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Words & Photos: Craig Seckerson

There I was, in the darkness of my camping toilet, my trousers around my ankles, ready for the impending ablutions, when all of a sudden, Nooooooooooo…I fumbled and dropped my toilet roll onto the ground, into the mud, or even worse. Anyone who has gone camping has undoubtedly faced this at some point in their adventurous life, and it’s not a pleasant experience by any stretch of the imagination.

So, you can understand my surprise when I discovered Dunny Buddy®; yes, you read that right; Dunny is what we Aussies call a toilet, restroom, or WC. A “dunny” is usually associated with a long drop or a 5-meter-deep hole in the ground. I am happy to confirm that whatever you call it, it is not the best place to drop your toilet roll.

Fortune was on my side when I bumped into Darren Storace, the owner of Dunny Buddy® at last year’s Adelaide Caravan & Camping Show, and he introduced me to Dunny Buddy®. He described it as “armor for your toilet paper,” which is precisely what it is: a bulletproof vest for your toilet tissue roll. A two-piece positive locking body and end cap that allows you to access the paper when needed yet keep it safe when not in use. Its unique patented and registered design allows the user to keep it safe, clean, and dry without unraveling. The addition of the adjustable nylon carry handle is perfect and allows you to hang it up when needed or for storage purposes.

I asked Darren where the simple yet ingenious idea originated; he explained that his wife Visnja came up with the concept several years ago while camping in the New South Wales bush; she would go to the toilet and balance the unprotected toilet paper on a branch. Undoubtedly, this got worse when they had children; their kids would come back with either a sodden roll, half the roll covered in mud, or no roll at all; from her experience, the idea for Dunny Buddy® was born.

Although it is not IP rated, the 100% designed and manufactured in Melbourne, Australia, the Dunny Buddy® boasts a durable injection-molded protective case that is certainly water-resistant, helping keep your paper dry and your visit to the lavatory a happy one. Darren recounted when he and his brother Jason met a customer at a caravan and camping show who had purchased a Dunny Buddy® a few months prior. The customer explained he had returned from a recent camping trip with a group of friends where a monsoon had ripped through the campsite, and he was pleased to report that the only dry item within their camping party’s gear was their roll of toilet paper. This customer couldn’t praise the Dunny Buddy® highly enough and purchased more units for family and friends.

Darren was extremely excited as 2023 has seen the product go from strength to strength on the back of receiving the coveted Best New Product/Accessory gong in the 2022 Caravancampingsales Innovation Awards, which are designed to recognize and reward advancements in the areas of technology, design, quality, and safety throughout the Australian RV industry. It was said that “In an RV market awash with gimmicks and gadgets reputedly designed to make camping easier, the Dunny Buddy® stands out as a no-brainer for throwing in the corner of the car or camper, ready for whenever you’re caught short when touring around.”

 

It doesn’t stop with off-roading and camping; the Dunny Buddy® can be used on boats, roadside emergency toilet stops, public toilets when there is no paper, tradesmen who have an onsite Portaloo, or anyone with kids who still have their toilet learner plates on – it is a piece of equipment that everyone should have in their kit bag. The design is excellent; there is even an inner storage area where you can store personal hygiene products, maybe a tiny torch, or if you are touring, some people store a plastic bag to take everything with them to dispose of responsibly.

When asked what his biggest challenge was with the Dunny Buddy® journey, Darren explained that finding an Australian-based manufacturer they felt comfortable working with was extremely difficult. Thankfully, they found the proper organization that has assisted them enormously; Darren couldn’t praise them highly enough and mentioned it has a ripper of a chap running the operation. Although he explained that putting up with toilet jokes at camping shows is also very challenging, that comes in as a close second.

Darren’s highlight must be launching a 100% Australian-designed and manufactured product. He set out to manufacture only in Australia, and it has been a very rewarding experience for him and his family. However, on a business level, his highlight is being recognized in the 2022 Caravancampingsales Innovation Awards and winning the Best New Product/Accessory award. Darren explained that Dunny Buddy was up against some very familiar brands; to be recognized as amazing and to win was beyond everyone’s expectations.

The Dunny Buddy® fits standard-sized toilet rolls with a maximum diameter of 11.5cm and a maximum width of 10cm, so don’t be thinking of using the supersized or double roll versions as they won’t fit; having said that they have just launched a larger version for your kitchen paper towel. I know I am not the first to have dropped my kitchen towel while camping; however, probably not as often. I dropped the roll while BBq’ing and chased it under the grill as half the roll unraveled. As I pick it up, it is covered in spider webs, mud, or cooking fats, with a quarter of the roll wasted. Well, not anymore; Dunny Buddy® has recently launched the Paperpod™.

Like Dunny Buddy®, it’s 100% Australian and offers the same features and benefits that made Dunny Buddy® the WINNER of Best New Product 2022. It allows you to stand your roll up vertically as you traditionally would without the hindrance of it unraveling or being blown onto the floor. The removable and adjustable carry strap allows you to hang your Paperpod™ in almost any situation, or for a more permanent fixing solution, you can hang it through the hollow center by any means you like.

I agree with Darren and the Dunny Buddy team; it is the ideal product for all outdoor people, barbeque enthusiasts, or anyone with an adventurous bum, and like their strap line says, ‘Keep it 5 stars wherever you are.’

Check out the Dunny Buddy® and the Paperpod™ at https://www.dunnybuddy.com.au

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