Before going on their vacation, the primary thing RVers fear is getting a flat tire. It’s just such a common and annoying thing to deal with on a trip where the purpose is having fun and reliving a little stress.
With this in mind, you’ve probably thought about investing in the best RV air compressor. I mean, why wouldn’t you do everything possible to avoid the awful experience that is standing on the side of the highway staring at a flat tire that failed you?
After all, you don’t want to be the person whose trip’s ruined because their tires weren’t inflated enough or inflated too much. Instead, you want to be the person who’s prepared correctly and has the best air compressor for RV tires at their disposal.
Due to this, this article will explore the RV air compressor market and give you detail reviews/information about the best tire inflator for RV money can buy. And with all this new knowledge, you’ll feel comfortable about buying one of these products.
Table of Contents
- 10 Best RV Air Compressor Reviews 2021
- 1. Viair 40047 400P-RV Automatic Portable Compressor Kit
- 2.Viair 45053 450P-RV Automatic Portable Compressor Kit
- 3. Porter-Cable CMB15 150 PSI 1.5 Gallon Oil-Free Fully Shrouded Compressor
- 4. Porter-Cable C2002 Oil-Free UMC Pancake Compressor
- 5. Viair 400P Automatic Portable Compressor
- 6. Viair 300P Portable Compressor
- 7. Tirewell 12V Tire Inflator
- 8. Air Lift 25856 Load Controller Dual Heavy Duty Compressor
- 9. Digital Tire Inflator – GOOLOO Electric 12V DC 150 PSI Portable Auto Air Compressor
- 10. SuperFlow 12V HD Air Compressor Tire Inflator
- What to Look for When Buying an RV Air Compressor
- Other Important Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
10 Best RV Air Compressor Reviews 2021
In this section, we’ll provided you with ten detailed reviews about the top RV air compressors available to help give you a better idea of what’s out there on the market.
1. Viair 40047 400P-RV Automatic Portable Compressor Kit
Our first product, the Viair 400P-RV Automatic Portable Compressor Kit, is an incredible product made by a company that will be featured a lot on this list. With this particular Viair product, there are many things I love.
For instance, the 12-volt motor informs me this air compressor will have more than enough power to inflate my RV’s tires. In fact, this air compressor is often described as both incredibly powerful and efficient.
Additionally, the 150-PSI rating is a wondrous attribute for my particular needs. See, the tires I have a 100-PSI rating; therefore, this air compressor can inflate my tires to their peak condition without any hassle.
Moreover, the 40-minute run time is something that’s exceptionally beneficial. With this feature, I’ll never have to worry about the air compressor shutting off by itself before completely inflating my tires.
In fact, with the numerous reviews of this compressor filling up 30 to 35-inch tires in five minutes, I don’t think the runtime will ever be an issue. Due to this, you can see how practical this product is for an RV owner.
And its practicality continues to shine through when you consider it weighs only 19 pounds. Therefore, you can easily move this air compressor without straining yourself.
The Viair 450P-RV Automatic Compressor Kit is another product from Viair on our list and just like its predecessor it doesn’t disappoint. Therefore, you shouldn’t be shocked that this air compressor sets itself apart from the rest.
For example, the 12-volt motor makes sure there’s no way this air compressor won’t have enough power to inflate your tires. You’ll never have to wonder about this air compressor’s capabilities with this motor: you know it’ll get the job done.
Just like the Viair 400P-RV, this compressor also has a 150 PSI rating, which, as mentioned before, is plenty for my particular needs. Never hurts to have an air compressor that has PSI rating well above your tire’s rating.
And with accessories such as an air hose, pressure switch, and inflation gauge/gun, you’ll never be unprepared for a tire inflation. Honestly, Viair might have gone a little overboard on the features, but it’s nothing I’m going to complain about.
Besides the incredible amount of features, this air compressor is light and ready to go at a moment’s notice with it only being 18 pounds. You’ll easily find a place for this relatively small and lightweight compressor.
Also, you can hook the air compressor up right to your RV’s battery with the provided alligator clamps. Again, this feature speaks to the practicality of this Viair air compressor.
3. Porter-Cable CMB15 150 PSI 1.5 Gallon Oil-Free Fully Shrouded Compressor
The Porter-Cable Oil-Free Fully Shrouded Compressor is a high-quality air compressor that will fit the needs of many RV owners. In being so, the first thing I noticed about this product is how incredibly sensible this air compressor is with its construction.
For example, the manufacturer made sure to incorporate a handle for easy transportation. With this feature, you never have to worry about overexerting yourself carrying this compressor around: you just pick it up by the handle and go.
In fact, this handle helps offset that this air compressor is a little heavier than some other products on this list at 20 pounds. But the handle’s inclusion helps negate this extra poundage.
And like the other two compressors mentioned above, it has a 150 PSI rating, which helps this compressor inflate tires at a quick and efficient rate. I mean, there’s nothing better than getting a product that does what you paid for it to do.
Furthermore, this compressor requires less maintenance than its competitors for the simple fact it has an oil-free pump. As someone who dislikes any cleanup, this feature is something that I love.
4. Porter-Cable C2002 Oil-Free UMC Pancake Compressor
The Porter-Cable Oil-Free UMC Pancake Compress is one of the top air compressors on the market for a variety of reasons. The first being its fantastic price. In comparison to other air compressors on this list, this product is a bargain.
Furthermore, this air compressor has a six-gallon tank that should handle the needs of any RV driver no matter the circumstances. For instance, a six-gallon tank will have more than enough air for my tires.
And the inclusion of this six-gallon tank doesn’t sacrifice the ability to transport this air compressor from place to place easily. See, it has a handle that allows for a person to move it around very quickly in case of an emergency.
In addition to being always ready to get the job done, this compressor is exceptionally well built. In fact, its excellent construction provides it with a sense of stability and toughness that is almost unmatched by its counterparts.
In other words, you’ll never have to worry about this air compressor breaking or having any malfunction. Honestly, Porter-Cable made sure this product was created to survive any situation that could arise.
5. Viair 400P Automatic Portable Compressor
As you expect from Viair product, the Viair 400P Portable Compressor is a quick and efficient air compressor that fulfills the needs of most RV drivers with its high quality. At this point, you shouldn’t be shocked at the quality items coming from this company.
But for this particular air compressor, some attributes make it different from the others. For example, this air compressor comes with two 30-foot hose coils that I love.
See, with these hose coils, I can stay far away from the air compressor while it does its job. In other words, I won’t have to bear the awful noises that these types of machines emit as they fill your tires.
Moreover, it’s an oil-free design. In being so, this lack of oil means there’s no chance the air coming from the compressor will be infected with the oil residue left behind by air compressors that do use oil.
Additionally, the oil-free design makes this air compressor remarkably easy to clean. In other words, there’s no hassle of trying to get the oil residue out. As a human being who hates cleaning, this feature is something I love.
And even with these differences, it still features the obvious advantages found in other Viair products such as being lightweight (18 pounds), the automatic off-switch, and being relatively easy to use.
6. Viair 300P Portable Compressor
As our last Viair product on the list, the Viair 300P Portable Compressor doesn’t fail to meet the standards left by the other Viair products within this article. In fact, this air compressor has some features that make it stand out from the others.
For instance, it’s incredibly lightweight, as it weighs about 12 pounds. Due to this, there shouldn’t be any worry on your part about having to move this around or storing this air compressor.
Moreover, this air compressor comes equipped with a 40-amp inline fuse, which allows it to handle multiple tasks without incident. As a person who values practicality above all else, this feature is a significant plus for me.
Further adding to this sense of practicality, this air compressor comes with heavy-duty battery clamps. These battery clamps can attach right to your RV battery and will not fall off until you detach them.
And this air compressor is proven to inflate 33-inch tires in a matter of minutes. As an RV owner, this feat shows me that this product can deliver the exact performance I need from an air compressor.
After all, if it can inflate a 33-inch tire, I don’t see why it would have any problem with mine. It’s just a comfort seeing numerous other people having success with the product you intend on buying. It gives you a sense that you’re buying something that actually will work.
7. Tirewell 12V Tire Inflator
The Tirewell 12V Tire Inflator is another high-quality air compressor that has more than enough features and attributes to get the job done. For example, it’s very versatile with providing you with two methods of usage: attaching to your car battery or plugging it into to the cigarette lighter.
In being so versatile, it gives you the option to decide which method fits you best. As a customer, I always look for products that offer you multiple ways of doing their job just in case one of the available options isn’t ideal for a specific circumstance.
Besides offering you multiple methods, this air compressor also has a 150 PSI rating to give you the sense that it’s ready to get the job done. Again, a rating this high gives me total comfort that this air compressor could effortlessly inflate my tires.
Also, this compressor is exceptionally lightweight coming in at 8 pounds. Honestly, an air compressor this easy to carry around would be a delight for any RV owner. After all, it’s just so sensible.
And all these features and convenience comes at a fantastic price. In fact, this product might be the best bargain on this list considering the price and all the amenities it offers.
8. Air Lift 25856 Load Controller Dual Heavy Duty Compressor
The only Air Lift product on our list, the Air Lift Load Controller Dual Heavy Duty Compressor, has several features that it a good air compressor to explore for any RV owner.
For example, it comes with a high-quality gauge that tracks air pressure in extreme detail. With this feature, you’ll never have to worry about putting too much or too little air into your tires.
Furthermore, it has a one-touch, push button that lets you have full control over the deflating or inflation of the air springs. For me, this addition offers me a sense of control because it gives an easy and effective way to control the process.
Also, it’s incredibly portability, as it weighs 8 pounds. Once again, I take the portability of an air compressor very seriously. I need an air compressor that can be move and transported with relative ease.
And Air Lift offers a 2-year warranty, which speaks to the confidence they have in this product. Honestly, anytime a company provides a warranty, it gets rid of my anxiety regarding buying that product.
9. Digital Tire Inflator – GOOLOO Electric 12V DC 150 PSI Portable Auto Air Compressor
The Digital Tire Inflator for RV tires from GOOLOO is the best bargain on this entire list for various reasons. For instance, it’s versatility stands out with its ability to work with many different vehicles: RVs, bikes, cars, SUVs, ATVs, etc.
Therefore, this air compressor could serve a variety of purposes inside your home. In other words, it doesn’t have to be just an RV tire compressor; your kids could use it when their bike tires become flat as well.
Also, GOOLOO ensures this air compressor was very convenient with the inclusion of features such as the bright LED lights. Due to this, if you ever need to use this product in the middle of the night, there shouldn’t be any issues.
Additionally, this compressor excels in another cruical area, portability. As stated repeatedly, portability is one of the things that I put extreme value in when searching for an air compressor. And at 4 pounds, this compressor can be moved with ease.
Luckily, all these features come at a fantastic price and at a noise level that doesn’t hurt your ears. But some reviews continue to point out issues with the power. In other words, it takes a little while for this compressor to fill up your tires.
10. SuperFlow 12V HD Air Compressor Tire Inflator
The last compressor on our list, the Superflow 12V HD Air Compressor Tire Inflator, is a marvelous product that any RV owner would love to own. See, this compressor is a standard, no-nonsense item that will fulfill your RV tire’s pressure needs.
In fact, this air compressor can help inflate tires of all sort of vehicles such as RVs, trucks, SUVs, tractors, cars, etc.; basically, anything with wheels. Therefore, it would be great to have this air compressor around your house or RV at all times.
Furthermore, it’s made with heavy-duty material to ensure it going to last a long time in your life. If I’m looking for a product, the first thing I look for is the durability. Thankfully, it’s not even something you need to worry about with this product.
Besides being made with durable material, this compressor is incredible at the job it was invented to do. I mean, filling up a 37-inch tire in just two minutes is an amazing feat and an attribute I like to see in an air compressor.
And this durable, tough compressor comes at a price below market value. It’s not necessarily a bargain, but it’s reasonable, and given this air compressor’s quality I’m completely all right with its cost.
What to Look for When Buying an RV Air Compressor
Before buying an RV air compressor, there are many factors you need to consider. Below, we’ll discuss some of these things to help give you a better idea of what you’re looking for in a high-quality RV air compressor.
Understanding what tank size you want is essential to getting the best RV air compressor for your circumstances. See, with these products, the tank size affects the overall performance of the air compressor.
For example, it indicates the maximum volume of air your air compressor can hold. Therefore, the bigger the tank, the more air it contains. But as the tanks get bigger, they get harder to transport.
And since you probably want to take the air compressor with you, you need one that’s easily moved. Due to this, you should search for an air compressor with a smaller tank but with a high PSI.
Pounds per Square Inch (PSI) and Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM)
PSI or pounds per square inch is a metric that measures air pressure. In this case of an air compressor, this rating will tell the amount of pressure it can fill your tires up to; there will also be a PSI rating for your tires, which you can find on the tire’s sidewall.
With this in mind, you’re going to want an air compressor that has a maximum output high enough to fill your RV’s tires. Therefore, getting an air compressor with a higher PSI rating than your tires is essential.
Along the same lines, The CFM or cubic feet per minute is the rating that tells you the airflow rate of the compressor. In other words, the higher the CFM, the faster your tire gets filled.
Both of these two metrics are usually presented together on air compressors. For example, let’s say your tire requires 75 PSI and you find an air compressor that has the following CFM and PSI ratings “5.0 CFM @ 90 PSI”. In this case, this air compressor would be a good purchase for your RV tires.
Hose and Power Cord Length
The high quality RV air compressors will have longer cords and hoses to allow you flexibility. In general, the hose length on air compressors varies significantly from 4 inches to about 30 feet.
Honestly, I couldn’t imagine getting an air compressor with a hose that’s only four inches long. But this is an outlier, as usually, an air compressor’s hose is around twenty to twenty-six feet long. I’d recommend getting a house around twenty-four to twenty-eight feet long.
Along the same lines, the length of the powers cords can have a massive impact on your experience with an air composer. So, make sure these cords are long enough to give you some wiggle room: around twelve to fifteen feet should suffice.
As you would expect, certain types of RV air compressors can be extremely loud. And since you’ll be in close vicinity to the air compressor, the noise level is something you must consider. Therefore, it necessary you know the exact amount of decibels each air compressor you’re considering emits.
In today’s market, the average amount of noise emitted from an RV air compressor is between 40 and 90 decibels. If it were I looking for one of these products, I’d want an air compressor that emitted noise at a level of 65 or lower decibels.
To put a 65-decibel noise level into perspective, it would be like a what vacuum cleaner or hair dryer could produce. Not ideal, but something I could tolerate.
One aspect buyers tend to underestimate is the weight of the air compressor. Please don’t be one of these people. You’re going to need an air compressor that you can move around and store easily.
After all, some people will see the word portable and think it immediately means you can pack it into your RV and go. Then, they get the air compressor in the mail and its over 40 pounds.
Therefore, it’s paramount you research the exact weight of each air compressor you’re considering. I’d recommend an air compressor in the ten to fifteen pound range for easy portability.
Other Important Factors to Consider
What is an RV Air Compressor?
An RV air compressor is definitely a must-have on any trip outdoors while you are driving your recreational vehicle. Prior to preparing for a road trip, you need to ensure that the tires of your vehicle are well-inflated. You can make that possible with the help of a well-functioning air compressor designed for RV use.
Note that in case your tires suffer from under-inflation, you need to get into a gas station right away in order to bring back its pressure. Keep in mind that if you don’t then there is a great risk for excess heat to accumulate while driving. This can lead to the malfunctioning of your RV tires.
Another thing to remember is that an excessively low air pressure has a negative impact on the durability of your RV’s tires. This specific scenario also has a negative impact on the handling and braking systems of your recreational vehicle. However, you should also prevent the over-inflation of your RV tires.
Note that an excessive inflation might lead to the tires sinking easily into the loose sand as well as in trail dirt or mud. Because of this, a good RV air compressor is one of the things you definitely need in your next travels. Just makes sure that you choose an air compressor, which is not too heavy.
Check the weight of your chosen air compressor so you have a guarantee that you are buying one, which is portable and light enough that you can easily carry it around with just your hand. You do not want to bring a device, which is up to a hundred pounds in weight in your travels, do you?
It would be best to look for an air compressor, which is just less than 40 pounds, including its wheels. The good news about portable compressors is that aside from being lighter, they are also smaller in size plus you will never have problems storing them.
How Does an RV Air Compressor Work?
One of the major functions of your chosen air compressor is to inflate your tires to the right pressure. This means that it tends to work once it inflates the tires of your RV, camper, or trailer. It is a device, which compresses air as a means of providing power to pneumatic or air tools.
An air compressor can be powered by either gasoline or electricity. It is usually composed of two principal parts – the cylinder and the piston. The motor of your chosen air compressor will drive air into a storage tank. It then pressurizes the air.
The piston will force more air to the tank, causing the pressure to increase until it gets into the highest level. If that happens then the compressor will stop and make the tires ready for use.
You will also find the compressor useful when it comes to filling bikes, pool toys, motorcycles, and air cushions, among many others that require air filling. When it comes to learning how an air compressor works, take note that its overall quality and effectiveness is also actually dependent on its ratings.
One of the ratings you have to familiarize yourself with is the CFM (cubic feet per minute). This specific rating or value is helpful in measuring the speed through which the compressor delivers the air.
This means that if a compressor has a higher CFM rating then there is a great possibility that it is more powerful than those who have a lower CFM rating. Another vital rating that definitely has a say on how an RV air compressor works is the PSI (pounds per square inch).
This specific rating indicates the specific force through which your chosen air compressor delivers the needed air. In terms of recreational vehicles, a 40 to 90 psi is helpful in performing its function.
There is also what we call as the HP (horsepower). This specific rating is important in the way your air compressor works because it measures the mortar’s working capacity. Note that it is the mortar, which is used in driving the pump of the compressor.
Also, take note that choosing a device with a higher HP also means that you will enjoy a higher CFM from it. Aside from some important ratings, the actual size of the compressor’s tank also has a say on how it will work. It is because the size of the tank can determine the max volume of air that your compressor is capable of holding.
Such volume is often measured in the form of gallons. However, you should try to stay away from large tank sizes as much as possible. Note that while larger tanks are extremely great options, you will notice that a much smaller one is ideal, especially if you are planning to use it in your motorhome or RV.
It is mainly because small ones can promote or facilitate ease of transport. Make sure, however, that the compressor, despite having a small tank, still comes with a high PSI. It is mainly because a small tank size combined with a high PSI means that the compressor will recharge continuously. This can lead to a prolonged operating time.
Types of RV Air Compressors
The type of air compressors recommended for RVs are the portable ones. It should be noted that the types of portable RV air compressors are often based on certain factors, like their horsepower, CFM, and PSI. You can also determine the specific type of portable air compressor you need based on the size and weight.
What is good about a portable air compressor is that it is capable of maintaining the right balance in supplying power for the quick and efficient inflation of tires. They are also stored in a package, which is small enough that you can easily put it in your garage, shed, or car’s boot.
When it comes to choosing the right type of portable air compressor for your need, take note that your choices will vary based on the size. Note that there are different sizes of this device in the market with each one having a different set of specifications, air compression methods, and features.
You can go for larger but still portable air compressors that come with tanks. This is where the device will store the compressed air, pressurize it then feed it through an air hose as a means of inflating the tire. You can also go for really small ones. They come with smaller tanks.
With that, you can only use them to pressurize the air prior to delivering it with the help of an air hose. With that, it is safe to say that its motor will always run when it operates. In terms of their interiors, the small-sized portable air compressors can be expected to work with the aid of their screw-type machinery.
This allows two big screws to turn together as a means of creating a vacuum designed to suck air. This is a major help in allowing the small and portable compressor to work efficiently.
Tips in Using the Air Compressor to Inflate Tires Correctly
When it comes to inflating your RV’s tires with the aid of an air compressor, there are certain tips that can help you achieve the best results. The whole process of inflating a tire with this device is actually straightforward. In fact, most models can do up to 99 percent of the job, provided they feature a pressure auto-cutoff mechanism.
In this case, you just need to connect the air compressor into the tire valve then set your preferred pressure. Once done, you can expect the device to work. You can also ensure that you will get the best results out of inflating your RV tires with an air compressor with these tips:
Ensure that there is a tire chuck – In most cases, modern models feature all the attachments and tools required in inflating your RV’s tires. It is important that you know how to take them out straight from the box. It is also necessary that there is a tire chuck around prior to starting the inflation.
A tire chuck refers to a small tool, which connects your tire’s valve as well as your air hose’s nozzle. It works in depressing the small valve switch that you can find inside the tire’s valve. This lets the air flow. It would be best to look for a compressor with a tire chuck as it promotes ease in using the device to inflate your tire.
Make sure that the compressor stays dry – While most air compressors are designed in such a way that they can handle a lot of beating, you still have to remember that it has its number one enemy, which comes in the form of moisture.
Because of that, you need to ensure that your air compressor stays dry whether you are using or storing it. Note that this is still a device, so there is still a risk for it to get shorted in case it is wet when you are using it. In addition, it usually comes with rotating metal screws that tend to suck air.
Putting it in an environment, which is rich in moisture, can, therefore, cause these screws to accumulate rust. This might also fuse the screws together, which can lead to the compressor breaking down.
Monitor the pressure – Most of the modern air compressors for RV today feature an automatic cutoff mechanism, which is extremely beneficial as it disconnects the device automatically each time it gets into the PSI you have set.
However, if you bought an air compressor without this feature, then it is necessary to monitor the pressure while the device still operates. It is necessary to keep track of the pressure, especially if your preferred PSI is actually close to the maximum level that your chosen device can handle.
These tips are just simple but they actually work wonders in ensuring that your chosen RV air compressor will work based on your preferences.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
In the following section, we’ll try to answer any remaining question you have about RV air compressors. We’ll do our best to cover all the bases.
Why do you need an RV air compressor?
You need an RV air compressor for a vital but straightforward reason: you don’t want your trip ruined by a flat tire. Due to this, getting an RV air compressor could solve all your problems and make sure your tires are inflated to their proper level.
After all, under inflation/over inflation can cause a heap of problems and with the right air compressor, none of these issues would ever have the chance to ruin your vacation. In the end, getting one of these products is just a practical, logical investment.
What size air compressor do I need to inflate RV tires?
Well, it depends on how you want to use the air compressor. For instance, if you’re going to transport the air compressor around with on the tire, I recommend investing in an air compressor with a small tank.
See, the larger tanks can be tough to transport around: they can be quite heavy. And since you’re going to want the air compressor in your RV in the event something goes wrong, it doesn’t make sense to lug around a larger tank.
However, if you get an air compressor with a small tank, it’s essential that it has high PSI. In doing so, you’re ensuring that you won’t have to wait around for hours as your tires get inflated.
Which one is the best? (Viair 400P-RV and 450P-RV, Viair 400P vs 400P-RV)
Personally, I will pick the Viair 400P-RV. But I think you should check Viair 400P vs 450P RV.
How to maintain and check RV tire pressure?
The easiest way to maintain your tire pressure is by checking it every time you take your RV out on the road. And this doesn’t just mean looking at the bulge of the tire or hitting it with a trucker bat.
You need to buy a tire pressure gauge such as this one and use it to find your tire’s true pressure level. And with this product, it even tells you the tire’s temperature further protecting you against tire blowout.
After all, a tiny difference in PSI can make a significant impact on the weight amount your tires can responsibly carry. For instance, if your tires are 10PSI less than the recommended pressure level, it reduces maximum weight by 25%.
So, before every trip, check your tires with tires with gauge. It’s in your best interest.
Now, that you know all about the best RV air compressor on the market, it’s time you go out and get yourself one. There’s no reason your trip has to suffer because your tires weren’t inflated to the proper level with the existence of products like these.
Therefore, do both you and your family a favor and invest in one of these incredible products. I promise you won’t regret it when you’re having the fun and stress-free trip that you envisioned.
We would like to thank you for reading this article. Find out more about how to choose the best RV tires and best trailer tires with our reviews and ratings. Furthermore, please take a look at the best RV wheel chocks and best RV leveling blocks to choose the right one for your RV Tires & Accessories.