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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
New project for the build...on-board air compressor for emergency tire inflation, recreational usage (inflate bicycle tires, balls, kayaks, etc.) and cleaning (air blow gun for sand, dirt, etc.).

Don't' want to shell out the money for the ARB mainly because I don't foresee myself using this very often but would like to have it. So after finding a similar project using a different compressor I've come up with the following:

Use this-type of compressor (150 psi, 45 amp @ 12v):


Mounted up under the driver's rear corner of the van. I THINK there is enough space there to use some plus nuts in the van frame rails. Of course a small enclosure using aluminum angle and some plastic pieces as side-walls will be fabricated to act as a housing for the compressor.

Since it doesn't have a tank, it just runs until turned off (via fused toggle switch). Although it says it has an auto power-off switch (overheating, amperage draw), I want to add a psi based cutoff. So I will be using a small 4 port manifold and a psi cutoff switch tied into the toggle switch. The compressor also uses a Japanese style quick disconnect so the manifold will convert from that style to standard 1/4" industrial air quick disconnect. Here are the parts I will be using:






As for powering it...the plan is to fuse directly to my house battery bus bars. I guess some sort of breaker should be used as well for main power cutoff.

Finally for access to the thing, I was planning on fabbing a small mounting plate that would house a female quick disconnect and a key switch to turn on/off the compressor. The mounting plate would be mounted under the rear bumper alla hitch wiring mount plate.

Any thoughts on this idea?

Oh and here is the inspiration for the install:
Roadtrek Modifications/ Mods, Upgrades, and Gadgets.: Installing an On-Board Air Compressor (Maxi Trac) (roadtreklife.blogspot.com)
 

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You might want to consider a portable 120 volt AC compressor powered by your house inverter. No electrical or installation required and less expensive. Also can be used at home since it is portable. Disadvantage is space required to store it. I lucked out because i had an existing storage location where it just fit. Runs on my 1000 watt Magnum inverter.

This one is quiet and looks to have good quality:

1 Gallon 135 PSI Ultra Quiet Hand Carry Jobsite Air Compressor (harborfreight.com)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You might want to consider a portable 120 volt AC compressor powered by your house inverter. No electrical or installation required and less expensive. Also can be used at home since it is portable. Disadvantage is space required to store it. I lucked out because i had an existing storage location where it just fit. Runs on my 1000 watt Magnum inverter.

This one is quiet and looks to have good quality:

1 Gallon 135 PSI Ultra Quiet Hand Carry Jobsite Air Compressor (harborfreight.com)
Thanks Orton.I saw your post about this solution in another air compressor thread.

I guess what turns me off is the space to store it. Maybe I could get by with a tankless version, if one exists, that can fit underneath?
 

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Thanks Orton.I saw your post about this solution in another air compressor thread.

I guess what turns me off is the space to store it. Maybe I could get by with a tankless version, if one exists, that can fit underneath?
You could always separate the tank from the compressor but that eliminates the portable aspect for use in other places than the van. Tank under the floor with compressor inside?
 

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After using those little compressors for jeep stuff over the years, I went with a true On Board Air setup for the Transit. This is the kit I used:

I first had it on my Sprinter, and then moved it to my Transit. It's 4 years old now, and I've inflated probably 12,000 bicycle tires(I did the math hahaha), a couple flats on the van, and I've used it to run impact guns, air hammers, saws, etc... I even use it every day to blow the dust out of the van from a day of work.

If you're going to do it, spend the money, and do it right.
 

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After using those little compressors for jeep stuff over the years, I went with a true On Board Air setup for the Transit. This is the kit I used:

I first had it on my Sprinter, and then moved it to my Transit. It's 4 years old now, and I've inflated probably 12,000 bicycle tires(I did the math hahaha), a couple flats on the van, and I've used it to run impact guns, air hammers, saws, etc... I even use it every day to blow the dust out of the van from a day of work.

If you're going to do it, spend the money, and do it right.
Same. Running same compressor and same tank. Have a quick-connect to the tank and quick-connects for the power on the compressor. We can remove the compressor if necessary (to hook it up to someone else's rig if there's adequate 12VDC available), though we've never done that. But great for inflating tires without the tank; and blowing out junk with the tank attached.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all the suggestions.

Since I like a DIY project I went ahead with my original idea. Got the compressor today. Pretty heavy duty unit. No electronics inside except a slow fuse breaker and a relay so thats good for mounting it under the van, being exposed to the elements.

I also test fit it on my 350 extended and it fits sideways right up between the rails in the rear driver's side corner. So it won't hang down or anything. Another plus! I will keep updating this thread with pics and more info as I navigate this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
@Tcaschy021, do you mind updating this thread with pictures of how you mounted it?

@Lt. Dan and @gregoryx, where did you mount your Viair? I'm looking to mount an onboard air compressor but not really sure where/how
Yes I'll update with pics. Actually I test fit the brackets today and I still think its going to work with this compressor.
 

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@Tcaschy021, do you mind updating this thread with pictures of how you mounted it?

@Lt. Dan and @gregoryx, where did you mount your Viair? I'm looking to mount an onboard air compressor but not really sure where/how
FWIW, we didn't buy a "kit" since we were doing our own sort of setup with it. Focus is airing tires - mostly mountain-bikes but also the van if we're off-road and need to air-down. Air-tools or blowing air is secondary at best.

Tank underneath is the 2.5 gallon. Just bolted straight through the floor of the van. Quick connect on the side there in case we want to use it from underneath the van. Tube running toward the camera goes up to another quick-connect inside the back of the van. That single tube pressurizes the tank. Drain on the low point at the far end of the tank. Male quick-connects are auto-shut-off, so it's just a simple one-tube-in tank (with a relief valve on the other side).
Tire Wheel Automotive tire Motor vehicle Tread


Compressor is simply sitting in the rear driver's corner of our garage. Anderson quick-connect for the 12VDC - protected with a switch and fuse on the supply side. Quick connect for the hose to fill tires for the van or bikes.

The part stickup up in front of it is a tee and through-hull to use the storage tank if needed; the bottom connects to that tube in the above photo. The storage tank is only useful if using air-tools or using the air to blow things out. Right now, the other quick-connect isn't threaded on; it is a male connector. To use it, quick connect from pump to the tee then quick-connect tee to hose to attachments.

Pump works fine on it's own - can just use Andersons to alligators to use the pump with someone else's rig if necessary. It's just sitting there. Simple. No reason to do anything more elaborate for our usage.
Gas Machine Auto part Nickel Automotive exterior
 

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I have a set of ranger shelves on the passenger side. My compressor and tank are mounted to the floor under the shelving, with a hose fitting run to the back of the van. The power runs from the dual batteries under the seat, across the floor to the passenger side, and then back...
 

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Now my post reads weird with the above deleted.

You guys have any concerns with a steel pressure vessel being out in the elements? I'm building a setup but with 120v and an aluminum tank that will either be above it beside the rear door.
I mean... "concerns"... ??? It might rust eventually; but it's not critical. The system will work without a pressure tank - better, in fact, for tire filling. So... running power tools?
 

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Can’t have a big enough tank in all honesty to run air tools. And the DC air compressors, even the most impressive like Extreme Outback or ARB Twin, are really not up to snuff to run air tools.

I got an aluminum 5 gallon tank from AVS to be able to make adjustments to my airbags without having to have the compressor run every time. Even a 5 gallon tank will only take probably less than a minute of fill time off for a single tire. Money is better spent on a more powerful compressor with higher flow rates
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Just a small update to this as I haven't had much time to work on the mounting aspect lately...

I did come up with a plan of action for attempting to mount the compressor. Again, on my 350 HD extended, I'm looking to mount this underneath the van, behind the driver's rear wheels...basically in the "extended" portion. I found a few cross members in that corner with holes that fit m12 rivnuts. I installed 2 stainless rivnuts and am trying to use unistrut L brackets to mount a battery box on its side (for better ground clearance) which will house the compressor also mounted on its side. Of course the plastic battery box will have to be reinforced and for that I have a 3/8 alumn plate which I think will do fine.

Anyway, cool thing is the compressor fits great within a group 27 battery box! I'll try to get some pics in the next few days.
 
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