by Paul Sanders
GPS navigation systems can be more convenient and intuitive to use with the right GPS accessories. Small add-ons can keep your GPS charged and within reach wherever you are, while other extras will just protect the unit itself from damage. Here are just a few essential GPS accessories to help make your GPS system easier to use.
Hard-shell carrying case: Removing and packing away your GPS when you leave your car is always a good idea. A hard-shell case allows you to safely store the unit and GPS accessories and keep them from getting scratched in the glove box or under your car seat. GPS accessories can also be packed away in a hard-shell case for use when camping, hiking or boating -- all places where your electronics can be exposed to the elements.
GPS mount: A mount with simple installation and mounting connections is an essential GPS accessory for your car. You'll find mounting GPS accessories that fit nearly anywhere on your dashboard. Suction cup mounts, friction mounts and cup-holder mounts are all easy ways to incorporate your GPS system with your vehicle in a convenient way. The difference between these GPS accessories is usually in how the mount connects to the GPS unit. A GPS accessory that easily clips on and off is ideal.
Power adapter: Some GPS navigation units do have rechargeable batteries, but you will only get so many hours out of a single charge, and some units have no internal battery at all. GPS accessories like power adapters can help you plug in through an A/C outlet on the dash. If your outlets are currently occupied by other power adapters or GPS accessories, you may want to invest in an outlet multiplier to power all your devices at once.
Data cables: When you need to transfer new map updates or cannot charge your GPS through an outlet, just plug in a USB data cable. Data cable GPS accessories can charge your navigation system and download new data simultaneously.