#17 Casita Update… (GPS)

#17 Casita update (GPS)

 About eight years ago, I bought a Tom Tom. It was my first GPS. We were both employed by Westat, a research firm. They bid on government contracts. We were working on a national health survey. A huge contract that spanned several years.

Here’s a tiny part of how we were involved. Cricket, my wife, was a nurse. Her title was Medical Manager. She was in charge of the entire medical team of 17 health professionals that included another nurse and a doctor. I was the office manager and worked with three staff.

Here is the crazy part. It was like a circus. It operated like a circus. There were more than 150 people involved. There were twelve 50-foot medical trailers involved.

Four medical trailers belonged to each of the three teams. Cricket and I and my small staff were one of the three teams.

It gets even crazier, but the bottom line is that we changed locations every several weeks. For several years we shifted from one specific spot in the USA to another community. We operated in all the states and Cricket, and I traveled to Alaska.

I needed a GPS. I got lost several times when I totally relied on the GPS.

The last time I used the Tom Tom was more than eight years ago.

Through the Casita Forum, I contacted Peter. He lives in Gold Canyon, Arizona, about 66 miles from Surprise. I’ve never been there, and when I Googled it, I knew I would need a GPS to find him.

I couldn’t find the Tom Tom. Thus, the investment in a Garmin Drive Assist 51 worked to get me from Best Buy back to my home.

Now I have to mount it somewhere that is legal in Arizona. I found out… in California… it is illegal to have a GPS mounted anywhere on the dash. I presume it also goes for overhead.

However, in Arizona, the law is a bit more tolerant. Apparently, I can mount it low on the dash next to the driver’s front window.

And that is why I spent about 20 minutes digging sand for my GPS mount in 117-degree heat on June 25, 2017, Sunday afternoon at five.

Although I looked for a commercial GPS mount, I wasn’t able to find one. I have a Dashmat to protect my dash, so I am going to try a modified ‘beanbag.’ I’ll fill a zip lock bag with sand, put the weighted sandbag in an old sock… and hope.

I filled a ziplock bag with sand. I cut up a cereal box to form a stable container for the sand bag. Here is the first step:   GPS-b300

Here is a trial positioning of the GPS unit nestled in the sandbag:  GPS-d300

And this is the GPS unit on the dash.  GPS-e300

I still have some tweaking to do. It won’t fit at the extreme end position of the window. Also, the GPS unit touches the windshield. I need to somehow cushion it… without obstructing the built in dashcam.

Looks ugly, but I’m more concerned with function over form.



2 thoughts on “#17 Casita Update… (GPS)

  1. Give me a good old fashioned road atlas. GPS systems can come up with the weirdest directions at times. Like a turn off the highway onto a gravel road that merely led back around to the same highway. Yes, that really happened.


    1. josephlacey12

      I carry 2018 Road Atlas as a backup. The Garmin seems to work very well (in old populated areas) . I rarely get lost… but I do find myself with impulsive scenic side trips

      Liked by 1 person

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