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John E Davies

Nature's Head composting toilet installation in an Oliver. Big thread.

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the slight odor associated with the regular RV toilet have been the only things I’ve struggled with as an Oliver owner. I am not sure whether to post a reply to the “slight odor” here or post in mods. Please move to New topic, mods, or leave it here – whatever is appropriate. To rid Revilo of the light toilet smell, I had a METAL Venturi air vent installed. I love this mod because the air is always circulating and removing the odor. I have had it installed for a number of years and recently had all vents resealed as a keeping up with maintenance. It makes a slight noise as it is turning but I haven’t figured out what minor fix to make to keep it quiet while sleeping or just enjoying being inside. Has anybody else installed this vent? Thoughts, comments, etc?

Start a new thread, I suspect most owners that have conventional black water toilets do not read this thread.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA


"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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Richie advised me to open the valve and pour antifreeze in the valve using a small funnel. This is now part of my winterization routine. Don

 

Don, that is simply BAD advice. You need to flush all the water out of the long water line  as well as the ball valve. Pouring some AF in from the top won't do it. While you are flushing your faucets you can crack open the toilet ball valve but be prepared for a fountain, maybe put a paper cup over the top or install a short loop of hose temporarily.

 

Actually, forget the cup, go ahead and make a fountain and film it, I think it would be a hoot....

 

I haven't done mine yet, I suspect it will be messy. Which is why I think it needs to be capped off at the source.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA


"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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John,

 

Thanks for the advice. To clarify, you're talking about using compressed air to flush out the faucets, right?

 

Don


Don

 

2020 Conqueror UEV 490 Extreme Platinum

 

 

2019 Ram Rebel

 

 

States I visited with my Ollie (Sold October, 2019)

 

 

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John,

 

I read with great interest about the rv composting toilet wondering if I should update Revilo with one. I have a stand alone composting toilet that I used on a piece of property that had no electricity or running water.   When I have time, I love to read about the different topics even if it doesn't apply to me currently. There are so many wonderful educational topics and comments on this forum.  I did start a new mod topic concerning the vent.  Thanks for all the information that is shared here.

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John, Thanks for the advice. To clarify, you’re talking about using compressed air to flush out the faucets, right? Don

That or antifreeze, but you must get the water completely out.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA


"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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I was interested in this solution as well, but once my wife saw

it was a no go https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HkWckwXmC4

 

So we're stuck with the stinky slinky or the macerator we have on there now.


John Marilyn and Gracie


2017 Legacy Elite II Hull 172


TV 2017 F250 Diesel 

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I was interested in this solution as well, but once my wife saw
it was a no go...

 

I've just never found the black tank dumping to be that big an issue.  Now that ole girl's situation would be an issue. But what's up with digging a hole and burying it? I'll bet those critters that are hanging around her don't bury theirs.  If I had ever been interested in a composting toilet, I wouldn't be now.


Steve, Tali and the dogs: Reacher, Lucy and Rocky plus our beloved Storm and Maggie (both waiting at the Rainbow Bridge) 2008 Legacy Elite I - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0026 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0050 2017 Silverado High Country 2500HD Diesel 4x4 

 

      ALAKAZARCACOCTDEFLGAIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMA       ABBCMBNSYTsm.jpg

 

 

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I guess I wouldn't recommend watching Robin Williams' "RV", then.????

 

Any system can go wrong. Especially if it's not managed or maintained.

 

Composting toilets work for a lot of boaters, where pumpout stations are a big hassle...

 

Sherry


2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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I suggest that the Nature's Head Composting Toilet option should only be considered by owners with an anal "(b : of, relating to, characterized by, or being personality traits (such as orderliness, frugality, and obstinacy) considered typical of fixation at the anal stage of development : anal-retentive — often used in nontechnical contexts to describe someone as extremely or excessively neat, careful, or precise") personality.  I'm one of them.  I think you can identify the personality traits of the rest of the Oliver owners active on the forum who have opted for this solution. :)

 

 

 

Don

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Don

 

2020 Conqueror UEV 490 Extreme Platinum

 

 

2019 Ram Rebel

 

 

States I visited with my Ollie (Sold October, 2019)

 

 

States Visited Map

 

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I was interested in this solution as well, but once my wife saw
it was a no go
So we’re stuck with the stinky slinky or the macerator we have on there now.

 

That is so funny, that poor woman has no business using either that head or hand tools. When operated properly this simply will not happen.

 

If you abuse a regular RV black system it will also give you serious problems, different ones surely, but just as gross.

 

With a composting toilet you NEVER EVER pee in the poo section. They tell you that in the manual and it isn’t rocket science.... don’t every let a guy use it while standing up!

 

LOL. What a gross looking toilet.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Thanks 1

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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Haha! That poor gal in the video!  John, I don't think she was intentionally peeing the the poo section - it seemed to be a malfunction of the unit.

 

Personally after peeing in a container for a few years ( I can explain why if you're interested - I will assume not) I knew that alone was a good reason not to  have the composting toilet as my only option in the trailer. And carrying/lifting the unit through doorways and finding somewhere to empty it?   I will probably use a simpler method of composting my waste when in a boon docking situation.  :-)

 

Anyway, Here's a book that I've been reading that all you poop composters might find interesting.

 

"The Humanure Handbook". It's pretty entertaining and great information.

 

 


Carole ....and a couple of Malinois


2016 Legacy Elite II #175


2016 Ram 2500 


 

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Mark, that is a really long and rambling video, can you highlight their main points?

 

I did see the part about bugs - how unsettling - and that was definitely user error since they tore the filter.

 

I am thinking about installing a washable pleated filter at the inlet (K&N or similar) that will have way more surface area than the little bug screen, yet be unaffected by splashing water during a shower.

 

I have never noted any smells, but it is imperative that the Natures Head fan operates continuously..

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA


"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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The reality for us is that it wouldn't work because... The last 10 minutes of the video pretty much matches what we have going on, aside from daily showers and the added humidity from living in a rain forest. These guys remove the toilet to use their wet bath and for us, that's just not practical. I'm not saying that it wouldn't work for everybody, just not this body :)

 

This is an excellent full spectrum video.

 

 

We really were researching and looking into it at one time. I have great control and have no problem separating one bodily function completely from the other but like in the video, when women are dealing with a menstrual cycle or Montezuma has you on the run, there's just no separating anything. I can't say that our Dometic toilet is trouble free because without a rim, sometimes splashdown can splash out... More then likely we will be replacing the Dometic toilet because of the poor design and I thought that it would be good to add that in. This is the first rimless toilet that we have had in an RV and it really doesn't work as well as the old Thetford that we had in the Casita. The Nature's Head and the Air Head both look good and I was thinking about going Air Head until I watched that video. The bugs were no big deal and fixing the screen was something that can happen to anyone. Our problem is the complete separation and then dealing with the clean up. There are pro's and cons to both systems and for now, our slinky works fine.

 

Reed


Happy Camping,


null


Reed & Karen Lukens with Riffles our Miniature Poodle


2017 Oliver Legacy Elite II  Standard, Hull #200 / 2017 Silverado High Country 1500 Short Bed 4x4


Past TV - 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML350 4Matic BlueTEC Diesel


Click on our avatar pic above to find the videos on our Oliver Legacy Elite II


 

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Another one of their videos that we found interesting was their toilet paper test. We've been using the Charmin Ultra for years and it was a surprise to see that it took first place over the RV toilet paper as far as dissolving speed. The RV paper is a lot rougher and tends to shred when unrolling it, the Charmin however is great all the way around and we use it at home also with our septic system. In the RV, if you can separate the paper or just put it in a Ziploc and toss it, this puts the cleanout of both the Nature's Head and the standard toilet a lot farther out. We do our best to keep the TP separate and a simple Ziploc sandwich bag to toss in the garbage can afterwards works great and doesn't smell or plug up any valves or wrap around crank handles :)

 

 

 

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Happy Camping,


null


Reed & Karen Lukens with Riffles our Miniature Poodle


2017 Oliver Legacy Elite II  Standard, Hull #200 / 2017 Silverado High Country 1500 Short Bed 4x4


Past TV - 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML350 4Matic BlueTEC Diesel


Click on our avatar pic above to find the videos on our Oliver Legacy Elite II


 

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You can dump your gray water easy enough almost anywhere as long as it's clean shower water and not contaminated with food. We rarely fill our gray tank because we use a tub to wash dishes outside and dump the water outside also, so the shower water is all that goes into the gray tank when boondocking. I would say, don't bother in the Oliver.


Happy Camping,


null


Reed & Karen Lukens with Riffles our Miniature Poodle


2017 Oliver Legacy Elite II  Standard, Hull #200 / 2017 Silverado High Country 1500 Short Bed 4x4


Past TV - 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML350 4Matic BlueTEC Diesel


Click on our avatar pic above to find the videos on our Oliver Legacy Elite II


 

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John Davies owns this informative thread and in wishing to keep it afloat and on point, I’ll post my question here. The following video is a good start and continuation of a conversation John and I had regarding the unused black tank and wasted space. Additional gray water capacity makes sense but building a more complicated system (more valves to leak or fail) may not be a smart choice. Thanks go to the GonewiththeWynns…I’m claiming fair use and shamelessly sharing their video below. RE: Combining black and gray tanks feasible and/or smart Opinions please…

Mark, please start a new thread for this discussion since it is only vaguely on topic. The bottom line for that mod is that there is no way to access the gray tank to flush it out when it develops nasty hard deposits from “solids” floating into the gray tank, and you cannot insert a wand or  dump a bag of ice into it and drive on rough roads. Don’t do it! Unless you add and use a pressurized water flush system such as in place in the black tank, then maybe it would be acceptable.

 

In regards to having to service the poo tank every five days, that is just plain wrong - IF you keep the TP out of it, the solids will dry up quickly, decompose and the volume is reduced. If you have access to a public toilet and both use it every now and then you should easily be able to extend the service interval to a month, if not more, for two people. If boondocking, then yes definitely the service intervals will be reduced.

 

The toilet is a COMPOSTING toilet, not a storage tank, you need to let the bacteria do their work in breaking down the contents. This means not sterilizing the poo container between servicing, and especially not dumping it out weekly!... If the tank needs jump starting, then you could add a septic tank biologic treatment.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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John, you might be interested to know that Oliver is still installing 1 amp fuses for the fan, and they're still blowing.  Our toilet wasn't working optimally, and fortunately I remembered your post and checked the fuse.  Works well now.

 

Because of my awful delivery experience, I had to use the trailer and shower for a few days in the Oliver parking lot.  When I returned home and had a chance to fill the toilet I did notice that a fair amount of shower water had found it's way into the bin.  I don't know where it's coming from since the rubber gasket seems to seal well.  Regardless, I think with that experience that a shower curtain should be recommended, since you don't want to add moisture into the bin.  I also find it a pain to clean around the toilet and a curtain should help keep that area cleaner.

 

We tried the vinegar spray, but didn't care for it.  I later found it was easy to just rinse the bowl with the sink sprayer - with a little care it's easy to do without getting any water where it shouldn't be.

 

We also tried the coconut coir but I think my wife mixed it a bit too wet, which combined with the fan not working to make us decide to just restart the system a week into our trip.  We used peat moss that time and the toilet has performed to expectations since.  I think the only advantage to the coco coir is that it's compact for travel, should you need to dump the bin while on the road, but we can carry along a few gallon zip locks of peat just as easily.


Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Update. Added large sight holes in the receptacle for the pee bottle, visible from standing outside the entry, so I do not get surprised. With two or three adults using it full time the level goes up pretty fast, full in maybe three days (depending on how hydrated your users are!)

 

D5B9DE4B-DC2E-4C99-B560-6981BC0727DE.thumb.jpeg.9b1457ecd41c9030e21fb9a1bc2d779b.jpeg

 

Set a vertical tape guideline, do not eyeball it or it will be crooked.

 

AE7EFB21-1925-47B0-8DCD-4BEA8A33AECA.thumb.jpeg.cd438f8fa5b4ada5356acd3976cde02a.jpeg

 

Drill a couple of 1 inch holes evenly spaced. I used a step drill and it went through the plastic like butter and left pretty holes.

 

CA9A9AA9-27B3-40E7-8D3F-EC28EB80D77E.thumb.jpeg.4dbcbc926feb78c0bbbae3998ba34262.jpeg

 

View from outside (also notice the small weep holes at the bottom for shower water to drain):

 

FE6B4949-609C-4D34-960F-C022A0EBA562.thumb.jpeg.ca1f947cf3d690f0503a635f980c7bb2.jpeg

 

I will see how it works next trip and report back. Daylight should illuminate the transluscent pee tank and the “contents” should show up in the holes. Maybe.... I hope.

 

John Davies

 

SpokaneWA

 

 

 

 

  • Thanks 1

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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. I also find it a pain to clean around the toilet and a curtain should help keep that area cleaner.

 

I usually just spritz water using the shower function, washing dust, lady hair and debris from around the toilet and out onto the pan, then I lift it off with a paper towel and rinse the really small stuff down the drain. Wipe dry with a small microfiber towel. So far that is working fine.

 

The more I use the Nature’s head the more I like it, and I am so glad to have the extra fresh water and not have to stop at dump stations, other than for an occasional quick gray water dump when I cannot drain that tank on site.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

  • Thanks 1

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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As I daydream about retirement and traveling in my brand new 2019 Oliver Legacy Elite II, deciding on upgrades is my current project. These discussions have almost convinced me the composting toilet is a good upgrade. This will be my first travel trailer, so I do not have experience with managing black water, but, the thought of traveling with a tank full of sewage is not sounding so good. Maybe this composting thing is the way to go. Other than off-grid camping and saving water, are there other reasons to go dry toilet? My experienced camping friends (mostly 5th wheel large campers) tell me the Oliver black water tank is small and will need to be dumped frequently (depending upon use, of course). I can imagine this might become aggravating. As I look at videos and read about the composting toilet, my immediate fears (odor, flies, mess) seem to be unfounded. Any thoughts about this upgrade are most appreciated. Since Oliver will install all the black tank plumbing anyway, if the composting adventure turns out to be a bad decision for me, changing to a traditional toilet system seems not too difficult.


KWR


2019 Oliver Legacy Elite II, Hull#444


2019 GMC Sierra 2500HD Crew Cab, 4WD, Denali, Duramax 6.6L Turbo Diesel V8 Engine with Allison 6-speed transmission

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The nice part to a composting toilet is that you can get it now, set it up at home, anywhere, test it out see if you like it or if you don't. If you find you do like it, then when your trailer is built, save the money and have them install nothing and you can just install the one you already have. If you find out you don't prefer it, just have them install a regular setup and sell the compositing one.

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Randy


One Life Live It Enjoyably


2017 F350 6.7L SRW CC LB


2015 Oliver Elite II Hull #69

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We started using our composting toilet full time in April. It’s been a real challenge for us. I have talked to the guy who runs Nature’s Head to trouble shoot several times. I have truly believed all along our problems are because the fan is not working properly. We have had bugs several times, mold on our poo and it just doesn’t smell right. At first I thought the breaker that controls the fan was off.  And one time it was. But that is not the case now. We do not put TP in it. We use Coco Coir. I read all of these posts today and even as late as November the wrong fuse is being used?? We picked ours up mid December. We have extra fuses already from Nature’s Head. Gonna try this and see if it fixes it!

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We started using our composting toilet full time in April. It’s been a real challenge for us. I have talked to the guy who runs Nature’s Head to trouble shoot several times. I have truly believed all along our problems are because the fan is not working properly. We have had bugs several times, mold on our poo and it just doesn’t smell right. At first I thought the breaker that controls the fan was off. And one time it was. But that is not the case now. We do not put TP in it. We use Coco Coir. I read all of these posts today and even as late as November the wrong fuse is being used?? We picked ours up mid December. Could this be the fuse issue for us and if so I got extra lids and fuses directly from nature’s head. Are these the right ones? Thanks for any help.

 

The blade type fuse is locateed in the fuse box under the dinette table. Mine was the only one there that was NOT labelled, all the other ones were labelled. It was originally 1 amp and was blown after the first day. I changed it to a 2.5 amp one, as specified by Natures Head, and it has been fine ever since. Make sure the metal ears are grabbing the fuse prongs hard, or there may be an intermittent connection. This is a VERY common problem with this cheap, poorly designed fuse box.

 

You can check your fan by removing it, there are two philips screws at the hose outlet, and make sure it is spinning and clear of debris.

 

If the fan is not operating, the toilet will never operate better than a five gallon bucket. It has to ventilate to convert the bacteria from anaerobic (stinky) to aerobic (not stinky).

 

Good luck, this is not rocket science. Ask a friend to help if you can’t figure it out. Get that fan running!

 

Even with mild tinnutus I can hear mine running if there are no other noises. I put my hand over the inlet opening once daily as I enter the bathroom, to feel the airflow. It is very small, but you can feel it.

 

If your fuse is the wrong size, please file a service request so the factory will be alerted and hopefully change their ways.... there really is no excuse for installing the wrong one.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

 

 

  • Thanks 1

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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We started using our composting toilet full time in April. It’s been a real challenge for us. I have talked to the guy who runs Nature’s Head to trouble shoot several times. I have truly believed all along our problems are because the fan is not working properly. We have had bugs several times, mold on our poo and it just doesn’t smell right. At first I thought the breaker that controls the fan was off. And one time it was. But that is not the case now. We do not put TP in it. We use Coco Coir. I read all of these posts today and even as late as November the wrong fuse is being used?? We picked ours up mid December. We have extra fuses already from Nature’s Head. Gonna try this and see if it fixes it!

Ditto to what John Davies said - ours (delivered in Feb this year) had the wrong fuse and it blew during the first week/trip out.

 

Other challenges (in addition to changing the fuse) and lessons learned for us are:

 

Storage when not in use - we initially stored the trailer with the fan running and the compost material (not emptied) was drying out too much and moisture is a requirement. We now unplug the fan when it is stored and I will check and add water every other week or so (as required) in an attempt to keep the compost at the proper consistency - working better.

 

Bugs - another problem with the drying out compost is it attracts bugs (like gnats & a lot of them). In addition to that problem I learned that the exhaust vent on the Oliver does not have an insect screen that Nature's Head recommends.  This allowed the bugs to enter the toilet via the exhaust hose. After getting rid of the bugs by emptying and cleaning, I took the exhaust hose off at the toilet and covered the opening with a layer of panty hose in order to form a screen and then reattached the hose. No problems with bugs since the screen and keeping the moisture level right with the composting material.

 

Good luck!

 

 

  • Thanks 2

Darrell & Kathy


2013 F-250 Diesel 6.7


2018 Oliver Legacy Elite II (Hull #319)


https://www.blogger.com/profile/02054187086533485920


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