Now this is just brilliant! Three of my very favourite ‘gadgets’ used in my favourite vehicle.
I recently acquired a Hover Bar for my iPad 3, this is manufactured by Twelve South and can be purchased at any Apple Store. I really wanted something sturdy enough to semi-permanently mount in the motorhome so that I could use it for SatNav (and all those other things you can do like selecting your music tracks, playing audio books etc etc). The Hover Bar comes with what can only be described as an industrial strength one inch clamp with a metal flexible extending rod about 90cm long. It holds the iPad securely in place and as can be seen from the photo leaves it positioned perfectly in my left hand drive vehicle with the rear view camera still visible and not interfering with any controls.
The photo below shows the clamp and bar in operation with the Hover Bar being attached to a plate on the floor to the side of the drivers seat. Despite having a one inch clamp and huge flexibility, at first I couldn’t find anywhere to fasten the clamp. The nice people at RS Motorhomes provided a metal plate for me when the vehicle was in for a service (and didn’t charge me for doing it). The iPad is pretty much rock steady when driving to say it is suspended completely atop its flexible stalk. It has just turned out to be an excellent solution. Charging, if I need it, is from an inverted socket to the left of the drivers seat or you could use a 12v charger I guess if you wished.
I have CoPilot Premium Europe on the device which costs around £30 and has proved to be excellent. It includes traffic updates and rerouting and all the usual SatNav gubbins. My only criticism of the CoPilot software is that whilst it lets you store as many favourites as you like, it has no option to import Points of Interest – this is a sad omission but not a fatal flaw if you are willing to type in an address. I do miss the TomTom alert ability to tell you that you were say within one mile of an Aire or a campsite which you can only get if you have POI uploads. Still, TomTom is available for the iPad if I really felt the need that badly. Like all SatNavs we get the occasional bizarre route and anyone with any sense has a little look at a map book to check the route before they set off (I really must remind myself of that the next time I set off!).
The Hover Bar wasn’t cheap at around £60 but that reflects the quality of the gadget. It looks and feels the business – definitely my ‘gadgets of the year’