Occaisonally I like to highlight bestsellers for current seasons and this year the family tent that is ranking highest in family cabin tent sales is the Columbia Cougar Flats II Family Cabin tent. With the July 4th weekend just passed, a lot of large families have realized it is time to upgrade their tent before the next summer long weekend and the Cougar Flats 10 man tent has led the field in sales so far, According to Amazon. I have a pretty extensive Columbia Cougar flats II family cabin tent review here. The Eureka Copper Canyon has come a close second favorite, but in terms of customer reviews, the Columbia tent is still the better option.
It´s worth taking a look at the advantages of spending a fair amount of cash on a motorcycle jack or a lift table. Every job on your motorcycle is easier with the best motorcycle lift on the market, from regular cleaning and polishing to major engine work. There´s a reason you´ll find one in every motorbike mechanics workshop. Take a look at the sort of maintenance you will now be able to perform at home and calculate the savings to see if a motorcycle jack will pay for itself.
It is also very important to consider the size of your workspace and if you are regularly going to need to move the jack or the lift table for other things. Unless you have a workspace dedicated to your motorcycle, it is probably a better idea to go for something like a motorcycle jack that you can move when it is not in use. A lift table is a lot harder to do this. A good quality jack is the OTC 1545 motorcycle lift which can be found on Amazon with free shipping.
If you want to do further research, the next time you are at the bike workshop, ask around to a few mechanics. They have most likely used all sorts of different tables and jacks and can surely offer you some advice for find the best one for you. Look for a brand that is long-lasting, durable and is worth the money. In my experience you will either get told to look for OTC or Craftsman when it comes to jacks.
Take time to see a lift has all the features you need. If you are currently using crates and all sorts of other contraptions, take care. One wrong bump and your prized possession could be lying on its side on the floor. A quality lift can prevent this from happening, as well as other occupational accidents that really aren´t worth risking when you are working on a motorcycle.
For offroading, camping, 4×4 and overland treks a 12 volt air compressor is essential for self-rescue and proper adjustment of tire pressure for any particular situation. We believe the Viair 300p portable air compressor is the best on the market today and here is why:
No outlet required. It can connect to your battery system which means it is ready for when and where you need it.
A 5 in 1 pressure guage lets you know when to start and when to stop compressing.
A quiet, well built and portable construction means it is perfect to chuck in the back of the Jeep to be handy for when you need it.
Read the full Viair 300p portable air compressor review here!
Has your portable air compressor just stopped working? Here´s a few steps to fix the problem yourself and save the time and effort of shipping it away for warranty or simply unnecessarily returning the unit. These machines like the Viair 300p are extremely handy and portable but do require a minimum level of maintenance.
The main consideration you need to be aware of is that operating the machine and producing compressed air also creates moisture when the water is extracted from the air. It is a good idea to develop the habit of draining the compressor tank before you begin to operate the unit. Not doing this can mean you will end up with a tank that is full of water, instead of air. If you can do this every time, you are giving the machine its best chance to operate perfectly for years to come. In most of the cases, I have found that problems are caused from general use and wear of the compressor and the fix is relatively easily. This is where to begin:
- Check the portable air compressor is plugged into the wall socket and the wall socket is functional. Basic yes, but the amount of times this is the cause of our electrical nightmares is more than you would think.
- Make sure the power switch of the compressor is in the On position. When a compressor does not appear to be running it is due to the tank pressure exceeding the cut-in pressure. This means the compressor is in the correct pressure range to begin use. The actual compressor itself does not need to be operating at this point of time. When you begin using the tool, the compressor will begin again to maintain the pressure.
- If you are operating the machine in cold temperatures outside or below freezing, this can cause the machine to stop working. Relocated the compressor inside for enough period of time to return to normal operating temperature.
- Check for leaks in the tubes if you are not getting enough pressure. Tighten the fittings but not too tight as you can cause more damage and make a bigger headache for yourself. Brush soapy water over any areas you think might be losing air and look for bubbles.
- Unfasten, remove and clean the valve. If you have been operating the portable compressor in dirty conditions, it can be blocked and pass on leaks to other parts of the compressor.
- Ease off on the use of the compressor if it is not building enough pressure. It is a possibility that a gasket has been blown, so replace it. It is under the head. Check all the valves and look for signs of cracks or wear that mean it won´t seal like it used to. Check the tightness of the head, as it may be loose and require tightening the bolts.
- If none of these are the issues, check for a leak at the tank. This situation is more common for much older compressors. Use the soapy water again and even check the welds. A leaking tank will require replacement. Trying to weld the tank will just mean it will rupture the next time so don´t waste your time.
Check out my Viair 300p Portable Air Compressor Review to read about a unit that doesn´t break down. It is absolutely killing it on its reviews on Amazon right now.
As we spend more and more time working on motorbikes at home, there are a few things we can do to make maintenance work easier, faster and safer. The cost savings, the peace of mind and the self-development factors alone are enough to convince you to start learning how your bike really works and doing more and more of the tasks at home, instead of sending it off to a bike shop for $60 plus per hour.
- Most regular maintenance procedures have been outlined extensively with pics and documentation. Check out these resources to find great articles for common procedures:
- Use forums. There is an active community of bike experts willing to help out and you´d be suprised how quickly you can get a response. If you have a unique issue and can´t find any articles on the web. This is where you go: www.advrider.com
- Equip your garage. Making some modifications to your motorcycle garage will go a long ways in making your next motorcycle maintenance job easier and quicker. Doing extensive work on your bike? Consider getting the best motorcycle jack you can find, like the OTC 1545 motorcycle jack. This can make access to the rear tire and deeper engine work a helluva lot easier. Consider getting a tool board, a board set up to arrange your tools to keep them organised. Some people can work in clutter, but a small time spent on organising your tools can make your shop a lot more inviting.
- If you´re too tense you will tense the bolts too much. Learn this and other pearls of motorcycle maintenance that go beyond the norm in the must read Zen & The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. A classic.
- Invite your friends from internet forums, riding clubs and other people you know who know more than you. Most bikers are happy to help out other bikers with their bikes for free or for a couple of beers and pizza. Get involved in your local bike communities and build a network of friends you can go riding with and share tech knowledge.
Keeping a maintenance log will also make sure your bike is always in pristine condition. Inspect your motorcycle closely and fix things right away if you notice potential trouble. That’s the only way to see problems before you have an accident.
Viair 300p Auto Air Compressor
An air compressor increases the amount of air in a particular space. By packing in the air, the air pressure is increased which creates a force that is useful for a variety of purposes, from industrial and manufacturing to commercial and personal purposes.
The original air compressor is the lung. When you take a deep breath to blow out your birthday candles, for example, you’re increasing the pressure of the air in your lungs, which effectively is an air compressor containing pressurized air. You then use the force of the air in your lungs to blow out the flames of your birthday candles.
Eventually, man-made air compressors were created. These fall generally fall into one of two types, positive displacement or dynamic, defined by its mode of operation. A positive displacement air compressor works by filling and then emptying an air chamber. Three common types of positive displacement air compressors are: reciprocating, rotary screw and rotary sliding vane. A dynamic air compressor, on the other hand, uses a a rotating device to accelerate and then decelerate air. This process uses the speed or velocity of the air to increase the air’s pressure. Centrifugal air compressors are dynamic air compressors.
Compressed air can be used in a variety of ways. It can be used to alter the chemical composition as in the case of making fertilizer or it can be used for industrial purposes like production line manufacturing processes or it can be used to maintain industrial plants. Perhaps the most well known use of the air compressor is in the case of pneumatic tools like air powered nail guns, staplers, sanders, spray guns, or ratchet wrenches. The best portable Air compressors can also be used to move debris. These tools are commonly available at hardware stores for purchase or rental.
Another way to group air compressor types is by the number of stages it has. A two-stage air compressor is usually used for heavy duty use. This type of unit offers a higher level of compression than smaller, single stage air compressors. A two-stage air compressor can store air for future use, and is more energy efficient since it produces more air per unit of horsepower than a single stage compressor. Also, less heat is generated in a two-stage compressor, which means that wear on the unit is reduced. Portable electric air compressors are also available for light-duty applications.
Depending on the type of air compressor, operation costs can be high, as in the case of plant maintenance. While air compressors can run on manual labor, like a hand powered air compressors, most run on either electricity or natural gas. It’s the natural gas air compressor that is usually more cost-effective. If the air compressor is used in a small, enclosed area, an electric model may be more desirable in order to avoid gas fumes.
The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) attests to the quality and protective features of air compressors. Their rating can be considered in evaluating air compressors for purchase or rental. In some states, only ASME-certified air compressors may be sold. Some safety features include a safety relief valve, which lets air escape if the tank’s pressure exceeds the maximum. The air compressor should also have a belt guard for protection, and an enclosed air intake filtration system.
When not being used, air compressors should be properly powered off and unplugged.
Check out my portable air compressor reviews here.