Getting a dual fuel generator will allow for much more flexibility than you think a generator can provide. Even though setting up and using a generator comes with many rules and steps, this type can alleviate some of these concerns. While any generator can benefit your home, portable dual fuel generators are hard to beat for their continuous non-stop power.
These units function on either gasoline or propane and can be used to power just about anything, from heating systems to air conditioners. If you live off the grid, having a dual fuel option allows you to savor the wild without giving up your modern amenities.
Based on research, we have created a list of the best dual fuel generators on the market today. Read our reviews and compare different units so you can find the most suitable model at your price and power range.
Top 6 Dual Fuel Generators
Gas: Peak 3400W – Running 3100W
LPG: Peak 3060W – Running 2790W
Runs 06 hrs @ 50% Load
59 dB @ 25% Load
Weight: 96 lbs
Gas: Peak 4000W – Running 3500W
LPG: Peak 3600W – Running 3150W
Runs 10 hrs @ 50% Load
69 dB @ 25% Load
Weight: 94 lbs
Gas: Peak 4750W – Running 3800W
LPG: Peak 4350W – Running 3500W
Runs 11 hrs @ 50% Load
69 dB @ 25% Load
Weight: 105.8 lbs
Gas: Peak 9375W – Running 7500W
LPG: Peak 8400W – Running 6750W
Runs 08 hrs @ 50% Load
74 dB @ 25% Load
Weight: 202 lbs
Gas: Peak 10000W – Running 8000W
LPG: Peak 9500W – Running 7600W
Runs 10 hrs @ 50% Load
72 dB @ 25% Load
Weight: 232 lbs
Gas: Peak 12500W – Running 9500W
LPG: Peak 11200W – Running 8500W
Runs 12 hrs @ 50% Load
74 dB @ 25% Load
Weight: 220 lbs
What to Consider When Buying a Dual Fuel Generator
If you’re in the market for the best dual fuel generator, there are certain points you should keep in mind. Shopping for a new dual fuel generator is similar to shopping for any generator, but some additional aspects are to consider. Based on affordability and capability, we have gathered a couple of points for you to make a more informed decision.
There are two main types of dual fuel units. The first is the standard dual fuel generators, and the second is dual fuel inverter generators. Both types work similarly to single fuel units, but the only difference is that they can run on two fuel types.
Dual fuel generators are the more affordable option. However, they are not suitable for powering sensitive equipment. Suppose you are looking for clean power and want a dual fuel unit with low THD. Then look into the inverter generator category. The total harmonic distortion (THD) of these units doesn’t go above 6%. This makes them suitable for sensitive electronics and appliances.
Wattage and Power Ratio
The generator size and power is an essential factor to consider. The first thing to take into account is how much wattage you will need. A practical tip would be to make a comprehensive list of all the appliances, tools, and other electrical devices you need to run when the power is out. This will give you a total wattage breakdown of the size that is suitable for you.
Remember to pay attention to how much peak power (starting watts) and running power (running watts) the generator puts out. Further, note that the wattage output changes depending on whether you run the generator on gas or propane. More often than not, propane fuel will run with 10% less power.
For instance, a 4000-watt model will supply 4,000W on gas and 3,600W on propane. This kind of power is usually enough to run essential appliances at small home setups and RVs. In contrast, larger households or job sites would use 7500-watt or 10000-watt units for uninterrupted power supply. There are also high wattage dual fuel capability units that go beyond 12,000 watts.
Of course, a lot will depend on the budget. The cost of a dual fuel generator ranges from several hundred dollars to several thousand. Higher power generators will command higher rates. Make sure to check our top picks of the best generators for more options.
Also, consider having different starting options for your generator. Dual fuel generators with electric start are pretty common, and they are usually the best solution for most buyers since you can start a generator with a push of a button.
If you’re not on a budget and want the convenience of starting your generator from a distance, look into dual fuel generators with a remote start. It allows you to start and stop your portable generator wirelessly. Although pricier, they are very popular with users.
Equally important is being able to monitor your generator’s status, such as the fuel level, wattage, running time, and maintenance intervals. This is done through a quality control panel, often with LED displays and indicator lights. Quality here is determined by how much information it provides, as well as how intuitive it is.
The best dual fuel generators will have their control panel integrated with various monitoring and protection systems. One of the most important of these systems is the low-oil indicator. It will protect your generator by automatically shutting it off once the oil reaches a critically low amount.
Other methods include overheating protection, voltmeter, and an easy manual shutdown. It’s also useful to have a fuel gauge, as well as an hour meter. Both of these let you know when a generator needs your attention, whether for refueling or doing maintenance work.
One thing that usually goes overlooked is the number and type of receptacles in your generator. Virtually all models come with a couple of standard 120V AC outlets, which is enough for most household appliances.
You’ll also find dual fuel generators with 220V, which is convenient for some businesses and RVs that may require 240V outlets or automotive 12V DC terminals. It’s also wise to check the amperage of these outlets. The most common ones are the 20 amp, 30 amp, and 50 amp plugs.
If you want to connect your generator to your home electrical panel, look for dual fuel generators with a transfer switch. Check the specification of each unit and compare different models before making a purchase decision.
Operating Noise Levels
If you value your peace, you may want to pay attention to your generator’s noise level. Large as they are, portable dual fuel generators are not the quietest. In fact, when running on gas instead of propane, these generators are even louder. The noise level can be a huge deal when using a portable generator around people or a residential area.
The noise output is measured in decibels (dB), and the higher the dB rating, the louder it will be. The quietest generators should emit a noise level of less than 65 decibels, which you can get only with dual fuel inverter generators.
Best Dual Fuel Generators
1. Champion 3400 Watt Dual Fuel Inverter Generator
The Champion 100263 is the only dual fuel inverter generator on our list. On gasoline, it produces 3400 starting watts and 3100 running watts. While on propane, it has 3060 starting watts and 2790 running watts.
It features a 1.6-gallon fuel tank that allows it to run for 7.5 hours, while a 20-pound propane tank will keep it up for over 14 hours on quarter load. It features a super convenient electric push start switch with cold start technology to ensure it does not disappoint in cold weather. With a low-oil shutoff sensor, the machine will switch off for safety when low on oil.
In addition, it has multiple outlets, including two 120V 20A household outlets, one 120V 30A RV outlet, and two USB ports. Secured by VoltGuard to keep your devices safe from harm in the event of a power surge. Not to mention, it is EPA and CARB-approved.
See also – Champion Digital Hybrid review
- Produces stable and clean power to charge and run all your sensitive electronics safely.
- It has a smart economy mode switch that reduces the engine speed when needed, providing better fuel efficiency, extended engine life, and quieter operation.
- From 23 feet, it measures 59 decibels at quarter load – about the same noise level as normal conversation.
- Parallel capable, allowing you to double your power output by connecting it to another identical unit. The parallel kit includes an extra 50-amp outlet.
- The oil change intervals are every 100 hours. However, there’s no hour meter.
- Also, no fuel gauge to show if you are running low on fuel. However, you can purchase them separately.
2. Sportsman GEN4000DF Dual Fuel Generator
The Sportsman GEN4000DF is an ideal choice for running appliances during a power outage or running high amperage power tools in a construction site, farm, and more. It is a dependable dual fuel generator that will rise to the occasion when your power sources are out or limited.
The GEN4000DF has the flexibility and capability to handle any task. It runs on either propane or unleaded gas for enhanced convenience, as you can choose the fuel type that is affordable and available to you.
On gasoline, it produces a peak power of 4000 watts and running power of 3500 watts. While running on propane, it has a peak of 3600W and continuous wattage of 3150W.
At 50% load, the 3.6-gallon fuel tank will run for 10 hours, and on a 20 lbs propane cylinder will run around 12 hours. It also comes with a fuel gauge, a voltmeter, and a low-oil shutoff feature to avoid damage if it runs low on oil.
- A high-performance dual fuel power that runs by a 7-horsepower 4-stroke OHV engine.
- Fuel-efficient and provides a long run time on both propane and gasoline.
- It has four household outlets, one RV ready outlet, and a DC outlet for charging batteries.
- A cost-effective option, but with limited features as there is no indicator lights or hour meter to monitor the power usage.
- It weighs 94 pounds, and it doesn’t come with a mobility kit. The mobility kit is sold separately.
3. WEN DF475T Dual Fuel Portable Generator
WEN DF475T features the dual fuel capability to utilize both gasoline and propane. It supplies a starting wattage of 4750W and a running wattage of 3800W on gas, and a starting wattage of 4350W and running wattage of 3500W on LPG.
It makes good use of the 4-gallon fuel tank capacity and will put out a solid 11 hours of run time on half load. While using a 20-pound propane tank, it will put out 7 hours.
It’s suitable for camping trips, tailgating parties, and can be connected to your RV or home through a transfer switch to power the lights, TV, microwave, and air conditioner at the same time.
This portable generator is user friendly and has a gas gauge for checking the fuel level. The weight is a little over 105 pounds. But, the well-integrated wheels and collapsible handle serves its intended purpose for easy maneuvering and transportation to different locations. Additionally, it is EPA and CARB-approved.
- Fuel-efficient 4-stroke 224cc OHV air-cooled engine that features both gasoline and propane fuels for greater versatility and reliability.
- Electric start dual fuel generator and will work with a simple key-turn. It also has a backup manual pull start.
- It has two GFCI outlets, one 120/240V NEMA twist lock, and one 12V DC port. Plus, there is a voltage selector for easy switching between 120V and 240V depending on the appliance that you’re running.
- There is no hour-meter for monitoring the generator’s status.
- This unit requires changing the oil every 25 hours. Compared to other models, it may be limiting.
4. Champion Power Equipment 7500 Watt Dual Fuel Generator
The Champion 100165 is a reliable dual fuel generator with enough power to run the refrigerator, freezer, sump pump, and home air conditioner simultaneously.
It is also capable of running a 2HP air compressor or about 5 power tools. Offering reliable power for your home, job site, or travel trailer.
It generates 9375 starting watts and 7500 rated watts on gas, and 8400 starting watts and 6750 rated watts on propane. As for the running time, at half load, it offers 8 hours on a 6-gallon fuel tank capacity and 5.5 hours on a tank of propane.
High in features, it has a convenient electric start to power the engine and a handy toggle fuel selector dial to switch between fuels. In addition, overload protection, low-oil shutoff sensors, and sturdy wheels for easy transport. It’s also CARB-compliant for all 50 states and has a three-year limited warranty with free lifetime technical support.
- Equipped with a 439cc powerful engine with cast iron sleeve for added protection. Guarded by a durable steel frame construction.
- IntelliGauge panel to help you monitor the power output and maintenance intervals. It displays the hertz, voltage, and runtime hours.
- A fully featured power panel with two standard 120V 20A GFCI ports, one 120V 30A locking port, and one 120/240V 30A locking port. In addition to the built-in Volt Guard surge protector to prevent overloads.
- It does not have a fuel meter. Also, the display panel lacks some functions, such as showing the amperage or wattage.
- This unit has circuit breakers that are not connected and will trip individually rather than all together. It does not have a main breaker.
5. DuroMax XP10000EH Dual Fuel Generator
DuroMax XP10000EH features dual fuel technology to run on either gasoline or propane. It can put out a maximum output of 10000 watts with a continuous output of 8000 watts. The fuel tank capacity is large at 8.3 gallons and will provide a runtime of up to 10.5 hours at half load. It can also offer more than 8.5 hours on a 40-pound propane tank.
This means it can supply almost any home with the power it needs, serving as emergency backup power by connecting it through a transfer switch.
It’s built with a heavy-duty steel frame with 4 point fully isolated motor mounts and uses all copper windings for increased durability. The power panel includes a voltmeter, overload protection, and warning lights. In addition to the automatic low-oil shutdown, mufflers to reduce the noise levels, and circuit breakers that you can easily reset by pushing the AC breaker on each outlet.
See also – DuroMax XP4400E review
- It runs on a powerful 440cc, 18 horsepower engine that can handle various high wattage appliances.
- It works with an electric start system and also has a recoil starter.
- Features MX2 technology, which gives you the option of using both 120V and 240V simultaneously. It includes two standard outlets, one 30A twist-lock outlet, one 240V 30A outlet, and one 240V 50A outlet. There is also a 12V DC port.
- It has an idle control option that doesn’t seem to work properly.
- In case of defects, customer care is unresponsive and will not tend to your issue fast enough. Also, the limited warranty does not cover certain problems with the machine.
6. Westinghouse WGen9500DF Portable Dual Fuel Generator
Westinghouse WGen9500DF is an absolute beast that can furnish power even for larger home setups. It is capable of providing a maximum power of 12500 watts and a running power of 9500 watts on gas. Besides a starting power of 11200 watts and running of 8500 watts on LPG.
It provides an extended run time with a large fuel tank of 6.6 gallons. At half load, it can run for over 12 hours with the built-in fuel tank and around 7 hours on a 20 lb propane tank. It’s capable of running both entertainment devices and heavy-duty appliances all at the same time.
It’s easy to use with color-coded buttons and a fuel selector switch to easily guide you through running the machine. Other attributes include an automatic low-oil shutdown feature and a muffler for quiet operation. Backed by a reliable manufacturer and a three-year limited warranty. While also being CARB-compliant, producing fewer emissions.
See also – Westinghouse Wgen7500 review
See also – Wgen9500DF Comparison
- Robust 457cc 4-stroke OHV engine with heavy-duty enclosure and cast iron sleeve for added protection.
- A key fob remote start dual fuel generator that can start and stop wirelessly from up to 260 feet away. Plus, an electric start and a recoil pull-start.
- Digital hour meter for real-time tracking of the power output, voltage, frequency, and lifetime run hours. Plus, a fuel meter for checking the fuel level.
- Multiple power outlets to accommodate various uses. It has two 120V GFCI household outlets, one 120/240V 30-amp twist-lock outlet, and one 120/240V 50-amp RV outlet.
- It is heavy, weighing 220 pounds with no fuel. However, this is expected for a 12000-watt dual fuel generator. Also, it has never-flat wheels, folding handle, and lift bracket for manageable transportation.
- The only thing missing is an amp meter.
Dual Fuel Generator Pros and Cons
Since portable generators are often purchased and used for emergency purposes, they must deliver what they promise. So, are dual fuel generators reliable enough to count on them during power outages or off-grid use? Looking at the dual fuel generator pros and cons will give you the answer you’re looking for.
Dual Fuel Generators Benefits
While any generator will benefit your home, a dual fuel generator doubles this by giving you a viable option to use two types of fuel, either gas or propane. We compiled a rundown of the crucial benefits a powerful dual fuel generator will provide to your home, RV, or construction site.
Continuous Power Supply
With a fuel-efficient dual fuel generator, you are ensured of continuous power supply all the time. Gasoline burns faster but provides more power. The average runtime on gas depends on the generator’s built-in gas tank size, which usually holds just a few gallons. So with gasoline, you get more wattage, but with a runtime that rarely goes over 12 hours.
On the other hand, propane burns slower but provides less power. Propane tanks come in various sizes, from 5 gallons (20 pounds) to over 120 gallons (420 pounds). So you will get a drop in wattage, but on average, a propane cylinder will provide you with over 20 hours of continuous operation.
Consequently, using two types of fuel enables you to run your portable generator continuously for at least 24 hours. Particularly convenient in cases of natural calamities or when a fuel source is temporarily unavailable.
Fuel Storage and Temperatures
The fuel consumption of generators is an important aspect. Each type of fuel has its advantages and drawbacks. Often, gasoline is a popular choice because it’s readily available and also more efficient than propane. The downside to gas is storage because it has a short shelf life as heat makes it evaporate, and it can also go bad if not stored properly. In general, the optimal shelf life of gasoline is about three months.
Meanwhile, propane fuel is cheaper and never goes bad. Its shelf life stretches indefinitely. It’s also a lot easier to store and has a lifespan beyond ten years. Unlike gasoline, propane doesn’t gum up or thicken in cold temperatures. However, the drawback is that the regulator on a propane tank can freeze in cold climates. Because of the pressure drop, it may not be enough to start up your generator while it is on propane alone.
Ultimately, the great thing about dual fuel portable generators is that you can use each type’s advantages while downplaying their weaknesses. That way, you will never be let down during an emergency.
Effectiveness and Environmental Impact
Gasoline and propane differ in their effectiveness and carbon footprint emissions. No question, gasoline is the more powerful option. Their efficiency can be measured in BTU per gallon of fuel. Though, considering the impact on the environment that both have, propane is the winner.
Gasoline generators are capable of creating more electrical energy. On the other hand, propane generators are not as effective, but their output is a lot easier on the environment.
This seems particularly important to all those who are conscious of the environmental effects of our lifestyles. With dual fuel generators, you can balance the effectiveness of gas and the more environmentally friendly propane option. It is something that you cannot have in a single fuel generator.
That said, being environmentally friendly does not mean it’s safe. Regardless of the type of fuel, you should never run your generator indoors as it can leave you at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning. Only use your generator outdoors with the exhaust pointed away from any occupied space.
For an effective and less carbon footprint, you can choose the eco-friendly option of portable solar kits.
Versatility and Convenience
Speaking of calamities, living in an area prone to hurricanes and blizzards can leave you without power for days. However, with a good dual fuel generator, you have the versatility of using the type of fuel that is available to you and get power for days.
They are also highly convenient because they give you a backup plan if you run out of your preferred fuel. When propane is temporarily unavailable in remote areas, you will most likely find gasoline in the smallest towns. As a result, they are highly versatile and convenient for both businesses and homeowners alike.
Besides, if you are someone who is always on the move and needs power wherever you go. For example, camping enthusiasts and RV owners will benefit from RV camping generators with dual fuel capability.
It is great to have options in case one of the resources is not available. Not to mention, they function great even in cold areas and tough weather conditions so that you can depend on your generator for power during hard times.
Durability and Maintenance
One of the more noticeable features is that they are designed using sturdy materials that last longer. Manufacturers understand that these generators are often used in areas that are prone to severe weather conditions. As such, they make dual fuel generators with sturdy frames and solid materials for increased durability. Even mobility kits often feature rugged never-flat tires to glide through rough terrains.
Besides, you need to remember to manually refill the gas tank frequently without spilling with a gas-powered generator. But, having a propane-powered generator frees you from the chore of constant refueling. Therefore, a dual fuel portable generator loses nothing in terms of efficiency set against its single-fuel counterparts. The best dual fuel generators are just as functional, with the added bonus of having a range of fuel tank options to choose from.
Speaking of maintenance, it’s also wise to check if your generator requires grounding. In general, the user manual of the generator will have all the details regarding grounding the generator. Most modern generators are already grounded. However, it’s essential to check.
Dual Fuel Generators Drawbacks
There are also a couple of disadvantages to dual fuel generators. However, they are not deal-breakers.
The main challenge you will face is that a dual-fuel model will be more expensive than the same-size generator using only one fuel source. You will have to budget accordingly and search for the best dual fuel generator to handle your needs adequately at an affordable price.
The second potential issue is size. Dual fuel generators usually pass the 100 pounds mark, while larger dual fuel units often hit double that number. Luckily, the mobility kits are often included in the price. Wheels are sturdy enough to withstand rough terrains, and soft-grip foldable handles offer much-needed tactile stability. Still, it would be a good idea to pay attention to the size and weight.
In essence, the cost and size ratio largely depends on how much power you need and how often you need to roll it around.
General Questions About Dual Fuel Generators
These are some of the most common questions about dual fuel generators. If you have more questions, you can check the generator FAQ.
What Does Dual Fuel Generator Mean?
A dual fuel generator means that the generator can run on two types of fuel. They work in a very similar way to single fuel generators. The fuel is burned to create mechanical energy, which turns into electricity. Users can switch between fuels easily, usually with a button or a handy toggle switch. They allow you to use either gasoline or propane based on availability, price, and power requirements.
What’s the Difference Between Single Fuel and Dual Fuel Generators?
Single fuel generators run on one fuel source. That may be either gasoline, propane, or diesel. On the other hand, dual fuel generators utilize two fuel types. If you run out of your preferred fuel, you can switch to the other to continue running your generator. Often, dual generators use propane and gasoline. Diesel fuel is rarely found in these types of generators. Although using gas gives you more power, running a dual fuel generator on propane is cheaper since propane is less expensive and can last for years.
Can a Dual Fuel Generator Run on Natural Gas?
An average dual fuel portable generator cannot run on natural gas without specific adaptations which require technical skills. However, Champion has presented their new tri-fuel generator, which runs on gasoline, propane, and natural gas. You can also find dual fuel capabilities in stationary whole house generators where they use natural gas and liquid propane and serve as a backup power source for an entire house.
Is it Possible to Convert a Standard Generator to LPG?
Converting to LPG may extend your generator’s versatility. However, it is rarely a simple task. There are many tutorials on the subject but bear in mind that a certain level of know-how is required. There are also various conversion kits up in the market that make the whole process easier. But these manufacturers are rarely the ones producing the generators, and this may cause unforeseen safety issues. Moreover, it may void the generator’s warranty.
Opting for dual fuel generators is generally a better recommendation than LPG conversion kits. It is a one-stop solution to all versatility problems. And not much pricier either, considering the cost of conversion kits.
How Long Will a Dual Fuel Generator Run on Propane?
A dual fuel generator can run anywhere from 6 to 12 hours at a 50% load. Generator run time heavily depends on the load. In general, two to three pounds of propane are spent per hour, which means that with 20 pounds tank, a generator can run for 5 to 6 hours on propane.
What is the Best Dual Fuel Generator?
The Champion Power Equipment 3400-watt dual fuel unit is the best dual fuel generator, considering the features, power, and price point. It’s also one of the quietest units, provides good fuel efficiency, and supplies clean power.
Lastly, after extensively reviewing each model, our top picks would be the Champion Power Equipment for its compact and suitable size for power on the go. For maximum power, the Westinghouse is a good choice; however, it is louder than other models in our portable dual fuel generator reviews. If you want the best portable dual fuel generator that won’t break the bank, the Sportsman GEN4000DF is a good model that can run for ten hours on either propane or gasoline.
Ultimately, when it comes to purchasing the best dual fuel generators, it all boils down to your budget and needs. We hope you like our top picks and can now decide what suits you best.