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

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

Sorry I mean sleeping in a sleeping bag with plenty of ventilation as in all the windows down or even outside.

RE: Can you breathe up all the oxygen in your rig? - maki2 - 10-15-2019

There is a  foggy zone of oxygen insufficiency that can happen where you don't die but you really did need more oxygen that you were getting. That is very much not good for your brain health. So even if your dwelling space is not air tight you really do need some extra fresh air in a small volume of space. 

One year I was sleeping in a truck cap with a friend and I woke up gasping for air. We did not have a heater running, it was simply a matter of not having a large enough volume of air.

If you are sleeping or even just being awake in a van on a rainy day you can get some fresh air without the rain coming in if you have some rain caps over your front windows. You might also need some window screen socks if you are in a buggy area.

My small travel trailer is fiberglass that means the sides slope and rain can easily come into the windows on all sides but the back one that has a sliding window in the door. I do have a heater, it exhaust the fumes to the exterior but it does not have a tube for fresh air intake. So I went to the marine supply store and found a louvered vent to install at the top of the sliding window on the entry door. It is acting as my "rain cap". I can control the amount of air that comes in by raising and lowering the window. Of course my trailer is not completely air tight but it also has a very small volume of space so a fresh air intake was something I felt was essential. Now I can leave my heater on as much as I want to even if I am asleep or awake doing other tasks. Be kind to yourself, be sure you get a sufficiency of fresh air. Even for houses the current building code has required that there be an air exchange system to create a "healthy home".

This photo shows the louvered vent I added at the top of the sliding window in my travel trailer door. Now way was I going to be spending time in it without a way to have fresh air if it was cold and the heater was in use or when it was raining and it was not cold outside.

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

Another thing to factor in is that human lungs aren't even close to 100% efficient. They only remove a small percentage of the available oxygen from each lungful of air. Many years back I read how much the percentage is, but it's been so long that all I can recall now is that the figure is fairly small. So you can breathe the same lungful again and again multiple times, though with each repeat the lungs have to work harder at extracting the remaining oxygen and therefore less is taken in. Eventually this will indeed kill you, but it takes longer than you'd think.

In other words, you can't calculate this merely by lungfuls of volume. There's a lot more to it.

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

For someone who has anxiety/panic disorder, I *SO DID NOT* need this "problem" to be brought up!! ROFL

I'll remember to keep at least one of my vehicle windows cracked open, no matter the weather.

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

This was a really good thread. Thanks to Mr Noodly for opening it up, and for all who contributed.

RE: Can you breathe up all the oxygen in your rig? - Dingfelder - 10-17-2019

I remember reading about some young healthy European guy who died overnight in a room that had nothing extraordinary about it.  I've been wary ever since.  Some "tiny homes" builders have started to put active circulation fans and vents from one end of the home to another.  It can be surprisingly, maybe even prohibitively,  expensive. 

But what are you going to do with it's a life or death matter?

RE: Can you breathe up all the oxygen in your rig? - wayne49 - 10-17-2019

Cars have an opening on the body to equalize air pressure when closing doors. Toyota Camry's have a license plate sized opening in the left rear quarter panel on the inner side. Passenger vehicles are not airtight by design.

A problem is moisture build up from breathing.

RE: Can you breathe up all the oxygen in your rig? - crofter - 10-17-2019

I have air coming in around the back doors in the van, and also a maxxfan. With the vent cracked about a half inch passive circulation keeps the air fresh. I have not ran the buddy heater in the van during the two years i have owned it. No need.
They used to make a candle lantern for use in tents that would also work in similar small space. It produces light plus a small amount of heat. -crofter

RE: Can you breathe up all the oxygen in your rig? - michaelwnoakes - 10-18-2019

When children and pets are left in a vehicle and die, it isn't because of the lack of oxygen, but due to the extreme heat buildup inside of the vehicle. The internal temperature reaches between 125 and 140 degrees, the same temperature range that we cook low and slow meat such as pulled pork or beef jerky. What actually causes death is dehydration and an actual partial cooking of the brain.

As for heaters, it isn't the consumption of oxygen, but the emission of carbon monoxide that causes death. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, tasteless gas that displaces your blood oxygen levels as you breathe in. To avoid this issue, have a carbon monoxide detector in your vehicle, which goes off before the carbon monoxide level reaches dangerous amounts. When the alarm goes off, turn of the heater and open the window to get a cross draft that dissipates the carbon monoxide level. Cracking your windows and placing the heater between them and you will provide the necessary ventilation for the heater and provide the heat for you. Don't sleep with the heater on, so you can hear the alarm if it goes off, as well as preventing a fire hazard due to your blanket getting up against the heater, etc.

RE: Can you breathe up all the oxygen in your rig? - crofter - 10-18-2019

With the buddy heater on high in the van, my pulse oximeter reads 98 percent oxygen concentration in my blood. I still have a pulse. This is the same reading as when i started the test. Heater has raised the temperature in here by 6 degrees in sbout 15 minutes, currently 63 degrees in here. So an hour later and i have an oxygen saturation in my blood of 97 percent on the pulse oximeter. It is 68 degrees in here after an hour running the heater on high, outside temp is about 45 degrees. End of test. 
I think you could improve airflow by having another vent at the other end of the van in an area free of exhaust gasses. Agree that co detector should be used-crofter