Thinking of setting off across the country this summer with your RV? Well, you will need some help keeping those tires inflated. What better for that than the best air compressor for RV tires?
Getting a flat tire is probably the number one thing you should be prepared for. It doesn’t matter if you’re going all across the country for hundreds of miles or just a few towns away — you will need one, no matter what. And we want to help you with that.
Because getting an air compressor is not as easy as it seems, you maybe sort of confused about which one to go for. Well, here, you’ll have to learn exactly how to pick the ideal option.
You’ll learn everything there’s to know about air compressors and how the right one can make your RV trips better.
Care to learn more? Then keep reading – you’ll find out everything you’re looking for.
Table of Contents
- How Does an RV Air Compressor Work?
- Comparison Chart of Top 7 Air Compressor for RV Tires
- 7 Best Air Compressor for RV Tires
- 1. VIAIR 450P-RV Silver Automatic Portable Compressor
- 2. PORTER-CABLE CMB15 Carry Compressor Kit
- 3. GSPSCN Silver Tire Inflator Air Compressor Pump
- 4. PORTER-CABLE C2002 Pancake Compressor
- 5. Air Lift 25856 Load Controller Dual Gauge Compressor
- 6. VIAIR 400P Portable Compressor
- 7. SuperFlow MV-9012 Volt Air Compressor
- What to Look Before Purchasing an Air Compressor for RV Tires?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Words
How Does an RV Air Compressor Work?
A compressor has the sole purpose of compressing to fill up pneumatic tires for motorhomes or RVs. How does it do that? Easy – it happens in 3 steps:
- Air Drawing
The process starts with the pump drawing air from outside, which enters through an inlet valve. Every compressor has a piston. This piston is located inside the pump, which never stops drawing air from outside. The air goes directly into the tank.
Once the air is inside the tank, it pressurizes. This happens when the piston draws air,and the tank has to pressurize it all in the same place. Some air compressors use special rotors that pressurize the air and then send it to the tank.
After the air is sufficiently pressurized, no more air will enter the tank. That means it is ready to be discharged.
With a valve similar to the one that draws air inside, the compressor will discharge the air out. Because this air is pressurized, it can fill up pneumatic objects like RV tires.
As you can see, the process for drawing, pressurizing, and discharging air is not hard. Compressors are simpler than they seem.
You may also like: Top RV Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems on the market
Comparison Chart of Top 7 Air Compressor for RV Tires
|Models||VIAIR 450P-RV||PORTER-CABLE CMB15||GSPSCN Silver Tire Inflator||PORTER-CABLE C2002||Air Lift 25856||VIAIR 400P||SuperFlow MV-9012|
|PSI||150 PSI||90-150 PSI||150 PSI||90-150 PSI||100 PSI||0-150 PSI||150 PSI|
|CFM||2.3 CFM||2.0 CFM||2.5 CFM||2.6 CFM||2.0 CFM||2.3 CFM||2.3 CFM|
|Tank Capacity||1.5 Gallons||1.5 Gallons||No Tank||6 Gallons||No Tank||No Tank||No Tank|
|Weight||18 Pounds||20 Pounds||6.4 Pounds||30 Pounds||7 Pounds||8.5 Pounds||10.6 Pounds|
7 Best Air Compressor for RV Tires
Filling up your RV tires will require a quality compressor, no matter what. So we decided to look only for those models you could get the most from.
Well, we found 7 models that were totally worth reviewing. Here’s what we found about them:
If we wanted to make a quality list of RV compressors, we had to include a Viair450P RV portable air compressor. And it’s all because this fantastic compressor takes performance to the highest levels.
You get a 150 PSI capacity that fills up even the biggest RV tires. Sureenough, you also get maximum portability.
- Superb Capacity
Let’s start with its pressure capacity. You can pressurize air up to 160 PSI with this compressor. When it comes to filling up large and pressure-demanding tires, this feature will come like a charm.
- Automatic Performance
No need to manually inject the air into the tires – this portable compressor does it all by itself. The process is simple. You just need to keep the trigger of the inflation pulled until the tire fills up. This can go on for 20 minutes until it needs to cool down.
- Quality Components
Nothing compares to a well-made and resilient product. This one boastsa vibration-resistant air hose (up to 60 feet), a heavy-duty dual-battery clamp and fuse, and a heavy-duty deluxe bag. Everything is designed to last.
- Super Practical
If we had to enjoy something about this compressor it would be how convenient it is. You get an inflation gun for easy use, an 8-feet power cord, a 90-degree twist-on chuck, a 45-degree extended reach chuck, and more. There’s nothing you’ll hate about it.
You get the whole package to fill up RV tires as well as the extra components to start it if the battery goes off. Alongside the inflation tips, the carrying bag, and the extension air hoses – you get a 33% duty cycle, so there’s enough to get virtually anything done with this kit.
- Achieves up to 160 PSI which allows exceptional speed and effectiveness when inflating
- The automatic inflation process makes it a no-brainer to operate
- Outstandingly small and practical design helps you bring the compressor anywhere
- Extension hoses make it easy to inflate tires from far away
- A high-quality set of component ensures a reliable and smooth experience
- Inflation head gets hot while working
When it comes to air compressors, few brands can offer the quality that Porter-Cable does. Yet, it is the product model that stands out this time. The Porter-Cable CMB15 is everything you could expect a quality compressor to offer.
What sets this model apart is the combination of every single useful feature without leaving behind affordability. Its superb portability, excellent discharge capacity, and its reliable build – you won’t hate it in the slightest.
- Tons of PSI
With a tank that can fill up to the point of reaching 150 PSI, you can be sure it will help you inflate your RV tires with ease. You get a fantastic delivery of 90 PSI at 2.0 SCFM that will surpass your expectations.
- Long Operation
Because the tank fills up a lot at 1.5 gallons, you can also enjoy several uses before letting the tank fill up with air again. That’s a perfect thing to have if you’re going on long trips and need to inflate all your tires consistently.
- Durable and Reliable
An oil-free pump increases compressor quality and durability. You can expect it to last a lot longer, needing little to no maintenance that would otherwise make it less enticing to use.
- Super Safe
You get an easy-to-transport machine. So it should turn on anywhere you go, right? Well, this one does. Boasting a 120 AMP motor, it will start even in cold weather with no problem. And you can even make it work with an extension cord if needed.
Another safety-oriented feature is the addition of two rubber feet. You won’t have to worry if the compressor is located in a slippery area. It will still manage to stand and provide the air discharge you need.
- Decent tank capacity reaches up to 1.5 gallons so you can inflate for several minutes
- Reaches 150 PSI and discharges at 90 PSI and 2.0 CFM for fast inflation
- High-quality construction with oil-free pump needs little to no maintenance
- Extra-safe components ensure a problem-free experience from the first use
- Ultra-practical design for portability and storage inside your RV
- The accessories are not as useful as they seem
A 12-volt onboard air compressor doesn’t have to be awfully expensive. And if it is practical enough for most inflating needs, then it’s likely to become a top-notch choice.
That’s what you get with the GSPSCN Silver Air Compressor. You get the chance to fill up tires effectively, enjoy a safe experience, and still do it all in just a few steps. So you get the convenience and performance everyone needs.
- Effective Inflation
So, what sets this air compressor apart? Easy – the high-pressure capacity at 150 PSI. Boasting a double-cylinder design, you can achieve up to 40 PSI when inflating. This goes well with a low-noise process that also increases control – so you can inflate with total ease.
- Superb Compatibility
It doesn’t matter what kind of vehicle you want to fill up tires for – this air compressor will make it totally possible. With its 12V power system, it will work amazingly well in any situation – so you get no less than fantastic results.
- Ultra-Handy Features
You don’t only get an inflator;you also get one of the most practical multi-purpose compressors out there. It comes with a 3M extension hose, a battery clamp, a 12V connector for different devices, a cigarette lighter, and more.
- Secure Operation
On top of all that, the air compressor still manages to be one of the safest to use. You get a pair of rubber feet that improve overall stability. Even at full power, the compressor performs quietly and safely.
Despite all that, we found this compressor didn’t last too long. You can get only about 10 minutes of operation before it needs to be cooled down. And the wait is usually longer than the operation time, so you could say it is a little inconvenient to use.
- Decent pressure capacity at 150 PSI max so you can enjoy fast and effective inflation
- Works well with any kind of RV and other vehicles which ensures easy use at all times
- Quality construction with safe components ensure top-notch operation
- A handy set of accessories make it a much more practical product
- Small and light design with carrying bag provides excellent portability
- Only offers 10 minutes of operation
What better than a pancake air compressor for RV tires? And what better than a Porter-Cable product to spice up the list?
The C2002 Pancake compressor from Porter-Cable is easily among the most reliable and performance-oriented models you can get. And it is still one of the easiest to use for its size.
- Top-Notch Power
The first thing you’ll notice about this excellent compressor is the pressure capacity. With a total of 150 PSI tank, it can fill up to outstanding high-pressure levels. This matches with the 2.6 SCFM and 90 PSI of inflation capacity, making it easy to recover and also faster to work with.
- Portable Design
Despite being a pancake design that can carry tons of air, the piece is still one of the most portable devices you’ll find. At only 30 pounds of weight, with a handle, a cord-wrap system, a shroud, and a console – using this compressor will be a piece of cake.
- Practical Features
There are way too many things to love about this pancake compressor, starting from how practical it is. With a low-amp 120-volt motor, for example, you have the chance to start it at any time. This matches well with the air coupler so two people can use it at once.
- Long-Lasting Build
On top of everything, this compressor is a durable piece. With its oil-free pump system, it demands little to no maintenance. A six-gallon pancake tank increases stability. And with rubber feet, it will rarely fall when using. You get the whole durability package in one piece.
While it offers decent power and exceptional portability, it is still one of the loudest models. If you hate extra-loud machines that don’t let you concentrate while on the job, then you may hate this one as well.
- Pancake design is one of the easiest to move around and store when needed
- Exceptional inflating capacity at 150 PSI MAX with 2.6 CFM of total airflow
- Quality construction with oil-free pump delivers a long-lasting and maintenance-free experience
- Excellent array of accessories and features so you can enjoy a more convenient experience
- Available in different designs and capacities for any kind of result
- Extra-loud performance can be annoying to use
For maximum convenience and reliable performance, few models match the Air Lift 25856. It is a perfect alternative for those who want to have a dependable air compressor on their long trips.
And it is not because it offers the highest PSI or the best duty cycle, but because it does everything you could expect an air compressor to do.
- Dual Air Spring
You can inflate two objects at the same time with this machine. Yes, with a set of two air springs and two gauges, you can set the piece to deliver air through two different paths.
You get a total of 100 PSI per outlet. That’s enough to get your RV tires filled up without problems. Similarly, the airflow is high enough so that you can expect no less than a fast inflating experience.
- Easy to Use
You get all the hardware to get the compressor up and working in just minutes. With a gauge pod, the air lines, a wiring harness, and more – it makes it possible to inflate your tires in seconds.
- Available in Multiple Designs
You can get this air compressor in the heavy-duty or the standard models. Each one offers exceptional results. And if you desire, you can also pick between the dual-path or the single-path as desired.
Air Lift focuses on providing easy-to-use and reliable products. And sure enough, this model is not an exception. Working both as an air compressor with high capacity and a load controller to keep airflow in your vehicle in check – this is a top-notch product to consider.
- Offers dual outlets so you can inflate two different things at once with no problem
- Delivers up to 100 PSI so you can expect quick and effective inflation
- The straightforward operation for any kind of result you want
- A magnificent array of gauges ensure a safe and practical experience
- Different designs and accessories available so you can expect a different experience accordingly
- Way more expensive than the competition
If you’re interested in a new air compressor, then you will face the challenge of choosing between the VIAIR 400p vs 400p-RV. And for us, the 400P is easily the better choice.
There’s not much of a difference, though – the standard 400P is just the largest and most reliable version that’s still portable enough to get on your RV. And of course, it offers excellent results.
- Enough Power
Do you know what sets a compressor apart? That’s easy – its pressure capacity. And this compressor offers a total of 150 PSI MAX. Operated by a 12-volt motor, you can get your RV tires from 0 to 30 PSI in a few minutes.
- Quick to Inflate
You won’t have to wait for more than a few minutes for the machine to work, with a duty cycle of 33%, you can expect it to be ready quickly. And this pairs up well with the 2.3 CFM – so you can enjoy even better airflow.
- Practical All-Around
Let’s not forget this model comes with a set of accessories like inflation tips, an open-ended air hose at 25 feet, a 100 PSI gauge, and battery clamps.
- Magnificent Portability
All of that goes well with the portable design and the carrying bag. And when you consider the 8.5 pounds of weight, it becomes a go-to choice for sure. As an RV owner, this is exactly what you should get.
While the machine performs amazingly well when it works, it can be sort of difficult to start it. This happens because the electric clamps that go on the battery can be weak. So you may experience slight problems when setting them up.
- Ultra-practical set with different accessories and exceptional quality
- Inflates tires super quickly thanks to its 2.3 CFM and 100 PSI of total air delivery
- Top-notch power and resilient thanks to a 12-volt motor and 150 PSI MAX tank
- Fantastic 25-feet hose ensures excellent reach so you can use for the largest RVs
- Unbeatable portability with its small design and immensely convenient carrying bag
- Can be difficult to set up due to weak and impractical clamps
Want to enjoy a super-powerful and easy-to-use compressor? Then you won’t find any better choice than the Superflow MV90.
We can go as far as to say that this is the best portable air compressor for RV tires. Having this compressor on your RV while going on long trips will make it all more enjoyable.
- Effortless Operation
No need to waste time preparing the compressor to work — it comes almost ready with the alligator clamps so you can set it up with your RV battery. You can set it up to start filling up your tires in less than a minute.
- Decent Power
One of the most interesting parts of this compressor is the ability to deliver 90 PSI of pressure for your tires. If your RV tires need complete inflation, you can expect them to reach 35 PSI in less than 3 minutes.
- Handy Design
Do you know what truly stands out about this piece? The super-small design that you can get anywhere you want. And with a carrying bag, it becomes even more portable no matter your needs.
- Top-Notch Reach
Think the compressor won’t reach your rear wheels? Well, you’re wrong. With this compressor, you can enjoy a 24-feet air hose that reaches even the rear tires of the largest RVs.
You’ll get enough to keep your RV tires inflated even after several hundred miles. However, you may find the hose to be of lowerquality than expected. When it reaches far so you can inflate your rear tires easily, it may not last as long as you want.
- Excellent 100 PSI delivery ensures fast and effective inflation
- Practical carrying handle makes it easy to transport anywhere you go
- Easy-to-use design makes it enjoyable to operate and work with
- Small design ensures easy storage with few accessories
- Quality accessories and construction provides a long-lasting product
- The long but low-quality hose can be a huge drawdown
What to Look Before Purchasing an Air Compressor for RV Tires?
So you’re looking for the best portable air compressor for motorhome,yet you don’t have any idea what to pick. Even after reading our reviews, you’re still sort of confused about which one will meet your standards.
Well, don’t worry. We’re going to help you with that here. Next, you’ll learn about the most important factors to consider before getting an air compressor for your RV:
Size and Weight
If you know the size of the tank, then you can figure out how practical it can be.
But it is not only the size but how much pressure it can handle. For example, large tanks can reach about 80 PSI, but smaller ones can reach 150 PSI with ease. However, smaller ones will empty out faster, so you will need to let them fill up a lot more.
For an RV, you will need high PSI, so we recommend small tanks with tons of PSI. This helps fill up the tank faster and inflate tires with less effort.
With size, however, also comes weight. If you get a giant compressor, there’s a high chance it will be heavy and difficult to use. But if you get a small one, then you’re likely to get a light and portable model.
Be sure to get something with the right size and weight depending on your needs. For an RV, portability and PSI are the two most important factors.
The Right PSI
Even though we already went through some of it, we still need to explain how PSI (pounds per square inch) truly matters.
To give you a general idea, it is what air compressors use to discharge. The more pressure the tank has, the more PSI it will boast. Sure enough, high PSI means faster and easier tire inflation. So we recommend getting as much as you can.
A heavy-duty truck tire air compressor, for example, will have at least 150 PSI, so even the largest truck tires can be inflated. A small model may not go over 90 PSI, which is enough to inflate RV tires.
In short, you should be ready to pick an air compressor that meets your demands. That should be enough to get your tires inflated with ease.
While PSI is a perfect measurement for inflation capacity, it is the CFM that truly tells you how much the compressor can offer.
The CFM (cubic feet per minute) measures the speed at which the air flows inside. Sure enough, the more CFM you get, the faster the air travels from the compressor to the tire. So, high CFM means speedier inflation.
For RV tires, you should go for no less than 2.0 CFM. That should be enough to get all your RV tires inflated with little effort.
Want to know the pressure level of the compressor? Then you need a pressure gauge.
This device will tell you how much PSI the compressor is working with at the moment. An easy-to-read pressure gauge can make your experience a lot easier and safer.
You won’t like inflating an RV tire with more pressure than required and end up damaging it. Similarly, you don’t want to waste any time trying to fill up a tire with less pressure than needed.
As you should know, compressors have two main types to consider: gas-powered compressors and electric ones.
Gas-powered models, for example, use gasoline to work. These are often very potent and deliver exceptional results. However, they’re harder to work with because they need gas. On top of that, they are usually super-heavy and have tons of different components that require constant maintenance.
An electric compressor is way more practical. You only need to connect it with a battery or outlet, and it should do the job well enough. While these are often weaker than gas-powered models, they are way more practical and allow easy carrying.
Here, you will have to pick between the powerful yet bulky gas-powered and the slightly weaker but more portable electric compressor.
A compressor makes a lot of noise. But you can prevent the annoyance by choosing one that doesn’t make that much.
That’s why we recommend models that make anywhere from 40 to 70 decibels. Anything louder than that can be super annoying.
Be aware that the biggest and most powerful compressors make more noise than the smaller and weaker ones.
So if you don’t care much about size and potency, then a small 65-decibel model may be your best bet. But if you don’t care much about noise, then a heavy-duty 80-decibel compressor may meet your standards.
Not many people tend to consider horsepower (HP) as a reliable measure of power. But it is always safe to know.
This mostly happens with gas-powered air compressors. It should have no less than 1 HP if you want a decent experience. Otherwise, the motor and pump are probably too weak to inflate your tires.
As compressors work with high pressures, they tend to get really hot. And that causes their interiors to overheat. The duty cycle tells you how much of that heat they can stand, and how much time they need to cool down before working at full throttle again.
So, the duty cycle tells you how much run time you can get. But duty cycle is measured in percentage.
We recommend at least 10% of duty cycle so you can get 10 minutes of work and then let it rest for 90 minutes. Similarly, a 50% duty cycle means you can get 50 minutes of work and need to let it rest for 50 minutes.
The best portable air compressor for camper will not cost too much. But it won’t be as cheap as you expect either.
You can look at a total investment of about a hundred for a medium-quality model. In case you prefer a high-quality compressor, then you may need to spend at least a couple hundred.
Just be sure to consider all their features and quality and how they match your demands. That will help you pick a sufficiently affordable air compressor that offers what you’re looking for.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are you still confused after reading our reviews and buying guides? Well, we can relieve some of those doubts with the following questions. Take a look:
1. What size air compressor do I need to fill RV tires?
You don’t need a specific size to get the compressor to inflate your tires. However, it is recommended to have at least 1 gallon of capacity. That would be enough to get your RV tires filled.
2. How much horsepower does it need?
The horsepower of the air compressor is not necessary to consider for a decent performance. Especially with electric compressors, there’s a high chance you won’t even see the horsepower measurement available. So we don’t recommend following it unless you’re looking for something specific.
3. How much PSI do I need to fill tires?
The PSI is the true measure you need to look for. This will give you a more accurate idea of what you need to go for. When it comes to RV tires, you may need about 50 PSI to fill up. For the best performance, get something with over 90 PSI so you can inflate tires fast and effectively.
4. Can you use an air compressor to inflate car tires?
Yes, air compressors are indeed used for inflating tires – of all kinds. It doesn’t matter whether it is inflating for an RV or a small vehicle. An air compressor makes it possible to do both.
5. What is the best portable air compressor for campers?
For a motorhome, you need something ultra-portable that can handle most tire-inflating jobs. In that case, we can’t recommend the PORTER-CABLE CMB15 Carry Compressor Kit enough. It will help you get those tires inflated no matter the situation.
6. What is the best 12-voltportable air compressor?
If we had to pick the best 12-volt air compressor, we wouldn’t hesitate to choose the PORTER-CABLE C2002 Pancake Compressor. It offers everything you could expect a high-quality compressor to offer, with a 12-volt motor and exceptional pressure for inflating any tire.
Now that you’ve gone through all our reviews and buying guide – then you should be ready to make your last decision.
We know this will be hard still. You’ll have to think about all your RV needs as well as your specific demands. And that can be sort of confusing.
But as long as you follow our advice and guidance, getting the best air compressor for RV tires won’t be much of an issue.
Use this article to get the perfect air compressor, and you won’t regret it. You’ll find everything in here – so don’t waste your time and make your pick.