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Old 12-27-2020, 12:49 AM   #1
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Portable Air-Compressor Recommendations?

Greetings!

I would like to purchase a portable compressor for the uses: tire pressure/suspension bags/toys etc.

Do you have any suggestions?

Jb
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Old 12-27-2020, 01:29 AM   #2
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From what I'm finding, I have a few options:

12V power from batteries

120V generator power/home
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Old 12-27-2020, 04:38 AM   #3
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You are going to get alot of 12v vs. 120v on this, heres my take. I have a Fini 120v 125psi compress for going on 8 years now. Yes it takes alittle time to get the 100 or 110 psi on the tires but then I am not in a hurry either. I have used it for the tires, water toys, blowing out things and have never been sorry for purchasing it.

Why 120 I have no data to back my thoughts up but I feel that 120 will be more reliable in the long run. There are alot more 120v outlets on my camper than 12v. When I had a 5th wheel it had no 12v outlets. Again to me 120v just made more sense.
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Old 12-27-2020, 06:16 AM   #4
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I think the recommendations are going to fall into two groups:

1. Those who recommend a 12v compressor, such as one of the Viair 12V models.

2. Those who recommend a 120V "pancake" or "hot dog" compressor from Lowes or Home Depot. These are bulkier and heavier but can do double duty at home.

In both categories, the maximum PSI you'll need will dictate which model you choose.

The Viairs are highly rated, compact and more expensive than most options. There are a lot of generic 12v compressors available online and elsewhere that are of dubious quality. Although I'm in category 2, if I were to go the 12v route, I'd probably spring for a Viair.

I chose the second category and purchased a 120v pancake compressor from Lowes that does double duty at home:

https://www.lowes.com/pd/PORTER-CABL...essor/50158927

There are smaller the 120v compressors available but they'll be less useful at home for air tools, etc.

I'd caution against any compressor from Harbor Freight. Their quality isn't the best and this is something you want to work when you need it. Buy a well-known brand name (Viair, Porter Cable, Craftsman, Campbell Hausfield, Bostich, etc.)

You might want to check out some of these threads:

https://www.google.com/search?q=air+...w=1309&bih=625

https://www.google.com/search?safe=o...4dUDCA0&uact=5
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Old 12-27-2020, 06:40 AM   #5
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How about this dual voltage compressor: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07VWKMMJV...v_ov_lig_dp_it

It operates on either 12V DC or 120V AC, switch selectable. The DC current draw is less than 10A which makes it suitable for cigarette lighter plug in. The air volume rate looks to be as good as any 12V compressor.

David
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Old 12-27-2020, 06:59 AM   #6
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BobC hits it spot on the nose.


I went the 12v Viair route. Installed it and have a 50' hose on a reel which I store in a bay.

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Old 12-28-2020, 12:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by be happy View Post
You are going to get alot of 12v vs. 120v on this, heres my take. I have a Fini 120v 125psi compress for going on 8 years now. Yes it takes alittle time to get the 100 or 110 psi on the tires but then I am not in a hurry either. I have used it for the tires, water toys, blowing out things and have never been sorry for purchasing it.

Why 120 I have no data to back my thoughts up but I feel that 120 will be more reliable in the long run. There are alot more 120v outlets on my camper than 12v. When I had a 5th wheel it had no 12v outlets. Again to me 120v just made more sense.
BeeHappy, Thanks for the reply and info. I'm pretty sure I don't have ANY 12V outlets on my 31K. I'm leaning towards something similar to what you did. Thanks again and cheers!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BobC View Post
I think the recommendations are going to fall into two groups:

1. Those who recommend a 12v compressor, such as one of the Viair 12V models.

2. Those who recommend a 120V "pancake" or "hot dog" compressor from Lowes or Home Depot. These are bulkier and heavier but can do double duty at home.

In both categories, the maximum PSI you'll need will dictate which model you choose.

The Viairs are highly rated, compact and more expensive than most options. There are a lot of generic 12v compressors available online and elsewhere that are of dubious quality. Although I'm in category 2, if I were to go the 12v route, I'd probably spring for a Viair.

I chose the second category and purchased a 120v pancake compressor from Lowes that does double duty at home:

https://www.lowes.com/pd/PORTER-CABL...essor/50158927

There are smaller the 120v compressors available but they'll be less useful at home for air tools, etc.

I'd caution against any compressor from Harbor Freight. Their quality isn't the best and this is something you want to work when you need it. Buy a well-known brand name (Viair, Porter Cable, Craftsman, Campbell Hausfield, Bostich, etc.)

You might want to check out some of these threads:

https://www.google.com/search?q=air+...w=1309&bih=625

https://www.google.com/search?safe=o...4dUDCA0&uact=5
BobC, thank you for getting me up to speed on the topic. I think I am leaning towards the dual function use of a 120v compressor. I have a larger craftsman for home use...and it MAY fit in the back compartment of the RV, but I think I'll spring the $ for a smaller one that will be easier to move around and will have its home in the RV. I was thinking I would just save money and use the one I have, but I think it is just too big. I've always wanted to get a smaller one anyhow.

I still need to read up on those threads you linked, thanks for the info!!

The cost difference between a small 120V and the nice 12V is just too much...I'm going to see what Lowes has to offer.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidM View Post
How about this dual voltage compressor: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07VWKMMJV...v_ov_lig_dp_it

It operates on either 12V DC or 120V AC, switch selectable. The DC current draw is less than 10A which makes it suitable for cigarette lighter plug in. The air volume rate looks to be as good as any 12V compressor.

David
Thanks DavidM for the link. I'm very skeptical about those 12V compressors. They sound good in the description...I just have heard from several people that they don't pump very well. I hadn't even seen a dual voltage compressor so thanks for sending me that info.

Quote:
Originally Posted by theSane View Post
BobC hits it spot on the nose.


I went the 12v Viair route. Installed it and have a 50' hose on a reel which I store in a bay.

That looks really slick and professional. If I go with a permanent install I'd try and do it like you did, that looks great.
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Old 12-28-2020, 02:55 PM   #8
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I, too, have a larger air compressor at home but, after buying the pancake compressor, it gets more use than my larger compressor.
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Old 12-28-2020, 05:26 PM   #9
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I have been using a Craftsman 3 gallon, 1.5hp unit and it works great. Weighs about 20lb and is pretty compact.
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Old 12-28-2020, 06:18 PM   #10
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There are cheaper alternatives but I use Viair! It has been rock solid and comforting to know you can fill a tire when needed.
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Old 12-28-2020, 09:52 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobC View Post
I, too, have a larger air compressor at home but, after buying the pancake compressor, it gets more use than my larger compressor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by D Wald View Post
I have been using a Craftsman 3 gallon, 1.5hp unit and it works great. Weighs about 20lb and is pretty compact.
Quote:
Originally Posted by gurroz View Post
There are cheaper alternatives but I use Viair! It has been rock solid and comforting to know you can fill a tire when needed.

Well...I did the opposite of what I said I was going to do. I ended up purchasing the Viair 400P. It came down to the following:

1. The cost was adding up when I combined the 120v unit and the accessories needed. I'm thinking I would be about 200$ by the time I bought the hose/accessories...it made thinking about 300$ a little closer.
2. I like the ability to charge via battery, I can use the Viair when I go on trips with my car.
3. I like the idea of NOT having to run the generator to operate.
4. The size is really small.


I appreciate all the tips and info...THANK YOU!! I'll report back when I receive the item and try it out.

Sasqtch
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Old 12-31-2020, 09:08 PM   #12
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Update:

I used the Viair 400P to "top off" all six of the tires on the coach today.

Each tire was about 10 pounds shy of the recommended pressure.

I connected the unit to the coach batteries and tried to fill up a tire with the vehicle off. It didn't have enough power.

Next, I turned vehicle's engine on (still using the coach batteries) and it worked okay. I was surprised at how hot the little unit got after a 10 pound fill...

Overall...I am okay with the purchase. The size is very nice and I like the attachment tools it came with as well as the two hoses and the bag.

Oh, I wasn't able to use the main double ended chuck to fill the outer tire. It didn't have the right angle...BUT, the chuck that screws onto the valve stem worked to fill the rear outer tires.

Later gators,
Sasqtch
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Old 01-01-2021, 03:09 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sasqtch View Post
Update:

I used the Viair 400P to "top off" all six of the tires on the coach today.

Each tire was about 10 pounds shy of the recommended pressure.

I connected the unit to the coach batteries and tried to fill up a tire with the vehicle off. It didn't have enough power.

Next, I turned vehicle's engine on (still using the coach batteries) and it worked okay. I was surprised at how hot the little unit got after a 10 pound fill...

Overall...I am okay with the purchase. The size is very nice and I like the attachment tools it came with as well as the two hoses and the bag.

Oh, I wasn't able to use the main double ended chuck to fill the outer tire. It didn't have the right angle...BUT, the chuck that screws onto the valve stem worked to fill the rear outer tires.

Later gators,
Sasqtch
Thanks for the update. I like that unit. Had I not already installed the ARB compressor, that would have been my go to unit.
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Old 01-03-2021, 04:19 PM   #14
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Recommend Viair 400P also picked up the Winterizing Kit. They are both high quality items.
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Old 01-03-2021, 04:29 PM   #15
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I have the VAIR 400P compressor and really like it a lot! It's pretty quick, only on while filling, comes with all of the needed accessories and a storage bag, and fits in my smaller, sprinter-based View without problems.

I do also have a portable jump battery which I use to power the VAIR when I'm topping off the tires. I could use the jumper points in the Sprinter's engine compartment as well, but since I already have the portable battery, it's a win-win. I was worried about reaching the inner duals with the chuck, but it's really no problem with the long, double-headed one provided. Just got to get the angle correct. It's actually harder to get the cap off of the inner valve stems than it is to fill it. I got the hang of it pretty quick, though.

I previously used the SEARS version of the Fini 1.2-Gallon 120v Single Stage Portable Electric Hot Dog Air Compressor. Worked fine, but used a bit too much space for when I downsized, plus it's quite noisy when pressurizing the tank and takes a minute or two to reach full pressure, but worked fine. Advantage was I could plug in to the 120v outets in the bays (one in the water compartment and one next the steps in the previous Class A.

they'll all work. Depends what you want to spend and how you want to power them.

best,

Dave-Oh
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Old 01-03-2021, 04:31 PM   #16
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I like this one

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sasqtch View Post
Greetings!

I would like to purchase a portable compressor for the uses: tire pressure/suspension bags/toys etc.

Do you have any suggestions?

Jb

https://smile.amazon.com/Slime-40026...omotive&sr=1-5


Slime also makes a dual-powered one (120v/12v) I use it for tires, for my air suspension, and my inflatable kingpin assembly. 100 psi seems to be able to handle anything.
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Old 01-03-2021, 04:41 PM   #17
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I installed a 200psi compressor and a 3 gal holding tank on my dually tow vehicle. The tank addition means I have a tank full of air as soon as I get in the vehicle. If the pressure drops slightly, the compressor just tops it off when you start the truck. I think the permanent install makes a great system. If you're going to do a 12v compressor, make it a permanent component install with a holding tank and you have all the air you need whenever you need it.
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Old 01-03-2021, 05:17 PM   #18
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We have a Viair as well. I keep it in the car as the car is always near the RV when it moves. If it’s permanent in the camper and you have an issue while away from camper you’re stuck.
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Old 01-03-2021, 05:21 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Sasqtch View Post
Greetings!

I would like to purchase a portable compressor for the uses: tire pressure/suspension bags/toys etc.

Do you have any suggestions?

Jb
I have the Viair and works great. Clip to my chassie battery on the passenger side and battery bank on driver side.
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Old 01-03-2021, 05:23 PM   #20
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I got a 12 volt compressor at Harbor Freight (the one with the metal case) sorry, I don’t remember the model#. Anyway, it’s worked fine on several occasions, takes up very little space, and has attachments for inflating almost anything.
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