Air Time

The 2WayAir kit for six tires comes standard with two small sections of protective polyethylene tubing, 40 feet of black 3/8-inch polyurethane manifold tubing, 15 feet of 1/4-inch black polyurethane tubing, 24 feet of yellow polyurethane “whip” tubing plus UV-rated mountable and standard nylon cable ties, an assortment of push-to-connect and quick-disconnect fittings, and patent-pending mountable Schrader valves.

The 2WayAir kit for six tires comes standard with two small sections of protective polyethylene tubing, 40 feet of black 3/8-inch polyurethane manifold tubing, 15 feet of 1/4-inch black polyurethane tubing, 24 feet of yellow polyurethane “whip” tubing plus UV-rated mountable and standard nylon cable ties, an assortment of push-to-connect and quick-disconnect fittings, and patent-pending mountable Schrader valves.

by Chris Hemer
August 20, 2014
Filed under Gear, Tech Tips

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The 2WayAir System by Rock Smasher Engineering Allows Easy Inflation or Deflation of All Tires Simultaneously

If there’s one thing that all RVers can agree upon, it’s that checking and adjusting tire pressure on the motorhome and dinghy vehicle is a pain in one’s backside. Without a doubt, proper tire-inflation pressure is critical to safe travel, and tire manufacturers typically recommend that inflation pressure be checked and adjusted before and during your trips. But getting down on one knee and moving around a motorhome with a gauge and an air hose — if you can even find a source for compressed air — is a time-consuming process at best; in extreme temperatures, it can become downright uncomfortable. With six to eight tires on the motorhome and four on the dinghy vehicle, we don’t need to tell you how long the process can take. The fact is, as much as we all hate having to constantly check and adjust tire pressure, no one has come up with a more convenient way to do it — until now.

The 2WayAir system is designed for universal application, so the first step is to locate the most convenient area to air-up/air-down the motorhome tires. With that decided, begin by brushing Teflon paste on the components prior to assembly. Shown here is the mini control valve, which is the main control valve for the system. The components are then assembled and tightened.

The 2WayAir system is designed for universal application, so the first step is to locate the most convenient area to air-up/air-down the motorhome tires. With that decided, begin by brushing Teflon paste on the components prior to assembly. Shown here is the mini control valve, which is the main control valve for the system. The components are then assembled and tightened.

Rock Smasher Engineering (RSE) is a start-up company founded by a group of engineers who have designed suspensions for everything from road-race motor­cycles to off-road trucks. As off-road enthusiasts and RVers themselves, they worked for several years to develop a system that would make it easier to manage tire pressure, and created a product they call 2WayAir.
2WayAir is a universal-fit central manifold system that allows users to inflate or deflate all tires on the vehicle at the same time using polyurethane manifold tubing, nylon cable ties, specially designed Schrader valves and an assortment of push-to-connect fittings. The idea behind 2WayAir is that it fits any vehicle (just specify four, six or eight tires), installs with a minimum amount of tools and can be repaired quickly and easily.

Several different mounting brackets are available to suit a variety of applications ranging from the basic to the sophisticated. Here, the assembly of a basic control panel is underway; in the foreground are two Schrader inflation valves with the push-to-connect tubing adapters installed, and a mini control valve, which will be fitted with a male D-type connector in a later step.

Several different mounting brackets are available to suit a variety of applications ranging from the basic to the sophisticated. Here, the assembly of a basic control panel is underway; in the foreground are two Schrader inflation valves with the push-to-connect tubing adapters installed, and a mini control valve, which will be fitted with a male D-type connector in a later step.

Here’s how the system works: The 3/8-inch manifold tubing runs along either side of the vehicle. It tees into smaller ¼-inch tubing that runs to each corner of the vehicle where one of the kit’s Schrader valves is mounted. Once the system is plumbed, all the user needs to do is connect “whips” to the Schrader valves on the tires and the connection points on the coach, which are Schrader valves up front and D-type connectors (the same as used on compressed air lines) rear. All tires can then be inflated via a centralized inflation point, which can be located anywhere it’s convenient. The system balances the pressure in all tires during inflation, so even if one tire is higher or lower than the others, they all inflate to the same pressure. And because the system is not pressurized unless the whips are attached and the system is in use, there’s no danger of losing pressure out of the tires if one of the lines were to become severed.
The system’s design is at once simple and sophisticated. For example, the central inflation point is a common Schrader valve, but all kits also come with a mini control valve that can be fitted with a common male D-type connector so you have the option of inflating with an air hose, an air/CO2 tank, etc. Polyurethane tubing rated to 150 psi was chosen instead of the more common nylon for several reasons. First and foremost, it’s flexible and can’t kink. Second, this particular tubing is food grade, meaning it is manufactured to a much higher standard than industrial tubing. Finally, it’s very easy to work with and cut, which makes it possible to install or repair the system anywhere.

Top: Here is the control panel shown from the rear. From this angle, you can get a better view of the push-to-connect bulkhead adapter on the mini control valve, as well as the push-to-connect adapters on the two Schrader inflation valves. Either Schrader valve can be used to admit air into the system with a common gas station air hose, while the other one can be used to check system pressure with a tire pressure gauge. Once fitted with a male D-type fitting, the mini control valve (shown in the closed position) can be connected to a compressed air hose and opened to admit air into the system, inflating all tires at once. The same valve can be opened without a hose attached to release air from the system and deflate all tires at once. Having two different styles of inflation valves is a great feature, especially when you consider how difficult it can be to find a filling station where a hose can reach all tires. A central inflation point allows the user to “nudge” up to the air source and inflate all tires without having to stretch a hose or move the coach from side to side. Middle: A popular option is to fit the 2WayAir system with a brass pressure relief valve, which was pre-set for this application at 95 psi. Once that pressure is reached, the valve “burps” excess pressure until the inflation source (air compressor, air tank or on-board air) is turned off. Above: Here, the control panel has been mounted to the side of the hitch receiver. The main 3/8-inch manifold tubing exits the rear of the mini control valve, then goes to a 3/8-inch to 1/4 tee that is plumbed to the pressure relief valve (top of frame). The loop of tubing ties the two Schrader valves together, and tees into the main 3/8-inch manifold.

Top: Here is the control panel shown from the rear. From this angle, you can get a better view of the push-to-connect bulkhead adapter on the mini control valve, as well as the push-to-connect adapters on the two Schrader inflation valves. Either Schrader valve can be used to admit air into the system with a common gas station air hose, while the other one can be used to check system pressure with a tire pressure gauge. Once fitted with a male D-type fitting, the mini control valve (shown in the closed position) can be connected to a compressed air hose and opened to admit air into the system, inflating all tires at once. The same valve can be opened without a hose attached to release air from the system and deflate all tires at once. Having two different styles of inflation valves is a great feature, especially when you consider how difficult it can be to find a filling station where a hose can reach all tires. A central inflation point allows the user to “nudge” up to the air source and inflate all tires without having to stretch a hose or move the coach from side to side. Middle: A popular option is to fit the 2WayAir system with a brass pressure relief valve, which was pre-set for this application at 95 psi. Once that pressure is reached, the valve “burps” excess pressure until the inflation source (air compressor, air tank or on-board air) is turned off. Above: Here, the control panel has been mounted to the side of the hitch receiver. The main 3/8-inch manifold tubing exits the rear of the mini control valve, then goes to a 3/8-inch to 1/4 tee that is plumbed to the pressure relief valve (top of frame). The loop of tubing ties the two Schrader valves together, and tees into the main 3/8-inch manifold.

To keep installation simple, all fittings are push-to-connect — no hose clamps are required. The tubing itself can be secured with two different varieties of UV-rated nylon cable ties: standard and mountable. The mountable ties have small anchors that push into an existing or predrilled 3/16-inch hole; simply push the anchor into place, insert the manifold tubing and zip it closed. RSE even supplies sections of hard polyethylene tubing to protect the manifold tubing wherever it is mounted, so there are no concerns over chafing. Last, but certainly not least, anyplace the manifold tubing passes through metal is bulkheaded, so the polyurethane never makes contact with sharp edges.
Realizing that the system could be used on anything from a short-wheelbase Jeep to a tag-axle motorhome, RSE designed 2WayAir to be modular so the base system can be custom tailored to the application and/or upgraded with a variety of available accessories. One of the most popular options is a liquid-filled, vibration-resistant air-pressure-gauge kit and a pressure-relief valve that can be set to the tire’s specific inflation pressure. Once the whips are connected, simply connect an air source, or in the case of an onboard air compressor, just turn on the compressor and open the valve. When the air pressure reaches the set point on the relief valve, the valve makes a loud “burping” noise. This is the valve bleeding off excess air, which prevents overinflation of the tires. Disconnect the whips, and you are ready to travel. There are also a variety of mounting brackets available so all accessories can be mounted in one place, or individually.
RSE offers its 2WayAir kits for four wheels (cars, trucks and vans), six wheels (duallies and motorhomes) and eight wheels (tag-axle motorhomes). And recently, the company released kits for single-, double- and triple-axle trailers, as well as a jumper hose kit that will connect the 2WayAir system on the motorhome to the one on the dinghy vehicle. By using separate valves and connecting/disconnecting whips, it is possible to inflate the tires on the coach and dinghy to different pressures.
To test the 2WayAir system, we contacted RSE and requested a six-tire master kit ($319.95) to be mounted on a Class A gas motorhome. RSE also recommended a 36-100 psi pressure-relief valve ($24.95), pressure-relief-valve mounting kit ($29.95), mounting bracket ($10.95) and tube cutter ($8.95), bringing the grand total to $394.75. Considering the convenience afforded by this system (which will likely outlast the vehicle), that’s a pretty reasonable price.
Since no shop space was available for this project, the system was installed right at the storage unit, proving RSE’s claim that 2WayAir can be installed pretty much anywhere. The installation took roughly three hours, and once connected, it worked as promised.
The 2WayAir system is an innovative solution to an age-old problem. Once you try it, you’ll never air-up your vehicle’s tires the “old” way again.
Rock Smasher Engineering
702-981-6081 | www.2wayair.com

Top: The 3/8-inch manifold tubing is routed along the passenger side of the coach. Middle: A tee is used to direct tubing from the manifold into the rear wheel well. Above: Because six-tire kits use a male D-type connector to service the rear duals, the first step is to use a Unibit to drill a .79-inch hole in the fiberglass wheel-well lip.

Top: The 3/8-inch manifold tubing is routed along the passenger side of the coach. Middle: A tee is used to direct tubing from the manifold into the rear wheel well. Above: Because six-tire kits use a male D-type connector to service the rear duals, the first step is to use a Unibit to drill a .79-inch hole in the fiberglass wheel-well lip.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A D-type push-to-connect bulkhead adapter is then mounted using a nut on the other side. The male D-type fitting is then installed into the bulkhead adapter and tightened. Typically, a female fitting is used on the supply side of an air system, but in an application like this, a female D-type connector is more likely to become clogged with dirt and debris. In the background, you can see the manifold tubing running into the wheel well from the tee in the main line and secured with clamps. It was then run up the wheel-well lip to the bulkhead adapter.

A D-type push-to-connect bulkhead adapter is then mounted using a nut on the other side. The male D-type fitting is then installed into the bulkhead adapter and tightened. Typically, a female fitting is used on the supply side of an air system, but in an application like this, a female D-type connector is more likely to become clogged with dirt and debris. In the background, you can see the manifold tubing running into the wheel well from the tee in the main line and secured with clamps. It was then run up the wheel-well lip to the bulkhead adapter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The main 3/8-inch manifold tubing is run along an existing wiring loom and secured with supplied nylon cable ties. The stiff polyethylene tubing is used to cover the manifold tubing to prevent chafing wherever a tie is used. Alternately, the manifold tubing can be secured by drilling 3/16-inch holes along the plumbing route and the mountable cable ties used. The polyurethane tubing has a temperature limit of 160 degrees Fahrenheit, so make sure to route it away from heat sources.

The main 3/8-inch manifold tubing is run along an existing wiring loom and secured with supplied nylon cable ties. The stiff polyethylene tubing is used to cover the manifold tubing to prevent chafing wherever a tie is used. Alternately, the manifold tubing can be secured by drilling 3/16-inch holes along the plumbing route and the mountable cable ties used. The polyurethane tubing has a temperature limit of 160 degrees Fahrenheit, so make sure to route it away from heat sources.

 

The main manifold tubing continues to the front of the coach. A push-to-connect, 3/8-inch to 1/4-inch Y fitting splits the main manifold to the front Schrader valves on either side.

The main manifold tubing continues to the front of the coach. A push-to-connect, 3/8-inch to 1/4-inch Y fitting splits the main manifold to the front Schrader valves on either side

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The brass Schrader valves are patent-pending, and with the long shank and double-nut design, can be mounted in almost any material thickness. The valve is then mounted in the front-wheel lip, and the tubing routed to it from the main manifold.

The brass Schrader valves are patent-pending, and with the long shank and double-nut design, can be mounted in almost any material thickness. The valve is then mounted in the front-wheel lip, and the tubing routed to it from the main manifold.

The control panel as viewed from the rear of the coach, mounted to the hitch receiver. The user now has the option of airing up with a male D-type connector (yet to be installed) inserted into the mini control valve, or one of the Schrader valves. The other Schrader valve can be used to check tire pressure of all tires with a tire pressure gauge. To release pressure from all tires, simply open the mini control valve.

The control panel as viewed from the rear of the coach, mounted to the hitch receiver. The user now has the option of airing up with a male D-type connector (yet to be installed) inserted into the mini control valve, or one of the Schrader valves. The other Schrader valve can be used to check tire pressure of all tires with a tire pressure gauge. To release pressure from all tires, simply open the mini control valve.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With the system plumbing completed, it’s time to build the whips. Simply measure from the Schrader valve on the vehicle to the Schrader valve on the tire at its farthest possible point, then cut the material. A tubing cutter designed specifically for this purpose is offered through RSE for $8.95. You can use a razor if you want, but the cut must be absolutely straight to ensure a leak-free seal.

With the system plumbing completed, it’s time to build the whips. Simply measure from the Schrader valve on the vehicle to the Schrader valve on the tire at its farthest possible point, then cut the material. A tubing cutter designed specifically for this purpose is offered through RSE for $8.95. You can use a razor if you want, but the cut must be absolutely straight to ensure a leak-free seal.

 

 

Once cut to length, simply direct the tubing into the push-to-connect adapters installed in the quick-connect fittings. RSE applies Teflon tape for the adapter fittings from the factory.

Once cut to length, simply direct the tubing into the push-to-connect adapters installed in the quick-connect fittings. RSE applies Teflon tape for the adapter fittings from the factory.

 

 

 

 

Whenever a tire or tires are to be inflated or deflated, simply connect the whip to the Schrader valve on the vehicle and tire, and turn clockwise until they lock — about a quarter-turn.

Whenever a tire or tires are to be inflated or deflated, simply connect the whip to the Schrader valve on the vehicle and tire, and turn clockwise until they lock — about a quarter-turn.

 

 

The double whip for the rear duals consists of a unique articulating fitting that can be turned to create the optimum angle for either tire. It is installed in a female D-type connector, which is then attached to the male D-type connector mounted in the wheel well.

The double whip for the rear duals consists of a unique articulating fitting that can be turned to create the optimum angle for either tire. It is installed in a female D-type connector, which is then attached to the male D-type connector mounted in the wheel well.

 

 

 

 

 

Here are the rear duals with the double whip connected.

Here are the rear duals with the double whip connected.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

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