Electrical power is one of the basic necessities of modern life. Even if you are away from home, on a worksite or simply have a power failure. A lack of electrical power can be a catastrophy. Fortunately, there are affordable generators for all your needs that will keep you up and running without the stress of no electricity.
Propane generators are a blessing as they produce efficient and affordable power. Many of them also work on gasoline which makes them even more convenient. We will take you through 8 of the best options, depending on your needs and your circumstances. >We will also guide you through the most important aspects to consider when selecting a propane generator. This will allow you to make a wise choice and get the best value and effectiveness for your investment.
We did extensive research to find only the best of the best propane generators to present to you. There are many good propane models but we wanted to find those that really deliver. We interviewed experts and read countless reviews and feedback from those that have used them. This allowed us to give you factual and unbiased advice.
We want you to make the right decision and select the best propane generator for your needs. What follows will help to guide your decision.
- Dual power – propane and gasoline
- 7500 running watts/9500 starting watts (Gas)
- 6750 running watts/8550 starting watts (LPG)
- 420cc 4 Stroke OHV Engine
- Remote start key fob
- Comes with: 2V Battery charger, oil, funnel and Tool kit
- 3-Year Warranty
While this is a leading propane generator that is great value for money, it is a dual fuel model that will also work on gasoline. When using propane you can expect a peak or starting power of 8,550 watts and a running power of 6,750 watts. When using gasoline it peaks at 9,500 and runs at 7,500 watts.
Runtime is impressive and you can expect around 16 hours of use at 50% load on either propane or gasoline. The gasoline tank is 6.6 gallons. Propane tanks are purchased separately. Should you need to switch from one fule to the next, this can be done on the fly.
It offers a range of outlets for convenience. These include 4 household style 120V outlets, a 120/240V 30A L14-30R outlet as well as a handy 5V USB connection. The outlets are covered for safety and protection. The control panel is user-friendly and makes operating the WGen 7500DF very simple.
Talking about convenience, the generator has an electric starter and a remote key fob that will let you stop and start the generator remotely. Everything you need to get going is included. You get oil, a funnel, a 12V battery charger, and a user guide.
Sound levels are important to consider and the Westinghouse WGen7500DF produces 74 Decibels measured at a distance of 23 feet. The weight of the generator is 109 lbs. For ease of movement, it has collapsible handles. The engine has a cast iron sleeve for additional durability.
Safety features of this model include a digital hour meter so you know when services are due as well as a low oil shutdown to protect your engine. The generator requires low maintenance and has a 3-year warranty. Another benefit is that Westinghouse offers nationwide support and service. The generator is CARB, CSA, and EPA compliant.
- Good value for money
- Remote start
- Dual power (propane and gasoline)
- Good run time
- Intuitive and user-friendly control panel
- Multiple outlets including a USB port
- Good warranty and support
- Some users experienced issues with the starter battery
- There were a few complaints about the electric/remote start
- Dual fuel inverter generator
- 3400 starting watts
- 3100 running watts
- Low noise
- Efficient operation
- 3-Position Ignition with easy electric start
- Parallel ready
This is an efficient and effective generator that combines inverter technology with the option for either propane or gasoline. This results in a fuel-efficient option that makes minimal noise. At 23 feet the noise level is only 59 dBA. Granted, it does not have the largest power output but is sufficient for many applications. Should you need more power the Champion 100263 is parallel ready so you can connect a second generator.
Not only is it relatively quiet but it is light and compact. This is an ideal option for camping, tailgating and RV’s. The dual-fuel option makes it versatile and convenient for a range of environments. With 3,400 watts of starting power and running watts of 3,100, you will be able to cater to most electrical requirements with ease.
A 20 lb. propane tank will give you a decent run time of 14.5 hours while a full tank of gasoline delivers 7.5 hours. The propane hose is included with the kit.
Champion is a trusted brand and not only does this generator have a solid 3-year warranty but you will also get lifetime technical support at no charge.
Safety features include a low oil shut down and the Quick Touch Panel is user-friendly and makes operation quick and easy. The power produced is clean and safe to use with sensitive electronic equipment such as laptops or mobile phones.
Connections include 2 x 120V 20A household outlets as well as an RV Ready 120V 30A outlet. There is also a 12V DC outlet and 2 x USB connections.
- Relatively quiet
- Lightweight and highly portable
- Good 3-year warranty
- Free lifetime technical support
- Electric start
- Clean power for use on sensitive electronic equipment
- Multiple outlets include 2 x USB outlets
- Parallel ready
- Not the highest power output
- A few users had minor issues with the electric start
- Runs on propane or natural gas
- 9000 LP Watts
- 8000 NG Watts
- Evolution controller
- Remote monitoring through the Mobile Link cellular monitoring system
- Battery is sold separately
- 5-Year warranty
Generac has a good reputation and this is a dependable low-maintenance generator that works well for a range of applications. It is a very popular choice for a home standby generator.
It has a tough aluminum exterior that is has a RhinoCoat powder-coated finish. This protects it from harsh elements and reduces the possibility of corrosion. These side panels are easy to remove for maintenance and servicing.
The Generac G-Force Engine is also strong and durable for many years of hard work. The pressure lubrication means less maintenance than the average generator. The Guardian 7030 delivers 9,000 LP Watts and 8,000 NG Watts.
The use of true (clean) power technology makes it safe to use on electronic devices so you can charge laptops, mobile phones, and other devices safely. A multilingual LCD display and LED indicators clearly display the battery status and power and will also advise when maintenance is required.
Generac clearly has faith in the Guardian 7030 as it has a 5-year warranty which is very good by industry standards. Support is available 24 hours a day. The generators are made in the USA and there is good local support.
Another handy feature is the Mobile Link cellular monitoring system. This allows users to remotely check the status of the generator from their mobile phone. This is sold separately.
- Tough and durable exterior
- Clean power for use with electronics
- LCD display for battery status and service reminders
- Exceptional 5-year warranty and 24/7 support
- Optional Mobile Link cellular monitoring system
- Only one speed
- The battery needs to be purchased separately
- 12000 starting watts/9500 running watts (Gas)
- 10800 starting watts/8550 running watts (LPG)
- Switch and Go technology
- Electric and recoil starts
- Wheels and handles
- Runs 12 hours of use at a half load on gasoline
- 8-gallon fuel tank
- 3-in-1 Digital Meter
This is a rugged powerful generator that is tough enough for any conditions. It is a dual-fuel option and will give you 10,800W Peak power and running power of 8,550W on propane. Gasoline delivers a peak of 12,000W and 9,500W running watts. The PG12000B has a CARB approved 457cc OHV Engine.
It has multiple outlet options including 4 120V outlets, a 120/240V 50 Amp RV Outlet, a 120/240V Twist-lock Outlet as well as a handy 12V DC Output. The 209 lbs weight is reasonable relative to the performance and the 10” Never-flat Wheels and drop-down handles make it easy to move. The frame is built from tough and durable steel.
Switch & Go allows you to change between fuel types without shutting down. It has an easy electric start with a recoil start as a back-up. The PG12000B also has a handy 3 in 1 Digital Meter for easier operation and safety. There is also an automatic low oil shutdown protection feature. This model can give you 12 hours of use at a half load on gasoline and has an 8-gallon fuel tank. Plus, it is also economical on propane.
The generator comes with a 10mm combination wrench, a spark plug wrench, a Phillips screwdriver, and a propane hose.
- Good power
- Decent runtime
- Rugged and durable
- Multiple outlets
- Comes with propane hose
- Not the longest warranty in the market
- 10000 starting watts/8000 running watts (Gas)
- 9050 starting watts/7250 running watts (LPG)
- Whisper Series muffler
- Electric and recoil starts
- User-friendly multifunctional control panel
- Propane hose is included
- 8-gallon fuel tank
The H08051 has a quality Max Pro Series 439cc FIRMAN engine which is efficient and effective. It will deliver a peak power of 9,050 watts and running power of 7,250 on propane and gives you 10,000 starting and 8,000 running watts on gasoline. The Firman Phoenix Fat Head Block keeps the engine smooth and cool.
For a non-inverter generator, it is pretty quiet producing only 74 decibels. This is largely due to the Firman Whisper Series muffler. This noise level is well within the range set by the National Parks Service. The USDA Forest Service has also approved the spark arrester. These features make the generator versatile and suitable for a range of outdoor or camping uses.
It has an easy electric start and there is a backup standard recoil start. The power produced is clean so it is safe to use with appliances and sensitive electronics. For safety, it has a low oil shutdown. Additionaly, the easy-to-use control panel allows you to monitor frequency, voltage and operating hours. The Firman H08051 generator comes complete with engine oil, an oil funnel, a tool kit, and an LPG hose (5.5Ft).
The generator comes with a 3-year warranty and is CARB compliant. It is portable and has ergonomic padded handles and durable sturdy wheels. If you use gasoline you can expect a runtime of around 12 hours at a 50% load. It has an 8-gallon tank.
- Low noise
- Dual fuel
- Efficient engine
- Extended propane hose included
- Fair value for money
- Clean power for use with electronics
- 3-Year warranty
- Some complaints of excessive vibration
- 7.5HP, 224cc OHV Engine
- 5500 starting watts/4500 running watts (Gas)
- 5225 starting watts/4275 running watts (LPG)
- Super quiet muffler and cushioned 4-point motor mounts
- Electric and recoil pull start
- Idle control
- 3-year warranty
The 7.5HP, 224cc OHV Engine on the DuroMax XP5500EH delivers impressive results for the size of this compact and portable generator. DuroMax is a very popular and trusted generator brand.
The compact design, low weight, and wheels make this generator easy to move. It is versatile and can handle a range of generator environments or requirements. DuroMax has struck a good balance between size and power with this model.
The dual-fuel feature makes this generator versatile and convenient. The running watts are 4,275 with a starting power of 5,225 watts, when running on propane. It operates at 120 or 240 volts according to your needs. The rugged cast iron sleeve makes these generators tough and durable.
Run time is pretty good. On a 20 lb tank of gas, you can expect around 8 hours on a half load. You will get the same time on a tank of gasoline. Additional efficiency is provided with the help of idle control, that lowers the speed, when you do not use it.
- CARB and EPA approved
- Dual fuel
- Durable cast iron sleeves
- Value for money
- Compact and portable option
- Not as powerful as some would like
- Runns on propane and natural gas
- 19,500 running watts
- 22,000 starting watts
- Intuitive smart controls, user-friendly and multilingual display
- Aluminum enclosed indoor/outdoor transfer switch
- Designed to handle 16-circuits, 200-amp
- Free mobile link
- 5-year warranty
If you are looking for a powerful and hassle-free generator for home standby use the Generac 70432 Home Standby Generator has been specifically designed for this. This is a leading brand of standby generators. Not only do they provide excellent standby power but they are easy to use and monitor.
The transfer switch is NEMA 3R rated for indoor or outdoor use and is enclosed in aluminium. It provides 200-amp power to 16 circuits. This is more than enough for most home requirements. They can be set up to automatically start-up in the event of a loss of power and will switch off once power is restored.
In terms of comparison with other generators listed here, it produces continuous power of 19,500 watts and a peak output of 22,000 watts. That should be enough to handle the majority of home backup needs. Moreover, this model features free mobile link, which monitors the status of your generator. You can find all the information about your generator condition on a phone, tablet or computer.
It is well built from quality materials and has a spectacular 5-year warranty. This will give you peace of mind that your investment will last you for a long time.
- Easy to use panel
- Extremely powerful
- Specifically designed to handle home backup power
- Outstanding 5-year warranty
- Mobile monitoring
- Durable construction and quality materials
- Relatively expensive
- Inverter technology
- 2000 statring watts/1600 running watts (Gas)
- 1900 statring watts/1520 running watts (LPG)
- Eco-mode for low noise and fuel economy
- Parallel ready
- Clean power for sensitive electronics
- Weights 47 pounds
DuroMax is a leading brand of quality generators and it is for this reason they made it onto our list twice. The XP20000EH is extremely compact and light making it easy to take with you for a variety of reasons.
Being one of the most compact generators it does not have the largest power output but will serve you well for camping, tailgating and other environments where your power requirements are not too high. It will not be up to running large appliances, fridges, and air conditioners but will still offer plenty of power for other uses. It has a peak watt output of 2000 watts and runs at 1600 watts.
If you do need additional power the generator is parallel ready so one can easily connect a second generator for extra power. You will need to purchase a parallel kit separately but you can then bridge two of these generators together.
The eco-mode will also help you conserve fuel and additionally will make the operation of the generator less noisy. This is normally important in environments where portable generators are used.
One advantage is that it produces clean stable power so you can safely power up your sensitive electronics such as laptops, mobile phones, and other devices. On a 50% load, you can expect a run time of around 6.5 hours. Eco-mode will save you on fuel when used.
- Extremely compact
- Clean power
- Very quiet
- Parallel ready
- Low power output
- Fairly low run time
There are a number of important considerations to think about when purchasing a propane generator. Understanding these will help you to make an informed decision and get the best option for your needs.
Propane generators are becoming increasingly popular as they are cost-effective, low maintenance, efficient and convenient. While gasoline is often more easy to obtain, propane is safe and easy to store. Most propane generators have a dual-fuel functionality so that if you do run out of propane you can easily switch to gas.
Let’s take a closer look at the important aspects to consider when selecting a propane generator:
Generators are used for a wide number of purposes. Someone wanting home backup will have different needs to a camper, for example. Before you consider the specifics of the various generators it is important to be clear on your intended use. Once you have established that, the other considerations will be easier to calculate.
This is by far one of the most important aspects to consider. Think about your needs and what appliances you need to run at once. A low power generator will not cope with large appliances particularly fridges and air conditioners. If you want something just to run a few lights, charge electronic devices and keep a few smaller appliances running than you can go for a smaller option with less power.
If you need a significant amount of power, the Pulsar PG12000B is a great option. It has a peak output of 12,000 watts and runs steadily at 9,500 watts on gasoline and 10,800 and 8,550 watts respectively on propane.
For some serious power, it is hard to beat the Generac 70432 Home Standby Generator. This delivers 19,500 watts running power with a peak performance of an impressive 22,000 watts.
These are average power indications for a few appliances just to give you some idea. Most appliances should indicate their power consumption if you want to work it out more precisely.
- Portable heater: 1,500 watts
- Window air conditioner: 1,000 watts
- Refrigerator: 600 to 1000 watts
- Lights: 60 to 600 watts
- Iron: 1,000 watts
- Computers: 60 to 300 watts
- Toaster: 1050 – 1500 watts
As you can see from the above, appliances that produce heat or that are used for cooling use a lot more power than the average appliance.
When reading the power output of a generator, it is important to understand the difference between peak and running watts. The running or rated watts are the average power the generator can produce consistently. Peak, maximum or surge watts are additional power the generator can produce for a short period in order to start appliances with heavy power needs. You cannot run a generator at peak watts for too long (15 to 20 minutes is safe).
Running watts are important but depending on your power requirements you should consider both.
This feature allows you to run two of the same generators together for additional power. Generally, you need to buy the parallel connection separately but it gives you more options and versatility. The DuroMax XP2000EH and Champion 100263 are two examples or the above generators that have this feature.
Despite your need for power you also cannot go for a large generator that is difficult to move if you need it to be portable. Size and weight are important depending on the environment in which you operate. Many have wheels and a handle which will make them easier to move but some are more portable than others.
If you are looking for a good compact, lightweight and portable generator the DuroMax XP2000EH is a great option. It is ultra-light, compact and easy to move. You obviously cannot expect a large amount of power from a generator of this size but it will be ideal for certain applications.
If you are in a remote area, run time is extremely important. You will notice that there is a dramatic range of run times. Propane generators are fairly economical and you will notice that most of these are dual-fuel options. This means that they can work on both propane and gasoline. This makes them convenient and versatile as if you have access to one option but not the other and you will still have power.
In the case of propane, the run time will depend on the size of your propane tank. With gasoline, your tank size will determine run time. Obviously, the more power you draw from the generator the shorter the run time.
The Westinghouse WGen7500DF is one of our featured generators with a great run time.
If you want to charge sensitive electronic devices such as mobile phones, laptops, and similar devices, you need to select a generator with clean power. A large, powerful generator that does not have clean power could potentially damage these devices. Most of the propane generators we have reviewed have this feature.
You want to know your generator is going to last you and a good indication is the warranty. While most of our featured generators have a good warranty the Generac Guardian 7030 and the Generac 70432 Home Standby Generator stand out with an exceptional 5-year warranty. This demonstrates good faith in the workmanship and materials.
While the warranty is important the overall construction and materials used will determine the durability of the generator. You do not want to invest in a generator that starts to rust or fall apart after a few uses. Look for a generator that is solidly built and tough enough for the intended use.
A remote start is a handy feature, particularly in certain environments. It allows you to start or stop the generator remotely, usually with a key chain fob. The Westinghouse WGen7500DF has this feature. Electric start is also convenient but you preferably want a regular recoil start as a backup.
A common complaint about generators is the amount of noise they produce. Generally speaking, the larger the generator the more noise one can expect. Some, however, are better designed to reduce noise. This is extremely important in certain environments particularly camping. It can also be an issue with backup generators in a residential environment.
The Firman H08051 generator is a good option if you want a low noise generator. It produces a mere 74 decibels. This is good for a non-invertor generator that produces good power.
The more outlets the more convenience the generator offers. While not all are essential they are handy. If you want to charge mobile phones and similar devices a USB outlet or two is extremely useful.
Safety and compliance are important and certain areas are strict about this. Depending on your needs, look out for CARB compliance at least. EPA and CSA compliance is often also important. Always use the generator safely and as recommended in the instruction guide.
As with any investment, you have to consider your budget. We have reviewed a wide range of quality options that will suit various budgets. Obviously, the performance and features need to match your intended use. Rather invest in a quality generator that will suit your needs and last for many years. Saving a few dollars on the wrong option will only disappoint you.
Here are a few Frequently Asked Questions we come across:
Q: Is propane better than gasoline?
A: This really depends on your personal circumstances. Gasoline is often easier to get when needed but propane comes in a range of tank sizes. Propane generators are slightly less efficient and a bit more difficult to main or repair if there is a problem. Propane, however, burns cleaner and less hassle and mess than gasoline. Additionaly, propane generators are usually more eco-friendly.
Think about the intended use of the generator to determine the ideal option.
Q: Is an electric start important?
A: It is not essential but it sure is handy. For many years we were quite happy with a recoil starter and they are effective. An electric start is simply a greater convenience, being able to simply push a button in order to start the generator. A remote start can be even more convenient. Some people, the elderly for example, may have difficulty with a recoil start so they should look for an electric start generator.
Q: What size and weight generator should I get?
A: Again, this will really depend on what it is being used for. Generally the more powerful the generator the larger they are, however, some are more compact than others. The larger ones generally have wheels and a handle to make them easier to move. If you want a light compact generator then make sure that you will generally not get a great amount of power.
Q: Do I use peak or running wattage to calculate my power requirements?
A: Peak power is only produced for a short period when the generator starts up. It cannot maintain that power for long periods. If you are calculating your power requirements (how many watts you need) work on running watts.
Q: Is propane safe for the environment?
A: Propane burns cleaner than gasoline and is, therefore, more environmentally friendly.
Q: Is it safe to store propane?
A: Yes, this is one of the advantages of propane. Provided they are stored correctly, propane tanks can be stored for many years. Another advantage is that propane can be delivered directly to you.
Q: How will I know if I have a leak?
A: If correctly setup and maintained, leaks are rare. If one does occur you will know immediately as it has a powerful and unpleasant smell.
Take the time to think carefully about your requirements and the environment in which you will use the generator. This will help you select the right option for your needs.
While we have only featured leading generators with good performance, the Westinghouse WGen7500DF stands out as one of the best propane generator options. It is really user-friendly, has a remote start, dual fuel and produces decent power. It has a good warranty and is great value for money.
There is no perfect generator for all needs so it is important to think about the priorities that are important to you. This will allow you to invest in a quality generator that will do what you need it to do.