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Old 03-02-2019, 11:33 AM   #41
Senior Member
Name: Patrick
Trailer: Shopping for new RV
North Carolina
Posts: 702
The Honda Ridgeline did not make Consumers Reports list of “Best Used Trucks”
Reliability was listed as average...towing capacity is 5,000 lbs (V6-3.5 Ltr).

All GM trucks were listed as below average in reliability....why buy a below average vehicle ?

Ford trucks were given an “average” reliability rating.

Toyota Tundra was awarded an “Above Average” rating for dependability.
Toyota Tacoma was not built for comfort...in 4X4 it is one very rough ride with high cabin noise and might be avoided for those shortcomings.

Nissan’s Frontier model truck scored low in the dependability category.
Nissan’s Titan model truck scored lowest of them all for reiiability so avoid that full sized truck.

I drive a Toyota FJ Landcruiser...V6..5 speed automatic...I have added a heavy duty transmission cooler and a trailer brake controller....it is now 12 years old and has spent its life towing a 5,000 +/- Lb. travel trailer over much of this great country ....125,000 miles and counting....no plans to replace it...never had a single problem with it...oil changes..brakes...tires....sad indeed Toyota decided to discontinue this model.....buy a 4 Runner if you want to duplicate an FJ Cruiser.

Be a wise shopper and spend you money on something dependable.

Happy Camping !
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Old 03-02-2019, 11:44 AM   #42
Trailer: Bigfoot 21 ft (21RB25)
Posts: 78
Vehicle and motor size all depends on what you plan on towing. A 13 footer: you can tow with just about anything. Towing in the upper 21's or so then you need cubic inches to do the job. I got a heck of a deal; spring of 2017 on a 2016 F150 Extra cab with 5l v8 , 6 speed transmission and all the goodies I wanted for towing a heavy 21ft Bigfoot through the mountains of BC. The salesman talked me into installing the Ford electric brake controller option which works in conjunction with the transmission computer . In tow mode the tranny downshifts and uses the engine compression to aid braking. In the fall my disc all around brakes looked as new .
My brother in law bought a new 1/2 ton truck ( will keep the brand out of it) with rear coil springs and towing his trailer, it was all over the road . Changed to an ecoboost F150 and he even lets his wife drive it now. A thing to consider is that your import trucks are gas guzzlers . The harder you make an engine work or rev the more it affects the mileage. Gas vs. diesel , all you get with diesel is more torque when needed when climbing hills. Mileage is similar but the cost of owning ( maintenance) is much higher per mile traveled. And when you have engine repairs ; lookout. If money is no issue ;go diesel but make sure the diesel in not one of those small ones that advertise great mileage (when not towing) .
Don't believe all the hype about towing capacity as that is on the flat
and level. What really separates the men from the boys is when you get into mountainous highways.
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Old 03-02-2019, 11:47 AM   #43
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Trailer: 2005 Casita Spirit Deluxe 17 ft (was 2003 16 ft Scamp)
Posts: 427
We have a 2006 Chevy Suburban and would not change. Gets 20 mpg when not pulling and has to be one of the most comfortable vehicles around.
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Old 03-02-2019, 11:48 AM   #44
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Name: Cecil
Trailer: Shopping
Posts: 3
Midsize Truck for Towing

I like LarryF suggestion. Go with a Dodge Dakota in either a 318 or 4.7 engine. If you buy in the late 90s or early 2000s you can pick up a truck for a few grand and have lots of money left over to drop in a rebuilt engine and transmission, rebuild the front suspension, new paint, tires, and interior, etc when you buy it. Basically you will have a new truck. I had a 2000 with the 4.7 & auto trans with the factory tow package and it would tow 4000 lbs. Gas mileage was 14-16 mpg city & highway. I sold it to my brother with 150,000 miles and no issues. Stay away from the V6 because a common failure is the intake gasket will leak and you end up with a sludged up engine. I don't know if the aftermarket, Felpro, and the other gasket makers have the same problem. If you do some research you can probably find out who supplied the original gasket to Dodge if you wanted to. Dodge provides the specs to their supplier so their suppliers own brand may be better. But, you would have to have access to the engineering drawings/specs from Dodge and the suppliers drawings to know if there is a real difference. You might try a Dodge Dakota forum to see what the forum members are using as a replacement gasket if you really want to go with the V6. Personally I like the 318 which is a 5.2 liter engine (1997-1999)as it is a proven engine and there are lots of aftermarket upgrades available for it that are not available for the 4.7 engine (2000-2004). Also a manual trans was available until 2003 or 2004 model year. I prefer the 2nd generation Dakota. A lot of guys build the Dakota for off-roading so there are a lot of excellent shops who can rebuild the truck even if you don't go with a 4x4. The Dakota is available in a standard cab, extended cab, and a quad cab. FYI, the quad cab has the shortest bed. One issue the 2nd generation Dakotas has was the blower resistor would fail (a $20 DIY fix) because the blower resistor wouldn't get enough air flow from the air ducts to keep it cool and the wire connector would melt enough to cause an open circuit. Some years came with a 16" tire and some with a P235/75R15 tire which is available anywhere. The 16s are a bit harder to find and cost at least $20.00 a tire more. FYI, Walmart will not install any tire that is not listed as the correct size on the door panel or their book.
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Old 03-02-2019, 12:20 PM   #45
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Trailer: Escape 17 ft
Posts: 8,317
Originally Posted by Len S View Post
he even lets his wife drive it now.

How generous of him.
What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?
- Bertolt Brecht
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Old 03-02-2019, 02:54 PM   #46
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Name: Mick M
Trailer: Scamp
Posts: 26
I have a 2012 Tacoma 4L 4x4 double cab automatic and tow a 16 foot Scamp. I live in the pacific NW where we have grades up to 8%. I have found that the engine is more than enough to tow up any grade I have encountered. The double cab is nice as you can fit two adults in the back comfortably. It is true that Tacoma's hold their value so you do play higher than then other truck models. There is a reason for this because of the longevity and reliability of the engine and drive train. In hot temperatures the engine and transmission stay cool. The average gas mileage I am getting is in around 14 mpg. When I drive the I-5 corridor I get around 16 mpg and that includes speeds up to 70 mpg.

Towing the Scamp 16 with the truck and trailer fully loads (estimate 4,000 lb load), I do not feel the trailer drag/weight. There is no problem passing.

If you are patience, you can find a better pricing on a Tacoma if you buy private and are open to some distance to shop from. One last point, keep in mind why other models cost less, often a lot less, you get what you pay for.
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Old 03-02-2019, 05:04 PM   #47
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Name: Harold
Trailer: Starcraft
Posts: 7

I realize you're probable looking at used because of budget but should you change your mind, let me offer this thought. I tow a 21' dual axle StarCraft (dry weight on the scales=4500#) I had been towing it with a Honda Pilot rated for 5000#, which was oaky on the flat but climbing hills made me uncomfortable. Did some searching and ended up leasing a 2018 Chevy Colorado short box diesel 4x4, crew cab with a fair amount of goodies. So far it has performed flawlessly giving me 28-30 mpg at freeway speeds. It is rated at 7700 pounds towing, although the gas model is rated at 7000#. Mine is a gutty little truck and even though I'm now leasing I suspect if it continues to perform as it has I will do the end of lease buy out. Just another thought for you and good luck in your search!
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Old 03-02-2019, 05:40 PM   #48
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Name: Robert
Trailer: Casita
Posts: 19
2015 Nissan Frontier 4x4 four door with extended bed

I have a 2015 Nissan that I recently towed a new 17 ft deluxe Casita from Rice Texas to the Black Hills of South Dakota. Drove through a blizzard on the way down and an ice storm in Oklahoma. I normally get between 19 and 21 mpg on my truck. Coming back towing the trailer with a North headwind, I was getting 16-11 mpg. Even though I installed a trailer brake - easy job since it was pre-wired, plug and play - but I left it at home accidentally. I had no problems stopping and it didn't overwork the truck. I did install a sway bar. Not sure if it helped but had no trouble even when passed by large semi trucks. We stopped in a rest area in Nebraska and spent our first night in near zero degree temperatures. Just turned on the heater and that was it. Easy! Hope this helps.
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Old 03-02-2019, 09:14 PM   #49
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Trailer: 1988 Bigfoot Deluxe B19 19 ft / 2007 Nissan Frontier V6 NISMO 4x4
Posts: 456
I have to put my vote in for a Nissan Frontier. I have a 2007 Nismo 4x4 with 105,000 miles and its been super-reliable. 6,000 lb. tow capacity and I tow a 1988 Bigfoot B19.
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Old 03-02-2019, 09:24 PM   #50
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Name: Kenneth
Trailer: Looking for something
Posts: 6
GMC Canyon

We have a 16" Scamp that we were pulling with a Kia Sedona mini van. To say that pulling over the Rocky Mountains with van was less than stellar is an understatement. We now pull with a 2015 GMC Canyon. Going over the Rockies several times now you hardly notice that you are pulling a trailer behind you. There was a significant improvement in gas mileage as well. The professional reviewers may think the Canyon is not good, but for three years of towing we are very happy with the Canyon/Scamp combo. We will start the fourth traveling season later in the Spring season. Our Canyon is a crew cab and a put a hard tonneau cover over the box.
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Old 03-02-2019, 09:25 PM   #51
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Name: Tim
Trailer: in the market
Posts: 3
So Steve, you want 4x4, a large comfortable cab and ability to comfortably pull a 17í Casita fully loaded for $15K or less.

Get a 2011 or earlier Honda Ridgeline with 110,000 miles on it that has just had the timing belt and related parts replaced, all fluids changed and the valves adjusted. There are many good 2011 and earlier Ridgelines out there for $15k and it will only need gas, oil, brakes and tires for the next 100K miles while you enjoy the comfortable car like ride for 5 people and good mileage when not towing. If the truck is going to be your daily driver also itís really a no-brainer due to the comfort and maneuverability of the Ridgeline. The 1st generation Honda gets acceptable mileage on the highway (20) and city (15) for a 15 year old design. The motor is neither fast nor is it a slug at 250 HP, 250 Ft. Lbs of torque. Itís relatively quiet and smooth for 95% of the driving you will do and then it makes some noise and vibration pulling a trailer up Eisenhower Pass in Colorado but it gets the job done and turns back into a purring kitty cat on the way down and on the flats. If I was driving over Rocky Mountain Passes at interstate speeds with a trailer on a weekly basis I would get a full size truck with +350 HP and +350 Ft Lbs of torque. But once a month or 12 times a year, the Ridgeline will handle the workout without skipping a beat if itís weight limits are not exceeded. Back in 2005 when this truck was made there was not a standardized measurement for evaluating tow vehicle capability when pulling a trailer. The domestic trucks fudged the numbers badly regarding their capability and really could not reliably and repeatedly perform at the capacity they stated. Honda gave accurate numbers and accounted for 2 passengers and a full tank of gas. The 2006 Ridgeline can pull 5K lbs and it can carry ĺ ton (1,500 lbs) of weight in the bed and cab. It really is the right tool for the job of pulling a 17í Casita/Scamp. Would a F250 do a better job? How do you define better? Will it pull the loaded 3500 lb 17í Casita up Eisenhower Pass faster than the Ridgeline? Yes it will. If it take 5 minutes longer to do that pass in the Ridgeline is that a good reason to eliminate the Ridgeline from consideration? It might be if you have a business and all you do is travel back and forth from Denver to Glenwood Springs several times every day pulling 3,500 lbs or more. Pick the right tool for the job. I have some older heavy Dewalt cordless drills and impact drivers with heavy 18 volt battery packs. I also have a tiny lightweight 12v Bosch Drill/driver that is a delight to pick up, holster and un-holster, use overhead for long periods. When I need a drill/driver for a job, I donít automatically pick the heaviest, strongest, least maneuverable, quicker fatiguing Dewalt. I decide which tool to use based on the job that needs to be done. The default tool is always the lightest most comfortable tool to use that will get the job done. For a DIY homeowner, that is the Bosch 95% of the time. If Iím building a deck itís a no brainer, the Bosch stays in the drawer, the Dewalt comes out to work. I build a deck once every 5 to 10 years. I use the Bosch drill/driver at least once every 3 to 5 weeks. The Eisenhower Pass is the big deck project. The Bosch Driver/Drill is the Honda. I can build the deck using the Bosch but it will take a little longer and I will be pushing the tool a bit compared to using the Dewalt. The tool can handle it but there is a better tool if I am going to be building decks frequently. One can make the same analogy with guns. If Iím squirrel hunting for the meat, a head shot with a .22 long is the right tool for the job. A 12 gauge with slug will work but why would you use it. Why would you buy a full size pick up with a big thirsty motor to pull a dry weight 2500 lb trailer? If you already had a big full size pickup then it would make sense to keep it if in fact you liked it and it was safe, reliable with a low cost of operation. If you thought you might grow into a larger and/or heavier travel trailer in the future it would make sense to buy just once and get something that could do the job with the heavier future trailerÖright tool for the right job.

If you liked your old Nissan 4x4 mid size for itís maneuverability you will like the Ridgeline even better. The Ridgeline will ride like a Cadillac compared to the old Nissan with lots of legroom and comfort in the front and the back. The power will feel about the same, the noise will be much quieter, the mileage will be a little better. The electronic AWD or 4x4 works pretty good on the Ridgeline. Itís not as good as a locker and depending on the age of you LSD on your full size ď4x4Ē truck, it could be better or worse depending on the situation. LSDís wear out over time (20K miles) and your 4x4 Limited Slip differential only drives one wheel in the front and one wheel in the back. The Honda Ridgeline electronic AWD/4x4 puts power to ALL 4 wheels. It is limited in how much power it gets to those back wheels (40%). In some situations of being stuck where a little bit of power to all 4 wheels will get you unstuck, the Ridgeline will be better than a LSD. A steep uphill with lots of cargo weight and/or trailer might fail sooner with the Ridgeline than a well working LSD 4x4.

The rear coil suspension is limiting. You canít add air bags to level out the squat of a heavy load in the back nor can you add or remove leaf springs. But the rear end stays on the ground and rides like a car. No pogo sticking on bumpy bouncy roads.

The 1st Gen Ridgeline is unique/unusual/cool/butt ugly, maybe all the above. If you canít get over the appearance than you canít enjoy all the practical comforts, benefits and performance. I can understand someone not buying a Ridgeline based on itís appearance. I think it is unusual looking, sort of cool and sort of ugly but all of that becomes irrelevant when considering the sheer Utility of this vehicle. It can do so much so well in car comfort. It can tow 5K lbs. I believe it is best not to task any tool to perform at itís upper limits on a regular basis so 4500 lbs of towing is a good conservative maximum to work with. Iíve heard of Ridgelines towing 19í and 21í Escapes. I think I would only be comfortable towing those wide and heavier loads if I had an open schedule to travel under ideal conditions and for camping where I stayed in places for several weeks at a time. I would probably drain my black, grey and fresh water tanks when towing and then replenish the fresh water when parked. I would not want to ďtourĒ with trailers that big on a Ridgeline, traveling to new places every couple of days. When at home, when you needed a bigger truck to tow that skid steer rental or 25í box trailer with car inside I rent a full size truck from U-haul for $30/day and spare the wear and tear on my Ridgeline.

If you have a fragile ego that needs to be boosted by driving a taller, wider, bigger wheeled, bigger motored, smoke belching gas guzzling truck to feel secure, than stay away from the Ridgeline. Itís no fun to live oneís life feeling insecure, feeling like youíre less of a man or less of a success or less of whatever. Spending the money for the BIG truck may cost a lot less than the therapy you need to feel like you belong and are of value. But you will have to face that demon eventually.

The Ridgeline getís little respect from some groups because it is an import that doesnít get high marks in off-roading like the Tacoma. And it canít pull like the Titan or Tundra and Ram, Ford, GM. And the 1st generation was weird looking and a unibody construction. Well each of those criticisms is legitimate for proving specific limitations. But there is also an upside to each of those characteristics. The upside is it rides with the comfort and quiet of a car. In 15 years the competition has caught up with better mileage, better performance, equivalent quiet and comfort (3.5 ecoboost F-150) but the entry price is high compared to a 2006 Ridgeline for $7,500 or 2011 Ridgeline for $15k. If money is no object, buy the new F150, I certainly would. But my 2006 Ridgeline with 130K miles and no car payment could easily last me another 15 years and another 150K miles before I have a repair bill and I kinda like that. All the performance I NEED for the job at a price that is very affordable.

As someone else saidÖgo drive each vehicle you think you might be interested in. If possible, try to tow your 13í trailer during the test ride. The proof is in the puddin, and NOT in all these subjective opinions on this thread.

And one more thing - many people think the Ridgeline is a Honda Odyssey Van or Honda Pilot SUV with a flat bed in the back. One cannot deny their similarities but the Ridgeline motor is tuned differently and the transmission is geared differently from the Pilot and Ody.
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Old 03-03-2019, 08:44 AM   #52
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Trailer: 2004 13 ft Scamp Custom Deluxe
Posts: 8,524
Originally Posted by Darral T. View Post
Stay away from the new Ford Rangers. Was talking to a friend this weekend. He had a friend that bought a new one and already having transmission problems!! You sure dont want that when pulling a trailer!
PSHAW! Guess that rules out 70% of all new trucks sold in the US ...which use that exact same transmission with an unprecedented reliability record. Besides, the tow rating is 4 times the weight of a loaded Campster.
I had a friend who knew a guy who had a friend who was abducted by aliens and forced to repair their ship before they released him and returned to Mars.
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Old 03-03-2019, 08:57 AM   #53
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Trailer: 2004 13 ft Scamp Custom Deluxe
Posts: 8,524
Originally Posted by Steve Carlson View Post
Comparison test Tacoma/Colorado/Ranger

I guess its a good thing the new trucks come with electronic lane keeping technology!
Magazine writers can't seem to keep them on the pavement ...let alone in the right lane!
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Old 03-03-2019, 09:36 AM   #54
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Name: Z
Trailer: Sasquatch
Posts: 2,561
I think it's a good review. Like any review, you just need to identify the reviewers bias, and your own bias, then see past it. If you have a long term relationship with Ford and have had great experience with them, there's nothing in that review that says a new Ranger isn't a great choice. It's going to be a rough ride. So what? I liked hearing that the Chevy was the best on-road off-road compromise. I like the look of the Colorado and though I won't be able to afford one any time soon, it's good to know they do good both on and off road. The Tacoma is what I would have expected. I agree with the reviewers when they mentioned that the on-road performance and feel was a compromise, and an intentional compromise. They knew what they were doing, and decided to compromise on road comfort a bit in order to boost off road performance. Off road performance is one of the biggest draws of Toyota and has been since the 70s.

For those who just want to tow, none of that matters. And unless you already have brand loyalty to Toyota, it seems like if you just tow and stay on pavement, you wouldn't buy a Tacoma.
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Old 03-17-2019, 11:00 AM   #55
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Name: Rory
Trailer: In the market"
Posts: 20
2019 truck comparison Article

Interesting article on the 2019 line-up of 1/2 ton trucks with spec comparisons of the base models including towing and weight info!
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Old 03-17-2019, 11:29 AM   #56
Trailer: Bigfoot 21 ft (21RB25)
Posts: 78
Real life and specs can sometimes get mixed up. I use specs as a guideline and that's it as real life towing can be another thing. When comparing towing you have to keep things in perspective and compare apples with apples. Advertised hp and torque can be deceiving. When comparing the spec numbers also look at what rpm the motor has to run to get these numbers... the lower the rpm the better .

Just not too sure what drills and small bore rifles have to do with towing trailers.

RCF13 : not sure what the regulations are in your state about towing a trailer designed to have braking but up here if caught without the brake controller connected and or not working ; your unit is parked at the side of the road where suitable until fixed plus a nice ticket issued and/or towed to an impound area. Another thing if you have electric brakes there must be a functioning battery and break-away connector in working condition.
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Old 03-18-2019, 09:33 PM   #57
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Name: John
Trailer: Escape 21, behind an '02 F250 7.3 diesel tug
Mid Left Coast
Posts: 2,943
fwiw, most of the articles I've read on motor1.com have been sloppily researched clickbait. its gotten so I don't even bother to read them anymore.
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Old 03-19-2019, 07:56 AM   #58
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Name: Z
Trailer: Sasquatch
Posts: 2,561
You'll find more and more of that on the internet, and it's a good thing to be able to pick out. There are people trying to make a living on pieced together "content" like this. I know a little because I had a sort of desperate winter where I was trying anything I could to work remotely.

You find a topic, research what people who actually know something wrote about it online, and then just combine everything you read about the topic on different sites, reword it slightly and publish it on the site who's offering to pay you. Then you just use search engine optimization (SEO) to drive as much traffic as possible to your site instead of the sites run by people who actually know what they're talking about. Then fill it full of ads. In a nutshell.

The sites like this specialize in driving traffic to their site. Whereas other sites specialize in an actual topic, and aren't quite experts on SEO. So the crappy, rehashed sites grab way more traffic by being higher in the google results. Generally speaking.
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Old 03-19-2019, 01:49 PM   #59
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Name: Dave (AKA John)
Trailer: 2020 Escape 19'. Used to have a 2005 Scamp 16'.
Posts: 1,232
Originally Posted by floyd View Post
I had a friend who knew a guy who had a friend who was abducted by aliens and forced to repair their ship before they released him and returned to Mars.
Floyd, how did you hear about that! It was supposed to be a secret!
Dave (and Marilyn who is now watching from above)
Sharpsburg, GA
04 Dodge Dakota V-8, 17 Dodge Durango V-6, 19 Ford Ranger 2.3 Ecoboost
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