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Old 07-06-2010, 04:17 PM   #15
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Tis true listen to the woman. Most go bigger. I know it's a big step but the facts show you may soon adjust and lust for more, honest. Although 25 is a very sweet spot for an Airstream. Go used to experiment. They will make more or there will be another deal down the road but buying used let's you more easily afford switching. The new depreciation hit is a RUDE awakening though they say these hold their value better. Even more so since you are so particular this is your first and learning experience. Few hit it "right" the first time out. There is no magic formula fits all so no one can really "know" what will be the one you want to end up with when all is said and done...
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Old 07-06-2010, 04:18 PM   #16
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hmmm, fun is where you find it.

well, I've been on this forum for about a year and I keep bumping into Paula VA-6, and from what I read, I cannot wait to meet her. You go gal!
good wise words from her, btw. I think it was 2air that said: "...all these A/S traylas punch the same size hole in the air..." I met a gentleman at Ft Stevens, OR this spring and he was in a 25'r, said if he had it to do over again, it'd be the 27. So, there is another 2 cents. But, I am 63 and still kicking myself that I didn't get my family into an airstream years ago, so you are on the right track, and used sure looks good through $green$ colored glasses...
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Old 07-06-2010, 04:28 PM   #17
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Brilliant, Paula! You make one hell of a case for the 27' but I'm disappointed you couldn't squeeze one or two more wenge jokes in there!

Honestly, I'm not that far behind you. I recognize a lot of the same benefits in the 27'. I just know that forcing myself to be more frugal or efficient is a lot more practical than forcing a 27-footer somewhere it doesn't want to go. Having not done any fulltime RVing up to now, I cannot vouch for that with personal experience, but it seems to be a common (and obvious) downside of the 27'.

My Jeep has a GTW of 7500 lbs. The 27's GVWR is 7600 lbs, which means we couldn't come close to loading it to capacity (even if we maxed out the Jeep's capacity, which I'm nervous enough about with the 7200 lb GVWR of the 25'). As you say, a tow vehicle isn't forever, and with the savings over a new trailer, we could probably afford to upgrade to something beefier anyway. I've just got an funny feeling about the 27'... like I'm getting above or ahead of myself, or like I'm going to regret it in a fundamentally unchangeable way.

I'll talk to SWMBO tonight and see what she thinks of the 27' in Texas.

Even if we were to go with the twin configuration, I don't see a way around removing both beds and proceeding with my original plan. A twin bed, beyond being "dedicated", surely can't compete even with a convertible sofa, in terms of comfortably sleeping two, crawling over each other at 2 a.m., etc.

Thanks!

Josh
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Old 07-06-2010, 04:57 PM   #18
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Josh - The twins are good for sleeping - and if you've read the Kama Sutra, you might find there are certain variations where they might be superior for other stuff. (Leave the kids with the grandparents OK?)

look at this as an idea

Amazon.com: Adjustable Height Lift Top Coffee Tables: Kitchen & Dining

I spotted just the hinges somewhere but am too lazy to do that search. I am single, fulltime, and I sew, and work from home. My 3rd Airstream (How do you think I got the name Foiled AGAIN) will have twins - I might just convert one to a desk/workstation OR use this option. When retracted it would hide under the 2nd the mattress - which would be cut into "cushions". I can see my niece, her husband and their two little ones hanging out on the dinette and side couch, while my Sister, bro-in-law and I drink in the adults lounge. Truly we'd have one too many to sleep comfortably inside that way, but If they all show up I'll worry about it then! Maybe I'll get that Avion Pick-up Camper shell that's been sitting by the road calling my name.

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Old 07-06-2010, 06:54 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by worksology View Post
I don't currently own this Airstream, but hope to soon...
have u been inside many/any/one stream?

floor plans only take us so far.

sleeping 3 people FULL TIME in a 25 is a challenge.

especially when trying to carve out "man space" where none exists.

no one else living in yer stream is gonna have exclusive space.
________

moving the charger/converter is easy

pulling the beds from a twin set up is easy too and has very little impact on the walls.
________

perhaps you wanna step back and better explain the rvtravellivingwork plans...

then those that can provide seasoned advice might.
________

it's a bit naive to be tied to ONE color scheme so early on...

since they ALL morph to brown when used much.

and the ccd isn't the most SPACE giving of models.

many new buyers start out thinking they can engineer the perfect layout in these REALLY TINY spaces.

the folks at a/s have been TRYING to do that for 75 years, so perhaps they have clues.
________

boondocking in a 25, again with 3 people also produces compromises.

water, batteries, water, waste, water, power...

did i mention water?
________

the custom shop in colorado can tweak the interior on a new/used unit any way you want...

of course it helps to really know what is wanted vs needed.
________

btw the 27 is bigger? than the 28

and for full time living, streamin' and so on the TV is grossly inadequate.

there are very few campgrounds (almost ZERO) that cannot accommodate a 27-30 footer...

IF they can handle a modern 25 (which is still a wide body)
________

so NOW u know whats under da bed,

how bout pulling back the covers on your overall plans and hang on for some real wisdom...

or not

cheers
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Old 07-06-2010, 07:25 PM   #20
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Also under the bed is an electrical panel with wires from the batteries and other places, but it too can be dealt with. More problematical is the water heater. Most, if not all, is behind the bottom of the wardrobe in the 25'. Some of it may protrude under the bed and some pipes that are accessed from the side utility door. Go to a dealer, lift up the bed and check it out. Then go to that side door and see how the water heater and pipes are.

It would be easier when you are working if child and wife were in the bedroom and you were at the dinette table. But if child noise is a problem, the two "doors" on each end of the hallway aren't going to keep out much of it. Industrial strength earmuffs may be a better solution. If you all sleep in the rear, there will be some difficulty in making new children too (different kind of noise problem). Those cushions that make extra beds may be ok for a short camping trip, but for fulltiming?

Maybe a motorhome with 3 discrete rooms would work better for you instead of trying to force this into an Airstream. Something has to give and I think an Airstream 25' is pretty inflexible.

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Old 07-06-2010, 11:34 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman View Post
have u been inside many/any/one stream? / floor plans only take us so far.
The nearest Airstream dealer to me is in Arkansas. My wife & I took our last vacation to the Ozarks with the express purpose of being near enough to Airstream of Arkansas in Searcy. At the time they had at least one International of each size as well as a few Flying Clouds and Bambis. We looked through them all. This was, admittedly, relatively early in our research and I wasn't able to scope out all the nitty-gritty details that would be valuable to me today, 10 months later. I *really* could use another trip to a thoroughly-stocked dealer. Too bad there aren't any close to here.

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Originally Posted by 2airishuman View Post
sleeping 3 people FULL TIME in a 25 is a challenge. / especially when trying to carve out "man space" where none exists. / no one else living in yer stream is gonna have exclusive space.
No one's trying to carve out "man space" or any other exclusively-owned space in this family. The purpose of the dedicated desk space will be to provide the sole income for my family, but it will also serve many secondary purposes that the entire family will take advantage of. I'm not trying to build a birdhouse-building station in the back-half of our trailer. This isn't a frivolous addition.

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Originally Posted by 2airishuman View Post
moving the charger/converter is easy. pulling the beds from a twin set up is easy too and has very little impact on the walls.
Thank you; that is reassuring!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman View Post
perhaps you wanna step back and better explain the rvtravellivingwork plans... / then those that can provide seasoned advice might.
Thank you for asking; I feel properly welcomed! I'll do the short-version now, and a proper, full introduction in a more appropriate thread, later. I'm 29, my wife a few years older, and we have a boy who turns 2 in 11 days. We own a 3200 sq ft. home in Kansas, I have a great job at a University as a web designer, and my wife (also a designer) stays home with our son, and, every-other-day, her 10-year-old daughter (she'll be spending the summers with us). Our major motivations for going full-time are:

— a dissatisfaction with home ownership
— a healthy skepticism and growing ennui of the suburban lifestyle
— an insatiable wanderlust for most of my life
— an overwhelming desire to live more simply, more frugally, more responsibly, more intentionally, and closer to our evolutionary arc
— ambitions to pursue freelance web development (et al) whole-heartedly

We are not attempting to recreate our suburban lifestyle on the road. We are not trying to become "location-independent", at least not to the extent that that's the goal in itself. We're campers, backpackers, we prefer the dirt and the tree bark and are willing to live with the inconveniences of an RV, nay an Airstream, to design the lifestyle we, at least in the here & now, envision for ourselves and our family. It may not hold, but we're okay with that too.

We're confident we'll full-time for a year or two or three, but when the boy is of organized-schooling age, we'll clearly have to make the decision of where to settle down, or to homeschool. We're not homeschooling types, or at least we don't imagine ourselves to be, but we're not worrying about that right now. We're planning for up to three years of full-timing with the OTB or cash-out completely whenever, and wherever, we choose.

We'll be doing a variety of FHU, boondocking, dispersed camping, moving from place-to-place day-by-day, and sitting for weeks at a time in a single place. We are willing to make mistakes and learn from them. We're introverts. We're hoping for more natural adventure and less cosmopolitan camping (I refuse to use the term "glamping").

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman View Post
it's a bit naive to be tied to ONE color scheme so early on... since they ALL morph to brown when used much. / and the ccd isn't the most SPACE giving of models.
Haha. Well, I don't think it's naïve at all. If that decision costs us $10,000 over an equally-equipped Flying Cloud/Safari, then we clearly have to weigh the benefits of that decision with the financial costs, but we're definitely not being naïve about deciding what's important to us and trying to maximize on the right side of that equation. I still haven't made up my mind on this particular issue, but it is of some importance to us.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman View Post
many new buyers start out thinking they can engineer the perfect layout in these REALLY TINY spaces. / the folks at a/s have been TRYING to do that for 75 years, so perhaps they have clues.
With all due respect, Airstream's layouts have NOT been designed with MY FAMILY in 2010 in mind. If they had, they'd look a lot like the designs I did for Timeless Travel Trailers in Colorado, who said it'd cost over $140,000 to achieve. Well, no thanks. The needs and interests of a vast majority of Airstream/RV owners, especially historically, are quite different than mine. And that's okay; I understand market forces. I understand that most RV owners are retirees, or without children, or weekend hobbyists. I also understand that there are many people just-like-us making it work, and to whatever extent possible, I'm willing to learn from them so long as it doesn't impede our adventure itself. I've tried to carve our own needs into the semi-malleable slate that is a late-model Airstream, given my reasonably-tight budget, and have a reasonable confident that it's a good & wise path to follow.

Now I agree, like others have said, that without the actual experience behind us, we're grasping at straws in knowing exactly what those needs are. But there's only so much research we can do before it's time to take some plunges. And it's all about the plunges.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman View Post
boondocking in a 25, again with 3 people also produces compromises. water, batteries, water, waste, water, power... did i mention water?
Understood. We're not some cushy yuppies (okay, yeah, we kinda are) that can't stand to compromise or go without or suffer enormously. We'll make do. There's adventure in mistakes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman View Post
btw the 27 is bigger? than the 28

and for full time living, streamin' and so on the TV is grossly inadequate.

there are very few campgrounds (almost ZERO) that cannot accommodate a 27-30 footer...

IF they can handle a modern 25 (which is still a wide body)
This seems awfully condescending to me; I trust it wasn't meant that way! My concern with going longer than 25 has less to do with campground accommodations and more with general maneuverability, dispersed camping spots, length and attractiveness of our overall rig, making do with less. The 25' IS the concession. We're supposed to be in a 23 footer!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman View Post
so NOW u know whats under da bed, / how bout pulling back the covers on your overall plans and hang on for some real wisdom... / or not
I truly & honestly appreciate your effort on this forum in trying to impart a little sage advice to us, and I hope you'll welcome our family. We're incredibly anxious to be on the road, living as we're meant to be, learning the hard lessons, and I hope we run into you somewhere.

I've learned a lot of extremely valuable things on here, and wish I had time to read so much more. But I'm starting to think what we need is less wisdom and more practical advice or answers to specific questions (like what's under the queen bed on a 25' International!) just to get us up & out of here. It's not that I don't think the lessons are valuable; it's just that I think it will be a whole lot more fun to figure it out ourselves.
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Old 07-06-2010, 11:57 PM   #22
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Also under the bed is an electrical panel with wires from the batteries and other places, but it too can be dealt with. More problematical is the water heater. Most, if not all, is behind the bottom of the wardrobe in the 25'. Some of it may protrude under the bed and some pipes that are accessed from the side utility door. Go to a dealer, lift up the bed and check it out. Then go to that side door and see how the water heater and pipes are.
I learned quite a bit about what's under the queen bed from eheffa's excellent thread on his solar panel installation. But I knew from other pictures that there was something more, directly in the middle of the room, that would need to be relocated. Thanks for helping clear all of that up. If I could hop down to a dealer and check it out, I certainly would. This thread is my compromise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post
It would be easier when you are working if child and wife were in the bedroom and you were at the dinette table. But if child noise is a problem, the two "doors" on each end of the hallway aren't going to keep out much of it. Industrial strength earmuffs may be a better solution. If you all sleep in the rear, there will be some difficulty in making new children too (different kind of noise problem). Those cushions that make extra beds may be ok for a short camping trip, but for fulltiming?
The child's noise isn't so much the problem; it's him pounding all the buttons on the keyboard and demanding we watch babies on YouTube that's the problem. Honestly, if I'm trying to get any serious work done for any length of time, my wife & boy are going to have to go on a hike or daytrip or bike ride or something without me. But for those occasions that I just have to crank some work out, having the ability to close the door will be a godsend. I prefer to work in a dark, tight, damp space, like some hermit in a basement. The true hacker stereotype. A darkened den of a FB can provide that (I hope).

As for making new children (which WON'T be the goal), well... necessity is the mother of invention. We're creative people; we'll figure it out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post
Maybe a motorhome with 3 discrete rooms would work better for you instead of trying to force this into an Airstream. Something has to give and I think an Airstream 25' is pretty inflexible.
This line of reasoning will not stand! This happens in an Airstream, or it doesn't happen at all. (And it happens, no doubt!)


Thanks Gene! My wife & I have been enjoying your journals from Alaska enormously. I love your observant, almost-journalistic writing style, the way my Grandpa taught me to keep a travelogue (when we made a horse & buggy trip across Kansas about 20 years ago). Not an unnecessary word! It is tight, informative, and interesting, and has me pining for a trip to Alaska already!
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Old 07-07-2010, 12:22 AM   #23
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25 should work.

Josh,
The 25FB is a great trailer, its really a 26...Your plan is sound and for my two cents, get the twin in your style, and take out the Streetside bed. There is nothing under that bed save the heater duct (easy to relocate). Look at the 50's trailers and see the many options for a seat/desk they used that convert into a bed. You will loose some storage, always at a premium on an A/S. One of our coat closets is in the back seat of our truck anyways. Airstream owners have come up with some pretty creative nooks and crannys to store stuff.
Nice thread though and some great options...
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Old 07-07-2010, 01:00 AM   #24
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Thanks Bob. That is solid advice!! We've been looking for a used 25' CCD (non SS-style) for about 10 months and, quite honestly, have found zilch! There's almost zero chance of finding the 25' CCD with twin beds, since that hasn't been manufactured. But I'm still keeping the 27' Twin/Queen as an open possibility. I just don't know where it stands in priority with our other choices:

— 25' CCD Queen (have to relocate Power Converter/Charger, etc)
— 25' Flying Cloud/Safari Twin/Queen (have to deal with the Golden Alchemy wood laminate)

The wood laminate continually sounds like a silly thing, but both my wife & I agree that the first night we see someone else's wenge interior, we're going to cry ourselves to sleep. From our trip to Searcy, I vaguely remember liking the blonde interior BETTER and being disappointed with the dark laminate's realism. I don't know if I'm remembering that honestly.

I'm slightly tilting towards one of the twin-bed configurations (either 27' CCD or 25' FC) since that gives us the flexibility of baby-stepping into the modifications (one twin at a time).

I just cannot understand why the International doesn't come in a twin-bed layout. Can someone please explain why there are two entirely separate models instead of one with an interior laminate option?
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Old 07-07-2010, 01:04 AM   #25
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Hi, I don't think I saw this already mentioned, but if the deciding factor between a 25'er and a 27'er is your tow vehicle, I think your tow vehicle is under rated for either of these trailers. [my opinion] Pick the trailer that you really want and then buy a proper tow vehicle.
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Old 07-07-2010, 09:34 AM   #26
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We have traveled extensively and for extended periods with backpacks, VW campers, Scamp, Airstream, old airplanes and aircraft carriers (Navy) and have enjoyed it immensely.

But never full-time with kids, nor would I want to. I think it is irresponsible to discuss airframes without the realities of two youngsters.

You have youth, family, and a great job. The quiet desperation you sense may be relieved without scrapping the assets.

Get a used compact Airstream and hit the road at every opportunity. Mow the grass on Thursday and go to church wherever you are on Sunday morning. Wisdom is gained only by experience, and it is foolish to jump into deep water before you learn to swim.
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Old 07-07-2010, 09:41 AM   #27
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>-dealer locations...

yep we are limited here in the land of ahs, but the trip back to searcy is worth it.

every time TIME is spent lumbering around inside units, you will learn something.

a rally is a great time to shop units too.

some koaz now rent streams, another worthy way to learn for a tiny bit of $

>-dedicated desk space isn't the same as...

"dedicated work space where I can close the door and be away..." mentioned early in this thread.

clarification helps when others offer suggestions.

there are units more ideally designed for either work space, a dedicated desk, seclusion, sleeping, privacy or whatever.

those are NOT all NEW units and the decor won't be wenge, but that's another issue.

>-shifting from stick house to travel'n hut.

many reasons to do this, no justification needed...

but rv living is only simply in some wayz and MORE complicated in others.

it's fun and the learning curve/self discovery that comes with a mobile life is rewarding ADVENTURE...

the typical new full timer makes it 1-2 years then exits back to something more traditional.

so realizing your initially planning for 1-3 years is good.

finding a gently used unit to tweak for this adventure means a LOT LESS depreciation and nagging repairs that go with new units.

>-color schmuller...

the point about the color/decor restriction being naive is that THIS FEATURE is the easiest and least expensive to achieve...

yes it's what one is hit with visually just as the door opens,

but the 'look' is remarkably easy and relatively INexpensive to create.

lp tank size, battery capacity, CRAP TANK size, easy access to the water pump, selecting the ideal hitch and FLOOR PLAN ...

these appear to be the mundane issues far removed from cushion colors...

BUT on the road and after the fact ALL of that stuff

becomes many times more important (especially if done wrong) than wenge-etics ...

>-history of layout/design.

the message here is HIDDEN structural bits (plumbing, wiring, lp, batteries, walls, windows and so on...

are expensive and NOT so easy to alter (compared to fabric or trim), especially for a noob.

weight, locations, shell/wall/floor/frame/attachments are a LOT TRICKIER to tweak.

you are PRE conceiving a/s owners (old retired childless) while believing your personal needs are unique.

the demographics have changed and your family is DEAD CENTER on that new target.

even old childless folks are different in 2010 than they were in 1960.

>-size issues...

no the 25 vs 30 issues isn't condescending.

but almost EVERY new buyer thinks 23-25 is HUGE and towing parking will be a big problem.

then within weeks or months of ownership "2footitis" hits...

the simple truth is that except for a VERY SHORT list of campgrounds and a very FEW types of locations...

a 34 can go anywhere a 19 can.

i have been ONE PLACE in the last 6 years where the 34 didn't fit and that's with well over 1200 nights of parking.

SOME of the end of trail/tent/foot access locations, or small roads leading to pristine boondocking...

can't handle MODERN streams because of width as much as length.

and you will NOT have "technology access" in many of those locations.

>-understanding size...

" a 25 is really 26" ...

well that's creative thinking since a/s counts the TONGUE in sizing...

so a 25 is really a 22 on the inside.

go out into your driveway and chalk out 8 x 22.

then sketch in all the floor intrusions (beds, galley, closets, lav/shower) and the floor space gets VERY very small.

we have the option of using the great outdoors or adding the awning cover as living space...

but only with agreeable weather.

spend a long weekend in cold wet dark conditions entirely INSIDE the stream...

and they tend to SHRINK in size each day...

small CAN be wonderful, but it pays to get really familiar with the absolute space needs for a toddler and 2 adults.

any pets?

back to the size/towing issue.

with a properly sized tow vehicle larger trailers are EASIER to tow/move/park than smaller ones.

yes on first glance longer SEEMS intimidating...

it is not, once past the first week or so of travel or 2-3 camping weekends.

>-sage advice ?

hardly, as nothing posted so far goes beyond the most basic level.

1. cosmetics are easy to tweak
2. moving structural bits gets sticky quick.
3. finding a PREexisting floorplan that works is a LOT EASIER than inventing this.
4. everyone UNDER estimates their space needs
5. go 2-3 feet bigger and u won't regret it...(unless u really need 6 feet extra)
6. sort out the TV after the stream.
7. look at a LOT of units, visit gatherings, VISIT rv parks (stream or not, rvers have many thingz in common)
8. READ the archives here (it's all been asked/answered many times over)

and...

enjoy the adventure!
_______

cheers
2air'
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Old 07-07-2010, 10:55 AM   #28
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one further clarification on lengths...

the 28 IS shorter than the 27.

the 30 and 31 are exactly the same length...

except the 30 safari which is shorter than the 30 classic.

and 25s have come in at least 2 lengths.

and twin bed models always appear LONGER than queens.
_______

the message being numberical length as used by a/s...

is partly a "model" name term.

and seldom refers to an exact size.

not unlike 19.95$ isn't really 20 bucks when it comes to advertising...

2 units exactly the same length can appear and function as 2 markedly different spaces...

not counting outerspace...

cheers
2air'
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