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  1. #1
    Jr. Engineer Jamm3r's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Minneapolis area

    Default GPS in head unit or stand alone?

    Contemplating some electronics upgrades. I have always used the GPS in my phone and have a mobile dock for it in each of my trucks and that's worked out ok. Up until I got the smart phone I had a standalone GPS.

    Wondering what the pros and cons are of the double DIN units that have a GPS built into them. Better deal overall than a phone GPS or not?
    Minneapolis area - 1997 K2500 regular cab long bed + 8.5' Western Unimount plow + modified transmission + 2nd battery + modified camper charge circuit + 1971 Cayo camper -and- 2004 4x4 Suburban 2500 8.1 + Maxbrake controller + 2nd battery + modified trailer charge circuit + Reese receiver, pulls 30' Airstream trailer

  2. #2


    I have the Kenwood radio with built in Garmin GPS and I love it. After much research I found that Garmin is the most accurate GPS and Kenwood is the only one that has it built into there head units. Pros are bigger screen and the music automatically mutes when it gives you turn by turn directions. Cons are........................ I'll let you know when I find one. Good luck.

    2002 Chevrolet Silverado Extended Cab SportSide: See Mods in My Garage

  3. #3


    I, too, am running a Kenwood double DIN head unit that was chosen specifically because Kenwood integrated Garmin GPS. Having used most commercial aftermarket (and a number of OEM vehicular) GPS systems, I've found Garmin to be the most intuitive and accurate.

    The biggest pro to having an in-dash unit is that it's not stuck on the windshield screaming 'steal me' to every passerby.

    The ONLY con to a Kenwood in-dash unit with Garmin GPS integrated into it is that you cannot subscribe to a Garmin lifetime map update for the unit. Maps updates sold for the Kenwood unit are sold for about 75 clams (give or take 5 clams) on micro SD card ... and you must buy one each year if you intend to stay current, each year. Personally, I update once every 2-3 years ... i.e. only when I find an area that's not properly mapped.

    There are ways for me to load the maps without paying a dime, of course, ... but I value Garmin's time and effort and recognize that map updates are how it makes its money off this integration within a Kenwood unit, so I monetarily reward them from time to time for providing what I consider a superior product.

    I actually called Garmin, last week, to find out when the 2013 map updates would be out ... but they gave me no ETA. :(

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