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Old 04-21-2017, 10:08 AM   #1
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Inverter, Battery and C-Pap Help

We took our new 2017 Vista LX 35B out for it's first week long run last week and everything went well considering it was the first run. However, I did have one unexpected occurrence with my inverter/charger, C-Pap and coffee maker and I would sincerely appreciate any feed back.

We stayed in a Bryce Canyon NP for two nights with no generators from 8pm to 8am allowed. After running the generator for at least an hour both nights before the 8pm shut down and charging everything fully, we went to bed about 11 after playing board games with one light on to conserve as much power as possible. Before bed, I checked the coach battery power status which said it was full, the solar controller SOC down to 77% and the inverter/charger showing about 13-14 V. I would turn on my C-Pap machine and ran it without issue throughout both nights (about 7 hours). No problems, right? Well, I get up before everyone else (before gen hours), turned off the C-Pap and went out to make coffee using just the inverter and nothing else in the coach turned on. Again the coach battery status still showed as full, the solar controller now shows about 45% SOC and the inverter now in the 11-12v range. It would not work, it would immediately put the inverter into e01 or e05 (both low voltage warnings) and would actually shut off the fridge (which was set to LP) with the error of not enough DC? I was under the impression, not sure why, I would still have enough juice to operate the C-Pap all night and then still have some juice left over.
What am I missing?

Specifics:
-Two 6-volt DC batteries (full charge according to the coach control center).
-Two 100 W solar panels and a 30 A Go Power controller (after market, installed by dealer).
-Xantrex Freedom 2000 W true sine inverter/charger (after market, installed by dealer).
-C-Pap (listed on machine): 110-115 V-1.27 A (1.43 A max), 50-60/400 Hz. also- 220-240 V-1.07 A (1.21 A max), 50-60 Hz IPX2
-Coffee maker (listed on machine): 120 V, 60 H, 1025 W.

Anyone have any ideas or suggestions? I am not very well versed in battery/solar/inverter dynamics and with this being a new coach I am still learning that relationship. Thanks for any and all help!
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Old 04-21-2017, 10:20 AM   #2
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First of all, (2 ) 6 volt batteries don't have enough storage to handle what you dealt to it. The inverter uses a lot of power even when it's just in the on position with no 120V use.
The CPAP added to the amp draw. Adding batteries will help as will buying a 12 volt adapter for your CPAP and turning off the inverter and running the CPAP off of 12 volt power. I know it works, been there done that.
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Old 04-21-2017, 10:37 AM   #3
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Stange that the coach says the batteries ar full but the solar indicates less. Solar must be right if the fridge shut down. Check out 'the 12v side of life'. You can google it. He has some good info on charge states of batteries. My CPAP has a convertor on it to take the 120vac to 12vdc. I wired in to my 12v panel and put a compatable plug on the end of the wire and plug directly in to the 12v power. Inverters waste some power in their operation. I would only use it when I had to have 120vac. While watching TV or PC or some other device that I just couldn't run without AC. Turn the invertor off when you dont need AC because it will use some power even if it is not producing AC power. I think running the CPAP directly off the batteries will save power because you are not converting 12 to 120 and then the 120 back to 12 to power the CPAP. I don't know that all CPAPs will run on 12vdc but I'm sure a lot do.

Here's a link to 12vsideof life.
The 12volt Side of Life (Part 1)
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Old 04-21-2017, 11:43 AM   #4
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Also another way to conserve power is to turn off ALL heat on your humidifier in your CPAP. Really don't need it anyway. You can still fill the humidifier with water, the machine just won't heat the water, which takes lots more power than simply blowing air.
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Old 04-21-2017, 12:31 PM   #5
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I use separate lion cpap batt. No worries about coach batts. My cpap is about 3ah, so it adds up if a cold night needing heater.
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Old 04-21-2017, 01:27 PM   #6
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CPAP users can run their machine all night with even single 12-volt battery.

(1) The first issue is “What type of power does your CPAP require?” CPAP machines require either 12 VDC or 120 VAC. Those that are natively powered by 12 VDC come with a converter (the brick your power cord plugs into) to convert the 120 VAC from a wall socket to the 12 VDC that the CPAP actually uses. Look of the labels and in the specifications for your CPAP and determine its native power requirement. If a label on the device says “12V 5.0 – 6.75 A” or something similar, including the 12V, you are good to go. The “12V” indicates it works on 12 volts DC and the “5.0 – 6.75 A” indicates that it draws 5.0 to 6.75 amps. If your CPAP requires 120 volts AC, I strongly suggest you purchase a 12-volt unit. They are very common and only my first CPAP in 2000 was 120 VDC and 3 subsequent units have all been 12V.

(2) “Do you use a heated humidifier?” If you do, try going without the humidifier or with the humidifier filled with water but with its heater turned off. The humidifier’s heater is the single greatest power draw in a CPAP system. By eliminating the heater element’s power draw you’re well on your way to a good nights sleep using your RV’s 6 or 12 volts batteries.

(3) Now that the power draw in under control, turn off your inverter and install a 12 volt outlet for powering your CPAP. If your CPAP did not come with a 12-volt power cord, contact your CPAP supplier and purchase one. They are relatively inexpensive and allow you to power your CPAP from a standard cigarette lighter style power outlet. Your inverter requires more power just to run than your CPAP machine draws. By eliminating it and plugging directly into a 12-volt outlet you have saved a lot of power draw. I connected a 12-volt receptacle from a bedside light to power my CPAP so it was a fast and easy upgrade.

If you wish you can purchase an external battery supply for many CPAP models, as an alternative to installing a 12V outlet. These battery packs are often way over-priced costing $200+ so the 12V outlet is far more economical and easier to use on a daily basis as the batteries have to be charged from a 120-volt outlet.

You’re all set. At bedtime simply plug into the 12-volt outlet and turn your CPAP on and your all set for a good night's sleep. My coach is equipped with 4 deep cycle 6-volt batteries that will be at 12.6 volts when I go to bed and they’ll be at either 12.5 or 12.6 volts in the morning when I turn on our inverter to make the morning coffee.

Don’t forget to check/change your CPAP’s air filter more often when RVing as conditions are often dustier than when your in a sticks ‘n bricks house.
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Old 04-21-2017, 01:40 PM   #7
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YUP--LJowdy has it right, two 6-volt bat isn't much storage; nor is 200 watts of solar. Yr CPAP may not use all that much power but most rigs have a bunch of hidden/parasitic amp draws [including quite a few amps to keep the 2000w inverter humming all night]. Doing what you need it to do, plus make coffee in the AM will take about six 6-volt bats and 2-3 hours of genset time, in the mornings and then again at night.....
PS--12-12.1volts is a nearly 50% discharged battery back--you never want to drop the bats below that level, if you can avoid it.
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Old 04-21-2017, 05:03 PM   #8
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Thank you all for your responses, they are appreciated. As you can tell, I am new to this and there is quite the learning curve when it come to the coach power and usage!

It seems that a 12V C-Pap might make the most sense for me. Is there a converter I can plug the machine into and still use my ac outlet or do I need to actually install a dc outlet? Also, how do I know if the 2 6-volt batteries will be enough to operate the machine all night using the DC strictly?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 04-21-2017, 05:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UtahBolt View Post
It seems that a 12V C-Pap might make the most sense for me. Is there a converter I can plug the machine into and still use my ac outlet or do I need to actually install a dc outlet?

If you use a converter you have not accomplished any power savings......it's the wasted energy consumed by the inverter to make the 120 vac and then the wasted energy to convert the 120 vac back into 12 vdc that you want to avoid.

If your RV is plugged into shore power, then go ahead and use the converter - why not? You are not worried about draining the batteries in that situation.

It's when you are boondocking using only battery power that you need to conserve every watt.

Also remember to shut off the humidifier heat function of the CPAP.
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Old 04-21-2017, 05:57 PM   #10
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Inverter, Battery and C-Pap Help

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Old 04-21-2017, 06:05 PM   #11
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Old 04-23-2017, 07:56 AM   #12
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Thanks pasdad1. May I ask where you got his chart from? I am sure I could benefit from it...
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Old 04-23-2017, 08:16 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by UtahBolt View Post
Thanks pasdad1. May I ask where you got his chart from? I am sure I could benefit from it...


Everything you need to know....

http://www.resmed.com/us/dam/documen...de_glo_eng.pdf
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Old 04-28-2017, 07:48 PM   #14
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power saving

If you have a propane stove use a old fashioned coffee pot. Saves a lot of power.
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