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Question Of The Week

CPAP Solutions For the Road

“I use a ResMed S9 auto set with humidifier.  I’m very sensitive about clean power for my electronics, almost to the point of being obsessed.  I installed a Zamp CPAP Power System.  This is a 600 watt pure sine wave inverter.  I also use it to charge my phone and laptop.” – Dan Walinsky, 2012 Ford F350, 2015 Arctic Fox 990

“My CPAP machine uses DC.  I have to use a 110 to 12 volt transformer at home.  My pocket sized jump starter/charger had the adapter to fit my machine’s plug.  It’s the same size as my Dell laptop power port.  I use the 12 volt power port for the supply to my machine. It works great, even when dry camping.  Just read the label on your machine!” – Jason Miller, 1999 Ford F250, 2014 Arctic Fox 990

“I don’t use a CPAP, but my son does.  When he goes camping with us, we use my Honda EU2000i generator on Eco-throttle.  It runs all night and uses about one gallon of gas.  We do not camp in campgrounds typically, so a generator running all night is not an issue.” – Steve Standefer, 1996 Dodge Ram 2500, 2009 Outfitter

“Many CPAPs are dual power.  Mine works via 12 volt as well as 110.  I also use a deep cycle battery with an inverter.  I purchased two solar panels that trickle charge the battery.  I do not suggest using your vehicle’s battery as this can drain the power.” – Robert Byrne, 2014 Ram 1500, 2015 Runaway Slider

“I use a Philip RemStar, model 560P.  I told my HMO that whatever CPAP they provided had to run on 12V in an RV and this is what they chose.  I paid about $30 extra for a shielded DC cord specific to this model of machine.

One night I experimented by running the CPAP using its 110 volt regular cord and a 100 watt Duracell inverter, and it worked fine.  This is not very efficient electrically, since it takes 12 volt, makes 110 volt, and then the cord block makes 12 volt again, but it is an option.

My camper has no generator, no solar, and two 6 volt AGM batteries with a capacity of 220 amp hours.  Nearly all of my camping is dry camping and the batteries recharge when I drive.  The truck has a heavy-duty alternator.  This suits my usual style of not staying in one place very long.  I monitor the batteries with a small digital meter which plugs into the 12 volt socket.

Pre-CPAP, I did not know batteries should not be drawn down below 50%, which means that I have about 110 amp hours available.  On a recent trip, I spent four nights in one place, deliberately conserving on water pump use in order to have those amp hours available for the CPAP. The batteries still had a 70% charge after four nights.

My machine has a heated humidifier.  One way to conserve amp hours is to run it without the humidifier, but I do not find that acceptable.  My throat gets too dry.  Your needs may vary.  Also, I don’t have a heated hose.  One of those would draw more current.

The 12 volt cord is about 6-feet long, so it requires an outlet fairly close to the bed.  There also needs to be a place near the bed for the machine itself; the hose which runs from machine to mask is also about 6-feet long.  Camper designers would do well to keep this in mind.” – Karen Smith, 2006 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD, Tiger CX motorhome

“I use an AEIOMed Everest CPAP unit (100382), which cost $610.  This unit runs on 110 volt with AC power adapter, 12 volt with different mobile Power Adapter (100394) and came with one battery.

While traveling, I charge the batteries using the AEIOMed battery charger assembly (100417) and my 12 volt plug from the vehicle to charge my two batteries for the next night’s sleep.  Each battery lasts up to five hours.  I have two batteries.

I wake up when one runs out of power and just replace it with the other battery and continue sleeping.  The unit also runs on 115 volt using the power supply (100393) and charges the batteries.

It has a variable setting for different levels and has a ramp up program to start slow and then rises to the required pressure.  You or a technician can set the required level and ramp up.

I purchased this unit thirteen years ago and since then, they have stopped making the unit.  So finding replacement parts turns into a real challenge.  I am currently looking for a AEIOMed Everest AC Power Supply and Cord.  Please let me know if anyone knows where I can find one.  The machine still works on 12 volt and can still charge the batteries.” – Clifford Cizan, 2010 Ram 3500, 2013 Arctic Fox 1150

“Until now, I needed shore power for my old CPAP machine.  I now have a brand new unit that runs of 110 or 12 volt.  I was told that by turning off the water heater, and plugging into the 12 volt outlet, it should last a few nights on the camper’s batteries. They also recommended getting a small solar charger for helping recharging the camper battery in the day.  My machine is new, so I haven’t yet tried the new arrangement out.” – Jesse Taylor, 2006 GMC 2500HD, 2005 Lance 815

“My wife and I both use CPAP machines and we take them with us wherever we go, on the boat, and in the camper.  We use Respironics CPAPs with humidifiers.  The Respironics can be powered by 12 volt and there are cables that you can buy from Respironics that can be plugged into cigarette lighter plugs.

I have installed both 12 volt and 120 volts in the sleeping compartments of the boat and camper so we can use either source to keep us slumbering away.  If we are not plugged in to shore power, we do not use the humidifier heater.  This avoids depleting the one battery we have in the camper.” – Tom Surles, 2008 Ford F250, 2003 Northstar 850SC

“I got a CPAP machine in May and I use it with a 12 volt power supply instead the 110 volt.  My camper has two 6 volt Trojan T105 golf cart batteries and the machine still works even when the voltage drops below 10 volts.  It is absolutely no problem at all, and I live in my camper full-time.  In case the RV batteries aren’t strong enough, they recommend to buying one of those portable power packs with a built-in battery and 110 volt inverter.  I am using a ResMed machine.” – MP, 2009 Sterling Bullet, 2008 Okanagan 96 DB

“When I first started using a CPAP machine, I used a single group 24 battery, a 300 watt inverter and a ICON Premo CPAP machine without the heater (on airplane mode).  It would work for two nights without having to re-charge the battery.

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