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Old 12-02-2020, 08:57 AM   #1
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Needing to Buy a Air Compressor for the RV

I have heard that the Viair 450P-Automatic Portable Air Compressor — 12 Volt, Model# 45043 is a good unit to consider. But, The price, "WOW" is it really worth the money and can I find another item out there that is just as good for much less money???
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Old 12-02-2020, 09:07 AM   #2
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The ViAir is the best of the 12v models and don't waste your money on the cheaper Harbor Freight model. If you want to and can use a 120v compressor, I highly recommend the Porter Cable CMB515. It's a 150psi compressor, only weighs about 20 lbs, costs about $120 and adds air fast.
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Old 12-02-2020, 09:11 AM   #3
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It really depends upon what tires you have - volume and pressure capabilities differ widely in the selection of compressors.

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Old 12-02-2020, 09:27 AM   #4
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+1 on Viair. If you go that way, be sure to get the continuous duty RV version.

They are great for keeping RV and toad tires topped up. Not so good for high-volume duty though. For that a good pancake model is better.


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Old 12-02-2020, 09:41 AM   #5
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I would say yes!

Got one after recommendations on irv2.

Am using it regardless, works flawless in heavy rain, snow, extreme freezing temperatures and heat.
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Old 12-02-2020, 10:19 AM   #6
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I have a class A motorhome that is equipped with a 120V generator. I would much rather have a compressor that works on 120V for our RV useage. If you have need for 12 volt compressor the Vair model you mentioned is a good choice. We have a 150 psi pancake Porter- Cable model that works well for us.
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Old 12-02-2020, 10:19 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Hwy Junky View Post
I have heard that the Viair 450P-Automatic Portable Air Compressor — 12 Volt, Model# 45043 is a good unit to consider. But, The price, "WOW" is it really worth the money and can I find another item out there that is just as good for much less money???
What are you driving?
Do you have an engine driven compressor?
What pressures are you trying to achieve?

The 12V option would be convenient in other vehicles when the RV isn’t being used or when a 120V power supply is not available. The Viair is compact and costly.

The 120V option is less costly, can be a bit bulkier and doesn’t have the advantage of operating off a 12V power source, unless an inverter is used. The 120V models would be suitable for operating pneumatic tools, if that is important.

Another consideration, is that adjusting tire pressure shouldn’t be a daily chore. Unless there is a drastic change in temperature, I check tire pressures monthly on all the vehicles and rarely need to adjust pressure more than once or twice a year. So, what do you want to spend on a tool that may only see occasional use?
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Old 12-02-2020, 10:55 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Hwy Junky View Post
I have heard that the Viair 450P-Automatic Portable Air Compressor — 12 Volt, Model# 45043 is a good unit to consider. But, The price, "WOW" is it really worth the money and can I find another item out there that is just as good for much less money???
Well Hwy Junky,
As you see, there's lots of opinions on this subject. I've had just about all models of air compressors. About 80% of the 12V ones are pure junk when it comes to making them do a real job, like FILLING tire, almost ANY tire, from zero psi to full pressure. I also have a Viair 400P and, well, let's just say that it works, but, I'd not write home about it.

I also had the the one pictured. Only mine was a Craftsman. They sold the rights to it to Porter Cable. It's the same EXACT air compressor. I was happy with it for basic tire-topping-off for a few years. Then, it developed an internal leak. It would take a considerably long time to top off one of my Jeep 35" tires, from trail pressure of 10 psi to street pressure of 28 psi. Even when I'd just cycle it, with it not connected to anything, (not filling a tire or anything else), it would take quite a while to fill and stop cycling. And then, in less than 15 minutes, it was completely empty.

So, I decided to work on it. I was analyzing the plumbing with soap and water and took a phone call. While I wasn't looking at the compressor, it cycled and vibrated right off the work bench and onto the concrete floor. Well, that was the end of that compressor.

So, I too was on the lookout for a new one. I'd heard about some seriously quiet ones at Harbor Freight. So, I researched and found them. They are called the *Fortress* model. They have about 3 different versions. I purchased this one:


I'd read all the reviews and watched many videos on it. At that time, the time of purchase, which was less than a month ago, there were ZERO bad reviews. Every single review was praising that compressor. Especially the QUIET part. The second high praise was concerning it's cycle time. Well, I took a chance and bought one. But the price you see of $159.00, is not it's *month long Black Friday* sale price. It's Black Friday sale price is $129.00.

I got it home and, plugged it in and hit the ON switch. WOWWWWW is that thing SERIOUSLY QUIET!!!!!! It puts my old Craftsman to complete shame. Not only does it run at around less than 1/4 of the noise output of the Craftsman (Porter Cable) but, it's cycle time is also PHENOMENAL! That top pressure of that Fortress is 135. It comes on at 95 psi and shuts off at 135.

And, what's truly amazing is, it takes a whopping SEVEN SECONDS to cycle from 95 to 135.

It's just a tad larger in both length and width compared to my old Craftsman and, is about equal in height. It's maybe a tad heavier. I myself really don't care about the added dimensions or the added weight. The value, efficiency and QUIETNESS of it, outweigh any of the other factors. It is a dual piston design with a BRUSHLESS MOTOR. When they designed it, they cut the bore and stroke down but, DOUBLED it with two pistons. That's where they get the extra quiet affect.

Now, one more feature that really impresses me. And that is, when I first pumped that little unit to 135 and cycled it just a couple times just to hear it, then I left it over night at what it finished at, 135. I got up the next morning and, guess what, it was sitting at 135. I left it alone while I prepped the coach for an oncoming trip. It sat for a week, AT 135!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now, this little compressor impresses me. Does it, or will it, impress anyone else here on the RV forum, well, only you or they, can answer that. While out on our latest trip, we did some Jeeping near Lost Dutchman Mine State Park and, I needed to air the tires back up on the Jeep for towing it home. That little compressor DESTROYED my late Craftsman, even when the Craftsman was new. A lot of the folks we were camping with were also seriously impressed by it's quietness and efficiency.
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Old 12-04-2020, 05:51 PM   #9
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Your 42’ DP has all the air compressor you need with a outlet up front. May be a type C quick connect. Here’s a video on how to put up to 115 in a tire. I find letting the engine idle works better as it lets the compressor run longer before reaching the high cutoff pressure which can be increased to 130 of you need more than 115 in a tire.
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Old 12-04-2020, 06:43 PM   #10
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To start, some check their pressure and adjust excessively. I check/adjust mine twice a year. In between I use a tire pressure monitor. I primarily check my pressure at home while servicing the coach. For many years, I owned the Porter Cable model that Lt Dan linked to. It works fine for 22.5 tires, adding about 1psi every 13 seconds. It's a great compressor, but as noted, it's a little bulky to store.

I like the idea of the 120 volt Porter Cable or similar 120 volt compressors, because I would rather run my generator than my motor home engine to fill tires, especially in a campground. I wouldn't want to be the jerk cycling his diesel engine numerous times to keep building enough pressure to use the on board engine compressor.

Lastly, on my current coach, I added the Viair 400 series 100% duty model, with tank, to my frame and ran connections to both sides of the coach. Like FIRE UP, I'm not overly impressed with it. I have to let it build air and shut off to top off my tires. Luckily it's in the bowels of the coach and can't be heard.
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Old 12-05-2020, 11:49 AM   #11
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California aire makes all aluminum dead quiet 120v compressors, bought mine for indoor work in houses and love the thing. I bought a commercial model , about 50$ more but much longer pump life. Puts out 130 lbs. Weighs 28 lbs Iirc.
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Old 12-05-2020, 01:09 PM   #12
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To keep our Porter Cable Pancake compressor quiet. I have installed a 30 ft hose to allow me to keep in inside the bin with the door closed (all except for allowing the cable to pass out) Operating it inside the bin cuts the noise at least 75-80%. Also since I have a 120 V outlet inside a nearby bin, I do not have much set up time.
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Old 12-05-2020, 02:22 PM   #13
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I'm another fan of the Porter Cable CMB515. For topping off or adjusting tire pressure, it works beautifully. If inflating a tire with very low pressure, it will get the job done, but be careful that you allow the unit to cool down a bit periodically if you are inflating tires with very low pressure i.e. see the owners manual!
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Old 12-05-2020, 10:12 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by groswald View Post
+1 on Viair. If you go that way, be sure to get the continuous duty RV version.

They are great for keeping RV and toad tires topped up. Not so good for high-volume duty though. For that a good pancake model is better.


Is the RV model a different compressor or does it just have a longer hose? Really two hoses to get you 60 feet?
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