Do you live in an area where the power goes out on a regular basis? Then you’ll probably want to consider a propane generator. Even if you are camping, you’ll want some kind of electricity (if you are not roughing it) so it’s important to know what to look for in propane generators.
Generally, you’ll want to make sure that it has enough power, large enough engine and capacity. We have reviewed the best propane generators on the market, but if you still want to do your own research, read on to know how to choose one and what to look for.
Top 3 Picks
This is our favorite propane generator because it has the power and the accessories. The DuroMax is a dual fuel generator that packs a lot of punch. It can also generate power up to 12000 watts and it has accessories which are always nice to have.
Coming in second, the Westinghouse also has a lot of power. It can generate up to 12000 watts and that seems to be more than enough for most users.
The WEN made this list because it is dual and has a decent amount of wattage. Plus, it’s portable.
What is a propane generator?
A propane generator is a device that produces electricity when there is no electricity readily available.
Propane Vs Gas Vs Solar Generators
Source of Energy
Propane generators sometimes the dual ones use both gas and propane. Otherwise, they use a propane tank solely.
Gas generators use gas, sometimes you will see a dual one that uses propane as well.
Solar Generators are fully reliant on the sun to power up. It needs many hours of charging before you can use it.
Propane generators do let out some emissions, but you are burning clean fuel so it’s not as bad as the gas ones.
Gas generators let out emissions and are not as clean as the propane one.
Solar generators let out no emissions making it the most environmentally friendly option out of the three.
How do these generators work?
Gas and Propane generators work when you turn on the generators usually with a push button or you use a key to turn the generator on. They then use the energy source to provide power to your house, RV or small things that need electricity.
Solar generators work by utilizing batteries, solar panels and inverters for electricity. While it’s expensive to have either of the three to purchase initially, in the long run, it’s more cost efficient.
Which generators are best for powering up a house?
Propane and gas generators are best to power up a house. They have more power, and you don’t have to wait until it’s fully charged like you would have to with solar generators.
Which generators are quieter?
Solar generators are usually quieter than their gas counterparts. However, the smaller propane/gas dual generators don’t make as much noise as a large one would.
What are the downsides of these generators?
They tend to be loud, and you’ll need to regularly buy a propane cylinder to keep the generator going. Also, you’ll have to do maintenance sometimes such as oil changes.
You’ll have to buy gas on a regular basis to ensure that the generator keeps going. Also, you’ll have to do some maintenance such as oil change to ensure the generator works as it should.
You’ll have to charge during the day to ensure you’ll have power throughout the night. It cannot power up a house or RV due to not having enough power.
Which one is the best?
A propane/gas dual generator is the best option. You can alternate between gas and propane, making it super cost effective. Also, they are more reliable and can power up your house, RV, campsites and more.
What you should look for in a propane generator
You may run into a situation where you will need some form of emergency power. Here what you should look for in a propane generator:
This is one of the most important aspects you should look for because you’ll need to know how much power the generator can put out. Some generators can do 4000 watts and others could do 12000 watts. You’ll need to decide what you’re using the generator for so that you can decide how much power output you’ll need from the generator.
Since these are powered by gas, you’ll want to look for capacity in cc. The more cc an engine has, the more likely it’s larger and can last longer. It also means that it has a lot more power. Ideally, you’ll want to find engines that have at least 400 cc so that you can get the most use out of it.
To get a good idea what kind of engine power you’ll get with a specific propane generator, you should check out the engine power rating. The power rating tells you how powerful the engine is. For example, some will say it has engine power of 10 HP. While that’s quite powerful, it’s still not powerful enough to be considered an industrial generator. Industrial generators usually have a much higher HP that may be better for powering a house.
It’s important to make sure that the propane generator that you get has enough ports to plug in all the appliances and more. These generators are usually equipped with standard household ports, transfer switches, RV ports, USB ports and more depending which one you get.
If you are going to shell out money, you’ll want to make sure that the propane generator comes with a warranty in case something really does happen. Most brands offer 2-3 years warranty, so make sure you read about the warranty before you purchase your propane generator.
Best Propane Generators On The Market
We are starting off with the Westinghouse WGEN9500DF generator because it has a very high-power output which is very good when you need to light up a house, RV or a cabin. It has 12,500 watts and a 457-cc gas engine motor which is why it’s very powerful. When it’s running, you’ll get 9500 watts. It also has a 4 stroke OHV engine with an automatic low oil shutdown.
This is a dual fuel generator that can use either gas or propane, so that you’ll always have a backup. If you want to use gas, you can just fill it up in the 6.6-gallon tank. Note when you are running on gas, you get about 12 hours of run time. If using your 20lb propane tank, you’ll get 11200 peak watts with the same amount of run time. The Westinghouse comes with two household switches, one transfer switch, one RV switch and two 5V USB ports that are protected with a rubber cover.
One of our favorite things about this generator is that it comes with a remote, so that you can remotely start it which is a huge bonus because maybe you’ll want to turn it off remotely and you’ll be able to do so.
There is a three-year limited warranty should there be any issues with the Westinghouse WGEN9500DF generator.
- Very powerful
- Remote start
- Comes with varying port options
- 3-year warranty
- Very expensive
If you are looking for the best value for your money, the Durostar DS10000E generator is one worth considering. It gives out at least 10,000 watts and it has a 457-cc gas engine. You can fill it up with gas in the 8.3-gallon fuel tank. The engine is a 4-cycle air-cooled spark ignition, so it won’t overheat while powering up your RV or a jobsite that you need electricity for.
If you live in a hurricane prone area, it’s great for backup for your home (up to 8 hours at a time). A positive about this generator is that it’s constructed entirely out of metal, so you don’t have to worry about rust and other things. As far as ports, there are 2 household outlets, 1 heavy-duty outlet, 1 120/240 30A twist lock, and 1 120V 30A twist lock. The extra accessories that you get with the DuroStar generator are oil funnel, spark plug wrench, tool kit, wheel kit, DC cables and of course the manual.
There is a three-year limited warranty should there be any issues with this generator.
- Powers up to 10,000 watts
- RV ready
- Comes with extra accessories
- While it’s made out of metal, it still may not be worth the price
Here is another dual fuel generator that you should consider by DuroMax. The DuroMax XP12000EH runs on both gas and propane, so you have that flexibility to change between the two if you would like. You can get up to 12000 watts and can power up your RV, home or whichever you need power for easily. When it’s running, there is 9000 watts, so that’s still a lot of power that you can get from this generator.
This generator has DuroMax M2 technology which means that you can get 240 volts out of the generator or you can choose to do just the 120V. It’s reliable as it’s made out of metal. As far as ports, there are 2 household outlets, 1 heavy-duty outlet, 1 120/240 30A twist lock, and 1 120V 30A twist lock. The extra accessories that you get with the DuroStar generator is oil funnel, spark plug wrench, tool kit, wheel kit, DC cables and of course the manual.
There is a limited 3-year warranty if for some reason, there is an issue with the generator.
- Dual fuel options
- DuroMax M2 technology
- May be expensive for the average user
If you are looking for a super affordable generator, you can stop here as the WEN DF475T generator is definitely worth looking into. It’s not as powerful as the other generators that we’ve rounded up today, but it still packs a punch. It can handle 4750 watts in total, but when it’s running on gas (3800 running watts) and propane (3500 running watts or 4500 stand-alone). A cool feature about this generator is that it has an electric start to a 224 cc 4 stroke OHV engine that can be turned on with a key.
The WEN has a 4-gallon tank, and it can supply power for about 11 hours (7 hours on propane). This generator is CARB compliant so that’s always great to know. It comes with two 120V GFCI outlets, 1 NEMA 120/240 30A Twist Lock, a 12V cigarette lighter. For the accessories, it comes with a bottle of oil, wheel and handle kit, and a 47-inch LPG hose.
This generator comes with a 2-year warranty should there be any issues with it.
- Dual Fuel
- CARB compliant
- Only a 2-year warranty which may be a disadvantage for some people
Here is another generator that’s easier on the wallet by Champion. The Champion comes with a decent power rating of 4000 watts, and 3500 watts when in use. It comes with a 224-cc gas engine that has a 2.9 gallon to put fuel in. One of the things that we love about this is a quieter generator, so it means it won’t be noisy when you are trying to sleep.
It has a run time up to 17 hours, which is more hours than all the other generators we’ve rounded up today, but the catch is, it’s good powering up RV’s and your homes in a pinch. There’s also an optional parallel kit that can give you additional power.
There is a 3-year warranty if there’s issues with the generator for any reason.
- Silent and quiet generator
- Parallel kit
- 3-year warranty
- Not meant for heavy duty
The A-iPower generator is a dual generator that uses both propane and gas. It’s another smaller one with 2000 watts. If you are running it on gas, you will get 1600 running watts of power. If you are running it on a 20lb propane, you will get about 1500 running watts of power.
There is an inverter technology that allows you to charge your phones, laptops and other small electronics safely which is a huge bonus. This is the lightest option in this roundup, weighing in at 55 pounds, so you can bring this camping/tailgating. The A-iPower also comes with parallel cables so that you can link them to the generator to increase the wattage to 4000. You will like that it’s super quiet at 52 decibels so you can go about your day without worrying about the noise.
The A-iPower SUA2000iD comes with a limited warranty in case there is a defect with the generator.
- Small perfect for RV’s
- Can also charge phones, laptops and other small electronics safely
- Parallel cables when linked can increase wattage to 4000
- It can tend to over heat
Finally, the Etq TG32P31 Generator is another small powered one that can power up an RV with no issues. It has 4000 watts, but when it’s running it’s 3600 watts. It’s fueled by gas. It has a 13-hour run time even if it’s at 50%, so if it’s fully filled it has a 26 hour run time.
There’s an easy to pull recoil ignition, a low oil automatic warning and 4-gallon fuel tank. All the outlets on this generator have circuit breaker protection. The outlets included are 120 V 20 Amp ground-fault interrupter duplex outlet, a 120 V 30 Amp L14-30R twist-lock outlet and a 120 V 30 Amp L5-30R twist-lock outlet. You’ll be happy to know that this generator is CARB compliant so you can use it anywhere.
The Etq TG32P31 generator comes with a limited warranty should there be any problems with the generator.
- Gives out a lot of power for its size
- Has circuit breaker protection
- May not be powerful enough for some people
Is a propane generator better than gas?
In our opinion yes, especially if you use a dual one. It burns cleaner fuel and has almost the same HP as gas powered ones do.
How long will a 20lb propane tank last on a generator?
Five hours give or take. Generators will use two to three pounds per hour while running.
Is it cheaper to run a generator on gas or propane?
Propane burns clean fuel while it’s running but you’ll be refilling the tank every 5 hours or so. Gas, it’ll last longer therefore making it cheaper. It’s why we’ve recommended gas/propane generators so that you can alternate between the two.
How long will a 30lb propane tank run on a generator?
At half load, you can expect the generator to run for 7 hours.
You’ve made it to the end of the guide reading about propane generators and our top 7 recommendations. Even if the ones we recommended are not enough, you can still refer to the guide on how to choose one that will suit your needs. There’s the perfect propane generator for every budget out there and it can be lifesaving in certain situations. If you have any other thoughts about propane generators or if you have a question about them, please feel free if you want to leave a comment below!