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Old 07-20-2021, 12:16 PM   #1
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2021 22' Caravel
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Recommendations for compact portable air compressor

I'd like to get a portable 12 V DC air compressor to keep in the trailer in case I need to add air to trailer/TV tires. Ideally it would be compact with long enough electrical cords/alligator clips to attach to the trailer battery and reach the trailer tires.


Any suggestions?
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Old 07-20-2021, 01:07 PM   #2
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Viair 400P-RVS. Works great. I mounted it in the bed of my truck as I use it pretty often.
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Old 07-20-2021, 01:18 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by wulfraat View Post
Viair 400P-RVS. Works great. I mounted it in the bed of my truck as I use it pretty often.

Wulfraat, I like the idea of a permanent mounting spot for the compressor. Did you run the power leads to the battery under the hood?
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Old 07-20-2021, 01:35 PM   #4
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450P versus 400P

Also consider the 450P-RVS as compared to the 400P-RVS.

The difference in 33% to 100% duty cycle will become important when you decide to use it for winterization blow out

Wulfraat probably has more details on this topic
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Old 07-20-2021, 02:12 PM   #5
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You are right, my bad. I have a 450 - 100% duty cycle, but slightly slower to fill. That being said 33% would probably do fine too and the 400 is a bit faster / more CFM.

Mine is mounted in my truck bed under the cap. I ran heavier guage 6awg from the battery and grounded off negative to the frame. I mounted DC bus bars in the bed as well and also have a Victron inverter back there for my fridge, charging stuff, etc… neat and tidy.
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Old 07-20-2021, 02:13 PM   #6
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I went the Viair 450h. It is new so I don't have a lot to add. It is mounted under the hood but I am still working on finalizing the setup.
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Old 07-20-2021, 02:41 PM   #7
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I like my SmittyBilt. It’s robust enough to run without overheating, but not too big. The coiled air hose is long enough to reach my tires.
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Old 07-20-2021, 03:12 PM   #8
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For the OP, I would highly recommend the Viair 400P-RVS as a robust high performing air compressor. There's lots of smaller and more compact compressors on the market if you're only looking for an emergency use compressor, but the Viair is a quality tool that makes quick work of filling potentially 8+ tires on the rig. A task that can take hours with smaller compressors.

I recommend the 400P-RVS over the 450P-RVS. For typical travel trailer setups, it's the faster more performant unit. (ex @50PSI, 400P vs 450P, 1.65 CFM vs 1.27 CFM, 25amps vs 19amps). At typical tire pressures, is as good as 100% duty cycle as heat really becomes more of an issue at much higher pressures and larger tires that take extended fill time. So the 450P unit is slower and optimized for high pressure constant duty use for something like a Class A or tractor trailers.

I'm down the rabbit hole with compressors as it also supports my other off-road hobby and boondocking use with large 35" tires that take a ton of air. So I actually have a need for dual compressors installed onboard. With quick release airlines at the engine bay and tailgate. High performing compressors make all the difference when airing back up from 20PSI (on TV) and 30PSI (trailer) after an off-road journey as otherwise, I would not air down as much. And airing down is one of the best strategies for extended travel off-road.

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Old 07-20-2021, 04:36 PM   #9
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Thanks, all for these suggestions. I think that the 300P would suit the needs that I had in mind. BUT, the 400P is the smallest unit that works with the winterization kit. I could see it being really useful to easily be able to blow out the trailer on the road when returning to MT in the fall from warmer climates should I encounter early freezing temperatures. For example, I'm heading to CA for the last week of Sept. and the first week of Oct. We could potentially have snow here by October. Any of you make use of it in this manner?

Too bad that it's more than twice the price of the 300P.
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Old 07-20-2021, 04:50 PM   #10
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The CFM capabilities at low pressure between the 300 and 400 are negligible so the 300 is certainly capable.

Where it's different is likely the provided airline and fittings in the kit. You could probably adapt the 300 to do what you need to.
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Old 07-20-2021, 04:51 PM   #11
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Related question -

All of those pumps are listed as portable.
It looks like all of them come with a power cord that has clamps on the ends.

Is it possible to get the pump to work at it's max using the clamps. Or does the wiring need to be more securely connected to the power source? (Battery)

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Old 07-20-2021, 05:01 PM   #12
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Related question -

All of those pumps are listed as portable.
It looks like all of them come with a power cord that has clamps on the ends.

Is it possible to get the pump to work at it's max using the clamps. Or does the wiring need to be more securely connected to the power source? (Battery)

Action
No problemo with clamps supporting the 20-30 amps that these pumps draw. Clamps are capable of much more. To you point, would probably want to make sure they have a good bite on the terminals, paying to attention any corrosion.

Many of my off-road buddies use these same portable pumps, many times a weekend. No issue with clamps.

That said, Viair makes different variants of these same pumps. Some for hardmount install. Some that are IP67 rate and fully protected from the elements like what I have. These can be installed with heavy duty permanent wiring and switch systems. Which is nice as it avoids having to make space to store them, as they also can be quite hot after extended operation.
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Old 07-20-2021, 05:16 PM   #13
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Thanks for the feedback

I have .. well multiple vehicles.

And just two different vehicles for longer trips. I like that kind of pump. And I like the concept of a more secure or permanent mounting. Just don't want to buy more than one pump.

If I did an exterior mounting, likely it would be relay activated. The relay mounted under the hood with the heavy load to the pump, controlled by a switch inside the vehicle.

Or just use the clamps. LOL

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Old 07-20-2021, 05:51 PM   #14
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I use the Viair RV400P. Not constant duty, but supplies more volume than the 450.
The kit comes with hoses, and chucks. The cord is long enough to clip on the battery, then reach the tires with only one hose section.
If I lost it I'd buy the same tomorrow.
The only quirky thing is the compressor uses a male air fitting as does the gauge. So one hose is a master with female fittings and the second is an extension M/F.
I actually made a 30' hose with female fittings so I don't have to fight the coily tangles.
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Old 07-21-2021, 10:05 AM   #15
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I believe my Viair is a 300p, it has saved me changing tires along the road on TV. I have not mounted it because does double duty when I have aired down my Jeep off roading.
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Old 07-21-2021, 11:31 AM   #16
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I also have a Viair mounted in the bed. I forget which model but it's 100% duty cycle and I have a 2.5gal air tank mounted under the cab with a service connection by the rear wheels of the truck. Used the factory upfitter switches via a solid-state relay to control the on/off function of the compressor.
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Old 07-21-2021, 11:50 AM   #17
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Compact air compressor

Dewalt makes a nice 20v compressor.
Uses the same batteries as my drill, fan, blower and impact gun (all of which I carry)
I have a Vinair but never need it with the dewalt.
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Old 07-21-2021, 01:19 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian R. View Post
Thanks, all for these suggestions. I think that the 300P would suit the needs that I had in mind. BUT, the 400P is the smallest unit that works with the winterization kit. I could see it being really useful to easily be able to blow out the trailer on the road when returning to MT in the fall from warmer climates should I encounter early freezing temperatures. For example, I'm heading to CA for the last week of Sept. and the first week of Oct. We could potentially have snow here by October. Any of you make use of it in this manner?

Too bad that it's more than twice the price of the 300P.
That is the same model I have and for my 24' Tradewind it worked just fine to blow out my pex lines and I saved $150 on the larger ones. I purchased mine at Techno RV, great people there and fellow RV's and use the products they sell.
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Old 07-21-2021, 08:21 PM   #19
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ViAir. No more info needed. Others have given details. I like my ViAir!
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Old 07-21-2021, 09:08 PM   #20
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Since I’m heavily invested in Makita cordless tools, I always keep my cordless compressor with me. Would it fill a full sized tire quickly? Maybe in a week. But for topping off pressure it’s great.
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