This post is about the Ring Automotive Air Compressor RAC900 which is an excellent pump for inflating anything with a Schrader valve, (e.g. car tyres, bicycle tyres, etc.) or balls, airbeds, etc. (3 attachments are supplied). It has to be powered by a 12 volt (30 amp peak) supply such as a car battery (not provided). So to use it with a car the bonnet must be opened and the battery cover removed to expose the battery terminals for connection. I don’t think it would be safe to connect it to a cigar lighter socket. It does come with an inline 30 amp fuse.
A few weeks ago I passed a friend in the street who was inflating his car tyres on his driveway with a Ring Automotive Air Compressor RAC900. He was very eager to show me his new tyre pump which was powered from his car battery. He explained how it had the following advantages over other tyre pumps:
- It inflated tyres very quickly.
- It had a built-in pressure gauge.
- It was very well-engineered.
- It came with a long yellow curly plastic pipe to reach all tyres on a car.
- It was very quiet compared to other 12 volt air compressors I have heard.
- It was Made in England, Leeds in fact.
He told me he had bought it from a local automotive shop J. G. Bestwick Ltd. However they had to order it for him since they didn’t stock it.
I was very impressed with what I saw. Away from a petrol station I still used a foot pump. I once bought an air compressor to inflate tyres but it was so noisy I felt inhibited from using it at home on the driveway in case I disturbed my neighbours. So I got rid of it.
I couldn’t wait to get one and found I could make a considerable saving buying it on-line through Amazon.
The Quality Of The Ring Automotive Air Compressor RAC900
Most tyre pumps connect to the valve on the tyre with a quick release mechanism having a rubber insert which, when squeezed by a lever, swells and seals against the thread on the valve. These are usually OK when new but deteriorate with usage until they leak causing loss of applied pressure. With the Ring Automotive Air Compressor RAC900 the hose is attached by screwing the brass attachment onto the valve until it seals against a sealing ring. The valve attachment has a push and turn mechanism to allow the tyre to be deflated when the pressure is too high while the compressor is still attached to the wheel valve. See the instruction label attached to the pipe. The gauge and valve connector are mounted at either end of a short section of black pipe. A brass push-together & quick release coupling, as shown below, joins it to the yellow pipe.
The take off from the pump is via a short black high pressure pipe. This then connects to the long yellow flexible coiled pipe which can be stretched to reach distant tyres. The connector coupling the two hoses is a quick release type and very well made as you can see below:
It’s very important that dirt isn’t allowed to enter any of these connectors as it may prevent them sealing when coupled. It may be very difficult to remove any dirt that gets into the connectors. One of the arguments against this device.
The compressor is driven by a powerful looking 12 volt electric motor which can draw up to 23 amps from the battery if required. The cable connects to the car battery with two substantial spring clips and has an in-line 30 amp fuse. There is an ON/OFF switch at the motor end of the casing with a nice translucent rubber dust cover over it. I don’t know if it is waterproof.
NOTE: the BLACK connector attaches to the NEGATIVE (-ve) battery terminal and the RED connector attaches to the POSITIVE (+ve) battery terminal. See images below:
The compressor and motor have four rubber feet at the corners to rest on the ground and absorb vibration. The unit also has a nice handle allowing the unit to be balanced in the hand when picked up. See featured image.
Below you can see the compressor connected to a car tyre:
All of the parts can be kept in this nice bag with two compartments, a large one for the compressor and smaller one for the pipes and attachments:
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