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Old 10-04-2012, 12:00 PM   #1
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Good Cheap 12V Air Compressor Suggestions

Does anyone have some good experience with a good cheap 12V Air compressor that can handle high volume SUV and trailer tires? I am not looking for something that costs as much as a BMW.

Perry
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Old 10-04-2012, 12:16 PM   #2
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I still carry one but rarely ever use it now that I have a large 110 volt unit that I use to inflate my van and trailer tires.

The biggest issue I've had with the 12 volt units is that when you are dealing with higher pressures, like my E rated tires on my van and Airstream, raising pressures take some time. This was especially evident when filling the tires after the trailer sitting all winter. This long run time takes it toll on the 12 volt compressor which is air cooled and gets hot enough to burn you if it isn't shielded. On those long run times I've seen my 12 volt unit lock up. In other times the 12 volt plug gets so hot that it has melted.

The last one I bought came from WalMart. I carry it in case I need a touch up of air when on the road. Usually the difference in prices are based on features that are bundled with the pump rather than pump quality. I have seen some which while still air cooled have a small cooling fan to promote air flow. I would assume that might promote longer life if the pump is used for extended run times.

Jack
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Old 10-04-2012, 12:24 PM   #3
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When I first starting looking for a compressor, I could only find two types—one group cost a lot —over $200 and mostly around $300. They attached to the batteries and could pump over 100 psi. The others plugged into a cigarette lighter receptacle and couldn't pump enough for LR E tires. They are very slow as Jack says and will eventually overload the cigarette lighter circuit.

I was in Costco and saw a compressor for about $65 that attached to the batteries for more amps and would pump over 100 psi. I bought it and it works fine. Since I got Michelin LTX tires, I rarely have to use it since they don't lose air. I wish I could remember the name and whether Costco still carries it, but there are reasonably priced compressors that will work for higher pressures. They have to have alligator clips for the battery terminals and state they will pump more than enough for your tires.

Keep looking. They are out there.

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Old 10-04-2012, 12:33 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by perryg114 View Post
Does anyone have some good experience with a good cheap 12V Air compressor that can handle high volume SUV and trailer tires? I am not looking for something that costs as much as a BMW.

Perry
Perry,
In my book there is no such thing as good and cheap.

This is what I use with good results. It has filled fully flat truck tires. IIRC it takes around 5 mins or so.

https://www.google.com/shopping/prod...ed=0CDIQ8wIwAA

Ken
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Old 10-04-2012, 12:42 PM   #5
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I use something called a Max air but it may not be available any more. Cost around $50 and will get the pressure up although it takes a while. Mine has lasted over 10 years
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Old 10-04-2012, 12:50 PM   #6
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I looked at our compressor. It is a Master Flow: Master Flow MF-1050 Tsunami High Volume Portable Air Compressor : Amazon.com : Automotive

I didn't have any of the problems the first Amazon reviewer had.

Gene
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Old 10-04-2012, 12:58 PM   #7
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I looked at our compressor. It is a Master Flow: Master Flow MF-1050 Tsunami High Volume Portable Air Compressor : Amazon.com : Automotive

I didn't have any of the problems the first Amazon reviewer had.

Gene
X2, Pretty good unit.
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Old 10-04-2012, 01:17 PM   #8
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I looked at our compressor. It is a Master Flow: Master Flow MF-1050 Tsunami High Volume Portable Air Compressor : Amazon.com : Automotive

I didn't have any of the problems the first Amazon reviewer had.

Gene
It seems like every time I follow someone's Amazon link it costs me money, because I scroll down and look at all the other items on the page. This time, I am sure I have needed one of these things for a long time, but just didn't know it.

Smittybilt 29312B Receiver Hitch D-Ring with 3/4-Inch Shackle for 2-Inch Receivers : Amazon.com : Automotive

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Old 10-04-2012, 02:53 PM   #9
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So how long is the cord? It would need to be long to reach my trailer tires from the Tow Vehicle Battery. I supposed it could be hooked to the trailer battery but that is a little harder to get to.

Perry

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post
I looked at our compressor. It is a Master Flow: Master Flow MF-1050 Tsunami High Volume Portable Air Compressor : Amazon.com : Automotive

I didn't have any of the problems the first Amazon reviewer had.

Gene
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Old 10-04-2012, 03:00 PM   #10
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Perry, there is an off-road forum where I found several members modifying this unit for various applications. Wish I had bookmarked it. Maybe you can find it. I extended my power cord with 10 ga wiring. At the time I bought mine, they did not have the quick disconnect at the head port, so I modified the port and installed one and upgraded the air line with a longer coiled plastic hose. Both very easy mods. I can reach anywhere I want now from a direct underhood battery hookup.
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Old 10-04-2012, 05:12 PM   #11
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If you have an on-board generator, you could use a regular AC unit ...
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Old 10-04-2012, 07:17 PM   #12
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Yeah I don't have a generator. AC units are big and heavy. I have a portable one of those but that is overkill for emergency situations where you need to plug a tire and move on.

Perry
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:27 PM   #13
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I've had no trouble with one of these units;
http://www.amazon.com/Slime-COMP-07-.../dp/B000M8U6RM
You can find it at most major name brand auto parts stores too.
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Old 10-05-2012, 09:22 AM   #14
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I looked at our compressor. It is a Master Flow: Master Flow MF-1050 Tsunami High Volume Portable Air Compressor : Amazon.com : Automotive

I didn't have any of the problems the first Amazon reviewer had.

Gene
I have one of these too. Been using it for 3 years now and highly recommend it.
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