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Old 10-07-2017, 04:16 AM   #1
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Give 'em air! A thread about tire inflators / compressors.

My bulky, heavy, 110 volt air compressor will not do as a take along item to keep all of my tires properly inflated on trips with the T-1950. Therefore, I am now ISO a lightweight, portable, easy to power tire inflator that won't break the bank but will last long enough to make me feel that I got my money's worth.

My son-in-law currently uses a nifty but no longer available Sears Craftsman rechargeable inflator with a digital readout and swapout battery. I used it and while you have to over-inflate by a couple of pounds, it does seem to be accurate but...can't buy one any longer.




I don't want to spend $70 plus dollars on a unit that will become a paperweight in a few years due to a fading, non replaceable battery as so many seem to have so I am left looking at 12 volt powered units. I have had a couple in the past but the cheap ones burn out quickly. I want to buy my last ever air compressor. Like this very highly recommended 12v/15a/180w unit from Viair.





Viair (00077) 77P Portable Compressor Kit
$44.99

After the fact that it gets very hot during operation and takes a while to cool, the biggest con that I see is that the power cord isn't long enough to reach from the TV cab to the wheels so I'd need to add an exterior grade 12 volt 15 amp outlet on the back of the truck. Seems like a lot of work just to inflate the tires before hitting the road. I guess this, in addition to the unit's 16 foot power cord, would get the power back to the camper but...another cord to stow away.

TireTek Premium 12V Car Cigarette Lighter Socket Extension Cord, Fused (Black)
$12.95



What type of portable air compressor do YOU have and why? Pics will be appreciated.
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Old 10-07-2017, 08:47 AM   #2
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I had seen a commercial for an Air Hawk that I was considering when the time came. It is battery operated which was appealing to me. I don't remember how much it cost but I don't think it was super expensive. I don't have pictures but if it was on an infomercial or commercial then you should be able to Google it.

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Old 10-07-2017, 09:24 AM   #3
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I had seen a commercial for an Air Hawk...
Thanks, yes! I had looked into that one but it got panned by a large number of people for quality issues, low battery performance and insufficient air pressure for anything more than a low pressure bicycle tire.
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Old 10-07-2017, 09:32 AM   #4
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Thanks! That will save me some disappointment. There are others on Amazon. I bought a cheap one from Harbor Freight about a year and a half ago. Plugs into the cigarette lighter. I had the Ford Escape at the time. I had come out one day and one of the tires was low. I tried it and it did nothing for the tire. My daughter has a Ford Focus it works okay on hers but takes a while so I gave it to her.

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Old 10-07-2017, 10:05 PM   #5
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Quote:
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What type of portable air compressor do YOU have and why? Pics will be appreciated.
There is a story that goes along with mine. We where out camping and I ended up with a slow tire valve leak. I found this on a pressure check at the CG before the left for home. At the time I had no portable compressor. Since the trip home was about 1.5 hrs, I had to deal with this tire before we where home and reach highway speeds. I was 10 psi low.

We left the CG in search of a gas station with a tire pump in the local town. While this sounds easy, with a 32 ft camper and a large truck I needed to find 3 things.

1. A gas station that had an air compressor.
2. The compressor at the gas station had room for me to pull the camper close enough to have their short hose reach.
3. The compressor needed to go high enough in pressure. 80psi tires.

It was Sunday morning and after passing 6 gas stations, 3 of them met item 1. None of those 3 met item 2. Somebody was parked in front of the air pump or there was no way to get the trailer next to the pump.

The 7th station I lucked out to find, I could get past item 1 and 2, but then it would not go above 50psi for some reason. I was letting air out of the tires trying to pump it up....

This is not good... frustration was now at an all time high. So I was now way off the route to go home and out in farm country. Low and behold I found a John Deere dealership selling large farm machinery. Combines, very large tractors etc. It was harvest season and they where open??? (yes, on a Sunday) H'mm, OK they have bailed me out in the past during my farming days, so here we go.

I pulled in, DW sat in the truck and I went in to plead my case. I started with, years ago we use to have a lot of your equipment on the farm but today I have our camper and I'm in a jam..... The service manager said pull around back. I asked will I fit? He said they have semi's do deliveries all the time. OK, if they can fit, so can I.

I pulled around and to go behind the shop to turn around and by the time I pulled up to the side of the building, a shop mechanic was standing there with a 100 ft long air hose ready for me. He had an air gage in hand, I said I had that just needed the air. By now, 2 more shop mechanic's showed up. I now have 3 of them adding air to my tire and checked the other 3. It was like a NASCAR pit stop...

I said, what to I owe you? Nothing. I tried to give them something, they would not take it and I thanked them profusely. Made it home fine after that.

I said, I need to deal with this issue. For both the truck and the camper. Trying to find a gas station or a repair garage now a days that I can count on just is not going to happen in a short distance. I never had much luck over the years with 12 volt compressors and I need to air up 80psi tires. Getting a normal convenient store gas station to go that high is not likely.

So for $50 I bought this 2 gallon Alton 120 VAC portable compressor. It's a 1/3hp and can go to 100psi. I added quick couplers to make it more usable and I carry a 25 ft, 12 awg extension cord in the camper for other things. If I am at a power source, I can plug in and use it. When we go camping, our Honda E2000 generator always comes with us. This gives portable power where I need it.

While I only use this small compressor once in a while for myself or to help a fellow camper every now and then, it does take a while to pump up a 80 psi truck or camper tire, but it works. I have a big unit at home in the shop for air tools etc but it is not practically portable and my generator will not like it.

In my case, this fits the need. The top handle folds down and it rides in the truck bed under the tono cover up by the cab wall. It is small enough to be handy, and large enough to fill all my needs. It just takes a little while.





I have seen this same compressor under other names.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 10-08-2017, 09:23 AM   #6
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Remove the tire put it in the truck go find air. There is no way to meet all needs when camping even with a full garage tool box the unwritten law states no matter what you bring the key tool will be at home no matter how many fasteners none will be the right size. I check everything before I leave and hope for the best!
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Old 10-08-2017, 08:21 PM   #7
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I have been thinking I'd like to buy a really nice bullet proof compact unit. I have a slime kit with a compressor, I have used it some, and it works fine, but there is so much plastic on the pump, I can't imagine it will last. I'd pay a good bit for something really good that would last. Those viair pumps get good reviews, but the negative reviews are really negative, that always gives me pause. Some of them look really well built. I was going to research this over the winter for our next trip.


Does your 1950 have an outlet by the bed? I've aired up plugged in there and out the bathroom window. I'd like something with alligator clips to hook to the camper batts with a cord long enough to get the truck and camper.
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Old 10-09-2017, 08:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
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I have been thinking I'd like to buy a really nice bullet proof compact unit. I have a slime kit with a compressor, I have used it some, and it works fine, but there is so much plastic on the pump, I can't imagine it will last. I'd pay a good bit for something really good that would last. Those viair pumps get good reviews, but the negative reviews are really negative, that always gives me pause. Some of them look really well built. I was going to research this over the winter for our next trip.


Does your 1950 have an outlet by the bed? I've aired up plugged in there and out the bathroom window. I'd like something with alligator clips to hook to the camper batts with a cord long enough to get the truck and camper.
Most of the bad reviews that I saw seemed to be related to using an under-rated 12 volt outlet (ie: not 15 amp) or not having the vehicle running while using the compressor, resulting in many blown fuses and they are a pretty small minority out of so many overwhelming positives.

I do have an outlet by the bed but I thought that one (and the one outside the door) required shore power. There are no battery clips on this model compressor but some of their others do have them. While I HAD given thought to putting some sort of Pos/Neg leads hanging outside of the battery box, I suppose that it wouldn't be too awful bad to just take the cover off the box and clamp to the terminals.

Also, I'm not thrilled that the tip screws onto the schrader valve instead of using a locking lever tip. Not completely sold on this one yet and that's why I was hoping someone had found the magic bullet. John's Alton that he mentioned above, while very effective, is a bit above and beyond what I was looking to achieve.

Thanks for your input!
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Old 10-09-2017, 08:31 PM   #9
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the 12V "cigarette lighter" outlet by the bed is what I was referring to for plugging in.


The negative reviews that gave me pause were the warranty issues. I'm going to do more reading and think about getting one of their better ones. Plenty of juice with in the camper batteries to put alligartor clips on the batts.


The screw on ends work fine. That is what I have on my current little pump. I pump a little higher using the unit's gauge and then let air out with a hand held gauge until I get where I want.
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Old 10-10-2017, 11:34 AM   #10
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Want the very best 12 volt compressor? Oasis XD3000 it's only $1550 good to 200 PSI.
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Old 10-12-2017, 08:12 PM   #11
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Anyone put higher pressure into the spare tire? Maybe use that spare tire for a holding tank when needed. Might work if tire is just a little low. Can we buy a equalizer air hose?
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Old 10-13-2017, 04:19 AM   #12
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Quote:
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Anyone put higher pressure into the spare tire? Maybe use that spare tire for a holding tank when needed. Might work if tire is just a little low. Can we buy a equalizer air hose?
My father used to paint his cars in the driveway by connecting two or three tires together in concert with a small (tankless) air compressor. It worked but he eventually broke down and bought a complete unit with tank, etc. He was an aircraft mechanic by trade.
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Old 10-13-2017, 06:39 PM   #13
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Dig, That sounds interesting. Funny what we remember sometimes.
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Old 10-14-2017, 04:03 PM   #14
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The viair compressors are popular with the 4x4 crowd and I've not heard much bad about them. ARB makes quality products and makes compressors too but haven't heard much feedback about them.
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