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Gas choice in Europe
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userOAL Moderator
Posted: 26 June 2009 10:54 AM
Subject: Gas choice in Europe
 


Only Human

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Location: Bourne, Lincolnshire


When caravanning abroad, what type of gas do you use?
userTracker
Posted: 26 June 2009 6:11 PM
Subject: RE: Gas choice in Europe
 


As we have diesel heating and a 6kg propane lasts about three weeks and we never go for more than 8 weeks we take 2 fitted 6kg propane in the gas locker and either a spare Camping Gaz 907 or a spare Calor Light 6kg propane in an inside locker. We have never used either of the spares.

I am once again considering refillables but as the total of about 18 weeks we use the van per year adds up to about £100 of Calor and is reliable and convenient and does not involve seeking out refill points in strange places I remain to be convinced that it makes sense for us save a few pounds a year in this way.

However - there is no right or wrong - just different!
userOcsid
Posted: 28 June 2009 7:27 AM
Subject: RE: Gas choice in Europe
 
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Like Tracker we carry a 907 GAZ cylinder as insurance just in case we run out, as that is universally available. Obviously we also have to carry the adaptor for the GAZ bottle as well.
We use a full single 6kg Handy Gas and in now 30 years of visiting for up to 5 weeks and normally taking 6 Amp electrics where we can, we have never emptied a full 6 kg cylinder.
The GAZ doubles as the gas for the Cadac.

This seems a light weight and "no risk" solution but we could also probably get by substituting a 4.5 kg for the 6 kg

Edited by Ocsid 2009-06-28 7:31 AM
userDon Madge
Posted: 28 June 2009 9:25 AM
Subject: RE: Gas choice in Europe
 


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For long term touring (up to 180 days at a time) the refillable is the only way to go. LPG is now readily available in most European countries and Turkey.

We have had our refillable for six years now and we would have to give up motorhoming without. Neither of us can lift a gas bottle let alone put it into our gas locker.

Don
userBrianBW
Posted: 28 June 2009 3:23 PM
Subject: RE: Gas choice in Europe
 
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Gas and gas cylinders can be heavy, this will take away from your carrying capacity, which is always a problem with Motorhomes. We have been travelling the continent for 10 years and have always use Campingaz 907 cylinders, one used and one spare. As we always use camp sites with electric hookup, a single cylinder will last 10 weeks!
userTracker
Posted: 28 June 2009 5:26 PM
Subject: RE: Gas choice in Europe
 


BrianBW - 2009-06-28 3:23 PM

Gas and gas cylinders can be heavy, this will take away from your carrying capacity, which is always a problem with Motorhomes. We have been travelling the continent for 10 years and have always use Campingaz 907 cylinders, one used and one spare. As we always use camp sites with electric hookup, a single cylinder will last 10 weeks!


Gas bottle - and any other item - is only a weight problem if your van has insufficient carrying capacity aka payload.

Check before you buy as some vans are woeful and some are wonderful!
userBrian Kirby
Posted: 28 June 2009 8:02 PM
Subject: RE: Gas choice in Europe
 


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Location: East Sussex. Motorhome: Knaus Boxstar 600 Street


Unfortunately, the survey suffers a little from "clamshell mind syndrome".  That is to say, it admits only one option, whereas a number of folk carry more than one type of gas at a time.  We carry French and UK (Calor) cylinders, some have a single refillable which they back up with a UK or local cylinder, some use UK cylinders of brands other than Calor, some use a UK or local cylinder backed up by Camping Gaz etc etc.  The table thus really needs to allow multiple choices to be selected, and maybe a few more to be added, or perhaps more generic descriptions to be used.
userTracker
Posted: 28 June 2009 11:05 PM
Subject: RE: Gas choice in Europe
 


On the other hand Brian - who really cares anyway - we all just do what we think best suits our own needs at the time and modify it in line with experience!
userBrian Kirby
Posted: 29 June 2009 2:21 PM
Subject: RE: Gas choice in Europe
 


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Location: East Sussex. Motorhome: Knaus Boxstar 600 Street


True, Rich, how very true!! 
usermesserschmitt owner
Posted: 29 June 2009 3:07 PM
Subject: RE: Gas choice in Europe
 
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Location: Gloucester


in an emergency, the worst thing to happen is you have to buy a regulator and a local cylinder! Or eat out! It isn't as if we're back in the days of gas lighting!
userDerek Uzzell
Posted: 30 June 2009 9:41 AM
Subject: RE: Gas choice in Europe
 


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Location: Herefordshire - 2015 Rapido 640F LHD 2.3ltr 150bhp


As this poll is plainly in the "Caravans" part of the forums and the OAL Moderator's question seems to be unambiguous, I assume responses to it are just being sought from caravanners. While it may be interesting to learn what gas choices motorhome owners make, it's not going to do much for the poll statistics if there's no way of distinguishing between the two 'breeds'.
userTracker
Posted: 30 June 2009 10:02 AM
Subject: RE: Gas choice in Europe
 


I don't quite see why one should differentiate between Motorhomes and Caravans for this purpose Derek?

We all have the same constraints of budget, space, payload, time, convenience - whether we choose to tow or be solo - or don't we?

Admittedly Caravans by their very nature require 'proper' site every night, which generally entails a mains hook-up, so maybe their gas use is somewhat less than a free roaming Aires using Motorhomer's - but not if, as many do, the caravanners also go for long periods?
userBig Momma
Posted: 30 June 2009 11:01 AM
Subject: RE: Gas choice in Europe
 
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The only difference that I could see between Caravans and Motorhomes would be if the discussion were around something like the Gaslow system. Although this could be fitted equally as well to a caravan if, in the unlikely event, a caravanner ran low on gas it would entail them having to 'up sticks' (probably including the hassle of taking down an awning) and towing the van to a garage to refill. On the other hand it is much easier for a Motorhomer to do this.
userTracker
Posted: 30 June 2009 12:21 PM
Subject: RE: Gas choice in Europe
 


Big Momma - 2009-06-30 11:01 AM

The only difference that I could see between Caravans and Motorhomes would be if the discussion were around something like the Gaslow system. Although this could be fitted equally as well to a caravan if, in the unlikely event, a caravanner ran low on gas it would entail them having to 'up sticks' (probably including the hassle of taking down an awning) and towing the van to a garage to refill. On the other hand it is much easier for a Motorhomer to do this.


I've never used one so I don't know - but can't you simply take the refillable bottle to the pump and simply refill it - not a lot different from swapping bottles really - or is it?
userBig Momma
Posted: 30 June 2009 5:21 PM
Subject: RE: Gas choice in Europe
 
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Tracker - 2009-06-30 12:21 PM

Big Momma - 2009-06-30 11:01 AM



I've never used one so I don't know - but can't you simply take the refillable bottle to the pump and simply refill it - not a lot different from swapping bottles really - or is it?


A bit like the guy on the Abbey National Advert says ........ It doesn't work that way
userTracker
Posted: 30 June 2009 5:23 PM
Subject: RE: Gas choice in Europe
 


Why not?

Its portable and refillable so why can't you take out and refill it?

Seems a bit daft to me to be hampered this way?
userBig Momma
Posted: 30 June 2009 11:02 PM
Subject: RE: Gas choice in Europe
 
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Probably will be proved wrong and those with technical know how and competence could probably dismantle and do as you suggest. However, my simple understanding of the system is that it is connected to an inlet much like your fuel filler cap, only you put gas in and not petrol/diesel Not sure of complexities of dismantling this in order to remove a bottle but would appear to me to be a waste of time installing Gaslow in the first place as the whole idea is to prevent you from having to heave gas bottles in and out of a locker

Edited by Big Momma 2009-06-30 11:03 PM
userrupert123
Posted: 9 July 2009 10:03 AM
Subject: RE: Gas choice in Europe
 
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Big Momma - 2009-06-30 11:02 PM

Probably will be proved wrong and those with technical know how and competence could probably dismantle and do as you suggest. However, my simple understanding of the system is that it is connected to an inlet much like your fuel filler cap, only you put gas in and not petrol/diesel Not sure of complexities of dismantling this in order to remove a bottle but would appear to me to be a waste of time installing Gaslow in the first place as the whole idea is to prevent you from having to heave gas bottles in and out of a locker


I have two 6kg gaslows and if you needed to it would be just as easy to remove one as it is a normal bottle but why would you bother or need to. If you go to the expense of having Gaslow surely you would do it right. I have two bottles with an automatic changeover valve. When one runs out the valve indicator changes to red, I then have about another four weeks to fill it before second bottle also runs out, never a need to make a special trip to anywhere. After first bottle is empty I simply fill up with gas on one of my next few fuel stops. When I go away I always top up and then after about three weeks just take a look in the gas locker every couple of days to check indicator.
userBig Momma
Posted: 9 July 2009 6:37 PM
Subject: RE: Gas choice in Europe
 
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rupert123 - 2009-07-09 10:03 AM

Big Momma - 2009-06-30 11:02 PM

Probably will be proved wrong and those with technical know how and competence could probably dismantle and do as you suggest. However, my simple understanding of the system is that it is connected to an inlet much like your fuel filler cap, only you put gas in and not petrol/diesel Not sure of complexities of dismantling this in order to remove a bottle but would appear to me to be a waste of time installing Gaslow in the first place as the whole idea is to prevent you from having to heave gas bottles in and out of a locker



I have two 6kg gaslows and if you needed to it would be just as easy to remove one as it is a normal bottle but why would you bother or need to. If you go to the expense of having Gaslow surely you would do it right. I have two bottles with an automatic changeover valve. When one runs out the valve indicator changes to red, I then have about another four weeks to fill it before second bottle also runs out, never a need to make a special trip to anywhere. After first bottle is empty I simply fill up with gas on one of my next few fuel stops. When I go away I always top up and then after about three weeks just take a look in the gas locker every couple of days to check indicator.


Exactly, which is why you go to the expense of having the Gaslow system fitted in the first place. If you run out of gas then you are perhaps not 'unfortunate' just a bit stupid


Edited by Big Momma 2009-07-09 6:38 PM
userDerek Uzzell
Posted: 10 July 2009 8:18 AM
Subject: RE: Gas choice in Europe
 


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It might be interesting to know how many of the 7 entries in the "LPG" (presumably the OAL Moderator really means 'Autogas') part of the poll are caravanners.

I have seen Gaslow representatives displaying their wares in sections of leisure shows dedicated to caravanning and I've often wondered what take-up there was among the caravanning community. A Gaslow rep did once tell me he was planning to install a refillable-bottle system in his own large caravan, but I don't know of any other caravanner who has done this. It's not always easy to manoeuvre a motorhome close enough to an Autogas pump to refill 'fixed' LPG reservoirs and it would be even harder if a caravan were involved.

I remember that MTH Autogas used to aim their lightweight composite bottles at the caravan market, as those containers were 'free standing' and could be quickly removed from a leisure vehicle and taken to an Autogas pump for refilling. In fact MTHA also offered a back-pack that would accommodate their 5kg composite bottle, the idea being that you could leave your caravan (or motorhome) on a campsite and then walk/cycle to the nearest Autogas outlet carrying the bottle on your back.

Just out of interest, is it actually a practical proposition to refill a Gaslow bottle if it is removed from the leisure vehicle? I had a feeling that the male-threaded filler-inlet on a Gaslow cylinder was designed just to accept the stainless-steel hose that connected the cylinder to a fixed external filling-point. As far as I'm aware there is no connector available that, on one side would attach directly to a Gaslow bottle's filler-inlet and, on the other side, would accept a UK or Continental refill-adapter allowing connection to an Autogas pump.
userrupert123
Posted: 11 July 2009 6:56 PM
Subject: RE: Gas choice in Europe
 
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Derek Uzzell - 2009-07-10 8:18 AM

It might be interesting to know how many of the 7 entries in the "LPG" (presumably the OAL Moderator really means 'Autogas') part of the poll are caravanners.

I have seen Gaslow representatives displaying their wares in sections of leisure shows dedicated to caravanning and I've often wondered what take-up there was among the caravanning community. A Gaslow rep did once tell me he was planning to install a refillable-bottle system in his own large caravan, but I don't know of any other caravanner who has done this. It's not always easy to manoeuvre a motorhome close enough to an Autogas pump to refill 'fixed' LPG reservoirs and it would be even harder if a caravan were involved.

I remember that MTH Autogas used to aim their lightweight composite bottles at the caravan market, as those containers were 'free standing' and could be quickly removed from a leisure vehicle and taken to an Autogas pump for refilling. In fact MTHA also offered a back-pack that would accommodate their 5kg composite bottle, the idea being that you could leave your caravan (or motorhome) on a campsite and then walk/cycle to the nearest Autogas outlet carrying the bottle on your back.

Just out of interest, is it actually a practical proposition to refill a Gaslow bottle if it is removed from the leisure vehicle? I had a feeling that the male-threaded filler-inlet on a Gaslow cylinder was designed just to accept the stainless-steel hose that connected the cylinder to a fixed external filling-point. As far as I'm aware there is no connector available that, on one side would attach directly to a Gaslow bottle's filler-inlet and, on the other side, would accept a UK or Continental refill-adapter allowing connection to an Autogas pump.


As I have said it would be possible to refill away from van but agree not very practical. You would have to make up a system to do it, why would you bother. You would have to be pretty stupid to have a system fitted and then run out. As to filling with cylinders in situ, no problem, no matter where the bottles are. You can fit the filler in any convenient place, mine is in the gas locker door so just pull up next to pump and connect up without even opening the door. In France I have my French adaptor handy and it screws direct into the centre of the UK fitting, takes a few seconds.

Edited by rupert123 2009-07-11 6:58 PM
userDerek Uzzell
Posted: 13 July 2009 7:39 AM
Subject: RE: Gas choice in Europe
 


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rupert123 - 2009-07-11 6:56 PM

As I have said it would be possible to refill away from van but agree not very practical. You would have to make up a system to do it, why would you bother.


Plainly, when a motorcaravanner has had a 'fixed' Gaslow system fitted, he/she will have little or no interest in filling the Gaslow bottle(s) directly. However, as much of the (significant) cost of a Gaslow system relates to the fixed installion itself, it's obvious that initial cost savings would be possible if the installation procedure merely involved replacing an exchangeable bottle with a Gaslow container.

Adapters are (or have been) marketed to allow direct refilling of various designs of LPG cylinder and I wondered if anyone knew whether there was an adapter available that would attach to a Gaslow bottle's filler-inlet. The answer seems to be no.
userMel B
Posted: 24 July 2009 6:27 PM
Subject: RE: Gas choice in Europe
 


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We've just converted to a large Gaslow bottle - we have a small Calor propane as a back up ('cause we already had it and just in case we had problems with the new set up). We couldn't see the point of having 2 Gaslow bottles fitted - so long as you fill up when it starts to dip into the bottom of the green or top of the yellow parts on the gauge, no problem. The gauge doesn't start to 'read' the contents until it is at the 50% liquid capacity mark, it then gradually goes down and once in the yellow it's at 30%, then in the red there's 18% or less left.

As for removing the cylinder and filling it on its own - I don't think so! If you've ever used one of the gas filling points at a petrol station, you'll know that the nozzle can be a bit of a tight fit and when engaging it into the filler point it can take a fair bit of strength, so having the filler fixed solidly to the motorhome is important for something to 'push' against. Similarly, when removing the nozzle, you get an almight whoosh as the seal lets go and some gas is released. It isn't something I would like to try to do with a filler which I you would need to try to hold in some way! This gas can severly burn you and there is no way I would contemplate filling the bottle on it's own, even if it had a proper filler, I like my hands too much.



(gaslow filler.jpg)



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Attachments gaslow filler.jpg (12KB - 685 downloads)
uservindiboy
Posted: 29 March 2011 9:15 AM
Subject: RE: Gas choice in Europe
 
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I removed the fancy automatic change over valves and bulkhead regulators etc from my Motorhome and fitted bottle regulators ,I now carry two 13kg cylinders in my van , one turned on the other off, when the one in use runs out I manually turn the spare on and then replace the empty as and when.I have just been on a 165 night trip to Germany France Spain and Portugal, I took 1 Calor Cylinder and 1 Spanish Propane cylinder with me. I used 7 Spanish 13 kg cylinders during the trip, easily obtained in Spain and Portugal I usually return home with a full Spanish cylinder each trip if I can ready for when I go over again. My system ensures that I can use any Countries Gas and Regulator to suit, Works for me.Simples.
userDave225
Posted: 30 March 2011 9:04 PM
Subject: RE: Gas choice in Europe
 
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As a ‘tugger’ we use butane. I started with 2 Calor bottles in the front locker but as, like others, we never finished the first bottle in a season, I swopped the 2nd for a Camping Gaz 907. This is the back up, but also powers the free standing BBQ and grill, so again relieves the Calor bottle. As we do not winter camp I have seen no need to go to propane. We have EHU and electric kettle etc, so rarely use the gas.

I can advise of an experience in Spain last year where this UK caravan arrived on site and the owner explained he had problems with the mains electric on his fridge, so was having to use gas to power the fridge. Unfortunately, he had 2 propane cylinders of a make I had not seen before (Flogas??) but evidently popular in the Midlands. After several weeks abroad he had finished 1 bottle and the 2nd was 2/3rds empty so he was getting desperate, especially as the temperature was in the 30’s. He was switching the fridge off at night to save gas, which may not have been really economical, and as a result his wife could not store any food for any length of time. He tried all the local suppliers but all they would offer him was butane with a Spanish connector, at 100 euros a pop which he felt was expensive. We suggested getting Camping Gaz but he did not have the butane pigtail, and again he was not able to locate one locally, so he was in a bit of a fix. We even suggested getting Red Pennant to ship one out to him, but he did not feel this was any good. I have no idea how his situation ended as he left after a few days, still ‘bitching’ about his gas problem.

As others have mentioned Camping Gaz is available everywhere, although it is expensive for the gas. But when push comes to shove, it works.
userBGD
Posted: 7 April 2011 5:09 PM
Subject: RE: Gas choice in Europe
 


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To the OAL originator -

Primary school Geography lesson 1.01: the UK is in Europe.




Perhaps you meant to say "mainland Europe".
userBGD
Posted: 7 April 2011 5:20 PM
Subject: RE: Gas choice in Europe
 


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Dave225 - 2011-03-30 9:04 PM

As a ‘tugger’ we use butane. I started with 2 Calor bottles in the front locker but as, like others, we never finished the first bottle in a season, I swopped the 2nd for a Camping Gaz 907. This is the back up, but also powers the free standing BBQ and grill, so again relieves the Calor bottle. As we do not winter camp I have seen no need to go to propane. We have EHU and electric kettle etc, so rarely use the gas.

I can advise of an experience in Spain last year where this UK caravan arrived on site and the owner explained he had problems with the mains electric on his fridge, so was having to use gas to power the fridge. Unfortunately, he had 2 propane cylinders of a make I had not seen before (Flogas??) but evidently popular in the Midlands. After several weeks abroad he had finished 1 bottle and the 2nd was 2/3rds empty so he was getting desperate, especially as the temperature was in the 30’s. He was switching the fridge off at night to save gas, which may not have been really economical, and as a result his wife could not store any food for any length of time. He tried all the local suppliers but all they would offer him was butane with a Spanish connector, at 100 euros a pop which he felt was expensive. We suggested getting Camping Gaz but he did not have the butane pigtail, and again he was not able to locate one locally, so he was in a bit of a fix. We even suggested getting Red Pennant to ship one out to him, but he did not feel this was any good. I have no idea how his situation ended as he left after a few days, still ‘bitching’ about his gas problem.

As others have mentioned Camping Gaz is available everywhere, although it is expensive for the gas. But when push comes to shove, it works.




I've no idea why that chap you referred to didn't simply buy an empty orange 13kg "butano" bottle (you can get them in car boot sales, 2nd hand shops etc all over Spain), for which the going second-hand price is about 7 to 10 euros.
Then take it to any Repsol garage and exchange for a full one, cost is at present 13.20 euros. NO paperwork required if you are simply swapping an empty for a full.
Then from any garage or DIY shop, or larger supermarket buy standard Spanish bottle top regulator and length of flexible gas pipe plus jubilee clips (they come as a pack, costing maybe 10 euros for the lot).
Attach Spanish pipe to your gas cupboard supply pipe in lieu of bulkhead regulator, shove the orange butano bottle into cupboard, attach clip-on regulator to the top, and job's done.
He could even sell on the butano bottle to someone else, or carry it back to Blighty for use next time he's down this way.
userDave225
Posted: 8 April 2011 5:40 PM
Subject: RE: Gas choice in Europe
 
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Without wishing to denigrate him anymore than his wife did, he seemed to have rather fixed ideas and would not entertain any suggested solution. The idea of getting a 2nd hand cylinder is probably a good one, and I admit none of us thought of that. Mind you I never actually saw any for sale at any of the markets we visited, but you never know. The other thing was all the local garages indeed stocked Repsol but only butane, as far as he told us., and they were all the large size obviously for domestic cooking. They certainly would not fit the gas locker so he would have had to free stand it outside. Again his problem was the pigtail. Where we were was not near any of the major cities and locally nobody stocked. The only caravan/motorhome dealer within 50 miles could not help.

I may have received more than my due attention from him as I was the only other Brit on the site. The Dutch and Germans all tried to help as well, but they all carried Camping Gaz, as well as any local cylinder, and could not really understand anyone who did not. As they all told me 'you get Camping Gaz anywhere in Europe so....?'

Most people carry either enough gas to fully cover what they want to do, or carry something that is available, even at a price for back up. I know many motorhomes now have refillable gas cylinders or tanks, and the cylinders are available for caravans, but not yet so popular.
userMel B
Posted: 8 April 2011 6:01 PM
Subject: RE: Gas choice in Europe
 


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Why didn't the chap get the motorhome dealer to fix his fridge????
userDave225
Posted: 15 April 2011 8:40 PM
Subject: RE: Gas choice in Europe
 
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Mel,

Sorry for delay in responding. We have been a way for a few days.

There was only one small dealer within 100 miles and they would have had to remove the fridge and replace the 240 volt element. Again the owner was not prepared to allow that as the cost would have been quite high. His opinion and decision, I have to say. He actually did approach Benimar who had their factory close by. However, they stated they were a factory not a repair facility and would not help either with work or spares.

I supect some of us would have tried a different approach, but each to his own as they say. All I realised, or was confirmed, was that in Europe a cylinder of Camping Gaz is universal, so I always carry one.
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