RV Tire Inflator: What’s in your Cargo?
When Nicole & I first launched on our full-time traveling adventure, we were total newbies to the world of RV’ing. We did hours and hours of research to try and prepare for it. But there were still quite a few things that just seemed to miss our radar. However, after being on the road for a while, those things begin to surface one by one by way of necessity. One of those items is a high-quality RV tire inflator. Our opinion is, that a high-quality tire inflatorshould be included in any serious full-time RV’ers cargo bay.
RV tire inflators: Choices, choices, choices!
When Nicole & I first began our research into RV tire inflators, we were amazed at just how many brands, styles, and options there were to choose from. Having all of these options forced us to take a quick inventory of what was truly important to us as well as that which would be most compatible with our specific needs. For us, that decision came down to the VIAIR 400P-RV-Automatic.
So how did we choose our RV tire inflator?
Over the last few years of living full-time on the road in our RV, we have developed a sort of list of criteria that helps us to decide whether an item is right for us to consider adding it to our cargo list. In this case, we decided to focus on these five features:
- Overall size / weight
- Maximum Pressure rating (PSI)
Overall size / weight
Size and weight are just a neverending battle for the full-time RV’er. We are somewhat restricted as to how much we are able to store and haul around. The VIAIR 400P-RV weighs just under 11lbs! Not bad for a power-house unit like this!
The overall dimensions are roughly 11″ long by 6″ wide and 7 1/2″ tall, which makes this unit very compact. And a great size for storing in an RV.
Maximum Pressure Rating (PSI)
When it comes to RV tires, there are many different sizes and configurations each with their own ratings. It is extremely important to be knowledgeable of those ratings and how compatible they are with your RV. Unfortunately, Nicole & I learned this lesson the hard way. After experiencing a bow-out while traveling down the interstate. That experience taught us a lot about tires. We discovered that the tires on our RV were not rated for the weight of our rig. It was a wonder that they had lasted as long as they did. Needless to say, we ended up purchasing all new tires. The new tires matched the specifications for our fifth wheel.
Our old tires were truck tires and were rated to be inflated to 80PSI. The new tires that we purchased were specifically trailer tires and are rated to be inflated to 105PSI. This is a significant detail when it comes to filling your tires. We discovered, after several times of trying, that most air compressors are only rated to a max of 60-80PSI. While comparing portable RV tire inflators we noticed that the VIAIR 400P-RV-Auto was the only one rated to a max pressure of 150PSI! Perfect for what we need to fill our RV tires.
RV Tire Inflator: Price / Affordability
Let’s face it, price is always a factor, isn’t it? I mean for Nicole & I, when we started this adventure, our mission was to downsize, minimalize and shed all of our debt so that we could maintain a more simplified lifestyle. That decision included a drastic decrease in our income making every penny count even more than it ever did before. It also makes looking at the overall value of a product that much more influential when trying to decide whether it is worth the price on the tag.
When shopping around and comparing the portable RV tire inflators, you will find that the VIAIR 400P-RV is not necessarily the least expensive kid on the block. In fact, I would dare to say that it may just be one of the more expensive options out there to choose from, which honestly, made Nicole & I think a little longer before just throwing it in our Amazon shopping cart. But, after all considerations, we just could not beat all of the features that make the VIAIR such a perfect match for our specific needs making this RV tire inflator well worth the few extra dollars.
RV Tire Inflator: Functionality
When we begin talking about functionality there are many things to consider. But overall what is truly important is how well the product works to help make our situation easier.
The VIAIR 400P-RV-Automatic comes in a kit that includes a nice selection of accessories and features that certainly make the task of inflating RV tires a much easier process.
RV Tire Inflator: Specifications and Features
Here is a list of the VIAIR 400P’s standard product specifications and features:
For Nicole and I a few of these features really made a really big difference when choosing the RV tire inflator that would be right for us. For us, those features were:
The VIAIR 400P-RV-Automatic comes with a power supply cord that attaches directly to a 12V battery with two clamps. Most of the competitors’ products were equipped with a common 120V AC plug. That would mean needing to find an outlet within reach to our RV to power up the compressor. Having the battery clamps allows us the ability to connect to our truck or even our RV batteries no matter where we are to power up the compressor.
Extension Air Hoses
When our truck is connected to our RV, our rig is about 60′ long from front to back. With dual tires on the truck and a tandem axle on the trailer, we have a total of 10 tires to monitor and keep inflated to the proper pressure. Nicole and I check these every time we are about to travel to our next destination. It is part of our safety checklist when packing up the trailer. The two 30′ long extension hoses easily connect together giving us the 60′ we need to reach all of the tires without having to move the inflator multiple times. This is a very nice feature that saves time and makes the job much easier.
One of the features that really impressed us about the VIAIR is the auto shut-off feature. This feature basically only turns the compressor on or off when the trigger is released. This means that the unit is not running constantly and causing the inflator to possibly overheat and trip the overload protection and making it so that you have to wait for the unit to cool down before being able to start inflating your tires again. It also allows you to check the pressure in your tires without having to turn the compressor off each time to do it. Again this is a feature that saves time and energy and makes the job much easier.
Multiple Included Accesories
The VIAIR 400P_RV comes complete with a variety of attachments giving you plenty of options to cover most types of inflation connections. The attachment we find most useful for us is the extended 45-degree chuck for filling those dually tires on the back of our truck. And the attached pressure gauge which is rated up to 160PSI giving me an accurate reading of the tire’s pressure each time I release the fill trigger.
Heavy Duty Storage Case
And to top it all off, VIAIR even thought about the convenience of providing this heavy-duty storage bag that is just large enough to keep the Inflator and all of the included accessories in one place making it super easy to find everything when you need it and easy to store when you’re done.
Durability and quality are almost interchangeable terms in that each is relative to the other. The end result being that when you have a good quality product it will last a very long time and therefore be a reliable product that you can always count on when you need it. And that is an especially important factor when the time comes and you find yourself in need of a tire inflator that can actually inflate your tires to their proper pressure.
Nicole & I purchased our VIAIR 400P-RV a year after launching full-time and have owned it now for three years and using it very often as we check our tires religiously before ever traveling to our next destination. The VIAIR still looks, sounds, and performs just as amazing as it did when we first took it out of its box. The compressor itself seems to be made of good quality metal and all of the attachments and accessories are equally well constructed and do not feel to be cheaply made. As a result, I feel comfortable that our RV tire inflator will last us a very long time.
When it comes to RV equipment that helps to improve the overall experience of this adventurous lifestyle especially when that experience turns somewhat stressful. It is nice to know that there exists a product on the market that provides all the features and functionality that are not only compatible with the lifestyle but that will last so that you can depend on it for a very long time. This is why we’ve chosen the VIAIR 400P-RV-Automatic as the best choice for us.
Want to learn more about the VIAIR 400P-RV, or any of the other products available from VIAIR? You can visit their website here: VIAIR
If you’ve had experience of your own with the VIAIR tire inflator that you’d like to share or have any questions for us about it please leave us a message in the comments section below.
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