You should get the tires of your recreational vehicle properly inflated before you set out for your road trip. Underinflated tires won’t only result in you getting a flat tire in the middle of busy traffic. It can blow out your tire altogether. Usually, you have to wait until you’re at the gas station in order to restore your tires to their proper pressure. Even a week’s neglect is enough for a tire blowout to happen, resulting in expensive towing fees at best and risking the life of you and your family while at the freeway at worst.

The Hallmarks of RV Air Compressor Excellence

Tire failure can happen due to the buildup of excess heat as you drive, especially when you’re doing cross-country and across-state-lines trips with your RV that can last upwards of days since you can always park your motor home and sleep at the nearest trailer or national park. What’s more, the durability of your tires and your motor home’s ability to brake and handle might be negatively affected by having too little pressure on your tires.

With that said, you should avoid overinflating your tires as well, since those easily sink into loose sand, trail dirt, mud and off-road terrain. This is why you should be on the lookout for the best of the best air compressors out there using the abovementioned features and benefits as your guides to getting the really good models.

#1. Cubic Feet Per Minute or CFM

Air compressor quality can be quantified by things like the unit’s cubic feet per minute (CFM) rating or value. CFM measures the certified speed of the air compressor when it comes to delivering air to the compressor tool. The faster the speed of the air delivery the higher the CFM rating and the more powerful the compressor you’ve gotten. It also dictates how fast you can inflate your tires as well.

#2. Pounds Per Square Inch or PSI

As for pounds per square inch (PSI), it’s about how much the force or amount of pressure the air is delivered by the compressor. When looking for air compressors for RV tire inflation, you should specifically look for units with a PSI of 40 to 90 in order to get the task accomplished post-haste.

Also, check out the CFM of the unit as 90 PSI instead of the maximum CFM to see how effective their speed of air delivery really is. You can get by 1 CFM per 90 PSI but tires inflate faster at 2-4 CFM per 90 PSI.

#3. Horsepower or HP

The mortar that drives the compressor pump has its work capacity measured by horsepower or HP, like in the case of car engines. The amount of HP is directly related to all other quantifiable factors like CFM and PSI.

To be more specific, a higher horsepower usually means you’ll get a higher CFM out of it. In turn, the weaker HP units tend to have lower CFM at 90 PSI reserved for pumping air sprays or something. 

#4. Portability

Aside from ratings like HP, PSI, and CFM, weight should be a factor before making a purchase for a tire-inflating air compressor.

You want something portable since you might need these units for emergency tire inflation on the side of the road or something. You want a lightweight air compressor you can carry by hand without sacrificing every other metric since smaller compressors tend to have smaller, weaker pumps. Find something that weighs about 40 pounds or less.

To Summarize

Yes, there’s no one model of Harbor Freight air compressor or Dewalt air compressor that will meet the needs of everyone all the time. However, if you’re in the market for RV tire inflation in particular, you can be on the lookout for specific features or specifications to help you fulfill your tire pressure maintenance needs.

To be more precise, you should keep in mind the PSI, tank size, and weight of the tank in question before buying it. Naturally, you also need to balance out price with quality together so you can end up with a cost-effective solution to your motor home safety when push comes to shove.

At the end of the day, what matters the most when getting that DIY air compressor and tire inflator is the safety of you and your loved ones as you go on an exciting road on your RV.

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Kevin Smith
Ahoy there! The name’s Kevin Smith, the proprietor of this little travel and outdoors blog. Since I was a kid, the outdoors has always been a passion, as my parents were avid campers themselves. They taught me everything I know about camping, hiking, etc. I would like to do my part by imparting my know-how to like-minded individuals who enjoy the same hobby. I started this website in the hopes of helping other people when it comes to answering questions, giving tips and recommendations focusing on the camping niche. Along with some close friends of mine, we are here to help you make the most out of your outdoor experience. Enjoy your stay and enjoy the wild side!

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