Portable Generator Reviews & Complete Guide
Whether its power outage, travelling in your RV, or camping, the generator is always a handy machine to have by your side. During recent years, dual-fuel generators are becoming very popular due to their convenience of the dual-fuel system, low operating cost, high efficiency, and advanced features.
In today’s post, we are going to talk about some of the best dual-fuel generators available on the market right now so you can make a better buying decision.
What to look for in a dual-fuel generator?
Choosing any generator is not as easy as you think. There are many factors involved which you need to consider first. For example, Where are you going to use the dual-fuel generator? How many appliances you are going to run simultaneously? After addressing these questions, the selection of the generator will become very easy. We have discussed such factors below so you can choose any generator wisely.
This is one of the most important factors when you choose any generator. You need to look at the starting watts and running watts of the generator. If you need a generator for home backup, then you have to decide how many appliances you are going to run, and based on that list, you need to calculate the starting watts and running watts of all your appliances.
You can refer to this wattage guide to calculate the required wattage.
If you don’t know what is starting watts and running watts, then let me explain it to you. Every appliance that deals with the inductive load need additional power at the starting, which is usually 3 times the running power.
The running watts is the amount of power any electric device would need to work without any efficiency loss. Also, add 10-20% more power to your calculated wattage to suffice your future needs.
Weight and portability
Another essential factor is the weight of the generator. If you are moving your generator too much, then the heavy generator can become cumbersome.
That is why you need to consider a lightweight and compact generator, and also we advise you to select the generator with tires and handles so the transportation process will become much easier, and it will also improve the maneuverability.
That being said, the generator’s size increases as the power output of the generator increases. So you cannot expect your generator to be lightweight and portable if you choose a high wattage generator, say about a 7000-watts generator. So, in the end, it all comes down to personal choice.
No one likes a noisy generator. And this is important, especially when you are leaving in a neighborhood where high-level noise is strictly prohibited. So your selected generator should produce minimal noise even at higher loads.
Please note that, as the load on the generator increases, the generator will burn more fuel to meet the load demand; hence, the noise level also increases. In all of the generators, the inverter generator is quiet and produces minimal to no noise even at high loads.
You can use additional mufflers in your dual-fuel generator to reduce noise, but if you need a more silent generator, then I suggest you should choose the Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Inverter Generator from our list.
Features like electric start, automatic low oil shut-down, RV ready port, parallel capability, and wireless start will add more convenience and help you operate your generator easily. When you compare any two generators, look out for these features so you will be able to choose the best among them.
Reviews of Best Dual-fuel Generators
1. Champion 3800-Watt Dual Fuel Generator
When it comes to reliability and consistent power, Champion is the first choice of every homeowner. This Champion dual-fuel generator comes with 4750 starting watts and 3800 running watts with up to 9 hours run time on a full gas tank. And not to mention the 4275 starting watts and 3420 running watts of power when you run this generator on propane.
It comes with many numerous features, including electric-push start, low oil shut-off sensor, and intuitive panel. That’s not all; its various outlets will help you connect many electric devices simultaneously.
And the generator includes one 120V 30A RV outlet, one 120V 30A locking outlet, and two 120V 20A household outlets, which are all secured by volt guard that ensures the maximum safety of your electrical devices.
The area where this Champion Dual-fuel generator shines is its warranty. Champion is offering three years of warranty on this product which makes it worth your money. Moreover, included no-flat tires make the transportation process very easy.
If we compare its price range with its power output, then this generator is one of the most affordable alternatives you are ever going to find on the market right now.
- Decent power output with affordable price range
- RV ready port
- Electric start with low oil shut-off sensor
- EPA & CARB compliant
- Three years of warranty
- No parallel capability
- Dual Fuel - Runs on GAS or PROPANE straight out of the box. Engine type: 4-stroke, wheel diameter: 8.0 inches
- 4750 starting watts, 3800 running watts with up to 9 hours run time on a full tank of gas and up to 10.5 hours on a 20 lb. propane tank
- Powered by a reliable 224cc Champion engine with Touch Start, push-button electric start (battery included).Gasoline Starting Amps at 120V - 39.6A.Gasoline Running Amps at 120V - 31.7A.Propane...
Last update on 2020-01-28 at 16:16 PST - Details
2. Westinghouse WGen 12000DF Dual fuel Generator
Coming from a reputable grand, WGen12000DF is one of the most powerful generators available on the market, and let’s forget the convenience of the dual-fuel system.
Thanks to its 713cc V-Twin engine, you will get 12000 Running Watts and 15000 Peak Watts when using gasoline. This amount of power is enough to run major appliances simultaneously in your home. Additionally, you will get 10800 Running Watts and 13500
Peak Watts when you use propane.
You will be surprised to hear that this generator can provide 16 hours of runtime at 25% load, which eliminates the need for frequent refueling. Furthermore, you will enjoy its less than 5% THD power that will help you run the sensitive electronic devices easily.
Feature-wise, this model tops its predecessor in every way. Features like remote start key
fob, electric start, and GFCI outlets make it convenient and easy to use.
I was impressed by its transfer switch ready outlet using which you can directly connect this generator to your home’s main electrical panel.
Other than that, WGen12000DF has various output receptacles, including two GFCI 120V 5–20r standard household receptacles, one 120V L5-30R outlet, one Transfer Switch Ready 120V L14-30R outlet, one RV Ready 120/240V 14–50r, and two 5V USB Ports.
Just like all the other generators in our list, WGen12000DF also comes with three years of warranty and not to mention the lifetime customer support from Westinghouse.
Highest power-producing generator with dual-fuel capability
Remote starting and electric start
GFCI outlets with 50-amp transfer switch ready port
Three years of warranty
Some users have reported that the battery is not that reliable
- Gasoline: 12000 Running Watts and 15000 Peak Watts; Propane: 10800 Running Watts, 13500 Peak Watts; Remote Start With Included Key Fob, Electric and Recoil Start; Up to 16 Hours of Run Time on a 10. 5...
- Features Two GFCI 120V 5–20r Standard Household Receptacles, One 120V L5-30R Outlet, One Transfer Switch Ready 120V L14-30R, One RV Ready 120/240V 14–50r, and Two 5V USB Ports; All Outlets Have...
- Powered by the Ultra Duty 713cc OHV V-Twin Westinghouse Engine Featuring a Long-Lasting Cast Iron Sleeve With Automatic Low Oil Shutdown and Digital Hour Meter
Last update on 2020-01-28 at 15:07 PST - Details
3. Duromax XP4850EH Dual Fuel Generator
Duromax XP4850EH is another great dual-fuel generator we have added to our selection. The XP4850EH uses the open frame style design, which makes it heavy and bulky, but if you are looking for a small and lightweight dual-fuel generator, then take a look at some other generators in our list.
The XP4850EH features the 4,850 starting watts and 3,850 running watts when running on gasoline, and it delivers this power through various ports such as two 120V 20A household outlets and one 120V/240V 30A twist lock.
What I like about this particular generator is its ability to power both 240V and 120V receptacles simultaneously. All the generators need special oil for lubrication and heat dissipation in the engine, and if this oil level gets below the safe level, then your generator may get damaged.
To help you solve this problem, Duromax has added a low oil shut-off sensor in this generator that will automatically shut down the generator when this oil gets below a safe limit.
Considering its price range, this dual-fuel generator is very affordable compared to any other dual-fuel generator on the market and not to mention its mind-blowing features and decent power output.
The only downside of this generator is its heavyweight. Other generators having the same power output as XP4850EH are far lighter than XP4850EH. So it is something you should look out for if you need a lightweight dual-fuel generator.
- Most affordable generator with decent power output
- Ample features
- GFCI protected outlet
- Perfect for RVs as well as home backup
- Heavy and bulky
- Gets louder as load increases
- POWERFUL DUROMAX ENGINE: The XP4850EH is Powered by a DuroMax 7HP, 212cc OHV Engine.
- Dual fuel technology: the ability to run on propane or gasoline allows the freedom and flexibility of fuel choice.
- Plenty of power: with 4, 850 starting watts and 3, 850 running watts, This unit can handle heavy loads from lights and a refrigerator to a home air conditioner and high amperage power tools.
Last update on 2020-01-28 at 16:38 PST - Details
4. Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Inverter Generator
This model from Champion comes with some serious features, and its small size and portable design adds another advantage in the list.
This dual-fuel generator features inverter technology meaning that you will get more clean power (less than 3% THD), which is essential when you want to run sensitive devices like laptops, TVs, and smartphones.
Using gasoline, you will get 3400 starting watts and 3100 running watts, and it will run for 7.5 hours at 25% load. On 20-pounds of propane tank, you will get 3060 starting watts and 2790 running watts, and it will run for 14.5 hours at 25% load.
Still, if this much amount of power is not enough for you, then you can connect another same generator with this and double the power output.
The inverter generator has so many advantages that the list is endless. First of all, due to its internal power converting circuitry, it is very fuel-efficient than the non-inverter or conventional generators.
Moreover, this generator produces very little noise even when running at 80% load, which is quite fantastic. For the record, this dual-fuel inverter generator produces around 59 decibels of noise, which is equal to the noise of the average vacuum cleaner.
To top it off, this model is equipped with RV ready port so you can use it for tailgating and powering onboard devices on your RV. Last but not least, you will get three years of solid warranty on this product.
- Inverter generator with dual-fuel capability
- Portable, lightweight and compact
- Electric start with quick touch panel
- Many output ports
- Three years of solid warranty
- Somewhat expensive
- Small fuel tank
- Dual Fuel – Operate your 3400-watt portable generator right out of the box on either gasoline or propane, plus the unit holds 0.6-quarts of oil (recommended 10W-30) and has a low oil shut-off sensor
- Convenient Electric Start with 3-Position Ignition Switch – Battery included, plus Quick Touch Panel allows you to access all your controls in one spot.Noise Level :59 dBA at 23 feet. Frequency 60...
- Ultra-Quiet Operation – 59 dBA is perfect for RVs, tailgating, your next project or backup power for your home, featuring 3400 starting watts and 3100 running watts with up to 7.5 hours run time on...
Last update on 2020-01-28 at 16:46 PST - Details
5. Westinghouse WGen3600DF Dual Fuel Generator
WGen3600DF is another mid-range priced generator we have considered. This generator is designed for those who do not want to spend a whole lot of money and looking for an affordable alternative from a renowned brand.
Powered by 212cc 4-stroke engine, this generator puts out 3600 Rated Watts and 4650 Peak Watts when running on gasoline. And it generates 3240 Rated Watts and 4180 Peak Watts when running on propane.
Moreover, it is equipped with a 4-gallon fuel tank that will give you about 18 hours of runtime at 25% load. What makes this dual-fuel generator stand out from the crowd is its remote start feature and not to mention its affordable price range.
Additionally, it features an intuitive control panel that includes one 5-20R 120V Duplex outlet, one RV-Ready TT-30 30-Amp outlet, and one L5-30 30-Amp outlet to run many appliances simultaneously.
The manufacturer has included many useful accessories in the whole package such as oil, oil funnel, tool kit, and user's manual to get you started right off the bat.
The WGen3600DF has all the necessary certifications, including EPA, CARB, and CSA, so it is safe to use anywhere in the USA. This generator is sold with three years of impressive warranty, and let’s not forget the lifetime technical support of Westinghouse.
- Affordable product considering its power output
- Various output ports including RV outlet
- Great maneuverability
- Additional features
- Easy to transport
- Electric start doesn’t work properly
- Connecting propane hose requires learning curve
- 3600 Rated Watts & 4650 Peak Watts (Gasoline); 3240 Rated Watts & 4180 Peak Watts (Propane); 4 Gallon Fuel Tank (with Fuel Gauge); Electric Push Button and Remote Start
- Intuitive Control Panel Features a 5-20R 120V Duplex Outlet, an RV-Ready TT-30 30 Amp Outlet, and an L5-30 30 Amp Outlet
- 212cc Westinghouse 4-Stroke OHV Engine; Long Lasting Cast Iron Engine Sleeve; Automatic Low Oil Shutdown
Last update on 2020-01-28 at 16:38 PST - Details
FAQ | Frequently Asked Questions
1. What type of fuel is more efficient and cheaper- Gas or Propane?
Propane is cheaper to use; however, it is not as fuel-efficient as gasoline, but its low price range makes up for it. Additionally, propane has some other advantages too, such as the generator runs quieter when you use propane, it is very easy to store, it lasts infinite time, and it eliminates the need of frequent refueling.
2. What size dual-fuel generator do I need?
As I said earlier, it solely depends on how many appliances you are going to run at the same time. You need to make a list of all appliances and calculate the running watts and starting watts of all those devices and then, and only then, you can decide how many watts of generator you need.
3. Can I modify a dual-fuel generator for natural gas?
Yes, you can modify your dual-fuel generator to use the natural gas in it; however, you need to make sure that the engine of your generator is capable of handling such conversion. With the suitable conversion kit, you can make this work.
4. Can I connect my dual-fuel generator to a bigger propane tank and increase run time?
Yes, you can hook your dual-fuel generator to a bigger propane tank and increase the running time to a great extent; however, we do not advise you to do such a thing, here’s why. If you run your generator continuously for a long time, then it may overheat, which can permanently damage your generator. These generators aren’t designed as car engines that can run continuously. They need proper rest as well as maintenance at a set interval of time.
Which generator wins the roundup?
According to our research, Champion 3800-Watt Dual Fuel Generator is the best dual-fuel generator available on the market. It’s true that personal choices and certain needs may influence the selection of any product. But still, if you wanna know why we have selected this generator to be our top product, then let’s have a look.
First of all, considering its power output it is very affordable, and it comes with some of the most advanced features that you will ever see in other generators that come in this price range. To top it off, Champion is a very trusted brand, and all its customers vouch for their after-sale service. And let’s not forget its three years of solid warranty, which is enough to choose this dual-fuel generator over others.