An RV is one of the easiest ways to travel long distances without needing to stop for a hotel room or bathroom break.

It’s the ideal way to travel with your family as well. But unfortunate events may be lurking close by, such as a flat tire. With an RV, you can’t drive it on a flat tire for very long, so it’s important to be prepared. 

An air compressor on board your RV is your best option for an event such as this. It’s a necessity and you should know which one is going to work best for you and your RV. We’ve reviewed many air compressors that would work well on an RV and created this guide for you. We’ve reviewed several air compressors and found the following to be the best. 

RV Compressor Comparison Chart

ProductCFMMax PSIVoltage
Viair 340047400P2.3 15012v
EPAuto 1.0670 12v
Tirewell2.1215012v
Smittybily 27815.6515012v
Bostitch2.6150120v  

Choosing the Best RV Air Compressor

CFM & PSI

As seen above, CFM & PSI are our top considerations when choosing an RV air compressor. The higher these ratings are, the better your compressor is going to perform. The PSI rating of your compressor indicates the maximum output capacity of filling your tires. 

The CFM is the rating that indicates the compressor’s airflow rate. The higher this rating is, the faster your tires will inflate. Because of this, you’re going to want an option with a higher CFM rating. 

Tank Size & Dimensions

Since you’re going to be traveling with the air compressor, you’ll want to pay special attention to the size of the compressor. Knowing the size of the tank and compressor is a crucial part of the process. The size of the compressor tank will indicate how much air it can hold at one time. So the larger the tank, the more air it can store. 

An air compressor with a large tank could be difficult to transport, especially if it exceeds 10 gallons. Not to mention, the larger the tank, the heavier it will be. The issue could cause some serious issues for an RV owner who’s constantly moving from place to place. 

Given this information, we suggest an air compressor with a smaller tank, but a higher PSI. The higher PSI will make up for the lack of tank space with more pressure. Now, since ⅘ of these compressors are tankless, there’s nowhere for the air to be stored. The air supply comes from the pump, which has to run continuously. You won’t receive air without the motor and pump being turned on at all times. 

It’s also important to consider its dimensions. Will your onboard storage accommodate the compressor? Will it need to be tucked away?

Will it have to travel in the back of your vehicle rather than in your RV? Below is a breakdown of the compressors we chose by weight, tank size, and overall dimensions so you can get a better idea of where you can put them in your RV. 

ProductTank SizeDimensionsWeight
Viair 340047400PTankless10.87 x 5.83 x 7.48 inches10.75 lbs
EPAuto Tankless13.5 x 8.1 x 5.6 inches5 lbs
TirewellTankless‎9.88 x 4.26 x 8.26 inches7.9 lbs
Smittybily 2781Tankless16.1 x 11.4 x 10.8 inches20.3 lbs
Bostitch6-gallons17 x 17 x 19.25 inches31 lbs

Power Requirements

Since these are all portable, you’ll need the proper power hookup for them, especially for the Bostitch. A majority of them can hook up via 12v DC plug or battery cables.

We prefer the compressors with the battery cables because the power is more consistent. Additionally, a majority of them require an amperage of 10-15, so you’ll want to ensure you have a backup 15 amp fuse in case the first one blows. 

ProductVoltageMax PowerMax Amp Draw
Viair 340047400PDC12V414 Watts30
EPAuto DC12V180 Watts15
TirewellDC12V140 Watts15
Smittybily 2781DC12V1440 Watts45
Bostitch120VN/AN/A

Weight & Hose Length

An air compressor’s weight and hose length are two of the most important features to look for. The reason is that you may have to move the compressor to each tire as you inflate it if there are multiple flat tires. We look for compressors that have a power cord length of 20 feet or more. The length of the hose will also help you if your RV is well behind your vehicle. 

ProductPower Cord LengthHose LengthBattery Cable Length
Viair 340047400P5 feet60 feet4 feet
EPAuto 9 feet2.5 feetN/A
Tirewell6.6 feet16 feet1 ft
Smittybily 278110 feet24 feet4 feet
Bostitch4 feet25 feetN/A

*Some battery cable cords attach to the power supply itself*

Noise Level & Duty Cycle

You may not realize it now, but the noise level and duty cycle of the compressor go hand-in-hand. If a compressor has a 100% duty cycle, it means it’ll never stop running, so you’ll have to listen to it until you shut it off. This is why we like to consider these two features when choosing an air compressor for our RV. 

ProductNoise LevelDuty Cycle
Viair 340047400P74 dB33% 
EPAuto 72 dB50% 
Tirewell74 dB50%
Smittybily 278170 dB100%
Bostitch78.5 dB75%

Our Top Picks

1. Viair 400P 

The Viair 400P demonstrated why this brand is a force to be reckoned with. One of our favorite things about this compressor is the 60-foot coil hose. It’s actually two 30’ hoses that can be stuck together to make one large hose.

The hose coils ensure that you can stand as far away as you need to while inflating your RV tires. Because of this long hose, the noise factor becomes less concerning. 

Viair 40047 400P-RV Automatic Portable Compressor Kit, Silver

$369.95
$332.96
 in stock
30 new from $332.96
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of October 6, 2022 5:24 pm

Features

  • Thermal Overload Protector
  • Automatic Shut-Off Function
  • Primary & Extension Air Hoses
  • Vibration-Resistant Diamond-Plate Sand Tray
  • Heat Shielded Quick Connect Coupling

In addition to that, it has a CFM rating of 2.3, which means it’s going to take just a little longer to inflate. It’s certainly not as quick as the Smittybilt, but it does the job it’s supposed to. It also has a maximum PSI rating of 150 for more powerful air delivery. 


The compressor runs off of a DC12V power supply. It has a maximum amp draw of 30 and 414 watts of maximum power. It can be hooked up via a DC power cord or attached battery cables. However, the battery cables aren’t very long. It has an auto-shutoff function and thermal overload protection, which we find extremely handy. 

Pros

  • Thermal overload protection
  • Multiple power supplies
  • 30’ Primary and extension hoses
  • High PSI rating
  • Decently priced

Cons

  • Short battery cables
  • Sub par CFM rating

2. EPAuto

EPAuto is a tough compressor to compete with. We chose this one to be part of our list mainly because of its easy-to-read display. It shows PSI, BAR, KG/CM, and KPA. This makes it one of the more straightforward and effortless compressor models on the market. 

EPAuto 12V DC Portable Air Compressor Pump, Digital Tire Inflator

$42.99
$31.97
 in stock
3 used from $29.38
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of October 6, 2022 5:24 pm

We also want to mention how well it performed for us. It inflated our RV tires effortlessly but took a while to do so as it only has a 1.06 CFM rating and 70 PSI rating. It would be better suited for a smaller RV or camper with smaller tires. This is much lower than comparable models, but its other features make up for this. 

Lastly, it’s lightweight, compact, and extremely easy to store in our RV whereas other models not on our list, weren’t. It weighs just 5lbs and is ultra-compact. In addition to this, it has embedded safety measures such as an auto shut-off feature and thermal overload protection. 

Pros

  • Compact design
  • Digital display
  • Auto shut-off feature
  • Thermal overload protection
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • No battery cables
  • Low CFM

3. Tirewell

The Tirewell 12V compressor is on our list for a variety of reasons. First, we were surprised by how quiet it is compared to other models. It puts out just 74 dB, but its long 16’ air hose ensures you’re far away from it. Additionally, it weighs just around 7lbs and is super compact. 

There are two methods of power that can run the compressor. You can attach it via a car battery or plug it into a 12V cigarette lighter. This gave us more control over the user experience. We thought that it performed better when hooked up to the battery as opposed to the cigarette lighter route. 

TIREWELL 12V Tire Inflator-Heavy Duty Double Cylinders Direct Drive Metal Pump 150PSI, Compressor with Battery Clamp and 5M Extension Air Hose, SUVs/Trucks/Vans/RVs

$65.99
$61.99
 in stock
1 used from $58.87
Free shipping
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as of October 6, 2022 5:24 pm

Its 150 max PSI rating and 2.2 CFM rating have proven sufficient enough for inflating our RV tires. It took roughly 2-minutes to inflate a flat tire from 0-35 PSI. It’s definitely worth noting that this compressor has issues with tires above 40 pounds. So it’s not ideal for class A motorhomes or 5th wheel trailers. 

Pros

  • Lightweight and compact
  • High PSI rating
  • Two methods of power
  • 16’ hose length
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Less than adequate CFM
  • Not suitable for tires over 40lbs

4. Smittybilt 2781

One of the more affordable options on our list is the Smittybilt 2781 Universal air compressor. It’s not exactly the lowest price, but it offers more value with fantastic features. One of these features is its auto-thermal cutoff switch. It ensures the device will never endure motor damage due to the carelessness of not turning it off. 

Smittybilt 2781 5.65 CFM Universal Air Compressor , Black

$184.49  in stock
35 new from $184.49
Amazon.com
as of October 6, 2022 5:24 pm

We also found that the compressor 24’ coil was useful. This allowed us to stand far away from the compressor, making the 70 dBa level much quieter than expected. Not only that, but it allowed us to securely attach the power cord to the cigarette lighter or battery. The 12V motor inside the compressor will ensure the inflation process flies by. 

Speaking of inflation, it took just 1 minute and 30 seconds to inflate a flat tire to 35 PSI. This is all due to the 150 PSI maximum pressure and 5.65 CFM rating. These two ratings combined make for quick and easy inflation. Unfortunately, it’s not the lightest compressor on our list, weighing 20 pounds. 

Pros

  • High CFM and PSI ratings
  • Quick inflation
  • Long power cord
  • Long hose

Cons

  • It’s heavier than other portable models

5. Bostitch

We wanted to include a traditional air compressor on the list as well. Mainly because it’s rated for quick inflation and as long as your RV has power, this compressor will have power via a 120V plug.

It has a high-efficiency motor that not only will allow you to inflate tires but make repairs that may require pneumatic tools. 

BOSTITCH Pancake Air Compressor, Oil-Free, 6 Gallon, 150 PSI (BTFP02012)

$131.80  in stock
8 new from $131.80
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of October 6, 2022 5:24 pm

This compressor produces 150 PSI and offers 2.6 CFM. It’s definitely not as much as some of the smaller portable compressors, but those compressors aren’t exactly meant for pneumatic tool use as they don’t actually store air.

This compressor stores 8 gallons of air for you to use. It takes just 2-minutes to fill the tank and then you can use it. We like that the Bostitch compressor is small and compact enough to store within the RV or even in the back of a truck.

It weighs just 29-pounds, so it’s not too heavy either. In addition to this, they offer a 1-year limited warranty to cover accidents or malfunction. This is even an oil-free compressor, so it doesn’t require a ton of maintenance on your part. It’s perfect for RV trips, camping, and more. 

Pros

  • High PSI rating
  • Can be used with pneumatic tools
  • Lightweight and compact
  • 25’ hose 

Cons

  • Low CFM for regular compressor

RV Class Sizes 

Class A

These are the largest and always considered a motorhome though most of us still call it an RV. They are usually luxurious with living rooms, kitchens, bedrooms and large bathrooms and perhaps a bunk sleeping area. Six to eight people fit comfortably on a regular basis.

Class B

These units are smaller than Class A and they tend to be taller to afford more space. They usually don’t have separate kitchen and dining areas.

They have one bedroom and then sleeping spaces in the living room and the dining area. One bath with a stand-up shower. Usually only 2-4 people can be comfortable in it.

Class C

This is not usually considered a “motorhome” by most people, but it is by the government and for sales purposes. It is in between the Class B and Class A size-wise. It can have as many as 6 people sleeping comfortably.

They are usually about 20 feet long with shower and bathroom, separate kitchen, and at least one bedroom area over the cab. You also have campers and trailers that you pull with your own vehicle. The weight and PSI of the coaches are as follows.

Rv Air Compressor Adapters

If you need an adapter there are many to choose from. Why would you need one? You would need one because your power cord might not fit the power source at the campground you pull into.

You might be staying at a friend’s who has a generator you could plug into to inflate your tires. This issue is you have a 50 amp power cord and the connection is a 20 amp. Or you have a 15 amp male and you need to connect it to a 30 amp female.

Your air compressor will not come with a bunch of adapters so figure out what you need and purchase it before you hit the road. Here are just a couple that we would recommend you take a look at.

Q. How Does An Rv Air Compressor Work?

An RV air compressor can do several things for you when you are traveling, but its primary function is to keep your tires inflated to the proper level of pressure or PSI – pressure per square inch. 

An air compressor provides power to fill tires, beach balls, and basketballs by compressing large amounts of air. The air compressor is driven by either electricity or gasoline.

The kind of air compressor used on an RV operates a lot like your car’s engine – with a pistol and a cylinder. This motor pushes the air into the tank, then pressurizes it. This will continue until the tank is pressurized as much as possible.

It is the combination of Pressure per Square Inch (PSI) and airflow Cubic Feet per Minute (cfm) that gives the air compressor the level of power you need for your RV functions.

Q. How Do You Winterize A Camper With Compressed Air?

When the summer ends and after you make your autumn trips, it’s time to put your RV away for the winter.

First, you need to winterize your vehicle and you use your air compressor to do so. You must remove the water from the water lines to protect

With your air compressor, you can blow the water out of all the lines without any trouble. You will do fine with a 20-gauge tire inflator. Once you have done this, you can now store your RV safely over the winter.

Final Words

The products listed above were definitely our favorites based on their performance, dimensions, and overall ease of use. They performed exceedingly well for us, even when they only offered limited CFM and PSI.

Even though some of the others may seem better than the Viair, they didn’t actually perform as well. The Viair was the most consistent and easy-to-use compressor on the list with the longest air hose. We highly suggest it to those looking for a simple RV tire inflator.