Patent Application - SHELF FOR PICKUP TRUCK SHELL THAT FOLDS FOR EASY REMOVAL > Description
This application claims the benefit of Provisional Patent Application 62/825,214 filed Mar. 28, 2019 by the present inventor.
This device pertains to the storage or transportation of cargo within the cargo area of a pick-up truck with a camper shell or topper installed.
Often individuals will make shelves for their pick-up camper shell to allow for storage and transportation of items, particularly to keep items elevated above the floor of the cargo area thereby allowing other items to be transported beneath the shelf. The sides of most camper shells taper inward as they approach the roof of the shell making it difficult for a single component shelf to span the width of the camper shell and still be maneuvered into position. This condition requires a shelf to be constructed from multiple components to provide a proper support platform causing assembly and installation to be time consuming. Furthermore this makes removing the shelf, when needed, inconvenient.
Various approaches to shelves for use in a camper shell previously developed are demonstrated as:
U.S. Pat. No. 5,083,828 issued to Joseph C. Accettura published 1992 Jan. 28 discloses a utility shelf to be mounted directly behind the cab of the pick-up to allow transport and storage of small light weight items, accessible through a rear sliding window of the truck cab.
U.S. Pat. No. 6,942,269 issued to David R. Mains 2005 Sep. 13 discloses a shelf system with deployable legs for support is directed more toward use in the rear of a SUV. Support legs do not allow for a completely unobstructed area under the shelf.
U.S. Pat. No. 6,224,128 issued to David R. Mains published 2008 Jan. 15 discloses a slidable and adjustable shelf assembly adapted to be fitted to the rear of a pickup truck with a camper shell, more precisely the side walls while overriding such side walls.
While the foregoing patents reflect the state of art for various methods of increasing the storage and utility of a pickup with a camper she installed, they do not offer the uniqueness of this invention as will be demonstrated with the specifications and drawings provided in this application. It is respectfully stipulated that none of these patents teach or render obvious, singly or when considered in combination, applicant's claimed invention.
This invention is directed toward a load carrying utility shelf to be mounted in a camper shell installed on a pick-up truck being supported above the bed of the pickup by resting on the base mounting flanges on each side of the camper shell, keeping the area under the shelf unobstructed.
This utility shelf is generally comprised of a shelf panel spanning the width of the camper shell, incorporating rails on the fore and aft edges of the panels, providing structural support and a raised edge to aid in keeping items on the shelf. The support rails and shelf panel are hinged at mid span allowing the entire shelf apparatus to fold in half when not in use. The hinges in the support rails offer a concealed stop that allows the shelf to lay flat in the open deployed position without collapsing. The hinges are further designed to significantly reduce the possibility of fingers getting pinched during deployment of the shelf.
This utility shelf can be easily installed, adjusted for proper fit and removed without the use of tools. Adjustment to fit a variety of camper shells is provided by means of rail extenders located at the outermost ends of each support rail, that telescope outward to contact the sides of the camper shell and lock in place to prevent lateral movement of the shelf.
After initial placement and adjustment of this device it offers the convenience of being deployed or removed requiring no other manipulation beyond unfolding to flat position to deploy and folding in half to remove. When folded in half it becomes reasonably compact for stowage.
- 2 Adjustable Support rail extenders
- 4 Support rails (Two required)
- 5 Support rails (Two required)
- 6 Shelf platform panels (two pieces)
- 8 Support rail, panel mounting flange
- 10 Continuous hinge (well known)
- 11 Alignment pins (Four required per support rail hinge)
- 12 Support rail hinge plates (Three required per hinge)
- 13 Hinge alignment holes
- 14 Support rail hinge stop
- 15 Pivotal center aperture
- 16 Support rail hinge spacers (Two required per hinge)
- 17 Cylindrical bushing (well known)
- 18 Washer
- 20 Rivets (Four required at each support rail attachment)
- 22 Locking nut
- 24 Assembly screw (multiple required)
- 26 Slip resistant pads
- 28 Assembly screws (multiple required)
- 30 Push pins (well known)
The subject utility shelf is heretofore described and assembled (See
The outward rectangular ends of a complete support rail hinge assembly (
A continuous hinge 10 is cut to the proper length with the pivot pin of the continuous hinge being threaded and protruding at each end sufficient distance to extend through the cylindrical bushing 17, washer 18 and locking nut 22.
With the two completed support rail and hinge assemblies being oriented parallel each other with support rail flanges 8 facing each other the protruding ends of the continuous hinge 10 are inserted through the cylindrical bushings 17 at each support rail hinge pivotal center, with a washer 18 place over the protruding end of continuous hinge pivot pin and locking nut 22 threaded on to the end of the continuous hinge pin at each end of said pin.
Shelf platform panels 6 are placed on the support rail flanges and said panels abutting each other over the center line of continuous hinge 10 and fastened to support rail flanges with multiple assembly screws 24 and fastened to hinge 10 with multiple assembly screws 28.
Slip resistant pads 26 are attached to underside of the outward ends of each support rail 4 and 5 with adhesive. Adjustable support rail extenders 2 are placed in each of the four outward ends of the support rails and are adjusted to fit the vehicle by sliding in or out to contact the side of the camper shell and then held in place by pushing push pin 30 through the hole in the end of each support rail and aligning with closest of the series of holes in rail extender 2.
With the shelf folded in half and placed in approximate desired location fore and aft within the truck and camper shell, place the shelf mid way laterally with the hinges toward to top of the camper shell, the support rails with extenders 2 on the floor of the truck bed and the continuous hinged panel joint running parallel the sides of the truck and camper shell.
Partially unfold the shelf by lifting one of the ends off the floor of the truck bed and placing it on the base flange of one side of the camper shell. While keeping that half in place raise the center of the shelf to a point high enough for the other end to fold out above the opposite side of the camper shell base flange and letting it set on said opposite side as you lower the center of the shelf down to the flat position where it will stop in the flat position.
The support rail extenders 2 may be adjusted by partially pulling out the push pins 30, sliding said extenders outward until the contact the sides of the camper shell and then pushing the push pins 30 back in through the closest hole in the extender thereby locking the extender 2 in place.