The Garmin DriveSmart 86 represents one of the largest automotive GPS devices we have seen in quite some time. The eight-inch screen places this around the size of an Apple iPad Mini. The mounting challenge will be in place the device so as not to block any of the driver’s view.
A New Ball Size for the Garmin DriveSmart 86
The Garmin DriveSmart 86 deviates from practically every automotive GPS released by Garmin over the past ten years. Each of the past models deployed a cradle featuring a 17mm socket on the back. This one introduces a 22mm socket.
The 22mm socket means all those Garmin Nuvi and Garmin Drive mounts out there, even some of the Garmin DriveSmart mounts, will not fit this device. A mount featuring a 22mm ball is needed.
Garmin seems to heading in this direction for their larger GPS devices. It looks like it kicks in with a GPS larger than 7 inches diagonal screen size. We have seen this one before on mounts for the Garmin RV 890 and RV 1090.
Included in the Box with the Garmin DriveSmart 86
Garmin includes a suction cup mount with this GPS. It’s very similar to practically every other Garmin suction cup mount except it has a 22mm ball. Deploying a vacuum lever to improve the suction attachment, these attach to almost anything smooth and flat. Most use it on the windshield but it can be used on smooth flat dash too.
The mount includes a cradle that attaches to the back of the GPS. A 22mm socket is part of the cradle and snaps onto the mount ball.
Alternative Mounts for the Garmin DriveSmart 86
Third party mounts for this GPS aren’t going to be easy to find. The mass market supports the Garmin automotive, smaller form factor GPS models like the Nuvi, Drive, DriveSmart and the dezl. These all use a 17mm ball. None of these mounts will fit the Garmin DriveSmart 86.
It’s not going to be easy to find any 22mm mounts. Naturally though, we have some options.
The photo that accompanies this article is the AMPS to 22mm Ball Flat Surface Mount. These mounts feature a 22mm ball which is what you need. The bottom uses the industry standard 4-hole AMPS pattern. This mounting pattern is typically used for attaching to Vehicle Specific Mounts (VSM) which typically utilize the AMPS pattern. Screws and nuts aren’t supplied but it’s a solid mount which works great on flat surfaces or for attaching to a VSM mount. The mount can also be attached directly to a dashboard.
Lastly, a unique mount to consider is this Extra Long Suction Cup Mount for the Garmin Drivesmart 86. It extends from 14 to 18 inches and has a metal rod in the middle. A great choice for SUVs and trucks. Suction cup has a lever that when pressed creates a vacuum lock.
As previously stated, there aren’t many options for a 22mm ball, but a few are mentioned. This article will be updated as more become available.
Using an Old Garmin Mount
So the old Garmin mounts use a 17mm ball. Fortunately, there are 22mm to 17mm adapters that can be attached to the old mount to make it compatible with this GPS. Just screw it onto the old mount and you’ve saved yourself a lot of money on having to buy a new one.