The severe weather [or hail] cover is a protective cover for the prevention of hail damage to automotive vehicles, consisting of an array of multivariable flexible bows or staves about a central pivot point and a cover of tensioned rip-stop fabric. Attachment to the vehicle is by means of mechanical latching, magnetic or suction devices, hook and loop and / or proprietary devices. The central pivot assembly is able to be adjusted to various vehicle widths and provide clearance of any vehicle projections such as outside mirrors. Adjustment is also incorporated into the central pivot assembly for vertical alignment to accommodate the profile of the shape of various vehicle sculpting.
To prevent the cover from being taken from vehicle by updraft air currents during severe weather the cover is top vented to allow airflow from ground up through the enclosure to neutralize the updraft forces.
The entire protective assembly is designed in such a way as to make installation over the vehicle a quick, simple one-person process. Installation can be accomplished in tight confines such as parking lot spaces, curbside parking, restrictive driveways and other areas of less than abundant space. Personal stature should not present a factor with the installation process.
One multi-section bow is installed into a stationary receiving socket in the central pivot assembly projecting horizontally forward and one projecting rearward in a “U” shape around the vehicle. Additional bows are then installed into pivoting sockets in the central pivot assembly. These bows are lifted into an array around the central pivot assembly spaced at predetermined intervals by a central web strap.
The central web strap has permanently secured spring type clips to locate the bows to create a predetermined profile for the cover over the vehicle. Tensioning of the array of bows is accomplished by manually adjusting the web strap that is secured under front and rear bumper fascias.
The rip-stop fabrics used for the protective cover are woven fabrics, often made of nylon, using a special reinforcing technique that makes them resistant to tearing and ripping. The advantages of rip-stop fabrics are their favorable strength-to-weight ratio and that small tears cannot easily spread.
The entire protective cover, bows, pair of central pivot assemblies and central web strap can be fit into a compact tote for convenient storage in a typical trunk or even under a seat.
Submitted by: Gary Willman
Date: June 30, 2014