Air Compressors
How much do you know about air compressors, do you own one?
Well, I’m a camper, caravanner and do a bit of 4WDing.
I’ve never respected correct tyre pressure as much as I did than when I went across the Simpson.
I was with a convoy of very well qualified, experienced drivers all doing the right thing, dropping pressure when necessary.
Not one puncture, and only one bog, but that was an inexperienced, over zealous driver towing a camper and taking a dune a bit fast on the wrong line (not me, yay … insert smiley face).
The condition of tyres and correct pressure shouldn’t be underestimated, they are the only contact between you and the road.

12 Volt Air Compressors

It’s one of those regularly forgotten items by a lot of recreational caravanners and campers … a 12volt air compressor.
Die hard 4WDers should have it sorted, mounted somewhere for easy access or portable enough to help other drivers.
This is an item that is a must off-road, because running ‘normal’ highway pressure on dirt, sand and rubble, can not only blow or damage your tyre but get you stranded (we had ours down to 15psi on occasions over the Simpson).
Jumping back onto the black top is when you probably need it most, don’t get fooled by the servo being only 50km away and think you’ll be right. If you drive at highway speed with under inflated tyres, you risk side wall damage or a more dangerous blowout, I don’t like that idea particularly if you are towing.
Don’t forget if you have to change, plug or reseat a tyre (that’s probably a whole new blog), you need to inflate tyres correctly.

Like a lot of people when we started camping, we went for cheaper budget items.
Big lesson, you get what you pay for and quite often it won’t do the job properly, this applies to all camping and vehicle accessories.
My first air compressor was just big enough to blow up an air bed or rubber tube for fun in the river, but it took forever, very annoying for me and everyone else listening to the thump, thud and drone of the little device work it’s heart out.
I should have bought a high volume hand or foot pump, a lot quieter and probably quicker.

So, what’s out there? Well, as I said you can go for the cheap ‘it’lltakeforever’ variety that could over heat and blow up, or spend a bit more on a pretty good one with heaps of pressure.

From memory, mine was around $250 (that was about six years ago) and has never let me down.
Figure out what you need to inflate and how often, go to a reputable dealer that knows what they are talking about, not a $2 shop down the road and check if it has a guarantee … go from there.

Handy Hints
# Most air compressors come with and in-line gauge, not saying they aren’t any good, but through experience I’ve found a good quality hand held gauge is better.
# If you have to inflate your tyres on the road after a long day on the dirt, please check them the next morning when they are cold for a true indication of pressure.
# Check the hose periodically, they can go brittle after a few years and snap, making it hard to reconnect. It’s much better and cheaper to replace before you head off.
# Tyre pressure affects your vehicles fuel economy, so get it right and save.


Cheap, easy and handy hose holder I made 

hose holderOriginally posted in Snowys Blog

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