On board air VS Portable compressor VS Powertank/CO2

Hey guys! Looking for advice on a good starter air up system. I've looked at cheap compressors from Viair and Smittybilt, to Viair's on board air systems, to Powertank's CO2 setup, but I'm not sure which direction to go.

Whichever direction I go, it would be used exclusively for airing tires back up as I have no need for air tools (yet...) which would not be done often, so high flow rates are not that important. If I can get something simple, cheap, and reliable, I'm okay with giving up some speed when filling up.

I like the idea of having an on board air system so that it's always there if I need it, but that most likely goes beyond my needs right now.

As an aside, what do you guys recommend for deflators?
 

LandCruiserPhil

Expedition Leader
If you air down 12 times or less you can be well served with a link► MF-1050
For more air up needs I can say enough good things about a PUMA. It can easily be divorced from the tank if you need a smaller footprint or make it portable.
The down side to CO2 is size and when you are out you are out. The fastest way to air up when you tank has CO2.

Any compressor that plugs into a 12v outlet is a POS for your needs

For deflators I like Coyote as you can screw them drive for 5 minute and remove = air down
 
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rnArmy

Adventurer
I'm currently using an Air Armor M240 portable 12volt air compressor. https://trucksandguns.com/air-armor-m240-portable-12-volt-air-compressor-kit/

It basically takes 2.5 minutes per tire (285/75/16) to go from about 12lbs up to 28lbs. Nice and portable, plenty long hose. Kinda noisy, but these little 12volt compressors all are noisy.

I've run (and still have) a 10lb CO2 tank. Had it for years. No cords, and easily moved around (although when I had it mounted in my Jeep, the hose was long enough to reach all four tires). Fills up tires FAST (until you run out of CO2; then nothing). It is bulky, kinda heavy, but very portable. I was always nervous I would run out of CO2. It happened once after doing three tires; had to have someone help me with my 4th tire (and he used a little 12volt compressor).
 
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FrenchieXJ

Expedition Leader
I have over the years used all of the above.

"On Board Air, (this was into the late 1970's to the 1990's) this worked great. Then when the newer vehicles came out the adapting the compressors became harder to install. Did I try the air tools with the compressor? Yes, at home to see how it worked and it did fine. Though to take and carry the weight of the tools was not worth it. If I was braking down and needing to fix the vehicle every trip , it is time for a new vehicle or a better driver.

I have used almost every 12 volt compressor on the market. There are some better then others and "size and duty cycle make a difference. The one which I like the best is my "Quick Air III". I bring it along when I have a group of vehicles that do not have air compressors. Unfortunatly they are not bringing them in from Japan any longer. The one that I used the most was the "Quick Air II" which I hard mounted to the vehicle and it left when I sold the vehicle. The duty cycle was very high and I could fill 6 vehicles in a row non stop.
The 12 volt ones I use in the vehicle today are Pep Boys MV50 equivalent. They have been solid and reliable. The speed is not bad and you said that was not a high priority for you.
If you see a 12 volt with a accessory plug on a the power cord do not waist your money.

The Power Tank 15 with the upgraded regulators and a vehicle mount. It works good for 25 to 40 tires (pressure and size of tires varies the amount filled). The problem is the weight and size in the vehicle. Depending on where you need to go to get if filled and the cost, it may mot be a good option. I have only filled my tank one time and decided it was not the best option for me. If your a go and play rough for the weekend off-roader, it may be great for thoes situations.

Now the the deflators. I have the old "Staun" (Coyote) set to 11 PSI, Trail Head (2 sets, 1 set to 14 PSI and 1 set to 18 PSI), then the screw it on then pay attention or air them back up un-regulated deflators. I have the single schrader valve remover/air gauge combination.
My go to is the unregulated, just screw it on. I put it on 2 or 3 tires at a time, regulating the air flow to fast for #1 slower for #2 and slowly for #3. When the first one is done I move it to the #4 tire slowly, I adjust #3 tire up in volume and go to #2 and adjust if to full flow until the desired PSI is reached. I then repeat this for the last 2 tires.

Which ever one you use you will always need to check each tire with a gauge. The auto deflating are great until a piece of dirt, sand or sticky ball gets in their and you now need to get out and air up a tire.

Then there is the broken twig, nail, key or pointed sharp rock with the tire gauge, one at a time, push in the Schrader valve.

They all work, so the answer is what type of need do you have as well as a budget.
 
Something that is a 'recent' addition to the scene - People that want a tank, but not the additional stuff required for the air, like compressors, fittings, sensors, pluming, and more. Anyone seen or heard of the ACCUAIR ENDO tanks? Specifically the ENDO-CVT is what we are looking at. Considering selling off our current setup (works great) ongoing with one of these to simplify and quiet things down a little.

The TANK - either 5 gal or 3 gal, houses the WABCO compressor (which has all the electronics, air drying , etc.) and valves you want to get it with the valve setup for Airbags or other accessories. Since the whole thing is inside of the tank, you only need to worry about where to mount one thing, not the rest of the stuff. Also is near silent / lower volume than the normal vehicle operation. UMMMM waterproof!?


We are considering the 4 corner kit. Use 2 for the AIRBAGS in the rear, and the other 2 switches for the Front and Rear Lockers. There are additional BUNGS you can use for other accessories, like airing tires, or running tools. 200psi


https://accuair.com/airmanagementproducts/endo-tanks
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No, not a budget solution, but warranty, noise, 200psi, and space...
 

67cj5

Observer
I would not bother with power tanks because they are dead money and every time they are empty you need to go and get them filled and they normally run out when your miles from no where which means you are still going need a compressor as back up, If you don't want to run tools and your Tyres are over 33/35 inch then buy the ARB Twin, and either fit in on board or make it portable, Nothing on the market is in the same league as the ARB Twin.

I bought the ARB High Output "Single" Portable but I wanted to see what the ARB Twin Portable was about so I bought it too, I think that it is more than fast enough Seeing as it can Air Up a 37" Tyre from about 15psi to 35psi in under 90 seconds. On board Air is Ok but it only works for that vehicle, I wanted to be able to take it from Vehicle to Vehicle, It works very well on Tyres from 29" to 40"+ I see someone Air up 4 35" from 16psi to 38psi and then fill 4 more 35's from 16psi to 50psi and it just kept going non stop, and they also had a Thumper Max Twin that was good to start with but failed doing the 3rd Tyre and it had to be allowed to cool down, Both claim to have 100% Duty Cycle yet Only the ARB Passed the test.

Hope that Helps,
 

rnArmy

Adventurer
Something that is a 'recent' addition to the scene - People that want a tank, but not the additional stuff required for the air, like compressors, fittings, sensors, pluming, and more. Anyone seen or heard of the ACCUAIR ENDO tanks? Specifically the ENDO-CVT is what we are looking at. Considering selling off our current setup (works great) ongoing with one of these to simplify and quiet things down a little.

The TANK - either 5 gal or 3 gal, houses the WABCO compressor (which has all the electronics, air drying , etc.) and valves you want to get it with the valve setup for Airbags or other accessories. Since the whole thing is inside of the tank, you only need to worry about where to mount one thing, not the rest of the stuff. Also is near silent / lower volume than the normal vehicle operation. UMMMM waterproof!?


We are considering the 4 corner kit. Use 2 for the AIRBAGS in the rear, and the other 2 switches for the Front and Rear Lockers. There are additional BUNGS you can use for other accessories, like airing tires, or running tools. 200psi


https://accuair.com/airmanagementproducts/endo-tanks
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No, not a budget solution, but warranty, noise, 200psi, and space...

Interesting. They look really nice. But it looks like $1000 to get you started. I would just want the tank and compressor (the "CT" - don't need the valves for each corner). But finding a place to mount it would be a challenge with my Jeep TJ.
 
Yes. When you price out most of the other compressors, thanks, fittings, line, wire, controls etc. You end up in the same range or greater once you are done for a similar or inferior system. Even the belt driven solutions are quite the pretty penny.
 

rnArmy

Adventurer
If you're running air tools and such... maybe. If you're just filling tires after off-roading, $1,000 plus is a lot of money for air. Of course, I would love to have one if they were giving them away (or a tenth of the cost). I would have to get the three gallon tank version, and then figure out where to put it in/on my Jeep. They look cool though.

Or for $130 you can get an Air Armor M240. Not the cheapest of the portable 12volt compressors (kinda in the middle of the pack for the lower-priced ones), nor the fastest or longest duty cycle, but I'm never the last one airing up. Usually takes 2.5 - 3 minutes to air up per tire for me (33" tires). I'm not up on what some of the other portable air compressors cost (Viair, etc.). I know the ARB ones aren't cheap. MF-1050s run about $65.00. Viair has multiple models from cheap to a couple hundred dollars.I just like this one because it is an all in one unit (although some of the others have a vinyl bag for theirs) and I have a thing for ammo cans. The air hose reaches all four tires on my TJ. Takes up less space than my CO2 tank, and I have tossed a few other tire-related items in the ammo can. After airing up all four tires, it is quite warm, so I let it cool down before putting it all back in the can and closing the lid (just takes a minute after it has cooled down).

https://specialopstools.com/products/tire-inflator-air-armor-m240

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Ammo can air.jpg
 
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ducktapeguy

Adventurer
Whichever direction I go, it would be used exclusively for airing tires back up as I have no need for air tools (yet...) which would not be done often, so high flow rates are not that important. If I can get something simple, cheap, and reliable, I'm okay with giving up some speed when filling up.
If you're not in a rush any of the smaller 12V compressors work fine. I've used an MV50 for the last 10+ years and have never had a problem with them. Recently got a Viair 88P which is about the same performance. Usually takes me about 10-15 minutes to air up. More money gives you faster performance. When I'm alone I don't really care how long it takes, give me time to relax a bit. If I'm with other people usually someone is slower than me so there's no rush to finish either. Although I have thought about upgrading to a 300 or 400p just because the smaller ones get quite hot when airing up all 4 tires.
 

MOguy

Explorer
I had CO2 and got tired of dealing with getting it filled up so I went with the MV-50. I have had it for years, not as fast as others but great price and it always works. As far as tools? You will need one hell of a compressor to run them as they should be run. If you want powered tools look into battery operated ones.

For a deflator I tried the cool Currie/ARB one but I prefer just pulling the valve stem. That is how I have been doing for over 10 years now. I carry extra valve stems with me just in case I lose one but I haven't lost one yet.
 

PV Hiker

Observer
Started out with a MV-50 and it was good enough. Then bought a Puma 12 volt and hard mounted it in the 4 Runner. The MV-50 went as a backup that has never been used since. I liked the Puma so much that now for the Ram p/u I bought a second one. This one i decided not to hard mount it but put long battery cables on it so it is more portable to move it around to other vechicles if need be. Puma has worked as expected and been dependable. 100% duty cycle and have never had to wait for it to cool off.

I did buy a HF earthquake 3/8 drive impact wrench that I used on wife's Suburau lug nuts to change a tire on the side of the road ( twice). It broke loose all nuts on first tank fill up.
 
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