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Old 09-30-2016, 06:51 PM   #1
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Smile Reliable air compressor for tires.

We purchased an air compressor last year from Canadian Tire. Used it a few times to check and top up our trailer tires. However, tried to use it on a recent trip and it stopped working. Not only that, but blew out fuses twice to the trailer's DC outlet. Reading reviews of this and similar products, it seems that this is quite a common experience

Can anyone recommend a cheap and reliable air compressor to carry on trips? Using gas station air hoses usually involves manoeuvring into tight spaces, although the attendant at the Costco gas bar in Astoria directed me to their tire bays, where they checked and topped up all tires on trailer and tow.

Suggestions will be much appreciated.

Doug
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Old 09-30-2016, 07:08 PM   #2
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I just take along a portable air compressor similar to this one:

Sharper Image Air Compressor | Stage Stores

Good enough for me...have one in both my car and truck.
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Old 09-30-2016, 07:15 PM   #3
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Among the Ryobi tools at Home Depot stores is a portable tire inflator. It uses Ryobi's 18V battery, for which Ryobi has a 12V charger, so you could recharge it in your trailer if/when needed. The tire inflator works fine, but I forgot how much it costs.
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Old 09-30-2016, 07:16 PM   #4
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I too have had problems with the cheap Crappy Tire ones. I took it apart to fix it, and everything was plastic. Very poor quality.

Viair and Slime both make a few excellent models. I will be getting one of these sometime soon.
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Old 09-30-2016, 07:19 PM   #5
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Not cheap, but the Viair's are reliable. The size is up to you.
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Old 09-30-2016, 07:32 PM   #6
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VERY happy with the Kobalt one bought at Lowe's. Is both AC and D.C. built in. Also has a digital set point. Turns off automatically when correct pressure is reached.
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Old 09-30-2016, 07:42 PM   #7
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I use a good bicycle pump. Get one with a psi gauge. Plan on paying $50.00.
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Old 09-30-2016, 07:44 PM   #8
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Both Costco and Discount Tire use compressed nitrogen (green hose) which is a larger molecule and is slower to leak out of the tire. I always go to Costco to get the car tires checked. I pull up, walk around taking off the valve covers and the attendant fills the tires for me. I always buy gas at Costco so this works well for me.

I also have an 8 year old battery powered Power Station which I bought at Costco (now approx. $74.99) which has a light, compressor and can start a car. I occasionally use it to pump up the bicycle tires but not car tires.
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Old 09-30-2016, 09:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J Mac View Post
I use a good bicycle pump. Get one with a psi gauge. Plan on paying $50.00.
Yeah there's a lot to be said for having a good old bicycle pump
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Old 09-30-2016, 10:51 PM   #10
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Kensun portable air compressor.

I have used this Kensun air compressor for a year now, while full timing, without any issues. The price on Amazon is much cheaper than when I bought it too.
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Old 09-30-2016, 11:00 PM   #11
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I have two cheapo Canadian Tire compressors. I paid for one and the other came home in my vehicle after the kid went camping with her buddies. Both of them still work, after several years of abuse.
If one explodes, I have the other for backup, and if that explodes, I have BCAA.
I do want to buy something though, spend some money.
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Old 10-01-2016, 06:00 AM   #12
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I went with a Slime 40026 dual cylinder. It clips to the battery posts for power. I was getting ready to head into the desert on our maiden journey and had trouble with gas station air pumps removing air instead of adding. Didn't want to be caught without my own in the future.
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Old 10-11-2016, 08:37 PM   #13
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I just purchased a Viair Model 70 today for $53 at a local tool company. I checked the amp output in the Highlander and found it is only good for 10 amps. The Viair needs 15 amps. In fact most compressors need 15amps so that is probably why so many blow fuses. My solution was to buy a 15 amp DC (cigarette lighter type) outlet and attach 2 alligator clips. I attached it directly to the Highlander battery and it works fine. One of the things I want to use it for is to blow out the water lines. Has anyone done this with a portable compressor? Also, does anyone know the amp rating on the DC outlet in a 19ft. trailer?
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Old 10-11-2016, 08:46 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Bennett View Post
I too have had problems with the cheap Crappy Tire ones. I took it apart to fix it, and everything was plastic. Very poor quality.

Viair and Slime both make a few excellent models. I will be getting one of these sometime soon.
Thanks Jim and Bob for recommending the Viair. It helped with my decision.
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Old 10-12-2016, 12:37 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by SFDavis50 View Post
Both Costco and Discount Tire use compressed nitrogen (green hose) which is a larger molecule and is slower to leak out of the tire.
Air is mostly nitrogen, so mostly the same thing (same molecules) as pure nitrogen. The "nitrogen" gas used for tires is sometimes pure dry nitrogen, but is usually just air with some of the oxygen and carbon dioxide removed, so it's still a mix but with a greater proportion of nitrogen. The difference between nitrogen gas (N2) and oxygen gas (O2) can't possibly be important to diffusion of gas through solid rubber. If gas molecule size really was important to tire deflation, they would use carbon dioxide (CO2), not nitrogen (N2). Tire pressure changes due to temperature changes, and also drops due to leaking valves, and leaking past imperfect bead seals.

What is useful is having less moisture in the air, and the "nitrogen" used for tire inflation is probably drier than the air from an average shop compressor, which in turn is probably a bit drier than the air that goes into a portable compressor (and then into your tires). Pure dry nitrogen purchased in cylinders from a gas supply house would have essentially zero moisture (that's what racers used years ago that started this whole nitrogen inflation idea). Less moisture means less pressure change with large temperature changes.

Edmunds has a pretty good article about nitrogen for tire inflation.

You do get pretty green valve caps from Costco when they fill tires with nitrogen. My van's tires came with a set.
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Old 10-12-2016, 12:44 AM   #16
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I also have an 8 year old battery powered Power Station which I bought at Costco (now approx. $74.99) which has a light, compressor and can start a car. I occasionally use it to pump up the bicycle tires but not car tires.
I am currently using a "booster pack" like this - a portable pack containing an AGM battery used to jump-start cars, which also includes an air pump. This is handy because it doesn't need to be plugged into a 12V socket to work, so I can wander around to any tire without running long cords - this is great for the motorhome and for stuff around the house (wheelbarrow, lawn tractor, whatever).

Mine: MotoMaster Eliminator 1000A Booster Pack | Canadian Tire (or nearly the same; mine might have a smaller battery).

If the booster pack isn't in the vehicle that I'm using, I use a plug-in 12V compressor. I have had one fail, but any of them are typically good enough. I have one with a nice pressure display (I keep that in the van), and a more powerful one with a high pressure capability (I keep that one in the motorhome, which needs 85 psi in its tires).
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Old 10-12-2016, 06:12 AM   #17
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I'm not sure if these compressors are suited for winterizing your trailer versus inflating tires. My Vair, which I hook directly to my battery in the front box pumps until the pressure builds to inflate the tires. That said, a small tank compressor once hooked up will allow you to go to each faucet and open to expel any liquid with the compressor filling the tank to a specified pressure. I do not think you can control the pressure without the tank set up thus you may run the risk of too much pressure in your system. Just my thoughts.
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Old 10-12-2016, 06:24 AM   #18
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I used my Slime compressor for blowing out lines, but finally switched to pumping antifreeze through the lines. I just didn't have confidence that the lines were completely empty.
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Old 10-12-2016, 06:28 AM   #19
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Been using this one for years as well , but it is a 2 person job. With the E-Z winterizing option on the Escape, just put the hose in the container and turn on your pump, works easy and one person operation.
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Old 10-12-2016, 06:44 AM   #20
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Mine also requires being hooked direct to the batteries, bought an extra hose in case I can't get close enough to the tire. Thought about using it to blow out the lines but haven't done so as I have a full size compressor at home. Maybe I'll give it a shot when we get home later today.
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