Reviews

Best GPS with Backup Cameras: Maximize Your Visibility

Know where you’re going with these top GPS units with backup cameras

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BY Linsay Thomas , Rebecca Henderson / LAST UPDATED ON September 27, 2019

Connectivity allows you to share moments on the road, and with a GPS with a backup camera, you can capture your entire trip—front to back—and save it to show friends and family later. We’ve assembled an informative buying guide on the best GPS with backup camera systems, so you can get where you’re going while keeping an eye on your backside.

Best Overall
Garmin Drive GPS Navigator System
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Summary
Summary
This GPS has a 6-inch screen with a dual-orientation display. It comes pre-loaded with lifetime maps of both the U.S. and Canada. It will give driver alerts for upcoming road conditions.
Pros
Pros
You can get real-time alert services. It’ll tell you about current traffic conditions, speed traps, animal crossings, and railroad crossings. It’s also ready to use right out of the box.
Cons
Cons
The maps may not be up-to-date; this can result in incorrect directions. This is most common in rural areas. The screen is overly sensitive, which results in a lot of mis-selections.
Best Overall
Garmin Drive GPS Navigator System
Best Value
Garmin Drive 52 & Traffic
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Summary
Summary
This 5-inch navigation screen displays a detailed map. It’s backup camera-compatible. It comes pre-loaded with the History Channel’s database of historic sites, U.S. parks, and Foursquare points of interest.
Pros
Pros
The screen is bright and easy to use and see. It’s ready to use right out of the box. You’ll find what you need faster with a quick and easy search.
Cons
Cons
This unit is supposed to sit on your dash, but it overheats in the sun and then stops working. The user manual is not included with the GPS, so you’ll need to find it online and print it out.
Best Value
Garmin Drive 52 & Traffic
Honorable Mention
BOSS Audio Systems Car GPS with Rear Camera
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Summary
Summary
This navigation tool is an all-inclusive deal with Bluetooth,a CD/DVD player, AM/FM radio receiver, a rearview camera, and built-in GPS.
Pros
Pros
You get entertainment and navigation help from one tool. It allows you to make hands-free calls. Connect auxiliary equipment via the USB, SD, and AUX ports. Automatically turns on the rear camera when the car shifts to reverse.
Cons
Cons
The backup camera isn’t compatible with all vehicle models. Doesn’t come with instructions on how to update the navigation maps. Sometimes shows the wrong caller ID.
Honorable Mention
BOSS Audio Systems Car GPS with Rear Camera

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All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, or practical experience with most products we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

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Benefits of GPS with Backup Cameras

  • Know where you’re going. GPS units with backup cameras typically have both front and rear cameras, so you can see where you’re going as well as what’s behind you. The GPS will get you where you need to go, and the backup camera will guide you if you need to turn around.
  • Use one unit for two applications. Most people have a GPS unit they install in their vehicle and then purchase a backup camera as an afterthought. With both systems integrated you only have to worry about installing them once.
  • Upgrade your current system. While some older luxury models came with GPS as standard equipment, technology has come a long way in just a few years. Install a GPS with the backup camera in your vehicle to enjoy the latest versions of both.
  • Increase your vehicle’s value. It’s a lot easier to drive a vehicle with navigation and camera capabilities. If you invest in your vehicle by purchasing and installing a GPS unit with a backup camera, it will make it more appealing to a potential buyer.
  • Add to your vehicle’s safety features. Safety features oftentimes set one model apart from another. Increase the number of safety features in your car by installing a GPS unit and a backup camera. The GPS will get you home, while your backup camera keeps an eye on the road behind you.

Types of GPS with Backup Cameras

Mirror Dash Cam

GPS units with a built-in backup camera typically come in the form of a mirror dash camera, which mounts over your existing rearview mirror. Attached via straps or another mounting method, these dash cams often have a built-in front camera. Many are wider than standard rearview mirrors to offer a wider view for a fuller picture. These mirror dash cams can also display maps when in GPS mode.

Dash Cam

Rather than mounting to your rearview mirror, regular dash cameras sit on top of your dash to guide you. They come in various screen sizes and typically are solidly made with a steady base. These dash-mounted cameras resemble what you find in a built-in unit on higher-end vehicles that include GPS and a (pop-up) screen. Dashcam GPS with backup camera units can be mounted anywhere on the dash.

Car Stereo

There are GPS with backup camera units that fit within the space of your car’s original stereo. Most older cars will have this feature as the GPS units oftentimes include radio and/or auxiliary connectivity as well. Car Stereo GPS units can be single or double DIN, depending on the size of your vehicle’s center dash cluster. 

Top Brands

Garmin

Founded in 1989 and headquartered in Kansas, Garmin is a household name when it comes to GPS units. If you’re not a fan of the products above and are less concerned about having a backup camera, check out the Garmin Drive 50 USA Navigator System. It’s a great gift for the adventurer in your life.

Magellan

Based out of California, Magellan was founded in 1986. The company provides numerous GPS devices and accessories, including the Magellan TR5 Street and GPS Navigator. If you’re someone who frequently hikes, camps, or spends time off the beaten path, this GPS could save your life.  

GPS with Backup Camera Pricing

  • $50-$190: Purchasing and enjoying a decent GPS unit with a backup camera doesn’t have to cost you more than $200. If it’s something that you’ll use a lot, it’s not a bad investment. In this price range, the units tend to have smaller screens and hazier resolutions than those priced just over $200.
  • $200 and up: For a little bit more money, you’ll get a lot of extra features on GPS units with backup cameras. Touchscreen capabilities are more or less standard, along with bigger screens, better resolution, and other features.

Key Features

Integration

Technology is only worth the investment when it improves your daily life. If you can’t use your GPS unit with a backup camera, what good is it? The best GPS units with backup cameras integrate seamlessly with your vehicle, from the wiring and connectivity side of things to the placement of the unit within your car. You should be able to use your GPS and backup camera without having to do anything special during operation.

Screen Size

Much like watching TV or surfing the internet, a larger screen helps improve the experience. In navigation, a bigger viewing area will aid you in knowing where you are and where you need to go. The best GPS with backup camera units have a large screen that shows a wide view. Most screens you’ll see cap out around 10 inches or so.

Resolution

Similar to screen size, a crisp resolution comes in handy. Identifying the roads ahead can be easy, but sometimes reading the names of those streets can be difficult unless you have a large, clear screen. One of the highest resolutions out there is 1080p, which denotes the vertical count of pixels on the screen.

Installation

Most GPS units with backup cameras included shouldn’t be too hard to install. Mirror dash cameras mount to your existing rearview mirror, dash cams sit atop the dash, and stereo units fit into space where your radio formerly inhabited. Installation of these units shouldn’t take more than a few minutes, even for the novice user. 

Touchscreen

Dashcams, whether they mount on the dash directly or on the rearview mirror, can be touchscreen capable. This function allows you to navigate through the map screens with greater ease. It can even make it easier to see what’s around the area you’re driving through so you can get your bearings and head towards your destination with greater confidence.

Other Considerations

  • Front Camera: A front camera can come in handy. With this feature, you can record what’s happening on the road in front of you, which can be good for a lot of things. If you’re looking to purchase a GPS unit with a backup camera, consider investing in a product that has a front camera as well. 
  • Night Vision: Driving at night is more difficult because you’re not able to see as clearly as you do during the day, so having the ability to capture the road ahead of you through night vision can be invaluable. Consider buying a GPS with backup camera and night vision to get the most out of the entire system.
  • Style: You might be one of those drivers who care about how technology flows with the rest of your vehicle’s style. If that’s the case, consider how the GPS unit you’re interested in would look among the rest of your equipment. Most products are black, so it’s really only a minor detail unless you’re very particular.

Best GPS with Backup Camera Reviews & Recommendations 2021

Best Overall
Garmin Drive GPS Navigator System

This dash GPS has a 6-inch screen with a dual-orientation display and backup camera compatibility. Garmin pre-loads it with a lifetime of maps for both the United States and Canada. It can connect with your phone to give you real-time alerts for a wide variety of road conditions.


You’ll get additional points of interest alerts on your map from TripAdvisor. It also has Real Directions, which are driving directions as a friend would give. They focus on recognizable landmarks and buildings.


Unfortunately, it can get easily confused and give you the wrong directions. This is because the maps may not be up-to-date. This will have you literally driving in circles. The screen is also very sensitive, which results in you making the wrong selection a lot.

Best Value
Garmin Drive 52 & Traffic

This GPS has a 5-inch navigation screen and is compatible with backup cameras. The GPS comes pre-loaded with interesting points of interest from the History Channel’s database of historic sites, U.S. parks, and Foursquare points of interest.


You’ll love how bright and easy it is to use the screen. It’s also ready to use right out of the box. This means no waiting for it to download maps. You’ll also find the search function to be faster and easier to use.


Unfortunately, this unit has a tendency to overheat. It’s supposed to be mounted on the dash, but this puts it in the sun. When it overheats, it stops working. The user manual also doesn’t come with the unit. This means you’ll need to find it online and print it out.

Premium Pick
BOSS Audio Systems Car GPS with Rear Camera

BOSS Audio Systems offers one navigation tool that does it all when it comes to giving you entertainment, helping you make calls, and reversing your vehicle. Some of its functions include a built-in GPS system that comes preloaded with several points of interest and maps for all 50 states in 2D and 3D imaging. The text-to-speech function gives you turn-by-turn directions to your destination.


The media playback function allows you to play music via its CD/DVD player or connect to your phone via Bluetooth. It also has USB, SD card, and aux inputs for playing auxiliary data. It  allows you to tune in to local AM/FM radio stations. Lastly, it comes with a rearview camera and when your vehicle shifts to reverse, the monitor automatically displays the camera’s images to help you back up safely. The camera can also be integrated with a steering wheel interface so that you can use the functions on your steering wheel to control the view of the camera. 

Unfortunately, the backup camera isn’t compatible with some car models, but the monitor is compatible with any aftermarket rearview camera. The user manual doesn’t come with instructions on how to update the maps, and at times, the monitor may display the wrong caller ID.

 

Most User Friendly
Garmin DriveSmart 65 & Traffic

This is an easy-to-use GPS navigator with a 6.95-inch-long display. It features a user-friendly menu that is easy to operate, and the screen is bright enough to be seen even during the night. The Garmin 65 navigator also comes packed with a detailed map, a voice-activation feature, Wi-Fi, and more. It's also compatible with smartphones and backup cameras.


You can connect your phone to the navigator and answer calls hands-free during rides. The backup camera is an excellent addition to the navigator because it allows for easy turning and parking. The device will also show you a 3D map of buildings and terrain for even easier drives in unknown areas. Furthermore, you can use the Wi-Fi connectivity to update the system and software without using your computer.


The map does lack new updates to start with. Sometimes it will guide you through the old routes that have been changed, so you'll sometimes have to double-check the suggested track to make sure it doesn't mislead you. The device also might choose longer routes from time to time, so overviewing the entire driving plan before going on a ride might be a smart choice.

Honorable Mention
APEMAN Dual Dash Cam Built-in GPS

This is a dual dash cam with a built-in GPS and Wi-Fi. The unit comes with a front and rear camera you can install for more visibility on the road. It also has a 3-inch touchscreen that you can operate without using traditional buttons. Furthermore, the unit's low-profile design makes it suitable for all vehicle interiors.


Both cameras are reliable and provide a clear video. They are equipped with a night vision feature that makes sure the image will be sharp even in low-light conditions. Overall, the unit is easy to operate and adjust according to personal needs. GPS smart-tracking is even able to track and record your journeys and progress.


Although we only found several minor drawbacks of the product, make sure to consider them before the purchase. For example, the rear camera doesn't come with a proper mounting accessory, and you might need to buy one separately. Also, the Wi-Fi sometimes lags, and you can't access the settings while the dash cam is recording.

Honorable Mention
Garmin DriveAssist 51 Traffic

Another Garmin product reached the top of our list because of its exceptional quality. We are talking about the GPS auto navigator with a built-in dashcam. With it, drivers can rely on advanced alerts on the road and avoid collisions. They can also use the map to navigate easier in unknown areas and park in tight spaces in a breeze.


The unit is compatible with most newly designed backup cameras and connects to the smartphone for simple app-operation. The app will update the system with new routes as well as the weather forecast. You can also use the included microSD card to record video footage from your adventures. Another useful feature is Bluetooth, as it allows for hands-free calling.


Garmin could, however, make some adjustments to make the product even more convenient. For example, the GPS sometimes makes mistakes because it's missing some locations. It might send you on slow and unnecessary routes. Also, the included suction cup mount is not sturdy enough and doesn't hold the unit very well. You might need to replace it after a while.

Honorable Mention
Garmin RV 785 & Traffic

We just had to include another Garmin product due to its incredible versatility and performance. This particular item is designed for RVs and comes with a built-in dashcam. It's also compatible with most front and backup cameras and has GPS for easy navigation. You'll find it super useful during long RV adventures and camping seasons.


The device provides a map and integrated content from different platforms such as Ultimate Public Campgrounds, KOA, PlanRV, TripAdvisor, Foursquare, and more. That will allow you to explore surroundings and navigate in different areas with ease. As if that isn't enough, you can connect the unit to your smartphone and take calls and notifications hands-free.


Unfortunately, the product is not ready for use straight from the box. You need to plug in the device to your computer and download updates for the existing maps. Otherwise, the unit will send you on old and slow routes. The download process might even last for a couple of hours, and the Wi-Fi connection sometimes lags, so either way, you'll be spending quite some time on getting updates.

Honorable Mention
ATOTO A6 Android Car Entertainment Multimedia Radio

Here we have a car navigator stereo that comes with many extra features to make rides easier as well as more comfortable and entertaining. The unit features an AM/FM radio, a Bluetooth connection, a microphone, steering wheel key controls, and more. It's also compatible with backup cameras and offers a Wi-Fi connection. Still, you don't have to be connected to the internet to use the map—you can download it and use it offline.


Although this navigator offers many features, it also comes with a comprehensive manual and proves to be pretty straightforward. You shouldn't have any issues getting used to the design of the unit. The display is super large and allows for easy reading and operation.


The main thing to keep in mind before the purchase, though, is the size of the unit. The installation is sometimes tricky and might require extra effort, depending on the area you're planning to mount the unit. Some buyers also disliked the location of the buttons and their small size. Depending on the vehicle type, it might be challenging to reach and operate them during rides.

Tips

  • While it’s a good idea to get in the habit of using your backup camera, make sure you physically check your blind spots as you back up. Turn around and glance in either direction before pulling out of a parking space. 
  • If you’re not sure how to install your backup camera or GPS unit, go online. You can easily search for the product and find helpful tips, hints, and tricks for installing it correctly.
  • If you drive in inclement weather, make sure to clean off your backup camera. Remove any snow that’s built up so you have a better view as you back up. Rinse the lens off with a bit of water if you’re traveling in muddy terrain.
  • Backup parking guide lines vary by product. If you’re unsure which type of lines are most helpful, research which products use what types of lines. Ask friends and family if you can practice backing up with their cameras to see what each type looks and feels like.
  • Front cameras—and even backup cameras—can be useful if there’s an accident. You should be able to retrieve the footage and establish what went wrong.
  • Some backup cameras include an audible sound to let drivers know how close they are to the object(s) behind them. If you have trouble backing up, invest in a system that will alert you audibly, so you can develop safer reverse habits while avoiding potential collisions.

FAQs

Q: Are there wireless backup cameras available?

A: Yes, there are wireless backup cameras like Pyle's Wireless Rear View Backup Camera that you can buy. While most of the wireless cameras may not have a GPS unit built in like the products in our review, installing one can still improve the overall safety of your vehicle.

Q: Do I need a Wi-Fi connection to use my GPS with a backup camera?  

A: No, not necessarily. For example, most GPS units use satellite connectivity in order to connect to a network of available maps. A Wi-Fi connection may be necessary for other applications on your GPS system, but you’ll have to check each individual product for more details.

Q: Will a GPS navigator show the speed limit?

A: Some products will display the speed limit. Some vehicles that are even a few years old will have this function built into the system already, but it’s a feature you can get through aftermarket GPS units as well.

Q: How often are GPS system maps updated?

A: Updates vary according to the GPS unit’s manufacturer. Map updates can come every so often or every day; it really depends on the navigation system you choose. Many systems rely on Google Maps, so they’ll only be updated as Google schedules its updates.

Q: Will most GPS navigation systems pair with my smartphone?

A: The majority of GPS units on the market today will connect to a smartphone, whether you own an Android or an iPhone. The smartphone link is achieved via Bluetooth in most cases, and if your unit is so equipped you can enjoy features such as turn-by-turn directions, voice commands, and more.

Q: What other brands offer a GPS navigator system?

A: Pyle and TomTom are just a few of the other brands that produce GPS systems. Some will come with a backup camera kit, while others do not. Check with each individual manufacturer and corresponding products to find the match you’re looking for. 

Final Thoughts

The Garmin Drive GPS Navigator System won our top pick for the best GPS with a backup camera. It comes preloaded with maps and is easy to use. 

Our value pick is the Garmin Drive 52 & Traffic because it comes with several nice-to-have features at an affordable price.