The Best RV Air Compressor For Your Rig

One of the most important components of an RV is its tires. After all, that is your connection with the ground when you are traveling down the highway. So you need to pay even more attention to your RV tires than you normally do to the tires on your car. And this means that you need to determine what is the best RV air compressor for your particular rig. And then use that compressor regularly to keep your RV tires inflated properly. So let’s take a look at the RV tire inflators that I recommend for your consideration.

12 Volt RV Tire Inflators

There are several manufacturers of 12 volt portable air compressors on the market. And many of them are not very well-made. But there is a brand of 12 volt RV air compressors that is widely regarded to be the best by many RV owners. That is the Viair brand. They are known for their quality of build and their smooth, capable function while in use. And they hold up to regular use well.

Viair makes 4 different tire inflators for the RV market, depending on what kind of RV you have. For Class B RVs, the model 89P works great and comes with a 20 foot hose. If you have a towable RV, the model 300P works well and comes with a 30 foot hose. For Class C RVs, the model 400P is the best choice and comes with a 60 foot hose. And finally, for Class A motorhomes, the model 450P does the job very well and also comes with a 60 foot hose.

The idea with making so many models is to be able to offer these units at the size and price point that fits your RV. Of course, you can always buy a larger Viair model than is recommended for your rig and it will work fine. And this might be a good strategy in case you might sell your current RV and buy something larger.

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All Viair models come with clamps to attach to your battery as a power source and plenty of hose for your RV size. They are all lightweight and easy to use. And some RVers I know of have even mounted their Viair compressor permanently in their rig and hooked it up to their 12 volt power system. Just click on the images below to get more information and specs on the Viair product line for RVs:

Viair 89P RV air compressor
Viair 300 P RV air compressor
Viair 400P RV air compressor
Viair 450P RV air compressor

120 volt RV Air Compressors

While Viair clearly makes the best 12 volt air compressors for RVs, some RVers choose a 120 volt model instead. In fact, one of the most popular RV tire inflators is a pancake-style compressor made by Porter Cable. One drawback to this style of RV air compressor is its size and weight. If you have a smaller RV it may not be the best choice for you and a Viair unit may work much better. But for those who have ample storage space, these smaller pancake compressors can be very versatile.

In fact, the versatility of these compressors extends well beyond their use as just tire inflators. Since they are true 120 volt air compressors, they can often be used for small repair and remodel jobs around the RV. They can easily run most air-powered tools and that can be very useful in such situations. But they are also very competent RV tire inflators too. Since they can produce up to 150 psi, that will allow you to inflate almost any size RV tire easily. But unlike the Viair models, you will also need to get the hose and connections needed to inflate your tires.

Of course, as mentioned, these compressors run only on 120 volt electricity. And this means that you will either have to be plugged into shore power or use a generator to operate them. But if this is not an issue for you, the cost of one of these air compressors is very attractive. In fact, they can be much less expensive than the Viair compressors mentioned above. I personally use one of these units myself for its overall versatility and power to inflate my motorhome tires quickly. Click on the link below to learn more about the Porter Cable air compressor. And you can also see what others have said about it as well.

My recommendation

In my opinion, if you choose an RV air compressor from one of those in this article, you can’t go wrong. Any of the Viair models will be a good purchase. They will be light and efficient but will be limited only to inflating tires. If you choose a pancake compressor, it will take up more room. But it is also more versatile and can be used for other projects around the RV. But all of these air compressors are well-reviewed and have stood the test of time.

So I hope this information has been helpful for you. Having the right air compressor is important as you learn to maintain and care for your RV tires. Have safe and happy travels my friends!

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