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Air Compressor Lines: Plastic, Vinyl, & Rubber

Article written by Moab Man

Date Added: 03/08/2009

It's that time of the year to change out the low density winter air, currently in your tires, for some higher density summer air.

More and more Jeep owners are adding air compressors to their Jeeps. Some are converting their spent air conditioning compressor units, others are adding motor driven compressors, and some add an electric compressor with a tank. Whatever your choice of compressor, you need a means to get the air to your tires. Typically there are three types of hoses sold, and before you throw money away, we want you to make the right choice.
The most commonly seen on the trail, and cheapest, is the Recoil Air Hose. This airline is made from a hard plastic, typically yellow, and always tries to pull itself back into a small package.
Pros: It's CHEAP and does not take up very much room.

Cons: If you let go of the airline it "recoils" away from you. It also has a bad habit of the coils catching on things.

Verdict: The airline works, but can be frustrating to use. Colder temps don't help as it becomes less flexible. The line could break if it is kinked.

A better quality upgrade is this vinyl/plastic line.
Pros: It's a real airline and a lot of length can be picked up relatively inexpensive. This line would be ideal with either a shop compressor or your Jeeps on-board air.

Cons: Vinyl/plastic hose does have a memory. The memory only gets worse as the temperature goes down. In cold temperatures it becomes a wrestling match as the line does not want to flex. Kinking the line in the cold may be damaging.

Verdict: If you live in a warm climate this hose will work for you. Otherwise, you have a seasonal use hose.

The last type of airline, and our recommendation, is the good old rubber hose.
Pros: Flexible at pretty much all temps, sorry Alaska. Can be repaired if damaged. Ideal for shop use, or on the trail. Can be coiled into a relatively small package for trail use. Kinking the line will not damage it.

Cons: Theft - it's a nice line and may sprout legs and walk away. Cost - typically a few dollars more than vinyl/plastic airlines, and twice the price of a Recoil airline.

Verdict: The few extra bucks to purchase a rubber line, instead of vinyl/plastic, is well worth the money. To put it simply, this line is frustration free.

Final Thoughts

We confess, there is no such thing as winter or summer air in your tires. But it is a really good prank, if you're good enough to sell it, and conveniently you have an air hose to lend them.

Our Thank You's!

Thank you for reading MOABJEEPER Magazine.
 


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