US20060278674A1 - Reversible shank for hitch mounted accessory carriers - Google Patents

Reversible shank for hitch mounted accessory carriers Download PDF

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Publication number
US20060278674A1
US20060278674A1 US11338289 US33828906A US2006278674A1 US 20060278674 A1 US20060278674 A1 US 20060278674A1 US 11338289 US11338289 US 11338289 US 33828906 A US33828906 A US 33828906A US 2006278674 A1 US2006278674 A1 US 2006278674A1
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Patent type
Prior art keywords
segment
element
assembly
hitch
hitch element
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
US11338289
Inventor
David Young
Jacob Belinky
Gregory Richardson
David Hoelscher
David Watch
Katherine Adams
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Cequent Towing Products Inc
Original Assignee
Cequent Towing Products Inc
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date

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Classifications

    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60RVEHICLES, VEHICLE FITTINGS, OR VEHICLE PARTS, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • B60R9/00Supplementary fittings on vehicle exterior for carrying loads, e.g. luggage, sports gear or the like
    • B60R9/06Supplementary fittings on vehicle exterior for carrying loads, e.g. luggage, sports gear or the like at vehicle front or rear

Abstract

An accessory carrier assembly includes a reversible shank manufactured of a substantially square first portion and a substantially square second portion. The first portion is sized to engage a first hitch receiver and the second portion is sized to engage a second hitch receiver. To attach the accessory carrier to the reversible shank, the first segment is located in amounting assembly either with or without the bushings depending on which type of hitch receiver is available. The accessory carrier is pivotable by removal of a single pin to provide access to a rear of a vehicle. The single pin can be further located in a stop aperture to prevent overrotation of the carrier.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • This application is a continuation of application Ser. No. 10/603,046, filed Jun. 23, 2003, which is a continuation of application Ser. No. 09/668,755, filed Sep. 22, 2000, now U.S. Pat. No. 6,588,636, and a continuation of application Ser. No. 09/668,756, filed Sep. 22, 2000, now U.S. Pat. No. 6,604,658.
  • TECHNICAL FIELD
  • The present invention relates to a vehicle hitch assembly, and more particularly to a single reversible shank which allows the attachment of accessory carriers to variously sized hitch receivers.
  • BACKGROUND
  • It is often desirable to increase the capacity of a vehicle to transport cargo by providing a carrier assembly for carrying cargo on the outside of the vehicle. Various carrier racks exist that support cargo at various locations on a vehicle. Some carriers attach to receiver-type hitches available at the rear of many vehicles. Such carriers are easy to attach and can support substantial loads since they fit into a hitch designed specifically for quick attachment of trailers and the like.
  • Although many vehicles include a receiver-type hitch, at least two standard sizes of receiver-type hitches are commonly available on various vehicles. Further, as many types of carrier assemblies are available, particular combinations are often incompatible.
  • In addition, when a carrier is attached to a receiver hitch at the rear of a vehicle, it can inhibit access to the rear of a vehicle and can interfere with the opening of the trunk, tailgate or doors at the rear of the vehicle necessitating its removal from the vehicle whenever the trunk, tailgate or rear doors must be opened. This presents a significant disadvantage.
  • Accordingly, it is desirable to provide a carrier assembly which will fit a multiple of a receiver-type hitches without inhibiting access to the rear of a vehicle.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • An embodiment of the accessory carrier assembly is mountable to a vehicle that has a hitch element. The assembly comprises a first segment, the first segment being capable of telescopically engaging a first vehicle mounted hitch element of a first cross sectional size, a second segment connected with the first segment, the second segment being capable of telescopically engaging a second vehicle mounted hitch element of a second cross sectional size, wherein the first cross sectional size of the first hitch element is not equal to the second cross sectional size of the second hitch element, and an accessory carrier element selectively engageable with the first segment and the second segment so as to permit selective engagement of the first segment with the first hitch element and of the second segment with the second hitch element.
  • In another embodiment, a reversible shank mounts an accessory to a vehicle that has either a first vehicle mounted hitch element or a second vehicle mounted hitch element wherein the cross section of the first hitch element is larger than the cross section of the second hitch element. The reversible shank comprises a first segment having a first cross section capable of telescopic engagement with the first hitch element, and a second segment having a second cross section capable of telescopic engagement with the second hitch element, the cross section of the first segment being larger than the cross section of the second segment, wherein the second segment extends from the first segment.
  • In yet another embodiment, an accessory carrier assembly is selectively attachable to either a first vehicle mounted hitch element or a second vehicle mounted hitch element wherein the cross section of the first hitch element is larger than the cross section of the second hitch element. The accessory carrier assembly comprises a reversible shank that comprises a first segment having a first cross section capable of telescopic engagement with the first hitch element, and a second segment having a second cross section capable of telescopic engagement with the second hitch element, the cross section of the first segment being larger than the cross section of the second segment, wherein the second segment extends from the first segment, and an accessory carrier element selectively engageable with the first segment and the second segment so as to permit selective engagement of the first segment with the first hitch element and of the second segment with the second hitch element.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The various features and advantages of this invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description of the currently preferred embodiment. The drawings that accompany the detailed description can be briefly described as follows:
  • FIG. 1 is an exploded view of a reversible shank assembly for attachment to a plurality of vehicle hitch receivers;
  • FIG. 1A is a phantom top view of a reversible shank assembly;
  • FIG. 2 is a perspective partial phantom view of the reversible shank assembly illustrated in a pivoted position relative to a vehicle hitch receiver; and
  • FIG. 3 is an exploded view of the reversible shank assembly of FIG. 1 illustrated in a second position for attachment to a second vehicle hitch receiver.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • FIG. 1 illustrates an accessory carrier assembly 10 for attachment to a vehicle (shown rather schematically at 12). The carrier assembly 10 generally includes a reversible shank 14, and bushings 16. The reversible shank 14 includes a first segment 18 and a second segment 20. Each segment 18, 20 provides exterior dimensions for mating engagement to a first and second female hitch receiver 22 or 22′ mounted to the vehicle 12 and to an accessory carrier 28. The hitch receivers 22, 22′ are mounted to the vehicle in a known manner and each defines a first axis 23.
  • The reversible shank 14 is preferably manufactured of a substantially square first portion 24 which receives a substantially square second portion 26. First portion 24 receives the second portion 26 which is fixed therein by welding or the like. Preferably, the first portion 24 is sized to engage a 2-inch female hitch receiver 22 and the second portion 26 is sized to engage a 1.25-inch female hitch receiver 22′. The 2-inch female hitch receiver 22 and the 1.25-inch female hitch receiver 22′ are typical of most female hitch receivers and portions 24, 26 are preferred sized to engage these common receivers, however, other sized portions may be provided for engagement with a multiple of other sized female hitch receivers.
  • The accessory carrier 28 includes a support 30 and a mount assembly 32. The support 30 is preferably a substantially L-shaped tubular support which defines a second axis 31 substantially perpendicular to the first axis 23. The support 30 provides for the attachment of a multiple of known carriers (not shown). The carriers can include but are not limited to: bicycle racks; ski racks; snowboard racks; accessory shelves; accessory bustles; and the like. It should also be understood that other accessories attachable to a hitch receiver 22 will benefit from the present invention.
  • The mount assembly 32 preferably includes a pair of parallel plates 34 fixedly attached to the support 30 by welding or the like. Other accessories attachable to a hitch receiver 22 can directly include the mount assembly 32 such that the other accessories will benefit from the present invention. A distance sized to receive the larger first portion 24 of the reversible shank 14 separates the plates 34. A pair of apertures 33 are located through each of the plates 34. A stop aperture 35 is also preferably located through the plates.
  • The second segment 20 of the reversible shank 14 includes a pair of apertures 36, 38. One of the apertures 38 is located through the first portion 24 and the other aperture 36 is located through the second portion 26. Preferably, the apertures 38 are pierced through the substantially square first portion 24 while the pair of apertures 36 are drilled through the solid substantially square second portion 26. The portions 24, 26 are aligned (FIG. 1A) such that one of the apertures 36, 38 are concentric and the portions 24, 26 are fixed together by welding or the like.
  • By collating one of the apertures 36 with one of the apertures 38, the shank 14 is assured to be retained within the hitch receiver irrespective of which hitch receiver is used. Moreover, by passing a pin through the collocated apertures 36, 38 such that the pin passes through both portions 24, 26, retention of the portions 24, 26 (FIG. 1A) is assured without regard to the joint therebetween. The pair of apertures 36 and the pair of apertures 38 are spaced to correspond with the pair of apertures 33 located through the plates 34 such that the first segment 18 of the reversible shank 14 is attachable thereto.
  • The first segment 18 of the reversible shank 14 includes a pair of apertures 38. The pair of apertures 38 are spaced to correspond with the pair of apertures 36 and the pair of apertures 33 located through the plates 34 such that the first segment 18 of the reversible shank 14 is also attachable thereto. Preferably, a hitch pin aperture 40 is located between the pair of apertures 38 to receive a hitch pin 42 in a known manner.
  • The first portion 24 is telescopically receivable within the 2-inch female hitch receiver 22 and retained therein by the hitch pin 42. Hitch pin 42 is preferably passable through a hitch aperture 44 and through the corresponding hitch pin aperture 40. Hitch pin 42 is retained by a fastener 46 such as clip 46. The hitch pin aperture 40 is provided as the hitch pin 42 for the 2-inch female hitch receiver 22 is typically of a larger diameter than a hitch pin 48 for the 1.25-inch female hitch receiver 22′. Accordingly, the pairs of apertures 32, 36, and 38 are preferably of an equivalent size which may be smaller than hitch pin apertures 40 and 44.
  • When the accessory carrier 28 is to be mounted to a vehicle 12 having a 2-inch female hitch receiver 22, the first portion 24 of the reversible shank 14 is telescoped into the 2-inch female hitch receiver 22 and retained therein by the pin 42. To attach the accessory carrier 28 to the reversible shank 14, the second segment 20 is located between the plates 34 such that the pair of apertures 33 located through the plates 34 are aligned with the pair of apertures 36 located through the second segment 20. A fastener 50 is preferably passed through one of the apertures 33 and through one of the apertures 36 located through the second portion 26.
  • Preferably, because the second portion 26 is smaller than the distance between plates 32, the bushings 16 are preferably located between the plates 34 and the second portion 26. Each of the bushings 16 includes an aperture 17 such that the bushings 16 can receive and be retained by the fastener 50 which is passed therethrough. A threaded fastener 52 such as nut 52 is then threaded to the fastener 50 to retain the accessory carrier 28 to the reversible shank 14. Washers 56 are preferably located between the fastener 50, nut 52 and the plates 34 such that the accessory carrier 28 can be easily pivoted on a pivot axis 55 defined along fastener 50.
  • A pin 54 is then located through the other aperture 36 in the first portion 24 and the other aperture 33 in the plates 34. A clip 58 or the like retains pin 54 to the mount assembly 32. It should be understood that the pin 54 can be another hitch pin 48 for the 1.25-inch female hitch receiver 22′ or can be a separate pin such as pin 54.
  • Referring to FIG. 2, the accessory carrier 28 is now mounted to the vehicle 12 such that the second axis 31 is substantially perpendicular to the first axis 23 (shown in phantom). Importantly, should a user require access to the vehicle 12 through a rear door, lift-gate, or the like (shown schematically at D), only pin 54 need be removed. Preferably pin 54 is removed form aperture 33 and located in stop aperture 35. The accessory carrier 28 can then be pivoted on the pivot axis 55 (FIG. 1) defined along fastener 50. Stop aperture 35 forms a stop that contacts the shank 14 to prevent over rotation of the accessory carrier 28 and possible contact with the ground G. Accordingly, the reversible shank 14 provides a clearance C for accessories carried on the accessory carrier 28. Further, by completely removing the pin 54 from the stop aperture 35, the accessory carrier 28 can be further rotated.
  • Referring to FIG. 3, when the accessory carrier 28 is to be mounted to a vehicle 12 having a 1.25-inch female hitch receiver 22′, the second portion 26 of the reversible shank 14 is telescoped into the 1.25-inch female hitch receiver 22′ and retained therein by the pin 48. To attach the accessory carrier 28 to the reversible shank 14, first segment 18 is located between the plates 34 such that the pair of apertures 33 located through the plates 34 are aligned with the pair of apertures 38 located through the second segment 20. Because the second segment 20 is large enough to fit between the plates 34 at both apertures 38, bushings 16 are not required. Otherwise, assembly is the same as described above. The accessory carrier 28 can again be pivoted and clearance is again provided for accessories carried on the accessory carrier 28.
  • The foregoing description is exemplary rather than defined by the limitations within. Many modifications and variations of the present invention are possible in light of the above teachings. The preferred embodiments of this invention have been disclosed, however, one of ordinary skill in the art would recognize that certain modifications would come within the scope of this invention. It is, therefore, to be understood that within the scope of the appended claims, the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described. For that reason the following claims should be studied to determine the true scope and content of this invention.

Claims (20)

  1. 1. An accessory carrier assembly mountable to a vehicle having a hitch element, the assembly comprising:
    a first segment, the first segment being capable of telescopically engaging a first vehicle mounted hitch element of a first cross sectional size;
    a second segment connected with the first segment, the second segment being capable of telescopically engaging a second vehicle mounted hitch element of a second cross sectional size;
    wherein the first cross sectional size of the first hitch element is not equal to the second cross sectional size of the second hitch element; and
    an accessory carrier element selectively engageable with the first segment and the second segment so as to permit selective engagement of the first segment with the first hitch element and of the second segment with the second hitch element.
  2. 2. The assembly according to claim 1, wherein the accessory carrier element comprises at least one of: a bicycle rack, a ski rack, a snowboard rack, at least one accessory shelf and at least one accessory bustle.
  3. 3. The assembly according to claim 1, wherein the accessory carrier element further comprises at least one support member capable of selectively connecting the accessory carrier element with the first segment and connecting the accessory carrier element with the second segment.
  4. 4. The assembly according to claim 3, wherein the support member comprises a pair of spaced plates.
  5. 5. The assembly according to claim 4, further comprising a pair of bushings sized to fit between the plates and the second segment.
  6. 6. The assembly according to claim 1, wherein the second segment comprises a solid shank.
  7. 7. The assembly according to claim 1, wherein the second segment is permanently fixed to the first segment.
  8. 8. The assembly according to claim 5, wherein the first segment includes an aperture therethrough, the second segment includes an aperture therethrough, and the pair of spaced plates each include an aperture therethrough.
  9. 9. The assembly according to claim 8, further comprising a pin that is removably inserted into the apertures of the spaced plates and either of the apertures of the first and second segments to hold the accessory carrier element in a first position.
  10. 10. The assembly of claim 9, wherein removing the pin from the apertures of the spaced plates and either of the apertures of the first and second segments releases the accessory carrier element to rotate.
  11. 11. A reversible shank for mounting an accessory to a vehicle having either a first vehicle mounted hitch element or a second vehicle mounted hitch element wherein the cross section of the first hitch element is larger than the cross section of the second hitch element, the reversible shank comprising:
    a first segment having a first cross section capable of telescopic engagement with the first hitch element; and
    a second segment having a second cross section capable of telescopic engagement with the second hitch element, the cross section of the first segment being larger than the cross section of the second segment, wherein the second segment extends from the first segment.
  12. 12. The reversible shank of claim 11, wherein the first segment further comprises an aperture therein for telescopically receiving a portion of the second segment.
  13. 13. The reversible shank of claim 12, wherein the second segment is welded to the first segment.
  14. 14. The reversible shank of claim 11, wherein the second segment extends co-axially from the first segment.
  15. 15. An accessory carrier assembly selectively attachable to either a first vehicle mounted hitch element or a second vehicle mounted hitch element wherein the cross section of the first hitch element is larger than the cross section of the second hitch element, the accessory carrier assembly comprising:
    a reversible shank comprising:
    a first segment having a first cross section capable of telescopic engagement with the first hitch element; and
    a second segment having a second cross section capable of telescopic engagement with the second hitch element, the cross section of the first segment being larger than the cross section of the second segment, wherein the second segment extends from the first segment;
    an accessory carrier element selectively engageable with the first segment and the second segment so as to permit selective engagement of the first segment with the first hitch element and of the second segment with the second hitch element.
  16. 16. The assembly of claim 15, wherein the accessory carrier element includes a support and a mount assembly, the mount assembly being connected with the support.
  17. 17. The assembly of claim 16, wherein the mount assembly is engageable with the second segment through the use of at least a pair of bushings.
  18. 18. The assembly of claim 17, wherein the support includes a tubular support that defines an axis perpendicular to an axis of the first or second vehicle mounted hitch element.
  19. 19. The assembly of claim 18, wherein the mount assembly comprises a pair of spaced plates, the plates each having an aperture therethrough.
  20. 20. The assembly of claim 19, wherein the first and second segments include an aperture capable of receiving a pin, wherein insertion of the pin through the aperture of the spaced plates and through the aperture of either of the first and second segments substantially prevents rotation of the support, and wherein removal of the pin from the spaced plates and the aperture of either of the first and second segments permits rotation of the support.
US11338289 2000-09-22 2006-01-24 Reversible shank for hitch mounted accessory carriers Abandoned US20060278674A1 (en)

Priority Applications (4)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US09668756 US6604658B1 (en) 2000-09-22 2000-09-22 Reversible shank for hitch mounted accessory carriers
US09668755 US6588636B1 (en) 2000-09-22 2000-09-22 Reversible shank for hitch mounted accessory carriers
US10603046 US20040084493A1 (en) 2000-09-22 2003-06-23 Reversible shank for hitch mounted accessory carriers
US11338289 US20060278674A1 (en) 2000-09-22 2006-01-24 Reversible shank for hitch mounted accessory carriers

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US11338289 US20060278674A1 (en) 2000-09-22 2006-01-24 Reversible shank for hitch mounted accessory carriers

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US20060278674A1 true true US20060278674A1 (en) 2006-12-14

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US10603046 Abandoned US20040084493A1 (en) 2000-09-22 2003-06-23 Reversible shank for hitch mounted accessory carriers
US11338289 Abandoned US20060278674A1 (en) 2000-09-22 2006-01-24 Reversible shank for hitch mounted accessory carriers

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US09668755 Expired - Fee Related US6588636B1 (en) 2000-09-22 2000-09-22 Reversible shank for hitch mounted accessory carriers
US10603046 Abandoned US20040084493A1 (en) 2000-09-22 2003-06-23 Reversible shank for hitch mounted accessory carriers

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Cited By (5)

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US20060053667A1 (en) * 2003-11-20 2006-03-16 Andersen Gregory F Vehicle flag holder
US20070215565A1 (en) * 2006-03-17 2007-09-20 Chin-Sung Huang Positioning device for a rack on the rear of a vehicle
US20080041903A1 (en) * 2006-08-17 2008-02-21 Devine J D Apparatus for transporting bicycles and method of use
US20090001109A1 (en) * 2007-06-26 2009-01-01 Wilkins Paul T Trailer hitch tire carrier gate
US20100230455A1 (en) * 2009-03-16 2010-09-16 Chiu-Kuei Wang Bicycle carry rack assembly

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US6588636B1 (en) * 2000-09-22 2003-07-08 David A. Young Reversible shank for hitch mounted accessory carriers
US20040065707A1 (en) * 2002-10-03 2004-04-08 Haagstad Donald C. Bicycle attachment device
US20060186638A1 (en) * 2003-02-14 2006-08-24 Varner David L Exercise equipment support unit and method for mounting the same
US7097408B2 (en) * 2003-04-22 2006-08-29 Paxton Edward L Personal pontoon watercraft transport rack
US6993806B2 (en) * 2003-07-08 2006-02-07 Finley John P Shoe cleaning apparatus
US7832608B1 (en) 2006-07-14 2010-11-16 Bauer Jr Frederick R Universal hitch-mounted basket
US7600774B1 (en) * 2007-04-06 2009-10-13 Speer William W Cam action tightening receiver hitch assembly
US20110000943A1 (en) * 2009-03-30 2011-01-06 Shaun Leslie Krebsbach Traffic cone carrier unit for a motor vehicle
US9387739B2 (en) * 2013-12-27 2016-07-12 Vit Babuska Adjustable device for supporting hitch mounted accessories
WO2018067664A1 (en) * 2016-10-04 2018-04-12 Horizon Global Americas Inc. Hitch bar

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US6604658B1 (en) * 2000-09-22 2003-08-12 Metaldyne Company, Llc Reversible shank for hitch mounted accessory carriers

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US20060053667A1 (en) * 2003-11-20 2006-03-16 Andersen Gregory F Vehicle flag holder
US20070215565A1 (en) * 2006-03-17 2007-09-20 Chin-Sung Huang Positioning device for a rack on the rear of a vehicle
US20080041903A1 (en) * 2006-08-17 2008-02-21 Devine J D Apparatus for transporting bicycles and method of use
US7922051B2 (en) * 2006-08-17 2011-04-12 Devine J Douglass Apparatus for transporting bicycles and method of use
US20090001109A1 (en) * 2007-06-26 2009-01-01 Wilkins Paul T Trailer hitch tire carrier gate
US20100230455A1 (en) * 2009-03-16 2010-09-16 Chiu-Kuei Wang Bicycle carry rack assembly

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Publication number Publication date Type
US6588636B1 (en) 2003-07-08 grant
US20040084493A1 (en) 2004-05-06 application

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