Best Dual Fuel Generators

A quality generator is one of the most important pieces of equipment that you can have to prepare for a disaster, help you get through projects in your yard, or keep your campsite powered.

A reliable generator can power your house’s essential appliances – like a heater or air conditioner – if you decide to ride out a disaster, or it can keep the comforts of home nearby if you decide to head into the backcountry for a weekend.

One of the main problems with typical generators is that gasoline is expensive and hard to store. Worse, in an emergency, you won’t want to be waiting around in gas lines just to fire up your generator.

That’s where dual fuel generators come in. These extremely versatile generators are able to run on either gasoline or propane – so you have a choice of what fuel to on hand depending on what works best for you.

In addition, propane has a terrific advantage over gasoline.

Gasoline is tricky to stockpile because it goes stale after just a few months of storage – and putting stale gasoline in your generator is a quick way to destroy the engine.

But propane last for years. You can keep propane around the house in case of an emergency, or store in your truck or RV to use over the course of an extended trip.

Even better, propane is far cheaper than gasoline so it won’t break the bank to keep a few canisters around.

So why doesn’t everyone have a dual fuel generator?

For the most part, it comes down to cost. Most people don’t feel like they would need to use propane instead of gasoline for their generator. And if you’re just comparing conventional and dual fuel generators based on rated performance, dual fuel generators tend to be more expensive.

It’s also worth noting that most dual fuel generators have a lower rated wattage when running on propane.

To help you find the best generator to prepare for an emergency, I put together a list of my top 10 favorite dual fuel generators.

I’ll break down everything you need to know about each of these generators, from power and performance to features that can make it easier to use no matter what you need a generator for.

WEN DF475T 4750 Dual Fuel – EDITOR’S CHOICE

This 4,750-watt maximum power generator from Wen is a direct competitor to the DuroMax generator. It sports a similarly attractive price tag and a set of heavy-duty wheels to make it portable enough to bug out with when needed.

It’s easy to toggle the voltage between 120 and 240 volts, which allows you to hook this generator up to run an RV or large home appliances.

In addition, an automotive-style muffler makes this generator surprisingly quiet for its size.

The electric and recoil starter options offer convenience and reliability. You can also watch your fuel levels with an included LED display.

If 3,800 watts of running power are enough to power your essentials, it’s hard to beat this generator for the price.

Pros:

  • Attractive price
  • 3,800 running watts
  • Steel-frame with wheels and fold-down handles
  • Toggles between 120- and 240-volt power
  • LED hour meter
  • Electric and recoil starters

Cons:

  • Only two standard 120-volt outlets

Champion 3800 Dual Fuel

This dual fuel generator from Champion is rather large and burly looking given its 4,750-watt maximum power output. But if you’re looking for back-up power for your home or have an RV to bug out in, this unit has you covered.

The generator has two 30-amp twist-lock outlets, one of which is specifically designed to connect to an RV’s central power grid.

On top of that, it runs up to 10.5 hours at half load on a standard propane tank or nine hours on a tank of gasoline. The built-in LED display gives you a heads up about how much runtime you have remaining, which is a big advantage if you need to ration fuel.

Importantly, while this generator offers an electric push-to-start button for convenience, it also has a standard recoil starter so you can get it running even if the built-in battery is dead.

Pros:

  • RV-ready 30-amp outlet
  • LED display
  • 5-hour runtime at half load
  • Electric starter

Cons:

  • Bulky and heavy for its size

Champion 7500 Dual Fuel

This 7,500-watt dual fuel generator is essentially a more powerful version of Champion’s 3,800-watt model. It’s not much larger given that it doubles the available power, and comes with a second set of 120-volt outlets.

The generator is designed for reliability with a number of features.

To start, it has both an electric and recoil starter. Plus, the generator comes with Cold Start technology that allows the electric and recoil starters to work even when you’re starting the generator in the dead of winter.

Champion also backs this generator with a three-year warranty and free lifetime technical support.

The only downside to this generator is its size – the design is at an awkward in between where it’s mounted on wheels to be portable, but the generator is too large to move quickly.

Pros:

  • 7,500-watt power rating
  • RV-ready outlet
  • LED display
  • Electric and recoil start
  • Cold Start technology
  • Three-year warranty

Cons:

  • Too large for easy transport
  • No central breaker

DuroMax Hybrid Dual Fuel 12,000

This dual fuel generator from DuroMax is a true beast. With 12,000 watts, you can power your entire home – air conditioner, heater, water pumps, and an entire kitchen – without skipping a beat.

Be careful what you wish for though, as that kind of engine power sucks down a lot of fuel and makes a lot of noise.

A 100-pound propane tank will run the generator for about 20 hours at half-power. That means you’ll need to stockpile multiple large canisters if you’re planning to hunker down for any outage longer than few days.

Although the generator only has two 120-volt outlets, there are two 240-volt outlets that allow you to plug in a surge strip to provide more space for connecting appliances.

Pros:

  • Extremely heavy-duty
  • Two 240-volt outlets
  • Electric and recoil starters
  • Volt meter
  • All outlets protected by circuit breaker

Cons:

  • Extremely large and heavy
  • Requires a lot of fuel
  • Loud

DuroMax XP4400EH 3500 Dual Fuel

This smaller 3,500-watt generator from DuroMax is priced to sell, but don’t let the budget cost fool you into thinking this generator can’t deliver.

The generator offers 4,400 watts of surge power to get your engine-driven appliances up and running.

On top of that, a 120-volt/240-volt outlet allows you to power heavy-duty equipment like power tools and AC units.

The generator is mounted on a set of large-diameter wheels to make it easy to transport. The steel frame is heavy, but helps to keep vibrations and noise to a minimum.

However, watch out for fumes – this generator isn’t certified by the California Air Resources Board, a sign that it creates quite a bit of smog. DuroMax has also had some technical issues with this generator and aren’t the best about customer service.

Pros:

  • Budget price
  • 4,400 watts surge power
  • Can output 240-volt power
  • Steel frame with large pneumatic wheels
  • Volt meter
  • Electric and recoil starters

Cons:

  • Not CARB-certified
  • Poor customer support
  • Only two 120-volt outlets

Pulsar G10KBN 10,000 Dual Fuel

This burly 10,000-watt generator offers enough power to keep your entire home running for days on end.

The generator boasts a solid runtime of 12 hours at half-load on a tank of gas, or 11 hours on just a tiny 20-pound propane tank. Plus, the digital meter allows you to keep an eye on power draw and fuel levels.

It also has all the outlets you need, including four 120-volt outlets and a 240-volt outlet for plugging in power strips.

Just watch out for the noise on this generator – you’re almost certain to attract attention during a catastrophic outage, and to annoy your neighbors running it at night during less extreme emergencies.

Pros:

  • 10,000 watts running power
  • Runs 11 hours on standard propane tank
  • Includes 240-volt outlet
  • Electric and recoil starters
  • LED hour and power meter

Cons:

  • Only one-year warranty
  • Noisy
  • Too heavy to move far

Westinghouse 3600 Dual Fuel

This compact generator is perfect whether you’re powering your home or taking to the roads.

It has an RV-ready 30-amp outlet, in addition to a second 30-amp outlet to connect a power strip. All of the outlets are protected by individual circuit breakers so you can stop worrying about surges.

Although heavy, the generator is mounted on a set of never-flat wheels that can handle rough terrain.

Best of all, this generator can switch seamlessly between gasoline and propane. There’s no need to shut down the engine and let it cool before changing your fuel source.

The generator is also extremely quiet for its size, which is ideal for staying powered without attracting attention.

However, Westinghouse has had some technical issues with this generator – so make sure you buy from a trusted source with a policy that lets you return a faulty unit.
Pros:

  • RV-ready outlet
  • All outlets protected by circuit breakers
  • Never-flat wheels
  • Seamless switching between fuel types
  • Quiet
  • Electric and recoil starters
  • Three-year warranty

Cons:

  • Faulty units from production
  • Only two 120-volt outlets

Westinghouse 7500 Dual Fuel

This 7,500-watt generator from Westinghouse is a larger version of their 3,600-watt dual fuel generator, with a few important upgrades.

First, it includes an LED display to keep track of remaining fuel and power load.

Second, it puts all of the outlets onto a single main circuit breaker. That allows you to cycle the power load without shutting down the engine, although it’s prone to unexpected tripping.

Like the smaller generator, this model also allows you to switch seamlessly between gasoline and propane.

You won’t find an RV-ready outlet on this generator. Instead, Westinghouse added a second pair of 120-volt outlets and a 120-volt/240-volt outlet for heavy-duty appliances. There’s also a USB port, which is a convenient addition.

Most important, this generator doesn’t suffer from the same production issues as the smaller model. You can expect it to work reliably out of the box.

Pros:

  • LED display
  • Electric starter with remote control, and recoil starter
  • All outlets on main breaker
  • Switches seamlessly between fuel types
  • 120-/240-volt outlet and USB port
  • Three-year warranty

Cons:

  • Main breaker can trip unexpectedly
  • Short six-hour runtime on 20-pound propane tank at half load

Champion 3,400 Dual Fuel

This compact dual fuel generator from Champion is ideal for taking on the road. It features an RV-ready 30-amp outlet so you can easily power an RV or campervan.

On top of that, the generator weighs just 95 pounds and comes with a set of stowed-away wheels so that you can easily take it with you and move it wherever you need.

What really sets this generator apart is that it’s an inverter generator. That means the power it produces is relatively stable, so you can feel safe plugging in sensitive electronics light computers and smartphones.

The only downside to the compact design of this generator is the fuel tank. It’s quite small, so if you are running on gasoline you can expect just a short 7.5 hours of runtime at 25% load.

Pros:

  • RV-ready outlet
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Electric and remote starters
  • Inverter generator
  • Relatively quiet
  • Three-year warranty

Cons:

  • Small fuel tank
  • Wheels can get stuck on rocks and gravel

Rockpals 12,000 Dual Fuel

This dual fuel generator from Rockpals is one of the few designed to withstand any weather conditions.

All of the outlets are covered with waterproof panels. Plus, the generator’s design is such that all of the essential components are protected from downpouring rain and splashing water.

While this generator is by no means quiet, it’s virtually silent compared to other generators of this size thanks to an oversized muffler.

It also offers the ability to switch seamlessly between gasoline and propane without powering down the engine.

Although the generator is on wheels, you’ll only be able to move it around a limited area. After all, it weighs 220 pounds.

Pros:

  • Fully weatherproofed
  • Oversized muffler
  • Seamless switching between fuel types
  • Electric and recoil starters
  • LED hour meter
  • All outlets on circuit breakers

Cons:

  • Too heavy for transport
  • Expensive

Dual Fuel Generator FAQs

Do dual fuel generators output the same power on gasoline and propane?

In general, dual fuel generators will put out less wattage when running on propane than when running on gasoline.

That’s unfortunate if you are planning on stockpiling propane for an emergency, but it’s simply a matter of physics – propane is less energy-dense than gasoline.

But, if you know how much power you’ll need, you can plan around this by simply opting for a generator that meets your power requirements on propane. Alternatively, if surge wattage is an issue, generators that allow you to seamlessly switch between fuel types can let you start up heavy appliances on gasoline and then run them on propane.

Are dual fuel generators safe to use with small electronics?

None of the dual fuel generators I’m recommending are inverter generators, so it’s not a good idea to power your smartphone, laptop, or other sensitive electronics off of them.

That’s because the power coming through the outlets is less stable and more prone to small surges than your standard household outlet. While most appliances and tools can handle this, any surge at all can do severe damage to microprocessors.

Do I need a CARB-certified generator?

The California Air Resources Board gives its stamp of approvals to generators that meet its strict emissions standards.

CARB certification isn’t strictly necessary – unless you live in California. Without a CARB certification, certain generators can’t actually be sold in the state.

That said, CARB certification is a good thing for anyone who doesn’t like breathing in fumes.

Why are circuit-backed outlets important?

Many of the generators I reviewed have each outlet connected to a circuit breaker, or even have all of the outlets on a main breaker.

That’s important because having a circuit breaker means you don’t need to turn off the generator’s engine in order to reset an outlet after a surge.

While that may not sound like an issue, having to restart the engine every time an outlet trips can be a hassle and a waste of precious fuel. A simple breaker reset can save you a ton of trouble.

Conclusion

Dual fuel generators offer the versatility to switch between gasoline and propane.

While both fuel types have their advantages and disadvantages, having the option to choose can make your life easier on the road or during an emergency.

Choosing a generator is a big decision – but I’m confident any of the 10 generators I reviewed will keep your reliably powered up.

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