This article is for the person that knows what RAM cradle or holder they need but need some help with the mount. There are many options for flat surfaces. Some use adhesive, others a magnet, there’s a suction cup and then there are many that use bolts. Out of the four, the bolt-on is the most popular, but sometimes you may not want to drive screws into the surface so we will discuss all four options.
So let’s start with the most common surface solution which is the bolt-on method. The RAM 2.5″ Base with 1″ Ball is the standard flat surface base. The mount is made of black powder coated metal and has a series of six pre-drilled holes supporting the AMPS pattern. The base measures 2.5″ across. There is a standard 1″ rubber ball that attaches to a RAM arm. This is the typical base used for bolt-on applications. The mounting bolts are not included with this part.
The next option for flat surface mounting is the RAM Adhesive Base with 1″ Ball. This is made of plastic and has the standard 1″ ball. There is a PSA (pressure sensitive adhesive) disk which is attached to the bottom of the base and it measures 2.5 inches across. Like the previous base, the standard RAM 1″ ball arm fits over the ball. Be sure to apply this to a clean surface free of any oils or solvents. Let it set overnight to ensure optimal performance. Adhesive bases are for those that don’t want to drill holes yet want something permanent. When it comes time to remove these, it’s going to take some work and we recommend reading our article titled Removing a Car Adhesive Dash Mount.
A magnetic mount is a new option for flat surface applications when attaching to ferrous metals (meaning metal that a magnet attaches to). The RAM Magnetic Base with 1″ Ball Adapter combines the standard metal base mount with a triple magnet base. This part consists of a 2.5″ diameter base which attaches to an included magnetic base adapter. This magnetic base adapter contains 3 rare earth magnets that attach to most metal surfaces. The three magnets are hidden inside the base so they can’t be seen and the resulting attachment is sleek and really firm. I have tried this myself and it really is a tight hold. Just make sure that a magnet can stick to your metal surface before purchase.
If the flat surface is not textured, it’s possible that the RAM Suction Assembly with 1″ Ball will work well. This measures 3.3 inches across and the base includes a vacuum lock which is activates by twisting the middle portion. There is a 1″ ball, just like the rest of the bases, which attaches to any 1″ ball arm. These are going to work on flat smooth non-porous surface surfaces, not on anything that is textured. They work the best on glass and plastic surfaces.
We covered four solutions, all made with 1 inch balls. Similar bases supporting a 1.5″ and 2.25″ ball size are available in some of these, especially the first base which is the metal one with the pre-drilled holes. The accompanying photo shows the 2.25 versus 1 inch ball adapters.