New Snowmobiles with built-in color screens that display navigation are slick but what if you already have a sled and simply want to view the map on your phone? I found a DIY inexpensive snowmobile phone mount with wireless charging.
The following outlines an inexpensive way to deliver a GPS level function that would likely work with any brand or model of sleds. The wireless charging feature appears to create the heat needed to make a solution like this work for snowmobiles.
Tested: iMESTOU Waterproof Snowmobile Phone Mount
iMESTOU waterproof motorcycle phone mount, IP67 w/wireless Qi/USB port charger for $52.99 (often on sale at a lower price).
iBOLT 25mm/1 inch composite AMPS adapter (RAM ball mount style) for $7.95.
2021 Ski-Doo 900 ACE Turbo Renegade Adrenaline with medium height adjustable windshield and the BRP accessory glove box extension with internal USB power adapter/harness.
I already had the glove box extension kit which is a great location to mount the iBolt RAM style ball. Price of this gear was surprisingly good. Wireless charging in a sealed case supports 12-volt power with a cord molded to the unit.
It can also support USB C charging and has a boot that can be removed to plug-in a regular phone charging cable. The kit comes with a RAM style ball for a handlebar clamp mount, which I did not try.
The included RAM style arm uses a key to tighten the position of the phone cradle. Some may prefer a toolless thumb screw style adjustment that can be tightened by hand, which is typical of genuine RAM mounts.
Installing the iMESTOU
I already installed a USB power source inside the glove box but wanted to take advantage of the new charger’s 12-volt molded cable, so I spliced the leads to the wires that feed the USB.
The charger’s 12-volt cable has plenty of length and an inline fuse as well. I was able to run the wire through a small gap between the instrument cluster and the glove box extension. It looks clean enough, without pinching the wires.
There’s enough slack for the glove box to open easily with the phone attached.
I chose to route the cable under the glove box where the USB power is plugged in. Placement of the wire and zip ties were a little trial and error but that has more to do with how I decided to wire the kit.
The inline fuse is positioned under the glove box. If it ever needed replacement the two T30 screws that fasten the instrument cluster and glove box would need to be removed.
Inexpensive Snowmobile Phone Mount with Wireless Charging
Trail Use Pros
Even with a protective case, my iPhone SE fit inside the iMESTOU waterproof clamshell. The unit is sealed with a good rubber boot and well-made clamps that lock it closed on three sides.
The mounting location fit well within my field of vision and the touchscreen functioned properly. Parked outside on a morning that started at three degrees, after overnight lows at 13 degrees below zero, there was no fogging inside the case during use.
That morning the phone was at 95% battery as I fired up the NHSA Sno-Traveler Map App. At the end of the ride, in the late afternoon, the battery was at 97% and the phone was warm to the touch from wireless charging, despite temperatures that never cracked the low 20’s.
Most impressive, when you consider that the phone had screen-lock turned off so that the map would constantly be displayed. Other than an idle vibration, brisk riding did not impact or move the visibility of the unit on the trail.
Trail Use Cons
Apps with a white background made it easier to see the blue location ball. I noticed Vermont’s app, with the green backdrop, required slightly more focus. Handlebar mounts may not work as well in the snow or during consistent sub-zero temperatures.
Mounting the unit behind the windshield, in a well-protected location, makes more sense for snowmobiling. While it’s not as glitzy as a built-in factory display, it gets the job done. If you are looking for an inexpensive snowmobile phone mount with wireless charging, this works.
Final Thoughts: iMESTOU Waterproof Snowmobile Phone Mount
My iPhone SE 2020 is a compact and affordable device. The smaller iMESTOU weatherproof charging case I purchased could support slightly larger phones. They also sell a larger model if you carry a “max” phone.
As for positioning, I prefer the phone being a bit closer to the rider, higher and slightly tipped upward, versus low and vertically flat, as is Ski-Doo’s accessory phone mount on the glove box door.
Although I’ve only ridden a few days with this (300 miles is not a long-term test), my initial experience is pretty good.
The rear of the unit features a weatherproof power button that is backlit, allowing the user to power-down without removing the phone.
Even if you don’t use a digital map, this would still be a useful way to charge a phone during a ride or listen to music via Bluetooth, neither of which were the purpose of my tests, but worth mentioning.
Overall, this project delivered the functionality I wanted for relatively cheap money.