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Off the Grid camping with a CPAP
#1
I am anticipating doing some serious (maybe initially -semi serious) car traveling and touring in the U.S. in my new Subaru Outback. The biggest issue I have is how to deal with my ResMed Elite S-5 Cpap machine that I use at a pressure of 10 (that relates to how much electricity (24V) it requires), every night. Most adjunct power supplying thingies I have found are VERY expensive and the manufacturer(s) seems to hedge their info on how long the CPAP will run based on how the unit is used. (I would run it without heat, or humidification just to get max. run time).

1. ResMed sells a battery unit that may actually power the Elite S5 for as much as 12 hours at the setting I use - but they hedge this info based on how old the batteries are, how cold it might be, pressure setting, etc. This ResMed solution is well into $720 bucks (expensive because it probably uses Lithium batteries (made in China and of flakey quality? ) Quality may actually be pretty good since much of the ResMed stuff seems to be made in Germany.

2. So if I get this unit - then I have to either do a lot of driving the next day and have my car's alternator recharge it (if, in fact, this can be done on this Lithium battery set) --- or go somewhere where I can plug it into 120 V-AC for two hours. Can't imagine spending two hours every morning drinking coffee at McDonalds or a Starbucks like joint while all of this stuff recharges.

3. So then what about solar recharging?? A solar panel of some as yet undetermined size and cost, attached to the roof of the Outback - now it could be charged every day whether I am driving or not. (obviously if there is no sun all day, that then gives me the opportunity to stay overnight in a motel or ridiculously priced KOA like place with power (for a tent sit, min. $35, often includes 120 V outlet, maybe).

4. I could also use a Converter (a device that will use the power of my car's battery (12V DC) and convert it to the 24V and Alternating (AC) current that the CPAP machine uses. Now I am putting my car battery at threat. Might work fine but it could also leave me with no battery power to start the car waaaay out in the boonies.

5. Guess I could then get one of those separate devices that has enough umph to electrically jump start the car (providing it's not too cold) and also pump up a tire should I need that. The converter (ResMed) above costs $80 bucks or so. Ditto one of those auxiliary jump start devices/tire pump.

Soooo. Anyone have experience in solving some/all the issues I have presented or can offer some solutions, advice, etc. Clearly I have not done this before though have tent camped before but never this the encumbrances of the CPAP. Anyone seen any ideas about building their own battery/converter device??? Certainly one could be built for well under the $700+ (or am I being naive), Ditto the Converter and/or Solar array.

Lots of questions here. Please, don't be daunted - I certainly don't expect someone to be able or have the time to answer them all, but any help, no matter how little, would be helpful.
John Grimes, jgrimes227@aol.com 703-690-1942, Northern Virginia.Thanks[/font][/size]
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#2
Welcome

There have been many threads on battery backup / camping off the grid et cetera.

May I suggest you use the search function to find those threads.
They are packed with information on how others have solved these issues.

Results:
http://www.apneaboard.com/forums/search....order=desc

Also, see this resmed PDF for guidance on power consumption on battery.
http://www.resmed.com/us/dam/documents/a...lo_eng.pdf
Note page 13 of 23

Is S5 a typo in your OP; your profile says S9 Elite????
@10 cm-water, the S9 elite draws 1.02 Amperes @ 12 Volts DC with EPR and humidifier off.
That's including the 12V to 24V converter.

And, most people agree that 12 Volt, sealed, AGM, lead-acid, deep cycle batteries are best.
(Unless you're lugging them on your back to get to your campsite.)

Don't try to power it off you vehicle battery. They are not made to be deep cycled.

Mongo
member IEEE


Admin Note:
JustMongo passed away in August 2017
Click HERE to read his Memorial Thread

~ Rest in Peace ~
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#3
You absolutely need the ResMed converter whether or not you are going to use 12 or 24 volt solutions. The converter works on both. It is made for the device and should be used.

As for the power, you can use deep-cycle marine or motorcycle batteries to provide power and then you need a power charging solution. Based on what I found, solar recharging solutions take up to 8-hrs of sunlight. Converting the top of your car to a charging station seems impractical. The ResMed battery requirements can be found at http://www.resmed.com/us/dam/documents/a...lo_eng.pdf Note: these are guidelines and your mileage may vary. (LOL)

I have one of those name-brand portable starting battery systems (with the built-in charger) and it was good for six hours one time and then petered out after five days. The actual manufacturer (brand name licensee) is nearby and after speaking with their engineers, found they will not formally recommend the solution for medical devices because of the FDA requirements.

Best solution would be to call some of the vendors in the vendor list above the forum header and ask for solutions and recommendations. Perhaps that will provide some assurance and price protection if things go south. Try it on shorter trips before committing to a longer term solution.

JustMongo is right -- using your car battery is a poor solution that might leave you stranded.

Best of luck and happy camping. Don't forget to post your experiences to help us all out.
"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius
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