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Best Propane Generators

A propane generator is a decent alternative to gasoline generators, although they are far less common. Here are some of the best ones that we could find for your next outdoor adventure.

The old, yet highly endeared gasoline generator is certainly popular for a reason. Not only is it a popular workhorse easy to find, but is also affordable and compact. Considering its maintenance costs and its environmental impact, the propane generator is highly beneficial.

How much should I expect to spend on a propane generator?

Portable generators are ideal for emergencies. They come in handy at camps, outdoor events, or tailgate parties. The cost factor of the generator you should buy should be dependent on the voltage. Think about the uses you intend for it. The most common are the 3Kw – 3000 watts which may average $1200, the 8Kw – 8000 watts which may average $1900, and the 10Kw – 10000 watts which may average $3000.

What features should I consider when buying a propane generator?

  • Gauge. This is a very important feature if you ever experience a long blackout. It allows you to check the amount of the remaining fuel.
  • Outlets. At least four outlets are vital to allow you to use the wattage. You can use these at a campsite. 
  • Transfer switches. Transfer switches are required to be clearly marked specifying the type of load they can handle. Be sure to check the markings since some are marked “Resistance Only”, “Tungsten Only”, and so forth.
Propane generators are affordable and compact. With low maintenance costs and environmental impact, this machine is highly beneficial.

What are the more advanced features that I should consider in a high-end propane generator?

  • Automatic start. If you work far from home or travel a lot, then this is a feature worth considering. Every time the power goes off, the generator, with the help of the automatic start, should turn on automatically.
  • Alternative fuel capacity. A lot of the portable models can only run on gasoline. Some, however, come geared to run on natural gas or a propane tank. There are some that are convertible using kits. 
  • Electric start. The market has portable models that come equipped with this push-button, a better alternative from the pull-start engine. The stationary models come with automatic starting.

1) Firman H03652 available for $444 on Amazon

Key features
  • Uses either Gasoline or Propane
  • Wheel Kit
  • Extended propane hose
  • Receptacle covers

This is a budget model that runs on gas and liquid propane fuel. Compared to other models, this hybrid series is one of the best, since it gives you utmost flexibility during a storm, meaning it is the best for camping. It features 3650 running watts and 4550 starting watts, coming to you with a reliable recoil start system. Its five-gallon fuel capacity gives you 14 hours of run time. Normally, it is backed by a three-year warranty.

Image Source: Amazon

How does this item compare to other propane generators?

The HO3652 is a great buy for both piece and quality. It features the 3650 running watts and 4550 starting watts. Its power is supplied by the company’s Max pro Series 208cc Firman engine. The engine runs cool and efficient due to its Phoenix Fat Head lock. What’s more, the company’s Whisper muffler keeps the generator running quietly. This generator also has a very large tank unlike most others in the industry, meaning the user gets an extended run-time through the help of the built-in tank gauge. The Volt Lock automatic regulator it comes with gives you a consistent power output.

What's not so good about it?

Even though this model is pretty great, it doesn’t come without its drawbacks. This generator is heavy, has a noisy borderline, and it also has a shorter run time compared to other generators.

  • Excellent power output             
  • Digital display and four standard AC outlets
  • Powers everything you need
  • Heavy
  • Shorter run time
  • Noisy borderline

2) DuroMax XP4850EH available for $659 on Amazon

Key features
  • Dual fuel versatility
  • 201cc 4 stroke power engine
  • Automatic voltage regulation
  • Built-in fuel gauge

This is a budget pick generator that runs on gas and propane and is an excellent pick. This unit has reliable power, featuring the DuroMax Dual Fuel Technology for more durability. 

This is because it is able to run on cleaner burning propane. With propane, a generator becomes easy to store, lasts longer, and is of better service in emergencies. With this generator, you can easily switch from gas to propane with a simple fuel switch. 

This generator gives you a peak of 4850 watts surge power and a constant 3850 watts. One perfect detail of this product compared to others is that a user can easily monitor the voltage using the analog display. It also has thick, rubberized wheels even if the 130-pound weight does not make it easy to move around.

Image Source: Amazon

How does this item compare to other propane generators?

Unlike most other generators, this one comes with a 7HP engine that accepts high wattage loads with ease. Also, it gives you 20 hours on propane, meaning it is perfect for emergencies. Its oversized muffler is also ideal since it reduces engine noise, giving you a quieter operation.

Featuring a easy, user-friendly electric start, it is safe and simple to operate. It comes with standard tires that never run flat, as well as high leverage handles that make it easy to move across terrains. The generator also has a built-in spark arrestor for better use at camping sites.

What's not so good about it?

Although this generator has a voltmeter, many times, especially at night, it becomes hard to read. 

It also does not have an RV-ready 30-amp port. When this generator is under heavy load, it produces a lot of noise.

  • Relatively portable and compact
  • Full power panel with voltmeter               
  • Electric stat for easy firing
  • Produces a lot of noise when under heavy load
  • Expensive
  • Does not have an RV-ready 30-amp port       

3) Champion 100263 available for $1067 on Amazon

Key features
  • 3-Year Limited Warranty - EPA & CARB/50 State Certified
  • Push-Button Electric Start (Battery Included)
  • Champion 192cc OHV Engine w/ Low Oil Shut-Off
  • Economy Mode

Whether you need power for your home or RV, the Champion 100263 3400 Watt will give you the convenience and versatility you need. The electric start comes with a plus Cold Start Technology and a battery for a quick start during the cold seasons. It has a low oil, shut-off sensor for your safety. The inverter has a 0.6-quart oil capacity. The engine produces 2790 running watt and 3060 starting watt, running for up to seven and a half hours on a full gas tank. The best part is that the generator runs on both propane and gas, meaning you could save your propane to run the fridge and use gas to keep your UC running. It helps save fuel by idling when power demand is low.

Image Source: Amazon

How does this item compare to other propane generators?

This unit is EPA & CARB/50 certified and is one of the very few RV generators that can be sold as an eco-friendly power generator.  It is quiet and lightweight, making it an ideal camping choice. The face of the generator comes loaded with a DC port to help you charge your battery with ease, and an RV-ready 30-amp outlet. The company gives you a warranty of three years, and a lifetime of technical support. Given that this unit is not limited by the gas tank, you can be sure to have it run for up to 12 hours on a standard propane tank at half power.

What's not so good about it?

The 3400 watts is produced at the start, while it gives 3100 watts continually which means your budget for the energy has to be around 3000 watts and not the said 3400 watts. You can also choose to attach another inverter, but that again will be a separate expense. For you to use the wheels, you have to hold the generator at an awkward position. You also cannot start it remotely because it does not come with a key fob which means you may not save as much fuel as if you had a remote to switch it off on demand. Unfortunately you may not really like the idea of shipping this machine, because the costs are exorbitant. It means your only option would be purchasing it from a local store.

  • Three-year warranty and lifetime support
  • DC port and RV-ready 30-amp outlet
  • Quiet when running
  • No fuel or power meter
  • Wheels can clog on a muddy ground
  • High energy budget

4) Sportsman Gen4000LP available for $329 on Amazon

Key features
  • 7 HP 4 Stroke OHV Engine
  • 4000 Surge Watts / 3250 Running Watts
  • Automatic Low Oil Shutdown
  • Automatic Voltage Regulator

Sportsman Gen4000LP is a portable generator that can power tools and household appliances. It comes with twelve volt DC outlets for battery charging, and two 120 volt outlets. It is affordable and comes packed with a 7HP 4-stroke OHV Recoil start engine, ideal for small tailgating parties and emergencies. It also comes with great features such as the automatic low oil shutdown, and boasts a quiet engine that runs at less than 68Db.

Image Source: Amazon

How does this item compare to other propane generators?

The Sportsman propane 4000 has an engine run time of ten hours, a feature not very common in others of its class. It also has a 5-foot propane fuel hose that has an included regulator. If you are looking for great and affordable power, this is the generator to buy. Since propane does not degrade, you can store several tanks for emergencies. It comes with 4000 surge watts and 3250 running watts. Its recoil start engine, unlike most others, gives you maximum performance. With the generator running on clean and efficient propane gas, you will not have to worry about your engine being fouled by bad gas.

What's not so good about it?

One drawback is that this generator cannot be converted to operate on natural gas. It is also heavy and does not come with a wheel kit, so it's not too easy to transport. 

Unlike most others, this generator also has more noise and does not come loaded with an electric start.

  • Ideal for home, outdoor, and industrial use
  • Increased capacity and flexibility with different outlets  
  • Compatible with multiple appliances
  • No electric start
  • Heavy with no wheel kit
  • Makes more noise

5) Generac 6001 LP5500

Key features
  • 389cc Generac OHV Air-Cooled Engine w/ Low Oil Shutdown
  • Integrated 20/30-lb LP Tank Holder w/ Rubber Tank Strap
  • Can Use Either A 20 or 30-lb Tank (Not Included)
  • Quick-Access Enclosure & Conveniently Located Fuel Line

With this generator, you enjoy a reduced use of fossil fuels when in need of power in outdoor events, or during emergencies. Ideally, it is a highly reliable, temporary power source. It gives an output of 5500-watts and an absolute maximum of at least 6875 watts. It also has outlet covers and an hour meter for extra protection from environmental elements, which is not too common in other models. It features a low-oil shutdown system that protects your engine from any potential damage, ensuring that your generator stays in good shape for a long time. Propane, unlike gasoline, can be stored in tanks without deterioration and can be transported safely without spilling. It is also non-biodegradable and non-toxic.

Image Source: Amazon

How does this item compare to other propane generators?

This generator is compatible with 30-pound propane cylinders. This allows for convenience and flexibility, as well as extended run times. It also has a foldable handle, unlike most others, making it easy to store away. This generator also comes packed with heavy-duty, never-flat tires for portability and maneuverability. Some of its other admirable features are its 1-year commercial warranty, hardened 0.25-inch steel tube cradle, and quick-access enclosure. It measures 26.3 in x 35.5 in x 36.5 in, and weighs 184 pounds.

What's not so good about it?

Most customers do not like the idea of having to assemble the machine from the scratch. Some have even reported missing parts such as the foot rest. The instructions on how to assemble are also not easy to follow. Because of where the engine sits, and because the rope is not pulled straight from the engine, the rope has high chances of breaking.

  • Low-oil shutdown system
  • Not too much operating noise
  • Convenient plastic wheel
  • Low engine compression
  • Complex assembly guide
  • No electric start

In conclusion...

Whether you need one for running a job site, or for a simple recreational need, there is a lot to consider when purchasing a propane generator. You need to understand the amount of power needed, the types of outlets, warranty, the fuel tank, and the noise level. The right propane generator is perhaps the most ideal tool for your outdoor activities, and when an emergency strikes.