We Just Want to Clear the Air. Viair’s Compressor Installation Was a Breeze
If you have been reading 4WOR for long you have likely heard us extol the virtues of airing down your tires on the trail for increased traction and an improved ride. Airing down can be as easy as holding down the valve core with a car key. Airing back up, however, is a little more complicated. You don’t want to drive on the pavement at high speeds with deflated tires. The extra rolling resistance creates heat in the tire’s carcass, which can cause them to delaminate and fail.
Enter Viair, which offers a whole host of air compressor options to fit any budget and application. Our 2002 Tundra shown here had a huge amount of free space under the hood, so we ordered up Viair’s Ultra Duty Onboard Air System and hard-mounted the 480C compressor in the engine bay and the 2 1/2-gallon air tank inside the framerail. Dual compressors and even portable units are also available from Viair if those better suit your needs. Onboard air is useful not only for airing up your tires but also for operating air lockers, running air horns (if that is your thing, hopefully it isn’t), inflating air mattresses, and even blowing out the interior of your rig after a dusty day on the trail.
What to Look For in an Air CompressorThere are a variety of factors to consider when shopping for an air compressor. Do you want a hard-mounted or portable compressor? How much are you looking to spend? Do you plan to air up tires, fill airbags, or run air lockers? Perhaps the two most important factors are airflow (cubic feet per minute, or cfm) and duty cycle. A higher cfm rate means the compressor moves more air, but note what pressure that airflow is at. A compressor made to inflate an air mattress might move a lot of air, but not at the pressure necessary to fill a tire. Duty cycle is the length of time an a compressor can run in an hour before needing to cool down for the remainder of the hour.