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Camping with the CPAP
#1
I haven't been camping since I started therapy almost 2 years ago. I'm thinking about going for an outing this spring and would like to bring the machine with me; RemStar System One A-Flex.

Me and a few buddies would go out to the desert (Mojave) for primitive camping and would like to get some ideas from others that may have a setup to use their machines out in the wilds.

I've seen the portable battery packs for almost $300 but that's kinda pricey. I have a portable car battery jumper with a built in inverter, but haven't tested how long my machine would last. Or how about a car inverter. I usually sleep in the bed of my pickup truck when I camp, so I can reach an inverter to the truck battery, but I don't want to run the engine or wake to a dead battery. Any comments or ideas would be appreciated from others that may use a CPAP in the outdoors.

Sam
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#2
A vehicle battery will not last long at all. What you need is a deep cycle battery. These are usually called "marine" batteries.

There are a number of threads that cover this topic. We like to discuss it at great length! Bigwink

Do a forum search for "camping" and see what comes up.
http://www.apneaboard.com/forums/Thread-...rum-Search

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#3
Bring lots of filters!!! Sometimes I have seen an extra filter to use that is round plastic and it fits on the tubing.
:Using cpap then vpap since Feb.2013,
Kate
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#4
Hi sdm0964,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
There are a few threads here on the board about camping and CPAP.
Hang in there for more responses to your post and best of luck to you.
trish6hundred
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#5
(01-21-2014, 10:54 PM)sdm0964 Wrote: Me and a few buddies would go out to the desert (Mojave) for primitive camping and would like to get some ideas from others that may have a setup to use their machines out in the wilds.

I usually sleep in the bed of my pickup truck when I camp...

Primitive camping with a pickup truck?
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#6
(01-22-2014, 01:52 PM)JohnNJ Wrote: Primitive camping with a pickup truck?

Any time I give up a flush toilet, that qualifies as "primitive" for me! Grin
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#7
I think I might sleep in the bed of pickup truck in the Mohave too. Not a fan of poison snakes. Big Grin
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#8
There is a direct DC cable available for the PR System Ones to use. The battery will last a lot longer if you run the PAP directly on DC power rather than through a DC to AC inverter.

How long a battery will last will depend on the pressure you use and whether you have to have the humidifier.

I've had luck tent camping in the Lake Superior area in late May/early June with a portable car battery jumper with a built in inverter thingy from Sears. The battery container also has direct DC outlets that look like the DC outlets/cigarette lighters in cars. Using the DC cable, I've gotten as much as 12-16 hours of run time for my bipap auto before needing to recharge the battery. I was using the humidifier in ON mode , but my pressures are very low: Max IPAP = 8, min EPAP = 4. (That's easily enough juice for two nights of tent camping, and in a pinch I can maybe get a third night before recharging the battery since I often only get about 5-5 1/2 hours of sleep.)

But beware: If you really drain the battery completely, things will start acting really funky, really quickly. On last year's trip we had some quite cold weather (nighttime temps in the 30s; in the tent it was in the low 40s) and that took a real toll on the battery. And it meant the battery also took a long time to recharge, even though we were plugging it in at the ranger's station for the campgrounds we were in. On the fourth night of tent camping and second night after I thought I'd gotten the battery fully charged at the ranger's station, the battery went caput in the middle of the night. The machine went haywire and the wave form data file on the SD card was corrupted; so downloading data into Sleepy Head was impossible until I manually found and removed the offending corrupted file. The battery took several days to fully recharge after that incident.

Fortunately we were in a town campground in Grand Marais, MN and the campground management lent us an extremely long outdoor extention cord for me to run the BiPAP off a plug near the water pump and portapotties for the tent campground loop where our site was. We plugged the battery in at the campground's headquarters for 3 full days before we were off to another campground further inland. Fortunately at the next site, the battery worked properly.
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#9
Thanks for all the comments. I've been doing more research and gotten some great ideas. I'll post here later when I decide on a good solution.

Yes, JohnJN, camping in the Mojave is primitive whether it's sleeping in the bed of a truck or not. I don't like the idea of snakes or scorpions crawling into my bed at night. I don't have a shell on the truck. I put down an air-mattress and sleeping bag. It's great waking up in the middle of the night, look up and see the stars. What I mostly meant by primitive camping, is that there's not electrical outlets or bathrooms, such as at campgrounds.

Regards,
Sam
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