Once the decision has been made to purchase a GPS unit, the next step is to filter through the various GPS mounts to find one that works best for a given situation. There are two primary forms of GPS receivers: handheld receivers and car receivers. Each has benefits to the user and each has some distinctions – mainly regarding the kinds of mounts that are used.
The uses of a handheld GPS unit are quite flexible. They come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, with a variety of features. The GPS mounts for a handheld receiver depends entirely on where it will be used. For example, it can be mounted on a bicycle, on a motorcycle, or even in a car. Most often, a clip can be used to mount it to a bike or a motorcycle handlebar. For cars, one of the mounts listed below can be used.
Most people who want to mount their GPS unit prefer to mount it in their car. Location of the GPS unit is of the utmost importance. It must have a clear view of the sky to receive satellite signals from space, unless it has an external antenna. Consequently the unit must be mounted on or above the dashboard to work properly. It should be mounted away from the area where air bags deploy and it must not obstruct the view of the road while driving.
One of the best GPS mounts for use inside the car is the suction cup mount. It consists of a suction cup that is attached to a plastic cradle which holds the GPS unit. A tiny lever holds the suction cup to the windshield firmly. The owner can tilt and rotate the GPS unit on the suction mount so that it can be easily seen. When it is time to remove the GPS unit from the windshield, simply press the lever in the other direct, and the suction is released.
There are a few tips to mounting the unit with a suction cup mount. For example, the window should be clean and dry before the suction cup is adhered to the window. Also, it is best to attach the suction cup to the straightest portion of the windshield - the less it curves, the better it will adhere. Lastly, make sure the protective plastic on the suction cup is removed before mounting is attempted. If it is left in place, the unit will quickly fall to the floor.
It is important to consider the laws of the area before selecting one of the many GPS mounts. For example, in some areas it is illegal to have anything mounted onto the windows of a car. So, in those cases, a suction mount would not work.
There are plenty of other GPS mounts. Velcro® can be used to attach the GPS unit directly to the dashboard. It alleviates the need to mount it to the window; however, it does have some drawbacks. The angle of the screen cannot be controlled as well as with some GPS mounts. In addition, the unit cannot be moved to a different place, unless the Velcro® is removed, leaving behind a sticky residue. In addition, if the Velcro® is on the dashboard for an extended period of time, the sun and cold weather can destroy its adhesive quality.
Many people prefer a weighted mat with a plastic base to mount their GPS unit. The interior of the base is smooth and is ideal for attaching the unit with a suction cup. The base’s bottom sits on the dashboard and has a coating which prevents it from sliding to the floor while the car is moving. Regardless the method of mounting, it is important for the unit to be secure and for all laws and safety procedures to be followed.