Power Tank ...

I've started using my Power Tank. I purchased the 10 pound tank kit with a spare tank; so far, the spare has come in handy several times. Over all my impression is very favorable. However, I do have one or two issues with the operation of the kit versus the stated operation in the brochures.

Anyone not a psychics major will probably assume as I did that the Power Tank operates the same in cold weather as it does in warm weather. I should not have made that assumption because I know better. That's what happens when you don't think things through. If the ambient temperature drops below 60°-70° performance quickly degrades. The more tires you need to fill the more likely it is that the regulator will "freeze up". Under normal operation the entire assembly (tank and regulator) gets COLD! VERY COLD! This is exacerbated by low ambient temperatures. The first time I used my Power Tank was in 55°-60° weather. After filling up four 35x12.5s from 13 psi to 28 psi and four 33x12.5s from 12 psi to 30 psi the entire tank was heavily frosted and the light drizzle coming down was freezing on the tank. After filling four more 36 inch TSLs from 12 psi to 26 psi the tank looked like a large, frosty ice cube.

The issue isn't whether the tank looks like a popsicle, it's whether you can get any CO2 out when it does. By the time I'd finished filling everyone's tires the flow was down to a bare trickle. This with at least half a tank of CO2 left. After testing while doing some winter wheeling my solution became to put the tank on the passenger side floor board with the heater turned on full. Not the optimal solution but it works well enough to at least fill my tires. Based on my experiences the regulator has some serious issues in very low temperatures and is something to keep in mind if you plan to use a Power Tank in the winter.

I have yet to get the suggested number of fills out of a 10 lb tank. I don't air down or air back up to the levels in the brochures. I only air down to 12-13 and then back up to 28 so I'm not useing the amount of CO2 that I would be if I went to the levels used in the brochures. I haven't checked to see whether my tanks are not being filled completely so I don't know if this is "user error" or really a case of false advertising. I'll know shortly because I made sure to weigh my tanks empty and then full this time and I'm going to keep very close tabs on what gets filled and how many times.

Regulator flow and advertising asside, the Power Tank is a wonderful accessory and I'm very happy with it. Filling a 35 inch tire with a QuickAir I is beyond tedious. 8-10 minutes a tire to go from 12 to 30 psi. I can fill the same tire in about 2 minutes - a set of four in about 5-6 minutes. Less time then it takes to fill one tire with the compressor. The portability is great, too! Especially since I usually go four wheeling with several vehicles and we share the cost of a tank fill, I can fill several vehicle's tires without shuffling vehicles around to reach my compressor air hose.

The advertising brochures really are telling the truth in regards to being able to reseat a tire with a Power Tank. A week after receiving my setup I popped a bead while winching off the top of a four foot deep snowbank - more of an icebank, really - quite a ways from a gas station. Without removing the wheel from the vehicle or even removing the valve core (I forgot) I reseated the bead on my 35x12.5 tire in less then five minutes, aired the tire back up to 8 psi and was on my way.