Whether you are driving down a poorly maintained forest road to your tree-stand, or you are exploring new trails in the mountains in order to find a secret campsite, having a basic understanding of your vehicle's tire pressure can be very helpful.
Most car owners understand the virtue of proper tire pressure as it relates to fuel economy. Likewise, many off-roaders recognize that decreasing tire pressure or “airing down” from standard highway running pressure drastically improves off-road stability, ride quality, and traction. Airing down increases the size of the vehicle’s contact patch with the ground.
However, upon returning to maintained roads, the off-road adventure enthusiast likely will need to return his truck to standard tire pressure in order to maintain fuel economy and minimize unnecessary tire wear. Moreover, the off-roader is far more likely to need to repair a punctured tire, and so being able to re-inflate a repaired tire is crucial. In the backwoods of America, there are seldom gas stations equipped with air compressors or friends with garages full of air tools, so bringing your own air compressor is a must. On this episode of Overland Lab, I will showcase a simple DIY project to assemble an affordable, effective, and tough air compressor setup on a budget.