US20080210282A1 - Inflatable tent for mounting into the bed of a pickup truck - Google Patents

Inflatable tent for mounting into the bed of a pickup truck Download PDF

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Publication number
US20080210282A1
US20080210282A1 US12/073,224 US7322408A US2008210282A1 US 20080210282 A1 US20080210282 A1 US 20080210282A1 US 7322408 A US7322408 A US 7322408A US 2008210282 A1 US2008210282 A1 US 2008210282A1
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Prior art keywords
bed
tent
beam
inflatable
mounted
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Abandoned
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US12/073,224
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Jean-Marc Daniel Turcot
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Jean-Marc Daniel Turcot
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Application filed by Jean-Marc Daniel Turcot filed Critical Jean-Marc Daniel Turcot
Priority to US12/073,224 priority patent/US20080210282A1/en
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    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04HBUILDINGS OR LIKE STRUCTURES FOR PARTICULAR PURPOSES; SWIMMING OR SPLASH BATHS OR POOLS; MASTS; FENCING; TENTS OR CANOPIES, IN GENERAL
    • E04H15/00Tents or canopies, in general
    • E04H15/02Tents combined or specially associated with other devices
    • E04H15/06Tents at least partially supported by vehicles
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04HBUILDINGS OR LIKE STRUCTURES FOR PARTICULAR PURPOSES; SWIMMING OR SPLASH BATHS OR POOLS; MASTS; FENCING; TENTS OR CANOPIES, IN GENERAL
    • E04H15/00Tents or canopies, in general
    • E04H15/20Tents or canopies, in general inflatable, e.g. shaped, strengthened, or supported by fluid pressure
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04HBUILDINGS OR LIKE STRUCTURES FOR PARTICULAR PURPOSES; SWIMMING OR SPLASH BATHS OR POOLS; MASTS; FENCING; TENTS OR CANOPIES, IN GENERAL
    • E04H15/00Tents or canopies, in general
    • E04H15/20Tents or canopies, in general inflatable, e.g. shaped, strengthened, or supported by fluid pressure
    • E04H2015/201Tents or canopies, in general inflatable, e.g. shaped, strengthened, or supported by fluid pressure with inflatable tubular framework, with or without tent cover

Abstract

An inflatable tent for mounting into the bed of a pickup truck. The tent includes at least one inflatable beam having opposite ends and extending, when mounted at its opposite ends to the bed, from a front of the bed to the rear of the bed. A flexible tent canopy is mounted to the inflatable beams. Each inflatable beam forms a substantially ogive shape when viewed in side elevation when inflated and mounted into the bed so as to dispose the opposite ends in releasably mounted engagement secured to interior opposite ends of the bed.

Description

    CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
  • This application claims priority from U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/904,360 filed Mar. 2, 2007 entitled Inflatable Tent for Mounting into the Bed of a Pickup Truck.
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • This invention relates to the fields of inflatable tents and in particular to an inflatable tent which is adapted for mounting into the bed of a pickup truck.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • Inflatable tents for use in camping are known in the prior art and are sold commercially for example by Airzone Recreation Products of Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. These tents are the subject of U.S. Pat. No. 6,263,617 which issued Jul. 24, 2001 to Turcot. Such tents typically replicate camping tents available commercially which rely on bent fibreglass poles for their support structure and instead substitute inflatable poles which, when bent, provide the supporting frame work for the exterior canopy of the tent over which a so-called fly sheet may be mounted.
  • Applicant is also aware of an inflatable tent for sport utility vehicle which is the subject of U.S. Pat. No. 6,179,367 which issued Jan. 30, 2001 to Bowen. Bowen discloses an inflatable tent assembly for a vehicle having a rear hatch, wherein the inflatable tent assembly includes an inflatable frame and cover having the shape of the inflatable frame when inflated, the cover having a vehicle side and being sized to fit on the exterior of the inflatable frame. An opening on the vehicle side of the cover and a fastener system disposed around the peripheral edge of the opening connects the frame to the rear hatch of the vehicle. The frame is preferably made of collapsible hollow tubes.
  • Also in the prior art, applicant is aware of the following patents which disclose various tents adapted for use in cooperation with a vehicle:
  • U.S. Pat. No. 6,155,279 which issued Dec. 5, 2000 to Humphrey; U.S. Pat. No. 6,102,468 which issued Aug. 15, 2000 to Lowrey et al.; U.S. Pat. No. 6,030,026 which issued Feb. 29, 2000 to Vega et al.; U.S. Pat. No. 5,988,195 which issued Nov. 23, 1999 to Kaestner et al.; U.S. Pat. No. 5,954,076 which issued Sep. 21, 1999 to McGinnis; U.S. Pat. No. 5,924,761 which issued Jul. 20, 1999 to Harrison; U.S. Pat. No. 5,692,795 which issued Dec. 2, 1997 to Mininger; U.S. Pat. No. 5,339,851 which issued Aug. 23, 1994 to Miller et al.; U.S. Pat. No. 4,877,281 which issued Oct. 31, 1989 to Altmann; U.S. Pat. No. 4,657,299 which issued Apr. 14, 1987 to Mahan; U.S. Design Pat. No. D461,759 which issued Aug. 20, 2002 to Napieraj; U.S. Design Pat. No. D454,328 which issued Mar. 12, 2002 to Cornelius; U.S. Design Pat. No. D428,595 which issued Jul. 25, 2000 to Salinas; U.S. Design Pat. No. D397,669 which issued Sep. 1, 1998 to Komick; U.S. Design Pat. No. D382,248 which issued Aug. 12, 1997 to Long; U.S. Design Pat. No. D352,690 which issued Nov. 22, 1994 to Schorr; U.S. Design Pat. No. D340,689 which issued Oct. 26, 1993 to Wolcott et al.; U.S. Design Pat. No. D337,979 which issued Aug. 3, 1993 to Napieraj; U.S. Design Pat. No. D318,446 which issued Jul. 23, 1991 to Magyar et al.; U.S. Design Pat. No. D299,817 which issued Feb. 14, 1989 to Wolcott et al.; U.S. Design Pat. No. D297,424 which issued Aug. 30, 1988 to Norris, III.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • In summary, the inflatable tent according to the present invention for mounting into the bed of a pickup truck may be characterized in one aspect as including at least one inflatable beam having opposite ends and extending from a front of the bed to the rear of the bed when mounted at its opposite ends to the bed, and a flexible tent canopy mounted to the at least one inflatable beam.
  • The tent according to the present invention may include a pair of criss-crossed inflatable beams, and the opposite ends of the pair of criss-crossed inflatable beams are mounted in corresponding opposite corners of the bed.
  • In one embodiment each inflatable beam forms a substantially ogive shape when the beam is viewed in its side elevation when inflated and mounted into the bed so as to dispose the opposite ends in releasably mounted engagement secured to interior opposite ends of the bed. In an embodiment the beams, when unconstrained by the canopy, are substantially linear when inflated, and the canopy is formed into a mushroom-like shape defining the substantially ogive shape for each beam of the pair of criss-crossed inflatable beams. Each beam may have at its opposite ends a vertical leg portion when inflated and mounted in the corners of the bed. The vertical leg portion extends vertically the height of a corresponding sidewall of the bed, and the ogive shape may flare outwardly of the bed over the sidewalls of the bed from upper ends of the vertical leg portions.
  • The canopy may constrain each beam vertically downwardly at an apex of the canopy when beams are inflated so as to urge mid-portions of each end of each beam to bulge outwardly of the bed and over the sidewalls of the bed from the upper ends of the vertical leg portions so as to form the ogive-shape of each beam. Further, the canopy may include seams formed along panels of flexible material which define the substantially ogive-shape for each beam, and wherein each beam is mounted along corresponding seams. In one embodiment the seams are mounted along and underneath each beam.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 is, in perspective view, an embodiment of the inflatable truck-mountable tent according to the present invention incorporating a single inflatable beam extending longitudinally along the bed of the truck.
  • FIG. 2 is, in side elevation view, the tent of FIG. 1.
  • FIG. 3 is, in rear elevation view, the tent of FIG. 1.
  • FIG. 4 is, in perspective view, a further embodiment of the truck-mountable tent according to the present invention incorporating a pair of criss-crossed inflatable beams mounted to the upper ends of the side rails of the truck bed.
  • FIG. 5 is, a further embodiment of the truck-mountable tent according to the present invention wherein a pair of criss-crossed inflatable beams are mounted into the bed of the truck.
  • FIG. 6 is a further embodiment of the truck-mountable inflatable tent according to the present invention wherein a single vertically inflatable pole supports a tent canopy within the truck bed.
  • FIG. 7 is, in perspective view, the tent of FIG. 5 with a fly sheet mounted over the tent and bed rails.
  • FIG. 8 is, in perspective view, a further embodiment of the truck-mountable tent according to the present invention incorporating a criss-crossed pair of inflatable beams wherein each of the beams forms an ogive-like shape when inflated so as to define a mushroom-like shaped canopy supported by the beams when inflated and mounted into the bed of a truck.
  • FIG. 9, in perspective view, the truck-mountable tent of FIG. 8 with a fly sheet mounted over the tent and bed rails.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION
  • According to one embodiment of the inflatable tent according to the present invention for mounting into the bed of a pickup truck, inflatable tent 10 mounts into the bed of a pickup truck 12 so as to be disposed between the bed sidewalls 14 a and 14 b on opposite lateral sides of tent 10, and so as to extend longitudinally from the front wall 14 c of the bed and tailgate 16. At least one inflatable beam 18, when inflated, provides an arcuate support arching over the pickup truck bed so as to support therefrom a flexible tent canopy 20.
  • Canopy 20 includes opposite lateral sides 20 a and 20 b which extend from a vertex 22 of the tent to the upper edges of bed sidewalls 14 a and 14 b respectively. A front portion 20 c of canopy 20 extends downwardly from vertex 22 to bed front wall 14 c. Door panels 20 d extend downwardly from sides 20 a and 20 b to tailgate 16.
  • In the embodiment of FIGS. 1-3, only a single, longitudinally extending inflatable beam 18 is employed. The front end 18 a is mounted to the bed front wall 14 c, as illustrated, to the upper edge of bed front wall 14 c although this is not intended to be limiting as the front end 18 a of beam 18 may extend downwardly to the lower edge of bed front wall 14 c. Beam 18 in that embodiment bisects the bed of pickup truck 12 and forms a downwardly concave arc between front end 18 a and the opposite rear end 18 b of the beam. The rear end 18 b of beam 18 may terminate at the outwardly cantilevered edge 16 b of tailgate 16, that is, the rear-most edge of tailgate 16 when the tailgate is folded down, or may also terminate at the opposite edge 16 a of tailgate 16 in a shorter embodiment of inflatable tent 10. In both embodiments, a flexible floor 24 of tent 10 extends between the front and rear of the tent and between the opposite of the tent. Floor 24 may be fastened down onto, for example, tailgate 16 or otherwise the floor 26 of the pickup truck bed. Rear end 18 b of beam 18 may be mounted to floor 24, and, because floor 24 is mounted to the truck, assists in maintaining the arcuate shape of beam 18. Otherwise, in the embodiment wherein the front end 18 a of beam 18 extends to the bottom edge of bed front wall 14 c, floor 24 which extends between ends 18 a and 18 b may provide the tension to assist in maintaining the arcuate shape of beam 18.
  • The sides 20 a and 20 b of tent 10 may be secured to the upper edges of bed sidewalls 14 a and 14 b, for example by the use of flexible straps 28 or other releasable fasteners. Sides 20 a and 20 b are equally tensioned to thereby support beam 18 in a vertical plane bisecting pickup truck 12. With the ends of beam 18 supported so as to maintain the arcuate shape of the beam, and with sides 20 a and 20 b tensioned between corresponding bed sidewalls 14 a and 14 b, door panels 20 d are sufficiently de-tensioned so that releasable fasteners such as zippered fasteners may be employed to allow ease of entry into tent 10 and for ease of re-closing of the door panels.
  • In the embodiment of FIGS. 4 and 5, a pair of beams 18, namely beams 18′ and 18″ are mounted so as to extend in a domed criss-cross fashion between oppositely disposed corners of the bed of pickup truck 12. In the embodiment of FIG. 4, the distal ends of the inflatable beams 18′ and 18″ are mounted to the ends of the upper edges of bed sidewalls 14 a and 14 b so as to cover the maximum floor space inside the truck bed and so as to thereby cover the entire bed floor 26. In the embodiment of FIG. 5 the distal ends of the inflatable beams 18′ and 18″ are mounted to the four corners of bed floor 26.
  • In both embodiments, tent canopies 20 are supported under beams 18′ and 18″, for example by the use of downwardly depending clips 28, or straps or releasable fasteners or the like mounted so as to depend from the lower inner circumferential edge of the inflatable beams.
  • In the embodiment of FIG. 5, tent 10 is sized so that the edges 24 a which extend longitudinally along bed floor 26 are laterally in-board of the wheel wells 14 d which protrude from opposite sides into the truck bed. The resilient nature of inflatable beams 18′ and 18″ accommodate the flexing of edges 24 a as they bend around wheel wells 14 c with the distal ends of the inflatable beams snugged into the four corners of the truck bed.
  • In the embodiment of FIG. 6, a tent 10′ is used in place of tent 10 wherein tent 10′, instead of using criss-crossed inflatable beams 18′ and 18″ is a tepee-style tent held erect by the use of a single inflatable vertical pole 30. Inflatable pole 30, once inflated, extends from tent floor 24 vertically upwardly into the vertex 22′. In a preferred embodiment, the upper-most end of pole 30 is mounted to the inside of canopy 20′ at vertex 22′, and the opposite lower-most end of pole 30 is mounted to the centre of tent floor 24. In this embodiment, the four opposite corners of tent floor 24 and the corresponding four opposite corners of canopy 20′ are releasably mounted to the corresponding four opposite corners of bed floor 26 by the use of conventional releasable fasteners. With the four corners of the tent thus secured to the four corners of the truck bed, pole 30 is inflated so as to tension canopy 20′. As before, edges 24 a of tent floor 24 flex around wheel wells 14 c which protrude into the truck bed. The tent 10′ may also be used removed from the truck bed and instead placed on the ground.
  • Returning to the embodiment of FIGS. 4 and 5, as seen in FIG. 7, an elongate fly sheet 32 is mounted over the top of poles 18′ and 18″. The longitudinally extending side edges 32 a on opposite sides of fly sheet 32, are releasably secured along the top edges of side walls 14 a and 14 b by conventional releasable fasteners, straps or other releasable mounting means. The forward edge 32 b is likewise releasably mounted to the upper-most edge of front wall 14 c. The rear portion 32 c of fly sheet 32 is elongate and extends from vertex 22, that is, where the vertex of fly sheet 32 rests on top of vertex 22 of tent 10, and extends rearwardly to the rear-most edge 16 b of tailgate 16 where it is releasably secured so as to tension portion 32 c allowing use of a conventional tent doorway 32 d, itself releasably closed by zippers, hook-and-loop fasteners or the like.
  • It has been found that a five foot wide by eight foot long tent 10 fits snugly into the bed of a conventional long-box pickup truck with the tailgate up and fits into a short-bed pickup truck with the tailgate down. The five by eight foot dimensions were chosen so that the side walls of the tent may clear the wheel wells protruding into the truck bed.
  • In a further alternative embodiment of the tent according to the present invention, a pair of inflatable beams 34 and in particular beams 34 a and 34 b are mounted again in criss-crossed fashion with the opposite ends of each of beams 34 releasably mounted to the corresponding four corners of bed floor 26 of pickup truck bed 12 a. The ends of beams 34 are mounted to the four corners of tent floor 24 and extended vertically upwardly from the four corners of bed floor 26 along the ends of bed sidewalls 14 a and 14 b. Beams 34 a and 34 b may either be pre-formed or forced by the pre-formed fit of the tent canopy mounted to the beams so that the beams 34 flare outwardly of bed 12 a as they extend upwardly from the upper edges of sidewalls 14 a and 14 b, thereafter curving upwardly and inwardly so as to criss-cross at vertex 22, each of beams 34 thereby forming the shape of an ogive. The resulting three-dimensional shape of tent 10″ may be described as approximating a mushroom-shape. This inflatable structure once erected within bed 12 a, provides the height advantage of the mounting of tent 10 to the upper edges of sidewalls 14 a and 14 b as seen in FIG. 4 with the added advantage of further lateral and fore-and-aft room within tent 10″ provided by the bulging of the ogives above the bed sidewalls.
  • As seen in FIG. 9, a fly sheet 36 may be mounted over beams 34 and may extend to the end 16 b of tailgate 16 in the fashion of the embodiment of FIG. 7 so as to provide an elongated vestibule entranceway over the tailgate and into tent 10″. Fly sheet 36 is otherwise mounted to bed 12 a in the same fashion as described above with respect to fly sheet 32 and the embodiment of FIG. 7.
  • In the embodiment of FIG. 8, when inflatable beams 34 are normally linear when inflated as for example in the embodiment of FIG. 4 so that the ogive shape for each of beams 34 is formed by the cut of the tent canopy 20, whether the tent canopy is mounted or suspended underneath beams 34, with tent canopy 20 affixed to the four corners of bed 12 a and in particular bed floor 26, the ogive may be formed into the criss-cross seams of canopy 20 advantageously where mounted to corresponding beams 34 and in this fashion drawing down vertex 22 so as to compress the ends of the beams outwardly into the ogive shape conforming to the cut of the canopy and its seams. In FIG. 8 canopy 20 is shown as extending between beams 34 it being understood that canopy 20 would extend in a mushroom-shaped cover entirely around the three-dimensional structure defined by the ogives of beams 34 and their corresponding vertical legs mounted into the truck bed corners.
  • As will be apparent to those skilled in the art in the light of the foregoing disclosure, many alterations and modifications are possible in the practice of this invention without departing from the spirit or scope thereof. Accordingly, the scope of the invention is to be construed in accordance with the substance defined by the following claims.

Claims (8)

1. An inflatable tent for mounting into the bed of a pickup truck, the tent comprising:
at least one inflatable beam having opposite ends and extending, when mounted at its opposite ends to the bed, from a front of the bed to the rear of the bed,
a flexible tent canopy mounted to said at least one inflatable beam,
wherein said at least one inflatable beam forms a substantially ogive shape when viewed in side elevation when inflated and mounted into the bed so as to dispose said opposite ends in releasably mounted engagement secured to interior opposite ends of the bed.
2. The tent of claim 1 wherein said at least one inflatable beam includes a pair of criss-crossed inflatable beams and wherein said opposite ends of said pair of criss-crossed inflatable beams are mounted in corresponding opposite corners of said bed.
3. The tent of claim 2 wherein said beams, when unconstrained by said canopy, are substantially linear when inflated and wherein said canopy is formed into a mushroom-like shape defining said substantially ogive shape for each beam of said pair of criss-crossed inflatable beams.
4. The tent of claim 3 wherein said each beam has at said opposite ends a vertical leg portion when inflated and mounted in the corners of the bed, wherein said vertical leg portion extends vertically the height of a corresponding sidewall of the bed.
5. The tent of claim 4 wherein said substantially ogive shape flares outwardly of the bed and over the sidewalls of the bed from upper ends of said vertical leg portions.
6. The tent of claim 5 wherein said canopy constrains said each beam vertically downwardly at an apex of said canopy when said each beam is inflated so as to urge mid-portions of each end of said each beam to bulge outwardly of the bed and over the sidewalls of the bed from said upper ends of said vertical leg portions.
7. The tent of claim 6 wherein said canopy includes seams formed along panels of flexible material and wherein said seams define said substantially ogive-shape for said each beam, and wherein said each beam is mounted along corresponding said seams.
8. The tent of claim 7 wherein said seams are mounted along and underneath said each beam.
US12/073,224 2007-03-02 2008-03-03 Inflatable tent for mounting into the bed of a pickup truck Abandoned US20080210282A1 (en)

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Cited By (10)

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US8550538B1 (en) 2012-04-10 2013-10-08 Kyle Brandenburg Pickup truck bed camping tent with air mattress
GB2502073A (en) * 2012-05-14 2013-11-20 Emma Cassar Torregiani Portable Shelter
US9015998B2 (en) 2011-02-02 2015-04-28 Universal Airbeams Inc. Airbeam
USD763390S1 (en) * 2015-06-02 2016-08-09 Elmer Smucker Tent with inflatable mattress
WO2016124799A1 (en) * 2015-02-03 2016-08-11 Juan Carlos Carmona Fraile Inflatable device
USD765206S1 (en) * 2014-12-30 2016-08-30 Ningbo Lixin Tour Products Co., Ltd. Tent
FR3040022A1 (en) * 2015-08-14 2017-02-17 Peugeot Citroen Automobiles Sa Motor vehicle comprising an tent
US9650804B1 (en) * 2016-09-15 2017-05-16 Marsha Rosales Automobile tent apparatus
WO2017201555A1 (en) * 2016-05-24 2017-11-30 Gentletent Gmbh Inflatable tent
USD851194S1 (en) * 2016-04-11 2019-06-11 Purple Line Llc Inflatable camper tent

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Cited By (10)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US9015998B2 (en) 2011-02-02 2015-04-28 Universal Airbeams Inc. Airbeam
US8550538B1 (en) 2012-04-10 2013-10-08 Kyle Brandenburg Pickup truck bed camping tent with air mattress
GB2502073A (en) * 2012-05-14 2013-11-20 Emma Cassar Torregiani Portable Shelter
USD765206S1 (en) * 2014-12-30 2016-08-30 Ningbo Lixin Tour Products Co., Ltd. Tent
WO2016124799A1 (en) * 2015-02-03 2016-08-11 Juan Carlos Carmona Fraile Inflatable device
USD763390S1 (en) * 2015-06-02 2016-08-09 Elmer Smucker Tent with inflatable mattress
FR3040022A1 (en) * 2015-08-14 2017-02-17 Peugeot Citroen Automobiles Sa Motor vehicle comprising an tent
USD851194S1 (en) * 2016-04-11 2019-06-11 Purple Line Llc Inflatable camper tent
WO2017201555A1 (en) * 2016-05-24 2017-11-30 Gentletent Gmbh Inflatable tent
US9650804B1 (en) * 2016-09-15 2017-05-16 Marsha Rosales Automobile tent apparatus

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