Portable air compressor for tire inflation


Looking for a protable air compressor to air up RV tires (80 psi) and there’s a lot on the market. Which ones are best?


I’m not sure what you mean by portable.

If you mean an electric one that’s on a dolly like set of wheels with a handle you just need to make sure it’s got a max psi over 80, most of those are 150 or so.

They make them with gas engines on them, truly portable. Electric air compressors have high horsepower electric motors on them, they don’t take well to extension cords. You are better off to leave the compressor in the garage and buy enough hose to reach the vehicle.

If you are talking about one of the cigarette lighter deals, forget it, they can’t handle a truck tire at all. It’d be like airing up an onion sack with a hair dryer.



COSCO has a nice 12 volt portable compressor that can handle ANY tire…It must be connected directly to the vehicles battery, not a lighter plug. It works quickly and comes with quality hoses and hardware…


I know of at least two people who purchased small, cheap compressors from chain auto parts stores, only to have them returned almost right away. They were either defective, or simply inadequate. Pressure rating is almost irrelevant, it turns out, since it’s a useless tool if it takes 15 minutes or more to inflate a tire. When it’s dark, raining, and late on a desolate road, it’s not what you want… Spring for one of the smaller, “portable” compressors sold in stores such as Home Depot ($100 or less). Since most RVs have an on-board-generator these days, I’m guessing you can hook into that for power. And if you don’t have a generator for your RV, well, add it to The LIst… In all seriousness, I’ve taken small (2000W) Honda generator on road trips and found it to be invaluable. They are super quiet, easy to operate, nearly maintenance free, and efficient.


All compressors will produce enough pressure. The problem is the rate at which it pumps out air. This is what dongkwan is referring to about those cheapie units. There are 12V units designed for large tires; I’ll bet the one Caddyman is referring to is one of those.


Depending on the definition of portable, I have a Porter Cable pancake compressor that I use to air up my one ton truck tires. No other portable I own will do the job easily. About $169 at Lowe’s or Home Depot. Have owned it for two years and am very happy. For all my other portable air compressor needs, I have a Sears rechargeable compressor, so I don’t have to deal with wires and cords. My father in law carries one like this in his RV trailer, and between an on board generator and a long extension cord, he is set also.


Mine costs about $69, comes with a 20’ coiled air hose and brass fittings, a decent dial type pressure gauge. Delivers both volume and pressure quickly…


I got one for free for answering a medical insurance suvey. It didnt last one tire. Must not have been top of the line


Oh, that’s rich! Medical insurance survey, huh? Shameless…