I always carry a compressor in the motorhome. I’ll admit that when actually on the road, I’ve only needed it a few times. But those couple of times I was so grateful to have it. The first time was on a descent from the French Alps into Gap in Southern France. The front wheel blow out on a such a steep decent was scary, but we were going quite slowly and a small lay-by appeared as if by magic. We pulled in and found that the spare that lived under our van was only at about 10psi when it should have been 80. Ten minutes later, it was at 80psi and seemed to hold air and we were on our way to buy a new tyre within 15 minutes.
The second time was recently, I’d just fitted 6 Tyrepal sensors to my wheels and was on my way to Bath Marina Campsite, about a 6 hour drive for us through the night. I stopped to give the dog a pee around 2 am and before getting back into the cab I did my habitual 360 scan of the van (Years of towing trailers has ingrained these safety checks) and I noticed that one of my rear twin wheels was flat. It was the inner tyre, which is so easily missed. The tyre pal sensor that was supposed to be monitoring my tyres had failed and let all the air out.
My tyres need to be 80psi and a big tyre can take a lot of time to get there. Most of the compressors on the market aren’t man enough to do that. The pressure is too high or they get too hot and need resting for 20 minutes mid-fill. Not so with the T-Max. In ten minutes the tyre was inflated, and we were back on the road. I also often tow a 3.5 ton Ifor Williams Trailer (full of Rally and bacon frying kit etc) and its four tyres need keeping at a whopping 95psi. Most home compressors won’t do this without complaining.
Add to the mix I own a Landrover Defender and need to change the tyre pressures regularly, lowering the pressure when playing in mud off-road and raising them again when back the public roads. So with the TV a defender and trailers you’ll appreciate that I need a good compressor.
A couple of years ago, after the failure of my second Ring RAC900 compressor, a friend recommended I borrow his T-Max. I did and was so impressed I ordered one the next day.
It came with its own neat bag, enough cable to reach all my tyres, it has a built in gauge that reads a little high, but now I’m used to it, I can use it with great accuracy. Keeping tyres at the right pressure is a wealth and safety issue. The right pressure keeps you at optimum safety and miles per gallon. This is a great portable compressor, and putting a bit of air in at home becomes easy, so you do it more often.
I have mine strapped to a small suitcase trolley complete with battery, so it’s easy to wheel it out when I need to check tyres
The kit comes with an air tube long enough to reach around the largest vans. It needs to be attached directly to a battery as it is far too juicy to use a cigarette lighter. The cables and substantial crocodile clips are chunky and protected with a 45amp fuse. The airlines have quality brass snap-on connectors. It comes with ball and airbed accessory nozzles and a neat bag to stow it all in. It’s quite heavy and will swallow around 11kg of your payload. However, when you need it, you’ll be glad you carried it.
It’s a great bit of kit and comes from me highly recommended. Buy it on Amazon, or from 4by4 adventure driving stores.