Best RV Air Compressor 2018: Keeping you Safe on the Road

best rv air compressor

If you regularly go on a trip in your recreational vehicle then you are probably aware of exhilarating and exciting the whole experience will be. However, your enjoyment will most likely be ruined in case you get a flat tire while you are traveling to a location where you are still unfamiliar.

Temperature fluctuations can also have a major impact on the tire’s air pressure. Prior to taking an off-road trip, you have to ensure that the tires in your RV are properly inflated. You can invest in the best RV air compressor for that purpose.

 Note that the under-inflation of the tires can cause them to malfunction, that’s why you really have to go to the nearest gas station when that happens to restore pressure. Excess heat buildup while driving might also trigger tire failure. In addition, inadequate air pressure can also negatively affect the durability of the tire.

It also has a negative impact on the handling and braking system of the RV. On the other hand, if the tires are over-inflated, then there is a chance for them to sink to the loose sand, trail dirt or mud easily. To prevent those issues, you have to get an idea about the best air compressor for RV tires so you can invest in a high-quality one.

Among your excellent options are the six products discussed next:

Comparison of RV Air Compressors

Product

Quality

Price

Our Rating

Viair 40047 400P-RV - Best of the Best

  A+

$$

VIAIR 45053 450P-RV - Editor's Choice

  A+

$$

PORTER-CABLE CMB15 - Best Bang for the Buck

  A+

$

A

$$

A

$

 A-

$

Best RV Air Compressor Reviews 2018

1. Viair 40047 400P-RV Portable Compressor Kit - Best of the Best

When shopping for the ideal air compressor that’s suitable for RV use, there’s a great possibility that you will come across the Viair 400p-RV automatic portable compressor. Any legitimate Viair 450p automatic review will instantly give you an idea of how functional and beneficial this air compressor is.

It is a powerful unit, which is a huge help in keeping the tires in your RV or trailer inflated easily. The compressor works with the help of its 12-volt motor using a connection to the battery of your RV. It boasts of its 150 PSI while also having the ability to inflate tires that are up to 35 inches within just 5 minutes.

I love the long-running / operating time of this unit from Viair. It is because it can run continuously for up to forty minutes. Another reason why I like this unit is that it is available in a compressor kit, which means that apart from the unit itself, there are also other extras that promote the quick inflation of the tires.

Among the extras included in the kit are the fuse holder, 8-feet power cable, 30-feet hose extension, 30-feet hose, battery clamps, and inflation tips kit. The kit also comes with a pressure gauge, inflation gun, and a carry bag, which is large enough to hold the items.

It’s compact and lightweight, too. 

However, I noticed that the user manual is a bit vague as far as the instructions on how to set up the compressor and use it are concerned.

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    A powerful unit, which operates using its 12-volt motor
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    Can inflate up to 35-inch tires in just 5 minutes
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    Long running or operating time – up to 40 minutes

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    Several additional accessories and features included in the kit to guarantee the quick inflation

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    Lightweight and compact

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    Vague and unclear setup and usage instructions indicated in the user manual

Other than that issue, I can say that comparing Viair 400p vs. 450p, which will be discussed in a while, will make you realize that the former does not disappoint in terms of overall performance and durability.

2. VIAIR 45053 450P-RV Automatic Portable Compressor Kit - Editor's Choice

Another highly reliable compressor that you can select is the 450p-RV automatic compressor also offered by Viair. When doing a comparison between Viair 400p vs 450p RV, I also found out that the 450-p unit also leaves a good impression as far as its performance, functionality, and features are concerned.

It runs using its powerful 12-volt motor while also taking pride in its maximum working pressure of 150 PSI. It is a heavy-duty yet highly portable unit, which, I think, is also very beneficial because of its operation time that can reach a max of 40 minutes before you need to let it rest.

As what any fair and legitimate Viair 450p RV review will say, this unit also features a close-ended air gun with a gas station style, thereby promoting utmost convenience when you are operating it.

It functions efficiently when it comes to making tire pressure adjustments on trailers and recreational vehicles. I also figured out that you can directly power it to a 12-volt battery in your recreational vehicle through its alligator clamps. It also features an auto shut-off function.

Furthermore, the whole kit contains most of the things you need for the proper and quick inflation of your RV tires, including the air hose, built-in pressure switch, inflation gauge and gun, carrying case, and RV accessories.

One flaw, though, is that there is still a need for you to hold the trigger when filling the tank because it lacks a lock button.

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    Runs using a powerful 12-volt motor while also having a max working pressure of 150 PSI
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    Heavy-duty yet highly portable
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    Works well when adjusting the tire pressure of trailers and RVs

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    An auto-shutoff function provided, thereby keeping you safe
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    Contains plenty of accessories and features, like the air hose, pressure switch, and inflation gauge and gun

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    No lock button for the trigger, which requires you to hold it continuously when filling the tank

Overall, this is a great-performing RV air compressor considering the fact that it functions efficiently by making the whole tire filling process simpler and more convenient.

3. PORTER-CABLE CMB15 Fully Shrouded Compressor - Best Bang for the Buck

You can also choose to buy the PORTER-CABLE CMB15 Fully Shrouded Compressor if you are searching for the best RV air compressor that can specifically meet your standards.

One thing that leaves a good impression about this unit is its guaranteed portability, which can be attributed to its fully shrouded design, lightweight nature, and a handle guaranteed to be easy to use. It comes with a single tank and works as an oil-free air compressor designed for inflating tires in RVs.

This product has an accessory kit, which contains almost everything you need to facilitate several inflation requirements.

Some of the accessories and features that are included in the kit are the water drain valve, standard pressure gauge, water drain valve, tapered nozzles, tire chuck, coiled hose, hose adapter, and deflator kit.

It has a maximum PSI of 150, which is already more than enough to help inflate even large tires. The fact that the pump used in the unit is an oil-free version is also a big advantage. I realized that this version requires little to no maintenance, allowing the compressor to serve its purpose for a long time.

I also find it impressive as it is lightweight while also having a handle, promoting ease in carrying it. 

The problem with this unit is that its noise level is at 79 decibels, which some users do not find quiet at all.

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    Highly portable because it is lightweight plus it has a handle, which you can use to carry it with ease
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    Comes with an accessory kit with features and accessories that you can use for the inflation
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    The oil-free version of the pump means that it does not require too much maintenance.
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    Can quickly inflate tires

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    Not that quiet operation

To conclude, this portable yet heavy-duty compressor performs well when it comes to inflating tires while also possessing most of the accessories and features that you ultimately need for the job, making it a really worthwhile investment.

4. Air Lift 25856 Load Controller Dual Compressor

An Air Lift compressor kit also comes in the form of the brand’s 25856 load controller dual compressor. This Air Lift load controller dual compressor actually works for a number of RV owners who need to ensure that the tires in their vehicles are correctly and properly inflated.

It works as a highly efficient Air Lift wireless compressor with the help of its compact and sleek gauge capable of providing a more detailed tracking of air pressure. The gauge is space-saving and designed in a way that you can mount in based on your specific preference.

What I like about this air compressor from Air Lift is that it works well for commercial and heavy-duty applications. Another nice feature I noticed is the one-touch, push-button control installed in the gauge’s face, which promotes ease in deflating or inflating the air springs. It does such function while also keeping track of their PSI.

It also works effectively in letting the air pressure go beyond the minimum level, thereby promoting a longer spring life. This load controller dual compressor works automatically, too with the help of its low-pressure sensor.

Such sensor works automatically by activating the compressor in case the pressure of the spring pressure goes below the safe level. Furthermore, it is a versatile unit as you can use it to make adjustments to the air spring pressure easily in case of changes in road conditions and load.

However, some users noticed that the light used in the gauge is too bright and white, causing a bit of discomfort.

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    Comes with a compact and sleek gauge, which tracks air pressure in detail
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    Suitable for use on commercial and heavy-duty applications
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    Equipped with a user-friendly, one-touch, push-button control to deflate or inflate air springs with ease

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    Promotes a long spring life
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    Versatile as it lets you make adjustments easily

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    Too bright light used in the gauge

Still, it is undeniable that this load controller dual compressor from Air Lift does a pretty good job in keeping the tires in your vehicle in good running condition by properly inflating/deflating them automatically.

5. SuperFlow 12-volt HD Air Compressor

What I find so impressive about the SuperFlow 12-volt HD air compressor is that it seems to be one of the most versatile compressors and tire inflators that anyone can find. It is suitable for tractors, SUVs, trucks, RVs, and other applications. It can also effectively handle huge workloads.

This is also a heavy-duty compressor, which works perfectly when used on big trucks that have tires that are at least 35 inches in size. Another reason why I am so impressed with this unit is its ability to inflate tires by up to 25% faster when compared to other compressors.

It gains its powerful nature directly from the battery of the vehicle with the aid of the alligator clips that the unit already provides. Aside from being powerful, I also noticed that this unit is designed to be rugged and sturdy, giving most of its users the chance to take full advantage of it for quite a long time.

It is easy to use and boasts of the use of high-quality materials on its overall construction. Such solid construction is one of the reasons why it seems to perform so quickly when it comes to filling your RV or truck tires.

Some complained that this air compressor is a bit heavier when compared to the other units, though, but rest assured that its weight is not to the point that you will already have a tough time managing and using it.

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    Highly versatile as it is suitable for a number of uses and applications
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    Heavy-duty, making it capable of handling even huge workloads
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    Can inflate tires quickly – up to 25% faster in comparison to other compressors
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    Rugged and sturdy construction

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    A bit heavier when compared to other compressors

Despite being on the heavy side, no one can deny that this RV air compressor is a frontrunner in the industry because of its excellent performance in the field of inflating tires and handling a number of applications and uses, including huge workloads.

6. 300P Portable Compressor

If you are looking for a fully functional and highly dependable Viair RV tire air compressor then you will never go wrong if you pick the 300P portable compressor from the same brand. This compressor can actually be categorized as a 12-volt, 150 PSI unit, which relies on the battery of your vehicle to operate properly.

It makes use of heavy-duty dual battery clamps that are direct and guaranteed to not fall off when you are using them. I also find it impressive with its ability to inflate up to 33-inch tires using a connection to the battery of your RV. Attaching the unit is also very easy.

I also realized how effective it is to handle a variety of tasks without overtaxing the battery or unit with the aid of its 40-amp inline fuse. The whole unit is easy to use while also boasting of its easy to read and clear gauge. In addition, it takes pride in its smooth operation.

It has most of the accessories you need to make it work effortlessly and efficiently, too, including the 8-feet power cable, tray equipped with vibration isolators, inline fuse holder, and carrying bag.

It also has a capacity of 150 PSI and can be used continuously for up to 15 minutes. 

One minor flaw, though, is noticeable in its slightly short power cable.

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    Features heavy-duty battery clamps that work without falling up
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    Can inflate 33-inch tires
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    Capable of handling numerous tasks without overtaxing the entire unit or the battery – thanks to its 40-amp inline fuse

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    Guarantees a smooth operation
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    Equipped with an easy to read and clear gauge

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    A bit short power cable

The flaw is just minor, though. The numerous benefits of this RV air compressor even outweigh such flaw, so it’s safe to say that it is an excellently performing and dependable unit that can help promote your safety when driving your vehicle.

Maintaining and Checking RV Tire Pressure

Maintaining the right pressure in your travel trailer, motorhome, or RV’s tire is vital for your safety. Note that an improperly inflated tire – whether it is too little or too much – can significantly reduce your driving control over your rig. If your tire has too little inflation then there is a risk of your vehicle pulling to that side.

Too much inflation, on the other hand, can lead to a blowout. It is also crucial to maintain proper pressure as improper inflation on the tires can also have an adverse effect on you financially. Improperly-filled tires can reduce fuel efficiency, making you spend more.

In addition, such can also lead to additional wear and tear, which requires more frequent replacements. The problem is that large load tires, particularly those used in your RV, are not inexpensive. To ensure that proper pressure is maintained in the tire, it is necessary to monitor it regularly.

Make it a point to check the tires when you store them as this might cause them to lose air. It is also advisable to check the tires prior to taking any trip. When checking the pressure, do it when the tires are already cool instead of right after you finished driving. Note that the friction on the road might heat up the tires when you are driving.

While the tires heat up, they are also prone to expanding. With that in mind, it is crucial to assess the pressure after the tires have cooled down. It is because doing the process when the tires are still warm might lead to a false reading, making them look more inflated than what they actually are.

RV Air Compressor Buyer's Guide

Finding the most reliable RV air compressor in the market is all about assessing some of the most important criteria and factors that will greatly affect your choice. These include:

Overall Quality

When shopping for an air compressor for your recreational vehicle, take note that its overall quality will be dependent on its ratings. One of the ratings that you have to access is the CFM, which stands for cubic ft. per minute value. The CFM rating is actually a measurement of the speed of the air delivery to the compressor.

That said, I can safely say that higher CFM rating also indicates a more powerful compressor. Another important rating to assess is the PSI (pounds/square inch), which provides info regarding the force wherein the compressor delivers the air. For a recreational vehicle, the standard PSI to let it perform its function is around 40 to 80.

Then there is also the horsepower or HP. This specifically measures the mortar’s capacity, which is actually the one driving the pump. If the horsepower is higher, then note that this also means that the CFM is higher.

Length of the hose and power cord

If possible, choose an RV air compressor with longer cords and hoses as such are more flexible in various situations. The length of the hose usually differs from only four inches to thirty feet. The majority of models, however, come with hoses that are around eighteen to twenty-six inches.

The length of the power cords, on the other hand, can be anywhere from twenty-one inches to sixteen feet. Make sure that your chosen compressor comes with a hose and power cord that are long enough to give you more flexibility when using the unit for inflating the tires.

Noise

Another of the key criteria that should have a say on your final decision is the compressor’s noise level. Note that the best tire inflator for RV can still get annoying to use if it produces too much noise when you are kneeling over it while monitoring the inflation pressure.

With that in mind, you really have to assess which of the air compressors you are planning to buy can produce the least amount of noise. It should have a low noise level even if you are operating it from a 2-feet distance. The standard compressors today have a noise level ranging from 40-90 decibels.

A lower decibel indicates that the compressor or inflator also works quieter. If possible, go for one, which measures its noise level at only 65 decibels or lower. This is almost the same level as what a vacuum cleaner or air conditioning unit can produce, making the noise more manageable.

Portability and weight

It would also be ideal for you to find the best portable air compressor for RV tires. Make it a point to look for a unit, which is lightweight and portable so you will never encounter difficulty managing it and using it in your RV. The good thing about a portable RV air compressor is that it is also movable.

This means that you can obtain compressed air wherever you are. Such portability and movability are crucial, especially if you are an RV owner as it lets you inflate your tires no matter where you are.

You can even go for those models that are known to be much easier to carry when compared to the others. That said, pick one, which features a carrying case or a handle as much as possible.

Size

Before buying, you also have to ask yourself the question “what size air compressor do I need to inflate RV tires”. It is mainly because the size also contributes to the overall functionality of the unit. The size of the tank, for instance, can determine the max air volume that your chosen air compressor can hold.

Such max volume is measurable in gallons. You may want to own a large tank as it also means a higher maximum air volume capacity but if you are planning to use the compressor in a motorhome or RV then I highly recommend going for a smaller unit. It is because it can facilitate ease of transport.

However, ensure that despite its small tank, it still comes with a high PSI. It is mainly because if the small tank boasts of a high PSI, then it is also possible for it to recharge continuously. This results in prolonged operation time.

Run Time

Another important criterion that should help you make your choice is the run time of the compressor. Know exactly the specific length of time you can continuously run the compressor before you will be required to shut it off and cool down.

It is mainly because this unit tends to heat up when you are using it. The problem is that it might incur damages if it overheats. A lot of manufacturers advice letting the compressor run continuously for only ten to fifteen minutes. After that period, it is advisable to allow the unit to cool down for around 10-30 minutes before using again.

You can also find specific models that can run continuously for around 25-40 minutes. If possible, pick a longer continuous run time to facilitate a continuous operation. You can also go for those models that feature a thermal shutoff, which provides the compressor with further protection against damage.

Final Words

The best RV air compressor comes with plenty of functional features, which is why you really have to know which one can supply you with the highest number of benefits. Once you have finally chosen the right compressor, keeping your RV tires properly inflated will be easier.

Properly inflated tires provided by a good air compressor can then help in retaining the tread’s integrity and improving fuel efficiency. Most importantly, it can lead to a safer and smoother ride, allowing you to enjoy your trip in your RV even more.

Learn more about how to choose the best RV tires and best trailer tires 2018 with buyer's guide and in-depth reviews.

Best RV Air Compressor 2018: Keeping you Safe on the Road
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