A powerful tri fuel generator offers the ultimate in convenience and readiness when it comes to powering essential appliances on the go or during a power outage.
Whereas dual fuel generators only run on gasoline or propane, a tri fuel generator can run on natural gas as well.
That’s a big deal in an emergency power outage, and not only because you’re adding a third fuel option to your generator’s repertoire when gasoline or propane is hard to find. Many houses already have built-in natural gas lines that continue to work even when the electrical grid is shut down, so your tri fuel generator can tap directly into that virtually limitless supply of fuel.
In addition, a tri fuel generator is simply convenient because they offer such versatile fueling. If you find you need to take the generator on the road, like for a road trip, you can use gasoline or propane. But if you’re using the generator around your home’s yard, you can once again tap into your natural gas line and never have to worry about running out of fuel.
So, why are dual fuel generators often a more popular option than tri fuel generators?
One of the main reasons is that tri fuel generators come at a price premium. If you’re not worried about a power outage or don’t already have a natural gas line running to your home, then that extra money up front might not be worth it.
Another reason is that natural gas is the least efficient generator fuel since it’s not very energy-dense. Because of that, most tri fuel generators put out less wattage when running on natural gas than when running on gasoline or propane.
But, if your home has a natural gas line, don’t let the sticker shock or lower wattage scare you away. A tri fuel generator is still one of the best ways to prepare for an emergency and you can still reap the benefits of fueling with propane or gas. Plus, natural gas is cheaper than propane or gasoline.
With all that in mind, let’s take a look at my favorite tri fuel generator, the Smart Generators Pramac.
Please note, that Tri Fuel Generators are hard to come by. The following model from Pramac shows up from time to time online. If you can’t find a good option – you could consider using a Tri Fuel Conversion Kit as mentioned below.
OUR TOP PICK
This powerful tri fuel generator is designed to power your home through an extended outage or to take your power on the go.
The generator offers 7,500 watts of surge power and 7,000 watts of running power when fueled with gasoline or propane.
When running off a natural gas line, the generator puts out 7,300 watts of surge power and 6,700 watts of running power – still more than enough to power your entire kitchen, air conditioner or heater, and all of the lights in your home.
On top of that, the electricity produced by the generator has less than 6% total harmonic distortion. That means that you can safely power sensitive electronics like smartphones and computers off of this generator.
As you might expect, a generator with this much power is pretty noisy – 72 dB at 25% load. Keep that in mind if you live in close proximity to your neighbors, as they might complain if you’re running the generator at night.
Another reason this is my favorite tri fuel generator is that Smart Generators includes a propane/natural gas regulator with the generator. Plus, it comes with a three-year warranty in case of any problems.
The Generac 7127 generator is a fantastic choice for those looking for a tri fuel generator that is also really quiet.
It is also really easy to set and use with the generator usually working from the first pull.
Equipped with Powerrush advanced technology, the Generac model boasts a 50% starting capacity meaning that it can generate more power whilst actually using little power in terms of battery life.
It comes complete with a battery which contains 120 voltage.
The Generac 7127 is hugely durable and reliable with a lightweight design that is easily portable meaning that it is easy for you to travel with and use wherever you go.
Boasting an average of 4.6 stars from over 1,400, the Generac 7127 model has become a popular choice for those looking to replace a broken generator and those who haven’t bought one before.
A lot of praise of the generator was towards its ability to be connected to a lot of appliances without running out of battery quickly.
- The generator is really quiet compared to other tri fuel generators
- Easy to use
- High wattage and voltage means it is extremely reliable and powerful
- Strong and sturdy making it durable and reliable for any conditions
- High price point
One of the most powerful generators on our list thanks to its extremely high wattage, the Westinghouse WGen7500 generator is hugely impressive with a remote electric start and easy portability so it is easy to travel with.
With an 11 hour battery life, the Westinghouse model is long lasting, even when connected to numerous appliances.
It comes with everything you need to set it up including an instruction manual if you haven’t purchased a generator before, a battery charger and oil funnel among other instruments needed to get your generator up and running.
With an amazing 4.5 star average from over 1,100, the Westinghouse model is full of power that can be provided to a lot of various appliances at an incredible price point.
A lot of the praise for the Westinghouse comes with its reliability and durability under a variety of conditions.
A lot of comments on this generator come from consumers who have bought the product after storms or hurricanes and its power throughout the tricky conditions are unmatched.
The heavy weight does make it difficult if you are looking to travel with the generator but in unpredictable weathers, the product’s heaviness means that it can be guaranteed to stay in place.
- Huge amount of wattage makes this one of the most powerful generators on our list and in the market
- Great price point for the power
- High battery life
- Heavy weighted so not easy to travel with
The next generator on this list is the best model for those on a budget. The Durostar DS4000S is approved to be used in all 50 states meaning that it is a great choice if you want to go travelling with it.
Perfect for those with RVs and boasting a 3.9 gallon fuel tank, the Durostar model is fantastic for those who want to go travelling and need a reliable generator.
The generator comes complete with an instruction manual, oil funnel, spark plug wrench and tool set meaning you have everything you need to set it up immediately.
Easy to set up and go, the Durostar is designed for movement and travelling meaning it is lightweight in design and easy to store away.
With 4.5 stars from over 2,000 reviews, the Durostar has received positive comments from buyers for its amazing price point and its durability.
A lot of consumers have owned the product for years and never had any problems with it. Some have commented that it does not come with warranty but you can easily get insurance for it should you desire some cover in case it is damaged.
The Durostar is perfect for those who want a quality generator without breaking the bank and this model is a perfect example of not having to compromise quality for a lower price point.
- Great price point for those on a budget
- High wattage generates a lot of power
- Ideal for those wanting a generator to travel
- Does not come with a warranty
The last generator on our list is the DuroMax XP5500EH mode and again comes with everything you need to set it up.
Complete with an electric start, you also get an oil funnel, spark plug wrench, tool set, wheel and handle kit, DC charging cables and owner’s manual meaning that you can set up your generator as soon as it arrives.
With a 69dBa noise level, the DuroMax is a quiet generator that means it is also convenient for those wanting to avoid a noisy generator.
It comes with a choice of either propane or gasoline functions meaning it is versatile for whatever you are using the generator for.
With an average of 4.4 stars from over 2,600 reviews, the DuroMax can be used on a lot of appliances whether big or small and has a long lasting power.
It also comes with a 1 year guarantee in case any damage happens and can be serviced at any of DuroMax’s factories nationwide.
Buyers have commented on how well the product has endured through various weather conditions.
With the generator having a higher wattage, it can be good for those who own smaller properties and need a generator to run several appliances.
Because of its quietness, it won’t be a nuisance to neighbors or anyone in the house so that is one less thing to worry about.
- High wattage means lots of power
- Comes equipped with everything you need to set the generator up
- Quiet noise level
- Propane wattage is lower than the gasoline wattage
Best Tri Fuel Generator Buying Guide
Converting A Dual Fuel Generator Into A Tri Fuel Generator
If you already have a dual fuel generator, it’s not hard to convert it into a tri fuel to be better prepared for an extended power outage.
Many manufacturers sell conversion kits to help you through the process and provide you with everything you need.
The most important parts of any conversion kit are the on demand regulator, which only allows fuel to flow when there is suction from the engine, and the carburetor adapter that allows your generator to safely use natural gas.
Most conversion kits also come with spacers, gaskets, and any other hardware you need to bolt the carburetor adapter onto your generator. However, you may need to purchase gas lines and fittings to connect your generator to your home’s natural gas line separately.
The first step in installing your carburetor adapter is to remove your air filter housing from in front of the generator’s carburetor. When you do this, keep track of the air filter and gasket as you’ll need them when putting the generator back together.
You’ll now need to add some space in front of the carburetor. Depending on the hardware included in your conversion kit, you may have a spacer or just a set of stud extenders. In either case, attach them onto the bolts sticking out of the carburetor where the air filter housing was previously located.
Now you can slide the carburetor adaptor onto the bolts. It’s a good idea to use Teflon tape over the threads to make sure you’ll be able to slide the adapter back off if you ever need to, as well as to ensure there is no empty space in the threads.
When finished, re-attach the air filter housing, making sure that you replace the gasket onto bolts so that there is no open space where air could get in behind the filter housing.
Now it’s time to attach the on demand regulator to the generator. With most conversion kits, you need to drill into your generator to bolt the regulator directly to the frame. Make sure you don’t drill into the fuel tank, and make sure the regulator attachment is pointing downward.
Alternatively, you can use custom hardware to mount the regulator to the frame without drilling.
Attach a fuel hose from the outflow of the on demand regulator to the carburetor adaptor. If there is only one hose clamp, put it on the outflow of the on demand regulator.
When the time comes to connect your generator to natural gas, you’ll need an additional gas hose to connect the inflow power of the on demand regulator to the natural gas line of your home. This is where having a set of easy to connect adapters can make getting your generator up and running much faster during a power outage.
You’ll also need to adjust the set screw on your on demand regulator. Unscrew the set screw most of the way and start up your generator, fueling it off your home’s natural gas line. The engine should run, but will sound jumpy. Slowly screw in the set screw until the engine catches and runs consistently, then use the included bolt to fix the set screw in place.
Tri Fuel Conversion Kits For Generators
Your conversion kit will largely govern how easy or difficult the process of converting your dual fuel generator to tri fuel will be.
The most important thing to keep in mind when choosing a tri fuel conversion kit is that it needs to match your generator. If you conversion kit isn’t designed to work specifically with your make and model of generator, you’re likely to end up with space behind the air filter or a carburetor adapter that won’t work with your carburetor.
There are a number of tri fuel conversion kits available from Amazon, which range in price from less than $50 to more than $200. Remember that you get what you pay for – more expensive conversion kits are typically manufactured to a higher standard, use higher quality parts, and come with more of the hardware you need to complete the conversion
NashFuel is my favorite when it comes to tri fuel conversion kits (link here). They make a variety of kits for most generator makes and models, including Honda, Champion, Briggs & Stratton, and Predator.
HIPA makes far less expensive natural gas conversion kits, but these are much more obtrusive on the exterior of your generator and require more technical knowledge because they come with very little instruction.
Finally, Hutch Mountain is a premium supplier of natural gas conversion kits. These kits are largely similar to those from NashFuel, but are manufactured to a slightly higher specification and come with a greater degree of technical support.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know where to bolt in my on demand regulator?
You can bolt in your on demand regulator to anywhere on the frame of your generator, as long as you don’t drill through any vital components. The most important and obvious component to avoid drilling through is the gasoline fuel tank.
In general, you should place at least two bolts to secure your regulator. However, be wary of placing more, as this can make the exterior of your generator look like swiss cheese and allow water to seep inside if it’s outside in the rain.
Can I remove the natural gas conversion later?
Yes. Removing a natural gas conversion kit is simply the reverse of installing it.
The only thing that can’t be undone during the conversion is the bolt holes drilled into the frame of your generator.
If you think that you may remove the conversion at a later date, you can use custom hardware to mount the regulator onto the frame handle rather than onto the generator itself.
What if I have space behind my air filter during the conversion?
If you find that you have space behind your air filter housing after putting a spacer between it and your carburetor adapter, you either have the wrong conversion kit or a poorly manufactured conversion kit. This is a problem because it will allow unfiltered air into your carburetor.
Don’t worry, though. You can eliminate this space by adding in a custom rubber or metal gasket. You’ll need to cut this to the same external size as the spacer, but with dimensions that plug the space behind the air filter housing.
What is the best gas for a generator?
The best gas for a generator is natural gas as it is widely available for all kinds of generators and is also cost effective. It is the most popular gas used for home-based generators but it is important to note that it does carry less energy than other kinds of gas.
Always double check what gas can be used in the instruction manual that you receive with your generator. There may be particular gas that you can’t use on specific generators so it’s always best to be sure before you fill the generator up.
Is it cheaper to run a generator on gas or propane?
Overall, it is cheaper to run a generator on gas than propane. Propane costs less initially but as it has lower energy, this means you’ll be spending more in the long run on propane than gasoline.
Also, gasoline tends to be more widely available so if you were in a tight spot and in need of refilling your generator then it is always best to go with gasoline.
It is all dependent on what you are using your generator for and how often you use it that needs to be taken into consideration when deciding whether to fill it up with propane or gas.
What size generator do I need for my house?
If you are purchasing a generator for a house, you will need to get a high powered generator.
You should be looking at a generator with around 5,000-7,500 watts to power the larger appliances in the household such as the washing machine, refrigerator and freezer.
The higher wattage count means that you can run all of the appliances at once with peace of mind.
In comparison, a suitable generator for an RV would have around 3,000-4,000 watts to run all the appliances.
The reason the wattage is so high for a household is because you have to consider all the appliances you have as well as the constant power that those appliances would need.
For example, a refrigerator and freezer would need to be powered 24/7 but a washing machine can be disconnected when it is not in use.
Can I leave gas in my generator?
Simply put, it isn’t advised to leave any gas in your generator when storing it away. This means that you are reducing any risk of damage to the generator.
If you do insist on leaving the gas in the generator then it is best to store it with a stabilizer.
This will prevent any potential corrosion from happening. With a stabilizer, you can leave the gas in your generator for several years but without it, you can only leave the gas in the generator for several months before any damage will occur.
If you do plan to add a stabilizer then add the gas and run the engine for several minutes before turning it off and storing it away.
Tri fuel generators offer convenience and readiness when it comes to powering your home through an extended power outage.
If you’re in the market for a new tri fuel generator, the Smart Generators Pramac 7,500-watt generator is my favorite. Alternatively, if you already have a dual fuel generator, it’s easy to use a conversion kit to turn it into a tri fuel generator.