non traditional inflators - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 03-09-2017   #1
 
plainfield, New Jersey
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Apr 2016
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non traditional inflators

In my boating career I have used a bunch of different inflation options to get the rubber full of air. Back in my commercial days we used a blue man of rubber blower with two vac hoses and a blowoff valve that we would push shut so we did not have to work as hard topping off, also used a big red blower too, both of those attached to a nice, quiet gas powered genny (please note the sarcasm).
Later in life as a private boater, I have used a 4 inch carlson, Kpumps, suck and blow pumps (which mainly suck) bellows foot pumps (also in the suck column) a 12 volt lvm, and a few blowers. The LVM is my current primary pump, but it is really fussy, screams like a banshee, and has a stuck switch. I have resigned myself to it grenading at some point in the next few years. My favorite pump is a craftsman electric leaf blower with a new nozzle. BUT it only stretches as far as the extension cord, and I think I would need a mighty large inverter to run it.

I recently noticed home depot was clearancing the single battery 18 volt makita blowers, so I grabbed one, bought it home, and found my self REALLY unimpressed. took about twice the time as the lvm, 5 times longer than the shopvac, and then it is possible for accidentally cook the LiON batteries when leaving it in the truck during summer floats.

What am I missing? is there a better option I have not hit yet? Anyone else have a better idea? Better platform?

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Old 03-09-2017   #2
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Boise, Idaho
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I mounted a 2000 watt inverter under the seat of my pickup. I have a little 1.5HP shop vac that turned on it's side also slides under the back seat. that thing can blow up rafts and IK's with no problems. then I just top off with a little barrel pump to get full pressure (usually 3 or 4 pumps per chamber from it) I've helped tons of people at putins save a bunch of sweat.
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Old 03-09-2017   #3
 
plainfield, New Jersey
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I think that may be the direction I am going in, how did you wire it up? Did you have to run wires through the firewall?
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Old 03-09-2017   #4
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Boise, Idaho
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Since I put mine under the back seat, I just ran 4awg wire from the battery under the rig along the frame, then I pulled the trim along the door, pulled the carpet back, drilled a hole through the floor, put a rubber grommet in place, and ran the wire through it. I grounded by placing a bolt in one of the holes in the frame right near where I drilled. I really like having it there available all the time, it comes in handy quite often. You do need a 1500 or 2000 watt inverter though to power the shop vacs.. my wife's Lexus RX350 has a 450 watt built in inverter.. and it can't power the shop vac. but it's okay for charging laptops and stuff. another plus is you can power a regular coffee maker off of it.. great for car camping.
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Old 03-09-2017   #5
 
Fort Collins, Colorado
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THis may be less sophisticated than what you're looking for. I use a shop vac at home, and not a very good one. It's easy and the time to inflate seems reasonable to me. My dad has a much nicer shop vac that goes faster and to a higher pressure.
On the road I use a very standard edition Coleman air mattress pump, powered by cigarette lighter outlet. The cord isn't very long so I have to move the boat around a bit to get to all the valves, but it does the trick. I've never been too clear on why more people don't use this type of pump. I guess it takes a little while, but the time seems pretty reasonable for about $12 compared to the over $100 other pumps seem to cost. Maybe there's concern that the motor will burn out fast? I don't know, been using mine for several years without issue. For the use I've gotten out of it and the cost, I would just buy another one. Takes a little more to get it topped off, but works well for me. I guess if I was doing a whole bunch of boats I might want more power, but that isn't an issue for me.
In either case I top off with a barrel pump.
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Old 03-09-2017   #6
 
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Grants Pass, Oregon
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I use one of those cheap ass double action pumps from Bi-Mart (an Oregon membership chain store) run by a twelve year old. Kind of noisy but reasonably dependable and voice activated. Only $19.99 and fills the raft in the time it takes to park the truck and drink a beer.
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Old 03-10-2017   #7
 
plainfield, New Jersey
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That is funny stuff, my voice activated model is a little bit older, and seems to not have the same reliability as in the past. I think the warranty is up too...


It is interesting to see the CFM on all the different pumps too. I think the leaf blower paired with a barrel pump is the best bet, now just finding a way to make it work. Bigger fan, bigger motor, bigger bore should be able to do the trick. I like the inverter under the seat plan too, since I have all the other bits and pieces at this point, I would only be in for the inverter and cabling.
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Old 03-10-2017   #8
 
Park City, Utah
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We use a 18V Dewalt cordless vacuum and it works great. We still have to top off with a barrel pump. One battery will inflate 4 cat tubes or a 16' SB raft.
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Old 03-10-2017   #9
 
laramie, wy
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air mattress pump all the way. takes me about 5 minutes to pump up my 18' cat tubes, then another 2 minutes to top off with my k-pump. the 12 dollar investment has lasted me 3 years so far. It's also easy to extend the cord to make it easier to get to each valve.
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Old 03-10-2017   #10
 
Cortez, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirks View Post
air mattress pump all the way. takes me about 5 minutes to pump up my 18' cat tubes, then another 2 minutes to top off with my k-pump. the 12 dollar investment has lasted me 3 years so far. It's also easy to extend the cord to make it easier to get to each valve.
Additionally, that $12 pump is generally pretty easy to find in thrift stores for a buck or so....so, I just got a spare, in case it burns out, but that hasn't happened yet.
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