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Mingy

Air Compressor

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Hello Kids,

 

I was wondering what kind of air compressor to buy.  I have a tire inflator from HF that has performed well, a VIAIR knock off that I keep in my truck.  Home Depot has a Ryobi 18V 1 gal, and Ridgid 18V 1 gal, that I am looking at.  The Ridgid takes two batteries (will work on one) and since I already have Ridgid 18v tools for the Oliver I may go that way but it is 100 dollars more.  And bigger by a significant amount.

 

Neither will operate an impact wrench for removing lug nuts.

 

What do you guys carry on the road?  Which way would you go here?

 

Mingy


Hull #389.


Options:  Stowage basket, propane connects.


Tow Vehicle: 2007 Ford F250 V-10, 4WD, Crew Cab, Long Bed.  Stock.


Recovering Airstream Owner (The Silver Sieve)...it was a rolling apocalypse.  Fridge was quirky and ruined food (famine).  Had weird electrical problems, circuits with breakers thrown still carried some current (possible fire).  Leaked (flood).  Mildew from leak gave me cold-like symptoms (pestilence).


"Socialist revolutions have a peculiar habit of starting out with a guy dressed in a work shirt and ending up with a guy dressed like Captain Crunch."

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I have had a number of junky “emergency” compressors that never worked well, they either burned out, or they just were not strong enough to deliver the needed volume of air. I have been carrying this unit for several years and I like it a lot. It definitely isn’t as well built as the more expensive brands but it works great. For the price I think it is hard to beat.

 

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https://www.amazon.com/Smittybilt-2781-5-65-Universal-Compressor/dp/B004K25GMG

 

I did swap out the fittings for regular quick disconnect ones, put a swivelling clipon air chuck on the end, and added a compact 25 ft x 1/4”  hose for extra reach. I use it mostly for airing up the 33 inch truck tires after offroading. It takes about 60 seconds per tire to go from 25 to 35 psi. It slows down as the pressure rises, another minute gets them to 42. I give each tire a minute, then go to the next, then finish off. That way if the motor decides to take a dump there will hopefully be at least some air in all the tires so I can drive to a town. Or I can use my backup hand pump, the dinky mountain bike one I use for the airbags. Or maybe not ..... LOL.

 

The pump uses heavy clips for attaching to your battery and you should run the engine while using the compressor. It draws a lot of amps and you need to keep the voltage up to make it run well. If airing up a trailer tire, which I have never had to do, I would pop open the battery drawer and connect the pump leads there.

 

Did that help? Is there a reason you aren’t happy with the viair clone? Any of the battery powered pumps you mentioned won’t be any use on the road, they are meant for a trim carpenter driving small brads. Pshtttt pshtttt! You would just flatten the battery trying to get a lot of air out of them, and the cfm rating is WAY too low.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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Thanks John.  That pump is similar in capacity to the one I have.  Since I keep my spares topped off and my tires inflated properly any non-junk compressor should work adequately well.  The ones I'm considering would have an air reservoir to blow out window channels, etc.  Since neither can operate an impact wrench, I'm beginning to think the differences between them are academic.

 

BTW I bought a Viking jump pack the other day like you have.  I'll probably keep it in my jeep since I have a 770 amp jump starter for my tow vehicle, a V10.  Very impressed with the little Viking.

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Hull #389.


Options:  Stowage basket, propane connects.


Tow Vehicle: 2007 Ford F250 V-10, 4WD, Crew Cab, Long Bed.  Stock.


Recovering Airstream Owner (The Silver Sieve)...it was a rolling apocalypse.  Fridge was quirky and ruined food (famine).  Had weird electrical problems, circuits with breakers thrown still carried some current (possible fire).  Leaked (flood).  Mildew from leak gave me cold-like symptoms (pestilence).


"Socialist revolutions have a peculiar habit of starting out with a guy dressed in a work shirt and ending up with a guy dressed like Captain Crunch."

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If you want to blow dust off the trailer after towing on dirt roads, forget a compressor. I carry my Stihl gas powered leaf blower without the extension tube. It is very compact, and a 300 mph air blast absolutely decimates the dust. It looks amazing too, just stay upwind. I don’t bother carrying any extra premix since it only has to run a couple of minutes.

 

I also blow out the fridge area to get the dirt off the coils. That area is really bad about collecting dust, at least it is for “Mouse” because the Stone Stomper funnels dust from the TV along the bottom of the hull and it gets blasted into that lower opening.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA


"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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I used to have a nice Viair compressor, but one of the first things I did with my new truck was to run over it.  That still seems to be the most recommended brand.

 

Instead of replacing mine like for like, I decided to try out a PowerTank.  More expensive, and definitely more bulky, but it does have some nice advantages - like being able to set a bead on a tire or drive air tools.  It's also much faster than a compressor and mounts nicely to my rack so that it doesn't take up any storage space.  In that respect, it's as good as a built-in air compressor.

 

Portable air compressors do the job, but if you just want to adjust your tire pressures a bit, you'll give some thought to unpacking it, hooking it up, packing it back up, etc.

 

Having used both, I'd say that the best route is probably neither, though I'd pick the Power Tank over a portable compressor, but only so long as you don't have to sacrifice valuable storage space for it.  But ideally I'd rather rather take the time to build in a compressor, mounted under or in the bed of the truck.  That way it takes up next to zero space and is always ready when you need it.  The ability to set a bead on a tire is rarely if ever necessary, and with today's power tools, air tools are well on their way out.

 

Edit - looking at PowerTanks's website, they've gone way up in price, moving an already questionable purchase into crazy territory, imo.  So with that in mind, I'd look elsewhere unless you can pick up a good used deal on eBay.

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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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CO2 systems are teriffic for high volume uses but there are concerns about corrosion of the valve stem and excessive pressure drop through the sidewalls.

 

http://www.exploringoverland.com/overland-tech-travel/2016/3/25/3izopxom72k7p3vxpvjtfuhk7ouscc

 

That said, if I had a serious rock crawler and wanted to run air tools I would use nothing else. I am not sure I would be happy with CO2 in the tires of a daily driver or trailer.

 

Can you tell us how you managed to run over your expensive pump? I bet you said some bad words....

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

 

 


"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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I check my tires regularly, so deflation rates aren't all that important to me.  Plus, I typically inflate at a gas station, so whatever pure CO2 I put in them eventually gets replaced with air.  In short, I haven't experienced any noticeable difference.

 

But as for that article, yes CO2 diffuses through rubber roughly 11x faster than air, but not because of any weird chemical reactions going on - it simply has a higher diffusion rate.  Diffusion rate isn't related to molecular value like that article says, otherwise Nitrogen would diffuse faster than Oxygen, etc.

 

For perspective, water vapor diffuses through rubber 227x faster than air, despite its heavier molecular weight.  And radiator hoses handle that just fine.

 

Nitrogen is theoretically the best because it diffuses the least of any gas.  But carrying a bottle of liquid nitrogen around is...difficult.


Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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I carry a CO2 Power Tank (powertank.com). No cheap and you would need to find a place to keep it in your tow vehicle. It will power air tools, inflate tires, etc. The serious four wheel guys swear by them and I'm happy with mine. I've had it about 4 years. It saved my butt on an Alaska trip. Can't remember for sure, but I think the cost to refill it was about $25.00.

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