A sturdy device to hold your mobile phone or tablet in place when using it as a sat-nav has become one of the must-have caravan accessories. With many people seeing no need to splash out on a separate sat-nav when their mobile phones are almost always on them, there’s a growing trend for this. You’ll want to make sure your phone is well charged anyway, and as your phone will doubtless be connected to the internet frequently, using your phone as your sat-nav means it is easy to keep on top of any system updates.

However, most devices don’t come with holders or mounts designed for this purpose, so here at Practical Caravan, we’ve performed a group test to help you find the best accessory mounts for your caravan holidays. After all, there are lots of these products on sale, but how do you know that what you’re buying is good and will hold your tablet or phone securely?

Every product was put through the same rigorous test. We started by measuring the size of device that each mount was able to handle. We also evaluated the ease (or lack thereof) with which you could get your device into and out of the holder, because you don’t want to leave your precious, shiny smartphone in a holder and on full display if you’re just nipping out the car, but neither do you want a big faff every time you try to liberate it.

We also wanted to see how easy each device was to put in place, with bonus points awarded for accessory holders that can be mounted on the dashboard as well as on the windscreen – many prefer the latter, but the ring it leaves on the windscreen can make your car a target for thieves.

The last thing we checked was how secure each mount was. We tested them all while driving along a bumpy road – only a mount that holds a device as still as possible was going to achieve a good score in our tests. 

Here we are reviewing the Sakura Universal Mobile Phone Holder, which carries a price tag of just £10. And we are pleased to report that this is an incredibly good all-rounder considering its budget price. In fact, it actually boasts a slightly better size range (5.5–11.5cm wide) than the all-conquering Ram Mount X-Grip that was our group test winner.

We’re not sure the photo mount is such a great idea. Surely you’d simply remove the mount altogether if it wasn’t being used? But other than that, the Sakura Universal Mobile Phone Holder’s mount end is completely conventional. Press a button and the grip arms slide apart. Insert your device, slide them back together tightly, and the locking mechanism and foam pads grab admirably. A couple of fold-out tabs aid support further.

Our main niggle with this accessory is the long, bendy gooseneck. It’s not the easiest thing to bend, and it allows the mount to shake slightly.

As well as the group test winning Ram Mount X-Grip RAM-HOL-UN7B-KT that was mentioned earlier, we also reviewed the Halfords Suction Mount PDA Holder, the Sakura SS5185 Universal Windscreen Mounted Tablet Holder and the Olixar CD Slot Mount.