travel

Summer Road Trip

The sun is out, the RV is packed, and the adventures are about to begin because summer is finally here! This season is matched with another, less conventional season— road trip season. During this time of year nearly 1/3 of Americans go on vacations, with 80% planning to hit the open road. This vacation option is widely popular due to its flexibility, the luxury of customizing daily adventures, and the ability to go wherever, whenever! Whether you’re RV’ing in-state or are planning to travel cross-country, there are a few things to keep in mind as you hit the open road. 

Mini yellow bus with luggage


Before You Leave

As you plan a vacation, it’s often hard to figure out where to go and how long to stay for. Luckily, various websites like GoRVing and Roadtrippers make this part of the planning process easy. With the GoRVing camp locator, you can find RV campgrounds in any state you’re intending to travel to. Additionally, the site allows you to tailor campgrounds to specific preferences, such as what amenities you’re looking for or what type of RV campsite you prefer.

With the Roadtrippers guide, you can input both a starting point and destination point to determine the length of the trip, as well as the estimated gas cost. This guide also allows you to add layers to your trip; meaning, you can choose RV campgrounds, points of interest, dining, and more to the map so that you know where and when to stop along the way! If, however, your trip is already planned but you’re unsure what to budget for gas, this website will estimate how much gas you’ll use and the subsequent cost. 

Road map next to computer and cameras.

Now that your road trip is mapped out, it’s time to start packing the RV. The specifics of what you pack will depend on where you’re going as well as how long you’ll be there for; however, there are basic necessities that you’ll need no matter where the journey takes you. This checklist outlines everything you could possibly need on your trip, from clothes and food to toiletries and miscellaneous items like flashlights and bug spray. Additionally, you’ll want to ensure you’ve packed the tools needed in the event of an unfortunate RV breakdown. Another aspect of traveling in an RV is saving space. Although it may be a big rig, it’s easy to fill it up quickly— especially when you’re traveling, collecting souvenirs and trinkets at every destination. To avoid over-packing or overloading your RV, take time to determine what you can leave behind before you hit the road. Some helpful tips to guide you on what items to avoid packing can be found here.

 

On The Road

As you embark on your road trip, it’s important to keep track of weather conditions. As beautiful as the summer months are, they often bring hazardous conditions like extreme heat, flash floods, and even tornadoes depending on where you’re traveling to. Using various weather apps to track the weather is the best way to avoid unsafe conditions. And remember, wind exceeding 20 mph is often considered dangerous to drive an RV in, so prepare accordingly. Sparing any hazardous weather conditions, another thing to keep track of are possible excursions! While you may have mapped out your road trip via the websites we previously mentioned, you may want to change it up. Mobile applications, like AlongtheWay, can help you find points of interest near your current or future location. This highlights one of the main perks of RVing— the flexibility to go wherever you want, whenever you want, for however long you want! Unless you require it, there’s no tight schedule to follow, which can lead to the most exciting of adventures.

During your road trip you should also keep track of how well your RV is functioning. Are you overloading the Electrical AC volts? Are you checking your tires at every rest stop? Has there been any exterior damage? These are just some of the things to keep track of to prevent your RV from breaking down. However, you can only do so much to avert the inevitable from occurring. So, in the unfortunate event that your RV does break down during your road trip it’s helpful to have roadside assistance. Good Sam, Coach-Net, and insurance companies all offer roadside assistance packages that will save you both time and money if your RV breaks down. That being said, during your road trip planning process it’s important to budget the money and time for these unwelcoming occurrences.

Girl sticking hand and head outside of car window with the view of mountains.

The ability to go wherever you want on your own time is one of the many advantages of living the RV life. From quality family time to breathtaking sightseeing and unique adventures, there’s nothing like taking a road trip in an RV. But no matter where your RV’ing summer adventures take you, it’s important to be safe, stay prepared, and remain open to new escapades. Safe travels!

 

Home On Wheels

The RV lifestyle is perfect for anyone who desires to be outdoors and on the move. With the RV industry booming , more models of all shapes and styles have come out to accommodate the different desires of the public. One of the newest trends in RV’ing is an increasingly popular style called tiny houses. These small home-on-wheels are built to appear more like a mini-home, rather than a bus like traditional RV’s. We’ll take a look at how a tiny home differs from a towable RV to help you decide which one is best suited for your next adventure.

RV and Tiny Home

What Is a Tiny Home?

 A tiny home ranges from 100 to 400 square feet and is typically mounted on wheels for easy towing. The easy mobility combined with both the cost effectiveness and the desire to downsize and travel   the open road has led to the tiny home movement . This increasing popularity of living minimal has also sparked multiple TV shows like Tiny House Nation, Tiny House Builders and Tiny House Hunters  that showcase the tiny-living lifestyle. These homes can be custom built containing environmentally friendly features and appliances and, because of their size, are often less expensive to maintain.

 What Is a Towable Trailer? 

There are a variety of recreational vehicles, ranging in size from 10 feet to 40 feet. At an average of 12 feet, towable camping trailers are most similar to tiny homes considering the size and the lack of independent mobility of both. These trailers are commonly referred to as pop-ups or tent trailers, because of their resemblance (in both size and transportability) to tents. Similar to tiny homes, these RVs can be easily towed and are far less expensive than larger RVs. And while they can’t be custom built, the interior amenities and space can be customized to fit the needs and desires of any RV’er.

Size Does Matter

Tiny home lovers have embraced and encouraged the minimalist lifestyle, understanding that the important things in life are found on the open road. Tiny-homers don’t need a lot of living space and, when built on wheels and registered as an RV, they can avoid the minimum zoning size requirement of 1,000 square feet. Instead, these tiny homes are typically around 150 square feet. Installed appliances and amenities are smaller in size to accommodate the size restraints of a tiny home, and because of those size restraints, maximizing storage space is essential. Tiny home builders and designers either create or find furniture that can double as storage, like these , to make the most out of the space.

Towable trailers are roomier than tiny homes, but can also lack in available storage areas when compared to a larger RV. Because of their relatively larger size, builders can better customize the interior to include normal-sized appliances and more storage space. Although they are more spacious than a tiny home, towable trailers are still appealing to those embracing the minimalist lifestyle. Towable trailers have the basic amenities that are commonly found in tiny homes, like a living space, an area to sleep, and a condensed kitchen. So while the two are similar in regards to the minimalist lifestyle, towable trailers have that extra few feet if that’s what you need!

I Like To Move It, Move It

The open road is calling, and both tiny-homers and pop-up trailer owners alike are answering. But because neither can independently travel on their own, they must be towed. While towing a house or trailer might seem daunting, the basics are easy to learn. For both tiny homes and towable trailers, it’s imperative to keep the maximum tongue weight — the downward force that the tongue of the trailer applies to the hitch of the tow vehicle— from exceeding the vehicle’s maximum towing capacity. Payload capacity and weight distribution must also be calculated to avoid any towing mishaps.

Pop-up Trailer

  A tiny home-on-wheels can be easily towed , assuming you have a truck or can access a professional towing company. The final weight of a tiny house varies based on things like roofing, flooring, and  cabinets, but if you’re planning on traveling full-time, then most full-sized trucks (like this F-250) can tow your tiny home, leaving you worry-free.

    Towable trailers are designed for towing. Similar to tiny homes, these trailers must be towed by a vehicle that can withstand both the trailer’s gross weight and maximum tongue weight. Contrary to towing   a tiny home, when towing a trailer you have to determine which class of hitch to get. There are five classes of hitches, all of which can be found here . Makers of towable trailers understand that owners want   to be on the move as much as possible, so once you determine all of the towing basics, it’s all smooth sailing on the open road.

Customization Is Key

Customization is one of the main appeals of a tiny home—and considering there are literally thousands of different ways to customize a tiny home, we’re not surprised. Most tiny-home owners build their home from the ground up, giving them the ability to choose everything from the roofing to the backsplash in the kitchen. These small home-on-wheels are also environmentally alluring , since they are custom built and can be made with non-toxic, chemical free materials. While there are certain foundational requirements when building a tiny home, for the most part every aspect of design is determined by the owner. You can build a bigger bathroom with a smaller living space, or a bigger kitchen— whatever you choose, the best part is the choice is yours! 

Towable trailers, however, are not as customizable since they are pre-built before you buy them. Although the exterior and the actual build of the trailer is pre-determined, the interior design is fair game— and since they are bigger than tiny homes, there is more space for customization. Depending on your budget the trailer’s interior design can range from elegant to casual, but either way you can make the design of your towable trailer fit your style perfectly.

Tiny Home


The Price Is Right

Like we previously said, the ability to fully customize a tiny home-on-wheels from the ground up is a designers dream. That dream, however, does come at a price. The cost of a pre-built tiny home ranges anywhere from $5,000 to upwards of $40,000 depending on the size and customization. Various factors , like hiring a contractor versus building it yourself or the type of electricity system you use, will determine the final cost of your tiny-home. Luckily, because of the ability for full customization of your tiny home, you can most likely adjust modifications to fit into your budget.

The price of towable trailers are more straight-forward, since they are bought from a distributor. These trailers typically range from $6,000 up to $30,000 but the cost really depends on both where it’s bought as well as the make, year, and style of the trailer. Towable trailers can be sold in-person or via websites like RVtrader . Similar to tiny homes, the final cost of the trailer will depend on the amount of customization; but because they are sold and not personally built, the prices are typically less flexible.

The Right Home On Wheels For You

When deciding between a tiny home and a towable trailer, there are many factors to consider. Do you want more room? Or do you prefer sacrificing some extra space for the ability to fully customize? Towable trailers might be great for RV’ers who have a full-time home elsewhere, while tiny homes are more ideal for those looking to live on the road full-time. No matter what you decide, both tiny homes and towable trailers alike are perfect for any wanderlust RV’er or travel enthusiast that wants to explore the open road.

 

Rolling in the Ruff- RV’ing with Pets is on the Rise

According to recent statistics, as many as 50%-75% of RV owners travel with their dogs. With 8.9 million households owning an RV, that means at any point in time there can be anywhere between 4 million and 6.5 million RV’ers traveling with a furry friend.

It’s no wonder then that so many RV’ers (and RV parks) are making purchasing decisions centered solely on their travel companions. Many RV parks report that more than 50% of their customers bring along their pets, which means gearing campgrounds to pets and not just to humans is becoming more and more important. Kampgrounds of America, which has over 485 locations in the United States and Canada has added over 50 dog agility courses in the last year through their Kamp K-9 program, which aims to make their campgrounds more pet friendly. Another resort, California Association of R.V. Parks and Campgrounds, has always accommodated pets, but also stated recently that they are investing in more pet-friendly accommodations as “just having a dog run is no longer enough”.

Recently, at the Tampa RV Show, we had the opportunity to speak with many campgrounds and RV dealers, who confirmed the growing trend of traveling with pets. One representative from Jayco RV’s mentioned that just last month he had made a sale on an RV for a very odd reason. The front passenger side of the RV had a small window located just below the seat that was the perfect spot for their dog. That means a $100,000+ purchase was decided on based off a 2X2 window that their pet would like.

As we walked around the show, crowded with humans and dogs alike, we heard many similar stories. No longer are the days of choosing an RV for size or accommodations, now it’s all about “what will my dog like?”. We came across one couple who was also searching for a very specific detail for their RV- bunkbeds. At first we thought this may be for their kids, but after overhearing a little more of the conversation, we found out that they have two large dogs, and wanted to have a space to convert into large kennels. Decisions like these are becoming more and more common in the RV world, which means these RV’ers are going to want to go to parks that accommodate their dogs as well as they do.

Following the RV show, we were intrigued by this overwhelming trend of traveling with pets. Through our new lifestyle brand called Ruff Rolling, we launched a small case study examining whether RV’ers and travelers would prefer a gift card for their pets or for gas expenses. Upon completion of the study, 63% of participants indicated that they would rather have money to spend on their pets versus a guaranteed expense of gas. We assumed this is because a pet is an extra expense, and when you’re traveling on the road, canceling out any extra expenses helps that much more. Whereas gas costs are always going to be guaranteed, those toys to keep Fido entertained in the RV are extras. 

In a world where not only RV’s are on the rise, but pets in RV’s are too, catering to the needs of them is becoming a must-have, not just an “extra” in RV parks. As more and more purchasing decisions are driven by an RV’ers pet, the more pet-friendly accommodations will be expected at parks. If you don’t keep up, you’ll be left behind! 

Dog traveling

RV In Florida Yet?


RV sales are projected to surpass 400,000 by the end of 2016, marking the end of a seven-year long recession. In such a fast paced world where people now have the financial ability to slow down and enjoy themselves, it’s no surprise that the RV industry is expected to have such tremendous growth.

This love for traveling is matched by the price range flexibility that RV vacation travel offers. RV vacation travel costs are substantially less than any other form of vacation travel. The average Class A motorhome has a 100 gallon gas tank while a Class C Motorcoach holds about 60 gallons; both getting about 9 miles per gallon.

To compare, I recently drove my car 200 miles to stay in a hotel in Orlando, Florida for the weekend. Now, let’s assume I opted to use a Class A Motorcoach on the Orlando trip versus driving my own car and staying in a hotel. At $2.50 per gallon, it would only take $250 to fill up the tank, giving me 900 miles to travel. For RV vacation travel a four-person party can expect to save anywhere between 27% and 62% while a two-person party can expect to save between 14% and 48%.

Now back to the regretful reality of hotel-lodging. The cost per night was $375 for a four-person party, so for two nights we spent $750. The car had a 14 gallon tank, averaging 33 miles per gallon; so at a national average of $2.50 a gallon, we spent about $50 on gas roundtrip. The total cost of hotel and gas added up to $800- not including include food or other various expenses. So, for less than the price of one night in a hotel room, I could have made a roundtrip to Orlando with money to spare. Hindsight is always 20/20.

The ability to slow down the fast paced lifestyle, while also saving money, is incomparable— and what better place is there to travel than Florida? Whether you’re traveling within Florida or to Florida, the sunshine state is a great destination for RV travel; not only because of the beautiful beaches and warm weather, but it is also home to dozens of RV resorts that are perfect for any type of RV adventurer. 

RV Layover 

When traveling long distances, especially via airplane, a layover or two is expected but it is never wanted. Who wants to be stuck in an airport, miserably waiting to get to their destination? No one. RV “layovers”, on the other hand, are enjoyable; desired, even. Located halfway between New Orleans, LA and Ocala, FL, Alliance Hill Resort is the perfect resort to park your RV at for a night or two.

Following your arrival, there are numerous nearby activities to occupy your time before hitting the road again. Located 23 minutes away one can experience both the Florida Caverns State Park as well as the Blue Springs State Park- two beautiful nature-based destinations. For those who prefer the indoors, a shopping center and sight-seeing Historic Marianna is just a short drive away. Whether it’s hiking in a state park, visiting historic Marianna, or simply relaxing in the resort clubhouse, Alliance Hill is the most pleasing place to enjoy your “layover.”

Considering Alliance Hills is tailored to retirees and those aged 50+, this resort strives to remain both relaxing and enjoyable. Not only is Alliance Hills a gated community, but it is also surrounded by dense woods and rolling hills, making for a serene stay. According to a recent survey, about 900,000 to 1 million seasonal residents come to Florida; 66.7%, or 600,000, being over the age of 55. This resort is ideal for those seasonal residents and snowbirds who are en route to Central or South Florida, or even those looking to travel to North Florida.

http://www.alliancehillrv.com/

The One

In Jupiter, Florida —just six hours south of Alliance Hill— owners of Class A Motorcoaches can find themselves falling in love with one of a hundred lots at the Jupiter Palm Beach Motorcoach Resort, the one and only RV accessible resort in Palm Beach County. An RV accessible area is a rare sighting in Palm Beach County due to a county code ordinance stating that Motorcoaches are required to be parked behind a six-foot fence behind a property.

These requirements make JPBMR such a special and desirable resort. Not only is the one-of-a-kind aspect of this resort so special, but the location of it is, too. JPBMR adjoins the historic Indiantown Nature Trail where hikers, horse-riders, and bikers alike can access the tropical Jupiter beaches. To become part of this one-of-a-kind resort in Palm Beach County, Class A Motorcoach owners can purchase a lot, putting them at the center of the elegance of South Florida.

If you want to spend a night out on the town, the possibilities are endless. Located thirty minutes south of JPBMR you can shop at the opulent shopping centre, Worth Avenue before eating a world-class meal at restaurants like Bistro’s in Jupiter, Fl.

For those adventurers who prefer to catch their dinner, Jupiter’s beaches are renowned for salt water fishing. Even for non beach--goers, it’s impossible to stay at JPBMR and not hear the ocean calling your name; once you experience the elegance and beauty that beaches like Juno and Ocean Cay beach uphold, you’ll never want to leave.

Further inland, Palm Beach County is known for its stunning hiking trails, wetlands, and natural areas; making JPBMR ideal for the “outdoorsy” type RV of adventurer. The luxury and abundance of possible activities in Palm Beach County is what makes the Jupiter Palm Beach Motorcoach Resort such a notable and distinguished resort.

http://jpbresort.com/ 

Keep Calm and Glamp On

Whether you prefer camping indoors with air conditioning or being one with nature, look no further than The Fountains Vacation Club’s inaugural membership-based resort, The Fountains of St. Augustine. Opening in St. Augustine, Florida in 2017, this sumptuous Class A Motorcoach resort will prove that RV’ing and luxury go hand-in-hand.

An initial purchase fee and low annual dues are all that’s required to become a member of this prestigious resort. To reserve your stay, Class A Motorcoach owners can purchase weeks using their Fountainshare points. Members use their Fountainshare points to pick between one of six Casitas, which ranges between 530 sq ft and 1,003 sq ft, as well as the season they wish to reserve their vacation.

Once you are a member of the Fountains Vacation Club, the benefits of this 5-star resort over a traditional RV resort will be obvious. First and foremost, this point-based vacation club strives to maintain the foundation of RV’ing— people love to travel. And by becoming a member, you will have the luxury to do so.

Although The Fountains of St. Augustine will be the first location, in the near future members will be able to travel to and from any of the other Fountains Vacation Club’s flagship locations. Meaning, your membership will include the privilege to stay at The Fountains of St. Augustine and any of their future nationwide locations.

Your membership will also include luxurious amenities at no added cost. At the entrance of the resort, owners will be able to unwind at the beautiful resort Clubhouse while also having access to community areas like the fire-pit, infinity pool, and fitness center. Furthermore, the Fountains will be rally friendly, allowing Class A Motorcoach owners to congregate with their friends across the country.

What does a few nights at a traditional resort give you? A crowded community pool, a hole in your wallet, and a desire to go home. At The Fountains of St. Augustine you’ll never want to leave— and depending on how many points you purchase, you won’t have to!

But if you want to go beyond the resort, located just 15 minutes away is downtown St. Augustine, the nation’s oldest city. There you will be able to visit the Castillo de San Marcos or the Fountain of Youth, as well as museums and other historical attractions. After sight-seeing you can dine at top-notch restaurants before heading back to your luxurious Casita to relax. If you prefer the “authentic” Florida experience, both Disney World and the Space Coast are a short drive away. Becoming a member of a luxurious resort in a beautifully historic city will ensure that the Fountains of St. Augustine will be your ultimate up-scale destination year after year.

http://www.thefountainsofstaugustine.com/  

RV + Florida = The Ultimate Vacation

Whether you own a tow-behind, pop-up camper, or a 42-foot Class A Motorcoach, the desire to go RV’ing remains the same. Because of the love for all things RV combined with beautiful weather and distinguished RV resorts, Florida remains the ideal destination for RV vacation travel.

If you’re a traveling retired couple on a tight budget looking for a place to park your RV for a night or two, Alliance Hills in Marianna, FL is perfect for you. In the midst of relaxation, you can enjoy shopping and sight-seeing all before you hit the road again.

If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind RV resort, Jupiter Palm Beach Motorcoach Resort in Jupiter, Florida will be your only RV vacation destination in Palm Beach County. After purchasing your lot, you can leave your RV worry-free and soak in all that Palm Beach County has to offer.

And finally, if luxury is your middle name then The Fountains of St. Augustine in St. Augustine, FL will be your dream destination. Becoming a member of this upscale membership resort will allow you to have the ultimate Florida RV vacation of a lifetime.

The sunshine state truly has it all.

Kidd Group/ Kidd RV Enters into Partnership with RV Golf Club

RV Golf Club, a membership organization for RV owners and Kidd Group/ Kidd RV, a Communications Firm, are pleased to announce they have partnered together to promote RV Golf Club and its services.

As part of the partnership, Kidd Group/ Kidd RV will be rebranding RV Golf Club and designing a new website. RV Golf Club will be rebranded as an organization for RVers who want to enjoy the luxury and amenities of a country club without the membership requirements of any single location. The Club offers members a network of clubs nationwide and accessibility to their amenities.

The new website will provide visitors with the ability to navigate the site more easily and to view details of different locations within the network.  The Club currently includes 389 Partner Properties that consist of golf courses, RV resorts, hotel resorts, virtual golf and private country clubs, and hopes to have over 500 partners throughout North America in the very near future. Information regarding the different properties that comprise the program will be visible to non-members to show the full range of benefits that are included with the membership. The new website will allow members to easily make reservations online at the locations included on the map, receive instant turn-by-turn directions to every property via a GPS system and is intended to show everyone the benefits this club has to offer.

Jim Vernes, Founder of RV Golf Club said, “After dealing with overcrowded and unexciting RV campgrounds and hearing many RVers complain about similar issues, my idea for RV Golf Club came to light. Since then, my idea has grown into an organization that I am very proud of. “We are very excited to be partnering with Kidd Group/ Kidd RV to promote RV Golf Club. I anticipate the partnership with Kidd will increase overall awareness of RV Golf Club, sparking interest in fellow RVers who would rather wake up to a scenic golf course rather than a crowded RV campground or retail parking lot.”

RV Golf Club offers a unique alternative to other previous overnight RV parking, where Class A motorcoaches, B or C RVs and 5th wheels  are able to park their coaches overnight without charge at more than 389 locations nationwide, and more locations joining as time advances.

“While the name may be deceiving, members of RV Golf Club do not have to be golfers and they can enjoy several other perks besides playing golf. Being a member of RV Golf Club provides members with accessibility to club amenities including restaurants, golf courses and health spas.  Additionally, members can enjoy the picturesque scenery of a beautiful golf course during their overnight stay. The best part is being treated like a member at all these beautiful courses. What a classy way to stay overnight in your RV,” said Jerry Kidd, President of Kidd RV Communications

As  RV’s have been growing in popularity, parking spaces  for the increasing number of RV’s have become more difficult to find in recent years. Combining the lack of RV overnight parking and the availability at night at many of the resorts, golf courses and clubs creates a mutually beneficial pairing for this innovative organization. RV Golf Club is perfect for those who enjoy the luxury of a country club and who want to travel and take advantage of membership privileges at hundreds of courses throughout Canada and the U.S. The purchase of an annual membership pays for itself within just a few overnight stays.

As avid RV’ers themselves, Jim and his wife Julie seek to make your journey as relaxing and stress free as possible and they strive to provide a quality service to make your RV travels more enjoyable. For more information on RV Golf Club, please visit their website or call (800) 520-0757. Stay up to date on their latest news and announcements by following them on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and Youtube.

RV and Boat Trends on the Rise

Today’s RV industry remains as strong as ever and has grown to a new peak of 8.9 million RV-owning households in America. In addition to the heightened RV sales for the US economy, the boat industry’s demand has also been higher than expected this past spring. Boat sales are expected to reach 65 percent of their pre-recession level by year-end, while RV sales are expected to approach a pre-recession peak.

The features of recreational vehicles including RVs and boats are similar. Lately, consumers have been looking for more affordable options so manufacturers are offering simpler choices for both boats and RVs. A majority of the boats used today are smaller and without cabins because they are mainly used during the day for water sports, free time, and docked at night. Similarly, some of the luxurious features often included in RVs are now optional to provide more affordable prices. This has helped prices decline since 2007 and appeal to more budget conscious buyers. Like the boat industry, the RV industry addresses their consumers’ needs by reconstructing and reinventing to offer the mix of amenities and an ideal price.

Americans are appealed to a life of leisure and the appeal of this type of lifestyle is helping the boat business recover. It has also sparked a growth spurt in shipments of towable campers and luxury motorized RV’s, sometimes called ‘land yachts.’ An RV’s size and comparable living features to the once more-popular water vessels are what give them the nickname. They became popular and appealing as an alternative for people who are not fond of boats, yet still admire the same type of luxurious ‘yachting’ lifestyle.

Profits are looking up for RV makers such as Prevost and Millenium. In addition, there are signs of optimism for all kinds of powerboat sales, yachts, pontoons, and fishing vessels, as they have already been on the rise by 6.9 percent this year. With both industries having high purchase intentions, there is promising news for the rise of future boat and RV ownership.

 

 

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