Best Portable Propane Generator For 2019 (Full Reviews And Guide)

westinghouseGoing without electricity is not easy. If you have a power outage, the best portable propane generators can help you to keep your key electric items running. There is a lot of information to know about propane generators to ensure that you understand the basics so that you can pick the best portable propane generator for your needs.

Propane generators are also ideal for worksites that do not have electricity or activities like camping. The key is to evaluate your power needs so that you can find the best portable propane generator for the job.


In A Hurry? See Our Top 5 Picks

Preview
Top Pick
Westinghouse WGen7500DF Dual Fuel Portable Generator - 7500 Rated Watts & 9500 Peak Watts - Gas or Propane Powered - CARB Compliant
Champion 7500-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Generator with Electric Start
WEN DF475T 4750-Watt 120V/240V Dual Fuel Portable Generator with Wheel Kit and Electric Start - CARB Compliant
Rainier R4400DF Dual Fuel (Gas and Propane) Portable Generator with Electric Start - 4400 Peak Watts & 3600 Rated Watts - CARB Compliant
Product Name
Westinghouse Dual Fuel Portable Generator
Champion Dual Fuel Portable Generator
Champion Electric Start Generator
WEN Electric Start Generator
Rainier Portable Propane Generator
Fuel type
Gas or propane
Gas or propane
Gas or propane
Gas or propane
Gas or propane
Wattage
9,500 starting watts and 7,500 running watts (gas) and 8,550 starting watts and 6,750 running watts (propane)
7,500 running watts and 9,375 starting watts (gas) and 6,750 running watts and 8,400 running watts (propane)
4,750 starting watts and 3,800 running watts (gas) and 4,275 starting watts and 3,420 running watts (propane)
3,800 running watts and 4,750 starting watts (gas) and 3,500 running watts and 4,350 starting watts (propane)
3,600 running watts and 4,400 starting watts (gas) and 3,300 running watts and 4,000 starting watts (propane)
Noise level
73 dB
74 dB
68 dB
69 dB
69 dB
Rated AC output
120/240 volts
120/240 volts
120 volts
120/240 volts
120 volts
Run-time
10 hours at half load with gas or propane
At 50 percent load, eight hours for has and 5.5 hours for propane
Gas nine hours and propane 10.5 hours
At half load, 11 hours (gas) and seven hours (propane)
18 hours on has and 11 hours on propane
Top Pick
Preview
Westinghouse WGen7500DF Dual Fuel Portable Generator - 7500 Rated Watts & 9500 Peak Watts - Gas or Propane Powered - CARB Compliant
Product Name
Westinghouse Dual Fuel Portable Generator
Fuel type
Gas or propane
Wattage
9,500 starting watts and 7,500 running watts (gas) and 8,550 starting watts and 6,750 running watts (propane)
Noise level
73 dB
Rated AC output
120/240 volts
Run-time
10 hours at half load with gas or propane
Preview
Champion 7500-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Generator with Electric Start
Product Name
Champion Dual Fuel Portable Generator
Fuel type
Gas or propane
Wattage
7,500 running watts and 9,375 starting watts (gas) and 6,750 running watts and 8,400 running watts (propane)
Noise level
74 dB
Rated AC output
120/240 volts
Run-time
At 50 percent load, eight hours for has and 5.5 hours for propane
Preview
Product Name
Champion Electric Start Generator
Fuel type
Gas or propane
Wattage
4,750 starting watts and 3,800 running watts (gas) and 4,275 starting watts and 3,420 running watts (propane)
Noise level
68 dB
Rated AC output
120 volts
Run-time
Gas nine hours and propane 10.5 hours
Preview
WEN DF475T 4750-Watt 120V/240V Dual Fuel Portable Generator with Wheel Kit and Electric Start - CARB Compliant
Product Name
WEN Electric Start Generator
Fuel type
Gas or propane
Wattage
3,800 running watts and 4,750 starting watts (gas) and 3,500 running watts and 4,350 starting watts (propane)
Noise level
69 dB
Rated AC output
120/240 volts
Run-time
At half load, 11 hours (gas) and seven hours (propane)
Preview
Rainier R4400DF Dual Fuel (Gas and Propane) Portable Generator with Electric Start - 4400 Peak Watts & 3600 Rated Watts - CARB Compliant
Product Name
Rainier Portable Propane Generator
Fuel type
Gas or propane
Wattage
3,600 running watts and 4,400 starting watts (gas) and 3,300 running watts and 4,000 starting watts (propane)
Noise level
69 dB
Rated AC output
120 volts
Run-time
18 hours on has and 11 hours on propane

Last update on 2019-11-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


The 5 Best Portable Propane Generator Options


1. Westinghouse Dual Fuel Portable Generator

The Westinghouse Dual Fuel Portable Generator starts up within seconds. You can choose to use the key fob for this purpose, or the button located on the propane generator. If you use the key fob, it has a range of up to 109 yards from the generator.

This generator makes it easy to switch between gas and propane, depending on the fuel type that you want to use at a specific time. You have the option to switch between the fuel types when the generator is running. It does not take long or much effort to do this.

Take advantage of the control panel to keep an eye on the overall operation of your generator. It has two GFCI outlets that you can use. This generator also features a 30A twist-lock outlet. Most people use this specific outlet to connect a transfer switch to the generator.

The generator is easy to maintain thanks to its engine. Just make sure that you keep a solid fuel supply and change the oil as necessary. When the oil goes low, the engine shuts off so that it does not sustain any damage related to low oil.

The engine is air-cooled and a 420cc 4-stroke type. Use the fuel gauge to keep an eye on the level so that you know when it is time to add more fuel. This generator’s fuel tank is 6.6 gallons. It is also CARB compliant. When you are running the generator at its full load, it uses about 1.25 gallons per hour.

You get a battery with this generator so that you have everything that you need to start using your generator out of the box. Use the rear wheels so that you can move it around easily, depending on where you need it at the time. It weighs 200 pounds, so it is heavy, but the wheels make it easy to maneuver.

The rugged design of this generator ensures that it can withstand frequent use. Keep an eye on the VFT meter so that you are always aware of the frequency, volts and lifetime hours. It does have overload protection so if you connect too much, this feature will prevent damage.

This generator is a good choice for commercial and residential use. On a worksite, you can use it to connect lighting and tools so that you can get the job done. At home, you can power some appliances and other electronics when a power outage occurs.

The generator is relatively quiet, so you do not have to worry about disturbing nearby neighbors when you are operating your generator. It does have a muffler to help further how tolerable the noise level is when this generator is operating.

  • Fuel type: Gas or propane
  • Wattage: 9,500 starting watts and 7,500 running watts (gas) and 8,550 starting watts and 6,750 running watts (propane)
  • Noise level: 73 dB
  • Rated AC output: 120/240 volts
  • Estimated run-time: 10 hours at half load with gas or propane

What We Liked

  • It is easy to put together and start using
  • You can choose the most convenient fuel type
  • This propane generator lets you run larger appliances and tools
  • The engine is strong, but this does not distract from the efficiency of this generator

What We Didn’t Like

  • The battery may not last quite as long compared to similar propane generators but this is minor compared to all of the benefits of this generator

Our Overall Impression

This is one of the best portable propane generator options because it has strong wattage, allowing you to use it for multiple purposes. It starts quickly and can take on larger appliances and electronic items. You can choose to use the push button or a key fob to start this generator.


2. Champion Dual Fuel Portable Generator

The Champion Dual Fuel Portable Generator has optimal fuel efficiency whether you choose to use propane or gas. You have the option to go back and forth between these fuel types, depending on which one is the easiest to obtain at a specific time.

The oil reservoir can hold up to 1.2 quarts at a time. Should the oil level get too low when your generator is operating, it shuts itself off right away so that there is no damage to the engine.

When you are ready to use your generator, take advantage of the electric start which powers the generator on within seconds. Just use the toggle switch to engage the 439cc engine. Due to the size of the engine, this generator is powerful, but it also maintains a high level of efficiency, especially during extended use.

This generator features an Intelligauge. The gauge lets you track a variety of pertinent information about the functioning of the generator. Keep an eye on the hertz, voltage and run-time hours so that you know that your generator is operating at peak performance. Use this gauge to also track maintenance intervals and monitor the power output.

The frame of this generator is strong so that it will not breakdown prematurely. It is made from tubular steel that is 1.5 inches in diameter. This ensures an optimal level of durability.

This generator’s running and starting watts are enough for most worksite or residential electronic items. There is a surge protector built into the generator to prevent overload from happening so that your generator and anything that you connect to it do not sustain damage during use.

The fuel tank for the gasoline is six gallons. There is a hose and an inlet that allow you to connect a propane tank if you prefer this type of fuel. Use the safety fuel selector switch to designate the fuel type that you will use to power your generator.

This generator comes with GFCI protected outlets. The outlets ensure safety and help to make sure that you are in compliance when you are using this generator on a worksite.

The generator operates quietly so that noise does not disrupt you or anyone who is nearby when it is operating. Its low noise level is also important to protect the hearing of those who are working close to the generator when it is running.

  • Fuel type: Gas or propane
  • Wattage: 7,500 running watts and 9,375 starting watts (gas) and 6,750 running watts and 8,400 running watts (propane)
  • Noise level: 74 dB
  • Rated AC output: 120/240 volts
  • Estimated run-time: At 50 percent load, eight hours for has and 5.5 hours for propane

What We Liked

  • This propane generator starts quickly
  • You can use it for some appliances
  • The control panel is easy to use

What We Didn’t Like

  • This generator may leak oil prematurely as happened on a few reported incidents

Our Overall Impression

This generator lets you choose the fuel type that you prefer to use. It has a strong engine and is easy to start. You can move it around easily so that it is not hard to prepare when you need to use it. Due to the materials, this is a strong generator that is versatile regarding its uses.


3. Champion Electric Start Generator

The Champion Electric Start Portable Generator is ready to use when you remove it from the box. It features a 4-stroke engine that runs smoothly, even when you are using the generator for a long period of time. To start the engine, you just need to push a button. There is a battery that comes with the generator so that the electric start occurs within seconds.

If the oil level gets too low when your generator is running, it shuts off automatically to protect the engine against damage. You can add up to 0.6 quarts of oil at a time.

The Intelligauge on this generator lets you track a variety of important information, including hertz, run-time and voltage. You can also use this gauge to know when maintenance is necessary and to keep an eye on the power output that occurs when your generator is operating.

This generator has enough power to keep certain types of air conditioning units running that go up to 15,000 BTUs. You can also use it for a variety of appliances and tools so that you have the items that you need when grid electricity is not available.

Use the fuel selector switch to go back and forth between the fuel types. This makes it easier to keep your generator running since you can add gas and quickly connect a propane tank when you want to start using this fuel option. The gas tank is 3.4 gallons. You can connect a propane tank up to 20 pounds.

Overall, this generator operates at about the same noise level as a vacuum. This means that the noise will not be disruptive to any person who is near your generator. Due to the low noise level, you also do not have to worry about accidental hearing damage when you are working in the general proximity of the generator.

This generator has the Volt Guard feature. It is a type of built-in surge protector. With this feature, there is no risk of power surges so that the items that you have connected to the generator remain safe during operation.

You can move this generator around easily because it comes with a wheel kit. This allows you to roll the generator into place, depending on where you need it at the time. The wheels also make it easier to move into and out of storage when you are not using it.

  • Fuel type: Gas or propane
  • Wattage: 4,750 starting watts and 3,800 running watts (gas) and 4,275 starting watts and 3,420 running watts (propane)
  • Noise level: 68 dB
  • Rated AC output: 120 volts
  • Estimated run-time: Gas nine hours and propane 10.5 hours

What We Liked

  • You can switch between the fuel types easily
  • The fuel efficiency is high
  • This generator does not require a lot of maintenance

What We Didn’t Like

  • It is a little louder than similarly sized propane generator options

Our Overall Impression

This generator has a solid run-time so that you can maintain the electricity that you need after a power outage or when you are on a worksite. You can use two fuel types which makes it easier to obtain fuel during weather events where many places may be closed. There are a variety of outlets so that you can plug in several items at once.


4. WEN Electric Start Generator

The WEN Portable Electric Start Generator lets you choose whether you want to power it with gas or propane. You also have the option to swap out between both of these fuel types by using the selection dial on the generator.

This generator works for both emergency backup use and with a transfer switch. You can use it for these purposes because its voltage seamlessly goes from 120 to 240 volts.

Its engine is an electric start type. The 224cc 4-stroke engine has sufficient power. However, it runs relatively quietly so that you are not disturbed when you are using the generator. This generator does have a muffler to add to how quiet this generator is when it is running. Just use the key to get the engine engaged and running.

This generator has a wheel handle kit. Use this to ensure that you can move your generator around with ease. The kit also makes storing the generator or transporting it to worksites more convenient. It weighs about 105 pounds, so it is relatively lightweight for a generator of its size and capacity.

Add four gallons of gas to the tank or connect to a propane tank. There is a hose that allows you to connect this generator to a propane tank. This generator is also EPAIII and CARB compliant, so you can use it at home or for work purposes and be within the guidelines and laws associated with using a generator.

Use the house meter on the generator so that you can keep an eye on how long the generator runs for. There is also an LCD display that lets you monitor important information so that you know when maintenance is necessary or if you need to add fuel or oil. Should the oil get too low when you are using the generator, it will shutdown so that you do not have to worry about engine damage.

You can use this generator for a variety of items, including larger appliances such as a refrigerator. This helps to ensure that you can keep your essentials running when the power is out so that you are as comfortable as possible.

  • Fuel type: Gas or propane
  • Wattage: 3,800 running watts and 4,750 starting watts (gas) and 3,500 running watts and 4,350 starting watts (propane)
  • Noise level: 69 dB
  • Rated AC output: 120/240 volts
  • Estimated run-time: At half load, 11 hours (gas) and seven hours (propane)

What We Liked

  • You can run most items in the house
  • This generator uses both fuel types efficiently
  • It does not lose power when you run it for an extended period of time

What We Didn’t Like

  • It is harder to start compared to similar generators

Our Overall Impression

This generator is strong and powerful. You can run a variety of appliances due to the capacity of this generator. It is efficient and has a solid run-time for its size, making it a good choice for worksites and for use at home during a power outage.


5. Rainier Portable Propane Generator

The Rainier Dual Fuel Portable Generator is a good choice for worksites or as a backup generator for your home in the event of a power outage. You can also use this generator for camping and similar activities.

The engine is dependable and powerful. It is a 4-stroke engine constructed of cast iron. When you are ready to power on your generator, there is a switch that you flip. This generator uses an electric start, making it easy to engage the engine.

Use either gas or propane to power your generator. This ensures that there is some versatility regarding how you operate your generator. It also makes it easier to maintain a good fuel level since you can choose the fuel type that is the easiest to find at any given time.

There is a fuel gauge on this generator so that it is easy to see how much gas you have available. When you notice that it is starting to get low, simply add more fuel or switch to propane to keep your generator running.

You have to add oil to this generator to ensure that the engine has sufficient lubrication. If the oil level drops too low when the generator is working, the generator shuts down by itself to protect against damage. There is also overload protection so that your generator and electronic items are protected if you accidentally connect too many devices at one time.

This generator has multiple outlet types so that you can connect a wide variety of items to it. You can connect things like your refrigerator and a variety of other appliances, tools and electronics.

There is a wheel kit that comes with this generator. They are the never-flat type so that you can easily move your generator around as necessary. You can also add a handle so that you only need to pull the generator to get it into place.

This generator is both CARB and EPA compliant. Use the VFT meter to keep an eye on important generator information, such as the real-time frequency and voltage. You can also use this meter to learn about progress checkups and lifetime hours.

  • Fuel type: Gas or propane
  • Wattage: 3,600 running watts and 4,400 starting watts (gas) and 3,300 running watts and 4,000 starting watts (propane)
  • Noise level: 69 dB
  • Rated AC output: 120 volts
  • Estimated run-time: 18 hours on has and 11 hours on propane

What We Liked

  • The generator has optimal fuel efficiency
  • It operates relatively quietly
  • You can start the generator fast
  • This generator is easy to assemble

What We Didn’t Like

  • The frame has been reported to break prematurely on a few models but this is not a critical issue as it’s rare

Our Overall Impression

Use this generator to bring power to your worksite or to keep some of your essentials on when there is a power outage. There are several outlet types that allow you to connect multiple items at the same time. Its engine is powerful, but this does not take away from the overall fuel efficiency of the generator.


Portable Propane Generator Buying Guide

After exploring the best portable propane generators, it is time to learn more about what all of the features and specifications mean. This will make it easier to pick the best portable propane generator for your needs. The following questions and answers provide all of the information you need about portable propane generators.

  • What Are the Types of Propane Generators?
  • How Do You Pick the Right Propane Generator Size?
  • What Are Portable Propane Generator Hour Meters?
  • Should You Consider Lifting Eyes for Portable Propane Generators?
  • What Are GFCI Outlets on Propane Generators?
  • What Are Common Features with Portable Propane Generators?
  • Is There a Different Between a Portable Propane Generator’s Running and Starting Watts?
  • What is a Portable Propane Generator Back-Feed?
  • What is a Transfer Switch for a Portable Propane Generator?
  • Do You Have to Ground Portable Propane Generators?
  • Where Do You Place Portable Propane Generators?
  • Can You Use a Portable Propane Generator in Bad Weather?
  • How Much Maintenance is Necessary for the Best Portable Propane Generator?
  • What is the Best Fuel Type for Portable Propane Generators?
  • What is the Difference Between an Inverter Alternator and a Conventional Alternator Portable Propane Generator?
  • What Safety Tips Are Important for a Portable Propane Generator?

What Are the Types of Portable Propane Generators?

There are a few different portable propane generator types to know about. Which one is the best will ultimately depend on what you are planning to use the generator for. The types include:

  • Recreational generators: These portable generators are a good choice for camping or tailgating since they tend to be smaller. However, you can use them to power some key items in your home when you have a power outage.
  • Professional generators: This portable generator type is a good choice for those who need to supply power to a worksite.
  • Semi-professional generators: You can use this type of portable generator for both commercial and home use.

How Do You Pick the Right Generator Size?

When you are shopping for a portable propane generator, it is imperative that you choose the right size. If your generator is too small, you risk overloading it which can harm your generator and be dangerous.

To determine how much wattage you need, make a list of the items that you plan to run with the generator. Add up the wattage of these items and use the total wattage to determine generator size. It is best to choose a generator that has a wattage a little higher than what you need to reduce the risk of overload.

What Are Portable Propane Generator Hour Meters?

If you plan to use your generator on a worksite or for extended residential use, it is important to choose one that has an hour meter. This meter tells you how long the generator has been running. Use this information to know when you need to perform maintenance or add more oil. For generators that do not come with this meter, you can often install one separately.

Should You Consider Lifting Eyes for Portable Propane Generators?

If you will be moving your generator around a lot, it is a good idea to consider lifting eyes. These devices make it easy to secure and hoist your generator without putting in intense physical effort. It could help to protect against back injuries when you are lifting the generator into or out of a work truck, for example.

What Are GFCI Outlets on Generators?

GFCI stands for ground fault circuit interrupter. If you are using a professional-grade generator, it is a requirement that you have these outlets, according to OHA standards. They work to decrease the risk of electrocution for those who are using the generator.

What Are Common Features with Portable Propane Generators?

When you are looking at generators, you will find that they come with a wealth of features that are meant to make them convenient and easier to use.

The following are common features found on portable generators:

  • Larger fuel tanks so that the generator will run for longer
  • Elements that make it safe to run sensitive electronics
  • Handles and wheels so that you can move it around easily
  • Outlets with circuit breaker protection
  • Fuel gauges so that you can monitor how much gas you have left
  • Mufflers that help to keep your generator quiet when you are running it

Is There a Different Between a Generator’s Running and Starting Watts?

Starting watts describes the extra wattage necessary to get an electronic item to start running. The running watts are what is necessary to keep the item running.

What is a Generator Back-Feed?

If you plug it into an electrical outlet, this can occur. It can be life-threatening for any person working on the grid power lines because it sends power back to the grid power system.

What is a Transfer Switch for a Portable Propane Generator?

Some portable generators let you connect a transfer switch. This is ideal if you are using it for a home and you want your generator to start as soon as a power outage is detected.

Do You Have to Ground Generators?

It is important to ground your generator to ensure optimal safety. If you fail to ground it properly, you are at risk for electrocution.

Where Do You Place Generators?

The user’s guide will provide the details about how to properly place the portable generator that you choose. Always ensure that it is not in an enclosed space and that it is not up against windows due to the carbon monoxide that these devices generate.

Can You Use a Generator in Bad Weather?

You can use your generator during these times. However, it is imperative that you take the steps necessary to prevent it from getting wet. This is also true when you are not using it. Wetness could cause rusting or shorting.

How Much Maintenance is Necessary for the Best Portable Propane Generator?

All of the maintenance requirements will be in the user’s guide. Most modern generators do not require much maintenance. Just ensure that you do all necessary tasks on a regular schedule to keep your generator in excellent condition.

Is Gas A Better Fuel Type Than Propane?

This is ultimately based on your preference. Gas can sometimes be easier to obtain. With gas, you usually get a slightly longer run-time. However, propane is a very clean type of fuel.

What is the Difference Between an Inverter Alternator and a Conventional Alternator  Generator?

When you are looking for a portable propane generator, you will find those with conventional and inverter alternators. The inverter type tends to be quieter. It is also usually smaller, lighter and better with fuel efficiency. The conventional type is typically a little louder, but also less expensive and more powerful.

What Safety Tips Are Important for a Portable Propane Generator?

When you are using your portable generator, there are several safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Never overfill the fuel or oil tanks
  • Be mindful of electrocution hazards
  • Place the generator properly to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Keep it dry
  • Ensure proper ventilation for the generator