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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone attempted to mount an onboard air compressor in the "cover side lower" space on the 2019 Forester? The spot is on the left hand side, between the bumper fascia and the rear wheel well?

There's a plastic piece that, as far as I can tell, is only there for aerodynamics. The space behind it is empty. On my previous car, a 1999 Chevy Venture, I had a built-in air compressor mounted in a similar spot with the switch and hose connection routed to the inside in the trunk area. I don't do a lot of offroading, but on the off chance that I need a compressor, I like the idea of having it built-in. The ARB CKMA12 looks like it might be a good option, but only if this spot is a viable mounting location.

Two pictures are included below to help highlight the area in question. I haven't removed the bumper and cover side lower to get a real good look up under there, so for now I'm going off of service manual pictures and what pictures I can get with a camera through openings in the cover.

523435

523436
 
2017 2.5i Fozy CVT
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If you mount it up front, you will have a much shorter run of cabling to power and ground, also much shorter run of air line for the truck/train horns you could install.
 

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2019 Forester Sport CVT
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I was thinking the same thing, but I just put on a trailer hitch and it was pretty full of dried mud/dirt and I had only gone on one off-road trip with it. I have no idea how so much mud and dirt can get into these panels but the bumper cover and that little covered area was pretty full. I had washed the undercarriage several times too. I guess I can understand if I had submerged it in water or a big mud puddle but I had not.

You could probably get away with it if you ran a breather hose up to inside the cabin (there is a vent right there you could use) but make sure the compressor is meant to be mounted outside because it is not very protected. I think some ARB ones can be.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Makingforestergreatagain: I haven't looked around the engine compartment much to see if there's space. If I find a good spot, I'll consider it. I was thinking of putting it in the back because I'd only need to run power up to the front. That said, I don't know how much of a pain it will be to run power from that spot. I don't plan on using air lockers or anything else that needs to be driven by air on a regular basis, so having the connection point and switch in the back works fine for me. I'm also not a fan of having to pop the hood to get to my compressor. That's part of the reason I want to hard wire a compressor instead of using a higher end VAIR (or similar) and clamping it the battery. I was thinking about using a 12V socket compressor, but I've seen a considerable number of warnings on this forum against utilizing the 12V socket for devices like compressors.

deeve: Good to know that area fills up with dirt and mud. The ARB onboard compressors are supposedly weather sealed and advertised as something that can be mounted under vehicles, but I wonder how much they really take.
 

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2012 Forester X Auto
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Considering that you can store a portable 12volt compressor in the rear floor area, and there are outlet plugs both in the front and rear of the car, why go to all that trouble of mounting one?
If it's because of the "it will cause a problem", I don't know where you heard that, but it simply isn't true.
The only way you could have an issue, is if you choose a unit with a very high amp draw, but most of the small portables are designed for use with relatively low amperage power outlet circuits common in cars.
Look at your fuse rating in the owners manual and get a portable with an amp draw less than that.
If someone thinks that will cause a problem, it may be their opinion, but it isn't one based on fact, and borders on the ridiculous. If the problem is that the new Subies can't tolerate any accessory draw, that will be the same regardless of where the compressor gets its power from. The battery will drain the same.

It takes less than a minute to open the lid, pull it out and plug it in...
I have been using mine as the sole source for filling up both the car and trailer tires for all the time for the last 5 years, using both the dash and rear cargo outlets and never had an issue, nor have I ever on every other car I've owned for decades.
Convenience wise, it is easier dealing with a very compact long electrical cord than a long run of hose.
A typical installed accessory is an led light so you can actually see what you are doing, and the pressure, unlike filling a tire with a hose in the dark.
My 2 cents.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the reply, DragonSubie7. Most of what I've been going off of is people cautioning against using some of the compressors rated at 15A or 20A with the accessory sockets that are rated at anywhere between 10A and 20A.

My under floor storage area is already filled (bottled water, emergency supplies, etc), so my intent with this was to (1) avoid any amperage/wiring issues, and (2) put it in an out of the way spot while maintaining easy access. To your point that it's super quick to just pull it out of wherever it's stored and plug it in, I'm probably overthinking it and will stick with an accessory plug version.

For reference, I took a look at the 2019 Forester wiring diagrams, and it looks like the front 12V outlet and the rear cargo 12V outlet share a single 20A fuse (car manual suggests limiting draw to 10A and 120W) (Fuse block fuse no. 2, wiring diagram label FB-39). The center console 12V outlet is a separate 15A fuse (wiring diagram label FB-40).
 

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2019 Forester Limited
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Considering that you can store a portable 12volt compressor in the rear floor area, and there are outlet plugs both in the front and rear of the car, why go to all that trouble of mounting one?
If it's because of the "it will cause a problem", I don't know where you heard that, but it simply isn't true.
The only way you could have an issue, is if you choose a unit with a very high amp draw, but most of the small portables are designed for use with relatively low amperage power outlet circuits common in cars.
Look at your fuse rating in the owners manual and get a portable with an amp draw less than that.
If someone thinks that will cause a problem, it may be their opinion, but it isn't one based on fact, and borders on the ridiculous. If the problem is that the new Subies can't tolerate any accessory draw, that will be the same regardless of where the compressor gets its power from. The battery will drain the same.

It takes less than a minute to open the lid, pull it out and plug it in...
I have been using mine as the sole source for filling up both the car and trailer tires for all the time for the last 5 years, using both the dash and rear cargo outlets and never had an issue, nor have I ever on every other car I've owned for decades.
Convenience wise, it is easier dealing with a very compact long electrical cord than a long run of hose.
A typical installed accessory is an led light so you can actually see what you are doing, and the pressure, unlike filling a tire with a hose in the dark.
My 2 cents.
Could you give us make and model of your portable air compressor? Also, did you have to replace the electrical cord with a longer one or is the one provided adequate? Thanks.
 

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@marty2019
I have a Slime cartridge/compressor which I bought on the web some 5 years ago. It's still working well.
When I bought mine, it was part of a road hazard kit that included jumper cables, a road hazard sign, first aid, basic tools etc. in a handy dandy zip up case.
It looks like they still have the same model compressor (without the other stuff I mentioned) on Amazon:

I've never used the slime component, which is there if you need it, but the compressor works well on it's own.
It has a reasonably accurate pressure gauge, an LED light, and a plug in chord long enough to reach all 4 car wheels, as well as enough reach to fill the tires on my trailer.
It also fills pretty quickly compared to a previous model I had.

Since these small portables are designed to fill up car tires, most of them will likely not have an issue reaching all tires, especially with the Foz, as you can plug it into the outlet at either the front or the rear. If you don't want/need the "Slime" feature, you very likely can find something less expensive.

If I were shopping for a compessor, I'd look for one with a built in light and a pressure gauge, and one with decent performance (quick fill time) at a reasonable price.
At most auto stores, you can find them, and if you don't like the one you chose, return it and get one that you do.
If it's primarily going to be used to fill your tires, all you need is a pump that can deliver ~70 psi (the doughnut spare fills to 65 psi), so just because a pump can deliver up to 300 psi doesn't mean it will fill your tires faster than a pump rated to 100 or 200, and anything over 100 psi you will very likely never need anywhere.

In any case, it's not like a major purchase here...
You can find these compressors from $20 to $50 typically, but it's a great idea to carry one, as most of the time, tubeless tires will only leak slowly when punctured, and if you are out in the middle of nowhere, you can put in some air once (or twice) on your way to a permanent fix without needing to change your tire.
I live where I get lots of punctures but I've only resorted to using the doughnut tire once.
A fill and pressure check after a short distance will let you know how far you can go (TPMS will also alert you for low pressure).
IMHO its a lot safer driving on a slow leak than driving with that skinny spare.
 

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@deeve - It's a nice unit for what it is but requires connection to the battery with a 20 amp draw.
If you are airing up and down all of your tires for off-road, that's a good choice for you, but at over $60, it doesn't make it a great buy for someone who just wants to occasionally fill a tire that is down a few pounds, or needs to add air when there is a puncture. One size typically doesn't fit all.
It also has a screw on vs a quick connector and doesn't have a gauge or a light...
 
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