DIY: How to store beverage cans.

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Words and pictures by Peter Breitenstein

Seven 4x4s, eleven people, one trail, 12 kilometres, 24 hours… No survivors.

Overlanders are constantly trying to develop new ways to maximise their vehicle’s packing space. With this in mind, I recently came up with an idea that may interest fellow readers. In short, it’s a compact beverage-can holder / dispenser that makes the most of small storage areas that would otherwise go unused.

When I kitted out my Mitsubishi Delica as a 4×4 camper, I was left with a narrow gap across the width of the vehicle. This cavity was about 80 x 350 mm in size, but it seemed like a great place to store loose beverage cans.
The concept was simple: I needed several pipes that could be held together and filled with tinned cold drinks. I sourced plastic pipe from my local electrical supply shop: the internal diameter of the pipe was perfectly proportioned so that the tins slid neatly down the bore.

After cutting my three pipe lengths, I made a rack system that held the pipes tightly together. Each section of pipe stores nine conventionally-sized tin cans, so 27 tins altogether – a few more than a case. I then installed the rack at a slight angle so that each tin could be dropped into its respective pipe.

However, now there was the problem of how to get the tins out again. As it happened, the solution was quite simple: measuring tapes. Basically, I dropped the body of the tape at the bottom of the pipe and hooked the tape’s metal tab onto the outer rim of each pipe section. That way, when I want to pull a can out, I simply grab the tab and pull it towards me. The tape body then lifts the cans and dispenses them at the same time. You can cut your pipe pieces to whatever size you like; and, depending on the gap you need to fill, it could have two, three, or even four levels to it. It’s a dead simple system that works like a charm and costs less than R200!

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