US20110284044A1 - Covering tent with foldable tunnel structure - Google Patents

Covering tent with foldable tunnel structure Download PDF

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Publication number
US20110284044A1
US20110284044A1 US13/102,357 US201113102357A US2011284044A1 US 20110284044 A1 US20110284044 A1 US 20110284044A1 US 201113102357 A US201113102357 A US 201113102357A US 2011284044 A1 US2011284044 A1 US 2011284044A1
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bars
arcade
tent
hinge
arcades
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US13/102,357
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Carlo BALDUSSI
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Covering Di Baldussi Carlo
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Priority to ITMI2010A000809 priority
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Assigned to COVERING DI BALDUSSI CARLO reassignment COVERING DI BALDUSSI CARLO ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: Baldussi, Carlo
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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
    • E04H15/32Parts, components, construction details, accessories, interior equipment, specially adapted for tents, e.g. guy-line equipment, skirts, thresholds
    • E04H15/34Supporting means, e.g. frames
    • E04H15/44Supporting means, e.g. frames collapsible, e.g. breakdown type having connecting nodes
    • E04H15/48Supporting means, e.g. frames collapsible, e.g. breakdown type having connecting nodes foldable, i.e. having pivoted or hinged means

Abstract

A camping tent includes a supporting skeleton framework, which forms a tunnel-like structure, including:
a plurality of arcades which develop in parallel vertical planes, including a plurality of arcade bars, mutually connected by arcade hinge elements provided with locking portions, and
arcade-spacing elements, including a plurality of connecting half-bars, oriented parallel to the tunnel axis and running between each pair of adjacent arcades,
at least a cover canvas being associated with the skeleton,
wherein the connecting half-bars are hinged one to the other by one end and are joined to the arcades by their other ends, through articulated hinge elements provided with locking portions, and
the arcade hinge elements allow a rotation around an axis parallel to the longitudinal tunnel axis and at least part of the articulated hinge elements allow a rotation around an axis perpendicular to the plane defined by a pair of adjacent arcade bars.

Description

    FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention concerns a cover tent, typically a camping tent, equipped with a folding skeleton structure. In particular it concerns a folding tunnel-shaped tent.
  • BACKGROUND ART
  • Camping tents with folding features are already widely known and are generally intended for use by tourists; they hence have a relatively small volume and consequently also a small people-housing capacity. Due to these already relatively small dimensions, at least as foot-print, known-art tents of the quick folding and unfolding type typically resort to an “umbrella-like” structure, wherein a series of folding poles are articulated to a central connection body.
  • These tents have a typical central symmetry, since the support poles extend from a common central body. Typical examples of such tents are disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,361,794, U.S. Pat. No. 2,799,286.
  • However, when large-sized tents must be provided, such as the ones intended for disaster relief operations, for housing a large number of people, it is not possible to resort to umbrella-like frames. Therefore, large-sized tents with longitudinal development normally imply rather complex mounting operations, which require skilled staff.
  • Folding structures have also been proposed for small-sized tents, which are articulated in a different manner and allow a certain degree of compacting during the folding step. However, no effective results providing great sturdiness but at the same time excellent foldability have been obtained so far. Examples of this type are disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 2,960,992 and U.S. Pat. No. 4,077,418. In these solutions, the frame structure has rigid elements along the entire perimeter, which limits the opportunity for folding; in particular, the folding always occurs by closing the bars inwards due to the non-extendibility of the connecting elements. Similarly, US2005/0217713 concerns a small folding tent (FIG. 3B) wherein two opposite structures may be brought closer to one another and hence folded on top of the other.
  • The problem at the base of the invention is hence to propose a tent structure not having a central symmetry, which overcomes existing difficulties; in particular, it is wished to provide a very compact tent once folded, having a longitudinal development but at the same time capable of reaching a remarkable size in a deployed condition, without becoming loose or yielding; such tent must be able to house a large number of people and allow changing of state from a folded condition to the deployed condition in a quick and easy manner.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • These objects are achieved through a tent skeleton having the features mentioned in claim 1.
  • In particular, according to a first aspect of the invention, a cover tent is provided, of the type comprising a bearing skeleton frame, which forms a tunnel-like structure, consisting of a plurality of arcades which develop into parallel vertical planes, and of strut elements or arcade-spacing elements, at least one cover canvas being associated with said skeleton, the skeleton elements consisting of mutually coupled bars, wherein
  • each of the arcades of said skeleton consists of a plurality of arcade bars, mutually connected by arcade hinge means equipped with locking portions,
  • said strut elements consist of a plurality of connecting bars, oriented parallel to the tunnel axis and running between each pair of adjacent arcades,
  • each of said connecting bars consists of a pair of half-bars, hinged one to the other and to the respective arcade bars by articulated hinge means provided with locking portions,
  • and said arcade hinge means allow a rotation around an axis parallel to the longitudinal axis of the tunnel, at least part of said articulated hinge means enabling a rotation around an axis perpendicular to the plane defined by adjacent pairs of arcade bars.
  • The dependent claims disclose preferential features of the invention.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • Further features and advantages of the invention are in any case more evident from the following detailed description of a preferred embodiment, given purely by way of a non-limiting example and illustrated in the attached drawings, wherein:
  • FIG. 1 is a schematic, perspective view of a tent skeleton, or tent sector, according to the invention;
  • FIGS. 2 to 5 are schematic, perspective views which show some successive folding steps of the tent according to the invention, as shown in FIG. 1;
  • FIG. 4A being fully identical to FIG. 4, but in a representation in a remarkably larger scale;
  • FIG. 6 is an interrupted perspective view which shows the detail A of FIG. 1, i.e. the ground-touching hinge area of the tent skeleton;
  • FIG. 6A is a perspective view which shows a possible configuration of a fastening hook of the cover canvas;
  • FIGS. 7 and 8, 9 show, in a perspective view and in an axial section, respectively, the detail B of FIG. 1, i.e. the hinge area between the arcade bars and connecting bars of the tent skeleton;
  • FIGS. 10 and 11, 12 show, in a perspective view and in an axial section, respectively, the detail C of FIG. 1, i.e. the hinge area between bridge bar and arcade bars and top connecting bars of the tent skeleton;
  • FIGS. 13 and 14 show, in a perspective view and in an axial section, respectively, the detail D of FIG. 1, i.e. the hinge area between the top connecting half-bars of the tent skeleton;
  • FIGS. 15A-F are perspective picture views which show a folding sequence of the cover tent according to a first embodiment, FIGS. 15D and 15E being representative of the same step, but from two different perspectives;
  • FIGS. 16A-16I are picture views showing a deploying sequence of the cover tent according to a second embodiment of the invention; and
  • FIGS. 17A-17C are front-elevation, longitudinal-section and perspective views, respectively, of an arcade according to a preferred embodiment of the invention.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • As stated, FIG. 1 shows the skeleton of a tent according to the invention, of the well-known type having a generally polygonal-section, tunnel-shaped configuration, extended in a longitudinal direction. In the version shown in FIG. 1, the tent consists of three subsequent sections, aligned along a rectilinear ridge line coinciding with the longitudinal axis X-X of the tunnel.
  • More precisely, the skeleton shown here may form a complete tent, or even a tent “module”, in the sense that the complete tent may consist of several of these modules, aligned along the X-X axis and mutually joined.
  • A cover canvas is applied to the tent skeleton, which canvas can be mounted resting above the skeleton or, preferably (as will be shown in the following), suspended, depending on the specific mounting requirements; it is of course possible to provide—in a manner known per se—a pair of canvases, one anchored suspended within the skeleton and the other one—typically a waterproof cover—applied resting outside the skeleton.
  • According to a preferred embodiment of the invention, the frame skeleton has at least one canvas suspended internally, the generic fastening mode of which will be described below.
  • The skeleton shown in FIG. 1 is accomplished by means of bars having high mechanical resistance; in general these are bars consisting of metal tubular elements, for example of aluminium alloy or of plastic material, but any other type of bar may be employed here, for example bars of fibre-reinforced composite material.
  • As shown, the bars are divided—according to their functions—into arcade bars 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, belonging to a same transversal section, and into connecting bars 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 aligned with the longitudinal axis of the tent. The connecting bars are arranged in correspondence of each vertex of the arcade structure, i.e. where said arcade changes inclination, including the ground-touching vertex.
  • In the case of the configuration illustrated in FIG. 1, in order to form three tent sections (which is the minimum number for a tent of this type, used especially for disaster relief actions) four arcades are provided: the first one formed by bars 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, the second by bars 1 a, 2 a, 3 a, 4 a and 5 a, the third one by bars 1 b, 2 b, 3 b, 4 b and 5 b, and the fourth one by bars 1 c, 2 c, 3 c, 4 c and 5 c. These four arcades are mutually connected by the cited connecting bars, all parallel and running in a horizontal direction (once the tent is deployed in use).
  • Between each pair of adjacent arcades, one of tent sections S1, S2, S3 is formed. Tent section S1 is the longitudinal space between head arcade 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 and subsequent arcade 1 a, 2 a, 3 a, 4 a and 5 a, and these two arcades are mutually connected by connecting bars 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10. Tent section S2 is the longitudinal space between arcade 1 a, 2 a, 3 a, 4 a and 5 a and arcade 1 b, 2 b, 3 b, 4 b and 5 b, and these two arcades are mutually connected by connecting bars 6 a, 7 a, 8 a, 9 a and 10 a. And finally, tent section S3 is the longitudinal space between arcade 1 b, 2 b, 3 b, 4 b and 5 b and tail arcade 1 c, 2 c, 3 c, 4 c and 5 c, and these two arcades are mutually connected by connecting bars 6 b, 7 b, 8 b, 9 b and 10 b.
  • In the following, for ease of understanding the description, any reference to arcade bars 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and to connecting bars 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 is to be considered valid also for the arcade bars and connecting bars characterised by indexes “a”, “b” and “c”, unless different specific indication is given.
  • As already mentioned, the number of four arcades is not imperative, since it is possible to choose a different number of arcades, depending on the desired functionality requirements.
  • According to a first feature of the invention, arcade bars are connected one to the other by hinge assemblies, in the following called “arcade hinges”: an arcade hinge 11 is provided for connecting base bar 1 to slope bar 2 and an arcade hinge 12 is provided for connecting second slope bar 3 to second base bar 4; moreover, a pair of arcade hinges 13 and 13 a are provided for connecting ridge bar 5 with slope bars 2 and 3, respectively.
  • Ridge bar 5, in actual fact, as can clearly be seen from the drawings, is shaped as a short terminal bridge, suited to determine a connection element between two slope bars 2, 3 of the arcade, extending on the same plane, and a connecting rod 8 extending perpendicularly in the direction of longitudinal axis X-X′.
  • Further hinges are provided for connecting the bars of the other arcades accordingly.
  • According to a peculiar feature of the invention, all the arcade hinges provide a horizontal pivot axis, i.e. parallel to longitudinal axis X-X, which allows an outward rotation of the respective bars in a vertical plane (i.e. the arcade plane), as better described in the following also with reference to FIGS. 4 and 4A.
  • According to a further important feature of the invention, all the connecting bars are divided into two mutually articulated portions, called half-bars. In particular, the two half-bars of each connecting bar are articulated to each other as well as—by their other end—to the respective arcade bars.
  • These articulation hinges of the bars are referred to in the following as “joint hinges”. For example, the bar 6 which connects the first and second arcade, in correspondence of the respective bases, i.e. of the ground foot of base bars 1 and 1 a, is equipped with joint hinges 14, 15, at the ends thereof, and with a central joint hinge 16 between the two half-bars.
  • It is important to note that all these joint hinges, except the top ones, have an articulation axis perpendicular to the plane defined by the two adjacent arcade bars connected by the respective connecting bars. In particular, joint 16 is articulated along an axis perpendicular to the plane defined by the two arcade bars 1 and 1 a which the corresponding connecting bar 16 joins. In a symmetrical way, the bar 10 which connects the first and second arcade at the opposite base, i.e. in correspondence of the ground foot of base bars 4 and 4 a, is equipped with joint hinges 17, 18 at its ends, and with central hinge 19. Again, bar 7, which connects the first and second arcade in correspondence of arcade hinges 11, has an identical configuration to that of bars 6 and 10 and is equipped with an equal number of joint hinges, at its ends and in the middle, which have a rotation axis perpendicular to the plane defined by bars 2 and 2 a. Similarly, bar 9, which connects the first and second arcade in correspondence of arcade hinges 12, has again an identical configuration to that of bars 6 and 10 and is equipped with an equal number of joint hinges, at its ends and in the middle, which have a rotation axis perpendicular to the plane defined by bars 3 and 3 a.
  • This feature causes all the connecting half-bars to be capable of being folded one onto the other (i.e. packwise) between two adjacent arcade bars, without extending outside of the plane defined by these latters (see FIG. 7).
  • Vice versa, for a better compacting of the skeleton according to the invention, the joint hinges of the top bars or ridge bars are articulated around an axis parallel to the plane defined by the adjacent arcade bars. As a matter of fact, as can be detected from FIGS. 2 and 3, joint 8′ of connecting bar 8 is articulated along an axis parallel to the plane defined by the two arcade bridges 5 and 5 a. This causes the ridge half-bars to extend, during folding, out of the plane defined by the pairs of bridges 5-5 c, as clearly visible in FIG. 3.
  • This configuration, in addition to providing excellent compacting during folding, as will be explained below, also allows to correctly fold the cover canvas in case it is left fastened to the skeleton bars, so as to allow an advantageous folding of the skeleton together with the canvas without determining excessive volume bulges which would prevent the correct folding of the tent.
  • All the hinges, both arcade ones and joint ones, are equipped with locking means and/or means for limiting rotation, the shape and function of which are better illustrated in the following.
  • FIG. 6 shows, as stated, the detail A of FIG. 1, i.e. the hinge area corresponding to the ground foot of the tent skeleton. In this position all bars 1—but, similarly, bars 4—end below in a block unit 21 mounting a freely rotating wheel 22. An attachment 23 for joint hinge 24, 24 a is also associated with block unit 21, which attachment mounts connecting bar 6 (and, on the opposite side, connecting bar 10).
  • It must be noticed that the axis of this hinge 24, 24 a is oriented perpendicularly to the axis of bar 6, and also—according to a precise feature of the present invention—perpendicularly to the plane defined by bars 6, 1 and 1 a (or 10, 4 and 4 a, respectively).
  • FIG. 6 furthermore shows an original suspension hook for a cover canvas T of the tent. The hook is of the opening type, for example provided with a substantially U-shaped, rigid structure 100 and with an elastic closing ring 101. Hook 100 may be applied with a certain play, on one side, to a fastening ring of block unit 21 and, on the other side, to a buckle sewn on cover canvas T.
  • A plurality of these hooks is provided at least at the ground foot of the arcades, for connecting the base portion of a tent canvas. According to an embodiment, such hooks are provided also along arcade bars and connecting bars, to keep the cover canvas properly suspended and stretched from the skeleton structure. Depending on the position in which it is arranged, the hook may be arranged also as shown in FIG. 6A, i.e. directly across a skeleton bar instead of being constrained to a special ring.
  • FIG. 7 shows in a perspective view the detail B of FIG. 1, i.e. the hinge area between arcade bars 1 b and 2 b and between these and connecting bars 7 a and 7 b. In substance two joint hinges are visible at the ends of connecting bars 7 a and 7 b and an arcade hinge between arcade bars 1 b and 2 b.
  • FIGS. 8 and 9 show the same hinge area in an axial section.
  • The shape illustrated here applies not only to the hinge area between bars 1 b, 2 b, 7 a and 7 b, but also to the entire hinge area equivalent thereto, briefly referred to as 11 and 12.
  • As it is evident from FIG. 8, the arcade hinge comprises two elements 25 a and 25 b, forming terminals for the attachment of bars 1 b, 2 b, and an articulated joint 26; this joint 26 mounts, at the ends thereof, pins 26 a and 26 b for pivoting the terminals 25 a and 25 b.
  • It is important to notice that terminals 25 a and 25 b have a shape suitable for cooperating with the ends of articulated joint 26 so as, on the one hand, to allow the free rotation of bars 1 b, 2 b, when folding, up to the locking position shown in FIG. 9 and, on the other hand, to allow the free rotation thereof, when deploying, only up to the locking position shown in FIG. 8, i.e. the position, briefly angled, which determines the configuration of the skeleton arcades, shown in FIG. 1.
  • In other words, the articulation hinges according to the invention are constructed so as to have at least one automatic locking position while deploying. Such position is reached by simply bringing into mutual abutment the mutually articulated components, i.e. the two terminals and the middle joint, with no need to actuate locking pins or other tightening means. This makes tent deploying easier, because it does not require an action on the hinges which—especially for those located in a high position—could be very awkward.
  • It must be noticed that, according to a peculiar feature of the invention, the hinges between the arcade bars are configured so as to allow an outward folding of the bars, i.e. in an opposite direction to the concavity defined by the arcades. In substance, the central joint of the hinges prevents the arcade bars to be folded toward inner side of the tent, while leaving free the opposite movement, which is instead constrained—once the support skeleton has been deployed—by disengageable retaining means which will be illustrated below.
  • In such respect, as is clearly evident in FIG. 8, terminals 25 a and 25 b have a beak portion, within which the articulation pin, 26 a and 26 b, respectively, is housed. The locking position while deploying is determined by the resting of the outer end surfaces of joint 26 against the flaps 25′ of beak terminals 25 a and 25 b; equally, as can be seen in FIG. 9, the locking position while folding is determined by the resting of the tooth-shaped profiles of the inner surface of joint 26 against the head of terminals 25 a and 25 b. Consistently with what is mentioned above, the two bars 1 and 2, base and slope bars, respectively, rotate upwards around block unit 26 (with reference to the tent mounting orientation), i.e. folding one over the other on its respective outer side.
  • FIG. 10 shows, in a perspective view, the detail C of FIG. 1, i.e. the hinge area—generically referred to as 13 or 13 a in FIG. 1—between, on one side, bridge-like bar 5 c and arcade bars 2, 3 and, on the other side, between bridge-like bar 5 c and the top connecting bar 8 of the tent skeleton.
  • FIGS. 11 and 12 show the same detail C, but in an axial section: FIG. 11 shows the articulation which accomplishes the articulation between bridge-shaped bar 5 and arcade bar 2 (or 3), and FIG. 12 shows the articulation between bridge-shaped bar 5 and connecting half-bar 8.
  • FIG. 11 shows both the terminal portion 27 a of bar 2, which has the same shape as the terminal 25 a of bar 1, and the terminal portion 27 b of bridge-shaped bar 5, which has the same shape of one half of articulation joint 26. Between these two portions a type of articulation is hence accomplished which allows, on the one hand, the free rotation of bar 2, upon deploying, until it takes up the oblique position shown in FIG. 1 and, on the other hand, the rotation, upon folding, up to the position visible in FIG. 9, for the function better described in the following.
  • FIG. 12 shows instead half-bar 8, which is equipped with a terminal portion 28 a which again has the same shape of the beak-shaped terminal 25 a of bar 1. This terminal portion 28 a is hinged on bar 5 by means of a block unit 28 b, equipped with a hinge pin 28. Block unit 28 b has in turn a shape similar to one half of articulation joint 26, which matches with the contour of terminal portion 28 a to allow a free rotation thereof around pin 28, on an arc angle limited to about 90°; and precisely a rotation limited between an deployed-tent position wherein half-bars 8 are aligned horizontally, and a folded-tent position, wherein the half-bars 8 are brought into a vertical upright orientation by rotating them upwards with respect to pin 28 (position of FIG. 3). The block unit is fastened to bar 5 by means of a support tie rod (not shown).
  • Finally, FIG. 13 shows, in a perspective view, the detail D of FIG. 1, i.e. the central hinge area between connecting half-bars 6, 7, 8, 9, 10; the detail D refers to top bar 8 of the tent skeleton, but it is clear that the arrangement shown here refers to all the top hinges of all half-bars 8.
  • FIG. 14 shows the same hinge as detail D, but in a section view along to the axis of the two half-bars. Here it can be seen clearly that each of the two half-bars 8 is equipped with fully identical terminals 29 a and 29 b, but which are mirror-like symmetrical to the terminals 28 a of FIG. 12 and which are apt to rotate around the pins 30 a and 30 b of an articulation joint 30.
  • This articulation joint 30 is roughly similar to articulation joint 26; however, it is meant to operate in a substantially opposite way to joint 28 a, 28 b, in the sense that it also allows a free rotation of half-bars 8 on an arc angle limited to about 90° but, more precisely, a rotation limited between an deployed-tent condition wherein the two half-bars 8 are aligned on the same axis, and a folded-tent condition wherein the two half-bars 8 are brought to be adjacent and parallel (i.e. folded one on top of the other) with downward rotation with respect to pins 30 a and 30 b, i.e. adjacent on their respective inner side.
  • Finally, the stabilisation of the bar structure can be achieved by disengageable retaining means in the shape of tensioning ropes or wires. A main series of tensioning wires is provided for mutually constraining the two base ends or resting ends of each arcade: these ropes prevent the moving away of the base bars and hence a collapsing of the structure in the direction allowed by the hinge means. A second series of tensioning wires is preferably provided in each intermediate section—i.e. between one arcade and the next—for mutually connecting the various intermediate articulation hinges. Hinge connection can be achieved by connecting the wires or ropes to special eyelets or through-holes provided on the block body of each hinge.
  • The tensioning wires are left unattached (or loose) in the folded condition of the skeleton, while they are constrained well after having fully deployed the tent, to avoid an undesired collapsing of the skeleton.
  • Alternatively to the tensioning wires, it is provided that the frame skeleton be maintained in the deployed condition by alternative tensioning means. For example, the tensioning means may consist of a so-called tent bottom, i.e. a usually waterproof base canvas which acts as insulating barrier to the ground. The tent bottom, possibly strengthened by crosswise filaments, is fastened to the base portion of the arcade bars and prevents the outward spreading apart thereof. In this case, too, the tent bottom may be permanently fastened to the arcade bars or it may be of a disengageable and removable type or else be an integral part of the tent canvas.
  • Due to this configuration of the tent skeleton according to the invention, it is possible to accomplish, in an extremely quick and easy way, both the deploying and the folding of the tent; this operation is described here in the following using mainly the reference numbers of the bars concerning the first section of the tent, but it is clear that this description applies by similarity also to the other sections of the same tent.
  • The operation appears evident from the sequence of FIGS. 2 to 5, which illustrate the folding operations of an embodiment of the invention—if FIG. 1 to FIG. 5 are read sequentially—and, in an equally evident way, the deploying operations—if FIG. 5 to FIG. 1 are read. The folding sequence is clearly shown also in FIGS. 15A-F, by means of exemplifying pictures.
  • FIG. 2 shows a first folding step, with respect to the full unfolding of the tent (FIG. 1), wherein the various arcades are brought closer together, with a movement along the X-X′axis. In this step the hinges 11, 12, 13 and 13 a of the arcade bars remain fixed in order to preserve the arcade shape, while the hinges of all connecting bars 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 are free to rotate. The moving closer of the various arcades to one another is aided by the presence of the wheels at the base ends, which glide on the ground.
  • The moving closer of the various arcades is produced by folding the connecting half-bars, in particular the top bars, the intermediate hinge of which is lifted upwards (FIG. 15A): in other words, the arcades are moved closer by folding one on the other the two half-bars of each one of the connecting bars 6, 7, 8, 9 e 10, due to the rotation of the intermediate and terminal hinges thereof.
  • The folding movement occurs around the axes of these hinges which—as already mentioned—are arranged so as to keep the connecting bars 6, 7, 9 and 10 in the same plane defined by the adjacent arcade bars. Vice versa, the pairs of top half-bars 8 fold one on the other, protruding perpendicularly from the plane defined by adjacent bridges 5, in the way visible in FIGS. 2 and 3. In substance, during this first folding step, the arcades are moved closer to each other and the top connecting bars protrude from the contour of the arcades determining a generically Y-shaped figure.
  • Due to its position and to the way of folding, the intermediate hinge of the top half-bars 8 is preferably pushed upwards by acting from within the tent with a manoeuvring rod tool.
  • When the arcades have been moved closer, at travel end—in the way clearly shown in FIG. 3 and FIG. 15B—the connecting bars are closer and virtually packed within the space between the bars of the arcades; except for bars 8, which remain instead projecting upwards, above bridge-shaped bars 5.
  • The cover canvas—if kept fastened to the frame—remains also folded, with the forming of loops, between one arcade and the next, which remain flaglike—retained by top bar 8, above the arcade bars.
  • Once this initial folding step has been completed, it is possible to release the arcade bars, to perform the second step of the folding operation shown in FIG. 4.
  • Operationally, the stack of arcades packed close together is laid on the ground (FIGS. 15C-D) and then the rotation of the arcade bars is released, for example by unfastening the tensioning ropes which join the base ends.
  • In the further folding step, the arcade bars are caused to rotate fully outwards, in the directions shown by the arrows F of FIGS. 3 and 4, so as to cause the same to converge towards the central area of top bars 8 (see also FIG. 4A). In other words, the arcade bars are rotated upwards—in a clockwise direction for bars 1, 2, and in an anti-clockwise direction for bars 3, 4, with respect to the drawing of FIGS. 4 and 4A.
  • The second folding step occurs in turn in two steps, first up to an intermediate position (as shown on the left hand side, with respect to the drawing, of FIG. 4A, as well as in FIG. 15E) and subsequently until the base ends or support ends of bars 4 (i.e. the ends equipped with wheels 22) engage with the space left free between hinges 13 and 13 a and the folded half-bars 8 (as clearly visible on the right-hand side of FIG. 4A).
  • The final, fully-folded condition is shown in FIGS. 5 and 15F, wherein one can see that the complex skeleton of FIG. 1 is closed in a small-sized, easily transportable “pack”. Inside the pack the cover canvas (if any) is contained. In order to prevent the pack from accidentally opening, it is possible to provide a tying system.
  • As it can be easily understood, these folding operations can be performed very simply and without the use of special tools, but for a possible manoeuvring rod tool suited to reach in height the hinges of the top connecting bars.
  • Equally simple and fast—and in this case simplicity and speed become essential features—is the deploying operation of the tent skeleton, which can be easily read from the inverted sequence of the same FIGS. 5 to 1.
  • The deploying step is better illustrated also with reference to an improved embodiment of the invention, illustrated in the sequence of FIGS. 16A-16I.
  • In the initial step the folded skeleton pack is placed on the ground (FIG. 16A). In this condition, preferably, the connecting half-bars in the proximity of the base of the arcades are kept coupled with the base bars of the adjacent arcades through an engagement bridge 30: thereby the bar pack is more stable.
  • A spreading apart of the pair of mutually associated bars 1-2 and 3-4, respectively, is performed, causing them to rotate all together in opposite directions (for example in a clockwise direction, or arrow F′ on the right-hand side of FIG. 4, for bars 3-4); then a further spreading apart of bars 1 from bars 2 and of bars 3 from bars 4, respectively, is performed to move them away from one another (anticlockwise, or arrow F′ on the left-hand side of FIG. 4). FIG. 16B shows an intermediate situation.
  • A facilitation in the reconstruction of the arcades, i.e. in the correct positioning of the arcade bars, is given by the special shape of hinges 11, 12, 13 and 13 a, which comprise rotation-limiting means. Thereby, when bars 1, 2, 3 and 4, rotating in the direction of arrows F′, have reached the position illustrated in FIG. 16C, a further rotation is no longer possible—in the sense, for example, of a greater closing with respect to the position of FIG. 3 or 16C—and hence each arcade is perfectly defined in its work position.
  • Once the arcades are fully extended, by bringing the relevant hinges into a locked position, the tensioning wires are constrained (retaining means) at the support or base ends (FIG. 16D), to prevent a closing again of the arcades. Then the arcade group is arranged in an upright position, so that the base ends equipped with wheels 22 rest on the ground.
  • Finally the various arcades are moved apart from each other (FIG. 16E), possibly acting on top connecting bars 8, in the sense of pulling downwards the respective, intermediate articulation hinges.
  • Once the further tensioning wires (if any, in the sections between one arcade and the next) have been tensioned, the frame structure is fully deployed and stabilised and can be further constrained to the ground with standard stakes.
  • According to the embodiment shown in FIGS. 16A-16I and then 17A-17C, at the end of the deploying of the skeleton, it is provided to mount the tent canvas, which is hung below the skeleton. As a first step, the base or bottom of the canvas is fastened to the base ends of the skeleton (FIG. 16G). After which, the constraint points of the canvas are fastened to three suspension vertexes, i.e. to the top vertex and to the vertexes between the base bars and the slope bars of each individual arcade (FIG. 16H), until the entire tent canvas is correctly lifted (FIG. 16I).
  • According to this preferred embodiment of the invention, in order to suspend the tent canvas, at the to the three vertexes of each arcade, loops of a constraint string or rope which runs along the bars of each individual arcade are provided. In particular, as clearly shown in FIG. 17B, a constraint string 40 runs on small pulleys, mounted idle on the arcade bars (with rotation spindles which run through the bars, so that the pulleys are housed, at least partly, within the tubular element of each bar) and descending downwards with respective loops in correspondence of the three arcade vertexes. Rope 40 runs outside a base bar, through the arcade structure running on two small idle guide wheels 41 and 42 and builds a loop on the inside of the arcade, i.e. on the side of the concavity thereof. The rope enters the arcade structure again passing on a small idle pulley 43, runs within the slope bar and rests first on a small idle wheel 44 and then on a small wheel 45 of the arcade bridge bar, until it comes out with a second top loop. In a symmetrical way with respect to the longitudinal axis of the frame, rope 40 enters again the other slope bar, running on small pulleys 46, 47 and 48, until it comes out with a third vertex loop. Then the rope crosses again the frame structure, running on small pulleys 49 and 50, running again to the outside of the base bar, where it can be easily handled by an operator.
  • In substance, at least one small pulley is provided at each end of the bar elements, so as to correctly guide the forming of the three loops, as well as an additional pulley where the rope crosses the frame structure from side to side (i.e. in the proximity of the upper end of the two base bars).
  • The rope is sufficiently long to be able to form wide loops which extend up to a height next to the ground, where an operator can easily fasten the suspension points (for example snap hooks) of the tent canvas. For such purpose, the rope can be mounted by a fixed end to a base bar, while by the opposite end, slackenable or haulable taut with the help of winding bollards or other stopping clamp integral with the frame structure.
  • In order to facilitate a regular rope sliding, in the step of lifting or lowering the canvas from the arcade, according to a preferred embodiment, it is furthermore provided that at least the small pulleys defining the rope loops be mounted idle on pivoting rotation axes; in other words, the axes of the small pulleys are not rigidly oriented orthogonally to the lying plane of the arcade, but have a freedom of orientation about the longitudinal axis of the bars they are applied to. For such purpose, the small pulleys are mounted on sleeves applied externally to tubular bars, so that each sleeve may rotate freely on the cylindrical surface of the tubular bar. This configuration leaves each small pulley free to orient itself correctly with respect to the drawing or tensioning direction which is applied locally by the rope (i.e. on the specific loop). It was possible to ascertain that this implies significant advantages for reducing frictions and facilitating the job of tent mounting, since the large canvas tends to impart irregular traction forces on the suspension points, which would otherwise end up creating undesired transversal stresses on the small pulleys.
  • However, it is understood that the invention must not be considered limited to the specific arrangement illustrated above, which represents only an exemplifying embodiment thereof, but that a number of variants are possible, all within the reach of a person skilled in the field, without departing from the scope of protection of the invention, as defined in the following claims.
  • For example, although reference has always been made in the description to a camping tent, it is not ruled out that the same cover structure may be advantageously employed as a shelter for other uses, such as shelter for equipment, gazebo or a greenhouse tunnel for agricultural crops.

Claims (14)

1. Cover tent, of the type comprising a bearing skeleton framework, which forms a tunnel-like structure, consisting of a plurality of arcades which develop in parallel vertical planes, and of strut elements or of arcade-spacing elements, at least a cover canvas being associated with said skeleton, the skeleton elements consisting of mutually coupled bars,
characterised in that each of the arcades of said skeleton consists of a plurality of arcade bars, mutually connected through arcade hinge means provided with locking portions,
in that said strut elements consist of a plurality of connecting bars, oriented parallel to the tunnel axis and running between each pair of adjacent arcades,
in that each of said connecting bars consists of a pair of half-bars, hinged one to the other and to the respective arcade bars, through articulated hinge means provided with locking portions,
and in that said arcade hinge means allow a rotation along an axis parallel to the longitudinal tunnel axis with a folding of the arcade bars in a direction opposite to the arcade concavity, and in that
at least part of said articulated hinge means allow a rotation along an axis perpendicular to the plane defined by pairs of adjacent arcade bars.
2. Tent as claimed in claim 1), characterised in that said connecting bars are joined to the arcade bars in the proximity of the respective arcade hinge means.
3. Tent as claimed in claim 1), characterised in that said arcade bars and said connecting bars are mutually connected to form a folding gridwork skeleton.
4. Tent as claimed in claim 1), characterised in that said locking portions of the hinge means are configured as limiting means of the hinge rotation.
5. Tent as claimed in claim 1), characterised in that articulated hinge means relating to the top connecting bars allow a rotation around an axis parallel to the plane defined by pairs of adjacent arcade bars.
6. Tent as claimed in claim 5), wherein all the other connecting bars other than top connecting bars allow a rotation around an axis perpendicular to the plane defined by pairs of adjacent arcade bars.
7. Tent as claimed in claim 6), characterised in that said top connecting bars are designed to rotate outwards of the arcade upon folding.
8. Tent as claimed in claim 1), wherein said arcades comprise, in a symmetrical manner, two base bars, two slope bars and one middle bridge bar of the arcade.
9. Tent as claimed in claim 8), wherein said connecting bars are arranged at said hinge locking portions between base bars and slope bars, as well as on the symmetry axis of said arcade.
10. Tent as claimed in claim 1), wherein displacement wheels are provided at the base end of said arcades, mounted idle to facilitate the mutual coming closer of said arcades.
11. Tent as claimed in claim 1), wherein first removable tensioning means are furthermore provided which connect at least the two base ends of each arcade.
12. Tent as claimed in claim 11), wherein second tensioning means are provided in the shape of ropes mutually connecting also homologous articulation hinges of the same section.
13. Tent as claimed in claim 1), wherein a rope (40) is provided coupled with each arcade which defines at least three suspension loops whereto three suspension points of said cover canvas are meant to be hung.
14. Tent as claimed in claim 13), wherein said rope (40) runs on small idle pulleys (41-50), at least the pulleys bordering said loops being pivotingly mounted on the bars of said arcade.
US13/102,357 2010-05-06 2011-05-06 Covering tent with foldable tunnel structure Abandoned US20110284044A1 (en)

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ITMI20100809 ITMI20100809A1 (en) 2010-05-06 2010-05-06 coverage blind foldable tunnel.
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US20130206197A1 (en) * 2012-02-13 2013-08-15 Alaska Structures, Inc. Portable shelter and frame
GB2503797A (en) * 2012-05-24 2014-01-08 California Ind Facilities Resources Inc Collapsible frame for a portable shelter
US9097034B2 (en) 2012-05-24 2015-08-04 California Industrial Facilities Resources, Inc. Collapsible frame for a shelter
US20160076272A1 (en) * 2014-09-15 2016-03-17 Shelterlogic Corp. Erectable shelter structures and methods of assembly and disassembly
US9410343B2 (en) 2012-05-24 2016-08-09 California Industrial Facilities Resources, Inc. Collapsible frame for a portable shelter
US9834954B2 (en) 2013-11-21 2017-12-05 Becher Stp Foldable modular structure for a fast-erecting tent or similar shelter
US20180245367A1 (en) * 2017-02-28 2018-08-30 Celina Tent, Inc. Frame for a transportable shelter
US10392828B2 (en) 2016-01-26 2019-08-27 Weatherhaven Global Resources Ltd. Rapidly deployable modular shelter system
US10794080B2 (en) 2019-02-27 2020-10-06 Weatherhaven Global Resources Ltd. Rapidly deployable modular shelter system

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US9097034B2 (en) 2012-05-24 2015-08-04 California Industrial Facilities Resources, Inc. Collapsible frame for a shelter
US9410343B2 (en) 2012-05-24 2016-08-09 California Industrial Facilities Resources, Inc. Collapsible frame for a portable shelter
GB2558445B (en) * 2012-05-24 2019-01-30 California Ind Facilities Resources Inc Collapsible frame for a shelter
GB2503797A (en) * 2012-05-24 2014-01-08 California Ind Facilities Resources Inc Collapsible frame for a portable shelter
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US9834954B2 (en) 2013-11-21 2017-12-05 Becher Stp Foldable modular structure for a fast-erecting tent or similar shelter
US20160076272A1 (en) * 2014-09-15 2016-03-17 Shelterlogic Corp. Erectable shelter structures and methods of assembly and disassembly
US10208503B2 (en) 2014-09-15 2019-02-19 Shelterlogic Corp. Erectable shelter structures and methods of assembly and disassembly
US9637947B2 (en) * 2014-09-15 2017-05-02 Shelterlogic Corp. Erectable shelter structures and methods of assembly and disassembly
US10392828B2 (en) 2016-01-26 2019-08-27 Weatherhaven Global Resources Ltd. Rapidly deployable modular shelter system
US20180245367A1 (en) * 2017-02-28 2018-08-30 Celina Tent, Inc. Frame for a transportable shelter
US10794080B2 (en) 2019-02-27 2020-10-06 Weatherhaven Global Resources Ltd. Rapidly deployable modular shelter system

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