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Electricity in camp grounds

I use a CPAP so need electricity. If I bring an extension cord will I be able to find electricity?

8 Replies

rjjensenia, February 19, 2018 at 6:42 pm

Not likely.


jwsknk, February 19, 2018 at 9:43 pm

Apply for a host home when the towns get their sights set up. It will cost 3-5 dollars per town, Bet you would have a pretty good chance of getting a host.


montestaples, February 21, 2018 at 1:51 am

Do not plan on having a place to plug in. Even if you do find a plug-in someone will very likely trip over your cord during the night. I have seen people on RAGBRAI run their CPAP on a 12 volt car battery. Many CPAPs will run directly on 12 volts but some run on 24 volts or even 120 volts. An inverter should work for any CPAP. I worked for many years for a company that sold CPAPs and helped people setup battery use for camping, mission trips to Africa, and fishing trips to Canada, etc. You should be able to find how many watts your CPAP draws on your power supply. Most CPAP power supplies are external in the middle of your cord. I would double the watts and get an inverter with higher than that output. Many will run on a 100 watt inverter. If it shows amps, volts X amps is a close estimate of watts. The company that sold you your CPAP should have an adapter specifically for your CPAP if you want to run directly from a battery. They may have to special order it and most likely you could find it way cheaper online. You could probably just get an inverter for less. When running a CPAP on battery I would not use a humidifier or heated tubing or you battery may not last the night. If the humidifier is built in just make sure to turn it off. Hopefully you will have a vehicle to plug into during the day to recharge. The charter I use has allowed this in past years. If you want to go first class you can find lithium ion battery packs online designed to run CPAPs. However they can be a bit pricey, like $400 to $500 last time I looked. It’s been a while. They may be less. Whatever you use make sure and try it out a few nights before you go to make sure it works and learn how often you need to re-charge.


mootsman, February 21, 2018 at 7:21 am

Many teams actually require an electrical plug in when looking for hosts. My team does for their own charging station and to light the bus at night. Watch this forum for teams looking for riders and ask each one if they have plug ins available.

Also check charters. I just sent a note to one of them asking about it because I think I recall them specifically saying they do support plugins for CPAPs. I’ll post again when I hear back and let you know. But I’d expect many charters have electrical plugins available just to support recharging phones and such. The only question is if you can pitch a tent near one.


mootsman, February 21, 2018 at 10:57 am


Tammy from Pork Belly Ventures says they have lots of options for people with battery powered CPAPs and some options for plug-in versions. She has documentation she can send you. Her contact info is on the PBV website at http://pkbelly.com


William Weber, March 2, 2018 at 10:24 am

I’m a CPAP user as well. Bubba’s Charter service has charging stations (300) and powers CPAP users everynight. We have our own little area with power. Last year there was 10 of us and the group gets larger every year.


Jane Shigley, March 5, 2018 at 1:14 pm

Does the equipment shuttle service carry a 12V battery and a CPAP machine safely and reliably? Would the battery and CPAP machine have to fit in your pack or is there another way to transport it? Thank you.

First time riders here!


montestaples, March 6, 2018 at 2:19 am

I would pack your CPAP in your own bag and make sure it is in the center and protected. Bags may get thrown especially when being unloaded. Any battery you take large enough to power a CPAP all night should be in a battery box of some sort so it is protected from accidental short. You will need to arrange some way to charge it during the day. That would be with whoever is hauling your bags to the next overnight town. I doubt that the RAGBRAI truck would provide any place to charge your battery during the day while you ride but some of the charters can do that. You will need your own charging cord and you should make arrangements with the Charter before you sign up. I see, in a comment above, that one of the charters provides power for CPAPs. Sounds like they set up a little CPAP camp. That could be a good way to go. Believe me, if you need a CPAP, the rest of us will be glad you use it. Electrical power on RAGBRAI has always been a problem but it keeps getting better especially with many charters that keep providing more capacity every year. Talk to them.


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