If you are looking for a generator for your home or for mobile use in a motorhome or on a construction site, consider a propane-powered generator. Propane is inexpensive compared to gasoline and can be stored for up to a year, making it a very practical fuel for off-grid power generation. Although there are virtually no propane-only generators, dual-fuel generators that run on either gasoline or propane are plentiful, and there are even tri-fuel generators on the market.
Choosing the best propane generator for your needs can be a challenge, as there are many generator options on the market that vary in terms of portability, power, run time and usage. We reviewed the top 10 propane generators by looking at customer reviews and technical specifications. We paid particular attention to starting and running power when using propane rather than petrol, as this determines the number and type of appliances you can connect. The length of time a standard propane tank can be used and the number of outlets available were also important considerations in our review, as they can determine how well the generator will meet your needs.
The table below shows the best portable propane generators on the market today and summarises the features that set them apart. Read on for a detailed review of each generator, including the pros and cons of each model. Our buying guide provides more information on how to choose the right propane generator for your needs. And finally, we present our favourite generators from this round-up.
- Westinghouse WGen3600DF
- A-iPower SUA12000ED
- FIRMAN H03652
- Pulsar G12KBN
- Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel Inverter, 100263
- Champion 76533
- DuroMax XP4850EH
- WEN DF1100T
- FIRMAN H08051
- DuroMax XP2000EH
- Why choose a propane generator?
- How will you use your generator?
- What are your power requirements?
- Conventional or inverter generator
- Electric starting
- Our verdict
This dual fuel generator from Westinghouse features an incredibly easy to use push button start and remote start via a key fob, similar to the starting mechanisms found on modern luxury cars. Once running, the generator is rated at 3,600 watts on gasoline with a maximum peak power of 4,650 watts and the four-gallon tank can run for 12 hours on a half-charge. The generator offers only two standard AC outlets, but it also has a 30-amp outlet suitable for RVs and a DC port for battery charging. Weighing over 100 pounds and measuring nearly two feet on each side, the generator is certainly not easy to move, especially when loaded with gas, but users have appreciated the sturdy wheel design. Westinghouse also offers a three-year warranty on the unit, and the generator is CARB compliant.
Propane performance: When running on propane, this generator has a peak output of 4,180W and a continuous output of 3,240W, which is enough to power a house full of appliances. With a standard propane tank, the generator can run for up to 12 hours at half power.
- 212сс Westinghouse OHV 4 stroke
- 4650/3600W (petrol), 4180/3240W (propane)
- 4 gal
- 13.5 hours (1/2 load)
- Duplex AC 120V 20A (A5-20R), 120V 30A (L5-30R), 120V 30A (TT-30R)
- 69 dBA
- 3 years residential / 1 year commercial
- remote start, protected circuit, low oil shutdown; EPA, CSA and CARB compliant.
Obtaining a highly portable dual energy generator can be quite difficult. Most models on the market, including this one, are quite heavy, which can make moving them extremely difficult. Fortunately, this is not the case with this model: it is equipped with larger than average tyres which, when properly inflated, allow the generator to be moved over any terrain very easily. The folding handle is another nice touch. It is quite strong and locks into place when you lift the generator. This helps make this model exceptionally portable once you unload it from your vehicle.
This unit is also ready to deal with any type of weather and power outage. Not only does it have multiple outlets, but each one has its own weatherproof cover. This makes it much safer to use if there is still precipitation.
No matter what type of fuel you choose to use with this model, you can be sure that you will get plenty of power. You can also be sure that you can start the engine easily, thanks to the included start button. Make sure that the battery stays charged, otherwise you will have to use the pull cord. When the generator is running, you can easily see how much power is being used with the digital output gauge.
While the amount of energy generated by this device is really nice, it does come at a cost. This particular generator is quite noisy. For this reason, you will need to make sure you keep it away from your neighbours’ houses. This louder than average design also makes it a poor choice for any camping trip.
459cc, single cylinder, 4 stroke, air cooled, OHV
12,000W/9,000W (gasoline); 10,800W/8,500W (propane)
(4) NEMA 120VAC 20A; (1) NEMA 120VAC 30A, L5-30R Twist-Lock; (1) NEMA 120/240VAC 50A L14-50R Industrial-Grade Outlet; (1) 12VDC 8.3A
This little FIRMAN generator looks like its larger cousin at first glance, but there are some important differences between the two. This generator is less powerful – it is only 4,550W peak power and 3,650W continuous power on gasoline. The fuel tank is also smaller, at only five gallons, but with a lower power output, it is still capable of running for 14 hours at half power. In addition, users appreciate the built-in digital fuel gauge that tracks remaining run time. Weighing in at 112 pounds and with a set of sturdy wheels, the generator is relatively portable, but still heavy and cumbersome for extended travel. Also, while it comes with a 30-amp RV outlet, note that the generator does not have a DC port for charging a battery.
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Propane Performance: When running on propane, this generator is capable of producing 4,100W of peak power and 3,300W of continuous power. With a standard 20-pound tank, the generator can run for up to about 15 hours at half power.
- Max Pro Series 208cc
- 4550/3650W (petrol), 4100/3300W (propane)
- 5 gallons
- up to 14 hours
- (1) TT-30R (RV Ready) 120V 30A, (2) 5-20R Duplex 120V 20A, (1) L5-30R 120V 30A
- 68 dBA
- 3 years
- Extended propane hose (5.5ft)
If you’re looking for a powerful, easy-to-install dual fuel generator, this model should be at the top of your list. For starters, its powerful engine can really produce a ton of power. When running on gas, it can produce an astonishing 12,000W of power when starting and 9,500W when running. As you might expect, it loses a little power when running on propane, but not as much as some of its competitors. It is still capable of producing 10,800 W at start-up and 8,550 W in operation.
Surprisingly, this machine is still able to run for a long time, even with these exceptional amounts of power. Even if you run this model on a half load all the time, you can expect it to run easily for about 12 hours straight, regardless of its fuel source. Of course, since propane is a bit more efficient, it can usually run longer on that type of fuel than on its 8-gallon tank.
This generator also has many features. It has a low oil shut-off and an easy-to-read output voltage regulator. Best of all, it has a plethora of outlets that make it easy to plug in just about anything, no matter what you want to power. Its folding handles are a good idea for storage, but they do make moving this generator around a little more difficult. This is mainly because this machine is quite heavy, so even moving it between two locations can be a bit of a challenge, even though it has good wheels.
- 457cc, single cylinder, 4 stroke, air cooled, OHV
- 12,000W/9,500W (gasoline); 10,800W/8,550W (propane)
- 8 gallons
- 12 hours
- (4) 120V 20A AC outlets, (1) 120V/240V 30A twist-lock outlet, (1) 120V/240V 50A outlet, (1) 12V DC output
Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel Inverter, 100263
Champion’s compact dual-fuel generator is incredibly expensive for the amount of power it provides, but the advantage gained in terms of portability and quiet operation may be worth the extra investment. The generator produces up to 3,400 watts of peak power when running on petrol and 3,100 watts of continuous power, although running time is limited to 7.5 hours at a quarter of the power as the petrol tank is relatively small. The face of the generator offers both a 30-amp RV-ready outlet and a DC port for battery charging, although there is no meter to track power usage or fuel levels. Users have appreciated the portability of this generator, which weighs less than 40kg, although the wheels can get dirty on muddy ground. The generator comes with Champion’s three-year warranty and lifetime technical support.
Propane performance: The generator runs relatively well on propane, offering approximately 3,100W of peak power and 2,750W of continuous power. Also, because the unit is not limited by the gas tank, it can run for about 12 hours at half power on a standard propane tank.
- Champion 192cc, 4 stroke
- power: 3400W/3100W (petrol), 3060W/2790W (propane)
- 1.6 gal
- 15 hours gasoline / 29 hours propane
- 120V 30A (TT-30R), 120V 20A Duplex (5-20R), 12V DC Automotive
- 59 dBA
This Champion dual fuel generator has been designed with safety and ease of use in mind. It has a lockable fuel selector that prevents you from accidentally switching fuels when plugging in appliances, as well as an electric motor start switch and a built-in surge protector for the plugs. On petrol, the generator produces 3,800W, can be run for up to 4,750W and can run for up to 9 hours on a full tank. While having only two AC outlets can be somewhat limiting, the generator also comes with a 30-amp RV-ready outlet. The user-favourite feature is the Intelligauge display, which gives an easy-to-read continuous measurement of the power being drawn from the generator, so it’s easy to keep track of performance and remaining run time. Champion offers a three-year warranty, but backs this product even further with lifetime technical support from the company.
Performance on propane: You can get up to 4,275 peak watts and 3,420 continuous watts out of this generator if you run it on propane. So there’s not much difference between the generator’s performance on gas and LPG.
- Champion 224 cm3, 4 stroke
- power: 4750W/3800W (petrol), 4275W/3420W (propane)
- 9 hours petrol / 10.5 hours propane
- 120V 30A latching (L5-30R), 120V 30A (TT-30R), 120V 20A duplex (5-20R)
- 68 dBA
- 3 years
- folding handle with never-flat tyres
If you’re looking for a generator that can run on propane but don’t want to spend a fortune, this economical unit from DuroMax is a great option. The 4,850 W peak power output on gas is better than some more expensive generators, too, although the continuous output drops considerably to 3,850 W. Like the more expensive generators, it has one DC outlet for charging a battery and two 20-amp AC outlets. However, although it has a 30-amp outlet, it is not RV ready and will need to be modified to work with most RVs. Users appreciated being able to monitor the voltage via the analogue display, although they noted that it could be difficult to read, particularly when using the generator at night. In terms of portability, users appreciated the fact that the generator has thick, rubberized wheels, although the 130-pound weight made it difficult to move.
Propane performance: One of the best things about this generator is its propane range – up to 20 hours at half power with a standard 20-pound propane tank. Plus, the power output only drops to 3,450W when using propane instead of gasoline.
DuroMax 7HP, 212cc OHV
power: 4850/3850W (petrol), 4708/3658W (propane)
8 hours on gasoline / 20 hours on propane
(2) GFCI 120V 20A; (1) 120/240V 30A Twist Lock
One of the biggest problems with some of these contractor-style generators is that they can be extremely difficult to manoeuvre from one place to another. This is due to their larger engines and heavier bodies. Fortunately, this is not the case with this particular model. It has oversized wheels, which make it much easier to set up. It also has a folding handle that locks securely. Even if you have a long distance to travel before setting up this model, it shouldn’t be too difficult, thanks to these features.
Another interesting feature of this generator is its electric start. Once it’s primed, all you have to do is press the button and let the device do the rest. Of course, this means that you will have to keep the battery charged by running the generator once every few months or so. Otherwise, you will have to start it with a pull cord.
It is very easy to install this generator, regardless of the type of fuel you use. The setup for the propane connection is easy to access and use, and filling the gas tank is also very simple. The oil is also easily accessible, making engine maintenance particularly easy.
The biggest problem with this model is that, although it has many plug options, the two largest ones are difficult to access unless you have a straight plug. The oversized tyres mean you can’t fully plug in a right-angle plug.
11,800 W/8,300 W (gasoline); 9,500 W/7,500 W (propane)
(4) 120V GFCI receptacles (5-20R), one 120V 30A twist-lock receptacle (L5-30R), one 120V/240V 50A receptacle (NEMA 14-50R), one 12V DC cigarette lighter type receptacle
Limited to 2 years
overload protection; electric start
This FIRMAN generator is designed to deliver a huge amount of power and maintain it for hours. The generator has a peak power of 10,000W and a continuous power of 8,000W when running on gas, making it the most powerful generator in our selection by far. And with its eight-gallon tank, the generator can run at half power for 12 hours. Although the generator weighs 235 pounds, it is balanced on the chassis so users have found it surprisingly easy to move over short distances. In addition, while this generator is significantly louder than less powerful models, it is also quieter than other gasoline-powered generators in the same power class. Another feature that users have appreciated is the built-in fuel gauge, which makes it easy to see how much longer the generator can run.
Propane performance: Performance degrades considerably when using propane if you plan to run this generator at maximum power, but it’s still much better than many other generators on our list. On propane, the generator offers a peak output of 9,050W and a continuous output of 7,250W and will run for about eight hours on a standard propane tank at half power.
Max Pro Series 208cc FIRMAN
Power: 4100W/3300W (petrol), 4500W/3650W (propane)
14 hrs (1/2 load, gasoline)
(1) TT-30R (RV Ready) 120V 30A, (2) 5-20R Duplex 120V 20A, (1) L5-30R 120V 30A
4-in-1 data logger measuring volts, hertz, hours and a low oil indicator.
The only wheelless generator in our selection, this dual-fuel generator from DuroMax is much smaller than the other generators we reviewed – both in size and power output. The generator has a maximum surge output of 2,000 watts and a continuous output of only 1,600 watts, which means that most households and RV users will be running this generator at near maximum power most of the time. In addition, its small size means a small fuel tank: it will only run for 6.5 hours at half power and only a few hours at full power. The generator weighs only 53 pounds, less than half of the largest generators in our review, but that’s still a heavy weight to carry any distance – especially if you’re carrying a propane tank on the other arm. The generator also has no 30-amp outlet and no electronic start, so starting the unit can be a pain.
Propane performance: The generator’s output is quite low on propane, 1800W peak power and 1400W continuous power. However, since the propane tank is not limited by the smaller gasoline tank, the generator can run up to 16 hours at half power on a standard 20-pound tank. So if you don’t need much power, this will be perfect for you.
- 80 cc, 4 stroke, air cooled, spark ignition
power: 2000W/1600W (petrol), 1900W/1520W (propane)
8 hours on gasoline / 20 hours on propane (1/2 load)
2) GFCI domestic 120V
3 years residential / 1 year commercial
Why choose a propane generator?
Compared to gasoline, propane is much less expensive as a fuel source to power your generator. It is also easier to store for long periods of time – while gasoline expires and can damage your carburetor after a few months, propane can last up to a year and won’t damage your generator since it doesn’t sit in the generator’s fuel tank. This makes propane an excellent choice if you are preparing for an emergency and don’t want to have to buy a new supply of fuel every few months.
How will you use your generator?
How you plan to use your generator will largely determine the specifications and features you should look for when choosing a specific model. Using a generator to power your home in the event of a power failure is very different, both in terms of power output required and desired run time, from powering a motor home or campsite. Also consider, for the application you are considering, how long you will need to run your generator continuously in the most extreme cases – and how much power you will need in those cases. One of the advantages of using propane is that you can buy an extremely large tank, whereas petrol is limited by the fuel tank built into the generator.
What are your power requirements?
The power your generator will need to provide depends on the appliances you plan to use. If you plan to use your generator to power your whole house in an emergency, you will need to find a high-powered generator that can deliver at least 5,000 W, and even more if you have a water pump or energy-intensive heating system. On the other hand, a smaller generator of only 3 000 W may be sufficient if you are trying to power a motor home or campsite. If you know that you plan to run your generator primarily on propane, be sure to consider how much power the generator you choose can produce on propane versus gasoline.
Run time is also important depending on your application. If you plan to power your home and want everything to run almost normally, you will need a generator with a long run time of 10 to 12 hours at half power. On the other hand, if you are running a motorhome and only need electricity for a few short periods, such as mornings and evenings, runtime may not be an important factor. Consider that runtime is often measured at half power or less, so the amount of watts your generator produces may be a determining factor in how much runtime you actually get.
Conventional or inverter generator
Both conventional and inverter generators produce AC power – the same type of power that comes from your wall socket – although the mechanism is different enough that there are significant differences in the practical operation of conventional and inverter generators. Inverter generators are generally designed to be more compact and lightweight and less noisy than conventional generators, which can be an advantage if you are transporting your generator from place to place rather than keeping it in a fixed location or using it in a public campsite.
What should you look for in a portable propane generator?
Beyond power, there are a number of practical and safety features that differentiate one portable generator from another.
Not all portable generators are designed to be equally portable. While some weigh around 45kg and come with a set of sturdy wheels to allow you to move them around, the more powerful generators and three-fuel models can easily weigh more than 45kg and be almost impossible to move, even with wheels. Smaller generators may be more compact, but without wheels, even these miniature units can quickly weigh you down. Think about how often you plan to move your generator between different locations or whether you prefer it to stay outside your home for its lifetime.
An increasingly common and popular feature of generators is electric starting, which replaces the traditional pull cord. Electric start generators are extremely convenient to start and do not require the hassle that has always been associated with generators. Some units even have a remote start function, which is perfect for recreational vehicles, as you can turn on the electricity in the morning without venturing outside.
Safety is also an important concern with generators. Generators with a low oil warning and automatic shutdown are common, as running out of oil can cause irreversible damage to your generator and pose a fire hazard. Some generators are also equipped with a surge protector to protect your sensitive electronic devices, such as computers, from frying and to reduce the risk of electric shock when plugging into the generator.
Finally, look for a variety of outlets when choosing a generator. Many modern models come with a 30-amp outlet, which can be very useful if you plan to use your generator with an RV. Also, while you may only find two standard AC outlets on many generators, having four or more can free up valuable space to plug in many small electronics rather than one or two large ones.
Our favourite portable propane generators on the market today are the Westinghouse WGen3600DF, the FIRMAN H03652 Hybrid Series generator and the Pulsar Products PG7750B. These three generators cover the full range of power output, from about 3,000 W on the FIRMAN to nearly 6,000 W on the Pulsar Products generator when running on propane. The Westinghouse and FIRMAN models were singled out for their three-year warranty and very long mid-power run times of 12 hours and 14 hours respectively. In the case of the A-iPower SUA12000ED, users were very appreciative of the impressive power and the long operating time, all at an attractive price. Overall, we found the Westinghouse Wgen3600DF to be the best portable propane generator due to its combination of superior portability over its competitors, a 30-amp RV-ready outlet, and a DC outlet for battery charging, which the FIRMAN generator lacks.
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