Securely Mounting a GPS Screen in an RV

Let’s be honest, those flimsy suction cup mounts they give you just don’t cut the mustard. Every bump in the road sends the thing toppling to the floor. And who wants to pull over to re-stick a GPS mount when you’re trying to make tracks to the next national park?! Not this guy.

I’ve tested out a few different methods over the years living on the road, and I’m excited to pass on what I’ve learned. Hopefully it’ll help you find a solid GPS mounting solution that can withstand RV life!

Magnetic Mounts

One popular option is a magnetic mount. These use strong neodymium magnets to hold your GPS unit securely against any steel surface in your rig.

The advantage is you can easily move the GPS around to wherever is most convenient. I like being able to plop it on the dash while driving, then slap it onto the fridge or a side table when parked at the campsite. The magnets are usually strong enough to keep things put, even on bumpy dirt roads.

Most magnetic mounts have a quick release system so you can pop the GPS off when not in use. This prevents any kids in the RV from messing with your device. It also makes it easy to take your GPS indoors or move it to another vehicle.

Some good magnetic mount brands to look at are RAM Mounts, WizGear, and Lamicall. Just make sure whichever one you choose has magnets that are compatible with your GPS case material. Some don’t stick well to plastic or aluminum cases.

Adhesive Dashboard Mounts

If you want a more permanent solution, adhesive dashboard mounts are a great hands-free option while driving. These use a heavy duty adhesive to stick directly to your RV’s dash surface. Makes sense, right?

Popular picks are mounts from iOttie and Beam Electronics. They have large adhesive pads that keep your GPS locked tightly in place on the dash. We’re talking bumpy dirt roads, speed bumps, and even off-roading – these babies won’t budge!

The adhesive is usually reusable, so you can remove the mount without damaging your dash. But be warned, once it’s adhered, it can be a beast to pry off.

Pro tip: Thoroughly clean the surface and let it dry before sticking on the mount. And give it a good 24 hours to fully cure before trusting expensive electronics to it!

Suction Cup Mounts

I know I kinda bagged on regular suction cup mounts earlier. But I have to admit, when used right, they can be surprisingly sturdy.

The key is getting a mount with a large suction base and a strong locking mechanism. This helps create enough vacuum to really cement it to the window surface.

Top options are from brands like Garmin, RAM Mounts, and BENSN. Make sure to mount it on a perfectly smooth, non-porous surface like glass. And keep the suction cup clean and moist when attaching to get the best grip.

Bonus tip: A tiny dab of petroleum jelly around the cup rim can help get a more airtight seal!

Overhead Mounting Brackets

Here’s an outside-the-box idea if you want your GPS front and center without blocking your windshield view. Overhead mounting brackets attach your device above the driver seat for visibility.

Some RV overhead consoles already have built-in monitor mounts. If not, brands like Bracketron and Mount-It! make universal overhead mounts that clamp onto the console framework.

The downside is you’ll have wires dangling from above. So use some clips or conduit to run the cable neatly along the ceiling and down a pillar. Don’t want wires getting tangled around your feet while driving!

Safety first: Don’t mount things too low over the driver seat. You don’t want a falling GPS cracking you on the noggin!

Suction Cup Windshield Mounts

OK, hear me out. Standard tiny suction cup mounts may be lame. But full sized windshield suction mounts are a different beast!

The trick is to get an oversized suction pad that nearly covers your entire windshield. This gives the mount an incredibly secure grip that can hold a 7-inch GPS screen with no problem.

My top pick is the AquaVu 4-ounce suction cup mount. That sucker has an innovative lever lock and dual-vacuum design. Once it’s on the glass, it does NOT budge.

Just make sure to mount it in a corner out of the driver’s line of sight. Don’t want to block your view of the beautiful country!

Rubber Strap Mounts

Moving into the low-tech options now. But sometimes the simplest solutions do the job!

Rubber strap mounts secure your GPS using good ol’ rubber straps and tension. Just wrap them around your device and a stable mounting point.

You can strap around pillars, headrest poles, seat rails, handles – pretty much anything solid in your RV cockpit. Adding a protective rubber pad prevents any surface scratches.

Cheap and flexible, these are great as secondary mounts to have as backup. Solid brands are Kenu and Spigen.

I like to combine a strap mount with a magnetic mount for versatility. Straps to secure the base, magnets to hold the GPS when stationary. Redneck engineering at its finest!

Bean Bag Mounts

Here’s another budget-friendly and minimalist approach: bean bag mounts.

These secure your GPS using tiny bean bag cushions that conform to any shape. Just nestle your device into the stabilizing beans on the dash or floor. It molds into place and holds surprisingly steady.

The nice thing with bean bags is they provide a soft, protective mounting surface. No need to stick anything directly to the dash or risk scratches.

And if the main driver wants the GPS up on the dash, the passenger can easily grab it and put it on their knee. No need to detach any mounts or brackets. The beans literally go with the flow!

Solid bean bag mount brands are RAM Mounts, AutoMako, and Kenu. They come in fun colors too – a nice bit of flair!

Vent Mounts

Let’s get into some mounting locations beyond the dash. First up, air vent mounts!

These clip onto the fins of your RV’s vent system, using the adjustable vanes to grip your GPS mount in place.

Vent mounts keep your device visible while freeing up windshield space. Air flow from the vents can also help keep your GPS from overheating in hot climates.

Downsides are limited adjustability, and they can loosen over time as vents wiggle. I recommend a back-up strap for security.

Top vent mount brands are Lamicall, BE, and Loncaster. Though any mount with a good adjustable clip will work decently on most vents.

Seat Bolt Mounts

Moving just below eye-level, seat bolt mounts attach your GPS mount to the posts where your seats are anchored.

Brands like RAM Mounts and Figure 9 make attachment arms that secure onto the seat bolts underneath, keeping things low profile but still visible.

Nice thing about seat mounts is they stay fixed in place even when the seats are adjusted or swiveled. Your GPS view remains dialed no matter what position you’re chilling in.

Just be mindful of rear passengers. You don’t want the GPS whacking anyone in the knees when the seat slides back!

Window Mounts

Here’s another solid option if your windshield real estate is maxed out. Window mounts attach your GPS to side windows using suction cups or clamps.

Suction cup window mounts like the Labpak StickOn use thick rubber suction cups to grip glass surfaces. Clamp-style mounts like the Lamicall Holder clamp directly onto the window frame for extra security.

The advantage of window mounts is you can place them further into your peripheral vision. This prevents neck craning or taking your eyes off the road.

Downside is limited adjustability compared to windshield mounts. Make sure to place it well within your field of view before locking it down.

Cup Holder Mounts

Alright, time to get creative! Cup holder mounts grip your GPS in place using your RV’s built in cup holders. Convenient and out-of-the-way!

These mount bases sit snugly in the cup holder, with an adjustable arm that positions your device closeby. Brands like Lamicall and Trianium make attachments to fit different size cup holders.

I like cup holder mounting for a few reasons. It frees up prime real estate on your dash and windshield for driver visibility. You can also easily grab your GPS when parked without detaching any mounts.

Just be sure it’s positioned so you can safely sneak peeks without excessive head turning. Don’t want to give yourself whiplash checking directions!

CD Slot Mounts

Remember CD players? Well those slots make excellent GPS mounts, if your RV still has one!

CD slot mounts like the Macally grip the edge of the slot opening to hold your device stable and centered. Some even have little “arms” that slot into the holes for extra security.

Benefit here is utilizing unused space that’s likely already conveniently located on your dash. Out of the way but still visible. Just be sure it doesn’t obstruct important controls or your view.

Also make sure the mount adjusts to different slot depths if needed. You want a snug fit so your GPS doesn’t rattle around on bumpy roads!

Outlet Mounts

Last but not least: outlet mounts! These ingenious devices plug into your 12V outlet, and use the electrical plug for stability.

Brands like Kenu, Scosche, and Garmin make outlet mounts with adjustable arms to position your GPS above the dash. Some even have USB ports to charge your device. #Winning

Talk about killing two birds with one stone. Your GPS is mounted securely, PLUS you still have use of the outlet if needed.

Be sure to match the mount plug size to your RV’s outlets. And check that it positions your device so you can see it without blocking your forward view. Safety first!

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