Outrigger connector for a factory made building

Static structures (e.g. – buildings) – Specified terranean relationship – Mobile home skirt

Reexamination Certificate

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C052S023000, C052SDIG001

Reexamination Certificate




The field of this invention relates to factory made buildings such as mobile homes, and more specifically, to an outrigger connector for securing an outrigger beam to the ground in order to stabilize the factory made building.
A connector for securing a factory made building such as a mobile home to the ground is known in the prior art. Connecting a mobile home or the like to a secured ground anchor is essential when the mobile home is subjected to strong winds such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and other violent storms.
In the past, the primary method of stabilizing the mobile home was through the use of hurricane straps that were looped over the roof of the mobile home and attached at one end to a hurricane anchor embedded in the ground at one side of the mobile home and attached at the other end to a hurricane anchor embedded in the ground at an opposing side of the mobile home. While this method was able to counter most of the vertical forces applied to the mobile home, it was ineffective at countering the horizontal forces exerted. Also, this method created a problem because many times the roof rafters used were not capable of withstanding the forces applied to them.
To resolve the problem with the roof rafters, connectors were developed that countered the vertical forces exerted on the mobile home by attaching a tether such as a chain directly to the I-beam of a mobile home at one end while attaching the tether to a vertically disposed ground anchor at the other end. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 4,294,053 to Lopes discloses an anchor with a clamping element that is used to engage an I-beam of a mobile home, with a chain extending downward from the clamping element that is secured to the ground. However, this approach fails to counter the horizontal wind forces frequently encountered by mobile homes. Also, the I-beams of a mobile home are generally positioned well inside the skirt of the home, making them difficult to access. This makes the attachment of tethers to the I-beams a laborious exercise.
Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to provide a connector that is easy to attach to a mobile home. It is a further object of this invention to provide a connector that effectively counters the horizontal as well as the vertical wind forces that may be exerted on the mobile home.
In order to achieve these and other objects of the invention, a factory made building such as a mobile home is provided with a frame portion having an underside, a structural support beam disposed along the underside and in support thereof, a plurality of outrigger beams, and a means attached to each outrigger beam for connecting the outrigger beam to the ground. Each outrigger beam has a first end, a second end, and an upper portion, and is attached to the support beam proximate the first end so that the second end extends outward from the support beam. The upper portion of the outrigger beam is attached to the underside of the frame portion.
The means for connecting the outrigger beam to the ground may include a connector that includes an L-shaped portion having a top leg integrally formed with a bottom leg. The bottom leg has a first edge and a second edge and includes a slot capable of receiving a hurricane strap therein. The top leg has a first edge contiguous with the first edge of the bottom leg and a second edge extending vertically above the bottom leg intermediate the first and second edges of the bottom leg. The top leg also has a protruding portion with an edge integrally attached to the second edge of the top leg and extending outward from the L-shaped portion at a substantially perpendicular angle. The protruding portion is attached to the outrigger beam.
In one embodiment of the present invention, the bottom leg and the top leg are coplanar. In another embodiment, the bottom leg extends vertically downward and horizontally away from the top leg.
To secure the mobile home against strong winds, a hurricane strap is attached to the slot in the bottom leg at a first end and is attached to a ground anchor at a second end opposed the first end.

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