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Old 10-31-2013, 07:21 AM   #1
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Tire inflation

Got my first used 5th wheel and my head is in a whirl. Looking for recommendations for inflator or portable compressor topping off RV tires rated at max 80lbs cold or even blowing out 5ver water lines. 12v vs. 120v? Storage considerations? What I'm finding so far is either Q Industries 12v. or Craftsman 1.5 gal. portable seem to be popular but still have plenty of negative reviews. Craftsman isn't what it used to be. I do have a generator on board the 5ver. While we are on tires. Does the Trailer Aid actually work well(as in getting the bad tire off the ground enough) or am I better off with bottle jack and wood for a tire change. Would love to hear from all you experienced 5vers. thanks.
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Old 10-31-2013, 02:29 PM   #2
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First off welcome to the forum.

Now the Trailer Aid works great and I have used this twice with flat tires. But I also place a 2X6 under the trailer aid to provide more height for changing the tire.

I have a home air compressor that is rated for 135 PSI. I use this to air the tires up at home and to blow out the water lines. The air line has an adjustable regulator on it so I can set the pressure to whatever I need.

I carry a 5 gallon air tank that is rated for 125 PSI; I use this to adjust the Trail Air hitch and inflate the tires if needed. I also have a 12V air compressor that is rated for 300PSI but it does over heat if required to inflate more than one tire.

Now I have found that my Michelins XPS Ribs will lose only 5 PSI over five months of time; so I will tow the camper out of storage and home to inflate them to the 80 PSI that is required for the camping season.
When I had ST tires on my trailer I would lose more than 20 PSI in air pressure over the same time period.

Jim W.
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Old 10-31-2013, 04:16 PM   #3
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I have a Craftsman 2 gallon compressor that I use only in the camper. It has done well every time that I have needed it. I use it to inflat the camper tires, bicycle tires, balloons, etc. I have a generator built in. I have stopped at rest areas, fired up the generator, then used the Craftsman to top off the tires. As with everything on the Internet, you have to read the reviews carefully as some companies are not above writing negative reviews for competor's equipment. Sears stores are almost like Little China (Wal-Mart) and you can get parts/repairs. I would stick with the 120v compressors as the 12v overheat as Jim stated.
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Old 10-31-2013, 04:45 PM   #4
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i bought a pancake compressor from Lowe's. I needed a 135psi model, but they also have a 100psi too. I carry it in the bed of my truck.
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Old 10-31-2013, 07:34 PM   #5
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If you want one of the best 12-volt compressors, take a look at Viair--their units work. Besides pressure, you need to look at duty cycle--the % of time it will work before cutting off to cool.
I carry a Craftsman pancake compressor for the tires and I have a cordless impact wrench for the lugs.
I use a bottle jack, with wood under it if not on a hard surface, placed under a spring pad.
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Old 11-01-2013, 09:12 AM   #6
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I have a 150 psi 3gal. Porter Cable compressor in the truck bed. Bottle jacks and jack stands for tire changes, bearing packing, etc.
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Old 11-11-2013, 07:25 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimcumminsw View Post
First off welcome to the forum.

Now the Trailer Aid works great and I have used this twice with flat tires. But I also place a 2X6 under the trailer aid to provide more height for changing the tire.

I have a home air compressor that is rated for 135 PSI. I use this to air the tires up at home and to blow out the water lines. The air line has an adjustable regulator on it so I can set the pressure to whatever I need.

I carry a 5 gallon air tank that is rated for 125 PSI; I use this to adjust the Trail Air hitch and inflate the tires if needed. I also have a 12V air compressor that is rated for 300PSI but it does over heat if required to inflate more than one tire.

Now I have found that my Michelins XPS Ribs will lose only 5 PSI over five months of time; so I will tow the camper out of storage and home to inflate them to the 80 PSI that is required for the camping season.
When I had ST tires on my trailer I would lose more than 20 PSI in air pressure over the same time period.

Jim W.
Thanks for providing some hard data on air loss. Your numbers point out the necessity to check tire pressure at a minimum of every week with daily better and constant monitoring with a TPMS being desirable. Technically your 20 psi loss would mean that your tires were "flat" as far as warranty purposes go.
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Old 11-12-2013, 12:42 PM   #8
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This is what I have installed in my front bay:

California Air Tools CAT-4610A Ultra Quiet and Oil-Free 1.0 Hp 4.6-Gallon Aluminum Twin Tank Air Compressor - Amazon.com

Stays in the 5er year round and I wired a 110 circuit just for it. In conjunction with two of the twisty coiled air lines I can reach all the tires on the 5er and the truck without moving anything. The twin tanks hold plenty of air to air up a "leaker" in an emergency and it is unbelievably quiet (I've got 5 other air compressors around the homestead to compare it to). As for changing a tire? I carry a bottle jack for that job. I have looked at some of the "trailer aid" type products and they look nice, but, since I've had the bottle jack for eons, I stick with that, but, to be honest with you, that's why I have an ERS service...I'll let them deal with an "on the road flat". The only time I've had a tire issue, knock on wood, was a slow leaker. I aired it up from the tank and it was enough to get us to the campground. That one, I took the bottle jack, pulled the tire and took it to a tire shop for repair (picked up a screw in the tread) and then put it back on myself. Didn't want to sit around waiting for the ERS guys; we dropped it off for repair, went sightseeing and picked it up on the way back to the campsite. I also carry a lot of the leveling blocks and in a pinch they would serve the same purpose as one of the trailer aid type lifters. My only concern with them is the ability to lift the flat tire when used in conjunction with the high articulation on most tandem axle trailers now in use. The bottle jack doesn't care what type of suspension I've got.
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Old 11-12-2013, 01:24 PM   #9
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1. The ramp-type tire change device works just fine. It's much easier than crawling under the trailer and jacking on the shoulder of a busy Interstate. A cellphone call to Good Sam or CoachNet works even better!

2. Shown below is the compressor I carry in the toolbox in the bed of my truck. It will air up the load range J (120 PSIG) 17.5" Michelin XTAs on our 5th wheel with no problem. I picked it up at either Lowe's or Home Depot.

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Old 11-16-2013, 10:30 PM   #10
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Low cut-in pressure is the determining factor for choosing an air compressor. Your tires are inflated to 80 PSI, the cut-in pressure should be 90 PSI to avoid having to open the water drain, reducing tank pressure, so the compressor will begin running so you can top-off your tires.
I like the Kobalt 155 PSI compressor from Lowes. One caveat, buy and use a water separator to avoid getting moisture/water in your tires. Water/moisture will cause wider tire pressure variations.
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Old 11-17-2013, 08:56 AM   #11
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I did a post on how to make a low cost air dryer for inflating tires. The use of a dryer provides most of the benefits of Nitrogen inflation with very minimal costs.
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Old 11-17-2013, 10:54 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tireman9 View Post
I did a post on how to make a low cost air dryer for inflating tires. The use of a dryer provides most of the benefits of Nitrogen inflation with very minimal costs.
Thank you for the article and pictures. This is something I'll make and carry in the MH for those unexpected times I have to resort to my 12V, 150psi, high-volume compressor.
Remembering my filling station days as a tire changer, it was common to break-down a tire to discover an ounce of two of water inside.
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