Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Orange County, CA
Chassis: Crown Supercoach II (rear engine)
Engine: Detroit 6V92TAC, DDEC 2, Jake brake, Allison HT740
Rated Cap: 37,400 lbs GVWR
Yes, you can. However, it's hardly the most efficient way to do it, running a big diesel engine just to power a small tool! What some folk do, and what I did, is to use a small on-board 120VAC electric compressor which can be powered from shore or a generator. The benefit of this is that you always have an emergency air source if your engine compressor does not work or if the engine does not start - imagine being in a campground during a rain storm, the nearby creek is rising and will soon inundate the entire campsite, in other words you have to move out NOW but your engine won't start, so therefore you can't release your brakes to be towed out by someone with a pickup or tractor. Any on-board electric compressor, even a small 12VDC one, will be enough to build air sufficient to releaser brakes. Another reason is to avoid running a diesel at idle with effectively no load: this is bad for any engine, and especially bad for my Detroit.
I connected my electric compressor output to a simple filter and moisture trap before it feeds into the accessories tank, with a gauge to see how much pressure I have. I also made a connection between the accessories and wet tanks with a valve so in an emergency I can air up the entire bus just by turning one valve. Simple, and potentially very useful. I have three air outlets around the bus for tools or inflating tires, and an air inlet near the front for connecting shop air or a tow truck's air supply.