Continuing our series of articles for the Garmin 2017 series, let’s discuss mounts for the Garmin DriveAssist 51LMT-S. This is my favorite of the Drive line. Integration of a dash cam with a GPS device makes a lot of sense to me. Garmin must agree as they continue their successful integration of the two technologies.
Garmin started this concept several years ago with the introduction of the Garmin NuviCam. Currently, this integration isn’t available in a smartphone. This gives Garmin a significant advantage over popular GPS apps such as Waze. While this advantage might disappear in the future, I’m unaware of how to use the rear facing camera on my Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge as a dash cam while using Waze.
The physical specifications remain unchanged from the 2016 model version. The Garmin Drihttp://www.mountguys.com/waze-versus-a-garmin-nuvi/veAssist 51LMT-S has a 5″ diagonal display and measures 5.5″W x 3.3″H x .8″D (1.0″, including camera) (14.0 x 8.4 x 2.1 cm (2.6 cm, including camera). The navigation features embedded in this device parallel the newly announced Garmin Drive 51 Series. The difference for the Garmin DriveAssist 51LMT-S is the integrated camera. The dash cam continually records your drive and automatically saves video footage if you get into an accident. The GPS records where and when events occurred. Like any good dash cam, the Garmin DriveAssist 51LMT-S includes driver alerts with additional camera-assisted alerts like Forward Collision Warning and Lane Departure Warning. The DriveAssist comes with a lifetime traffic subscription (that what the T stands for in the 51LMT-S).
Let’s move to the mount discussion. Even though this is the second iteration of DriveAssist, the name hasn’t caught onto some of the mounts out there. If you see a mount that says Garmin Nuvi, that will fit the Garmin DriveAssist 51LMT-S as well.
The Garmin DriveAssist 51LMT-S includes a short suction cup mount integrated with a cradle. Keeping with the mount design from the past decade for all Garmin automotive devices, the included cradle has a 17mm socket to fit a mount with a 17mm ball. The cradle has a cutout for the camera. Depending upon which mount is used, the cradle might need to be attached upside down.
Our first mount up for discussion is the old reliable Garmin Portable Friction Mount. Given the integrated dash cam, this one will be a popular mounting option for this GPS. This mount has been available since the early days of Garmin Nuvi and continues to be a valuable add-on for the 2017 series of GPS devices. This heavy mount weighs 1.5 pounds. The bottom has a rubber coated base which is designed to stay stable in most normal driving circumstances on typical dashboards. There is a 17mm ball on the mount which will fit the back of your cradle tfor the Garmin DriveAssist 51LMT-S. Easy to install and remove. It’s a matter of picking it up off your dash when done using it.
For those that prefer a suction cup mount for the dash, the Arkon Sticky Mounting Pedestal for Garmin Nuvi will adhere to anything that’s flat, even a textured dashboard. That’s the mount included in the photo that accompanies this article. The sticky bottom adheres to your dash. The bottom can lose the sticky feeling with a lot of use, but it’s easily recharged by washing it in some warm soapy water. Like the prior mount, this features an adjustable angle. The mount facilitates full swivel. There are adjustment points at the cradle as well as the base.
The Garmin DriveAssist 51LMT-S is a great addition for trucks and rigs. The Arkon Suction Cup Extension Mount is a longer mount that is an excellent choice. It extends from 14 – 18 inches. The metal arm connects to a variety of included adapters for the latest Garmin and TomTom models. This includes the necessary 17mm ball for the Garmin DriveAssist 51LMT-S. Just remove the cradle from the current car mount and snap onto this mount. The mount includes a vacuum locking suction cup to keep the mount in place. The manufacturer provides a 2-year warranty on this mount.
The Garmin DriveAssist 51LMT-S is a great GPS device. Continued innovation in the integration of a GPS and dash cam is what sets Garmin apart from the rest including smartphone apps. Nice job Garmin.