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Old 10-02-2013, 02:15 PM   #1
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Question Portable Air Compressor - Must have now or can it wait?

So I signed up the family to go to the 24th Ouachita Jeep Jamboree later this month. This will be our first off-road experience ever so needless to say I have supply shopping to do.

Most of the stuff is pretty basic but one recommendation I keep seeing is a portable air compressor. Then comes the research into which model and how much they cost, etc.

Obviously there is a common practice of airing down the tires but for this initial trip do I really need to worry about it?
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Old 10-02-2013, 03:48 PM   #2
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I would say no. U can air down to, say 15 psi, and still drive a ways to a gas station after to refill. Its nice to have one forsure, but they are not cheap. Ur better off buying snatch straps, shovel, basic tools, first aid kit, shackles, and a hi lift jack and a CB (even a hand held) imho.
Btw, u might want to find a buddy and practice a little so u can enjoy and learn, instead of being nervous at the meet.
Sounds like a blast! Enjoy it.


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Old 10-02-2013, 04:19 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. The expense was the main thing. I could go buy an $80 unit that would get the job done but my research shows that unless I want to kill 15 -30 minutes with the kids yapping I need to buy a little higher end unit.
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Old 10-17-2013, 11:46 AM   #4
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IMO to get the benefit of airing down, one should go to at least 12 psi. There are always a couple of Jeepers who don't have a means of airing back up and their is always someone willing to offer air - usually it's the Jeepers with Yorks. A nice budget compressor is the MV-50, I used it for roughly 5 years before I switched to a Viair 440p.
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Old 10-17-2013, 12:14 PM   #5

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MV-50 is a good compressor for low elevations it'll get the job done. Remember that airing down is about several things: substantially better traction, your tires flex around sharp rock rather getting cut by them and a more comfortable ride and you're not as "bouncy" going over obstacles. And your vehicle suspension does not take such a beating on rough roads. If your rims are 8-9" wide you can AD to 9-12 with no problem at all. You WILL benefit from it! I even AD on rough fire roads on my way to fish or hunt my favorite spot.

Also remember it's not just for off roading... If we are getting a bad snowstorm here I'll air down to 15-20 pounds just to have better traction on the road. My girlfriend does the same with her car too now that she understands the benefit of airing down.

Another option is CO2. Smittybilt makes a tank for about $140 or build your own. Most welding supply shops can will sell you a regulator and I bought my tank from a Liqueur store made my own set up for about $120 filled...pros and cons to both: small compressors take longer, CO2 runs out if you forget to get it filled.
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Old 10-17-2013, 12:59 PM   #6
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when i first aired down with my upsized wheels/tires... it performed beyond expectations, however when the time to air up came along after a long exhausting wheeling trip, i had a hard time airing up due to my wheels.

in my case, it was better to upgrade now since the location of my valve stems makes life difficult to air up at the gas station. thats when i purchased a viair 400p from craigslist at a steal.

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