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Question Of The Week

CPAP Solutions For the Road

Over three dozen readers shared their experiences and CPAP solutions with sleep apnea and CPAP machines, to go.  Here are their CPAP machine brands, models, and off-grid power solutions.  Does a CPAP machine stop truck campers?  No way.

This week’s Question of the Week was, “If you use a CPAP machine, how have you been able to take it with you while truck camping?”

“I have a ResMed S3.  They make a 12-volt power supply for this unit.  I run a separate power inverter to power it off the camper’s battery.” – Steven Sternberg, 2013 Silverado 2500HD, 2012 Palomino Maverick

“I was diagnosed with sleep apnea about a year ago.  Luckily one of my wife’s best friends runs a sleep clinic.  She prescribed the ResMed AirSense 10.  It has a humidifier as well.  I have been using this unit since January of this year.

My camper has two 12-volt batteries.  If the batteries are full, from either being plugged in, driving, or the generator, I can run the CPAP machine through a converter all night with humidifier and heated hose.

We rarely use campsites.  When we park for the night, I will set up our generator, but leave it off.  If the camper batteries deplete enough during the night, the converter will let out a high pitched squeal.  No one can sleep through that, plus I lose air to the mask.  When that happens, I quickly start the generator and let it run the rest of the night.

I have the Champion 3100 Watt Inverter from Costco.  I have actually been contemplating the purchase of a generator for several years, but the CPAP machine prompted me to get one.” – Bruce Neumann, 2006 Dodge Ram 3500, 2008 Okanagan 96DS

“With 12v/24vdc available by generator in the camper, we have no problems.  Most CPAP/APAP machines are 12 volt with a brick power supply.  You can get a battery clamp plug that you swap for the AC plug and run the unit off 12-volts.  A good battery can power a 12 volt CPAP for five to eight days of eight hour usage.  Some of the newer CPAP/APAP machines are 24VDC and require a different setup.

The battery should be maintained by multi-stage charger when not in use.  I recommend gel or glass mat (AGM) batteries so there is no acid to spill.  To save power, most units have the option to turn off the heated humidifier and use an inline HME humidifier filter to capture you breath moisture and return it to you.” – Robert McGrath

“I use the ResMed AirSense 10 Elite.  I just got my machine mid-summer and have used it perhaps three weeks, about half the time on shore power.

When I was not on shore power, I used a small 100 watt inverter in my truck and fed the machine with a light extension cord through the cabover window.  To reduce the power consumption for my inverter, and to reduce battery drain, I selected the humidifier heater “off” in the machine settings.

I have since purchased a 3000 watt inverter and will probably install it in the camper over the winter.  The output is the less desirable modified sine wave rather than the true sine wave that basically replicates AC shore power wave form.  The other thing I am looking at is adding a second battery to the camper.  While the batteries would be in parallel I might also add a series connection dedicated to the CPAP.  The power input to the CPAP from the converter with the unit is in the order of 22 VDC.” – Jim Elliott, 2008 F250, 2015 Palomino M8801

“I have a ResMed S9.  I purchased a 12 volt adapter, which was under $100.  The draw is very low.  I have been able to use the CPAP even when the battery has been on the low side.  I will not travel with out it.” – Matt Wiegand, 2014 Ford F150, 2015 Palomino SS-1251

“My wife’s CPAP machine can be powered from either AC or DC.  I also installed a 1500 watt inverter to convert DC to AC.” – Carl Mutschler, 2005 Dodge 3500, 2005 Lance 1181 Max

“My husband uses a CPAP machine.  I’m not sure of make and model, but he has no issues setting it up and plugging it in.  It just plugs into a regular outlet, which is in the camper.  He sleeps on the outer portion of the bed so there are no issues with the tubing coming from the machine.  It’s a non-issue for us.” – Selena Jones, 2013 Tundra, 2007 Sunlite

“I have a ResMed S8 that I just keep in the camper.  I run it through a Tripp Lite 150 watt inverter with no fan, so it draws less power.

We have a factory or dealer installed 85 watt solar panel and a group 31XT Lifeline battery.  We took a one month trip this last summer and dry camped for a week in Idaho with no problems, even running the Fantastic Fan during the day.  I think that having a good battery is an important part of the whole system.” – Chuck Currie, 1995 Ford F250, 2009 Lance 815

“I have a RemStar C-Plus with humidifier.  For the rare occasion we don’t have shore power available, we use a 300 watt inverter for the CPAP.  There is a 12 volt power cord available for the RemStar which would likely reduce the battery drain.

Since we rarely use the CPAP on battery, we have not found battery drain to be a problem.  The camper has two group 24 deep cycle batteries and a 2500 watt generator.  The batteries have had no problem powering the CPAP machine for the night.” – Bill and Sue Billyard, 2000 Dodge Ram 3500, 2008 Palomino Winter Creek 115RS

“I use a ResMed S9 with a HS1 humidifier.  I bought the 12 volt power supply and had a 12 volt outlet installed up by the bed.  It runs off the battery so no generator is necessary.  It works just like I’m at home and keeps the wife happy.” – Dave Padgen, 2010 Toyota Tundra, 2010 Lance 825

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