WHY is the soap ALWAYS in the way?
Project cost: Less than $15
bike water bottle cage
foam can koozie
HER PERSPECTIVE: Washing your hands in the woods while camping is kinda the coolest thing ever. It's especially cool when you have gross dogs who do gross things that you have to clean up because you have thumbs. Which are now dirty. It's also nice to have soap handy when you're handling meat, or doing mechanical work on the van - not every gross thing comes from our dogs.
We found some Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Basil Hand Soap (ecofriendly) at our local Target and loved it. Brandon says the scent of basil now reminds him of camping and life in Humboldt since this soap is so distinctive and awesome-smelling.
The problem was, we had it stored in the little cabinet under the pantry in the van and it was never nearby when you needed it. I took to storing it in the sink, but then it was in the way. Obviously you can't leave it on the countertop since it has a cover. When your hands are covered in gross, you don't want to have to touch a lot of things (which you in turn have to clean) in order to wash your hands. I needed a better solution.
HIS PERSPECTIVE: This was an easy fix. As a long-time mountain and road biker, I had more than a few water bottle cages just sitting around. I screwed one (at a slight angle so the pump of the bottle didn't hit the ceiling) into the other side of the tray support right behind the driver's head. More than a little dangerous, but a good start.
For padding, we first tried a pool noodle that had been sliced open. The interior was just too small to go around the bottle cage, so we tried a can koozie. Perfect fit. We just slit it up the back and slid it over the cage.
Is it guaranteed NOT to hurt if the driver's head hits it in an accident, nope. But it's pretty well padded and that cage is not super strong so it's likely to fail first. Obviously, we'd prefer not to test it, but we can tell you that it's a GREAT solution and the soap is always handy.
UPDATE: Over time, the koozie has a tendency to fall off, especially if the driver's side window is down. We fixed that with a tiny bungee. Good enough and still SUPER convenient!