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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The Jayco Jay Flight SLX 7 183RB has these specs per their website:
UVW: 3075
Dry Hitch: 290
GVWR: 4150
CCC: 880

This looks very towable for a 2020 Ascent Limited with a 5000 limit and an OEM hitch with 500 lb limit. Most of the time it will be just my wife and I and two small dogs. I'm guesstimating that we'll end up around the 4150 lb actual limit in the trailer with our stuff: nothing too heavy coming along with us: a guitar, food, water bottles, etc.

I've seen mention of folks pulling a 154BH Jay Flight, which has a much smaller GVWR (3450) but would like to know what experienced towers would say about the 183RB that I've speced out above.

We're just getting started on our trailer journey and excited for this!

Bob
 

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I think that's a great choice. It's a couple hundred pounds lighter than what I tow, with a slightly lower tongue weight.
 

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Please don't rush your selection, be sure to check out all lines of travel trailers. I have well over a year into my research now and I would no longer consider many of the trailers I might have selected early on based upon what I know now. You can do better than Jayco, in my opinion. I, personally, was not satisfied with their overall quality, I thought that too many compromises were made to keep their prices low. This is true for many trailer lines, too many in fact. They keep the prices as low as possible to tempt you to buy right away. But is it worth it a couple of years from now when the warranty has expired and things go wrong? Travel trailer service is generally awful, you want high-quality right up front to avoid problems literally down the road.

You definitely get what you pay for with travel trailers, so please be wary with models priced too low (under $18K or so). They're very tempting, but quality is vital. Most look very nice when brand new, but the looks are only a facade, probe a little deeper and you find the build compromises and lack of quality. If you're going to travel all over the country, you don't need any quality issues ruining your adventures. No one is giving anything away, if a travel trailer is priced lower than you would expect, ask yourself what was compromised to accomplish that.

Nor do you need to go overboard and pay $40K or more for an Airstream or a Lance. These trailers are beautiful, incredible, and of very high quality, but unless you have deep pockets, the prices can be a bit much.

My best advice is to budget at least $20-30K for a travel trailer suitable for the Ascent if both quality and price are important factors to you. This is a decision you won't regret after many years of owning the trailer. Purchase from a reputable manufacturer with well-satisfied customers and few major quality complaints. Research this thoroughly before you buy. Never buy only on price.

I've been recommending the Winnebago Micro Minnie line to Ascent owners because these are overall the best I found after nearly two years of research. They're quality built from a highly reputable manufacturer that's been around for over 60 years. They include almost all the best features as standard whereas others charge more for them as add-on options, they're not cheap but reasonably priced, most models have weights that work well with the Ascent's towing limitations, and all but one model includes dual-axles for superior weight distribution, better towing, and safety. Their many models include enough floorplans to satisfy most people's preferences.

You should definitely check these out before making any final decisions. I'll be buying the Winnebago Micro Minnie 2106DS myself when I retire next year, so I'll be taking my own advice.

Whatever brand you choose, please place overall quality high on your requirements list. Research how they're built and the different materials and methods used. Check into each primary component, the HVAC Systems, the windows, the safety features, the floor and wall construction, the appliances and electronics, the tires and wheels, the axles, suspension, and chassis.

Once you know what to look for, thoroughly inspect every inch of the trailer for quality issues before you buy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Please don't rush your selection, be sure to check out all lines of travel trailers. I have well over a year into my research now and I would no longer consider many of the trailers I might have selected early on based upon what I know now. You can do better than Jayco, in my opinion. I, personally, was not satisfied with their overall quality, I thought that too many compromises were made to keep their prices low. This is true for many trailer lines, too many in fact. They keep the prices as low as possible to tempt you to buy right away. But is it worth it a couple of years from now when the warranty has expired and things go wrong? Travel trailer service is generally awful, you want high-quality right up front to avoid problems literally down the road.

You definitely get what you pay for with travel trailers, so please be wary with models priced too low (under $18K or so). They're very tempting, but quality is vital. Most look very nice when brand new, but the looks are only a facade, probe a little deeper and you find the build compromises and lack of quality. If you're going to travel all over the country, you don't need any quality issues ruining your adventures. No one is giving anything away, if a travel trailer is priced lower than you would expect, ask yourself what was compromised to accomplish that.

Nor do you need to go overboard and pay $40K or more for an Airstream or a Lance. These trailers are beautiful, incredible, and of very high quality, but unless you have deep pockets, the prices can be a bit much.

My best advice is to budget at least $20-30K for a travel trailer suitable for the Ascent if both quality and price are important factors to you. This is a decision you won't regret after many years of owning the trailer. Purchase from a reputable manufacturer with well-satisfied customers and few major quality complaints. Research this thoroughly before you buy. Never buy only on price.

I've been recommending the Winnebago Micro Minnie line to Ascent owners because these are overall the best I found after nearly two years of research. They're quality built from a highly reputable manufacturer that's been around for over 60 years. They include almost all the best features as standard whereas others charge more for them as add-on options, they're not cheap but reasonably priced, most models have weights that work well with the Ascent's towing limitations, and all but one model includes dual-axles for superior weight distribution, better towing, and safety. Their many models include enough floorplans to satisfy most people's preferences.

You should definitely check these out before making any final decisions. I'll be buying the Winnebago Micro Minnie 2106DS myself when I retire next year, so I'll be taking my own advice.

Whatever brand you choose, please place overall quality high on your requirements list. Research how they're built and the different materials and methods used. Check into each primary component, the HVAC Systems, the windows, the safety features, the floor and wall construction, the appliances and electronics, the tires and wheels, the axles, suspension, and chassis.

Once you know what to look for, thoroughly inspect every inch of the trailer for quality issues before you buy.
That Winnebago looks really nice. I noticed, however, that it has a Dry Weight of 3,980 lb, with a 360 lb. hitch. Assuming you add at least 300 more pounds (battery, propane, personal stuff) that gets you to a weight with a very small margin below the 5000 Ascent limit. That is what concerns me most about that particular model,

In general, though, I really like the micro minnie as shown on their website. Thanks very much for your thoughtful response! I'm curious, though, what you think about the weight concern I mentioned.
 

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If you want to save some money, buy used. The major manufacturers all use the same common Lippert Industries components. The pleather covered furniture ends up peeling in a couple of years. I've seen some amazing remodeled RVs done up by folks who can DIY. Most of these things come with depressing drab brown colored furniture and cabinets. If you're willing to buy a used unit, it's not super hard to repaint the cabinetry to the color of your choice and buy new furniture of better quality. A 2 or 3 year old RV will have about 30% or more depreciation.
 

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Yeah, on that note, there's clone versions to the Micro Minnies made by Keystone. Layouts are near identical. Weights are near identical. Model numbers are identical.

Here's their clone of the 1700BH

Here's their clone of the 1800BH
(note single axle instead of dual)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
After talking to the dealer again and spending a lot more time with the Jayco Jay Flight 183RB Baja model, we think we're ready to purchase it. I know all about what everyone says about taking time -- but the dimensions, the interior and some of the stability improvements (trailer hitch welded underneath), it meets our needs. I hope we don't regret it but when we've got it I'll be sure to post some pictures and specs for the examples gallery.
 

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That Winnebago looks really nice. I noticed, however, that it has a Dry Weight of 3,980 lb, with a 360 lb. hitch. Assuming you add at least 300 more pounds (battery, propane, personal stuff) that gets you to a weight with a very small margin below the 5000 Ascent limit. That is what concerns me most about that particular model,

In general, though, I really like the micro minnie as shown on their website. Thanks very much for your thoughtful response! I'm curious, though, what you think about the weight concern I mentioned.
The Micro Minnie 2106DS weights are fine for the Ascent. There's over a thousand pounds left for cargo and because it's a dual-axle, the 360lb tongue weight should be more easily manageable than a single-axle. I have no concerns about these weights.

The specs of the 2021 Jayco Jay Flight SLX 7 183RB however do concern me:

5520


In my opinion, 880 lbs max cargo is not that great and you'll hit the trailer's low GVWR at only 4150 lbs, well below the capability of the Ascent to pull 5000 lbs, somewhat wasteful of its capacity, but that's ok as long as you don't ever need it. It's nice that you can never come close to the Ascent's limits, but it's not great that the trailer's GVWR is so lightweight. That means its single-axle and chassis are relatively light-duty. Compare that to the 2106DS which has two axles, each rated for 3000 lbs and a GVWR of 5,500 lbs, well over a thousand pounds more capacity than the Jayco. This heavy-duty construction is exactly what I would want under my trailer for long excursions. I always prefer heavy-duty well-rated components and dual axles for longevity, safety, and dependability, especially if I'm far away from home.

Also, the engineer in me worries that a UVW of only 3270 lbs is too light for a 21' trailer. Build compromises had to have been made in its construction for it to be so lightweight. Additionally, the fresh water, grey, and black tank capacities are far too low for serious camping. All of this would have ruled out this particular trailer for me and I feel there are considerably better choices.

However, this is my opinion only, and for my purposes only and I realize others have different criteria when selecting trailers. I sincerely hope it works out for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The Micro Minnie 2106DS weights are fine for the Ascent. There's over a thousand pounds left for cargo and because it's a dual-axle, the 360lb tongue weight should be more easily manageable than a single-axle. I have no concerns about these weights.

The specs of the 2021 Jayco Jay Flight SLX 7 183RB however do concern me:

View attachment 5520

In my opinion, 880 lbs max cargo is not that great and you'll hit the trailer's low GVWR at only 4150 lbs, well below the capability of the Ascent to pull 5000 lbs, somewhat wasteful of its capacity, but that's ok as long as you don't ever need it. It's nice that you can never come close to the Ascent's limits, but it's not great that the trailer's GVWR is so lightweight. That means its single-axle and chassis are relatively light-duty. Compare that to the 2106DS which has two axles, each rated for 3000 lbs and a GVWR of 5,500 lbs, well over a thousand pounds more capacity than the Jayco. This heavy-duty construction is exactly what I would want under my trailer for long excursions. I always prefer heavy-duty well-rated components and dual axles for longevity, safety, and dependability, especially if I'm far away from home.

Also, the engineer in me worries that a UVW of only 3270 lbs is too light for a 21' trailer. Build compromises had to have been made in its construction for it to be so lightweight. Additionally, the fresh water, grey, and black tank capacities are far too low for serious camping. All of this would have ruled out this particular trailer for me and I feel there are considerably better choices.

However, this is my opinion only, and for my purposes only and I realize others have different criteria when selecting trailers. I sincerely hope it works out for you.
Thanks for the feedback, Jeff! I agree about the fresh water, grey and black tank capacities. Being new to all this, I'm not sure how far they will take me (my wife feels that we should be able to use the town water hookup when we're in RV sites. It would be nice to be able to go away for a full week or maybe more. What do you think we would need for that length of time?

Regarding the trailer weights, it seemed that the 80-85% capacity is recommended by a number of people on this forum, especially by Robert Mauro. Here's how I figured our needs:

Trailer Dry Weight: 3250 (which I got from the jayco website, not sure where you go 3270).
Propane tanks & battery: 100 (estimate)
Personal carry on: 250 (have read that typical is 75-125 lb per person, so this is for two people)
That brings it to 3600 lbs which gives us a lot of headroom if we want to bring more stuff and stay below the 4150.

Since the Ascent is apparently really good at handling sway, I figured we should be ok. I'm new to this, so please inform me if you think I'm off-base!
 

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The water and black tanks don't matter if you don't plan on boondocking. If you always go to sites with full hookups, you can dump onsite and never have an issue with tank capacities. If you do plan on boondocking however, tank capacity becomes critical. Now, you may be able to carry some extra water with you in your tow vehicle, or somehow get more water on the road. But how are you going to dispose of the black and gray water? Now some folks claim that it's ok to dump your gray water in the foliage if it doesn't have contaminants but that's a controversial issue. Some places absolutely prohibit it. If you do your #1 business out in the woods and save the black tank for #2, you can probably go for a longer time. But you're gonna have to figure out how to handle the gray water.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The water and black tanks don't matter if you don't plan on boondocking. If you always go to sites with full hookups, you can dump onsite and never have an issue with tank capacities. If you do plan on boondocking however, tank capacity becomes critical. Now, you may be able to carry some extra water with you in your tow vehicle, or somehow get more water on the road. But how are you going to dispose of the black and gray water? Now some folks claim that it's ok to dump your gray water in the foliage if it doesn't have contaminants but that's a controversial issue. Some places absolutely prohibit it. If you do your #1 business out in the woods and save the black tank for #2, you can probably go for a longer time. But you're gonna have to figure out how to handle the gray water.
That makes sense. We're most likely not going to be doing much boondocking at least right now -- that may change after we're more comfortable with trailer camping.
 

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The water and black tanks don't matter if you don't plan on boondocking. If you always go to sites with full hookups, you can dump onsite and never have an issue with tank capacities. If you do plan on boondocking however, tank capacity becomes critical. Now, you may be able to carry some extra water with you in your tow vehicle, or somehow get more water on the road. But how are you going to dispose of the black and gray water? Now some folks claim that it's ok to dump your gray water in the foliage if it doesn't have contaminants but that's a controversial issue. Some places absolutely prohibit it. If you do your #1 business out in the woods and save the black tank for #2, you can probably go for a longer time. But you're gonna have to figure out how to handle the gray water.
You can always grab an external/supplementary gray/black water tank if you're planning to dry camp longer than your 30 gal tank will handle. A 36 gal external tank runs ~$175. Similarly (assuming you have the weight capacity), you can bring extra water along with you.

That said, unless you're showering every day (and why would you? If you're the kind of person that needs to shower every day you are probably not the dry camping type) a full 30gal fresh water tank plus maybe a 5 gal drinking water cooler (we use an IceyTek one with a 10# ice block and filtered home water) will be more than enough for 2-4 people for a week unless you're camping in the SW desert in August. Bring along a couple of collapsible 5 gal containers to fill up in emergency situations if it makes you feel better, but you won't need them.
 

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The problem with carrying extra water is the weight. At 8.34 lbs per gallon, 36 gallons would weigh 300 lbs. You'd have to be very careful about where you place this water due to the low tongue weight and GVW restrictions of the Ascent. I think it would be tough to position the water tank directly over the trailer axle/s.

But you're right. If water is that much of an issue, you probably won't be boondocking with the rig.

You can always grab an external/supplementary gray/black water tank if you're planning to dry camp longer than your 30 gal tank will handle. A 36 gal external tank runs ~$175. Similarly (assuming you have the weight capacity), you can bring extra water along with you.

That said, unless you're showering every day (and why would you? If you're the kind of person that needs to shower every day you are probably not the dry camping type) a full 30gal fresh water tank plus maybe a 5 gal drinking water cooler (we use an IceyTek one with a 10# ice block and filtered home water) will be more than enough for 2-4 people for a week unless you're camping in the SW desert in August. Bring along a couple of collapsible 5 gal containers to fill up in emergency situations if it makes you feel better, but you won't need them.
 

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The question is, why come up with all these workarounds to insufficient tank capacities when you can simply select a trailer with adequate capacities?

People new to RVing often say they don't plan to boondock, but then later change their mind. There are some incredible parks and natural areas where boondocking is required that you shouldn't want to miss.

So, the next question is, why eliminate the option to boondock when you can simply select a trailer suitable for both RV parks and boondocking? Then you're covered for whatever you decide to do later on.

There are many excellent choices in travel trailers for the Ascent, there is no need to select one which has limiting inadequacies.
 

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Thanks for the feedback, Jeff! I agree about the fresh water, grey and black tank capacities. Being new to all this, I'm not sure how far they will take me (my wife feels that we should be able to use the town water hookup when we're in RV sites. It would be nice to be able to go away for a full week or maybe more. What do you think we would need for that length of time?

Regarding the trailer weights, it seemed that the 80-85% capacity is recommended by a number of people on this forum, especially by Robert Mauro. Here's how I figured our needs:

Trailer Dry Weight: 3250 (which I got from the jayco website, not sure where you go 3270).
Propane tanks & battery: 100 (estimate)
Personal carry on: 250 (have read that typical is 75-125 lb per person, so this is for two people)
That brings it to 3600 lbs which gives us a lot of headroom if we want to bring more stuff and stay below the 4150.

Since the Ascent is apparently really good at handling sway, I figured we should be ok. I'm new to this, so please inform me if you think I'm off-base!
You keep mentioning you're new to this and asking for advice, so, please forgive me if you think I'm being forward, but I do think you're indeed off base and making a decision way too early. Many people who purchase travel trailers often regret their first choice due to choosing one too quickly, often on impulse, before they thoroughly researched them. Choosing the right travel trailer requires putting in some real work. There are many pitfalls if you're not careful. You need to learn as much as you can about every aspect of the trailers and towing before you can safely make a final decision. And yes, there's a lot to learn. Until anyone gets past this prerequisite learning curve, they definitely should not be choosing either a tow vehicle or a trailer.

The chart I included in my post is right off of the Jayco website for the 2021 Jayco Jay Flight SLX 7 183RB so 3270 lbs should be correct, you can call Jayco to confirm.

The 80-85% capacity is a generalized ballpark number used to ensure a wide safety margin for all vehicles and trailers when the actual hardware is not known. It is a recommendation only, not a hard fact. It's already been proven that the Ascent can safely and comfortably tow up to its rated capacity, it appears Subaru may have included the safety margin into their specs.

If you owned a large truck that could pull 10,000 lbs, staying within the 80-85% range would be relatively easy, but for the Ascent with only 5000 lbs to work with, you might need to push that to around 90% in order to find the best travel trailers for the Ascent. I would feel comfortable towing a trailer with a GVW of up to 4500 lbs with the Ascent.

This gives you a lot of much better choices than the Jayco 183RB in my opinion. There are so many more brands and models to choose from with superior build quality and much better specs. Please do yourself a favor and thoroughly look into these before you make your final decision. This is a big decision, it deserves a lot of research and you need to go into it with as much knowledge as you can. If afterward, you still decide on the Jayco, then at least you've done your homework and have made the best possible decision for your needs.
 

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Boondocking usually requires extreme water conservation measures. These small lightweight trailers are not going to have big tank capacities. The biggest I've seen is about 30 gallons. If you've got a family of 4 or 5, that's not going to last very long. You may say, "well maybe I can carry some extra water with me." Water is 8.34 lbs/gallon. Even 30 extra gallons is another 250 lbs, and if you're fighting tongue weights, an extra 250 lbs is going to really negatively impact that.

Our trailer has an 80 gal fresh tank, two 43 gal grey tanks, and a 43 gal black tank. With 3 kids, it's tough to boondock unless we carry an extra 100 gallons with us. And then we have the issue of do we dump the gray on the ground to water the plants, which I'm generally not inclined to do. Now I can carry just about as much water as I want, since I'm towing with a F450 dually. But the Ascents have relatively light capacities, and with water being so heavy, it's a real issue unless you can really cut down your water use.

Also boondocking requires either a solar system or a generator if you want to run the air conditioning. A generator is going to weigh 60-105 lbs depending on the capacity. That's more weight you have to carry. I guess some folks don't mind "roughing it", but when it's really hot out, there's nothing like sleeping in air conditioned comfort.


The question is, why come up with all these workarounds to insufficient tank capacities when you can simply select a trailer with adequate capacities?

People new to RVing often say they don't plan to boondock, but then later change their mind. There are some incredible parks and natural areas where boondocking is required that you shouldn't want to miss.

So, the next question is, why eliminate the option to boondock when you can simply select a trailer suitable for both RV parks and boondocking? Then you're covered for whatever you decide to do later on.

There are many excellent choices in travel trailers for the Ascent, there is no need to select one which has limiting inadequacies.
 

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Boondocking usually requires extreme water conservation measures. These small lightweight trailers are not going to have big tank capacities. The biggest I've seen is about 30 gallons. If you've got a family of 4 or 5, that's not going to last very long. You may say, "well maybe I can carry some extra water with me." Water is 8.34 lbs/gallon. Even 30 extra gallons is another 250 lbs, and if you're fighting tongue weights, an extra 250 lbs is going to really negatively impact that.

Our trailer has an 80 gal fresh tank, two 43 gal grey tanks, and a 43 gal black tank. With 3 kids, it's tough to boondock unless we carry an extra 100 gallons with us. And then we have the issue of do we dump the gray on the ground to water the plants, which I'm generally not inclined to do. Now I can carry just about as much water as I want, since I'm towing with a F450 dually. But the Ascents have relatively light capacities, and with water being so heavy, it's a real issue unless you can really cut down your water use.

Also boondocking requires either a solar system or a generator if you want to run the air conditioning. A generator is going to weigh 60-105 lbs depending on the capacity. That's more weight you have to carry. I guess some folks don't mind "roughing it", but when it's really hot out, there's nothing like sleeping in air conditioned comfort.
Yes, of course, serious boondocking requires a lot of tank capacity. In regards to a trailer pulled by an Ascent, this would be limited to a couple of days. For example, on a long trip, you might find yourself between campgrounds and need to boondock in a Walmart parking lot, or perhaps you might want to spend a couple of days in a national park with no facilities.

The point I was trying to make is to try to choose a trailer suitable for an Ascent with at least minimal boondocking capabilities. Some come with 45-gallon tanks. Certainly it's possible to do better than 19-gallon tanks as on this Jayco. Tank capacity should always be considered even if never boondocking. The bigger your waste tanks, the less you need to perform the inconvenient and unpleasant task of emptying them even when staying at a campground.
 

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Agree. Tank capacity is always the struggle. I wanted to get a toy hauler with 160 gallons of fresh water capacity, but the resulting trailer weight would have forced me to get a class A non-commercial driver's license, which I did not want to do. Which travel trailer was it that you found that fits within the Ascent's capability with 45 gallon tanks? Does it have bunk beds? For a light trailer that's VERY good tank capacity.

Yes, of course, serious boondocking requires a lot of tank capacity. In regards to a trailer pulled by an Ascent, this would be limited to a couple of days. For example, on a long trip, you might find yourself between campgrounds and need to boondock in a Walmart parking lot, or perhaps you might want to spend a couple of days in a national park with no facilities.

The point I was trying to make is to try to choose a trailer suitable for an Ascent with at least minimal boondocking capabilities. Some come with 45-gallon tanks. Certainly it's possible to do better than 19-gallon tanks as on this Jayco. Tank capacity should always be considered even if never boondocking. The bigger your waste tanks, the less you need to perform the inconvenient and unpleasant task of emptying them even when staying at a campground.
 

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Agree. Tank capacity is always the struggle. I wanted to get a toy hauler with 160 gallons of fresh water capacity, but the resulting trailer weight would have forced me to get a class A non-commercial driver's license, which I did not want to do. Which travel trailer was it that you found that fits within the Ascent's capability with 45 gallon tanks? Does it have bunk beds? For a light trailer that's VERY good tank capacity.
It was a 21' Lance with an unfortunate very high price tag. You get what you pay for. No bunks.
 
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