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Tire inflator


tabrady1957

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Hi everyone.

 

We are in the process of gearing up for full time living. We were wondering what some good, reasonable options were for airing tires up while traveling. We have a F350 and a 39' fifthwheel. We looked at some of the very inexpensive portable compressors that plug into your trucks power ports. The challenges are we need about 35' of reach to get from the truck to the trailer tires and they don't offer that plus the amp draw looks to be higher than the truck can offer. We also saw reviews on these type of units and they were not very promising. Many failed right away.

 

We are not opposed to a 120V plug in one if it is compact enough but mos likely the plug in the truck will not handle it so we would have to plug into the 5th wheel, which means that if you needed it without the trailer you would be out of luck.

 

Thoughts?

 

Thanks

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We carry a 120v 125psi Sears compressor with a 50' air hose in the RV basement. If I did it again I'd get a 150psi unit. I tried the 12v compressors but it took much too long to add air to the RV tires, it would overheat and shut off. Another option is an air tank, a couple friends have them and really like them. Greg http://powertank.com/products/sfID1/11

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I carried a 120 volt air compressor and a Honda generator when I had the fifth wheel. Now that I have a DP I still carry both but can also use the air on my coach or the gen on my coach.

 

Being that I always carry a 50 ft 10 g extension cord..... I carry the air compressor around to the tires instead of trying to manhandle awkward air lines that always seem to catch on a tire leaving you 6 inches short of the tire needing air. Seems to make life a little more easy...?

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I've used one of these http://www.harborfreight.com/12volt-150-psi-compact-air-compressor-69285.html ever since we bought our last 5er in 2005. It clamps onto battery posts, so it may be used anywhere. If I needed to add air to a 5er tire (LR G-120psi) it did the job. I carried it in our MH since 2013, but never had to use it on the MH. 3 months ago I bought a FINI 150psi pancake compressor(120VAC) to use in my garage and take in the MH, so I can sell my big stationary compressor and a small one that only reaches 100psi.

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I realize you may be considering the worst case scenario as the reason for having a compressor in your truck, but realistically, how often have you had to add air to your truck's tires when you are away from your house? If I get a flat on one of my truck's tires, I'll change the tire.

 

In my 5er basement I have a 150 psi compressor that runs off 110. I keep it by a door for easy access. I use it on my air hitch prior to every hook up. Have used it on the 5er tires once or twice. Haven't needed it for the truck yet. I do not have a gennie, so if I need it on the road, I am SOL. A gas station will have to suffice.

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I realize you may be considering the worst case scenario as the reason for having a compressor in your truck, but realistically, how often have you had to add air to your truck's tires when you are away from your house? If I get a flat on one of my truck's tires, I'll change the tire.

 

In my 5er basement I have a 150 psi compressor that runs off 110. I keep it by a door for easy access. I use it on my air hitch prior to every hook up. Have used it on the 5er tires once or twice. Haven't needed it for the truck yet. I do not have a gennie, so if I need it on the road, I am SOL. A gas station will have to suffice.

Sorry Rem - My tire pressures run in the 125 psi range and I no longer have a house.

 

The OP is going FT also so he won't have a house. That means that they will be sitting for some time, and then moving. In the winter, that is about 4-5 months. Most of us check the truck and trailer tire pressures via a monitoring system so basically that is every time we get in the truck. It is the under inflation that will do the damage. A flat is an entirely different story, Damage done.

 

Brady - look for a reasonable output, 3 cfm or so, if 120 v, make sure you run it on a 15 amp circuit. ARB / Viair are good 12 v. Don skimp on the wire size.

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If you buy a compressor, there are good quality 12V-dc one out there but they are not the cheapest ones. You can find a good range of choices from Amazon but choose carefully as the maximum pressure is critical and realize that the higher the maximum pressure the less time it will take to put air into the tire. I would also look to one of the higher cost, higher quality units because they will last far longer and probably take less time to inflate a tire, but all 12V units will be fairly slow because of the very high current they must draw in order to produce the power of a 120V unit.

 

If you carry a portable generator, then I would also suggest a 120V-ac air compressor because the higher voltage means a much more powerful motor on the compressor without the excessively high current. Remember that power in electricity is volts multiplied by amps so the potential power from a 120V unit is basically 10 times that of a 12V unit. If you have enough room for one, I also suggest that you pick one of the smaller compressors that has a tank of 2 or 3 gallons in size for several reasons. That air reserve means that a tire can often be inflated without waiting for the compressor to pump back up, so you can take the compressor only to the tire in need without any source of electrical power. It also will allow you to use that air source to do things like blowing bugs out of the truck's radiator and a host of other cleaning jobs and you could even use it to power pneumatic tools for tire removal and such. I started our fulltime adventure carrying a Black & Decker Air Station which served fine but it was very slow and served only to inflate tires. After a time I began to tire of the long wait required to inflate the motorhome tires just a few pounds of increase in pressure at around 80#. With no air reserve you had to attach it to each tire and then be patient, not my long suit!

 

After several years of travel with the B&D, I dedicated a bit more space to the compressor and moved to a portable compressor with tank, much like this one and was far more happy with the result. It does require a 120V-ac supply but I soon found that I could use my air driven impact wrench and it would supply the needed pressure to clean the radiator much more frequently and a host of other uses that the B&D was not capable of doing. For my purposes, this was much better use of space.

 

If you do choose a 120V, tank compressor, be sure that you check not only the air pressure when it shuts off, as is listed in the adds, but make sure that the pressure when the compressor starts again is also above your highest tire inflation presser. Most of them start at around 10 - 15# below the pressure that is listed on the label. Air volume at the working pressure is also important but not critical.

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Sorry Rem - My tire pressures run in the 125 psi range and I no longer have a house.

 

The OP is going FT also so he won't have a house. That means that they will be sitting for some time, and then moving. In the winter, that is about 4-5 months. Most of us check the truck and trailer tire pressures via a monitoring system so basically that is every time we get in the truck. It is the under inflation that will do the damage. A flat is an entirely different story, Damage done.

 

Your truck tires run 125 or your trailer tires run 125? My trailer has one label that says 115 and another that say 125. I split the difference.

 

I saw where he said he was going FT. I am FT right now, too. My compressor is in my basement. If you're sitting for 4-5 month at a time, that is even less reason to carry a compressor in the truck.

 

But to each his own. Like I said, how often have you been running down the road and find you need to add air to your tires? I don't see the need for a TPMS, so I just check my tires before rolling out and add air if necessary then.

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I'm with RayIN on the little Harbor Height unit for my Fifth Wheel . My use is for the tire check a couple months of being parked. I then bring the tires up to the desired pressure as needed allowing be on the road once I close the Slides. I have never had any hose lenght problem as I clip onto the RV batteries.

Never used the little air Compressor above 110#

Clay

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Something to consider when talking about carrying a compressor is long-term parking. All tire mfgrs. recommend inflating to sidewall listed pressure, some even recommend adding 10 lb. over that sidewall pressure during long-term parking/ storage. My little Harbor Freight 12V compressor's owners manual states it will get very hot while in-use, and it does, it can get so hot you can burn your hand on the compressor head; but it never stops or blows the in-line fuse.

The only problem with small compressors is lack of a moisture trap, without one a tiny amount of moisture enters your tires with every addition of air, which causes a slightly wider swing of air pressure from cold to running temperature. That is another reason I bought the FINI compressor, I can add a moisture trap.

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