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Portable camping deck

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Title: Portable camping deck.
Abstract: A unit of portable outdoor deck, for purposes such a camping, that combines a pair of substantially rectangular panels creating a top side, an underside, and edges. A hinge mechanism fixedly connects an edge of each of the preferably square panels for the purpose of folding for storage, transport and unfolding to set up the portable outdoor deck. There are at least four leveling feet adjustably attached to the underside to help compensate for uneven ground below the deployed deck. ...


- Monroeville, PA, US
Inventor: Thomas A. McCoy
USPTO Applicaton #: #20080134944 - Class: 108 38 (USPTO) - 06/12/08 - Class 108 


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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20080134944, Portable camping deck.

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CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This patent application is related to and claims priority from U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/865,941 filed Nov. 15, 2006.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates, in general, to portable temporary flooring and, more particularly, this invention relates to portable outdoor ground covering that is easily stored, transported, set up, and leveled.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Prior to the conception and development of the present invention, camping often required tolerance of muddy or rocky ground areas in and around camping tents or trailers. During periods of heavy rain, those in tents may have experienced streams of water flowing through the tent, making it desirable to have an elevated platform. Some individuals have disclosed retractable decks for camping trailers, such as Corliss in U.S. Pat. No. 6,502,893, and Johnson in U.S. Pat. No. 6,736,446. Both of these are not readily transported manually.

Reid in U.S. Pat. No. 3,488,900 discloses a camping floor system consisting of four and only four interlocking panels. There is a very limited range of ground areas that can be covered and nothing to compensate for placement on sloped or uneven ground.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a unit of portable outdoor deck, for purposes such a camping, that combines a pair of substantially rectangular panels creating a top side, an underside, and edges. A hinge mechanism fixedly connects an edge of each of the preferably square panels for the purpose of folding for storage, transport and unfolding to set up the temporary outdoor deck. There are at least four leveling feet adjustably attached to the underside to help compensate for uneven ground below the deployed deck. Edge protrusions and slots can be optionally included to aid in temporarily connecting one or more additional deck units together.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION

It is, therefore, one of the primary objects of the present invention to provide a non-slip covering for muddy, rocky, or potentially muddy ground near and inside camping tents.

Another object of the present invention is to provide sections of a portable or temporary deck that can be easily transported, set up, and connected to cover areas of variable size, and shape.

Still another object of the present invention is to provide an easy to transport ground cover that can be adjusted for uneven ground.

Yet another object of the present invention is to provide easily transported sections of flooring that can be interconnected to form a wide range of areas covered.

In addition to the various objects and advantages of the present invention described with some degree of specificity above, it should be obvious that additional objects and advantages of the present invention will become more readily apparent to those persons who are skilled in the relevant art from the following more detailed description of the invention, particularly, when such description is taken in conjunction with the attached drawing figures and with the appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a partially unfolded two-panel deck unit.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the portable deck deployed on the ground.

FIG. 3 is a cross sectional elevation view of one leveling foot.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF A PRESENTLY PREFERRED EMBODIMENT OF THE INVENTION

Prior to proceeding to the more detailed description of the present invention it should be noted that, for the sake of clarity and understanding, identical components which have identical functions have been identified with identical reference numerals throughout the several views illustrated in the drawing figures.

Referring initially to FIG. 1, features of the portable deck section 10 are displayed in this perspective view. There are two rectangular panels 12 with gritty or otherwise non-slip surface joined by a hinge mechanism 14. A preferred size would be three-feet square with two-inch deep edges, but numerous other rectangular and square dimensions would be satisfactory. On the underside of each panel 12 are at least four leveling feet 16 that allow for some level adjustment when placed on uneven ground. In the preferred embodiment, the leveling feet have a central axial bolt 20 that allows easy adjustment from the top of the distance between the underside and the feet 16. Also, preferred is having nine feet located mostly proximal the edges. A bolt type adjustable with a ratchet tool from the top side is preferred. Several acceptable alternatives of another type are available from Monroe Engineering, as one example. A preferred diameter of the leveling foot would be about three to four inches, but numerous other diameters would be satisfactory. The hinge mechanism 14 is preferably what is commonly known as a piano hinge, also available from Monroe Engineering, but many other types would work as well. An alternative would be strap hinges on the top side so that folding would bring the top surfaces nearly touching. Since the unit would usually be carried some distance to the campsite, minimizing the weight is a priority. Along at least two edges of each panel 12 are protruding tabs 18 that can engage with edge slots 22 along edges of an additional adjacent deck unit if it becomes desirable to expand the deck area. An optional carrying handle 24 is shown as is an optional connecting strap 26 for holding the panels together when folded for transporting.

FIG. 2 provides a perspective view of a deployed deck unit. The upper deck surface 12 will preferably be something non-slip. The hinge mechanism 14 holds the two panels together such that the two adjoining edges are close together with no exposed hinge on top. Also acceptable would be strap hinges on the top surface such that folding would bring the two top surfaces together. Slots 22 are available for temporarily connecting additional units together if desired. Several of the leveling feet 16 are visible, and two feet 17 are shown in an extended position. The tops of the leveling bolts 20 are countersunk slightly into the top surface, and accessible to a ratchet drive tool for adjustment.

FIG. 3 is a sectional elevation view presenting details of the preferred leveling foot arrangement. The leveling foot 16 has a predetermined height and an imbedded nut 28 that engages with the adjusting bolt 20. An anti-rotation bracket 26 engages with a slot in the foot 16 so as to prevent rotation of the foot while allowing up-and-down movement. The head of the bolt is countersunk into the top surface 20 and mates with a conventional ⅜-inch ratchet drive tool.

While a presently preferred embodiment of the present invention has been described in sufficient detail above to enable a person skilled in the relevant art to make and use the same, it should be obvious that various other adaptations and modifications can be envisioned by those persons skilled in such art without departing from either the spirit of the invention or the scope of the appended claims.

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Encapsulation medium
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Industry Class:
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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20080134944 A1
Publish Date
06/12/2008
Document #
11985542
File Date
11/15/2007
USPTO Class
108 38
Other USPTO Classes
International Class
04B5/00
Drawings
3



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