Finding the best RV air compressor is much more of a challenge than a buyer might think. This challenge stems from the number of options on the market. It has become a daunting task to simply find a suitable, usable air compressor within all the clutter.
My article will try to help alleviate this issue by guiding you through the RV air compressor market. In doing so, I’ll attempt to answer any questions or concerns that a customer might have about these useful devices.
This goal will result in the article covering every relevant topic about RV air compressor from top brands to determining factors. I’ll even provide 14 reviews of the options that I feel have the best chance at becoming an acceptable choice for your situation.
It’s all in an effort to make this process as painless as possible. I want to make sure this buying experience doesn’t become a source of stress for you. After all, who wants to be stressed out when they’re about to start a new RVing adventure?
So, keep reading and let me make sure your trip starts on the right foot. Let me help you find the perfect RV air compressor that’ll provide top tier performance with every use.
Best Air Compressor for RV Reviews
This section will hold those 14 product reviews mentioned previously. I hope that these reviews will offer you a better grasp of what to expect from a top tier RV air compressor. It should give you a better handle and feel about what you should be looking for during your search.
1. VIAIR 400P-RV Automatic Portable Compressor Kit
The first product on this list is VIAIR’s 400P-RV Automatic Portable Compressor Kit. It’s a device that comes from a brand, which will have quite a few options out this list. It should be no surprise to anyone familiar with this company’s reputation for providing excellent products.
Luckily, this air compressor happens to be no different and has a long list of outstanding features. A great example would be its 12-volt motor, which should offer more than enough to inflate my tires without any issues.
This aspect actually has picked up quite a few fans in the customer reviews. You see, this product was constantly praised for being efficient and powerful. Both these attributes are direct results of the 12-volt motor being top tier.
It’s also worth mentioning that this air compressor has earned a reputation for filling up 30 to 35-inch tires in less than 5 minutes. You can imagine how convenient this product is given the great performance quality described here.
This aspect means the product’s 40-minute runtime won’t cause any problems. You should be able to inflate your tires without having the air compressor automatically shut down. It’s an issue that pops up from time to time in other models.
You should love this product’s 150 PSI rating as well. This amount of PSI should be more than acceptable for most RV tires. In fact, it’ll quickly fill up my tires that have a 100 PSI rating without issue or hassle.
Its lightweight design doesn’t hurt either as this model should be easy to move around and store. You shouldn’t have any issues getting this product where it needs to go with a construction such as this one.
2. EPAuto DC Portable Air Compressor Pump
There aren’t many 12V air compressor pumps that can compete with EPAuto’s DC model. Honestly, it’s one of the more convenient choices an RV owner can purchase within this market.
For instance, an excellent example would be its easy-to-read display. EPAuto was wise to keep things relatively simple by only having four units shown: PSI, BAR, KG/CM, and KPA. It makes using the device much more straightforward and effortless than other models.
I was also impressed with its performance level. This air compressor travel device inflated my rig’s tires quickly and without any issues. In fact, I didn’t even have trouble using it as EPAuto ensured the entire process was simple with its excellent and detailed instructions.
RV owners will love this product’s embedded safety measures, as well. For example, it has an auto shut-off feature to ensure the device stops working when it reaches the desired tire pressure. There’s no worry about heat breaking the device, either, unlike with my previous compressor.
Storing this RV tire inflator couldn’t have been much more manageable. It has a lightweight, compact construction that easily fits into my cabinet. Sadly, I often have issues when trying to store other models within my camper.
One final notable attribute was this device’s four stylish buying options. Customers can choose between a yellow, blue, green, or red air compressor. In my case, I had to select the red model as its color stood out in my camper.
3. Kensun Portable Air Compressor Pump
It’s hard to imagine any RV owner being disappointed by the performance of Kensun’s Portable Air Compressor Pump. For instance, the device features dual solid metal motors to ensure a fast inflation rate. With it, I could pump my tires and get on the road quickly.
I was also impressed by its application versatility. After all, rig owners can use this product to inflate almost any car tire, bike tire, or other vehicle tires. It even comes with adaptors that allow users to inflate balls and other products without issue.
The construction was another aspect that caught my attention. Kensun only used high-quality materials and took its time when designing this model. I couldn’t imagine this air compressor for truck and RV life will need replacing anytime soon.
Buyers should find themselves impressed with this product’s convenience level, as well. It has a large, bright pressure gauge that ensures anyone can read it from a distance. Therefore, using this air compressor for van life is more accessible than most other models.
This product’s noise level isn’t too bad, either. It’ll top out at 92dB to make sure people don’t hate or find using this air compressor painful. Multiple customers even noted the attribute as a positive in their reviews, which is rare within this marketplace.
Furthermore, I was thrilled to see this product came with a carrying bag. It makes storing the unit much more straightforward and effortless. Plus, it helps protect the device against dust or dirt buildup that could cause performance issues.
4. PORTER-CABLE CMB15 Oil-Free Hand Carry Compressor Kit
PORTER-CABLE’s CMB15 Oil-Free Hand Carry Compressor Kit happens to be one of the most sensible options on this entire list. For instance, it comes with an incorporated handle for easy transportation within its design.
This aspect is something I love and will make moving the product around more manageable. It should ensure you never have to worry about hurting yourself while carrying this product. All you have to do is pick it up by the handle and move onto its next location.
Aside from its practical design, you should also love its 150 PSI rating. This rating will ensure your tires get inflated at an efficient and quick rate. It’s an aspect that’s quality was only backed up further by various customer reviews praising its efficiency.
You should love this product being oil-free as well. Why does it being oil-free matter? Well, it means that this product will require a lot less maintenance than its rivals because it uses an oil-free pump.
And since I’m not a fan of maintenance and cleaning tasks, you can bet this aspect is something I appreciate greatly. This product’s 1-year warranty was another feature that I found intriguing as it’ll provide a little protection against an accident or malfunction happening.
It might not seem like a massive deal right now, but a warranty can save you a lot of issues when something does happen with the product. Plus, it seems like PORTER-CABLE honors their warranties based on the customer reviews as well, which isn’t always the case with these companies.
Overall, this product shows why PORTER-CABLE happens to be one of the best RV air compressor brands on today’s market. It’s just a reliable, durable option that’s ready to get the job done. What more could an RV owner ask for from these devices?
5. Bostitch BTFP02012 Oil-Free Air Compressor
Another oil-free option on this list is the Bostitch BTFP02012 Oil-Free Air Compressor, which brings a lot of impressive features to the table. One of these outstanding features would be its high-efficiency motor, which should quickly inflate your tires without issues.
In fact, this motor is such a top tier aspect that it shouldn’t have any issues even starting up in cold weather climates. As a full-time RVer, this benefit will come in handy during those winter months when temperatures start to go below freezing.
I also found this air compressor’s low noise operation to be an appealing trait. This aspect will ensure you won’t need earplugs or any other noise blocker when operating the air compressor. It’s something I value greatly because my ears are rather sensitive and don’t do well with loud noises.
This product’s 150 PSI rating will ensure most RV owners won’t have any issues inflating their tires to their proper levels. It’s actually a process that shouldn’t take much time at all, given the power and efficiency of this air compressor’s motor.
You should also love that this model being another oil-free option means you’ll spend a lot less time doing maintenance tasks. This extra time could be spent doing other fun things on your RV trip, such as camping or barbecuing.
This product being rather lightweight at 29 pounds isn’t too shabby either. I shouldn’t have any issues carrying it from place to place or storing it. The 1-year limited warranty is a nice touch as well with it giving you much-needed coverage against an accident or malfunction.
6. VIAIR 45053 450P-RV Automatic Compressor Kit
The VIAIR 45053 450P-RV Automatic Compressor Kit is another fantastic product from VIAIR that would more than meet most people’s needs. It’s able to satisfy these needs with its excellent set of features, which other models will have a hard time matching.
One of these features happens to be its lightweight design. This aspect makes moving the air compressor from place to place much easier than other options. I mean, it’s only 18 pounds, which is a lot less than the 30 pounds most of these products weigh.
I also love this device’s 12-volt motor that makes inflating your tires a smooth and quick process. In other words, this motor will ensure the task gets done promptly, which numerous customers made sure to point out in the VIAIR 450p RV’s reviews.
You should love all the other accessories this model comes with as well. These accessories include a pressure switch, air hose, and inflation gauge/gun. All these extra accessories will ensure you never feel unprepared to inflate your tires.
This air compressor’s 150 PSI rating will be another thing that’ll help in this regard. As with some of the previous products, this rating should be more than enough to inflate most RV tires without issue.
You can expect a bit more convenience from this model than others as it can be hooked up right up to your RV’s battery. This connection will be made using alligator clamps, which come with your purchase.
7. Tirewell 12V Tire Inflator
If you’re looking for a quiet option, the Tirewell 12V Tire Inflator should be high on your list. In fact, many customers were surprised by how quiet this product was compared to other models. But this aspect isn’t the only one that makes this air compressor such a top tier device.
This model happens to be very versatile as well with its two methods of usage. You can either attach this product to your car battery or plug it into your cigarette lighter. It’s an aspect that gives the user a bit more control of the using experience.
I’m always a sucker for products that offers a choice regarding things such as the using process. It’s another way to ensure you end up happy with a purchased product by getting the opportunity of choosing a method, which suits your situation.
This model also happens to be one of the lightest options on the list coming in at a whopping 8 pounds. I’d imagine you won’t have any issues moving or storing this item given its incredibly low weight.
And it’s not like this lower weight affects its overall performance either. This model still has the coveted 150 PSI rating, which has proven to be a sufficient rating for inflating RV tires at favorable rates.
You’d think all these great features would lead to a high price. But Tirewell made sure to keep the cost low, which makes this product one of the best portable air compressor for RV tires on today’s market. If you’re a bargain buyer like myself, your eyes should light up when you see this price.
8. VIAIR 400P Automatic Portable Compressor
The next product on this list is another VIAIR RV tire air compressor, which continues to demonstrate what makes the brand such a force in the market. This particular one has a couple of features that make it a bit different from the previous models.
One of these features happens to be its two 30-foot hose coils, which I find truly appealing. You see, these hose coils make sure the person using this air compressor can stand far away from it when it’s inflating their tires.
As a result, the noise operation of the device becomes less of a factor then it’d be with other options on today’s market. It also features an oil-free design, which makes it much different than the previous VIAIR products on this list.
This aspect comes in handy because it means the device itself is much easier to clean and maintain. Honestly, these processes take such little effort that many customers felt the need to point them out as a positive aspect in the VIAIR 400p automatic’s reviews.
It also means that the air coming from your air compressor won’t have any oil residue lingering around and causing issues. This benefit means you won’t have to worry about oil being left behind when the product’s done inflating your tires.
But these differences doesn’t mean it lacks what makes the other VIAIR air compressors unique. It still features the obvious benefits you get from a VIAIR device such as an automatic off-switch, easy using process, and being lightweight.
9. Smittybilt 2781 Universal Air Compressor
If you’re looking for a more affordable option, the Smittybilt 2781 Universal Air Compressor might be right up your alley. It might not have the lowest price; but it could be the best bang for your buck option on this list with its top tier features and fair price.
A great example of these great features is its auto-thermal cutoff switch. This aspect will ensure the device will never have motor damage due to your carelessness. In other words, it will turn itself off when a person leaves it on too long.
I tend to be a person who has memory lapses, which makes this feature truly appealing. I also found this air compressor’s quick release 24-foot coil hose to be quite useful. This feature will allow a person to stand far away from the device as it does its job.
As a result, you’ll avoid any awful noise that might come from this device. You should find this product’s easy to read 150 PSI pressure gauge rather helpful as well. This aspect will make keeping track of the entire process much easier.
Its 12-volt motor will also make sure the entire inflation process go by quickly. This motor offers a bit of practically, too, as it can be hooked up to your RV’s battery. It’s another area where it seems Smittybilt wanted to make this product as easy to use as possible.
I didn’t even mention that this device doesn’t weigh much either. It’s only 20 pounds, which should make carrying and storing the product rather easy. Of course, this model also has a maximum PSI rating 150 as well to ensure it’ll be efficient.
10. PORTER-CABLE C2002 Oil-Free UMC Pancake Compressor
The PORTER-CABLE C2002 Oil-Free UMC Pancake Compressor is our second product from this top tier brand. And this model does nothing to ruin the reputation the brand has built with RV owners with its great features.
For example, I love this product’s six-gallon tank that’ll easily handle the air needs of most RV owners in any situation. It’ll provide more than enough air for the tires on my class A motorhome.
You might think this six-gallon tank might hinder the product’s movability, but it doesn’t. This model instead comes with a useful handle that’ll make moving it an easy process. It takes little effort to move the air compressor around with this handle in place.
Customers also have often praised how well-built this device is compared to other models on today’s market. This product’s equipped with a design that brings forth a feeling of toughness and durability, which other options have a tough time matching.
As a result, accidents aren’t something that tends to be a massive issue for people who end up buying this awesome product. You’d have a hard time finding a model that’s more ready to handle any situation than this one.
But the best part about this device isn’t any of these features. This title goes to the product’s price, which should fall right into most of your budgets without issue. I’d even go as far to say this model could end up being a bargain under the right situation.
11. GSPSCN Heavy Duty 12V Compressor
Our next product, the GSPSCN Heavy Duty 12V Compressor, is another option that should excite any bargain buyers reading this article. After all, it provides effective results for one of the lowest prices on this entire list.
You can connect these effective results to this product’s double cylinder design, which can inflate your tires without issue. It also helps that the product has a max PSI rating of 150 to ensure the process gets done quickly.
In fact, this product has proven to inflate standard vehicle tires in about a minute and a half. This feat is quite impressive and should make an RV owner feel comfortable about buying the product.
I also found this product’s stability to be quite impressive. You see, this model comes with rubber feet, which will ensure the device stays in place during use. This action will end up limiting the noise and vibration created by the device.
You should love this product’s versatility as well with its ability to work in many situations. These situations include SUVs, vans, RVs, trucks, bicycles, motorcycles, and much more. In other words, anything with tires would benefit from having this product around the campground.
This product also offers a choice about its using method as it comes with a 3M cigarette lighter switch and a battery clamp. As a result, you can either connect this product into your RV’s cigarette lighter or directly onto your battery depending on your likings.
12. VIAIR 45043 Automatic Function Portable Compressor
The last VIAIR product on our list is the VIAIR 45043 Automatic Function Portable Compressor. This model has its own set of unique features that make it a great option for RVers. For instance, I love this model’s inflation gun, which allows users to inflate their tires just by squeezing the handle.
This inflation gun will also show the tire’s current pressure to remove the need for a pressure gauge. It’s just another aspect that goes to show VIAIR always has their minds on making its product as convenient as possible.
I also love that this product has an automatic pressure regulation system that’s designed to maintain an internal pressure of 145 PSI. This aspect will ensure the device is always capable of offering peak inflation results.
The automatic shutoff function is another trait, which I found quite appealing. It’s an aspect that’ll ensure this product shuts off and doesn’t endure motor damage when left on for a long period.
This product comes with a 12-volt motor as well. As you know, this type of motor has shown to be effective at inflating various RV tires rather quickly. It seems like this product follows the same path as it customer reviews where nothing, but positive regarding this area.
This product coming with a 1-year warranty doesn’t hurt either and should enough coverage to ensure the device ends up meeting your needs. And VIAIR has gained a reputation for honoring these policies as well based on the customer reviews.
13. Air Armor M240 Portable 12v Air Compressor Kit
If you’re looking for an option that’s easy to use, the Air Air Armor M240 Portable 12v Air Compressor Kit would be a good choice. This product’s using process is just a simple matter of connecting it to your RV’s battery using a 10-foot power cord.
Sounds simple enough, right? Well, this easy using process isn’t all the product’s bringing to the table. It also comes with a convenient 25-foot service hose, which will deliver air into your tires. As a result, this aspect provides a bit of wiggle room you might not found with other options given its length.
This product has a 12-volt motor as well to ensure your tires get inflated promptly. It has actually been proven to inflate 35-inch tires in less than 5 minutes fully. I would certainly sign up for this type of performance from my air compressor.
I also found this device’s lightweight design to be rather appealing. After all, it’s only 18 pounds and comes with a storage locker that promotes peak levels of portability and storability. These two areas were something people in the customer reviews couldn’t praise enough.
It was actually shocking when I came across a review, which didn’t mention how great this product performed in these two areas. I also love that this storage locker is packed with useful accessories such as a tire repair kit, 4-way tire valve tool, two gauges, and much more.
You also get all these great features at a fair price, which should fall right in line with most of your budgets. Given all these aspects, it’s quite clear that this product is ready to be your primary RV air compressor.
14. CRAFTSMAN 6 Gallon Pancake Air Compressor
Our last product is the CRAFTSMAN 6 Gallon Pancake Air Compressor, which is another oil-free option that provides a level of convenience. You can expect this product to offer little issues or problem given its set of useful features.
For instance, this model features a durable design, which can handle any situation it might encounter. This design includes an oil-free pump that makes the product’s cleaning process much easier.
As a result, keeping this product in good shape for 20 or 30 years shouldn’t be too difficult. It also helps that this product comes with a 6-gallon storage tank, which should hold enough air to inflate your tires.
You don’t even have to worry about this 6-gallon tank affecting its portability either as it still clocks in at an easy 30 pounds. Therefore, you shouldn’t have much issue moving this product around the campground when needed.
This model has also gained a reputation for being useful in cold weather climates as it doesn’t struggle to start up in these situations. Due to this, any cold weather RVers reading this article should take a long look at buying it.
It’s worth noting that this model has a quick recovery time to ensure it’s ready whenever you might need it. You won’t have to worry about it shutting down too early either as it features a long runtime as well.
Overall, CRAFTSMAN made sure to produce a product capable of providing great results for a long period of time. This aspect makes me feel like this device could be a worthwhile investment, and I didn’t even mention its more than fair price yet.
Master Flow MF-1050 Tire Inflator (Outdated)
If you want the best tire inflator for RV tires, Master Flow’s MF-1050 Tire Inflator might be your perfect option. It can stake a claim to this title with an outstanding amount of versatility that other models might have trouble offering.
You see, this model can function in many situations such as inflating basketballs, bicycles, RVs, motorcycles, or even pool toys. Due to this versatility, you shouldn’t have any issues finding a variety of ways for this model to make your life easier.
But its ability to function in multiple ways isn’t the only thing it offers. You should also love its lightweight and compact design, which makes storing and moving the product a breeze. In fact, you shouldn’t have any issues fitting this product inside your RV storage area along with all the trinkets from your travels.
This compact design doesn’t stop it from being powerful either. In fact, you should have no issues inflating an RV or trailer tire with this product within a matter of minutes. It also doesn’t hurt that the product has an easy using process.
Honestly, there’s nothing worse than buying a product and finding out that you have no idea how to use it. This issue doesn’t seem to be a problem with the MF-1050 as it simply gets its power from being hooked into your RV’s battery.
I also love that you get all these wonderful features for a price well below many other options on this list. It even comes with all the accessories needed to inflate tires with your purchase. Therefore, there will be no need to buy any parts separately, which always ends up being a hassle.
Audew Dual Cylinder Air Compressor (Outdated)
The Audew Dual Cylinder Air Compressor happens to be our lowest priced option on this list. But this low price doesn’t mean that it lacks in top tier features. In fact, it’s quite the opposite as it has many aspects, which I found appealing.
For example, I love that it features a durable metal body, which promotes longevity that many other models can’t match. This aspect means you should expect the model to last a long time without having any issues or accidents.
It also helps that it comes with an anti-vibration rubber mat to limit motion during the device’s use. This aspect will help reduce the noise made by the product when it’s being used. It’s something, which seems to be working as people were shocked at noise operation level in the customer reviews.
This product being equipped with bright and long-lasting LED lights was another attractive trait. You see, this aspect will make doing any repairs much safer and ensure other drivers can see your location on the roadside.
I found this product’s versatility to be impressive as well. This device has proven to be effective in many situations, from inflating basketballs to RV tires. It can offer this versatility thanks to its 150 max PSI ratings and dual cylinder design.
And if those features weren’t enough to sell you, this product also comes with a 1-year warranty. It sure seems like Audew did a great job at covering every need and want a customer could expect from a low priced model.
RV Air Compressor Buyer’s Guide
Your search will require having in-depth knowledge about these products. This section will provide it by going over everything one could possibly need to know about RV air compressors. The info learned from this section will end up being the foundation of your entire search.
Things to know before buying an RV air compressor
Choosing the right RV air compressor will come down to several factors. This section will discuss each of them at length to ensure this process ends with the perfect option. It’ll make it very apparent what you should be looking for in these devices.
Size of Tank
Knowing what size tank you want is a crucial part of this process. You see, the overall performance of air compressors is affected by their tank’s size. It indicates the amount of air the device can hold at one time.
As a result, you can expect the bigger a tank happens to be, the more air it’ll contain. But there’s one side effect of having a larger tank that could cause some issues. An air compressor with a larger tank will be much harder to transport than a smaller, portable option.
This issue could cause some problems for someone like an RV owner who’s always moving from place to place. You’ll instead need an option that’s easier to transport rather than one with the largest tank.
Given this info, I’d suggest searching for an air compressor with a small tank, but a high PSI. The higher PSI should help make up for tank space lost by getting an air compressor with a smaller tank.
PSI and CFM Ratings
You’ll also need to have a grasp on each option’s PSI and CFM ratings. As I noted before, PSI or pounds per square inch is a metric, which measures air pressure. This rating will tell you the amount of pressure it can fill a tire up to; your tires also have PSI rating that will be located on the sidewall.
You must find an air compressor with a maximum output capable of filling up your tires. In other words, you’ll need an option with a higher PSI than what it says on your tire’s sidewall. As for the CFM or cubic feet per minute, this rating refers to the compressor’s airflow rate.
The higher this rating happens to be, the faster your tires get inflated. Due to this, you’ll want an option with a high CFM.It’s also worth mentioning that these two ratings are often presented together on devices such as air compressors.
For instance, if you have a tire that has a PSI of 75 an air compressor with the following ratings, “5.0 CFM @ 90 PSI” would be an ideal purchase. This air compressor would fill your tires in no time and get them travel-ready.
As you can see, these ratings happen to be a massive part of this process. It’s something that requires your attention when searching for the perfect RV air compressor.
Level of Noise
Some of these products can be incredibly loud, which is something you don’t want to experience. After all, your ears will be very close to the device and can end up being very unpleasant with a loud enough air compressor.
This issue makes it necessary to figure out the exact number of decibels each air compressor before making a final decision. The number of decibels usually hovers between 40 and 90 decibels with every air compressor on today’s market.
But I’d suggest looking for a model that emits noise at a level of 65 or fewer decibels. An air compressor running at 65 decibels would be a sound level much like what an air dryer or vacuum cleaner could produce.
Power and Hose Cord Length
Top tier RV air compressors will feature longer cords and hoses to offer a bit more flexibility. In most cases, you’ll find these devices with hoses between 4 inches to 30 feet. I’d suggest staying away from options with 4-inch hoses.
Honestly, a 4-inch hose is just way too small and could be rather inconvenient. The good news is that these hoses are rather rare as you’ll usually find models around 20 to 26 feet long. It’d be a wise move to get an air compressor with a hose within range or even a bit longer between 24 and 28 feet.
As for the power cords, these parts can have a massive impact on your experience with an air compressor. You must make sure these cords are long enough to offer you a bit of flexibility. I’d suggest looking to get a device with a power cord between 12 and 15 feet.
The air compressor’s weight might be one of the most essential parts when choosing a device. It’s also an aspect people tend to overlook during their search. You should try to avoid being one of these people at all cost.
You must make sure moving the air compressor from place to place doesn’t require too much effort on your part. It’s also
essential to realize an air compressor with the word portable in its title doesn’t mean it’s actually convenient to move.
The weight of these devices is something that requires research, or you might end up with a 50-pound portable air compressor. You should take the time to look through each product’s description and find its exact weight.
Overall, I’d suggest getting an RV air compressor with a weight between 10 and 20 pounds. Devices with this weight should be easy to move and store for most people.
An RV air compressor’s price can vary drastically from product to product. This issue makes you having a realistic budget a vital part of the process. Your budget should account for everything you’re looking to get from an air compressor.
For instance, a model with a higher PSI will end up costing more. Your budget must reflect details such as this one to ensure it’s realistic. A well-constructed budget will make this entire process more manageable.
It’ll also limit the number of choices, which will make searching through the overflood market an easier task. A budget will offer this benefit by removing options that don’t fit your specific needs and wants.
As a result, you’ll be left to choose from the options that fit right into your budgetary range. Honestly, it’ll probably bring forth a sense of relief given how many choices are out there on today’s market.
What are the different types of RV air compressors?
As we’ve mentioned above, the air compressors recommend for RV owners happen to be the portable ones. These devices’ types tend to be based on specific factors such as their HP, CFM, and PSI. Size and weight will also factor into determining which portable RV air compressor a rig owner will need.
You might ask what makes portable air compressors the perfect device for RV owners? Well, they can maintain the right balance for providing power to inflate your tires quickly and efficiently.
It also helps that these devices are stored inside a package, which makes them small enough to put inside an RV’s storage area easily. I should mention that your choices will vary based on the size when you’re choosing an RV air compressor as well.
You see, there will be different sized compressors with each one having their own set of specific features, air compression methods, and specifications. Some people decide to go with larger ones, while others go with smaller options.
But either way, these portable air compressors will come with tanks. This part of the device will be where the compressed air is stored, pressurized, and then feed it through a hose to inflate your tires.
I should note that the smaller options will obviously come with smaller tanks. These smaller tanks will only pressurize the air before delivering it through the help of a hose. It’s also worth mentioning that these smaller options work through their screw-type machinery.
The screw-type machinery requires two large screws to turn together, which creates a vacuum that’ll suck air. This process makes a major impact in making small portable air compressors a useful device.
I know, this info might seem a bit complicated at the moment. But it’s these little details that’ll make sure you end up picking the right type of air compressor. Plus, it’ll start making more sense when I dive further into these devices in the following sections.
Why do you need an RV air compressor?
RV air compressors happen to be very valuable tools with various benefits. This section will cover some of them to give you a better idea about why you might want one. It should provide a better grasp of whether getting one of these devices is the right move for you.
One of the first things that’ll stand out about having an air compressor is the convenience it offers. You see, having one of these devices will mean that you don’t have to find a nearby gas station every time your tires need some air.
This device instead allows you to inflate your tires right at the campground and doesn’t cost a single dime. It’s also worth noting that most gas station air compressors aren’t always in the best shape due to heavy usage.
As a result, refilling all your RV’s tire might become an impossible task with a gas station air compressor. This issue won’t be a problem with your own air compressor as long as you keep it in good shape.
An RV air compressor also offers a high level of efficiency. You see, an air compressor can connect right to your air-powered tools and get any automotive repairs done in no time. These air-powered tools include items such as air nailer or impact guns.
Due to this ability, an RV air compressor doesn’t just excel in inflating your tires but helping with other repair issues as well. It’s also worth mentioning that electrical tools might appear like the more efficient and convenient options; however, there are some severe issues with these devices.
These electrical tools tend to be bulkier than your standard air-powered devices, and your electrical budget will end up much higher with their use. You should also know that these cordless, electric impact tools have a shorter lifespan and can’t match the speed of air-powered devices.
RV air compressors aren’t just a useful device for your rigs. These products offer a versatility that makes them usable in many different situations. For instance, a person looking to change their RV’s color scheme would find one of these devices useful.
All you have to do is connect it onto your spray gun and add your new color scheme. In fact, an air-powered spray gun’s often ideal for both creative painting and decorating. People have also found these air compressors useful when applying a fresh finish on surfaces and walls.
This situation would simply require connecting a compressor onto a sprayer. As a result, your air-powered sprayer will make sure that these surfaces become refined and smooth. I’ve also found an air compressor helpful when working on outdoor carpentry.
In this situation, the air compressor helps aid in a quick and efficient cleanup. All it requires is connecting the air compressor to an air blower tool, and your working station will be sawdust free in no time.
I should mention that air compressors obviously help with inflation other types of tires as well. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a motorcycle or standard bike tire; these devices will get the job done.
Easy to Maintain
The cleaning and maintenance processes for air compressors don’t take much effort or time. It’s just a matter of following a few simple steps once a year to keep your air compressor in good shape. These procedures don’t even require any professional help and are rather straightforward.
The procedures consist of changing your compressor’s oil by getting it started. This action causes the oil to begin warming up and become less viscous, which makes draining it easier. You should proceed to drain the oil and then remove the cap that’ll cause the air to flow.
Once this part’s finished, refill it with top tier compressor oil. The next maintenance tasks will involve replacing the worn-out compressor belt and air filter. Both these jobs should be straightforward and take little time.
In the end, air compressor maintenance won’t be something that gives you much trouble. It just requires an annual or semi-annual routine. Sticking to a consistent routine will ensure your air compressor last as long as possible.
VIAIR 400p vs 450p: what’s the difference?
Two of the most popular options on this market are VIAIR’s 400p RV Air Compressor and VIAIR’s 450p RV Air Compressor. Their respective popularity often leads to customers wondering which one happens to be the best.
Let’s start with the 400p option, which is a rather large kit. In fact, this device can inflate tires up to 35 inches and have a PSI between 0-30 in about five minutes. Pretty impressive, right? It’s also worth mentioning that this device has a low power draw to ensure your electric bill doesn’t go through the roof.
On the other hand, the 450p RV Air Compressor happens to be an incredible choice, given its max working pressure rating of 150 PSI. This option also comes with all the necessary accessories included to offer a bit more convenience.
It’s quite evident that both options would be excellent choices for your RV air compressor. It’s just a simple matter of matching your needs to the option, which suits them. For instance, if you want a higher max working pressure, I’d suggest going with the 450p option.
But if you’re worried about the product’s power draw, the 400p air compressor would be the better choice. In the end, either one would be an excellent pick for many RV owners.
RV Air Compressor FAQs
What is the best air compressor for RV?
An RV air compressor might not seem like a must-have item at first glance. But I’m telling you that this is an essential piece to the RVing lifestyle. You see, these wonderful products can ensure that your RV’s tires inflated to their proper level whenever needed.
This action will make sure your trip doesn’t become ruined by something like a flat tire or blowout. After all, nobody wants to be the person on the highway who’s cursing at their RV because a flat tire occurred.
It’s also worth noting that low air pressure in your tires can have a long term impact on your tire’s durability. This issue is what leads to the before-mentioned blowout and flats, which nobody wants in their lives.
But low inflation doesn’t just affect the tires themselves, but your RV’s braking and handling systems as well. In other words, it’s much harder to perform driving maneuvers when your tires aren’t at their proper inflation levels.
Another thing you’ll have to worry about is over-inflation as it can bring negative consequences, too, such as sinking easily into dirt or mud. As a result, an RV air compressor comes in handy to avoid this issue by keeping your tires at the proper level.
I should also mention that it’s essential that you don’t get an air compressor, which is too heavy. You’ll want a lightweight option to ensure carrying around doesn’t take too much effort. Honestly, it should be light enough that you can carry it without the help of another person.
I’d suggest something under 40 pounds to ensure complete portability. Otherwise, you might find yourself avoiding using the product altogether, which defeats the purpose of buying the product in the first place.
The good news is that air compressors manufacturers make finding these lighter options easy by putting the word portable in their titles. A portable RV air compressor is much easier to store because of their smaller size as well.
In the end, getting a top tier RV air compressor becomes a necessity for any RV owner. It’s one of the few ways to ensure nothing goes wrong during your trip. It offers this benefit by making sure your tires are always at their proper inflation levels.
What size air compressor do I need to inflate RV tires?
Choosing the perfect-sized camping air compressor isn’t too tricky. Honestly, I’d suggest getting a smaller option with a high PSI for any RV owners. It’ll make storing the device much more hassle-free while providing enough juice to inflate your tires quickly.
A solid example of one would be the VIAIR 400P-RV Automatic Portable Compressor Kit. It won’t take up much space in the storage area but still has a 150 PSI rating. As a result, it’s a perfect companion to have when traveling on the road.
What is the easiest way to inflate RV tires?
Inflating RV tires is much easier when you have a reliable portable air compressor. These devices make the nightmare of having flat tires a minor issue. I can’t even state how often these products have saved my life when traveling from place to place.
But if you don’t have a portable air compressor, travel to a nearby gas station or rest stop. Both these areas should offer air compressors to help inflate RV tires. Otherwise, you might be looking at having to do a quick tire change.
Does the tank size limit the usage of an RV air compressor?
Tank size does limit your RV air compressor usage. Your motorhome air compressor should have a 3-gallon tank, at the least, if you have big tires.
Most models on the market have a 2-gallon air receptacle, so it shouldn’t be tough to find one that meets this requirement.
How does it work?
As you know, the primary function of an RV air compressor is to ensure your tires are inflated at the right pressure. It’s a device that compresses air to provide power for air or pneumatic tools such as your vehicle’s tires.
These devices get this power in one of two ways, through using electricity or gasoline. The air compressor itself is usually made up of two main parts: the piston and the cylinder. These two things make up the motor, which drives air into a storage tank that pressurizes the air.
From there, the piston will force even more into the storage tank. This action causes the pressure to increase until it reaches the highest level. At this point, the compressor will stop inflating your RV tires, and they will be ready for use.
You’ll also find these devices useful on other means of transportation such as motorcycles, bikes, cars, trucks, etc. People often use them to inflate things like pool toys, air cushions, and air mattresses as well.
Understanding how these devices work isn’t only about the actual using process, but there are also ratings that you have to know. For example, one of these ratings is called the CFM or cubic feet per minute. This rating will help you determine the overall quality and effectiveness of each air compressor.
You see, an air compressor with a higher CFM will probably be more powerful and effective than a model with a lower CFM rating. It’s also essential you have a grasp on each model’s PSI or pounds per square inch.
The PSI rating represents the specific amount of force needed for each air compressor to deliver the required air. In most cases, you should be looking for devices with a PSI rating between 100 and 150 to ensure everything works perfectly.
You’ll also need to know about HP or horsepower. This rating becomes an essential part of the process because it indicates the motor’s working capacity. The motor happens to be the very thing used in driving the compressor’s pump.
As a result, an air compressor with a higher HP will have a higher CFM rating as well. It’s just another thing to look out for when buying one of these devices. You should also know that the compressor’s actual size will have an impact on how it works.
This impact comes from the tank’s size being a determining factor in the maximum amount of air that your air compressor can hold. The amount of air will often be indicated with a number of gallons, but I’d suggest staying away from large tank sizes as much as you can.
As you might expect, these larger tank options tend to be much heavier than your portable air compressors. This aspect makes them much harder to move around, which could be problematic for RV and motorhome owners.
But you should make sure your portable option still has a high PSI. The combination of a small tank with a higher PSI rating will ensure your compressor will recharge continuously. Therefore, you can use the device for a more extended period without worrying about it shutting off.
What are the most trusted RV air compressor brands?
The most trusted RV air compressor brands happen to be highlighted right in our product review section. Each one of these companies has shown a willingness to go above and beyond their customers’ needs and wants.
But even among this fantastic group of brands, a couple of them stand out a bit more than the rest: VIAIR and PORTER-CABLE. These two companies have found themselves at the top of this market year after year like clockwork.
I thought it’d be a good idea to examine their backgrounds and see what makes these two brands different from their rivals. The info I showcase should give you a better idea of what a top tier RV air compressor company looks like and offers its customers.
This brand has become a force in the air compressor market, thanks to its outstanding reliability and performance. Their products rarely leave a customer unhappy because it seems always to meet their needs and wants.
It doesn’t hurt that VIAIR’s customer service happens to be top tier as well. Therefore, if a problem does occur, this brand is ready to help its customers through it. It just seems like this brand cares a little bit more about its customers than its rivals.
PORTER-CABLE offers its customers an experience that many other brands have a tough time matching. You see, this company prides itself on producing high-quality products, which will remain durable and reliable for years to come.
This commitment to creating durable and reliable products make PORTER-CABLE a consistent force in the RV air compressor market. It’s not uncommon to see a few of their products among the most popular on Amazon at the same time.
In the end, any of the brands named within our product review section should do right by you. However, these two companies deserve a special shout out due to their continued excellence in this market.
How long can I expect an RV air compressor to last?
The top tier RV air compressors are meant to last a long time. Some options can even stay usable for up to 20 or 30 years with the right care. Of course, your air compressor’s lifespan will end up depending on the amount of care you’re willing to give it.
Air compressors that are given the right amount of attention last a lot longer than model’s left to their own devices. Before doing any maintenance, I’d suggest reading through the manufacturer’s manual, usually located on the compressor’s side. This action will give you a better handle on the device’s limitations.
You should then make sure to clean the device’s components regularly. I’d start with cleaning your air compressor’s air intake filters to decrease the strain put on compression capacity. Draining the receiver to drive out excessive moisture would be a good idea as well.
This action will increase its storage capacity, which prolongs your device’s lifespan. It’s also essential that people using oil-lubricated compressors, check the oil levels daily, and change the oil regularly.
You’ll also want to replace/clean the oil filter and separator, which will keep your compressor in top tier shape. All these actions will ensure your device makes it to the 20 or 30-year mark without any severe issues. If you want to know when you should inflate your RV tires, you should buy an TPMS for your RV or travel trailer, it can help you.
What is the warranty?
An RV air compressor’s warranty will vary from product to product. Some options will offer a lengthy one, such as a lifetime warranty. Other models won’t even come with one, which isn’t an ideal situation for the customer.
I’d suggest making sure your air compressor comes with a lengthy warranty. This action will ensure you have a bit of coverage against an accident or malfunction happening with the device.
It’s also essential that you do some research into whether the company honors its policies. You’d be surprised by how many brands just use a warranty as a selling point without the intention of ever honoring it.
An excellent way to research this issue would be by reading customer reviews. If there’s an issue with this area, these discussions should have a record of it. After all, there are very few things that get a person madder than the feeling of being duped.
Where to buy?
The best place to buy an RV air compressor would be using Amazon, which has both the largest selection and lowest prices. It’s this combination that makes them such a significant player within every consumer market out there.
Their extensive customer review database doesn’t hurt either as these discussions will be crucial in determining the perfect RV air compressor. It’s just another area where Amazon convincingly outpaces its rivals.
But these advantages don’t mean you shouldn’t look at other stores and sites. In fact, an option like Camping World would be a great secondary source to look at given their respectable selection and prices.
You might even find their prices at lower rates than Amazon when a sale’s happening. As a result, it becomes a necessity to compare prices between these two sites before making a final decision. It’s the only way to ensure you don’t pay more than needed for your chosen air compressor.
If you’re a person who doesn’t like online shopping, there are some decent options available to you as well. Your local Wal-Mart, Lowe’s, Home Depot, or RV supply store should have a decent selection to look through for a would-be buyer.
But I must note that their prices will be much higher than what you’d find online. It’s just the state of the consumer market at the moment. These retail stores do offer one benefit these online sites and stores can’t, though, face to face customer service.
It might not seem like a big deal, but an employee who knows the ins and outs of these products can make a significant impact on your buying experience. It always helps to talk with a person that might have a little experience dealing with these types of products.
Overall, a customer shouldn’t have much issue finding a suitable place to buy an air compressor given these options. It’s just a simple matter of understanding your shopping preferences and choosing the store or site that matches them.
After finishing this article, you shouldn’t have any issues finding the best RV air compressor to fit your situation. It just requires you to apply what you’ve learned from this article into the search: the perfect option should be rather apparent when you do.
This perfect option will then start making your RVing lifestyle better almost immediately. After all, you won’t have to adventure toward a nearby gas station every time a tire’s pressure seems a little low.
It also saves money by making sure you don’t have to pay for using a gas station’s air compressor. Honestly, the best air compressor for RV tires will be a convenient item to have around an RV and should be something every rig owner brings along on their trips.
So please, use the info within this article to find one that suits your needs and wants. I promise you won’t regret it. And if you run into any more problems, feel free to leave your questions and concerns in the comment section.
Hi, I am Dane Heldt, a full-time RVer since 2016. I am always passionate about building and joining an RV community where people share their love for RV lives. This blog is a dream of mine, as I can finally share my experiences to help people who want to start living differently. So, feel free to reach out to me!