Portable compressor recommendations? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-20-2007, 07:28 PM   #1
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Does anyone have particular recommendations for 12V air compressors? We would use it for inflating truck and trailer tires as needed, and for reinflating the truck tires if we go driving on sand and have to let some air out of the tires (hmmm...would that work for the TT too... if we were to drive over a sandy area of an unpaved backroad, like the Kodakchrome from AZ to UT, for example?)

Harbor Freight has five 12V air compressors available, ranging from:

A 100 PSI for $26 which claims "Up to 300% more air than any compressor in its class; Fully inflates car tires in less than 3-1/2 minutes; 25 liters per minute air flow; Gearless direct drive for quiet operation; Overload protection; bult-in pressure gauge; Cast alloy air pump casing with cooling fins for quick heat dissipation; Antivibration rubber feet; cigarette lighter adapter.

to

A 300 PSI for $10 with car cigarette lighter adapter. Built-in pressure gauge; 25-1/2'' quick-connect air hose;
Locking tire chuck


In this case, is less more or is more less?

Thanks for your input!
Val
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Old 09-20-2007, 08:28 PM   #2
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Val & Kayla,

I split your post off from tool kits thread because I thought it was worthy as a stand-alone topic, and you'll undoubtedly get more attention with it as it's own thread.

Good luck finding the info you're after!

Roger
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Old 09-20-2007, 10:01 PM   #3
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I have had the Husky Air Scout for about a year. Works great.
If I recall, got it at the Depot for about $100.
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Old 09-20-2007, 11:29 PM   #4
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Hi Greg, thanks for the info (say, did you see my post on the 3M Marine Adhesive 4000UV...it's got UV protection too).
Gee... that's a big price difference between your HD compressor and the ones at Harbor Freight. I wonder if the HF ones are total junk? I was planning to order a 12V DC impact wrench from them to loosen the Equalizer receiver head bolts, so thought I would toss in an air compressor too, but I will wait to see...

Val
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Old 09-21-2007, 07:34 AM   #5
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I have been saving my pennies for this:

http://www.automotivepartsnetwork.com/stor...dproduct=229604
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Old 09-21-2007, 09:43 AM   #6
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My son gave me a Viair P90 as a birthday gift. It is fast and quiet and is all I will ever need.

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Old 09-21-2007, 09:43 AM   #7
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Because these inexpensive 12V inflater's seam to take forever to pump up the tire and you don’t want to stand there for the extended time it takes I purchased one from www.northerntool.com that you set the desired pressure and it will turn off when it reaches that setting. I have used it and it takes a while to pump up the tire however, I’m off doing something else.

If you want a “Great” continuous use 12V compressor, you will spend up to $100USD or more and you can find them at www.jcw.com

I part time at a Pawn Shop and have access to all types of air compressors at wholesale prices and I still purchased the new one at Harbor Freight.

If you want a good 120VAC compressor to use around the house, the “Husky Easy Air To Go” is the ticket and sells for less than $90 USD. It has wheels and a handle so you can wheel it around or carry. I use it for Trim nail guns and to inflate tires.
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Old 09-21-2007, 09:47 AM   #8
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Quote:
I have been saving my pennies for this:

http://www.automotivepartsnetwork.com/stor...dproduct=229604
Looks nice, but it's not light weight at 18lbs.
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Old 09-21-2007, 11:38 AM   #9
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The one Tom mentioned looks a lot like this one at Harbor Freight: http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Disp...temnumber=96068

I was leaning toward that one anyway, because it seemed the best built of all the harbor Freight ones, but I couldn't quite figure out how a 100 PSI unit would be faster at inflating a tire than a 300 PSI unit? Wouldn't 300 PSI inflate a tire faster, or does it depend on the motor speed and other factors? Can someone explain?

Darwin... I think I found the one you mentioned: http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/sto...77224_200277224
That looks pretty nice.

With how infrequently I expect to use this (and keeping in mind all the other things yet to be bought for the truck and trailer), I'd rather buy an inexpensive unit, as long as it works decently.

Val
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Old 09-21-2007, 01:52 PM   #10
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Yes Val, that is the one I purchased.

The time it takes to inflate a tire is based on 2 things. The CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) of air that it pumps and the maximum amount of pressure the pump will output.

A high CFM and high pressure will do it faster than a low CFM at the same max pressure.

They all get extremely hot when working because when you pressurize air it is the same principle as a diesel engine. When the diesel engine pressurizes the air / fuel mixture in the cylinder it gets hot enough to ignite the fuel mixture.

The really cheep units have a really small piston and inflate really slow and get really hot.

The one that I purchased gets really hot also even though it has a fan and it states in the instructions to rest it after a certain amount of time in use.

One good thing about the Northern Tool unit is the lights built into the unit because if you happen to be on the road side tire, you will have a blinking light to turn on to warn others and a light to use to see where to connect the unit.

I have installed weather tight 12V receptacles close to the tires on the Scamp.
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Old 09-21-2007, 04:20 PM   #11
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I really don't think that a higher maximum inflation pressure helps the rate of inflation at all. If the pump can go to 300 PSI (or 3,000 PSI) doesn't matter when it's never getting over 50PSI doing your tire. It may even be the opposite: the design of motor or compressor which can work to those high pressures may sacrifice speed at low pressure to reach them. It may be that high-pressure units tend to use more powerful motors and better-built compressor components, so they happen to pump more effectively than the cheapies even at low pressure.

The MaxxFan or Fantastic vent in the egg's roof can move vastly higher volumes of air than these compressors can at very low pressures, but can never reach a high pressure... each device is optimal for a specific condition.

It is the flow rate (measured in CFM - cubic feet per minute) at the relevant pressure which is important. Most tire inflaters will not specify this rate; for example...That last unit is twice the size (in physical size and power consumption) of the other Harbor Freight unit, and appears to have the air flow rate to go with it.
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Old 09-21-2007, 04:34 PM   #12
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Hey guys it's just like frame-mounted bicycle pumps for mountain bikes or road bikes.
They come in two basic flavors, High Volume - Low Pressure and Low Volume - High Pressure.

Speaking from experience, the Campbell-Hausfeld that Wally used to sell for about $10 will do the job, but as Darwin said, slowly and it gets hot, esp pumping up a full-sized automotive tire. The 100 psi model will probably do a faster job.

Features that I like are a switch on the compressor itself so I don't have to plug/unplug it to turn it on and off, and a T fitting at the tire connection so I can use my own tire gauges (I have one low psi one for vehicle tires and one high psi one for other stuf or hp trailer tires). I prefer my gauges to the El Cheapo ones typically found on tire stuf.
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Old 09-22-2007, 09:17 AM   #13
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I just buy whichever one at Wal-Mart looks reasonably well made and is no more than $20. The last one I bought 5 years ago works just fine, although I also have an air tank, also about $20, that I fill up at a gas station for topping off tires at home. Sometimes I fill the air tank from the pump, by starting it, going inside for 15 minutes to get away from the noise, then shutting it off. Most of these cheap pumps recommend limiting run time.
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Old 09-22-2007, 09:19 AM   #14
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I saw a nice looking one at Costco yesterday for $50. I cann't find it on their website though.

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