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Old 08-19-2019, 11:19 AM   #1
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Air compressors and TPMS

So I purchased a TPMS for my coach (and like an idiot, did NOT get flow-thru caps) and now I'm thinking it might be a good idea to have an air compressor aboard to inflate/deflate the tires as the situation warrants. Have any of you done this? If so, was it useful?

I recall my dad having a compressor that plugged into the wall, but all the ones I see online have alligator clips to connect to batteries. Since I do have an outlet in one of my basement compartments, I'd kinda like to do that.
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Old 08-19-2019, 11:30 AM   #2
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Don’t feel bad about not getting flow through caps....many specifically DON’T like them. The regular ones are smaller, and sometimes the flow through caps limit the air going through them, so it’s just easier to remove them to put air in the tires.
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Old 08-19-2019, 11:32 AM   #3
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Do you have the physical room and carrying capacity for a larger 110 volt powered compressor? If not the Viair brand of 12 compressors is very compact, light and powerful.
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Old 08-19-2019, 11:35 AM   #4
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We carry a ryobi battery powered. Same batteries as blower, drill, impact wrench etc which is nice.

Auto shutoff and will go to 150 lbs if needed.

Not the fastest but been using it two years now with no issues.
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Old 08-19-2019, 11:44 AM   #5
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I strongly recommend a 120v compressor rather than the 12v type, but there are a few good 12v models available if yu insist. Viair makes some ones with enough capacity to be useful on large tires at high pressures. The typical little 12v tire inflator is slow and will overheat if you need to put more than a pound or so in a 22.5" tire.

Since your coach has a generator, there is no good reason to stick with 12v.


The following is my standard "boiler plate" on criteria for portable compressors for a motorhome:
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Tank size is relatively unimportant and so is max psi once it is "enough". The key factor is air flow, standard cubic-feet-per-minute (SCFM) but that spec can be hard to find on consumer-grade compressors. A hand bicycle pump can deliver 100+ psi, but it will take you all day to add a couple lbs to even a car tire.

The max regulated pressure needs to be higher than the pressure you need in the tire, at least 10 psi more and preferably 20+. Once that point is achieved, more psi doesn't help all that much. 125 psi is usually sufficient for all up to about 110 psi, which handles just about all RV tire needs. Compressor ads often state 150 psi, but that's a peak output and not the max working pressure delivered at the regulated output. A so-called 150 psi compressor is often 125 max regulated output.

SCFM varies inversely with the pressure, so you actually need a couple values for it to know what you are getting. In my opinion you want at least 1 cfm at the tire pressure you will be using, so 1-2 scfm @ 100 psi is a reasonable target. A higher SCFM means the tire can be inflated faster, but more SCFM requires more/better hardware and the price of the compressor jumps up quickly. Often the manufacturer quotes CFM at some low pressure, e.g. 40 psi. That's useful for car tires and air-driven hand tools, but not for large tires.

Tank size affects how often the compressor runs. A bigger tank helps deliver air without the compressor cycling on, so a little less noisy. Actually, less constant noise. 3-6 gallons is usually sufficiently convenient.

The popular 6 gallon Porter-Cable unit has a 150 psi max, 125 psi working pressure, and 2.6 SCFM @ 90 psi. It does a good job, but any another unit with similar specs would do as well.

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Old 08-19-2019, 02:33 PM   #6
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Air compressors and TPMS

Viair is what we have for the MH and for the Jeep when we go off-road. Portable. Works great. Enough cord and cables to reach all tires. And, we do NOT have flow through sensors.
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Old 08-19-2019, 02:51 PM   #7
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If you remove the "anti theft" shells on the sensors they are as easy to put on and and take off as regular valve stem caps.
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Old 08-19-2019, 02:59 PM   #8
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If you remove the "anti theft" shells on the sensors they are as easy to put on and and take off as regular valve stem caps.
Whoa.....I suppose I should have searched for that! Very good info! I know one thing I'll be doing this coming weekend!
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Old 08-19-2019, 03:45 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by les.warden View Post
Viair is what we have for the MH and for the Jeep when we go off-road. Portable. Works great. Enough cord and cables to reach all tires. And, we do NOT have flow through sensors.
Viair is also what I run for one of my jeeps to air up tires from the 8# I run off-road to highway pressure. Make sure you get one rated for 100% duty cycle. The other jeep has converted an old AC compressor to air and has a 5-gallon tank. It can run pneumatic tools.
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Old 08-19-2019, 04:45 PM   #10
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I'm leaning towards either a Bostitch or Porter-Cable pancake compressor I think. Six of one, half dozen of the other.
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Old 08-19-2019, 05:27 PM   #11
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I'm leaning towards either a Bostitch or Porter-Cable pancake compressor I think. Six of one, half dozen of the other.
That is what I use. I did set the high pressure cutoff as high as I could and put a T in to bypass the regulator with its own quick release.
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Old 08-19-2019, 06:16 PM   #12
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Okay, I'm capable of airing my tires up/down, but what's the T in the bypass for?
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Old 08-19-2019, 06:34 PM   #13
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Okay, I'm capable of airing my tires up/down, but what's the T in the bypass for?
Eliminate any drop from the regulator and go to tank pressure.
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Old 08-19-2019, 07:17 PM   #14
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I like our 12v VIAIR 450 RV compressor. Handles the large tires and high pressures well while being compact.
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