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Old 07-13-2017, 12:09 PM   #1
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CPAP battery drain...

I am new to owning an RV that has a battery and electrical system.
I also need and use a CPAP machine at night which is a good reason for me to have a self contained electrical system.
My question is if anyone has any experience with the amount of drain my CPAP may use in a night and if one or two batteries are best.
Also does the battery recharge from the tow vehicle?
With literally hundreds of thousands of acres of crown (public) land surrounding my home town we are highly likely to drag this into the bush for a few days at a time.
time. Our only restriction is to move a hundred meters or so every 10 days.. gotta love Northern Ontario!
Thanks in advance for any and all information!!

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Old 07-14-2017, 04:10 PM   #2
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There should be a statement on the device as to watts or amps some (maybe all I don't know) have heaters that would be the greatest power draw. So a rough ideal is multiply the figures by 10 that would give you an ideal of how much power it would draw from 12 volt source. Your TV should recharge your batteries with caveats not all TV are wired for charging or if your camper plug is anything less than 7 pin.
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Old 07-14-2017, 07:35 PM   #3
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We have had other members boondock and run a CPAP machine too. I have not, but we do boondock off the grid. It is doable but you are going to have to become a power miser. Change out the standard light bulbs to LED as a start.

Then sort out how many watts it is going to take to run the CPAP all night long and how many nights. I would go with mainah's recommendation on the extra amount needed. This will help tell how many batteries and how big.

Next is part of the how long. If you have a small generator, during the day you can recharge the battery back up to at least up to 90%. This also requires a converter in the camper that can do it's fair share to boost you up to the 90%. I do not know the age of your converter, but if it is not a 3 stage unit capable of going into boost (14.4 volts) it can be a hard time trying to get the charge in the battery back up in a short time.

You will need a volt meter something to keep an eye on the battery voltage. I have one of these.

To help get the most life out of your lead acid batteries, only draw them down to 50% state of charge as a low limit. If you take them down a lot further before recharging, over time the battery will not last as long. So plan your amount of battery reserve power on only using 50% of the total available capacity.

I have 2, group 27 batteries, upgraded to a Progressive Industries 3 stage power converter with a desulfate mode, went to all LED lights and do daily genny recharges as needed. I can go almost indefinitely if needed other then running out of genny gas for the 5 hour per day recharges. Become a power miser, turn off things not needed, like the roof antenna and radio when not using them. Others have solar and they work too, but you have to get the solar sized large enough to keep up.

Oh, and if you do camping where you need to run the furnace, make sure you account for that. The furnace is the largest power hog in the camper. The fan motor....

Hope this helps

John
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Old 07-15-2017, 04:02 AM   #4
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I boon dock and use a cpap. Take everyone's advice. Sort out what you can use. Here's what I do. Turn off the heater on the cpap while boon docking, use a separate battery and 12v to 110v inverter. I try to select a camp site that has sun for the solar panel I use to recharge the battery. South facing little shade. Harbor Freight usually has a 3 or 4 panel array on sale for less than $140 (on sale) and they just listed a 100 watt panel. You can Google solar panels and everybody sells them. Good luck , stay calm and breath on.
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Old 07-15-2017, 09:32 AM   #5
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My sister has one and hers has a DC plug that would be the most efficient method. I just looked on line and there seems to be some variables pressure, heaters, and humidity but hey all seem to report something around 2 amps. A 100 watt solar would be more than enough to cover any loss to the battery the machine cause.
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Old 07-15-2017, 01:53 PM   #6
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Mine does not have a DC plug and I never use the heated humidifier, haven't since my first year on it.
There are 2 night battery powered units but they get expensive! Typical of any medical equipment the cost is a bit astronomical. $250-600 USD which is at a premium here in Canada right now.
I have heard of battery jumper packs being used and those can be less expensive and some like the one attached can be on sale under $100.. I know there is a battery inside as well and this could be dedicated to the CPAP machine. It has an AC outlet.

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Old 07-15-2017, 02:19 PM   #7
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Also what is the difference between Group 24 & 27? And I just spotted some Group 31? Is there a simple explanation?

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Old 07-15-2017, 03:25 PM   #8
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Group numbers are the size the bigger the size the greater the output. Those jumper packs have 18 amp batteries in side. I have to admit I can't tell you anything about your machine but there were dozens of hits online from users using batteries.
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Old 07-15-2017, 03:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mainah View Post
Group numbers are the size the bigger the size the greater the output. Those jumper packs have 18 amp batteries in side. I have to admit I can't tell you anything about your machine but there were dozens of hits online from users using batteries.
18amp? How does that compare? Or is that 18amp hour?

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Old 07-15-2017, 05:41 PM   #10
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The jumper packs are made for starting cars meaning they have short duration high current power a deep cycle battery is designed for a slow discharge rate. The jumper packs are gel cell batteries and do a good job for what they are but can not be confused with a large battery with lots of reserve. From what I have read on the subject a small cigaret lighter plug in inverter should power your machine. Again I am a neophyte on this subject so please enlist the input of others that use the CPAP systems while on the road.
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Old 07-15-2017, 08:07 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Draughty View Post
Also what is the difference between Group 24 & 27? And I just spotted some Group 31? Is there a simple explanation?
Welcome to starting your learning about lead acid batteries. While I have used a lot of 12 and 6 volt lead acid batteries over the years, I never really knew much about them until the camper came and I wanted to start boondocking using batteries. There is a lot to this, but it can be broken down a little simpler too.

First off we are needing to talk about "Deep Cycle" batteries. These have thicker plates, are made for smaller levels of current over long periods of time current. Campers and trolling motors on boats fit these well.

"Starter" batteries are what is in your car. They give a lot of power in a short time and them sit until the next start comes along. They work well in a starting situation, but not so well in a long steady current draw like the deep cycle battery.

In between the 2 is what they call a "Marine RV" battery. These fits the boat type of application when it needs some higher power to start the engine but you still may want to use it as a trolling motor battery.

Starter batteries in the camper are not the right application. And this is what mainah was talking about with that battery pack. It's good for starting but not long continues draws of current. Marine/RV batteries will work but not as good as a true deep cycle battery. Get the deep cycle if you can. Not always as common, but they do make them.

Group size relates to the case size of the battery. And not all batteries are the exact same size per group pending the manufacture. The bigger the number, the more amp hours it has. Sunline put battery rails on the A frame to hold the standard group 24 battery. It works and for folks who are hooked up to shore power all the time, they do a good job. Some folks who boondock still use grp 24's, they carry spare group 24 batteries and change them out. It's cheaper in some cases and it works for shorter trips that they can be power misers on. No genny, no solar, just need a good volt meter to know when to change the battery and come with them pre-charged.

When you go up to group 27 or say a group 31, they pack more amp power, weigh more, cost more and most times are larger then the battery tray Sunline put on the camper. So you need to make an adapter to hold the larger batteries.

This all comes down to, how many amps do I need before I recharge? And remember, the good rule of only drawing down your battery to 50% state of charge as a good practice to not damage the battery from a deep discharge and recharge all the time. So in reality if you have 2, grp 24's, you really can only use the total power amps of one of them. Keep this in mind when sizing.

I myself started using 2, group 27's. For the last 10 years bookdocking I have never run out of power, but I have a genny to recharge and converted all lights to LED and shut down power devices not needed. If I ever started over from scratch, I will look into using 6 volt batteries in series to get even more amp hours. Or go up to grp 31's. It would give me more of a bail out if I went past my number of days when I could not recharge.

There is much more to learn, on how to care for the batteries, desulfation, battery minders, etc.

Here are a few links that can help for some bed time reading.

A simple break down. The 12 volt side of life part 1. This is from a guy who did a lot of research and created this. I agree with most of what he has. Really cannot go totally wrong with it. http://www.pssurvival.com/PS/Batteri..._Life_2010.pdf

To get a chart from a known reliable source (Trojan Battery) on how to measure standing battery voltage = what percent of charge. Scroll down to II. Open-Circuit Voltage Test. There is a chart under there with the voltages that correspond. Battery Maintenance | Trojan Battery Company

For a good source of all things battery, see here from Battery University. Basic to Advanced Battery Information from Battery University

For some serious battery info by one of the big guys in batteries, Rolls Engineering. Technical Resources Scroll down to Rolls Battery User Manual and down load a copy. There is a lot in there. The Lead Acid battery section is what your looking for unless you want to take the leap to AGM batteries.

There is also these folks. I buy my Battery Minders with pulse desulfation from them. This is part of keeping your batteries in top shape all the time when you are not camping. Avoid Battery Sulfation with a Desulfating Battery Charger | BatteryMINDers The "Support" pull down has a lot of good stuff in there. I use this battery minder model on all my batteries now. Truck, camper, tractor, lawn mower, car etc. These now even have temperature compensation. BatteryMINDer 1510 | 12 Volt Maintenance Charger with 10 Year Warranty You can find that model from other retailers cheaper then from VDC direct.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 07-17-2017, 04:51 PM   #12
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Just thought I'd throw this out there. Brian Boone is somewhat of an RV solar god! He specializes in very efficient RV setups for boondocking.

https://gotsolarinstalled.blogspot.com/?m=1
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Old 07-17-2017, 05:08 PM   #13
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Looks like a great resource! Thanks..
John B. I am still digesting your information and will be responding to that soon!
I have a couple of recently found sources for anyone looking at or for batteries and CPAP information..
First is www.cpap.com which has products for CPAP users as well as a newer (new to me!) product that is a powerless CPAP nostril patch that is disposable after one use. About $2USD a day but for boondocking overlanding or other electric-less camping excursions they may well be an excellent choice if you can use them. They do require a specific Rx so be ready to do battle with your doc!
The other site is www.onlybatteries.com I recently designed a product that uses battery powered LED flares and one of my coworkers suggested using only batteries.com to source the batteries we are going to need in bulk. It's a ridiculously simple design but no one else had put these components together yet LOL.. sometimes it's better to be lucky than good!
Thanks again for all the terrific information everyone!

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Old 07-17-2017, 05:19 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnB View Post
Welcome to starting your learning about lead acid batteries. While I have used a lot of 12 and 6 volt lead acid batteries over the years, I never really knew much about them until the camper came and I wanted to start boondocking using batteries. There is a lot to this, but it can be broken down a little simpler too.

First off we are needing to talk about "Deep Cycle" batteries. These have thicker plates, are made for smaller levels of current over long periods of time current. Campers and trolling motors on boats fit these well.

"Starter" batteries are what is in your car. They give a lot of power in a short time and them sit until the next start comes along. They work well in a starting situation, but not so well in a long steady current draw like the deep cycle battery.

In between the 2 is what they call a "Marine RV" battery. These fits the boat type of application when it needs some higher power to start the engine but you still may want to use it as a trolling motor battery.

Starter batteries in the camper are not the right application. And this is what mainah was talking about with that battery pack. It's good for starting but not long continues draws of current. Marine/RV batteries will work but not as good as a true deep cycle battery. Get the deep cycle if you can. Not always as common, but they do make them.

Group size relates to the case size of the battery. And not all batteries are the exact same size per group pending the manufacture. The bigger the number, the more amp hours it has. Sunline put battery rails on the A frame to hold the standard group 24 battery. It works and for folks who are hooked up to shore power all the time, they do a good job. Some folks who boondock still use grp 24's, they carry spare group 24 batteries and change them out. It's cheaper in some cases and it works for shorter trips that they can be power misers on. No genny, no solar, just need a good volt meter to know when to change the battery and come with them pre-charged.

When you go up to group 27 or say a group 31, they pack more amp power, weigh more, cost more and most times are larger then the battery tray Sunline put on the camper. So you need to make an adapter to hold the larger batteries.

This all comes down to, how many amps do I need before I recharge? And remember, the good rule of only drawing down your battery to 50% state of charge as a good practice to not damage the battery from a deep discharge and recharge all the time. So in reality if you have 2, grp 24's, you really can only use the total power amps of one of them. Keep this in mind when sizing.

I myself started using 2, group 27's. For the last 10 years bookdocking I have never run out of power, but I have a genny to recharge and converted all lights to LED and shut down power devices not needed. If I ever started over from scratch, I will look into using 6 volt batteries in series to get even more amp hours. Or go up to grp 31's. It would give me more of a bail out if I went past my number of days when I could not recharge.

There is much more to learn, on how to care for the batteries, desulfation, battery minders, etc.

Here are a few links that can help for some bed time reading.

A simple break down. The 12 volt side of life part 1. This is from a guy who did a lot of research and created this. I agree with most of what he has. Really cannot go totally wrong with it. http://www.pssurvival.com/PS/Batteri..._Life_2010.pdf

To get a chart from a known reliable source (Trojan Battery) on how to measure standing battery voltage = what percent of charge. Scroll down to II. Open-Circuit Voltage Test. There is a chart under there with the voltages that correspond. Battery Maintenance | Trojan Battery Company

For a good source of all things battery, see here from Battery University. Basic to Advanced Battery Information from Battery University

For some serious battery info by one of the big guys in batteries, Rolls Engineering. Technical Resources Scroll down to Rolls Battery User Manual and down load a copy. There is a lot in there. The Lead Acid battery section is what your looking for unless you want to take the leap to AGM batteries.

There is also these folks. I buy my Battery Minders with pulse desulfation from them. This is part of keeping your batteries in top shape all the time when you are not camping. Avoid Battery Sulfation with a Desulfating Battery Charger | BatteryMINDers The "Support" pull down has a lot of good stuff in there. I use this battery minder model on all my batteries now. Truck, camper, tractor, lawn mower, car etc. These now even have temperature compensation. BatteryMINDer 1510 | 12 Volt Maintenance Charger with 10 Year Warranty You can find that model from other retailers cheaper then from VDC direct.

Hope this helps

John
"Welcome to starting your learning about lead acid batteries."
That's a mouthful and totally applies to me! But just like hydraulics and pneumatics you have to deep dive into the information to really understand the differences and technical aspects some of them like desulfation appear to be very important in the long term!
I have been looking at Group 31 as I have a couple of local sources but hadn't seen them thrown out yet. After reading this post I am pretty well convinced to start there.... unless you can help me understand the comment you made about 6 volt batteries in series? Series and parallel hookups are always misunderstood especially by me!
Any further reasoning on that possibility?
I love technical discussions and apologize in advance to this that want the Readers Digest version!

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Old 07-17-2017, 06:03 PM   #15
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Ok read some of that PDF you linked John B. and see what you meant about the 6 volt option..hmm I have some thinking and shopping to do!

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Old 07-17-2017, 06:08 PM   #16
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This is the Provent product I mentioned earlier..no idea how well or if they work but thinking I may give them a try as well as getting my battery issues sorted out!


https://www.cpap.com/productpage/pro...roduct-image-5

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Old 07-17-2017, 06:53 PM   #17
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I boondock a lot I watch TV I run a fan I take a shower I do the dishes listen to the radio and use my ham gear I have 2 group 24 batteries that gives me 180 amps with my solar 100 watt panel I can camp indefinitely a long as we don't get two weeks of rain. Most of my power use is at night, in the morning I still have all the power I need till the sun is high enough.
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Old 07-17-2017, 07:47 PM   #18
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I have been looking at Group 31 as I have a couple of local sources but hadn't seen them thrown out yet. After reading this post I am pretty well convinced to start there.... unless you can help me understand the comment you made about 6 volt batteries in series? Series and parallel hookups are always misunderstood especially by me!
Any further reasoning on that possibility?
I had a really nice note and it just went "poof".... Dumb me for typing it on line...

So here is the shorter version....

This site can help explain some more on the FAQ's. It has lot about what we are talking about.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) - DC Battery Specialists

And here is a write on on using 2, 6 volt batteries in place of 1, grp 24. The RV Doctor: RV Batteries - 6 or 12 - Volts, That Is

A grp 31 battery packs a lot of juice. And 2 of them in parallel has twice as much juice. But it comes with size and weight. 2, grp 31's weigh 134lb and give at a 20 hr rating, 260 amp hours. http://www.trojanbattery.com/pdf/dat...ata_Sheets.pdf

When you get into the larger 6 volts, they about equal the larger 12 volts.

2, 6 volt T-145's in series give 12 volts, combined weight 144lb and at a 20 hr rating, 260 amp hours.
http://www.trojanbattery.com/pdf/T14...ata_Sheets.pdf

That is a lot of power. While you have that much, you have to recharge it too or it does not help you as much. So this is sort of solar or a generator. We camp in too many trees right now for solar to be an option today. Long term later heading west with the camper, solar may be in the cards.

If you are thinking only 1 battery, then the 2, 6 volts wins. But when you add 2, 12 volts, then it can equal itself out on the larger battery sizes.

You also saw those weights above. If you add some 130 to 145# to the camper tongue, make sure your truck and WD hitch can handle that added TW.

Here are some battery size/weights/ spec in one spot. Scroll down a bit Literature | Trojan Battery Company

We have had 3, fellow forum members create a large battery bank setups. Their needs where different but that they added inverters to run 120 VAC things. When you start doing this, you need lots of power.

Here is Frank with his 400 amps of power... http://www.sunlineclub.com/forums/f6...wer-10634.html

Here is Scott's concept with 400 amps of power
http://www.sunlineclub.com/forums/f6...etc-12225.html

And here is EMAN's setup. He has the delux job. Solar, genny and 4, 6 volt AGM batteries.
http://www.sunlineclub.com/forums/f6...ries-7656.html

This is his writeup on his T2499 on his web site
Every_Miles_A_Memory

This post may help, (confuse you more... or help explain TBD) but it had some good discussion on battery charging and boondocking. http://www.sunlineclub.com/forums/f6...ger-10097.html

In the middle of all this is your power converter which isn't really the best one for boondocking in a big way. Consider an upgrade some where in the future.

This comes back to, how much do I need? I have 2 grp 27's and I have not yet run out of power as long as I genny recharge. I can manage to my genny run time for recharging which some times is 4 days. Going to grp 29's or 31's or 2, adequate sized 6, volts would give me more power and I could add an inverter if I wanted to extend my electronic goodies. I'm not thinking I need 400 amps right now... but a little more then 2, grp 27's with a slide drive motor and a power tongue jack which I have would give me some cushion. Your CPAP system adds loads I do not have. And we all camp different as far as needs.

So there is some more to add to your research in sorting this out.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 07-18-2017, 06:19 AM   #19
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[QUOTE=Draughty;138322]Ok read some of that PDF you linked John B. and see what you meant about the 6 volt option..hmm I have some thinking and shopping to do![

One big thing to to think about before you buy batteries is where are you going to put them? If you put them in a plastic box it's going to make them even bigger. There is finate room on the tongue and even height can be an issue because you will have to service them and get the cables connected. People have a romantic ideal that if they have enough batteries they can live in a camper and enjoy all the comforts of home. The tongue on my T1700 will just accommodate 2 group 24's that will give me 160 AH. A T605 is 2" taller than a 24 so depending on how you body work is on the front of the camper it may just interfere with placement. The best way to deal with battery capacity is lighten the load. A single 1156 camper interior light bulb draws about 2 amps so in short order you could exceed 10 amps at night and not even realise it. When I redid my camper one of the first projects was to reduce battery draw using instruments, with lighting alone I went from 26 amps to 3.08 amps by using LED's. There were other things that would require a lot of explanation but the bottom line is wants and needs in your case the machine is needs so figure out just what it will take and leave a lot of head room for other gadgets then I think you will find that you do not need a mega watt to run your camper.
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Old 07-18-2017, 06:30 AM   #20
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Yeah it's really easy to start 'dreaming' and forget to don't he actual calculations. Can't tell you how many designs I have either lightened or made much heavier because I had missed the initial mark of weight or space or whatever.. the output is dependent on good input and I am getting great input here.
I hadn't really thought about how much all the lights add up to but you are right they can become a huge draw!
Personally I don't use many lights but..my wife tends to turn them all on at once so?? LOL..have to get out my calculator..now where did I stash that thing...

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