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Old 07-15-2019, 09:05 AM   #1
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Using Oxygen Concentrator in RV

Hi. Here is a very short history starting back in March of this year. I've been RV'ing for about one whole year now, and really took to it. I bought an older RV and fixed her up, new tires, dump valves, custom welding job on the towing hitch so I could open my tailgate when I was hooked up to my truck and just general clean up. I read up on boondocking and jumped right in. Installed solar panels on the roof with an inverter/charger, solar charger and battery monitor. I go to a lot of Hunt Tests with my champion Black Lab. She has her Hunting Retriever Champion Title with HRC, and we are working on getting her Masters Title with AKC. Many of these Hunt Tests allow contestants to park there RV's on the property for the weekend, either free or a small fee. It's really a lot of fun. If not, there is always a RV park somewhere close.

Hears my problem. This past March, at a hunt test in Scurry, Texas, (near Dallas) I started having breathing problems and just felt generally bad. We had a freak cold front go through, and we hit freezing temps all weekend. I really got knocked in the dirt, spent a week in the hospital, and got sent home with an oxygen machine and some bottles. Spent the next three months at home wondering if this was going to get any better. I got evaluated for a lung transplant, and after 2 months of testing, it turns out my heart is not strong enough for a transplant. My diagnoses is pulmonary fibroses. Ok, so now we have to get better somehow. That's what I'm working on now. Pulmonary Rehab and going to the gym to get back in shape somehow. The RV is 21 foot long, and I have every intention of getting back in that thing, when I get to moving around again. I bought a portable oxygen concentrator that you can carry around. Very pricy, but worth it. I am worried about using it in the RV at night. I'm concerned about making an oxygen rich atmosphere in the RV, and creating a fire hazard. Right now, I sleep with the O2 on all night, but I probably do not need it at rest. I can sit at home in front of the TV or computer without O2, and my blood O2 level stays above 90. I have a pulse oximeter to keep track. So, at rest I can turn off the O2. The big danger is the propane stove, which is an open flame. I use my gas range at home, but I have a medium size house with a big, open kitchen. I'm wondering if there are any unforeseen dangers I'm missing. The only other open flames are the fridge, furnace and water heater. The fridge and water heater are really outside, but the furnace is inside, under the seat. That throws a big flame. The good, is I'm in south Texas, and get by without heat most of the time. And probably make a rule no O2 concentrator allowed if furnace is running. An then there is always the danger of sparks from the solar/inverter/charger install. I'll post a picture of that below. I'm new to RV'ing and using oxygen too. I could use any tips, ideas or thoughts from people on this. Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-15-2019, 09:17 AM   #2
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I am sure you could do a search, but I don't think your machine could fill your unit with pure oxygen to cause a problem. There are probably enough air leaks in your unit to keep it down to a safe level. You could always open a vent or window.
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Old 07-15-2019, 09:22 AM   #3
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Bill, Sorry to hear about your health problems.

I had looked into an oxygen concentrator to help with my cancer treatment. Ended up not getting one, but spent a full day going down a rabbit hole. In regards to your question, in my research on oxygen concentrator's, it does not make pure Oxygen, it simply boosts the oxygen level of what it takes in, for example if it takes in air with 10% oxygen level it puts out same air at 15%, thereby raising it by 5%. At no point does an oxygen concentrator pump out 100% pure oxygen.

My point is that I don't think an oxygen concentrator would be able to raise the oxygen level inside your RV to create a fire hazard. A few percentage points helps a lot for your breathing, but its not going to create anything dangerous.

Hope that makes sense.
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Old 07-15-2019, 09:28 AM   #4
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I just looked up dangers and as long as you with using the hose stay away from an open flame, you should be fine. Sounds to me like you use it to sleep. If that's the case, just crack a window or vent and not worry.
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Old 07-15-2019, 10:50 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by DegoRed View Post
Bill, Sorry to hear about your health problems.

I had looked into an oxygen concentrator to help with my cancer treatment. Ended up not getting one, but spent a full day going down a rabbit hole. In regards to your question, in my research on oxygen concentrator's, it does not make pure Oxygen, it simply boosts the oxygen level of what it takes in, for example if it takes in air with 10% oxygen level it puts out same air at 15%, thereby raising it by 5%. At no point does an oxygen concentrator pump out 100% pure oxygen.

My point is that I don't think an oxygen concentrator would be able to raise the oxygen level inside your RV to create a fire hazard. A few percentage points helps a lot for your breathing, but its not going to create anything dangerous.

Hope that makes sense.

Actually, the concentrator raise the oxygen percent to 90 to 95%. Here is an overview: From the oxygen concentrator store. https://www.oxygenconcentratorstore....ntrators-work/

"Oxygen concentrators are medical devices that assist people who have a low level of oxygen in their blood. They are powered by plugging the device into an electrical outlet or by using a battery. If a battery is used, then it will need to be charged by plugging it into an electrical outlet. Most concentrators also come with an adapter so you can use the device while you drive.

An oxygen concentrator receives air, purifies it, and then distributes the newly formed air. Before it goes into the concentrator, air is made up of 80 percent nitrogen and 20 percent oxygen. An oxygen concentrator uses that air then it comes out as 90 to 95 percent pure oxygen and 5 to 10 percent nitrogen. The nitrogen is separated to give the patient the highest dose of oxygen possible, as it is difficult to get that percentage of oxygen without the help of a medical device."

In the summer, with the AC running, I don't think it will be a problem. The AC will be putting fresh air into the RV all the time. In the cool months, I can open windows and doors, and only use the concentrator when I really need it. Watch out for open flames. I'm just looking for stuff I haven't thought about.
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Old 07-15-2019, 12:27 PM   #6
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....The AC will be putting fresh air into the RV all the time.

Every RV air conditioner I have seen recirculates the inside air....it does not bring in outside air.
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Old 07-15-2019, 12:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pasdad1 View Post
Every RV air conditioner I have seen recirculates the inside air....it does not bring in outside air.
Thats my take as well.
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Old 07-15-2019, 12:53 PM   #8
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An oxygen concentrator will not raise the oxygen level in your RV by as much as one molecule.


Consider a sealed room full of air and an oxygen concentrator. The concentrator will take in some air and remove some of the nitrogen. It will dump that nitrogen back into the room and deliver some oxygen enriched (actually, nitrogen depleted) air, which will end up back in the room.


This thing could run forever, and will not change the room oxygen level at all.


You have nothing to worry about.


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Old 07-15-2019, 12:53 PM   #9
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Ok, never thought of that. Good point. That is actually good news.
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Old 07-15-2019, 01:01 PM   #10
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I am totally NOT an expert, so please disregard this if you wish, but I am sure that the amount of O2 you need for breathing is very small compared to the interior of your RV. In other words, the capacity of the concentrator is small compared to the room volume.

When you breathe, the O2 level is reduced so it should be fine. Be sure to turn it off when you don't need it.

That's all I know, but it seems logical. You could ask the manufacturer of the device.

And good luck with your recovery.

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Old 07-15-2019, 01:03 PM   #11
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OK, so my post was a little late. I think Joel has a good handle on it.

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Old 07-15-2019, 01:20 PM   #12
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Wow Bill, those are some big money O2 machines, the ones I was looking at were in the $500 range and were no where near that kind of efficiency. I did look through several on that link you posted, most are in the 85-90% range, so you are getting some great efficiency.

Don't think there is a simple answer to your question, I would try to call some of the manufactures and ask them the question, no point in asking a sales person, you know they will say its all good, but a manufacture will have to give you a straight answer. My gut still says your fine, think about all those people living in a single wide trailer with someone smoking a cigarette next to them who have not blown up yet.

Let us know if you get a solid answer, im definitely curious.
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Old 07-15-2019, 04:08 PM   #13
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Well, I bought an Inogen one G5, the newest and greatest of the line. They seem to be the leader in portable O2 concentrators. I decided to buy the package with lifetime warranty and 2 batteries, one a single and one a double battery. That gave me lots of run time. I hope you are sitting down, it was $3100. But, so much better than carrying around a bottle. And this is not just a short time deal. I'm working on it every day. Thanks for all the help. I will get through this mess.

Bill
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Old 07-15-2019, 06:43 PM   #14
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Long-term 02 user

I've been on 02 for four years now and using bottles in a backpack, portable Phillips Respronic machine, and a 110v concentrator that goes to 5 lpm. The past 3 years we have camped in a 17 ft TT but have moved up to a 35 ft class A with a toad. We have spent winters and up to 7 months traveling with my 24 hour need for supplemental 02.

I wish you all the luck I have had, between finding tanks while traveling and dealing with issues of powering the machine while on the road, it has been an adventure. Power outages at CG can be the hardest. Strongly recommend a generator as a last resort and emergency backup as the 02 need gets greater as time goes on for most of us.

As to your original concern about fire hazard I don't have any concern nor had any problems. I don't think there is any way for any concentrator to bring the 02 levels up enough to effect room air.

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