What’s The Best 12V Air Compressor? 5 Great Options For Your RV Tires

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A hand fills a tire with an air compressor.

Having the best portable 12V air compressor for RV tires can be a lifesaver while RVing. Airing up your RV’s tires isn’t as simple as pulling into the nearest gas station. You’ll need to consider several factors when shopping for an air compressor to help avoid wasting your money. 

We did the hard work to find five of the best ones. Whether you travel full-time or enjoy weekend adventures, these five air compressors will get the job done. Let’s take a look! 

What Is an Air Compressor for RV Tires?

12V portable air compressors make it possible for you to fill up your RV, truck, or car tires and (other inflatables relatively) easily and on the go. You typically might expect it to have a large tank for storing the pressurized air. However, air compressors for RV tires generally are more portable.

You can easily store them to use on the road due to their smaller size. This type of air compressor also typically uses alligator clips to connect to the RV or vehicle battery for power. More expensive models can also reach higher tire pressure levels than some RV, truck, or car tires require.

Benefits of Carrying a Portable Air Compressor for RV Travel

By carrying a 12V air compressor for your RV tires, you’re able to ensure your tires are at the proper levels before hitting the road. When your RV travels with too much or not enough tire pressure, they’re more vulnerable to blowouts. You should always make sure you have filled your RV and truck tires to the proper level. Having an air compressor on hand can make that possible.

Finding an air compressor while towing a trailer can be difficult. While you may see public-use air compressors at gas stations, you can’t always navigate a large trailer through a gas station parking lot. Having a portable air compressor on hand avoids a problematic situation.

In addition to filling up any bike tires or other inflatable objects, a portable 12-volt air compressor can come in handy when winterizing your RV. If you don’t like the idea of putting antifreeze through your RV’s water lines, you can also use an air compressor to clear your waterlines. This helps avoid damage during the cold winter months and ensures your RV is ready to go for the next camping season.

Pro Tip: If you’re looking for more insight on winterizing your RV check out our article on The Best 5 RV Winterizing Kits Available Online.

What Size Air Compressor Do I Need to Inflate RV Tires?

When shopping for an air compressor, you want to consider your needs. What items will you fill up with air while RVing? 

You want to ensure that whatever air compressor you purchase can achieve the required PSI for any inflatables. Your vehicle and RV tires will likely have the highest PSI, so that’s a great place to start when deciding what you need.

Quick Tip: It’s important to have the right tires for the right job, check out our Ultimate RV Tires Buyers Guide to ensure you’ve got the best tires for your rig.

Important Features To Look For In The Best Portable Air Compressors

To make sure you get the best bang for your buck, you want to get the best 12-volt air compressor for RV tires. There’s a handful of things you’ll want to look for while you shop. Let’s take a look.


There are a few acronyms you’ll want to familiarize yourself with when shopping for air compressors. PSI, pounds per square inch, refers to the amount of air pressure that an air compressor can deliver. CFM, cubic feet per minute, reflects how much air the compressor can provide before needing to refill.

How high you want the PSI and CFM will largely depend on how you intend to use it. If you plan to only use your portable air compressor for filling up car tires or light truck tires, you could get by with an air compressor with a one, two, or three CFM that can produce a maximum of 90 PSI. 

Duty Cycle

The duty cycle of air compressors is the percentage of time the compressor can run before needing to cycle air back into it. An air compressor with a 100% duty cycle will provide consistent air pressure when in use. This means it won’t need to rest while you use it and can get the job done whenever you need it. 

However, you’ll have to wait with an air compressor with a 50% duty cycle. If it takes the air compressor 8 minutes, it will only provide 4 minutes of air pressure. If you plan to use it for your RV or truck tires, you likely won’t mind needing to wait a few minutes periodically to let the compressor cycle.


When you RV, you begin to appreciate every pound. So getting a lightweight air compressor can make it more portable and help save you on your weight allowance. You don’t want a heavy air compressor that makes it difficult to use.

Power Supply

Remember, you’ll need a way to power your air compressor, especially on the go. You won’t always have access to a 110V residential-style electrical plug, especially if you get a flat on the side of the road. Make sure you have a way to power your air compressor from anywhere.

Some of the best air compressors for your RV tires will use alligator clips to connect to a 12-volt battery or have an attachment for your cigarette lighter socket. You can connect it to the battery in your vehicle or even the one attached to your RV. So as long as you have a charged battery, you can use it.

5 Best Air Compressors for Your RV Tires

Here are the five best 12V air compressors for your RV tires. These high-quality machines will get the job done when you need them.  Let’s get started!

1. VIAIR 450P-RV Automatic Portable Air Compressor Kit

VIAIR 450P-RV - 45053 Tire Inflator Portable Air Compressor with RV Inflation Gun, 90 Degree Chuck | 12V Tire Pump Air Compressor Portable Heavy Duty 150 PSI, Any Tire Size, Alligator Clips
  • PORTABLE *AUTOMATIC* COMPRESSOR for RVs & TRAILERS (Model: 40047, 150 PSI, Any Tire Size) - Hit the open road with an...
  • POWER YOUR JOURNEY: Versatile Air Compressor for RVs & More. The 450P-RV Portable RV Air Compressor is your go-to...

The VIAIR 450P-RV is a portable air compressor kit designed for RVs and heavy-duty truck tires. It comes with a tire inflation gun that can reach a maximum of 150 PSI, inflation tips, and a convenient carrying case for easy storage of all the accessories. An awesome accessory included in this model is the 90-Degree Twist-on Chuck that helps get to those hard-to-reach dually tire valve stem.

With 60 ft of air hose, you’ll have no problems reaching all the tires on your RV. With a 1.8 CFM and 100% duty cycle, this portable air compressor is a slower filling compressor and can run continuously at 100 PSI for up to an hour. This kit works perfectly for adjusting your tires to your desired pressure.

2. VIAIR 40047 400P-RV Automatic Portable Air Compressor Kit

VIAIR 400P-RV - 40047 Tire Inflator Portable Air Compressor with RV Inflation Gun, 90 Degree Chuck | 12V Tire Pump Air Compressor Portable Heavy Duty 150 PSI, up to Class C Tires, Alligator Clips
  • PORTABLE *AUTOMATIC* COMPRESSOR for RVs & TRAILERS (Model: 40047, 150 PSI, Class C Tires) - Hit the open road with a...
  • POWER YOUR JOURNEY: Versatile Air Compressor for RVs & More. The 400P-RV Portable RV Air Compressor is your go-to...

The VIAIR 40047 400P-RV has a 33% duty cycle and 2.3 CFM, which means it can fill faster but will need to cool down after 20 minutes. The kit comes with 60 ft of hose, a 45 and 90-degree chuck, and an inflation gun. 

It has a maximum PSI of 160 and can easily fill your RV tires and any other inflation needs to your desired pressure. The automatic tire inflators save you the hassle of turning off your air compressor in between tires too. This one helps save time and hassle.

3. VIAIR 300P Portable Air Compressor

VIAIR 300P - 30033 Tire Inflator Portable Offroad Air Compressor for Truck & SUV | 12V On/Off Road Tire Pump Air Compressor Portable Heavy Duty 150 PSI, up to 33" Tires, 2.30 CFM, Alligator Clips
  • PORTABLE OFFROAD COMPRESSOR (Model: 30033, 150 PSI, 33" Tires) - The 300P Portable Truck Air Compressor is 12V...
  • EXPLORE WITHOUT LIMITS: Trucks, SUVs, Jeeps, Offroad Vehicles, 4x4s, Side-by-Sides, RVs, Motorcycles, Road Bikes &...

If you don’t worry about space, you can get a powerful air compressor in the VIAIR 300P. This portable air compressor comes with a 25 ft air hose, and you can monitor the tire pressure on the 5-in-1 as you fill up your tires. 

The 300P can operate at up to 150 PSI for 15 continuous minutes but takes a 30-minute break. This model has a 33% duty cycle at 100 PSI and a CFM of 2.4. If you need a portable compressor that can get the job done and is made by a company known for quality products, the VIAIR 300P might just be it. 

Pro Tip: If you need more help deciding between Viair compressors, check out our article on Viair 300p vs 400p to see which may be the best fit for your needs!

4. TIREWELL 12V Heavy Duty 150PSI Compressor

TIREWELL Tire Inflator Portable Air Compressor, 12V 150PSI Air Pump for Car, SUV, Motorcycle, Bicycle, Tire Inflator with Gauge, Air Car Pump with Battery Clamp and 5M Hose, Twin Cylinder Air Pump
  • [ FAST INFLATION ]: maximum pressure 150PSI (maximum experimental data), air flow 2.12CFM@0PSI, inflates standard...
  • [ STABILITY TECHNOLOGY ]: The product is designed with four connecting rods, effectively reducing vibration and noise....

You don’t have to spend a fortune to get a quality RV air compressor. This Tirewell 12V air compressor can crank out 150 PSI with a 2.12 CFM. It can inflate your typical vehicle tire in two minutes. 

You can power it with the 11.5-ft cigarette lighter power cord. Combine that with all 15 ft of air hose, and you’ll have no problem reaching the tires on your RV. This is an inexpensive option for those who want to stay on top of the air pressure in their RVs, vehicles, or bicycles. 

5. GSPSCN Silver Dual Cylinder Air Compressor

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
  • FAST INFLATION : maximum pressure 150PSI, air flow 2.12CFM, inflates standard vehicle tire in 1.5 minutes (195/65/R16,...
  • BRIGHT LED LIGHT : GSPSCN portable 12v air compressor is equipped with bright and long-lasting LED lights, allow easy...

The GSPSCN Silver is a very budget-friendly dual cylinder air compressor. It has no problem hitting 150 PSI with a 2.12 CFM. It will inflate a typical vehicle tire in one and a half minutes and can easily plug into your vehicle’s 12V power adapter. 

This compact design paired with a convenient travel case makes it easy to store with all attachments. With 11.5 ft of hose and multiple adapters, you’ll have no problem airing up tires or other inflatables while on your RV adventures. If you want a quality air compressor for tremendous value, this is a great option that we think you should consider.

Filled Up and Ready for Adventure

When you carry an air compressor with you during your adventures, you will feel more prepared for whatever life throws your way. Whether you need to air up a SUP board or simply top off your RV tires before hitting the road, you’ll be ready.

When it comes to RVing, it’s always best to leave prepared, especially when it comes to your tires. Have you ever needed an air compressor while on an RV adventure?

Last update on 2024-04-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

1 comment
  1. For winterizing, are there certain specs needed in an air compressor? Will my Rigid 18v inflator do the job? I already have this inflator so if it will work I won’t need to buy a second inflator.

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