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Strap *this* to the back of your cat.
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Remember Etch-a-Sketch? When I was just a little tyke, I meticulously "etched" away as much of that silvery stuff on the Etch-a-Sketch screen as possible, just so I could get a clearer look at the inner workings of the mystical toy. What I found were two metal bars, each controlled by one of the two
dials. At the point where the bars crossed, I saw the drawing tool that touches the screen from the inside. If I remember correctly, it was somewhat shaped like a cone (pointy side up) with holes near its base to accommodate the two bars.
My idea is to apply this design to make trunk/cargo space in vehicles more efficient and hold items more securely so they don't fall, slide, roll, or otherwise move around while driving.
My version will have 2 or 4 bars (double bars) or any even number of bars (hell, why not 20?) in a 2-dimensional plane parallel to the floor of the cargo area. They will be adjustable in length (locking, telescoping design, or cut-to-fit, custom lengths) to accommodate the variances in each vehicle's trunk or cargo space. They will be on tracks (telescoping tracks may work, but it may be best to allow for cut-to-fit, custom lengths after purchase) affixed to each of the 4 walls of the space.
The bars, once installed, will slide on their secured tracks by hand, to whatever position the user desires, until the size and shape of the rectangular space needed to hold the cargo is achieved. The piece at the crosspoint would be locked by hand after packing is complete and unlock manually as needed.
The goal is to concentrate all small, oddly-shaped, or unstable cargo into as tight an area as possible, leaving any remaining space for larger stuff.
The device would be useful for:
keeping fragile items secure (like a carton of eggs or a homemade cheesecake)
round items from rolling around (like a bottle of washer fluid)
keeping smaller items from falling out of their shopping bags and spilling all over the place (like oranges or cosmetics)
containing things that need to stay upright (like home-cooked meals and desserts or small pet cages)
The Official Etch-a-Sketch website [XSarenkaX, Oct 04 2004]
Telescoping Cargo Bar
Just more than one and a piece to bind them together at right angles. [Letsbuildafort, Oct 04 2004]
||I'm giving you a croissant. Try to keep it from getting squished.
||Is there an optional transparent trunk lid and bag o' silvery stuff? And lowrider style bouncy hydraulic suspension for erasing?
||Now THERE'S a halfbaked idea!
||An item similar to this has been used for YEARS by truckers. Cargo Keepers, I've heard them called, but they are basically telescoping bars that fit between the load, or structure bearing bulkheads or seams of cargo trailers. I'll see if I can dig up a link.
||You must have been reading my mind, or I was reading yours, for I have been considering something similar to this since last Friday afternoon when my husband was worried about leaving a laptop in the trunk of his car--for fear of theft--while he was parked in the city.
||My idea, not fully formed, was a cage that telescoped once in the trunk and with a locking mechanism on the telescoping part as well as a locking access door on the top of the cage. The cage, once telescoped inside the trunk beyond the edges of the trunk opening, wouldn't be removable and would provide some measure of security against theft during trunk prowls.