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Old 10-28-2018, 04:58 PM   #1
Winnebago Camper
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Question Air compressor for tire inflation (Class-C gas RV)

Hi everyone,

I wasn't sure whether I should post this question here or in the general maintenance forum, so - any moderator, let me know if it's misplaced.

My question:
I have a 2017 Winnebago Itasca Spirit 25B (26 foot class-C gas RV). It has 6 tires. The 2 in the front require 75 PSI, and all 4 rear tires require 80 PSI. I even have the super useful "RVi Tire Pressure Monitoring system" which monitors tire pressure real time.

We usually go to the local tire shop to inflate if/when the pressure gets low; however, I wanted to see if we can buy a good and reliable (but not HUGE) electrically powered air compressor. I'm now just starting to find out all about CFM, HP, etc.
Our Class-C RV does NOT have an integral air system. We need an electric air compressor. I've seen a few on Amazon, namely the "Viair 40047 400P-RV", but it connects directly to the battery itself with clamps, not even a power outlet. I actually would prefer an air compressor with a 120V outlet hook out (not 12V, and not a direct-to-battery clamp connection).

Anyone has a good recommendation for a reliable air compressor that would fit my 75-80 PSI tires?

Thanks, have a great Halloween!
2020 Winnebago Micro Minnie (Fifth Wheel) 2405RL
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Old 10-30-2018, 06:36 AM   #2
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Location: Sebastian Florida
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I bought a Hyper-Tuff AC compressor with a 1 gallon tank at Walmart for $50. You need to replace the short hose and valve that comes with it because it will not allow the pressure to build. I added a quick disconnect, 10 foot hose and one of those fill valves with built in gauge and squeeze handle. That lets it build pressure to 150 PSI before operating. It works, but if I had to buy one again, I would get the Viair you mention. It is smaller and lighter and you can always run it, even if the generator doesn't start.

The problem with compressors that run off a 12V outlet, is that the wiring is too small so there is too much voltage drop. You can get away with it if you only need to fill bicycle tires or for small car tires, but they get hot pretty quickly and burn out on tires that require 80 psi.

I always carry a plug kit, because there have been several time now that I have been able to fix a puncture without removing the tire from the vehicle. But mainly we camp in state or national parks and it is good to keep tabs on the air pressure as its often a long way to any place that can fill your tires.
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Old 10-30-2018, 08:20 AM   #3
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You can either get yourself a 12V high pressure compressor or one that works on 120V. Here's a small, inexpensive model that you can pick up at your local Lowes:
Roger & Mary
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Old 10-30-2018, 08:58 AM   #4
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I use a California Air Tools 8 gal (120 psi) two piston compressor. Operates very quietly with not much startup load on 120v. Can run off shore power or gennie on the road. I much prefer the piston compressor over a noisy diaphragm one.

Cost about $200 on Amazon in fall 2016. Excellent for both tire pressure maintenance and for blowing out water supply lines when winterizing. I have an accessory adjustable regulator for the winterizing that can limit pressure to 30 psi or so.

Also have a 10' air hose with quick connect fittings and tire fill fitting.

BTW a really excellent tire gauge is the Longacre Racing 2-1/2" 0-100 psi with a foot valve. Works well for dual wheels. Product # 52-52063. About $50 at
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Old 10-30-2018, 09:49 AM   #5
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I vote for the small, under $100, 120v air compressor like luvlabs suggested. It can also do double duty at home to power a brad nailer, stapler, etc. Similar compressors are available from Harbor Freight for less but the quality might not be as high.
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Old 11-11-2018, 04:35 PM   #6
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We have used a Porter Cable 6 gallon "Pancake" C2002 compressor--up to 125#, on a large diesel pusher which required 110 PSI in 22" diameter wheels. These are about $100 from many sources.

More recently we purchased the "Viair 40047 400P-RV" because we pull several different boat trailers. With the purchase of a Via 25T this makes a lot of sense, since the batteries are very accessible. We have had to use this compressor on several occasions--and it was easier and almost as powerful as the Porter cable--or a 5 HP 25 gallon compressor I have in my shop!.
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Old 11-11-2018, 05:43 PM   #7
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I wanted a compressor for "just in case". I picked up one of those small 12volt ones at Harbor Freight so far its done a good job for me. Certainly not for full time or extended use, but for those once in while occasions when you really need it, it does the job. It also takes up next to no space.
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Old 11-11-2018, 05:51 PM   #8
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I felt like you until I got caught out on the road trying to find air that was for the birds I broke down and brought the viair and have had piece of mind since, the size and getting 100 plus pounds of air was the big thing for me
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Old 11-11-2018, 06:59 PM   #9
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Ten years ago I bought the Porter Cable "pancake" 120V compressor for a flooring job. It works well to inflate tires, but is an awkward size. Newest version is the C2002 (link here).

I next bought a Slime 12V compressor for the car tires. It works well. I like that I can set the pressure and it will run to that setpoint, then shut off. I don't think it would work for higher-pressure tires, or where higher flows are needed. It looks as if Slime has a newer version out, the 40051 (link here).

On the recommendation of folks over at the iRV2 fora, a couple months ago I bought a Porter Cable CMB15 120V compressor. It fits better than the pancake in our coach. Link here. I was able to buy one at our local "Runnings" store for just $99, which surprised me, as "Runnings" is usually more expensive than most retail and Internet sellers.

I did not use the "curly" hose provided with the compressor. Instead, I replaced it with FlexZilla (Pro) air hose and high-flow couplers (link here) I also bought a nice inflator with built-in pressure gauge.

If I wanted a heavier-duty 12V compressor I'd get the Viair, probably the 400P-RV.
2008 Holiday Rambler Admiral 30PDD (Ford F-53 chassis)
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Old 11-11-2018, 07:09 PM   #10
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I now use a pancake compressor and a hose reel in my Class A. But space is at a premium in a Class C. When I owned my Class C I carried this, it clips right across a battery and has a lot more air volume at pressure than the ones that plug into a 12 Volt accessory put out. It cuts inflation time by at least 5X when you need to add air. I changed out the end of the air hose that comes with it to fit a good truck style inflation end with gauge. Item #69285 It's worth the extra money.

Harbor Freight High Power 12 Volt Portable Compressor
Randy - Manhattan, Kansas
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Old 11-11-2018, 08:04 PM   #11
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Menards - has a Fini branded 1 or 1.5 lb 120v AC powered 150 max psi hot dog portable. Compact and lightweight cost around $80. Came with a quick connect hose and some basic fittings.

Works a treat.
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Old 11-11-2018, 08:45 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by MainelyScott View Post
I wanted a compressor for "just in case". I picked up one of those small 12volt ones at Harbor Freight so far its done a good job for me. Certainly not for full time or extended use, but for those once in while occasions when you really need it, it does the job. It also takes up next to no space.
I bought the 150psi 12V compressor. The only downside to these compressors, there is no moisture trap built-in, you must buy the small in-line moisture trap + fittings to attach it to the hose. Moisture from compressed air in tires is the leading cause of wider pressure fluctuations.
2000 Winnebago Ultimate Freedom USQ40JD, ISC 8.3 Cummins 350, Spartan MM Chassis. USA 1SG, retired;PPA,Good Sam Life member,FMCA. "We the people are the rightful masters of both the Congress and the Courts - not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow men who pervert the Constitution." Abraham Lincoln
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Old 11-11-2018, 09:40 PM   #13
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Get the Viair and leave worries behind. The compressor is something to help maintain a mission critical part of your rv. The Viair Rv model has hose extensions, different connection options and an accurate pressure gauge. It is easy to connect to house batteries or, on the sprinter, the jump start connections under the hood.
Mike RV Kayaker Western CT
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Old 11-12-2018, 04:24 PM   #14
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tire inflator

Here's what has been working well for me. Very compact to store. The box is 8.5 x 11 x 7H and holds the coiled air hose and pump. The long 'pencil' inflator I purchased separately and 'clips' on and is really easy to use.
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compressor, gas

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