(19)
(11)EP 3 031 669 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
31.01.2018 Bulletin 2018/05

(21)Application number: 14197705.8

(22)Date of filing:  12.12.2014
(51)Int. Cl.: 
B60R 9/045  (2006.01)
B60R 9/052  (2006.01)

(54)

A roof rack kit and a load strip for a load carrying bar

Dachträgerkit und Laststreifen für eine lasttragende Stange

Kit de galerie de toit et bande de charge pour barre de support de charge


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(43)Date of publication of application:
15.06.2016 Bulletin 2016/24

(73)Proprietor: Thule Sweden AB
330 33 Hillerstorp (SE)

(72)Inventors:
  • Sandberg, Mikael
    302 72 Halmstad (SE)
  • Larsson, Wilhelm
    331 55 Värnamo (SE)
  • Rydholm, Tobias
    560 30 Tenhult (SE)

(74)Representative: Valea AB 
Box 1098
405 23 Göteborg
405 23 Göteborg (SE)


(56)References cited: : 
WO-A1-2009/082769
DE-A1-102008 052 828
WO-A1-2014/185019
US-A- 5 456 396
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    TECHNICAL FIELD



    [0001] The present invention relates to a roof rack kit and a load strip for a roof rack kit. The load strip is adapted to adjust for a height difference between the load carrying surfaces of at least two load carrying bars.

    BACKGROUND



    [0002] Roof rack kits comprising load carrying bars mounted to the roof of an automobile via load carrier feet are commonly used to provide for an improved load capacity on automobiles. During recent years, a trend has been that the cross section of the load carrying bars has been improved to reduce wind resistance and noise. One type of improved load carrying bars has a wing like cross section providing relatively low wind resistance and low noise level. WO2009/082769 discloses a roof rack system for a vehicle. WO 2014/185019 A1 discloses a load strip adapted to be attached to a load carrying bar. To attach load carrying bar accessories, such as a roof box, to a load carrying bar having a wing like cross section, the load carrying bar is generally equipped with a slot, sometimes referred to as a channel. The slot extends along the length of the load carrying bar and permits a fastening member to be slid along the slot and into position. The fastening member can be a nut and a screw for example. Such slots are however associated with numerous problems such as wind turbulence increasing the wind noise and wind resistance. They can also collect dirt or rubble, which in turn accidentally could damage the lacquer of the automobile or complicate the attachment of a load carrying bar accessory.

    [0003] One problem with a roof rack kit arranged on the roof of a vehicle can be that the load carrying bars are not horizontally aligned, i.e. there is a height difference between the load receiving surfaces of the load carrying bars. This problem may arise when a load should rest on two load carrying bars. In such a case the load may not be fully horizontal if one load carrying bar is positioned at a slightly different height. However the problem becomes more prominent when the roof rack kit has more than two load carrying bars. One such delicate situation is when a load should rest on three or more load carrying bars. If the load is heavy it is important to distribute the weight of the load on all of the load carrying bars. It is also important that the load is tightly secured to the roof of the vehicle during transportation with straps for example. If there is a play between the load and one or more of the load carrying bars, the load dependent on its nature could be displaced slightly during transportation and the mentioned play could come into action so that the load is temporarily or permanently less secured. Such play between the load and a load carrying bar could also permit the load to oscillate and over time damage the straps, the load, or the load carrying bars through wear and/or fatigue.

    [0004] There is thus a need to align or adjust the load carrying surface of the load carrying bars of a roof rack kit.

    SUMMARY



    [0005] It is an objective of the present invention to remove or at least reduce the above mentioned drawbacks. The objective is at least partly met by a roof rack kit comprising at least a first and a second load carrying bar attachable to the a vehicle and adapted to extend across the roof of the vehicle. A first load strip having a first height protrudes vertically from the outer periphery of the first load carrying bar and a second load strip having a second height protrudes vertically from the outer periphery of the second load carrying bar. The first height of the first load strip is different, preferably higher, than the second height of the load strip so as to compensate for a height difference between the first and the second load carrying bar when the first and the second load carrying bar are mounted on the vehicle.

    [0006] The roof rack kit provide a roof rack kit which height can be adjusted permitting the load carrying surfaces of the load carrying bars of the roof rack kit to be aligned or adjusted slightly to a desired height. It permits the height to be reduced or increased dependent on the height difference between the individual load carrying surfaces of the load carrying bars. It is also a simple and cheap way of providing a height adjustment function as the load carrying bars, or other parts of the roof rack kit, requires little or no manipulation.

    [0007] At least the first load strip can be detachably connected to the first load carrying bar.

    [0008] The load carrying bars of the roof rack kit can be of different types or of the same type. One type of load carrying bar is the type having a slot with an upwardly facing opening. Such slot can be used to attach a load carrying bar accessory such as an attachment member for a roof box for example. At least one of the load carrying bars of the roof rack kit can comprise a slot with an upwardly facing opening wherein the load strip is adapted to be at least partly positioned in the slot. The first and the second load carrying bar can each comprise a slot having an upwardly facing opening. The slots extend along the length of the first and the second load carrying bars. The first and the second load strips can be adapted to be at least partly positioned in the first and second slot respectively. It is of course possible that the first and the second load strips can be adapted to be positioned adjacent, or in the proximity of, the slot. The void of slot would then be unobstructed and free to use with a load carrying bar accessory.

    [0009] Having a load strip arranged in the slot of a load carrying bar generally provides a noise reducing feature. In this case it also provides the capability of adjusting the height between at least two load carrying bars, and the load carrying surfaces to be more specific. It further provides a good attachment for the load strip to the load carrying bar which is generally detachable.

    [0010] It has been found advantageous if the first height of the first load strip is at least 30 % higher than the second height of the second load strip, preferably 30-300 % higher, more preferably 30-200 % higher. Having a load strip which relative height is at least 30 % higher compared to a second load strip provide an appropriate difference. It has been found however that in some cases, a too big difference is less advantageous as the rigidity of the load strip can be reduced as the height grows, hence the difference should not be larger than 300 % in some cases.

    [0011] At least one of the first or the second load strips, preferably both, can have a solid cross section, preferably all along the length of the load strip. A solid cross section of the load strip provide increased stiffness in some cases, it also enable a simple manufacturing procedure e.g. through extrusion.

    [0012] The first and the second load strip can have an upper portion and a lower portion, e.g. separated by a waist portion. The lower portion of the load strip can be adapted to be positioned in the slot of the load carrying bar if such is present. The cross section of the lower portions of the first and the second load strips can be at least similar, or identical. The upper portions of the first and the second load strips can also be similar but generally having different proportions, i.e. the same shape but of different size. Having load strips having similar, or identical lower portions, but different upper portions enable the load strips to be interchangeably with each other and with respect to the first and the second load carrying bar, or the third load carrying bar if such is present. This provides a roof rack kit which is user friendly. The first and the second load carrying bar have a first and a second cross section respectively cross sections can be identical.

    [0013] The roof rack kit can comprise at least one more load strip. In practise this lets a user select which load strip that is appropriate to use with one of the load carrying bars. The at least one more load strip can have a third height which is different from the first and the second height. Hence, it has been found advantageous that a roof rack kit comprises at least one more load strip than the number of load carrying bars. This permits a user to select the most appropriate load strip based on the desired height which needs to be adjusted.

    [0014] The roof rack kit can comprise two or more load carrying bars, three or more load carrying bars, four or more load carrying bars. The roof rack kit can comprise at least one more load carrying bar attachable to the vehicle and adapted to extend across the roof of the vehicle. In cases of at least one more load carrying bar, a third load carrying bar, such load carrying bar preferably comprises a slot, i.e. a third slot, extending along the length of the third load carrying bar. The at least one more load carrying bar can thus be of similar or identical type as the first and the second load carrying bar, but it could also be of a different type.

    [0015] The first load strip can have an upper portion and a lower portion. The lower portion of the first load strip can be adapted to be positioned in the first slot of the first load carrying bar and the lower portion of the first load strip can be adapted to brace against the floor of the first slot of the first load carrying bar. If the load strip braces against the floor of the slot of the load carrying bar, it can build in height yet still carry a heavy load without bending or caving in.

    [0016] The lower portion of the first load strip can have a convex or conical surface adapted to be positioned adjacent the floor of the first slot of the first load carrying bar. This will reduce the friction between the floor of the slot and the load strip. A low friction between the slot and the especially the floor of the slot and the load strip make mounting of the load strip easy as a load strip can be generally inserted at the end of a load carrying bar and pulled through the slot to its final position. The convex or conical surface of the lower portion of the first load strip can be said to have an apex, which apex is preferably substantially aligned with the centre of the opening of the first slot of the first load carrying bar after assembly therewith.

    [0017] It should be noted that the load strip, and features relating to the load strip, may be described herein in combination with a roof rack kit, but it is within the boundaries of the present invention that the load strip can be a complete separate entity with respect to a roof rack kit and a load carrying bar, even if described in the context of a roof rack kit or a load carrying bar.
    The load strip described herein can be a load strip adapted to be attached a load carrying bar of a roof rack and adapted to protrude in a vertical direction from the outer periphery of the load carrying bar after being attached thereto. The load strip protrudes a distance of 3-40 mm in the vertical direction. The load strip form an elevated load receiving surface, i.e. an elevated load carrying surface, and provide a user with the possibility to adjust for a difference in height between at least two load carrying surfaces of at least two load carrying bars, preferably to align the load carrying surfaces of the load carrying bars.

    [0018] The load strip can have a lower portion and an upper portion, wherein the lower portion is adapted to be inserted into a slot of the load carrying bar. If it is desirable with a load strip which can be used to adjust the height of a load carrying bar but not be too big, the upper portion can protrude 3-40 mm in the vertical direction, or 3-30 mm, preferably 3-25 mm, more preferably 4-25 mm, even more preferably 5-25 mm, optionally 10-25 mm.

    [0019] The upper portion and the lower portion can be separated by a waist portion. The waist portion can have a cross section which is smaller than the cross section of the lower portion and the upper portion. This enable the load strip to be fastened to an opening of the slot for example.

    [0020] The load strip can be made of rubber, or rubber like materials, plastic materials, thermoplastic materials or mixtures thereof. A suitable material for the load strip should be a material which can withstand the high weight imparted by a load mounted on a roof rack kit while at the same time withstand the shear imparted by the inertia of the same load when the vehicle accelerates or brakes. The load strip may also be manufactured from two or more materials which has been attached or combined together so as to form one unit, e.g. by adhesive, vulcanization, soldering, form molding, or molding for example. The two or more different materials can be selected so as to impose different characteristic to the load strip such as increased friction, light weight, rigid properties or the like.

    [0021] It is thus disclosed herein a load strip adapted to be attached to a load carrying bar of a roof rack kit, the load strip comprising two or more different materials, the two or more different materials are preferably distinctively different, i.e. not a blend of materials. The two or more different materials can be attached together by adhesive, vulcanization, soldering and/or molding. The load strip can be configured to, i.e. adapted to, protrude 3-40 mm in a vertical direction from the outer periphery of a load carrying bar after being attached thereto.

    [0022] The load strip can be modular in terms of that at least two material strips can be attached or removed from each other to form a load strip which can be used to adjust the relative height between the load carrying surfaces of a load carrying bar. The load strip can comprise a first and a second material strip. The second material strip can be removed or attached to the first material strip in order to adjust the height of the load strip. In a preferred embodiment, the second material strip can be removed from the first material strip to reduce the height of the load strip.

    [0023] The load strip can as mentioned above have an upper and a lower portion separated by a waist portion. The upper and lower could both serve as a load receiving surface and have different heights, thus permitting a user to turn the load strip, i.e. rotate it 1 80 degrees along the length (the Z-axis). This would enable a user to adjust the height to two different heights using one load strip.

    [0024] According to an aspect, the invention also relates to a method for adjusting the height between a first and a second load carrying bar. The method comprises the steps of;
    • providing a first and a second load carrying bar;
    • adjusting a difference in height between said first and said second load carrying bar by providing a first load carrying bar with a first load strip having a first height protruding from the outer periphery of the first load carrying bar and;
    providing a second load carrying bar with a second load strip having a second height protruding from the outer periphery of the second load carrying bar whereby;
    said first height of said first load strip is different from said second height of said second load strip, preferably higher.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



    [0025] Non-limiting embodiment according to the present invention will be described with reference to the accompanying drawings in which;

    figure 1 shows three load carrying bars each comprising a load strip wherein two of the load strips are provided with an increased height to compensate for a relative height difference between the load carrying bars;

    figure 2 shows the cross section of the first load carrying bar and the load strip shown in figure 1;

    figure 3 shows the cross section of the load strip of figure 2 in greater detail;

    figure 4 shows the three load carrying bars and load strips of figure 1 with a view from the side, wherein a load is arranged onto the load carrying bar and;

    figure 5 shows a second embodiment of a load strip.


    DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS



    [0026] Figure 1 shows a roof rack kit 10 comprising three load carrying bars 11, 12, 13. The roof rack kit 10 is intended during use to be mounted to the roof of a vehicle, such as an automobile such as a car or truck. A first and a second load carrier foot 11a, 11b, 12a, 12b, 13a, 13b are generally positioned on each side of the automobile to retain the load carrying bras to the roof of the vehicle and so that each load carrying bar 11, 12, 13 extend transversely across the roof of the automobile. The load carrying bars 11, 12, 13 are formed by extruded material such as aluminum and has a substantially oval cross section as can be seen in figure 1 and figure 2 for example with openings at each end (only one end is shown in figure 1). The ends of the load carrying bars 11, 12, 13 can be sealed if desired by a separate lid, plug or by parts of the load carrier foot for example.

    [0027] Figure 2 shows the load carrying bar 11 with a view towards the side. Although only one load carrying bar is described below, the features are applicable on all the load carrying bars of the roof rack kit described herein, or on one or more thereof such as at least two of the load carrying bars of the roof rack kit, or on all of the load carrying bars of the roof rack kit. The load carrying bar 11 comprises a slot 20 for receiving a fastening member for a load carrying accessory. A load carrying accessory can be a roof box, a
    bicycle carrier, a luggage carrier, a ski carrier, or any other load carrier suitable to mount on a roof rack. The fastening member is generally the member which is used to attached the load carrier accessory to the load carrying bar 11 and can be a screw and a slideable nut for example.

    [0028] For the purpose of orientation, the load carrying bar 11 as described herein, has a length L usually extending along the width of the vehicle, a height H usually extending along the height of the vehicle and corresponding to a vertical direction, and a width W usually extending along the length of the vehicle and corresponding to a horizontal direction, when the load carrying bar 11 is mounted in the intended way to the vehicle.

    [0029] A slot 20 extends along the full length of the load carrying bar 11 and is defined by an opening 21, a first and a second side wall 22, 23 and a floor 24. The first and the second side wall 22, 23 and the floor 24 of the slot 20 forms parts of a frame work structure of the load carrying bar 11 which significantly enhances the rigidity of the load carrying bar 12. The load carrying bar 11 thus can be provided with a frame work structure formed by walls partitioning the inside of the load carrying bar into a number of sub-voids V1, V2, V3, V4, V5. The load carrying bar 11 further has an outer periphery 15.

    [0030] A load strip 30 is arranged in the slot 20. The slot infill substantially seal the opening 21 of the slot 20 and reduces the air turbulence which otherwise can be formed from the opening 21 and the slot 20. The slot infill also prevents the intrusion of dirt or rubble into the slot 20 which could obstruct the free passage of a fastening member for a load carrier accessory and thereby make the fastening member slide less easy in the slot 20.

    [0031] A load strip is a material strip which is attached, releaseably or permanently, to the load carrying bar to provide a forgiving and more lenient load carrying surface to the load carrying bar as compared to the material the load carrying bar itself is made from.

    [0032] The load strip 30 builds height in the vertical direction from the periphery 15 of the load carrying bar 11. The height which the load strip 30 extends from the periphery 15 of the load carrying bar 11 is indicated in figure 2 by H1. Hence the height that a load strips extends from the outer periphery of a load carrying bar should be measured as indicated in figure 2. If the slot of the load carrying bar, and the opening of the slot of the load carrying bar has an opening which has a difference in height as seen along the width of the load carrying bar, the height of the load strip extending from the periphery of a load carrying bar should be measured from the highest point on the outer periphery of the load carrying bar when viewed as shown in figure 2. The outer periphery of the load carrying bar can thus be defined as the load receiving surface of the load carrying bar before the load carrying bar is provided with the load strip. In cases of difficulties in finding the load receiving surface before the load carrying bar is provided with the load strip, the load receiving surface of the load carrying bar can be defined by placing a rigid load, such as a wooden board, on two load carrying bars, substantially as shown in figure 4.

    [0033] The height by which the load strip protrudes from the outer periphery can be used to better positon a load arranged on the roof rack kit. By adjusting the height of the load strip, i.e. by select an appropriate load strip having an appropriate height, the load on the roof rack kit can be levelled or adjusted with respect to a horizontal plane. But even more importantly, the adjusted height substantially removes, or at least reduces, the play between the load and the load carrying surfaces of the load carrying bars 11, 12, 13. Removing or at least reducing such play will effectively reduce the risk of the load, or the arrangement by which the load is attached to the load carrying bars i.e. the roof rack kit, from being accidentally damaged or deteriorated.

    [0034] A suitable load strip which can be used with a load carrying bar of a roof rack kit will be described in greater detail with reference to figure 3. Figure 3 shows the cross section of the load strip 30. The load strip shown in figure 3 is specifically configured to be positioned in a slot of a load carrying bar, as shown in figures 1 and 2 for example, and protrude from the opening of the slot in a vertical and upwardly direction. As is understandable when studying the description herein, a load strip does not necessarily need to be positioned in a slot of a load carrying bar to be retained to the load carrying bar but can be retained by other means, such as by adhesive, snap-on connections, or other mechanical connections. Other forms of the cross section are of course possible, the cross section can be non-symmetrical for example.

    [0035] Figure 3 shows the load strip 30 with a view along the length L of the load strip 30. The load strip 30 has an upper portion 32 and a lower portion 33 and an intermediate waist portion 34. The upper portion 32 has a width which is larger than both the lower portion 33 and the intermediate waist portion 34, so that the load strip 30 has a substantially mushroom shaped cross section. The intermediate waist portion 34 preferably has a width which is slightly smaller than the width of the opening of the slot.

    [0036] The height H1 by which the load strip 30 protrudes from the outer periphery of the load carrying bar 11 can be 3-40 mm in said vertical direction, optionally 3-30 mm, preferably 3-25 mm, more preferably 4-25 mm, even more preferably 5-25 mm or 10-25 mm. It has been found advantageous that the protruding height H1 and the total height Ht follows the relationship H1/Ht ≤ 0,2-0,86 as it permits the load strip to be sufficiently mechanically anchored to the load carrying bar.
    Table 1 protruding heights H1 and total heights Ht relationships for different load strips when measured as indicated in figure 3.
    H1 (mm)Ht (mm)H1/Ht (approximated value)
    3 13 0,23
    5 13 0,38
    8 13 0,62
    5 25 0,2
    10 25 0,4
    15 25 0,6
    15 30 0, 5
    20 30 0,67
    25 30 0,83
    30 35 0,86


    [0037] Table 1 discloses the protruding height H1 and the total height Ht relationships for different load strips when measured as indicated in figure 3.

    [0038] The load strip should be rigid enough support a downwardly directed force due to gravity from the load and not yield to the shearing force imparted from the inertia of the load when a vehicle is retarding for example. If the load strip builds in height H1, it may be advantageous that the load strip also builds in width.

    [0039] The upper portion 32 of the load strip 30 has a support surface 35 which is adapted to rest against the outer periphery of the load carrying bar when mounted thereto. The support surface 35 is divided in figure 3 by the intermediate waist portion 34 into a first and a second support surface 35', 35" when viewed as shown in figure 3. The first and the second support surface 35', 35" has a width Ws1 and Ws2 respectively and the intermediate waist portion 34 has a width Wi. It has been found that a favorable width/height relationship between the width of the first and the second support surfaces Ws1, Ws2 and the height H1 of the upper portion 32 can be expressed as (Ws1+Ws2)/H1 should be in the interval from 0,8-1,2.

    [0040] Figure 4 shows different cross sections of different load strips when viewed along the length L which can be used to adjust for height differences between load carrying bars of a roof rack kit after being mounted to a vehicle.

    [0041] Figure 4 shows the roof rack kit of figure 1 but with a view along the length L of the load carrying bars 11, 12, 13. It should be noted that only one load carrier foot is shown in figure 4 of the pair of load carrier feet of each load carrying bar. A load 5 is positioned on top of the load carrying bars 11, 12, 13. As is noticed, the load carrying feet 11b, 12b, 13b are positioned during use on the vehicle roof. As vehicle roofs tend to have a degree of curvature along the length of the vehicle, the load carrier feet may be positioned on different relative heights after being mounted to the vehicle roof. The just mentioned difference in height has been indicated in figure 4 by the reference HΔ. As is noticeable, as the load carrier feet are positioned at different relative height, the upper surface of the load carrying bars 11, 12, 13 will also be positioned at different heights, if the load carrier feet themselves are not adapted to compensate for such misalignment. Such difference in height will of course be materialized in that the load 5 may be not levelled with respect to the load carrying bars 11, 12, 13.

    [0042] The difference in height can always be related to a horizontal reference line, in this case represented by the dotted line in figure 4 following the underside of the load 5.

    [0043] As is shown in figure 4 such drawbacks can easily be averted by having load strips having different heights protruding from the periphery of the load carrying bars. In figure 4, the first load carrying bar 11 comprises a first load strip 30 having a first height H1, the second load carrying bar 12 has a second load strip 30' having a second height H2. The first height H1 of the first load strip 30 is larger than the second height H2 of the second load strip 30'. Having load strip of different heights compensate for the difference emerged by the different positions of the load carrier feet 11b, 12b, 13. As a consequence, a user can compensate for a relative height difference between the upper surfaces of the load carrying bars, i.e. the surfaces intended to be positioned adjacent the load.

    [0044] In the shown embodiment of figure 4 the third load carrying bar 13 comprises a third load strip 30" having a third height H3 which is equal to the first height H1 of the first load strip 30 of the first load carrying bar 11. The roof rack kit, and the load carrying bars, can thus be provided with load strips of different heights such as at least two different heights.

    [0045] The load strip 30 can be specifically configured to provide an increased friction between a load arranged on the load carrying bar 11 and the load carrying bar 11 itself. Such increased friction could be provided by treating the load facing surface of the load strip 30 with a friction enhancing material. The friction enhancing material could be provided by coating, adhering, molding or the like.

    [0046] As is understood, the load strip can be manufactured in one unitary piece of material, or by two or more materials. For example, the load strip can be molded by two or more materials having different properties such as different frictions, different stiffness. A load strip can be formed by having a stiff core and a material having a relatively high friction enveloping the stiff core for example.

    [0047] Figure 5 shows a load carrying bar 14 comprising a load strip 30''' having a slightly different cross section. The load strip 30''' is positioned onto the outer surface 14s of the load carrying bar 14, i.e. on to that surface which is intended to face the load during use. The load strip 30''' has a height H4, i.e. a fourth height, by which the load strip protrudes from the outer periphery of the load carrying bar 14. The fourth height H4 can be equal or different to the heights H1, H2, H3 of the load strips 30, 30', 30" described with reference to figure 4. The shown load strip 30''' is adapted to be adhered using an adhesive, such as with a hot-melt adhesive or a bi-component adhesive, to the surface of the load carrying bar 14. The load strip is as shown homogenous throughout the load strip. The load strip could however be hollow e.g. surrounded by a stiff material. It can be porous, or having alternating homogenous and hollow sections for example.

    [0048] The load strip can thus be attached to the load carrying bar in different manners. The load strip can be adapted to be positioned and retained by assistance of a slot on the load carrying bar, it can be adhered onto a surface of the load carrying bar by e.g. adhesive or by applying heat and melt a portion of the load strip, or it can be provided with specific attachment members which are adapted to be mated with corresponding members on the load carrying bar.

    [0049] The load strip can be made of rubber, or rubber like materials, plastic materials, thermoplastic materials or mixtures thereof. The load strips are preferably formed by molding, form molding, press casting (die casting) or extrusion.

    [0050] The load strip may comprise a first and a second material strip 51, 52, wherein the second material strip 52 can be removed from the first material strip 51 in order to reduce the height of said load strip 30'''. In figure 5 the separation is indicated by the dotted line 50. The second material strip 52 can be adhered to the first material strip 51 by adhesive, or the separation line can be formed by perforations in the load strip 30''' permitting a user to tear off the second strip 52 from the first strip 51 to reduce the height H4 of the load strip to an appropriate height. The


    Claims

    1. A roof rack kit (10) comprising at least a first and a second load carrying bar (11, 12, 13, 14) attachable to a vehicle and adapted to extend across the roof of said vehicle, a first load strip (30, 30', 30", 30''') having a first height (H1, H2, H3, H4) protruding vertically from the outer periphery of said first load carrying bar (11) and a second load strip (30, 30', 30", 30''') having a second height (H1, H2, H3, H4) protruding vertically from the outer periphery of said second load carrying bar (12), characterized in that
    said first height (H1, H2, H3, H4) of said first load strip (30, 30', 30", 30''') is different from said second height (H1, H2, H3, H4) of said second load strip (30, 30', 30", 30'''), so as to compensate for a height difference between said first and said second load carrying bar (11, 12) when said first and said second load carrying bars (11, 12) are mounted on said vehicle.
     
    2. The roof rack kit (10) according to claim 1, wherein said first height (H1, H2, H3, H4) of said first load strip (30, 30', 30", 30''') is higher than said second height (H1, H2, H3, H4) of said load strip (30, 30', 30", 30'''), preferably said first height (H1, H3, H4) of said first load strip (30, 30", 30''') is at least 30 % higher than said second height (H2) of said second load strip (30'), more preferably 30-300 % higher.
     
    3. The roof rack kit (10) according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein at least one of said first and said second load carrying bars (11, 12, 13) comprises a slot (20) having an upwardly facing opening (21), said slot (20) extending along the length (L) of said first and/or said second load carrying bars (11, 12, 13), and wherein at least one of said first and said second load strips (30, 30', 30") are adapted to be at least partly positioned in said slot (20).
     
    4. The roof rack kit (10) according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein at least one of said first or said second load strips (30, 30', 30", 30'''), preferably both, has a solid cross section.
     
    5. The roof rack kit (10) according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein said first and said second load strips (30, 30") have an upper portion and a lower portion (32, 33), said lower portion (33) of said first and said second load strips (30, 30") being adapted to be positioned in said slot (20) of said load carrying bar (11, 12, 13), and wherein said cross section of said lower portions (33) of said first and said second load strips (30, 30") are at least similar, or identical.
     
    6. The roof rack kit (10) according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein said first and said second load carrying bar (11, 12, 13) has a first and a second cross section respectively, and wherein said first and second cross sections of said first and said second load carrying bars (11, 12, 13) are identical.
     
    7. The roof rack kit (10) according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein said roof rack kit (10) comprises at least one more load carrying bar (13) attachable to said vehicle and adapted to extend across said roof of said vehicle, said third load carrying bar (13) preferably comprising a third slot (20) extending along the length (L) of said third load carrying bar (13).
     
    8. The roof rack kit (10) according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein said first load strip (30, 30") has an upper portion and a lower portion (32, 33), said lower portion (33) of said first load strip (30, 30") is adapted to be positioned in said first slot (20) of said first load carrying bar (11) and wherein said lower portion (33) of said first load strip (30, 30") is adapted to brace against a floor (24) of said first slot (20) of said first load carrying bar (11).
     
    9. The roof rack kit (10) according to claim 8, wherein said lower portion (33) of said first load strip (30, 30") has a convex or conical surface and adapted to be positioned adjacent said floor (24) of said first slot (20) of said first load carrying bar (11), preferably said convex or conical surface of said lower portion (33) of said first load strip (30, 30") has an apex, and preferably wherein said apex is substantially aligned with the centre of the opening (21) of said first slot (20) of said first load carrying bar (11) after assembly therewith.
     
    10. A load strip (30, 30', 30", 30''') adapted to be attached to a load carrying bar (11, 12, 13, 14) of a roof rack kit (10), said load strip (30, 30', 30") having a lower portion (33) and an upper portion (32), wherein said lower portion (33) is adapted to be inserted into a slot (20) of said load carrying bar (11, 12, 13), said load strip (30, 30', 30", 30''') protruding in a vertical direction from the outer periphery of said load carrying bar (11, 12, 13, 14) after being attached thereto,
    characterized in that
    said upper portion (32) protrudes 5-25 mm in said vertical direction.
     
    11. The load strip (30, 30', 30", 30''') according to claim 10, wherein said upper portion (32) and said lower portion (33) are separated by a waist portion (34), said waist portion (34) having a cross sectional extension which is smaller than the cross section of said lower portion (33) and said upper portion (32).
     
    12. The load strip (30, 30', 30", 30''') according to claim 10 or 11, wherein said load strip (30, 30', 30", 30''') is made of rubber, or rubber like materials, plastic materials, thermoplastic materials or mixtures thereof.
     
    13. The load strip (30, 30', 30", 30''') according to any one of claims 10 to 12, wherein said load strip (30, 30', 30", 30''') comprises a first and a second material strip (51, 52), wherein said second material strip (52) is configured to be removed from said first material (51) strip in order to reduce the height (H1, H2, H3, H4) of said load strip (30, 30', 30", 30''').
     
    14. A roof rack kit (10) according to any one of the claims 1-9, wherein at least one, preferably two or more of said load strips is/are a load strip according to any one of the claims 10-13.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Dachträgerkit (10), das mindestens eine erste und eine zweite lasttragende Stange (11, 12, 13, 14), die an ein Fahrzeug anbringbar und so ausgelegt sind, dass sie quer über das Dach des Fahrzeugs verlaufen, einen ersten Laststreifen (30, 30', 30", 30''') mit einer ersten Höhe (H1, H2, H3, H4), der senkrecht vom Außenumfang der ersten lasttragende Stange (11) aus vorragt, und einen zweiten Laststreifen (30, 30', 30", 30''') mit einer zweiten Höhe (H1, H2, H3, H4) umfasst, der senkrecht vom Außenumfang der zweiten lasttragende Stange (12) aus vorragt,
    dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass
    sich die erste Höhe (H1, H2, H3, H4) des ersten Laststreifens (30, 30', 30", 30''') von der zweiten Höhe (H1, H2, H3, H4) des zweiten Laststreifens (30, 30', 30", 30''') unterscheidet, damit ein Höhenunterschied zwischen der ersten und der zweiten lasttragenden Stange (11, 12) ausgeglichen wird, wenn die erste und die zweite lasttragende Stange (11, 12) an dem Fahrzeug montiert sind.
     
    2. Dachträgerkit (10) nach Anspruch 1, wobei die erste Höhe (H1, H2, H3, H4) des ersten Laststreifens (30, 30', 30", 30''') höher ist als die zweite Höhe (H1, H2, H3, H4) des Laststreifens (30, 30', 30", 30'''), die erste Höhe (H1, H3, H4) des ersten Laststreifens (30, 30", 30''') vorzugsweise mindestens 30 % höher ist als die zweite Höhe (H2) des zweiten Laststreifens (30'), bevorzugter 30 bis 300 % höher.
     
    3. Dachträgerkit (10) nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei die erste und/oder die zweite lasttragende Stange (11, 12, 13) einen Schlitz (20) mit einer nach oben zeigenden Öffnung (21) umfasst, wobei der Schlitz (20) entlang der Länge (L) der ersten und/oder der zweiten lasttragenden Stange (11, 12, 13) verläuft und wobei der erste und/oder der zweite Laststreifen (30, 30', 30") so ausgelegt sind, dass sie zumindest teilweise in dem Schlitz (20) platziert sind.
     
    4. Dachträgerkit (10) nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei der erste und/oder der zweite Laststreifen (30, 30', 30", 30'''), vorzugsweise beide, einen massiven Querschnitt aufweist bzw. aufweisen.
     
    5. Dachträgerkit (10) nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei der erste und der zweite Laststreifen (30, 30") einen oberen Abschnitt und einen unteren Abschnitt (32, 33) aufweisen, wobei der untere Abschnitt (33) des ersten und des zweiten Laststreifens (30, 30") so ausgelegt ist, dass er in dem Schlitz (20) der lasttragenden Stange (11, 12, 13) platziert ist, und wobei der Querschnitt der unteren Abschnitte (33) des ersten und des zweiten Laststreifens (30, 30") zumindest ähnlich oder gleich ist.
     
    6. Dachträgerkit (10) nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei die erste und die zweite lasttragende Stange (11, 12, 13) einen ersten beziehungsweise einen zweiten Querschnitt aufweisen und wobei der erste und zweite Querschnitt der ersten und der zweiten lasttragenden Stange (11, 12, 13) gleich sind.
     
    7. Dachträgerkit (10) nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei das Dachträgerkit (10) mindestens eine weitere lasttragende Stange (13) umfasst, die an dem Fahrzeug anbringbar ist und so ausgelegt ist, dass sie quer über das Dach des Fahrzeugs verläuft, wobei die dritte lasttragende Stange (13) vorzugsweise einen dritten Schlitz (20) umfasst, der entlang der Länge (L) der dritten lasttragenden Stange (13) verläuft.
     
    8. Dachträgerkit (10) nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei der erste Laststreifen (30, 30") einen oberen Abschnitt und einen unteren Abschnitt (32, 33) aufweist, wobei der untere Abschnitt (33) des ersten Laststreifens (30, 30") so ausgelegt ist, dass er in dem ersten Schlitz (20) der ersten lasttragenden Stange (11) platziert ist und wobei der untere Abschnitt (33) des ersten Laststreifens (30, 30") so ausgelegt ist, dass er sich auf einem Boden (24) des ersten Schlitzes (20) der ersten lasttragenden Stange (11) abstützt.
     
    9. Dachträgerkit (10) nach Anspruch 8, wobei der untere Abschnitt (33) des ersten Laststreifens (30, 30") eine konvexe oder konische Fläche aufweist und so ausgelegt ist, dass er angrenzend an den Boden (24) des ersten Schlitzes (20) der ersten lasttragenden Stange (11) platziert ist, wobei die konvexe oder konische Fläche des unteren Abschnitts (33) des ersten Laststreifens (30, 30") vorzugsweise einen Scheitel aufweist und wobei vorzugsweise der Scheitel nach dem Zusammenbau im Wesentlichen nach der Mitte der Öffnung (21) des ersten Schlitzes (20) der ersten lasttragenden Stange (11) ausgerichtet ist.
     
    10. Laststreifen (30, 30', 30", 30'''), der so ausgelegt ist, dass er an einer lasttragenden Stange (11, 12, 13, 14) eines Dachträgerkits (10) angebracht wird, wobei der Laststreifen (30, 30', 30") einen unteren Abschnitt (33) und einen oberen Abschnitt (32) aufweist, wobei der untere Abschnitt (33) so ausgelegt ist, dass er in einen Schlitz (20) der lasttragenden Stange (11, 12, 13) eingesetzt wird, wobei der Laststreifen (30, 30', 30", 30''') in einer senkrechten Richtung von dem Außenumfang der lasttragenden Stange (11, 12, 13, 14) aus vorragt, nachdem er daran angebracht wurde,
    dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass
    der obere Abschnitt (32) 5 bis 25 mm in der senkrechten Richtung vorragt.
     
    11. Laststreifen (30, 30', 30", 30''') nach Anspruch 10, wobei der obere Abschnitt (32) und der untere Abschnitt (33) durch einen Einschnürungsabschnitt (34) getrennt sind, wobei der Einschnürungsabschnitt (34) eine Querschnittsausdehnung aufweist, die kleiner ist als der Querschnitt des unteren Abschnitts (33) und des oberen Abschnitts (32).
     
    12. Laststreifen (30, 30', 30", 30''') nach Anspruch 10 oder 11, wobei der Laststreifen (30, 30', 30", 30''') aus Gummi oder gummiartigen Materialien, Kunststoffmaterialien, thermoplastischen Materialien oder Gemischen davon gefertigt ist.
     
    13. Laststreifen (30, 30', 30", 30''') nach einem der Ansprüche 10 bis 12, wobei der Laststreifen (30, 30', 30", 30''') einen ersten und einen zweiten Materialstreifen (51, 52) umfasst, wobei der zweite Materialstreifen (52) so eingerichtet ist, dass er von dem ersten Materialstreifen (51) entfernt wird, damit die Höhe (H1, H2, H3, H4) des Laststreifens (30, 30', 30", 30''') verringert wird.
     
    14. Dachträgerkit (10) nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 9, wobei mindestens ein, vorzugsweise zwei oder mehr der Laststreifen ein Laststreifen nach einem der Ansprüche 10 bis 13 ist/sind.
     


    Revendications

    1. Kit de galerie de toit (10) comprenant au moins une première et une deuxième barre de support de charge (11, 12, 13, 14) pouvant être fixées à un véhicule et adaptées pour s'étendre en travers du toit dudit véhicule, une première bande de charge (30, 30', 30", 30''') présentant une première hauteur (H1, H2, H3, H4) dépassant verticalement de la périphérie extérieure de ladite première barre de support de charge (11) et une deuxième bande de charge (30, 30', 30", 30''') présentant une deuxième hauteur (H1, H2, H3, H4) dépassant verticalement de la périphérie extérieure de ladite deuxième barre de support de charge (12),
    caractérisé en ce que
    ladite première hauteur (H1, H2, H3, H4) de ladite première bande de charge (30, 30', 30", 30''') est différente de ladite deuxième hauteur (H1, H2, H3, H4) de ladite deuxième bande de charge (30, 30', 30", 30'''), de manière à compenser une différence de hauteur entre ladite première et ladite deuxième barre de support de charge (11, 12) quand ladite première et ladite deuxième barre de support de charge (11, 12) sont montées sur ledit véhicule.
     
    2. Kit de galerie de toit (10) selon la revendication 1, dans lequel ladite première hauteur (H1, H2, H3, H4) de ladite première bande de charge (30, 30', 30", 30''') est plus haute que ladite deuxième hauteur (H1, H2, H3, H4) de ladite bande de charge (30, 30', 30", 30'''), ladite première hauteur (H1, H3, H4) de ladite première bande de charge (30, 30", 30''') est de préférence au moins 30 % plus haute que ladite deuxième hauteur (H2) de ladite deuxième bande de charge (30'), plus préférablement 30 à 300 % plus haute.
     
    3. Kit de galerie de toit (10) selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel au moins une de ladite première et ladite deuxième barre de support de charge (11, 12, 13) comprend une fente (20) comportant une ouverture (21) tournée vers le haut, ladite fente (20) s'étendant le long de la longueur (L) de ladite première et/ou ladite deuxième barre de support de charge (11, 12, 13), et dans lequel au moins une de ladite première et ladite deuxième bande de charge (30, 30', 30") est adaptée pour être au moins partiellement positionnée dans ladite fente (20).
     
    4. Kit de galerie de toit (10) selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel au moins une de ladite première ou ladite deuxième bande de charge (30, 30', 30", 30'''), de préférence les deux, comporte une section transversale pleine.
     
    5. Kit de galerie de toit (10) selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel ladite première et ladite deuxième bande de charge (30, 30") comportent une partie supérieure et une partie inférieure (32, 33), ladite partie inférieure (33) de ladite première et ladite deuxième bande de charge (30, 30") étant adaptée pour être positionnée dans ladite fente (20) de ladite barre de support de charge (11, 12, 13), et dans lequel ladite section transversale desdites parties inférieures (33) de ladite première et ladite deuxième bande de charge (30, 30") est au moins similaire ou identique.
     
    6. Kit de galerie de toit (10) selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel ladite première et ladite deuxième barre de support de charge (11, 12, 13) comportent respectivement une première et une deuxième section transversale, et dans lequel lesdites première et deuxième sections transversales de ladite première et ladite deuxième barre de support de charge (11, 12, 13) sont identiques.
     
    7. Kit de galerie de toit (10) selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel ledit kit de galerie de toit (10) comprend au moins une barre de support de charge (13) supplémentaire pouvant être fixée audit véhicule et adaptée pour s'étendre en travers dudit toit dudit véhicule, ladite troisième barre de support de charge (13) comprenant de préférence une troisième fente (20) s'étendant le long de la longueur (L) de ladite troisième barre de support de charge (13).
     
    8. Kit de galerie de toit (10) selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel ladite première bande de charge (30, 30") comporte une partie supérieure et une partie inférieure (32, 33), ladite partie inférieure (33) de ladite première bande de charge (30, 30") est adaptée pour être positionnée dans ladite première fente (20) de ladite première barre de support de charge (11), et dans lequel ladite partie inférieure (33) de ladite première bande de charge (30, 30") est adaptée pour s'appuyer contre un fond (24) de ladite première fente (20) de ladite première barre de support de charge (11).
     
    9. Kit de galerie de toit (10) selon la revendication 8, dans lequel ladite partie inférieure (33) de ladite première bande de charge (30, 30") comporte une surface convexe ou conique et adaptée pour être positionnée adjacente audit fond (24) de ladite première fente (20) de ladite première barre de support de charge (11), ladite surface convexe ou conique de ladite partie inférieure (33) de ladite première bande de charge (30, 30") comporte de préférence un sommet, et dans lequel ledit sommet est de préférence sensiblement aligné avec le centre de l'ouverture (21) de ladite première fente (20) de ladite première barre de support de charge (11) après l'assemblage avec celle-ci.
     
    10. Bande de charge (30, 30', 30", 30''') adaptée pour être fixée à une barre de support de charge (11, 12, 13, 14) d'un kit de galerie de toit (10), ladite bande de charge (30, 30', 30") comportant une partie inférieure (33) et une partie supérieure (32), ladite partie inférieure (33) étant adaptée pour être insérée dans une fente (20) de ladite barre de support de charge (11, 12, 13), ladite bande de charge (30, 30', 30", 30''') dépassant dans une direction verticale de la périphérie extérieure de ladite barre de support de charge (11, 12, 13, 14) après avoir été fixée à celle-ci,
    caractérisée en ce que
    ladite partie supérieure (32) dépasse de 5 à 25 mm dans ladite direction verticale.
     
    11. Bande de charge (30, 30', 30", 30''') selon la revendication 10, dans laquelle ladite partie supérieure (32) et ladite partie inférieure (33) sont séparées par une partie resserrée (34), ladite partie resserrée (34) présentant une extension de section transversale qui est plus petite que la section transversale de ladite partie inférieure (33) et ladite partie supérieure (32).
     
    12. Bande de charge (30, 30', 30", 30''') selon la revendication 10 ou 11, dans laquelle ladite bande de charge (30, 30', 30", 30''') est fabriquée en caoutchouc, ou en matériaux similaires au caoutchouc, en matériaux plastiques, en matériaux thermoplastiques ou en mélanges de ceux-ci.
     
    13. Bande de charge (30, 30', 30", 30''') selon l'une quelconque des revendications 10 à 12, dans laquelle ladite bande de charge (30, 30', 30", 30''') comprend une première et une seconde bande de matériau (51, 52), ladite seconde bande de matériau (52) étant configurée pour être retirée de ladite première bande de matériau (51) afin de réduire la hauteur (H1, H2, H3, H4) de ladite bande de charge (30, 30', 30", 30''').
     
    14. Kit de galerie de toit (10) selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 9, dans lequel au moins une, de préférence deux ou plus desdites bandes de charge est/sont une bande de charge selon l'une quelconque des revendications 10 à 13.
     




    Drawing


















    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description