Backseat Caddy

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48

About: Awesome Gear I've designed myself.

Road trips are fun. Trying to feed little kids from the front seat of a moving car, not so much. This “caddy” provides an easily cleaned food tray complete with cup holders, making lunch on the go a little easier.

For less than 20 bucks and 20 minutes you can have one too. NO TOOLS REQUIRED. Here is what you need.

Plastic Paint Tray: $2.98
Two 3” Plastic Fittings: $9.10
Epoxy Putty: $4.98

Back round:
When this idea popped into my head I had all kinds of aspirations. I wanted to make a template of the back seat, lay out curves, break all my wood working stuff, and go to town. But, in the end I thought, what good is a travel tip if Mom & Dad Q. Citizen don‘t have access to it. For that reason this is as simple as I could possibly make it.

Step 1: Prepare the Plastics

Take a piece of 100 grit sand paper and rough up the bottom of the fittings. Next rough up the lower inner diameter about a ¼ inch or so.

Take the fittings and place them in the corners of the paint tray. With downward pressure rotate the fittings against the tray. This will lightly scratch in a circle. Use that mark as a guide when you rough up the tray side with the sand paper.

Step 2: Epoxy Putty

Cut a section of putty about a half an inch wide. Kneed the putty between your fingers until it’s a uniform color. Make sure to dampen your fingers before you do this. Otherwise it will stick to your skin. The putty sets in 20 minutes.

Wet a flat surface and roll the putty into a snake. With the fittings in place, press the putty into the corners between the tray and fittings. Keep your fingers wet.

Set the tray aside and let it cure.

Step 3: Get a Towel

To keep the tray from slipping around, loop a few thick rubber bands at the rear of the tray. Then fold a bath towel into fourths.

Run the bath towel under the tray and through the rubber bands. Leave some excess towel at the non-cup side of the tray.

Step 4: Tuck It In

Place the caddy in the back seat. Tuck the towel in between the seat and the seat back. Depending on the angle, you may need to adjust the towel under the tray.

Don't forget to stop by In-N-Out on your way to the beach.

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    48 Discussions

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    EcoExpatMike

    3 years ago on Step 4

    I am so going to build one for my kids once I drag them to America (here the only transportation is by motorcycle sidecar taxi...)

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    KLester78

    4 years ago on Step 4

    This is GREAT! We have a heavy vinyl tablecloth covering our backseat (even goes under the car seats) This is going to be great because cost wise, I just haven't wanted to spend much since the 2 granddaughters don't go with us daily or even weekly. When we do go, it does involve eating/snacking during the times from one part of our adventures to the next one. Thank you so much!!!

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    KyaNyght

    7 years ago on Introduction

    Great idea. I think I will make a separate tray for each of my kids to hold in their laps (since I have 3 kids). That way they can even use ketchup and I don't have to worry about my upholstery.

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    Okay I should get IN-N-OUT to sell these they would make some good money, course Mrballeng would get some money too

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    mblack3

    7 years ago on Step 4

    Excellent idea! Wonder why I didn't think of this!

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    bcarter-1

    7 years ago on Step 4

    Who has ideas about how to make one for the middle of two mini-van seats where there is no seat in between? I guess I could put it on top of a cooler or such for long road trips, but what about the everyday trip and the practicality of having it somehow always available? Flip down from one seat or the other? Drop from ceiling? Looking for creative ideas.

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    Fun2Holdbcarter-1

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I'm actually thinking about the same thing - I'm thinking of mounting it between the arm rests that fold down on both seats. Maybe some kind of PVC mounted on the bottom of the tray to slide over the armrests and a folding anchor on the back to make sure it doesn't shoot forward.

    Hey, Mrballeng, do you mind if I steal part of your idea? If I can build this thing, I'm thinking of making it an 'ible of my own (big IF - I'm not very handy, sadly). I'll give credit of course for the source.

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    Mrballengbcarter-1

    Reply 7 years ago on Step 4

    Take a picture of the spot your working with and I'm sure we'll get you an answer.

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    KottonKandy

    7 years ago on Introduction

    I like your instructables, I like your ideas, and now I like you even more, because you go to In-N-Out! hahha! :) :)
    Good idea! Very useful!

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    tnt.thomas

    7 years ago on Step 4

    Don't some paint trays have "ladder hooks" under them? I'm thinking off top of my head but those hooks could be seat-belted and hold in place without the towel variation? I have no cup holders in my old Integra. Normally driving solo, especially on long trips, so this would be great. And easy to toss in the trunk with passengers aboard. Or belted into backseat where the passenger can reach maybe!??

    Very cool idea! Hats Off!

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    chibimaddy

    7 years ago on Step 4

    Very nice! Thanks for sharing. I've never used the JB plastic. Can you tell me if it gets hot while it cures?

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    rvsnmms

    7 years ago on Introduction

    Not only is this an awesome Instructable, it's a great idea my only criticism is with the use of In-n-Out burgers... see I live in Seattle and we don't get In-n-Out burgers this far north, totally unfair. The only way I can forgive you is if you promise to raise your next Double Double towards Seattle and nod for those less fortunate. I love me some In-n-Out.

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    Mrballengrvsnmms

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I''ll promise to raise my "#1 animal style" as long as you do the same the next time your at Pike Place Market. I miss those shiskabobs.

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    CazzPhoenix

    7 years ago on Introduction

    You stole my idea and made it easier... how dare you.

    Guess I've got a shopping list now. thanks I guess :-P

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    earlyflyer

    7 years ago on Step 4

    Brilliant! I'm making one before our next road trip...

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    anode505

    7 years ago on Introduction

    Love it. Got a tray from the dollar store, and gonna pop rivet in a couple of tin cans (re-purpose ) Dab of sillycone to keep the sweat from leaking through the rivet hole.