How To Inflate RV Tires The Easy Way (Hint: Use a Viair 400P-RV )

How To Inflate RV Tires The Easy Way (Hint: Use a Viair 400P-RV )


After more than 11 years on the road, we’ve recently changed the way we inflate our tires. Since it’s the same for any size or type of RV, this tip isn’t just for owners of large motorhomes. Diesel pushers have air brakes and air suspension,
so they come equipped with their own on-board air compressors,
which can also be used for inflating the tires. But if you saw the videos on this topic
that we made a couple of years ago, you know it’s not always so simple.
Besides the problem of an onboard compressor’s
pressure normally cycling up and down below our required tire pressures,
we try to avoid idling our engine more than necessary.
We hate being an annoying neighbor, polluting a campground with
noise and diesel exhaust, just because our tires need air. Several years ago, we tried purchasing an inexpensive 12-volt compressor, but quickly learned that units designed to fill car tires and air mattresses are in no way up to
the task of inflating large RV tires, no matter what they say on the label.
You may have noticed that we’re all about finding
money-saving ways to do things, but sometimes a top-of-the-line solution is the best solution.
Sometimes, you simply get what you pay for, and this is one of those times.
We heard about a company called Viair, which makes ruggedized portable compressors, designed to handle more demanding situations,
like filling large off-road vehicle tires. We really
like the fact that they make a model specifically for RVs, which got stellar reviews on Amazon, so of course that’s the one we ordered. We were
immediately impressed by how thoroughly Viair thought this out, from the custom storage case,
twin extension hoses for long RVs, double foot chuck and an integrated pressure
gauge right in the handle. The compressor itself is really solid and amazingly
heavy & rugged for its compact size. It’s specifically designed to handle
large air volume and pressure. The unit will run fine off a regular car battery, but be sure to start the engine to
provide extra boost from the alternator. Idling the car is a whole lot quieter than the RV, so this is a huge improvement.
Even better, when we’re in a park with electric
hook-ups, the boost from our on-board charger,
combined with the size and power of our RV’s chassis batteries,
allows us to use the compressor without any engines running at all. We love
the fact that when you turn the power on to the compressor, the automatic shutoff
prevents it from running continuously. It just pressurizes the hose and then shuts off until more air is needed. Press the chuck onto the valve stem, and the gauge
immediately displays the tire pressure. To add air, just pull the trigger
and the compressor comes on. Release the trigger and the gauge
displays the current tire pressure again. As soon as the compressor re-pressurizes the air hose, it goes right back into its silent standby mode. It even works great on our front tires,
which require much higher pressure than the rear tires. Just a pull of the trigger and
the unit comes on automatically. When we release the trigger, the
gauge shows us the current pressure and the unit goes back into auto shutoff mode.
If we’ve accidentally added a little too much air, a press or two on the release valve lets some out, then shows us the resulting tire pressure.
The twin hoses included in the kit are long enough to easily reach
every tire on the RV from one spot. We used to
rush through tire inflation, eager to shut down our diesel engine
before we annoyed the entire campground. Now the whole process is much quieter, relaxed and easier. We usually try to find the least expensive solutions, but we also appreciate well-designed equipment. This thing is beautifully crafted, built like a tank and worth the investment for us, making
the important task of keeping our RV’s tires properly inflated a lot easier. Even the storage bag is high quality and well thought out,
with a place for everything that’s included in the kit. As full-timers, we’re always tight on storage space, but we’ve made room on board
for this great new addition! If you want to pick up one of
these compressors for yourself, we’ll put a link in the video description.
Be sure to connect with us on our website – TheRVgeeks.com where you can subscribe to hear
about our newest video tips as soon as they’re released. If you missed our previous video about tire age, care and replacement, you can watch it here. And if you enjoy our videos, please
be sure to give them a thumbs up and subscribe to our channel.
Thanks for watching!

Only registered users can comment.

  1. Another great video from the RVgeeks. When you coming back to Scotland and please bring the mountain aire with you I'd love to see it both inside and out.. Thanks guys

  2. I really enjoy and appreciate your approach to things and am a loyal follower.  I do have some reservations about the 400P-RV from a practical standpoint.  My "dislike" is the 12V battery clamps as opposed to a 120V plugs.  For the most part I think RVs either have external 120V outlets, access to 120V/20 amp shore power or both.  The long curly air hoses sometimes are just a pain and I have found it more convenient to move the compressor on a power cord than use of a long air hose.  Otherwise, I like the size of the 400P-RV.  I do agree that being 12V battery powered can have its advantages but not enough for me to reconsider my current120V portable compressor.  I don't think it is a flaw, just not something I think I would like.

    I also want to make another comment about the configuration in general.  I use a portable compressor with a pressure gauge that gives me enough air hose for about 6' of standoff distance from the tire.  I can stand to the side and inflate with a chuck that clamps on to the tire valve.  It gives me a bit of a safety margin in case something happens while inflating the tire.  I like the Power Tank TIG-8330 (http://powertank.com/products/sfID1/11/listPage/2/productID/367) and other similar designs.  I think this kind of configuration has advantages both in safety and for my back minimizing time spent bent over.  Even if I were to go with the 400P-RV I would add a 6' hose and chuck after the pressure gauge.

    Finally, just a tad outside of the scope of your video but related is that I have replaced all of my valve stems with Dually Valve stems.  They are solid products that allow all my valves to point outwards for easy access with clip on air chucks.  The single piece valve stem for the inner dually eliminates a place for air to leak.  

  3. Thanks for the great information. We looked at the Viair compressors on Amazon, and will probably get the 88P. It's rated at 120psi, and up to 33" tires, which more than covers our rig – 23' dual axle travel trailer with 65 psi tires, and F-350 truck.

  4. We own the Viar and i concur. It is an excellent product. Delivers as advertised! It a pleasure to feel the heft of this in you hand, and the quality of workmanship that went into it. What a pleasure to be able to fill up you air pressure while simply idling your engine. Love  the convenience of it, stowed on board and at the ready. 🙂

  5. Thanks for the great review of the Viair! I've had my 300P for a couple months now. It's a nice and compact unit that stores nicely in my class C. The smaller model I have works fine for my 80 PSI tires. I sure wish I had it on-board when my tire got punctured this summer in Nevada. I ordered it as soon as I got home.

  6. Great info thanks for sharing! We've also added one to our unit and to have handy around the S&B.  A definite must have tool for when we full-time in a couple years. Cheers! ~M

  7. Have been using the product for a few months now,,,works great. Question I have is the water that runs from the system. Is there some product add on that will function like an air dryer? Is it a big deal?

  8. my truck tires run I think at 65psi or so, trailer tires (tandem axel, airstream 30 footer) max at 80psi, I run 72 or so….It looks like the 88P unit will do for me, but is there a big functional difference in this model and the 300 or 400 that you are aware of?

  9. Bought my first motorhome three weeks ago. Couple I purchased from delivered it and told me I should purchase an air compressor. Went to Home Depot and figured everything they sold was way to big or not powerful enough. I should've know to check what RV Geeks had to say!! I'm ordering my Viair 400p Rv today. Thanks verymuch for the ongoing education. I'm not "as" afraid of this venture with folks like you to learn from.

  10. I own a 1994 f350 dually 7.3 diesel. It runs on LT235/85R16 load range E tires. It's tire pressure rating is 80 PSI, so would that compressor do for me?

  11. that thing costs $250, retails over $400 at a store.  For that kind of money, I would rather get the Dual Cylinder Air Compressor on eBay for $41.83 with free shipping.

  12. Hi Guys!  Thanks again for this video.  I did buy this unit last week and it does perform just as you say.  it is a wonderful product.  Thanks for this tip.
    p.s.  I really enjoy all your videos and am a subscriber!

  13. I know you're repping the compressor but a tip I picked up from of all people a DOT officer doing an inspection when I noticed how he kept his measurements!
    He took his note pad and made a vertical line then 5 horozinal lines for the axles of the truck and then wrote the measurements of the brake movement on the line there the brake chamber was.

    OK I confused a lot of you who don't drive anything with air brakes but I took his idea and used it to check all 18 of those tires every morning using his method putting the tire pressure on those lines.
    I did this when the tires were "cold" and then I had the "list" of tires that needed air and I could hit the air hose on the fuel island OR use my compressor but a lot faster that idling the whole time going from tire to tire checking, airing up, checking and doing it again on each tire wasting fuel and making noise and fumes!
    If you don't have a compressor or pusher and are in a "6" wheeler "C" this is a nice method to use for your vehicle! Check the pressure and when time to go then pull to the island or air pump and just fill the tires that need air using the list and get out of the way for the next guy. I used my pocket sized note pad and because I kept the pages I also could tell when one of those 18 tires started to have a problem as remembering 18 positions can be a royal PITA but the list helps the memory and is proof for the mechanic that there is a problem.

    A tip to remember:

    If you have a tire that is constantly needing a few pounds of air, that tire has a problem and you need to have it checked by a professional. Just adding air can be an invite for Murphy to come in with his law and bite you where you sit!

    A daily tire check is fantastic, A weekly tire check is pushing it and not just your luck, but the darn RV down the road!

  14. Let me toss something out there… my tag on my trailer says to inflate the tires to a certain pressure.   that was for load range D tires.    I was able to upgrade the tires to E at the same size.   the tire pressure is higher on the tire than the tag attached to the trailer.   Do I follow the tire, or the tag?    Tag says 65 psi for the D tires, the E tires have max cold of 80 psi, but I put them up to 70psi.     How best to approach this?

  15. I just bought the RV version and have not been able to put it together. No info on assembly, I have one extra part, and I cannot bet the quick connect to stay connected. Tomorrow I will put my pancake hose on to see if this will help. Looks like a very good idea, I just with I had a parts list and assembly instructions. George Miller

  16. Great compressor, just got an RV, tires are 80psi and so is the tag in the RV.  Since I'm not quite ready to shell out the $$$.  Can a gas station provide 80psi?

  17. I purchased the VIAIR 400P-RV and I love it. Thanks for the recommendation. I just finished filling my tow vehicle, bikes and RV tires. Easy! Question: what air pressure do you recommend for my RV tires? I'm running 295/80R 22.5 tires with a 120PSI rating. I currently run 110 psi on the front tires and 95 psi rears. How does that sound to you?

  18. Great Video. I just received my 400P-RV compressor and used it today to inflate my RV tires. I purchased it from Amazon. The investment was totally worth it. I am a single female RVer and it was super easy to use. I did, however have to go to the mfr website to watch the video on how to connect everything. The instructions write out what needs to be done but there are no diagrams to show 'exact' connections; so if you are not familiar with some of the terminology and names of the components, you should probably not GUESS. It all makes sense now after watching the video. I even labeled my hose connections just to 'speed' up the process when I go to connect everything together next time. Now I know what a 1/4" quick connect stud is, and the difference between the primary and extension hose, couplers, bleeder valve, etc. Thanks for posting.

  19. there is an even easier way to do it without even using this compressor. fleetpride has automatic tire inflators you can order that connect to the rv air system. they are pretty common on big trucks and they keep all your tires where you set them

  20. Ordered one a few weeks ago, my RV just been sitting for 6 weeks and the tires were a little low. Thank you for telling people about this one, it was fast and easy to use. I've only owned my RV for 4 months and was a little worried about the tires.

  21. Could you tell me what type of tire stems you bought so I don't have to remove to add air? Thanks for the important information.

  22. Can you help me change the little light bulbs in the mirrors (mirrors at :29) and how to tighten them down, one is loose where it attaches to the coach.

  23. I tried the viair and they must have changed it since you bought it as it would not do my Jeep tires to 35 psi, much less my rv tires to 115… IN fact, the psi on my rv's tires went DOWN when I used it… returned it to Amazon.

  24. We took your recommendation and purchased this viair unit. We love this compressor. . initial purchase was husky brand from a big box hardware store. Salesman said it would be fine but was no way able to get the job done for our RV . thanks for the video review. Keep up the good work. I have viewed many of your vids for answers to my needs.

  25. Looking to purchase the one from your link in the description. Are you still recommending this unit? Thank you.

  26. The way you are inflating your tires is extremely dangerous. Truck tires being inflated to high pressure can explode outward and causes deaths each year when the person is in the blast zone. There are many videos on You Tube showing this danger and how to prevent it.

  27. I see there are different models of this compressor with different costs however they all rate up to 150psi and come with the same attachments. What makes the 400P RV better than the rest?

  28. I have a cheap knock off of this type of inflator. It worked for topping off my 22" rim tires but couldnt do a flat. Will the 400P-rv do this in a reasonable time without damaging it? The size is most attractive but once burned now I'm cautious.

  29. The unit linked below (super flow mv-90) doesn't come with all the accessories, but is a very capable compressor with twice the open-flow rate for less money.  I've been very happy with mine, even though the bag isn't quite as nice either. 😉  I got this for my truck (Ford F-650) with commercial tires.

    Then, for the fifth-wheel, I just bought the Porter-Cable pancake compressor (150 PSI)

    Superflow MV-90: https://www.amazon.com/SuperFlow-Compressor-Inflator-Trucks-Tractors/dp/B008SSZN94
    Porter-Cable: https://www.amazon.com/PORTER-CABLE-C2002-Oil-Free-Pancake-Compressor/dp/B000O5RO1Y

  30. Great video and great product. My only comment is, for only 10 bucks more you could have the 450P RV which has a 100% Duty cycle as opposed to the 400P RV which has a 33% Duty cycle.

    https://www.amazon.com/45053-Automatic-Portable-Compressor-450P-RV/dp/B0141KJTKQ/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?ie=UTF8&qid=1505258332&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=viair+450p-rv&psc=1

  31. So would you still recommend this product? On a tight budget with getting ALL RV set up… could you recommend something as good just less $$…

  32. I am needing to add air to my suspension on my American Eagle Class A because I don't have an engine to turn on to fill it with air ~ I am sitting stranded, needing possibly a whole new engine ~ I have the 3 valves on the drivers side of the coach that releases air and I intake valve that I saw the tow truck guy use when I was towed. My RV is sinking over the back tire and I need desperately to get things up higher. Do you have an instructional video for doing so? Thank you ~

  33. Sorry I missed the sale. They want $250 for this unit now on Amazon. Let us know if you work another deal! Thanks for the great information and videos.

  34. I have relied on many of your videos while preparing for the delivery of our first motor home. IMHO Tire pressure monitoring is another area where the 'typical' automobile driver would not otherwise be prepared to operate a large motorhome.
    Low tire pressure is an insidious danger that, as we all know, can cause serious damage.
    Also, that the typical air pressure pump at the local fuel station is not adequate to fill a tire to 80 -100 psi. This can be an unpleasant surprise to folks relying on these pumps.
    Thank you for providing this and other videos in a light hearted, informative format.
    I did purchase a VIAIR 400P-RV on Amazon per your recommendation for the new rig.:-)

    Joe

  35. Why not cut off the alligator clips and wire up a plug for the compressor? Or why didn’t you purchase a compressor with a regular plug?

  36. If you want one of these awesome Viair 400P-RV air compressors for your rig, you can find it here on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2FFRCii

  37. If you don't need 24V you can get the 300P 12v version cheaper. I believe they are the same unit other than the 400P will work on either voltage.

  38. Love your informative videos. Thanks. I saw your tire covers and wondered why brand/material you would suggest. I'm seeing canvas and vinyl and thought I'd solicit your expert opinion.

  39. You've probably already covered this but since I can't easily search the comments…
    Do you do anything about the water that the compressor is putting into the tires? I've use my Viair twice and each time I've noticed that when I disconnect the hoses, there is a lot of moisture that pops out with the remaining compressed air.
    Do you use a water trap in the line?

  40. After watching your video a few months back, sure wished we'd had gotten one of these back then, before experiencing the tire nightmares we've encountered the past couple of times out. Called Good Sam for someone to come out for air and they actually asked if we could wait till the following day. We're self sufficient now, with the 400P-RV.
    She'll get her 1st run tomorrow.
    Thanks for another great review and video.

  41. how about check all tire pres. see which ones need air, start your engine for a couple mins. and fill them from your rig ? air pres. to low ? just pump the brakes down ,when the compressor comes on start filling, it will stay on till the tires full.

  42. I have a Newmar King Aire and the front tires are 365/70/22.5 requiring 125 psi. Will the 400P-RV air compressor work for that? Thanks

  43. Fortunate to have the previous owner leave it with the coach. Great unit. I purchased a Viair 2.5 gal air tank and fittings as well, and was able to use a air stapler to reupholster our jackknife sofa and dash. Works great! I hook it up directly to the house bank.

  44. First Thanks for all your videos! So well done, interesting , and informative!
    I am buying a new RV and they are recommending Tryon Bands for tires. I was wondering if you use them, or what your thoughts are regrading them?
    Thanks
    Jeff J

  45. I purchased the unit. I am however disappointed as the unit only inflates enough pressure to a PSI of 80 far less than the 120 PSI I need. Bummer. Not cheap and specifically for our motor home. But I guess if really low 80 is better than less until you can get to a Truck Stop

  46. I was so impressed with your review, that I bought one for my 30' Winnebago BRAVE. You may only use it w few time a year but its money well spent.

  47. Ok heres a trick question for you. Im a professional RV technician. Airing up tires without valve stem extenders is never easy it doesnt matter what kind of coach its on. How does this help with dually chassis's on customer units who have never had valve stem extenders installed?

  48. Before using the pump BE SURE TO BUY some 1/4" hose clamps. The supply hoses WILL blow apart where the hose and fittings come together. While the customer service people assured me that this failure is covered under warranty the replacement hoses never arrived (after 7 weeks). So the pump is good but the hoses and customer service is not.
    Buy the hose clamps so that you won't be caught short when you are in need of air and things blow apart.
    Same thing happened to a friend of mine after I recommend that he buy the Viare pump

  49. We are trying to decide between this model and the 450P-RV model. Which do you recommend for a 2007 Monaco class A rv?

  50. My coach has 2 chassis batteries just like in your video. I notice that you attach the positive Viair clamp (red) to the positive node of inner chassis battery and then attach the negative Viair clamp (black) to the negative node of the outer chassis battery.
    What would happen if I mistakenly attach the positive Viair clamp to the positive node of the outer chassis battery and the negative Viair clamp to the negative node of the inner chassis battery? I don't want damage anything. Please educate me.

  51. I might have placed this question in the wrong place. Could you take a look at the question below?

    I looked at my batteries which seemed to be connected in parallel but the output cables, both + & -, to the RV came from the same battery which is unlike yours in this video. Is there a way that I could send you a picture of it ? I really would like your expertise on this. Thanks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *