It’s time to upgrade our old gasoline-only generator to a dual fuel generator with propane and gas. Gas was nearly impossible to get during the last storm, which isolated us for over 2 weeks. Without power! Propane can be stored a lot longer than gasoline, so we’ve decided to upgrade to a dual fuel generator. Here’s our curated top 3:
Our top recommendation? Champion’s 7500-watt dual fuel portable generator with electric start! Not only is this generator highly reviewed on Amazon, but it’s also got a beasty amount of power for an ultra budget-friendly price.
You can’t go wrong!
Let’s dive deeper into our best dual fuel generators.
Our Best Dual Fuel Generator Recommendations
- Best Dual Fuel Generator Overall: Champion Power Equipment 100165 9375 – 7500-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Generator With Electric Start
- Most Powerful Dual Fuel Generator: DuroMax XP12000EH Generator – 12000 Watt (Gas or Propane Powered)
- Excellent Budget Option: DuroMax XP4850EH Generator-4850 Watt Gas or Propane Powered With Electric Start
- Best RV Generator: Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator with Electric Start
- Ultra Budget Option: Sportsman 4000 Watt Dual Fuel Generator
Deep-Dive Into the Best Dual Fuel Generator
1. Champion 7500-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Generator
This is a beast of a generator and it’s the overall 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 tons of ratings on Amazon with an average of 4.6 out of 5!
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.
- Electric start – no need to spend time cranking!
- Multi-purpose – 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
- A short oil drainage tube can lead to spillages
- Runs better on gasoline, yet is pretty fuel-inefficient
- Accessing the oil fill tube is difficult
2. DuroMax XP12000EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator
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.
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.
- 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
- 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. Duromax XP4850EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator
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 broke and the customer was advised to purchase the replacement part themselves, so watch out for that.
- Low oil shutoff sensor
- Fairly quiet at 69 decibels
- EPA and CARB compliant
- The oil inlet is difficult to access
- Some customers couldn’t get certain parts covered under warranty
4. Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel Inverter Generator
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 — the Sportsman GEN4000DF below, for example, has no 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.
- 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
- The fuel tank is a little on the small side
- Lacks something in the way of starting power
5. Sportsman GEN4000DF Portable Dual Fuel Generator
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 it. 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.
- 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
- 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
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.
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 providing decent power.
Why Would You Want a Dual Fuel Generator?
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.
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 and the reasons why I picked these as the best generators from the crowd.
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.
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?
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.
Have you decided on a dual fuel generator? Let us hear your thoughts! Leave your feedback in the comments below.