Power Shot

Let’s think about tires for a moment – those big, expensive round things that safely
support you, your family and friends and your expensive motorhome on the highways and
scenic backroads. Actually, it’s not the tires that hold you off the pavement; it’s the
air! We should all be more aware of the importance of maintaining the correct pressure in
those big black things. Unfortunately, when it comes to a portable air supply, only the
most expensive portable 12-volt air pumps are designed for large tires, and the majority
are marginal at best. What’s a person to do? Advanced Air Systems has come up with a fast,
safe and reliable tool for the job. It’s called the Power Shot. You should check every tire
on the ground once a week, and certainly after a rig has been stored for a month or three.
Check the spare, too! The problem is, many service stations no longer have air hoses, and
those that do often have ones that are broken, too short, covered with grease, or require
being fed with quarters. Most RV storage lots and RV parks don’t have air compressors. And
frankly, I don’t trust the kid at the service station with the cheap pencil gauge in his
pocket to do it for me every six months. The Power Shot easily may be the best solution to
the whole tire-inflation question for roving motorhomers. The Power Shot is basically a
lightweight high pressure cylinder designed to supply pressurized air in great volumes in
remote locations, principally to inflate high-pressure tires common on trucks and
motorhomes. Although it can be used to inflate any kind of tire, from bicycle to ATV to
passenger car, its real strength is the larger RV tires – some requiring as much as 120 psi
– that can be difficult to fill by any other means. The Power Shot uses liquid carbon
dioxide (CO2) gas as its energy source. CO2 is an inert, nontoxic, noncorrosive,
nonflammable gas that becomes a liquid under pressure. The Power Shot’s Department of
Transportation-approved aluminum tank is refillable at welding or fire extinguisher service
shops. The liquid CO2 vaporizes into a dry inert vapor, with no ill effect on rubber,
metals or other materials. The output pressure of the Power Shot tank remains the same
right up to empty. Only by weighing the tank can you determine how much CO2 is left. The
vaporizing liquid draws heat from the tank and valve and causes some frost accumulation on
the valve assembly, but not enough to be a problem. Even during a long-duration tire
fillup, the valve never gets cold enough to harm skin, and by the time the gas reaches the
chuck and valve stem, it’s warmed up enough that valve icing is not a problem either. While
the Power Shot is ideal for a quick check of tire pressures in the morning before you pull
out, it’s also valuable in an emergency. Should you develop a low tire on the highway, the
Power Shot can bring it up to the correct pressure, allowing you to reach a service center
where the tire can be changed or repaired. We’ve found our Power Shot just as handy around
the house for wheelbarrows, bikes, garden carts and even a low basketball. With the
optional adjustable regulator, we can operate air-power tools. An automatic air-tool oiler
is available. There are three Power Shot sizes. We used the medium-size PS-10 model that
measures about 24 inches long by 6.9 inches in diameter and weighs 27 pounds when full. In
its basic kit form, with the tank, preset regulator and air chuck hose, the PS-10 carries a
$289.99 manufacturer’s suggested retail price. Other models include the PS-5 ($269.99) at
21 * 5.2 inches and 17 pounds full, and the PS-15 ($319.99), which measures 30 * 6.9 inches
and weighs 36 pounds full. For an additional $40 per tank size, you can get the Power Tank
kit that also includes the CO2 pressure gauge and variable-output regulator. All Power Tank
models produce the same pressure and flow rates. The chief difference is the volume of CO2
and, thus, the number and size of tires that can be inflated or brought up to pressure. As
a rule, the manufacturer recommends the PS-5 for smaller light-truck, SUV or trailer tires;
the PS-10 and PS-15 are suitable for light-truck, trailer or motorhome tires in the
LT235/85R16 range and larger. The manufacturer has complete charts and specifications that
list typical tire-inflation times and the number of tires that can be serviced on each tank
size. We performed tests on 15-inch, 16-inch, 22.5-inch and 20-inch Michelin MPT tires on
The Turtle Expedition’s F-550 truck. It took four minutes, 15 seconds to bring a 22.5-inch
motorhome tire from 0 to 95 psi. The 20-inch military traction tire went from 5-psi to
50-psi in less than three minutes. There is enough CO2 in the medium-size Power Shot to air
up a typically low tire dozens of times. The Power Shot with the complete Emergency Repair
System (ERS) option ($70) comes with the tank, a special Power Shot pressure regulator, a
high-flow coil hose, a dual-head (or clip-on chuck) inflator with an accurate easy-to-read
gauge and a complete tire-plug kit. Accessories include a digital scale; a tough plastic
tank boot; covers for the tank head and its pressure regulator and hose; an adjustable
0-to-150-psi regulator if you intend on using air tools, such as an impact wrench; and
various mounting brackets. Power Shots are safe. A built-in pressure-release valve will
empty the tank in the event of a fire or other extreme heat. The tank pressure is
relatively low, less that a third of the typical scuba tank. Power Shot makes short work of
what can be a tedious job at service stations, providing the convenience most of us need to
check tires more frequently and ensure against catastrophic tire failures. Advanced Air
Systems,(800) 641-3206, powertank.com.

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