This is the best portable air compressor for your RV

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Photo Credit: Nanci Dixon

By Mark Polk, RV Education 101
I think most RV owners understand the importance of maintaining proper tire inflation pressure. The problem is, if you wait until you’re on the road to check tire pressure, the tires are most likely too hot for correct evaluation. Checking the inflation pressure when you stop to refuel doesn’t make sense either; you will get higher pressure readings and if you let the air out of the tires they are underinflated. Also, I don’t recommend using air compressors at gas stations. Most of them are abused and you don’t know if the inflation pressure is accurate. So, I recommend you take a portable air compressor with you in the RV.

However, selecting a good portable air compressor for your RV is not easy. Some are too big and bulky, and others cannot inflate the RV’s tires. I used to keep a pancake-style portable compressor in our RV, but it labored to inflate the motorhome’s tires. Then one day I got a phone call and a representative from VIAIR Corporation asking me if I would review a new line of portable RV air compressors they came out with. I did review one model, and from that day moving forward all my portable air compressor problems were over. The air compressor was small, taking little space for storage, and it is powerful. Watch the video below to see how well the VIAIR RV air compressor performed.

You can learn more about VIAIR RV air compressors or buy one here.

To learn more about using and maintaining your RV visit RV Online Training

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Every RVer should have one of these portable air compressors

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Wayne C
11 days ago

I carry a 1gallon 120v compressor like the Senco PC1010N
Costs $150 and has a1 gallon air reservoir.
Easily powered by 2000w inverter
L 11 1/2″ x W 14″
Power Source: 120V
Current Draw /Max AMPs: 4 ams @115V
SCFM at 90 psi: 0.7;
Max Pressure: 135 psi
Recovery Time: 30 Seconds (105 – 135 psi)

BadWolfe
11 days ago
Reply to  Wayne C

That is just smart! Easy solution and powerful.

Ken Schaffer
12 days ago

Viair RV unit with 2 hoses was highly touted at an Escapees Boot Camp in 2017 bought one years before we actually got our first RV.
Have yet to use it on the RV, but sure has been handy when we bought it Jeep Wrangler road, also years before finding our
coach, perfect for airing up after an Overlanding excursion or driving sand dunes, beaches, etc.
Came in handy when 2nd car got a flat and spare had too little air to drive.

Has always worked flawlessly

Donald N Wright
14 days ago

Such a big air compressor.

Gary Stone
14 days ago

My trailer tires rarely show more than a 2 or 3 psi drop between trips…rarely. If they do show a drop I just get out my bicycle pump and give them what they need. About 30-40 strokes does the job. Takes me longer to drag out the compressor and set it up. Of course for jobs bigger than that, out comes the compressor.

Ian Anderson
14 days ago

Who wants a very expensive 12v air compressor that only has a 30% duty cycle?

I have a Harbor freight 12v/150psi that I have used for about 7 yr. and as long as you don’t go over 10-12 min. run time it is well worth the $50 some dollars.

Larry R
14 days ago

Our tire inflation needs are a bit below a Diesel pusher, we have a Toy Hauler and Toys. We purchased the Slime 40051 which has a digital display, and a unique way of operating. You set the desired tire pressure on the unit, and it inflates up to that point and then shuts off. 0-99 psi. The unit is small enough to allow me to carry it in the cargo box of my Polaris Rzr.

Trevor
14 days ago

I have a comparable Harbor Freight compressor that was $69. For infrequent use (as in an RV), the HF is just fine for 1/4 the $$$. Even if you had to replace it every 3 years, you wouldn’t break even for 15 years assuming you didn’t have to replace the Viair.

Yet another example of a SPONSORED opinion.

Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
14 days ago
Reply to  Trevor

Hi, Trevor. You say Mark Polk’s article on the VIAIR air compressor is “Yet another example of a SPONSORED opinion.” Well, that statement is a good example of an incorrect assumption. If it were a SPONSORED opinion, don’t you think we would have included a link to VIAIR? It was an unbiased review by Mark Polk, RV Education 101, about a VIAIR air compressor. Yes, we included a link at the bottom of the article to the air compressor on Amazon, via our affiliate link. But that’s certainly not a “SPONSORED opinion.” For full disclosure, the VIAIR air compressors are also sold by TechnoRV, which does advertise with us. But did we link to that site, or even mention it? Nope. We did link to Nanci Dixon’s recent article about the same product – also an unbiased (i.e., not sponsored) review of the product. We may test and review products and may advertise them if we believe in the product. But we won’t advertise a product we can’t fully endorse, and we will be very clear when something we post is an advertisement, i.e., is “sponsored” by the manufacturer or seller. If it’s a review of a product, that’s exactly what it is – a review, not a paid (sponsored) advertisement. I hope this albeit lengthy (sorry) explanation helps. Take care. 🙂 —Diane at RVtravel.com

Gary G
14 days ago

Got the Viair, and glad I spent the dollars on it. Spent money on “cheaper” units several times that wouldn’t hardly air up the car, and would take it seemed forever to air up the pickup. Viair is minutes.

Thom
14 days ago

If your RV has air brakes, it’s a simple matter to tap into the dry air tank (the second tank) and run an air line to a convenient place and mount an air line coupler. Then when you need air, just plug in your hose.
Most air tanks have multiple outlets and there’s almost always one that isn’t used.

Peg Bradley
14 days ago

Yes! Well worth the $$.

Gary
14 days ago

I have the $100 Porter Cable and it does the job just fine.

Member
Nanci Dixon (@nanci-dixon)
14 days ago

We got the pricey 450-RV after several years hassle of trying to fill the tires at truck stops, a cheap air compressor and a flat. So pleased! Yes cost way toooo much but now we just air up the tires anytime needed instead of saying “close enough”.

Joseph
14 days ago

The one Mark reviewed above, the 450P-RVS is different than the one linked above. It’s $328 and well worth it. Pay more one time or pay less two or three times.

Stay safe, Joe

volnavy007
14 days ago

WOW, is that expensive!!! I use a rechargeable, battery operated one I got at Lowes for under $100.

AndyT
14 days ago

We have the Viair 450P RVS and give it a 5-Stars plus. We purchased another least expensive unit and got exactly that = cheap. After needing an air compressor near us, and not finding one, we made up our minds to purchase the Viair, It has performed above and beyond expectations.

Ronald Hiemann
14 days ago

There‘s „Great“ and then there is „Good Enough“ and that is the choice we have to make. The most important detail of any air inflator is „CFM“ (cubic feet per minute). The more CFM it delivers, the faster tires etc will be inflated. When you look at tire inflators, most of the cheaper ones do not tell you! Meaning that they are simply not strong enough to deliver. How many PSI the unit can deliver is meaningless if it does not generate CFM. Meaning, a cheap 100PSI inflator may take 45 minutes to get to 100 PSI. Your choice.

Tommy Molnar
14 days ago
Reply to  Ronald Hiemann

I agree, Ronald. And in this case, “good enough” IS good enough for me. Good enough gets the job done, just not as elegantly as the big buck unit.

BadWolfe
14 days ago
Reply to  Ronald Hiemann

Thanks Ronald. Well said.

Engineer
15 days ago

We have the 450RV compressor. It’s great and provides 150psi with a 100% duty cycle. Not cheap but great investment

Boltman
15 days ago

$295??? Geez it better be good! That’s a bit out of my price range for a tire inflator…

Dan
15 days ago
Reply to  Boltman

Right. Looks like great item, but the price is ….OW! I’d also like to know the decibels before I get one.

Jim
14 days ago
Reply to  Dan

I have one and it is very quiet compared to most that people use. (I have a HF pancake unit that will wake the neighbors in the morning.)

Michael Gardner
15 days ago

Amen!

J smith
14 days ago

I have had a small ViAir version for the cars for 6 or 7 years and it works great. The brand is highly rated. I also have a DeWalt battery operated one I have used on our trailer but may take a look at these new ViAir models for our class C that we just bought.