Can Do - RV Enthusiast Magazine

Can Do

by | Feb 9, 2024 | Cool Gadgets, RVEXPERT

Photos by the author
Keeping soda and beer cans from marring an RV refrigerator’s interior walls can be an exercise in futility. Beyond the problem with ugly gray marks on the white walls is dealing with adequate places to store these cans — and finding them when needed. A simple storage dispenser is an inexpensive solution.

Open any RV refrigerator and you’ll likely find a few cans of soda and/or beer. Aluminum cans are safer around patios and pools, but they tend to mar the interior walls of the refrigerator over time, especially when jarred around while traveling rough roads. These gray marks are difficult to remove, and the deeper “scars” tend to hang around through the entire life of the refrigerator.

Obviously, one solution is to only store plastic and glass bottles, but that’s not always practical, depending on beverage choices.

close view of two Seltzer cans in a refrigerator door compartment, behing the cans a gray scratch marks on the refrigerator wall
The whole idea was to find a way to prevent marring from the aluminum cans when placed against the interior walls. These gray marks (seen here behind the cans) are unsightly and difficult to remove.
a woman's hands wrap a twist tie around the opening of a produce bag holding a beverage can
the woman's hand places the bagged beverage can in the door compartment of a refrigerator
Previously, to prevent marring, we would wrap each can in a plastic vegetable bag and keep it in place with a wire tie. This kept the aluminum cans from rubbing against the interior wall. While this was a pain, it worked — but we’ve found the tray to be much more convenient.
A better way is to prevent the cans from rubbing on the plastic interior walls.

For years, we’ve stayed away from cans while on the road, and for the few we stored in the refrigerator at times, we would wrap them in a plastic bag found in market produce departments. It works, but it was a pain to wrap and unwrap the cans individually made more-so by having to use the green wire ties usually provided next to the bag rolls to keep the bags closed.

The other issue with loose cans is finding logical cubby holes to store them without taking up too much space. Typically, a few cans would get “lost” inside the refrigerator only to be found later — not fun when you’re reaching for a cold one and it’s not in sight without downloading the refrigerator.

A good solution is storing these beverage cans in a dispenser that keeps them organized and in plain sight — and prevents wall scarring. I found one on Amazon (of course) that holds nine cans and seems to be durable, although I haven’t subjected the dispenser to the U.S. interstates yet. Each tray is designed to stack the cans on their sides, allowing them to roll down as the cans are removed individually. It’s listed as “SimpleHouseware Can Dispenser Refrigerator Organizer Storage, Clear” and the single pack sells for $9.87. These trays are available in 1-, 2-, 4- and 6-pack configurations for standard or skinny beverage cans. For my purposes, one pack was perfect.

The dispenser is 14 inches long, so it should fit just about all RV and residential refrigerators. Once you locate a suitable place for the stacked cans, they can be accessed from the front by simply pulling away the can on the leading edge. Of course, if you mix the beverages, the one you want will always be in the middle, but at least the clear plastic allows for quick inventory at a glance or the tray can be easily removed from the refrigerator for reloading. For sure, you’ll know when you’re out. If there’s room, consider getting one pack for beer and one for soda. Plus, they can also be used to store additional cans in the pantry or an overhead cabinet, which will keep them from becoming disheveled — and subject to punctures.

unpacked cans sit on an RV kitchen counter top, beside the cans a woman holds a dispenser tray
The SimpleHouseware dispenser holds nine aluminum cans and does a great job of organizing beverages — and prevents mysterious disappearances of the cans when the refrigerator is full. This tray can be ordered to accommodate standard and skinny aluminum cans.
the SimpleHouseware dispenser is filled with cans stacked on their side
Cans are stacked on their side in any order and are secured naturally via the spaces between the cans. Nine cans now take up much less space on the refrigerator shelves and door.
view of the SimpleHouseware dispenser, sitting on the bottom shelf of a refrigerator, full of canned beverages
a woman's hand leans down to remove a canned drink from the SimpleHouseware dispenser
A perfect place to store the filled tray in my refrigerator was on the shelf above the vegetable crisper. The cans are easy to access and can be pulled out one at a time. One pack works for my purposes, but those who store more cans can use additional trays to separate soda from beer, for example.

Granted, the inside of a refrigerator is out of sight when the door is closed, but I can’t stand the marring from aluminum cans. Now when there’s no choice but to store cans in the refrigerator I don’t have to snarl — and my OCD tendencies are placated.

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