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The end has come for my English made 20 year old LVM 12V air pump. I have tried a rebuild, but the spirit no longer moves it, plus it was originally used for canoe and kayak airbags and now I travel in a rolled 14' Vanguard self-bailer.

I see from the NRS site that there are now much more capable pumps, but they are also out of their 12V Bravo, plus the reviews on Amazon for it aren't great. The new ones seem to come with much higher pressure capacity (the LVM did #1.75 on a hot day), and spiffy auto pressure features. But do they work, reliably, and which are better and best? Opinions please.
 

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I have the NRS blast. It works fine. Take about 5 minutes to blow up the boat. It still needs a top off, but that is as advertised. I have blown up 2 boats one after another. I don't think it would be good to blow up 3 or 4 boats back to back due to overheating.
 

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http://downriverequip.com/index.php...pump-magicair-12v-inflator-deflator-pump.html
I have had this pump since 1994. I bought it with my first new raft (Aire Puma). It works. It will fill all the boats at the put in one right after the other but you do need to top them off.
The key to not burning pumps from overheating is to NOT turn them off until they have cooled. Those other pumps will keep going just let them run a bit without a load. They are air cooled.



Jim
 

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I have thought a gas powered leaf blower would work pretty good. Our groups method for years has been a small generator with one of those big red 110v blowers. Works great, but have been looking into the leaf blower for my own trips, plus it's smaller and cheaper than our group setup.
 

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I haven't had very good luck with small gas engines since ethanol became mandatory. They gunk up way too frequently and require a lot more cleaning of the carbs than they used to. I'd take a look at lithium battery leaf blowers- prices have been dropping and I think the power is pretty good.

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I have been using a Makita 18v blower. The end of it fits perfectly into the valves on my cat and raft. Works great , fast and no cord. It is the best. Very versatile, I can blow all the crap out of the raft at the end of trip so I get a clean roll up and I love it. It is fast. I all ready had Makita tools so the blower was only 99 bucks + the battery and charger but I bet is cheaper that generators. One battery fills up 1 and ½ 14 ft.ers. Does not top but what blower does. Generators suck at put in.
 

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I haven't had very good luck with small gas engines since ethanol became mandatory. They gunk up way too frequently and require a lot more cleaning of the carbs than they used to. I'd take a look at lithium battery leaf blowers- prices have been dropping and I think the power is pretty good.

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Man you guys can't get full gasoline out in liberal land. Around here the mom n pop gas stations mostly all sell "real gas" along side of the E10. It's generally $.10 more a gallon.

Anyway, I bought a mini shop vac designed for your auto. I do most of my shopping at bargain stores. Pretty sure I paid $6 for it. It doesn't blow really high psi but its quick and sucks air equally well. Then I just top it off with my little shitty handpump which was equally cheap.... The 12v shopvac is real handy after a few muddy leafy shuttle trips too.
 

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At altitude the octane requirements are lower- mid grade here is 87 octane for example. I think that lends itself to ethanol. We have isolated stations that offer the real stuff- but you really pay for it.

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A gas leaf blower does indeed do the job for about $120 and should still fit in a rocket box, along with the usual repair bits and tools. You can buy a quart of premix gas in a metal bottle that is ethanol free or upgrade the plastic fuel lines; Those little gas engines run just fine otherwise. The ethanol free premixed gas is stunningly expensive, but one could justify the cost with "yeah, but you get a nifty metal bottle along with the gas and it's premixed".

"Mighty Blow" is noisy, stinky, and demands gentle treatment, but for blowing up several boats (or deflating if you fabricate a suck attachment) they cannot be beat. One quart of gas can keep a fleet of leaky pontoons stiff for an entire Grand trip. I know this from experience. Battery blowers might work, but I'd be worried about a dead battery and/or a lack of spirit from the thing as the battery runs down.

I have heard, but never verified, that those gas engines will run, for a bit, on camp gas and will require cleaning afterwards, another point in their favor if true. I mean, if they will indeed run on camp gas in an emergency, maybe they will also run on everclear?

Someone needs to investigate............
 

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I have been using a gas leaf blower for years. It works great and you can use it in the fall for leafs too, crazy!
I like to stick with gas, you can see when you are going to run out of juice and quickly fill it up. Batteries not so much. Plus its great to pull the cord and see everyone at the put-in look at you like a wild maniac.
I don't think I spent over $75 for mine. Well worth the money. After using a barrel pump and being exhausted even before I got on the river i said enough. I even use it on my IKs. You could probably get a good after fall Christmas deal right now.
 

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Early on in my rafting career I asked my more experienced rafter buds about using my gas powered leaf blower to blow up my Aire raft. Their advice was do not use them due to vapors from the gas reacting with the plastic in the rafts. This makes some sense to me as when I use my gas powered leaf blower I end up with gas smell on hands and clothing no matter if I use ethanol or pure gas.

For my rafts, I use both hand and battery powered pumps. And, have had no problems with keeping track of battery charge.

I would be interested in the opinions of the Mt Buzz community.

For me tho, I am going to stick with my hand and battery powered raft pumps. Easier for me to carry, store and less of a greasy film on what ever the leaf blower touches.
 

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Wow all this and no one mentions that a coleman bed pump that usually comes free with the bed does the job fine with a little top off at the end?

At the ramp: Coleman plug in and run off of my car battery or deep cycle with a inverter.

At river camp if necessary: Coleman battery powered pump

At home: shopvac

My backup is a cheap $2 mini shop vac.
 

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I find a NRS barrel pump and a couple 12-15 year olds work really well.


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Most of the rafting crew around here use the rechargable Coleman pumps. A fully charged one will fill 2 Super Pumas. Still have to top off some. Eventually the battery will quit taking a charge but for $30 and 3 or 4 years of use, not bad.
 

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I use a NRS Blast pump and a Bravo II (?) foot pump for topping off. Y'all may be overthinking this a bit. And the notion of using a gas powered blower just seems like serious overkill (not to mention stink and noise) if you've got a 12V battery nearby.
 

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I had an Airhead and wound up frying it because I left the truck running while using the pump. It won't tolerate the voltage for long- otherwise it was a decent solution. Now I keep my boats inflated on the trailer and just top off with a DRE barrel pump.

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