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, firstname.lastname@example.org 703-690-1942, Northern Virginia.