Tire Air Compressor for driving on sand - Question

Hey there. I’m going to Great Sand Dunes National Park and there is a road at 10k ft elevation. Apparently it’s very sandy up there too. There is a recommendation to reduce tire pressure and after you go across sand to air your tires back up with an air compressor. I have a half-ton 4wd pickup that I plan on taking on the road. Question is: does anyone have a recommendation on an air compressor? Thanks in advance.

In the RV community Viair seems to be the best choice. They have a variety of compressors to fit you needs. They have compressors that connect via cigarette lighter or directly to the battery. The ones that connect to the battery have a little more power since they can draw more amperage.

Milwaukee makes a great little compressor. Cars, trucks, RV, bicycles. Portable and you set the pressure and it turns itself off when it reaches it. Love it.

I am a big fan of Viair, they haven’t let me down when I used them in our Jeep Wrangler and now in our RV. Whatever you decide, don’t skimp. You get what you pay for, which is how I ended up saving a guy in camp recently who was trying to air up a trailer tire with a $20 unit from Amazon. It burned out and he lost all the pressure in his tire, so instead of being a little low it was now flat. He said it was the second one he had issues with. I think he learned his lesson this time. -Ari

I appreciate the input for sure! I’m not sure if I’m going to air down my tires or not on this trip as my vehicle seems ok without doing that but I’m definitely going to look into the options you’ve thrown my way. Somebody on another forum suggested a pancake compressor and another person suggested a Ryobi air compressor. Just fyi.

Thanks again.

I’ve pulled people out of sand who neglected airing down. It really does make a huge difference and should be seriously considered if the sand is soft.

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Airlift makes a setup with a tank called the quick shot. Typically if you dont have a tank your need a 100% duty cycle to fill large offroad tires. ARB makes one but they are hard to find right now due to all the camping gear demand.

Pretty much any moderate quality (non plastic) air compressor will work; the biggest differences in the, at least moderate, quality compressors mean that the small ones overheat easily and take longer to inflate tires (especially bigger tires ).
Sand especially the powdery stuff , is best traversed at lower air pressures and using fat tires for flotation, narrow tires in powder are a recipe for stuck, IMO… The road through the great sand dunes north to Medano pass should be no problem at its south end; you don’t hit the sand usually until you get to the less traveled north end. If you try to get through be prepared for bottomless powder sand between the two.

If you off road Mt. Blanka is just east of the dunes , you don’t even have to go through the park. It has so pretty good four wheeling obstacles (don’t try it in the snow or slippery/wet it can be quite dangerous… lockers & experience recommended.
I you can get to the lower lake it is great primitive camping.