge opening in the elongate housing through which the cover strip can be withdrawn or retracted from said magazine means whereby a transverse free edge portion of the cover strip may be brought to desired extended position spaced from the housing to provide protection for the car roof portion therebeneath; suction-type releasable fastener means along said free edge portion of the cover strip for releasable attachment to window glass or part of the car roof surface when the cover strip is extended to desired operative disposition, and stand-off frame means connected to the housing adjacent to and beneath said edge opening and adapted to be extended or retracted along the car roof independently of and beneath said cover strip, said stand-off frame means including a transverse terminal member pivotally connected by folding-type linkage means to the housing in such manner as to permit movement to and away from the housing while remaining in parallel relationship thereto and to be held between the cover strip and the car roof surface when the cover strip is secured by said fastener means in extended operative disposition.

The design features within the above broad idea may be varied considerably. While the housing could have a single cover strip or sheet and be mounted towards the front or rear of the roof so that the sheet can be extended as a cover towards the opposite end of the roof, I prefer that the housing be designed to be mounted more or less medially of the length of the roof and for it to have front and rear magazine means for front and rear cover sheets withdrawable individually and each having its own suction-cups and free edge strip to be secured for example at the bottom sections of the respective front and rear clear windscreen panels, there being corresponding front and rear stand-off frames to be extended and to hold the front and rear sheets clear of the adjacent roof sections. When using front and rear magazine means for the cover sheets there may suitably be used a pair of oppositely- biased spring-loaded rollers so that the sheets may be unwound against the spring action for automatic re-winding when the suction cups are rendered inoperative, but of course winder mechanisms might be preferred in some instances, with or without co-acting spring means and ratchets or other releasable catch means. The cover sheets or strips themselves can be of any suitable flexible material, such as plastics material or other fabrics, preferably with a reflective coating on that side which is the top side facing the sun when in withdrawn disposition, silver-backed "NYLON" being an excellent material available for this purpose. The free edges of the cover strips or sheets suitably have semi-rigid but somewhat flexible strengthening and aligning strips through which the suction cup stems are passed or otherwise secured as by eyelets. While three cups equally spaced may be adequate, any number may be provided according to the balance of practical and economic factors. Each stand-off frame means is suitably of plastic or other non-scratching material and will conveniently be formed in a number of sections interconnected to extend in

folding manner such as a lazy-tongs or bellows-type mechanism, preferably having an outer transverse edge strip or member to be maintained parallel to the free edge member or strip of each cover sheet, the stand-off frame strips also having thereunder protective rubber or the like stop members to engage the vehicle roof. Suitably, the stand¬ off frames are designed to reach positions on the roof near to the upper edges of the clear screens so that the sheets may be drawn further out and down over the frame edge strips and then down to the lower sections of the respective screens at which the suction cups are then affixed.

To mount the car cover assembly on the vehicle roof, use could be made in some instances of brackets as used for roof racks, surfboards and the like, or brackets held by the side window glass and frames, or even by using penetrable fasteners in the case of an owner who prefers a permanent assembly and is not upset by the need to drill holes through the vehicle roof. However, a preferred feature of the invention lies in the use of a pair of suction devices at the respective ends of the housing, designed for maximum gripping effect, using a cam action on a diaphragm for example, and having a securing mechanism provided with locking means adapted to be operated by a specific key and lock barrel of sufficiently sophisticated form for the purpose. Other features of the invention will be clear from the following detailed embodiment given by way of example only.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In order that the invention may be more readily understood and put into practical effect, reference will now be made to the accompanying drawings, wherein:-

Fig. 1 shows in top perspective view one form of car cover assembly according to the invention, mounted at the typical location midway along the car hood or roof and extending transversely thereof, parts of the car being shown in dotted outline;

Fig. 2 corresponds to Fig. 1 but shows the stand¬ off frames operatively extended;

Fig. 3 is the same view with the cover strips or sheets extended across the stand-off frames; Fig. 4 is similar again and showing the two cover strips or sheets in extended operative dispositions;

Fig. 5 shows diagrammatically in cross-section the housing and its mounting cup arrangements in one embodiment, and Fig. 6 shows in perspective view and more detail one typical mounting clamp assembly for the housing.

As shown in the drawings, the car cover assembly 10 has a portable elongate housing 11 of suitable sheet material such as aluminium and having a pair of suction cup clamping assemblies 12 for affixing transversely of the car, suitably midway along the roof indicated by the numeral 13, the numerals 14 and 15 indicating the front windscreen and rear screen panel respectively, with two side windows 16 and 17 at front and rear also, as well as the front bonnet 18 and rear bonnet or boot lid 19. The housing 11 has at front and rear respective edge openings

20 and 21 through which front and rear cover strips or sheets 22 and 23 may be withdrawn or retracted from cover magazine means in the form of spring loaded rollers 24 arranged in opposed manner so that each operates after the manner of a holland blind, the axle 25 and coil spring 26 of each being shown in Fig. 5.

Each cover strip 22 or 23 has at its free outer edge an edge strip 27 through which pass mounting stems or other attachment means for windscreen suction cups 28, while each opening 20 or 21 of the housing 11 has hinged therebeneath the inner elongate frame members 29 of a stand-off frame 30, the latter having a cross-piece or terminal member 31 joined hingedly at each end by further frame members 32 to the respective members 29 so that a folding type of mechanism is provided. Thus, each stand-off frame 30 can be extended to the attitude shown in Fig. 2 and act to

space the respective cover sheet or strip from the roof itself. When the cover strips 22 and 23 are at the desired extended positions as shown in Fig. 4, the suction cups 28 may be engaged with the respective screens 14 and 15 so that the total assembly is in place to perform its protective function.

Also shown in the drawings are the protective rubber stops 33 of the stand-off frame members for engagement with the car roof, while a suitable cam bar 34 coacts with a suction diaphragm 35 of each suction cup assembly 12 as shown in dotted outline in Fig. 5. Fig. 6 shows a suction cup body 36 of each assembly 12 as well as security means

37 actuated by a key 38 so that the cover assembly 10 cannot be stolen when the vehicle is unattended, the cam bar 34 being shown so that rotation in one direction pulls the suction cup or diaphragm 35 up and thus activated. It is however, preferred to use a different system in which the key illustrated is replaced by a lock barrel secured over the actuating mechanism and adapted to be operated by a conventional but sufficiently sophisticated lock key to prevent the locking system being "picked" by a thief.

The drawings fully illustrate the ease with which the car cover assembly 10 can be rendered effective for usage, while reversal of procedures to return to the form of Fig. 1 will be self-obvious. Flexible securing straps 39 may be provided at each end of the housing 11 for securing the edge members against movement when in inoperative attitude, being tied together or secured by press studs or "VELCRO" or any other means. While the illustrated embodiment will be found very effective in use, the descriptions indicate that this is given by way of example only and may be subject to many more modifications of constructional detail and design as will be readily apparent to persons skilled in the art and will be deemed to reside within the broad scope and ambit of my invention, as defined by the appended claims.