PORTABLE OUTDOOR UTILITY TABLE
A portable outdoor utility table has stable folding supports that allow the surface to be easily transported to locations of various outdoor activities. The surface can be stabilized by support structures that contain two legs in a fixed arrangement that limits the independent movement of the legs. The portable outdoor surface can have with a water delivery system and/or one or more electrical receptacles. Additionally, the portable outdoor utility table can have a plurality of accessory receptacles for installing various accessories that allow a user to customize the surface for a particular use. Accessories may be provided for mounting, storage, waste disposal, lighting, cooking and/or to aid in specific tasks such as fish cleaning or oyster shucking.
This is a non-provisional of U.S. Provisional Appl. Ser. No. 61/237,430, filed 27 Aug. 2009, which is incorporated herein by reference and to which priority is claimed.BACKGROUND
Without limiting the scope of the invention, its background is described in connection with existing outdoor equipment and uses thereof. Outdoor activities often involve clean up and/or preparation tasks for which a portable table would be advantageous. For example, hunting and fishing each involve cleaning and preparing the meat as soon as possible in order to preserve flavor. Camping involves meal preparation and clean up. Often, hunting, fishing, and camping sites may provide basic amenities such as running water but do not provide further amenities for the required activities. Therefore, a versatile outdoor utility table that may be easily transported to the locations of various outdoor activities is desirable.
Although attempts have been made in the past to provide portable outdoor tables, each effort has resulted in certain undesirable features. For instance, existing designs suffer from immobility, instability, lack of water supply, and lack of storage among other things. Furthermore, existing designs have been typically directed towards a single particular outdoor activity. Accordingly, it is the purpose of the present application to overcome the deficiencies of existing designs.SUMMARY
In one embodiment, a portable outdoor utility table is provided that includes a table top that is bordered on two opposite sides by sidewalls that extend above the top side of the table top. The sidewalls form a boundary that prohibits water runoff along the sides of the table top. Optionally, the sidewalls may extend below the bottom side of the table top as well. The table top is supported at two opposite ends by support structures, each of which include two legs joined by a hip and are maintained in an extended position by a locking brace. Upon release of the locking brace, the supports may be folded up against the bottom of the table top for transport and storage. In one embodiment, the outdoor utility table is provided with a water delivery system that is affixed to the table and includes a spray nozzle connected to one end of a hose and a water supply connection at the opposite end of the hose.
In a further embodiment, a customizable outdoor preparation system includes a rigid preparation surface that includes upwardly extending sidewalls along at least two opposite edges of the surface. The surface additionally contains at least one drain along at least one adjacent edge of the surface. Formed in the surface are one or more accessory receptacles, which are configured to receive an accessory peg. Preferably, the peg fits snugly in the receptacle so that any lateral movement of the peg within the receptacle is minimized. Any one of a plurality of accessories, each containing at least one accessory peg, may be releasably secured to the surface by inserting the accessory peg or pegs into any of the surface's complementary accessory receptacles. In certain embodiments, the rigid surface may be supported by one of a variety of mounting accessories that are installed in one or more of the accessory receptacles.
In still another embodiment, a portable outdoor utility table includes a four-sided table top bordered on two opposing sides by sidewalls that extend above a top side of the table top. The table is supported at two opposite ends by pivoting support structures, each of which are secured between the opposing sidewalls and include two legs joined by a hip structure. The pivoting support structures can be folded for transportation and storage with the first pivoting structure folded against the underside of the table top and the second pivoting structure folded against the first pivoting structure. The table is provided with a water delivery system consisting of a spray nozzle and a water supply connection attached to opposite ends of a hose. Formed in the table top are one or more accessory receptacles that are configured to accept one or more accessory pegs belonging to a plurality of accessories. In certain embodiments, the table may contain a drain which is formed for example as a slot extending through the table top at an end of the table or as a sluice which channels water into a low point at an end of the table.
For a more complete understanding of the present disclosure, including features and advantages, reference is now made to the detailed description of the invention along with the accompanying figures:
Disclosed herein is a portable outdoor utility table that combines the stability of a stationary preparation surface with the convenience of a portable table. In certain embodiments, a portable outdoor preparation system is provided that is completely customizable to desired hunting, fishing and/or camping uses by virtue of a design that is able to accept various interchangeable attachments. While the making and using of various embodiments of the table are discussed in detail below, it should be appreciated that the present disclosure provides many applicable inventive concepts, which can be employed in a wide variety of specific contexts. The specific embodiments discussed herein are merely illustrative of specific ways to make and use the disclosed table and do not delimit the scope of the present disclosure.
Turning now to the figures, an outdoor utility table 10 in
It is contemplated that multiple materials, including but not limited to wood, metal, and plastic, may be used to fabricate the outdoor utility table 10. In particular, the major structural components of the table can be manufactured out of plastic by molding techniques including but not limited to injection molding, compression molding, and thermoforming. Decorative aspects can be optionally provided by film insert molding wherein an image such as on film or fabric is inserted into the mold prior to plastic injection.
The opposing sidewalls 26a-b extend above the table's upper surface 22 along at least some portion of the length of the table. As such, the sidewalls 26a-b provide a raised border along the edges of the table. Such an arrangement directs water and waste towards the head end 23 and/or the tail end 25 of the table 10 when performing activities such as fish and game cleaning and food preparation.
One or both sidewalls 26a-b can also contain a recessed electrical outlet 50 (
As will be discussed in greater detail below, the table 10 can be used with a number of accessories, one or more of which may require electrical power. A single cable (not shown) can provide electrical power to the electrical outlets 50 and the individual accessories, thereby eliminating need for multiple extension cords.
The outdoor utility table 10 is capable of being easily stored and transported to a desired location. When the table 10 is not in use, the pivoting supports 40a-b can be folded under the table top 20. As will be described in greater detail below in
Because the table 10 can be used as a work surface and may be used by two people, the table 10 is preferably stable. In prior designs, work surface stability has suffered as portability increases. The portable table 10 derives its stability from a design of the pivoting supports 40a-b. By connecting each pair of legs 42 with a hip 44 into a single pivoting support structure, independent leg movement is eliminated for increased stability.
In the particular embodiment depicted, each leg 42 additionally contains a brace 46 that is perpendicular to the plane of the leg 42. As depicted in
Optionally, as depicted in
The opposing sidewalls 26a-b are joined to the table top 20. In the particular embodiment depicted, the table top 20 and sidewalls 26a-b consist of a single structure in which the sidewalls 26a-b extend both slightly above the table upper surface 22 and below the underside 23 of the table top 20. As will be discussed in greater detail below, the table top 20 may contain features that allow the outdoor utility table 10 to be customized with a variety of interchangeable accessories according to the desired use. For example, the table 10 may be quickly converted from a breakfast preparation table to a fish cleaning and preparation table.
As will be described in greater detail in reference to the table accessories, drainage slot 32 will be particularly useful when using the waste disposal accessory. The drainage slot 32 may also be covered if desired by the user. The spray nozzle 57 is preferably connected to a flexible hose 56. To the end of the flexible hose 56 opposite spray nozzle 57 is attached a connector 58 such that flexible hose 56 may be connected to a water supply. Although the present disclosure is not limited by the length of flexible hose 56, the hose 56 will typically range in length between 3 and 6 feet. When the spray nozzle 57 is not in use, the nozzle 57 can be inserted into nozzle compartment 36 and secured in place by closing nozzle compartment lid 37. Alternatively, the spray nozzle 57 can be secured by a clip without the requirement of a port hole for compartment 36 defined through the table surface.
In certain aspects, the outdoor utility table 10 is additionally equipped with a handle 28 for easily transporting the table 10 in its folded position. While the handle 28 is depicted near the tail end 25 of the table 10, it might also be located along the sidewall 26a-b or head end 24. In addition, the table 10 can have multiple handles. The handle 28 may be molded or fabricated into or onto the surface of the table top 20 or may be attached by screws or other fasteners.
As shown in
As depicted in
Alternatively as shown in
Alternatively as shown in
Alternatively as shown in
A perspective view of the outdoor utility table 10 of
As depicted in
Because the table 10 can be used as a work surface for one or two people, the table 10 is designed so that its portability does not compromise stability. Here again, the table 10 depicted in
The back pivoting support 40b is folded under the table 10 by unlocking the locking mechanism (e.g., brace 45) and pivoting the support 40b towards the underside 23 of the table 10. As can be appreciated, the perpendicular braces 46 of the back pivoting support 40b rest parallel to and to the inside of the perpendicular braces 46 of the front pivoting support 40a. Because the back pivoting support's brace components 46 are offset from the sidewalls 26a-b to allow the pivoting supports 40a-b to fold together, the back pivoting support 40b contains a bracket tab 47b on each leg 42 that accommodates for the offset and ensures that the braces 45 run parallel to the sidewalls 26a-b. When the back pivoting support 40b is folded underneath the table 10, the bracket tabs 47b align with the tab recesses 47a of the front pivoting support 40a. Again, the need for bracket tabs and recesses 47a-b may be obviated when an alternate locking mechanism is used. It can therefore be seen that when the pivoting supports 40a-b are folded under the table 10, the supports 40a-b fit neatly within the width of the sidewalls 26a-b. In its folded position, the outdoor utility table 10 is very compact and can be stored or transported with ease.
A few of the many contemplated accessories will now be described beginning with a storage compartment accessory 70 depicted in
The storage compartment 70 is designed to span the width of the table and fit snugly between opposing sidewalls 26a-b. Alternatively, the storage compartment 70 may be shorter and not extend across the width of the table top 20. If the receptacles 30 are placed equidistant from each other in both longitudinal and widthwise dimensions, the storage compartment 70 can be optionally placed parallel to a long axis of the table top 20. Although the storage compartment 70 may be installed anywhere along the length of the table 10, the compartment 70 is preferably installed near one tail end 25 of the table 10 in order to define a working surface separate from a small convenience surface for accessories such as drink holders.
As shown in
Turning now to
Particularly useful in combination with accessories such as the fish cleaning accessory 75 and the oyster shucking accessory 80 is a waste disposal accessory 85 such as depicted in
Affixed to the converging sidewalls 89 is the disposal container holder 86 which hangs over the end of the table top 20. A disposal container (not shown), such as a garbage bag, may be suspended between the prongs or arms 87 of the disposal container holder 86 to catch the waste products that pass over the drainage slot 32 and fall off the end of the table 10. As shown, slots are formed in each arm 87 of the disposal container holder 86. A top edge of the garbage bags is easily slipped into opposing slots of each arm 87 to securely hold garbage bags. The drainage slot 32 can be located slightly upstream of the front pivoting support 40a such that the water is drained on the upstream side of the pivoting support 40a and the disposal container 85 hangs on the opposite side of the pivoting support 40a in a manner which reduces the water drainage contacting the outside of the disposal container.
A cooktop accessory 90d is provided that is affixed to the table top 20 by the peg and receptacle mechanism. In one embodiment, the cooktop accessory 90d is an induction cooktop that heats only the ferrous cooking vessels used in conjunction with it and otherwise delivers no residual heat to the table top 20.
Further examples of contemplated accessories include knife storage. The knife storage may be in the form of a knife block that is attached to the table surface by the peg and receptacle mechanism. Alternatively, the knife storage may be a magnetic strip that is affixed to the table. Further accessories include peg mountable receptacles such as for scalers, peelers, scissors, drinks, music players, etc. It should be noted that
As shown in
Another portable outdoor utility table 100 illustrated in
This trough 124 serves to channel liquid running off the central raised portion 113 of the top surface 112 toward a drainage opening 126 at the head of the table top 110. The sidewalls 120a-b/122 keep the liquid in the trough 124. Although not shown, the tail edge of the table top 110 can have a sidewall and can define a portion of the trough 124 to bring liquid to the drainage opening 126. As noted previously, the table top 110 is preferably inclined slightly with the tail end being higher than the head end to facilitate the flow of liquid to the drainage opening 126. Although one opening 126 is shown, the trough 124 can have additional openings at various places.
To support the table top 110 and as best shown in
When the legs 160a-b/170a-b fold inward, the table top 110 can be carried using one or more handles. As shown in
As shown on the topside 112 in
Next to the container 150 at the edges, the table top 110 has holders 130 with various receptacles 132 defined therein. These holders 130 can be integral components of the table top 110 or can be removable accessories. In any event, the holders 130 can be used to hold any number of useful items including drinks, spices, tools, or the like in the various receptacles 132.
As also shown on the topside 112 in
As also shown in the side and front views of
The back of the basket 180 attaches to the head legs 170a-b so the basket 180 can be pivoted and collapsed against the underside 114 when the table 10 is stored or carried. To help support the basket 180 open, pivot arms 186 extend from the head legs 170a-b to the front, top edge of the basket 180. The pivot arms 186 help keep the top of the basket 180 open when unfolded as shown.
As noted previously, a number of accessories can be used with the disclosed table 100. The accessories described previously include a storage compartment, a fish cleaning board, an oyster shucking block, a waste disposal holder, a drink holder, a cooktop, a coffee pot, a lamp, a fillet knife, and a knife block. At each corner, for example, the table top 110 has projections 140 with slots or receptacles 142 defined therein for any of the various accessories. These projections 140 preferably extend from the edges of the table top 110 to maintain more surface area for the table's work space, although this is not strictly necessary.
The slots or receptacles 142 can receive pegs or feet of any number of accessory items as disclosed herein. Although only four such projections 140 are shown, more could be provided along the edges of the table top 110. As shown in the side and front views of
As described previously, some of the accessories disclosed herein include pegs that fit into various slots in the table 100. Accordingly, additional slots or receptacles can be defined elsewhere on the table top 110 similar to what has been previously described. For example, one or more slots (e.g., 144;
The slots 142/144/146 can receive pegs for accessories. As shown in
Alternatively, the table top 110 can lack such slots and may only have the peg holes 142 in the projections 140 as shown in
As shown in
As shown in
Although the table top 10 of
From the preceding description, it can be seen that the disclosure provides an outdoor table, which not only improves upon existing designs by increasing stability, but also provides an opportunity for a user to customize the table to the user's specific needs by installing one or more desired interchangeable accessories. It can also be appreciated that the design of the outdoor utility table increases the ease of use of the table.
From the foregoing description, one skilled in the art can easily ascertain the essential characteristics of the disclosed table, and without departing from the spirit and scope thereof, can make various changes and modifications of the invention to adapt it to various usages and conditions. The invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from its spirit or essential characteristics. The described embodiments are to be considered in all respects only as illustrative and not restrictive. The scope of the invention is, therefore, indicated by the appended claims rather than by the foregoing description. All changes to the claims that come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are to be embraced within their scope.
1. A portable outdoor utility table, comprising:
- a table top having end edges and side edges, the table top defining a drain at one of the end edges and having first sidewalls along the side edges, the first sidewalls directing material at least towards the one end edge;
- a plurality of supports supporting the table top; and
- a holder for holding a disposal container, the holder disposed at the one end edge of the table top and defining a passage receiving directed material from the table top.
2. The table of claim 1, wherein the table top defines an inclination from the one end edge toward the other end edge.
3. The table of claim 1, wherein the supports comprise legs attached to the table top and being pivotable against an underside of the table top.
4. The table of claim 1, wherein one or more of the supports comprise a height adjustable foot.
5. The table of claim 1, further comprising a plurality of receptacles formed in the table top, the receptacles receiving one or more accessories useable with the table.
6. The table of claim 1, further comprising a storage container disposed on the other end edge of the table top.
7. The table of claim 1, wherein the table top comprises a top surface having a trough formed with the sidewalls, the trough directing material to the drain.
8. The table of claim 1, wherein the holder comprises a frame attaching to the table top and supporting the disposal container thereon.
9. The table of claim 8, wherein the frame comprise arms extending from the one edge of the table top and forming sides of the passage defined by the holder.
10. The table of claim 8, wherein the frame comprises second sidewalls disposed on the table top at the one end edge and directing material to the passage of the holder.
11. The table of claim 1, further comprising a water delivery system affixed to the table and having a spray nozzle connected to a hose.
12. The table of claim 1, wherein at least one of the side edges comprises an electrical receptacle.
13. The table of claim 1, wherein the plurality of supports comprise:
- at least one support supporting the one end edge of the table top; and
- a trailer hitch accessory securing the other end edge of the table top to a vehicle trailer hitch.
14. The table of claim 1, wherein the plurality of supports comprise:
- at least one support supporting the one end edge of the table top; and
- a bed mount accessory supporting the other end edge of the table top on a surface of a vehicle.
15. A customizable outdoor preparation system, comprising:
- a rigid surface having upwardly depending sidewalls on at least two sides and having at least one drain disposed on at least one end of the surface;
- a plurality of receptacles formed in the rigid surface; and
- one or more accessories having pegs releasably disposing in the receptacles of the rigid surface.
16. The system of claim 15, further comprising at least one support supporting the rigid surface.
17. The system of claim 15, wherein the at least one support comprises a trailer hitch accessory securing the rigid surface to a vehicle trailer hitch.
18. The system of claim 15, wherein the at least one support comprises a plurality of supports pivotably attached to the rigid surface and foldable against an underside of the rigid surface.
19. The system of claim 15, further comprising a water system affixed to the surface and having a spray nozzle connected to a hose.
20. The system of claim 15, wherein one or more of the pegs comprise a locking mechanism releasably locking in the receptacles.
21. The system of claim 15, wherein the surface defines at least one drain.
22. The system of claim 21, wherein the at least one drain comprises a sluice or race formed as a depression in the table top.
23. The system of claim 21, wherein the at least one drain comprises one or more holes or slots formed through the table top.
24. The system of claim 15, wherein the one or more accessories comprise one or more of: a storage compartment, a fish cleaning board, an oyster shucking block, a waste disposal holder, a drink holder, a cooktop, a coffee pot, a lamp, a fillet knife, and a knife block.
Filed: Aug 27, 2010
Publication Date: Mar 3, 2011
Inventor: Scot E. Sheldon (Beaumont, TX)
Application Number: 12/870,431