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Old 06-08-2015, 06:18 PM   #1
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A wife desperately needs help with electric issues

I need to ask some questions. My husband has had brain surgery This is something he just cannot process so I am really needing some help. I am trying to figure out the simplest way to power our two cpap machines off electricity. My CPAP is a Resmed Pro and I am at a 14. Hubbies is older and he is at a 7. We love national parks but know that many will not have electricity so I am looking for more than and overnight fix. Remember I am not at all electrically inclined so treat me like the total novice that I am when answering. We only have a marine deep cell battery. I have tried watching Utube for answers but the terminology just confuses me and my husband.

Questions:

1.We need a generator to power the battery (batteries)? How many batteries?

2.If we buy one I think we should make the investment to get one big enough for the air conditioner. We have just one AC. What size generator do you suggest?

3. We need something to go from the generator to the batteries? If so, what do we need to purchase to make that connection?

4. What must be purchase to go from the battery to the CPAP's to power them?
Where do I purchase that kind of thing. Since Radio Shack is no longer available I don't know who might have what we need.

What have I forgotten to ask and or need to know? Remember to keep it simple for me and step by step would be helpful.

Thank you so very much. I trust the people who are actually campers and have dealt with this. You know what we need and what this kind of camping requires. I have discovered that people who do not camp just give you a blank look when you try to tell them what you need to accomplish.
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Old 06-08-2015, 06:21 PM   #2
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1. A small Honda will be quiet enough for the campgrounds and will charge the batteries. But you would need the generator as well as a battery charger. You will not be able to run anything that takes household current from this unless the generator is running.

2. You won't be able to carry enough batteries to run an air con. Camping World miswired our 2000 MH and we could run both heat pumps off the batteries. Running one heat pump would deplete our two deep cycle 235 amp hour batteries in about 20 min.

3. That depends on what you want to run off the batteries. My CPAP will run off 12v as well as 110 although we have a huge battery bank and a 3000 watt inverter.

4. You might want an inverter to run 110 volt items.
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Old 06-08-2015, 06:35 PM   #3
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What happens if your cpap stops working or there is a power failure at home? What happens in the same scenario if you are camping?

What are you camping in and what batteries are installed? (size, type, quantity)

There are cpap that work off 12V, is that an option? Do you have an inverter? What would you do if you ran out of batteries part way through the night?

A lot of campgrounds have generator restrictions so most likely you wouldn't be able to run it all night long, thus you need either a full service campground or lots of batteries and an inverter or 12vdc powered cpap.
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Old 06-08-2015, 06:42 PM   #4
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To start with what are you using for a camper?

It makes a bit of a difference for specific recommendations.

In short if you have one battery now there is probably room to stick in a second one. You also have a battery charging system. It will take a lot more generator to run the AC than to charge the batteries.

In order to size the system the real question is what is the wattage of each unit. There should be a label that says either xx watts or xx amp(eres) @ 120 Volts. If we know either the watts or amps we can convert to power needed.

Once we know how much power you need folks can suggest an inverter that will provide 120 VAC to run the CPAP machines or you can get new machines that run off of 12 VDC as an alternative.

The hardware needed depends on answers to the above questions.

It would be good if you have a friend who can help with the installation.
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Old 06-08-2015, 06:54 PM   #5
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On most motor homes and trailers there is a device called a converter.
On the rest there is an "inverter/Charger"
These charge your batteries.. The latter also generates 120VAC to selected outlets (Which can power your CPAP But read on)

IT would help if we knew the make and model of this device.

Also what house batteries you have and how many..

IE: one Group 24 (not going to last)
One pair of GC-2 Golf Car batteries) Might
Two pair: Likely will

(Batteries: The bigger the bank the better the bank the batteries are bigger when they weigh more).
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Old 06-08-2015, 06:58 PM   #6
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See my reply to your same post on rv.net!

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Old 06-08-2015, 07:05 PM   #7
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Looking at her previous posts they have purchases a Passport Ultra Lite Elite 23rb
I assume you guys are seniors. A generator seems like the best solution, if you want to run an ac you will need probably at a minimum a 2000watt. Since it is a trailer you could possibly mount it on the tongue of the trailer or perhaps in the back of your truck if you have one. Then simply plug your trailer cable into generator. Obviously you should look for a generator that is electric start.
Stop in an rv dealer and explain what you need. Hopefully it is a trustworthy dealer. Before you commit to buying anything find someone you can trust to make sure it is fair. You will probably need a pair of batteries and a small inverter so you won't have to run the generator all night.
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Old 06-08-2015, 07:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marcham View Post
What happens if your cpap stops working or there is a power failure at home? What happens in the same scenario if you are camping?

What are you camping in and what batteries are installed? (size, type, quantity)

There are cpap that work off 12V, is that an option? Do you have an inverter? What would you do if you ran out of batteries part way through the night?

A lot of campgrounds have generator restrictions so most likely you wouldn't be able to run it all night long, thus you need either a full service campground or lots of batteries and an inverter or 12vdc powered cpap.
A 12 V CPAP takes very little power, it's the humidifier (if you have one) that takes most of the power.
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Old 06-09-2015, 09:28 AM   #9
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I have a primary and backup CPAP. I found they both run on 12v and ordered the 12v power cord. The 110 brick plug in merely transforms 110 volts to 12 volt, so why not eliminate the middle man? I found one for my ResMed at CPAP.COM and the other I found the part number for and used google to locate one as it was discontinued.
As for 12V (cigarette lighter) outlets, the only one I had was the bedroom TV nook. So I got one from Amazon Amazon.com: RoadPro RPPS-16ES 12-volt Auxiliary Power Port or Outlet: Automotive
and connected it to the wiring for my reading lamp and installed on my headbord. You should be able to find a friend to do this for you as it isn't rocket science.
By running the CPAPs directly from 12v, you have no worries about power or generator failure, and they use very little to run all night.
If you need a 12v extention cord, I recommend RoadPro brand as another brand I tried had wiring too thin for the job.
Amazon.com: RoadPro RP-203EC 12V 12' Extension Cord with Cigarette Lighter Plug: Automotive
If either CPAP is not 12v, you can use a 300w (or less) inverter like this one:
Amazon.com : BESTEKģ 300W Dual 110V AC Outlets Power Inverter Car DC 12V to 110V AC Inverter with Dual USB Charging Ports for Smartphones and Tablets : Vehicle Power Inverters : Car Electronics
The inverter itself uses some battery power so it will be less efficient than direct 12v cords, but it should still be good for the night.
Other handy items:
Amazon.com: NOCO GC020 12V 2-Way Splitter: Automotive
or http://www.amazon.com/BESTEK%C2%AE-A...12volt+spitter
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Old 06-09-2015, 10:09 AM   #10
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Another suggestion that isn't hard to do is that if you have the standard (and barely adequate) Group 24 size battery, upgrade that to at least a Group 27 or Group 31. You will have to measure the battery box to see which it can hold. I did that and then took a tape measure to Costco. You could have your RV dealer do it, or buy whichever fits and have a handy friend do it. A grp 24 has 80 amp hours (AH), a grp 27 has 100AH and a grp 31 has 105AH of power. Obviously just going from a 24 to a 27 provides a lot of bang for the buck.
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Old 06-10-2015, 12:11 PM   #11
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Like suggested above, get a larger battery, get 12v cords for your CPAP, and get a generator to plug your camper into during the day to charge your batteries. You will need at least a 3000w generator to run a single A/C unit.
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Old 06-10-2015, 12:32 PM   #12
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If you are getting a generator, remember that you need an INVERTER generator. You can get 2000w inverter generators that will just charge your batteries and let you use the microwave, but as pointed out, you need 3000 watts for the air conditioner. While Honda and Yamaha make the absolute best, they are expensive as even the 2000w are over $1000. Champion makes an inverter 3100 generator that is probably in 3rd place and sells for $700-900 and will run your AC. They are sold at Tractor Supply, Lowes, Camping World, etc and often go on sale. It is the Champion 75531i model, often called the 3100. Inverter generators are made for camping and are MUCH quieter than construction generators so you don't get the evil eye when you start it up.
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Old 06-10-2015, 01:00 PM   #13
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At a very basic level, just to run the 2 CPAP machines all night every night you need:

1) 2 12V CPAP machines. It's possible you just need a 12V cord for your current machines.
2) 2 batteries (recommend 2 group 27 or 4 6v golf cart batteries. You will need to see if they will fit on the tongue)
3)a small generator to charge the batteries during the day OR solar panels to recharge the batteries during the day.


If #1 can not be found, or simply if you prefer, you can get an inverter to allow your 120 v plug receptacles to work off the battery. This will be less efficient, but it would also allow you to operate other 120v appliances if necessary. Just be cautious of amp usage. You have limited battery.
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Old 06-11-2015, 08:37 AM   #14
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Interesting. I cannot figure out why they need to get new CPAP machines as long as they have enough battery capacity to run what they have. Nobody seems to have a handle on the power draw. A lot of that depends on whether or not they need the humidifier option on them.

I do not see why they have to have an inverter generator. All that does is trade a lot of money for a little more quiet. If noise is a big factor look at solar.
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