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Author Topic: Auxilliary air compressor?  (Read 2125 times)
Mike in GA
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« on: July 21, 2006, 02:30:38 PM »

About to embark on a five week trip from GA to the (hopefully) cooler north. Have been thinking about wiring in a medium duty air compressor so I can air up the coach before starting that Big DD in the campgrounds; also I like having air for the tires, etc.
I am looking hard at the 1.2 horse 15 amp DeWalt, with oil cooled motor. Has two air chucks, can go up to 135 lbs. Pricey at $329 at HD.
Would go in the curb side rear engine compartment of the MC96A3.
Thoughts?
Mike in GA
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Beatenbo
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« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2006, 03:06:20 PM »

Mike I think any campground could stand 5 minutes of running to build up air. I would want my bus to run a few minutes with no load and warm a little and circulate oil. I never rev the engine when I start, idle then as air buillds up fast idle kicks in. Just my 2 cents worth for what it's worth.
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littlehouse
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« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2006, 04:05:14 PM »

Mike, if you hook in some kind of pressure switch so that your brakes are pressured, if !!! and I say if, there's an emergency
you can move your bus without having to wait for it to air up. Just my idea. Safty first.
Ray&Jan with the littlehouse ['77MC8]
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JackConrad
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« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2006, 04:11:57 PM »

Mike,
    We installed a compressor from Auto Zone or Discount Auto Parts, (I don't remeber which). Anyway, we installed ours in an empty spot in the fron baggage compartment, driver's side (The compartment helps muffle the sounds, so very quiet when running). We ran a 3/8" DOT tubing to the engine compartment and connected the line through a check valve to the top of the "ping" tank. This insures that all the air goes through the air dryer.  Since the air is entering the system at the "ping" tank, when aired up the entire bus system is pressurized. If neccessary, I can even release the parking brake before starting the engine. We even installed a switch inside the bus to turn it on.  As you mentioned it can also be used to air tires, run air tools, etc. without running the DD. 
      It is great for campgrounds. Much quieter and less smoke than the DD (Good PR for bus conversions). Once I have air pressure built up, I turn off compressor, start the DD, and as soon as I have oil pressure, I start idling towards the campground exit. By the time I reach the exit, the bus is starting to warm up and away we go.  Just our way, YMMV.  Jack
« Last Edit: July 21, 2006, 04:19:26 PM by JackConrad » Logged

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NCbob
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« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2006, 04:43:49 PM »

Mike, I just bought a Rigid air compressor (used) from a friend who went to the GA Power & Light auctions Wednesday.  HD gets almost $400.00 for these puppies, they're 120 VAC and the cutoff pressure is 150#.  He has 4 left @ @250.00 ea.  We're 14 miles from the GA border.

It's the twin tank version and it doesn't take long to air up my whole bus.  If you're interested in one drop me an E-mail and we can work it out.  I know they're good 'cause I've borrowed the one he carries in his FMC Motor Home.

I'm planning on carrying mine along just for the reason you stated.  These are not old beaters  they look like they just came off the shelf. I have no interest or profit to be made from these items.

Bob
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jjrbus
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« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2006, 04:57:54 PM »

I put a small cheap 2 hp, compressor in the engine compartment, connected in  that compartment so air goes through dryer. Having the option of removing the tanks and mounting and hardwireing the unit or leaving the tanks on and having it portable, I opted to leave it portable. I use the compressor for a variety of things. Could I live without it, yes, but glad I have it.
 The one disapointment that I had is that the compressor is not powerful enough to fully inflate a bus tire. It will take a tire to 90/95 pounds and then poops out. If you want something that will fully inflate the bus tires or run air tools, you will have to go for a pretty good size unit.
                                                                      HTH Jim
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ceieio
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« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2006, 11:15:59 PM »

Mike, I have a pancake compressor for my bus.  I did a variation on Fred Hobe's theme.  You can read Fred's tip here: http://users.cwnet.com/~thall/fredhobe2.htm Just scoll down until you see the air hose.  I also carry an air over hydraulic jack and a impact gun that I can run with the little compressor.  It can't drive everything like the shop compressor, but it beats going all manual.

Craig - MC7 Oregon
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TomC
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« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2006, 08:34:14 AM »

Big suggestion- before leaving the store, have the compressor plugged in so you can here it run.  Some of the direct drive 3,600rpm units really put out an annoying tone that is also loud.  I would suggest looking for one that either runs on 1,800rpm with direct drive, or get a belt driven-usually much quieter-although heavier.  Good Luck, TomC
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Merlin
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« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2006, 03:31:59 PM »

I assume you fellows are installing the air compressors in a bay and starting/stopping remotely with a switch ... possibly located near the driver. At least this is what I've planned.  Now the question: The compressors have an unloader switch that will allow the unit to start up free of back pressure.  This is to make it easier for the little motor to spin up to speed.

If the power is switched remotely, then the unloader switch will naturally have to be "on" all the time and there will be back pressure to cause the motor to labor when starting.  Is there enough leak off on these little compressors to start up without a strain when remotely switched?

Merlin
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Beatenbo
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« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2006, 05:08:03 PM »

There are a lot of intellegent people making comment and a lot to be learned on this board.  My first comment was not to be against an on board compressor. I have one in my bay along with toolbox and other things. It is important to air a tire, the usual high pressure air needs not to forget bus air failure this could be patched to get you unstranded, not to mention air a float or bicycle tire for the grandkids
I just wonder the need of puting in a permanent system involving wiring air plumbing and all that goes with it.. If I thought I could air my bus up every day or 2 and keep air bags up and make a MCI sit levelI'd jump on it. too.
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ceieio
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« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2006, 07:12:37 PM »

There are a lot of intellegent people making comment and a lot to be learned on this board.  My first comment was not to be against an on board compressor. I have one in my bay along with toolbox and other things. It is important to air a tire, the usual high pressure air needs not to forget bus air failure this could be patched to get you unstranded, not to mention air a float or bicycle tire for the grandkids
I just wonder the need of puting in a permanent system involving wiring air plumbing and all that goes with it.. If I thought I could air my bus up every day or 2 and keep air bags up and make a MCI sit levelI'd jump on it. too.

I don't have mine plumbed in or hard wired yet.  Possible reasons to do this would be to combat suspensions that leak down over time, and to air up the bus for those that take a long time. 

My bus will air up from dynamited brakes to govoner cut off in 4 minutes; usually 2-3 min. if I have not dorked around with it and pumped the brakes dry.  Some poeple's buses seem to take longer,  up to 10 minutes.  The little ait compressor coud cut that down to a more reasonable departure time.

On the other hand, my bus suspension does leak down in just a few hours.  It could be really handy to run the little pancake to keep that up.  If I do this, I will have a "campground" configuration where I open a valve and chuck the compressor to the bus.  I will at a minimum close the valve before hitting the road as I do not what to trust non automotive components to be "live" in the system when going down the road.  In this case, it would be really handy to have a switch in the coach to control when the little guy can cycle on and off.  My compressor is an oil lubed one (quieter) but I still would not want it going off at night.  I am doing a remodel now and I will put a switched outlet in the bay where I put the compressor, just in case.

Craig - MC7 Oregon
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JackConrad
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« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2006, 03:39:37 AM »

 I will at a minimum close the valve before hitting the road as I do not what to trust non automotive components to be "live" in the system when going down the road.

When we istalled our compressor, we connected the compressor using a standard quick connect fittiing. We installed a one way check valve to prevent loss of bus air, should there be a problem in the aux. compressor.  Jack
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ChuckMC8
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« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2006, 02:22:26 PM »

I know this is about beat to death, but here's another lick- I removed the air tank on the compressor that I installed so it does not have to pressurize its own tank to bring the bus air up- just another way that works, along with the other credible suggestions-
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« Reply #13 on: July 24, 2006, 03:35:41 PM »

Mine is not hard plumbed in.

But in the back bay with 110v a/c from the inverter and a hose that will reach my shop air input(near compressor) if needed.

I am still going to set up a direct feed with check valve and the like, but(Pat on Back) since I fixed all my suspension leaks its on the "get to some day list".

Another good reason to have a back up supply of air is something that happened to me a couple weeks back.

Taking the bus out for a pretrip ride it aired up normally and off I went, made a stop and when I tried to release the brakes the bus would not release the parking brake.

(primary and aux tank showed 120psi)Found out I had a NEW leak in the parking system and because the other tanks where full the compressor acted like it had no demand for air.

After a short period(dont ask) I decided to put the small compressor on the shop air input after it was up to 120psi, this plus the engine on high idle(note:high idle would

not come on in pre state) As soon as I released the air into the system the high idle came on and pressure was high enough to release brakes and get home.

Dealt with the problem at home. Whew! Shocked

Cliff
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