Portable Air Compressor - Fiberglass RV

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Old 07-07-2016, 08:46 AM   #1
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DeanCHS1980's Avatar
Name: Dean
Trailer: 2005 Casita 17' Freedom Deluxe
Posts: 342
Portable Air Compressor

Hi All,

I know it is not the most glamorous piece of RV Gear, but my OCD nature has me a little preoccupied with the exciting world of portable air compressors!!! To back up my OCD nature, I have examples of why a portable air compressor may be my next purchase:

1. Just listened to an RV podcast covering RV maintenance and the #1 item that all of us can maintain in our RVs is the tire. One of the most important items to maintain with tires is the proper pressure.

2. I attended the RV Safety & Education Foundation Conference in mid-May. It was hosted by Walter Canon. If you know anything about Walter, he is going to preach tire safety. Much of this safety involves proper tire pressure.

3. Laura and I completed a trip (460 mile round trip) to the Smoky Mountain National Park in mid-April. Within a mile of our house upon arriving home, I noticed a blister the size of a baseball on one of our tires. Upon further inspection, the other tire had tread separation. These six year old tires were not worn out, but they were OLD. Trailer tires age out before they wear out. I upgraded from 14″ wheels to 15″ wheels in order to accommodate newer tires that were 10 ply rather than 6 ply. I got tire religion without having a blowout!

Laura and I completed a 1900 mile 12 day camping trip in early June with our new tires and wheels. Worked wonderfully. I checked my tires every morning that we traveled. One morning I wanted to put a little air in one of the trailer tires. I took the trailer over to a nice large service station that had free air and a cool digital gauge. Guess what? The air pump only went up to 70 lbs and my tires hold a maximum of 80 lbs, so it did me no good.

I have been thinking about a nice portable air compressor. I like this company’s products based on my research:

VIAIR Corporation - Portable Compressors

A portable air compressor will run me from $60 to $250. In all likelihood, I would spend somewhere around $70 to $130. Given my tires require 80 psi, I will probably go with a unit that will provide at least 120 psi of pressure.

Do any of you carry a portable air compressor with you? If so, do you have a recommendation?



Laura & Dean | '05 Casita 17' FD | '09 Kia Borrego Limited V8 2WD
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Old 07-07-2016, 08:58 AM   #2
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Name: Carl
Trailer: 2015 Escape 5.0TA
Somewhere in the Lower 48
Posts: 692
I carry a Viair. Cost me @ $220. I believe it is one of the best portable air compressors made and one of the best investments I've made. Haven't had to use it on the trailer tires but 3 times on the tow vehicle tires.

Sent from my iPhone using Fiberglass RV

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Old 07-07-2016, 09:13 AM   #3
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Name: Raz
Trailer: Trillium 2010
Posts: 3,555
I bought a Viair 0073 about a year ago to take on the road. $43 from Amazon. I've only used it a couple of times. So far so good. It requires a 20 amp fused outlet so check your owners manual. It's fairly quiet compared to most of the portable pumps I looked at. It has a gauge that matches my dail type hand gauge. They may both be off but they read the same. Raz
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Old 07-07-2016, 09:16 AM   #4
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Name: Wayne & Barbara
Trailer: Parkliner
Posts: 322
By "portable" do you mean one that runs off 12 volts? Uses your TV's cigarette lighter socket? I have one like that, is small, and takes a long time, but will get you pumped up eventually.
More important is to have your own, accurate tire pressure gauge.
Do not rely on the ones attached to the compressor or air hose.
A dial type that will hold the reading, or a digital, is good.
The cheap, pencil style are not.

80 psi??? seems high. Do you know the actual weight on the tires?
Look up the LOAD/INFLATION chart for your tires, and adjust the air accordingly.
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Old 07-07-2016, 09:19 AM   #5
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Name: Ed
Trailer: 1982 Fiber Stream and 2002 Casita Freedom Deluxe,The driveway is a Dark & Lonely Place now!
Posts: 1,719
I got a larger Slime brand unit for under $100 so I could get my Sprinter E load range tires inflated and it has worked well for everything that I have tried so far!
I use it with a battery jump box mostly for the vehicles but I have an outside 12vdc outlet on the Casita that is real handy for the compressor there.

Not a Viair but a lot less money than the ones that I saw too.
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Old 07-07-2016, 09:31 AM   #6
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Name: Charlie Y
Trailer: Escape 21 - Felicity
Posts: 976
A fully loaded Casita 17LD does not require 80 psi in the tires. I know as I had one; normally ran 60 psi as recommended by the tire manufacturer.

Running 80 psi means you have to keep a screwdriver handy as the vibration on the road will unscrew the fasteners holding your benches in place!
Charlie Y

Don't drill holes, try custom storage you design: http://RVWidgetWorks.com
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Old 07-07-2016, 09:39 AM   #7
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Name: Charles
Trailer: Scamp 16
Posts: 162
I bought a Black&Decker about 25 years ago for 29.95 and it's still saving me and others. I have found that most gas station air pumps won't go much over 50 psi. This one still goes over 100 psi easily.
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Old 07-07-2016, 09:53 AM   #8
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Name: Bob
Trailer: Casita 16SD
Posts: 15

I have a cheap small 12v compressor in every vehicle I own. They've saved the day many times. I also carry a tire plug kit (I know some folks don't think it's a good idea to plug tires but I've done it countless times over the last 40 years and 750,000 miles and have never had a problem).
The last compressor I bought came from home depot. It operates on 12v and 110v. Has a built in digital gauge and shuts itself off when desired pressure is reached. It's slow and noisy like most small units but works well.
Brand name is Husky and it was around $50.
What you allow is what will continue!
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Old 07-07-2016, 10:02 AM   #9
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Name: Bill
Trailer: Trillium 1300
British Columbia
Posts: 14
I always carry a Ryobi 18 volt compresser with me every day due also to the job sites that I frequent. Portable, cheap (as long as you have the batteries) and due to no cords very convenient to use.
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Old 07-07-2016, 12:32 PM   #10
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Name: Walter
Trailer: 2002 BigFoot 17'
SW Virginia
Posts: 830
My kids gave me a Viaio for Christmas last year. It's a 12v model with battery clips. I've used it several times and it works well. Other than it's a lot faster than the little cigarette plug models I've carried for years, about all I can say is it works fine and seems quite rugged.

Past owner of 1995 13' Casita, 1994 16' Casita, 2012 Parkliner.
Current owner of 2002 17' Bigfoot
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Old 07-07-2016, 12:52 PM   #11
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Name: michael
Trailer: 2008 Escape 17B
British Columbia
Posts: 7
air compressor

I have a SMITTYBILT. It the compressor of choice for off roaders. They deflate their tires when offroading and then have to fill back up when going home and do NOT want to waste time filling the tires up again. It runs twelve volts and connects to your battery with the red and black clamps. It has a very accurate guage a very long, coiled pressure cord (approx. 15 ft. maybe longer) and an air filter. It goes up to 150psi. I purchased mine for around $100 at RT Tires on 152nd street on the Surrey/Whiterock border.
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Old 07-07-2016, 01:05 PM   #12
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Name: Randy
Trailer: 1980Trillium 1300
Posts: 349
If one usually camps with hook-ups and also bring toys, it's worth to have a mini air compressor around. It works fast for inflatable boats, car, trailer tires and doesn't blow a fuse like a slow-poke 12VDC compressor. In photo, you could see a blue color, on the ground at rear of Trillium wheel. It cost 50bucks Canadian brand-new on sale, rated 2gallon, max 100psi. Just a share...
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20160614_161611.jpg   20160702_153951.jpg  

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Old 07-07-2016, 01:25 PM   #13
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Name: Bob
Trailer: Bigfoot
Posts: 3
We run a Viair 60 something. Good for about 120psi it airs up our big meaty e rated tires right quick, well right quick compared to the cheap tire inflator a we keep on the motorcycles.

We use a made in the USA wilco iirc brand truck stick style gauge. And I have a blue point dial gauge at home.

A couple of points to remember keep the pump up off the ground and away from dust and let it cool off ever so often while running, the smaller the compressor the more they need to cool down.

I also use a digital thermometer to check the tires temp. Especially on a new to me vehicle. While figuring out the right tire pressure.
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Old 07-07-2016, 02:30 PM   #14
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Name: Pete
Trailer: Casita
Posts: 21
I also have the larger Slime 12v compressor. Small, not to noisy, and surprisingly quick. But it does not have an auto-shut-off, so you have to watch it so as to not over inflate a tire.

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