9 Top-Rated Dual Fuel Generators: Which Best Dual Fuel Inverter Generator Is Best For You?
We have everything from a small dual fuel inverter generator that lasts 14.5 hours, a unit that operates as loud as a normal conversation, and a heavy-duty model that you can remotely turn on. The best part? You don’t have to spend $3000-$5000.
So, grab your red gasoline container and propane tank. We’re bringing you the nine best dual fuel generator units that will keep your lights and fridge running. Let’s get started.
9 Best Dual Fuel Generators For Emergency Backup Power
The last thing you’d want is to be stuck with an expensive dual fuel generator that is loud, chugs too much fuel (or propane), and dies down after several uses. Good thing, our list of the top-rated dual fuel portable generators is the cream of the crop.
Here’s a short overview of our dual fuel generator reviews.
Still unsure which dual fuel generator is the best for you and your home? Continue reading for an in-depth review of each generator.
The Westinghouse WGen7500DF outshines every choice in our list regarding efficiency, ease of use, reliability, and price point. Thus, we’ve crowned it the best dual fuel generator.
Let’s talk about the run time. It can power your home for up to 11 hours if running on gasoline, while a full 20-pound propane tank will give you 8 hours. We know; it’s less time compared to the smaller Westinghouse budget generator. But it’s also almost double the power output, so you can hook up more items or even power a small guest suite.
How about starting this unit? Just like its smaller brother, the W3600DF, you don’t have to break a sweat or spend hours cranking it up because it uses a push-button electric start as well. Making it even more ridiculously faster and more convenient to turn on is the included key fob. Yes, you can remotely power this reliable dual fuel generator!
An emergency recoil start is available if you lost the remote or the push-button start is not working (which we highly doubt).
If those features haven’t sealed the deal yet, here’s another benefit of getting this best dual fuel portable generator- it’s easier on your back to move. Its total weight is just 192 pounds (of course, without fuel). But, even if you fill the tank, it’s still under 200 pounds!
If those features haven’t sealed the deal yet, here’s another benefit – it’s easier on your back to move. The total weight of this dual fuel portable generator is just 192 pounds (of course, without fuel). Even if you fill the tank, it’s still under 200 pounds!
Ultimately, this dual fuel generator has a good amount of power. And it has a long run time considering that it’s affordable. If you want a higher power output and all that jazz, a larger version is available, but of course, it’s also more expensive.
Landing on the second spot for the best dual fuel generators is the Champion 76533 Dual Fuel Generator. But why only name it as the runner-up? Here’s our champion dual fuel generator review.
This Champion dual fuel generator model has a cold start feature. When temperatures drop, the mechanical components (and the oil) of a generator can freeze up, struggling to start. But with a cold start feature, you don’t have to warm up the machine nor spend hours cranking or repeatedly push the start button – we don’t recommend this as you might flood the generator’s engine!
It also has a digital gauge, letting you have a close eye on the output, run time, as well as how much fuel you have left. Since you get twice the fuel capacity compared to our budget choice, you can cut back refueling times. And, if you ever have a problem with Champion power equipment, you can contact them for free lifetime technical support.
At 209 pounds (empty), it’s not the easiest dual fuel portable generator to bring to your next camping or RV trip. Sure, it has two wheels to move it around. But then again, who would want to push or pull around a 200-pound fuel generator, right?
Power-wise, it’s excellent, but we were expecting more – it’s the most expensive generator on our list, by the way! It has the same running wattage (gas and propane) as our best dual fuel generator choice, but its run time falls short. You only get 10 hours for gas and less (5.5 hours to be exact) on propane.
To sum it up, you get a lot of tech conveniences with this unit. But it all comes with some drawbacks – it’s heavier, has a lower run time, and a hefty price tag to match.
The Westinghouse WGen3600DF Dual Fuel Generator is the budget choice on our dual fuel generators list, but it is reliable enough to keep your heater running through the night in a snowstorm. You can also charge all your power banks, keep the fridge going so nothing spoils, and even stay online by powering up your modem.
So, what can you expect when you get your hands on this dual fuel generator?
You get over 13 hours of running time provided that you fill its 4-gallon gasoline tank all the way to the rim. You don’t want to run it at full load, though, or you’ll risk overheating this dual fuel generator. For propane, expect as much as 10.5 hours.
Letting you have backup power with less effort on your part is a matter of pressing this generator’s electric push button (granted, your engine is already on, of course).
If you’re planning to take this generator to your off-grid escapes, you’ll be glad that it won’t draw too much attention or ruin a good night’s sleep. It’s rated at 69 dBA, just a tad higher than the normal 60 dB conversation (1).
Here’s how loud our budget choice is:
Weighing only 109 pounds, it is one of the most portable dual fuel generators available today. Plus, the different outlet options like regular DC and twist-lock outlets make it a universal power source for a trailer or RV. And you can plug it into a standard outlet.
Now, the downsides. Budget dual fuel generators have low running wattage and this unit is not an exception. So, don’t expect to run your entire house with it.
Overall, you get the standard convenience of a regular dual fuel generator. But with the high-tech remote start feature coming with a very affordable price tag, you got yourself a bargain!
This 4-gallon portable generator has a slightly higher power output than our budget pick. But it runs for somewhat less time. Also, unlike our previous options, this can run 240V, letting you power higher voltage equipment.
The versatility increases from there. This dual fuel generator is also transfer switch ready, meaning you can hook it up to your power line. So, the next time there’s a power outage, you can save yourself from the hassle of fumbling around with complicated connectors. Ironically though, it needs a key for the electric start.
Overall, the WEN DF475T Dual Fuel Generator is a powerful dual fuel generator. The added voltage option makes it ideal for industrial use. And the extra grounded and twist-lock outlet makes it safer to use. You don’t get many high-tech specs, but the lighter weight and affordable price tag are a plus.
The Pulsar G12KBN-SG Dual Fuel Generator is a beast when it comes to power output. Plus, you can keep a whole house running for 12 hours at half load. More so if you keep it down to the bare essentials. And, just like the WEN generator, this unit also has a 240V option.
The trade-offs, of course, will be the noise output – it’s around 76db! It’s not going to be whisper-quiet or normal conservation level like our budget choice. You’ll have to cover your ears with pillows or put headphones on when you have this generator operational at night time. We won’t be surprised that you have to speak louder when you’re standing beside it.
And, don’t expect it to be portable because it is already 209 pounds without fuel! If you ever bring this to your next RV trip, consider getting a ramp or having an extra pair of hands to help you.
Performance-wise, this dual fuel generator has a better spec sheet than the top choice. Both models even have a close price margin. This unit also has an electric start, but it doesn’t have a remote start option. That small detail, plus the fact that it’s super heavy, dragged down this otherwise fuel-efficient generator.
Do you like camping but like having the comfort of electronics? Trust us. The Champion RV Ready generator is the best dual fuel inverter generator – it has over 1,700 dual fuel inverter generator reviews
Despite its 1.6 gallon tank, this generator has a running power output 500W below the budget pick. That’s a big difference, considering the fuel tank of the Westinghouse WGen3600DF is over twice as big. And you only have an 8% decrease from the maximum output.
That’s the magic of having an inverter generator. You maximize the efficiency of the fuel you use. This generator also has the longest propane running time compared to all others on the list. You can keep this running for 14.5 hours, as long as you hook it up with minimal appliances.
Now, if you need more output, you can connect two small units and have double the power. Cool right? You need to hook it up to the parallel link that you can get as an add-on.
Also, looking for a portable dual fuel generator? This Champion unit is also an excellent choice. It’s less than 100 pounds, has a built-in wheel kit and a handle. Trust us. It is as portable as you get for this much power. In case you run into extreme weather conditions, you can use the included cover for extra protection.
All things considered, investing in this portable dual fuel generator gets you triple the benefits of getting a regular generator. It has dual-fuel technology and an inverter generator rolled into a toolbox-sized trolley.
Engine size: 459cc
- Fuel tank capacity: 8 gallons
- Run time: 10 hours
- Gasoline Running Watts: 9,000W
- Propane Running Watts: 7,250W
From the smallest, we go to the biggest. The All Power America APGG12000GLC Dual Fuel Generator is the heaviest unit on our list, with the biggest engine to match.
Don’t let the size intimidate you. Setting this up is a breeze. And if you lose the instruction manual, don’t worry. There is a step-by-step setup guide on the generator. Plus, you get warnings and tips printed where you need them. This thing is pretty much foolproof!
Of course, with any big, bulky generator, you get a lot of power. And this All Power America APGG12000GLC Dual Fuel Generator is no exception.
You can power your entire 2,000 sq. ft. house with this beast. For those living tiny in an RV or a home on wheels, this will easily last you a day or two on a full tank of gas alone.
The propane conversion of this, on the other hand, is one of the least efficient. You get a 2,500-watt decrease in power. That alone is already equivalent to the energy needed for your freezer, microwave, and some lights.
The remaining power you get is still three times what you lose. But comparing it with other units that only lose 1,000 watts, it’s a significant factor. Another downside is the plastic wheels.
Considering the price, you still get a lot out of this giant generator. The electric start and running time gauge are great for convenience. And the manual controls for the circuit breakers, choke, and fuel selector switches all work as an added safety feature.
The Durostar DS10000EH Dual Fuel Generator runs off a big engine and a small gas tank. But, thanks to its identical gas and propane power output, it lets you power it up with the most convenient fuel source without compensating for performance. As a matter of fact, its large engine helps convert the fuel for powering high amperage power tools.
But, where it shines the most is in its fuel efficiency and noise output. When there’s nothing connected to the generator, the automatic idle control will kick in and slow down the engine, saving fuel and cutting back refills.
Since the 439cc engine isn’t pumping at maximum power, you can expect around 45 dbA noise level, which is just around the same level as a dishwasher. At full operational, it outputs 72 dbA. It’s not deafening nor annoying, but you’ll most likely have to get used to it before you can sleep soundly at night.
Plus, you don’t have to worry about causing a forest fire because there’s a built-in spark arrestor.
It’s quite an expensive setup compared to other top rated dual fuel generators. It’s also not as high-tech – it doesn’t have a remote start. But you get a lot more safety features and USA-wide approval certifications.
Wrapping up our dual fuel generator reviews is the top-of-the-line unit among the DuroMax dual fuel generators. Its starting watts on gasoline are identical to the All Power America, but you get 500W more (9500W to be exact) when it’s running.
But in terms of running time, the DuroMax XP12000EH Dual Fuel Generator lasts 25% less than the other big generators on the list. That is already considering that this unit has idle control that manages fuel consumption.
Okay, it’s not the most fuel-efficient generator. But it makes up for this with safety and noise level management. Just like the DuroMax, this also passes the checklist for use all around the USA, with built-in fire prevention and surge protection. Plus, it runs on an air-cooled engine.
Yes, it’s on the premium side of the list. But to be fair, the options on the list cost as much as a brand-new smartphone. Comparing it to commercial options, these are the best dual fuel generators you can get.
Your Guide To Buying The Best Dual Fuel Generator
We’re going a bit technical with this section. But bear with us. If we don’t dive down and teach you these factors, you may end up overloading your generator.
Types Of Dual Fuel Generators
Dual fuel technology revolutionized the world of alternative energy. But it’s not really a new concept. Dual fuel power sources first started in the late 1800s (2). Mr. Rudolph Diesel (yes, THE Diesel) started mixing fuels to develop a more efficient fuel source.
The dual-fuel capability of the generators on our lists gives you another fuel source option. It does not mix fuels.
The most common type of dual-fuel generators is gasoline and propane. Others use diesel or natural gas. But those two options are less efficient or noisier and more of a safety risk.
We focus on gas and propane dual-fuel capability for several reasons. Gasoline is easy to get your hands on, burns more efficiently, and is the easiest to transport. All you need is a certified fuel-safe container that you can get at the gas station.
Propane, on the other hand, is safer for long-term storage because of the secure tank packaging. It also burns cleaner than gas and isn’t as noisy (3).
Gasoline and propane have their cons, but the good thing about it is that the pros of each offset the cons.
Let’s proceed to one of the most confusing areas of running a generator – starting wattage vs. running wattage.
The maximum output is also known as the starting wattage. Does it mean that you can keep your generator in maximum capacity at continuous operation? The answer here is a big NO because you will overload your system.
Starting wattage is only for building momentum. After some time, the power drops and stays constant. Here you get your running wattage.
When figuring out what to plug into your generator, compare the total wattage to the running wattage of your generator and not the starting wattage.
Take, for example, our best choice, the Westinghouse WGen7500DF Dual Fuel Generator. It starts at 9,500W. After a few seconds, it will drop down to 7500W.
Most of the generators have a voltage and time meter to monitor power output. The Champion 76533 Dual Fuel Generator has a digital gauge. Other less techy generators like the DuroMax XP12000EH Dual Fuel Generator have a basic arrow gauge.
- Since you can’t run a dual fuel generator at maximum capacity, it’s essential to manage your power consumption. Here’s how to do it.
- Know how much power your essential appliances need. If the wattage is unavailable, you can multiply the voltage and amp reading on the label.
- Prioritize which you need the most (light, heater/home air conditioner, refrigerator, etc.).
- Add up the wattage and check if this is about half the load of your generator.
- Plug in the appliances that you need and monitor the power consumption.
Power Output Efficiency – Gas vs Propane
Gasoline has a higher power output than propane because it burns fuel more efficiently (4).
“Propane generators are less efficient than gas generators, producing fewer BTUs per gallon of fuel. However, propane is a cleaner-burning fuel than gasoline, making it better for both the environment and your generator.”
Running your generator on half load gives you more room in case of a power surge (5). To minimize light use at night, try getting outdoor solar lights or solar lanterns. (Check out our reviews of the best outdoor solar lights here and the best solar lanterns here.) You can always bring them in during emergencies or use them while camping.
Let’s set something straight. Run time shows you how much time your generator will keep running at half load (6). It is a safety feature to avoid running your generator on fumes and damaging the engine.
Among the dual-fuel generators on our list, Westinghouse WGen3600DF Dual Fuel Generator runs the longest at 13.5 hours on gasoline.
On propane, the Champion RV Ready Dual Fuel Inverter Generator outlasts everyone else. But that’s because it’s also an inverter. It automatically adjusts itself depending on the load it’s powering (7). If you have a low run time generator, try getting a home wind turbine as another power source.
Engine And Fuel Tank Size
The power output depends on the engine size, and the run time depends on the fuel tank size. But these two work hand in hand for maximum efficiency (8).
If you notice, the generators with more power also have a bigger gas tank and engine size. All the 12,000W dual generators have 8-gallon tanks and last up to 12 hours. The DuroMax XP12000EH Dual Fuel Generator has a big tank but only runs for 8 hours on half load. It is less because it is also capable of powering 120V and 240V outlets at the same time. In this case, the run time also accounted for load changes and not just the fuel tank capacity.
Dual fuel generators with a lower cc rating usually produce less power. And consequently, they weigh less. The Champion inverter generator is a perfect example of this. Meanwhile, the higher cc engines like the DuroMax, American Power, and Pulsar are the heaviest ones we have at over 450cc and 220+ pounds.
You have to find a balance between power and portability when it comes to a generator you take off the grid.
Generators aren’t all about power. It’s also about convenience, especially during an emergency. Here are some bonus and safety features worth looking for in dual fuel generators.
Recoil starts are a thing of the past. Look for a dual fuel portable generator with an electric start. They can either be in the form of a push-button like the Westinghouse models or a key like the WEN DF475T Dual Fuel Generator.
As you’ve read, it’s essential to keep an eye on the numbers of your generator. Choose one that shows you the power output, run time, and voltage.
Also, find a generator with a low oil indicator. Opening the oil canister and dipping a stick is messy and a hassle. The blinking red light is a more efficient reminder. And the same goes for the fuel gauge.
An idle control switch like that in the Durostar DS10000EH Dual Fuel Generator is excellent for conserving your fuel.
Choosing a CARB-compliant generator is essential in keeping CO2 and other emissions low and the air healthy (9).
“Too much CO2 can reduce air quality by removing oxygen from the atmosphere. The results can include fatigue, headache, and labored breathing.”
These tests don’t just keep your environment safe but ensure that your generator runs as efficiently as possible. Luckily, all of the options we have are CARB Compliant.
Number of Ports
Usually, the bigger you go, the more ports you get. Having several port options is excellent as long as you have circuit breakers for each voltage category. Plus, it makes sure you don’t overload your generator.
For RV or trailer use, choose a generator with T-twist lock outlets because it can secure cables in place. Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets are also great since they prevent electric shock during rainy days. The Champion premium pick generator has all these particular outlets.
A dual fuel generator is worth it if you choose an efficient one with enough power for your needs. Remember that bigger is not always better. The bigger the generator, the more fuel it uses up. Make sure you know how much power you need and get one that fits those needs. One thing’s for sure a dual fuel generator is more worth it than a single fuel generator because there is flexibility to switch from one fuel source to another.
No, you cannot run a dual fuel generator on natural gas without changing some things with your generator. Keeping natural gas contained takes technical knowledge. And it’s not safe for non-professionals to handle.
Converting natural gas is also tricky and will void any warranty on your current dual fuel generator. Besides, it’s not an efficient fuel type to keep for an emergency.
Dual fuel generators are loud because of the process needed to convert fuel into electrical energy (10). Gasoline is usually louder than propane because of the combustion that takes place. It is pretty much a series of little explosions inside the engine. Compression of the pistons also makes noises. Propane burns cleaner, so there’s less noise.
How long a dual fuel generator will run on propane depends on the unit you have. The best dual fuel generator, the Westinghouse WGen7500DF Dual Fuel Generator, can last up to 8 hours if you hook it up with a full 20-pound propane fuel tank. The smaller model, WGen3600DF, will give ten hours and 30 minutes of propane run time. And, remember, operating time will drastically reduce if you a heavier load.
- What Noises Cause Hearing Loss Retrieved from. https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/hearing_loss/what_noises_cause_hearing_loss.html
- What You Need To Know About Dual Fuel Generators. Retrieved from: https://www.americasgenerators.com/blog/post/2019/04/22/need-to-know-dual-fuel-generators.aspx
- The 4 Most Common Types of Fuel: Which is the Best Fuel for Your Generator? Retrieved from: https://assurancepower.com/aps-blog/the-4-most-common-types-of-fuel-which-is-the-best-fuel-for-your-generator
- Choosing the Right Backup Fuel: Propane vs. Gas Generators. Retrieved from: https://www.americasgenerators.com/blog/post/2018/07/03/backup-fuel-propane-vs-gas-generators.aspx
- Understanding Loads & Sizing. Retrieved from: https://www.generatorjoe.net/html/understandingloads.html
- How Long Can You Run a Generator and How Long Do They Last? Retrieved from: https://handymansworld.net/how-long-can-generator-run-continuously/
- What Is the Difference Between an Inverter Generator and a Conventional Generator? Retrieved from: https://www.bestgenerator.org/inverter-generators-vs-conventional-generators-whats-the-difference/
- Generator speed and power output. Frequency. Retrieved from: https://electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/109378/generator-speed-and-power-output-frequency
- What is a CARB-Compliant Generator? Retrieved from: https://www.bigrentz.com/blog/carb-compliant-generator
- Why Is My Generator Making So Much Noise? Retrieved from: https://www.americanmechanicalva.com/blog/2019/september/why-is-my-generator-making-so-much-noise-/
Tana grew up around island farms and pine forests. Her love for nature lead to her degree in Biology and mission to lessen her environmental impact. Now she grows food in her backyard and shares what she learns from Eco Peanut with others.