Tire Air Compressor?????

watercamper

New member
First post here. I know you guys can help. I have a 2017 Ram Promaster 2500 currently with the stock highway tires, Nexen LT225/75R16. I will be replacing these soon, maybe with some BF Goodrich All Terrain. The van specifies 65psi front and 80psi rear.

I go to Baja each winter and many times, I want to take a somewhat sandy dirt road. Or, take a washboard, hard packed road. I NEED to air these tires down to something livable. Washboards beat us to death at that pressure. I can get stuck in a couple inches of sand at that pressure. So - I'm in search of a portable compressor. There is no room under the hood. I can't reach the van battery without unscrewing the floor cover. There are jumping studs under the hood. I do have a house battery charged via solar or the isolator. 105Ah AGm. FYI - this is a FWD van, not 4WD.

Please give me your recommendations for a portable compressor that maybe will attach to the studs under the hood?. Many of you talk about 33" tires and I'm not sure how those relate to my size. I figure if I could reduce the pressure to something like 30psi, drive the road, camp, etc. , life would be good. Then, return to the pavement and air back up to 65/80 and continue the journey. Thanks!
 

Av8tr

New member
I have an air zenith for when I’m not in the Mog. It took a little work to make a portable compressor out of it, but I th8nk it was well worth the effort. Your mileage may vary.
 

TernOverland

Supporting Sponsor Ternoverland.com
Welcome to Ex Po! compressors have been debated to death, but here is a thread to start with: https://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/air-compressor.196875/
There are links in the thread to other discussions. I have been using a Puma for 7-8 years and like it very much. The MV-50 is a very popular low cost option. Viar makes good stuff, but costs more. Lots of choices and good info here. In general I would say buy as much capacity as you can afford. Big tires can take a long time to air up. Using my compressor, I can air up all four of my buddies Subaru tires in the time it takes me to air one of mine. I like having a good size tank too.
 

madcratebuilder

New member
I looked at all the onboard options out there, I ended up with a Battery powered compressor off Amazon. I already had a 24v impact with charger and batt's so I only had to buy the compressor, on sale for $65 shipped. The 24V lithium batts hold charge for about a year before you need to top off, 30 min and back at 100%. A full batt well fill up all my tires a dozen times or more. I run 36psi and air down to about 20, takes a minute to be back to 36. You can set max output pressure, use a clip on chuck and just walk away, come back move to the next tire.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00OSX6I9C/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&th=1
 

SnowedIn

Observer
The MV-50 works - just be prepared to have the fuse blow (or more likely, have the fuse holder melt) if you try to do all 4 tires back to back in very hot weather. You'll want to give it a few minutes to cool off in-between. The good news is that they're pretty easy to fix if something goes wrong.

I found that mine ran cooler after taking it apart, cleaning out the awful factory grease, re-lubing with good grease, and putting it back together. You also need a good standalone tire pressure gauge, the one on the compressor is usually useless.

If you can afford something like the ARB single compressor, it's a decent quality-of-life upgrade over the MV-50. I've had mine for almost 3 years now and every time I pull it out I'm still glad I'm using it instead of the MV-50.
 

MOguy

Explorer
The MV-50 works - just be prepared to have the fuse blow (or more likely, have the fuse holder melt) if you try to do all 4 tires back to back in very hot weather. You'll want to give it a few minutes to cool off in-between. The good news is that they're pretty easy to fix if something goes wrong.

I found that mine ran cooler after taking it apart, cleaning out the awful factory grease, re-lubing with good grease, and putting it back together. You also need a good standalone tire pressure gauge, the one on the compressor is usually useless.

If you can afford something like the ARB single compressor, it's a decent quality-of-life upgrade over the MV-50. I've had mine for almost 3 years now and every time I pull it out I'm still glad I'm using it instead of the MV-50.
Mine is mounted in the back of the Jeep with room to breath. I have run it in hot MO weather and had no issues. It does get very hot to the touch though. The gauges is not correct, but it is consistent. Once you figure out where you want to inflate your tires back to make a mark on the gauge and ignore the numbers. The first one I had I shorted out while moving it, it was about 6 years old and the replacement is still going strong.
 

1stDeuce

Explorer
I bought a pair of Viair 400C's IIRC. Mounted one under my truck and plumbed a quick connect to the back bumper. No tank, just a 90psi shut off switch. Worked great in Baja, and lots of times since. Takes a few minutes to air up each tire, but not that big a deal. A latching air chuck makes it easy. A gauge inline would be even better, but I haven't done that yet.
 

Mundo4x4Casa

West slope, N. Ser. Nev.
My choice, specifically for 65-80 PSI truck tires is the Viair 440. It seems to be the best match for higher pressures in my 35 inch truck tires on wide super single rims. But this is a portable that comes in a bag, a plus as far as I'm concerned, since it can move from rig to rig and can be used in the shade outside the rig where the air is moving. Combine this with a fresh set of Safety Seal tire plugs and you are good for 50 flats repaired on wheel, assuming you don't need more than one plug.

We've had as many as 17 plugs in one tire on a catastrophic sidewall failure, and it held air for several days before we could get to civilization. A fewer plug tire which held air for a couple days:

For years I used a 25 pound CO2 tank with appropriate hardware that can withstand the cold, as I could get 24 to 32 fills on 35 inch to 37 inch tires during a long trip away from compressed air. But the refill price kept going up and up, so it became less desirable. Do steer clear of the China Freight so-called, High volume compressors. I had 3 of these which had various symptoms of failure like melting into one piece, no moving parts, cracked head, and having the 35 amp fuse blow after a few minutes on the first use. There is no replacement for that fuse in the U.S. So after installing a 40 amp fuse, the compressor went dark and never came back. It still looked brand new. I was never able to fill four tires at one time even with cool down times without one of these going Kaputt. As far as on board compressors go, you really do get what you pay for. Do it once. Do it right the first time.
 
Last edited:

PJorgen

Desert Dweller
Another thing to keep in mind, you don't necessarily need to run 65/80 all the time. Those pressures are required if you're at max gross weight (GVWR). You'll need to weigh your vehicle, fully loaded, at a commercial truck scale. CAT scales will do it for about $10. If you are at max gross, then by all means run those pressures.

If not, you can safely run lower pressure on the street at highway speeds. Tire manufactures provide tables where you can look up the weight of your vehicle and the load index (NOT load rating) of your tires. It will tell you the minimum pressure needed to carry your load. You can find load tables on the interwebs, Discount Tire has a good one.
 

bluejeep

just a guy
I've had great luck with a 110v unit and inverter. The 110v unit runs at much lower rpms so in my mind will last longer (forever with my infrequent use to air up 35" tires). Got it from Harbor Freight but it has held up in the last 2 jeeps very well - 15 years or so.
 

robert

Expedition Leader
One of the Viair "C" units for constant duty. They make them for hard mount or portable.
 

Mundo4x4Casa

West slope, N. Ser. Nev.
Jorgen, we're always running near the truck's registered max load when on the highway with the truck camper. 4200 pounds front axle and 6400 pounds rear axle. Dana records their Dana 80 AWR @ 13200 pounds. Not close to the tire max (7720 pounds per axle loading) and not even close to the wheel loading. I've tried running less pressure but the tires get hotter and produce more drag reducing the mileage. This is so individual to each rig it's hard to predict what the 'best' tire pressure should be, but, in my experience the pressure recommended on the door jam is usually way too low for a loaded truck.
jefe
 

watercamper

New member
OK, you guys have given me a bunch of good info. I especially liked the weighing the van reply from PJorgen. Something I hadn't considered. But, what about running these small compressors from the jumping studs under the hood? Getting to my battery is a pain. It's under the driver's floorboard. Can I use the jumping studs??
 

MOguy

Explorer
OK, you guys have given me a bunch of good info. I especially liked the weighing the van reply from PJorgen. Something I hadn't considered. But, what about running these small compressors from the jumping studs under the hood? Getting to my battery is a pain. It's under the driver's floorboard. Can I use the jumping studs??
I would think the jump studs would be ideal. They're designed to handle enough power to start your vehicle. I would think they should be able to easily handle whatever power it takes to run a compressor. For your ground I would think you would want it as close to the compressor as possible.
 
Top