Best Dual Fuel Generator – Top 5 Propane + Gas Generators for Homes 2020

best-dual-fuel-generator

It’s time to upgrade our old gasoline-only generator to a dual fuel generator. Gas was nearly impossible to get during the last storm, which isolated us for over 2 weeks. Propane can be stored a lot longer than gasoline, so we’ve decided to upgrade to a dual fuel generator. Here’s our best dual fuel generator review.

A dual fuel generator is very handy to keep around the home, especially in areas where the electricity supply is not reliable or you’re off grid. All sorts of emergencies, electrical shortages, and natural disasters can strike at a moment’s notice and it’s always good to have a plan B. Also, it will serve you well if you choose to throw a big party in your backyard. 

Champion Power Equipment 3400-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator with … [More] – Price: $1199.99- Buy Now

 Compared to other kinds of generators, dual fuel generators rely on two types of fuel: gasoline and propane. This makes them not only more reliable, but also cheaper. The trick is that the fuels aren’t exactly mixed together; instead, it’s the engine that switches modes depending on the conditions it needs to work in. 

If you’re thinking of buying a dual fuel generator but can’t make up your mind, I’ve prepared a list to find the best dual fuel generator available on the market. Below, you can find the list of generators with rankings, a comparison table, and the reasons why I picked these as the best generators from the crowd. 

Best Dual Fuel Generator Top 5

Preview
Best Overall
Champion Power Equipment 100165 9375/7500-Watt...
Most Powerful
DuroMax XP12000EH Dual Fuel Electric Start...
Best Portable
DuroMax XP4850EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator,...
Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable...
Title
Champion Power Equipment 100165 9375/7500-Watt...
DuroMax XP12000EH Dual Fuel Electric Start...
DuroMax XP4850EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator,...
Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable...
Price
$1,129.00
$1,299.00
$777.70
$989.00
Prime
Customer rating
-
-
-
Engine
439cc, aprox 12HP
457cc OHV, 18HP
DuroMax 212cc OHV, 7HP
192cc, a bit under 7HP
Watts
9375 starting watts and 7500 running watts on gasoline and 8400 starting watts and 6750 running watts on propane
12,000 starting watts and 9,500 running watts
4,850 starting watts and 3,850 running watts
On gas: 3400 starting watts and 3100 running watts. On propane: 3060 starting watts and 2790 running watts
Outlets
1x 120V 30A locking outlet, 1x 120/240V 30A locking outlet, 4x 120V 20A GFCI household outlets
2x 120V/20A outlets, 1x 120v/30A twist lock outlet, 1x 120/240V 30A outlet, 1x 50A HD outlet
2x 120V 20A household outlets, 1x 120/240V 30A twist lock outlet
1x 120V 30A RV, 2x 120V 20A household outlets, 1x 12V DC automotive-style outlet with dual USB adapter. 1x 50A RV outlet
Running time
8 hours of run time on gasoline (6 Gallon tank) or 5.5 hours on propane
Gasoline and propane: around 8 hours of continuous runtime, extendible with bigger propane tank
At 50% load, 11 to 12 hours on a 20 lb propane tank. Gas Tank Capacity: 3.96 US Gallons
At 25% load: 7.5 hours on gasoline (1.6 gal tank) or 14.5 hours on a 20 lb propane tank
Weight
202.4
224 lbs
125 lbs
95.7
Portable
Low-oil shut-off
Noise
74 decibels
72 decibels
69 decibels
59 decibels
Best Overall
Preview
Champion Power Equipment 100165 9375/7500-Watt...
Title
Champion Power Equipment 100165 9375/7500-Watt...
Price
$1,129.00
More details
Prime
Customer rating
Engine
439cc, aprox 12HP
Watts
9375 starting watts and 7500 running watts on gasoline and 8400 starting watts and 6750 running watts on propane
Outlets
1x 120V 30A locking outlet, 1x 120/240V 30A locking outlet, 4x 120V 20A GFCI household outlets
Running time
8 hours of run time on gasoline (6 Gallon tank) or 5.5 hours on propane
Weight
202.4
Portable
Low-oil shut-off
Noise
74 decibels
Most Powerful
Preview
DuroMax XP12000EH Dual Fuel Electric Start...
Title
DuroMax XP12000EH Dual Fuel Electric Start...
Price
$1,299.00
More details
Prime
Customer rating
-
Engine
457cc OHV, 18HP
Watts
12,000 starting watts and 9,500 running watts
Outlets
2x 120V/20A outlets, 1x 120v/30A twist lock outlet, 1x 120/240V 30A outlet, 1x 50A HD outlet
Running time
Gasoline and propane: around 8 hours of continuous runtime, extendible with bigger propane tank
Weight
224 lbs
Portable
Low-oil shut-off
Noise
72 decibels
Best Portable
Preview
DuroMax XP4850EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator,...
Title
DuroMax XP4850EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator,...
Price
$777.70
More details
Prime
Customer rating
-
Engine
DuroMax 212cc OHV, 7HP
Watts
4,850 starting watts and 3,850 running watts
Outlets
2x 120V 20A household outlets, 1x 120/240V 30A twist lock outlet
Running time
At 50% load, 11 to 12 hours on a 20 lb propane tank. Gas Tank Capacity: 3.96 US Gallons
Weight
125 lbs
Portable
Low-oil shut-off
Noise
69 decibels
Preview
Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable...
Title
Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable...
Price
$989.00
More details
Prime
Customer rating
-
Engine
192cc, a bit under 7HP
Watts
On gas: 3400 starting watts and 3100 running watts. On propane: 3060 starting watts and 2790 running watts
Outlets
1x 120V 30A RV, 2x 120V 20A household outlets, 1x 12V DC automotive-style outlet with dual USB adapter. 1x 50A RV outlet
Running time
At 25% load: 7.5 hours on gasoline (1.6 gal tank) or 14.5 hours on a 20 lb propane tank
Weight
95.7
Portable
Low-oil shut-off
Noise
59 decibels

What to Look for in a Dual Fuel Generator

One of the main things to consider when choosing a dual fuel generator is how powerful you need it to be. This will give you an idea of how many devices the generator can power at the same time and how much the cost of running on each type of fuel will cost you.

But first, you need to understand your own power needs and how much you’re likely to need in the event of a blackout. 

How Much Power Do You Need?

Generators can be classed by the amount of power they put out, which is measured in watts. The amount of juice provided by a generator will directly determine how many appliances and lights you can keep going in the event of a power outage.

The quality and the consistency of that power also has an effect on how those lights or appliances will run; for example, poorer quality or consistency might mean flickering lights. 

A good starting point is to list out the appliances and lights that you’d absolutely want to keep available in the event of an outage. Add together the wattage required to power each of these and you’ll have a rough idea of the minimum power you need from your dual fuel generator.

best-dual-fuel-generator-how-much-power-do-you-need
Image credit: https://powerequipment.honda.com/generators/generator-how-much-power

You can typically find the wattage printed on safety labels for each appliance, though here’s a general guide to the rough power estimates of common appliances: 

  • Refrigerators — around 600 watts 
  • Portable heaters — around 1,500 watts 
  • Lights — around 60 to 600 watts 
  • Computers — around 60 to 300 watts 
  • AC units — around 1,000 watts or more 

What Features Do You Need From a Dual Fuel Generator?

Pulsar Dual-Fuel 10K Gas 9K Pack LPG Electric Start [More] – Price: $1199.99 – Buy Now

While generators mostly fulfill the same task, some have more features than others. Here are some of the most common features that may or may not be present from one best dual fuel generator model to the next. 

  • Automatic CO shutoff — You’ll often find this feature on portable generators. It shuts down the engine automatically if the built-in sensor detects dangerous levels of this gas building up. 
  • Automatic start — When your power supply drops, you don’t want to be fumbling around in the dark. The automatic start feature will automatically switch your power over to the dual fuel generator and kick it into life if there’s a blackout. Great for preventing you from bumping into things in the dark, or for keeping your perishables fresh if you’re out of town. 
  • Electric start — Electric start generators mean that you can power the thing up with the push of a button. The alternative is a pull-start engine; these can take a few attempts to get going and are just less convenient in general.
  • Low oil shutoff — When your oil falls below a certain level your engine is prone to damage. The low oil shutoff feature prevents this from happening, as it’ll automatically shut itself down. It’s actually pretty uncommon to find a generator amongst the best dual fuel generators that doesn’t have this feature now. 

Deep-Dive Into the Best Dual Fuel Generator

1. Champion 7500-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Generator

Sale
Champion Power Equipment 100165 9375/7500-Watt...
343 Reviews
Champion Power Equipment 100165 9375/7500-Watt...
  • Dual Fuel – Operate your 7500-watt portable generator...
  • Electric start – Power up the 439cc Champion engine with...
  • Intelligauge – Keep track of voltage, hertz and run-time...
  • Powerful – At 9375 starting watts and 7500 running watts...
  • Champion Support – Includes 3-year limited warranty with...

This is a beast of a generator and it’s the best dual fuel generator in our review. Mainly because of its power, there’s nothing this generator won’t power, but also because of its excellent reviews on both Amazon and TractorSupply. It has 377 reviews on TractorSupply with an average rating of 4.8 out of 5, and 219 ratings on Amazon with an average of 4.6 out of 5! 

Champion Power Equipment 7500-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Generator  [More] – Price: $899.99 – Buy Now

If you need a reliable power source for your home, then the Champion 7500-Watt generator could suit your needs. It can put out a beastly 9,375 watts at maximum power using gasoline. In a blackout, that’ll easily cover the lights, television, security system, refrigerator, and AC. Alternatively, you can run about 5 power tools simultaneously on this generator. 

Under the hood is a reliable engine that’s electric start, meaning no cranking required. You’ll get around 8 hours of continuous operation on a full gas tank (6 gallons), though only around 5.5 hours from a full tank of propane. As a side note, the machine is CARB compliant in every U.S. state. 

Aside from the electric start mechanism, there are a bunch of other useful features built into this generator, including low oil sensors, overload protection, and pretty chunky wheels that shouldn’t give you any problems with portability. The main grips are around the oil supply, which seems a pretty common design flaw; in this case, the short drainage tube can get pretty messy and accessing the fill tube is tricky. 

Pros

  • Electric start — no need to spend time cranking!  
  • Multipurpose — good for blackouts or for high-power outdoor activities  
  • Four built-in household ports (120V 20A), as well as a 120V 30A and 120/240V 30A locking port 

Cons

  • A short oil drainage tube can lead to spillages 
  • Runs better on gasoline, yet pretty fuel inefficient 
  • Accessing the oil fill tube is difficult 

2. DuroMax XP12000EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator

DuroMax XP12000EH Dual Fuel Electric Start...
  • Powerful DuroMax Engine: the XP12000EH is powered by a...
  • Dual fuel technology: the ability to run on propane or...
  • Plenty of power: with 12, 000 starting watts and 9, 500...
  • Maximum power: with DuroMax MX2 technology, get the maximum...
  • Powering everyone anywhere: like all DuroMax generators, the...

This Duromax model is fuelled by a 457cc engine, making it an extremely powerful generator that can put out 12,000 watts with a constant power of 9500 watts on gas. While on propane, it peaks at 10,200 watts with a constant power of 8075 watts, and it can run up to 20 hours. This comes in very handy if you need to power motor-driven tools or just a whole bunch of household appliances concurrently. 

The 457cc engine is powerful enough to charge anything you need in an emergency, from the refrigerator to the home air conditioner to high-amp power tools, giving you 120 to 240 Volts of power. Unfortunately, DuroMax does not seem to advertise the continuous or surge wattage for running this unit on propane, although users have found that it is still plenty of power for powering a full household. Both gasoline and propane offer around eight hours of continuous runtime, although a larger propane tank can be used to stretch this out. 

Despite its impressive power output, at 72 dB, this generator is surprisingly not among the loudest on the market. It features a voltage selector, electric start motor, and a wide array of power outlets so that you can power almost any appliance seamlessly. The only downside is that the voltage display is analog, which can be difficult to read and monitor. The generator is fully EPA and CARB certified. 

Pros

  • Low oil shut-off protects the engine 
  • Quiet muffler reduces engine noise 
  • Impressive power panel with oil warning display, circuit breaker, voltmeter, and power outlets

Cons

  • Significant power drop-off when using propane 
  • The limited warranty does not cover certain problems with the machine 
  • No loading indicator for input versus output 

3. Sportsman GEN4000DF Portable Dual Fuel Generator

No products found.

The Sportsman dual fuel generator is portable, which is pretty useful if you’re not only relying on it for a power outage — for example, running high-powered tools in different locations or taking it camping. There’s a total of six outlets so that you can hook up loads of machines simultaneously. However, it lacks wheels of any kind or mobility tools, which seems odd for a portable piece of kit. 

It’s got a 3.6-gallon gas tank and runs for around 10 hours when fully topped up at 50% load or 12 hours with a full 20 lbs. LP cylinder. It also comes with a 5-foot propane fuel hose. Built into the engine is an automatic shutoff feature that kicks in when oil runs low; this’ll stop your engine from being damaged if you let the oil run dry without realizing. This is also one of the quieter dual fuel generators on the list, with a decibel rating of less than 69, so it won’t keep you up (as much) at night. 

On the subject of oil, the connection is sort of tricky to access and honestly, you’ll want to buy a flexible funnel if you want to refill without a mess. There’s also a distinct lack of an indicator for when your fuel tank is getting low. You might not miss it, but I don’t like to risk running out of gas at the worst possible time. Otherwise, there’s not a lot else negative to say about the Sportsman GEN4000DF dual fuel generator. 

Pros

  • Not overly pricey 
  • Portability means you don’t always have to keep it in one place  
  • One of the quieter engines I’ve come across 

Cons

  • Changing the oil is quite messy 
  • No wheels or mobility kit for transporting the generator 
  • Doesn’t have an indicator for when fuel runs low 

4. Duromax XP4850EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator

Sale
DuroMax XP4850EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator,...
  • Your purchase includes One DuroMax XP4850EH 4850 watt Dual...
  • Portable Generator dimensions: 24” L x 17" W x 17" H....
  • Specifications: Noise level – 69 dB. Fuel tank capacity...
  • The ability to run on Propane or Gasoline allows the Freedom...
  • With 4,850 starting watts and 3,850 running watts, this unit...

Inside the chassis is a 7HP engine that utilizes a built-in air cooling mechanism, keeping the engine operating at peak performance. There’s also a low oil shutoff sensor that helps preserve engine life and prevent damage that can be caused by oil shortages.

Switching between fuel sources is made simple and this machine tends to be pretty quiet regardless of the type of fuel you’re using. For the eco-conscious, the generator checks both boxes for being EPA and CARB compliant. 

I really liked the heavy-duty cast iron frame that houses the engine and inner workings. It just gives it that tough, durable feel that you want from a piece of kit like this when you’re lugging it around. I also found the control panel pretty impressive, complete with an advance oil warning indicator, circuit breaker, and voltage meter. 

As seems to be a common complaint with dual fuel generators, the oil inlet is tricky to access on this machine, plus you might get some leakage when changing the oil. I’ve also seen one or two customers mention that certain parts weren’t covered under warranty. In one case, the regulator bust and the customer was advised to purchase the replacement part themselves, so watch out for that. 

Pros

  • Low oil shutoff sensor  
  • Fairly quiet at 69 decibels 
  • EPA and CARB compliant  

Cons

  • The oil inlet is difficult to access 
  • Some customers couldn’t get certain parts covered under warranty  

5. Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel Inverter Generator

Sale
Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable...
  • Dual Fuel – Operate your 3400-watt portable generator...
  • Convenient Electric Start with 3-Position Ignition Switch...
  • Ultra-Quiet Operation – 59 dBA is perfect for RVs,...
  • Clean Power for Sensitive Electronics – RV Ready with a...
  • Champion Support – Includes 3-year limited warranty with...

With a 1.6-gallon gas tank, this generator can run for up to 7.5 hours; with a 20lb propane tank, it’ll run for almost double that on a 25% load. Running on gas, you’ll get 3,400 starting watts or 3,100 while running. and with propane you’ll get 3,060 starting and 2,790 running watts. 

Thanks to its compact design and the two wheels mounted on one corner of the generator, this model is also super portable. The wheels are a welcome addition — remember the Sportsman GEN4000DF above? That had no kind of mobility aid despite plugging itself as a “portable” generator.

One thing I really liked was the smart economy mode that comes as part of this dual fuel generator. It’ll reduce the electrical load when appropriate to save you fuel, while preserving the life of the machine. 

Starting power on this model isn’t quite as high as I’ve seen on others, plus the gas tank is a little on the small side. These are, however, relatively minor niggles. 

Pros

  • Compact and portable generator, runs fairly quietly 
  • Both propane and gasoline perform roughly the same 
  • Features a smart economy mode to optimize fuel usage and engine life 

Cons

  • The fuel tank is a little on the small side 
  • Lacks something in the way of starting power 

Best Dual Fuel Generator Winner

Any of these 5 best dual fuel generators would make a good choice for backup power when the shit hits the fan, and some are pretty well-suited to powering tools in the yard or on a job site (make sure you don’t skimp on outlets in this case).

But for all-round use and never lacking in power, I recommend the numbers 1 and 2 in the list, the 7500W Champion Generator and DuroMax’s XP12000. There’s nothing worse than not having enough power when you need it.

Sale
Champion Power Equipment 100165 9375/7500-Watt...
343 Reviews
Champion Power Equipment 100165 9375/7500-Watt...
  • Dual Fuel – Operate your 7500-watt portable generator...
  • Electric start – Power up the 439cc Champion engine with...
  • Intelligauge – Keep track of voltage, hertz and run-time...
  • Powerful – At 9375 starting watts and 7500 running watts...
  • Champion Support – Includes 3-year limited warranty with...
DuroMax XP12000EH Dual Fuel Electric Start...
  • Powerful DuroMax Engine: the XP12000EH is powered by a...
  • Dual fuel technology: the ability to run on propane or...
  • Plenty of power: with 12, 000 starting watts and 9, 500...
  • Maximum power: with DuroMax MX2 technology, get the maximum...
  • Powering everyone anywhere: like all DuroMax generators, the...

If you don’t need that much power and you’re looking for the best portable dual fuel generator, I recommend  DuroMax’s XP4850. It’s much lighter than the 2 beasty ones while still provided decent power.

Sale
DuroMax XP4850EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator,...
  • Your purchase includes One DuroMax XP4850EH 4850 watt Dual...
  • Portable Generator dimensions: 24” L x 17" W x 17" H....
  • Specifications: Noise level – 69 dB. Fuel tank capacity...
  • The ability to run on Propane or Gasoline allows the Freedom...
  • With 4,850 starting watts and 3,850 running watts, this unit...

Last update on 2020-10-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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