With the profusion of electronic devices that we like to take with us, our dash is starting to resemble a jet fighter cockpit. Mounting iPads, phones, iPods, Hema Navigators and the like can become quite a challenge, especially when you want the devices to be handy and easily read while you’re driving.
We had this issue mounting a new iPad Air, on or close to the centre of the dash in the Patrol, for mapping and navigation.
We already had an iPod, phone and an HN-7 Navigator vying for room and had tried a cheap suction mount for the iPad, but it just wasn’t strong enough to hold the weight of an iPad over rough tracks.
In our spacious Dodge pick-up we have a RAM floor mount, which works pretty well with an iPad, but it really needs an extra brace to stop it vibrating on rough tracks.
In the Patrol, the floor mount impinges on leg room so we were never happy with it.
With those experiences behind us, we went looking for something else – and found it with a RAM double-suction-cup kit from Mr Mobile, based in Sydney.
This kit is, like all RAM Mount products, top quality. It comes complete with dual 3.25-inch twist-lock suction cup bases, a double-socket arm (there’s a choice of three lengths), an EZ-Roll model-specific cradle for the Apple iPad, and a couple of one-inch ball sockets, along with the assorted screws, nuts and mounting plates.
All the items come in separate sealed plastic bags, with no note on how it goes together. Luckily it is pretty easy, even though I found myself undoing a few screws at times and re-arranging things.
I had ordered the long double-socket arm, but once I had the unit assembled I realised the arm wasn’t long enough to reach across the dash of the Patrol. This meant another order and an extra payment for postage and handling. Then I realised I needed another order – a double ball adaptor. Bugger!
So take note – if you want or need two arms, you’ll need a double ball adaptor to link them. Maybe Mr Mobile, who I was on first-name terms with by the time all this was done, should have told me I needed the adaptor when I ordered the second arm.
With the new iPad mounted in the RAM mount and bracket, we are very pleased with the result. The two arms and adaptor make positioning the iPad very flexible, and the unit doesn’t show any sign of falling off. With the way we have mounted it, the arm is partly supported by the dash, which means there is a minimum of vibration when on rough or rocky tracks.
RAM mounts (www.rammount.com) are manufactured in the USA and there are plenty of mounts and brackets to suit all sorts of devices. The products are widely available on the web. We chose Mr Mobile and we were fairly pleased with the service and delivery times.
WE SAY: Expensive, but works extremely well.
PRICE: $150 (kit); $25 (extra arm); $30 (ball adaptor).