You can’t really expect to live a fully comfortable modern life without having a standby generator. It has become one of those things most modern households just have to get. Not even an average one will do.
Although fuel-powered generators have been the most common and reliable source of power backup, propane generators are gradually becoming a good alternative. You may have already considered the options and discovered that the propane generators may be a better choice – at least for you.
Perhaps you have concluded that the pros of having a propane generator outweigh the cons. I may not totally agree with that, but I can say that there are many advantages to having propane generators even though they are not as cost-efficient as gas-powered generators.
Propane generators are more environmentally friendly because they make use of Propane which is a clean-burning fuel. Burning propane doesn’t produce many pollutants when compared to burning gasoline.
With that being said, let’s take a look at the best propane generators of 2023.
Things To Look Out For When You Are Buying A Propane Generator
The process of buying new generators can be quite challenging, especially if you are new to the game. Indeed, one needs profound knowledge about at least some critical components of generators to get a suitable one to adequately serve the purpose for which it was bought.
Take a look at the several important features listed below to get a better grasp of what you should look out for in a propane generator before buying.
To a large extent, the ease of starting up your generator greatly impacts your user experience with the generator. Generators usually come with either an electric starter or a recoiler starter. Recoil startups require the use of a rip chord similar to that of a chainsaw or a lawnmower.
Electric start requires much less effort. It is more convenient because it allows you to start the machine by just pressing a button or turning a key. The major downside to the electric starter is that you won’t be able to make use of it if you’ve drained up the generator’s battery.
In terms of functionality, neither of these options is superior to the other. Electric starters are just easier and require less work. Besides, many electric starters will include a recoil as a backup in the event that the electric start fails.
The simplest way to figure out the wattage you’ll need is to figure out what you’ll be using your generators for. It’s no surprise that the more electricity you intend to use, the more wattage you’ll require.
First, figure out how much electricity you’ll require. You’ll need a more powerful generator if you need more energy. For example, it takes less energy to run a few lights or a portable smoker when camping than it does to power your complete house during a blackout.
Many folks who use their generators for camping, tailgates, and emergencies will obtain somewhere between 2,000 and 6,500 watts. Higher wattages are available, but they are more expensive and rarely necessary. You’ll need a larger wattage if you want to power both requirements and your luxuries during a power outage.
Portability And Wheels
The generator may be easy or difficult to move around depending on its size and weight, as well as its design. It’s crucial to be able to transport a propane generator because you’ll most likely use it in different places.
For example, weight becomes a crucial concern if you need power when tailgating or camping. Fortunately, your needs while camping or tailgating aren’t quite as intensive as they are while you’re operating a household. A small, portable generator should be sufficient.
We recommend getting a model with tires, whether you’ll be using the generator at home or on the job site. Moving the generator to a new site will be swift and convenient if the generator has wheels.
Gauges And Readings
Nothing is more annoying than running out of gas because you were unaware that it needed to be replaced. Some generators come equipped with gasoline and oil gauges. Getting a generator with any form of indication is the best bet.
Expensive models usually have LCD panels that provide a complete readout of many settings. Smart variants that connect to an app are also available. You can change the settings from your phone using these features.
These features are nice, but they aren’t completely necessary. All you need is a gauge to tell you how much propane is left in the tank. Some models have a meter that shows how many levels are left. Others just have a light that turns on when the gas runs out.
Either form of notifier can be beneficial. Simply be sure that the model you purchase has some sort of indicator. If it doesn’t, keep a backup propane tank on hand at all times.
Maximum generators make a lot of noise, which can be bad for you and your situation. It can even become offensive to your neighbors at times. As a result, you must pay attention to finding a lower noise level generator to retain your peaceful and quiet environment.
When purchasing a strong generator, a noise level of 60 to 80 dB is acceptable.
Specs And Comparisons of The Best Propane Generator
Dual Fuel Electric Start Portable Generator
Runtime at 50%
Noise Level at 25%
Load: 72 dB
Dual Fuel Portable Generator
Runtime at 50%
Noise Level at 25% Load: 69 dB
Dual Fuel Portable Generator
Runtime at 50%
Load: 7 hrs
Noise Level at 25% Load: 74 dB
Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Generator
Runtime at 50%
Load: 10.5 hrs
Noise Level at 25% Load: 68 dB
Dual Fuel Electric Start Portable Generator
Runtime at 50%
Load: 13.5 hrs
Noise Level at 25% Load: 52 dB
Dual Fuel Portable Generator
Runtime at 50%
Load: 7 hrs
Noise Level at 25% Load: 70 dB
Review Of The Best Propane Generators Of 2023
DuroMax XP12000EH Generator
The official nickname for the Duromax XP12000EH is “The Beast.” Given that this is one of the most powerful portable generators available, it is well-deserved.
With its 12000 surge and 9500 running watts, the generator has enough power within it to serve as a comprehensive home backup power solution. It can save you from the stress and expense of installing standby generators.
This DuroMax generator is great for when you need portable electricity, such as during a power outage, a natural disaster, or when camping.
One of the cool things about the DuroMax XP12000EH is its durability which comes as a result of its portable engine that is made of cast-iron sleeves and steel bearings. You can use either gas or propane to power this generator. Thanks to this, the DuroMax XP12000EH burns cleaner than many other generators in its class.
The DuroMax XP12000EH is somewhat hefty, weighing in at roughly 250 pounds, yet it is easy to move or push thanks to its wheels. In addition to that, it has a user-friendly, Electric Start that makes starting the machine as simple as starting a car. In the case of a battery failure, it also has a recoil start.
Furthermore, the generator comes equipped with standard Solid-Fill tires that never go flat, as well as high-leverage grips for convenient movement over any terrain. Since the DuroMax XP12000EH produces no emissions, the possibility of accidental ignition is completely removed, resulting in a safer home.
This generator, also known as the “beast,” is powered by a 457cc DuroMax OHV engine that produces 12,000W of electricity. The powerful 12,000W can provide the average home with the comfort and security it requires to weather any storm.
The generator’s quiet operation is one of its main advantages, especially considering its size. When larger generator models are functioning, they usually produce a lot of noise. This unit produces about 72 decibels of sound, has a noise-free exhaust, and an inbuilt spark arrestor.
In terms of runtime, this generator is one of the best.
The DuroMax XP12000EH is a dual-fuel portable generator. To be more precise, it can run on propane or natural gas.
According to the manufacturer, this generator can run quietly and smoothly for 10 hours when running on gas with a 50% load. Meanwhile, it can last for 20 hours when running on propane with the same 50% load.
Overall, the DuroMax XP12000EH is the complete package if you are planning to get an efficient propane generator.
1. It is durable
2. The generator offers heavy-duty operation with many outlets
3. It has a low noise level
4. You can easily switch from gas to propane
5. The DuroMax XP12000EH is easy to use
1. Its plastic wheels are not very tough
2. The auto-idle feature does not work with propane
DuroMax XP4850EH Generator
Any piece of equipment is only as good as its core, and the DuroMax XP4850EH certainly delivers in this aspect. It has an air-cooled, overhead valve engine that produces 7 horsepower.
This portable generator features a 201CC 4 stroke engine that can power all of your large refrigerators and gadgets for up to 5 hours. It is designed to provide additional power and long-term durability. To that effect, it has a peak of 4850 surge watts and a steady 3850 watts.
This quantity of power is enough to run an RV’s overhead air conditioner or most household appliances. However, the more powerful equipment you run, the faster the generator’s fuel burns.
Notably, the manufacturers of this generator claim that it can run for up to 20 hours on propane filled tank. Meanwhile, it can last for an average of 8 hours on gasoline.
These values, however, only apply if the machine is operating at 50% load capacity.
Moving on, the Duromax XP4850EH, like most generators, produces some running noise. The only difference is that for a machine of this size, this generator makes significantly less noise. It only makes around 69 decibels of noise, which is roughly the same as a regular human conversation.
If the generator is overloaded, it will make more noise since it will have to work harder to meet your requests.
In terms of dimension, this portable generator takes up very little room when mounted without the wheel kit. It has a length of 23.2 inches, as well as a width of 17 inches and a height of 17 inches.
For a machine with nearly 5000 surge watts, such a compact footprint is impressive. It also has a dry weight of 121.71 pounds, which is modest for a machine with tubular metal frames all around. It’s worth noting that the weight includes the wheelset.
1. This generator is reasonably priced
2. It has a wheel kit and folding handles that aid its mobility
3. The generator comes with an electric start
4. It produces adequate power
5. Lastly, the DuroMax XP4850EH offers a quiet muffler
1. It can get noisy when under heavy load
2. It can be difficult to fill the oil tank
Westinghouse engines and alternators look to be more in line with the higher-priced generators. The Westinghouse WGen9500DF, while not quite as good as Honda and Cat, far outperforms anything under $1,000.
Not only is this a heavy-duty generator at a price that is comparable to a light medium-duty machine, but it also boasts one of the best spec levels of any generator – regardless of price.
It’s difficult to top this kind of value for money, a robust generator with a rated output of 9,500 watts and a surge capacity of 12,500 watts for less than a grand. That’s extremely amazing.
The Westinghouse WGen9500DF is a powerful machine with a cast iron sleeve. It has a 457cc (13.5HP), OHV engine that is both EPA and CARB certified.
The Westinghouse WGen9500 offers the complete deal when it comes to comfort and ease of usage. An electric and recoil starter, as well as an automated choke, make starting the generator a swift process.
In addition, the Westinghouse WGen9500DF also comes with a remote control fob that allows you to start or stop the generator from up to 109 yards away. It has a fantastically extensive metal user panel that is recessed to minimize damage and has plastic covers on all of the outlets.
All of these characteristics point to the machine’s heavy-duty design, which makes it so durable.
Despite all its good traits, I don’t think anyone can call this generator a lightweight machine. It is quite heavy at 220 lbs. This weight is to be expected if you consider how large and powerful the generator is with its all-around metal frame.
Moreover, extra weight is the price one always has to pay for robust build quality. Thankfully, the portability of this generator has been made easier by its single foam grip handle and its huge wheel kit.
Any generator of this size is going to make a lot of noise. The Pulse-Flo muffler on the Westinghouse WGen9500 helps to reduce engine noise significantly.
According to Westinghouse, the noise level of the generator is “as low as 74dBA”. This noise level reading was almost certainly measured at a low output, possibly around 25% of the rated load. You should expect a lot more noise at high power.
In use, this heavy-duty generator is ideal as a backup or primary power source for large homes or RVs. Its 6.6-gallon gas tank can run for up to 17.5 hours at 25% load capacity.
It approximately consumes about 0.38 gallons per hour.
At 25% of maximum load, a 20-pound propane tank will offer 11 hours of operation which is quite remarkable. In conclusion, this generator is an excellent one.
1. It has a remote start functionality
2. The generator offers long runtime when running on either gas or propane 3. It is also extremely easy to operate
4. Dual fuel
1. The generator is quite heavy
2. It is also noisy
Champion Power Equipment 76533
The Champion Power Equipment 3800 Watt dual fuel generator is equipped with a 224cc dual-fuel engine. This strong and adaptable engine has a constant power output of 3420W and a max load of 4275W.
With this generator, you’ll have enough power for almost any RV and a large portion of your domestic electrical needs during an emergency. It will also provide enough power for a variety of tools and can drive most water pumps.
When the Champion’s 3.4-gallon fuel tank is full, its 224cc engine will run for 9 hours at 50% load. Meanwhile, it can last for 10.5 hours at 50% load when running on a 20-pound propane tank.
Noise is one of the factors that makes generators unattractive in campgrounds, and in certain cases, they are even prohibited. The Champion Power Equipment dual fuel generator is very quiet for a generator of this size, measuring 68dBA at a distance of 23 feet.
Unfortunately, the Champion Power Equipment 3800W generator is not a light machine, weighing in at 119 pounds. However, when you consider that it has a sturdy steel frame and a strong, powerful engine, this weight is fairly reasonable.
1. The generator has a convenient push-button electric start
2. Its sturdy cast iron sleeve makes it feel durable
1. It is a bit loud
The Westinghouse WGen3600DF pushes out 3240 running watts and a peak power of 4180W. It has a four-stroke engine with overhead valves and cast iron sleeves. This generator’s engine is one of the most robust that you’ll find on a portable generator.
It has a low oil shutoff, like most modern engines. This feature safeguards the engine and consequently assists the generator in providing decades of reliable service.
The Westinghouse WGen3600DF is also easy to use because it combines the ease of use of an electric starter with the dependability of a recoil starter.
Furthermore, the Westinghouse WGen3600DF’s engine has been certified to meet the most stringent emission requirements. It’s approved by the EPA, CARB, and CSA.
The Westinghouse WGen3600DF is a big machine, weighing about 109 pounds. The sturdy steel frame that houses the generator is responsible for much of the weight. Not only is it extremely sturdy, but it also provides excellent protection for the engine and alternator.
This generator also offers a good runtime. On a full tank of gas, the Westinghouse WGen 3600DF will run for 12 hours at 50% load.
When you consider that it’s powered by a 212cc engine, that’s rather impressive.
Despite having a heavy-duty engine, the Westinghouse WGen 3600DF isn’t noisy. The generator is really quiet compared to most generators.
Its noise level is only 52 dBA.
1. It is powerful and portable
2. The generator is very easy to start
1. The Westinghouse WGen 3600DF is expensive
The WEN DF475T 4750-Watt Portable Generator stands out from many other generators because of some certain intriguing features and its exceptional power-up performance.
Since it has a running power of up to 3800 watts and a surge power of up to 4750 watts, you can simply power up all of your home appliances without running into any voltage issues.
It has a 224cc OHV engine that may be started using electric power. With its multiple voltage levels, it’s also ideal for transfer switches and emergency backup.
With this finest fuel-efficient generator, you’ll receive a completely hassle-free backup facility because it can run with less fuel. Asides from that, the WEN 4750’s dual-fuel feature is ideal for emergencies, camping, and off-grid work sites.
To be more precise, the WEN 4750 has a dual fuel supply system that allows it to run for up to 11 hours at half load (4-gallon tank) and another 7 hours when switched to propane (20 gal tank). This is ideal for emergencies where fuel is scarce.
It is important to know that running wattage, as well as surge watts, are slightly lower when using propane compared to gasoline. These differences, however, are minor in comparison to the advantages of having a dual fuel system.
What would have sealed it with this generator is if it had a quieter operating noise. Though the 70 dBA noise level it produces is not entirely bad, it would have been better if the generator comes equipped with more efficient noise mufflers.
Nonetheless, this generator is a good value for the money.
1. It offers a dual-fuel feature
2. This generator is durable and reliable
3. It is also powerful
1. There are some reports of shipping damage
How The Review Process Was Done
Research is unavoidable because you are investing significant time, money, and effort in purchasing the best propane generator for your home. After finding out what industry experts are suggesting, we completed the research for you.
Simultaneously, we examined several products and models; from there, we chose 6 products that are quite dependable, sturdy, and efficient. We only picked products that had over 2,000 reviews on Amazon and a 4.5 and above star rating.
Our recommendations for the best propane generators include options that can handle different sizes of electrical loads in a typical home.
We considered the fact that electrical needs may vary depending on the intended use of the generators – users may need a propane generator for either emergency purposes or recreational activities.
Hence, we evaluated and assessed each generator’s capabilities extensively using regular operation scenarios.
We evaluated the various models we chose by taking records of how efficient they are for backup power; with and without transfer switches. In addition, we recorded how reliable they are on building sites to run power tools and equipment, and at outdoor events to run sound systems and lighting.
We also went further to take measurements of their sound levels at 25 feet when they weren’t under any load and when they started running under load.
Apart from performance efficiency, we also considered factors like their available wattage, fuel types, exhaust, level of noise, and features like wheels that make the product easier to transport.