Campbell Hausfield 120V compressor


Lots of gas station compressors don't have the muscle to air up your RV tires and it's a huge pain to have to move the RV multiple times to get the tires in position (if you can do it at all). It's much easier to carry your own compressor so you can air up your tires in the comfort of your camp site.

I used to lug around pancake compressors, but they were big, noisy, and heavy, and they kept falling apart on me. I switched to this tankless compressor and have been much happier. It's smaller than a loaf of bread, very light, and much quieter than any compressor with a tank. It will put out 150 PSI (though it takes a while to get there).

The gauge can be off by a few pounds, but it's consistent, so once you figure out where to stop, you're set. My current one is dead on. You'll lose 3-5 PSI on an RV tire when you remove the fitting, so figure that in.

These guys will burn out if you run them for too long without letting them cool down, especially on a hot day. On the other hand, it's only $40 and is guaranteed for two years. The only time I burned one out was when I tried to air up a completely flat 22.5" tire at one go on a 90-degree day (lesson learned).

Better yet, the parts are cheap and very easy to find and the compressor is pretty simple to rebuild (often, it just needs a new belt). Even if it needs a new piston and connecting rod, it's still a fairly simple job. Those are the only moving parts and the same ones are used in most tankless compressors, so if you're at all handy, the compressor should last forever.

Do not be tempted to buy a 12V tankless compressor. It will take forever to air up an RV tire.

You'll need a good extension cord. If you have external outlets on each side of the RV, 25' will get you to every tire unless your rig is very long. Be sure the extension cord is a heavy duty one. Otherwise, there may be enough of a voltage drop over its length to shorten the life of your compressor. I recommend a 12HWG cord (lower numbers mean thicker wire and less voltage drop) like this one, which also has a handy lighted end.





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  —  Bob Ray