Every RVer should have one of these portable air compressors

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By Nanci Dixon
As full-timers, we gradually accumulate gear. After a rear dual tire lost its valve stem and the tire had to be replaced, we purchased a TireMinder® TPMS system. I diligently watch the tire pressure as we are driving and have come to dread the low-pressure alarm.

Airing up our tires on the motorhome has always, always been a hassle. Sometimes we have maneuvered into position at an air pump only to find that it is not powerful enough to fill the tires. Sometimes we find this out after it has eaten a massive number of our quarters. If we’re lucky enough to find a truck stop with a great air compressor, we’ll turn around to find a lineup of ten semis behind us.

We do have an onboard air compressor in our diesel pusher but have not had good luck filling the tires with it. I know how important proper inflation is for RV tires (I have read all Roger Marble’s tire safety articles), but will admit, sometimes it’s too much of a hassle and we don’t add air when we should.

So, no more hassle. We just bought, and tried for the first time today, a VIAIR 450P-RV portable compressor and it is amazing!

Here’s how we used it: We connected it to our tow car battery (but could have connected it to the motorhome chassis batteries as well). You can also connect the compressor to the house batteries, but only if the motorhome is connected to shore power.

Clamp to the positive and negative battery posts

We then put the alligator clamps on the positive and neutral posts, started the car and turned on the compressor. Mere minutes and the car was aired up. Next, onto the motorhome. The tires needed pressure up to 105 PSI. It was so quick that I got a little carried away and had to release air directly from the gauge. Since our slides were out, I was glad it had an extension so I could stand upright instead of having to crouch down. It was quick and easy! I am so happy!

It took a long time to decide to purchase the compressor – it is pricey – but the last time the dang low-pressure alarm went off we promised to get an air compressor as our next investment. My husband always says, “Buy the best and you only cry once.” I believe we bought one of the best!

We purchased ours from TechnoRV. I had contacted them before ordering and they answered all my questions, even in the midst of a hurricane! They sent the instruction manual and a set-up video electronically. What a help!

Amazon also carries VIAIR compressors. You can buy one for Class A motorhomes here, and Class C motorhomes and trailers here.

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Gary Stone
12 days ago

We carry a small portable compressor. We also carry a standard bicycle tire pump. When adding 3-5 psi the bicycle pump does the job with less hassle…with the added benefit of some aerobic exercise. However, if we were adding 15 psi or more we’d break out the compressor. So far, the compressor is still in its original packaging.

Dietrich R
14 days ago

IMO there are better units available at less than 1/2 the cost. 1.8 CFM at 0 PSI is way too low for pumping capability. Competing units offer dual cylinders with 2.5 CFM. And a one year warranty is useless. At that price they should have at lest a three year warranty (if not 5 yr.) They are all made in China. Read the negative reviews before you buy.

Gene Bjerke
14 days ago

I have gone through several inexpensive air compressors. Currently I have a Kobalt from Lowe’s. So far I am happy with this one; it works on both 120VAC and 12VDC. I don’t remember the price but it was in my range.

R. Schulz
15 days ago

I’ve had a VIAIR compressor since 2009. Just so easy to use and works great. On my fiver the pressure requirement was 65#. This compressor would easily and quickly pump those tires right up. It’s good to be able to check air pressure often and it’s so easy having this pump along. Highly recommended…

Gordy
15 days ago

Ok so I looked up unit and about had heart failure wow pricey. So with that said and having a generator why not buy a good pancake compressor for about half the price from say Lowes etc and plug it into your 110 outlet?
Thanks

Daniel VanBoxtel
14 days ago
Reply to  Gordy

I bought a Porter Cable pancake compressor from HD. I can run it on shore power or my gen. Perfect!!

Bill Hall
14 days ago

I switched from the Porter Cable pancake compressor to the VIAIR because it takes up less space and space is at a premium in my coach.

Marvin
15 days ago

Best money we ever spent. Picked up a roofing nail on our fiver way out in the New Mexico desert. Pulled the nail, plugged the hole, hooked up the VIAir, filled the tire to 100 psi in no time. Back on our way. It also makes it easy to pre-flight the rig. Instead of thinking about whether or not to look for a place for air, we hit the road at full pressure.

Bob P
15 days ago

If you have a diesel pusher it has an air compressor built in so why would you need an auxiliary unit? Air hose is much cheaper than one of the Viairs.

Ron L.
15 days ago
Reply to  Bob P

Because you have to run the engine for the compressor to work….in addition, the compressor will cut off when it reaches a certain air pressure that may be below the air pressure required for your tires and you will need at least 50′ of air hose. It can be done, but it’s a pain in the butt. Better to have a portable that you can move from tire to tire.

Chuck
15 days ago
Reply to  Ron L.

When you are hooked up to a car (or RV) battery the vehicle should be running also. They will run it down in a hurry. (Ask how I know)

Dan
15 days ago

I bought the next step up in ViAir. I have the twin compressor with tank also, and I’ve permanently mounted it in a unused space behind the right rear tire. I had to make the compartment for it as well. We have an 04 Newmar Mountain Aire DP. I carry 50 feet of 3/8″ air hose. I can reach all the tires on my motorhome and my toad, but I also carry a portable 12v air compressor in my toad; a Jeep Wrangler Sahara Unlimited. Really a requirement when going on offroad trail adventures.

Don Peterson
15 days ago

we have one of those. it has been a life saver. You can air up while the tires are cold as you should. This is a must for all RVers

Ran
15 days ago

I have the same model and LOVE IT! I carry it with me on our trips. It’s small, lightweight, and amazingly quiet! Make sure you have enough hose to reach the rears. Worth the money! Don’t buy big, bulky cheap ones!

STEPHEN P Malochleb
15 days ago

I mounted a Viair system under my rig complete with a 10 gal reserve tank. Not only is it there to air up tires but it runs my air horns which get far more attention than those factory weak horns. As you said a little pricey,But you get what you pay for. Better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.