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Old 07-24-2014, 07:47 PM   #81
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Interior Door Frame Damage

We have had multiple interior door hinges tear free from the pressed wood cabinet face frames. FR calls these frames "Lumbercore vinyl wrapped cabinet frames" and they look OK, but have no real endurance. Hardwood face frame stiles would be much better.

The following damage was while going from Orlando to Pittsburgh. In all cases, I repaired the damage by the same method. First I used a hammer to tap the puckered frame fibers flat with the rest of the stile. I then cut one or two toothpicks to the depth of each hole. Finally I superglued them in place, making sure I soaked all the torn wood fibers of the frame. When the superglue was dry, I screwed the hinge back on normally. This worked because the toothpick provided the bulk to fill the larger hole made by the torn out screw and gave the screw something firm to bite on. The superglue also held the torn cabinet frame fibers together.

The half bath sink cabinet door just fell off during travel. All four screws in the two hinges tore free. We think the door came open and then the bouncing did the rest. I know it was shut prior to travel.

A cabinet door above the main room couch had the upper hinge tear free. It was never left open, so it happened during normal use.

A Galley upper cabinet door was hit by the slide since it was not closed completely. The door knob was bent, the lower hinge torn off and the front face of the cabinet stile scraped. I used pliers to bend the hinge metal straight. I fixed the frame holes as described above. The scraped stile got covered by Gorilla Tape to hide the damage during travel. The bent knob was easy to remove and got replaced with a knob from the outdoor kitchen cabinet. The knob itself was undamaged, but the machine screw holding it was what was bent. A new machine screw fixed that.

The bedroom French closet doors are a major irritation. FR used standard home sliding door hardware to hang the doors and screwed the upper rail into an overhead backer board. The screws supporting the track have been working free and the overhead backer board is also loose. The doors are heavy. The bouncing at the front of the trailer has taken a toll. The first major problem was when the left side wall latch tore free. Then I found the backer problem. Now I see the lower track guide is not working well at restraining the lower edge of the doors. It is time to rethink how it is installed.
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Old 07-25-2014, 08:54 PM   #82
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Tracing AC Loads

Doing this is easy and just takes a little time. I had the trailer in front of my house and connected to a garage outlet via a heavy extension cord. With all AC breakers open, I connected a noisy tool to the outlet I wanted to identify. I then flipped breakers until I heard the tool start. I then moved through every receptacle and identified its source breaker. I found some interesting design points in these newer Blue Ridge trailers.

The galley area has three receptacles. Nicely, these are all off of different GFCI circuits so busy cooking should not trip them: the GFCI in the bathroom powers the receptacle at the end of the sink cabinet, the two under the cabinets are themselves GFCI outlets on different circuits. Overall, it is a well thought out arrangement.

There are four receptacle circuits. Well, actually three with the single GFCI receptacle under the microware cabinet being powered from the refrigerator circuit. Technically it is a circuit albeit small.

Each major load (refrigerator, converter, central vacuum, washer, dryer, microwave) has its own receptacle to make connections and upgrades easy.

Nearby receptacles are off of different circuits. For example, the outlet at the front of the table is off the "SO" slide out receptacle circuit, while the outlet at the rear of the table is off the general "Rec" receptacle circuit. The same is true for the receptacles on either side of the king size bed.

Here is the load table I created. The colored circuits (GFI, Kit, Rec, and SO) each have a separate breaker. All the other circuits power a single load, except for the Refer breaker, which powers the refrigerator receptacle and a single Galley GFI receptacle under the microwave cabinet.

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Old 07-26-2014, 11:33 AM   #83
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And you work fulltime? How do you get all this done and give us great information, :-)
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Old 07-26-2014, 12:09 PM   #84
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Nice chart, much better layout then the Rockwood. How many breakers do you have in that Blue Ridge? I have 6 outlets off of 1 15amp breaker alone in the unit. Good job
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Old 07-26-2014, 05:49 PM   #85
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I keep my trailer info in OneNote. One of the tabs is for draft posts. When I have a topic I want to write about, I start something there. When I have all the info, I turn it into something cohesive in a few minutes and then paste it into the forum software. I have a couple of hundred pictures of the trailer that I have taken since the trailer is often parked in storage. Most only mean something to me and would be useless to post. I intersperse these pictures to make the posts more understandable.

The table comes from Excel. Enter your data. Copy the range you want. Go to a document in Word. Click the Paste button in the ribbon, click Paste Special, select Bitmap from the list, and click OK. Once it is in the document right click the picture, click Save as Picture..., select the format type, type your filename, select the destination folder, click Save.

There are 14 circuits -- six double breakers and two single breakers -- in the eight slots.
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Old 07-26-2014, 09:24 PM   #86
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Towels

If you need new towels for your trailer, consider the Ikea FRÄJEN line. These have proven to be very absorbent and quick to dry. They are available in-store only. An unadvertised feature of the ones we bought is a cloth loop sewn into one long edge of each towel allowing them to hang securely even during travel. Recommended.
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Old 07-26-2014, 09:29 PM   #87
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120 Volt AC

Quote:
Originally Posted by gljurczyk View Post
I have 6 outlets off of 1 15amp breaker alone in the unit.
My brother's Sandpiper had every receptacle in the trailer off of a single 15 amp breaker when he got it. He rewired it for 50 amp service and split the receptacles into two circuits to relieve the cooking load. I am very happy with the 120 volt electrical design in our unit.
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Old 07-27-2014, 05:46 PM   #88
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Back to your spare tire dilemma. As I was packing our camperClick image for larger version

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ID:	59098 this morning to come home I noticed that the valve stem is facing out. Mine is a '13. Funny how they make little changes.


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Old 08-01-2014, 09:16 PM   #89
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Summer Camping Trip

We are back after 20 days on the road for the 2014 Epic Family Vacation. 3000 driving miles. 2500 towing miles. 19 camping nights. 1 hotel night due to a non-availability. 8 campgrounds. Lots of family. Jets, lots of jets. Good times. No major trailer mechanical problems, though several small ones like the hinges. The truck ran flawlessly, though it gulped down the DEF. More posts to follow.
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Old 08-03-2014, 04:47 PM   #90
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Slide Topper Damage

This was unexpected. While we were camping in Delaware last month, a line of strong storms moved through. This was the line of storms on 23 July that spawned the F-1 tornado that killed the two tent campers and injured so many at the Cherrystone Family Camping & RV Resort. For us it was a wind and rain event that we slept through with no obvious problems. However when I was rigging for tow, I noticed the bedroom slide topper was wrinkled when closed.

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When we got to the NAS Patuxent River campground, I looked closer and found that the ends of the topper fabric were still properly attached where the screws secured it, but the middle had been pulled out of the channel mounted on the side of the trailer.

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Nothing appeared to be broken or torn. I assume the wind caused enough flapping of the fabric to work it loose from the channel. When closed, the only indication was the wrinkled fabric. When open, the loose fabric sagged. No water got into the bedroom. The toppers really did their job to keep the debris off the slides when we were in those pine forests.

I have a fix planned, but first I need to get a small scaffold and some cotter pins.
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Old 08-10-2014, 08:51 AM   #91
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Storage Blues

I was all ready to bring the trailer from storage to the house yesterday to fix the bedroom slide topper. I got a very well-made scaffold from Lowe's that they had reduced the price on. My additional discount made it the price of a ladder. I just rolled it out to the truck, took it apart, and brought it home. This will also help with some home projects and then I will sell it. No one had the specific long cotter pins Dometic used to ship their awning units, so I will just use heavy tie wraps instead.

The first problem came on arrival at the storage lot. Once again, the battery was dead. This is after sitting for only a week. The Level-Up touchpad reported 9.9 volts. Once again I plugged in the truck to do a charge. The trailer has been in the lot for exactly a week so I know it was fully charged after three weeks of being plugged in or towing during the 2014 Epic Summer Vacation. With a dead battery, the truck cannot provide enough power to run the hydraulics to raise the trailer hitch up or to retract the jacks.

The only energized loads (that I know of) were the Level-Up and Alta remote electronics. The disconnect switch was open, and the fuses to the Furrion stereo and propane alarm were pulled. This is puzzling. I need to do a load test to see what their draw is, but it should not drain an Interstate SRM-24 battery in a week. I wonder if I have yet another unidentified phantom load. The battery date code is I3 (September 2013) which would be correct for the trailer build in November 2013. What I do not know is what was done to the battery before I got it. No plates were exposed when I added water two months ago. My poor storage experience has made me want two batteries, and I already have the second battery box. Looks like a reason to go shopping.

While plugged in and waiting, I did my usual walk around and found some new minor damage that looked like it was from the lot's lawn mower on the left rear. I washed the trailer after the vacation trip and before taking it to storage. I even hand rubbed out some water spots from that area so I knew it was new damage. I called the storage owner and they came over to check. We had a pleasant conversation about the repair. With my crunch back in February shortly after getting it, and some dents along the way, this trailer is rapidly accumulating damage.

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Old 08-10-2014, 05:42 PM   #92
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That Old Battery

One thing I noticed about that bad Interstate battery I turned in today. Before leaving on vacation, I had topped off the battery water. I looked today when I put it in the van. Three of the six cells had the same water level as when I topped it off, and three had distinctly lower water levels. I guess that reflected damaged cells not getting much charge during the trip.

We have a Progressive Dynamics PD9270 converter/charger so I am not concerned about the battery getting over charged. The pendant system mode indicator always showed a normal progression of states each time we hooked up. I hope the new batteries work out better. I had to add over half a gallon of distilled water to the two new batteries to get the electrolyte to the full level in all cells.
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Old 08-10-2014, 07:31 PM   #93
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We have a BR model 3025 and the battery will run down in just a few days also. I gave up and put a disconnect switch right at the battery. There is a cutoff switch in the storage area but not sure what all it really disconnects. I have one of the old fashion battery testers that checks the specific gravity. Let's you test each cell to see if all are charging equally. One last idea is Walmart has a great warranty on their batteries and if it goes bad within a year they typically just replace it.


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Old 08-10-2014, 09:22 PM   #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveBingham52 View Post
... I gave up and put a disconnect switch right at the battery. There is a cutoff switch in the storage area but not sure what all it really disconnects. I have one of the old fashion battery testers that checks the specific gravity. Let's you test each cell to see if all are charging equally. One last idea is Walmart has a great warranty on their batteries and if it goes bad within a year they typically just replace it.
I am planning on putting a disconnect at the battery as well. Only the breakaway switch will be powered when it is off. The disconnect switch in my basement cuts power to the inside fuse panel and converter. It needs to be shut to charge the battery when shore power is connected.

I bought two Wal-Mart EverStart MAXX 24DC batteries. They have two year warranties. I stayed with the Group 24 size so I would not have to change the battery box. I already have a second battery box ready to install.
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Old 08-16-2014, 08:29 PM   #95
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Slide Topper Repair 1

The first step in repairing our loose bedroom slide topper fabric was to get the Dometic slide topper installation and operation instructions (this is not our model but it is good enough) and awning replacement instructions. I only needed to do a subset of the steps to get the fabric tucked back into the awning rail. With the bedroom slide retracted, I set up a scaffold to make the work easier. I placed a ladder next to the scaffold for easier climbing.

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The green bumpers on the staging are pieces of a pool noodle.

1. Unrolled the awning half a turn by hand until the holes in the end cap aligned with the hole in the roller tube center rod (Dometic calls it the fabric roller tube assembly) and inserted screw drivers instead of cotter pins in the holes to take the tension off the fabric. I tried other materials, but they bent.

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If I do this again, I am going with cotter pins like Dometic shipped it. The metal must be thin and very strong. The front screwdriver came out twice so far and I had to catch the spinning hub and rewind the torsion spring.

2. Removed the two screws from the awning rail (#6-20 x 0.5") that kept the fabric from sliding off the rail. Dometic calls these "Tek" screws after the manufacturer, but they are standard stainless self-drilling screws.

3. Removed four of the five screws (#10-12 x 1.0" stainless pan head wood screw) that held each of the two bracket assemblies to the face of the slide. In the end, I did not need to do anything with the aft bracket as you will see. I removed the end cap retainer from the aft support rod so it would be able to slide off the bracket.

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4. I removed the last screw from the front bracket while holding up the front end of the roller tube with one hand. With the bracket free, I did a little juggling to get the screw and screw driver on the top of the ladder. I then slid the whole roller tube aft. The support arm slid off the aft bracket. The fabric and awning cord easily slid out of the awning rail. No wiggling or tugging was required.

I set the topper assembly down on the staging top rails. Note that my dealer used no caulk or sealant during their installation.

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Here is the awning rail without the awning. My dealer did not follow the Dometic instructions and installed the rail inverted to hide the screws. Good choice.

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5. With the topper on my driveway, I inspected the awning fabric, rail, and cord. The fabric is wrapped around the cord inside the rail channel. Here is the cord. You can see the hole from the front securing screw. It is actually a flexible clear plastic rod.

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Friction between the cord and the channel groove is supposed to hold the fabric in place. That did not work for us during this storm. There was no glue or mechanical means used to secure the fabric to the cord. There was a single staple through the fabric and rod near the rear screw, but that looked to be simply a way to keep things aligned during shipping.

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This is the topper lying on my driveway. It is wet from this afternoon's rain. I will let it dry overnight and finish the repair in the morning.

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Old 08-17-2014, 07:01 AM   #96
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Steve, the inside gas monitor stays on plus the relay panel for the remote. Like the car radio that requires some power for the memory.

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Old 08-17-2014, 05:18 PM   #97
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Quote:
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Steve, the inside gas monitor stays on plus the relay panel for the remote. Like the car radio that requires some power for the memory.

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I put the switch on the ground side of the battery since only one cable there. Zero drain while stored. I turn it on when pulling so brakes and such are powered but when parked between trips the battery stays charged. I turn the propane off when storing so monitor is not really needed.


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Old 08-17-2014, 08:27 PM   #98
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Slide Topper Repair 2

6. With the awning in my driveway, I did my best to get the fabric properly aligned on the roller tube. I then used some contact cement to glue the awning cord to the fabric and the end of the fabric to itself. I put some weight on the cord while the glue set. (After installation, I ended up with some wrinkles because I did not keep the cord perfectly straight. I can live with the result.) If I ever need to do this again, I will likely need to get a new cord. I do not think I will be able to get this one unglued. Of course, I hope to never have to do this repair again.

This is the repair I took the topper off the trailer to do. This was easy to glue. Use a waterproof glue if you do this.

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7. Made sure that the awning rail was clean. I also made sure the rear end of the rail channel was slightly spread to make the fabric insertion easier. I fastened the rear bracket to the slide face, sealing the holes with caulk.

8. With the DW helping from a ladder at the front of the awning rail, I slid the awning fabric back into the rail channel from the rear while standing on the staging. The awkward part was when I were first starting to slide the fabric through the awning rail. I rested the roller tube on my left forearm, guided the fabric/rope into the rail channel with my left hand, and supported the roller tube with my right hand. With it almost all on, I slid the right side support arm over the rear bracket. Once it was all the way on, I aligned the fabric with the slide and fastened the front bracket to the face of the slide, also sealing the holes with caulk. I then moved the fabric a little aft since the front roof gutter extension had a tendency to drip onto the awning instead of the ground.

This little cap has to be removed to slide the rear support off the bracket. It is there to hide the extruded end.

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9. I reinserted the two screws through the awning rail using the existing holes. I cannot move it any further back.

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10. Finally, I backed of the roller tube and removed the two screwdrivers that had held the roller tube's torsion springs. This step is very important to remember. Otherwise, when you open the slide, you will find the weak point of the awning since the hydraulic ram will win the battle.

11. I moved the staging and observed the topper's operation while I extended and retracted the slide a couple of times. It operated smoothly and easily.

Though a little cumbersome, the repair was not difficult. At least this happened to the smallest topper on the trailer, although it was the highest. I am not sure I would have done the long main slide topper just due to its length. I would need more hands.

While I did not take the rail off, I assumed they did not use caulk there either so I ran a bead the length of the rail on the top and ends. I will also caulk the rail on the other four toppers.

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Old 08-17-2014, 08:50 PM   #99
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Speaker Crunch

This is what happens when a speaker gets crushed by a slide.

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I managed this by taking down the bedroom front speaker while trying to see the satellite prewire provision to the roof vent. I never got to the wires, but I ended up tearing the roof material around the screws. I had not put the white cover back on when we hit rough roads on I-95 in NC and VA last month. The speaker came down from the ceiling and off the wires, landing on the top of the bedroom slide while it was retracted. I did not check before extending the slide. I was puzzled about the hole with no speaker to be found. It took me couple of minutes to figure it out.

Move forward four weeks. You can find almost anything on the Internet. In this case I found an exact replacement.

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Fixed.
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Old 08-23-2014, 09:55 AM   #100
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Lippert Level-Up 1

I am not doing any maintenance this weekend, but I thought I would do a series of posts with info I have been collecting or observing about the Lippert Level-Up system we have.

Lippert has a manual and lots of documents (called LIP Sheets) on their
website. Generally they are not the best and some a technical notes with narrow applicability. Since they have a variety or products, you have to understand which product each document relates to. There is also good a video explanation from one of their techs.

Lippert bought the rights to the six-point hydraulic leveling technology that is marketed as Level-Up in 2010. Some of the material in this series comes from their original marketing info which contained much more detail than what is available today. Info about actions and messages comes from operation our system. Anything with a "TBD" generally comes from Lippert, but lacks specific detail. Here is some of that early marketing material.
  • Features
    • Aluminum Leveling Jacks
      • Piston seal is aircraft quality locking T-seal.
      • Rod seal and double lip seal provide better sealing than competition's.
      • Foot pad has a 360° swivel, available in 9” and 12” diameter configurations, and can be easily replaced by removing one bolt.
      • Lighter than steel jacks with springs.
      • Weight (retracted full of fluid): 8K=13.68 pounds, 14K=16.36 pounds
      • Double acting pistons have no springs to rust, break, or pack with mud/ice/etc.
      • Fluid ports for the extend and retract action are on top of the jack for cleaner plumbing.
      • Teflon-impregnated jack legs help eliminate seal tears which lead to leaks.
      • Aluminum jacks are anodized to prevent oxidation.
    • Hydraulic Power Unit
      • Pressure balanced pump is more efficient than typical fixed side clearance pumps
      • External adjusted relief valves
      • 1.2 KW permanent magnet motor
      • IP67 rated starter solenoid (pump can be totally submerged in water and still operate)
      • Valve coils and pump harness plug connections are Deutsch connectors ensuring all waterproof connections.
      • Motor has manual override to allow operation with a cordless screw driver.
      • Solenoid valves have manual override to open valves and are essentially zero-leak.
      • Plastic automotive-type tank with large screw-in filler/breather
      • MILSPEC pilot-operated check (lock) valves
      • Flow divider moves 0.8 gallons of fluid per minute with a 95% accuracy rating as opposed to the competition’s 39% accuracy rating.
    • Fully Automatic Controls
      • Jacks level in pairs.
      • The hardwired Touchpad starts the Auto Level sequence and allows panic stop operation.
      • The Leveling Control and Remote Sensor operates using angular comparison to eliminate twist and minimize final height after level is complete.
      • Manual or automatic operation possible.
      • Dual sensor control system enables leveling with less jack extension.
      • Touch panel has a LCD screen to inform the operator of operations as well as system errors. Display can be customized.
__________________
2014 Blue Ridge 3715BH <- Read the saga
2013 Sierra 3500HD Denali CCLB DRW 4x4 Duramax w/ Reese 20K

USN Retired (26 years), but not Retired retired
Home Port Orlando
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