CPAP alternative?

Discussion in 'Camping for the Medically/Physically Challenged' started by Byrd_Huntr, Mar 9, 2018.

  1. Byrd_Huntr

    Byrd_Huntr Well-Known Member

    Jan 27, 2013
    OK, I'll preface this by saying I don't use these devices and I know nothng about them. The reason I'm posting a comment is that I see a lot of posts about it, and they seem to be a hassle when camping. I had an appointment with a new (and very young) dentist this week. She asked me if I snore and then told me that they can make a custom wearable device that eliminates CPAP machines for some people. Might be worth checking into if you use these machines.
  2. ArkansasDon

    ArkansasDon Member

    Mar 7, 2018
    my very close friend uses CPAP and he was telling me the maintenance was quite important. My dentist ask me if I grind my teeth, bruxing was the phrase he used. I told him don't know if I did or not. He showed me how my teeth were getting worn and made me a guard. My wife told me I snore pretty loud but ever since the mouth guard my dentist made my snoring Sally said isn't near what it was.
  3. swordfish

    swordfish Well-Known Member

    Sep 27, 2010
    Best alternative I found. Just raised my pillow with a wedge pillow 7" high at the high end. These are the recordings of my snoring before and after the wedge pillow using a Smart phone app SnoreLab. I have tried the Sleep Tight mouth guard. You form the mouth guard after softening it with hot water by biting with your teeth, chin forward. It worked for about 2 days. Found my teeth were loosen a bit like wearing braces for a while so I stopped.
  4. BikeNFish

    BikeNFish Well-Known Member

    Apr 24, 2017
    Maplewood, MN
    For those of you that want more information on why some campers use CPAP machines, allow me to attempt to increase your understanding!:)

    I use a CPAP. My wife uses a CPAP. We use them for two different issues and they are life changers and life savers. I'm all for something that frees me from the machine. So far, I have not seen any viable alternative.

    First, a little background. My DW and I are in pretty good physical shape. I bike up to 2000 miles per year and am on my trainer in the winter months. The DW works out a the gym up to 20 hours per week. So we are not "soft". We stay pretty fit. We do not fit into the "stereotype" CPAP users whatever that may be. It just happens that we both have issues that do not allow us healthy sleep without a CPAP.

    There are a multitude of reasons why a person may benefit from a CPAP machine. I use a CPAP because it keeps me from waking up. Before I had a CPAP, I would wake up 50 or more times a night. I do not have sleep apnea. I am such a light sleeper that my own soft snoring would instantly wake me, sometimes as soon as I started to doze off. The CPAP helps me get to sleep and stay asleep.

    My wife uses the CPAP for sleep apnea. Her breathing stops while she sleeps. Either one of our conditions can eventually kill us. If you cannot get healthy sleep, it will raise your risk for many health problems including high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes not to mention falling asleep at the wheel.

    Here is a common description of sleep apnea (the most common reason for using a CPAP):

    Mostly commonly, the soft tissue in the throat and oral cavity (the tonsils or tongue, for instance) relaxes and/or collapses, closing off the space needed for air to move through the nose and into the lungs. This leads to pauses in breathing that can happen consistently enough, and long enough, to deprive the bloodstream of the oxygen it needs to deliver to all the organs.

    The brain senses this drop in blood oxygen and forces an awakening. However, some people can experience more than 100 of these pauses and awakenings per hour for most of the night! It's no wonder why some people with severe sleep apnea feel so tired all of the time.

    CPAP machines are complicated. CPAPs are not "breathing machines". They don't force air into your lungs to keep you breathing. They use air pressure to keep your airway open. The pressure is fairly constant and each person has a different "prescription" pressure setting. They are precision machines.

    Yes, CPAPs can be a hassle for camping if you aren't prepared. So if there is a wearable device that eliminates CPAP machines, I'm all for it. I have figured a way to use our CPAPs in the pup if we have no electrical hookups - two extra size 27 batteries, an inverter and a generator to ensure they stay charged. I would love to use solar, but we cannot take the chance that one rainy day will render our CPAPs useless.

    So if you get annoyed with someone running their genny for a few hours during the day, just remember that it may not just be "making them comfortable", it may be saving their life.
    jmkay1, omahadlr, Sjm9911 and 8 others like this.
  5. SteveP

    SteveP Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2015
    Well said Bike.
    BikeNFish likes this.
  6. jnc

    jnc Welcome from New Hampshire

    I only have 1 lung and Like you I wake up over 30 times an hour never mind a night. I ended up with High blood pressure, heart disease, using the bathroom 3-4 times a night & I would fall a sleep anytime I sat down. With the cpap I sleep 7-8 hours straight! No more nodding at the wheel and I have more energy than I have Had in 20 years while dropping some weight! The CPAP machine is the best thing to happen to my health ever since I lost the lung.
  7. lonewolf465

    lonewolf465 Member

    Sep 15, 2013
    I got a CPAP last July and my wife got hers in August. We both are diligent about using them and they have been a great help. I added two 12 volt outlets to the camper and plan on buying generator before this summer. In February, I headed to Guatemala on a mission trip and decided not to take the CPAP. Nine days without it. I survived, but I will think real hard about heading down there again without it. If I plan on having a restful vacation in the camper, there is no way I will leave without it.
    WillScarletMacaw likes this.
  8. GrueMaster

    GrueMaster Active Member

    May 22, 2013
    Saint Helens, Oregon
    I have a CPAP that uses a 12v power brick AC adapter. I found a 12v car adapter for it on Amazon for ~$20, and it works great. When camping, 99% of the time I do not have hookups, so I rely on the tongue battery. I bought the Harbor Freight 100W solar panel kit, and it works very well, even when surrounded by trees. I am able to keep going for 3-4 days (haven't tried longer yet). I converted the lights to LED, so that helps the power draw. Rarely (never) use the fridge, pump, or heater. So the only real drain is the CPAP. As a backup, I have a portable jumpstarter that has an accessory port. I've used it to power my CPAP overnight twice (both times were at home during a power outage).

    I am thinking of putting a second battery on the trailer, so that I can extend my power usage (early season camping can get very cold at night, requiring the heater to run).
    WillScarletMacaw likes this.
  9. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Well-Known Member

    May 28, 2018
    Some cpap users also require oxygen. My dad had sleep apnea and needed it for that. Then he had congestive heart failure and needs oxygen in addition to the "air pressure".

    Another result of sleep issues is anxiety attacks. I can't sleep in the heat. I have the window unit on all day in the bedroom so it is cold enough at night. One night without proper sleep and I'm stressed. Two nights and I'm having fullblown anxiety attacks. Good night of sleep and I am my usual happy self.
  10. sawdusty

    sawdusty San Antonio

    Nov 9, 2014
    San Antonio
    Not everyone who snores needs intervention, but it should be discussed with the primary physician. Those who have been prescribed CPAP should not deviate from this therapy without talking to the doctor who prescribed it. This is a medical device ordered by a physician and should be treated as such. You wouldn't stop taking your heart medication or your diabetic medication because someone suggests there might be a better approach.
  11. jerbear

    jerbear Member

    Jun 11, 2015
    I use a bi-pap machine and never had a problem with it in the camper .It is so quiet is does not bother my wife so there is no issue for us . Sleep Apnea is nothing to mess with .If you are suppose to use one you better use it .
  12. GrueMaster

    GrueMaster Active Member

    May 22, 2013
    Saint Helens, Oregon
    Just got a new machine last week. Upgraded model (auto data upload via 4G, Bluetooth, heated hose, auto-on, extremely quiet). Downside is the new unit is rated for 12v 6 amps (older unit was 4 amps max with humidifier). Haven't had time to do a load test on the new unit, but I'm heading out Wednesday for Oregon Country Fair, so this will be a big test. Will take my old unit as a backup, and I am getting a new RV battery (this one just croaked - won't charge beyond 10v). The new 12V power adapter is a LOT thicker (still uses car accessory port). I'll be detaching the truck and spinning it 180 so the truck battery is close to my bunk, just in case.
  13. West Coast Canuck

    West Coast Canuck Jumped to the dark side ......

    Mar 3, 2005
    Both my wife and I use CPAPS...we both have sleep apnea. We both have 2, one with a humidifier and a Resmed Air mini Humidx, it is a small CPAP that uses a cartridge that collects moisture when breathing out to provide the humidity which lasts about a month before you have to change the humidifier cartridge. This one we take camping or travelling. We run these on a Group 31 AGM battery deep cycle battery with an Inverter. Our sleep clinic that we got the machines from will be suppling us Battery packs so we don’t have to rely solely on the one battery that we are using for each of our cpaps. I must say that they work extremely well. It is a new product that we got first crack to get when it was time to replace our cpaps...

    We keep the deep cycle battery charged with our Go Power 120 watt portable solar panel.
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2018
    BikeNFish likes this.
  14. GrueMaster

    GrueMaster Active Member

    May 22, 2013
    Saint Helens, Oregon
    Thought I'd post an update here. Weekend camping trip with the new CPAP went great (well, except for the 2 blown tires and 98 degree temperatures during the day). Because my camp was in the middle of a field, putting my solar panels on the roof was ideal to charge the battery while I was out at the fair.
  15. silvermickey2002

    silvermickey2002 Morris County, NJ

    Sep 11, 2008
    Morris County, NJ
    I have been using a CPAP for about 6-7 years. I have Sleep Apnea and did a sleep study because my wife said I was snoring and I would stop breathing at times. The sleep study found that I would stop breathing on the average of 34 times per hour. I just got a new CPAP machine in May of 2017 to replace my old unit. It's an auto adjusting CPAP. That means it will automatically adjust the pressure I need while sleeping. It is also BlueTooth and uses WiFi. I can upload the data to my doctor before an appointment.

    I use it when we go camping, but I do not use the humidifier since the night air is so damp. I used the humidifier once and has serious rain out in the nose pillow and tube.

    Since we camp mostly with full hookups (or at least electric) I do not have the 12VDC adapter cable for it. On my old CPAP I did and never used it.

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