We’ve already discussed caravan tyres extensively, but in a more general way on Caravan Helper. In this post we want to tackle the issue of inflating and deflating tyres and investing in the right equipment to help you do this. As the other post covers, there are various issues related to the actual tyres that can make or break your time on the road in your tourer.
Along with the wheels needing to be the right size and type, in good condition and aligned correctly, they also need to be inflated to the right pressure level. As there are no tyres especially designed or developed for caravans and they use the same products you’d use on small vans or even cars, you need to regularly check the tyre pressure.
While it’s true you could easily go to the nearest garage or service station, that might not always be possible. For instance, what if you have already pitched up at the site where you are staying and are in the middle of nowhere? What if it’s only at that point you realise there is a problem with the tyres, whether they are overinflated or underinflated? In those situations, it helps to have a back-up plan. One particularly great back-up plan is to invest in a tyre inflator, like one of the Ryobi tyre inflators from their highly regarded ONE+ family of tools.
What is a Tyre Inflator?
A tyre inflator is a fairly self-explanatory device, similar to a pump and air compressor. The major difference is that a tyre inflator has been designed specifically with the main function of inflating and deflating tyres so that they are always filled to the correct air pressure level.
Why Choose a Ryobi Tyre Inflator?
As you’d imagine, there are a number of great tyre inflator options available on the market. You may wonder why we’ve singled out the Ryobi models? Well, one good reason why is that they are extremely popular and it’s with good reason as they are affordably priced, made to high standards of quality, perform the function they were designed for exceptionally well, are easy to use and very accurate. The fact that they are lightweight and portable, are also worth noting.
Now that we’ve discussed why you need a tyre inflator and why you should give some serious consideration to a Ryobi model, we are going to look at some of the best models available. First, two Ryobi tyre inflators and then two alternatives if, for whatever reason, the Ryobi products don’t appeal to you.
Ryobi Tyre Inflators
First, we have the Ryobi R18I-0 18v ONE+ cordless and dual function inflator/deflator. This offers high volume for simple inflatables and high-pressure inflation. It has been made to be extremely user friendly with simple controls and an automatic shut-off that will stop the inflator from increasing the air pressure in a tyre beyond what you set it to. You also have the benefit of a digital display that gives an accurate reading of the pressure level.
Setting it up is simple and easy too and it comes with all the adaptors, nozzles and hoses you need that are conveniently stored on the machine itself meaning it doesn’t take up more space than necessary.
As it can be used for just about anything, you have the option between low pressure high volume and high-pressure low volume inflation. As noted earlier, it can also be used to deflate.
It’s also important to note as it’s part of the ONE+ family of 18v power tools from Ryobi, it is sold as just the body without the necessary charger. This is to help save you money in the long run and also means if you have already invested in another Ryobi ONE+ 18v power tool, you can use the same Lithium+ battery pack and charger (for more information about the relevant power pack, check out our article further down the page) that came with that device to power and charge the R18I-O tyre inflator.
As a lightweight and versatile tool, we think this would be a great addition to your caravan outfit. Even if you don’t need to use it for your tyres, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Besides, it can be used to inflate just about anything else, so if you have an inflatable awning or some other inflatable accessories you take with you when caravanning, this can help pump them all up.
The second item in our list is also the second Ryobi tyre inflator we want to highlight. The Ryobi R18PI-0 18v ONE+ high pressure inflator shares a lot in common with the above product. For one thing, it’s part of the extremely cost-effective ONE+ range which means you can use it with the same battery pack and charger unit you have for other Ryobi ONE+ plus tools. Another similarity is that it offers a lightweight and portable method of inflating tyres and many other items and accessories to the required pressure level. The biggest difference is that it is not designed to deflate tyres or anything else.
While it may lack a deflation mode, it more than makes up for in its high pressure of 150Psi/10.3bar inflation, meaning it’s able to inflate tyres to 32Psi in just 2-minutes and has a generously long hose of 50cm. Much like the above model, it can be used to inflate more than just caravan and car tyres and comes with a complete kit that includes a thumb-lock tyre valve, a presto valve, sports ball needle and high-pressure tapered-style nozzle.
As the models above are sold as just the bare tool without a battery pack and charger, if you do not own any other power tools from the Ryobi ONE+ 18v range, you’ll need this product. This Lithium+ 5.0Ah battery is all you need for either tool. It has a tough and durable design and features overload protection technology that means you will get a very long life out of it. Using the IntelliCell technology devised by Ryobi there is monitoring for each individual cell in the battery to ensure you get the maximum level of performance and run-time.
Although it’s actually more expensive than the actual tools listed above, because it can be used with any Ryobi 18v ONE+ power tool old, current or new, you may actually save money in the long-run from opting for Ryobi models whenever you need to buy any other power tools and devices further down the line.
Some Ryobi Tyre Inflator Alternatives
To give you other options, if the Ryobi does not meet your budget or needs for whatever other reason, we’ve highlighted two other products with similar functionality and high quality design.
First, we have the TACKLIFE ACP1C digital tyre inflator. This relatively low-price option offers fast inflation and the ability to programme your required pressure level so that it will automatically shut-off when it’s reached to avoid over inflation of your tyres. It features a very accurate and digital pressure gauge that follows the guidelines set by ANSI B40.1 International Accuracy Standards.
With 2.3ft of hose and 10ft of power cord, it’s got enough reach to cover all four tyres on your towing vehicle and the two or four on your tourer. When using at night, there is an LED light and I also features a red warning light and can generate an SOS light signal if you need emergency help.
Much like the Ryobi models it can be used to inflate anything from cars to motorcycles, bicycles, balls and just about anything else inflatable.
Our final product is very similar to the Ryobi R18PI-0 in its design but is available at a fraction of the price (once you factor in the price of the Ryobi battery charger pack). This is a lightweight and compact tyre inflate that can be powered by either the 12v power pack or the 1500mAh lithium-ion rechargeable battery. It is very easy to use and offers the choice of three different measurements, based on what you prefer (KPA, BAR and PSI) and enables you to set the digital pressure to the desired amount so you don’t accidentally overinflate your tyres. As with the other models in this list, it will automatically shut itself off once the required pressure level has been reached.
With an onboard LED light, you can still inflate your tyres in the middle of the night or poor lighting conditions and it comes with a 15cm air hose and three different nozzle fittings – a threaded tip to use for inflating tyres, a wide pin for working with just about any other inflatables and a narrow pin for balls.
There you have it folks, a look at four of the best options for tyre inflators available right now.
Obviously, deciding which is the best tyre inflator for you is down to your own personal preferences and needs. We do think the Ryobi models have a lot of good points that push them head and shoulders above the rest of the competition. However, we think the two alternatives we’ve highlighted are good and cheaper alternatives.
Whatever you decide, we’re sure at Caravan Helper you will enjoy having that peace of mind on your next caravanning adventure, knowing if you have any tyre inflation problems that you will be able to solve them with little to no stress.