Looking for air compressor input

gkieser92

Member
I am just getting started in overlanding/off-road driving, and have learned that one of the first things I need to manage is tire deflation/inflation. I found the tire deflator thread, which is useful, but need some more info on air compressors. My vehicle is a 1997 Lexus LX450, completely stock with 275-70-R16 tires on stock rims. This vehicle is 95% for daily driving, so modifications are going to be minimal. My goal is to get out on remote fire roads, as well as beginner and moderate OHV trails. Rock crawling will be minimal. Since I will only be airing up/down a few times a year, I believe a portable air compressor is best for me, and value is important. I can't afford something like an ARB, but I also can't afford to find myself with deflated tires and a broken compressor either. I have found the following examples on Amazon:

GSPSCN Silver Dual Cylinder 12V Air Compressor Pump for Car, Heavy Duty Portable Tire Inflator 150PSI with LED Work Lights for Auto,Truck,SUV, RV,Balls etc-This seems to have good specs, but I have never heard of the GSPSCN brand. Main plus for this is 2.42 CFM volume.

Viair 00088 88P Portable Air Compressor-Viair seems to be a brand that is mentioned around here, but this is one of their lower-end models. By comparison, this is only 1.47 CFM compared to the one above.

Am I on the right track or is there something completely different I should look at?
 

FrenchieXJ

Expedition Leader
First any compressor that has a utility type of plug on the power supply is not going to work! The GSPSCN is not going to have a lone enough duty cycle to pump up your 4 tires in less then a hour. Onr tire up to 35 pounds sounds great BUT what is the cooling time before you can pump up the second tire, third and the 4th tire.

The same thing for the Viair 88P.

You said " I can't afford something like an ARB, but I also can't afford to find myself with deflated tires and a broken compressor either". Will they work probably for a while but dependability? Your not just airing up a single tire your doing 4 tires. These would not be my first choices. I have different ones that I would use, but a little more expensive.

If you want names and models send me a "conservation" message. I do not want to get into this on line. Everyone has a opinion and it is like discussing tires everyone has a opinion.
 

billiebob

Well-known member
umm, for forestry road travel there is no need to air down. And if you are in forestry road territory the gound is firm enough to support without airing down. If you are doing lots of sandy beaches maybe you could air down but I live in the mountains and on a reservoir with massive beaches at low water, I have never aired down, heck I don't even have flotation tires.

Save money and weight, don't air down, don't buy a compressor if you are overlanding in North America.....

and tell us where you live, knowing your location will get you better advice
 

OllieChristopher

Active member
I am just getting started in overlanding/off-road driving, and have learned that one of the first things I need to manage is tire deflation/inflation. I found the tire deflator thread, which is useful, but need some more info on air compressors.
I'm very pleased with my portable Viair 400P and Boulder rapid tire deflater. It takes less than 10 minutes to air down and about 15 minutes to air back up. 32 psi front/36psi rear. For mixed rough dirt roads I air down to 20 psi. My tires are 265/70 x 17

umm, for forestry road travel there is no need to air down.
Actually it's always a good idea to air down on any dirt road more than a few miles in length. It not only softens the ride but gives you more of a footprint for better traction, handling and control when climbing and crawling over rocky and/or steep terrain.

If on a smooth level hard packed fire road then no. But those are hard to find here in the Western US.
 

billiebob

Well-known member
Actually it's always a good idea to air down on any dirt road more than a few miles in length. It not only softens the ride but gives you more of a footprint for better traction, handling and control when climbing and crawling over rocky and/or steep terrain.

If on a smooth level hard packed fire road then no. But those are hard to find here in the Western US.
All true, but I quit airing down 10 years ago when I put my overlander on a diet. I've never had an issue running 26psi everywhere. I definitely like the 400# I've shed over the years. I used to have ot all, 35s on a lifted Wrangler with a winch, highlift, toolbox, spare parts, air compressor, overhead rack..... plus plus plus. Not missing any of that. My only extra is tire chains in the winter. And I still have the winch.

In my mind, the first, most valuable mod is front and rear selectable lockers. I'm thinking the '97 Lexus came with them. If not.....
 

DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
Viair has a fine reputation but if you can swing it the 300 or 400 would be a better match. The 88 would be OK to fill one tire in a pinch but doesn't have the duty cycle to fill back all four truck sized tires so you'd fill one and wait, fill another and wait, etc. The 300 and 400 are really about the minimum level.

I'll throw this out, though. I have an ancient MV-50 that I paid next to nothing (like $25) and it's worked just fine. Slow, sure. But I run it continuously for 15 or 20 minutes and it does the job. But I've rebuilt it, rewired it, rebuilt it again. So YMMV.
 

outback97

Adventurer
An 88P works just fine for airing up 4 truck tires, we’ve used it on 32” and 33” 75 series tires. It’s a perfectly good budget option.
 

sideburns

Idaho 2019 Nissan Frontier CC LWB
For a portable I generally recommend from cheapest to most expensive option: Viair 088p, Viair 300p, Smittybilt 2781 or any of the other branded models of the "5.65cfm" compressor, Viair 400p Automatic, Smittybilt or homebuilt co2 tank if you have access to a cheap place to fill the tank. There are other options, but these are the go to options that will work for most people. The co2 tank is the fastest, followed by the "5.65cfm" models, but the Viair 300/400p compressors are rebuildable and you can get parts for them. The Smittybilt uses odd ball nitto air fittings and isn't easily repairable.

Any will work for your size tires within their duty cycle, but the Viair 088p just barely.
 

Smileyshaun

Observer
I’ve had the larger harbor freight one for 6-7 years now and it’s still works fine , just gotta remember to turn it on first then hook it to the tire . I don’t know what kind of roads some people drive but airing down is the first thing I do , call me crazy but I like a smoother ride .
 

Verkstad

Raggarkung
Fwiw,
Regardless of inflator/compresor you get, its always good idea to replace its powercord with something bigger, 10AWG perhaps.
Also skip the cigar plug. Fit clips to attach direct to battery.
 

Metcalf

Expedition Leader
Good on you for taking the initiative to have OBA with your vehicle.

Airing down, there is nothing better you can do for off-road vehicle performance, ride quality, or self-sufficiency that beats it for the dollar. I love being able to take the harshness off chatter on forest roads and washboards with air pressure. I find the tires chunk out the tread less when you're not spinning as much on sharp rocks or skree. I've been known to air down for snowy roads in passenger cars. There is nothing worse than watching someone spin their tires trying to climb something mild because they just refuse, or don't know, how well airing down really works. Having OBA also allows you to fix a large number of tire issues on your own vehicle, as well as others. I can't count the number of times I have helped people along the road, including mountain bikers or motorcylists, with my OBA systems, which is great for building repore with other people out on public lands.

My recommendation for OBA are....

-Under $100, I suggest the MV-50 or MF1050 style compressors. I've got units that are nearly 15 years old now. They live in all my light duty AWD/4wd vehicles
-About $200, I suggest the 12V Puma compressors. I have one of these in my LX45 going strong 2+ years later. It is hard mounted with a small tank and runs my center diff lock accuator along with airing up the 40" tires. The value is very high on that compressor for serious off-road work with larger tires.
-No Budget, I suggest the ARB twin compressor. I have one that is nearly 10 years old in my flat fender. The package vs output is amazing. It is faster and smaller than the Puma....but also costs 2x as much or more.
 

DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
I typed a long response comparing my MV 50 and 88P and ARB onboard and the site just wiped it. Damn it. So I’ll just answer your question, don’t feel like retyping all that now.

Four years.
LOL. That's a bummer, I'd have been keen to see a compare and contrast with the MV-50 in particular. The duty cycle numbers would seem to indicate a lot of resting between tires or high wear-and-tear but 4 years of 4WD use is nothing to scoff at all.

As I mentioned, my MV-50's got to be at least 10 and probably more like 15 years old. I can not complain for $3 or less per year. Then again it's been torn apart, cleaned, balanced (a little anyway), ported, greased, rewired so saying it was just put into service or that it's been maintenance-free would be a big fat lie.

It's still slow even with 32 and 33 inch tires but I have no duty cycle concerns with it like I would of one straight from the box. That's the basis of why the duty cycle numbers on the 88 seem low for doing 4 tires contiguously but I stand corrected by actual experience.

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