VanDweller Community Forums
Can you breathe up all the oxygen in your rig? - Printable Version

+- VanDweller Community Forums (https://www.cheaprvliving.com/forums)
+-- Forum: Site and Forum Help (https://www.cheaprvliving.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?fid=36)
+--- Forum: Vandwelling topics that don't fit in other areas (https://www.cheaprvliving.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?fid=19)
+--- Thread: Can you breathe up all the oxygen in your rig? (/showthread.php?tid=38457)

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5


Can you breathe up all the oxygen in your rig? - MrNoodly - 10-15-2019

There have been many threads warning about heaters and stoves using up oxygen, but what about just breathing? How much oxygen do we consume, and how close do we come to using it all up in our rigs? Well, I looked it up.

The average adult, when resting, inhales and exhales about 7 or 8 liters of air per minute.
That totals about 11,000 liters of air per day.

Okay, let's consider just sleeping time, when our rig is most likely to be closed up. That's about 3,666 liters. We don't typically think of vehicle volume in terms of liters, but 3,666 liters is about 129 cubic feet. If you figure the interior of a standard length, low roof van is about 6' x 4.5' x 12', that's 324 cubic feet. But at least half of that volume is taken up with your stuff and yourself, leaving about 162 cubic feet for air.

But what if you're in something less roomy than a van? Hmmmmmmm...

I think the collected experience of all the vehicle dwellers shows us this isn't really a problem. We aren't breathing ourselves to the point of suffocation. But it couldn't hurt to leave a window cracked, or to open the door a second or two during one of those times you wake at the night.


RE: Can you breathe up all the oxygen in your rig? - highdesertranger - 10-15-2019

all this assumes the vehicle is airtight. which I doubt any are. highdesertranger


RE: Can you breathe up all the oxygen in your rig? - MrNoodly - 10-15-2019

Correct.


RE: Can you breathe up all the oxygen in your rig? - Almost There - 10-15-2019

I don't think in 50 years of driving and 43 years of owning vans that I've ever even thought about it.

The terms air tight and vehicles just don't belong in the same sentence nor the same post.

And if you own a manufactured RV you have even less to be concerned about - I've seen the inside of them after a dust storm.... Big Grin Rolleyes


RE: Can you breathe up all the oxygen in your rig? - MrNoodly - 10-15-2019

(10-15-2019, 09:53 AM)Almost There Wrote:  The terms air tight and vehicles just don't belong in the same sentence nor the same post.


If we agree vehicles aren't airtight, can we then agree there's little likelihood of a heater or stove using up too much oxygen?  Big Grin


RE: Can you breathe up all the oxygen in your rig? - bullfrog - 10-15-2019

The campers built using Poor Man's Fiberglass use the "sock principle" which requires a complete covering sometimes inside and out of the completed camper for structural strength makes it so the only way air gets in or out is through openings. Doors can be sealed up pretty tight so much so you just about have to put a vent in them to shut them, ask me how I know! A well built camper can be built water and almost airtight so having vents is a concern not only for oxygen but condensation. It is possible to build a rig that can kill you if not ventilated. Even in a leaky van can get to hot in summer or not get enough ventilation when heating in winter to deal with the condensation that develops. Leaving pets and children in closed vehicles is a real concern as death can occur with too little ventilation and with a few of the super insulated builds and people using unvented heaters I really think it is important to point out to newcomers the importance of ventilation. I my old vehicles I can usually watch the ground go by through the floorboards so usually as stated above ventilation is seldom a problem. sleeping in a closed in space especially with an unvented heater ventilation needs to be checked and vents must be and stay open or be avoided altogether.


RE: Can you breathe up all the oxygen in your rig? - Matlock - 10-15-2019

And lets not forget that just under 20% of the air we breathe is oxygen. So only 1/5th of that trapped air in this mythical Van envelope is actually useable for us regular (non-sleep apnea) folks. (I think over 50 folks breathe less often or at least shallower. Just my experience from listening to all the wheezers I hang with)

Smile Ya, I like fresh air and have a window open a bit year round.


RE: Can you breathe up all the oxygen in your rig? - bullfrog - 10-15-2019

With all the smaller vented heaters available and several with prices now less than $200 I would want one just to not to have to deal with the condensation unvented heaters create. Really a good sleeping bag solves the problem which everyone should have anyway. Sorry I won't agree as not being airtight is not the same as being enough to breath. I have had to ventilate in order to keep my Buddy heater from shutting off in my camper and that was enough to concern me. People have died from sleeping in enclosed spaces especially if stuck in deep snow or mud and if a cars exhaust leaks can be a hazard I would certainly think with the few brain cells I have left because I have done stupid things an unvented heater could do the same.


RE: Can you breathe up all the oxygen in your rig? - highdesertranger - 10-15-2019

I have to agree with bullfrog. an unvented heater consumes oxygen at a much higher rate than breathing. I don't have the exact numbers but by guessing I would say at least 20 times more and it wouldn't surprise if it was much higher like 100 times or more. highdesertranger


RE: Can you breathe up all the oxygen in your rig? - Qxxx - 10-15-2019

(10-15-2019, 11:47 AM)bullfrog Wrote:  With all the smaller vented heaters available and several with prices now less than $200 I would want one just to not to have to deal with the condensation unvented heaters create.  Really a good sleeping bag solves the problem which everyone should have anyway.  Sorry I won't agree as not being airtight is not the same as being enough to breath.  I have had to ventilate in order to keep my Buddy heater from shutting off in my camper and that was enough to concern me.  
...........
I agree with frog that there isn't enough air in the van for both human and unventilated heater in the night. Not by a long shot. Even with some air leakage around the seals.

On various other threads, people have expressed the idea of sleeping without heat during the night and turning it, say a buddy heater, on first thing in the morning. And then staying in the sleeping bag until it warms up a bit. I've done this in my van using my Coleman propane stove, and it warms up very quickly.

In regards freezing to death in a car when trapped in a snowstorm,  I recall reading that lighting a candle can keep the inside of the car from getting too cold, but crack a window. I wonder if this would work in the back of a van, in lieu of using a real heater. ???

"... not to have to deal with the condensation unvented heaters create.  Really a good sleeping bag solves the problem...". 

I disagree with this last. I did not insulate the walls in my van and I sleep with just a sleeping bag, no heater whatsoever at night. Did this for 2 1/2 months last winter in AZ and SoCal. Many is the morning I woke up and there was "significant" condensation on the underside of the metal roof of the van just over my head. I mean "significant". Apparently my breathing in the night produces enough moisture in the air to do this.