Most of the conventional portable generators run on gasoline or diesel. These include even the modern inverter generators which despite their hi-tech design still rely mainly on fossil fuels like gas. However, there is a great cost-effective and environmentally friendly alternative – a dual fuel generator.
Dual fuel generators like the Westinghouse WGen7500DF offer several benefits that traditional models do not have. In this guide, I am going to show you the results of my research on which ones are the best dual fuel generators on the market. I will also provide you with some viable reasons why you should seriously consider getting one of these instead of a conventional portable generator.
Top 5 Best Portable Dual Fuel Generators
|Model||Gas Wattage (Surge / Running)||Propane Wattage (Surge / Running)||Weight (lbs)||Price|
|Westinghouse WGen7500DF Dual Fuel||9500 / 7500||8550 / 6750||194||Check Price on Amazon|
|Champion 3400-Watt Gas / Propane Inverter Generator||3400 / 3100||2060 / 2790||95.7||Check Price on Amazon|
|DuroMax Hybrid Dual Fuel XP12000EH||12000 / 9500||10200 / 8075||227||Check Price on Amazon|
|Duromax XP4850EH||4850 / 3650||4608 / 3658||130||Check Price on Amazon|
|Champion 3800-Watt Dual Fuel||4750 / 3800||4275 / 3420||122||Check Price on Amazon|
Dual Fuel Generators Reviewed
1. Westinghouse WGen7500DF
Westinghouse WGen7500 is one of my favorite portable generators. In fact, I put in on the number 1 spot on my overall list of the best portable generators. It is an exceptionally well-designed model equipped with a powerful engine which can supply energy for a large number of appliances. On top of that, it works surprisingly quiet for the generator of this size.
I was therefore excited when Westinghouse released its hybrid cousin – WGen7500DF. Did it meet mine and others’ expectations?
In fact yes – it has got all the exact same benefits of WGen7500 plus the dual fuel capability. Which is needless to say pretty awesome and something you exactly need when looking for a great dual fuel generator.
The core of this generator is the 420cc OHV engine – one of the best performing on the market. Westinghouse is an American company with long traditions in the energy sector. You can, therefore, rest assured you are not buying a cheap Chinese spinoff.
It has a starting wattage of 8550 and running wattage of 6750 watts when running on propane. In case you need slightly more power you can switch to gasoline at any time. This would give you respectively 9500 surge and 7500 rated watts.
This is more than enough to power large appliances and can act as a comprehensive home backup solution in case of emergencies like hurricanes.
WGen7550DF includes electric start with a remote key fob, making it very convenient to run.
Overall, this is one of the best portable generators on the market and without doubt the best generator which can run both fuels.
2. Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel Inverter Generator
Dual Fuel inverter generator? Do those things even exist?
I was indeed surprised when I first came across Champion 3400-watt inverter offering a dual fuel capability.
I already knew that their 3100-watt inverter generator is one of the best choices for RV or small cottages. Therefore I was curious to learn more how would the 3400-watt dual fuel inverter perform.
And it actually works pretty well.
It does offer you the best of both worlds. First, since it’s an inverter, it’s quiet, small and provides the steady clean power safe for sensitive electronics like laptop computers, tablets etc.
Second, its dual fuel capability makes it a more versatile choice than typical gas inverters.
It comes with a typical 30 Amp RV outlet and is fully compatible with standard RV straight out of the box. No additional cords or extensions are needed.
For the generator of this size, it has a surprisingly long run time on propane. 7.5 hours at half load is a very solid number.
As it is the case with the best portable inverter generators, you can get the optional parallel kit which will allow you to connect two such inverters to each other and double the total power output.
Switching fuels is a no-brainer. All you have to do is just use the fuel selector dial.
The hose needed for connecting it to a propane tank comes included in the set. It is a standard 3/8 hose, the same type as the ones that people use for barbecues.
Overall, while I was initially a bit skeptical whether a dual fuel inverter generator could work, Champion 3400 proved me wrong.
Although at first it might look like a fancy toy, it is indeed a very solid reliable generator running perfectly fine both on gasoline and propane.
It seems that most of the people who left 5-star reviews on Amazon agree with me on this.
If you want to learn more about this generator, check out my full review here.
3. Duromax XP12000EH
This is the most powerful generator on our list. It provides the stunning 11400 peak watts and 9025 running watts when running on propane. This is enough to provide emergency power for the whole small home.
You could also easily power a 230 Amp MIG welder with it.
This hybrid powerhouse offers you the choice between manual recoil and electric start.
It can run for more than 7 hours on propane and 8 hours on a single gasoline tank (at 50% load).
Since it is a huge unit, you certainly can’t expect it to run noiselessly. However, given the size of its engine, it is still relatively quiet. I would suggest to place it in a dedicated or DIY enclosure to minimize the noise disruption and protect if from the weather elements.
Overall, I would highly recommend it either as an emergency home backup power supply or a comprehensive solution for construction sites.
On the other hand, if you need a generator for camping, RV or tailgating – this one would be way too big for you. Look for smaller models instead such as Duromax XP4850EH – the next generator on our list.
If you want learn more about Duromax XP12000EH, read my full review.
4. Duromax XP4850EH
This is a great portable dual fuel generator for those who need more than 3500 watts of running power but don’t want to invest in a large and bulky unit.
Duromax XP4850EH falls into a nice wattage range of 4608 surge / 3658 running watts which is ideal for RVs or certain construction tools such as air compressors, circular saws or drills.
It has a very solid steel frame covering the 208cc OHV engine.
It is reasonably fuel efficient and can run for several hours without the need for refueling.
One cool feature is the built-in silencer which helps reduce the noise produced by this generator.
Even though this makes it only a few decibels quieter, it makes a hearable difference.
Especially since the decibel scale is a logarithmic scale where every single point counts a lot as explained in my article about quiet generators.
5. Champion 3800-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Generator
A lot of people dealing with portable generators prey that there are only two brands which can be trusted – Honda and Yamaha. I think this is not a fair statement and there are other manufacturers making high-quality portable generators.
Champion Power Equipment is one of them. Their portable generators attract hundreds of positive reviews from customers in the US. They also cost less than their Japanese competitors.
This 3800-watt dual fuel generator is an ideal solution for RV owners.
Its wattage, while certainly won’t be high enough to power the whole home, is ideal for somebody who needs a generator to power things like 10,000 BTU air conditioner, a refrigerator, TV, cooker and a set of lights.
A good thing about this unit is its fuel efficiency. It can run up to 10,5 hours on a single tank of propane. Bear in mind though that it won’t last for so long when running on 100% load.
However, you can always switch back to gasoline in case you need a few more hours of run time.
The generator comes with a very handy push-button electric start. That means you won’t have to tire yourself out with a manual recoil start.
The only thing I could complain about is the noise level – 68dB is quite loud. I certainly wouldn’t use it on a very quiet campground.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Duel Fuel Generator
If you’re in the market for a dual fuel portable generator, you have a lot of factors to consider. Do you need a conventional or inverter generator? What are your power needs? How long will the runtime be? And how much are you willing to spend? These are some of the questions you need to ask yourself before choosing the right dual fuel portable generator.
Conventional vs Inverter Generator
As you start shopping for portable generators, one of the first things you’ll need to decide is whether you want a conventional or inverter generator. Conventional generators are typically less expensive, but they’re also louder and produce more emissions. Inverter generators are typically more expensive, but they’re quieter and produce cleaner power, suitable for charging sensitive portable electronics. They are also more compact and easier to use than the conventional generators. Depending on your budget and power needs, we strongly advice going for an inverter.
Next, you’ll need to consider your power needs. How much power do you need to run your appliances and tools? Make a list of everything you want to be able to power with your generator, then look at the wattage requirements for each item. Add up all those wattage requirements and that will give you your total power needs. Check out our wattage calculator to get a better idea of how much wattage you need.
Runtime is another important factor to consider. How long do you need to be able to run your generator? If you’re only going to be using it for occasional short power outages, then you might not need a particularly long runtime. But if you’re planning on using it for extended periods of time, like camping trips when you need to run your AC overnight, then you’ll want to make sure you get a generator with long runtime.
Finally, you’ll need to consider the price tag. Dual fuel portable generators can range in price from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. It all depends on the features and power needs that you’re looking for.
Why only dual fuel portable generators? Aren’t there any units which run on propane only?
There used to be at least several portable generators on the market which ran solely on propane. However, those are quite outdated constructions and nowadays you see fewer and fewer of them.
Dual fuel generators are a much better and versatile choice since they offer you an opportunity to switch to gasoline in case you run out of propane. They are also modern in design and run quieter and more steadily than the older units.
Tri-fuel generators also exist but those are very rare and in my humble opinion – they are a bit too much of the overkill and do not perform well enough to justify their higher price tag.
To sum up – dual fuel units are the way to go.
What are the major benefits of a dual fuel generator?
Propane offers several advantages which often make it a better type of fuel than gasoline.
First, it is simply cheaper.
At first, you may notice that propane generators or a more common type – dual fuel generators tend to be more expensive than the ones which rely solely on gas. However, since propane is significantly cheaper than gasoline, you will certainly save money in the longer term.
Running a generator on propane will simply cost you less than in case of gas.
On top of that propane is a more energy efficient kind of fuel meaning that you require a smaller amount of it to perform the same tasks.
In other words – you would not only save money because of the cheaper price of propane but also because the generator will consume much less of it. Double savings!
For those who care about our planet and the natural environment, there is good news – propane is a much cleaner fuel than gas.
You are going to do a big favor to the environment if you decide to use it instead of gasoline.
Finally, one practical benefit of propane generators is that you won’t have to worry about spilling fuel when refueling. Simply connect the propane tank to the generator and you are good to go. Just watch out for potential leaks – make sure the connection is tight and secure.
Are there any potential downsides?
The first disadvantage which comes to my mind is that the propane bottles are quite heavy to carry on. They also need to be connected the whole time to the generator while it’s running. Unlike the case of gasoline, you cannot simply refuel a generator and leave the fuel tank at home or in your car.
That is why there are not that many inverter generators running on propane. Most people buy them because they are very quiet, provide stable power and finally – they are very lightweight and portable. Imagine though that you also have to carry a heavy propane tank wherever you go with your generator. That would certainly not be a great portable solution for camping anymore.
However, this is much less of the issue for mid-size inverters and that’s why I liked Champion 3400. This is the kind of generator which you probably won’t move around too much anyway and keep it most of the time right next to your RV or use it for home backup power.
One minor disadvantage of propane is that it’s a slightly less powerful energy source than gasoline. As you can see most of the dual fuel generators offer a little bit fewer watts of power when running on propane. However, if you have a closer look you will notice that these are rather small differences. In case you need to run a generator on 100% load (which BTW is never a good idea) you can always switch to gasoline. Otherwise, propane is going to work just fine and won’t impact the performance of your appliances in any other way.
Finally, unlike gas which can, you can find on every single gas station, propane bottles might be sometimes a bit more difficult to come by. However, this is much less of the problem nowadays since more people are becoming environmentally conscious.