best 12V air compressor

Best Portable 12V Air Compressors: Tire Inflator Pumps For RVs

Chris Coleman

Regardless of the number of precautions people take, a flat tire proves to be an ever-present threat to traffic safety. When the tire pressure drops, not only the handling of vehicles degrades but the odds of a blowout also spike.

Hence, maintaining the tire pressure lies heavy on the mind of RVers and many opt to address that by adding air compressors to their rig. By keeping an air compressor around, you could keep the pressure of tires of your RV at appropriate levels and avoid a host of problems. 

Puzzled by numerous air compressors for recreational vehicles and don’t know which one suits your best on the road? Then this article here should be of use to you. Down below, you would be provided with pretty much everything to get the best 12V air compressor for your rig. 

best 12V air compressor
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Comparison Chart of Best 12 Volt Air Compressors

NoBest 12V Air CompressorPricesOur Ratings
1Viair 450P-RV$$$$$*****
2Viair 85P$$****
3Viair 400P$$$$*****
4Kensun 4333087805$$****
5EPAuto AT-010-1Z$****
6Fortem FRTM-DAC$****
7Hausbell$****
8Helteko ATJ-1166S$****
9Tirewell TW2003$$****
10Tacklife A6$*****
11VacLife USVA701YE$*****
12Slime 40050$****
13Viair 88P$$*****
14Tirewell TW1003$****
15Asani 201$$*****

12V RV Air Compressor Basics

What is a 12V air compressor?

12V air compressors  resemble standard air compressors in a wide range of aspects. That being said, 12V air compressors tend to have a light and compact construction which allows them to be transported and stored with relative ease. Additionally, 12-volt air compressors  handle vibration well so they remain uncompromised during extended travels. 

How does it work?

When plugged in and turned on, an air compressor shall continuously draw air into its tank and increase the air pressure over time via compressing. After it reaches the pressure limit, the air compressor shut off and people could then begin using the compressed air.

Benefits of 12 volt air compressor

Safety: By putting a 12-volt air compressor on your vehicle, you would be able to keep its tire fully-inflated while traveling on the road. That should help optimize handling of the rig and decrease the risk of potential accidents. 

Time: If you head out without an air compressor onboard, a flat tire is going to cost you quite some time. Depending on whether you have spare tires or roadside assistance plans, flat tires may even wreck your entire travel schedule. 

Effort: Aside from tires, it’s possible to use an air compressor to inflate a lot of things including pools, mattress, balloons and so on. Therefore, with an air compressor, there is no need to exert yourself whenever there is something that must be inflated. 

Money: On average, the wearing rate of fully inflated tires of RV is slower than that of under-inflated ones. By maintaining the pressure of your tires with the assistance of 12V air compressors, you don’t have to spend much money on tire replacements. 

Related: Best Air Compressors For RV Tires


Best 12 Volt Air Compressors For RV

Overall, with different people having different preferences, there is no such thing as the best 12V air compressor for everyone. Nonetheless, in the case that you seek a good buy, it’s suggested  that you check out the models below:

1.  Viair 450P-RV – Best Of The Best

VIAIR 450P-RV Silver Automatic Portable Compressor
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Specifications And Features:

  • PSI: 150
  • CFM: 80
  • Attachments 
  • Magnetic motor
  • Integrated pressure switch

Why This Is The Best:

Dependable and reliable, Viair 450P-RV is popular among RVing enthusiasts that want a no-nonsense 12-volt DC air compressor. Boasting a pressure limit of 150 PSI, the tire inflator made by Viair could inflate plenty of tires with relative ease. In addition, 450P-RV features a flow rate of 80 CFM so RVers rarely have to wait long to bring the tire pressure to appropriate levels. As a result, if your rig utilizes big tires, Viair 450P-RV would be the best 12V air compressor on today’s market for you.

In use, 450P-RV only operates when people pull its trigger which means there is no need to shut it down to measure the pressure. The air hose of this RV air compressor is long too so RVers don’t have to worry about reach. About power, Viair 450P-RV comes alongside alligator clamps that let it draw electricity from the battery bank of vehicles. Since the draw of 450P-RV is low, keeping it running for extended periods of time is child’s play in most of the cases. 

Upon purchase, Viair 450P-RV is accompanied by a storage bag so RVers should have no trouble keeping it away from elements in the outdoors. Those that pick up the air compressor from Viair also receive attachments including a 45-degree chuck and a 90-degree chuck. 

Pros:

  • Tough 
  • Space-saving
  • Maintenance is a breeze 

Cons:

  • People notice deviations in the output 
  • A couple of units show up inoperable 

2. Viair 85P – Editor’s Choice 

VIAIR 85P Portable Air Compressor
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Specifications And Features:

  • PSI: 60
  • CFM: 1.26
  • Low draw
  • LED light 
  • Easy-read pressure gauge

Why It’s An Editor’s Choice:

Engineered from the ground up with flexibility in mind, Viair 85P is a solid tire inflator that adapts well to a wide range of settings. Packing an easy-read pressure gauge, 85P permits owners of recreational vehicles to monitor the inflating of tires without difficulty. Moreover, since this air compressor possesses a LED light for illumination, it could be put to use in the dark. Needless to say, many enthusiasts of RVing that travel overnight from time to time hold Viair 85P in high esteem. 

At 60 PSI, the pressure limit of the air compressor made by Viair is unexceptional but remains adequate for typical tires. In terms of flow rate, 85P is able to deliver 1.26 cubic feet of compressed air per minute so it would fully inflate tires within minutes. Besides that, thanks to the low noise level, Viair 85P seldom bothers people around it in the course of operation. Thus, for RVers that wish to keep the noise down, the Viair air compressor is the best 12V air compressor

Reaching the market at a reasonable price, Viair 85P matches the shopping budgets of the average owners of recreational vehicles. As proof of confidence, Viair offers everyone that buys its tire inflator a one-year warranty that covers manufacturing defects. 

Pros:

  • Inexpensive 
  • Long-lasting 
  • Responsive customer service 

Cons:

  • Reports about units overheating appear sometimes
  • Accuracy of pressure readings is mediocre 

3. Viair 400P – Editor’s Choice

VIAIR 400P Portable Compressor
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Specifications And Features:

  • PSI: 150
  • CFM: 2.3
  • Inline fuse
  • Storage bag
  • Heavy-duty battery clamps

Why It’s An Editor’s Choice:

Featuring a built-in inline fuse, Viair 400P could guarantee a fantastic level of safety which is by all accounts advantageous for modern-day RVing. Capable of drawing electricity from the batteries of rigs via heavy-duty battery clamps, the Viair air compressor also takes little time to set up. Additionally, 400P consumes minimal amounts of power so it places negligible strains on the RV battery bank as a whole. That is why the Viair 400P is a must-have for enthusiasts of RVing that travel on power-hungry recreational vehicles. 

Sold with everything from accessories to storage bags, the Viair 400P is ready-to-use the moment it leaves the packaging. Similar to its contemporaries, 400P contains a handy pressure gauge that keeps owners of recreational vehicles up-to-date about the rise in tire pressure. Therefore, people don’t have to remove the tire inflator of Viair just to measure the pressure of the tires. Finally, Viair 400P lets out few sounds so its noise level is rather low compared to that of ordinary models. 

Since this air compressor is very simple to maintain, keeping it in top shape for years is going to be a walk in the park. Unsurprisingly, RVers who like to spend more time traveling and less time maintaining tire-related equipment think of 400P as the best 12V air compressor

Pros:

  • Economical 
  • Quiet operation 
  • Sturdy and stable 

Cons:

  • RVers complain about getting damaged units 
  • Quality control could use some work

4. Kensun 4333087805

Kensun AC/DC Tire Inflator Portable Air Compressor Pump 12V DC
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Specifications And Features:

  • PSI: 120
  • CFM: 0.71 (AC) / 0.64 (DC) 
  • Unit conversion
  • Multi-purpose 
  • AC and DC 

Why We Love It:

You travel around the year and need a versatile air compressor that runs on AC as well as DC power? In that case, there is a good chance that you would come to like Kensun 4333087805. Made to accept power from 12V cigarette sockets and 110V wall outlets in times of need, 4333087805 is able to run in a lot of arrangements. As a result, securing a source of electricity for this air compressor on the road is a piece of cake. 

Slim and sleek, Kensun 4333087805 only occupies a bit of space inside your recreational vehicle and that is a big plus. With the air compressor for RV from Kensun, you could readily inflate your tires without having to reorganize the interior. Furthermore, since 4333087805 happens to boast an integrated carrying handle, its relocation often involves minor effort. Last but not least, the inclusion of a set of nozzles means it’s possible to use Kensun 4333087805 to inflate all sorts of auto tires. 

To reassure customers, Kensun willingly backs its tire inflator with a one-year manufacturer warranty. So if your 4333087805 fails due to defects within the warranty period, you can claim yourself a replacement free of charge. 

Pros:

  • Enduring
  • Easy to use 
  • Second to none adaptability 

Cons:

  • Certain sports require strengthening 
  • Several units emit smoke during prolong uses 

5. EPAuto AT-010-1Z

EPAuto 12V DC Portable Air Compressor Pump
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Specifications And Features:

  • PSI: 70
  • CFM: 1.06
  • Unit conversion
  • Multi-purpose 
  • AC and DC 

Why We Love It:

Loaded with virtually everything that enthusiasts of RVing desire in air compressors, EPAuto AT-010-1Z is the best 12V air compressor regarding all-around operation. Since it plugs directly into cigarette sockets of vehicles, the air compressor of EPAuto needs mere moments to set up. In addition, sold alongside various adapters, AT-010-1Z could even increase the pressure of standard RV tires at short notice. Hence, EPAuto AT-010-1Z earns a shower of praise from RVers, novices and veterans alike. 

With a pressure limit of 70 PSI and a flow rate of 1.06 CFM, AT-010-1Z is capable of inflating most tires in a matter of minutes. Through the display mounted on top of this RV air compressor, RVers would have no trouble monitoring the tire pressure. Interestingly, depending on the individual liking, the pressure unit of the display of EPAuto AT-010-1Z can change between PSI, KPA, BAR and Kg/Cm. When the tire pressure reaches wanted levels, AT-010-1Z automatically shuts down without requiring interaction from owners of recreational vehicles. 

As for safety, the 12-volt mini air compressor of EPAuto carries a fuse to prevent damages from potential power spikes. Also, with built-in overheat protection, AT-010-1Z is less susceptible to overheating than its competitors on the market. 

Pros:

  • Intuitive 
  • Light and compact 
  • Noise level is low 

Cons:

  • Hose threads should be redesigned 
  • A number of units occasionally behave erratically 

6. Fortem FRTM-DAC

FORTEM Digital Tire Inflator for Car w/Auto Pump/Shut Off Feature, Portable Air Compressor
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Specifications And Features:

  • PSI: 150
  • CFM: 2.12
  • Plastic
  • Digital display
  • Three nozzle attachments 

Why We Love It:

By making extensive use of plastic in its construction, Fortem FRTM-DAC packs excellent handling characteristics compared to traditional models. As a result, all owners of recreational vehicles should have an easy time moving FRTM-DAC from spot to spot. Moreover, with an integrated LED flashlight, the tire inflator from Fortem would illuminate the surroundings and let people address flat tire in low-light conditions. Naturally, Fortem FRTM-DAC is well-received by RVers who don’t like to be caught unprepared during night travels.

Owing to the long power cord, the Fortem air compressor for RV is rarely outmatched once it comes to reach. You hate struggling around your air compressor just to get its air hose to the flat tire of your rig? In that case, FRTM-DAC is going to the best 12V air compressor you can get for your RV nowadays. Aside from that, the power draw of Fortem FRTM-DAC is quite low too so keeping it up and running is essentially child’s play. 

About affordability, FRTM-DAC is budget-friendly and that is why squeezing it into the spending plan is no problem. On arrival, this air compressor is backed with a one-way warranty which brings RVers much-needed peace of mind. 

Pros:

  • Consistent 
  • Superb portability 
  • Storage bag is included 

Cons:

  • Less than ideal shipping
  • Particular units leak air in the course of operation 

7. Hausbell Air Compressor

HAUSBELL Portable air Compressor for Car Tires, 12V DC Air Compressor tire inflator Pump
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Specifications And Features:

  • PSI: 150
  • CFM: 1.06
  • Overheat protection 
  • Auto shutoff 
  • Optional measurements 

Why We Love It:

Despite the lack of fancy features, Hausbell Air Compressor still manages to give a good account of itself in use. Equipped with a precise digital pressure gauge, this air compressor is capable of providing accurate readings to enthusiasts of RVing. Also, it’s worth pointing out that Hausbell Air Compressor could display its readings in optional measurements such as PSI, KPA, BAR and Kg/Cm. Therefore, it’s a breeze to keep an eye on the inflation of tires no matter what pressure unit RVers happen to be familiar with. 

Unlike classic models, the air compressor from Hausbell stops on its own when the tire pressure reaches the predetermined levels. Because of that, owners of recreational vehicles simply have to enter the desired PSI rating and let Hausbell Air Compressor take care of the rest. Since the pressure limit of the tire inflator of Hausbell is 150 PSI, it’s compatible with an assortment of tires. Additionally, at 1.06 CFM, the flow rate of Hausbell Air Compressor is sufficient for multiple applications. 

Regarding post-purchase support, Hausbell backs its RV air compressor with a three-year warranty. In the case that you want to have a sound insurance policy, it’s strongly recommended that you add Hausbell Air Compressor to your shortlist. 

Pros:

  • Splendid reach 
  • Top-notch stability 
  • Detailed owner’s manual 

Cons:

  • RVers complain about the dim display 
  • Output drops now and then 

8. Helteko ATJ-1166S 

Helteko Air Compressor Tire inflator DC 12V, Portable Car Tire Pump w/Emergency LED Light
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Specifications And Features:

  • PSI: 80
  • CFM: 1.23
  • Portable 
  • ABS plastic and stainless steel 
  • LCD display 

Why We Love It:

Thanks to the sublime combination of ABS plastic and stainless steel, ATJ-1166S of Helteko could handle nearly all challenges of RVing while remaining portable. Thus, in terms of longevity, ATJ-1166S is superior to many run-of-the-mill air compressors for recreational vehicles. Needless to say, RVers that have few opportunities to pick up tire inflators think of the Helteko air compressor as the best 12-volt air compressor. Moreover, Helteko ATJ-1166S is inexpensive so its purchase should have inconsequential impacts on spendings.

Put together with a low-profile body, this RV tire inflator is able to fit in narrow spaces without difficulty. ATJ-1166S weighs almost nothing as well so owners of recreational vehicles can swiftly relocate it as they see fit. Besides that, possessing a fairly long power cord, Helteko ATJ-1166S takes minimal effort to position next to RV tires. That means with the Helteko air compressor, the time it takes to address flat tire on the road would shorten. 

ATJ-1166S of Helteko incorporates a LCD display that makes it easy to set and supervise the pressure of tires. Since the display of ATJ-1166S is bright, getting a good look at readings in the dark is a cakewalk. In times of need, enthusiasts of RVing could change the pressure unit of the display. 

Pros:

  • Silent 
  • High endurance
  • Delivery service is outstanding 

Cons:

  • Loose plug is noted 
  • Units blow fuses from time to time 

9. Tirewell TW2003 

TIREWELL 12V Tire Inflator-Heavy Duty Double Cylinders Direct Drive Metal Pump 150PSI
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Specifications And Features:

  • PSI: 150
  • CFM: 2.12
  • Double cylinders
  • Extension hose 
  • Fast inflation 

Why We Love It:

Effective and efficient, Tirewell TW2003 could meet a diversity of inflation requirements of today’s RVing enthusiasts in countless environments. Featuring a four-rod design, the air compressor made by Tirewell excels at reducing vibration in the course of operation. That is why the noise level of TW2003 is lower than that of other air compressors in its price range. In addition to that, TW2003 of Tirewell contains steady rubber feet with terrific grip so it’s going to stay exactly where RVers place it. 

With double cylinders, TW2003 could provide compressed air at a fast pace which accelerates the process of inflating vehicle tires. Hence, for those that don’t like to wait forever to inflate the tires, the Tirewell air compressor is the best portable 12v air compressor. Once it comes to powering TW2003 of Tirewell, owners of recreational vehicles have two choices: battery bank and cigarette socket. Regardless of what people choose, the power draw of TW2003 is low so all things considered, there is no risk of it depleting the batteries. 

For reach, this tire inflator is fashioned with a tip-top five-meter extension air hose that permits it to inflate tires away from it. Owings to its ergonomic built-in carrying handle, the portability of Tirewell TW2003 is superb too and that facilitates relocation.  

Pros:

  • Marvelous output 
  • Simple to manipulate 
  • Power draw is low 

Cons:

  • RVing enthusiasts notice drops in pressure on occasions 
  • Shipping is barely acceptable 

10. Tacklife A6

TACKLIFE 12V DC Car Tire Inflator Air Compressor Portable Multifunctional Tire Pump
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Specifications And Features:

  • PSI: 150
  • CFM: 1.4
  • Calibrated digital pressure gauge
  • Nozzles included 
  • Storage bag 

Why We Love It:

Tired of air compressors with mediocre levels of reading accuracy? Then it’s widely advised that you give Tacklife A6 a look and see what this tire inflator could offer. Boasting a calibrated digital pressure gauge, A6 is able to deliver pressure readings with an error of only two percent in most of the cases. As a result, with the air compressor from Tacklife, bringing the tire pressure of the average recreational vehicles to appropriate levels should be a cinch. 

Tacklife A6 draws power from cigarette sockets of rigs so you can set it up and put it away in a blink of an eye. Furthermore, the tire inflator made by Tacklife is accompanied by plenty of nozzles upon purchase. Thus, by keeping A6 onboard, it’s possible for you to inflate all sorts of things from sport balls to pools when the need arises. Considering the small size of A6 of Tacklife, you don’t have to leave stuff behind in order to add it to your travel inventory. 

As a low-priced model, the Tacklife tire inflator for RV is known as the best 12-volt air pump for cost-conscious enthusiasts of RVing. A6 is backed with a reassuring two-year warranty that speaks volumes about its quality.  

Pros:

  • Reasonable price 
  • No-nonsense maintenance 
  • Easy to handle 

Cons:

  • Many users report sporadic stoppages 
  • Power cord is kind of short 

11. VacLife USVA701YE

VacLife Air Compressor Tire Inflator, DC 12V Portable Air Compressor for Car Tires
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Specifications And Features:

  • PSI: 50
  • CFM: 1.47
  • LED light
  • Auto shutoff 
  • Digital display 

Why We Love It:

Being an all-inclusive model, VacLife USVA701YE is equipped to take on an assortment of applications with relative ease. At around twelve feet, the power cord of the VacLife tire inflator eliminates the hassle of unplugging and plugging as RVers go through the tires. Additionally, USVA701YE features a LED light for emergencies so RVers could quickly take care of flat tires after sunset. Because of that, numerous enthusiasts of RVing that usually travel at night regard VacLife USVA701YE as the best 12V tire inflator money can buy.

One interesting thing about USVA701YE is that it carries a multi-purpose nozzle that can inflate and deflate tires. Via the digital display of the VacLife air compressor, owners of recreational vehicles can also determine the current pressure of tires at a glance too. The moment the pressure of the vehicle tire reaches the wanted levels, USVA701YE of VacLife would automatically cease operation. Therefore, with this air compressor, optimizing the pressure tire of recreational vehicles is a breeze. 

Introduced to the market at a price that everyone could accept, VacLife USVA701YE is a highly affordable tire inflator. As for post-purchase support, USVA701YE is backed with a wonderful lifetime manufacturer warranty that puts RVers at ease. 

Pros:

  • Noiseless
  • Fantastic flexibility 
  • Reading accuracy is impressive 

Cons:

  • A few units experience irregular starting failures 
  • Air hose needs to be overhauled

12. Slime 40050

Slime 40050 12V Tire Inflator Portable Air Compressor Auto Pump
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Specifications And Features:

  • PSI: 100
  • CFM: 1.9
  • Storage compartment 
  • Adapters included 
  • Pressure dial 

Why We Love It:

Created for modern-day applications and built to last, Slime 40050 rarely fails to please owners of recreational vehicles during operation. Packing a pressure limit of 100 PSI and a flow rate of 1.9 CFM, 40050 could fully inflate conventional tires in a flash. Moreover, thanks to the pressure dial, the air compressor from Slime helps people determine whether the tire pressure is right. Thus, with Slime 40050 around, enthusiasts of RVing should have an easy time bringing the pressure of tires to optimal levels in a lot of conditions. 

The power cord of the Slime air compressor for RV is long and plugs into cigarette sockets of recreational vehicles. Since 40050 contains a storage compartment for its power cord, keeping the cord organized outside of use is child’s play. Aside from that, incorporating a terrific LED light, Slime 40050 facilitates the task of inflating a flat time in the dark. As a result, the air compressor of Slime receives countless compliments from the RV community for its handy illumination ability. 

Being inexpensive, this tire inflator fits the budget of RVers who cannot spend big bucks but still seek something quality. On arrival, Slime 40050 comes alongside a solid one-year warranty. That means owners of the Slime air compressor could request support when unexpected issues occur. 

Pros:

  • Cheap
  • Output is decent 
  • Basic and practical 

Cons:

  • May get a bit loud 
  • People see smoke coming out of a couple of units 

13. Viair 88P

Viair 00088 88P Portable Air Compressor
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Specifications And Features:

  • PSI: 120
  • CFM: 1.47
  • Power indicator 
  • Tip kit 
  • Battery clamps 

Why We Love It:

Put together with an emphasis on heavy-duty applications, Viair 88P could produce compressed air in all kinds of environments. Drawing power from the battery bank of vehicles via battery clamps, this air compressor could be set up for use in a matter of minutes. Since 88P needs little electricity to operate, its power draw seldom leads to the depletion of the batteries of RV. In addition, when Viair 88P is plugged in and power flows through it, its power indicator would light up to notify owners of recreational vehicles. 

The pressure limit of 88P is 120 PSI which proves to be more than adequate for the tires of ordinary rigs. About flow rate, the RV air compressor from Viair is going to provide 1.47 cubic feet of compressed air per minute. Hence, with Viair 88P, enthusiasts of RVing can swiftly take care of flat tire on the road and resume traveling. Also, 88P happens to feature simple maintenance requirements so there is no need for people to give it special attention. 

Viair 88P is distributed with a tip kit that lets it inflate multiple things along tires from pools to floats. Because of that, if you desire a small 12v air compressor for recreational vehicles that is versatile and adaptable, you must think about buying 88P. 

Pros:

  • Ergonomic handle 
  • Low power draw 
  • Storage is a snap 

Cons:

  • Fuse connection fail over time 
  • A number of units arrive without accessories 

14. Tirewell TW1003 

TIREWELL 12V Tire Inflator - Heavy Duty Direct Drive Metal Pump 150PSI
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Specifications And Features:

  • PSI: 150
  • CFM: 1.24
  • Additional nozzles 
  • Battery clamps and socket adapter
  • Integrated LED 

Why We Love It:

As a model optimized for flat inflation, Tirewell TW1003 is able to inflate the tires of RV in several minutes. Needless to say, TW1003 is highly sought after by enthusiasts of RVing who don’t like to lose too much time over a flat tire. It’s noteworthy that the RV air compressor made by Tirewell is engineered with an integrated LED for nighttime operation. Thus, owners of recreational vehicles could deal with flat tire even in the dark if they pick up Tirewell TW1003. 

This air compressor comes alongside battery clamps that allow it to draw power from the battery bank of recreational vehicles. A convenient socket adapter is included as well so RVers have the option of plugging TW1003 into the cigarette socket. For flexibility, TW1003 of Tirewell is accompanied by a few additional nozzles to inflate a wide range of inflatable items. As a result, with the tire inflator of Tirewell, people can address plenty of inflation needs without having to keep many tools in the interior. 

Available at an affordable price, Tirewell TW1003 is one of the leading budget-friendly tire inflators on today’s market. Upon purchase, the Tirewell air compressor is backed with a two-year warranty so RVers have something to count on. 

Pros:

  • Compact 
  • Lightweight 
  • Portability is tip-top

Cons:

  • Users report intermittent air leakage 
  • Shipping should be tweaked here and there 

15. Asani 201 

Portable Double Cylinder Air Compressor Tire Inflator with LED Flashlight 12V
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Specifications And Features:

  • PSI: 150
  • CFM: 2.47
  • Metal 
  • Storage bag 
  • Rubber feet 

Why We Love It:

Carrying double cylinders, Asani 201 could deliver a flow of compressed air at a rate of 2.47 cubic feet per minute up to a maximum of 150 PSI. Therefore, the tire inflator made by Asani needs just a few minutes to restore pressure inside flat tires of RV. Additionally, at 11.5 feet, the extension air hose of 201 is capable of reaching faraway tires without requiring constant unplugging and plugging. With Asani 201, RVing enthusiasts should have no trouble minimizing the effects of flat tires on travel schedules as a whole. 

Constructed using premium metal, 201 would remain uncompromised regardless of the hardship it’s exposed to in the course of operation. Because of that, the RV air compressor from Asani lasts a long time compared to other models available for purchase. Naturally, Asani 201 is considered to be the best 12V portable air compressor for RVers who travel frequently and want a tire inflator that holds together. 201 also comes with pretty much everything from storage bag to optional nozzles so it can be used immediately on arrival. 

For noise level, this tire inflator employs a series of rubber feet that absorb vibration and keep the noise down. Owing to that, RVers could use 201 for extended periods of time without having to endure ear-splitting noise from it. 

Pros:

  • Tough 
  • Robust handle 
  • Stability is admirable 

Cons:

  • Customer service is somewhat unresponsive 
  • The time it takes to inflate tires fluctuate every now and then

How To Get The Best 12 Volt Air Compressor

The RV community is at odds about best 12V air compressor but to avoid ending up with ill-suited models, you should remember these criteria 

PSI (Pound per Square Inch) – Used to measure pressure, PSI rating is what you must keep in mind at all times once it comes to air compressors for recreational vehicles. The last thing you want to do is to buy a 12V air pump that cannot bring the pressure of your tires to appropriate levels. Prior to committing to a purchase, you should compare the PSI rating of your tires to the PSI rating of the air compressor you choose. In the case that the numbers don’t match, it’s strongly recommended that you move on to other models. 

CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) – In layman’s terms, the CFM rating of an air compressor determines the amount of air that it could provide. That means the time to inflate your tires is affected by the CFM rating of the air compressor you use. If your rig comes with standard tires, feel free to settle for an ordinary model. On the other hand, if your rig features big tires, it’s a good idea to go after air compressors that have high CFM ratings. 

NOISE – All air compressors for RV let out sounds in use but a couple of models outmatch others regarding the ability to keep the noise down. Unless you wish to make a ruckus every time you turn on your air compressor, you need to pay special attention to the noise level. Normally, you would be able to locate details about the noise level of a particular model by taking a look at its owner’s manual. However, since brands tend to play down the noise level of their products, it’s imperative that you check out several customer reviews as well. 

LENGTH – Different rigs often have different layouts, thus, it’s necessary to think about the length of the power cord and air hose of air compressors. The distance between outlets and tires of your RV should let you deduce the ideal length for your air compressor. Interested in a certain model but its power cord and air hose lacks the length that your recreational vehicle requires? Then it’s widely advised that you consider setting up a power strip to compensate for the shortage of length. 

PRICE

From $25 to $250: Despite being entry-level models, air compressors in the range still work like a charm in multiple applications. In addition, with no-nonsense operations, most models that cost between $25 and $250 only take a bit of time to master. 

From $250 to $500: Versatile and adaptable, air compressors in the range could meet the demands of various owners of recreational vehicles. So if you desire a straightforward tire inflator for RV, you should stick to models with price tags between $250 and $500. 

Above $500: Incorporating state-of-the-art technologies and top-of-the-line materials, air compressors in the range seldom let RVing enthusiasts down in use. Though they seem kind of expensive, models that cost more than $500 also last a long time which makes them economical. 

Related: Best RV Tires


Reputable Brands Of Air Compressors For RV

There is no need to be overly concerned about brand as that rarely dictates the values of an air compressor. That being said, if you like to play it safe, keep an eye out for models from the following names 

Viair: Possessing substantial experience in designing air compressors and associated accessories, Viair is popular among novice as well as veteran RVers. Moreover, since models made by Viair reach the market across price points, they match an assortment of shopping budgets too. 

Kensun: As a long-established brand, Kensun knows what people seek in air compressors and engineers all of its products accordingly. Many Kensun models even accept AC (Alternating Current) and DC (Direct Current) power so they could run in numerous settings. 

HausBell: By placing an emphasis on utility, HausBell is capable of putting together solid tire inflators that never fails to please. Unsurprisingly, models from HausBell receive a shower of praise from 12V portable air compressor reviews

Tacklife: Owing to its user-oriented mindset, Tacklife and its air compressors for recreational vehicles earn compliments from enthusiasts of RVing that prioritize ease of use. Also, models of Tacklife have low power draws so keeping them running is a breeze. 


Inflating Deflated Tires With 12V Air Compressors: Instructions 

You don’t have to be an expert mechanic to raise the pressure of your tires using an air compressor. While a couple of differences indeed exist between tire inflators, you could inflate your tires by going through these steps 

  • Step 1: Plug in your air compressor and move it as close as possible to the tires 
  • Step 2: Remove the valve stem caps of the tires. You have to put the caps backs later so keep them nearby.
  • Step 3: Place the fitting of the air hose onto the exposed valve stem. Next, turn on the air compressor and inflate the tires as you see fit. Keep an eye on the pressure gauge to monitor the pressure of the tires. It’s fine to slightly overinflate the tires of your rig as you could let air back out afterward. 
  • Step 4: When you finish inflating the tires, inspect the tire pressure one more time with a pressure gauge for confirmation. 
  • Step 5: Reinstall the valve stem caps

FAQs About 12V Air Compressors

Is it wise to use 12V air compressors to winterize vehicles ?

When the need arises, air compressors could be used to remove liquids in water lines of recreational vehicles during winterization. However, to avoid damaging the pipes in your rig, you should keep the pressure of compressed air at appropriate levels. 

How long would 12V air compressors last? 

Plenty of factors influence the lifespan of tire inflators so estimates regarding how long air compressors would last vary significantly. Still, assuming that you don’t push your air compressor to its limit, there is no need to worry about picking up replacements for decades. 

What should I do to keep 12V air compressors in top shape?

The maintenance of 12-volt air compressors changes substantially from model to model, thus, it’s best to adhere to instructions in the owner’s manual. For typical tire inflators on the market, you only need to clean the hose, wipe the filter, change the oil, tighten the nuts and bolt, …

Where could I buy a 12V tire inflator?

Nowadays, most hardware stores sell air compressors so you just need to visit such stores to purchase a tire inflator. Don’t want to go out of your way so as to get air compressors? In that case, it’s a good idea to order your auto tire inflator online. As a precaution, you should stick to reputable retailers like Amazon, eBay, and Camping World.

Last Updated on March 6, 2021

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