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
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Thanks for watching!