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John E Davies

HOW TO: Garmin inReach powered mount

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I spend a good amount of time traveling and camping way off the grid, where I have no cell signal. I have been using a SPOT ever since they came out, but I finally decided that I need more capability. The SPOT works great for continuous tracking while riding a motorcycle, but it is very crippled for sending help requests and the plan has gotten extremely expensive. I replaced it with a Garmin inReach SE+, so I can send and receive short text messages, send an SOS, and actually communicate real time with rescuers. It also links to the Garmin Earthmate app on my iPhone so I can use the phone to do stuff, such as access my Contacts. It provides great peace of mind and the basic plan is very affordable, and WAY less expensive than any sat phone. I am on the Freedom plan, and can suspend my monthly coverage if I want to , with no penalties. No mandatory annual subscription!

 

I discovered that the inReach doesn't need to be outside, the fiberglass roof of the Ollie is completely transparent to its signals. I do think that the major appliances and pots and pans might get in the way,  so I decided to install the powered mount at the back corner where it is easy to see and reach, and it can communicate from that location while it is charging. Normally a message will go out in under a minute, but sometimes it may be as long as ten.

 

IMG_4797.thumb.jpg.9b53090d4b4108458130218b62cef299.jpg

 

I needed clearance on top to lift the unit up and out of the cradle, and it needed to be positioned where I could route the USB charging cord into the upper rear compartment, so I could power a USB charger from the existing 12v round charger circuit... just to the left of the cabinet door frame looked ideal.

 

I made an adapter plate from thick aluminum and screwed it in place using 6-32 stainless hardware:

 

IMG_4783.thumb.jpg.d1a2c21f62d6e2736e01ed9a36df99c6.jpg

 

I taped a steel ruler to the frame, to act as an alignment jig. I was going to be spending hours looking at the mount from my bed and did not want it to be crooked! (Like my wonky rear window...)

 

IMG_4785.thumb.jpg.afc793648d24d9d61cd83a19d6bcdc6a.jpg

 

After adding 3M VHB tape, I stuck it in place:

 

IMG_4787.thumb.jpg.4e149498ef94b83e85b3457566459451.jpg

 

I took the factory installed Blue Sea USB low power charger from its location above the curbside bed, and wired it up:

 

IMG_4789.thumb.jpg.9eb6d31c73933504fcae9ddcca9f1d75.jpg

 

And spliced it into the existing 12 v system;

 

IMG_4791.thumb.jpg.d9b3aa2eca4da8a4d49aeb73d37ab54d.jpg

 

That circuit stays hot all the time, and the inReach will charge whenever placed in the holder.

 

IMG_4800.thumb.jpg.f3a50ad8b65ecdafb69693465cec5545.jpg

 

It is easy to see from the galley or either bed (we sleep head to front) and it is easy to grab, and unsnaps from the mount with a flick of the safety catch.

 

IMG_4799.thumb.jpg.b734a61db46a976cb98b0803282f49a8.jpg

 

I have ordered an UNLIT USB high output dual charger for the empty hole over my bed. That will be a future thread.

 

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MRZ9ATL/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N2YKO3L/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

 

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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Very nice work! We too have a Garmen in reach and highly recommend it. Good to know it can be used inside the camper.


Yvonne & Doug


2017 Legacy Elite II, twin bed


Hull #223


2017 Ford F-250 Lariat, crew cab

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