By Robert Bolling
How often do you check the air on your spare tire? It’s a pain in the neck to get down on the ground under your Airstream and check the tire pressure. And then to get it pumped up, ugh. If you’ve installed a TPMS sensor on your spare then at least you know its pressure. But you still gotta get down on the ground with a tire pump to add air, ugh. Frankly, because it is a pain, I’ve let it go more than I should.
I picked up the TST Spare Air at Alumapalooza 9 last year. This seemed like a perfect gadget to solve this problem. It routes the spare tire valve to a convenient location where it’s much more likely that I’ll check and keep the spare tire pressure set correctly.
Bottom line: It’s great! I highly recommend it. My only complaint is that it seems a bit pricey. At a hundred bucks you might be tempted to pass and go ahead and crawl under to check the pressure. For me, after years of doing this, it was way worth it.
Installation is pretty straightforward for the typical Airstreamer. The instructions are worth following. The hardware is good quality stainless and brass.
The most important part is planning. You’ve got to decide where to mount the remote filler valve. For me, and probably a lot of late model Airstream owners, the battery box is a good spot.
You want to make sure there’s a good route for the stiff, high pressure air line from the spare’s valve to your mounting location without any tight bends.
Make sure the filler valve is easily accessible for checking pressure, filling, and doesn’t obstruct access panels, hitch equipment, etc.