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Any electricity for tent camping with CPAP machine ?

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Eddie Roberts
Eddie Roberts's picture
Last seen: 3 years 2 months ago
Joined: 2012-07-21 00:00
Any electricity for tent camping with CPAP machine ?

Most rallies I have attended were primitive tent camping which was perfectly OK a few years ago  - but now I have to use a CPAP machine to sleep at night - at the moment having to plug it into electricity - Question - is there any tent camping at the rally (like in the medical area camping) whereby I would have access to electricity ?    Not a show stopper as I am also researching getting some kind of battery power to power up my unit but I thought I would at least ask.


Uncle Howie
Last seen: 4 months 3 days ago
Joined: 2008-05-19 00:00
Re: Any electricity for tent camping with CPAP machine ?

Hey, Eddie-

I can't say with authority whether there will be electric available for CPAP. I expect there might be, as there are more CPAP users every year.

If you're at all handy, you can rig up a battery system. See if your CPAP manufacturer makes a 12V adapter for your machine. If they do, you're halfway home! They usually come with a cigarette lighter style plug, but sometimes it's alligator clips or an SAE connector. You just have to think out your stem before buying the components. is one supplier I've used for 12V adapters, with prices FAR below my local medical supply.

I use a sealed 12V battery from Batteries Plus. A 7 amp hour battery gives me about a "night and a half" at 11 cm water setting. I believe Batteries Plus sells a 9 amp hour battery with the same size case, now. I'm running a 10 amp hour battery that has the same "footprint" as the 7 or 9, but it's just a hair taller. Much cheaper than a CPAP-specific battery.

You can usually find somewhere to charge your battery during the day. Options include an outlet at the area designated for CPAP users, a "charging station" sometimes provided for people's cell phones/tablets, or any out of the way outlet (risking theft).

Anyway, if you get a 12V adapter for your CPAP, just wire up a cigarette lighter socket with spade terminals, and hook up to the sealed battery. Plug your 12V adapter, and it's bedtime

I've been running some version of this setup for years, starting with Johnson City and Canaan Valley "Nationals" in 2009. Works great!

Had a slightly different setup to charge off the Powerlet while riding, but my new battery setup does not work that way. Version 2.0 is in the works...

It would be simpler to just get a 12V adapter for the machine and plug it into your bike via Powerlet to cigarette lighter adapter, but I don't like the possibility of running my bike battery down while I'm sleeping- especially on a fuel-injected bike. Not too hard to find a jump start at the Rally, but trying to find one while "dispersed camping" at a National Forest could be another thing!

Depending on how much you want to spend, there are also some awesome travel CPAP options, with tiny lithium rechargeable batteries, etc. You have to pay to play, though...

You should be able to put together a system like I run for about $150. That includes the 12V adapter, which will likely eat up 1/2 to 2/3 of that $150.

Good luck, PM me if you have specific questions.

"Low speed, high drag"

Last seen: 3 years 3 months ago
Joined: 2015-09-04 10:57
Re: Any electricity for tent camping with CPAP machine ?

The rally site map shows an area set aside for "special needs camping", so I assume there will be electricity available there. Wouldn't hurt to bring an extension cord along just in case, though.

Eddie Roberts
Eddie Roberts's picture
Last seen: 3 years 2 months ago
Joined: 2012-07-21 00:00
Re: Any electricity for tent camping with CPAP machine ?

Uncle Howie,

Thanks a bunch for your helpful insight for options running my CPAP machine.  I have in fact tried a 12 volt adapter hooked to my motorcycle battery and it worked great except next morning I had a dead motorcycle !  Not a genius but I am pretty handy with rigging something up and I will look into an auxillary battery to run the unit and of course a charger - just in case no electricity available close to where I set up my tent.  At the Johnson City rally I was still on the younger side of the fence and did not have my CPAP challenge.   I do always bring a 100' extension cord and I am planning my trip up camping at places that will have electrical hookups (and if I have a good battery setup then that is even better !)  Riding a older airhead keeps me thinking outside the box anyway - much appreciated response.


Bob U
Bob U's picture
Last seen: 1 week 1 day ago
Joined: 1993-09-02 00:00
Re: Any electricity for tent camping with CPAP machine ?


Yes, there is electricity available in the medical/special needs camping area.

Eddie Roberts
Eddie Roberts's picture
Last seen: 3 years 2 months ago
Joined: 2012-07-21 00:00
Re: Any electricity for tent camping with CPAP machine ?

Thanks for verifying that for me - I have now acquired a battery alternative when I am camping in primative campsites on my trip up from Florida - and I am also carrying an externsion cord that I will be able to use in the medical camping area at the rally.

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