Each year just before Christmas I make sure to publish a wishlist of RVing goodies and gadgets I’ve been pining after. I figure you never know Mrs. Claus may be reading. 🙂 Well, this year it worked! I was happy to receive several products on my list from my lovely wife, Anne.
Number one was a VIAIR 450P-RV portable 12 volt DC air compressor. I’ve been lusting over it since I saw one close up my friend had. Over the years I’ve made do with a cheap Slime air compressor, but it takes a long time to inflate each tire and is noisy. The VIAIR will be a significant upgrade.
What’s in the VIAIR 450P-RV Kit?
VLAIR 450P-RV Features
The model 450P-RV is one of VIAIR’s top of the line portable 12-volt compressors capable of airing up tires as large as 42″ and up to 150 PSI. It’s rated airflow is 1.80 CFM and boasts a 100% duty cycle. This means the 450P-RV can run continuously for extended periods without overheating. The manual states up to 40 minutes before needing to be rested.
- Automatic Shut-Off Function
- Primary & Extension Air Hoses (60ft total)
- Vibration-Resistant Diamond-Plate Sand Tray
- Heat Shielded Quick Connect Coupling
- Gas Station-Style Tire Inflation Gun with 160 PSI Gauge
- Heavy Duty Dual Battery Clamps with Inline Fuse
- Power Cord Length: 8 ft.
- 90-Degree Twist-On Chuck
- 45-Degree Extended Reach Chuck (For Dual Rear Wheels)
- 3 pc. Inflation Tips Kit
- Heavy Duty Deluxe Carry Bag
RV Power Connection Mod for the VIAIR
The VIAIR portable compressor is powered by 12 volts DC. It comes with a heavy power cord with two large alligator clamps at the end. The idea is to attach them to the positive and negative terminals on the vehicle battery. Since the VIAIR 450P-RV can draw up to 23 amps, the manual advises running the engine.
To make it more convenient, I decided to install a quick connect power hookup port on the side of my fifth-wheel trailer. I wouldn’t advise doing this if you only have one RV coach battery. However, I have a sizeable 12-volt power bank consisting of four 6-volt golf cart type batteries. So plenty of extra capacity with enough oomph to efficiently power the VIAIR.
To do the job I picked up a marine-grade Minn Kota 12-volt trolling motor plug and two receptacles. One receptacle would be added to the fifth wheel and one to the alligator clamps so I can maintain the original portable functionality. The Minn Kota three-pin plug and receptacles use a Marinco waterproof twist-lock connection.
Since they are designed to power trolling motors, I figured they should easily be able to handle the VIAIR compressor’s current requirements. I believe the Marinco connectors are rated for at least 40 amps.
Installing the 12 Volt Port and Wiring
The first thing I had to do was pick a location and *gasp* drill a hole in our rig. I chose a location on the passenger side of the trailer a little below the front marker lamp. Behind is some empty space inside the LP gas cylinder storage closet. From there it would be easy to run a wire into the front storage compartment where my battery bank is installed. I picked up some quality 8 GA cable to do the job. It would be a short run so 8 GA cable will provide plenty of current-carrying capacity to do the job.
To drill the hole I used a 1 1/8th inch hole saw. It went through the fiberglass and foam sidewall like butter; I made sure to avoid any of the aluminum studs. I next installed the Marinco receptible in the new hole and attached the red and black 8 gauge wiring. I found I could save some wiring on the negative side by attaching it to a nearby chassis ground bolt.
The positive red wire was run down near the battery bank and attached to a heavy 12-volt lug connection. Finally, I added an inline 30 amp fuse and holder on the positive cable to protect the wiring from a short circuit between the battery bank and the new 12-volt receptacle.
To complete my mod, I cut the VIAIR air compressor power cord and added a plug and a second receptacle. Now I have the option to use it with the stock alligator clamps or with my new 12-volt DC outlet on the rig.
VIAIR Portable Air Compressor Review Part 1 Video
VIAIR 450P-RV Air Compressor Review
I found the VIAIR compressor performed as advertised. It much quieter than my old Slime 12 VDC compressor and airs up the tires much faster. I tested it on a few items around the rig and in one test compared it to my old Slime unit. Here are the results:
- Pin Box Air Bag – 0 PSI to 50 PSI – VIAIR 40 seconds Slime 2 minutes 22 seconds
- 16″ bicycle tire – 0 PSI to 100 PSI 16 seconds
- 15″ tailer tire – 0 PSI to 65 PSI 5 minutes 39 seconds
- 16″ truck tire – 50 PSI to 80 PSI 2 minutes 47 seconds
I give the VIAIR Model 450P-RV portable air compressor a Love Your RV! thumbs up and hope to put it to use for many years if not decades to come. Check out the video below for demos of the VIAIR in action and my detailed likes and dislikes.