5 Best Air Compressors for RV Tires in 2022 [Buying Guide]

Air Compressor for RV Tires
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You should check your RV tires before every trip, to make sure that they are inflated properly. Underinflated tires are more likely to blow out.

I have researched the market to find the best air compressor for RV tires. 

If you don’t have an air compressor on your RV, you’ll quickly become frustrated with the many trips to the gas station to fill your tires up. So, it makes life easier (and probably cheaper) to have a great compressor in your RV to keep your tires top notch.

There are many aspects to picking out the best RV air compressor for you. We have laid out the best ones in detail below, as well as a detailed buying guide to help make this process as easy as possible for you.

Best RV Air Compressors – Top Picks

Best For Ease of Use

Smittybilt Air Compressor

3.9/5

Integrated easy to read 150 PSI pressure gauge

Best Overall

Viair Portable Compressor Kit

4.7/5

12 VOLT – 150PSI Max Working Pressure, engine must be running during use. Automatic Shut-Off Function

Best For Durability

DEWALT Cordless Tire Inflator

4.4/5

Air compressor tire inflator comes with high-pressure inflation mode with automatic shutoff

5 Best RV Air Compressors Reviews

Viair Compressor Kit – Best Overall

The Viar automatic portable compressor kit is our favorite air compressor for RV tires. This great kit will inflate tire sizes up to 275/80/22.5 tires to a max of 150PSI with ease. While these units are intended for RV use, they can also be used for virtually any tire or other inflatables since they come with different accessories.

This compressor doesn’t need turning off between tires, it only operates when the trigger is pulled to inflate. This gives it a superior operating time, which will save you time and make filling your tires seem effortless.

Features

  • 12 VOLT – 150PSI Max Working Pressure, engine must be running during use. Automatic Shut-Off Function
  • Primary & Extension Air Hoses (60ft total)
  • Vibration-Resistant Diamond-Plate Sand Tray
  • Heat Shielded Quick Connect Coupling
  • Gas Station-Style Tire Inflation Gun with 160 PSI Gauge
  • Heavy Duty Dual Battery Clamps with Inline Fuse
  • Power Cord Length: 8 ft.
  • 90-Degree Twist-On Chuck
  • 45-Degree Extended Reach Chuck (For Dual Rear Wheels)
  • 3 pc. Inflation Tips Kit
  • Heavy Duty Deluxe Carry Bag

There are few better options to maintain your RV tires than Viair. 

Smittybilt Air Compressor – Best For Ease of Use

The Smittybilt air compressor is the most powerful compression unit in its class, it’s oil-less direct drive motor can deliver up to 150 PSI.

Because it’s oil-less, there is even less maintenance to perform on this unit which makes it our easiest use and maintain unit in the review.

It’s a well-built solid (you could say chunky) compressor, and it is specially built for RVs and motorhomes so it will fill up big tires quickly. 

Features:

  • Auto-thermal cutoff switch – protects motor against damage
  • Maximum continuous cycle time (duty cycle) – 40 minutes at 40 psi at 75 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Maximum airflow – 72 liters per minute. Quick release 24 foot coil hose
  • Integrated easy to read 150 PSI pressure gauge
  • Storage bag included

DEWALT Cordless Tire Inflator – Best For Durability

The Dewalt cordless tire inflator is designed to be used on heavy-duty construction sites, so it’s pretty durable.

Setting desired PSI is simple and easy with the digital gauge, it also has auto-shutoff so it’s easy to get the right pressure every time. 

The high-volume hose allows fast inflation of tires, mattresses, and other inflatables. The LED light comes in handy to provide illumination in dark spaces. 

The heavy-duty rubber feet help reduce vibration and the compressor moving while in use. 

The only downside to this is that the battery, charger, and AC power adapter are sold separately. 

Features:

  • Air compressor tire inflator comes with high-pressure inflation mode with automatic shutoff
  • Digital tire inflator has high-volume inflation and deflation modes
  • LED light of the portable tire inflator for car helps to provide illumination
  • Three power sources for inflation on a jobsite and on the go (e.g. 20V MAX* battery, 12V DC, or 110V AC)
  • Convenient onboard accessory storage
  • Heavy-duty rubber feet help reduce walking when in use
  • Threaded chuck for secure connection to inflation valve

CRAFTSMAN Air Compressor – Best For Portability

This is an American-made compressor and a great portable lower-priced air compressor.

The Craftsman air compressor is an oil-free pump, so it’s pretty much maintenance-free. At 30lbs it’s lightweight and portable and has a long runtime and quick recovery.

This will easily inflate your RV tires, for a lower horsepower compressor.

It’s on the louder end of the scale at 71 decibels, which is cause for consideration.

Features:

  • 6 gallon pancake maximizes portability and stored air
  • Durable, oil free pump for long life and no maintenance
  • 150 max PSI to ensure adequate cut in pressure for a variety of applications
  • 2.6 SCFM @ 90 PSI allows for quick compressor recovery time. Voltage – 120 volt
  • Easily starts up in cold weather
  • 13 piece accessory kit includes: 25′ X 1/4inches Pvc air Hose with coupler and plug assembled, tire chuck with plug, blow gun with plug, tire gauge, blow gun with OSHA safety nozzle, rubber tip, three inflator adaptors
  • 1 year limited warranty, refer to “warranty & support” section below for full details

TIREWELL Tire Inflator – Best For Price

If your budget is your primary concern then the tirewell is a great cheaper option. The tirewell double cylinder air compressor can quickly inflate your RV tires.

It’s a great inexpensive compressor to adjust the pressure in RV tires, the cord and hose are long enough to inflate the rear tires on motorhomes up to 31 foot.

Whilst it may take longer to pump up the tires it will do the job, and to a good accuracy.

Just make sure that you look after this unit well as it might not stand up to as many knocks as the compressors in this review, but that’s reflected in the price.

Features:

  • Maximum pressure 150PSI (Maximum experimental data), air flow 2.12CFM@0PSI, inflates standard vehicle tire in 2 minutes (195/65/R15, 0-35psi)
  • Fuselage with four-rod design, effectively reduce the vibration and noise, rubber feet to make sure the air pump stays where it is placed and does not move around during operation ,make the air compressor more powerful
  • Double cylinders direct drive inflator pump. In the direct drive of the motor, the two cylinders at the same time compressed air, powerful and fast inflatable, also direct-drive motor makes the drive low rotating speed, high efficiency, compact, quiet and stability, and easy to control
  • Works well for SUVs, trucks, vans, RVs, crossovers, MPVs, campers, trailers, minivans, also can use for cars, motorcycles, golf carts, bicycles, and more
  • 5M extension hose and high quality battery clamp, extension hose meet the needs of the long-wheelbase vehicle inflatable, battery clamp connect directly to your vehicle battery, power tire inflator and other 12-volt devices, like vacuum, coffee maker, and more
Best RV Air compressor

How to Pick the Best Air Compressor for your RV – Buying Guide

Buying the best RV air compressor for you will require some research – luckily for you, we’ve done the research for you and laid everything out for you. Below you’ll find the most important features to look for when buying an air compressor.

Air Compressor Type

You’re most likely going to want a portable air compressor for your RV. These are the most useful as you can transport them around with you, so if you get a flat you can easily pump it up. 

You can get air compressors that are permanently installed underneath your rig, but these can be cumbersome, and might not reach everywhere you need them to. They are also complex to install and therefore to repair.

Portable air compressors are just more practical for RVers.

PSI and CFM 

PSI and CFM are the first thing to look at when choosing an air compressor. PSI means ‘pounds per square inch’ and CFM means ‘ cubic feet per meter’. These ratings should be easily visible on the product specification – if they’re not then that’s cause for concern.

The PSI rating shows how much pressure the compressor can fill tires to. You can find your RVs tire pressure on the sidewall or in the manufacturer’s manual. You need to make sure that the air compressor you buy has a higher PSI than your RV tire pressure.

The CFM is the airflow, so the higher the CFM the faster you will fill your tires or inflatable.

Tank Size

To get the best air compressor for your RV you need to know what tank size you need. Basically, the tank size indicates how much air it contains. The bigger the tank the more air it can hold, but the less mobile it will be. 

Do you want a small portable tank that’s easier to use, but may take longer because you have to refill it. Or a bigger tank, that will last longer but is harder to use and move.

Most RVers will want an air compressor that’s easily transportable, so it’s best to get one that has a smaller tank with a high PSI. 

With that being said, you can get air compressors now that draw in outside air so don’t need a tank at all! These are often the better option.

Power Cord and Hose Length

The hose and power cord length are another important consideration, longer ones will give you more flexibility.

Longer hoses will make life easier when using the air compressor, typically hoses vary in length from 4 inches to 30 feet. A 4-inch hose is pretty much useless, so make sure that you get one that’s on the longer side.

Power cords are also important, you want enough length to easily move around your rig. Shorter power cords will limit your movements, we recommend a power cord that’s 12 to 15 foot long.

Weight 

If you want a portable air compressor for your RV then you’ll want one that is easy to carry, i.e light weight. 

This is especially important if your hoses are not long enough for you to easily reach around your rig. 

Make sure that you check the weight before you buy, it may be advertised as portable but it may also weigh 50 pounds, making it really tough to lug around.

RV Air compressor 1

Noise

Air compressors are going to be loud. You can wear ear protection when using it, but it might be worth it to get a quieter version, your RV neighbors will thank you for it.

Most portable air compressors make 40 to 90 decibels when in use, try if possible to get one on the lower end of this scale. For perspective 65 decibels is the sound of a vacuum cleaner.

Versatility

Most people will want an air compressor for rv tires, but sometimes you might want to use it for other things, like inflatables or air mattresses.

What makes an air compressor versatile is the ability to control the airflow rate and adding accessories to the nozzle.

The compressor you buy should come with accessories to fit to the nozzle so you can use it in a variety of ways.

Durability

Everything you buy for your RV should be durable and air compressors are no different, especially as they aren’t the cheapest thing.

As you’ll be traveling with the compressor it is likely to take a few knocks so want it to be able to handle that.

You want to make sure that it will last, so it needs to be made with high-quality materials and have rubber feet to limit the vibration of the compressor when in use.

Operating Time

Every compressor has to shut itself off after running for a number of minutes to cool down. 

The operating time is also called a duty cycle, and this is the number of minutes the compressor can run for until it has to shut down to cool down.

Direct drive compressors that pull in outside air have the longest running time.

Make a note of the operation time so you know how long you will have to pump up your RV tires.

Budget

RV air compressors have a wide range of prices, make sure that you have a budget in mind before you start researching for the right compressor. 

The price will depend on the factors listed above so bear that in mind, for example, a higher PSI will cost more.

A smaller budget will limit your options, so it might be worth saving up for a while so you don’t have to compromise on features.

What is an RV Air Compressor?

An air compressor is a must-have for every RVer. They are primarily used to inflate your tires, but they can be used to pump air into other inflatables.

You need to check your RV tires before every trip, to make sure they’re inflated properly. Make sure that you know what pressure your tires should be and make sure they’re inflated correctly.

If you are having to continually inflate your RV tires then you may need new tires.

Maintenance 

Luckily the cleaning and care needed for air compressors don’t take much work, in fact, it only really needs cleaning once a year.

Every year make sure that you change the oil, by draining the oil and remove the cap that causes the air to flow. Then simply refill it with compressor oil.

Other maintenance may include replacing the compressor belt and air filter, but a quick youtube video will be more than enough instruction to do the job.

If you do this once a year your compressor will last a long time.

RV Air compressor

How Does an RV Air Compressor Work?

Air compressors work by forcing air into a limited space and pressurizing it. This pressured air is then forced through an opening in the tank and through the nozzle in the hose. 

RV air compressors are usually plugged into a power source where they turn electrical energy into kinetic energy. From this the pressurized air can be used to inflate your tires.

Tips on Using an Air Compressor to Inflate RV Tires

Inflating your RVs tires is an important part of RV life, you’re going to need to know how to do this correctly.

Using an air compressor is really easy and straightforward, if you have the right equipment it should only take 5 to 10 minutes.

  1. Make sure that the compressor has an air chuck – Most air compressors will have an air chuck included. This is a little valve on the end of the nozzle that connects to the tire and allows the air flow in.
  2. Ensure the compressor stays dry – the worst thing for an air compressor is moisture, to keep it in good working condition make sure that it stays dry.
  3. Monitor the pressure – the best compressors let you set your desired PSI and has an automatic cut off when that pressure is reached. If you don’t have this feature, make sure that you keep an eye on the PSI whilst inflating your tires so you don’t go over or under.

When you are happy that your air compressor is in good working order, set your desired PSI into it and go round each tire inflating. It really is as easy as that.

RV Air Compressor FAQ’s

If you’re still puzzling over which air compressor for RV tires is right for you, we’ve compiled some of the most frequently asked questions.

What Size Air Compressor Do I Need To Inflate RV Tires?

The best way to determine what size air compressor you need for your RV is to find out what PSI you’re tires need to be inflated to. This information will be in the manual or on the sidewall of the RV.

When you know your PSI, the compressor you need is going to need a higher PSI than your tires.

For example, if your tire pressure is 50 PSI then you are going to need a compressor that goes above 50 PSI.

How Long Do Air Compressors Last?

There are a few factors that will determine the life span of your air compressor, like the quality of the compressor you bought, and the maintenance of it.

If you follow the directions given above, your compressor could last as long as 15 years.

How to maintain RV tire pressure?

The best way to make sure that your RVs tires are always inflated correctly is to check them every time you go on a trip. Use a pressure gauge to read your tire pressure.

You’ll quickly pick up if one tire is consistently losing pressure, and know when they need replacing.

Air Compressor for RV Tires Recap

Viair Portable Compressor Kit – Best Overall

Smittybilt Universal Air Compressor – Best for Ease of Use

DEWALT Cordless Tire Inflator – Best for Durability

CRAFTSMAN Air Compressor – Best for Portability

TIREWELL 12V Tire Inflator – Best for Price

Final Thoughts

Tires are unsafe if they are not inflated correctly. You’re more likely to have a blow-out from an underinflated tire. A good onboard air compressor is vital for every RVer to maintain tire pressure.

The best compressor for you depends on what features are important to you. Our favorite compressor is the Viair Portable Compressor Kit, it’s the best all-rounder. 

Heather

Heather is an avid camper and RV enthusiast! Her aim is to cut through the jargon and help you make the right decisions, to have THE BEST RVing trip EVER.
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