Archive for July, 2015
I have a portable air compressor from Viair, which is powerful enough for most of my normal off grid air compressor needs. It is designed for extreme off road and vehicle use but I found it is quite useful on the off grid homestead as well.
I was first impressed with the quality of the packaging when the package arrived. These days you can sort of tell a product quality by the packaging and case that it comes with. This is just my observation but it seems like the more time and effort a company puts into the packaging shows a bit of the care that they must have put into the product as well. These days many products come tossed into a blank package with some bubble wrap and a wrinkled, hardly legible sheet of paper inside, if any at all.
The Viair portable automotive air compressor comes in a carrying case complete with all necessary accessories. The case holds a flexible plastic air hose which is long enough to stretch out to the back of any common vehicle. The ends of the air compressor hose are top notch and look/feel like high quality. These are not cheap quick disconnects on the air hose.
The power cable comes with convenient alligator type clamps to grip onto your vehicle battery. The cable itself is about 8 or 10 feet long and is sufficient to reach from the engine compartment to the ground or any stable surface nearby.
The air compressor itself is well built and feels rugged. It has rubber feet between the air compressor and the foot plate to reduce vibration and noise.
There are a couple things to be aware of when using the Viair vehicle air compressors. First, always have the vehicle running before turning on the air compressor. Due to its high power it will quickly drain your battery without the engine running. Second, it gets hot when used, so you do not want to just toss it right back into the storage case when done. You should also keep it away from anything flammable or that can melt. This is normal during operation of the air compressor but something you should be aware of.
My air compressor is rated at 30 amps for example and that can quickly drain your battery if the vehicle is not running.
I have used this air compressor at the off grid homestead for a couple months now in order to get a good feel for it. I have also used it for some non standard purposes here at the homestead. I have used it to inflate multiple tires from bicycles, lawn mowers, my car and Jeep tires. I have used it as a dump load to drain down some batteries I am restoring. Due to its high current draw it made a perfect load for this project. I have also used it as a blower hose to clean out the engine compartment of my truck when I was doing a tuneup. There is a surprising amount of air pressure that builds up in the hose. It is enough to spray through an air nozzle and blow debris out of your way.
When inflating a vehicle tire I was very surprised to see that the Viair portable air compressor inflated most tires in less than a minute. My Jeep had two flat tires and the pressure was at zero PSI. The Viair compressor pumped the tire up as fast as any workshop air compressor I have seen. I did not expect it to be that powerful and fast. Compared to many portable air compressors and tire inflators I have used in the past, this is the best. I have had tire inflators that took over an hour to inflate a truck tire. I have had tire inflators that burnt out before I could inflate a tire on my car. But this one pumped the tires right up from zero to full in no time.
I can also see using this to help clean out small engine carburetors. It is perfect for small air compressor needs due to its high power and small size. I prefer to drag this out before I get out the huge 2 gallon air compressor and fire up the generator to inflate a tire or clean a carb. It is intermittent as an air blower but it sure does the job though.
The customer support at Viair is very good as well and they are quite patient and helpful. I love it when I get a live person on the phone instead of a computer or a reference to a website. They kindly helped me through their online menu system and helped me choose the best air compressor for my needs. This varies based on your vehicle type, tire size and type of use you need it for.
This portable vehicle air compressor from Viair will be a permanent addition to my survival bug out vehicle from now on. It will also be the first tool I grab for any small air compressor jobs around the off grid homestead. Due to the fact that it is rated for 12 volts and portable I can run it from my off grid solar battery bank when needed as well.
I am sure that I will be finding many more uses for the Viair portable automotive air compressor as time goes by and I will certainly share them with you on my YouTube channel.
You can see my full YouTube video here: Powerful Off Grid & Off Road Portable Air Compressor From Viair
Viair Portable Air Compressor