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Old 06-22-2013, 07:41 AM   #57
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Ya, the reason it took me so long was because I didn't know that I had to contact Dish prior to getting it working. I could have sworn that it was a problem with my setup so I kept trying to relocate the Tailgator and reset the receiver. After an hour I decided to call Dish. 30 minutes later (first tech rep was useless) I was up and running.

Now I know what to tell the Dish tech when I go on our next trip. Again, none of this is an issue as long as you keep your receiver connected to the SAT system. It's not a Tailgater issue, it's a dish/inactive receiver issue. If you have Dish at home, and use a 211K or 211Z receiver, then simply take your home receiver out to your MH, connect it to the Tailgater and 10 minutes later you're up and running.
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Old 06-22-2013, 10:01 AM   #58
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If you have a non Hopper system at home, you could occasionally plug in your 211 to keep it active in Dish's network. Unfortunately I have a Hopper and would need either another feed from the Dish on the roof or disconnect the dish feed to the Solo Node in the basement and connect it to the 211. Bottom line it's just easier to call for activation and make sure it works before we leave home. That way I don't have any surprises on the road.

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Old 06-22-2013, 11:12 AM   #59
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As far as security goes, I bought a long shackle lock and then the biggest and longest plastic wrapped cable that I could find from WalMart. The shackle in the lock completely fills the security loop on the Tailgater and the cable is 10mm. The cable is 15 feet long and looped at each end. Bottom line unless someone is walking around with some serious cable cutters or cuts the loop off the Tailgater, it will probably resist impulse or casual theft. On my first trip out I was able to set the Tailgater next to the front of the trailer and secure it to the hitch stand.

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Old 07-12-2013, 01:40 AM   #60
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Just broke down and ordered a Winegard Trav'ler SK-1000 for dish. Geez that is a lot to spend on a dish!

Does anyone know if you need to use the separate mounting plate accessory for mounting on a 70's trailer?

The other things I'm struggling with are the choice of receiver and if I will use the pay-as-you-go plan or the normal subscription.

I'm inclined to go with the vip211z receiver as I could also use it with a tailgater in case of trees, and the power consumption is dramatically lower I believe. One reason I wanted a roof mount auto-antenna was for ease of use in a walmart or rest stop on a quick overnight without shore power - so lower power consumption would be very beneficial.

But when parked for long periods (I'm a full timer) the Hopper system or other multi-tuner DVR would be more appealing. Could I get both and add/remove them at will as needed? Or maybe I'll just leave them both active and use the smaller unit in the bedroom and just power that up for those overnight stops.

One thing I'm not understanding is if there is a monthly charge for both receivers, and the difference (if there is one) between owning/leasing. If you get them from Dish, especially on the normal subscription plans vs pay as u go, it seems like they will be leased? And the Hopper seems like it will carry extra monthly fees. On the other hand, I get the impression that the vip211k/z units are or can be owned? Maybe just on the pay as you go plans?

Some reviews on amazon for receivers seem to say that dish has a monthly charge even if you are buying there - so why not sign up and get equipment from Dish under normal plans if I don't anticipate need to start and stop service? Doing that also provides $20/$30 month savings for first year.
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Old 07-12-2013, 10:43 PM   #61
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Just broke down and ordered a Winegard Trav'ler SK-1000 for dish. Geez that is a lot to spend on a dish!

I'm inclined to go with the vip211z receiver as I could also use it with a tailgater in case of trees, and the power consumption is dramatically lower I believe. One reason I wanted a roof mount auto-antenna was for ease of use in a walmart or rest stop on a quick overnight without shore power - so lower power consumption would be very beneficial.

But when parked for long periods (I'm a full timer) the Hopper system or other multi-tuner DVR would be more appealing. Could I get both and add/remove them at will as needed? Or maybe I'll just leave them both active and use the smaller unit in the bedroom and just power that up for those overnight stops.

One thing I'm not understanding is if there is a monthly charge for both receivers, and the difference (if there is one) between owning/leasing. If you get them from Dish, especially on the normal subscription plans vs pay as u go, it seems like they will be leased? And the Hopper seems like it will carry extra monthly fees. On the other hand, I get the impression that the vip211k/z units are or can be owned? Maybe just on the pay as you go plans?

Some reviews on amazon for receivers seem to say that dish has a monthly charge even if you are buying there - so why not sign up and get equipment from Dish under normal plans if I don't anticipate need to start and stop service? Doing that also provides $20/$30 month savings for first year.
The reason I bought my 211z receiver is that Dish would not sell or lease one to me. At the time the 211z was new enough that Dish wanted to push out their existing stock of 211k receivers. So I had to buy from a Dish reseller who was willing to sell me the 211z. Dish does charge you a $7 monthly charge when you activate the receiver. The difference is that I can turn that activation on and off as needed. A leased receiver needs steady income. So if you are full timing then a leased receiver might be a better bargain. In my case I'm only paying when the receiver is active, and Nest pro rates that monthly charge so if I use it for a week in a month, I'm only paying for those days only. My programming charges are based on my Hopper and Joey receivers at home. I've not heard of Dish having any deal that would allow you to lease a Hopper and activate it and deactivate it like a 211 receivers.

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Old 07-12-2013, 11:24 PM   #62
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Awesome info... Thanks Jack! That helps me understand it all a bit better and see some possibilities. I'll have to confirm if any other receivers can be started and stopped on pay as you go plan. Or maybe not as I might benefit too much with the $20/$30 savings for new subscribers for the first year on the "normal" plans.

Or can I do a hybrid? Sign up for maybe the hopper as a new customer lease and then get a 211 for when I'm going to be on the road a lot and then just start and stop that 211 at will? Is that basically what you are doing?

Looking at the rates, as far as I can tell, it looks like they are the same on "normal" and PAYG (pay as you go)... although I was previously under the impression that PAYG was like $10/mo more. So other than the 1st year new customer savings, it seems like there isn't a monthly difference.

Another question I will ask dish unless anyone knows - do they charge $10/mo for whole home DVR if you have a hopper, even if you don't have any joeys? Are there any other hopper related fees? If I don't use the whole home and there is that fee, maybe I need to go with the 7 series for the multi-tuner unit rather than the Hopper. That would be a bummer.

I'm coming from an extensive directv setup (and bill) and one thing I have heard is that dish is cheaper and I want to make sure my monthly bill is such.
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Old 07-13-2013, 12:32 AM   #63
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So here's the breakdown. Last winter as a long time Dish subscriber I decided to dump two Dish DVR's that I owned at home and went to Dish and asked for a deal comparable to a deal that Direct had offered me for their Genie unit.

Here's what I got from Dish and here are the charges for the equipment side.

I asked for a Hopper and two Joey units. The new dish on the roof, the updated home wiring, and the installation cost me nothing.

These three receivers are considered leased. I bought a programming package. No deals there. I pay $10 a month for DVR service (Hopper). Each Joey is $7 monthly (They are not DVR's but connect to the Hopper). So the equipment cost monthly for all intents is $24 a month. The biggest amount of my bill is the programming package which in my case is $64 and another charge for HBO. Then I got a bunch of incentives and rebates for agreeing to keep the service for 2 years. I can change the programming package up or down, but I have to maintain some programming service for those 2 years along with the 3 receivers.

Three months later I went out and bought a Tailgater and the 211z. No subsidized package offered since I'm in a subsidized Hopper agreement. Again I own the Tailgater and the 211z. As I noted in my earlier post, Dish would not guarantee that I could get a 211z so I bought my Tailgater and 211z from an authorized Internet Dish reseller (Solid Signal). I paid less for the receiver and Tailgater than if I had bought from Dish directly.

Now, there is a deal out there for non Dish subscribers that will allow you to get the Tailgater and receiver at a lower price. But you cannot turn the receiver on and off because Dish wants steady income to offset the subsidized price. In this case you will buy a programming package and pay $7 a month for the receiver fee.

In my situation, Dish will replace the 211z if it fails at any time but the Tailgater is under warranty from King Controls and once we pass the first year, the Tailgater unit is 100% my responsibility for any repair and costs.

Since the 211z is considered a solo receiver, I pay Dish when I call to activate the 211z when I want to use it. $7 a month is that cost and is prorated if I use it less than a month. I can turn off the activation of the 211z and the corresponding costs.

I have made a commitment for the Hopper and Joeys for 2 years and those units cannot be turned on and off.

Your situation is hard because typically with a Hopper in a home, no other satellite receivers are allowed (except Joeys) to be on the account. What a makes a 211z or k unit doable is the fact that I have a Tailgater and it is meant to be a portable unit. In that case Dish bends the rules and allows you one account which then allows your programming package to cover your home and your 211z. It comes all on one bill.

While they don't recommend using a Hopper in an RV, you should be able to do it. From that point you could surmise that you could order the initial Hopper service and programming package. Then afterwards once you get the Hopper installed and activated, buy a 211z and Tailgater and place it all under one account, much like I did. I'm assuming that the Dome satellite dish will support a Hopper (since technically the Hopper looks at 3 satellite's). As you know the Tailgater also looks at 3 satellite's. The software logic to do that through the Tailgater is only supported in the 211z and k receivers.

One other thing to understand is that the Hopper is different from other Dish receivers. With the home Hopper installation you have 2 cables from a HD rated dish that are connected to a ported box called a solo node. A third cable runs from the solo node to the Hopper receiver. That 3rd cable needs to be 3GHz rated. If you had a Joey it would also have a cable run to the solo node.

So to wrap it up if you also had a Tailgater and 211z, you would not use the solo node. A single cable from the Tailgater runs to the 211z. The software in the 211z directs the Tailgater to find the 3 western arc Dish satellites. When you change channels the Tailgaters internal dish moves to the proper satellite when necessary.

In the case of your dome dish, I don't know where the logic lies to move that dish to the 3 satellites. I assume the dome has some software that makes a Dish receiver think it is looking at 3 satellites. Whether a Hopper can be fooled like the other HD Dish receivers is something I don't know so make sure you have that clear if the Hopper is your receiver of choice.

Hope all of this helps and explains some of the billing.

Jack
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Old 07-13-2013, 08:53 PM   #64
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Hi Jack - thanks again for all the info!!

One thing to clear up is that I decided on a Trav'ler dish, which is the big roof mounted one, not in a dome. I think it is essentially the same as a home dish so it should work with the Hopper/other DVR's and receivers and such the same way a home dish or a tripod would...

EXCEPT... I am glad you brought up the wiring differences as that reminded me that Dish info I have read says that they force you to deactivate ALL other receivers in your installation (home really) to use the Hopper. So there could be an issue there -- again, like you say, having the Hopper on the same network as a 211K or Z. I will have to research it more. My initial thinking is that my new roof dish will have three connections for wire runs, so if one could be dedicated to the VIP211K or Z, and the other two to the Hopper (via the solo node), then I might be OK. That SEEMS like it would effectively make it so the receivers were isolated on their own parts of the network. On the 211K/Z wire run, I would put an A/B switch so that I could use an external Tailgater should my trailer and roof dish be under trees.

Although -- the big dish on the Trav'ler series is said to be MUCH more forgiving with regards to obstructions and SOME foliage.

I will likely follow the same setup you did with having a "normal" account for the main DVR or Hopper and then I will BUY the 211K/Z under the Pay As You Go plan. I just need to decide if I am going to try to have them come out and bring me the base equipment or if I am going to buy that as well.

There really is no monthly savings to buying the base DVR, so I am leaning towards having them give it to me under lease and on the "normal" plan (to also realize the first year savings). It's just a bit more of a hassle, or it feels like it will be, than hitting a buy button and having the receiver show up via UPS since I will really be doing most of the install myself anyway. And I expect there to be a bit of confusion if I try to get a regular residential installer out here to hook up a hopper in the airstream.

I wanted to add one thing into this thread for others that read it later on -- I found out that DishForMyRV.com is operated by Dish or is their "official" site for RV/mobile users. After calling the main number, they referred me to 800-970-7144 after verifying that I didn't also have a permanent Dish installation. I think if you have Dish at home, you still are supposed to use the main number for most things. And at the "mobile" 800 number they talk about the DishForMyRV.com site. I'm noting that it seems to be "official" because I read some post somewhere that asserted that this site was that of just another reseller. They have quite a bit of info on the site and the person I spoke with was pretty knowledgeable.
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Old 07-14-2013, 09:58 AM   #65
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Hi Jack - thanks again for all the info!!

I am glad you brought up the wiring differences as that reminded me that Dish info I have read says that they force you to deactivate ALL other receivers in your installation (home really) to use the Hopper. So there could be an issue there -- again, like you say, having the Hopper on the same network as a 211K or Z. I will have to research it more.


I wanted to add one thing into this thread for others that read it later on -- I found out that DishForMyRV.com is operated by Dish or is their "official" site for RV/mobile users. After calling the main number, they referred me to 800-970-7144 after verifying that I didn't also have a permanent Dish installation. I think if you have Dish at home, you still are supposed to use the main number for most things. And at the "mobile" 800 number they talk about the DishForMyRV.com site. I'm noting that it seems to be "official" because I read some post somewhere that asserted that this site was that of just another reseller. They have quite a bit of info on the site and the person I spoke with was pretty knowledgeable.
Technically I could run my Tailgater at home. To do that however would require an independent coax run from my rooftop dish LNB to the 211z. So if you have an unused port off your satellite dish LNB, you could run a Hopper and a 211z without an issue. At home two of the four ports on my LNB are available. I think their prohibition is more a case of not wanting to deal with a service call because someone put a standard receiver on a network wired for a Hopper/Joey or vice versa.

I know I've talked to support twice regarding my Tailgater and after some initial conversation with the techs at the standard 800 number, they've transferred me to an RV support specialist.

As I noted, Dish would not guarantee me a 211z with the Tailgater if I bought from them. Interesting that I took a ride to Camping World yesterday and while they are displaying the 211z receiver, what they have in boxes are 211k's. I'm glad I found the z from an authorized reseller. The k's foot print was just too large for my spot on top of the microwave in my Classic.

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Old 07-15-2013, 08:28 PM   #66
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Quote:
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Technically I could run my Tailgater at home. To do that however would require an independent coax run from my rooftop dish LNB to the 211z. So if you have an unused port off your satellite dish LNB, you could run a Hopper and a 211z without an issue. At home two of the four ports on my LNB are available. I think their prohibition is more a case of not wanting to deal with a service call because someone put a standard receiver on a network wired for a Hopper/Joey or vice versa.
Yes,math at is exactly what I am thinking. Hopefully the ports on the LNB are fully isolated. If so, I can't see why the Z couldn't be on one and the hopper on the others.

I have ordered the 211z and am awaiting delivery on that.

As for the Hopper, I'm a bit frustrated with Dish as they said they wouldn't install it in an RV (nor would they install anything in an RV) for the "normal" (fixed home installation) subscription plans. Further, while they said they would activate an install if I had it all ready to go and I bought the equipment myself, they would NOT give me the new customer deal for the first year! So I would lose $350 or so in savings on the 1st year programming. AND I have to shell out maybe another $300 for the hopper and bits to install like the solo. They will NOT activate the hopper on the pay as you go plan, so if I want it, I have to somehow get it activated under the normal plans.

At this rate, switching to dish is getting more and more expensive. I would have spent less if I had stayed with directv even though the Trav'ler is $400 more. Especially since I paid an early termination fee to directv of about $150. The main drawback would have been that I couldn't get HD with a carry out like the tailgater. I do sense that the directv genie DVR (which i already had) is better as it has 5 tuners as opposed to 3 with the hopper.

To get the hopper, my best bet may be to call around to independent installers to see if one will work with me in providing "free" leased hopper equipment and help in activating as if I was in a sticks and bricks house. Then I'd get the first year deal too. That's my next step in trying to sort this out.
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Old 07-16-2013, 08:59 AM   #67
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Quote:
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As for the Hopper, I'm a bit frustrated with Dish as they said they wouldn't install it in an RV (nor would they install anything in an RV) for the "normal" (fixed home installation) subscription plans. Further, while they said they would activate an install if I had it all ready to go and I bought the equipment myself, they would NOT give me the new customer deal for the first year! So I would lose $350 or so in savings on the 1st year programming. AND I have to shell out maybe another $300 for the hopper and bits to install like the solo. They will NOT activate the hopper on the pay as you go plan, so if I want it, I have to somehow get it activated under the normal plans.

I do sense that the directv genie DVR (which i already had) is better as it has 5 tuners as opposed to 3 with the hopper.

To get the hopper, my best bet may be to call around to independent installers to see if one will work with me in providing "free" leased hopper equipment and help in activating as if I was in a sticks and bricks house. Then I'd get the first year deal too. That's my next step in trying to sort this out.
I became a Dish subscriber back in the early days of Dish. You placed your order and they sent you the dish, mounting hardware and a receiver. You bought your own coax and did the entire installation yourself. Back then I knew the value of good cabling and ran RG 6 even though RG 59 was perfectly acceptable.

Fast forward to today and when I upgraded to the Hopper and installer came out and set everything up. Interestingly enough this was another lesson in the need for good cable. The installer reused all of my original RG 6 stating that it would be acceptable for the Hopper. As the days passed after the installation, I started having more and more crazy issues with the Hopper. It had gone as far as Dish sending me a new Hopper telling me that the one I had was defective. I had another issue come up prior to the replacement Hopper being delivered and Dish dispatched a service tech. First thing he did was to measure impedance on the feed to the Hopper. After stating that the measurement was unacceptable he started looking closely at the cable. It ended up that the Hopper needs 3 GHz rated cable. So he completely pulled out all my old cable and proceeded to replace everything (except for the Joey feeds) with 3 GHz cable. Apparently according to him, the installer (who was a contractor and not a Dish employee) short cut the job (they get paid by the install) by not putting in the proper cable.
Needless to say, all the problems went away and I sent the replacement Hopper back. All has been well since then and we are approaching 7 months with the Hopper/Joey system.

I agree that you probably can talk to an authorized reseller and get your deal, with you doing the installation yourself. You might want to check in with some Internet dealers since they have no incentive to do the installation. One suggestion is Solid Signal - Signal Solutions including HDTV Antennas, DIRECTV & DISH Network satellite equipment and home entertainment supplies & accessories who I bought my Tailgater and 211z receiver from. Check to make sure your Hopper comes with the solo node switch (required). Also remember that the 2 cables coming from the LNB will plug into the solo node. From the solo node you must use a 3 Ghz rated cable to the Hopper. Anything rated less will cause Hopper issues. I have yet find 3 GHz rated cable at any of the typical stores that sell cable (Home Depot, Lowes, etc). Maybe Radio Shack. Note the 3 GHz capacity is labeled on the cable jacket.

FYI the 50' cable that Dish supplies with the Tailgater is labeled 3 GHz, although that may not be a requirement. According to Dish, you should be able to go up to 200' from a Tailgater to the receiver. They suggested that you go no further than 150' (probably due to losses within the RV wiring). I'm planning on going to the Internet and buying a 150' pre terminated 3 GHz cable to use when the 50' cable isn't long enough due to trees at the campsite.

While the Hopper only has 3 tuners compared to the Genie, one of the things that the Hopper can do is a feature called Prime Time Recording. Using this feature, the Hopper gets all of your evening local national broadcast feeds and records them with one tuner. So every night we record Fox, CBS, NBC, and ABC local feeds. That leaves two tuners for recording other satellite broadcasts or record another and watch something else. Once those broadcasts are 24 hours old, playback of them automatically skips over the commercials.

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Old 07-16-2013, 11:59 AM   #68
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I just took your advice and looked at Solid Signal - turns out they have high quality cable and they will make custom terminated lengths for you. I ordered 100 feet to get started and now I am wishing I got just a bit more. Well, it should be enough. I need to make four or five runs up the roof. I think two for hopper, one to dish for tailgater/211z and I ordered a Jack over-the-air VHF/UHF antenna and I think that will need two. The three lines to the dish will be the longest but I hope the 5 together average less than 20ft each. Not sure if my Trav'ler is coming with any cable.

I also ordered $75 in tools and compression fittings to terminate my own cable lengths.

By the way, I found this wiring diagram for dish installers that shows a VIP receiver hooked up to the same dish as a hopper system. The hopper system shown is quite extensive and I do not think I will need the switch and power inserted and all that. Just one line for 211z and the two others to the solo node. I'll eventually put an a/b switch on the VIP line so I can use a tailgater if needed.



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Old 07-16-2013, 02:03 PM   #69
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Your installation really is much simpler than what they showed in that drawing assuming the 211z will always be fed from the Tailgater. Two leads to the solo node from the LNB. One from the solo node to the Hopper. The key for you is the integration of the Tailgater into this. Be cautious because the Hopper is multiplexing frequencies on that cable that connects to the solo node. Typically that would probably be more in line with communications with Joey units since Joeys depend upon the Hopper for tuners and access to the hard drive. Joey's also run from the solo node.

So your plan is to run a dedicated line from the LNB on the rooftop dish to a switch. That switch will also have a line for the Tailgater, correct?

Did you talk to Solid Signal about a potential deal on a self installed Hopper?

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Old 07-16-2013, 02:59 PM   #70
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Yes I think we're on the same page for install, except I will probably use the 211z with the roof dish on a dedicated run from the LNB while in transit and without shore power on quick overnights. It will use less juice from the batteries via an inverter.

But yes, an a/b switch on that line so I can also string out the tailgater should I find I'm in the trees a lot. May not buy that part until I see how it goes with just the roof dish for awhile. I'm not that much of a tv watcher so if I am without it for a few days I can probably deal with it. And I know that many of the places where I spend time I am out of trees... Also try to be out of them for solar panels as I tend to do a lot of boondocking.

For several months I have been full timing without regular TV (just DVD and Netflix) so I question my wisdom in even spending this much time effort and money on this setup. Oh well, it is fun and I can't wait to see the dish swing up and find the satellites!

I have not called solid signal about activating and may try some other places first, including some locals. Solid signal has something weird going on with dish equipment in their website right now showing no hoppers or 211z units available. In fact, I. One place they show 211z as discontinued!
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Texas Gulf Coast Unit, Texas Airstream Harbor
Angelina National Forest, Zavalla, TX
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