Why go for a Dual Fuel Generator?
When you plan to buy a generator, the first questions to pop into your mind are its size (power output), portability, and fuel type. When it comes to the fuel type, you have a few options; gas, propane, natural gas, and diesel. All of these generators have dependability on a single fuel. To minimize the dependability, you can go for a dual fuel generator. Apart from the freedom to run on two different fuels, a dual fuel generator has some other advantages.
Advantages of a Dual Fuel Generator
- With a dual fuel generator, you have a reliable power source in times of emergencies. You can store propane for times when gasoline is not readily available.
- Dual fuel generators give you the freedom to choose the fuel according to the weather type. Propane is dense in winter and may have some trouble keeping your generator running properly. So you can use gas in winters and propane in summer.
- Dual fuel generators are cheaper to use in the long run. You can use cheaper propane instead of gasoline when it available.
- You have the option to run the generator on another fuel type when one is consumed. There is no urgency of refilling.
Best Dual Fuel Generators Reviews
Westinghouse WGen7500DF Dual Fuel Generator
Champion 3800-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Generator
Duromax XP4850EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator
Rainier R4400DF Dual Fuel Portable Generator
WEN DF475T 4750-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Generator
Sportsman GEN4000DF Dual Fuel Portable Generator
All Power America APGG10000GL Dual Fuel Portable Generator
1. Westinghouse WGen7500DF Dual Fuel Portable Generator –Overall Best
Start System: You can start this portable generator with a key fob or a push button. If you use the key fob, be within 109 yards to get it to work.
Engine: The Westinghouse generator has a dynamic 4-stroke 420cc engine. The engine is air-cooled, so you do not have to worry about overheating problems.
Power Output: Westinghouse produces a good power of 8,550 starting and 6,750 running on propane and 9,500 starting, and 7,500 running on gasoline.
Power Panel: The power panel on the generator provides you with valuable information about its maintenance needs and the overall level of function. Use GFCI outlets to connect a variety of items. You can use it to power almost everything, including the air conditioning units and major appliances.
Noise level: It operates at a noise level of 73dBA.
Runtime: This generator offers a runtime of 10 hours at half load.
Fuel Tank Capacity: The unit is very fuel-efficient. It features a 6.6-liter fuel tank.
Safety Features: This generator turns off if the oil level is too low.
Portability: Wheels and handles make it easy to move from one place to another.
Weight: It weighs 194 pounds.
Warranty: This EPA, CARB, and CSA Compliant product comes with a 3-year warranty.
Pros: The Westinghouse Generator lets you choose between propane and gasoline to power it. It is transfer-switch ready, has a powerful and fuel-efficient engine, and features a big fuel tank that gives a good runtime.
Cons: Assembly may be more complicated than similar dual fuel generators.
2. Champion 3800-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Generator –Dual Fuel Generator for RV
Start System: The electric start only requires the push of a switch to get the generator started. Also, there is a recoil start system.
Engine: This generator has a 224cc 4-stroke Champion engine that provides the right energy and the long run.
Power Output: Champion produces a good power of 4,275 starting and 3,420 running on propane and 4,750 starting, and 3,800 running on gasoline.
Noise level: It operates at a noise level of 68dBA that makes it quieter than the Westinghouse WGen7500DF.
See more: Best 7500 Watt Generators.
Runtime: This generator offers a runtime of 9 hours on gasoline and 10.5 hours on propane.
Fuel Tank Capacity: It features a 3.4-gallon gasoline tank and a 20-pound propane tank.
Power Panel: The gauge on this generator will tell you when maintenance is necessary so you can get it done on time. You can also check on power output, runtime, voltage, and hertz. Use this information to make sure your generator runs at optimum levels.
Safety Features: Safety features include low-oil shutoff and overload protection.
Portability: This generator comes with a wheel kit for hassle-free portability.
Weight: It weighs 122 pounds.
Warranty: This generator comes with a 3-year limited warranty and free lifetime technical support.
Pros: It starts quickly, provides excellent and reliable power output, and is very fuel-efficient. It is ideal for those who want a generator for their RVs.
Cons: Some have reported that its battery fails prematurely, but it is rare.
3. Duromax XP4850EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator– Best for Emergency
Start System: This unit has both electric start and recoil mechanisms.
Engine: A 7HP, 212cc OHV engine power it.
Power Output: The unit generates 4850 watts of peak power and 3850 watts of rated power on gasoline. But on propane, it produces 4608 peak watts and 3658 rated watts.
Power Panel: Duromax designed the XP4850EH with Duromax MX2 technology that allows you to get maximum power from all receptacles. You can either use your generator at 120V on full power or both 120V and 240V simultaneously. Other than this, we have two 120V household outlets and a 120/240V twist-lock outlet.
Noise level: It operates at a noise level of 69 dB (A).
Runtime: This generator offers a runtime of 8.92 hours at 50% load.
Fuel Tank Capacity: It features a 3.9-gallon fuel tank.
Safety Features: The fuel gauge and a low oil sensor automatically stop the engine from detecting a low oil level. It will help extend the life of your generator.
Portability: This unit comes with a mobility kit for easy maneuverability. In the kit, you will find solid filling tires that will never run flat regardless of the field. It also includes raised handles with soft grips to ensure your generator’s smooth movement from one point to another.
Weight: It weighs 130 pounds.
Certifications: This generator is EPA and CARB approved for use in all 50 states.
Pros: It is a budget-friendly option for small families. It provides long-lasting power and requires less maintenance.
Cons: Its tires are not durable.
4. Rainier R4400DF Dual Fuel Portable Generator- Best for the Money
Engine: The Rainier Dual Fuel Generator comes with a reliable 212cc 4-stroke OHV engine.
Power Output: It produces a good power of 4,000 starting and 3,300 running on propane and 4,400 starting, and 3,600 running on gasoline.
Noise level: The operational volume of this generator is as low as 65 dB (A).
Runtime: It offers a runtime of 18 hours on gasoline and 11 hours on propane at25% load,
Fuel Tank Capacity: It features a 4-gallon fuel tank.
Certifications: It is EPA and CARB Compliant.
Warranty: This machine comes with a 3-year warranty.
Start System: One-touch power switch combines with a recoil start system to offer smooth and trouble-free startups.
Safety Features: This unit comes with a fuel gauge and automatic low oil shutdown.
Portability: The wheel kit and a folding handle allow you to transport and move the generator quickly.
Power Panel: You have a fuel selection switch, VTF display, engine switch, and four power outlets (two 120V household, one L5-30R, and one TT-30R.
Pros: The generator is ideal for long-term use, has a high runtime, operates quietly, RV ready, and highly portable.
Cons: The generator works fine, but the build’s quality is not as high as comparable models.
5. WEN DF475T 4750-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Generator – comes with a 2-year warranty
Start System: WEN DF475T comes with an electric start system. Turn the key, and here you go. Also, there is a recoil start backup.
Engine: This unit has a 4-stroke 224cc engine that is quite powerful. With this generator, you can run various appliances and other items, losing no power or efficiency.
Power Output: It produces a good power of 4,350 starting and 3,500 running on propane and 4,750 starting and 3,800 running on gasoline.
Power Panel: Two 120V outlets, a twist-lock outlet, and a 12V DC plug along with engine switch, fuel switch, and circuit breakers.
Noise level: It operates at a noise level of 69 dB (A).
Runtime: This generator provides an estimated runtime of 7 hours on propane and 11 hours on gas when running at half load. Its runtime is slightly lower than the Rainier R4400DF.
Fuel Tank Capacity: This unit features a 4-gallon tank.
Safety Features: The engine turns off if the oil level is too low.
Portability: It weighs about 105 pounds that makes it relatively easy to move and lift.
Certifications: This generator is ideal for commercial and residential use. It is CARB and EPA III compliant and operates according to the state and federal guidelines.
Warranty: It comes with a 2-year warranty.
Pros:It is a great little generator that is easy to maneuver and set up. It offers good runtime and easy to move.
Cons: The propane hose adapter may fail prematurely.
6. Sportsman GEN4000DF Dual Fuel Portable Generator– Lightweight Dual Fuel Generator
Weight: Sportsman GEN4000DF weighs 90 pounds, which is significantly lighter than the All Power America APGG10000GL Dual Fuel generator.
Start System: It comes only with a recoil start system.
Engine: This generator carries a 212cc 7HP OHV engine.
Power Output: This unit produces 4000 watts of peak power and 3500 watts of running power.
Power Panel: This dual fuel generator comes with a single 120V outlet for RV, four 120V outlets for various devices, and a 12V DC outlet for charging the battery.
Noise level: It operates at below 69 dB (A).
Runtime: This generator offers a runtime of 10 hours at 50% load on gasoline and up to 12 hours on propane.
Fuel Tank Capacity: It features a 3.6-gallon fuel tank.
Safety Features: It has a circuit breaker that helps protect against power surges. It also has a low oil shutdown feature that protects the engine.
Certifications: This generator is an EPA approved product.
Warranty: It comes with a 1-year limited warranty.
Pros: It is relatively quiet and one of the most affordable generators.
Cons: It does not respond well to natural gas. Also, its warranty period is very short.
7. All Power America APGG10000GL Dual Fuel Portable Generator – Loud Dual Fuel Generator
Start System: All Power America comes with both electric and recoil start system.
Engine: It carries a reliable 420cc engine that facilitates it to put out a notable power output.
Power Output: It gives a continuous 7000W power supply on propane and 8000W with gasoline but produces 10000 watts of peak power on gas and 8500 watts on propane.
Power Panel: All Power America offers four traditional 120V outlets, one 12V DC socket, and one 120/120V twist-lock outlet. It will allow you to use many devices and power tools you may need. Also, it is compatible with multiple technologies to ensure that your generator will work properly in an emergency or whenever you need it.
Noise level: It operates at a noise level of 76 dB (A).
Runtime: This generator offers a runtime of 11 hours at 50% load, which is better than the runtime of Duromax XP4850EH.
Fuel Tank Capacity: It features an 8-gallon fuel tank.
Safety Features: When the oil level drops below the recommended level, the engine shuts off to avoid any potential damage or accidents.
Portability: This generator comes with flat-free wheels and ensures hassle-free portability.
Weight: It weighs 236 pounds.
Certifications: This generator is EPA and CETL certified.
Pros: It is fuel-efficient and comes with plenty of outlets for various appliances.
Cons: Its warranty period is quite short. Also, it is not a CARB compliant unit.
Now that we have presented the seven dual-fuel generators, how do you choose the right one for your needs? This buying guide will summarize some important factors to consider before choosing a dual fuel generator.
Gasoline vs. Propane
When you are buying a portable generator, you are concerned about the fuel options’ output. Other than output, a few factors also need to be compared for both fuel options. Let’s look at these factors for propane and gasoline.
Power Output: Gasoline provides higher output as compared to propane gas. The reason is it burns better, and the generator can give you more output. When propane is used, the efficiency decreases but propane runs for a longer time (for smaller generators). When your generator is running on propane, expect a reduction of 10-12% of your generator’s total power output as compared to gas. This decrease applies to both starting and running wattages.
Run Time: Understanding run time for your dual fuel generator is a bit technical. If you own a small generator, let’s say under 5000 watts, you will get better run time on propane. However, as the generator size increases, the run time on gasoline increases, and for propane, it decreases. All the calculations for run-time are made while keeping the load the same on both fuels.
Fuel Availability: Gas and propane are both available throughout the year in normal circumstances. However, at the time of an emergency or natural disaster, gasoline is hard to find. Propane, on the other hand, can easily be stored for emergencies.
Safety: Storing gasoline is difficult; it is easily flammable, needs a safe, dry, and secure place, and must be kept away from all flammable things. It is also prone to spillage when pouring in the gas tank and can catch fire quickly. On the other hand, propane is relatively easy to store, and there are no spillage risks. It is secured in cylinders but still needs to be kept in a safe place.
Shelf Life: Gasoline has a short shelf life. It can go stale within 1-2 weeks. On the contrary, propane can last for years. Gasoline in the fuel tank is also a problem for the generator’s carburetor. Hence, it must not be left unused on shelves or in the generator. Propane does not involve any complications like this.
Each fuel type has its pros and cons. The primary purpose of a dual fuel generator is to give you freedom while running your generator.
Your Power Needs
The amount of energy will determine the generator that you need. Check your device and decide what type of dual generator will fit you. If you only have a few essential tools, you probably do not need a lot of energy. However, you need a high power generator if you plan to use your generator for your entire household power needs.
Portability is an important factor, especially if you plan to use your generator for outdoor events. Some generators will have integrated mobility kits, while in others, they come as accessories. Check their functionality to ensure they are rugged enough to withstand the weight and work on any terrain. The handles should have soft grips for comfort and more accessible storage.
We measure noise and sound in a unit called decibels (dB). The higher the number, the louder the generator is. The generators are noisy machines, but some models operate at a much calm level. We consider a dual fuel generator with 60 dB or below a perfect choice for campers or use in close quarters.
Types of Ignition
Dual fuel generators will have different starting systems for both gasoline and propane. For gasoline, most models have a former recoil system, and some ignite electrically. Propane ignites electrically with a turn of the key. So when calamity strikes, choose the fuel you prefer or that is available to turn on the system.
Monitors and Indicators
Any generator must provide the correct information about the oil levels, fuel levels, and the unit’s general status. Most dual fuel generators have integrated different styles of monitoring, including LED displays and indicator lights. The indicator lights help to monitor the engine oil level, engine overload and preparing the generator all at a time.
Since it is a personal mini electric power station, you should be sure they have put several safety systems in place before you operate your generator. A good model should have overheating protection, protection against overload, and a low oil shutdown mechanism. All these systems will keep you safe and keep your generator working smoothly.
Is a portable generator the best option for me?
A lot of people wonder whether they should go for a dual fuel generator or not. The primary reason behind the hesitation to buy a dual fuel generator is the cost. A dual fuel generator is $100-$200 costly than a single fuel generator with the same specifications. If you live in a disaster-prone area where the gas supply is interrupted due to infrastructural problems, you need to have a dual fuel generator. If you are an occasional generator user and have problems storing gasoline for a long time, buying a dual fuel generator is the best option because it will give you the freedom of using stored propane for years. You may have a different set of needs, but a dual fuel generator is best for emergencies and occasional usage.
How can I increase the run time on my dual fuel generator?
Are you worried about a night with no power? Don’t worry; a portable generator can help you in this precarious situation. All you need to do is fill your generator’s gas tank and attach a propane cylinder with it. First, run the generator on gas. Once it goes off, turn the fuel selector knob to propane and fire up the generator. In this way, you won’t need to fill gas in the middle of the night, and you will have minimum downtime.
Is propane better for running a dual fuel generator or gasoline?
We have compared both the fuels in detail above. To summarize it, propane burns cleaner and is cheaper than gasoline. However, it gives lower power output as compared to gasoline.
Are dual fuel generators safe to power sensitive electronics?
The dual-fuel generators recommended are not safe for sensitive electronics because they are not inverter generators. You cannot take a risk because the unstable and non-surge-free power can damage your laptop, PC, smartphone, or tablet at any time.
Where can you use dual fuel generators?
These generators operate in commercial and residential surroundings. If you prefer a portable one, you can also use it for camping with an RV or for activities such as tailgating.
Is it necessary to ground a portable dual fuel generator?
It would be best if you adequately ground your generator, or it could lead to electrocution. The owner’s guide will discuss the steps that you require to take to ground it. If you cannot do these steps yourself, an electrician can help you ground your generator correctly.
Is there any difference in a dual fuel generator’s working mechanism compared to a single fuel generator?
No, there is no difference between the working of a single-fuel generator and a dual fuel generator. The working, operation and maintenance needs are the same. The only difference is that a dual fuel generator can burn both propane and gas to produce electricity.
Can I run a dual fuel generator on natural gas?
A dual fuel generator will not run on natural gas and can’t be modified for this purpose.
What are the limitations of a dual fuel generator?
When you are running it on propane, it gives low power output. Secondly, carrying cylinders of propane gas is a bit difficult compared to gas.
6 thoughts on “7 Best Dual Fuel Generators: All Run on Gasoline and Propane”
I have heard from some that when you purchase a dual generator you should run it on gas first to set the rings. I’m trying to determine how long I should run it on gas to set the rings before switching to propane and do I need to wait any time between fuel type changes?
I hope you are reading this message in good health, and everyone around you is safe from the deadly COVID-19. First of all, before starting your generator on gasoline or propane, you need to make sure that your generator has engine oil. Please note that the fuel type for starting up your new generator for the first time does not matter.
What matters is: how much time you run your generator. We recommend that you run your generator for 20-30 minutes for the first time. Do not put any load on your generator during this time. Ensure that everything is running smoothly, and your generator is not making any sounds other than its usual running sound. Remember to turn off the fuel source before turning off the generator from the switch, as it will help in draining the carburetor.
If you want to use gasoline, well and good, propane is fine too, and will not cause any problems to your generator.
If you buy a quality generator from a reputable brand, they have already tested everything. So, it doesn’t matter.
What about westinghouse 9500 how would you rate that?
Westinghouse WGen9500DF is also one of the best dual fuel generators. Its Amazon rating says it all that how good this generator is.
It produces 12500 starting watts and 9500 running watts on gasoline but 11200 starting and 8500 running watts on propane. It has a 6.6-gallon gasoline tank that gives up to 17.5 hours of runtime at 25% load and on a 20 lbs. propane tank, it gives up to 11 hour runtime at 25% load. Also, WGen9500DF has 6 AC outlets and one Smart Switch Ready outlet but no DC outlet.
I Jerry I don’t know if you can help my ryobi generator don’t generate any power. It runs but no power to my house
If your generator is connected to the transfer switch of your house then might be there is a problem in the transfer switch. If not, then you should check the circuit breaker first. Some breakers don’t give any indication at all that they have been tripped. So, cycle the circuit breaker off and one and then try the receptacle again.
Loss of residual magnetism is also one of the most common causes of power loss in generators. This loss occurs when you run the generator with no load for too long.