Safe-T-Plus Chats with The RV Doctor

FMCA’s 89th Family Reunion and Showcase in Perry, Georgia was a blast! While we were there, Bryan Maggi of Safe-T-Plus had the privilege of being interviewed by Gary Bunzer, author and technical educator known as The RV Doctor. The RV Doctor column has celebrated 37 years of consistent, quality publications on all things technical.  It’s one of the longest running (if not the longest running) Q&A columns in the RV industry! You can find print versions of House Calls with the RV Doctor in Family Motor Coaching Magazine. His advice for RV owners has been valuable across the board for decades — don’t miss out on everything he has to offer!

The RV Doctor’s Safe-T-Plus Interview

Check out the interview from FMCA’s 89th Family Reunion in Perry, Georgia here.

Or, watch below:

RVs Are a Completely Different Beast

In the video, we talk about just why RV owners would do well to check out Safe-T-Plus. Many people get behind the wheel thinking that an RV is just like a big SUV — but it’s completely different! These “land yachts” require more active involvement in steering than other vehicles do. That makes road hazards particularly dangerous for first-time RV owners.

One of the biggest challenges for new owners comes in the form of oversteering — it leaves them sore and exhausted at the end of a trip and takes away from the enjoyment of the journey and the destination. Safe-T-Plus helps relieve oversteering caused by side winds, passing 18-wheelers and generally bad roads. Control is given back to the traveller, keeping your RV centered on the road and making road hazards easier to manage.

How Does Safe-T-Plus Work?

It looks like a simple shock absorber, but Safe-T-Plus actually contains mechanical coils and heavy-duty hydraulic cylinders. The mechanical coils provide center point tracking and keep RVs straight on the road with the hydraulics absorb shocks from sudden road hazards and keep drivers in control.

Our four Safe-T-Plus models fit over 650 different kinds of chassis. Every Safe-T-Plus steering device comes with a mounting hardware kit specific to the type of chassis.

Driving your motorhome should be all about safety. You can enjoy the journey when you have the relief and peace of mind that comes with Safe-T-Plus.

We had a great time representing Safe-T-Plus in Perry this year. A big thank you to Gary the RV Doctor for stopping by to chat with us!

Did you enjoy FMCA’s 89th Family Reunion this year? Let us know in the comments.

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Safe-T-Plus at the FMCA Family Reunion & Motorhome Showcase

rvtradeshow-smallSafe-T-Plus is going to feel right at home in the upcoming FMCA RV trade show in Perry, Georgia. From March 17—20 at the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter, Safe-T-Plus will be representing in booth 311.

The theme of FMCA’s 89th Family Reunion and Showcase is “Passport to Perry,” and we’re crossing our fingers for some great spring Georgia weather. More than just a trade show, the FMCA has over 130 seminars lined up, local tours schedules and available and some great entertainment in the wings.

Events and Entertainment

The seminars are both technical and educational, covering topics from RV Battery Fundamentals and Ten Maintenance Tips Every RVer Should Know to Geek on Tour: Technology for Travelers and On-Road Quilters, on top of several product-specific panels.

Vendors and seminars are enough to keep you engaged, but there is also plenty of active family fun to be had, including events like Bean Bag Baseball, Best Pet Contest, Golf Cart Skills Course, Square, Round and Line Dancing and even Strength Training Essentials for Wellness.

Entertainment comes in the form of former Miss Congeniality of the Miss America Pageant, Jeanne Robertson, who has been riveting crowds with her personal experiences turned comedy gold for years.

From the 2009 season of “America’s Got Talent,” FMCA will also be hosting The Texas Tenors in Perry this year with their unique blend of gospel, country, classical and Broadway music.

Also featured is musical artist Sarah Getto, who just happens to be an avid RV enthusiast herself (with 50,000 miles under her belt during the last two years!).

Motorhome Preview

From 5 to 8 p.m. on Monday, the motorhome preview will showcase the newest motorhomes in the Outdoor Display Area, along with giveaways and music by the exhibitors.

For a more details on events, entertainments and exhibitors, check out the Perry 2014 Program.

RVers are encouraged to stay on site in their RVs for the duration of the showcase and to take advantage of programs, seminars, tours and events. Admission to the show is $7 for adults and free for children under 12 and those with military ID. Other options are available for those who wish to camp on-site for the RV trade show.

Have questions? Check out FMCA’s Perry 2014 FAQ.

Come on down to the Peach State and check out the Safe-T-Plus booth (#311) while you’re here!

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Safe-T-Plus Hits the RV Trade Show Road

Safe-T-Plus hit the road recently to show at two major RV Trade Shows — the 2014 Florida RV SuperShow in Tampa and the 2014 Quartzsite RV Show in Quartzsite, Arizona.

The show in the Sunshine State proved a big success for everyone, with records sales and a massive 56,953 attendants. The show’s public days were from January 15 to 19 at the Florida State Fairgrounds.

Overall, spirits seems to be up — there was a great positivity for this year that, in the past, has been plagued by laments of gas prices and the tough state of the economy. Safe-T-Plus had a great time alongside other dealers. RVs seemed to be selling well and the industry is looking up after a series of tough times that everyone has had to deal with. While not everyone is back in the place to buy an RV, that’s still a good thing. The fact that people are being smart about their debt load and lending helps the RV industry to keep a good, solid footing.

Safe-T-Plus was also represented at the massive gathering in Quartzsite from January 18 to 26. In fact, this show is hailed at the biggest in the United States. Even though it takes place near a sleepy town just off of Interstate 10 and only about 20 miles from the California state line, the show in Quartzsite regularly attracts attendees ranging in the hundred of thousands, who can get in for the public days free of charge. Q, as the show is sometimes called, is an experience unlike any other. People from all sides and experiences of the RVing world come to engage with others, glean wisdom from like-minded folks and find some purchases to make.

A gorgeous day in the desert for a show!

At the same time as the Sports, Vacation and RV Show, Quartzsite hosts the rock, gem and mineral show, craft shows and several flea markets, making it a target destination for everyone — not just RV enthusiasts.

The Safe-T-Plus set up in Quartzsite!

Safe-T-Plus had a great time showing and sharing with the attendees of both events the vast benefits that comes with our products to improve their RV experiences.

Hope to see you next year, Tampa and Quartzsite!

If you missed us this time, don’t worry! Safe-T-Plus will be showing at FMCA’s 89th Family Reunion and Showcase in Perry, GA at the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter on March 17 to 20. Our booth number is 311. We’ll see you there!

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New Year’s Resolutions for the Savvy RV Traveller

travel-adviceAh, a new year for adventure! We hope 2013 was a great year full of exciting travels in your RV. Even if it wasn’t, there’s always room to change things in 2014. This year, make some resolutions that you’ll want to keep. The kind that will inspire you to go farther, see more and experience the joys of traveling in a whole new way. So how can you get started on the right foot in 2014? We’ve got some helpful tips for you!

Travel Advice and Resolutions for 2014

Have More Patience

As much as you love traveling, it’s undoubtedly full of its own stressors. Whether it’s unexpected delays, grating passengers, schedule mishaps or other annoyances, having your patience tested is never fun. This year, resolve to be more gracious to yourself and to others when things don’t go quite as planned. Take a deep breath, and accept that even the best-planned trips will have some detours. You’ll be happier for it!

Rely Less on Technology

Technology is a beautiful thing. You can plan routes and stay connected to home, get vital news about weather and roads…but technology can keep you not only from experiencing the sights around you, but also from engaging and bonding with other travellers. Even if you don’t resolve to ditch your GPS and smartphones entirely (which you may want to!), make the conscious effort to use and rely on technology less during your travels. Remember those paper maps and atlases we used to use?

Go Somewhere New

It can be easy to get stuck in a rut. This year, leave the tried-and-true trails in favor of a new adventure! Take your RV somewhere new, somewhere unknown. At the very least, go somewhere you haven’t been in a long, long time. You never know how much a place has changed. Chart a new course.

Leave Preconceptions Behind

On your journeys to new places, remember to reign in those pesky preconceptions. They can hinder the enjoyment of your anticipation of a place as well as color your experience there. Embrace new places and new people with an open mind. You’ll learn a lot — and might just fall in love. Free yourself of expectations and letdowns by embracing your travels in the moment.

Start a Travel Fund

The new year is a great time to start saving for a travel fund! Commit to setting a few dollars aside with every paycheck to put directly to travel. Whether it’s to take care of an entire trip or to give you wiggle room along the way, having some money saved for your trips can help you avoid the stress of travel emergencies or deciding when to splurge while on the road. Do you have any traveling New Year’s Resolutions? Where do you plan to take your RV in 2014? Tell us in the comments! Start the year off right with safety and peace of mind with the perfect Safe-T-Plus product for your RV. Photo credit

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Traveling (by RV) is Good

travelWe’re about to drop a bombshell on you. Ready? No? You had fair warning! Okay, deep breath:

Some people say they don’t like to travel.

Before you gasp in horror, you probably know some of these people. They’d rather stay at home without the stress and cost of hotels, flights, interstate traffic and that 40-mile gap between rest stops. But, you might say, that’s not how it should be! Travel should be fun. It’s a vacation, after all. We’ll, dear reader, maybe it’s time to convince your homebody friends that the traveling is one of the best things they can do — and traveling by RV is even better. So what travel advice should be offered to those who aren’t immersed in the RV travel lifestyle?

Well. Why do you go traveling? More specifically, why do it by RV instead of say, flying?

Is it because you’d rather stop at little towns and eats in local eateries and learn how other people live? Do you like stopping for fresh strawberries grown just a few blocks away? Maybe traveling by RV is about the seclusion, about being one with the beautiful world; whether that means towering pines or dusty mesas.

Maybe you just really, really like getting behind the wheel.

You enjoy the freedom and flexibility of the RV. No hotels to worry with because you’re carrying home wherever you go. No layovers or cramped flights or turbulence. No worrying where that weird stain on the hotel mattress came from and if you should chance it or sleep on the floor instead (which probably also has its fair share of weird stains). It’s comfortable and relaxing and well. It’s freeing. Your best travel advice comes from your own experiences.

But maybe your friends are still on the fence. They don’t get it; campers conjure up images or rusty, moss-grown mobile homes and collapsible lawn chairs. They’re picturing the worst of the RV world because they’re equating it with a bad trailer park. So even when you praise the wonders of RVing, even when you swear by traveling as your favorite past time, they’re still reluctant. They have too many stereotyped thoughts or ill-remembered childhood events to see your experiences without skeptical eyes.

So what do you say to the naysayers of RV travel?

Try it. Come with me.

I’ll show you what good traveling is all about.

Get the most enjoyment out of your journey with the peace of mind that comes from Safe-T-Plus products.

image credit: David~O

 

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Fresh Travel Games for Your Family Vacation

familyvacationSo you’ve packed up the kids in the RV for the annual family vacation. You might be used to driving for hours upon hours, but when it comes to kids, you know the inevitable question come up sooner or later:

Are we there yet?

To keep yourself sane and the children from bouncing off the walls, it’s a good idea to have a list of go-to travel games to occupy the time that won’t cost you a cent. No mobile Monopoly or chess and no silencing the kids with headphones and an iPad here.

These games will keep you engaged and social with your family – after all, isn’t that what this trip is about?

(Before you ask – don’t worry. We’re not going to suggest the Punch Buggy Game. Encouraging the kids to hit each other might not be what you need on a long road trip.)

Fun and Free Family Travel Games

Celebrity Name Game

Better suited for teenagers and adults, you go in a pre-determined order (usually clockwise) and begin by saying the name of a celebrity that has a first and last name. The next person must say the name of another celebrity whose first name begins with the same letter as the last name of the previous celebrity. This game can last for hours. If you decide to keep score, double points can be given for celebrities that have the same letter beginning both their first and last names. If someone is a lesser-known celebrity, at least one other person in the vehicle must be able to verify it as a fact.

Younger children can use animals instead of celebrities, using the last letter in the name of the previous animal as the first in the next.

Color Safari

This is a great game for all ages. Pick a color – the kids will be required to name as many objects, animals, etc., that are that color (or predominantly that color). Either set a joint goal (100 items in 20 minutes) or have the kids race to see who can get the most under a time limit. You can either keep a tally or have the kids write their answers down.

Storyteller

How about something super creative for your journey? Start off by giving your passengers a line in a made-up story (“Once upon a time there was a cowardly prince…”) and having them add lines as you go along. They can get as silly and outlandish at they want for as long as they’re able. At your destination, you can give them paper and Crayons to illustrate a scene from their story.

Scavenger Hunt: Roadtrip Edition

Before you hit the road, make a list of things you’re likely to see on your trip – types of cars, restaurants, animals, whatever! Give each passenger a copy of the list and have them search for the items by looking out of the windows. When they spot an item on the list, they call it out and it has to be confirmed by someone else in the RV before they can cross it off. Whoever finds all of the items or has the most by journey’s end wins!

While it can be tempting to insist on silence in the RV and offer technology to occupy your passengers, remember that family vacation is best spent actually interacting with your family, even if it’s just by playing a silly game together. It can be great for bonding and making the trip more memorable for the young ones. Your stress levels will lower and you’ll find the journey that much more enjoyable.

For even less RV travel stress, install a Safe-T-Plus product today

Image credit: Bill Ward

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Holiday Woes Begone! Winter Driving Safety Tips

winterdrivingsafetytips

The holidays can be a stressful time. Even if you’re not dreading the arrival of in-laws or that one weird cousin in anticipation of a National Lampoon-esque season, there are a few other conditions that can put a damper on your holiday. Number one, winter. Winter is cold. Winter is icy. Number two, trying to travel in said cold and icy winter.

We don’t want to see anyone fall prey to the unique winter road conditions, so we’re here to give you a few helpful travel safety tips to ensure your plans go off without a hitch. After all, the key to travel safety is being prepared!

Winter Driving Safety Tips

Maneuvering

Never driven in snow before? It’s okay, don’t panic. The main thing you need to remember is exactly what grizzled snow-driving veterans need to remember: Go slow — but not too slow. You still need momentum so you don’t get stuck! The faster you are going, the longer and more dangerous making a stop will be. Remember to brake slowly and to never slam on your brakes. Don’t use cruise control or make any sudden movements. Merge slowly and carefully, and pay close attention to what’s going on in front of you.

Black Ice

Black ice is sneaky. Unlike wholesome and honest regular ice, black ice can’t be seen. Because it is almost transparent, it can look just like regular pavement when you’re driving. Be especially careful around intersections, off-ramps, shaded areas and bridges were black ice is likely to lurk. Pay special attention to sections of the road that appear extra glossy.

Limited Visibility

Again, go slow. Nice and steady and slow. If you can’t see well, there could be hazards hidden along your path that you don’t stand a chance of avoiding. Be attentive and eliminate distractions like music or talk radio until it clears up (you don’t want to compromise your focus).

Time

Time is the ultimate enemy. And by that, we mean leave plenty of time — extra time, even — to get to your destination. Don’t put you or your passengers at risk by speeding just to make it to a holiday get-together. Trust us, it’s better to be safe and a little late than to be really late because of an accident.

Winter Safety Kit

Even if you don’t anticipate getting stuck — and really, who does? — it’s smart to keep a kit of winter-specific items. Keep ice scrapers and brushes, blankets, bottled water, snacks, a cell phone, kitty litter (for traction!), a flashlight , candle, portable radio, a can of lock de-icer and even a favorite book in your vehicle.

Skid Recovery

Maybe nasty ol’ black ice snuck up you after all. You find yourself out of control and skidding across the ice to a place you’d really prefer not to be (in a ditch, for example). Whatever you do, don’t brake. Take your foot off the gas pedal, and gently turn your steering wheel in the direction you feel the car skidding. Turning in the opposite direction can make your car spin out of control.

We’re Stuck!

With any lucky,  you are prepared with a winter safety kit. Even if you don’t have one, do not get out of your vehicle in bad conditions. Do, however, make sure your tailpipe hasn’t been obstructed — you don’t want carbon monoxide building up in your vehicle. Try to stay put and keep warm while you wait for help.

 

Wintertime travel can be stressful, but it can also be a lot of fun when you’re prepared to handle its unique challenges with your mind on travel safety. Enjoy the journey!

 

Prepare your RV for travel challenges with Safe-T-Plus Steering Control.

Image Credit: Dickuhne

 

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Winter Camping Wonders

wintercamping

Wait, you might say. Camping? In winter? That has to be miserable! Not so, dear traveller! It might be on the chilly side, but there are plenty of fantastic year-round camping sites that are especially cool (like you didn’t see that pun coming) during the winter months. Whether you’re pitching a tent or cruising in the RV, we’ve got a list of great winter camping destinations just for you.

U.S. Winter Camping Sites

Death Valley, Nevada/California

Obviously, Death Valley can get a little warm in the summer months (so warm, in fact, that some campgrounds are closed due to extreme heat). But the winter months, well — they can be downright pleasant! Temperatures at night will usually only flirt with freezing during winter months. Backpacking and hiking are popular here, and what better time than when the weather is more forgiving?  There are also ranger programs, paleontology tours, Scotty’s Castle and the Borax Museum. Winter camping doesn’t have to be cold!

Mt. Hood National Forest, Oregon

Though wildly popular in the summertime, some would say that Mt. Hood only gets better in the winter. Downhill skiing and snowboarding are big, along with snowmobiling, skating and tubing. With a ton of campsites to choose from and opportunities for cross-country winter sports, Mt. Hood makes a fantastic winter camping spot.

Cave Lake State Park, Nevada

Okay, it gets pretty cold at Cave Lake, but we know you can handle it. You’ll want to when we tell you that from December to February they offer a ton of winter sporting activities: sledding, ice fishing, snow sculpting, outdoor ice skating, and even the White Pine Fire & Ice Show in mid-January. Plenty of fun to be had!

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Michigan

This is a busy, busy place during the summer. Relatively few return for the winter, but they’re missing out. Pictured Rocks offers cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, ice fishing and even ice climbing.  This place is a little more rough and tumble (in other words, really, really rustic), but we think it’s worth it. They also have handicapped camping accommodations during the day. If you’re looking for a less primitive experience, there are private campsites in the area that offer hookups — with a reservation.

Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado

Yes, they have sand dunes. In fact, they’re the largest in North America. Like a lot of national parks, they peak in the summer and clear out in the winter. What’s neat is that you can ski, hike and sled on the dunes. How cool is that? Visit Piñon Flats Campground during the winter for clear skies and solitude. While the air temperature is chilly (and you do still have to mind blizzard conditions) the dunes can get pretty warm under the constant sunshine. If you get too much sand in your shorts, there are snow-covered mountains begging to be hiked right nearby.

There are plenty of unique opportunities for camping in the winter. You can enjoy discounted camping fees, fewer campers, and a slew of unique wintertime activities to boot — or just better temperatures for your favorite summer spots.

Let us help you reach your destination. Find a Safe-T-Plus dealer near you!

Image Credit: Chewonki Semester School

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Winterize Your RV Lifestyle with Cold Weather Preparation

rv lifestyleIt’s still a couple of weeks until the “official” beginning of winter, but tell that to the people who are dealing with freezing conditions around the country.

A little bit (or a lot) of chill in the air doesn’t have to keep you from living that RV lifestyle, though. It’s still possible to run the roads and see the sights during the winter, too; it just takes a little more preparation on your part.

As per usual, we here at Safe-T-Plus have you covered! We’re here with a few tips to help you get prepared for the road when the conditions aren’t as balmy as we might like.

Insulate It!

You can’t control how cold it is outside, but you do have some control over how much of that cold air gets inside your rig. This article by Mark S. Nemeth gives several tips on how you can better insulate your RV from the cold, including a few ways to plug those areas where cold air can seep in:

  • Use shrink film to make windows airtight.
  • Use aerosol self-expanding foam or foam rubber for areas under your rig where water and gas lines enter the living area.
  • Use foam tape or weather strip to seal the entry door.

Dealing with Condensation

In his article for RVtravel.com, How to enjoy your RV in the Winter , Chris Dougherty mentions using a dehumidifier to reduce the condensation buildup from the occupants’ breath and from any water the wood cabinets may be holding. He recommends running the dehumidifier a few days before going on a winter trip.

RV Safety First

Getting stranded somewhere away from civilization in the cold may sound like the stuff of bad horror movies, but it’s a danger for which you should be prepared. If it’s important to be prepared for emergencies during a trip in which the weather is good, doing so in extreme conditions is exponentially more important. In addition to a well-stocked first aid kit, make sure you have plenty of heavy blankets and comforters, waterproof cold-weather apparel, hand warmers, and provisions. Know your route, and prepare accordingly, asking yourself, “If I were to be stranded on the least hospitable stretch of this trip, what would I need?” Check out this article for more ideas on what to keep in your winter survival kit.

Getting Comfortable

While it’s true that there are some miserable things about cold weather, it has its good points, too. Chief among these for many people is the opportunity to get cozy. Make sure you’re stocked up on coffee, tea, apple cider, and (of course) hot chocolate. Hot soup and chili are in order, too, along with any other comfort foods that make you, well…comfortable.

If you have a favorite “get cozy” sweatshirt or terry cloth robe, pack it.And pay no attention to the haters: If you’re a Snuggie wearer, own it! What’s the good in being the master of your mobile domain if you can’t wear a blanket with sleeves?

What preparations do you make to winterize your RV lifestyle?

For extra peace of mind and safety, install the Safe-T-Plus product that’s right for you.

Image credit: Colleen Lane

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The RV Lifestyle: Christmas Decorating While on the Road

rv lifestyleNow that all the plates have been cleared from Thanksgiving (and you’ve got turkey sandwiches for the next week to look forward to), it’s time to start thinking about Christmas!

Yes, you read correctly: now it’s time. For those of you who have been decorating for days or weeks before Thanksgiving arrived, what’s wrong with you?!! Didn’t your parents teach you anything about delayed gratification? Give the turkey his day! You want to know what I’m thankful for? I’m thankful for the fact I had enough patience not to tie you up with your own prematurely draped tinsel!

Ahem. Sorry. Rant over. (We all have our holiday hot-button issues, I suppose.)

For those of us living the RV lifestyle, decorating for Christmas can be a bit… different. You don’t have the space available to go all-out, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. After all, when it comes to Christmas decorations, less can be more. Keeping that in mind, Safe-T-Plus is here to offer you a few ideas on how you can decorate for the holidays while RVing!

Lights

You can’t go wrong with lights. Whether you prefer clear or colored, blinking or non-blinking, Christmas lights are one of the most basic — and most customizable — ways you can get your rig into the spirit of the season. Run ’em inside the RV, run ’em outside the RV…whatever your preference. So go simple, or go all-out Clark Griswold if you like, but go ahead and light ‘er up!

Stockings

Hanging stockings can be as simple or involved as you want it to be. You can buy your stockings pre-designed off the shelf, or you can make a crafts project of it, with each person customizing his or her stocking as (s)he sees fit. A little bit of glue and glitter, throw in a few stencils, and — voilà! — you’ve got yourself a memory for many Christmases to come!

Christmas Tree

Just because you’re on the road doesn’t mean that you have to miss out on one of the most festive of Christmas traditions: decorating a Christmas tree! The folks at theFUNTIMESGUIDE.com point out that you can pick out a tree — whether real or artificial — that fits the space you have available. Or if you prefer to still follow the tradition, just on a smaller scale, a tabletop tree is another option. And if you’re looking for some RV-themed ornaments for said tree, they also point out a couple you can find on ebay.

Homemade is Where the Heart Is!

Nothing makes your home away from home feel more like home than homemade decorations — especially if you’re RVing with kids. A quick trip to the crafts store — heck, you’re already there for the stockings — is all you need to fill up an afternoon with quality family time. Even the adults can have fun with this. (Check out the beer top Christmas wreath above.)

How do you decorate for Christmas while you’re living the RV lifestyle?

For extra peace of mind and safety, install the Safe-T-Plus product that’s right for you.

Image credit: Nan Palmero

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