When you live the RV life, you need to carry all the necessities with you because you could get stuck somewhere if you don’t.
That’s particularly true when it comes to tire pressure. Nobody wants to get stranded along the roadside because of a flat tire. Because of that, one of your most significant necessities is an air compressor.
Be Your Own Roadside Assistance with These Air Compressors
|Best RV Air Compressors||Best For:|
|CRAFTSMAN Air Compressor, 6 Gallon, Pancake, Oil-Free||Large Volume Compressor|
|EPAuto 12V DC Portable Air Compressor Pump, Digital Tire Inflator||Most Affordable|
|LYSNSH 12V DC Portable Air Compressor – 150 PSI Digital Tire Inflator||Small RVs|
|DEWALT DCC020IB 20V Max Inflator||Most Durable|
|fansmart Cordless Air Compressor||Handheld Compressor|
|Kensun Portable Air Compressor Pump for Car, 12V DC and Home||Portable Compressor|
Reviews of the 6 Best RV Air Compressors
Here is a little more of an in-depth look at our top picks so you can see why we think these will be good options for you.
Best Large Volume Air Compressor
CRAFTSMAN Air Compressor, 6 Gallon, Pancake, Oil-Free
CRAFTSMAN’s six-gallon, oil-free air compressor is excellent if you’re looking for a large compressor in a small package. You can use it for more than keeping your tires inflated correctly in warm or cold weather, which is a must for hardcore RVers.
Its 2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI ensures quick recovery time, and its oil-free design gives it a long life with little to no maintenance. Also, even if you have a smaller RV, its 30-pound design means you can store it underneath without worrying about its weight.
It can take a while to properly inflate tires on large, heavy RVs because it only goes to 150 PSI. While that should be sufficient, we found that you may have trouble using this for your tires if you have a big RV.
- 6 gallon pancake maximizes portability and stored air
- Durable, oil free pump for long life and no maintenance
- Quiet despite being larger than other compressors
- Long hose included
- Lightweight enough for storage under RVs
- You have to check and tighten the valve on the underside of the tank with each use
- Accessories feel cheaply made
- Can take upwards of five minutes for the tank to fill completely
Most Affordable Air Compressor
EPAuto 12V DC Portable Air Compressor Pump, Digital Tire Inflator
If you’re on a tight budget and still need an air compressor, try the EPAuto 12-volt portable air compressor. You get a quality, 70-PSI compressor for a very low price, which many RVers find essential.
This is a very lightweight compressor suitable for anyone living the RV life with a smaller RV. It’s portability and versatility mean you can use it for your RV’s tires or those on your vehicle if you’re using a trailer.
Despite the small tank, this compressor can take a while to fill up. You also can’t use it with a 24-volt plug, and we’re not fond of the idea that you need to keep your engine running to use it.
- Convenience: Plug directly into Cigarette Lighter Socket of your Vehicle. 12VDC, 10 to 15 amps, 120...
- Multiple Uses: Inflate tires on cars, bikes, sedan and midsize SUV. (Engine size under 3.5 liter)...
- Can be plugged into a cigarette lighter
- Automatically stops inflating tires when you reach maximum pressure
- Comes with pre-set pressure feature
- Can only use with 12-volt DC
- No wall plug or adapter
- Its small size means it inflates tires slowly
Best Air Compressor for Small RVs
LYSNSH 12V DC Portable Air Compressor – 150 PSI Digital Tire Inflator
RV life doesn’t mean having the biggest motorhome or trailer on the market. If you have a small RV, you don’t need a massive compressor for the tires. LYSNSH’s portable compressor goes up to 150 PSI, meaning it works well for RV tires as well as smaller things.
You’ll find that you can inflate tires to 30 PSI within just a few minutes despite this compressor’s small size. You also get a large digital display and a bright LED torchlight, making it easy to see what you’re doing.
This compressor only comes with a two-foot hose, meaning you have to set it down next to each tire to inflate it. You might need an extension cord or a longer hose to use this compressor.
- Prevent Over-Inflating – LYSNSH air compressor supports smart preset inflation pressure with auto...
- Upgraded Fast Inflating – Its 140W powerful metal motor delivers inflating air at an impressive...
- Works in any temperature, including sweltering and frigid weather
- Comes with adapters for inflatable items and PVC boats
- Stows away without a mess of cords
- Challenging to inflate all your tires promptly
- Will not inflate tires higher than 30 PSI
- Doesn’t seal easily on tire valves
Most Durable Air Compressor
DEWALT DCC020IB 20V Max Inflator
RV life isn’t the easiest on equipment, particularly if you enjoy zigzagging around to see as much as possible. If this is you, then check out the DEWALT 20-volt Max Inflator compressor. Its durability may be just what you need.
This compressor has three power sources, so you can use it at home, in an RV park, or on the side of the road. It’s probably the best compressor overall for anyone living the RV life.
You have to order the battery separately. Many DEWALT products are battery-powered, but not all of them have one included. As such, you may have to pay more than you expect to ensure you get the most out of this compressor.
- Air compressor tire inflator comes with high-pressure inflation mode with automatic shutoff
- Digital tire inflator has high-volume inflation and deflation modes
- High-pressure inflation with automatic shutoff
- LED light helps you see what you’re doing in the dark
- Rubber feet prevent the unit from moving while running
- Most power accessories are sold separately
- More expensive than similar compressors
- Requires 20-minute cooldown after 100 PSI, 10-minute use
Best Handheld Air Compressor
fansmart Cordless Air Compressor
Sometimes, you just want something comfortable to hold in your hand. fansmart’s handheld compressor perfectly fits that bill with its heat-resistant body, battery, and car-charging cable.
Since it’s handheld, it’s incredibly portable and quite small. Even so, you get multiple powering options, including a battery, a car charger, and a cable. If you need to stop along the road to inflate a tire, this compressor will work well for you.
We found it difficult to use this compressor for more than an emergency reinflation. It’s not powerful enough for pre-trip tire checks or to properly inflate flat tires.
- 【Fast Inflation & 2000mAh Battery】The rechargeable electric air pump can be turned on rapidly....
- 【LCD Digital Display and LED Flashlight】The portable tire inflator with LED light is portable to...
- Shaped like a cordless drill, making it easy and comfortable to hold
- Five inflatable mode settings
- Pressure gauge accuracy +0.5PSI
- Only one to two uses before the battery dies
Best Portable Air Compressor
Kensun Portable Air Compressor Pump for Car, 12V DC, and Home
RVers tend to prefer the most portable things possible, and you’re probably no exception. Kensun’s portable, 12-volt air compressor with AC/DC power can give you what you need in a small, easy-to-move package.
This compressor has two solid-metal motors for fast tire inflation no matter where you are. It has an illuminated, traditional pressure gauge and two brightly-colored buttons that allow you to switch from AC to DC and back depending on what you need.
Because it’s portable, you might have trouble with larger tires on bigger RVs. Besides that, you might also have problems running it if there’s any back pressure in the hose, making on-the-go inflation harder than it needs to be.
- FAST INFLATION: Dual solid metal motors provide superb power, which will make your tire inflation...
- AC/DC FOR CAR AND HOME: Kensun’s unique AC/DC switching with 12V car cigarette light plug as well...
- Screw-on air hose helps ensure a good seal
- Fills smaller RV tires about as quickly as the air pumps at gas stations
- Comes with its own storage bag
- Cords are short enough that you should plan to use an extension cord
- Air hose is short enough to be inconvenient, too
- Plastic hinges on cord compartments are prone to breaking
Recap: The Best RV Air Compressors
- CRAFTSMAN Air Compressor, 6 Gallon, Pancake, Oil-Free – Best Large Volume Compressor
- EPAuto 12V DC Portable Air Compressor Pump, Digital Tire Inflator – Most Affordable
- LYSNSH 12V DC Portable Air Compressor – 150 PSI Digital Tire Inflator – Best for Small RVs
- DEWALT DCC020IB 20V Max Inflator – Most Durable
- fansmart Cordless Air Compressor – Best Handheld Compressor
- Kensun Portable Air Compressor Pump for Car, 12V DC and Home – Best Portable Compressor
Buying a New RV Air Compressor: What to Look For
Before buying an air compressor, particularly if you plan to use it to inflate your tires, there are some things you should look into.
PSI and CFM Ratings
A compressor’s PSI and CFM ratings are the first things you should look at. You need something that will fill your tires to their recommended pressure. If you get a compressor with the wrong ratings, you’ll have problems.
How much air will you need immediately, and how much time are you willing to wait for the tank to fill up? Small-tank compressors are nice because they’re small, lightweight, and often portable. However, the tank only stores the air, and the smaller it is, the more often it has to refill, possibly making your job take longer.
You need durability in your life when you live in your RV, especially if you’re always on the go. What happens when you buy a cheap compressor, and it dies while you’re stuck on the side of I-10 in Texas in the summer heat? If you can’t rely on your compressor to last, you’re more likely to have exactly that problem, along with others.
A compressor’s duty cycle is the number of minutes it can run continuously out of any ten-minute period. Smaller compressors have smaller duty cycles. If you want to use your compressor for more than topping off your tires or emergency reinflations, you need a compressor with a longer duty cycle.
The best compressor for you depends on your particular RV and the style of RV life you enjoy. Any of these compressors have enough features and good enough quality to fit whatever your specific needs are.
For more tire guides, check out these articles:
- How to understand your RV tires
- What’s the right air pressure for your RV tires?
- Best RV tire covers
- Best tire pressure monitoring systems
- How long do RV tires last?
Frequently Asked Questions
What Size Air Compressor Do I Need To Inflate RV Tires?
The simplest way to think about inflating your RV tires is: what pressure are they rated to? If your RV tires are rated to 50PSI then it is best to get a compressor that will handle over 50PSI. Most compressors that you would buy for an RV (and all of the ones on this list) are rated for inflating RV tires.
How Long Do Air Compressors Last?
The life span of air compressors can vary. Some can last as long as 15 years if taken care of properly. The most important thing to remember is that if you buy an air compressor with a tank – empty it. Compressors suck air from outside to pressurize it and push it through the hose. Often the outside air has a ton of water in it and if this air is left inside the tank it can cause rust which can cause your air compressor to fail.
What Can I Use My Air Compressor For?
Air compressors have a ton of uses. The most obvious one being inflating your RV tires. With the right accessories you can also inflate bike tires, air mattresses, rafts and other things that require air. You can also use certain air tools like impact wrenches and air ratchets if you ever needed to fix something while you are on the road.