Why we’ve got a second 12V Compressor

We’ve had a Bushranger Supermax air compressor for more than 10 years now, and up until recently its been hugely reliable. On our last trip up north I had issues with the fuse blowing a couple of times, and it got me thinking about the need to carry a second 12V compressor.

I want one purely for redundancy, not for being able to pump tyres up any faster, or to carry more gear. As it is our compressor will do all 6 tyres from a high speed gravel driving pressure to road pressures in about 10 minutes, and we aren’t ever really in a hurry, so it works just fine.

However, after doing 170km of gravel and 4WDing along Skull Springs Road, we pulled onto the bitumen and I said to Sarah we better find somewhere to air up.

Not long after, we pulled off the road and I grabbed the compressor out, plugged it into the Anderson on the rear of the vehicle and flicked it on, and it made a half hearted fart, and then died. I removed the fuse and checked it looked OK, and still couldn’t get it to work.

Bushranger Super Max Air Compressor
Our Bushranger Super Max air compressor has blown a few fuses

Lovely. More than 100km of bitumen to our next spot, then another 100km after that and I knew it would be almost impossible trying to get a 12V compressor in Marble Bar, Tom Price, Mt Augustus or Gascoyne Junction, and that presented a bit of a problem.

Fortunately it fired up with a new fuse, and it was problem free for the rest of the trip, but I couldn’t help but wonder if it did die, or something else failed (even the air hose, which we have no parts for), what sort of inconvenience would it cause?

With a lap of Australia on the cards, not having a working compressor would be a major problem, especially if you’d just come off the beach and were a long way away from the nearest town!

We are mainly be travelling on our own, and that means we have to be self sufficient. I’ve grabbed my Dad’s old budget Bushranger compressor (which we bought him more than a decade ago) as a backup on our lap of Australia, as I don’t want to be in a situation where we have no compressor to pump our 6 tyres back up again!

The Bushranger Compressors are good value
We’ve grabbed Dad’s old Bushranger Compressor as a backup

I also had our auto electrician look at the compressor, and he hard wired it into our starter battery and removed the fuse on the compressor all together. The cabling has a fuse closer to the battery that is better quality, and he did make mention that those fuses are really not very good quality, and often cause problems.

Compressor on an anderson
These fuses are known to be quite temperamental on larger current draw appliances

We’ve had no issues since with our Bushranger Compressor, but I have a bit of peace of mind knowing that if it does fail we aren’t completely stuck!

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  1. Hey Lucas,

    I wonder if the connections going to the fuse were dodgy, as it literally worked perfectly fine for more than 8 years, but the cables were often wound up and back out again.

    Either way, no issues since deleting the fuse and hardwiring it in, and we love the fact that its always there, and ready to go.

    It’s a good idea to carry a second compressor I reckon.

    Safe travels

  2. Yeah, this kind of fuse is used for audio and not really good for compressor applications. Hardwired with a proper fuse should solve this. I recently got a spare one too since the good old Ozito started coughing a bit when pumping our 8 muddies.