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Author Topic: Oxygen Concentrator Use On The Road  (Read 1983 times)

Bill N

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Oxygen Concentrator Use On The Road
« on: November 21, 2017, 10:15:59 AM »
As I sit here waiting for my oxygen therapy supplies to be delivered for the first time, I would like to ask the question regarding oxygen concentrators and their use in motorhomes while traveling.  I know that I will have the option of using an oxygen bottle or the concentrator but it would seem that on a long trip the resupply of bottles might pose a problem whereas use of the concentrator would keep refills down to a minimum.  So I have a couple of questions for those who may be using this device in their motorhomes.

Do you recommend using the concentrator over a bottle when on an extended trip?  If you are using a concentrator, do you use it with the generator supplying power or can the inverter provide sufficient power to it? 

I am well aware of the fire danger of oxygen use and rarely use an open flame in the coach other than the LP for the refrigerator or infrequent LP use for the water heater.  Do you feel these flame sources would present a large danger of ignition of the oxygen - low level of use 2 L/M.

Thanks for any advice. I feel as if I am embarking on a new phase of life and only grudgingly admit that my time for oxygen therapy has come.  I have a lot to learn but my COPD has finally advanced to the level that I need to start on this course of correction in my lifestyle.  Thanks again.

Bill
Bill & Joan N in Missouri
USAF (Ret - 1961-1981)
2002 Winnebago Adventurer 35U
Workhorse W22, 8.1L Chevy V8
2013 Chevy Sonic Toad
Furbearers:  Heidi-17(Forever), Cats: Grace-11 & Squeak-6, Winnie the ShihTzu - 16 mos

Diz and Sue

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Re: Oxygen Concentrator Use On The Road
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2017, 11:32:13 AM »
Do you require a continuous-flow all the time or can you use an "impulse" flow from a portable oxygenator?  Diz started out with oxygen bottles but after one trip we realized the difficulties of that method.  His doctor recommended using an Inogen-three portable to use when traveling and it has been a life changer.  While on the road in the MH we could run the generator to power the main oxygenator but this portable allows us to simply plug it in to the 12v outlets.

ConductorX

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Re: Oxygen Concentrator Use On The Road
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2017, 11:49:12 AM »
Some good questions Bill.  My wife is in a similar situation, our first trial run we brought along two Oxygen bottles for back up. She also has an "ActiveOx" pulse concentrator that runs on a built in battery.  It is rechargeable by 110V AC or 12V DC.  We also brought the home concentrator that is big and only runs on 110V AC.  I use a CPAP and my wife has to use a Triolgy machine to sleep.

We don't have an Inverter yet, I am still trying to calculate how many watts we will need with the CPAP, Trilogy and Concentrator all running together.  I'll watch the thread along with you for more information.

"CX"
ConductorX
2004 Thor Windsport 34W - Ford V-10 Gas
2006 Toyota Sienna - TOAD (Primary)
1974 VW Thing - TOAD (Secondary)

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AStravelers

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Re: Oxygen Concentrator Use On The Road
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2017, 12:59:45 PM »
.....................I am well aware of the fire danger of oxygen use and rarely use an open flame in the coach other than the LP for the refrigerator or infrequent LP use for the water heater.  Do you feel these flame sources would present a large danger of ignition of the oxygen - low level of use 2 L/M.

Thanks for any advice. I feel as if I am embarking on a new phase of life and only grudgingly admit that my time for oxygen therapy has come.  I have a lot to learn but my COPD has finally advanced to the level that I need to start on this course of correction in my lifestyle.  Thanks again.

Bill
Oxygen is not flammable!  Only if you pointed the oxygen flow toward a flame would it cause a problem.  Even if it just released the oxygen onto the floor or the air, that would not be a problem unless it found a way to keep its concentration to a flame.   

I'm not sure how you would or could operate the concentrator so it would flow to the fridge flame or the water heater flame or even the gas stove/oven.
Al & Sharon
2006 Winnebago Sightseer 29R
2009 Chevy Colorado 4X4

http://downtheroadaroundthebend.blogspot.com/

AStravelers

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Re: Oxygen Concentrator Use On The Road
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2017, 01:01:57 PM »
Some good questions Bill.  My wife is in a similar situation, our first trial run we brought along two Oxygen bottles for back up. She also has an "ActiveOx" pulse concentrator that runs on a built in battery.  It is rechargeable by 110V AC or 12V DC.  We also brought the home concentrator that is big and only runs on 110V AC.  I use a CPAP and my wife has to use a Triolgy machine to sleep.

We don't have an Inverter yet, I am still trying to calculate how many watts we will need with the CPAP, Trilogy and Concentrator all running together.  I'll watch the thread along with you for more information.

"CX"
If you leave the heater for the humidifier off on the CPAP they use very little power.  My wife's CPAP uses about 1 amp with the heater off.  If the heater is on it uses about 5 amps when heating. 
Al & Sharon
2006 Winnebago Sightseer 29R
2009 Chevy Colorado 4X4

http://downtheroadaroundthebend.blogspot.com/

SuzanneH

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Re: Oxygen Concentrator Use On The Road
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2017, 03:27:16 PM »
From my background as a hospital RN, I can say that I would be more concerned about oxygen cylinders falling over from sudden movement or instability.  It would be VERY important to make sure they are secured COMPLETELY, especially when underway, because the pressurized cylinders can become basically a torpedo-like projectile if they fall over and the regulator breaks off.  This is a real hazard that has been known to injure and kill.

If you can use a concentrator reliably, that would be my first choice.  And that also gives you some reassurance about your oxygen supply as you travel.  (A reliable generator would be an important thing to have as a backup energy source of course.)

grashley

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Re: Oxygen Concentrator Use On The Road
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2017, 06:56:43 PM »
When my dad went on oxygen, Hospice provided the big home concentrator AND cylinders.  The concentrator was his main source, and only used cylinders when away from home.  When my niece got married, my SIL had a concentrator and cylinders waiting in his hotel room.  Worked great.  Concentrator when possible, portable something when away from your base.
Preacher Gordon, DW Debbie
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Howard R

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Re: Oxygen Concentrator Use On The Road
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2017, 12:02:11 AM »
We had that issue.  Apria supplied a home concentrator and another unit (compressor) stacked on top to fill a smaller portable bottle, we had two.  We also had 4 or 6 of the longer portable tanks (E tanks I think) with a one bottle cart for portable, walk around use. 

To travel in the MH they supplied us with a metal rack that held the bottles vertically, which we placed on the floor behind the passenger seat, securing it to the seat with a cargo strap. 

The concentrator and compressor were more difficult to secure for travel...finally secured in bedroom around the corner from hallway.  Mostly we would travel using the 2 small portable bottles we could refill, but could also operate the concentrator using the generator.  Once we stopped for the day, with the slides out it was much easier to use the concentrator with shore or generator power, refilling the small bottles at the same time as they only last a couple of hours, depending on useage and you can quickly use up your bottles.  Think you will find you need to use the concentrator on the road ... maybe your supplier has a smaller concentrator to use for travel.

We never had to do it while traveling, but in theory we could call Apria to locate a place to swap out the E tanks.  Having said that I had a heck of a time trying to speak to a human when we returned the equipment.

The issue was solved by moving from Colorado to Minnesota, with the lower altitude the Oxygen is no longer needed. 

Howard and Kelly
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Minnesota

Bill N

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Re: Oxygen Concentrator Use On The Road
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2017, 06:04:17 AM »
Thanks to all who replied for some valuable information.  My oxygen arrived and has been set up with only one small disaster that required the supplier to return and replace a hose.  I have the Invocare concentrator and an Invocare tank filler on top of the concentrator.  Both are pretty heavy units.  I have 3 of the M-9 tanks (small but there is one smaller) for carry around purposes.  Take about 2.5 hours to fill and the company says they will last for 1.5 to 2 hours with the constant flow regulator.  They have put me in for an intermittent flow regulator (oxygen only flows on demand) which will stretch the life of the small tanks to about 5 hours.  I had a great first night - the noise was not any worse than the fan we already run to reduce outside noise and I managed not to strangle myself on the tubing.

From what the doctor has said I will not require the oxygen 24/7.  Definitely at night - 2L- and as required during the day for exertions.  My main problem is climbing any incline no matter how slight and carrying a heavy object - that really gets me huffing and puffing.  I do go to Pulmonary Rehab 3 days per week and, while exercising, use 3-4 L/M.

So thanks from this rookie for all the info.  I will definitely have to look into that portable concentrator as just the physical act of loading/unloading the concentrator into the coach will be enough to put me down for the count......lol  Add the tank fill to that and the problem only increases.  All further comments are definitely welcome.

Bill
Bill & Joan N in Missouri
USAF (Ret - 1961-1981)
2002 Winnebago Adventurer 35U
Workhorse W22, 8.1L Chevy V8
2013 Chevy Sonic Toad
Furbearers:  Heidi-17(Forever), Cats: Grace-11 & Squeak-6, Winnie the ShihTzu - 16 mos

Bill N

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Re: Oxygen Concentrator Use On The Road
« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2017, 07:40:41 AM »
Oxygen is not flammable!  Only if you pointed the oxygen flow toward a flame would it cause a problem.  Even if it just released the oxygen onto the floor or the air, that would not be a problem unless it found a way to keep its concentration to a flame.   

I'm not sure how you would or could operate the concentrator so it would flow to the fridge flame or the water heater flame or even the gas stove/oven.

Al, you may be technically correct but it sure is in a concentrated form.  Here is an interesting quote from a local news story of a few days ago.  Note that the man died and he was only in an oxygen rich environment - not a direct flow.

(The fire official) said, "You don't want to bring a fire or a spark close to breathing oxygen because it's highly, it's going to start a fire."

It's what killed 70 year-old Ray Atkinson.

However, just taking off the oxygen mask and walking outside to smoke isn't enough to prevent injury.

According to officials heat from his lighter ignited the oxygen lingering in the room. The flames severely burned him. He was taken to the hospital earlier this month but never recovered. Atkinson died more than a week after the accident.

(The fire official) says this scenario is very common.

"When you're breathing on that oxygen for days and weeks on end then the oxygen, the excess ends up in your clothes. It can actually be radiating off and start a fire. It can be a higher concentration there which means it's going to catch fire that much easier," he said.

Fire officials say if you have to smoke around oxygen use extreme caution.

"We even recommend even putting on a smoking jacket something to contain that so that when you're outside smoking your clothing isn't going to burst into flames just because it's got that oxygen inside of it like that" 


« Last Edit: November 23, 2017, 07:42:45 AM by Bill N »
Bill & Joan N in Missouri
USAF (Ret - 1961-1981)
2002 Winnebago Adventurer 35U
Workhorse W22, 8.1L Chevy V8
2013 Chevy Sonic Toad
Furbearers:  Heidi-17(Forever), Cats: Grace-11 & Squeak-6, Winnie the ShihTzu - 16 mos

Bill N

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Re: Oxygen Concentrator Use On The Road
« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2017, 07:47:05 AM »
After mulling throw the comments on this thread and trying to apply common sense, I think a portable concentrator will be the eventual answer but those little cuties are sure expensive.  Even for short trips to campgrounds within 100 miles, lugging the concentrator and tank fill into and out of the coach would be a chore for me and then finding a place to secure them would present another problem.  Lots of good info on YouTube on these devices but I appreciate the comments here because it is from folks who know the problem of traveling and needing the oxygen also.

Bill
Bill & Joan N in Missouri
USAF (Ret - 1961-1981)
2002 Winnebago Adventurer 35U
Workhorse W22, 8.1L Chevy V8
2013 Chevy Sonic Toad
Furbearers:  Heidi-17(Forever), Cats: Grace-11 & Squeak-6, Winnie the ShihTzu - 16 mos

ConductorX

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Re: Oxygen Concentrator Use On The Road
« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2017, 11:12:25 AM »
My plan is to carry all of our equipment.  Because of the design of our MH it has space under the bathroom sink for the 110 VAC concentrator.  I plan to build a corral for it there.  My wife has to use a trilogy machine for therapy and sleeping is can easily take up all the space of a typical TV table.  I will build a corral for it on the night stand so it can't move around and I don't have to worry about it when driving.  My CPAP will go in a compartment under the bed and run the hose out by the edge of the mattress.  The portable concentrator is on my wife's chair and go with her.   Our back up O2 bottles will go into a storage rack and I am not sure where they will stay yet.

"CX"
ConductorX
2004 Thor Windsport 34W - Ford V-10 Gas
2006 Toyota Sienna - TOAD (Primary)
1974 VW Thing - TOAD (Secondary)

https://classaadventures.blogspot.com/

AStravelers

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Re: Oxygen Concentrator Use On The Road
« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2017, 12:33:39 PM »
Al, you may be technically correct but it sure is in a concentrated form.  Here is an interesting quote from a local news story of a few days ago.  Note that the man died and he was only in an oxygen rich environment - not a direct flow.

(The fire official) said, "You don't want to bring a fire or a spark close to breathing oxygen because it's highly, it's going to start a fire."

It's what killed 70 year-old Ray Atkinson.

However, just taking off the oxygen mask and walking outside to smoke isn't enough to prevent injury.

According to officials heat from his lighter ignited the oxygen lingering in the room. The flames severely burned him. He was taken to the hospital earlier this month but never recovered. Atkinson died more than a week after the accident.

(The fire official) says this scenario is very common.

"When you're breathing on that oxygen for days and weeks on end then the oxygen, the excess ends up in your clothes. It can actually be radiating off and start a fire. It can be a higher concentration there which means it's going to catch fire that much easier," he said.

Fire officials say if you have to smoke around oxygen use extreme caution.

"We even recommend even putting on a smoking jacket something to contain that so that when you're outside smoking your clothing isn't going to burst into flames just because it's got that oxygen inside of it like that"
Very interesting that they are saying the oxygen can collect in clothing, thereby making the cloth easier to catch on fire. 
Al & Sharon
2006 Winnebago Sightseer 29R
2009 Chevy Colorado 4X4

http://downtheroadaroundthebend.blogspot.com/

JoelP

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Re: Oxygen Concentrator Use On The Road
« Reply #13 on: November 23, 2017, 12:56:18 PM »
If you leave the heater for the humidifier off on the CPAP they use very little power.  My wife's CPAP uses about 1 amp with the heater off.  If the heater is on it uses about 5 amps when heating.

I just installed a 12V power outlet at my bedside and bought a 12V power supply for my ResMed CPAP.  While I generally use our RV in parks, it is nice to have the capability to run from batteries.  Perhaps I will turn the setting down on the humidfier when using it this way to minimize power draw. If your bedroom is on a slider keep in mind that such a power outlet will need to be built out to allow for the depth of the 12V oulet.
Joel from San Jose

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AStravelers

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Re: Oxygen Concentrator Use On The Road
« Reply #14 on: November 23, 2017, 01:52:07 PM »
I just installed a 12V power outlet at my bedside and bought a 12V power supply for my ResMed CPAP.  While I generally use our RV in parks, it is nice to have the capability to run from batteries.  Perhaps I will turn the setting down on the humidfier when using it this way to minimize power draw. If your bedroom is on a slider keep in mind that such a power outlet will need to be built out to allow for the depth of the 12V oulet.
I just tapped into the 12V light at the head of the bed, ran a pig tail out with a 12V outlet on it, for the CPAP.
Al & Sharon
2006 Winnebago Sightseer 29R
2009 Chevy Colorado 4X4

http://downtheroadaroundthebend.blogspot.com/

John From Detroit

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Re: Oxygen Concentrator Use On The Road
« Reply #15 on: November 23, 2017, 03:49:21 PM »
Do I recommend a concentrator or bottles.. Both actually. At least one bottle just in cuss (That's just in case the concentrator craps out on you when you need it) have enough Bottled to last 24 - 48 Hours so you can get to the nearest medical Supply for a new concentrator.

I think the company is Imogen.. Not sure of the spelling, they are advertising a portable unit heavily. And that is ALL I know about it.

Regarding Oxygen and fire.. While it is true that Oxygen itself is not "Flamable" it sure feeds the stuff that is.. Two things that are basically the same save for Speed is FIRE and RUST. Both are oxidation of a substance. Where as RUST is very very slow. (relative to fire) Fire is very very very fast. 

Take a burning substance.. Say Tobacco.. Light up your cancer stick in a normal atmosphere which is what 21% O2 and it burns slowly. Double the O2 and you have a blow torch in your fingers.
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Bill N

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Re: Oxygen Concentrator Use On The Road
« Reply #16 on: November 23, 2017, 04:47:57 PM »
Do I recommend a concentrator or bottles.. Both actually. At least one bottle just in cuss (That's just in case the concentrator craps out on you when you need it) have enough Bottled to last 24 - 48 Hours so you can get to the nearest medical Supply for a new concentrator.

I think the company is Imogen.. Not sure of the spelling, they are advertising a portable unit heavily. And that is ALL I know about it.

Regarding Oxygen and fire.. While it is true that Oxygen itself is not "Flamable" it sure feeds the stuff that is.. Two things that are basically the same save for Speed is FIRE and RUST. Both are oxidation of a substance. Where as RUST is very very slow. (relative to fire) Fire is very very very fast. 

Take a burning substance.. Say Tobacco.. Light up your cancer stick in a normal atmosphere which is what 21% O2 and it burns slowly. Double the O2 and you have a blow torch in your fingers.

I found a couple of ads for the Inogen One #3 portable concentrator. Cost is about $2495.00.  Maybe I better start working out a plan to load the concentrator and tank filler.......lol  But that Inogen is sure a nice little unit.
Bill & Joan N in Missouri
USAF (Ret - 1961-1981)
2002 Winnebago Adventurer 35U
Workhorse W22, 8.1L Chevy V8
2013 Chevy Sonic Toad
Furbearers:  Heidi-17(Forever), Cats: Grace-11 & Squeak-6, Winnie the ShihTzu - 16 mos

Diz and Sue

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Re: Oxygen Concentrator Use On The Road
« Reply #17 on: November 23, 2017, 09:20:43 PM »
I found a couple of ads for the Inogen One #3 portable concentrator. Cost is about $2495.00.  Maybe I better start working out a plan to load the concentrator and tank filler.......lol  But that Inogen is sure a nice little unit.
Don't know your age (that's your business) but if your Dr will prescribe it then Medicare will pick it up and TFL (I assume since you're ret AF) will pick up the rest.  Call Inogen and see what they can do for you - they took care of all the paperwork and are great to work with when Diz needs supplies or a replacement unit.  Good luck.  Note: We take both the large concentrator to use when plugged to shore power and the portable for use on the road and away from the MH.

Bill N

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Re: Oxygen Concentrator Use On The Road
« Reply #18 on: November 23, 2017, 09:37:48 PM »
Don't know your age (that's your business) but if your Dr will prescribe it then Medicare will pick it up and TFL (I assume since you're ret AF) will pick up the rest.  Call Inogen and see what they can do for you - they took care of all the paperwork and are great to work with when Diz needs supplies or a replacement unit.  Good luck.  Note: We take both the large concentrator to use when plugged to shore power and the portable for use on the road and away from the MH.
Thanks Sue.  I did not think that Medicare (I am 78) and TFL would cover both the Invocare Concentrator/ Invocare Tank Fill AND a portable concentrator like the Inogen for travel.  If it takes my doctors prescription I am sure he would do so as he has been very helpful with insuring I have the necessary supplies for traveling.  I will look into it further.  I have found a couple of used concentrators on Craigslist - the lowest Inogen was $1500 and several of the standard size Invocare Concentrators are listed at between $250 and $300 which would seem to be a bargain but, of course, still the full size unit.  If I got one of those, it would stay in the coach of course . I will also call my current oxygen supplier to see what they can offer advice.  Thanks again.

Bill
Bill & Joan N in Missouri
USAF (Ret - 1961-1981)
2002 Winnebago Adventurer 35U
Workhorse W22, 8.1L Chevy V8
2013 Chevy Sonic Toad
Furbearers:  Heidi-17(Forever), Cats: Grace-11 & Squeak-6, Winnie the ShihTzu - 16 mos

ConductorX

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Re: Oxygen Concentrator Use On The Road
« Reply #19 on: November 24, 2017, 08:32:23 AM »
We found an ActivOX for around $2700. It is tiny and the most portable unit we found. At the highest setting the battery will last 4 hours and it recharges from 12VDC or 110VAC.  Because my insurance is paying for bottles and a concentrator they won't pay for the portable unit.

Your results may vary.
"CX"
ConductorX
2004 Thor Windsport 34W - Ford V-10 Gas
2006 Toyota Sienna - TOAD (Primary)
1974 VW Thing - TOAD (Secondary)

https://classaadventures.blogspot.com/

Bill N

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Re: Oxygen Concentrator Use On The Road
« Reply #20 on: November 24, 2017, 09:19:53 AM »
We found an ActivOX for around $2700. It is tiny and the most portable unit we found. At the highest setting the battery will last 4 hours and it recharges from 12VDC or 110VAC.  Because my insurance is paying for bottles and a concentrator they won't pay for the portable unit.

Your results may vary.
"CX"
I think your last sentence will apply to me also.  I cannot picture Medicare paying for a portable concentrator when they have already provided me with home concentrator, bottle fill and bottles.  But I will ask around.  I found a Inogen on Craigslist for $1500 and they stated the unit was only 3 weeks old and the user had died.  That may be my best bet but since the travel for this season is over I will have time over the winter to look around.  I really get to huffing and puffing especially when doing hookups at a new site.  A light unit would be a good thing to have especially for that as at 2.5 lbs  it is very doable vs the bottles at about 9 lbs.

Bill
Bill & Joan N in Missouri
USAF (Ret - 1961-1981)
2002 Winnebago Adventurer 35U
Workhorse W22, 8.1L Chevy V8
2013 Chevy Sonic Toad
Furbearers:  Heidi-17(Forever), Cats: Grace-11 & Squeak-6, Winnie the ShihTzu - 16 mos

Diz and Sue

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Re: Oxygen Concentrator Use On The Road
« Reply #21 on: November 24, 2017, 12:30:57 PM »
Bill, you are correct in that Medicare will not supply both.  We started with the oxygen cannisters and refill machine, and when we went totally to Inogen 3 years ago they supplied a large continuous-flow concentrator AND the portable unit, so we returned the other system since we no longer used it.  According to our Dr this was fine, and the change has made a significant difference in ambulatory experiences for Diz.  It all depends on what your Dr says you need to have. 

Jim Godward

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Re: Oxygen Concentrator Use On The Road
« Reply #22 on: November 24, 2017, 01:25:26 PM »
When we lived in Montana, I had a bottle for emergencies and both a concentrator for the house and a portable unit.  The bottle I had was only good for a few hours and was provided to cover incase of power failure.  Medicare with supplement coverage paid for all.  Not sure if the same applies today as that was just over 2 years ago.

I have not been on Oxygen since moving to Oregon but will probably fail my next pulmonary function test and will need Oxygen again so may find out what applies today.
Jim
Jim & Pat Godward
AC7PO & KD7ZDM
Hillsboro, Oregon

Bill N

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Re: Oxygen Concentrator Use On The Road
« Reply #23 on: November 25, 2017, 05:49:17 AM »
Thanks Diz & Sue and Jim.  I think the choices are getting narrowed down now.  I will ask the Dr if has any experiences with Medicare covering both home and portable units.  I am impressed with the Inogen unit but also see on eBay many many other portable units (all from Hong Kong) that sell in the $300+ range and have near the capability of the Inogen but probably not the quality.  So far I have been doing well on using the home unit at night and a bottle at periods during the day when I have exerted myself.  I know that I sure am sleeping better and mastering the tube in the nose while sleeping has not been as difficult as I thought it would be (I am a twister when sleeping).  Thanks again for all the good info.

Bill
Bill & Joan N in Missouri
USAF (Ret - 1961-1981)
2002 Winnebago Adventurer 35U
Workhorse W22, 8.1L Chevy V8
2013 Chevy Sonic Toad
Furbearers:  Heidi-17(Forever), Cats: Grace-11 & Squeak-6, Winnie the ShihTzu - 16 mos

Jim Godward

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Re: Oxygen Concentrator Use On The Road
« Reply #24 on: November 25, 2017, 02:54:22 PM »
FWIW, I had both units from Imogen and was very happy with them.  There are newer units than the ones I had that are both smaller and quieter based on the ads.  My brother had a portable one that was nice and small but I don't know the brand and he has passed away so no help there.
Jim
Jim & Pat Godward
AC7PO & KD7ZDM
Hillsboro, Oregon

Jim Godward

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Re: Oxygen Concentrator Use On The Road
« Reply #25 on: November 25, 2017, 02:56:24 PM »
If you want a particular brand like Imogen, contact them and let them help with the paper work etc.  Imogen was great and made the process easy.
Jim
Jim & Pat Godward
AC7PO & KD7ZDM
Hillsboro, Oregon

Bill N

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Re: Oxygen Concentrator Use On The Road
« Reply #26 on: November 26, 2017, 08:11:08 AM »
If you want a particular brand like Imogen, contact them and let them help with the paper work etc.  Imogen was great and made the process easy.
I am somewhat hesitant to do that Jim because I am in a great hospital system here.  We use it for all our medical needs and I also use its pulmonary rehab facilities.  When I was diagnosed with the need for oxygen therapy, all of the equipment and support is being provided by that hospital systems (Mercy) DME folks.  I have found that they will come out at the drop of a hat 24/7 for any problem regarding the equipment or my oxygen needs.  They are a phone call away for any questions I have.  I feel very comfortable using their services and, of course, do not pay anything.  Before next travel season, I intend to pursue a portable concentrator for the coach even if I have to buy one.  Inogen looks to be the best on the market despite the high price but I have time to make that decision thanks to the education I have received on this thread.

Bill
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Re: Oxygen Concentrator Use On The Road
« Reply #27 on: November 28, 2017, 08:23:28 AM »
Just a short (started out that way) update.  Got a call yesterday from Mercy (oxygen supplier) and they wanted to know if my portable tank was running out fast. Well I have only had the whole system for 6 days and while I do carry the portable tank I haven't used it much outside on errands. Use it mainly only when active doing stuff outside or in the garage.  But she then asked if I thought I needed the demand regulator rather than the continuous flow one they had provided last week.  One of the guys who delivered the equipment told me they would be calling and scheduling a test to see if I could use a demand regulator which greatly increases the lifespan of the portable tanks before refilling.  What is silly is that they are going to give me the same 'walk around the building' test that I took at the Doctors office last week to even get on the Oxygen Therapy program.  So they told me to come in with a portable tank and the old regulator so they could swap it out 'if I qualified' (below 90 on walks).  I am always below 90 unless sitting in my chair and watching TV or computing.....lol.

I also asked her if they handled portable concentrators and she said no because if they fail with you on the road you are out of oxygen.  Hate to tell her but if the full size concentrator fails you are in the same situation. Then she told me they have a smaller concentrator that they loan out (if available) for up to two weeks at a time.  So, that may be the answer but I guess it could fail too....lol   I don't forsee being too far from med supplier where I could rent or buy tanks or have mine filled..

I got a look in person at an Inogen portable yesterday and they sure are nice looking and small.  Anybody have their portable concentrator fail while on the road?  Thanks

Bill
Bill & Joan N in Missouri
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Re: Oxygen Concentrator Use On The Road
« Reply #28 on: November 28, 2017, 02:24:24 PM »
My wife has been using a concentrator at night and has spare bottles.  The only failures we had involve broken parts of the machine, the plastic parts and hoses.  They gave us plenty of spare hoses and water bottles.  The one part that has failed twice already is the plastic fitting between the concentrator and the water bottle.  For some reason the refuse to give us more than one.  Worst case I would bypass the water bottle until I get a part for it.

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Re: Oxygen Concentrator Use On The Road
« Reply #29 on: November 28, 2017, 04:48:32 PM »
My wife has been using a concentrator at night and has spare bottles.  The only failures we had involve broken parts of the machine, the plastic parts and hoses.  They gave us plenty of spare hoses and water bottles.  The one part that has failed twice already is the plastic fitting between the concentrator and the water bottle.  For some reason the refuse to give us more than one.  Worst case I would bypass the water bottle until I get a part for it.

"CX"
My oxygen supplier tells me they do not use the water bottle because it caused a lot of trouble.  The machine is equipped with a place for one but since they do not use it, I don't have it.  Not sure of the purpose unless it is to inject humidity into the oxygen.

By the way I did go in today and swapped regulators to one that can go either continuous or pulse.  That adds a lot of time to the bottles.

Bill
Bill & Joan N in Missouri
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Jim Godward

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Re: Oxygen Concentrator Use On The Road
« Reply #30 on: November 28, 2017, 05:20:50 PM »
I got a look in person at an Inogen portable yesterday and they sure are nice looking and small.  Anybody have their portable concentrator fail while on the road?  Thanks

Bill

Bill,
I had the Imogen portable for over 18 months with no problems.  Imogen will overnight parts or new concentrator if there is a problem.  I always had a tank in case of power or other failures.

OOPs, I should have read  all the latest messages before responding. 

BTW, one of my other brothers said that the concentrator my deceased
 Bro had was from Phillips.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2017, 05:24:37 PM by Jim Godward »
Jim
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cadee2c

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Re: Oxygen Concentrator Use On The Road
« Reply #31 on: November 29, 2017, 03:54:16 AM »
My DH uses a regular concentrator. If he needs it while we are on the road, I just start up the generator and run it. If he is using it when we are ready to head out, he has a battery jumper/car starter thing that he plugs the concentrator into. It will power that concentrator for at least 10 hours (we've use it over night).  We have a couple of small tanks of O2 for emergencies, and he could use them, but there really isnt a need with the concentrator.

When we were in Minnesota and he had private insurance, the company who supplied the concentrator had a loaner that we could get for travelling. There are a couple different brands. They come with a couple of batteries, an adapter for the cigarette lighter and also a normal plug for the wall socket. It weighed half as much and also consumed less energy to run it. Now he gets it through hospice and they dont have anything like that.

As far as the portable ones failing... thats what the emergency tanks are for.  ;)
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Re: Oxygen Concentrator Use On The Road
« Reply #32 on: November 29, 2017, 06:29:36 AM »
My DH uses a regular concentrator. If he needs it while we are on the road, I just start up the generator and run it. If he is using it when we are ready to head out, he has a battery jumper/car starter thing that he plugs the concentrator into. It will power that concentrator for at least 10 hours (we've use it over night).  We have a couple of small tanks of O2 for emergencies, and he could use them, but there really isnt a need with the concentrator.

When we were in Minnesota and he had private insurance, the company who supplied the concentrator had a loaner that we could get for travelling. There are a couple different brands. They come with a couple of batteries, an adapter for the cigarette lighter and also a normal plug for the wall socket. It weighed half as much and also consumed less energy to run it. Now he gets it through hospice and they dont have anything like that.

As far as the portable ones failing... thats what the emergency tanks are for.  ;)

Yesterday while at my supplier exchanging regulators they showed me a portable Eclipse concentrator that they loan out for up to two weeks.  But they told me I better have it reserved at least 3 months in advance.  It is quite a bit smaller than the home unit and weighs about half as much but has all the capabilities of a home unit.  Just for fun I priced it out on the internet - $2900-$3200 - Yikes.  So there is one possibility for a short trip.  One comment they made is that this portable is very capable for overnight use whereas most of the shoulder carry portables are not.  (But they advertise as being good for up to 8 hours).  Anyway, I am learning a lot about this subject through this thread.  Please keep those cards and letters coming.....lol

Bill
Bill & Joan N in Missouri
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Bill N

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Re: Oxygen Concentrator Use On The Road
« Reply #33 on: November 29, 2017, 06:32:52 AM »
Bill,
I had the Imogen portable for over 18 months with no problems.  Imogen will overnight parts or new concentrator if there is a problem.  I always had a tank in case of power or other failures.

OOPs, I should have read  all the latest messages before responding. 

BTW, one of my other brothers said that the concentrator my deceased
 Bro had was from Phillips.

Jim,
     Did you use your Inogen overnight while on the road?  Regardless of what I have I plan on carrying tanks and finding places to have them filled before leaving.  Haven't found the Phillips concentrators yet.  I have also been meaning to mention that now that I am on oxygen while sleeping I find that I sleep like a rock, something that I have not done in years.  I guess a little O2 helps you snooze.....lol

Bill
« Last Edit: November 29, 2017, 06:49:40 AM by Bill N »
Bill & Joan N in Missouri
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2002 Winnebago Adventurer 35U
Workhorse W22, 8.1L Chevy V8
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Furbearers:  Heidi-17(Forever), Cats: Grace-11 & Squeak-6, Winnie the ShihTzu - 16 mos

Jim Godward

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Re: Oxygen Concentrator Use On The Road
« Reply #34 on: November 29, 2017, 02:42:10 PM »
Jim,
     Did you use your Inogen overnight while on the road?  Regardless of what I have I plan on carrying tanks and finding places to have them filled before leaving.  Haven't found the Phillips concentrators yet.  I have also been meaning to mention that now that I am on oxygen while sleeping I find that I sleep like a rock, something that I have not done in years.  I guess a little O2 helps you snooze.....lol

Bill,

No, I cheated by arranging my schedule so that we were at lower altitudes at night.  If you check altitudes while traveling between Bozeman MT and Portland OR, you can chose night stops below 3,000' which is/was my critical altitude at the time.  I did have the house and portable concentrators with me in case we didn't make our planned stops.  I did use the portable unit when we crossed mountains by having it hooked up to the batteries.
Jim
Jim & Pat Godward
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catblaster

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Re: Oxygen Concentrator Use On The Road
« Reply #35 on: November 29, 2017, 07:12:42 PM »
My oxygen supplier tells me they do not use the water bottle because it caused a lot of trouble.  The machine is equipped with a place for one but since they do not use it, I don't have it.  Not sure of the purpose unless it is to inject humidity into the oxygen.

By the way, I did go in today and swapped regulators to one that can go either continuous or pulse.  That adds a lot of time to the bottles.

Bill

   The water bottle is only to add humidity, it is, however, going to be necessary if you have to increase your use of oxygen. I went from 2 liters to 15 liters in 8 months.  IF I remember right the maximum you can get from a regulator is 7 liters so they would hook two bottles together with a modified stethoscope to provide 15 liters while exercising in the rehab clinic.  Get the bottle if you can, I had nose bleeds from the higher levels, the oxygen will dry out your mucus membranes so much that a nosebleed became a way of life for me.

    Wish you were closer, I have several demand regulators sitting here that I dont use anymore. I like to keep one "just in case".  I looked into a portable concentrator but no one would help pay for it and by the time I saved up monies, my needs had exceeded the amount it would put out. Hope that does not become your situation. Then I went to liquid oxygen which is a real pain to travel with, constantly running low in the Florida heat.

   I have one/two suggestions for you if you are using oxygen with a CPAP at night for sleeping. Do NOT increase the number of liters/minute. That can be very detrimental as I found out one night. Stay with the recommended amount, this is one case where "more is NOT better". The reasons why are a little hard for me to explain. Stay on your oxygen and monitor your levels, O2 levels that are too low will damage heart muscles and other organs. In the event, you get a transplant (don't know if you have considered it) you will have a better chance of surviving.
     
   
« Last Edit: November 29, 2017, 07:14:17 PM by catblaster »
Will and Jane
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Bill N

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Re: Oxygen Concentrator Use On The Road
« Reply #36 on: November 30, 2017, 06:49:54 AM »
Bill,

No, I cheated by arranging my schedule so that we were at lower altitudes at night.  If you check altitudes while traveling between Bozeman MT and Portland OR, you can chose night stops below 3,000' which is/was my critical altitude at the time.  I did have the house and portable concentrators with me in case we didn't make our planned stops.  I did use the portable unit when we crossed mountains by having it hooked up to the batteries.

Jim you are a real fountain of information.  I had never considered altitudes but will now.  For the next year we don't have any mountain travel planned - mostly just straight north and south to visit our kids and their families in North Dakota, Minnesota and Ontario, Canada.

Bill
Bill & Joan N in Missouri
USAF (Ret - 1961-1981)
2002 Winnebago Adventurer 35U
Workhorse W22, 8.1L Chevy V8
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Furbearers:  Heidi-17(Forever), Cats: Grace-11 & Squeak-6, Winnie the ShihTzu - 16 mos

Bill N

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Re: Oxygen Concentrator Use On The Road
« Reply #37 on: November 30, 2017, 06:58:27 AM »
   The water bottle is only to add humidity, it is, however, going to be necessary if you have to increase your use of oxygen. I went from 2 liters to 15 liters in 8 months.  IF I remember right the maximum you can get from a regulator is 7 liters so they would hook two bottles together with a modified stethoscope to provide 15 liters while exercising in the rehab clinic.  Get the bottle if you can, I had nose bleeds from the higher levels, the oxygen will dry out your mucus membranes so much that a nosebleed became a way of life for me.

      I looked into a portable concentrator but no one would help pay for it and by the time I saved up monies, my needs had exceeded the amount it would put out. Hope that does not become your situation. Then I went to liquid oxygen which is a real pain to travel with, constantly running low in the Florida heat.

   I have one/two suggestions for you if you are using oxygen with a CPAP at night for sleeping. Do NOT increase the number of liters/minute. That can be very detrimental as I found out one night. Stay with the recommended amount, this is one case where "more is NOT better". The reasons why are a little hard for me to explain. Stay on your oxygen and monitor your levels, O2 levels that are too low will damage heart muscles and other organs. In the event, you get a transplant (don't know if you have considered it) you will have a better chance of surviving.
     
   

I am a rookie at using oxygen Will but your increase from 2 to 15 liters in 8 months is a real eye opener.  I have never heard of anyone using 15 liters.  I  only use 4 liters when exercising at pulmo rehab and that keeps me in good range.  Plus I do not use oxygen at all when at rest (watching TV/working on computer) during the day but am happy that most of the big box stores now provide electric carts for those who get winded easily (and have bad hips).

Don't use a CPAP so thankful for that and I was told not to increase the oxygen levels much above 3 liters and try to keep it at two.  I think the concentrator only goes to 5 or 6 liters.  I appreciate all the comments from you current users.  My military career taught me to always RTP (read the paper) regarding machine operation but I cannot believe that I have yet to receive an instruction sheet on any of this stuff but YouTube and this forum have covered that gap nicely.  Thanks again

Bill.
Bill & Joan N in Missouri
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2002 Winnebago Adventurer 35U
Workhorse W22, 8.1L Chevy V8
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catblaster

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Re: Oxygen Concentrator Use On The Road
« Reply #38 on: November 30, 2017, 07:48:16 AM »
    Sorry Bill, I mislead you. I looked it back up and my paperwork said 7 L at rest and they tied two liquid oxy canisters together to get 14 L when I was on a treadmill. The small liquid oxy will output just a hair more than 7 each.

    I never had a problem with oxygen use around flames or heat when the normal precautions are used.  I still did many of the things I did before. Cooking was a challenge keeping the hose away from the burners (gas stove) and opening the oven was scary to others but I never caught fire. Welding was tricky since I would tie the hose behind me to keep sparks from burning a hole in it. That was with a 40' hose attached to the big liquid tank.

    It really saddens me now when I see someone on oxygen since I know what it was like and how disabling the disease can be, hope you never get to the stage I was in. Keep your strength up and exercise. 
Will and Jane
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Re: Oxygen Concentrator Use On The Road
« Reply #39 on: November 30, 2017, 09:38:17 AM »
Will I am surprised that you can get 14L in a nose cannula without a lot of discomfort.  I have often wondered if it is only the CPAP folks who use face masks.  Seems that 14L would be more manageable with a face mask and I see a couple of folks at rehab using them. 

Bill
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Re: Oxygen Concentrator Use On The Road
« Reply #40 on: November 30, 2017, 11:21:41 AM »
     The 14L did come thru a face mask, that was only when I was exercising at rehab. The rest of the time I used a nasal cannula. The mayo clinic provided me with one that was a bit different, It has a disc-shaped chamber that the oxy flowed thru before going to the nose piece. I didn't notice any difference and I doubt it would work well with an on-demand regulator. that was back when I was on 2L and using a constant feed.

     14L is very uncomfortable, burns the nose and when coming from a liquid oxy tank it is also cold. The small portable tanks @7L will throw off a fog like vapor and several people had told me that my tank was smoking. It looked like it was ready to catch fire sometimes because of the high humidity.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2017, 11:25:06 AM by catblaster »
Will and Jane
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Re: Oxygen Concentrator Use On The Road
« Reply #41 on: December 01, 2017, 06:42:36 AM »
     The 14L did come thru a face mask, that was only when I was exercising at rehab. The rest of the time I used a nasal cannula. The mayo clinic provided me with one that was a bit different, It has a disc-shaped chamber that the oxy flowed thru before going to the nose piece. I didn't notice any difference and I doubt it would work well with an on-demand regulator. that was back when I was on 2L and using a constant feed.

     14L is very uncomfortable, burns the nose and when coming from a liquid oxygen tank it is also cold. The small portable tanks @7L will throw off a fog like vapor and several people had told me that my tank was smoking. It looked like it was ready to catch fire sometimes because of the high humidity.

This thread is turning in a real education for me - the rookie.....lol  Will you confirm my thoughts that 14L would be very uncomfortable.  We do have some folks at pulmo rehab that use the tanks marked 6+ so there are a few using more than 6.  My career in the Air Force was spent in the Minuteman missile career field and while that is a solid fuel missile, we did get a lot of training on liquid fuel missiles also.  Liquid oxygen (LOX) was always that stuff in the frosty tanks to me.........lol so it is hard to imagine putting it up your nose.

The new regulator I got a couple of days ago is either continuous or demand and comes with a different cannula that fits in the nose tighter and has somewhat stiffer tubing on the cannula itself.  I realize I am probably preaching to the choir here but take pity on me as being the uninformed guy.  Thanks again for the continuing flow of information.

Bill
Bill & Joan N in Missouri
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cadee2c

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Re: Oxygen Concentrator Use On The Road
« Reply #42 on: December 01, 2017, 09:11:54 PM »
Altitude does make a ton of difference. While going through the heights in the northwest last summer, i had to run the generator for the DH to use his concetrator. As soon as we were back down, he was fine.

Recently he bought a battery pack/car jump starter thingy that he just plugs the concentrator into. It will run the oxygen all night. Something like this one... I told him he shoulda gotten the one with the air compressor then he would have back up. lol

https://www.target.com/p/peak-600-amp-jump-starter/-/A-15130590?ref=tgt_adv_XS000000&AFID=google_pla_df&CPNG=PLA_Home+Improvement+Shopping&adgroup=SC_Home+Improvement&LID=700000001170770pgs&network=g&device=c&location=9027958&gclid=Cj0KCQiAmITRBRCSARIsAEOZmr4aknCacSXbtNDj66pjbSRUkwjcQgLvwhfI936Tn7bhbf-GPiyExAUaAk4cEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds
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Re: Oxygen Concentrator Use On The Road
« Reply #43 on: December 02, 2017, 07:51:24 AM »
Altitude does make a ton of difference. While going through the heights in the northwest last summer, i had to run the generator for the DH to use his concetrator. As soon as we were back down, he was fine.

Recently he bought a battery pack/car jump starter thingy that he just plugs the concentrator into. It will run the oxygen all night. Something like this one... I told him he shoulda gotten the one with the air compressor then he would have back up. lol

https://www.target.com/p/peak-600-amp-jump-starter/-/A-15130590?r

More good info.  I have one of those and it has the air compressor. Came from Harbor Freight but looks very similar and at a bit lower price with a 20 percent off coupon.  Works great - started car when battery went bad and aired up one tire on coach that had a slow leak.

Bill

Edit: Fixed link and formatting -LS
« Last Edit: December 02, 2017, 11:38:19 AM by Lou Schneider »
Bill & Joan N in Missouri
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2002 Winnebago Adventurer 35U
Workhorse W22, 8.1L Chevy V8
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Furbearers:  Heidi-17(Forever), Cats: Grace-11 & Squeak-6, Winnie the ShihTzu - 16 mos

Bill N

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Re: Oxygen Concentrator Use On The Road
« Reply #44 on: January 18, 2018, 08:46:13 AM »
Sort of an update to this thread. 
     I bought a portable oxygen concentrator on line on Monday and it arrived at my home yesterday.  It is an Invacare Platinum.  It normally lists for $2495 with a single battery.  I got mine for $2198 with two batteries.  It appears to be a nice unit and one thing that led to the sale was the very good price (considering) and the fact that the dealer was advertising it with a 5 year guarantee in addition to the sale price. 
     I took the unit out of the box and charged up the batteries as required and turned it on last night.  Kind of noisy but then I have to remember that it is a concentrator and not just a tank you are hauling around. Lots of nice features including inserting and removing the batteries from the top and not the bottom. Therefore you never have to turn the unit off to change batteries but it also holds both batteries giving you a much longer running time depending on liter requirement.  It goes from 1 to 4 liters.
     Now for the rest of the story.  After the batteries were charged I turned the unit on on looked at the LCD display but it looked strange.  About 1/4 inch of the display in the center was missing.  Any words on the display would be missing several of the middle letters.  So I turned it off, read the book a bit more and found no reason for this.  Turned it back on and this time there was  only a blank on the LCD display.  It has not worked since then but all the other features do work including it putting out oxygen.  4 liters sounds sort of like a jet engine......lol 
     So I email the salesman and told him the problem.  I also told him I saw no mention of a 5 year warranty on any of the paperwork - just the standard 3 year warranty.  And the biggie.  He originally told me that I had 5 days to return the unit for money back or 30 days to return it for exchange on another brand concentrator (he also sells Inogen and others).  But when I looked at the company web site they were bragging that everybody gets a 30 day money back trial period.  So when I told him it was broke I also told him that if he could not honor the 30 day money back deal as advertised and if he could not provide me with proof of a 5 year warranty, then he could just refund my money.  I am waiting for his reply.
     This is my first experience in dealing with purchase of medical equipment.  My home oxygen concentrator and tank filler are handled by my local Mercy  hospital company and paid by Medicare.  I can only comment that medical equipment pricing  is crazy.  A replacement battery is $400.  A standard battery charger is $299 - just crazy.  Will try and remember to post the final outcome of this adventure but I know that I will eventually need a portable concentrator when we start travelling again.  The salesman did say in an email last night that they would send out a replacement but that was before I put forth the conditions I mentioned above.

Bill
« Last Edit: January 18, 2018, 08:48:20 AM by Bill N »
Bill & Joan N in Missouri
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2002 Winnebago Adventurer 35U
Workhorse W22, 8.1L Chevy V8
2013 Chevy Sonic Toad
Furbearers:  Heidi-17(Forever), Cats: Grace-11 & Squeak-6, Winnie the ShihTzu - 16 mos

John From Detroit

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Re: Oxygen Concentrator Use On The Road
« Reply #45 on: January 18, 2018, 09:43:32 AM »
YES, Medical supplies, medication and hardware both, are way way way way overpriced here in the USA..

I see a lot of folks blaming the Affordable Care act but that's not the cause.
The cause of thei high prices is twofold
ONE: used to be Doctors, and medical providers (Such asd Imogen and Eli-Lilly) were not allowed to advertise, at least not for Humans.

And Corporate GREED.  Selling a 10 dollar charger for 300 is a prime example of that.  Or upping the price of a medication from 500 to 5000 percent overnight.
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
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Re: Oxygen Concentrator Use On The Road
« Reply #46 on: January 18, 2018, 03:47:13 PM »
Another update:  Turns out I woke them up at the company about their 30 day money back guarantee.  They must have spent half of the day revising that policy on line because they were not aware it was still listed in the FAQs.  So I have now been guaranteed 30 day money back return if I choose to use that option - the last customer that will be allowed to do that.  I can see their point.  The owner called me and told me of some horror stories they had on the 30 day returns.  Guess it is hard to believe what people can do to a machine in only 30 days but the examples he gave me made me see why they changed it.  But I also notice they put a 6% restocking fee on any  returns in 30 days unless the item arrived unserviceable at the buyers home (like me).  That 6% could add up to some real change on the dollar figures for some of these machines  They also sent me a 5 year warranty via email and are having a new machine sent even before I return mine to make sure that all the accessories are in good shape too.  I guess things like batteries could arrive damaged. Anyway, looks like we have reached a settlement that satisfies me and them.  At least the two salesmen are also company owners so you don't get that old "if the boss approves" BS.  Happy again - at least for the moment.

Bill
Bill & Joan N in Missouri
USAF (Ret - 1961-1981)
2002 Winnebago Adventurer 35U
Workhorse W22, 8.1L Chevy V8
2013 Chevy Sonic Toad
Furbearers:  Heidi-17(Forever), Cats: Grace-11 & Squeak-6, Winnie the ShihTzu - 16 mos

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Re: Oxygen Concentrator Use On The Road
« Reply #47 on: January 18, 2018, 08:24:49 PM »
    Glad that worked out for you Bill,let us know how that machine works out for you!
Will and Jane
95 Winnebago Luxor