Best Portable Propane Generator

Best Portable Propane Generator

Ian Mutuli
Updated on

Imagine working on an important job on your desktop and (Oops!), a power outage. How disgusting, particularly when you have never thought of stocking a backup!

You lose on two fronts: you are plunged into the frightening dark and stand to lose your work on the computer. 

At such a time, the best portable propane generator can be handy. This type of generator runs on propane fuel. It can either be pure propane or dual-fuel unit.

In this primer, we have a look at the best portable propane generators as well as buying guide.

We researched and evaluated our choices based on overall performance, wattage, and propane efficiency among other key factors.

Hang on to your hat and let us explore.

Propane generators run on liquid propane gas (LPG) instead of regular gasoline. Propane is known to be environmentally clean, costs fewer bucks, and readily available. 

On top of that, it has a prolonged shelf life, meaning that you can store the gas for extended periods.

The propane gas is extremely flammable. When using it, you need to be careful to prevent the gas from leaking. 

The major difference between a propane generator from the regular ones emanates from the slight modifications of the carburetor. The fuel tank is always attached to the generator via a hose.

Propane generators consume 3.44 gallons per hour.

Why You Need a Portable Propane Generator

Primarily, portable generators are versatile since you can get power almost anywhere. 

Secondly, they are cheap to maintain. The generators require almost zero maintenance. The price of propane is half as much as what you pay for gas.

Thirdly, these generators are some of the quietest options on the market, thanks to their quiet engines.

Fourthly, propane comes in tanks that make it hard to spill or leak. This cannot be said of gas.

The other highlight of portable propane generators is the fact that they have a dual-fuel function. This is a very important addition to these devices, especially when a propane crisis hits. You can always resort to gasoline.

Finally, yet importantly, propane generators produce clean energy. In fact, there is no other type of generator that beats the propane generator when it comes to producing cleaner and safer electricity.

Top 8 Portable Propane Generator Reviews

1. Champion 3800-Watt Generator - Best Overall

Champion Power Equipment 76533 4750/3800-Watt Dual Fuel...
  • Dual Fuel: Operate your 3800-watt portable generator right out of...
  • Electric Start: Power up the 224cc Champion engine with the handy...
  • Intelligauge: Keep track of voltage, hertz and run-time hours to...
  • Outlets: One 120V 30A RV outlet (TT-30R), one 120V 30A locking...
  • Champion Support: Includes 3-year limited warranty with FREE...

Main Features:

  • 4275 watts starting power, 340 watts running power
  • 3.4-gallon tank capacity
  • Dual-fuel function

The Champion 3800-watt Dual Fuel Portable Generator is built for power, versatility, and convenience. It has a switch selector that is used to manage its dual function. The generator has a huge tank of 3.4-gallon capacity. It comes with 4750 starting watts and a running power of 3800 watts, making it one of the most powerful generators.

When using propane, it is able to produce 4275 watts and run at 3240 watts. The run time for propane is 10.5 hours.

It comes with a Volt Guard, which protects your electronic connections against any electric surges. More notably, the machine produces less noise, 68 dB when placed about 23 feet away from the site.

Overall, the generator is the best choice for users looking for a versatile and powerful device. It is great for RVing.

Pros:

  • Power output is high
  • Wheels make it easy to move around
  • Volt Guard protects electronic equipment

Cons:

  • Has only two AC outlets

2. Duromax XP4850EH Generator - Best with Electric Start

Sale
DuroMax XP4850EH Generator-4850 Watt Gas or Propane...
  • Plenty of Power – With 4,850 starting watts and 3,850 running...
  • Dual Fuel Technology – This generator runs on gasoline or...
  • Powerful Engine – The DuroMax 210cc OHV engine is a workhorse...
  • MX2 Technology - Get the maximum power from each of the 120-volt...
  • Fully Featured Power Panel – The power panel includes a wide...

Main Features:

  • Electric starter
  • 4850 watts starting power/3850 running watts
  • 20hours runtime

The DuroMax XP4850EH Generator is a top choice for anyone looking for a reliable machine in terms of starting. The generator features an electric start, although it also has a recoil start backup. The California-built generator boasts a 210cc 7HP 4-stroke engine that produces 4850 watts of surge power and 3850 running watts of power.

On a 20-pound tank, the DuroMax XP4850EH has a runtime of 20 hours at 50 percent load. Again, the switch selector ensures that you take advantage of the dual-fuel function.

Other key features include the 3-year warranty, low oil indicator, and a muffler. It is EPA and CARB compliant.

Overall, DuroMax XP4850EH is a great option. With an electric starter, chances of having an issue when starting are low.

Pros:

  • Longer runtime
  • Quiet
  • Automatic voltage regulator/low oil shutdown

Cons:

  • Doesn’t have a propane tank
  • It doesn’t have a battery start

3. Pulsar Non-CARB Generator - Most Powerful

Sale
Pulsar PG10000B16 Portable Dual Fuel Generator-8000...
  • 10, 000W peak 8000W rated (gas)/ 9000W peak 7000W rated (LPG)
  • The powerful 420cc, 4-stroke, OHV, air cooled Engine is protected...
  • A large 6. 6 gallon fuel tank give you up to 12 hours of...
  • Switch & go technology allow for seamless transitioning between...
  • Electric push start with recoil backup make start-up quick and...
  • 9000 starting watts/7000 running watts
  • Dual fuel function
  • 12 hours runtime

At 9000 watts surge power output and 7000 watts running power, the Pulsar Non-CARB has the most power output so far. Therefore, if you’re in need a unit that’s powerful, the Pulsar Non-CARB definitely cuts the edge.

The generator is a dual fuel type. Switching from propane to gasoline and vice-versa is pretty easy. Its 420 cc, 15 HP OHV engine is powerful for any task. This durable machine comes with a fold-down locking handle for convenient rolling. It also features many power outlets.

Overall, the generator is incredibly powerful, making it a great option for higher power needs.

Pros:

  • Produces plenty of power
  • Great runtime
  • Electric start

Cons:

  • Complaints about the warranty

4. DuroMax XP12000EH Generator - Best High-End Model

DuroMax XP12000EH Generator-12000 Watt Gas or Propane...
  • Powerful DuroMax Engine: the XP12000EH is powered by a DuroMax,...
  • Dual fuel technology: the ability to run on propane or gasoline...
  • Plenty of power: with 12,000 starting watts and 9, 500 running...
  • Maximum power: with DuroMax MX2 technology, get the maximum power...
  • Powering everyone anywhere: like all DuroMax generators, the...

Main Features:

  • 457cc OHV engine
  • Dual-fuel
  • 12000 starting watts, 9,500 running watts

When it comes to high-end modern designs of propane generators, the DuroMax XP12000EH is a considerable choice. The generator features a serious combination of power and function.

It operates at 12000 watts surge power and runs at 9500 watts. This kind of power supply can meet the demanding needs of heavy electrical equipment. It is also a dual-fuel generator so you can switch easily to gasoline using the switch selector.

It is quiet when operating thanks to the built-in noise mufflers under the frame. There are about 5 power outlets to ensure that all your electrical connections are sorted perfectly.

Overall, the generator boasts an exceptional power rating. It is a solid generator that meets virtually all your power needs.

Pros:

  • Enormous power supply
  • 3-year warranty
  • Many power outlets

Cons:

  • Very pricey
  • The plastic wheels may go flat with the heavy frame

5. Champion 7500-Watt Generator - Best Durable Model

Champion 7500-Watt Portable Generator with Electric...
  • Ultra-powerful – At 9375 starting watts and 7500 running watts,...
  • Electric start – Trust the reliable 439cc Champion engine with...
  • Outlets – One 120/240V 30A locking and four 120V 20A GFCI...
  • 25-ft. extension cord – Split your power from one cord to 4...
  • Champion Support – includes 3-year limited warranty with FREE...

Main Features:

  • Low oil shut off
  • Electric starter
  • Durable frame

The Champion 7500-Watt Dual Fuel Generator boasts a compact build, high performance, and reliability. The generator has a 439cc 4-stroke engine that runs on propane for 51/2 hours. It provides 8400 starting watts and 6750 watts running power, making it a powerful propane generator option.

The engine, among other parts of this unit, is enclosed by a rugged steel frame. The frame is durable and keeps its contents well protected. Since it comes with a battery, you will find the electric starter quite handy.

It also features a volt guard regulator to help control any unnecessary power outages. You can check the progress of the engine, including the voltage, hertz, and power output using an advanced technology.

Overall, the generator packs a punch in terms of features included. The electric starter, intelligence system, and powerful engine give you a clue of its functionality.

Pros:

  • It is powerful
  • Dual fuel
  • Electric start for convenience

Cons:

  • Expensive option
  • Complaints about poor customer support

6. Westinghouse WGen3600DF Generator - Best Value for Money

Sale
Westinghouse 4650 Watt Dual Fuel Portable Generator,...
  • 3600 Rated Watts & 4650 Peak Watts (Gasoline); 3240 Rated Watts &...
  • Intuitive Control Panel Features a 5-20R 120V Duplex Outlet, an...
  • 212cc Westinghouse 4-Stroke OHV Engine; Long Lasting Cast Iron...
  • Plug-and-Play Comes With a Propane Regulator Hose, Handle, Heat...
  • All Westinghouse Portable Generators are Functionally Tested in...

Main Features:

  • 4180 peak watts, 3240 rated watts
  • Intuitive Control panel
  • 3-year warranty

The Westinghouse WGen3600DF rolls portability, power, and economy into one package for an excellent performance. This user-friendly generator comes with easy to operate features, beginning with a simple push electric start button.

You get an output of 4180 starting watts and 3240 watts running power. The RV-ready generator also comes with a clear control panel. On this panel, there are 5 power outlets to tap electricity for various uses. Use the switch to change between the different fuels thanks to the dual-fuel function.

For optimal performance, the Westinghouse WGen3600DF has a fuel gauge and an auto-low oil shut down. These features ensure that the engine is protected from any impact of eventualities.

Overall, the generator is perfect even for newbies. It has a user-friendly control panel and user guide.

Pros:

  • Maintenance is easy
  • RV-ready
  • Many outlets

Cons:

  • You need to install wheels and battery

7. DuroMax XP2000EH Dual Generator - Best Quiet Model

DuroMax XP2000EH Dual Fuel Inverter Generator, Blue
  • 2000 peak watts/ 1600 running watts
  • Produces stable, clean power suitable for sensitive electronics...
  • Parallel feature lets you bridge two XP2000EH units together for...
  • Eco mode feature lowers the idle speed of the generator to...
  • Up to 6.5 hours of run time at 50% load

Main Features:

  • 2000 peak watts, 1600 running watts
  • 24-hour runtime
  • 3-year warranty

Operating at 2000 peak watts and 1600 running watts, the DuroMax XP2000EH is an efficient inverter generator for those who desire a quiet surrounding. With an included inverter, you are sure that your sensitive devices and electrical connections are safe from power surges. 

DuroMax XP2000EH comes with a 24-hour runtime on a 20-pound propane tank at half-load.

Use the eco-mode function to economize on fuel spent in the unit. The control panel features key outlets for different electrical connections. While the low oil shut off neutralizes the effect of insufficient oil in your generator by shutting it down automatically.

You can make use of the parallel connection ports to link another DuroMax XP2000EH via a parallel connection kit and get more power in your camp.

Overall, we think it is an excellent model for camping and RVing in places where silence is paramount. You also get value for the money invested in this device. It is the most lightweight option on this list.

Pros:

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Quiet operation
  • Very portable

Cons:

  • Hefty price tag

8. Champion 3400-Watt Generator - Best for RV

Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Inverter...
  • Dual Fuel – Operate your 3400-watt portable generator right out...
  • Convenient Electric Start with 3-Position Ignition Switch –...
  • Ultra-Quiet Operation – 59 dBA is perfect for RVs, tailgating,...
  • Clean Power for Sensitive Electronics – RV Ready with a 120V...
  • Champion Support – Includes 3-year limited warranty with FREE...

Main Features:

  • Fuel economy mode
  • 3,060 starting watts, 2790 running watts
  • Quiet

The Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel has three important features: user-friendliness, safety, and power. It gives you a power output of 3,060 starting watts and 2,790 running watts on a propane tank. It also takes a total runtime of 14.5 hours while running on a 20-pound propane tank.

This generator is among the quietest options on the market. Its engine generates only 59dB. In terms of weight, the generator weighs in at 99 lbs., making it a portable pick for RVing, tailgating, and camping.

If you have sensitive equipment and devices, the stable power supply produced by this generator is safe for them. The engine speed adjusts depending on the load input which is vital for long life, quieter operation, and efficiency of the engine.

Overall, this propane generator is the best choice if you are looking for the right machine to go for RVing.

Pros:

  • Fuel economy
  • Quieter operation
  • Parallel connection

Cons:

  • Design is not really great for a portable device. It may not roll smoothly on rugged terrain.

Best Portable Propane Generator Buying Guide

User-friendliness

A portable propane generator should be easy to use. The features must be easy to understand and explore.

The starter is very important in this context. When you get a recoil starting system, make sure that you are comfortable with using it.

The best starters are electric. With them, all you need to do is simply push a button and your unit is good to operate.

The control panel should be well designed. It should be intuitive and not give you problems operating it.

Portability

All the models we’ve featured are some of the most portable options on the market currently. They are easy to carry around.

Additionally, they come with ergonomic handles and easy-rolling wheels to make moving around with them easier. In campsites or job sites, you will find moving these units pretty easy.

Portability is great but you have to compromise on the maximum power output of a propane generator. Heavier models are powerful but difficult to carry around.

Power Output

How much power a given generator produces should be a key consideration. It all comes down to one thing - your needs.

The more your needs, the more power you will need from your propane generator. With that said, power supplied is measured in watts.

If the wattage is higher, then the generator is more powerful. The opposite is true. The models represented in this guide range from 1200 - 12000 watts.

The power output also helps you to be aware of the generator size that you need. Remember the more power you want, the more money you will need to splurge to meet the rising prices.

Fuel Tank and Runtime

The larger the propane tank, the longer it takes the generator to run. With larger tanks, you do not have to keep refueling every other short time. Most tanks will give you a runtime of between 5-9 hours, although this can go up to 20 or more hours.

The secret to an extended runtime is keeping your usage of power as low as possible. This gives you maximum hours.

Quiet Operation

Most of the generators featured here are quiet. You want to carry a quiet generator with you in the neighborhood.

In general, propane generators do not emit tons of noise, thanks to their low-profile engines. It gets even better if the unit has an inverter.

Check for models with low noise output. It is good to read the decibel specifications.

Budget

The other important factor to keep close tabs on is the budget. If you know what your needs are, you will definitely know the type of generator you want.

The key thing is to consider the quality before allocating a given amount to it. For example, carefully consider if the features are what you are looking for. Until then, you do not want to go into a frenzy buying.

You may just dump your bucks in a useless unit. This is a long-term investment - so consider its durability, power surge protection, or power output among many other key aspects.

Always ensure you remain within your budget.

Final Words

With the above list of the best propane generators, you should have a good starting point when in the market for one. The models were carefully researched before we recommended them.

Find out what ticks your box from top to bottom. If you do not see anything better than what you want, be sure to check the guide to inform your decisions.

Our top pick is the Champion 3800-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Generator. The propane generator features 4275 watts starting power, 340 watts running power output, a 3.4-gallon tank capacity, and a dual-fuel function.

It is easy to use. The presence of a power voltage guard ensures that both the generator and equipment are very safe in case of a power surge.

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.