The Best RV Air Compressors and Kits in 2020
Comparisons, Buyer's Guide, and Reviews
An air compressor serves fundamental purposes around the house or even outside for heavy tasks. Whether you are using it on your air conditioner or refrigerator, you will enjoy several benefits of using this advanced tool. The compressor is also a handy device for small outdoor activities such as woodworking, spray painting and inflating your vehicle and bike tires. They come in a variety of sizes, to cater to your air tool needs.
Top 7 Best Air Compressor for RV - Comparison
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What is an Air Compressor Actually?
Simply put, an air compressor is a device that compresses air to provide power to air/pneumatic tools such as spray painting machines and impact wrenches. They vary in size and capacity, depending on the extent of work to be done.
An air compressor is either electrically powered or gasoline powered. It consists of two principal parts, that is, the piston and the cylinder. The compressor's motor drives air into the storage tank and pressurises it. As the piston forces more air into the storage tank, the pressure within increases until it reaches maximum level. At this point, the compressor comes to a halt and is ready for use. As you use the compressor, the pressure in the tank reduces gradually and will need to undergo the same process.
There are a few variations of air compressors such as;
The Benefits of an RV Air Compressor
An air compressor is a convenient tool, and holds the following benefits for your RV;
A. Suitable for on-the-spot use
With your very own air compressor, you do not have to endure the menace of driving down to a local gas station for a tire boost. An air compressor gets the job done immediately and at no cost at all.
Most gas station air compressors are usually in poor condition and may require payment for you to access them. Even if you wanted to refill all four of your tires, the chances are that will be a very daunting task for just one cycle.
It may seem convenient to carry out your automotive repairs using hand-powered tools, but an air compressor offers optimal and efficient quality. You can connect your air-powered tools to your air compressor and get by your repairs within the shortest time imaginable. Some of the tools you can use with your compressor include impact guns and air nailers.
While electrical tools may appear convenient, some of them are bulky, and they may ultimately blow your electricity budget over the roof. The cordless, battery-powered electric impact tools have a short lifespan, and they do not match up to the speed of air powered machines.
C. It is a versatile machine
Apart from carrying out regular automotive maintenance for your RV, an air compressor offers a myriad of other uses. If you want to change the colour scheme of your RV, simply connect your spray gun and add a touch of colour as you like. The air-powered spray gun is especially ideal for decorative and creative painting.
For a neater finish on walls and surfaces, you can choose to connect a sprayer to the compressor. The air-powered sprayer will leave your surfaces smooth and refined.
An air compressor can also come in handy when you are working on some outdoor carpentry and need to clean up afterwards. All you have to do is connect your air blower tool, and you will be free of sawdust in no time.
There are many other air powered tools in your RV that can also enjoy the convenience and efficiency of just one motor.
D. Easy to maintain
Air compressors are very easy to maintain. All you need to do is follow a few easy steps at least once a year or as guided by the manufacturer. The maintenance procedure involved is quite simple to follow and does not require professional guidance.
The process involves changing the compressor oil by getting the compressor started. At this point, the oil warms up and becomes less viscous, hence easier to drain. After draining the oil, remove the cap to allow air to flow and refill with high-quality compressor oil.
The next steps involve changing the air filter and replacing the worn out compressor belt. Both processes are straightforward and easy to follow.
Air compressor maintenance is nothing close to time-consuming. All you need is an annual or semi-annual routine. Such consistency will ensure you have a durable and functional tool altogether.
Air compressors come in different sizes, thus posing an added advantage for your RV lifestyle. Since they are portable, you can carry them around anywhere and at any time.
Their portability also makes them easier to use around the environs of your RV for simple maintenance and other automotive repairs.
If you are going out and do not plan on carrying the compressor, you can fill your portable storage tank with air as needed. The portable tanks have a tight sealable valve to prevent leakage and do not require any power source.
Factors to Consider before Buying the Right RV Air Compressor
An air compressor, like most other appliances, requires thorough scrutiny. Here are a few factors to consider before you settle for the best portable RV air compressor.
Before paying for any compressor, make a rough layout of your needs. The capacity of your compressor may affect its general functionality. A small compressor may be time-consuming since it will need a lot of time to allow for pressure build up while an unnecessarily large one may be wasteful to your resources.
It is therefore vital to understand some of the capabilities of the best compressor before you purchase it for your RV. For example, Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM) indicate how much air the compressor delivers to the tube at a time. High CFM is ideal for RV's and uses with other bigger jobs.
Also, the Gallon Size indicates the tank capacity. This unit is critical, especially if you have tools in your RV that run on uninterrupted gas flow, such as spray guns. High Gallon capacity will keep your air tool running for long.
The quality of your air compressor will affect its quality and general performance. It is vital to check the specifications of any air compressor before you buy it. Don't just settle for one because it is available at a throw-away price. It will serve you on a short-term basis, and you will have to incur the cost of maintenance or even replacing. In the same breath, don't be in a hurry to opt for the most expensive ones. It's not always in the pricing but its efficiency and functionality.
Check whether it is compatible with your existing air tools. Also look out for some critical compressor measurements such as Pounds per Square Inch (PSI), Horsepower, maximum working pressure, and cubic feet per minute, among many others. These units will help you gauge performance.
03. Maximum Length of the hose and cord
The length of your hose may critically affect the performance of your air tool. Before you buy an air compressor for your RV, take a closer look at the air demand requirements of your pneumatic tools. For example, if your tool has a high air demand, then a short hose connected to it will cause a high-pressure drop.
A high-pressure drop is an indication that your compressor is working harder than it can handle, to keep up with the high demand. Otherwise, your tool will suffer low performance.
Also, pay keen attention to the diameter of your hose. A very narrow width facilitates high velocity which in turn leads to high friction within the tubing.
04. Level of Noise
An air compressor can be just about as quiet as the sound of ruffling leaves, or it can produce a very deafening sound. The level of noise generated by a compressor depends on a myriad of factors, the most common being friction and power source.
Compressor noise is measured in decibels, and it ranges from 40-92 dB. A compressor with many moving parts will produce a lot of noise due to the friction therein. Also, an electricity-powered compressor will produce little to no sound, compared to a gas powered one.
You will find that the quite compressors are somewhat expensive but worth the buck.
05. Weight and Portability
When choosing an air compressor based on weight and portability, then it is essential to consider how often you'll need to move it if at all. There are two main types of compressors on this count. These are, the portable and stationary compressors.
The portable air compressor is excellent if you have a lot of small tasks to carry out in or around your RV. It is easier to carry around and connect to the air powered tools. It is lightweight in nature and hence more comfortable to handle.
The stationary compressor, on the other hand, is very heavy. It is convenient as a power source for tasks that require a lot of energy. They are a little more challenging to operate than the portable ones.
It is essential to note that the stationary compressor produces more power than the portable one and might be more convenient for your RV.
06. Time of Run
It is also imperative to factor the time of run or duty cycle of your compressor. This assessment will help you discern whether or not the compressor will do the job as required and within the available time limit.
The time of run refers to the amount of time the machine can run on a full cycle, including downtime. It is usually expressed as a percentage. With such information, you are well positioned to choose the best air compressor for rv winterizing.
Some air compressors have an inbuilt thermal detector that automatically shuts them down once they achieve a specific temperature. The compressor will then rest for a few minutes, allowing it to cool and resume its functions afterwards.
A good compressor should allow adequate downtime to prevent thermal damages to its parts; while still have a long-running duty cycle to ensure a continuous flow of activity.
07. Additional Features
If you're anything like most people, then the idea of extra features on any product is sure to get you excited. An air compressor is no exception to the advantage of additional features. Some compressors have more advanced adaptations than others, and you should, therefore, be on the lookout for them as you search for the best portable tire air compressor for rv, tucks, and trailers.
Some of the features to look out for include a drain valve, which drains out excess moisture from the storage tank to prevent damage. Also check for air filters, a pressure switch, and a thermal overload protector, among other things that will enhance your compressor's functionality.
Although air compressors are quite expensive, such extra features are worth the price and will certainly give you a bang for your buck.
Here are the Top 11 Best RV Air Compressor Full Reviews
Now that you have a clear picture of the benefits of an air compressor and how to choose one, here are some of the most recommended compressors for an RV.
01)Viair 40047 400P-RV Automatic Portable Compressor Kit
Editor Rating: 4.5/5
The Viair 40047 400P-RV compressor kit has an efficient maximum working pressure of 150 PSI (pounds per square inch). This pressure is more than the standard working pressure for the average compressor. Therefore, the very high air force is delivered by the compressor to your air tool.
It is great for RV use since it has a high volume delivery capacity of about 2.3 CFM. Large volumes of air will be delivered to your air tool at a time. Also, experts listed it as one of the best rv air compressors.
The compressor has a unique shut-off function, which is especially handy when it comes to checking tire pressure. This function saves you the time and energy of having to keep switching off the compressor to check the pressure.
The Viair compressor comes with two 30-inch hoses. The coil hoses can be attached to one another or even detached, depending on how long you require the tube to be. Their coiling property makes it easier to store.
The connecting ends of the coils are compatible with the compressor, to ensure a tight seal and stable pressure throughout the cycle.
With a duty cycle of 33%, you are assured of a properly functioning and efficient compressor. This duty cycle shows that the compressor requires 33% of an entire clock pulse, while the other 67% is taken as downtime for the compressor to cool. The cycle ensures the adequate functioning and enough downtime to rejuvenate the compressor thus increasing its lifespan.
The compressor comes with a few additional accessories such as an extra hose for varied length. It also has a set of 3 different inflation tip kits which can be interchanged depending on the type of vehicle being used. It comes with a 45° chuck and 90° chucks on the twist for easy access to the inner valve stem of dual tires.
02) PORTER-CABLE CMB15 150PSI 1.5 Gallon Oil-Free Fully Shrouded Compressor
Editor Rating: 4.5/5
The PORTER-CABLE oil-free compressor is a must-have for your RV. It has a 150PSI maximum pressure which allows you to keep your compressor running for long.
The machine comes with a 1.5-gallon tank, which is great for large jobs. The high capacity tank facilitates a continuous air flow for your air tools.
This compressor, unlike most mainstream ones, operates at 2.0 SCFM (Standard cubic feet per meter, as opposed to CFM), and at 90PSI. This offers a higher compression rate and quick recovery time.
The oil-free compressor does not require oil lubrication. This saves you the cost of regular oil maintenance such as replacing the oil valves and the potential risk of fire accidents.
The compressor comes with a 25-foot extended hose. The coil hose is long enough to connect your air tool to your compressor over a reasonably long distance. When the hose is not in use, it coils back into a small round fold for quicker and easier storage. It has a tensile strength and relative rigidity to ensure that it does not loosen out when over stretches.
The compressor is externally shrouded to protect its internal components from hot and moving parts. It also has two small rubber feet to keep it steady on the ground and resist vibrations as you work.
The compressor features a selection of 8 different connectors, to suit your inflation needs. It's absolutely another one from the best portable air compressor for rv, trailer, and truck tires.
03) Air Lift 25856 Load Controller Dual Heavy Duty Compressor
Editor Rating: 4.3/5
If you are looking for an air compress for your hard and daunting tasks, then look no further than the Air Lift 25856 Compressor.
The Dual compressor has a two-way path control that facilitates inflation of both springs.
This feature will give you enough pressure to work non-stop for a long time, and it can also accommodate multiple pneumatic tools before the pressure decreases.
This compressor comes complete with an installation kit. With the right equipment and experience, your compressor will be up and running in no time. You can choose to follow the installation manual or hire a professional to do all the work for you.
This compressor comes complete with a detector that senses a drop in pressure within the storage tank as soon as it begins to occur. Also, the gauge serves both air paths even as they are filled independently. It's another best rv tire air compressor.
04) VIAIR 45053 Silver Automatic Portable Compressor Kit (450P-RV), 1 Pack
Editor Rating: 4.5/5
The Viair 450-P RV has a maximum working pressure of 150PSI. This pressure ensures that large volumes of air power your air tool at a time, and with excellent efficiency.
The compressor also allows a free flow of air at 1.8CFM, when the PSI is at a minimum. This feature saves on energy consumption.
Just like the 400P-RV, the 450P- RV has a specially designed shut-off function.
The shut-off feature gives you enough time to check on your tires as you inflate them. You do not have to keep pacing back and forth to switch off the compressor and on again. It's the brand who deliver the best rv air compressor as always.
This compressor comes with two 30-inch tubes. You can choose to attach the hoses for maximum length or use one hose at a time, at your best convenience.
The hoses are coiled, which means you do not have to worry about tripping over them when they are not in use. They have memory, such that they coil up to a small fold. This tensile feature makes them easy to store and carry around.
The maximum runtime for this particular air compressor is at 100%for every 40 minutes. This means that you will have enough power output to work your air tools for a maximum time of forty minutes before it temporarily shuts down.
This duty cycle enhances the speed at which you work. You can use multiple tools within the 40 minutes time frame without experiencing any technical issues.
The Viair 450p-RV has a 90° and 45° chucks to make it simpler to access the dual rear tires. These unique tire attachments are specially designed to reach the internal valve system of the rear tires. They also come in handy for other inflation requirements, apart from on the RV.
The compressor also has an excellent gauge, much like the standard service station gauge, for easy and efficient inflation. It also has high quality, heavy duty battery clamps that connect the compressor to your RV.
05) SuperFlow 12V HD Air Compressor Tire Inflator
Editor Rating: 4.0/5
Price: Check on Amazon
The SuperFlow 12V compressor is excellent for a quick job. With a maximum working pressure of 150PSI, you are sure of enough air to work on your heavy-duty tasks.
This compressor can inflate high capacity tires of up to 37 inches, in as little as two minutes. This speedy work is a result of the 6400 cubic inches per minute. With this kind of airflow, you will achieve less in no time.
This compressor and tire inflator come with a coil hose and an in-line pressure gauge. The coil hose is approximately 24 inches long, which is an average length.
It can extend over relatively long distances, and when it is not in use, it automatically coils itself up into a bundle to prevent tripping accidents. It's one more, you can choose this best rv air compressor without any hesitation.
06)VIAIR 300P Portable Compressor
Editor Rating: 4.4/5
The VIAIR 300P compressor, like most other RV air compressors, has a motor voltage of 12Volts. It operates on a maximum pressure of 150PSI, and the engine must be switched on when in use. It offers 2.35 CMF free flow at 0 PSI.
The compressor is ideal for inflating tires of up to 31 inches. All you will need to do is clamp the power leads to the battery terminal, connect the chuck to the valve stem, and turn on the compressor. The clamps are heavy duty, with a 40Amp inline fuse.
The compressor operates on a 33% duty cycle at a maximum pressure of 150PSI. This average duty cycle rate ensures that the compressor works efficiently for some time an temporarily goes off to allow the compressor to cool. This variation optimises the functioning and lifespan of the compressor.
The Viair 300-P Compressor has an attached gauge from which you can monitor the pressure of your RV tires. The indicator gives accurate readings when the compressor is turned off. It also has a high-quality sand tray that counters the vibrations in the compressor when it is in use. It's one more best portable air compressor for tires.
07) VIAIR 0073 70P Heavy Duty Portable Compressor
Editor Rating: 4.1/5
The 70P is one of the best small portable air compressors from Viair. This portable unit has a maximum working pressure of 100PSI, compared to the 150PSI offered by the other Viair compressor.
This disparity in volume capacity is due to its size. Therefore, the 70P is better suited for small tasks such as regularly monitoring your tyres pressure.
The compressor can inflate 225/60/R18 tires by plugging into the power port, connecting the valve stem, and turning on the compressor. It comes with a 4-foot air hose, which is just the right size for small tasks. The hose is retractable for easy use and storage.
Also, the compressor has a 6-foot power cord that can extend over a long distance to quickly access your battery or other power sources. The power cord has a twist-on chuck.
The maximum duty cycle for the 70P spans over thirty minutes, at 30 PSI for the entire period. You can, therefore, use it anywhere and at any time without the risk of technical failure.
It has a gauge that helps to monitor the pressure when the compressor is off. It also has a separate three-piece inflation tip kits, for use one different tires.
08) Yantu Brand Tire Inflator with Dual Cylinder Air Compressor
Editor Rating: 4.4/5
This tire inflator is designed specifically as a tire inflator. It can pump up heavy duty tires in record times; your R15 tires will go from flat to 35 PSI in less than two minutes.
This air compressor comes with a variety of adapters, so you can use it to pump up everything from air mattresses to float toys without having to buy additional connectors.
The very long hoses that come with it allow you to add air to back tires without bending or carrying the unit everywhere.
A useful safety feature is the smart sensors that turn off the compressor if the attached item has reached proper air pressure.
The entire system is lightweight, too. A modest point in favor of the unit is the built-in light, allowing you to work in the dark.
This unit can connect to any 12 volt battery or your car battery as a power source. Just don’t connect it to the cigarette lighter port, because that can cause major problems. Yet users aren’t warned of this. It's the reason, why did we list it on our best tire air compressors.
09) EPAuto Brand 12V DC Portable Air Compressor Pump and Digital Tire Inflator
Editor Rating: 4.6/5
This top-selling air compressor is incredibly affordable, in part because of its minimalist, functional design.
One of the benefits of this model is that you can safely plug it into your cigarette lighter socket.
You can inflate bike tires and standard car tires. The only downsides are that it cannot handle light truck tires at all.
You can use it to inflate air mattresses and toys, but that requires separate adapters that come with the unit.
There is a built-in flashlight so you can work in the dark. It has an easy to read display, and despite the basic design, it is smart enough to shut off when the desired air pressure is reached.
This unit has an additional safety feature you may appreciate if you use these things a lot – it automatically turns off when it is overheating due to over-use.
10) Rourlinge Brand 12V DC Portable Air Compressor Pump
Editor Rating: 3.9/5
This is another moderately advanced RV tire and RV air compressor. It can pump up bike tires, motorcycle tires and other inflatable items.
A point in its favor is the variety of adapters it comes with so you could pump up an air mattress, beach ball or almost anything else that needs air.
The downside of this model is that it cannot handle light truck or full truck tires; you can use this to pump up trailer tires and car tires but not the tires carrying a full RV.
It comes with a built-in emergency light, whether you need that to inflate a trailer tire at night on the side of the road or as a camp light source.
This air compressor pump comes with a pre-set pressure auto shut-off. A point of frustration for users is the rather inaccurate pressure gauge; it may shut down when you want one more PSI in your tire because its plus or minus 05 PSI is more like plus or minus one or two units.
This air compressor shuts down when it is starting to overheat, too. Yet it can run for up to thirty minutes before hitting that point. The unit is quieter than average, as well.
Another plus is the fact that it comes with a spare fuse for the cigarette lighter plug.
11) POTEK Brand Portable Power Source with a 1500 Peak/750 Instant Amps Jump Starter , 150 PSI Air Compressor
Editor Rating: 3.7/5
This RV jump starter can act as a portable power source while you’re off-grid. It comes with two AC charging ports and a USB port.
You could charge both your smart phone and your hand tools with this portable power source. It will charge 12 volt batteries, as well.
You can use it in place of a small generator, delivering 300 watts of continuous power for a while. The unit comes with a built-in battery status light.
One minor flaw is that the unit doesn’t have built-in surge protection. Be careful of what you can and cannot charge with it, because you probably need an AC adapter and need to be cautious not to damage the charging ports. This portable unit weighs less than twenty pounds. It is truly mobile.
This all-in-one power source truly does everything. It contains an air compressor that can inflate car tires to 30 PSI in less than ten minutes. It will work even faster when inflating bike tires and beach balls.
More important to many on the move is the jump start function. The 1500 peak amp power output is perfect for jumping a car battery or getting a battery going.
One issue with the unit is that it comes with its own jumper cables, but you cannot replace them with something longer. Another minor bug is that the compressor won’t shut off when the tires reach your desired pressure. You have to do some work moving and monitoring this thing.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ
How do I maintain and check my RV's tire pressure?
It is not enough to merely check your pressure by kicking your tire or stealing a quick glance. While your tires are an essential part of your RV, they are just as equally neglected.
At the side of your tire is some information about its PSI, which is a measure of the maximum tire pressure at maximum rig weight. If you fill your tires to maximum pressure yet your rig is not at maximum load; you'll have less traction due to weak treads. Check your manufacturer's charts for more weight versus pressure guidance. You can also get the proper weight at a cat scale near you.
It is also very crucial that you check your tire pressure and temperature every time you want to drive your RV. You can use the gauge on your air compressor to check the pressure.
If you are out in your RV for longer than one week, cover your tires to prevent weather checking/cracking caused by exposure to extreme climatic conditions.
How long can an air compressor last?
The best air compressors for rv tires are ideally built to last. Some compressors can go for as long as 20-30 years, depending on several factors. However, the lifespan of your air compressor is solely dependent on how much tender love and care you are willing to offer to it. Well maintained compressors stay functional for long.
For proper preventive maintenance, you will first need to read through the manufacturers manual (usually on the side of the compressor), to get a clearer picture of the limitations/scope of your compressor.
The next step is to clean the components of your compressor regularly. You can start by cleaning the air intake filters to reduce the strain on compression capacity. Also, drain the receiver regularly to drive out excess moisture, hence increasing its storage capacity.
If you use an oil-lubricated compressor, check the oil levels daily and purpose to change the oil regularly. You should also clean/replace the oil filter and separator to keep the compressor at its optimum functionality.
Do I need anything to be safe?
An air compressor, like most modern day machines, is a safety risk when not handled in the best manner. The manufacturer should provide a safety manual, which you should read thoroughly through before you can start using your compressor. Some of the other basic air compressor safety tips are;
Always wear impact resistant gloves and glasses
Use a compressor with a coil hose. The coil will retract itself into a bundle and eliminate any tripping hazard risks.
Lend yourself to the idea of always checking for leaks before you use the compressor. An undetected leak may cause your compressor to blow or even create a fire hazard.
An air hose is a necessary inclusion in your everyday toolset, especially if you have an RV. It is essential to take your time when selecting the right RV air compressor. If you are new to this phenomenon, invest your time in thorough research about the best air compressors on the market. Also, create a clear picture of what your needs are, to get a compressor that meets all your requirements.
An air compressor not only caters to your tire inflation needs but is also very useful in other areas around your RV. You can use it to power your spray painting machine or a wood blower to blow away sawdust or any other dirt within your environment.
When you are buying an air compressor for your RV, be sure to check its specifications thoroughly. Take a keen interest in its size, hose length and type, horsepower and torque, working pressure and airflow capacity, among other vital features. Also, opt for a quiet compressor and one with extra features to enhance convenience and ease of use.
Finally, set aside some time for scheduled maintenance, mainly if your compressor uses an oil lubricant. Also, change out or clean the parts that filter dust during compression. Semi-Annual maintenance is proper enough to keep your air compressor up and running for many years.
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