CPAP on battery power issues? - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-07-2014, 08:09 AM   #29
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Name: Jorah
Trailer: Casita
Washington
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I agree that solar needs to wait until I can get the "proper" set up. Even then? Where we camp, shade is an issue. Heavily forested and secluded areas.
Maybe a generator? I don't know? It's a lot of money to only get used 3-4 days at a time 1-2 times per year. Otherwise we can just plug in.

It was particularly hot for around here, in the upper 90's, that week.

Driving to a "campground" to recharge isn't an option. It would mean a couple hours drive each way. We get pretty far out. It would defeat the whole point of camping, for me. I need a few days of... No where to go, no one to see, no schedules, no traffic, no cell phones, etc...

I am looking to convert over to a tongue mount. When I get better batteries. Purely for weight distribution. My Casita doesn't have a bathroom and likes to rock on the axle, if I don't get enough weight forward.
I'll be sure upgrade to an adequate gauge wiring when I do. To avoid voltage drop.

I appreciate everyone's insight. I think I've got an idea of what I need to do. Now I just need to wait until I can.
We're looking at one more camping at the end of the month. Only three nights. I'll try the 12v supply the first two nights then the inverter on the third. By next year I'll at least have better batteries, wiring and... Who knows?
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Old 08-07-2014, 08:36 AM   #30
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Where we camp, shade is an issue. Heavily forested and secluded areas.
... We get pretty far out.
If you are that far out, I'd be comfortable using a free standing solar panel in an open spot, somewhere nearby.
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Old 08-07-2014, 10:37 AM   #31
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Jorah, I know it's a big up-front expense, but if you swallow hard and go ahead and buy a little generator (Honda and Yamaha both have efficient, very low noise models with a few different convenience features), you'll be surprised at how many other uses you'll find for it. We live in the country and lose power from time to time (storms, trees falling on lines, etc.), and it's a comfort knowing it will only take a minute or two and we can fire up some lights, use the microwave, keep the refrigerator and freezer going, etc., until the power comes back on. If I need to work on a distant structure or piece of equipment, I can take the generator and power tools to the work site and get the job done faster with less sweat and grumbling. As far as our camper's 5000 A/C unit, our little 2,000W Honda generator starts the compressor fine on full generator power, then once the A/C is running, we can back the generator off to efficiency mode, and it purrs right along. In efficiency mode, the generator makes only about as much noise outside as the A/C compressor makes inside. It will be worth your time to at least check them out.....
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Old 08-07-2014, 12:16 PM   #32
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I know what you mean about getting out away from it all. If figure if I can't pee on a tree without worrying about "cover" from anything but our camper it's too crowded.

You might consider taking your volt meter, check the battery voltage after the second night. I think you want at least a small light or something on so you don't get a surface charge reading from the battery at rest. Voltage getting too low slap a jumper cable on and charge from the TV for an hour or two, remove cables and re-check voltage with small load.

Not fuel efficient or a good long term solution but having the jumper cables will at least give you an option so your trip is not spoiled. Deep cycle do not charge all that fast but if running vehicle at idle through a gallon or even two of gas gets you through the rest of your trip it might be worth it.
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Old 08-08-2014, 12:43 AM   #33
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War Eagle, we literally have no savings. We live from check to check. I do want to get one of the little Honda or Yamaha inverter generators. I'd like to convert it over to propane, too. We can get by pretty well without power or water (grid failure). But I worry about not having my CPAP. I will start saving for Batteries this fall. Maybe I can work out a 1000 watt suit case too? We have to be careful and plan ahead to buy anything. It took years to be able to by this trailer. It's been nothing but a little money pit ever since.
Solar would be nice. However in this part of the country, most the year, overcast and rainy is what we get. The 3-4 hours per day of direct sun we get in the deep woods won't work either. That's assuming it's not raining, we do camp in the rain. I put in for time off and I'm taking it. Rain or shine!

RogerDat, yep that's what I mean.
I'm thinking about a mod I saw on one of these forums. My truck used to be set up for 5th wheel. It's still got the 7-pin receptacle in the bed. I may modify a spare plug I have so we can charge the battery on the inevitable trip to town for ice or tampons (never fails every year, wife or daughter forget them). That way even with two 6-volt deep cycles. I can still have this big Interstate as a backup. The PO converted the trailer over to a 4-pin. I'll fix that when I relocate the batteries to the tongue.
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Old 08-08-2014, 06:24 AM   #34
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Maybe you could find a cheap, used battery to take for emergencies. Charge it up at home before leaving.
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Old 08-08-2014, 02:06 PM   #35
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RogerDat, yep that's what I mean.
I'm thinking about a mod I saw on one of these forums. My truck used to be set up for 5th wheel. It's still got the 7-pin receptacle in the bed. I may modify a spare plug I have so we can charge the battery on the inevitable trip to town for ice or tampons (never fails every year, wife or daughter forget them). That way even with two 6-volt deep cycles. I can still have this big Interstate as a backup. The PO converted the trailer over to a 4-pin. I'll fix that when I relocate the batteries to the tongue.
Just make sure the wire running back to charge the batteries is pretty heavy. 8 gauge works pretty well. Current only flows into battery due to the difference in voltage between charge line and battery voltage. Thin wire has more voltage drop so delivers less charge. Got a tip on the forum to check local scrap yards for the heavy wire, can be had there cheap compared to 57 cents a foot at big box store.

Wish I was closer, I built a frame to mount a small gas engine and school bus alternator on to charge my batteries. Going into the garage sale. Louder than a Honda that is for sure about like a lawn mower at idle, but it worked and I had the parts so I could afford it.

The fact that you were able over time to get the money to purchase the camper says that you can handle long term plan and delayed gratification. I'm sure you will figure out something that will work for you and get there eventually.

Until a rainy weekend camping is worse than a rainy weekend of chores at home or a Friday at work. I'm a gonno go camping.
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Old 08-09-2014, 10:48 AM   #36
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I use a Respironics CPAP. I can watch the current draw on the Trimetrics meter while in use. When I exhale the current drops way down near 1 amp, and during inhalation peaks about 2 amps. The average is what the real draw is. Mine is set at 14 cmwc which is a fairly high setting. The higher the pressure the more current will be needed to run. I do not heat the water chamber, just fill it for passive humidification.
On night 1 assuming my Number 27 rv battery is at 100%, it will usually be in the high 80's % in the morning. I can usually get 2 nights without charging. Don't just assume you need 5 amps continuous to run your CPAP.
Convert your lighting to led for good cheap power savings. I purchased some led's from china for cheap and installed them into the existing fixtures.
Another free thing you could do would be to take the tiny battery out of your wife's car and pack it with you. It would provide a one night extension for those 3 day trips.
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Old 08-11-2014, 02:48 PM   #37
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Hey Russ, I'm already running LED's. After learning more about batteries, since buying this thing. I will no longer be using regular car starting batteries for this application.
This weekend I'll rig up the "charging station" in the bed I mentioned earlier.
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Old 08-15-2014, 09:24 AM   #38
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One reason we try for an AC site is that I really suffer when I don't use my CPAP. Not to mention my Lovely Wife having to put up with my snoring. Here's a link I found for ResMed, the brand I have:

http://www.resmed.com/assets/documen...de_glo_eng.pdf

What they recommend is that you do NOT use the humidifier if you are on battery. Considering that this is mainly a resistive load, this makes a lot of sense.
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Old 08-15-2014, 11:53 AM   #39
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Good thread, looks like there are a lot of CPAP users out there. I have only tried mine (120V Resmed) for two nights through a 150W inverter (modified Sine wave) and the group 27 battery out of my tractor, which is the old battery out of my pickup. It worked fine but was in the sub-12V range after two nights. I did this just to confirm I could get by in a power outage and for short camping trips. The next mod/purchase for the old Scamp is two 6V batteries. I also need a new converter/charger to ensure that this nice new battery bank is appropriately charged. I already have a solar system (two 100W panels and MPPT controller) but have yet to get it all together. I think I got the cart ahead of the horse and should have bought the controller/charger and batteries first (and now I am broke).
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Old 08-16-2014, 12:23 AM   #40
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find your local interstate battery warehouse distributor, not a retailer, and walk in and ask for a blem. I've been buying group 31's for $45 for years and smaller ones like 27s are about $35. They're basically batteries that have a blemish, dented corner, scratch across the top etc.

I have one 27 that is now pushing 5 years this November, had nothing but great luck with them.
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Old 08-16-2014, 01:29 AM   #41
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find your local interstate battery warehouse distributor, not a retailer, and walk in and ask for a blem. I've been buying group 31's for $45 for years and smaller ones like 27s are about $35. They're basically batteries that have a blemish, dented corner, scratch across the top etc.

I have one 27 that is now pushing 5 years this November, had nothing but great luck with them.
Great info, thanks
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Old 08-16-2014, 06:22 AM   #42
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For used batteries try local home medical suppliers. The places that rent or sell mobility chairs. They often have gently used batteries that they have swapped out for owners. These will probably be 6 volt, which in a pair will better suit your needs.
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