Nothing’s more inconvenient than a flat tire when camping, especially when you’re not camping near town. Air compressors for RV tires can be a lifesaver in this situation.
There are tons of air compressors for RV tires available. Finding the right one can be a challenge.
While many luxury Class A motorhomes come with built-in air compressors, most other mid and entry-level motorhomes and travel trailers don’t. Air compressors for RV tires are an essential safety item that every coach needs in the tool bay.
This article will discuss the best air compressors for RV tires. We’ll also provide some helpful information about filling your RV tires safely.
9 Best Air Compressors for RV Tires
1. VIAIR 400P Portable Compressor
The VIAIR 400P portable air compressor is a great multi-use air compressor for your motorhome or travel trailer. This compact compressor is simple and powerful, giving you enough air pressure to inflate Prevost RV chassis tires quickly.
The VIAIR set comes with many different accessories that are nicely compatible with RV and car tires. This makes it easy to use for filling a flat tire on your motorhome and dinghy. This air compressor has a 30 Amp power supply that connects directly to your chassis or house battery.
|VIAIR 400P Benefits|
|Simple to use – There’s no fancy stuff with this air compressor, so you don’t need a rocket science degree to use this one.|
Auto shut-off – The auto shut-off feature is nice on this compressor. It will shut off the compressor when it’s not filling a tire.
RV Specific Products – VIAIR makes 4 different air compressors specific for RVs.
|VIAIR 400P Concerns|
|Gets hot – We noticed that this air compressor gets hot quickly. It can only run for about an hour before you need to let it cool down.|
Hoses are kind of stiff – This might improve over time, but the coiled hoses took a bit of work to stretch from the battery to the tire.
2. Kensun 12V Portable Air Compressor
The Kensun 12V portable air compressor is a great compact air compressor that easily goes from your RV to your car. The Kensun air compressor operates on both AC and DC power. It can use both a standard DC outlet and a 110V wall outlet.
The Kensun has two compressor motors that can quickly inflate your motorhome or flat tow vehicle.
|Kensun Portable Air Compressor Benefits|
|Multi-use – The Kensun comes with a variety of accessory nozzles. You’ll be able to inflate your RV tires, car tires, bike tires, sports equipment, and even inflatable watercraft.|
Compact – This is a really small air compressor. It won’t take up much room in your RV storage or your car’s trunk.
Built-in pressure gauge – This unit will tell you the tire pressure, so you don’t have to fumble with a tire pressure gauge.
|Kensun Portable Air Compressor Concerns|
|Short run time – This compressor can only run for about a half-hour before it needs to cool.|
Loud – The Kensun is much louder than some other options. At 92 decibels, you may want to use ear protection around this air compressor.
3. Stanley FatMax J5C09 Power Station Air Compressor
The Stanley FatMax power station and air compressor is the perfect companion for your RV. This unit is multi-functional as an air compressor for RV tires and an RV solar generator that’s strong enough to jump-start your chassis batteries. The adjustable built-in flashlight gives you light when you work in the dark.
This unit also provides power for charging mobile devices or using other USB accessories. Because this unit doesn’t attach to a power source on your car or RV, it’s really easy to move around your vehicle.
The FatMax is larger than some. It will take up a bit more space in your RV storage bay. However, with this unit, you don’t need to carry jumper cables.
|Stanley FatMax Power Station Benefits|
|It doesn’t require an extra power source – The Stanley FatMax is its own battery. You don’t need to rely on your chassis or house battery to inflate your tires.|
Multi-function – This unit is an air compressor, jump starter, and mobile device charger.
Built-in LED Flashlight – Tires never go flat when it’s convenient. This unit has a built-in LED flashlight to see what you’re doing in the dark.
|Stanley FatMax Power Station Concerns|
|Must be charged – The recommendation is to charge this unit every 30 days. If you forget, it may not work when you need it.|
Can’t plug into a car DC outlet – The Stanley FatMax only charges through its 110v AC port.
4. CSPSCN 12V Air Compressor
This is a great pick if you want to carry an air compressor for your RV tires that’s more heavy-duty. The GSPSCN 12V air compressor has a strong compressor motor and provides 70 liters of airflow per minute for fast inflation of a flat tire (roughly 40psi).
Despite being more robust, the GSPSCN air compressor still utilizes the DC power outlet in your car or RV for power. This unit can also convert to connect directly to your RV batteries. The GSPSCN tire inflator is fairly small. It fits well into small spaces and is perfect for your RV or car trunk.
|GSPSCN Air Compressor Benefits|
|Convertible power source – The air compressor has a converter to use your RV battery if you don’t have a DC power outlet. |
Inflates other items – The GSPSCN comes with three different adaptors so you can inflate bike tires, pool toys, and sports equipment.
Easy to operate – There are no added bells and whistles. Just plug in the unit, attach it to your tire, and turn it on.
|GSPSCN Air Compressor Concerns|
|Short run time – The manufacturer recommends only running the unit for 20 minutes when using the DC power connection. |
Accessories wear down – The converter connecting to your RV battery can wear down quickly if it’s not used properly.
5. TIREWELL 12V Heavy Duty Compressor
The TIREWELL heavy-duty compressor is another air compressor that works well for inflating RV tires. This air compressor comes with all the items you need to inflate just about anything when you’re camping.
The compact air compressor plugs into your DC outlet or uses the included adaptor that connects to the chassis or house batteries. The coiled air supply hose makes it easy to pack everything into the included Oxford storage bag.
|TIREWELL Heavy-Duty Air Compressor Benefits|
|Very Compact – This air compressor is compact and fits easily into small storage spaces.|
Convertible – Use your RV battery or DC charging outlet for power.
Inflates other items – The accessory pack has inflating tools for bikes, equipment, and kid toys.
|TIREWELL Heavy-Duty Air Compressor Concerns|
|Short air supply hose – The air supply hose isn’t long and has no extension.|
Slow inflating – Inflating larger tires can be slower than average.
6. TEROMAS 12V Portable Air Compressor
The Teromas air compressor is a great option if you don’t want to mess with carrying a tire pressure gauge in your RV. This air compressor features a digital display that can be set to the desired tire pressure.
The automatic shut-off feature stops the air compressor when the desired pressure is achieved. You’ll never have to worry about over or underfilling your tires.
|Teromas Air Compressor Benefits|
|Lightweight – Despite being powerful enough to inflate your RV tires, this air compressor is very lightweight.|
LED Flashlight – The Teromas air compressor has a built-in LED light so you can inflate your RV tires at night.
Dual power source – You can plug this air compressor into your RV’s AC or DC power outlet.
|No RV battery connection – There isn’t an adaptor to connect directly to your RV battery.|
Not as durable – The plastic housing for this air compressor keeps it light. Don’t drop it, though; the housing can crack.
7. AstroAl Cordless Tire Inflator
The AstroAI Cordless Tire Inflator is a really fun take on an air compressor. This option looks more like a power drill than an air compressor. The unit is compact and lightweight. It is also very easy to use.
The LED display and push button controls allow you to set the proper tire pressure. Also, the auto shut-off feature turns the compressor off when the desired pressure is reached. This air compressor inflates more than car tires thanks to connectors that can be swapped out.
|AstroAl Cordless Tire Inflator Benefits|
|Dual power source – Comes with a standard DC outlet plug or a rechargeable battery pack.|
Accessory holders – The AstroAI has clips that hold the inflation accessories.
Works fast – This air compressor fills a standard-size car tire in 4 minutes.
|AstroAl Cordless Tire Inflator Concerns|
|Not good for larger tires – This compressor is ideal for camper vans and compact Class C motorhomes with standard-sized tires.|
Only one battery – The air compressor has one battery, but you can buy another.
8. VIAIR 450P Portable Air Compressor Kit
The VIAIR 450P is one of the most complete portable air compressor kits out there. The kit comes with everything you could possibly need when you’re out in your RV.
It’s one of the few air compressors we’ve seen with a gas station-style inflation gun. This gun has an easy-to-read pressure gauge, so you’ll know your RV tire’s PSI measurement. The kit also comes with supply hose extensions allowing you to reach the back tires of your motorcoach.
|VIAIR 450P Benefits|
|Long supply hose – The hose reaches 60 ft. with the two 30ft. coiled supply hoses.|
Versatile power options – Use 110v or connect to your RV batteries.
Great storage bag – The bag has extra zippered pockets for all accessories.
|VIAIR 450P Concerns|
|No DC outlet converter – The air compressor doesn’t have a DC power connection.|
Heavier than average – This air compressor weighs 18 pounds, which is heavier than most.
9. Smittybilt Universal Air Compressor
The Smittybilt universal air compressor is a great fit for all of your RV and camping needs. This air compressor has a high airflow rating. It fills even larger RV tires in no time.
The easy-to-read integrated pressure gauge gives you an accurate PSI reading. If you’re filling multiple tires, the Smittybilt air compressor can operate continuously for up to 40-minutes. That’s more than enough time to fill all the tires on your drivable RV.
|Smittybilt Universal Air Compressor Benefits|
|Long run time – The Smittybilt air compressor has one of the longest run times.|
Thermal cutoff switch – The unit automatically shuts off when the motor gets hot.
Awesome warranty – The lifetime warranty is the best warranty we’ve seen for a portable air compressor.
|Smittybilt Universal Air Compressor Concerns|
|Only one power supply – Your RV’s chassis or house battery is the only power source.|
Short air supply hose – There isn’t an extension for the 24 ft. supply hose.
8 Things to Look For When Buying an RV Air Compressor
1. Tank Size
Today’s portable air compressors for RV tires don’t often come with a tank. If you’re considering an air compressor with a tank for your RV, make sure that it has enough capacity to fill at least one tire on your motorhome.
2. Power Supply Needs
Most portable air compressors that you’ll find for your RV come with a few different power supply options. You should consider where you’ll be camping when selecting your air compressor.
If you boondock often, you aren’t going to want an air compressor that only uses an AC 110/120V wall outlet for power. Look for compressors with connectors for your RV battery, rechargeable batteries, or a DC outlet plug.
3. PSI and CFM Ratings
The PSI and CMF Ratings tell you how fast your air compressor will work and how much pressure the unit fills. For a faster fill, look for higher Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM) rating.
If you need an air compressor that will fill larger motorcoach tires, look for an air compressor with a larger Pound per Square Inch (PSI) rating.
3. Duty Cycle
The duty cycle refers to the time an air compressor takes to fill the tank. This value will only be found on air compressors that have tanks. If you select an air compressor with a larger tank, you’ll want the duty cycle to be higher, indicating that it’ll fill the tank quicker.
Don’t pick an air compressor that’s so heavy; it’s difficult to store in your RV. Smaller, portable air compressors for RV tires without a tank are easy to fit in your hardware bay and powerful enough to fill your tires.
If you’re on a budget but still want to carry an air compressor for your RV tires, you may want to consider a portable, tankless option. These tend to be more affordable than those with a tank.
Also, remember, you get what you pay for in the end. If the air compressor is inexpensive, there’s a good chance it won’t perform well or last long.
7. Noise Level
Many air compressors come with a decibel value. This tells you the volume level of the motor. The lower the decibel number, the quieter the motor.
Most portable air compressors don’t require hearing protection. Larger air compressors with tanks often have louder motors, making hearing PPE a must-have.
8. Hose Length
You won’t need a long hose if you select a cordless or battery-powered air compressor. But if your air compressor for RV tires has a tank and isn’t easy to move, you’ll want to ensure you have plenty of hose.
A 10-foot hose won’t be convenient for filling up the tires on your 40-ft. Class A motorhome.
Why Do I Need an Air Compressor in Your RV?
Traveling with air compressors for your RV tires and other things is one of the best safety measures you can take. RV tires are intended to be filled to a particular pressure for safe driving and optimal fuel efficiency.
If you’re traveling and get a flat or low tire, an air compressor lets you fill the tire to the proper pressure without stopping at a gas station or calling a towing company. This can save you tons of travel time. Properly filled tires also reduce your potential for a tire blowout, which could cause an accident.
What Type of Compressor Do I Need for Camping in My RV?
Traditionally air compressors were a motor and pump attached to a tank. These aren’t terribly convenient for traveling. A portable air compressor can be a better option for RVs in most cases.
Portable air compressors are small enough to store in an RV exterior bay and are light enough for everyone in your RV to manage. Also, portable air compressors can be used when you don’t have access to shore power.
FAQs: What Can You Use an Air Compressor for While Camping?
Can Your Air Compressor Inflate RV Tires?
If you’re buying an air compressor for your RV, you should ensure that it has enough power and capacity to fill your RV tires. If you’re selecting an air compressor with a tank, ensure it has enough capacity.
Before you buy a portable air compressor, check the PSI and CFM ratings to ensure that it’ll be powerful enough to fill larger RV tires.
Can You Use an Air Compressor for Pool Toys?
We never leave home without a portable air compressor when we visit places where pool toys are necessary. Portable air compressors are perfect for inflating pool toys. Look for air compressors that have attachments for a variety of fill connections.
Can an Air Compressor Inflate Your Air Mattress?
We’ve not had good luck finding a connector that allows you to fill your air mattress with an air compressor. We’ve tried a few, and they don’t work great.
While it’s possible to fill your air mattress with an air compressor, it’s better to use a small pump that’s made for inflating air mattresses.
Can You Use an Air Compressor to Power a Nail Gun for RV Repairs?
If you have invested in an air compressor with a tank, you can use it to power a nail gun for making RV repairs. You’ll want to ensure that your air compressor hose has the proper connectors to work with your nail gun.
Portable air compressors aren’t great for this kind of tool. They don’t have long enough run times and often don’t have the right pressure to operate tools like nail guns.
What Size Air Compressor Will Inflate My RV Tires?
When you’re considering the right size air compressor for inflating your RV tires, you’ll want to consider three factors: horsepower, PSI, and CFM. Since RV tires are larger than standard tires, you’ll want an air compressor with high values for all three factors.
However, the most important is PSI. Motorhome tires fill to higher pressures, so ensure that the PSI rating is high enough to properly fill the tires on your RV.
How Do I Air Up My RV Tires?
Putting air in your RV tires is a pretty simple process. You’ll connect the air compressor to its power source and your tire. Then, turn on the air compressor and allow it to fill the tire.
If your air compressor has a pressure gauge, fill until the gauge reads the right PSI for your tires. Use a handheld tire pressure gauge to track how full your tires are for air compressors that don’t have pressure gauges.
Can I Use an Air Compressor to Winterize My RV?
Air compressors with tanks can be very helpful for getting your RV ready for winter. They can be used to clean off slideouts, drain water lines, and fill tires.
If you don’t want to invest in an air compressor with a tank, you should consider a portable air compressor for filling your RV tires before storing it. This will help prevent dry rot, which weakens your RV tires and create a safety issue.
How Long Will My Air Compressor Last?
This really depends on how well you care for your air compressor for your RV tires. If you have a larger air compressor with a motor, pump, and tank, make sure that you follow the manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations. This will keep everything working for many years.
Portable air compressors aren’t made to last like larger air compressors. So expect only to get a few years of use from them. You can extend the life of portable air compressors by not running them longer than necessary to fill a tire or two.
Final Thoughts: What Is the Best RV Air Compressor on This List?
The best RV air compressor on this list depends on your unique needs. Those stealth camping in a camper van may like the size and detachable battery of the AstroAI Cordless Tire Inflator. Yet Class A full-timers may benefit the most from one of the RV-specific VIAIR air compressors.
The most important takeaway is that you should always travel with an air compressor for your RV tires for safety’s sake. Having the right tool when you need it the most will give you that peace of mind as your cruise to your next destination.
About the author:
Jason Gass is a full-time freelance writer and part-time RVer whose goal is to share great stories around a campfire with good friends.
When he’s not working, he spends most of his time camping, searching for the best breweries, and road-tripping in his teardrop trailer with his wife, daughter, and two dogs.