If you think cheap tyre inflators are a false economy, read Practical Motorhome's Ring RAC630 Digital Compressor & LED Light review and surprising verdict
Topping up the motorhome tyres with air before a holiday is an essential part of your routine preparations. Of course, it's essential to get tyre pressures right, not just for safety reasons, but also because under-inflated tyres will make an unwelcome dent in your fuel economy. But it can be slow driving to a garage in search of an airline with a long hose and that you can get close to in your motorhome.
Many of us have happily used foot pumps and tyre gauges for cars, but the size of most motorhome tyres would make it quite a workout to top them up to whatever the technical page in your particular 'van's handbook stipulates, using a foot pump. Thank heavens for portable electrical tyre inflators! But which of these very handy gadgets is the best tyre compressor to buy and keep on board?
During our group test of a bunch of similarly priced tyre inflators, we quickly discovered that appearances can be deceptive. So we wondered what we'd find behind the neat and unassuming exterior of the Ring RAC630 Digital Compressor & LED Light. On sale for £34.99 at the time of our review, how would it compare to the other tyre compressors on our Practical Motorhome test bench?
It would need to be good to live up to the Ring RAC640, priced at £39.99, the Halfords Advanced Rechargable Multi-Purpose Tyre Inflator at £54.99, The Halfords Rapid Digital Tyre Inflator at £34.99 and the most retro-looking tyre inflator of the lot, the cylindrical Ring RAC700 Air Compressor, costing £41.99.
The Ring RAC630 Digital Compressor & LED Light is a fast performer, inflating our 205/55 x 16 test tyre from flat to 30PSI in just two minutes and 41 seconds during our test. But speedy performance is just one of this unit's merits.
Like some others, it has the winning combination of a pleasingly accurate digital tyre gauge, displaying the tyre pressures in PSI kg/cm2. Plus you can preset this tyre compressor to your motorhome's correct tyre pressures in advance, and it has auto-stop technology so that you don't have to remain hunched over the gadget to keep an eye on it as it gets to work. There's no risk of over-inflation, either.
The Ring RAC630 Digital Compressor & LED Light is made even easier to use thanks to the generously long power lead and decent-length air hose, plus a foolproof screw-on valve coupling. It comes with its own carry case, which will help to protect it in the motorhome locker when you're driving along. It should fit into the locker reasonably well, too, since the Ring RAC630 is 170mm x 205mm x 95mm. It weighs 1.232kg, so your payload won't suffer too much overall.
The final good points to note are that the Ring RAC630 Digital Compressor & LED Light has a built-in deflate button, should you need to use it, and a good selection of lights. If you find yourself using this Ring RAC630 Digital Compressor & LED Light at night, you can use a white light to see what you are doing, or choose the red flashing light to warn fellow road-users to go round you in case of a breakdown or any other reason. Ring has even created a video on how to use a Ring tyre compressor just like it.
We were pretty impressed by the Ring RAC630 Digital Compressor & LED Light when we compared it with rival tyre inflators. Priced at £34.99, it's £20 cheaper than our overall test winner, the Halfords Advanced Rechargable Multi-Purpose Tyre Inflator at £54.99 – and it couldn't quite live up to that one. But the Ring RAC630 is exactly the same price as the Halfords Rapid Digital Tyre Inflator, at £34.99 – and we think the Ring product has the edge over that direct rival.
|Power source||Plugs in to a 12V cigarette lighter socket|
|Night time||Also has red light for SOS in case of roadside problems|
|Size||170mm high x 205mm wide x 95mm deep|
|Other uses||Comes with 3 adaptors for inflating footballs and small inflatables|
- Digital display
- Automatic cut-out
- Built-in red emergency light and white LED torch light
- Storage case
- Three nozzle adaptors so you can inflate balls and small inflatables as well as tyres
- Fast inflation time
- Long power lead and air hose
- It deflates as well as inflates
- It's not cordless
- The test winner has more nozzle adaptors to fit more inflatables