How to Attach a Garmin Cradle to a Tackform Mount

How to attach a Garmin cradle to a RAM MountIf you take a look at the number of vehicle GPS units introduced by Garmin over the past decade, it’s well over 100.  Sure, some of these are merely map or feature variations of an existing model but it’s still a lot.  Deploying a Tackform 20mm Mount (also known as the 20 Series) with the latest Garmin GPS models can be done.  Let’s see how to do this.

Garmin Cradle to a Tackform Mount Basics

So we’re going to look at a few ways to attach a Garmin cradle to a Tackform Mount.  Before we do that, let’s review Garmin vehicle mount basics.  Practically every Garmin vehicle GPS that has come out in the past ten plus years has two basic components:  a mount and a cradle.  Almost every Garmin suction cup mount has utilized the same basic design since the beginning.  The mount has a 17mm ball.  The ball fits into a 17mm socket on the back of a custom cradle.  This is a design that’s carried forward from the first Garmin Nuvi all the way up to today’s Garmin Drive GPS line.  Recently there were a small number of exceptions to the ball and socket rule as Garmin has started to experiment with magnetic mounts and even a few 22mm balls.

The issue that you run across when trying to attach the Garmin cradle to a Tackform Mount is the ball sizes are different.  The most popular Tackform Mounts use a 20mm ball size.  That’s larger than the 17mm socket on the back of the Garmin cradle.  Don’t try to force it in or risk breaking your Garmin cradle.  Unfortunately, the two companies use different ball sizes.

It’s assumed you’re reading this because you already have a Tackform mount and are trying to figure out how to deploy it for your Garmin GPS.  Therefore, we will not dive into the Tackform mount configurations.

How to Attach a 17mm Garmin Cradle to a Tackform Mount

A mistake made by some buyers is the assumption that the 20mm balls found on many Tackform mounts will fit their Garmin cradles.  They will not.

Guess what?  The people at Tackform have this figured out for you!

To the rescue comes the Tackform 20mm Aluminum Ball to 17mm Ball Adapter.  This inexpensive component has a one-inch ball on one end and 20mm on the other.  Simple to use and very inexpensive.  One end goes into the Tackform mount, the other snaps into the back of the Garmin GPS cradle that came with your device.

This handy adapter can be used with a variety of Tackform components including mounts for handlebars, windshields or dashboards.

How to Attach a 22mm Garmin Cradle to a Tackform Mount

The vast majority of Garmin vehicle cradles utilize a 17mm ball.  A few recent larger GPS models from Garmin have deployed a 22mm ball.  Examples include the fairly popular Garmin DriveSmart 86.  It’s an 8-inch GPS so Garmin must have included a larger ball because of the added weight.

This is where the 22mm to 20mm Adapter comes in handy.  Like the previously discussed adapter, this one will allow you to attach the Garmin cradle to the Tackform mount.


Tackform makes a very solid mount with mostly metal components.  Far sturdier than the plastic counterparts we’ve seen.  If you have a Tackform mount, it makes sense to redeploy it for a Garmin GPS.  It’s a major upgrade from the plastic mount received in the Garmin box.