best rv converter

10 Best RV Converters To Keep Your Camper Powered

An RV converter converts 100-volt AC power to 12-volt DC power to charge your rig’s house battery and power your appliances at the same time.

In addition to ensuring comfort while you’re out traveling, having RV converters is also handy in those cases when you need to top off your house battery really quickly, something that a battery charger pales in comparison.

This is crucial in ensuring optimal battery health and lifespan, as over-depleting your house battery will lead to premature death.

If you’re looking for a good RV converter replacement, you’ve come to the right place. Here, you will find an in-depth review of the 10 best RV converter units, with something for every budget and power needs.

The novice and first time RV owners will also learn everything you need to know to make an informed decision, including the different types of converters, important specifications and buying criteria, as well as answers to common questions. 


What Does An RV Converter Do?

An RV converter does two things. Firstly, when you’re plugged into shore power, it runs the 12-volt electronics in your RV like lights by converting 110-volt household AC power to 12-volt DC power. The electricity provided by the converter substitutes for battery power, so you can keep things running without draining the battery.

Without a RV power converter or a sufficiently charged battery, you won’t be able to power these accessories, although you would still be able to run high-watt appliances that use AC power like air conditioners, oven, and hair dryers. 

Secondly, a converter charges your house battery when you’re using a generator or when you’re plugged into shore power. The difference between a converter and a battery charger though is that a converter charges the battery at a much faster rate than a battery charger, as a converter can supply a lot more amps.

While an average battery charger can push about 20 amps to 30 amps, an average converter can have an output of up to 100 amps. 

Furthermore, while battery chargers only charge the battery while you’re hooked to a power outlet, an RV converter can charge the battery while powering your 12-volt electrical appliances at the same time. 

Therefore, although technically you can live without a converter, having the best converter for RV will allow you to use your electronics more freely and top up your depleted battery in time. This is crucial to maintaining a healthy battery and thus maximizing battery lifespan. 

As over depleting your house battery will lead to premature battery death and possibly getting stranded in the middle of nowhere, and RV house batteries are incredibly expensive to replace, investing in the best RV converter might just save you money and time in the long run.

A side note: Since an RV converter can push a lot of amps, even when your battery is dead, you might still be able to use the 12-volt electronics inside your rig as long as you’re plugged into shore power. Not all converters can do this though.

But with a model that can, this means that if you have an old rig with a dead battery that you plan to put in your backyard as a home office, for instance, you won’t need to spend all that money to replace the expensive battery bank just to power the lights and other accessories. 

best rv converter
Photo: Getty Images

10 Best Converters for RV: In-Depth Review

Without further ado, let’s dive right into the 2022-updated top 10 RV converter reviews, all of which offer the best functionality at its price range.

This list includes a variety in terms of type, price size and features to suit different power requirements and camping settings. If you don’t know what to look for yet, skip to the next section to familiarize yourself with crucial specifications and buying criteria.

1. Best Overall For All Battery Type and Budget: Powermax PM3 Series Converter Charger

Powermax 110 Volt to 12 Volt DC Power Supply Converter Charger for Rv


  • Amperage: 55A
  • Wattage: 980W
  • Fixed output mode voltage can be set between 13.0V to 16.5V DC
  • 3 stage charging
  • Can be wired in series or parallel for higher outputs
  • Compatible with all battery type
  • Quiet cooling fan
  • Reverse polarity, overload and thermal protection

Why we love it:

If you own a small to medium size home on wheels, this Powermax PM3 Series power converter will be the best RV converter for most campers with average power needs. Rated at 55 amps and 980 watts, this converter can quickly restore a deep cycle battery bank to full charge and keep your appliances running. 

It is sufficient for powering various 12 volt DC electronics, including water heater, water pump, refrigerator, furnace, exhaust fan, USB outlets and lighting. If you want higher power output, the great news is this converter can easily be wired in series or parallel to meet higher than average power demand. This capacity coupled with the fact that this converter can be used to charge any battery type largely contributes to the unit’s reputation as the best converter for RV that can meet different battery setup and camping needs. Also note that the PowerMax PM3 Series are available in a wide range of amperage sizes, and the 24V, 48V versions can fit every power requirement. 

With Powermax’s state of the art 3 Stage Smart Charging and adjustable power supply modes, this PM3 Series 55 amp power converter charger is engineered to effectively charge and maintain as well as condition any battery type while providing very clean DC Power. 

This 3 stage charging is not as optimal as a 4 stage charging in terms of maximizing battery life and maintaining charge, but it’s by far satisfactory, especially at this price point. If you own a small to medium size RV or cabin, this converter can fully charge two deep cycle batteries in about 2 to 3 hours.

I love how this inverter puts out very little heat and the fan only runs periodically for a minute and then shuts off. The inverter makes no sounds except while the fan is running. Another plus is that it comes with various safety features, including reverse polarity, overload and thermal protection. This converter will reliably and safely power the most sensitive appliances in your rig. 

Overall, there’s nothing to complain about this converter. And while the average price for the best RV power converter these days falls around $200 to $250, this unit only costs just under $150, so it makes an excellent option for campers looking for something affordable.

2. Best 4 Stage Charging Converter: Progressive Dynamics PD4645V Inteli-Power 4600 Series 45 Amp Converter

Progressive Dynamics PD4645V Inteli-Power 4600 Series Converter/Charger


  • Amperage: 45A
  • Wattage: 725W
  • 4 stage charging
  • Electronic current limiting, high and low voltage protection, reverse polarity and thermal protection 
  • Intelligent variable speed cooling fan
  • 2 year limited warranty

Why we love it:

If you are willing to spend almost double the price of the above bestseller from PowerMax PM3 Series to give your house battery the most optimal charging possible, the PD4645V converter from Progressive Dynamics will be the absolute best RV converter, period. 

It’s a fact that while buyers are more lenient toward cheaper products, they tend to be much more critical the more expensive a product is. At almost $300, this converter is surely on the pricey side of RV converters, yet this Progressive Dynamics PD4645V still earned a stellar 4.7 stars overall rating on Amazon. This shows that this product really delivers on its promises.

Firstly, the major advantage that made this unit’s name is its smart 4 stage charging, which is optimal for deep cycle batteries. This multi stage charging is capable of quickly charging a depleted house battery to full charge and maintaining its charge while also conditioning the battery. 

I do find that this converter charges my battery very quickly thanks to high efficiency charging and maintains its charge for longer. In addition, other full-time RVers who have replaced several converters and battery banks universally agree that this converter noticeably increases the serviceable life of their expensive battery pack. As such, if you have a large, complicated and expensive battery setup, this will be the best camper power converter for you, and its price is well justified.

Rated at 45 amps and 725 watts, this converter can handle the power needs of most RVs. If you want more, you can upgrade to the PD4655 model in the same 4600 Series that offers 55 amps and 950 watts. Furthermore, this converter will protect your most sensitive appliances from unpredictable electrical problems at the campground, with electronic current limiting, high and low voltage protection, reverse polarity and thermal protection, as well as its capacity to supply very clean filtered DC power. 

Last but not least, this converter runs very quiet and does not dissipate any noticeable heat. It’s also extremely straightforward to install and run. Overall, it’s well worth the money. 

3. Best High Output 4 Stage Charging Converter: Progressive Dynamics PD9260CV Inteli-Power 9200 Series Converter

Progressive Dynamics PD9260CV Inteli-Power 9200 Series Converter/Charger


  • Amperage: 60A
  • Wattage: 1,000W
  • 4 stage charging
  • Electronic current limiting, high and low voltage protection, reverse polarity and thermal protection 
  • Intelligent variable speed cooling fan
  • 2 year limited warranty

Why we love it:

If you love the previous converter from Progressive Dynamics but need something with higher power outputs, check out the PD9260CV Inteli-Power 9200 Series. Rated at 60 amps and 1,000 watts, this model is one of the best RV converter chargers for larger RVs equipped with more comfort appliances, suitable for campers with higher than average energy consumption. 

If the original equipment converter that comes with your RV does not have a power output sufficient for powering everything that you need, you will face a bunch of daily annoyances. For instance, the water pump is weak, the lighting is dim and the refrigerator always has trouble switching from propane to shore power. If this is the case, this PD9260CV Inteli-Power 9200 Series converter will be a major game changer.

With the PD9260CV model from the 9200 Series, you will enjoy all benefits that the PD4645V model brings. This includes the optimal 4 stage charging for optimal charging and battery lifespan, quiet operation with minimal heating and safety features. If you previously owned another converter that roasted your expensive battery pack, you will love how this converter quickly charges the battery without ever having to worry about overcharging.

Safety built-in features include electronic current limiting, reverse battery protection, high voltage protection, low voltage operation, and over temperature shut down to safeguard your sensitive electrical system while ensuring the converter’s long term reliability. 

In addition to its spotless performance, this converter is built to last, thanks to its solid engineering and construction. The PD9260CV model comes with a 2 year limited warranty. Countless seasoned campers have exclaimed that they would be more than willing to pay more than $500 for such a well rounded converter for RV.

4. Best For Flooded Battery/Large Battery Bank: Go Power! GPC-55-MAX 55 Amp 4-Stage Converter

Go Power! GPC-55-MAX 55 Amp 4-Stage Converter


  • Amperage: 55A
  • Wattage: 950W
  • Adjustable output voltage
  • 4 stage charging
  • Made for flooded lead acid battery
  • Most suitable for a large battery bank
  • Very affordable for what it offers

Why we love it:

The GPC-55-MAX 55 Amp 4-Stage Converter by Go Power! is another excellent choice that’s incredibly affordable for all the things it offers. The only downside to this well rounded RV converter is that it’s made for flooded lead acid batteries only. If you have this type of house battery, this model will be one of the best camper power converter for large battery banks of up to six batteries. 

What I love most about this converter is that it’s a breeze to set up and customize the voltage level for each charging stage to match the circumstances of my battery, my power setup and the outside temperature. This is also what sets this converter apart from the best RV power converters on the market. The voltage control lug and screw connection for the output wires is great, much more convenient to adjust than bolt and nut attachments. For instance, I find that my old battery, which has been replaced at this point, seemed to charge well at around 14.2 volts during the bulk charge stage while a higher voltage, say at 15V DC, is best for my brand new off grid battery pack.

As for other upsides, for under $200, you will get pretty decent power outputs of 55 amps and 950 watts, sufficient for most average camping needs. This converter efficiently charges and condition your battery for longer battery life with the optimal 4 stage charging. You will also notice a difference in how smoothly your appliances run when you replace your original equipment converter with this affordable but high performance unit.

5. Best High Amp Converter: IOTA Engineering DLS-75 Converter and Charger

IOTA Engineering - DLS-75 Converter and Charger


  • Amperage: 75A
  • Wattage: 1,000W
  • 3 stage charging
  • 2 charging modes: 13.6V and 14.2V
  • Suitable for flooded lead acid batteries, AGM and gel cell
  • Electronic current limiting, low voltage protection, reverse polarity and thermal protection 
  • Can be used with the optional IQ Charge Controller for automatic multi-stage charging
  • 2 year limited warranty

Why we love it:

If you want a converter with a high amp rating to quickly restore your large battery bank and a high wattage rating to handle larger loads, the DLS-75 Converter and Charger from IOTA Engineering will be one of the best RV converter chargers rated for 75 amps and 1,000 watts at its price range. This converter is suitable for flooded lead acid batteries, AGM batteries and gel cell batteries.

This IOTA high amp converter is not as popular as the first three options on this list, but it has achieved a stellar 4.7 stars rating on Amazon. It is loved for its capacity for efficient 3 stage charging and battery life extension. 

In addition, IOTA’s tight load control allows for clean conversion of AC voltage into steady and reliable DC power for your battery or load. By preventing erratic DC output, this converter allows for safe operation of onboard and sensitive equipment for optimal life and prevents damage or equipment shutdown from unexpected overloads.

It’s also extremely easy to install, a true plug and play unit for the novice. All in all, it’s a reliable and functional converter. Perhaps the only flaw is that during operation, the accepted cables of the screw terminals can become pretty warm. This problem would be improved if the units came with lug terminals instead of screw terminals on the DC side.

6. Best High Amp Converter with Adjustable Current: AIMS Power CON120AC1224DC 75 amps Converter & Charger   

AIMS Power CON120AC1224DC AC Converter & Battery 12V or 24V Smart Charger


  • Amperage: 75A
  • Wattage: 1,000W
  • Adjustable charge current control 
  • 3 stage charging
  • Suitable for lead acid, AGM, GEL and LiFPO4 batteries
  • Reverse polarity, over voltage, under voltage, over temperature, short circuit protections 
  • 2 year limited warranty 

Why we love it:

Here’s another excellent high output converter with 3 stage charging by AIMS Power for campers with higher energy needs. The CON120AC1224DC is suitable for lead acid as well as AGM, GEL and LiFPO4 batteries. 

This converter is rated at 75 amps and can  thus quickly charge a 100 amp hour battery in under an hour up to 90% capacity. Its 1,000 watts rating means you can confidently power more 12 volt appliances at the same time. 

What sets this AIMS Power converter apart from competitors like the previous high amp model from IOTA is its capacity for customizing charging current. The adjustable charge current control dial will allow you to safely charge smaller battery packs at a lower current or adjust it based on the circumstances of your battery or load or the atmospheric temperature. 

Other appreciated features include its reliable high-frequency structure that accepts a wide range of input voltages, from 70VAC to 145VAC, and handles unstable inputs to protect your sensitive electronics. On top of that, this converter also comes with a handful of safety features like reverse polarity, over voltage, under voltage, over temperature, short circuit protections, so you can keep things running with confidence. 

Overall, there’s hardly anything I can nitpick with this high output, high performance converter. It’s probably the best converter for RV out there with customizable charge current level for varying circumstances. 

7. Best For Large RVs with Many 120V AC Appliances: Parallax Power Supply  8345 45 Amp DC Power Converter/Charger

Parallax Power Supply  (8345 45 Amp DC Power Converter/Charger


  • Amperage: 45A
  • Wattage: 940W
  • 3 stage charging 

Why we love it:

Available at over $400, this converter is surely on the expensive side, especially if you just look at its power output ratings. This 3 stage converter is rated for 45 amps and 940 watts, which is not the highest, but the rare feature that really sets this unit apart and justify its price is that it is specifically designed to operate on 120V AC 15 amp branch circuits. 

This means that it will leave plenty of power for running other 120V AC devices, and this is what makes this Parallax Power converter the best RV converter for large RVs equipped with many power hungry residential appliances, like a luxury Class A or Class C motorhome.

Overall, this converter is reliable, charges the battery quickly and can expand battery life while protecting sensitive electronics. It also runs very quietly and coolly. The only flaw is that it is deeper than most converters on the market, which means you might have to relocate a compressor during installation for it to fit.

8. Best Deck Mount Converter: WFCO WF-9855 55 Amp Deck Mount Converter

WFCO (WF-9855 55 Amp Deck Mount Converter


  • Amperage: 55A
  • Wattage: 940W
  • Bulk mode voltage: 14.4V 
  • 3 stage charging 
  • Deck mount installation
  • Super quiet cooling fan
  • Electronic current limiting
  • Fully insulated DC connections

Why we love it:

If you’re looking for a replacement for a faulty deck mounted converter, the WF-9855 from WFCO would be the perfect choice as it’s comparable with many stock converters. This unit uses a 3 stage charging cycle to supply clean DC power to your electronics without any filtering from the battery. And with decent power outputs of 55 amps and 940 watts, it will keep your appliances running. No more dim lights or weak water pump.

This unit is incredibly easy to install. There’s a receptacle plug for 120V AC power and two connector lugs for the 12V DC power and a ground wire. That’s all to it, just plug and play. Another plus is that this deck mount converter does not interfere with any transmissions, including radio and television signals. 

9. Best Replacement Converter: WFCO Arterra 0318.1454 WF-8955-PEC 30 Amp Power Converter/Charger

Arterra 0318.1454 WF-8955-PEC 30 Amp Power Converter/Charger


  • Amperage: 55A
  • Wattage: 940W
  • 3 stage charging 
  • Output voltage: 13.2V float mode, 13.6V absorption mode, 14.4V bulk mode
  • Electronic current limiting, reverse polarity
  • Very quiet cooling fan

Why we love it:

Here’s another WFCO converter that’s comparable to most factory converters that originally came with your RV. It’s one of the best converter chargers for RV for those looking to replace their faulty or aged stock converter that can longer fully charge the house battery and keep appliances running. 

Its stellar 4.7 stars Amazon rating is attributed to its efficient 3 stage charging, its high power outputs of 55 amps and 940 watts, its capacity to supply clean DC power while protecting the most sensitive 12 volt electronics, and its plug and play installation that even the technical illiterate can handle with ease. Even my girlfriend can do it. 

10. Most Affordable Low Output Converter: P.I. AUTO STORE Power Converter

PI Store Adapter 12V DC Power Converter


  • Amperage: 10A
  • Wattage: 120W
  • Overheat, short circuit, overload protection

Why we love it:

Now if you travel in a Class B minivan or a teardrop trailer with minimal energy requirements, this under-$50 unit from P.I. AUTO STORE will be the best RV converter replacement for you. With an amp rating of 10 amps and a wattage rating of 120 watts, this converter is enough for powering a few LED lights, charging your smartphone or running an air compressor. 

It is affordable, simple to use and gets the job done. For the price, its safety features are nice additions, which include overheating, short circuit, over-voltage and over-charging protections.

How To Pick The Best RV Converter For Your Budget

Single Stage vs Multi Stage Converters

RV converters are primarily divided into two types: single stage and multi-stage units. A single stage converter is cheaper and often found on older RVs. It charges your house battery at a fixed voltage, specifically at about 13.2 volts. 

Such constant supply of voltage is not optimal for deep cycle batteries in terms of charging efficiency and battery lifespan. Furthermore, a battery might appear fully charged when it is actually not. 

Only a multi-stage converter can charge a deep cycle battery bank at a different and optimal voltage level during four stages, namely the bulk, absorption, float, and equalization. This four-stage charging ensures that the battery reaches full capacity in the shortest time and better keeps its charge. It also conditions the battery during charging and maximizes the battery life.

Furthermore, modern RVs now come with increasingly complex electrical systems with sensitive electronics and printed circuit boards. The best RV converter with multi-stage circuitry for charging would be the safest way to run these more advanced electrical systems. 

Wattage Rating

If money is no concern, this is where more is generally better, since a converter for campers that can handle more wattage means it can power more appliances at any given time. If you own a large RV with many accessories, you would need a high wattage converter. Otherwise, the minimalist campers with little power need can save money with a unit that’s sufficient for powering the most power hungry accessory in their rig. 

For instance, you only need to power one LED string light plus charge your smartphone and tablet and sometimes boil water using an electric kettle. The kettle would be the most power consuming item, with the average draw of the most energy saving models being around 1,200W. You might want to use the light or charge a device at the same time, and remember to add 10 to 20 percent more as a safety cushion. Therefore, you would need a converter rated for at least 1,400W. 

Amps Rating

The higher the amps rating of a power converter for RV, the faster it can charge a depleted house battery, so how high you should go in terms of amps output depends on your needs. Also, as a reference,  the most common size of converter for smaller RVs with lower power consumption is around 45 amps to 55 amps. Meanwhile, a converter that can push from 80 amps to 100 amps would be a safer solution for larger RVs equipped with a lot of electronics. 

Safety Features

Plugging into unfamiliar power outlets at the campgrounds can come with unexpected hazards. To protect your RV’s electrical system from these unpredictable problems, the best power converters for RV these days often come with a lot of safeguards in place, including protection from high voltages, short circuits, low line voltages, and unexpected power outages.

Battery Type

Note that some RV converters on the market specify that they are only made for a certain battery type, so if a model claims that it’s only used for lead-acid batteries, do not buy it if your house battery is AGM or lithium-ion batteries. 

Mounting Location

As for mounting location, there are deck mount converters and distribution panel converters. 

Deck mount units can be screwed to a sidewall or mounted anywhere that allows you to reroute the power supply, for instance, inside a compartment or a cabinet, or under a seat. 

Meanwhile, a distribution panel converter is, as the name suggests, installed in the distribution panel. This panel is what routes electrical power throughout the unit in every RV and includes most of the unit’s circuit breakers and fuses. The distribution panel can supply both 120 volt AC power and 12 volt battery power. This installation location will allow you to easily repair and replace your converter. 

How to Install an RV Converter?

Always follow your owner’s manual religiously to make sure your wirings are correct, but the installation process of a converter charger for RV should generally look something like this:

First, it’s absolutely essential to make sure your rig is not plugged into shore power and the power cord is disconnected from its accompanying outlet. If you use a generator, make sure it is turned off before proceeding.

Now, disconnect the house battery’s ground cable with a wrench.

Next, decide where to mount your converter. Note that RV converters dissipate heat, so you need to mount it where there’s enough air circulation and enough room for its cooling fan to function. Mount the converter using the side holes commonly located in the brackets or flared panels.

The next step is wiring all the electrical connections. This is where you must follow the instructions very closely as it’s easy to make mistakes. Remember that most converters will have four terminals in total: one will be for the house battery’s hot wire, one for the white 12 volt negative ground wire, and the remaining two are for the 110 volt wires that come from the shore power’s source. 

Then, reestablish the house battery’s negative connection.

Now you’re basically done. Connect your RV to shore power’s source and use a voltmeter to make sure the converter is working by measuring the DC terminal’s output. The voltage should be around 12-14 volts. Anything lower than that indicates a malfunctioning RV converter. 

RV Converters FAQs

How much does an RV converter cost?

The price range for RV converters is pretty wide. While the most affordable options will cost around $100 or a little below, the very best converter for campers can set you back by a bit north of $400. You don’t have to go too fancy though. There are quite many excellent options out there for around $200 to $250.

Do I need an RV converter if I already have a battery charger?

A converter and a charger both charge the battery when you’re connected to shore power, but only with a converter would you be able to charge the battery and power the 12-volt appliances inside your rig at the same time. 

So while some campers can live without having a converter, others who travel in a large group and thus have higher power consumption (since it’s more likely that someone needs to use something at a given time) would invest in the best converter for RV in addition to an RV battery charger. 

Furthermore, having an RV converter is convenient for those times when you need to charge the battery fast. The best RV converter can charge the battery much faster than a typical charger, as converters can push 3 to 5 times more amps than a charger. 

What size of RV converter do I need?

This really depends on your power needs, that is how much power your electrical appliances would likely draw at any given time. For smaller RVs with lower power consumption, the most common size of converter is around 50 amps. Meanwhile, a converter that can push from 80 amps to 100 amps would be a safer solution for larger RVs equipped with a lot of electronics.

Also note that the more companions you travel with, the more likely that multiple accessories are used at the same time, so a high capacity converter is needed to avoid draining your house battery. 

Should I leave my RV converter on all the time?

It’s best to turn off your converter after your house battery is fully charged, or else it could fry your battery. The best camper power converter for the forgetful campers is therefore a multi-stage converter with a voltage protection function. Such a converter can prevent the above problem by shutting off the converter when it senses that the battery has reached a certain voltage. 

How do I know if my RV converter goes bad?

If you’re connected to shore power and one or more of the 12-volt electrical appliances in your rig does not work, it’s likely that the converter is not working properly.

You can also use a voltmeter to check whether your battery is indeed charging. If the battery is not charging and your 12-volt accessories don’t work, then it’s most likely that the converter is bad. 

Another way is to use a voltmeter to check the DC terminal’s output. The voltage should be around 12-14 volts. Anything lower than that indicates a malfunctioning RV converter. 

How long do RV converters last?

Most RV converters on the market can last more than 3 years with proper use, with the best converter for RV easily serving 5 to 6 years.

What’s the difference between RV converters and inverters?

While RV converters convert 110-volt AC power at residential outlets or those at RV parks and campgrounds to DC power that your house battery and RV appliances can use, an RV inverter does the opposite. It converts DC power to AC power. Most full-time campers own both for power versatility when traveling.

Can a converter charger charge a dead battery?

If your house battery has really met the end of its service life, there’s nothing that can revive it. Most converters cannot supply power to a fully dead battery despite the “charger” part, but there are a very few models that can substitute battery power to run 12 volt appliances and accessories in your rig when you’re plugged into shore power, despite a dead battery bank. These converters typically can push a lot of amps, say 75 amps to 100 amps. 

Where is the converter in my RV?

If you’re encountering electrical problems like perpetually dim lights, weak water pump and weak water heater when you’re plugged into shore power, there’s a high chance that your original power converter is faulty due to old age and needs to be replaced. You will need to locate it to inspect and repair or put in the new replacement. 

In most RVs, the converter is located near the electrical control panel. Look for a small fan or vent near the control panel. The converter should be behind the fan or vent, which serves to dissipate heat from the unit. When all the noisy appliances are turned off, you might also be able to hear a light humming or buzzing sound from the power converter. 

If you still have trouble finding it, another way is to consult the owner’s manual or go to the manufacturer’s website.

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