Do you travel with an air compressor? We do, and here is why. According to etrailer.com, the two most likely cause of trailer blowouts are overloading the trailer and/or under inflated tires. We do not overload our trailer.
The tires on our trailer are supposed to have a pressure of 60 PSI when sitting at rest. We were on a trip once when I checked the tire pressure and it was 54 PSI all around. That, I thought, was too low. Since it was the first time I had actually checked the pressure, I suspect it was because the place we bought it from had not bothered to fill the tires properly.
So, I had to pull up to an air pump at a gas station and fill the tires. Have you ever done that – with a trailer, I mean? What a pain! When I was a kid (a long time ago) air pumps were free. Not any more. They actually take credit cards now.
It cost $4.00 to fill the tires.
We already had a compressor for our power tools, but it never occurred to me to take it along. My experience with the pump changed my mind. On our last long trip, I brought it with us, and I’m glad I did. The trailer tires were okay, but my F-150 showed that one of my tires had a slow leak. The nice thing about the F-150 is that the Tire Pressure Monitors (TPM) show the actual pressure in each tire. They don’t just give you a warning that the pressure is low.
I had to fill that one tire every 500 miles or so. When we got home, I took the truck to our Ford dealer assuming that there was a leak in the tire stem – it turned out that there was a tiny nail in the tire. I’m not sure what would have happened if I didn’t have the compressor along.
So, my recommendation is that you bring a compressor, a digital tire gauge, and a tire inflator with a digital gauge so you can see what the pressure is as you fill the tires. Why digital gauges? Because they are far more accurate than the type that have a little “ruler” that pops up to show you the pressure. I also recommend that you check the tire pressure before you go on any trip to make sure they are properly inflated. With a compressor, you can do that at home!
Here are the products we use, all sold on Amazon (the cheapest alternative I can find).
Senco PC1010 Compressor
Digital Tire Pressure Gauge
Tire Inflator with Pressure Gauge