Looking for the best propane generator? A backup generator is a necessary tool for providing electricity in a home before the utility provider can restore power.
A portable generator’s accessibility of gasoline is the only downside during a power outage. Access to gasoline can be limited during natural disasters, so getting a propane-powered generator on hand might save you a lot of trouble.
Propane, a form of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), is a popular choice for powering generators because it is a safe fuel.
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A small propane generator may make sufficient juice to hold the appliances up, keep food fresh in the refrigerator and power a portable air conditioning system. lpg generators are also a handy way to carry electricity to off-grid locations like campsites, RVs, and tailgating adventures.
A propane generator works by converting propane into ammonia to drive the motor to produce electricity. The benefit of propane over gasoline is that propane doesn’t degrade; so it’s easy to have a supply of propane tanks on standby to fuel the generator in the event of a power failure.
It can be difficult to find the best propane generator for your needs. Propane gas generators come with a variety of power options (kW), also single fuel type, dual fuel (gas and propane), and tri-fuel generators. Electric start is available on some models.
This propane generator reviews article will discuss the essential traits and benefits of a propane powered generator and review several of the best propane generators currently on the market whether you’re looking for propane generators for home use or for use on the go in an RV or at a worksite.
You can find these propane generators for sale on Lowe’s, Home Depot, Amazon.com or Northern Tool. First let’s look at some of the best rated propane generators.
Best Propane Generator on the Market Today- Our Top Picks
Model & Features
Duromax XP12000EH Dual Fuel Propane Generator
Westinghouse WGen9500DF Propane Generator
Champion Power Equipment 3400-Watt Portable Generator
Champion 100402 2000 Watt Portable Inverter Generator
DuroMax XP4850EH Propane Gas Generator
WEN DF1100T Portable Generator
1. Duromax XP12000EH Propane Generator – Best Rated Propane Generator
DuroMax, a leading producer of portable generators and a symbol of quality engineering, has outdone itself on an innovative generator that lets you switch between fuels when needed. This is our number one pick for the best propane generator.
Duromax XP 12000 watt dual fuel model has a 457cc OHV 18HP engine that produces up to 12,400 starting watts when it is running on propane and 11,400 when it is on gas and 9,025 running watts with LPG.
The 12000 watt dual fuel model allow you to use either gasoline or propane as a fuel source. The DuroMax XP12000EH isn’t portable, weighing 224 pounds. However, with 12000 watt of power this model can provide more than compensate for this.
This powerful model can run your fridge, microwave, and other appliances, as well as your air conditioner.
The propane setup runs smoothly and quietly. Although no machine of this type is completely silent, the DuroMax XP12000EH features noise-dampening technology.
It runs at a noise level of about 72 decibels, which is comparable to that of a home vacuum cleaner. The independent motor mounts dampen vibrations, thus reducing noise further.
2. Westinghouse WGen9500DF Dual Fuel Electric Start Propane Generator – Best Bang for the Buck
The Westinghouse WGen9500DF dual fuel propane generator is one of the best on this list. The 9500 watt dual fuel has shielded outlets, electric start, and also remote start.
This mid-level 9500 watt dual fuel portable generator has a great outlet array, making this model suitable for campers and RVs. Also this our pick for the most efficient propane generator.
The Westinghouse brand has been a top-shelf generator brand for many years and continues to produce high quality generators.
This dual fuel portable generator can use both propane and gasoline, and you can switch between the two without powering down the generator. A uniquely designed knob lets you switch between gas and propane in an instant, while the battery indicator lets you know when to recharge. It is one of the best propane generator for home use.
This Westinghouse gas and propane generator is distinguished by its remarkably simple push-button start and remote start with a key fob, which are identical to the starting mechanisms used in modern luxury cars.
The generator is rated for 9,500 Watt on gasoline with a maximum surge power of 12,500 Watt, and the 6.6 gallon tank of this model will run about 17.5 hours at 25% load. While running on liquid propane, the 457cc, 4-stroke Westinghouse engine will net 8,500 running wattage and 11,200 peak watt.
The generator only offers two standard AC power outlets, but also comes with an RV ready 120/240V 14–50R outlet and a DC port for battery charging. Westinghouse also offers a three-year warranty on this unit, and the model is also CARB compliant.
3. Champion 3100W/ 3400W Dual Fuel RV Ready Propane Inverter Generator – Best Propane Generator for RV
The Champion 3400 watts portable propane generator can operate on both propane and gasoline for maximum functionality. The Champion 3400W is our pick for the best propane inverter generator.
Though a propane powered inverter generator produces less power than an gas-only generator linke the Champion 75531i, this Champion 3400 portable propane generator is lightweight in comparison to the other portable generators in this category.
Gas and propane inverter generators are best suited for sensitive electronics, so they can’t power all your large appliances at once. The Champion dual fuel portable generator model 3400W really shines when going camping or tailgating.
The Champion 3400 watt dual fuel rv ready propane powered model is the lightest model on our list, weighing just 96 pounds. You’ll have enough power for a long weekend camping with a pair of 20-lb propane tanks.
The Champion generator runs very quiet, with a noise level of just 59 dB. This Champion won’t bother the neighbours or interfere with the music you’re listening to when tailgating. On gasoline, you can get up to 9 hours of runtime and on propane, you can get up to 10 hours of runtime.
If you own an RV or food truck, you can simply plug it in and go. The Champion 3400 features a 120V 30A RV outlet, a 12V DC outlet and two 120V 20A home outlets. The 12V outlet has a dual USB charger, allowing you to charge your mobile devices whenever you need to.
On propane, the generator works reasonably well, providing approximately 3,100 Watts of surge power and 2,750 Watts of power supply. On a normal propane tank, the Champion can run for around 12 hours at half power.
Buying an inverter generator to charge phones and other electronics during power outages could be a wise investment. The Champion small propane powered generator is both economical and fuel-efficient.
4. Champion 100402 2000 Watt Propane Gas Generator – Best Quiet & Best Portable
The Champion 100402 is a rv ready dual fuel portable generator that is quiet, compact, rv ready and lightweight, making this model ideal for: Camping and tailgating enthusiasts and RV travelers looking to improve their independence and nomad lifestyle
This model has a continuous power of 1600 watts and a starting power of 2000 watts. In propane mode the max running watt is 1440 so pretty sweet deal hope this helps anybody that’s looking to get the Champion 2000 Watt dual fuel portable generator rv ready. This propane generator does have a 12V DC outlet, but this model does not have a rv port.
With a weight of just 47.6 pounds, it is still a portable option for transporting to the jobsite or campground. The ergonomic handle also makes it easier to pick up in one hand. With the generator at 25% load, you will experience over 11 hours of uninterrupted power backup.
Champion 100402 inverter generators are also excellent at reducing noise and maintaining a quiet neighborhood . According to our test Champion 100402 rv ready generator only climbs to 52 dB.
In Eco mode it reduces fuel consumption automatically by changing engine speed based on electrical demand. In addition, the Champion 100402 2000 watt portable generator has a variety of port options and different safety features to make your outdoor life more enjoyable.
5. Duromax XP4850EH Portable Propane Generator – Best for Smaller Homes
The DuroMax XP4850EH has a 210 cc 4-stroke engine with a output of 7 HP and has an electric start that is supplemented by a recoil start. The engine is air-cooled, and when oil levels are low the generator shuts off. The model’s high output and efficiency compensate for the low-quality wheels.
The DuroMax XP4850EH portable generator has a maximum power output of 4,850 watts. That’ll run your sump pump, refrigerator and some lights running. This model won’t run your air conditioning system, but you’ll appreciate the low fuel consumption.
The fact that this generator can run on propane for up to 20 hours at half power on a single 20-pound tank is one of its best features.
Furthermore, when using propane instead of gasoline, the output power decreases to just 3,450 watts. With the potential to burn both gasoline and propane, you can significantly extend the run time. On a complete propane fuel, you’ll have about 48 hours of power.
The DuroMax XP4850EH generator has a noise level of 69 decibels, which is comparable to a lawnmower. The low volume would be appreciated by both you and your neighbours.
What we like best in this model is how cost-effective it is. This model would run for hours and be practically maintenance-free if you use propane as the primary fuel type. You won’t have to adjust the oil as much as well. To keep the system well lubricated, we suggest running gasoline through it every 3 weeks or so.
6. WEN DF1100T Dual Fuel Portable Propane Generator – Upgrade Pick
The WEN DF11000 is a highly dependable and powerful generator with a dual fuel engine, electric start, and high wattage.
This generator can provide power for emergency situations and luxury camping trips. Anyone can convert this from a gas imbiber to an eco friendly machine with a quick Fuel selector dial.
This fuel-efficient generator is regarded as one of the best portable propane generators available.
At 50 percent capacity, 6.6 gallon propane is enough fuel to run for over 8 hours. Seven outlets provide plenty of room to plug in all of your necessities.
Comparison: Runtime & Noise Level
|Generator Model||Power Output||Engine Capacity (CC)||Runtime (Claimed)||Runtime (Our test)||Noise (dB) Claimed||Noise (dB) measured||Outlets||Warranty|
|Model: DuroMax XP12000EH||12000 Watts||457||10 hours @ 50% load on gasoline, 5 hours @ 50% load on propane||9 hours @ 50% load on gasoline, 4.3 hours @ 50% load on propane||72||74||6||3 years|
|9500 Watts||457||17.5 hours @ 25% load||16.5 hours @ 25% load||74||75||4||3 years|
Champion 3400 inverter
|3400 Watts||192||7.5 hours @ 25% load on gasoline, 14.5 hours @ 25% load on propane||7 hours @ 25% load on gasoline, 13.5 hours @ 25% load on propane||59||60||4||3 years|
|2000 Watts||–||11 hours @ Eco mode||10 hours @ Eco mode||53||52||3||3 years|
|4850 Watts||210||10 hours @ 50% load, 20 hours @ 50% load on propane||8.3 hours @ 50% load, not tested||69||71||3||1 year|
|11000 Watts||457||8.5 hours @ 50% load||7.9 hours @ 50% load||72||74||7||2 years|
Benefits and Drawbacks of Propane as Generator Fuel Source
When shopping for a new generator, the variety of fuel options can be overwhelming. Propane, a type of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), is one of the most popular fuels for generators.
Diesel, gasoline, LPG, and natural gas are some of the more popular fuel options. You may be wondering which fuel source is the most efficient.
The response is highly dependent on your specific needs and desires. Diesel engines, for example, have the greatest energy efficiency of all types fuel, requiring the least volume of fuel per kWh.
Diesel is best for high-output generators for this purpose, among others. On the other side, propane is cleaner than diesel and needs no refueling trips to the pump. You can find propane easily at hardware stores, convenience stores & gas stations.
Propane has its own set of advantages and drawbacks that users should be aware of before investing in a generator that runs on it.
N.B.: It is a good idea to not use propane inside as carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning can be fatal.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Propane Generator
Generators are advertised based on their wattage, which is measured in watts (W) and kW. If you want to use propane powered generators to run your whole house in an emergency, you can look for a high-powered generator models with a minimum output of 5,000 watts, and even more if you have electrical appliances like a sump pump or an energy-hungry systems like a refrigerator, an air-conditioning system or other larger electrical appliances.
A smaller generator with just 3,000 Watt, on the other hand, may be sufficient if you are attempting to power an RV or a campsite.
If you choose to run your generator solely on propane rather than gasoline, make sure to factor in how much power the generator will output on propane instead of gasoline.
Make a list of everything you don’t want to run when the power is down, and count up their watts to provide a rough estimate. Here are some rough estimates for common necessities:
- Refrigerator: 600 – 1200 Watts
- Sump Pump: 1000 Watts
- Microwave Oven: 1000 Watts
- Television: 300 Watts
- Coffeemaker: 900 Watts
- Window Air Conditioner: 1,000 Watts
- Lights: 200 To 100 Watts
You would need a generator with a long period of 10-12 hours, at half power if you are preparing to power your house and want everything to run near normal.
However, if you are driving an RV and only require power for a few minutes, runtime might not be a significant concern. Here is our recommendation by wattage is below:
Under 2.35 kW
Now under 2.35 kW we recommend the following propane powered models
- Champion 100402 2000 Watt Portable Generator
- DuroMax XP2000EH Dual Fuel Generator
Between 2.35 – 5.5 kW
Now for 2.35 – 5.5 kW we recommend the following models
- Champion 3400W Dual Fuel Inverter
- Buffalo Tools Sportsman GEN4000LP
- Firman Power Equipment H03652
Between 5.5 – 13 kW
Here are some good ones for 5.5 – 13 kW. We recommend the following propane powered models from our review
- DuroMax XP5500EH
- DuroMax XP12000EH
- WEN DF1100T 11,000-Watt
- Pulsar Dual Fuel Portable Generator
- Westinghouse WGen7500DF
Can you go for the cheaper option or save up for anything better? As a general rule, we choose quality models over price. Low-cost models also fail to live up to the manufacturer’s requirements.
Additionally, they rarely survive long after the warranty period has expired. It’s best to stick with reliable and high-quality models form top generator brands. Here are our top picks according to price range:
*Note: Prices may vary depending on a number of factors.
Up to $1,000
If you are looking for a best propane generators under $1000 we recommend the following models from our review
- DuroMax XP4850EH
- Westinghouse WGen7500DF
- Champion Power Equipment 200961 2500-Watt
Between $1,000 – $2,500
Now for $1,000 – $2,500 price range our recommended models are
- DuroMax XP12000EH
- Duromax Hybrid 10,000 Watt Gasoline Generator
- Champion 3400 inverter
Conventional vs. Inverter generator
Most generator concerns arise from customers purchasing their needs as the wrong model.
Before making the final choice, it is important to think carefully about what you want to power. Conventional and inverter generators provide the AC energy, but the system is so different that the way traditional and inverter generators work in operation varies significantly.
Usually, the inverter generators are more compact, portable and quieter than conventional generators.
However, this also implies that these small generators normally have less energy-efficient fuel tanks as well as lower outputs and therefore a shorter runtime.
But inverter generators can be run in parallel to maximize the power output, while conventional generators are limited to whatever wattage they are designed for.
Automatic or Electric Start
“Electric start” is becoming a more prevalent and popular feature on generators.
Electric start generators are very easy to start, involving very little of the fuss that has traditionally accompanied generators.
Some units also have a remote start feature, which is ideal for RV use because it allows you to switch on the power without having to go outside in the morning. Your user interface is heavily influenced by how easy the unit is to start.
The disadvantage of the electric starter is that it would not work if the generator’s battery has been depleted.
A ripcord or pull cord is used in the recoil models. They resemble those used on a lawnmower. These generators don’t use battery power to work, and they’re normally less expensive than electric start models.
The cord starter has the disadvantage of requiring more effort. It could take a couple of pulls to get it going.
Fuel Gauge And Readings
Portable generators with less features are normally less costly. Expensive models usually have LCD screens that have a complete readout of various settings. Smart generator models which connect to an app are also available.
These features are intriguing, but they aren’t required. What you really need is a gauge to tell about how much propane is left. Some models have a meter that indicates how many levels are left. Others just have a lamp that turns on as the fuel runs out.
Propane generators require a certain amount of pressure in propane tanks to run. Any type of gauge is beneficial. Simply make sure that the model you purchase has some kind of predictor. If it doesn’t, have extra tanks on hand at all times.
Portability & Wheels
Some generators weigh about 100 pounds and come with sturdy wheels, more powerful generators and tri-fuel models can often weigh over 200 pounds and be difficult to move even with wheels.
Although Small generators are more portable, without wheels, even these small units will easily become cumbersome. Consider how much you need to switch your generator if you want to get it in place for the long term.
The more powerful or generative it is, the more weight it has. A model with 11,000 watts, for example, could weigh 300 pounds. Weight is less of a problem if you’re using the generator to power your home, since you won’t be carrying the generator around very much.
Weight becomes a major consideration if you need power when tailgating or camping. Thankfully, you don’t have that many needs when camping and tailgating as when running a home. A small, portable generator should have enough power to meet your needs.
By distributing the load around four or more people, you can get the most out of the wattage. When buying a generator, look for a number of outlets.
Many newer models have a 30-amp RV ready outlet, which can be extremely useful if you choose to use your generator with an RV. Furthermore, while many generators only have two regular AC outlets, having four or more will open up space by allowing you to plug in several small electronics.
Safety & Auto Shut Off
In addition to the fuel level indicator, an oil level indicator is also useful. You risk damaging your machine’s motor if it runs out of oil. The generator shuts down if the oil level falls below a certain threshold or the engine overheats, preventing engine damage.
It’s usually only seen on stationary generators, but it’s becoming more popular on portables.
Surge protection is available on some generators, which protects delicate electronics such as laptops from being fried and reduces the chance of electrocution when plugging into the generator.
You’ll be paying a couple hundred bucks for a propane generator, so look for a warranty that lasts for the long term. One or two years is the industry norm.
The warranty on the Duromax XP4850EH portable generator, for instance, includes components but not labour. It’s easy to swap a part or two if you’re handy with machinery. Otherwise, you’ll need to look for a model that comes with a labour warranty.
Best Propane Generator: FAQs
Who Makes The Best Propane Generator?
From our test it’s a close competition between Champion, Westinghouse, Generac and DuroMax. Although DuroMax wins in terms of fuel-efficiency and price, Champion provides better-quality construction, streamlined designs, and superior customer support. Other brands like Firman, Buffalo Tools, Durostar and Pulsar are also great.
What are the Benefits Of Propane Generators?
The benefits of the best propane generators include:
- It is cleaner
- They are easily available
- good for those with allergy
- Fuel is reliable and stable without stabilizer
- pumps are not needed
- not depended ant on supply pipes
Are Propane Generators More Cost effective?
A propane generator is a great alternative to gasoline generators because it produces less BTUs. However, performance encompasses more than energy output. Propane has a cleaner carbon footprint to it than gasoline. Gasoline leaves more fuel traces in the engine than propane. Also propane lowers the long-term maintenance costs. Propane is more cost-efficient as well since it delivers more BTUs than gasoline and burns less per hour.
How Much Propane Does A Generator Use Per Hour?
It depends on the power consumption. For a 20 kW unit, you use around 3.45 gallons. A 35 kW unit will use 6.1 gallons an hour. A 12 kW unit will consume around 2 gallons per hour.
Which Is The Quietest Propane Generator?
Generators can be loud depending upon the capacity and load. You’ll want a propane generator as quiet as possible when using it in a residential or camping setting. So, how loud are propane generators?
For generator sound levels are usually assessed at 7 or 23 feet distance. The industry standard for generators is 75 dB (decibels) or less. The Champion 100402 is our pick for best quiet propane generator in this list with just 55 dB (decibels). The Champion 3400 is also one of the quietest propane generators at only 59 dB.
Best Propane Generators: Conclusion
During a power outage, a propane generator will keep your home lit. It would also save you the trouble of having to store easily flammable gasoline. Choose any generator from our above generator review and forget about the stress of being stranded in the dark.
Some of the best propane generators we’ve mentioned in this propane generator review, is a powerpact model in its own right. If required, these generators can also be used for heavy duty industrial applications.
It was difficult to pick an all rounder. However, when price, fuel economy, and value for money are considered, the Duromax XP12000EH generator takes the title of Best Propane Generator.