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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
PROTECTIVE COVER FOR VEHICLE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/1990/014241
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A protective cover (10) for a vehicle has a folding accordion-like structure of joined rectangular panels (12) which can be extended from a folded position stored within a trunk lid mounted container (17) longitudinally across the passenger compartment, including front windshield, of the vehicle. Coated wire cords (23) extend longitudinally at opposite sides of the structure and attach to alternating joined panel edges (14) to keep the structure from marring the vehicle and to limit the degree to which the structure is unfolded so air circulation between the vehicle and the structure is ensured. Extensions (22) of the cords beyond the front of the structure have knots (44), loops (45) and hooks (46) to secure the structure in its deployed position by closing the extensions in the front doors of the vehicle. The front panel (12a) is mated with the cover of the container and provided with tabs (33) and rotating closure elements (35) that cooperate with slots (34, 36) in laterally extending sides of the container. Sheet spring belts (46) attach in hinging manner to the longitudinally extending sides (30) of the container to permit the container to be pivoted from an in-trunk mounted storage position to a trunk top usable position. Other embodiments permit deployment from an in-trunk position.

Inventors:
JAZZAR,M.,Omar,A.
Application Number:
PCT/US1990/002804
Publication Date:
November 29, 1990
Filing Date:
May 23, 1990
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
JAZZAR,M.,Omar,A.
International Classes:
B60J11/00; (IPC1-7): B60J11/00
Foreign References:
US4889171A
US4544011A
US2320852A
US2646118A
DE2740790A1
DE3735478A1
US3992053A
Download PDF:
Claims:
Clai s
1. A protective cover for a passenger compartment of a vehicle and the like, comprising: a plurality of substantially rectangular panels respectively joined at opposite edges in series to form a normally folded, accordionlike structure having a front and a rear, and that can be drawn out longitudinally over the passenger compartment into an extended position to shield the same from the elements; a storage container adapted to receive said accordionlike structure in its normally folded position therein; means attaching the rear of said structure to said container; means mounting said container to the trunk of the vehicle; cord means extending longitudinally of said structure and connecting alternating ones of said opposite edges, said cord means acting to space said structure from said vehicle when said structure is brought into its extended position and further acting to limit the extent to which said alternating ones of said opposite edges can be separated from one another to unfold said structure; and means located at the front of said structure to releasably secure the front of said structure to said vehicle.
2. In combination with a vehicle having a trunk, including a lid, and a passenger compartment including opposite side passenger doors and a front windshield, a protective cover comprising: a plurality of substantially rectangular panels respectively joined at opposite edges in series to form a normally folded, accordionlike structure having a front panel and a rear panel, and that can be drawn out longitudinally over the passenger compartment into an extended position to shield the same from the elements; means attaching said rear panel to said trunk at said lid; cord means extending longitudinally of said structure at opposite sides of said passenger compartment and connecting alternating ones of said opposite edges, said cord means acting to space said structure from said passenger compartment when said structure is brought into its extended position and further acting to limit the extent to which said alternating ones of said opposite edges can be separated from one another to unfold said structure; and means located at said front panel to releasably secure said front panel to said passenger compartment at said opposite side doors.
3. A protective cover adapted to fit over and cover a passenger compartment, including front and rear windshields, of a vehicle having opposite side doors and a trunk including a lid for selectively closing and opening of the trunk, said cover functioning to shield the passenger compartment from solar radiation and comprising: a plurality of substantially rectangular panels having opposite short and long edges, said panels being respectively joined to adjacent panels long edgetolong edge in series to form a normally folded, accordionlike structure having a front and a rear panel, and that can be drawn out longitudinally over the passenger compartment, including over the windshields, into an extended compartmentshielding position; first and second cords extending longitudinally of said structure respectively proximate different ones of said short edges of said panels, and connecting alternating ones of said joined long edges of said panels, means proximate said rear panel and cooperative with said cords for releasably securing said structure to the vehicle rearward of the rear windshield; and means proximate said front panel and cooperative with said cords for releasably securing said structure to the vehicle forward of the rear windshield.
4. A protective cover as in Claim 3, wherein said means for releasably securing said structure forward of the rear windshield comprises means proximate said front panel for releasably securing said structure to the side doors.
5. A protective cover as in Claim 4, wherein said means for securing said structure to the side doors comprises said first and second cords having leading, free ends dimensioned, configured and adapted to be selectively captured in the closure of the side doors.
6. A protective cover as in Claim 5, wherein said cord leading ends have a plurality of enlargements spaced in series along said cords and which can be captured by closing the side doors on said cords.
7. A protective cover as in Claim 5, wherein said leading ends have loops for capturing said cords by attachment of said loops to protuberances on the doors.
8. A protective cover as in Claim 5, wherein said means for securing said structure rearward of the rear windshield comprises means for securing said first and second cords to the vehicle trunk at the lid.
9. A protective cover as in Claim 3, wherein said cords are attached to said alternating ones of said joined long edges at spaced intervals along said cords, the spacing between said intervals acting to limit the extent to which said alternating ones of said joined edges can be separated.
10. A protective cover as in Claim 3, wherein said cords extend longitudinally of said structure with successive points of connection to said alternating ones of said long edges being indented from said panel short edges by different amounts.
11. A protective cover as in Claim 3, further comprising a storage container adapted to receive said accordionlike structure in its normally folded position for storage therein; and wherein said means for securing said structure rearward of the rear windshield comprises means securing said rear panel to said container and means for securing said container to the vehicle.
12. A protective cover as in Claim 11, for a vehicle having seals between edges of the trunk lid and edges of the trunk opening, wherein said means for securing said container to the vehicle comprises strap elements to points inside the trunk, said strap elements being dimensioned, configured and adapted to be passed through the trunk seals when the lid is closed to position said container outside the trunk.
13. A protective cover as in Claim 12, wherein said means for securing said strap elements to the inside points further comprises pivotal means for selectively bringing said container between a storage position inside the trunk and said position outside the trunk.
14. A protective cover as in Claim 11, wherein said means securing said rear panel to said container comprises said first and second cords having trailing, free ends, and means securing said trailing ends to said container.
15. A protective cover as in Claim 11, wherein said front panel cooperates to form a cover closure for said container.
16. A protective cover as in Claim 3 for a vehicle having seals between edges of the trunk lid and edges of the trunk opening, wherein said means for securing said structure rearward of the rear windshield comprises means dimensioned, configured and adapted for securing said rear panel to points inside the trunk by passage through said trunk seals when the lid is closed and said structure is in its extended position.
17. A protective cover as in Claim 16, wherein said means for securing said rear panel comprises said first and second cords having trailing, free ends, and means for securing said trailing ends to said inside points and locating said rear panel outside said trunk when the lid is closed and said structure is in its extended position.
18. A protective cover as in Claim 17, further comprising a storage container adapted to receive said accordionlike structure in its normally folded position therein; and wherein said means for securing said trailing ends to said inside points comprises means securing said trailing ends to said container and means for securing said container to said inside points, with said container able to be maintained within said trunk when the lid is closed and said structure is in said extended position.
19. A protective cover as in Claim 18, wherein said means for securing said structure forward of the rear windshield comprises said first and second cords having leading, free ends dimensioned, configured and adapted to be selectively captured in the closure of the side doors.
20. A protective cover as in Claim 10, wherein said cords are positioned and adapted to space said structure from said passenger compartment when said structure is brought into its extended position.
Description:
Descrjption Protective Cover for Vehicle Technical Field

This invention relates to a protective cover adapted to fit over and cover the passenger compartment, including front windshield, of a vehicle to shield the same from solar radiation and other elements. Background Art

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 windshield in the interior of the vehicle.

It is also common when vehicles are left exposed to the weather elements for extended periods of time to cover the exterior of the passenger compartment, including the front windshield, with a protective shield of some kind to protect the body finish. It is a desirable objective for such a covering device to provide spacing for air circulation between the covering material and the vehicle surface, to provide ready accessibility for use and convenience and ease of storage, and to provide simple means for maintaining such a device in its vehicle protecting position.

Typical devices designed in an effort to achieve one or more aspects of this objective are described in the patent literature, as exemplified by U.S. Patent Nos. 3,992,053; 4,184,501; 4,324,427; 4,432,581; 4,519,644;

4,657,298; and 4,684,165. Protective covers such as shown in the '427 and '298 patents take the form of sheets which can be drawn from a body positioned storage location over the top of the vehicle body and held in extended position by a hook or weight attachment at a leading edge thereof which cooperates with an external part of the vehicle.

Retraction of the sheet into a storage location is accomplished by means of a roller or similar mechanism.

Those covers do not, however, provide spacing between the vehicle body and the sheet material which means that heat

can build up beneath the cover due to solar radiation and damage the body finish. The '053, '501 and '165 patents exemplify storable sheet material covers that make some accommodation for air circulation between the sheet material and the body exterior. The '581 and '644 patents illustrate more complex attempts to provide panels that can be extended over the vehicle body.

It is an object of the present invention to provide an improved vehicle protective covering device that meets the desirable objective of such devices in a simplified, readily deplo able manner and which can be easily and simply maintained in its deployed position without the need for complex framing arrangements or the like. Disclosure of the Invention The present invention provides a protective cover adapted to fit over and cover the passenger compartment, including the front windshield, of a vehicle to shield the same from solar radiation and other weather elements. The cover has a plurality of substantially rectangular panels respectively joined at opposite edge in series to form a normally folded, accordion-like structure and cord means extending longitudinally of the structure at opposite sides to space the structure from the passenger compartment and to limit the extent to which the structure can be unfolded. The protective cover further includes means located at the panel to releasably secure the front panel to the passenger compartment at opposite side doors. A rear panel is releasably secured within a box-like storage container mounted to the vehicle trunk for pivotal movement from an in-trunk position with the folded accordion structure located therein to a position on top of the trunk lid from which the structure may be deployed. Alternative embodiments of the protective cover provide for deploying the structure while maintaining the container in the in- trunk position, and extending the structure to cover and secure to the hood. Brief Description of the Drawings

Embodiments of the invention have been chosen for purposes of illustration and description, and shown in the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a protective cover in accordance with the invention, shown in combination with a vehicle to be protected thereby;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged perspective view of the device of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a side view in schematic of the combination of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a top view in schematic of the combination of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary section view taken along the line 5-5 in FIG. 1; FIG. 6 is another enlarged perspective view of the device of FIG. 1, shown in its folded, closed container position;

FIG. 7 is a section view taken along the line 7-7 of FIG. 6; FIGS. 8-10 are fragmentary perspective views of components of the device;

FIG. 11 is a fragmentary section view taken along the line 11-11 of FIG. 2;

FIGS. 12A-12B are rear views in schematic, helpful in understanding the pivotal attachment to the trunk;

FIG. 13 is a side view in schematic of a modified form of the invention;

FIG. 14 is a top view in schematic of the device shown in FIG. 13; FIG. 15 is a side view in schematic of a modified form of mounting the container in the trunk; and

FIG. 16 is a side view in schematic of a further modified form of the invention.

Throughout the drawings, like elements are referred to by like numerals.

Best Mode Description of the Preferred Embodiments

The principles of the invention are illustrated, by

way of example, embodied in the form a protective cover 10, as shown in FIGS. 1-3, having a plurality of substantially rectangular panels 12 respectively joined at opposite laterally extending edges 14 in series to form an accordion-like structure adapted and configured to assume a normally folded position within an interior cavity 16 of a storage container 17 mounted on the trunk lid 18 behind the passenger compartment 19 of a vehicle 20. The panels 12 can be drawn out of the container 17, longitudinally over the top of the passenger compartment 19, including over a front windshield 21 (see FIG. 3) , and releasably secured at a front panel 12a in the deployed, drawn out position (shown in FIGS. 1, 3 and 4) by means such as the leading, free ends 22 of flexible cords 23 which can be captured in the closure of left and right side doors 24 of the vehicle 20. The opposite ends 25 (FIGS. 1, 4 and 11) of the cords 23 are attached to the storage container 17 to secure a rear panel 12b to the container 17. The cords 23 extend longitudinally of the structure 15 at opposite sides (see FIGS. 1, 2 and 4) and connect alternating ones of the opposite edges 14 of the panels 12 to raise the valleys 26 of the structure 15 up from the top of the passenger compartment 19 (see FIG. 5) , so that the finish of the vehicle 20 will not be marred thereby. The structure 15 received within the container 17 in its normally folded, storage position is shown in FIGS. 6 and 7. The front panel 12a may either itself be configured to serve as the cover of the container 17, or to mated in face-to-face superposed relationship to a member 27 which serves that function (see FIG. 2) . The container 17 has an open box-like configuration, with rectangular base 28 (FIG. 7), front and rear laterally extending sides 30. The box 17 is dimensioned to have a lateral elongation extending generally just short of the width of the trunk lid 18 and is shaped so that the panels 12 can be readily and conveniently received in their structure-folded positions, without too much effort and without too much wobble, within

the cavity 16, with the front panel 12a positioned so that the member 27 can serve as the top thereof.

As shown in FIGS. 2, 6 and 8, the cover member 27 is formed at a leading edge with a plurality of projecting tabs 33 which may be inserted within correspondingly positioned laterally elongated slots 34 adjacent a top edge of one of the sides 29 of the container 17. The member 27 also includes rotatable closure elements 35 along a trailing edge, which may be rotated about a vertical axis (FIG. 9) to bring a tapered circumferential contour thereof into locking engagement within similar slots 36 on the other side 29, to releasably close the box 17 with the folded structure 15 captured securely therein. Oppositely facing, semi-circular cutouts 37 spaced by a central hand graspable rail piece 38 (FIGS. 2 and 6) are formed on the top 27 adjacent one or both of the sides 30 to assist manual deployment of the structure 15 when the closure members 35 are unlocked.

The cords 23 extending longitudinally on each side of the structure 15 may comprise nylon coated wire elements that are attached at spaced intervals along the cords by suitable means to alternating ones of the edges 14 at the valleys 26. The intervals are chosen to limit the extent to which the alternating edges 14 can be separated longitudinally from one another when the structure 15 is unfolded to cover the top of the vehicle 20. The cords 23 thus ensure that rectangular prism-shaped air gaps 39 will be established and maintained between the top of the passenger compartment 19 and the facing surfaces of the structure 15 when the cover 10 is deployed (see FIGS. 3 and 5). In a preferred configuration shown in FIG. 4, the cords 23 are disposed to converge longitudinally of the vehicle 20, in the direction of the trunk lid 18. This moves successive points of attachment to the alternating edges 14 progressively inward, so that the cords 23 will not be bunched up too much in one location when the structure 15 is brought into the folded position of FIGS.

6 and 7.

The cords 23 may be attached to the panels 12 at edges 14 by any appropriate means. One suitable mechanism for making the attachment without the use of adhesives or fasteners is shown in FIG. 5, wherein, the cords 23 are looped through openings 41 formed in the adjacent panels 12 near the valley edges 14. The looping ensures that portions of the cords 23 will lie between the valley edges and the top surface of the compartment 19 and provides a fixed, though adjustable if necessary, connection. The extent of unfolding is limited by the spacing between the loops. As shown in FIG. 11, the connections between the rear ends 25 of the cords 23 and the container 17 are made in a releasable way to the base 28 by forming the base 28 with indented, curved lobes or lugs 42 about which the ends 25 can be looped. This looping connection of the cords 23 to the panels 12 and base 28 has the advantage of permitting ready replacement of a cord 23 or the accordion structure 15 portion of the device 10 if desired should it become worn or broken.

The leading ends 22 of the cords 23 (FIG. 2) are preferably of sufficient extension beyond the foremost point of attachment to the foremost panel 12a so that, when the structure 15 is deployed, the one or more panels 12 are releasably secured over the windshield 21 by locking a portion of the ends 22 within the passenger compartment 19 by closing the doors 24 respectively thereon, as suggested by the arrows in FIG. 4. In its preferred form, the extensions of the ends 22 include a series of spaced knots or enlargements 44, followed by a loop 45, and then a hook 46. These elements may be used variously as desired by the user to secure the front of the structure 15 over the windshield 21. The hooks 46 can, for example, be secured to the armrests or other protruding portions of the inside panels of the doors 24. Likewise, the loops 45 may be used to encircle the window cranks or similar protruberances. For rapid delopyment of the device 10, the knots 44 can

secure the structure 15 by merely placing the cord ends 22 in the doors openings and closing the doors 24. The enlargement formed by the knots is sufficient to prevent the ends 22 from being released under normal wind forces through the seals of the door edges when the doors are closed.

The container 17 may be mounted to the trunk lid 18 by means of supports in the form of strap elements, such as steel belts 46, that attach the sides 30 of the container 17 through the sealed edges of the trunk lid 18 to the interior trunk lid structure. The connections to the ends of the belt 46 may be made rotatable about the end edges, by forming the ends with elongated slots 47 (see FIGS. 6 and 10) parallel to the end edges and capturing the sides of hollow tubular hinge elements 48, 49, 50 therein. Each distal end of the belts 46 has an element 48 on which is mounted means, such as a rotatable crosspiece 51 which can be moved from a position 51' (dot-dashed position in FIG. 10) to a position 51 (solid line position in FIG. 11) , to secure the element 48 through an opening to the hollow structure of the trunk lid 18. Each proximal end of the belts 46 is attached to the container 17 at a rail 52 secured thereto. One belt 46 has an element 49 (FIG. 10) which includes a hook 53 to permit manual engagement with the rail 52; the other belt 46 has an element 50 permanently secured about the rail 50 to permit rotation about the rail axis. This arrangement permits one belt 46 to be unhooked at element 49 to bring the container 17, when the trunk lid 18 is opened, around from an in-trunk storage location (position 10 in FIG. 12A) to a trunk top usable location (position 10' in FIG. 12B) about the axis of the element 48 of the other belt 46. The hook 53 can be reattached to the rail 52 to resecure the container 17 to the lid 18, so that the cover 27 can be opened and the structure 17 extended.

In operation, as shown with reference to FIGS. 12A- 12B, the container 17 with the structure 15 having the

panels 12 in their normally folded position (see FIGS. 6 and 7) is mounted within the trunk by means of the hinge elements 48, 49, 50. When it is desired to utilize the same for protecting the vehicle 20 from the elements, the trunk is opened and the hook 53 of element 49 (FIG. 10) is unfastened from the container 17. The container 17 is then swung into a trunk lid top mounted position, as shown in FIG. 12B. The hook 53 is then reattached to secure the container 17. The closure members 35 on the cover 27 (FIGS. 6 and 9) are then rotated to unlock the cover 27, and the accordion structure 15 is unfolded into its extended position longitudinally across the top of the vehicle 20 with the front panel 12a being brought over the front windshield 21. The extensions of the cord ends 22 are then secured to the interior panels of the doors 24 and the doors 24 are closed on them to hold the extensions in place, so that the wind will not displace the unit. The cords 23 act to limit the maximum extension between the alternating edges 14 at the valleys 26 of the panels 12 (see FIGS. 2 and 5) , in order to create and preserve air gaps 39 (FIG. 3) between the top of the passenger compartment 19 and the facing surfaces of the panels 12. The cords 23 act as spacers between the panels 12 and the compartment 19 (see FIG. 5) , to prevent the panels from marring the finish of the vehicle 20.

The panels 12 are preferably formed as heat insulating, light reflecting, generally rigid members. They are suitably constructed of plastic or lightweight sheet metal, but may be made of other materials as well. It is preferable that they be made water-resistant and weatherproof. The belts 46 are preferably of a sheet spring material sufficiently rigid to elevate the container 17 above the surface of the trunk lid 18. For the embodiments of the device 10 shown in the drawings, they should be thin enough to pass through the trunk lid seals without damaging the trunk.

If desired, a triangular bar or similar element (not

shown) may be placed longitudinally and utilized to angle the accordion structure 15 into a position to block sunlight from the side of the car into the side windows when the sun hit ' s at an angle. The triangular bar attachment may include rubber or similar non-skid footings which do not mar the body finish and may include hooks at its apex for securing the cords 23 thereto.

Those skilled in the art to which the invention relates will appreciate that the hinge structure may be changed so that the container 17 can be pivoted about any suitable axis to accommodate the particular trunk configuration. It will also be appreciated that the function of the shown belt and hinge arrangements can be accomplished by other appropriate mechanisms. For hatchback and station wagon vehicles, the attachment may, for example, be made to the back gate instead. Also, it will be appreciated that the attachment of the rearmost panel 12b to be base 28 can be made so that the cords 23 extend from the box 17 for a distance through the trunk lid seals before attaching to the panel 12b, so that the container 17 may be left in its stored position inside the trunk, while allowing the panels 12 to be brought out of the trunk to deploy the structure 15, with the cords 23 still attached to the based when the trunk lid 18 is closed.

FIGS. 13 and 14 show a modified form 10' of the protective cover 10, wherein the accordion structure 15 has been lengthened to provide the depicted structure 15' which may be extended longitudinally of the vehicle 20 from an in-trunk storage position across the trunk lid 18 and passenger compartment 19, as well as across the hood 60. Lengthened cords 23 » have forward extensions 22' that can be releasably locked beneath the opening of the hood 60. The rearmost panel 12b of the structure 15' is secured to the container which remains located in the trunk opening edges when the trunk lid is closed. One way to mount a container 17 to the inside of the trunk lid 18 is

illustrated in FIG. 15. The container 17' is movable by means of a hinge attachment 62 from a storage position shown in dot-dashed lines with the structure 15* folded therein to a delopyment position shown in solid lines from which the structure 15 » can be retrieved. The trunk lid can then be closed on the straps 25' once the structure 15 » is pulled out of the container 17* and the structure 15' spread over the vehicle 20.

FIG. 16 shows a further modified form 10" of the cover 10 wherein the panels comprise panels 12' of thermally insulating material having highly reflective upper surfaces. The use of such panels 12* reduces the need for the air circulation gaps 39 (see FIG. 13) to prevent heat buildup between the under surfaces of the panels and the covered surfaces of the vehicle 20.

Those skilled in the art to which the invention relates will appreciate that various other substitutions may also be made to the described embodiments without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention defined by the claims below.