The best propane generators are clean, require little maintenance, and work flawlessly even in the coldest winters. As a fuel, propane is easier to store than gas or diesel, making it a reliable option for survivalists who don’t have a gas supply on their property.
In our Buyer’s Guide, we talk about the advantages and disadvantages of a portable propane generator over a gas or diesel generator. But if you just want to know which one to buy, read on for our top picks.
|DuroMax XP5500EH Electric Start-Camping & RV Ready||Type: Dual Fuel.|
Power: 5500W at startup/4500W at work.
Noise level: 69 decibels.
Weight: 142 lbs.
|Champion Power Equipment 200965 4375/3500-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Generator, RV Ready||Maximum power: 3500W.|
Continuous power: 3200W.
Weight: 95 lbs.
Operating time: 7.5 hours (25% load – gas), 14.5 hours (25% load – propane).
|DuroMax XP13000EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator 13000 Watt Gas or Propane Powered Electric Start-Home Back Up, Blue/Gray||Type: Dual fuel.|
Power output: 13,000 watts at startup/10,500 watts at work.
Noise level: 80 decibels.
Weight: 350 lbs.
|DuroStar 12000-Watt Gas or Propane Dual Fuel Electric Start Portable Generator, Home Back Up & RV Ready, 50 State Approved||Power output: 12,000 watts starting/9,500 watts running.|
Noise level: 72 decibels.
Weight: 228 pounds.
|Pulsar G12KBN Heavy-Duty Portable Dual Fuel Generator||Power output: 12,000 starting watts/9,500 operating watts (gasoline), 10,800 starting watts / 8,550 operating watts (propane fuel).|
Noise level: not listed.
Weight: 209 pounds.
|Westinghouse 4650 Watt Dual Fuel Portable Generator||Power output: 3600W/4650W (gasoline), 3240W/4650W (propane).|
Noise level: not listed.
Weight: 109 lbs.
- 1 Superior propane inverter generator
- 2 DuroMax XP5500EH Electric Start-Camping & RV Ready
- 3 Champion Power Equipment 200965 4375/3500-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Generator, RV Ready
- 4 DuroMax XP13000EH Dual Fuel Portable Generators 13000 Watt Gas or Propane Powered Electric Start-Home Back Up, Blue/Gray
- 5 DuroStar 12000-Watt Gas or Propane Dual Fuel Electric Start Portable Generator, Home Back Up & RV Ready, 50 State Approved
- 6 Pulsar G12KBN Heavy-Duty Portable Dual Fuel Generator
- 7 Westinghouse 4650 Watt Dual Fuel Portable Generator
- 8 Reasons to buy the best propane generator
- 9 Pros and cons of propane generator
- 10 How to determine which propane generator is best for you?
- 11 Propane vs gas generator
- 12 FAQ
- 12.1 How long will an 8000W generator run on propane?
- 12.2 What is the most efficient propane generator?
- 12.3 Can inverter generators run on propane?
- 12.4 How long will a generator run on 100 gallons of propane?
- 12.5 How long will a 20 lb propane tank run a 10000 watt generator?
- 12.6 Which is cheaper to run a generator on propane or gas?
- 12.7 Does propane go bad?
- 12.8 What size propane tank do you need for a whole-house generator?
- 13 Final thought
Superior propane inverter generator
The products below narrow down the scope of the best propane generators on the mart. Whether you prefer portability, price, or some other feature, any of the generators down will aid maintain your heater lights, fridge, and air conditioner operating when your house is out of electricity.
DuroMax XP5500EH Electric Start-Camping & RV Ready
With 5500W starting power and 4500W operating power, the DuroMax XP5500EH dual-fuel generator can easily power everything you need including a refrigerator, AC window unit, lighting, and consumer electronics. It offers a versatile set of outlets, including two 120V GFCI outlets and a 120/240V 30A twist-lock outlet.
Adjustable settings allow you to set the generator to power a 240V outlet for larger appliances such as a dryer or stove, or to deliver peak power output to 120V outlets.
This alternator even includes a 12V DC charging station to charge your car battery.
A handy voltmeter lets the user know how much load the generator is carrying. At 69 decibels, the XP5500EH sounds like a vacuum cleaner, putting it on par with an average generator. This model will run about 12 hours at half load on a 20-gallon propane fuel tank.
- Type: Dual Fuel.
- Power: 5500W at startup/4500W at work.
- Noise level: 69 decibels.
- Weight: 142 lbs.
Champion Power Equipment 200965 4375/3500-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Generator, RV Ready
This inverter generator is a great option for small households or a second generator to power sensitive electronics like laptops and tablets.
As a guide, you should be able to use it to operate your refrigerator, freezer, TV, and a couple of laptops. If you need more power, you can connect two Champion inverter generators with a parallel kit, but this is very expensive compared to a generator like Westinghouse.
The Champion engine automatically increases and decreases throttle in response to load, making it more efficient than a conventional gas generator. It’s also much quieter, producing just 58 dBA of noise. This makes it a great option for RVs or urban areas where you don’t want the neighbors to complain.
Easy to set up and has a propane generator electric start switch. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with an hour meter (so you know when to change your oil), but it’s easy and cheap to add.
- Maximum power: 3500W.
- Continuous power: 3200W.
- Weight: 95 lbs.
- Operating time: 7.5 hours (25% load – gas), 14.5 hours (25% load – propane).
DuroMax XP13000EH Dual Fuel Portable Generators 13000 Watt Gas or Propane Powered Electric Start-Home Back Up, Blue/Gray
In terms of sheer power, few dual-fuel portable propane generators on the market can come close to the power of this DuroMax, which boasts an impressive 13,000 watts starting and 10,500 watts running – more than enough to meet the power needs of even larger homes.
The XP13000EH has a panel with two standard 120V outlets, two 30A twist-lock outlets, and a heavy-duty 50A 240V outlet.
Like other dual-fuel generators, this model can run on both propane and gasoline. Although it will run up to 9 hours on a full propane tank, this large generator is also quite loud; at 80 decibels, it makes a noise similar to that of a lawnmower engine. At 350 pounds, it’s also one of the heaviest generators on the market; however, it has wheels that make it easier to maneuver.
- Type: Dual fuel.
- Power output: 13,000 watts at startup/10,500 watts at work.
- Noise level: 80 decibels.
- Weight: 350 lbs.
DuroStar 12000-Watt Gas or Propane Dual Fuel Electric Start Portable Generator, Home Back Up & RV Ready, 50 State Approved
With 12,000 watts of power, Durostar’s dual-fuel generator DS12000EH can power all the major appliances of a large home while also providing enough power to power larger appliances such as a dryer or electric stove.
It features two 120-volt GFCI outlets, one 50-amp twist-lock outlet, and RV-ready 30 and 50-amp outlets. It also includes a voltmeter and 12V DC charging stations. The DS12000EH control panel simplifies operation: a toggle switch allows the user to select gas or propane as fuel, and a voltmeter displays the current load of the generator.
This model includes several handy extras such as a push-button electric beginning and large pneumatic tires to maneuver the generator into position. This generator will run up to 15 hours on a full tank of propane and has a noise level of 70 decibels.
- Power output: 12,000 watts starting/9,500 watts running.
- Noise level: 72 decibels.
- Weight: 228 pounds.
Pulsar G12KBN Heavy-Duty Portable Dual Fuel Generator
For a reliable generator that can handle tough jobs, look no further than the Pulsar G12KBN Heavy Duty Portable Dual Fuel Generator.
This reliable choice can put out 12,000 watts at the start and 9,500 watts when running on its 8-gallon tank and 10,800 watts at the start and 8,550 watts when running on propane, each providing 12 hours of operation.
This model also features a 457cc single-cylinder design, with an air-cooled, OHV, 4-stroke engine, all of which are easily controlled by electric start.
Outlets include four 120V 20A AC outlets, one 120V/240V 50A outlet, and one 12V DC outlet for power tools, devices, and appliances.
In addition, this model is equipped with a low oil cut-off, a 3-in-1 digital meter, and automatic voltage regulation for safety and convenience.
Drop-down handles and 10″ wheels also make it easy to maneuver around the house, garage or campsite. Finally, a propane hose is included in the package.
- Power output: 12,000 starting watts/9,500 operating watts (gasoline), 10,800 starting watts / 8,550 operating watts (propane fuel).
- Noise level: not listed.
- Weight: 209 pounds.
Westinghouse 4650 Watt Dual Fuel Portable Generator
The Westinghouse generator produces a modest 3,600 watts when starting and 4,650 watts when running with a 4-gallon gas tank, or 3,240 watts when starting and 4,650 watts when running on propane, making it ideal for camping and RVing.
Those who use it at home during a power outage will find that it can power essentials such as a refrigerator and lights, as well as a small AC window box or heater.
This 4-stroke OHV generator has a duplex 5-20R 120V outlet, a 30 amp TT-304 outlet for RV, and a 30 amp L5-30R outlet. Its lower power output has the advantage of longer runtimes, Westinghouse will get 14 hours of battery life.
In addition, this model features a durable cast iron engine cover, automatic low oil shutoff, propane hose, oil funnel, tool kit, and easy-to-use electric start. Weighing in at just over 100 pounds, this is one of the lightest generators on the market and can be maneuvered with a handlebar and never flex wheels.
- Power output: 3600W/4650W (gasoline), 3240W/4650W (propane).
- Noise level: not listed.
- Weight: 109 lbs.
Reasons to buy the best propane generator
Affordable, easy to find, compact, and running on regular gasoline, there’s a lot to be said for this old workhorse. But for many users, a portable propane generator may make more sense.
When you factor in fuel and maintenance costs, the environmental impact, and the potential for long-term fuel storage, propane generators can be very profitable. Read on to find out why propane may be the best generator fuel for your needs.
A home propane backup generator is ready to go at any time — unlike a generator — and automatically turns on when there is a power outage.
These generators can sense the power drawn from your home’s electrical panel and start electricity on their own.
Even if they don’t start automatically, propane generators often have a remote starter so you don’t have to pull the cable like you do with many portable generators.
Automatic transfer switch
By law, all propane generators producing more than 5,000 watts of power output must have an automatic transfer switch or ATS. The ATS automatically switches your home’s electrical panel from the mains to the generator when it detects a power loss.
ATS also protects the city’s power grid from backup power after the generator is turned on. A propane generator under 5000 watts may have a manual switch, but this is much less common.
The best propane generators are permanently installed outside your home and are often connected to a large, permanently installed tank of liquid propane. This way you never have to worry about going to the store to buy more propane when you need power.
A propane generator can also include features such as automatic switches and electric starters, so you don’t even have to leave your home if the power goes out. The backup power will turn on automatically.
Propane generators are much more powerful than portable diesel or gas-powered generators. While portable generators can average between 3,500 and 10,000 watts, home propane generators typically range from 10,000 watts.
The average American home needs between 5,000 and 7,000 watts for critical appliances, and the extra power of a backup propane generator gives you peace of mind when the power goes out.
Pros and cons of propane generator
Before moving on to our Buyer’s Guide, we wanted to cover the pros and cons of propane generators versus diesel or gas generators. See the best generators.
Propane generators are generally dual fuel, meaning you can also run them on gasoline. However, they are significantly more expensive than gas-only generators.
So why is it worth investing in a propane generator?
Benefits of propane generators:
- Propane generators are easy to start in any climatic conditions, including at low temperatures.
- Propane burns cleaner than gas or diesel, producing half as much carbon monoxide as gasoline.
- You can store propane in a tank on your property, so you don’t have to worry about filling it up at a gas station – find out how much propane a generator uses.
- Unlike diesel or gasoline, propane does not degrade over time, making it easy to store.
- Propane generators require less maintenance and are the best option if your generator is used infrequently.
- Propane generators are quieter than gas or diesel ones. Find out how to make a generator quieter.
Disadvantages of propane generators:
- Propane generators are less efficient than gas or diesel generators, so you will burn more to get the same power.
- Propane is less available if you run out
- Propane engines have a shorter lifespan than diesel or generators.
- It usually costs more to run a propane generator.
How to determine which propane generator is best for you?
The selection of the best propane generators depended on power, outlet availability, portability, displacement, and special features. We’ve only looked at models made by the industry’s best generator brands for continuous, reliable power generation.
The power requirements of your home and the most important significant appliances are one of the most important factors to consider when buying a propane generator.
Electric water heaters, portable heaters, medical equipment, well or well pumps, air conditioners, and if you live in a cold climate, well or well pumps are likely to use the most energy.
They are the most important appliances during a power outage.
Often propane generator manufacturers include an online wattage calculator that you can use to calculate all of your most important items and choose the best propane generator for your home. You can add up the “starting watts” listed on the wattage rating labels of your most important appliances to come up with this figure yourself.
If “starting watts” is not listed for your appliance, multiply “operating watts” by three. Once you get the total starting power, multiply it by 1.5 to ensure you have enough safety margin.
Most standby or backup propane generators will be offered in 9,000 to 20,000-watt outputs, as the typical minimum wattage for critical appliances in small to medium-sized homes in the US is 5,000 to 7,500 watts.
The physical footprint that the generator occupies is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing the best propane generator for your home. Whether you have a small yard or a few acres of property, your propane generator needs to be near your home, so size probably matters.
The average size of the large generators on our list is 30 by 30 by 48 inches, but the smaller generators are more like 24 by 24 by 36 inches.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) mandates a five-foot space around all residential openings, including windows and doors. Smaller home generators may be allowed up to 18 inches from an outside wall, but you should always check local regulations as some may deviate from NFPA regulations.
The level of noise an engine makes when generating electricity is a critical factor to consider when choosing a propane generator. Since these generators are located close to your home, you should choose a quieter model.
While the exact noise level can vary depending on how much power the engine is producing, most of the generators on our list average between 60 and 70 dBA. Since you may not need noise just outside your bedroom or office window, where you place your propane generator outside of your home is also critical.
In comparison, a typical conversation is about 60 dBA, while a vacuum cleaner emits 70 to 80 dBA.
Propane vs gas generator
There is no “right” answer when it comes to choosing between propane or gas generators. Each of them has different advantages and disadvantages.
Ultimately, you must choose the power source that works best for you and your household needs. Factors to consider when choosing between a propane or gas generator include:
- Fuel availability in your area.
- Lead time.
- Frequency of use.
- Maintenance needs.
- Climate and natural disasters.
If you’re wondering how much power a propane generator uses or how safe it is to use a propane generator, read the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about these machines.
How long will an 8000W generator run on propane?
This will greatly depend on how large a volume you are using. For example, an 8000W propane generator will run for about 5 hours if you run it at 50% capacity. Running the generator at lower loads will result in a significant increase in run time. Take this into account when making a decision, for example. what important appliances you want to run at night.
What is the most efficient propane generator?
Generally speaking, propane generators are less efficient than gas generators because they produce fewer BTUs per gallon of fuel. The most efficient propane generator is the one that delivers the most Btu per gallon of fuel.
Can inverter generators run on propane?
They can. There is a dual-fuel generator, which can run on both gasoline and propane, using a fuel-type switch.
How long will a generator run on 100 gallons of propane?
A 7 kW generator will run for 66 hours, a 12 kW generator will run for 36 hours on a 100-gallon tank at full load. Most of the time, the generator runs at 25-75% capacity, and the fuel supply will last much longer.
How long will a 20 lb propane tank run a 10000 watt generator?
1 gallon of gasoline has an energy value of approximately 1.33 gallons of propane. So your 10K generator will consume about 1 gallon of gasoline per hour of operation under normal load. You have 5/1.33 = 4 gallons of gasoline. So your 20 lb propane tank will keep the generator running for about 4 hours at a light load.
Which is cheaper to run a generator on propane or gas?
Propane is often more expensive than natural gas, in part because it must be supplied by a specialized firm and rarely ever travels through a city or county-controlled gas pipeline. Having said that, you will need less propane to power your generator because it is a more efficient fuel.
Does propane go bad?
Luckily, no, it doesn’t spoil. Unlike other fuels, propane does not decompose over time and does not lose its strength. The most important thing you need to make sure of is that the tank you keep remains in good working order.
What size propane tank do you need for a whole-house generator?
Generac, a reputed generator manufacturer, offers a minimum of 250 gallons of propane for its standby propane generators. To calculate how much electricity and therefore how much propane you might need for a propane generator, Generac also provides a free home estimate.
Propane generators are not only practical and useful in a variety of situations, but are often used for camping and recreation.
Fuel storage is why dual fuel generators are most often chosen. In addition to efficient and clean burning, propane is incredibly easy to store.
The DuroMax XP4850EH is a propane monster recommended for camping. The Champion 3400 is a fuel-saving device for RVs and trailers.
The DuroMAX XP2300iH is a very portable camping generator. WEN DF475T is suitable for residential applications. These are models from our list.