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Old 12-30-2012, 12:47 PM   #1
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Dweeb air bag compressors?

Anyone know of a small 115 volt compressor (that they've used) to keep the rear air bags up while sitting on a slab? We all know how little room we have for storage, but I don't want to buy something that won't give me 100 psi+.
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Old 12-30-2012, 01:38 PM   #2
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This is the one I use for keeping my Airstream's tires aired up. It is rated for 150 psi, but I've never set it that high. It's small enough to store in the passenger-side front seat footwell when I'm not using it.

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Old 12-30-2012, 01:40 PM   #3
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12 volt compressors that will get up to 125 psi and attach to the trailer (or truck) batteries are available for around $60-70. If you need to add air to the tires, they are great when boondocking.

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Old 12-30-2012, 02:13 PM   #4
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I wonder if those 12 volt compressors will lift the air bags to 125 psi? She never deflates because I keep my eye on them, but I can see when we get down to 70 psi, which is fine, but I want to be able to keep her up on her haunches to keep us level.
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Old 12-30-2012, 03:43 PM   #5
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I wonder if those 12 volt compressors will lift the air bags to 125 psi? She never deflates because I keep my eye on them, but I can see when we get down to 70 psi, which is fine, but I want to be able to keep her up on her haunches to keep us level.
Hey Mikey why don't you just turn the key on? Your dweeb pump keeps the bags up when you drive, it will do it while you are parked. I would bet that it will fill the tank and bags in less time then it would take to get a portable pump out and hooked up. And it doesn't take up any new space.
Now if you want a spare pump for a back-up or to fill tires and such that is another issue. I carry a Porter Cable pancake unit.Porter Cable 150 PSI, 6 Gal Oil-Free Pancake Compressor C2002
I took the tank off, ty-wraped the air manifold to the front of the pump housing and with a tee ran the fill hose into the manifold with another quick disconnect. It makes a small handy unit with lots of power.
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Old 12-30-2012, 07:59 PM   #6
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Hey Mikey why don't you just turn the key on? Your dweeb pump keeps the bags up when you drive, it will do it while you are parked. I would bet that it will fill the tank and bags in less time then it would take to get a portable pump out and hooked up. And it doesn't take up any new space.
Now if you want a spare pump for a back-up or to fill tires and such that is another issue. I carry a Porter Cable pancake unit.Porter Cable 150 PSI, 6 Gal Oil-Free Pancake Compressor C2002
I took the tank off, ty-wraped the air manifold to the front of the pump housing and with a tee ran the fill hose into the manifold with another quick disconnect. It makes a small handy unit with lots of power.

Absolutely brilliant! That solves the problem of portability vs power. I carry one in my truck bed to air up the trailer tires since the small auto pumps just crap out. That baby is getting surgery this week!
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Old 12-30-2012, 08:44 PM   #7
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Absolutely brilliant! That solves the problem of portability vs power. I carry one in my truck bed to air up the trailer tires since the small auto pumps just crap out. That baby is getting surgery this week!
Thanks Dave but in my case I didn't have a lot of choices. On my '82 the under-body storage compartments are very small. There are no pull out drawers, just a bottom hinged door and only about 10" or 11" tall. I'd have to go measure to be sure because my memory is feeble and I have slept since I last measured. Anyway most everything I looked at was too tall to fit. I do have an old medical oxygen tank that I can add if I need a accumulator/storage tank. I did carry it for awhile but never used it so now it's left in the shop.

By the way I have a friend who has a similar Dewalt and it is much louder than the Porter Cable. Plug them in and run them before you decide the one to buy.
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Old 12-31-2012, 10:21 AM   #8
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I should have expained more fully: I've got the dreaded "sag of the bag". The on-board compressor (new in '99) now cuts off at 70 psi instead of 110 psi. The switch (replaced in '05) is an 80-110 psi model. I don't want to fool with it until we get back north, hence the reason for a small compressor. I'm thinking (hoping) it's the switch, any ideas?
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Old 12-31-2012, 10:31 AM   #9
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Mike, if the switch has a history of failure, you could jump it and see if that works. But I think something else is at work—maybe an air leak somewhere. The switch does not know what the air pressure is unless is has some sort of limiter built into it. If it is a simple on/off switch, I can't see how it affects the upper limit of psi. Or a reset button is turning it off at 70 psi because of another reason such as too much current draw above 70 psi. The reset may have become over sensitive or may be reacting to a leak causing a high current draw. Of course, the whole thing may have become worn out.

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Old 12-31-2012, 12:49 PM   #10
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I should have expained more fully: I've got the dreaded "sag of the bag". The on-board compressor (new in '99) now cuts off at 70 psi instead of 110 psi. The switch (replaced in '05) is an 80-110 psi model. I don't want to fool with it until we get back north, hence the reason for a small compressor. I'm thinking (hoping) it's the switch, any ideas?
Mike if it's a typical Square D type switch pull the cover off and watch the switch cycle. You can manually operate the "paddle" to make up the contacts to power the pump. You can isolate whether the pump is overheating and tripping a breaker or if the pressure switch is tripping at too low a pressure. At least it will point you in the direction of the problem.

I would advise fixing it now rather then later. If the pump is failing you don't want to be driving with low bags. If the switch is failing you have the same problem of low bags. Buying a portable compressor and stopping every few miles to pump up the system is not really a good idea.
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Old 12-31-2012, 01:41 PM   #11
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Thanks for the sage advice. The bags are fresh, as are the leveling valves. She'll hold outside-induced 110psi for a couple of weeks, but the compressor only comes on at below 70 psi. I'm sitting on gravel and getting around under there is a p.i.t.b. I'll find some hard flat surface, borrow a creeper and see what's what. It's starting to point at the compressor, I'm afraid.
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Old 12-31-2012, 04:31 PM   #12
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Thanks for the sage advice. The bags are fresh, as are the leveling valves. She'll hold outside-induced 110psi for a couple of weeks, but the compressor only comes on at below 70 psi. I'm sitting on gravel and getting around under there is a p.i.t.b. I'll find some hard flat surface, borrow a creeper and see what's what. It's starting to point at the compressor, I'm afraid.
I don't know Mike, there isn't much the compressor can do if the switch doesn't give it 12 volts to do it's thing. Are you reading 110 psi. at your tank or at the bags? If at the tank that tells me your leveling valves are holding air. You won't consume any air until the ride height lowers enough to release air to the bags.

If your pump comes on at 70 psi. when does it cycle off? The pressure switch doesn't care the pressure in the bags, only the tank pressure. As long as the tank pressure is above the pressure in the bags the leveling system will function. Also when the compressor comes on at 70 psi. does it actually increase the pressure in the tank? Also does the switch shut off the compressor or does it overheat and trip a breaker?

I guess a big question is what your gauge is reading. My dash guage reads my bag pressure. I can watch the needle fluctuate as I hit bumps going down the highway. My bags normally run at 75 to 77 psi. My pressure switch starts the compressor at 80 psi and shuts off at 100 psi.

One last thing, you gotta toughen up my friend. I don't have any "hard flat surface" around here. It's all dirt, mud, or gravel. I use cardboard or an old piece of carpet to lay on. Not using a creeper also gives you a few more inches under the low hanging parts.
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Old 01-01-2013, 10:04 AM   #13
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Not using a creeper also gives you a few more inches under the low hanging parts.
Yes, and a few of us know why you don't use a creeper, Dan the big man. I'm going to spread a tarp underneath today and see if I've got a slow leak/check wiring, etc. Last night, I did feel air coming from the schrader valve and dogged it down, we'll see.
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Old 01-01-2013, 02:51 PM   #14
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Schrader valve was leaking, I filled a small dish with water and stuck it under the tank: bubbles, lots of them. I don't think it's my whole problem, but it did not help. E-Bay has the whole fitting for about $9.00.
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