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Old 12-03-2013, 07:07 PM   #15
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My post #12 should say "you would see homeowners and golf courses blowing out their irrigation lines each fall," Sorry for the confusion.


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Old 12-04-2013, 12:32 AM   #16
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I have several ViAir pumps that I keep inside my vehicles and motorcycle trailer. Great pumps for topping off tires, though you have to increase the fuse rating in your car to 15amps, whereas most 12v ports in your car max out at 5-7amps. Otherwise, buy the version with battery clips or install a dedicated line from the battery.

Since I also wanted a compressor to handle blow-out chores, I did a fair bit of research before landing at the Makita Mac2400. It's only 4.5 gallons, but is oil filled with a great compressor engine, unlike the cheaper porter cable pancake units. The tanks refill in under 2 min and the unit is relatively quiet. I used it with good results to blow out the lines this weekend on my 28", and while it would empty the tanks and recharge frequently, the motor kept up fine and I got past the "mist" mentioned in the earlier post to just air. The cheaper units would take more time to recharge the tanks and the motors might heat up more, with risks of failure, but not the Makita. Plus, the size of the unit is much better in my garage than a 20 gallon tank unit.

If you can live with a larger tank, by all means get the largest one you can for the reasons mentioned. But don't shy away from a smaller unit, if you are willing to pay for the quality. The Makita runs $300 from Home Depot, and another unit by Rolair is also similarly priced and well regarded. Be aware that you may have damage if the units are shipped to you: the first one was dented upon delivery, and I had to get a replacement shipped, which seems to be related to poor packing by Makita. But the second was delivered quickly without defect, and I was able to return the first to the local HD store.

I also used the Makita to blow out sprinker lines, and the smaller tanks quickly discharged. Here, a larger tank would be preferable. However, due to the quick recharge, the Makita completed the task, albeit it ran almost constantly.

For other uses, like airing tires, it is perfect, and I now no longer use my ViAir for adding air to the tires; now it's just a back up for on the-road use. If you fancy running air tools and the like, you will probably be better off going with a larger tank, at least 10-15 gallons.

Some have mentioned that the porter cable and Harbor Freight knock-offs do fine for infrequent winterizing, but I have my doubts about their longevity. My personal ethos is not to cheap out on tools, but you may feel differently.

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Old 12-04-2013, 04:24 AM   #17
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Above all, make sure you have a compressor that you would put oil into. The 'oilless' types have what are called teflon parts that eventually break down and cost a fortune to repair. I keep a large enough compressor mounted in the back of my truck with 150 feet of hose with a blower attachment and an air chuck.
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Old 12-04-2013, 06:04 AM   #18
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I had a decent 12 volt compressor that connected to my battery that I used for inflating tires on the B190, which were spec'd to 80 PSI in the rear. Not a VIAIR but similar. Loved it. Unfortunately, I burned it up by blowing out the lines in the and letting it run too long.

So, there are those who will say a 120 volt compressor is like towing a Bambi with a diesel truck, but there are some of us who have burned up half decent compressors trying to do something it's not meant to do. Make your own decision - it's your money, not anyone else's.

(Also, I know some people that tow a Bambi with an F-250. They do this because they carry a lot of stuff in the bed of the truck. It's all in how you use the rig.)

It all comes down to a duty cycle-type of rating. Even if you blow out the lines in 30 minutes only once a year, that 30 minutes requires the compressor to run quite a bit, relatively speaking. A compressor like my current one, which is really meant to run nailers, isn't really designed to run more than once every couple minutes, so it can overheat if I keep it running too long while blowing out the lines. I make sure to let it take breaks every so often, and I try to keep it out in the cool air to help it cool down between cycles.

The other thing is, you shouldn't need to be adding air to your tires very often. Having to add air frequently means you have a leak that should be fixed. So, a 120 volt air compressor that stays at home should be fine for a large percentage of how people use their Airstreams - there's no need to fixate on the 12 volt compressor option, for most people. And if you do need air on the road for some reason, many gas stations still have air compressors, and you can always use the spare if a tire is too low. (A couple years ago, I was considering buying a VIAIR for a lot of money, then I realized it was unnecessary. A cheaper 120 volt air compressor could do the job just fine AND didn't require running down a battery or starting an engine.)
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Old 02-02-2016, 06:24 AM   #19
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I realize this is an old thread, however, I needed a new air compressor as my other one went bad. This time I wanted a portable one and one that was smaller then my 6 gallon pancake. After research I decided to go with the Viair 450 for the RV. I know it is more expensive then others out there, however, Viair gave me a great discount as retired military.

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