Thousand Trails Memberships Ultimate Guide

Thousand Trails Memberships Explained!

Thousand Trails Memberships come in all shapes and sizes.

I’m not going to lie- it can be pretty difficult to figure out which Thousand Trails Membership is right for you. I felt the same way…

So, if you’ve ever wondered why so many fellow RVers are flocking to the Thousand Trails Membership program, with the promise of cheap RV camping and easy full-time RV life,, but had a hard time figuring out the details of the membership options… this guide is for you… and it’s fully updated!

thousand trails membership dashboard
Thousand Trails Membership Dashboard

Thousand Trails = Cheap RV Camping

Thousand Trails Membership is the entry way to cheap full-time RVing. With the promise of free access to Thousand Trails campgrounds across the country and in Canada, it’s easy to understand why full-time RVers love this RV camping membership program!

Have you ever wondered about what Thousand Trails is? Or how much a Thousand Trails membership costs? Want to know about what Thousand Trails Membership services are offered?

If so, you’re in luck because in this Ultimate Guide we’re going to walk you through everything you need to know about the Thousand Trails Memberships, how and why they promise cheap RV camping and easy fulltime RV life, and why becoming a new member might be right for you! 

In this guide my goal is to provide a detailed overview of Thousand Trails membership services, explain the specifics of their Zone Passes, detail the Thousand Trails Campgrounds, and explain the Elite Thousand Trails Membership upgrade for full-time RVers looking for affordable camping in the US.

If you know all this information and just want the details on the membership upgrades and how you can save big on camping- check out this guide to Thousand Trails Membership Upgrades!

Thousand Trails Membership Services? 

What is Thousand Trails

Thousand trails is a camping community inside the camping community! It’s a national camping club which owns and operates hundreds of Thousand Trails campgrounds and Encore RV resorts in the US + 1 in B.C., Canada!

Sometimes the individual parks are called ‘preserves’ and while each one is different, they almost always offer an electrical and water hookup for Thousand Trails members, as well as a number of specific sites for the general public. 

With that said, it’s good to know, some campgrounds also have sewer hookups, WIFI connections as well as additional site amenities like cable television.

Camping at Thousand Trails

Sites range from your standard tent sites, to a wide range of different sized RV spaces that can be fully paved, gravel, grass or a mixture. Many properties also have rental units like yurts, vacation cottages, tiny houses, and basic cabins that members can rent for a small discount.

Onsite amenities can include clubhouses, pools, and on-site recreation activities.

But they also have general amenities that include things like basketball and tennis courts, restrooms and hot showers, laundry rooms, campground stores, libraries, movie rooms and much more behind a gated front entrance which is manned by a Thousand Trails park ranger.

The system has been around since the 60’s and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere any time soon, which is great news for you! Because this one membership can decrease your camping costs to under $7 a day, it’s best you understand the different memberships and the basics of Thousand Trails Zones!!!

thousand trails membership discount link
Thousand Trails Membership Discount Link

My Thousand Trails Membership Story

After hearing several different people talk about the benefits of purchasing a Thousand Trails Membership with the ability to camp all year-long for close to FREE, we finally decided to get some additional details on the program, since to be honest- it sounded too good to be true.

How in the world can you pay one flat rate (have the ability to break it up in smaller monthly payments) and then camp all year-long with little to no extra costs- think about it!

It sounds like a gimmick something designed to grab your attention, take your money and leave you wanting more- but I can assure the Thousand Trails Membership is both real and full of value!

On an RV summer road trip to spend time in New York & New Jersey with family, we realized camping close to the attractions of New York City was going to be both extremely expensive and nearly impossible to actually locate.

We had already settled on what we found to be the cheapest monthly option we could find at a campground that was about 90 minutes from the city and only offered water and electric hookups. Not thrilled with our options and with plenty of time to mull things over I eventually came up with the best idea ever…

I whipped out my phone and went to the website to see what information I could find. To be honest the website was pretty basic as far as information goes and while it gave me some information I needed to get excited about the program it didn’t really provide the personal explanation of benefits I really wanted before pulling the trigger and forking over any cash for yet another RV camping membership.

So I called the Thousand Trial member services number listed on the website! Since they were offering a summer special of B1G1 Free on what they called ‘Thousand Trails Zones’, I wanted to make sure this was the deal I would be getting

The Thousand Trails zones would ultimately decide where we were able to camp during the year, so grabbing them up at a super discounted rate would allow us to purchase all the zones for far less than we originally expected.

What is a Thousand Trails Zone Pass?

A Zone Pass, also called a Camping Pass, is basically an annual membership granting the purchaser access to the Thousand Trails campgrounds that are included in their purchased camping zones.

There are 5 camping zones, Southwest, Southeast, Northwest, Northeast and Midwest.  Each having between 13 and 23 individual RV parks & campgrounds included.  

For one flat fee members can camp for absolutely free at any of the Thousand Trails campgrounds in their zones for 14 nights at a time! After staying for 14 nights you’ll exit the system for just 7 days and then are able to pop right back in for another 14!

We ended up getting the B1G1 Free special and gobbled up all the zones for a super discount! By using this option, we were exactly the same distance from New York City as before, without the $900 monthly price tag! And with the thousands that we were saving on this one trip I didn’t mind one bit!

I knew we would be enjoying so many activities and local attractions with the cash we were saving, that having to move the RV more often than ideal was just a trade-off!

Thousand Trails Membership Zone Pass Discount
Take $100 Off your Thousand Trails Zone Pass

The Zone Pass (Camping Pass) Key Points:

  • 5 camping zones
  • Annual fee of about $599 (includes 1 zone)
  • Additional zones can be purchased for about $59 each
  • Allows camping for 14 days in system at a time. 
  • Must leave system for 7 days.
thousand trails membership checkout
Thousand Trails Memberships Allow Monthly Payments

Benefits of the Thousand Trails Zone Pass

  • 12 months of camping without additional fees.
  • The ability to camp overnight at any of the campgrounds listed in your zone(s) for up to 14 consecutive nights, before you need to leave the system for 7 nights.
  • Hang out for ‘Day Use’ at properties even when you’re not camping there
  • 20% discount on additional campgrounds at
  • 60-day reservation windows either through the online members portal or with a reservation agent on the phone.

What Are The 5 Thousand Trails Zones?

Northwest Zone 18 Campgrounds


  • Cultus Lake Thousand Trails RV Resort Lindell Beach, BC


thousand trails logo
  • Leavenworth RV Campground Leavenworth, WA
  • Birch Bay RV Campground Blaine, WA
  • Chehalis RV & Camping Resort Chehalis, WA
  • Crescent Bar RV Resort Quincy, WA
  • Grandy Creek RV Campground Concrete, WA
  • La Conner RV & Camping Resort La Conner, WA
  • Little Diamond RV Campground Newport, WA
  • Long Beach RV & Camping Resort Seaview, WA
  • Mount Vernon RV Campground Bow, WA
  • Oceana RV & Camping Resort Ocean City, WA
  • Paradise RV Campground Silver Creek, WA
  • Thunderbird RV & Camping Resort Monroe, WA


  • Bend-Sunriver RV Campground Bend, OR
  • Pacific City RV & Camping Resort Cloverdale, OR
  • Seaside RV Resort Seaside, OR
  • South Jetty RV & Camping Resort Florence, OR
  • Whalers Rest RV & Camping Resort South Beach, OR

Northeast Zone 14 Campgrounds


  • Moody Beach RV Campground Wells, ME


  • Gateway to Cape Cod RV Campground Rochester, MA
  • Sturbridge RV Resort Sturbridge, MA


  • Chestnut Lake RV Campground Port Republic, NJ
  • Lake & Shore RV Resort Ocean View, NJ
  • Sea Pines RV Resort & Campground Swainton, NJ


  • Rondout Valley RV Campground Accord, NY


Midwest Zone 8 Campgrounds


  • Pine Country RV & Camping Resort Belvidere, IL


  • Horseshoe Lakes RV Campground Clinton, IN
  • Indian Lakes RV Campground Batesville, IN


  • Kenisee Lake RV Campground Jefferson, OH
  • Wilmington RV Resort Wilmington, OH


  • Diamond Caverns RV Resort & Golf Park City, KY


  • Bear Cave RV Campground Buchanan, MI
  • St Clair RV Resort Saint Clair, MI

Southwest Zone 18 Campgrounds


  • Pio Pico RV Resort & Campground Jamul, CA
  • Yosemite Lakes RV Resort Groveland, CA
  • Idyllwild RV Resort Idyllwild, CA
  • Lake Minden RV Resort Nicolaus, CA
  • Lake of the Springs RV Resort Oregon House, CA
  • Morgan Hill RV Resort Morgan Hill, CA
  • Oakzanita Springs RV Campground Descanso, CA
  • Palm Springs RV Resort Palm Desert, CA
  • Ponderosa RV Resort Lotus, CA
  • Rancho Oso RV & Camping Resort Santa Barbara, CA
  • Russian River RV Campground Cloverdale, CA
  • San Benito RV & Camping Resort Paicines, CA
  • Snowflower RV Resort Emigrant Gap, CA
  • Soledad Canyon RV & Camping Resort Acton, CA
  • Turtle Beach RV Resort Manteca, CA
  • Wilderness Lakes RV Resort Menifee, CA


  • Thousand Trails Las Vegas RV Resort Las Vegas, NV


  • Verde Valley RV & Camping Resort Cottonwood, AZ

Southeast Zone 23 Campgrounds


  • Hidden Cove RV Resort Arley, AL


  • Orlando RV Resort Clermont, FL
  • Peace River RV & Camping Resort Wauchula, FL
  • Three Flags RV Campground Wildwood, FL


  • Forest Lake RV & Camping Resort Advance, NC
  • Green Mountain Park Lenoir, NC
  • Lake Gaston RV & Camping Resort Littleton, NC


  • The Oaks at Point South RV Yemassee, SC
  • Carolina Landing RV Resort Fair Play, SC


  • Cherokee Landing Campground Saulsbury, TN
  • Natchez Trace RV Campground Hohenwald, TN


  • Lake Conroe RV & Camping Resort Willis, TX
  • Bay Landing RV Campground Bridgeport, TX
  • Colorado River RV Campground Columbus, TX
  • Lake Tawakoni RV Campground Point, TX
  • Lake Texoma RV Campground Gordonville, TX
  • Lake Whitney RV Campground Whitney, TX
  • Medina Lake RV Campground Lakehills, TX


  • Chesapeake Bay RV Resort Gloucester, VA
  • Harbor View RV & Camping Resort Colonial Beach, VA
  • Lynchburg RV Resort Gladys, VA
  • Virginia Landing RV Campground Quinby, VA
  • Williamsburg RV & Camping Resort Williamsburg, VA

The Problem With Just Having a Zone Pass

The Thousand Trails Zone Pass (Camping Pass) is a great starter option for those looking to move around the country up to 2 weeks at a time. If you’re planning a summer road trip or an endless RV trip up and down the east or west coast this option can help decreases your cost when your inside the system. The only problem is…

the time spent out of the system!

The Zone Pass requires 7 days out of the system before returning to another or even the same Thousand Trails park. That can really add up depending on where you’re located and what options are available.

A week at an RV park isn’t always offered at a discount from the daily rate, so that means you could be paying a ridiculous amount for those 7 days, blowing your savings!

Lucky for my family, just a few hours after buying our Zone Pass…

I realized Thousand Trails also offers membership upgrades!

So, for RV folks like myself who want more camping options, longer stays, more campgrounds and ultimately fewer restrictions, we can opt to upgrade our memberships to get exactly what we need and want!

thousand trails membership upgrades discount
Get $500 off your Thousand Trails Memberships Upgrades… on us!

For us this meant staying at campground for 21 days instead of the basic 14 days that the Thousand Trails Zone Pass allows and the freedom to go Park to Park without ever leaving the Thousand Trails system and the ability to book our camping reservations 120 days in advance to make sure we got the parks we wanted, when we wanted them!

Thousand Trails memberships have additional options to help you achieve all these goals and many more! This is called a membership upgrade- and if you’ll be utilizing your Thousand Trails membership to the fullest, as in you want to RV full-time and decrease your camping costs- you need to consider getting one!

So, are you looking for ways to save on camping this year? Do you want to start full time RV living but don’t think its affordable? Are you currently living in an RV, but would a way to enjoy cheap RV living without spending all your travel cash?

The Thousand Trails Zone Pass (Camping Pass) is a great start…

But we can all do so much better!

Keep reading to get information on the our top membership upgrade option offered by Thousand Trails and what benefits are included in each! If you want extensive details on all 3 options, check out this guide to Thousand Trails Membership Upgrades!

Thousand Trails Membership Upgrades

Once inside the Thousand Trails Membership system, you’ll realize pretty quickly that this is an RV secret for cheap camping! Not only have many people been utilizing this system for decades they also have been passing them down throughout their families from one generation to the next! How cool is that?

And once you have a taste of what the Zone Pass offers RV campers, you’ll want more benefits like longer stays- as you begin to see how Full-time RVing is both easy and super affordable if you camp with Thousand Trails!

Past the basic Zone Pass, there are 3 different membership upgrades that are offered directly through Thousand Trails-

  • Elite Basic (My Recommendation)
  • Elite Connections, and
  • Ultimate Odyssey.

They are all pretty similar, with the option to travel from park to park for longer times than the 14 days of the Zone Pass. The two Elite membership options allow for 21 day stays at a time while the much higher priced Ultimate Odyssey membership adds an extra week, bringing you to 28 nights at each campground.

Let’s take a look at these upgraded membership options and talk about the benefits they offer RVers looking for cheap RV living and travels!

So for us, having the option to stay for 21 days at one park before moving along is GREAT!

Thousand Trails Elite Basic Membership

This is the bottom tier of membership upgrades and just happens to be the one that most people I know have purchased, the one my family purchased and the one we recommend for most people we talk to. For this reason, I’ll tell you all the details of this one, then show you the difference between the two higher priced upgrades for those who think they are worth the extra cash!

The Elite Basic allows RVers to enjoy nationwide access to all 81 Thousand Trails Campgrounds from the east coast to the west coast and every stop in between! It allows members to make their camping reservations (online or by phone) 120 days in advance, which is great for high use parks and in snowbird destinations during the winter seasons!

In addition to the added benefit of not having to exit the park system, like with the Zone Passes, you can go Park-to-Park 21 days at a time and extend for 1 additional week, two times each year, for just $29 each time.

Of course, you still get the 20% off discount on Encore Parks and reservations made through, 10% off monthly reservations and sometimes seasonal deals, but you can also rest easy knowing your dues will be frozen at age 62 and you can have an inactive status for up to 5 years!

Thousand Trails Membership Upgrade Benefits 

  • Park to Park: You have the ability to go from one Thousand Trails campground to the next if you desire to get the most bang for your buck and never have to leave the system.
  • Longer Stays: If you prefer to set up and breakdown camp at a slower pace without the need to move every 14 days, this option allows you to use your membership to stay at one preserve for up to 21 nights consecutively.
  • Plan In Advance: Instead of the basic 60 day reservation window- you’ll have at least 120 days with the Elite Basic and up to 180 with the Elite Connections and the Ultimate Odyssey to plan your stays well in advance!
  • More Locations: Your membership includes all the Thousand Trails campgrounds plus some Encore properties and you also get an additional camping membership trial with RPI Camping for one year, that offers camping at $10 a night. (We really used this on long trips across country- where a Thousand Trails campground was too far from our stopping point.)
  • Travel Club Benefits: If you enjoy renting a cabin every once in a while, you’ll be pleased to know your Thousand Trails rentals will be 50% off with your membership! You’ll also get (5) 1 Week FREE Cabin rebate coupons that you can use yearly for even more savings!
  • Family Benefits: With your membership you can actually give away 4 Camping Passes to family members which will include all the Thousand Trails campgrounds for just $199 per year with a 5-year commitment! That’s a huge savings and a great way to encourage family to come camp with you…

Thousand Trails Family Benefits

Your Thousand Trails Membership benefits don’t just stop with cheap RV living for you, they extend to you family as well! With an Elite Membership you can ‘will’ 8 additional memberships that are identical to yours and gift 4 Zone Passes (where the dues start at just $199 per year)!

You can also offer up to 8 courtesy cards to your family members, granting them 3 weeks of camping per year for like $104. How crazy is that?

Thousand Trails Cabin Rental Discounts

If you’re like my family and love the RV lifestyle, but also enjoy time in hotels, cabins and other unique accommodations like tiny houses and yurts- you’ll love the fact that your Thousand Trails Elite Membership offers discounts on these accommodations inside campgrounds throughout the Us as well!

Grab a standard cabin rental at any Thousand Trails Campground and save 50% off the nightly fee! If that’s not good enough, your membership comes with a voucher to be reimbursed for 1 week in a cabin rental at a Thousand Trails Campground of your choice for the first 5 years!

And if you’re looking for more luxury type accommodations, book a getaway cabin for a flat discounted rate of just $85 per night.

Thousand Trails Memberships include RPI
Thousand Trails Membership Upgrades include RPI

RPI Camping Benefits

RPI Camping Membership is amazing! 

If you’ve never heard of RPI (Resort Parks International), today is your lucky day! It not only comes FREE with your membership upgrade, but it extends your travel past the US borders into Canada and Mexico!

This add on camping membership provides you with more cheap camping options to keep your RV living cost to the bare minimum at just $10 per night, when outside the Thousand Trails system!

True Story: We camped in San Francisco for $70 total! 

We used our RPI membership to the stay at the San Francisco RV Resort just south of the city for 7 nights while driving up the west coast on a summer road trip! When we checked in, we heard the guy next to us gladly pay over $100 per night for the same site we got for just $10 using this membership program! 

He ended up camping in the RV site right next us. Same size spot. Same great view of the water. Only we paid 90% less.

RPI is a wonderful travel membership that’s not just for RVers. They also offer discounted rentals on condos and cruises if you want to expand your travels. 

For RVers they offer 150+ additional parks you can use on the cheap!

How Much Does a Thousand Trails Membership Cost?

The prices for a new Elite membership will run around $7O00 for the Elite Basic. I know that sounds like a lot- but consider the cost of a daily or even monthly campsite and you’ll quickly see the HUGE savings. 

You can also easily split this up into monthly payments that will make your total monthly out-of-pocket cost around $200. One thing to note is that everyone gets a different deal, depending on when you buy! I’m not sure if it’s just based on your negotiations skills or what but I’ve talked to many people with memberships of all kinds and every last one was different from ours so plan to ask a lot of questions and try to negotiate!

We paid full price without negotiating at all, since we didn’t really know that was an option or what to expect! We also purchased our membership through the 1-800 number instead of working with a sales team that could offer some discounts, but that was our mistake. 

It doesn’t have to be yours!

We didn’t have a friend inside the system and a promo code, but fortunately enough, you do!

My friends Jim & Brandy from Thousand Trails handle all my Zone Passes and Membership Upgrade referrals. They offer a discount on the Zone Passes and at least $500 off the upgrades! They treat everyone I refer as though they were royalty and provide the absolute best deal around without the pressure like when you call Thousand Trails directly, like I did.

Contact Jim and Brandy Reneau
with Equity Lifestyle Services.

Contact Jim & Brandy about your membership options! Tell them Sharee sent you over and use the promo code Workamping! They’ll get you the best deal and make sure you’re all taken care of.

Call 770-622-4188 or email them at

Want Even More Camping?

thousand trails collection
The Trails Collection Add-on offers additional Camping

The Trails Connection Offers More Campgrounds!

So you tried the Zone Pass, upgraded to the Elite Membership and you still want more camping? If this sounds like you, then the Trails Collection might be a great option for extending your membership!

The Trails Collection is a group of Encore parks, where you previously have been saving about 20% if you wanted to camp at these facilities. By adding this yearly extension package to your membership, you can increase you camping options with an additional 110 RV parks and campground in the US for a flat rate of $299.

The Trails Collection can be added to any membership, including the Zone Passes and allows the buyer to stay at these locations for up to 14 nights at a time. Most (92) of the properties do not charge additional fees to Trails Collection holders, but at the ultra-popular locations, there may be an additional nightly resort fee required. With this add-on package, you will be able to book your reservations at the included Encore Parks up to 60 days in advance.

 Trails Collection Fine Print

  • Trails Collection doesn’t offer park to park like Thousand Trails membership upgrades. You will need to alternate going from a Trails Collection to a Thousand Trails Park if you want to ‘park hop’.
  • If you have a Zone Pass and stay longer than 5 consecutive nights in any park, you need to leave the entire system for 7 days before going to another park. This includes you original Thousand Trails properties.
  • Each park has a set number of RV site that are approved for use by Trails Collection members.
  • The full amount has to be paid up front for the first year. After that, it will be included in your dues until you cancel.
  • Thousand Trials will not offer a pro-rated amount on buying the Trails Collection. We waited until our membership renewal date in June to add it- so we would get the full year of benefits.
  • Just about all the parks in the snowbird friendly ‘sunbelt’ area that includes Arizona are age restricted properties. Reserved for members age 55+
  • To use your Trails Collection benefits, you must be camping in a self-contained RV unit. Properties may have restrictions on tents and other camping units.

Overall I think adding the Trails Collection to any membership is a rockin’ good deal! You’ll be saving thousands of dollars on camping fees by using it, and it adds some additional variety to the 81 included campgrounds offered by Thousand Trials.

One thing to note is that the extension had only been available for the past 2 years, and we did already see a $15 increase in the price. There has been no word on if increases will continue, be capped for current members, or just continue until it reaches the market threshold, but for the money you’re saving it’s still a terrific deal!

In closing I hope you’ve enjoyed this guide to Thousand Trails Memberships. The information about the program can sometimes be very difficult to find, and it’s a little frustrating to call the 1800 number and receive different answers from each person you talk to.

For this reason I know Jim & Brandy will continue to be a great resources for my friends and family and want to urge you to reach out to them with you questions regarding membership options. They specialize in Thousand Trails memberships and have the best, most up to date information available on top of offering the best deals available anywhere.

Enter your email if you’re interested in talking with them about your membership options and I’ll provide you with their email address and phone number so you can contact them immediately! I’ll also include a  special promo code to save big on camping with the promise of saving at least $500 on an Elite membership!

What About Resale Memberships?

The ultimate guide to thousand trails memberships
Ultimate Guide to Thousand Trails Memberships

If you’ve heard about Thousand Trails, you might have also heard about the possibility of buying a used membership called a resale. Resales are memberships offered by an owner who purchased it new and no longer needs or wants it. They are a great way to acquire a super cheap upgrade and for owners to off-load some of their unwanted memberships but don’t offer all the benefits of buying new, so beware.

It’s true you can grab a resale membership for a cheaper price than buying new, but at what cost??? Resale memberships are sold through a third-party vendor and offer many similar benefits to buying directly from Thousand Trails- but to be honest, they’re not entirely the same. I’m not going to get into the details of ‘resale memberships’ since these are SUPER complicated but i do want to let you know that reading the fine print and having everything discussed in emails or written communications will be key!

The company has been around for over 50 years, has had tons of different membership options over the course of that time, and if you plan on buying resale instead of buying new- my advice is BUYER BEWARE and DO YOUR RESEARCH!

Resale memberships are much cheaper than buying new, but they (in my opinion) are very complex to research and understand exactly what you’re truly getting. This one includes all the parks, this one doesn’t. This one includes 21 days with an option to extend to 28, but doesn’t include all the parks and you’ve got a high use restriction. This one is super cheap and seems to include only half of what the others are offering, but includes a much long reservation window… The list goes on and on. My best piece of advice for those going this route is to consider the following 4 pain points of resale memberships, before wasting your time:

  • Your membership may take up to a month after you buy it to become active. New memberships are active the same day, so you can use them for camping immediately.
  • You cannot finance your resale membership price. With new memberships, you can easily have the payments split up of a 5-year term- which for us allows us to camp for less than $200 a month!!!
  • Resale memberships are not eligible for resale. If you purchase a new membership you can most definitely sell it- if you find you’re not using it anymore and recoup some of the cash, you purchased it for.
  • Your annual dues never stop increasing! Members with new memberships have the amazing benefit of seeing their annual membership dues freeze at age 62!

Okay- so that’s it for this Ultimate Guide! If you found this information helpful, please take a moment to share it on Facebook, social media or by email with your friends and family!

Contact Jim and Brandy Reneau
with Equity Lifestyle Services.

Contact Jim & Brandy about your membership options! Tell them Sharee sent you over and use the promo code Workamping! They’ll get you the best deal and make sure you’re all taken care of.

Call 770-622-4188 or email them at

Other Thousand Trails Posts to Read:

Thousand Trails Membership Upgrades

Thousand Trails Campgrounds

28 Day Poconos Itinerary for Thousand Trails Campground Timothy Lakes

How To Enjoy A Month In Cottonwood, Arizona at Verde Valley RV & Camping Resort

Bay Landing Thousand Trails RV Resort

Gettysburg Farm RV Resort & Campground

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