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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
STEPPED ACCESSORY RECEIVER
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2004/041655
Kind Code:
A2
Abstract:
An accessory receiver assembly (10) includes a frame (16) and at least two receivers (26) carried on that frame. At least one of those receivers has a first accessory mounting section (28) for receiving a first of accessory mounting post and a second accessory mounting section (30) for receiving a second type of accessory mounting post.

Inventors:
MCCOY RICHARD W (US)
MOLDTHAN JASON R (US)
Application Number:
PCT/US2003/034248
Publication Date:
May 21, 2004
Filing Date:
October 29, 2003
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
CEQUENT TOWING PROD INC (US)
MCCOY RICHARD W (US)
MOLDTHAN JASON R (US)
International Classes:
B60D1/14; B60R9/06; B62C1/06; B65D; (IPC1-7): B65D/
Foreign References:
US4648617A1987-03-10
US6578864B22003-06-17
US5149122A1992-09-22
US6007033A1999-12-28
US5586702A1996-12-24
US6729638B22004-05-04
US6234512B12001-05-22
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Schickli, Warren D. (PLLC 247 North Broadwa, Lexington KY, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
What is claimed is:
1. An accessory receiver assembly for a vehicle, comprising: a frame; and at least two receivers carried on said frame, at least one receiver of said at least two receivers having a first accessory mounting section for receiving a first type of accessory mounting post and a second accessory mounting section for receiving a second type of accessory mounting post.
2. The assembly of claim 1, further including a first stop and a second stop on said at least one receiver.
3. The assembly of claim 2, wherein said first stop is provided on said at least one receiver between said first and second accessory mounting sections.
4. The assembly of claim 3, wherein said first accessory mounting section includes a latching notch.
5. The assembly of claim 3, wherein said accessory mounting section includes a locking aperture.
6. The assembly of claim 3, wherein said first accessory mounting section includes a latching notch and a locking aperture.
7. The assembly of claim 1, wherein said frame includes a cross member and a pair of mounting brackets.
8. The assembly of claim 7, further including a trailer hitch receiver box carried on said cross member.
9. An accessory receiver assembly for a vehicle, comprising: a frame; and at least two receivers carried on said frame, at least one receiver of said at least two receivers having a projecting barlike body including a locking aperture and a latching notch.
10. The accessory receiver assembly of claim 9, wherein said latching notch is provided along an edge of said barlike body.
11. The accessory receiver assembly of claim 10, wherein said barlike body includes a rounded tip.
12. An accessory receiver assembly for a vehicle, comprising: a frame; and at least two stepped receivers carried on said frame.
13. The accessory receiver assembly of claim 12, wherein at least one receiver of said two stepped receivers includes a latching notch.
14. The accessory receiver assembly of claim 12, wherein at least one receiver of said two stepped receivers includes a locking aperture.
15. The accessory receiver assembly of claim 12, wherein at least one receiver of said two stepped receivers includes a latching notch and a locking aperture.
16. The accessory receiver assembly of claim 12, wherein said at least two stepped receivers define an acute included angle with said frame of between about 1 and about 89 degrees.
17. The accessory receiver assembly of claim 12, wherein said at least two stepped receivers define an acute included angle with said frame of between about 10 and about 30 degrees.
18. The accessory receiver assembly of claim 12, wherein said at least two stepped receivers define an acute included angle with said frame of about 20 degrees.
Description:
STEPPED ACCESSORY RECEIVER

This application claims the benefit of U. S. Provisional Patent Application Serial No. 60/423, 625 filed on November 4,2002.

Technical Field.

The present invention relates generally to the vehicle accessory field and, more particularly, to an accessory receiver assembly that is mounted to a vehicle and that allows mounting of various useful accessories to the vehicle.

Background of the Invention Today's active lifestyles place some significant demands on both individuals and their vehicles. Many vehicles must be able to transport substantial cargo for family road trips. Other vehicles are used to haul bulky equipment to work, transport household or garden items and/or carry equipment and supplies for long camping weekends. No matter what type of vehicle an individual drives, there never seems to be enough room for everything needed or sufficient hours in a day to complete multiple trips.

In an effort to address the demands now being placed on individuals and their vehicles by more active lifestyles, Cequent Towing Products, Inc. predecessor Reese Products, Inc. , developed the Dual Port System equipment for carrying various useful accessories on a vehicle.

Such accessories include, for example, bike carriers, open cargo carriers, closed cargo carriers, motorcycles carriers, lifts, transformer tables and the like.

The present invention relates to an accessory receiver assembly with added versatility that allows the mounting of accessories with two different mounting bracket or post structures.

Summary of the Invention In accordance with the purposes of the present invention as described herein, an accessory receiver assembly is provided for mounting to a vehicle. The accessory receiver assembly may be described as comprising a frame and at least two receivers carried on the frame. At least one of those two receivers has a first accessory mounting section for receiving a first type of accessory mounting post and a second accessory mounting section for receiving a second type of accessory mounting post.

Still further describing the invention, the receiver may also include a first stop and a second stop. The first stop is provided on the receiver between the first and second accessory mounting sections. The first accessory mounting section also includes a latching notch and a locking aperture. Additionally, the frame includes a cross member and a pair of

mounting brackets. Further, the frame may include a trailer hitch receiver box carrier on the cross member.

The accessory receiver assembly of the present invention may also be described as comprising a frame and at least two receivers carried on the frame. At least one of those receivers has a projecting bar-like body including a locking aperture and a latching notch. That latching notch may be provided along an edge of the bar-like body. Additionally, the bar-like body may include a rounded tip.

In accordance with yet another aspect-of the present invention, the accessory receiver assembly may be described as comprising a frame and at least two stepped receivers carried on the frame. At least one of those two stepped receivers includes a latching notch, a locking aperture or both a latching notch and a locking aperture.

In the following description there is shown and described a preferred embodiment of this invention simply by way of illustration of one of the modes best suited to carry out the invention. As it will be realized, the invention is capable of other different embodiments and its several details are capable of modification in various, obvious aspects all without departing from the invention. Accordingly, the drawings and descriptions will be regarded as illustrative in nature and not as restrictive.

Brief Description of the Drawings The accompanying drawings incorporated in and forming a part of the specification, illustrate several aspects of the present invention, and

together with the description serve to explain certain principles of the invention. In the drawings : Figure 1 is an exploded perspective view showing the accessory receiver assembly of the present invention along with a pair of accessory mounting brackets or posts and an accessory for mounting to that receiver assembly; Figure 2 is a detailed cross sectional view showing one receiver of the type provided on the accessory receiver assembly shown in Figure 1; Figures 3a and 3b are detailed views showing the mounting of a first type of accessory mounting post on the accessory receiver assembly of the present invention; and Figures 4a and 4b are detailed views showing the mounting of a second type of accessory mounting post on the accessory receiver assembly of the present invention.

Reference will now be made in detail to the present preferred embodiment of the invention, an example of which is illustrated in the accompanying drawings.

Detailed Description of the Invention Reference is now made to Figure 1 illustrating the accessory receiver assembly 10 of the present invention along with a pair of accessory mounting brackets or posts 12 and an accessory, illustrated as an open cargo carrier 14.

The accessory receiver assembly 10 includes a frame, generally designated by reference numeral 16. The frame 16 includes a cross member 18 that may be formed, for example, from one or more pieces of tubular steel. Additionally, the frame 16 includes a pair of mounting brackets 20 that may also be formed from steel or other high strength material. One mounting bracket 20 is welded to the cross member 18 adjacent each end thereof. Each mounting bracket 20 includes one or more mounting flanges or lugs 22 and each mounting flange includes one or more apertures 24. Bolts (not shown) are extended through these apertures 24 and cooperating apertures drilled in the frame of the vehicle to which the accessory receiver assembly 10 is mounted. Nuts and lock washers are secured to those bolts in order to complete the connection of the accessory receiver assembly 10 to the frame of a vehicle.

As illustrated in Figure 1, multiple stepped accessory receivers 26 are mounted to and carried on the cross member 18. Each accessory receiver 26 may be formed from solid steel material. Each accessory receiver 26 may be rectangular in cross section as illustrated or be of some other cross section suitable for the intended purpose or use. One stepped receiver 26 is welded to the cross member 18 adjacent each end thereof.

As illustrated in Figures 1 and 2, at least one and, more typically, both receivers 26 project for receiving an accessory mounting post or mounting bracket 12. Specifically, each receiver 26 projects upwardly in a plane that defines an acute included angle 0 of, for example, between about 1 degree to about 89 degrees and more typically between about 10

degrees and 30 degrees (e. g. 20 degrees) with a horizontal plane P including the cross member 18.

As best illustrated in Figure 2, at least one of the two accessory receivers 26 includes a first accessory mounting section 28 and a second accessory mounting section 30. The first accessory mounting section 28 is shaped and dimensioned to receive a first type of accessory mounting post or accessory mounting bracket 12. In contrast, the second accessory mounting section 30 is shaped and dimensioned to receive a second type of accessory mounting post or bracket 12. In addition, the accessory receiver 26 includes a first stop 32 and a second stop 34. The first stop 32 is provided on the accessory receiver 26 between the first and second accessory mounting sections 28, 30.

Still further, the first accessory mounting section 28 includes a latching notch 36 and a pin receiving locking aperture 38. Additionally, the first accessory mounting section 28 may also include a rounded projecting tip 40.

In one possible embodiment, the first accessory mounting section 28 may have a length L of about 3.75 inches from the end of the tip 40 to the first stop 32 and a width W of about 1.60 inches. The second accessory mounting section 30 may have a length L'of about 1.44 inches between the two stops 32,34 and a width W'of about 2.38 inches. Of course, it should be appreciated that these dimensions are only illustrative of one possible embodiment and that the invention should not be considered as being limited thereto. In fact, the invention may comprise

different shapes and dimensions from those being specifically shown and described.

Reference is now made to Figures 3 a and 3b illustrating the connection of a first type of accessory mounting post or bracket 12 to the accessory receiver assembly 10. More specifically, the post/bracket 12 includes an aperture in the end thereof that is aligned over the tip 40. The rounded shape of the tip 40 aids in aligning the postlbracket 12 for connection. Once aligned, the postibracket 12 is pushed down over the receiver 26 until the end of the post/bracket engages the first stop 32. In this position the post/bracket is properly seated and a spring loaded, pivoting latching element 42 on the post is received in the latching notch 36 to secure the post/bracket 12 in position.

A second post/bracket 12 of the accessory A may be simultaneously secured to the other receiver 26 in the same manner in order to complete the connection of the accessory 14 to the receiver assembly 10.

The connection of the accessory receiver assembly 10 to an accessory 14 incorporating a second type of mounting post/bracket 12 is illustrated in Figures 4a and 4b. In this situation the post/bracket 12 is once again aligned with and inserted over the accessory receiver 26.

Again, the rounded tip 40 of the receiver 26 aids in completing this connection.

As should be appreciated, the second type of post/bracket 12 includes a larger opening to accommodate the second accessory mounting section 30 and allow the post/bracket to fully seat against the second stop

34. In this seated position apertures 44 in the post/bracket 12 are aligned with the locking aperture 38 in the receiver 26. A connecting pin 46 is then inserted through the apertures 44,38. A clip (not shown) is then inserted on the end of the pin 46 projecting from the apertures so that the enlarged head 50 of the pin and the clip function to hold the pin in the desired locking position and thereby secure the post/bracket 12 to the receiver 26. The second post/bracket 12 of the accessory 14 may be simultaneously mounted on the other receiver 26 in the same manner in order to complete the connection of the accessory 14 to the accessory receiver assembly 10.

Of course, it should be appreciated that the accessory receivers 26 project rearwardly out from under the bumper of the vehicle to which the accessory receiver assembly 10 is secured. Additionally, the receivers 26 project upwardly at an angle of about 10 degrees to about 30 degrees with respect to the cross member 18 and the horizontal plane. Thus, the receivers 26 are both readily visible and accessible.

Still further, the upward angular orientation of the receivers 26 ensures a secure connection between the post/brackets 12 and the receivers 26. Specifically, this arrangement ensures that gravity works with the operator to properly seat the post/brackets 12 on the receivers 26 against the stops 32,34 during connection of an accessory 14. The upward inclination also functions to effectively raise the accessory 14 from the ground so that it will clear most curbs and other like obstacles that one might expect to meet during vehicle operation such as when backing

against a curb or bumper in a parking space. Still further, the upward inclination also introduces a moment into the linkage between the accessory 14 and receiver assembly 10 so that forward acceleration of the vehicle does not produce only rearward movement forces on the accessory.

The foregoing description of the preferred embodiment of this invention has been presented for purposes of illustration and description.

It is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise form disclosed. Obvious modifications or variations are possible in light of the above teachings. For example, while only two accessory receivers 26 are shown on the accessory receiver assembly 10, substantially any reasonable number may be provided to allow multi-point connection between the receiver assembly and the accessory carried thereby. Further, materials other than steel may, of course, be utilized to construct any or all of the component parts of the apparatus.

The embodiment was chosen and described to provide the best illustration of the principles of the invention and its practical application to thereby enable one of ordinary skill in the art to utilize the invention in various embodiments and with various modifications as are suited to the particular use contemplated. All such modifications and variations are within the scope of the invention as determined by the appended claims when interpreted in accordance with the breadth to which they are fairly, legally and equitably entitled. The drawings and preferred embodiment do not and are not intended to limit the ordinary meaning of the claims and their fair and broad interpretation in any way.