Best 12v air compressor for truck tires (Top picks)

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Shop for the best 12v air compressor for truck tires from these 5 monster units

When leaving for remote or off-road areas, it’s important that you toss all the essentials in your “carry-in-case-of-emergencies” kit.

The one accessory you leave behind may inevitably be the one you’ll need most during an emergency so pack the truck carefully.

For example, if pressure drops because of rains and snow when out there, you’ll be left to curse your luck if you didn’t carry an air compressor with you.

We don’t want that to happen so we will help you shop for the best 12v air compressor for truck tires for emergency roadside use in this article.

Of course, trucks use bigger tires so you want something that’s powerful enough to get the job done pretty fast and smoothly.

That rules out the cheaper less than 1CFM, cigar lighter powered models- they’re simply not an option for truck tires.

Here are the five units our team narrowed down to after looking around dozens of other options out there.

Trust us: these will not disappoint:

Best 12v air compressor for truck tires – our 5 best rated picks in summary

Top- rated: VIAIR 00088 88p portable air compressor– best for light duty truck tires (budget price too)

For light duty truck tire or SUVs with tires that take 65 PSI (or less) then the Viair 88P is good enough. And you can’t beat the price.

#2- Viair 300p (best medium duty compressor)

This is amazing for trucks tires that need 80PSI-Please read the full review after this to understand why.

#3- Viair 450p air compressor (best for trucks tires that need 110PSI)

Don’t underestimate this: because it has a 100% duty cycle rating @ 100 PSI, the Viair 450P is one of the best solutions for 110PSI truck tires. 

We cannot emphasize this enough!

#4- GSPSCN heavy duty truck air compressor (very durable)

A nice compact air compressor for truck tires and incredibly easy to use and store in a truck.

#5- Tirewell 12v tire inflator heavy duty  (packed full of nice features)

There are cool features such as the screw-on air hose and an impressively long power cord. And yes, it quickly fills up most truck tires.

Best 12v air compressor for truck tires – complete reviews and specs

Now, these five models are fast, sturdy, and do the job done in oversized tires with zero problems while running off your battery or cig lighter (in some cases).

They’re quiet too (they don’t buzz or vibrate all around).

Plus, they’re multifunctional so you can use it to inflate an inflatable kayak, air mattresses, pool floats etc.

It’s also worth noting that they’re quite easy to use and generally come with a hose long enough to reach the rear tires when you need it to.

Here are the full reviews:

#1- VIAIR 00088 88p portable air compressor– best for light duty truck tires (budget friendly)

heavy duty 12v tire inflator

As mentioned, this is a good choice for trucks with tires requiring 65-80 PSI.

Here is how it performs on different tires (we gathered this data from real users):

>> ‘Perfect to have in my truck toolbox for beach-driving. It works perfectly to refill my tires when done’

>> ‘This aired up my 4 truck tires very quickly. What a find!’

>> ‘This compressor easily pumps up my truck tires which run 50PSI!’

Summary of key features

  • Max Working Pressure: 120PSI (keep the engine running during use).
  • Air flow:47 CFM
  • Amp Draw (Max): 20Amps
  • Duty Cycle: 25-mins (at 30 PSI.)
  • Connection: Via alligator clamps (direct to battery).
  • Others: LED/Power indicator, 16 Feet Air Hose, 10 Feet Power Cord, 3-piece Inflation Tip Kit


#2- VIAIR 300P Portable Compressor

Best Portable Air Compressor For Truck Tires

The VIAIR 00088 88p portable air compressor is, on the whole, a great option and is priced cheaper but we love the VIAIR 300P model more for trucks that need to be aired past 65 PSI.

Reason? The former struggles to pump beyond 65PSI and often blow fuses (arghh!).

The duty cycle here is 33% @ 100 PSI meaning it runs for 20 minutes in an hour.

Here is how the VIAIR 300P works for selected users:

>> ‘I pumped six tires up from 60psi-80psi in about 5mins total.’

>> ‘Pumps up my ¾-ton truck tires nicely… great for a super quick inflate and a must-have in my truck when heading out.’

>> ‘Pumped up my truck tires from 65 to 80PSI real quick.’

Summary of key features

  • Duty cycle: 33% (@ 100 PSI)
  • Air flow:40CFM
  • working pressure: 150 PSI
  • Amp draw: 28 Amps
  • Connection: via alligator clips directly to battery posts
  • Others: Automatic reset thermal protection, Heavy-duty sand tray (with vibration isolators), 3-piece inflation tips kit, 25feet 5-in-1 Inflator/Deflator AirHose (with 100 PSI Gauge), 8 ft. power cord length.


#3- Viair 450p air compressor (best for trucks with tires that need 110PSI)

what size air compressor do i need to fill truck tires

The 450P is a 100% duty cycle unit (at 100 PSI) and so you can expect it to pump your truck or RV tires continually without having overheating or fuse problems.

Sure, it costs way more than the previous two Viair units, but it’s the way to go if you’re looking for a heavy-duty air compressor that will air up the biggest truck tires in record time.

We can guarantee that you’ll be very happy with it.

Look at some of the raving reviews from users who own it:

>> ‘Bought it to help air up my big truck tires up and works awesome.’

>> ‘I have used this device to air my 80 PSI truck tires and 110 PSI toy hauler tires and I’m loving it. So fast and easy!.’

>> ‘Great unit with fantastic duty cycle and extremely high pressure. It makes topping truck tires a piece of cake.’

Summary of key features

  • Max Working Pressure: 150PSI (keep engine running during use)
  • Air flow:80CFM
  • Duty cycle: 100% (@ 100 PSI)- continuously operates for up to 1 hour before needing cooling.
  • Amp draw: 23 Amps
  • Connection: Powered direct to truck 12v battery again with alligator clamps
  • Others: tire inflation gun (with 150 PSI gauge), built-in pressure switch, 60 feet air hose, tons of RV attachments, 5-degree air chuck wand, 3-pc inflation tips, vibration-isolated sand tray, Automatic Shut-Off Function
  • Fit Type: Universal


#4- GSPSCN silver tire inflator heavy duty (very durable)

portable air compressor truck

While Viair is perhaps the most well-known brand when it comes to quality portable air compressors, there are other reliable brands.

One of these is GSPSCN, an increasingly popular maker of professional air compressors.

Now, GSPSCN’s heavy duty truck air compressor made it to our best 12v air compressor for truck tires shortlist thanks to its second-to-none construction quality.

It’s worth mentioning that it airs truck tires up to 100psi with a minimum of fuss.

Here is what others are saying about this durable device:

>> ‘I have had zero issues airing up my ¾-ton truck tires with the device. It’s fast and super efficient.’

>> ‘Nice compact compressor for truck tires, up to 100psi’.

>> ‘Went for this to replace my passenger car air compressor that was lacking when airing my big truck tires. Very happy so far.’

Summary of key features

  • Amp draw: 25A
  • Max Working pressure:150PSI
  • Air flow:47CFM(70L/min)
  • Duty cycle: 20 minutes/ cool down for 5-10 minutes
  • Connection: Cigarette lighter (11.5ft cigar lighter power cord included) or battery ( battery clamps included too)
  • Others: 3 adapters (to inflate other items),  1.8ft inflation tube, screw connector for the tire mouth, swingable handle, rubber feet.


#5- Tirewell 12v tire inflator heavy duty  (packed full of nice features)

best 12v portable air compressor for truck tires

There are loads of delightful features in this tire inflator from Tirewell including the screw-on air hose, the 16.4 ft extender hose, a built-in tire pressure gauge, and foam covered handle.

And like the rest, it pumps significantly quicker making it an alternative for truck tires, especially if you’re unable to buy any of the top 3 units in our best 12v air compressor for truck tires list because of financial reasons.

Like the GSPSCN unit, this air compressor has a separate cigarette lighter plug (11.5ft) along with a separate battery hookup (about 2.6ft)

Listen to some of its users:

>> ‘Excellent higher volume infiltrator. Works great for my big truck tires’.

>> ‘Works flawlessly on both my 5th wheel and work trucks.’

>> ‘It filled my truck tires in no time. Was surprised that it’s so quiet too.’

Summary of key features

  • Amp draw: 15A
  • Max Working pressure:150PSI
  • Air flow:12CFM
  • Duty cycle: Do not run beyond 15-20 minutes/cool for 5-10 minutes.
  • Connection: Cigarette lighter or battery
  • Others: Rubber feet, air hose (with fittings), air flow valve, 3 adapters, 11.5 ft  Power cord

Best 12v air compressor for truck tires – frequently asked questions

What size air compressor do i need to fill truck tires?

In theory, any compressor will air up those huge tires to the needed PSI.

In fact, even a bike pump can do the trick though it takes a decade to pump that much.

However, bigger, heavy-duty compressors do it quicker because of the improved airflow so they’re more convenient.

Additionally, smaller 12v units tend to get pretty hot if run continuously for a long time.

The major downside of the bigger compressors is the cost: they cost as much as x10 the small units so it often comes down to your budget.

All that said, you can get by with as little as 1.5 CFM but 2-4CFM should do the job faster for truck tires in our opinion.

ALSO READ: Highest CFM 12v air compressor in the market reviewed.

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