May 30, 2024 | Education, Gear

Off-Grid Camping with a CPAP Machine or Medical Devices in Your Airstream RV

By Jonathan Schloo | BRN 1342

Camping off-grid in an Airstream RV offers the perfect blend of adventure and comfort. However, for those who rely on a CPAP machine to manage sleep apnea, ensuring a reliable power source is essential. Thirty-nine million U.S. adults have sleep apnea, including myself and many people in our Airstream community.

Fortunately, there are several effective solutions to keep your CPAP machine running smoothly, even in the most remote locations. Here’s a guide to the leading solutions for powering your CPAP machine while traveling in your Airstream RV, along with considerations for other essential medical devices.

How much power do you need?

The first step is very easy and you can do it at home, to measure how much power you need. Search on Amazon for an AC watt meter and plug your CPAP machine into the power meter over a few nights and average the results. My ResMed 11 CPAP with humidity disabled, used about 60 watts per night. Rough math with a 100 amp hr Airstream battery that would consume 6-8 amps of capacity per night.

Solutions for Powering Your CPAP in your Airstream

  1. Plug-in 12v Inverter
    : A small 12v inverter converts your RV’s DC battery power to AC power, which is compatible with most CPAP machines. These are available on Amazon or hardware and electronic stores. You will need to use a cigarette lighter plug or wire it into your Airstream’s 12-volt power system so you are drawing power from your Airstream battery.
  2. Airstream Built-in Inverter
    : Many Airstreams come equipped with a built-in inverter, converting DC battery power to AC power. Simply plug your CPAP machine into one of the inverter outlets.
  3. Dedicated CPAP Battery Pack
    : These battery packs are specifically designed for CPAP machines, providing power for one or more nights on a single charge.
  4. Battery/Solar Generator
    Overview: These battery generators provide easy portable power. You can get larger units that plug into your Airstream main power cord and power many devices, or you can get a small simple version inside your Airstream just for your CPAP or other small devices. 

Other Medical Devices

The solutions for powering a CPAP machine can also apply to other essential medical devices such as oxygen concentrators and kidney dialysis machines. Here are a few tips:

  • Understand Power Requirements: Know the power needs of each medical device and ensure your chosen solution can meet these demands.
  • Redundancy: Have backup power options to ensure continuous operation of critical medical devices.
  • Monitor Usage: Regularly check power levels and consumption to prevent unexpected outages.
  • Test Your Setup: Before going off-grid, test all your equipment at home to ensure everything works together seamlessly.

Most Important — how to recharge your batteries!

After a few nights off-grid, you will need to refill your Airstream batteries or the battery packs or solar generators. This can be done with solar panels, or a gas generator, or a CarGenerator. We have an inverter built into our Airstream so my CPAP uses our main trailer battery, and then to recharge the Airstream main battery simply run my tow vehicle for an hour and quickly refill our Airstream power.

Click on the image above, or click here, to watch a short video about CarGenerator

Practical Tips for Off-Grid CPAP Use

  • Test Your Setup: Before heading off-grid, test your entire CPAP setup at home. Ensure everything works smoothly and that you understand how to operate your power sources.
  • Pack Spare Parts: Bring spare filters, masks, and tubing. Being off-grid means you won’t have easy access to replacements if something breaks.
  • Adjust Your Routine: Plan to set up your CPAP machine and power sources before it gets dark. It’s easier to troubleshoot any issues with daylight.


Using a CPAP machine while camping off-grid in an Airstream RV is entirely feasible with proper planning. By ensuring reliable power sources, understanding your equipment’s requirements, and preparing for contingencies, you can enjoy the great outdoors without compromising your health. So, pack your CPAP, hit the road, and embrace the wilderness with confidence!

Click here to access ACI special member pricing on CarGenerator most popular models. You can save on other CarGenerator models with discount code: AIRSTREAMCLUB150 



1000/2000 watt CarGenerator All Weather Pure Sine:
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<h4><a href="" target="_self">Jonathan Schloo</a></h4>

Jonathan Schloo

Jonathan Schloo, BRN 1342 — is a passionate Airstream owner — and Inventor and Founder of CarGenerator, a device that lets you use your tow vehicle as a generator for off-grid camping. Jonathan is a serial entrepreneur and recently landed a $100k investment deal on national TV on Dragons Den, similar to Shark Tank. Jonathan is often seen at Airstream rallies camping off grid and also as a guest speaker at industry events and rallies across the country.

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