A pickup that is equipped with onboard air becomes that much more versatile – you are able to fill up tires, even air bags if you will. Not to mention the possibility of powering air tools, or even occasionally blasting the dirt or leaves off the bed.
Most of these systems are mounted right under the truck; with that being said, what if you don’t want to do that?
What if you do that much of off-roading, overlanding, off the beaten path driving and feel like the compressor may fail that much quicker if it is installed under?
Maybe you live in those salt and sand states and want to prevent the components from getting eating away by the corrosion?
The great thing is that there are a ton of ways to install it without going anywhere near the bottom, though this post will tell you how to get it all done in the bed.
Under the tonneau
In my mind, the most optimal place to install an air compressor of your onboard system in a pickup’s bed is right under a tonneau cover.
This is an easy way to go about it in order to keep the unit nice and dry, away from the elements. As far as the cover itself, really any will work, as long as it is good at keeping water from seeping in under, that is.
If the cover you have doesn’t use up the drain holes, you can use them to run the compressor’s wires up to the battery; the same can be done for the hoses of the air tank, when it’s mounted under the truck.
Now if there are no preexisting holes for you to use up, you’re going to need to drill them. I mean, that shouldn’t be that hard to do, as you must make them for bolting the actual compressor or the air tank regardless, so there is that.
Inside the tool box
Does your truck have a tool box? Great, because it can become a great place to store the thing i’m talking about here!
Seriously, because it is such a small space, it’ll be easier to contain the air compressor, or even the tank combo in there; don’t forget all of the other components, such as the coil hose or what have you.
For the holes, you may only need to drill one for the wires and the quick connect coupler, that’s it. The unit could be snug in there as it is, especially so if the box is going to be filled with other items. That being said, you must be careful about this.
You definitely don’t want the compressor to move during your travels, as that can only end badly for it.
Only operate the compressor when the tool box is open, as the goal here is to keep it ventilated.
Perhaps consider other spots altogether?
I know, i know, this blog post is about mounting an air compressor, if not the whole unit with the tank inside the pickup truck’s bed, but what if the ideas i provided above are not what you were looking for?
There are more additional, alternative ideas which may interest you better; and they don’t even come close to putting anything right under the pickup.
Use the vehicles preexisting compartments
Some pickup trucks may come with specific bed storage compartments, which you can certainly use to nest the whole air compressor.
By that i mean something like the Ram’s Rambox, Toyota tacoma bed compartments. These spaces aren’t huge, but they sure beat taking up the space of an actual bed, if you ask me.
Place inside the cab
There is an ample amount of storage space right inside the truck’s cabin, so why not figure out a way on how to install the compressor there?
You can make it happen under your seat, passenger or any of the back, the underseat storage and so forth…
Under the hood
Yes, enthusiasts do indeed install the air units right in there, it’s just that your pickup might not have enough space to be able to do that.
This isn’t a bad idea at all, considering you won’t need to use near as much wiring, like when mounting in the bed.
Once done, only use it with the hood open. You don’t want anything to get hot in there, as that’ll only make the compressor fail in a pinch.