Picture this: you’ve just run a tough trail in your off-road ride and now it’s time to head back home. You’d aired down your tires for better grip over the rough terrain, and the nearest gas station is now 20 miles away. Not wanting to drive at highway speeds on low tires, you realize too late that you should have thought ahead about how to air back up after off-roading. Whoops…
Avoid the conundrum about how and where to air your tires back up after the trail by carrying onboard air with you! That way you can get air back in your tires anytime and anywhere. Here are some options for you to consider.
OnBoard Air Options
The ARB High Output OnBoard Air Compressor is mounted on your vehicle for permanent access to air when you need it. This is the option I’ve got installed under my hood, and at under $300 it was affordable and it performs well. It’s not the fastest air option for tire inflation (it takes me about 15 minutes total to inflate four tires 10 psi each), but it’s a good value for the size and cost. This compressor can also be used to activate air lockers, should I add those at some point. If you’ll be using this compressor to inflate tires, make sure to also purchase the tire inflation kit and a gauge such as this one, sold separately.
The ARB OnBoard Twin Air Compressor is simply a more powerful version of the above High Output compressor (and it’s almost twice the price). The Twin Compressor activates locking differentials and airs up a 35” tire in less than a minute. And, if you want a compressor to provide high volume airflow to most air powered tools, this may be a good option for you.
ARB also offers other options, from air locker and tire inflation, to power for high performance air tools and everything in between.
Viair provides air compressor options for almost every need, at a variety of price points. Some Viair options are portable (not mounted on your vehicle) that can be used by clamping power leads to your battery. Other Viair options are permanently mounted to your rig, activate at the push of a button, and have a variety of performance specs. Depending on your needs you might want a compressor to only inflate tires, while others inflate tires plus activate air lockers, and more.
Kilby Enterprises and York Compressors provide “enough air to run air tools with ease without overtaxing the system.” Kilby offers complete kits that can be easily installed by the do-it-yourselfer, with components that are already designed and tested to work together.
Sanden offers air compressors of several different types, depending on your needs. If you’re into building your own compressor solution, this may be the brand for you!
CO2 systems are portable and easy to carry with minimal fuss. You’ll be able to re-inflate tires with ease, although CO2 options need to be re-filled often to ensure you have enough air to re-inflate after each trail run. CO2 tanks are usually higher pressure, meaning your tires air up faster and CO2 tanks are also quieter to run (compared to air compressors).
With all the options available, there should be an onboard air product that's right for you.
Do you have an onboard air option for your off-road vehicle? Leave pros/cons in the Comments below!
Gear up, and Happy Trails!!