Which One is the Best On board Air Compressor for Truck for 2020?

When it’s about choosing the best on board air compressor for truck, first and foremost, that has to be a heavy-duty unit.

150 PSI is quite ok for a truck air compressor. Nonetheless, 200 PSI is even better.

Obviously, you are not going to consider only the PSI value. It also has to meet the following criteria-

  • Fast enough and has an acceptable cfm.
  • Easy to mount and use.
  • Features an accurate gauge.
  • Comes with the required kit.
  • Draws an acceptable amount of amp.
  • Better if it’s not too loud.

These are not all. You have to consider some other things before you choose an air compressor for your truck.

Don’t be troubled. Let me do the legwork for you.

In this best on board air compressor for truck reviews article, I’ve reviewed 5 top-notch units mentioning all the upsides and downside of each.

Without any further ado, let’s dive in.

5 Best On Board Air Compressors for Truck Reviews


1. ARB CKMTA12 On-Board Twin Air Compressor Review

ARB CKMTA12 On-Board Twin Air Compressor Review

Pros
  • This onboard air compressor from ARB is quite fast in inflating the truck tires.
  • It’s a compact compressor that can be mounted at any suitable place without any hassle.
  • It’s designed for both tire inflation (up to 37”) and airlock activation purposes.
  • The air filters are easily washable. This is something I always want instead of replacing the air filter every once in a while.
  • This air compressor unit is easy to mount.
  • I must mention the quality of every accessory, including the hose, air compressor unit, etc.
  • It’s relatively quiet during the operation.
  • The motor doesn’t get overheated.
  • Even if it gets too hot (which is rare), a thermal cut-off switch automatically turns off the motor.
  • The kit includes everything you require (including the handy wiring harness, rocker switch) to get things going.
  • A pressure switch is there to regulate the pressure.
  • Super affordable for what it features.
Cons
  • A bit on the heavier side, but still, you can lift it painlessly. You can’t expect a super lightweight twin motor compressor.
  • You have to buy the tire inflator separately. (Check the tire inflator with gauge price on Amazon).

Bottom Line

ARB is a pretty old company that has been producing and designing air compressors for decades now. No matter what, I didn’t see any quality compromisation from this company at all. This 12V onboard air compressor for trucks is no different.

This onboard air compressor requires only 43 seconds to go from 20 PSI to 40 PSI. The CFM is 6.16 at 0 PSI, the maximum work-load is 150 PSI, and it features a 100% duty cycle.

To let the heat, disappear from the motor, electronics, and head, an anodized motor mounting bracket and ducted IP55 sealed DC cooling fan (brushless) are in place.

The accuracy of the pressure gauge that you buy separately from ARB is spot on.

Remember, this is not a budget option. So, go for this one only if you are looking for a high-quality fast option and you don’t mind spending some money on the right.

2. ARB CKMA12 On-Board Air Compressor Review

ARB CKMA12 On-Board Air Compressor Review

Pros
  • It’s compact.
  • Pretty straightforward installation and mounting process.
  • The mounting system allows you to clock or orient the unit for proper clearance in the hood.
  • This one is a well-built unit to serve the purpose efficiently.
  • Like the other model from ARB, this one also features super high-quality hose.
  • This one is relatively fast in pumping air into the tire.
  • It’s applicable for both tire inflation (up to 35” tire) and air locker activation.
  • A vibration isolator is there to keep it stable.
  • A regulator switch is in place to regulate the pressure.
  • The thermal cut-off switch turns it off if it gets really hot. It starts when the motor cools down again.
  • You can wash the air filter without any difficulty.
  • It doesn’t make too much noise during the operation.
  • You can buy it at a reasonable cost.
Cons
  • You have to buy the tire inflator separately. (Check the price on Amazon).
  • A mounting bracket with the kit would have been a great addition.

Bottom Line

CKMA12 onboard air compressor is another go-to go mid-sized unit from ARB, which is one of the best suits for Toyota Tacoma.

After bringing down the tire pressure to 20 PSI, it takes 2 minutes to bring it to 40 PSI. So, yes, it’s satisfactorily fast. The CFM of this compressor is 3.08 CFM, it features a 50% duty cycle, and the max working pressure is 100 PSI.

I must admit, the accuracy of the gauge is bang on

Altogether, it doesn’t look like the air compressor is going to fail any time soon. You are getting a quality unit at an affordable price in this case.

3. VIAIR 10007 Constant Duty Onboard Air System Review

VIAIR 10007 Constant Duty Onboard Air System Review

Pros
  • The tank has a handy release valve at the bottom and a safety release at the top.
  • It’s IP67 rated. Therefore, it’s waterproof (not submersible for long).
  • This unit is made for both tire inflation (up to 37”) and airlock activation.
  • It’s relatively durable.
  • You can regulate the pressure from 110 PSI to 145 PSI using a switch.
  • You will get the necessary electrical connectors, tank fittings included in the kit.
  • The gauge is accurate and has an on/off switch to operate remotely.
  • I must admire the quality of the coiled air hose.
  • It’s satisfactorily quiet during the operation.
  • The tank fills up in a quick time.
  • A useful user manual comes in with the package.
  • The price is quite affordable.
Cons
  • A solenoid, an air horn switch, and a set of air horns would have been an excellent addition to the kit.
  • Following the instructions of the manual to install the unit might seem a bit tedious to you.

Bottom Line

VIAIR is another popular brand in the compressor industry. If you haven’t heard of this company, I don’t know where you guys have been.

This constant duty onboard air system is one of the best bets for your trucks that have the maximum work-load of 150 PSI.

This unit features a 100% duty cycle at 100 PSI and 1.66 CFM at 0 PSI. It draws a maximum of 19 amp.

Using the release valve and safety release, you can quickly release the moisture effortlessly.

All in all, this one is a heavy-duty onboard compressor that is quite affordable as well. The performance justifies the price completely.

Pro Tip: You will want to install the air compressor in a way so that the compressor line remains a little bit higher than the tank line. It’s because you don’t want any moisture in your compressor.

You can install the compressor anywhere you want as it’s weatherproof, and you can change the orientation based on the space.

4. VIAIR 200 PSI High Flow Air Source Kit Reviews

VIAIR 200 PSI High Flow Air Source Kit Reviews

Pros
  • This one is a 200 PSI unit. So, even more, effective for your truck.
  • The compressor is attached to the tank, which minimizes your effort to install the unit.
  • It’s a multipurpose unit. You can use it for tire inflation, truck horn, and light air tools.
  • It’s IP67 rated too.
  • This compressor works quietly.
  • It’s compact. Therefore, it is easy to fit in most of the places.
  • The tank fills up quickly.
  • The quality and finish of the tank and compressor are right on the money, I must say.
  • It comes with rubber shock mounts.
  • You can easily replace the air filter elements.
  • It’s another reasonably priced air source unit.
Cons
  • A bit slow in inflating tires. You surely need some patience in this case.
  • You have to buy the pressure regulator, air hose, and air horns separately.

Bottom Line

The maximum working pressure of this unit is a 200 PSI unit, which is one of the first reasons out of many to put this on my list.

It’s a 480C compressor and 2 gallons tank unit.

This unit features a 100% duty cycle at 100 PSI and a 50% duty cycle at 200 PSI. The maximum amp draw of this air compressor is 20 amp.

As a whole, this air compressor kit from VIAIR is another excellent and heavy-duty option for trucks. It’s durable and worth buying, considering the price for what it offers.

5. Vixen Horns VXO8330 Onboard Air Compressor Review

Vixen Horns VXO8330 Onboard Air Compressor Review

Pros
  • It’s also a 200 PSI air compressor unit.
  • Easy installation process.
  • The unit has an anti-corrosion coating that lets it last longer.
  • A pressure switch to automatically turn on and turn off the air compressor.
  • The air compressor is dust and moisture resistant.
  • The compressor has a vibrator isolator to make it stable.
  • An automatic thermal overload protector is in place in the compressor.
  • It’s an oil-less unit.
  • The kit includes the required mounting hardware, gauge, safety valve, etc.
  • It’s quite reasonably priced.
Cons
  • A bit louder than other models I’ve reviewed.
  • The quality of the compressor could have been better.

Bottom Line

Vixen is another renowned brand in the air compressor unit. Yes, it’s not as famous as VIAIR or ARB, but you can’t deny its capability of producing quality onboard air source units.

This one is a 12V air compressor unit that comes with a 3 gallons tank and an air compressor having the maximum pressure of 200 PSI.

It’s a 100% duty cycle unit at 100 PSI, and the CFM is 1.7 at 0 PSI. The maximum current draw of this unit is 23 amp.

The pressure switch turns on the air compressor when the air tank pressure goes below 170 PSI and turns off automatically when the air tank pressure reaches 200 PSI. It responds fast and is entirely accurate.

Overall, it’s another heavy-duty onboard air compressor for trucks at an affordable price.


Best On Board Air Compressor for Trucks – Buying Guide

I’m not going to make things too complicated here. If you’ve already read the onboard air compressor for truck reviews, then you got all the ideas of what to look for before buying.

Nonetheless, I’m going to describe the buying factors in brief again. Here are the points you need to consider –

Fast or Slow?

You surely want a fast unit, particularly when you are inflating the tires. So, check how fast it can pressure up the tires, also check the recommended size of the tire to get the best result.

Most of the units I listed here are quite fast in inflating tires.

Ease of Use

The unit should not be complicated to mount and use as a whole. Mainly the tank should not be gigantic by any means. Otherwise, you will face trouble fitting the unit in some places inside or outside your truck.

The package should include the necessary mounting hardware as well.

Quiet or Loud?

This is perhaps one of the significant considerations before deciding on any air compressor. It’s a blessing to get a high-quality quiet unit.

No doubt, it annoys anyone if the compressor sounds loud. At least you should be able to talk on the phone during the operation.

I’ve shortlisted all the satisfactorily quiet units except one.

Accurate Gauge

It’s another blessing if you get a gauge with the kit, and it gives actual results.

You have to make sure you are inflating the tire with an exact amount of pressure. That’s when the gauge comes in handy most.

Some companies like ARB sell both digital and analog gauge, but you have to buy them separately.

VIAIR provides the gauge with the kit.

All the units I’ve listed here feature accurate and reliable gauge.

Price

Well, the price should be reasonable and affordable for sure. However, the cost varies depending on the quality, feature, and overall construction of the unit.

For example, the ARM twin-motor unit costs more than other single motor units, which is quite usual. You have to accept that.

Final Words

Let’s recap!

In this best on board air compressors for truck reviews article, I’ve gone through 5 top-notch air compressors mentioning the highs and lows of the units.

I’ve also written a short yet practical buying guide to cater to you with the proper knowledge on different buying factors.

If you want me to vote for one, I will be going for the ARB twin motor unit for sure.

Now it’s your turn.

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