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12 volt compressor


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A similar question was asked here a fortnight ago and repeatedly in the past.




It really depends on what you want and how you plan to use the pump. A manual bicycle ‘track pump’ will handle the 5.5bar/80psi pressure OK and should be fine if you just want raise the inflation pressure by a few psi - and the only power-source needed will be muscle-power.


A reasonable-quality electric compressor powered from a vehicle’s 12V dashboard socket may cope satisfactorily with car-tyres that are not normally inflated above 3.0bar. But if a motorhome tyre has (say) a slow puncture and the pressure needs to be raised significantly, this will take a LONG time to do even if the pump proves capable of actually performing the task.


High-output 12V compressors will rapidly inflate a motorhome tyre that’s seriously deflated, but such pumps aren’t cheap and their amperage demand will usually be too high to allow dashboard-socket operation.


Any 12V pump aimed at inflating car tyres often has a power-cable that’s too short to reach all the wheels of a motorhome - it’s something to watch out for.


There are also 230V mains-powered pumps/compressors, rechargeable pumps, and ‘jump-start packs’ with a tyre inflating capability.


This 2018 AutoExpress article reviews 8 electric pumps.




The test involved raising the pressure of a 15” car tyre from 20psi to 30psi, but how well (and how quickly) the cheaper pumps would have coped inflating a 15” motorhome tyre from 70psi to 80psi is anybody’s guess. On paper, the Ring RAC 830 pump tested should cope - and should be fairly quick - but it draws a maximum of 15A, has an around-£65 asking-price and Amazon customer reviews are not confidence-inspiring. There are much better ‘motorhome suitable’ pumps in that price-bracket.

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Many thanks for info, the one I have is a twin cylinder type, I got round the short power lead by fitting a longer air hose, this has to be connected directly to the battery as the amps are too great for a lighter socket. It's just it has now started to take ages for the last 10-15 psi and gets very hot. Only had it less than a year. As we are away for long periods I like to be able to check the tyres reguarly
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Keithl - 2018-08-10 8:24 AM


Ring RAC900. Not the cheapest but very good quality and robust.


PS It will not run off a cigar lighter socket and comes with crocodile clips to attach directly to your battery.




Another vote for the RAC900 from me. Works really well, and I have a 12v socket on a lead attached to the habitation battery, which can also be used for other 12v accessories.



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weldted - 2018-08-10 11:05 AM


Many thanks for info, the one I have is a twin cylinder type...


Could you say which make/model of pump you currently have, please?


There are plenty of twin-cylinder pumps being marketed on-line. Some of them have a very low asking-price (example here)




and many of them are virtually identical except for the brand-name on the label.




I bought the ‘basic’ T-Max BA2641 pump that’s mentioned here



and the cheapest current UK asking-price may well be the one in this advert




There is an even more powerful version that looks similar but is normally a good deal more expensive, so it’s essential to confirm exactly which pump is being advertised when comparing prices.




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Hi eBay purchase brand was HOT, on second use the on off switch melted, swopped it with a heavier one, same thing happened. Now bypassed switch but it is now failing to inflate much above 4.5/4.7. To be fair it was only £26 and the seller refunded the full price no problem. Using this type you need to keep the engine running as the current draw is heavy.
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