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Old 08-11-2019, 03:51 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by roc97007 View Post
. . .
As I said, I've already called corporate and left them all the details in the original posting. At this point, it's their move. But I won't wait *too* long for them to move.
Wondering how it's going a week later?

Peter
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Old 08-12-2019, 03:28 PM   #42
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Update

Short answer:

The dealer has done a pretty good job of talking me off the ledge.

Corporate was no help at all.

I called corporate, got a customer service specialist (or whatever the term is) gave him the VIN, and was told that (a) the warranty was not listed in my wife's name, indicating that she had failed to fill out the warranty paperwork, and (b) we were the second owner (this was news to me) and as such, the warranty was very limited, consisting basically of the frame and shell. (I'm paraphrasing.)

Due to other factors, I had to let this go for a week, but called the dealer back this morning, and discovered that (a) the warranty *had* been transferred to my wife. I said that customer care at corporate said it had not, and the guy at the dealer said that's impossible, he had to be looking at the same screen that the dealer sees, which clearly shows the transfer had happened some time ago. Which is one factor that leads me to believe that corporate customer care was blowing smoke up my a$$.

On (b), I have to say, the dealer is making a huge effort, going above and beyond, to make the trailer right. They've gone over it in detail, front to rear, and have replaced or put parts on order to replace many items I didn't know about, and even a few, like trim, that I don't really care about. This is the second thing that makes me believe that corporate was not being exactly honest with me.

So, at present I have zero issues with how the dealer is handling this. Speaking specifically of Airstream Adventures Northwest in Portland, OR. Please shop there.

As someone else said, once we get the trailer back, it should be reliable.

The only question remaining is who pays for the main problem for which I brought the trailer in, the gas leak. The range must be replaced, I'm told. It'll be $750 to us, being out of warranty. On advice from this forum, I'll ask tomorrow when they call me back, if a warranty from the manufacturer (not airstream) had been pursued, and if not, can we do that. Because a company making a gas range that spontaneously leaks gas seems like something they'd want to make good. (I didn't ask that today because the person I was working with is off today, and I didn't want to pester someone who wasn't familiar with our situation.)

So that's where we are now. If we have to eat the cost of the range, well, it is what it is. I still feel firmly that we should not, and will continue to pursue that. But the important thing is that the dealer is making a good faith effort to make the trailer serviceable, and that has made all the difference.

But now I have to ask -- has anyone ever gotten a decent answer out of corporate customer care? From my admittedly single data point, I get the impression that they exist solely to tell you why they won't fix your trailer.
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Old 08-12-2019, 03:48 PM   #43
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There should be warranty information for your frig in your packet of materials from the dealer.

Pull it out, read it thoroughly, and call their customer service directly.

Take names and email addresses, confirm the issue in writing and ask what they are going to do about it.

Good luck.

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Old 08-13-2019, 02:13 PM   #44
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The warranty on the stove should be with the instructions for it. If there is no paperwork for the stove, go to the manufacturer’s website and look there. Contact the manufacturer and ask for help. If the warranty period is up, ask for special consideration “before I write my review”.

Glad to hear the dealer is being helpful. I found years ago customer service had good and bad people. I worked with the boss. I don’t know if he is still there. but his nickname was Shoe. Can’t remember his name right now. Always ask to speak to the boss if you are getting nowhere. And then go to the president and tell us what everyone said.
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Old 08-14-2019, 08:16 AM   #45
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There should be warranty information for your frig in your packet of materials from the dealer.

Pull it out, read it thoroughly, and call their customer service directly.
. . .
The BC fridge SNAFU is way beyond that IMO:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f404...ne-169937.html

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Old 08-14-2019, 12:52 PM   #46
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Thanks Maggie for the link. After going through some of it and then going to the end, it looks like some people have fixed the problem at their own expense, the problem still is happening on new units and Airstream and Thor have not been able to solve what customers can. No surprises really and that's unfortunate.
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Old 08-22-2019, 12:45 PM   #47
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Short update

The dealer is fixing all the trailer's issues at their cost, except the range.



The manufacturer (Dometic) at first agreed authorization of the range replacement, then reneged at the last moment. The dealer called foul, and the manufacturer eventually agreed to replacing the hardware "as a goodwill gesture" but wouldn't pay for installation. The dealer is giving us a break on that, so our total cost will be $280. That is acceptable.



I'm supposed to pick up the trailer tomorrow morning. It was supposed to be today, but the truck is in the shop (and that is another long story that I won't bore you with here).


I need the trailer for a job this weekend. After labor day, I'll bring it back to the dealer for the rest of the repairs they've scheduled. But it should have a working range. Yay.


I have to admit, once the dealer became aware of the extent of the problems, they have made a tremendous effort to make it good. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Airstream Adventures Northwest in Portland, Oregon, and I want to say thank you to Amanda in Service for all her efforts on getting this resolved.



My learning from all of this is (a) check out the hardware thoroughly before purchase, (b) keep an accurate list of issues and check them off as they're fixed, (c) don't get angry. The service person commented that I was pretty calm about all of this, unlike other Airstream owners who get hysterical if a speaker cuts out, and that I was good to work with. I think they were more likely to help us out as a result. (d) don't nickle-and-dime the dealer. I fixed the cabinet door and bathroom door myself, and I'll replace the malfunctioning smoke detector, which was a further indication that I was willing to work for them, and not expecting everything for free.


So, we had a good working relationship, and I'm ending up with a trailer that should be in pretty good shape. This has been a lot of work to manage, but it looks like the outcome will be worth it.
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Old 08-23-2019, 07:43 AM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roc97007 View Post
The dealer is fixing all the trailer's issues at their cost, except the range.



The manufacturer (Dometic) at first agreed authorization of the range replacement, then reneged at the last moment. The dealer called foul, and the manufacturer eventually agreed to replacing the hardware "as a goodwill gesture" but wouldn't pay for installation. The dealer is giving us a break on that, so our total cost will be $280. That is acceptable.



I'm supposed to pick up the trailer tomorrow morning. It was supposed to be today, but the truck is in the shop (and that is another long story that I won't bore you with here).


I need the trailer for a job this weekend. After labor day, I'll bring it back to the dealer for the rest of the repairs they've scheduled. But it should have a working range. Yay.


I have to admit, once the dealer became aware of the extent of the problems, they have made a tremendous effort to make it good. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Airstream Adventures Northwest in Portland, Oregon, and I want to say thank you to Amanda in Service for all her efforts on getting this resolved
Sorry you had to go through all of this, but hopefully you now have a trailer that’s solid and enjoyable. Also that’s very good advice for others going through issues with their AS.

Jim
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Old 08-25-2019, 07:00 AM   #49
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I bought my classic from them and they were amazing. Only got to use them once for service but had a similar bend over backwards to make it all happen quickly.
Sorry you had to go through the initial growing pains, I’m glad your overall airstream experience is improving.
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Old 02-03-2021, 01:47 PM   #50
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Short followup to this thread.


We had all the issues fixed in the original article, some of which we had to pay for, and many the dealer fixed on their own dime. (Bless them.)


We took the finished and finally bug free trailer out twice, once on a work assignment and once on a vacation.


During the work assignment, I discovered that a section of the kitchen floor was "soft" near the right front corner of the refrigerator.


I talked to the dealer about it and brought in the trailer in for evaluation after the vacation.


Airstream estimates $6,235 to fix the floor. This is not covered under warranty and they refuse to do any deal with us, saying we did not do regular maintenance on the trailer. This despite the fact that I have a handful of receipts right here for maintenance and repairs of said trailer.


I've since read that this was a known problem with the gas/electric refrigerator, most probably from water coming in through the exhaust port. The refrigerator was replaced in 2019 with an all electric (12/110) model, probably to deal with this issue.


Nevertheless, Airstream Corporate insists this is our problem.


Although wife owns the trailer, I'm trying to deal with the problem because she's so mad she can't see straight. I confess I'm a little discouraged. As I said earlier, we went with Airstream because of their reputation for quality, which has not been evident. Again.


It's been suggested that we sell the trailer. I can't ethically do that with the floor the way it is. However, I'm ok with trading it in, as it then becomes Airstream's problem, not mine.


I love the Basecamp layout, and the 20 foot even more so. As someone else said, there were a lot of bugs in the earlier models that seem to have been ironed out in the 2019 and later models. So I guess I'd be interested in just trading in this lemon and being done with it. I regret the amount of work and money we've poured into it, but no use throwing good money after bad.


So, I had a long talk with the sales manager at the local dealer, and he said they had quite a bit of leverage with Airstream and might be able to get some movement with them, and if not, a trade-in was a possibility. That was over a month ago, and I've called him multiple times since then. He says each time he'll get back to me in two or three days but has not yet done so.


I think I'm being ghosted.


So yeah, I guess at this time I wouldn't recommend Airstream to anyone. There are many Airstreams on the road that are decades old, so clearly at one time they were built to hold together.


But I dunno, perhaps the current generation has forgotten how to build trailers.


I'll continue this in one of the basecamp threads. I just wanted to update this thread, lest anyone thinks the story is over. It definitely is not.
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Old 02-03-2021, 10:50 PM   #51
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I’ve had my 2017 in for the fridge recall and the door recall. Other than that, it’s been great. Everything works as it should. The bed is comfy. It’s watertight. The air blows cold. The heater will cook ya if you’re not careful. It pulls easy. I even lifted it so it’s now an X.

Sorry for your troubles. I guess I got lucky.
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Old 03-24-2021, 06:58 PM   #52
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We've given up

I'd like to summarize where we are now and close out this thread. We've gone as far as we can go with the dealer, contacting airstream corporate hasn't done us any good, and discussions with a lawyer indicate that it would cost us more than it's worth to pursue legal avenues.


I've pulled the Basecamp out of the Airstream service department. It's in storage and will go to Camping World the end of this month for a second opinion on the floor. We will decide what to do then.


We are inclined to get rid of the thing, but I can't sell it with a clear conscience with the floor the way it is. So we're looking at getting it fixed by a third party (not Airstream) and then selling it outright or trading it in on a different trailer. (Not airstream.)


For a little while it looked like we might have a solution through Airstream. I had a long talk with the sales manager, I brought in all the service records, we went through all the issues we'd had so far, I pointed out, again, that the trailer had been in service FAR more than it had been on the road, and that for $32,000 we expected more from Airstream. At very least, a recreational vehicle that we could actually recreate with.


I pointed out that having the floor rot out less than 3 years after manufacture and less than 2 years after we had taken possession wasn't objectively reasonable. What, should Airstream owners expect to replace the floor every three years? Is that a reasonable expectation for Airstream owners?


I pointed out that according to this very forum plus videos on youtube and other sources, the floor rotting out under the refrigerator on 2017 and 2018 Basecamps was a fairly common occurrence, and seemed to be related to the venting of the electric/gas refrigerator, partially fixed in mid-2019 by converting to an all-electric fridge, and further mitigated in 2021 by switching to a composite floor material. (Something that didn't dissolve when it got damp.)


As an aside, we had gotten the warranty service done on the refrigerator. As I understand it (I don't have all the details) it had to do with increasing the airflow around the refrigerator to deal with not getting cold enough while on propane. This was not meant to deal with water getting in under the fridge.


I said my wife would be willing to trade in the 2017 for a late-2019 or later model if the price was right. Keeping in mind we hadn't put hardly any miles or time on the current trailer. We're still on the first bottle of propane since we bought the thing in 2018.


So, keeping in mind wife purchased the trailer for $32K in 2018, what could they do?


He said it so happens they had a 2021 Basecamp 16 where the original buyers had backed out of the deal, and he'd work up some numbers on a trade-in.


He called back two days later, and said that with trade-in, the cost on the new Basecamp would be $30,000.


I said, so let me get this straight, we bought an Airstream for thirty grand in 2018, and WITH TRADE IN on the same model, the current price would be thirty grand. So essentially we'd have to buy the trailer over again?


Well, he said, they had to discount the old trailer heavily due to all the problems it had and because of the rotting floor.



I didn't know what to say to that. At that point, I felt like Airstream has given us a good hefty boot to the ribs after we're down.


So yeah, no, we're not doing that.


At this point I don't really have any long term goals, just taking things one step at a time. The next step is to get it to a third party for a second opinion on the floor. And then we'll decide our next move.


The problem with keeping the trailer is that we've been at the point at least twice before where we thought we had everything fixed and could finally begin to enjoy our trailer, when something else would crop up. There are no guarantees that replacing the floor will be the last significant problem. It only means we don't know what the next problem will be.


So, although, for instance, replacing the floor with a composite and swapping out the problematic fridge for an all electric model would solve the CURRENT problems, there's no way of knowing whether the trailer will continue to hold together.


The last time we had it out, the container for the blackwater tube just fell off BANG on the freeway. I recovered it and it wasn't too badly damaged, just scuffed. The holes in the metal frame for the bolt holes had rusted out. This was in 2020 for a trailer built in 2017!


So I put it back on with high strength bolts and nuts, which is how it should have been done originally rather than tapping the frame, and cinched it down with red locktite. It's not coming off again.


But what's next?


Reading some reviews, example: the recent MotorTrend reviews on the 2021 models, it doesn't look like Airstream's attention to detail has improved much. Strikingly inferior fit-and-finish for such an expensive purchase. One comment, "if we had bought this, we would not have taken possession" stood out. This seems a common thing -- for Airstream to leave it to buyers to discover all the things that had not been done right, or had not been designed correctly. (#4 wood screws directly into particle board at stress points? Really??)


Since there are still really old Airstreams on the road, I have to wonder if they've just lost the ability to make trailers. Or that they've intentionally "value engineered" the trailers to this point and then just expect the warranty to cover anything that doesn't happen to hold together. I guess this keeps the service department busy.


Side note -- the first time I dragged the Basecamp to Service for three warranty repairs, there was a woman in there screaming at the service manager because the speakers in her 30 foot weren't working. I solemnly promised myself that I would not be that person. I tried very hard to be calm, to fix things myself when I could, and not make unreasonable demands. But this floor issue has just brought me to the end of my ability to cooperate.

Someone else mentioned that Airstream's strategy appears to be to just ship it, and worry about making it work later. I can believe that.



I'd like to thank everyone who responded, even the detractors. I learned quite a bit. I learned that I wasn't alone in dealing with this crap, and that helped a lot.


To the person that said maybe we weren't cut out to be trailer owners, if this is what it's like, then maybe we aren't. But you know... my grandparents owned trailers through most of my life, trading up twice, owning the last one, a 24 foot Ideal, for 20 years, and never in any of that time had a floor rot out. But apparently it's normal for Airstreams to rot out every three years. Hmph.


So, I'm not sure what else to do at this point except to try getting out from under this very expensive and very disappointing purchase. Wish me luck, I suspect I'm going to need it.


And lastly, I make most of my living in IT, and discovered somewhat to my surprise that airstreamsucks.org was available. So I own that domain now. I've not yet decided what to do with it.
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Old 03-26-2021, 06:21 PM   #53
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I long ago bought a truck camper from a small company that couldn't fix their mistakes, but at least they helped me get rid of it and I "only" lost a few thousand dollars.

I don't know if Northwood Mfg. makes something that meets your needs. They make Arctic Fox, Desert Fox and Nash. Our Nash is the cheapest model line, but has been far better made than our Airstream was for a lot less money. They even fixed a problem that became evident after the warranty ran out and I would guess it cost them several thousand to fix it. They, like you, are in Oregon. I understand another Oregon company, AM Solar, makes good solar panels if you're interested in that.

Good luck with whatever decision you make.
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Old 03-26-2021, 06:49 PM   #54
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Instead of saying Airstream, just say Thor.
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Old 03-27-2021, 02:08 PM   #55
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The whole ordeal is so outrageous that it is hard to believe.....
For your next move, you could run an ad in the most circulated printed media in the region, and maybe rent a billboard along the most travelled roadway.....that will get their attention. Outrageous......
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Old 03-28-2021, 04:40 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by AirstreamInc View Post
Hi roc97007,*

We're very sorry to learn about your experience so far with your Basecamp. Please send us a direct message with your contact information and the last 6 digits of your VIN so we can learn more and escalate this to our Customer Service and Technical Support team. We look forward to helping you get these things resolved.

Thank you.*

Directed at the rest of the group -- I've seen people get these messages. I responded with a direct message and never heard back. Has anyone actually heard back after responding?
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Old 04-07-2021, 05:23 PM   #57
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Update 04/2021

We got a surprise call from an Airstream corporate rep. He knew about the earlier issues we'd had with our unit but not the floor rotting out, or the frankly offensive "trade-in" offered to us by the dealer. (Essentially, trading our $33K trailer for another Basecamp 16 for an additional $30K, essentially buying the trailer over again.)


He said it looks like it's time to consider a buy-back or trade, but walked that back a bit when he discovered we were the second owners. He said that the point Corporate will make is that they can't be responsible as they don't know what the original owners did to it.



The points I made were as follows:


-- We bought it off the dealer lot, with warranty, in mid-2018. It had had a previous owner, but for less than a year, possibly only a few months.


-- In the intervening time between then and now, it's spent months in the dealer service center.


-- We've had very little use out of the thing since we bought it. Besides the weekend shake-down run after we bought it, we've had two short vacations, both of which were problematic. We're still on the first bottle of propane.


-- Airstream factory reps talk about the "five foot rule", a tendency of Airstream owners to trade up to a slightly large model for "five feet more space". And then trade up again. This is apparently a common thing. That said, this potentially leaves a significant number of pre-owned trailers on the dealer lot. Does Airstream corporate REALLY want the prevailing sentiment to be "don't EVER buy a used trailer from the dealer, as the factory WILL NOT stand behind it"?
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Old 04-07-2021, 08:18 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by roc97007 View Post




Does Airstream corporate REALLY want the prevailing sentiment to be "don't EVER buy a used trailer from the dealer, as the factory WILL NOT stand behind it"?
The reason you were contacted by the company is you are making your case online and the makes them a little nervous. They may think you will be grateful that they even contacted you. Check to see if the warranty runs with the trailer or ends when sold to a third party (you) before the warranty runs out to the original owner. People that are trained to reject claims can easily find ways to do it even if they are illegal or immoral. The dealer may have offered a short term warranty when you bought it and state law may have something for you. It is when you make the claim on a warranty that matters as to the date it ends. They cannot make you wait to avoid their liability.

But it may not strictly be a warranty claim. It can also be a product liability claim—such as poor design. A product not fit for use may be covered for a longer period by common law or state statutes. Given the money at risk here, you may need a consultation with a lawyer. With all the complaints about Basecamps, it seems there may be grounds for a product liability claim. Try to get money and then look at competitors made by a better quality company. I know the sexiness of Airstreams—we were captivated too until we had to deal with scores of problems.
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Old 04-08-2021, 06:00 AM   #59
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Does Airstream corporate REALLY want the prevailing sentiment to be "don't EVER buy a used trailer from the dealer, as the factory WILL NOT stand behind it"?
The problem with that mindset is that in reality it is always been as far from the prevailing sentiment as it gets--and both the dealers and the factory know it.
When I was looking at buying my used Airstream, I had chased several--they were always sold immediately after being listed. A common message from the salespeople I heard when calling, is that you have to be ready to move instantly when shopping the used Airstream market. Many(myself included) are wired to move to this market to avoid the original depreciation hit and think stories like yours are outliers and would never happen to us. I don't know if that's ever going to change?
I hope that someone in that situation--either the dealer or the factory--steps up and absorbs some of the cost of correcting your problem.......
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Old 04-08-2021, 11:06 AM   #60
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Quote:
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The reason you were contacted by the company is you are making your case online and the makes them a little nervous. They may think you will be grateful that they even contacted you. Check to see if the warranty runs with the trailer or ends when sold to a third party (you) before the warranty runs out to the original owner. People that are trained to reject claims can easily find ways to do it even if they are illegal or immoral. The dealer may have offered a short term warranty when you bought it and state law may have something for you. It is when you make the claim on a warranty that matters as to the date it ends. They cannot make you wait to avoid their liability.

But it may not strictly be a warranty claim. It can also be a product liability claim—such as poor design. A product not fit for use may be covered for a longer period by common law or state statutes. Given the money at risk here, you may need a consultation with a lawyer. With all the complaints about Basecamps, it seems there may be grounds for a product liability claim. Try to get money and then look at competitors made by a better quality company. I know the sexiness of Airstreams—we were captivated too until we had to deal with scores of problems.

I argue that at least part of it is a product liability claim. The floor under the fridge rotting out is due to two factors, (1) the floor plan putting the propane fridge in the front of the trailer instead of the side (no good place for the exhaust port) and (2) using a subfloor material that's highly sensitive to water. It's no secret that in mid-2019 they went with an all electric fridge in the Basecamp 16, and in 2021 went to composite subfloors in all models. The floor rotting out has been a problem with Airstreams their entire existence, finally solved in 2021.
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