For those surprise moments when the power goes out, a generator can be a big help to keep your house cold or warm, your stove and oven working, and your electronics charged. Propane generators are superior to gasoline generators in that propane doesn't go "stale," it's easier to cold-start, and it burns a lot cleaner.
Although they're a bit more expensive than gasoline generators, propane generators are ideal for those that want the most value out of their dollar. With this, we've come up with ten of the best propane generators to choose from to help you cope with your next outage.
Reviews of the Best Propane Generator 2018
|Model||Capacity||Run Time (50% load)|
Best under 5000 Watt Propane Generators
Westinghouse WGen3600DF Dual Fuel
|3600 Watts||abt 12 hrs||Check Price|
Champion 3800-Watt Dual Fuel
||3800 Watts||abt 10.5 hrs||Check Price|
||3500 Watts||10 hrs||Check Price|
Duromax XP4850EH 3850
||3850 Watts||10 hrs||Check Price|
Pulsar Products PG5250B
||4750 Watts||9 hrs||Check Price|
||1500 Watts||11 hrs||Check Price|
Best Above 5000 Watt Propane Generators
Champion 7500-Watt Dual Fuel
|7500 Watts||8 hrs||Check Price|
DuroMax XP12000EH Dual Fuel
||12000 Watts||abt 20 hrs||Check Price|
||10000 Watts||10 hrs||Check Price|
Briggs & Stratton 40484
||18000 Watts||-||Check Price|
1. Westinghouse WGen3600DF Dual Fuel – Best for Long Hour Operation
This dual fuel generator provides compact and portable power generation, not to mention it gives you the option to use either gasoline or propane while your unit is operating. It can easily be started with the electric-push button while the key-fob remote lets you power it on or off from anywhere inside your house.
It's equipped with a TT-30R 120V outlet to provide power to your RV without needing any sort of adapter. The generator is also able to run up to a decent 18 hours on just one tank of fuel, making it ideal for whether you have a power outage, need to power up your tailgate parties, or for other projects where a regular electrical outlet isn't accessible.
The gas tank supports up to four gallons and has a fuel gauge for an easier way to see how much fuel you have left. For gasoline, the generator has 3600 rated watts and 4650 peak watts while for propane, it has 3240 rated watts and 4180 peak watts. It's run by a 212cc Westinghouse 4-stroke OHV engine along with a long lasting cast iron engine sleeve and an automatic low oil shutdown so you don't run on fumes.
It weighs a solid 109 pounds, but be aware that if you use propane, it's less conventional in the winter time since the generator needs to be about room temperature or propane entering the carburetor will freeze up. Although it's not as quiet as a mouse, it's said to be quieter than a lawnmower, and while the handles are great for pulling and lifting, they're flimsy when trying to move the generator left and right.
- push button electric start;
- camper and RV ready without any adapters required;
- can easily switch to propane or gasoline.
- a bit noisy;
- handles are flimsy;
- 120V outlets are not GFCI protected.
2. Champion 3800-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Generator – Best Hybrid Generator
The Champion portable generator is able to run on either gasoline or propane right out of the box and comes with a propane hose. You can power it on through its push-button electric start in which an internal battery charger is conveniently included to charge the battery as it operates. On gasoline, the generator can produce 4750 starting watts and 3800 running watts while on propane, it produces 4275 starting watts and 3420 running watts.
The generator is also RV ready as it comes with a standard 30A RV outlet with enough power to start and run a 15,000 BTU RV air conditioner. The generator is pretty loud at 68 dBA from 23 feet away and has a run time of up to 9 hours on gasoline or 10.5 hours on a 20-pound propane tank.
To protect your appliances from voltage spikes, the generator has a built-in surge protector as well as Cold Start technology to make it easier to start in cold weather. When you need to move your generator to a different location, it's fairly portable at 122-pounds and is encased in a durable steel frame with a folding handle and never flat-tires. It has a variety of outlets such as 120V 30A RV (TT-30R), 120V 30A locking (L5-30R) and two 120V 20A household outlets (5-20R).
This dual fuel generator is powered by a 224cc Champion single-cylinder OHV engine and has a 3.4-gallon fuel tank with 0.6 qt. oil capacity. There's a pull start on it in case the battery goes dead, but since the power switch is wide open, the generator can accidentally power on if it bumps into things as you're traveling with it.
- Runs on gas or propane;
- Push-button electric start with battery included;
- All outlets secured by Volt Guard.
- As noisy as a lawnmower;
- Battery tends to die often;
- May not be suitable for extended hours of power operation.
3. Sportsman GEN4000DF – Best Lightweight Product
Whether you're out on the road in your RV, camping in the great outdoors, or caught off guard by a power outage, the Sportsman Series 4000 Watt dual fuel generator is flexible enough to power through. It can run on either familiar and easy to find gasoline or long lasting and cleaner-burning propane. It has 4000 peaks watts and 3500 rated watts making it powerful enough to handle power issues in your household or for recreational purposes.
The generator is equipped with four 120V outlets, a 120V RV outlet, and a 12V DC outlet which is useful for charging the battery. On a 50% load, the Sportsman is able to run up to 10 hours on a full tank of gas at 3.6 gallons and 12 hours with a full 20-pound LP cylinder. For further convenience, a five-foot propane hose is included and the generator itself weighs a decently light 94 pounds.
While not much quieter than a lawnmower at 69 Db, the Sportsman generator is practical for anyone who's looking for an affordable, portable, and convenient source of power. Although, this model isn't able to be converted to run on natural gas and can bog down a bit when running higher power appliances.
- Runs for 10 hours on full tank of gasoline;
- Weighs 94 pounds for easy portability;
- Has low oil shutoff.
- very noisy;
- bogs down on higher power appliances;
- can't be converted to operate on natural gas.
4. Duromax XP4850EH – Best for Safe Use
With safe and easy operation, the Duromax generator is equipped with a 7 horsepower, air-cooled engine that has a low-oil shutoff sensor to protect the motor from damage. You can switch to propane or gas as it's operating, and with its cast-iron sleeved, 196cc engine rated at 7HP providing a peak of 4,400 surge watts and 3,500 constant, the Duromax is built to offer more power and last longer.
The user-friendly electric start is as simple as starting up your car, and in cases where the battery is drained, the generator also has a recoil start. The solid-fill tires are standard and claim to never run flat while the high leverage handles make it easy to carry the 130-pound unit over virtually every terrain. Its large attached muffler reduces mechanical noise and has a built-in Spark Arrestor so that you can use it safely in areas like campgrounds or work sites.
The Duromax's dual fuel capability lets it run for up to an impressive 20 hours on propane or a decent eight hours on gasoline. Its fuel tank capacity is at maximum four gallons for readily available power during your worst outages. Getting the oil into the generator is a little tricky since the funnel is short, and although the unit has a noise-reducing muffler, it still seems to be loud enough to induce a headache when you're near it.
- runtime of 20 hours on propane and 8 hours on gasoline;
- user-friendly electric start;
- powerful 7 HP OHV engine.
- still rather noisy regardless of muffler;
- tricky to insert oil due to short funnel;
- difficult to use electric start in cold weather.
5. Pulsar Products PG5250B – Best Recoil Start Product
Built for portability and power, the Pulsar PG5250B dual fuel generator is ideal for home use or outdoor activities and can run on either gasoline or propane. With the Switch & Go fuel selector, you can easily switch from gasoline to liquid propane and vice versa even while the generator is in operation.
The Pulsar is powered by a fuel-efficient 224cc engine as it quietly provides reliable power for any of your power-reliant needs such as appliances in your RV or in your home. It has a 4-gallon steel fuel tank in which that generator can run for up to 15 hours before needing to be refueled. It also has a strong powder coat steel frame to make it last a lot longer with no-flat tires and a fold-down locking handle to make it easier to move around.
The noise level is a bit loud at 78 dB, although many units of this caliber tend to be noisy. The generator provides two 120V receptacles, a 30Amp RV receptacle, and a 120/240V twist-lock receptacle for more convenient connectivity. The maximum and rated output for gasoline are 5250W and 4250W while for propane it's 4750W and 3850W.
Unfortunately, this model doesn't have an electric start but does have a recoil start. It also has an automatic shutoff function for low oil, although it might have trouble starting in cold weather if you use propane.
- Switch & Go technology allows for easy fuel type switching;
- Powerful 224cc engine;
- Has vibration absorbing engine mounts for less noise.
- Loud operation despite vibration-absorbing mounts;
- Might have difficulty starting in cold weather;
- No electric start.
6. Sportsman GEN2000LP – Best Budget Generator
With an 11-hour run time on 50% load, this propane-powered portable generator has a 2,000-watt surge and 1,500 watts continuous. A propane hose and regulator comes with the Sportsman and is powered on by recoil start rather than the more convenient electric start. It's equipped with a 120V outlet and 12V DC outlet for charging the battery, and with a generator of this size, it's ideal if you want to have a power source for small camping occasions, parties, or if you need a temporary means of power in an emergency.
The engine has a noise level of less than 65 Db but is still said to be a bit loud when you're in close proximity to it. Because this generator runs on propane, that means it burns a lot cleaner than gasoline and won't degrade or go stale when you store them for a certain amount of time. Although, this unit can't be converted to operate on natural gas and may be inconvenient when propane isn't readily available to you in the case of an emergency.
The Sportsman has 2000 surge watts and 1350 running watts and uses a standard gas grill style LPG tank. It's also incredibly light at 55 pounds which makes it that much easier to move around where it's needed. Additionally, the Sportsman generator is air-cooled with a spark arrestor which prevents combustion sources from emitting flammable debris. It's not powerful enough for high power appliances but is great for powering lights or small appliances like a microwave or air conditioner.
- Lightweight at 55 pounds;
- Burns cleaner being that it's propane powered;
- 11 hour runtime.
- Can't be converted to run on natural gas;
- Recoil start instead of electrical start;
- Not ideal for use on high power appliances.
7. Champion 7500-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Generator – Best for Small Appliances
This dual fuel generator is ready to operate right out of the box and can run on either gasoline or propane depending on whichever is cheaper for you at the moment. It can hold 1.2 quarts of oil, which is included, and also has a shut-off sensor when the oil is low. You can easily start up the Champion with the push-button electric start which powers on the 439cc Champion engine. The engine is equipped with a handy toggle switch and includes a battery.
The Champion's Intelligauge helps keeps track of voltage, hertz, and its run-time hours so you can monitor the generator's power output and maintenance intervals for a longer life expectancy. On gasoline, the unit runs at 9375 starting watts and 7500 running watts while on propane, it runs at 8400 starting watts and 6750 running watts. To prevent dangerous overloads, the Champion features Volt Guard with a built-in surge protector.
The generator has a run time of 8 hours on a full tank of gas and 5.5 hours on a 20-pound propane tank, so it might not be too ideal for those seeking a longer run time for those extra long power outages. Luckily, it's optimized to start easily in cold weather and has a folding handle with never-flat tires for easy portability.
- Battery included for electric start;
- Automatic low oil shut-off sensor;
- Volt Guard to protect appliances from power surges.
- not practical for long periods of emergency power usage;
- very heavy at 216 pounds;
- high noise level.
8. DuroMax XP12000EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator – Best All Around Product
This generator is highly practical for any emergency situation with its 12,000w of power and dual-fuel option of gas or propane. It can run up to a lengthy 20 hours on propane and 10 hours on gasoline, not to mention its heavy-duty frame with four-point fully isolated motor mounts for a smoother and quieter operation.
The DuroMax is powered by a powerful 457cc DuroMax OHV engine which feeds the fully loaded power panel. On the power panel are separate breakers to keep the generator in safe operation and to keep it from overloading. Because of its noise-reducing muffler and spark arrestor, this unit is EPA approved and is safe for use in U.S National parks, although regardless of the muffler, it still might be a bit noisy.
The low oil shut-off sensor protects the engine so you're not running it on fumes, but this unit unfortunately can't be shipped to California since it's non-CARB approved. It's also rather heavy at 269 pounds so it may be a bit difficult transporting it to different places where a power source is needed. The wheels are a bit soft as well which makes it even more difficult to roll such as heavy unit around.
- 20 hours run time on propane;
- 457cc DuroMax OHV engine;
- Push-button electric start.
- really heavy at 269 pounds;
- said to be rather loud;
- can't be shipped to California.
9. DuroMax 10000 Watt Hybrid Dual Fuel Portable Generator – Best Propane Generator for RV
Ready for any huge storm or power outage, the flexible DuroMax 10,000-watt generator operates on either gasoline or liquid propane for safe and reliable power. If you run it on propane, you won't need to worry about the LPG fuel gumming up or ruining the generator's carburetor as it gives you a quick and reliable electric startup every time.
Its powerful 18 HP engine can accept high-wattage loads with little to no problem and gives the user maximum power from each 120V receptacle. The user can choose to operate the unit between 120V and 240V simultaneously or at 120V only with full power. The DuroMax also features low oil protection which will shut off the engine to prevent damage.
Its AC and DC regulators and spark arrestor make sure that your generator is running in a safe condition making it practical for camping or RV situations. Unfortunately, this generator isn't available for shipment to California, but it runs for 20 hours on a 20-pound propane tank, although it's a bit quieter than most models of its kind.
- quick and reliable push-button electric start;
- operates on both gasoline and propane;
- 18 HP motor for home standby or RV.
- Not easily portable at 260 pounds;
- Can't be shipped to California;
- Runs rough for the first few minutes.
10. Briggs & Stratton 40484 20000-Watt Standby Generator – Best If Money Isn't an Issue
This 150-amp generator is powerful enough to manage power to all of your appliances whether it's running on gasoline or propane. Its Whole House power system provides permanent protection from power outages as it automatically turns on seconds after it senses the power has gone out. This unit can be placed as close as 18 feet away from your home which gives you more options for placement in your backyard.
The included weather-resistant transfer switches are NEMA 3R rated for optimal protection against the elements making the unit more flexible to move around. Also, its automotive-style exhaust system and sound dampening technology give it a 50% quieter operation compared to most portable generators so you won't wake up the neighborhood.
Be wary for its incredibly heavy at 484 pounds, which means you'll most likely need several people to help you move it to the desired location. On the other hand, it has a robust 5-year limited warranty which is enough to cover for parts, labor, and travel. The 150 amp Symphony II transfer switch can manage a load of around one or two air conditioners while keeping the rest of your household appliances powered on.
- Can be installed as close as 18 feet from your home;
- 50% quieter than most portable generators;
- Operates on gasoline or propane.
- Requires several people to move;
- Can be tricky to install if not mechanically savvy;
- Large transfer box.
Best Propane Generator - Buyer’s Guide
When you're stuck in the dark during a power outage, you'd definitely want a backup generator to keep warm or cool and have essential appliances working. Before you invest in a generator, it's important to know what features to look for and what type of generator is best for your needs.
Home Standby Generator
These are the most expensive units and usually need to be installed by a professional. They are designed to turn on automatically when the power has gone out and they run a self-diagnosis to let you know when maintenance is required. You can either use propane, gasoline, or natural gas to operate this type of unit and they range from around 5,000 to 20,000 watts.
These types of generators can run on gasoline, propane, or even both and provide anywhere from 3,000 to 8,500 watts. These are a lot easier to move around your home although it's best that they're placed at least 15 feet away from any structure since these units tend to produce dangerous levels of carbon monoxide. Many portable generators have electric starting and may or may not have a battery included.
Inverter units have a more complex engine compared to portable and home standby generators but are also quieter than most of their counterparts. They are designed to throttle up and down to match demand instead of running at maximum power the entire time. These units run more efficiently and give off fewer harmful emissions.
Why are Propane Generators Better than Gasoline Generators?
Propane generators (and dual types) are often the more ideal choice for most users for many reasons.
When properly stored, liquid propane doesn't spoil or go stale after a year like gasoline does. This saves a lot of time and trouble for when you need backup power in the future but don't want to go through the struggle of shopping for gasoline. In a lot of emergency situations, gasoline is rather hard to obtain since gas pumps are electric.
Burning gasoline gums up carburetors which can be a problem when you need the generator to work for long hours in an emergency situation. Propane units burn a lot cleaner and don't gum up the carburetor, even if it isn't used for months. This is the reason they start up easier whenever moment arrives, although you still can't operate propane units indoors.
Other Features to Look Out For
Many portable generator shave a push-button electric start to save you the trouble of pull-starting the engine. Standby stationary models have automatic starting which means they turn on as soon as the power shuts off without you having to do anything.
Generators can run on either gasoline or propane, and some units even allow you to switch between the two, better known as dual fuel models. Some can be converted with kits as well if you prefer to run it on natural gas.
It's best to know how much fuel you have left during those especially long power outages, which is why generators with a fuel gauge come in very handy. Some units have a low-oil shutoff feature which automatically turns off the generator to prevent damage to your engine.
Multiple outlets let you use the wattage by spreading the load, although this is only recommended if you're in a really tight spot at home or if you're on a campsite.
Transfer switches are highly recommended since it's safer to connect your home standby or portable generator to your circuit panel with only one cable. Portable models require you to flip several switches manually while with a standby model, the transfer switch turns on automatically. A majority of transfer switches are designed for a 220-volt input, which means you'll want to look for a generator of 5,000 watts or higher.
A generator is important to have whether you're caught in a power outage or need some power during a fun tailgate party or camping trip. Propane generators burn cleaner than gasoline ones, and with all the propane and hybrid products we reviewed above, we hope you'll find it easier to choose one that's best for your needs.