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Best Propane Generator – Reviews and Buyer’s Guide 2020

Are you looking for the best propane generator for home?

Or perhaps you’re searching for a small propane generator to run your RV?

In any case – we’ve got you covered.

We’ve spent 23 hours analyzing 16 different portable propane generators.

Below you can find our top 5 picks with their reviews.

5 Best Propane Generators Compared

ModelGas Wattage (Surge / Running)Propane Wattage (Surge / Running)Weight (lbs)Price
Westinghouse WGen7500DF Best Choice: Westinghouse WGen9500DF Dual Fuel 9500 / 7500 8550 / 6750 194 Check Price on Amazon
Champion 3400-Watt Small Propane Generator: Champion 3400-Watt Gas / Propane Inverter Generator 3400 / 3100 2060 / 2790 95.7 Check Price on Amazon
Duromax XP12000EH Most Affordable:
WEN DF1100T
11000 / 9500 9500 / 7500 214 Check Price on Amazon
Champion 3800 Champion 3800 4750 / 3800 4275 / 3240 119 Check Price on Amazon
Pulsar 10000 Pulsar 10000 10000 / 8000 9000 / 7000 209 Check Price on Amazon

Portable Propane Generator Reviews

1. Westinghouse WGen9500DF Dual Fuel

Westinghouse generators are some of the best you can currently buy.

If you are looking for a powerful portable propane generator – I’d strongly suggest having a look at the WGen9500DF.

This portable propane generator provides you with up to 11200 starting and 8500 running watts when running on propane.

To give you a better idea of what you can run with it – the generator has got enough wattage to meet the energy demands of the crucial home appliances during an outage.

These include a refrigerator, freezer, an air conditioner, and the lighting circuits.

The great thing about this generator is its fuel economy.

Both when running on gas and propane, the generator offers considerably longer runtimes than most of the generators we have researched.

Obviously, the total runtime you will get is going to heavily depend on its current load.

As long as you don’t run it consistently under the maximum load – you should get between 10 – 17.5 hours of continuous runtime.

You are pretty much guaranteed that you’ll be able to power your refrigerator and freezer for the entire night.

The propane tank is very easy to connect to the generator. The whole set up should not cause any problems even to the inexperienced users.

The control panel of the Westinghouse WGen9500DF has got several different types of outlets to choose from.

We’ve got the two Duplex 120V 20A outlets, one transfer switch 120/240V 30A outlet, and one 120/240V 50A household receptacle.

As you can see, the generator is ready to serve you under different conditions and has what it takes to handle various types of electrical equipment.

In case you need to switch between propane and gasoline, you can easily do it while the generator is running.

This propane generator meets the environmental regulations set by all 50 states.

It is both EPA and CARB compliant. If you live in California – you are more than welcome to use this unit.

One issue with the generator you might find is that it’s heavy.

This shouldn’t come as surprise given its potent engine and the large fuel tank capacity of 6.6 gallons.

You want to have somebody around to help you unload and transport its 220 lbs of pure weight.

As is the case with all Westinghouse generators, the 9500DF propane generator is covered with a 3-year warranty.

Overall, based on our research and other experiences this is currently the best propane generator you can find in the market. If you are looking for a potent portable propane generator for home – you should invest in the Westinghouse.

Pros
  • Very long runtime – ideal for home backup

  • Flawless operation even in more serious weather conditions

  • Solid design

  • CARB compliant

Cons
  • Very heavy

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2. Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Inverter

If that’s a small propane generator for RV you’re looking for – this Champion generator is your best bet.

This is one of the only few inverter generators operating on propane that you can currently find in the stores.

This compact and small propane generator provides the total power output of up to 3400 surge watts. The rated wattage on propane is 2790 watts.

That is more than enough to run an RV air conditioner as well as the refrigerator and the lighting circuits in your travel trailer.

Plugging the generator to a travel trailer is also a no-brainer.

The control panel features a 30 Amp RV-ready outlet for easy connection.

No need to purchase any external adapters!

What you’ll certainly appreciate about this generator is its low noise level.

Let’s be honest, we can think of thousands of more pleasant sounds to listen to than a humming generator engine.

You should always invest in the quietest generator possible (like the ones here).

This is especially true for RV and camping.

Fortunately, the Champion generator is a real champ and keeps its noise well within reasonable limits.

Depending on the current load, it operates below the 59 dB threshold.

The actual noise level will obviously depend on how far away you measure it.

In all cases, you can expect this generator to be roughly as quiet as an idling car engine.

The propane hose is included in the kit.

Even inexperienced users should have no problems with connecting the unit to their travel trailers.

The Champion can be also a great companion for worksites as well as for emergency home backups.

While you certainly can’t expect to power your entire household – this small propane generator should handle the most crucial equipment such as your refrigerator, freezer and the lights.

This generator is an inverter type.

Unlike the conventional open frame propane generators that are not deemed safe to use with sensitive electronics, this Champion inverter generator produces clean sine wave power.

It’s the only type of LP generator you should get if you want to charge your sensitive equipment such as the TV or a laptop.

Its total Total Harmonic Distortion stays below the recommended threshold of 3%. That means your electronics are in safe hands.

If there is any minor issue with this generator it’s gotta be the wheels.

They are quite small and TBH they feel cheap. Especially when moving the generator in rougher terrain, you might find that the dirt can get stuck easily.

But then this is a very tiny drawback.

Especially given the affordable price of this generator, you certainly can’t complain about such minor shortcomings.

To sum up, if you want to get a quiet portable propane inverter generator for home or RV – you won’t find anything better than the Champion.

It’s one of the best propane generators out there and one of our personal favorites.

Pros
  • Very Quiet

  • Small

  • Ideal for RV

  • Fuel-Efficient

  • Remote Start

Cons
  • Wheels are not the best quality

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3. WEN DF1100T

WEN DF1100T is a powerful 11000 watt dual fuel unit suitable for more demanding users.

If you need an affordable and top-performing LP generator for your home to get ready for long outages – the WEN is currently one of the best choices.

When running on gasoline, the generator can provide you with 11,000 starting watts and 9500 running watts of total power.

That is enough to guarantee that your most important household items will run flawlessly during a power blackout.

You’d get similarly high numbers when running the generator on propane.

Its peak 9500 and rated 7500 wattage is certainly sufficient for powering a refrigerator, freezer, a window AC unit and a few other smaller things on top of it.

The control panel comes with a standard set of outlets suitable for powering various types of electrical appliances.

You can choose between the 120V 5-20R outlets, a 120V 30 Amp twist lock, and a 120V/240V 50 Amp outlet.

The generator is reasonably fuel-efficient.

You won’t have to spend a fortune on refueling for sure.

One 6.6 gallon tank of gasoline would last for around 8 hours at 50% load.

Note that this is a figure provided by the manufacturer and your actual results might slightly differ.

This largely depends on what you run with the generator.

It’s also doing a decent job conserving fuel when operating on propane too.

One propane tank should last you for around 3 hours at 50% load.

Altogether, you can certainly expect this generator to run your refrigerator or an AC overnight.

The price tag is another big selling point of this model.

It usually sells for a couple of hundred bucks cheaper than other propane generators in this power range.

Check out the latest listings on Amazon to find out more.

WEN generators, although not as well known as Honda or Westinghouse, are generally solid units.

The manufacturer is also constantly praised for good customer service.

Having said, we wished that the generator was covered by a longer warranty than 2 years.

3 years would certainly give us 100% peace of mind.

On the positive note, this propane generator is fully CARB compliant.

If you are based in California, you can go ahead and legally purchase and use this unit.

To sum up, if you need a good propane generator for home backup and don’t want to spend a fortune on one – the WEN DF1100T is your best bet.

Pros
  • Excellent price to quality ratio

  • Reasonably quiet

  • Fuel-Efficient

  • CARB compliant

Cons
  • Only 2-year warranty

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4. Champion 3800-Watt Dual Fuel

The Champion 3800-watt dual fuel generator is a very reliable mid-sized generator.

Propane generators with this wattage are generally great choices for worksites.

You can easily run tools like chainsaws or drills using such machines.

Nothing prevents you from using this propane generator for home during long blackouts caused by natural disasters.

The generator comes equipped with an air-cooled 224cc engine.

You can start it using a convenient electric start that saves you the dubious pleasure of having to manually pull the generator every time you need it.

The engine has got an automatic low oil shut-off to prevent the damage caused by the insufficient oil levels.

One thing we like about most Champion generators is how quiet they are.

Even though this generator is not an inverter type, it still runs reasonably quiet compared to a lot of other open frame generators.

The noise level of 68 dB (when measured from 23 feet away) is nothing to overly complain about.

However, even though this is a pretty low noise level and the generator is also advertised as RV-ready, we wouldn’t recommend it for that purpose.

It’s still a bit too loud and too bulky.

On the other hand, it won’t be a massive headache during a power outage.

It’s probably going to be quieter anyway than your neighbor’s old Harbor Freight generator!

The Champion is also much cheaper than a lot of other propane generators in this power range.

This factor alone should make it 100% worth your consideration.

Pros
  • Excellent price to quality ratio

  • Reasonably quiet

  • Fuel-Efficient

  • CARB compliant

Cons
  • Only 2-year warranty

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5. Pulsar 10000

Pulsar generators frequently feature on the top lists of portable generators found on the web.

We’ve also decided to include this Pulsar 10,000 watt propane generator in our roundup review for several reasons.

First, the fuel economy is one big advantage of this unit.

You should be able to get up to 10-12 hours of runtime on one 6.6 gallon tank of gas.

Add a few more hours for propane and you’re good to go with this generator for night and day.

That’s especially since switching between gas and propane is very easy.

The generator has got a Switch & Go technology that allows you to seamlessly switch from fuel to another without having to turn the unit off.

The propane hose is included with the unit.

You can use the common barbecue-type propane tanks along with the generator.

The Pulsar portable propane generator has got the total power output of 9000 peak watts and 7000 rated watts on LPG.

That is a sufficient amount of power to have to operate several household appliances or more demanding work tools.

One drawback of this generator is that it’s not CARB compliant.

However, this is the issue that only applies to California residents.

You won’t have any problem purchasing and running this portable propane generator elsewhere in the US.

Pros
  • Long run time

  • Easy switching between fuels

  • Affordable price tag

Cons
  • Non-CARB compliant

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Propane Generator Buying Guide

Power Output (Wattage)

One of the most important things to consider with a generator is the power output. To begin with, you want to make sure the generator can put out enough power to run all the appliances and accessories you need.

One of the most important things is to see how much power is required to run your biggest appliance and get a generator that has a minimum of that amount.

If possible, you want to get one that has more power than that just to ensure you won’t run into any issues or have a situation where you won’t be able to use your appliances at once.

One thing to consider with the power output is the running watts and the starting watts.

The starting watts are how much power is required for the appliance to actually start up an electric appliance that has a motor.

One such example is a window air conditioning unit.

Running watts refer to how much power is required for the appliance to continue running.

Since the starting watts are going to be quite a bit higher than the running watts, it’s important that your propane generator can easily handle it. This is especially true if you’ll be starting up more than 1 appliance at a time because you don’t want to overload the circuit.

The good news is that there’s an easy way to figure out what size propane generator you need.

First, make a list of every appliance and accessory you’ll be running.

Next, figure out what the starting and running watts are for each of these.

Finally, add up the total wattage for each category.

Once you have this number, you know you’ll need a generator with a minimum of this number.

Getting a bigger generator is fine, but remember the bigger it is, the more fuel it will use.

Even if you don’t have to worry about your fuel budget, you want to make sure you’ll be able to refill the fuel whenever it’s needed.

Noise Level

The noise level of the propane generator is another thing you want to consider.

This is especially true because many places have restrictions and rules about how loud a generator can be. If this is the case, it’s important to look up the information for the place you’re staying to ensure it’s not too loud.

The good thing is that you can look up this information before you go if you know where you’ll be staying.

Once you do that, you can get a generator that is lower than what they allow.

The newer inverter units tend to stay around 60dB, which is no louder than a normal conversation.

The older open frame propane generators, though, could be much louder and cause pain from the loud sound.

One thing to remember is that the decibel scale is a logarithmic scale.

So 70dB is ten times as loud as 60dB.

The important thing is that the generator complies with sound regulations and doesn’t cause any harm from extended use.

Fuel Economy

Fuel economy is extremely important regardless of what kind of generator you use.

The first reason for this is because many people have a certain budget they have to stick to. Having a generator that completely eats through fuel means you’re going to blow through your budget quickly.

The other reason is that you don’t want to have to worry about finding a place to refuel. This is especially true if you’re completely off grid or will be somewhere that doesn’t have a lot opportunities for refueling.

Propane is the cleanest burning fuel, so you don’t have to worry that much about its environmental impact.

It also doesn’t go bad and it’s easy to store, so you don’t have to worry about throwing it out after a certain amount of time.

Keep in mind, a propane generator will go through around 2-3 gallons per hour.

Using a higher capacity will result in less run time, while lower capacity will result in longer run time.

Propane is relatively easy to get and most gas stations have tanks that can be refilled. One thing to know, though, is that you’ll sometimes have to get it delivered, which means you might have to go longer periods between refills.

Switching Between Fuels

For the generators that run on both propane and gas, it’s important that you can switch between the tw0 easily and quickly. If possible, find a generator that can do this with just the push of a button.

Not only will this ensure that there aren’t any disruptions in use, but you won’t have to worry about not being able to get it started again. Keep in mind, in order for this to work, you’ll need to make sure you have both fuel types filled up and ready to go. If either is empty, it’s not going to switch over and it’ll turn off if you try.

Design

In terms of design, there are a few things you want to look for.

First, you want to make sure all sensitive parts are housed in a closed system. Not only can this protect them from things like rain, but it can also protect from things like mud or excessive dust.

Being able to have this feature means you’ll have a lower chance of having to do all kinds of expensive repairs.

You also want to make sure the propane generator is easy to use. It’s normal to take a few minutes to start, but you don’t want to spend an extensive amount of time just trying to get it going.

Many will have a switch or pull cord, so make sure you read the instructions and use the tips that are given to get it started.

Weight & Portability

Another thing to consider is the weight and portability of the generator.

There are a few reasons why this is important. For starters, something heavier is going to be a lot harder to move around. This is especially problematic if you’re alone because there’s a chance you’ll have to just stay where you are until you can get some help.

The other big reason is that you want to be able to move it wherever you need to in order to run different appliances and accessories.

If you can’t move it, you run the chance of having to go to the generator each time you need to run these things and this can get exhausting and frustrating.

The good news is that a lot of the newer models are made to be more lightweight and portable.

They might still have quite a bit of weight to them, but the majority of them can be moved around quite easily.

Warranty & Customer Service

The warranty and customer service is important because you want to make sure you can get help if any issues arrive.

For customer service, not only do you want to make sure they are easy to reach, but you also want to make sure they’ll do what needs to be done to get your issue resolved.

As for the warranty, you want to make sure your generator is covered through various different situations. The warranty information should show how long it lasts and what situations are covered.

FAQ

Q: How many hours will a generator run on propane?

A: A propane generator will burn around 2 to 3 gallons an hour. The exact amount of time it will run will depend on how big your tank is and how full it is. Running a generator at a lower capacity will result in longer run time and a higher capacity will cause a shorter run time.

Q: Are propane generators quieter?

A: That vastly depends on the unit. The fuel itself does not have any impact on the noise level of the generator. What you should look for when buying a quiet generator is an inverter unit. Those are usually much quieter types.

Q: Is it cheaper to run a generator on propane or gas?

A: Overall, it’s cheaper to run a generator on propane. It might be cheaper to use gas upfront, but you’ll save more in the long run with propane. For starters, propane doesn’t go bad, so you’ll be able to store it for longer.

Propane also burns cleaner, which means you’ll have to do maintenance or repairs to your generator less often. Finally, propane is a lot safer than gasoline, so you don’t have to worry as much about serious accidents that could cost a lot of money.

Q: How long will an 8000 watt generator run on propane?

That will depend greatly on how much capacity you’re running. For example, an 8000-watt generator using propane will run for around 5 hours if you’re using it at 50% capacity. Running the generator on lower loads will result in a much longer run time. Take it into consideration when deciding eg. which important appliances you want to run overnight.

Q: Does propane go bad?

Fortunately, no it does not go bad. Unlike other types of fuel, propane doesn’t degrade or lose its strength over time. The biggest thing you need to ensure is that the tank you’re holding it stays in good and working condition.