Best Portable Propane Generator: Top 8 Picks

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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Imagine working on an important job on your desktop and (Oops!) a power outage. How unfortunate, 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 the work on your computer. The best portable propane generator can come in handy at such a time. This type of generator runs on propane fuel. It can either be a pure propane or a dual-fuel unit.

The best portable propane generator is Westinghouse WGen3600DF Generator. It rolls portability, power, and economy into one package for excellent performance. Our second best choice is DuroMax XP12000EH Generator. This generator runs quietly, is user-friendly, and features about five power outlets to ensure all your electrical connections are sorted perfectly. The third best portable generator we selected is Duromax XP4850EH Generator which has an electric start making it the best option for those who want a propane generator with an electric starter.

Here, we have looked at the best portable propane generators as well as a buying guide. We also researched and evaluated our choices based on overall performance, wattage, and propane efficiency, among other vital factors. Hang on to your hat, and let us explore.

What Is a Propane Generator?

propane generator

Image Source: sosproducts.com

Propane generators run on liquid propane gas (LPG) instead of gasoline. Propane is known to be environmentally clean, costs fewer bucks, and is readily available. On top of that, it has a prolonged shelf life, meaning you can store the gas for extended periods.

The significant difference between a propane generator from the regular one comes from the slight modifications of the carburetor. The fuel tank is permanently attached to the generator via a hose, and typical 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 propane price 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 about gasoline.

The other highlight of portable propane generators is their dual-fuel function. This is essential to these devices, especially when a propane crisis hits. You can always resort to gasoline. Finally, yet importantly, propane generators produce clean energy. No other type of generator beats it when it comes to producing clean and safe electricity.

portable propane generator

Image Credits: rurallivingtoday.com

Our Selection Process

We considered the following key factors when buying the propane generators to test before recommending them:

  • Portability: Most of our picks come with ergonomic handles and easy-rolling wheels to make moving around with them more manageable. You will find moving these units pretty useful in campsites or job sites.

  • User-friendly: Some of our selections also have electric starters. With them, you only need to push a button, and your unit will fire up to generate electricity.

  • Power output: Our top picks have the highest wattage because the higher the wattage, the more useful the propane generator is. The wattage ranges from 1200-12000, which will help you find the generator size you need.

  • Noise emission level: The options we chose offer super-quiet operation and clean, reliable power, thanks to their low-profile engines. It gets even better if the unit has an inverter.

Top 8 Best Propane Generators Reviews

1. Best Value for Money - Westinghouse WGen3600DF Generator 

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
  • Heat-resistant plastic wheels with never-flat polyurethane tires
  • Automatic low oil shutdown

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

Image Source: lowe.com

When I used this generator, I got an output of 4180 starting watts and 3240 watts of running power. The RV-ready generator also has a clear control panel. This panel has five power outlets to tap electricity for various uses. I used the switch to change between the different fuels thanks to the dual-fuel function.

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

Overall, Westinghouse WGen3600DF is a perfect propane generator, even for newbies. It comes with a control panel that is user-friendly and a user guide. The most significant advantage I experienced with this generator is its easy maintenance and five power outlets that I used to tap electricity for various uses.

Pros:

  • Maintenance is easy
  • RV-ready
  • Many outlets
  • User friendly

Cons:

  • You need to install wheels and a battery.

2. Best High-End Model - DuroMax XP12000EH Generator

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 generator
  • 12000 starting watts, 9,500 running watts

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

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

Image Credits: generatorbible.com

The generator runs quietly, which is a huge advantage since I don't want to disturb my neighbors while using it, thanks to the built-in noise mufflers under the frame. Also, it features about five power outlets to ensure 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. The plastic wheels may go flat with the heavy frame and frequently require change; maintaining it is expensive.

Pros:

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

Cons:

  • Very pricey
  • The plastic wheels may go flat with the heavy frame and require frequent change.

3. DuroMax XP13000EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator

Sale
DuroMax XP13000EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator 13000...
  • POWERFUL DUROMAX ENGINE: The XP13000EH is powered by a 500cc OHV...
  • DUAL FUEL TECHNOLOGY: The ability to run on Propane or Gasoline...
  • PLENTY OF POWER: With 13,000 starting watts and 10,500 watts,...
  • MAXIMUM POWER: The power panel includes a wide selection of...
  • POWERING EVERYONE ANYWHERE: Like all DuroMax generators, the...

Main features

  • Dual fuel
  • 13,000W starting/10,500W running
  • 80 decibels noise level
  • Two 30-amp twist-lock outlets
  • 50-amp 240-volt heavy-duty outlet

I bought DuroMax XP13000EH for power outages a few years ago. I have had a great experience. The portable generator is powerful enough to power all the essentials during a power outage because it has a starting and running watts of 13000 and 10500, respectively.

Image Credits: generatorbible.com

DuroMax XP13000EH is a dual-fuel generator. Therefore, it provides the versatility of running on propane or gasoline. The generator is incredibly powerful; it has no trouble supplying power to my fridge and lights and powering sensitive electronics. The only disadvantage is the generator noise level of 80 decibels, which may harm your hearing if exposed to it for longer periods.

Pros:

  • Can handle heavy loads
  • Portable
  • Produces plenty of power

Cons:

  • It is noisy (80 decibels)

4. WEN df475t Dual Fuel 120V/240V Portable Generator

WEN DF475T Dual Fuel 120V/240V Portable Generator with...
  • Switch between gasoline (4750 surge watts, 3800 running watt) and...
  • Voltage easily goes from 120V to 240V, perfect for transfer...
  • Electric start powers the 224cc 4-stroke OHV engine with the turn...
  • 4-gallon tank provides up to 11 hours of half load run time
  • Includes two 120V GFCI outlets (5-20R), a 120V/240V NEMA 30A...

main features

  • 106 lbs
  • 4750W/4350W max power
  • 3800W/3500W continuous power
  • 11 hours of running time on gas and 7 hours on propane

Having used WEN df475t dual fuel generator for several months, I can confidently say it has excellent performance. The generator has a transfer switch-ready propane backup. The best feature that I was able to notice in this generator is an electric start, wheels, and handle for transportation. Besides, it has a 47-inch LPG hose, so you can immediately connect to your propane tank straight out of the box.

Image Credits: k-bid.com

WEN df475t Portable Generator provides 3,500 running watts of power on propane, making it easier to switch between 120V and 240V, which is more than enough to power my appliances during power outages.

Above all, WEN df475t weighs 106 lbs making it lighter and more portable than most large generators. If you’re looking for a smaller generator that is less expensive, the WEN df475t generator will give you the best value for your money. However, its most challenging part is the short running time of 7 hours on propane compared to other generators.

Pros:

  • Great value for money
  • Relatively lightweight
  • It has an electric start

Cons:

  • It has a short running time

5. Best with Electric Start - Duromax XP4850EH Generator

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
  • 20-hour runtime

I have been operating the DuroMax XP4850EH generator for some months, which has given me the confidence to recommend it as a top choice for anyone looking for a reliable starting machine. 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 producing 4850 watts of surge and 3850 running power.

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

Image Source: generatorbible.com

I was impressed with this generator because of its key features, including a 3-year warranty, a low oil indicator, and a muffler. It is EPA and CARB-compliant. Overall, DuroMax XP4850EH is an excellent option.

Having an electric starter makes the chances of having an issue when starting low. However, the only challenge I experienced with this generator is that it doesn't have a propane tank and a battery start, forcing me to look for one.

Pros:

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

Cons:

  • It doesn't have a propane tank and a battery start

6. Best Durable Model - Champion Power Equipment 100891 9375/7500-Watt

Sale
Champion Power Equipment 100891 9375/7500-Watt Dual...
  • DUAL FUEL: Operate your 7500-watt portable generator right out of...
  • ELECTRIC START: Power up the 439cc Champion engine with the handy...
  • INTELLIGAUGE: Keep track of voltage, hertz and run-time hours to...
  • POWERFUL: At 9375 starting watts and 7500 running watts on...
  • 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 5 1/2 hours. It provides 8400 starting watts and 6750 watts of running power, making it a powerful propane generator for my power needs.

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, the electric starter is handy.

Image Source: championpowerequipment.com

It also features a volt guard regulator to help control any abrupt power outages. I can also use my advanced technology to check the engine's progress, including the voltage, hertz, and power output.

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. The only disadvantage of this generator is that it is not pocket friendly, but its benefits can make you break the bank.

Pros:

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

Cons:

  • It is expensive

7. Pulsar Non-CARB Generator

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...

Main features

  • 9000 starting watts/7000 running watts
  • Dual fuel function
  • 12 hours runtime

At 9000 watts of surge power output and 7000 watts of running power, the Pulsar Non-CARB gives me an impressive experience because it has the best power output. Therefore, if you need a powerful unit, the Pulsar Non-CARB cuts the edge.

Image Source: pulsar-products.com

I love how easy it is to switch from propane to gasoline and vice-versa because of its dual nature. Its 420 cc, 15 HP OHV engine is powerful for any task. This durable generator comes with a fold-down locking handle for convenient rolling. It also features many power outlets.

Overall, the generator is an excellent option for higher power needs because it produces plenty of power with a great run time of 12 hours.

Pros:

  • Produces plenty of power
  • Great runtime
  • Electric start

Cons:

  • Complaints about the warranty

8. DuroStar 12000-Watt Gas or Propane Dual Fuel Electric Start Portable Generator

Sale
DuroStar 12000-Watt Gas or Propane Dual Fuel Electric...
  • Durable DuroStar 18 HP, air cooled with low oil shutoff and...
  • Dual fuel technology allows generator to be run on propane or...
  • Heavy duty frame with four point fully isolated motor mounts for...
  • Full power panel with oil warning Light, volt meter, circuit...
  • Full EPA and CARB compliance allows for operation in all 50...

main features

  • 12,000 starting watts/9,500 running watts
  • dual fuel generator
  • GFCI 120-volt outlets,
  • 50-amp twist lock outlet
  • voltmeter and 12-volt DC charging posts.

DuroStar 12000 is another generator that runs quietly. I'm always impressed by how it produces little noise. The generator is lightweight and has wheels, making moving around convenient. Besides, it can pump out 12000 starting watts, making handling my home appliances easier.

Image Source: campingworld.com

The propane consumption of this generator is exceptional and it has a running time of 15 hours on a full propane tank, making it the best option for long-term use. The generator is also user-friendly with additional features, including a push-button with electric start and large pneumatic tires to aid in moving the generator into position.

However, the generator is a little pricier compared to other portable propane generators, but still, I will choose it because it is suitable for large appliances with a run time of up to 15 hours.

Pros:

  • Suitable for large appliances; great during an outage
  • Long runtime of up to 15 hours
  • Electric start button for easy operation
  • Built-in wheels for simple maneuvering

Cons:

  • It is pricier compared to other portable propane generators.

Best Portable Propane Generator Buying Guide

Image Source: thomasnet.com

1. User-Friendliness

A portable propane generator should be easy to use and it has features that are easy to explore and understand. The starter is essential in this context. When you get a recoil starting system, ensure you are comfortable using it.

The best starters are electric. With them, all you need to do is push a button, and your unit is suitable to operate. The control panel should be well-designed. It should be intuitive and not give you problems operating it.

2. Portability

All the models we've featured are currently some of the most portable options on the market. They are easy to carry around. Additionally, they come with ergonomic handles and easy-rolling wheels to make moving around with them more manageable. You will find moving these units pretty easy in campsites or job sites.

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

3. Power Output

How much power a given generator produces should be a key consideration. It all comes down to one thing - your needs. More energy requirements mean finding a powerful propane generator. With that said, the 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 be aware of the generator size you need. Remember, the more power you want, the more money you will need to splurge to meet the rising prices.

4. Fuel Tank and Runtime

The larger the propane tank, the longer the generator lasts. With larger tanks, you do not have to refuel after every short time. Most tanks will give you 5-9 hours of runtime, although this can go up to 20 or more hours.

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

5. Quiet Operation

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

Propane generators generally do not emit much 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.

6. Budget

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

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

You may dump your bucks in a useless unit. This is a long-term investment - so consider its durability, power surge protection, or power output, among other vital aspects. Always ensure you remain within your budget.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Image Source: 911metallurgist.com

1. Are propane generators any good?

Propane generators are good since propane is known to be a clean burning fuel and environmentally friendly. They produce less carbon monoxide, releasing half the amount compared to a gasoline generator.

Additionally, propane has a long shelf life because it does not degrade over time, unlike other fuel sources like gasoline and diesel. You just need a high-quality tank for storage to ensure you are well-equipped with enough fuel.

2. What is the disadvantage of propane generators?

Propane generators are less efficient than other generators operating on other fuel sources like gasoline or diesel. Similarly, propane will burn through much quicker, so you need bigger propane tanks to keep your generator running during a power outage.

Another disadvantage is that these generators have engines with a shorter life expectancy that require frequent maintenance than other alternatives. For example, you are likely to replace a propane generator much sooner compared to other alternatives.

3. How long will a portable generator last on propane?

Most portable propane generators have a capacity of 1000 gallons, and with a burning rate of 2 to 3 gallons per hour, a 1000-gallon propane tank can run a generator for up to 400 hours. However, the actual run time will depend on the wattage needs of the generator. For example, 7KW power output will run 66 hours on a 100-gallon tank while on full load.

4. What is the best small propane generator?

The best propane generator is Westinghouse WGen3600DF Generator for its excellent performance. This propane generator has easy-to-operate features, beginning with a simple push electric start button.

Another distinctive feature that makes it the best is its fuel gauge and auto-low oil shutdown for optimal performance. It also has dual-fuel technology operating on propane(3240 Rated Watts & 4650 Peak Watts) and gasoline (3600 Rated Watts & 4650 Peak Watts).

5. Is propane more dangerous to run than gasoline?

Propane generators are safer than gasoline generators since gasoline is highly combustible and easily degrades. Also, propane is more environmentally friendly because of the lower carbon monoxide production.

Final Words on the Best Portable Propane Generators

Image Credits: norwall.com

With the above list of the best propane generators, you should have a good starting point when looking for one in the market. The models were carefully researched before we recommended them. Also, investing in a dual-fuel generator could be your best choice if you are riding out a blackout or going off the grid. Plus, you can check the guide to inform your decisions if you do not see anything better than what you want.

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.
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