Do you or your partner use a CPAP machine for sleep apnea?

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CPAP machines provide an effective solution to obstructive sleep apnea, a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts.

We know many RVers use these devices, but we wonder how many. One concern with using the machine while RVing is maintaining a dependable source of electricity, which can be a problem. A few inexpensive RVs may not even have electric plugs near the bed, making it an extra challenge to use the machines.

What about you and/or your partner? Do you use a CPAP machine?

 

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Marion Runcie

I have received contradictory advice about batteries, so I don’t use my CPAP without an electrical hookup. We seldom travel for more than 2 weeks so we make sure we have electricity every second or third night. That is what my respiratory tech suggested because I faithfully use it every night at home. It is unpleasant to use without the water tank.
There is no doubt that I have sleep apnea. I am in BC, Canada , my doctor sent me home with a tiny oxygen monitor that attaches to your finger. It didn’t rule out sleep apnea so I was referred to hospital sleep clinic for overnight testing. That testing is all free, and my extended health plan paid for the machine. I never snored much. It was the silences (no breathing) that worried my husband and sent me to get help.

Steve Baker

I use a ResMed AutoSense 10 CPAP with a their 12VDC power adapter. When on shore power, I effectively have a UPS without buying one. As a retired electrical engineer, I won’t use an inverter to power a CPAP in the RV. It wastes a lot of energy.

It’s very inefficient to convert 12VDC from the house batteries to 120VAC and then convert it back down to the regulated DC CPAP voltage with an AC power adapter.

Inverters also draw parasitic current from batteries when there’s nothing connected to the inverter output. When boondocking one has to be diligent to turn them off when not in use so why spend the money for less efficiency?

I ran a fused 12V outlet (with USB) to the bedside by tapping into the hot side of the switch for the LED reading lamp in the bedroom. Without the heater and display running, the DC-DC power adapter cycles between 1 to 3 amp DC battery draw that varies in step with the inhale/exhale cycle.

vanessa

You can find the batteries and different types of cords online at many CPAP websites. Just google it. I get care from the VA and when I told them I was going full time they sent me the battery for my system.

Sherry Dawson

For my CPAP power, I have a portable Renogy Power Pack , which contains a 400 Amp hour lithium battery, and weighs only 12.3 lbs. I use it at night to run my CPAP and can simultaneously charge my phone and run my marvelous 12V Endless Breeze fan.

It has 4 USB ports (two 1.0A & two 2.1A quick charge); 2 DC outlets; a 12 Volt outlet; and a jump starter for a car battery.

I can recharge it via my 100W Renogy suitcase portable solar panel, an AC wall Outlet, or DC car charger (the solar panels provide the fastest charge on sunny days).

When not in use for the CPAP, it can be carried anywhere by its top handle, and can power nearly anything. When boondocking, I use it indoors or outdoors for fans, electric kitchen equipment, computers, phones, etc. But I do have to be sure I save enough power for my CPAP if I can’t recharge before bedtime.

I paid $400 for my 400 Amp Hour battery. You can find cheaper brands and lower amp hour ratings, but I consider Renogy the best quality for this battery and for solar panels, and I needed the high amp hours. Also, look for coupons and lower prices on this or other models, if you don’t need it right away. Today on Amazon, the 400 Ah model is priced at $419.

If you want to consider this very simple power pack for your CPAP and other uses, check it out at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0776LBL44/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Paul Goldberg

I have been a CPAP user for 26 years and an RVer for 17 years. I had a 12 vdc outlet installed near the head of the bed in each of three motorhomes. This allows me to void the 12 vdc-> 120vac->xvdc roundtrip when boondocking. My current CPAP requires 18v DC(!) so I had to buy a $125 power cord from Resmed to enable running off of 12vdc. There is a 120vac outlet next to the head of the bed should I choose to use it. There is also space under the edge of the slideout where the CPAP can sit even with the slideout pulled in. (2012 Phaeton). When we boondock in winter I run the furnace so gen and solar are needed to restore the battery bank in the morning.

Tony Sauer

I’ve been using a CPAP for over 20 years. Many are 12 volt with a 110 volt AC adapter, especially older ones. I leave an older model that is 12 volt (I purchased a 12 volt cigarette type adapter at Radio Shack but they’re also easy to find online). I found it refurbished online for $125 about ten years ago. I also take along my old one from home as a backup in case the $125 dies while on a long trip. Running in 12 volts DC directly, either one will run for four nights plus without charging the battery. They draw very few watts unless you had the water chamber and heater. I don’t use a water chamber on the road but I’d assume the heater would really suck a battery down.

My insurance did purchase a new CPAP last year and I noticed it doesn’t have the same simple 12 volt DC plug. I went online and found the manufacturer does offer the 12 volt adapter, even an optional lithium battery back, but both were pricey.

I always use mine plugged directly into 12 volt on the road in case there’s a power outage. I suppose having the lithium backup would be great at home for power outages as well.

Gene Bjerke

Snoring is not always “just snoring.” Heavy snoring is due to an obstruction in the airway, which can also stop breathing until your brain wakes you up due to lack of oxygen. My wife’s uncle died from sleep apnea.

That said, my CPAP, uses 24vDC and consumes 3.75 amps (add a little more for losses in its transformer). When not plugged in, I run it off a 110VAC plug fed by inverter from my house batteries. Two golf cart batteries in series handle the load easily.

We drive a Class B (Sprinter) and there is a counter right at the foot of the bed. The hose to the mask is long enough to reach my head at the other end of the bed. All told, no problems.

George Sitek

A bigger problem for CPAP users in RV’s is having a place to set the machine for use. After attending many RV shows, and touring the units on many dealer lots, we have found very few models that have large enough nightstands next to the bed for even one CPAP machine, let alone a stand on each side for two machines. Every salesman we questioned admitted this is not really an important issue to the manufacturers.

Tommy B

My wife was tested and a phone call received that said you qualify for a cpap. She really didn’t want one and started using a foam wedge under her pillow. No more snoring or restless tossing. Just good uninterrupted sleep.
Sometimes I wonder,how many are really needed or it because insurance Medicare pay for it?

Tommy B

My wife was tested and a phone call received that said you qualify for a cpap. She really didn’t want one and started using a foam wedge under her pillow. No more snoring or restless tossing. Just good uninterrupted sleep.
Sometimes I wonder,how many are really needed or it because insurance Medicare pay for it?

Terry Brown

I have a dedicated RV/Marine deep cycle battery for my CPAP. If I dry camp I use a 12 volt cord that plugs into a socket on the side of the bed. The battery is stored next to my 2 six volt batteries in the front storage. It was easy to run wire up to and under the bed. I check it religiously and frequently. Recharge it when in a powered campsite. Nice thing is if at home I can bring the battery into the house if there’s a power failure. Not all CPAP machines are 12 volt but many are. If I calculated correctly I have about 67 hrs of usage until 50% charged. That 8 days of worry free nights of sleep. I don’t yet have any solar ability to recharge.

Mark B

People, keep it simple. CPAP machines have a 110 volt transformer that sits between the CPAP and wall plug. This indicates the CPAP isn’t really using 110 volts, it is being changed to a different current/voltage.

The good news: almost all CPAPs can be plugged directly into your 12volt socket if you get the matching cord. Unless you sleep like Rip Van Winkle, your house or coach battery will run your CPAP all night (even two CPAPs).

Unfortunately, because the little receptacle on your CPAP is not standard from one brand or model to another, you have to make sure you get the cord that was made for your model. Expect to pay $17 to $35 for this cord. Order today!

Note: You may want to forego the heated humidifier when running off 12volt (if cord even supports) as that increases draw significantly.

Nanci

As we boondock frequently and the CPAP machine is a medical necessity for my husband he uses an excellent battery system: BPS super Cpap battery pack, C-100. Turning off the humidifier system allows the 2 batteries to go up to 4 days, although we usually recharge every day from the house or RV batteries. It has proven extremely valuable during power outages when at campsites too.

Tommy Molnar

We were in a state park campground once (no hookups at all) and this ‘gentleman’ pulls in, sets up his tent, and he and his family settle in. Come nightfall, he fires up his construction grade generator and it runs all night. This campground had your typical quiet time (10 pm to 7 am) but this did not apply to him (or so he thought). There are 20 campsites in this park. When I went down to the ranger’s office to complain, I was third in line, and there had already been several more campers before US. The ranger ended up telling this guy he had to either get a battery system – OR MOVE ON. There was a KOA about 20 miles away, and it was suggested he try ‘camping’ there.

Off the record, the ranger told me he didn’t care if you were on dialysis, you can’t keep the entire campground awake because you have a medical problem.

Irene Booth

My husband and I would love to boondock but how do we power our CPAPs? Becky mentions a battery. Where to find one? Thanks!

Becky Nicholl

My husband has used a CPAP for many years. When we do not have electrical power he uses a CPAP battery. We have found it wise to carry extra headgear so if a tear occurs we don’t have to hunt down and pay for new headgear. (Medicare pays for the equipment with a prescription.)

Mike Burger

Please check with Mike Sokol but they are electrical outlets, receptacles, or sockets you plug into. You don’t plug a plug/cord end into a plug. A plug is the male end. Sorry, just a pet peeve.

Don Schneider

A UPS for a computer system with a large battery capacity will keep my CPAP working even if we loose shore power. Turn OFF the alarm for power loss so it does not wake you up too.