When it comes to getting power off the grid, it’s hard to beat the versatility and reliability of a dual fuel generator – a generator that runs off of either gasoline or propane. Dual fuel generators can be used to power almost everything, from appliances to heating systems, in an emergency around your home. Or, if you’re out camping or RVing, having a dual fuel generator allows you to enjoy the outdoors without giving up on modern amenities.
Choosing the best dual fuel generator for your needs can be challenging, since there are a lot of options on the market, some of which are highly specialized and others that are designed to be adaptable to any situation. In our review of dual fuel generators, one of our top considerations was starting and running wattage on both gasoline and propane – the primary factor determining how many appliances you can power concurrently off of the generator. We also looked at running time and the number of outlets available, which can impact how useful the generator is for your specific needs. To draw a list of our picks for the best dual fuel generator, we poured thought hundreds of customer reviews and spent 38 hours on research.
Top 8 Dual Fuel Generators Review 2020
The table below highlights our eight favorite dual fuel generators currently on the market and summarizes the features that set them apart. Continue reading for detailed reviews of each generator complete with the pros and cons of each model. Our buying guide provides more information about how to choose the dual fuel generator that is right for your needs. And finally we announce our overall top-rated dual fuel generator.
Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel Inverter, 100263 – Editor's Choice
- Starting (gasoline): 3400W
- Running (gasoline): 3100W
- Starting (propane): 3060W
- Running (propane): 2790W
- Gasoline run time at 1/4 load: 7.5 h.
- Propane run time at 1/4 load: 14.5 h.
- Noise level: 59 dBA
- Outlets: 120V 30A (TT-30R), 120V 20A duplex (5-20R), 12V DC automotive with dual USB adapter
More features: clean electricity, low oil shut-off sensor; recoil/electric start; variable engine speed; EPA certified and CARB compliant
Although this Champion dual fuel generator doesn’t offer the output wattage of many of the other generators in our roundup, the inverter generator mechanics make this model stand apart. It is significantly smaller and lighter than conventional generators and comes with wheels to help you move it around, making it ideal for those who need a generator that can move between an RV and campsites frequently, for example. The generator also runs at 59 dB, almost 20 dB quieter than conventional generators.
The power output of this generator, at around 3,000 watts, does not offer enough power to keep your home running but is perfect for an RV. The fact that the power changes relatively little between gasoline and propane makes this a truly dual fuel unit and frees you to choose whichever fuel is most convenient. However, it also doesn’t offer much additional wattage for starting motors, which can be problematic if plugging in an air conditioner or mini-fridge. Having only two standard 120 V, 20 A outlets can also be somewhat limiting, although a power strip can solve this issue.
- Inverter generator with a stable output great for electronics
- Performs roughly equally for gasoline and propane
- Small, portable, and extremely quiet
- Only two 120V, 20A outlets
- Little additional starting power
- Starting (gasoline): 9.500W
- Running (gasoline): 7.500W
- Starting (propane): 8.550W
- Running (propane): 6.750W
- Run time at 1/4 load: up to 16 h
- Noise level: 74 dBA
- Outlets: two 5-20R 120V duplex, one L14-30R receptacles, two 5V USB ports
More features: 13 HP, push button and remote start, overload prevention, and low-oil shutoff, EPA, CSA, CARB compliant
Users rave about this powerful dual fuel generator from Westinghouse, and with good reason. The power output may not compete with some of the most powerful generators in our roundup, but 7,500 W of continuous power on gasoline is more than enough power to keep your home running during an emergency and still have wattage leftover. The runtime is also solid, at around 8 hours at half load on either gasoline or propane.
The generator includes many user-friendly features, such as a push-to-start electric ignition like that found in modern cars and even a remote start key fob. The face of the generator includes an easy to read digital runtime meter to alert you to fuel levels. The five included 120 V power outlets provide plenty of space to plug in appliances, and there are even two USB ports for charging small electronics – although these are unlikely to get much use when the generator is outside. The biggest downside to this generator is that, at 74 dB, it is rather noisy.
- 7,500 W continuous power on gasoline
- Five 120 V power outlets
- Push-to-start ignition with remote start key fob
Pulsar G12KBN-SG – Longest Runtime
- Starting (gasoline): 000W
- Running (gasoline): 500W
- Starting (propane): 800W
- Running (propane):550W
- Run time at 1/2 load: 12 h
- Noise level:76 dBA
- Outlets: four 120V 20A AC outlets, one 120V/240V 30A twist-lock outlet, one 120V/240V 50A outlet, one 12V DC output
More features: CARB-compliant, built-in fuel gauge, included propane hose, funnel and tool kit, automatic low-oil shut-off, overload protection, spark arrestor
There are so many things that make this one of the best generators that you can buy right now. First of all, the design is impressive and very functional. It comes fitted with a good handle and wheels that can move other different types of surfaces with ease. This combination results in a portable generator that you can move from place to place.
Under the hood is one of the best engines at this price. Here you find a 457cc engine that produces up to 12000 peak watts and 9500 running watts.
Interestingly this is a dual-fuel generator. Therefore, you can use it with propane and gasoline. When powered by propane, it gives you 10800 peak watts and 8550 running watts. Either way, you have a generator that can power all the appliances that you have in the home.
The generator is also fitted with up to seven outlets, each of these gives you enough channels to connect the devices that you want. There is a 8 gallon tank, which implies an excellent runtime. With this model, you will enjoy up to 12 hours of runtime. This is the best runtime out of all the options that we have reviewed.
Other features that you will enjoy are the safety features. You get low-oil shutoff and a voltage regulator as well.
- Dual fuel option
- Large fuel tank
- Impressive runtime
- Large wheels
- Short warranty
Champion 8000-Watt Dual Fuel Generator, 100297 – Best Value for Money
- Starting (gasoline): 10.000W
- Running (gasoline): 8000W
- Starting (propane): 9035W
- Running (propane): 7250W
- Gasoline run time at 1/4 load: 8 h.
- Propane run time at 1/4 load: 5 h.
- Noise level: 74 dBA
- Outlets: 120V 30A locking outlet (L5-30R), a 120/240V 30A locking outlet (L14-30R), four 120V 20A GFCI protected household outlets (5-20R)
More features: Intelligauge, built-in surge protector, low oil shut-off sensor; recoil/electric start; variable engine speed; EPA certified and CARB compliant
This massively powerful generator from Champion has a maximum output power of 10,000 W when using gasoline. The generator runs significantly more efficiently on gasoline, meaning that you’ll likely want to opt for the more expensive fuel whenever running this generator. The downside to all of this power is that the runtimes are relatively low – only eight hours at ¼ power on gasoline, and an even more paltry five hours on propane. Thus, this generator is best for events or work sites where you’re powering a lot of high-wattage gear for a relatively short period of time. Importantly, the generator is CARB compliant so that it can be used in most work environments without regulatory issues. Note that Champion also offers less powerful generators, and you can find them in our Champion dual fuel generator reviews.
There are several welcome use features on this generator. The Intelligauge display lets you easily monitor output power and fuel levels to keep track of how the generator is doing. The generator includes numerous outlets, including a 240V outlet, and features a built-in surge protector for safety.
- Extremely powerful 10,000W starting power on gasoline
- Intelligauge display
- 240V outlet and surge protection
- 8-hour runtime on gasoline at ¼ power
- Large, heavy, and noisy
DuroMax XP12000EH – Most Powerful
- Starting (gasoline): 12.000W
- Running (gasoline): 9.500W
- Gasoline run time at 1/2 load: up to 8 h
- Propane run time at 1/2 load: up to 8 h
- Noise level: 72 dB
- Outlets: two 120V 20 Amp standard receptacles; 120v/240v 50 Amp heavy duty outlet, 120v/240v 30 Amp twist lock, 120v 30 Amp twist lock
More features: 18 HP, Voltage Selector switch (120V/240V), low Oil Protection, AC and DC Regulators, Spark Arrestor, electric start, full EPA and CARB compliance
This generator from DuroMax is as powerful as it gets, and its 12,000 W of surge power can come in very handy if you are planning to operate motor-driven appliances or tools while simultaneously powering things like field lights or your entire household’s worth of appliances. Unfortunately, DuroMax does not advertise the continuous or surge wattage for running this unit on propane, although users have found that it is still plenty of power for powering a full household. Both gasoline and propane offer around eight hours of continuous runtime, although a larger propane tank can be used to offer longer runtimes.
At 72 dB, this generator is surprisingly not among the loudest on the market despite its impressive power output. It features a voltage selector, electric start motor, and a wide array of power outlets so that you can power almost any appliance seamlessly. The only downside is that the voltage display is analog, which can be difficult to read and monitor. The generator is fully EPA and CARB certified.
- 12,000 W surge power and 9,500 W continuous power on gasoline
- 8-hour runtime at half power
- Relatively quiet for power output
- Analog voltage display
- Significant power drop-off when using propane
DuroMax XP4400EH – Budget Pick
- Starting (gasoline): 4.400W
- Running (gasoline): 3.500W
- Gasoline run time at 1/2 load: up to 10 h
- Propane run time at 1/2 load: up to 10 h
- Noise level: 69 dB
- Outlets: two 120V 20 Amp standard receptacles; 120v/240v 30 Amp twist lock receptacle
More features: 7 HP, voltage selector switch (120V/240V), low oil protection, surge arrest, quiet muffler for noise reduction
If you need a generator that won’t break the bank, this moderately powerful generator from DuroMax is a solid option. The generator outputs 3,500 W continuously when running on gasoline and up to 2,800 W on propane, which is not enough for most houses but is plenty of power for an RV setup. At 10-hour runtimes at half-power on both fuel sources, the generator offers the ability to run it throughout most of the day.
One of the downsides to this generator is that it is relatively noisy, at 69 dB, and heavy, at 132 pounds, for the amount of power it puts out. In addition, note that the generator is not CARB certified and thus cannot legally be operated in California. The voltage is displayed with an analog needle, which can make it somewhat difficult to tell how much power your appliances are sucking from the unit and how much runtime you are actually going to get. The two 120V, 20A outlets can be supplemented with a power strip to provide additional outlets, and the twist-lock outlet is rated for up to 240V for larger appliances.
- Relatively inexpensive
- Moderate power output
- 10 hour runtime on gasoline and propane at half power
- Noisy and heavy
- Not enough power to use for most households
- Starting: 7.500W
- Running: 6.000W
- Gasoline run time at 1/2 load: up to 9 h
- Propane run time at 1/2 load: up to 5 h
- Noise level: < 80 dB
- Outlets: four 120V AC outlets, one 120V RV outlet, one 120/240V outlet, one 12V DC outlet for battery
More features: 13 HP, dual voltage (120V/240V), recoil start, fuel gauge, low oil shutdown, muffler, EPA approved
This generator from Sportsman is one of their larger units. While it may not compare in power output to the heavy-hitters in our roundup, the 6,000 W continuous output is plenty to power a home during an emergency as long as there is no power-hungry heating or water pump system. The generator puts out the same maximum power regardless of whether it is operating on gasoline or propane, although the maximum runtime is much lower on a typical backyard propane tank than on gasoline at half power.
In spite of the included muffler, the unit is relatively loud, at nearly 80 dB, although most users did not appear to mind the noise when using it around the home. Users found the recoil start easy to use and appreciated the fuel gauge as a useful feature for estimating runtime, although the analog voltage meter can be difficult to monitor. In addition to the four AC outlets and one RV outlet, the generator also includes a 12V DC outlet to charge a battery.
- 6,000 W continuous output on either gasoline or propane
- Easy recoil start
- 12V DC outlet to charge battery
- Loud in spite of muffler
- Surge power may not be enough if running water pump system
- Starting: 4.000W
- Running: 3.500W
- Gasoline run time at 1/2 load: up to 10 h
- Propane run time at 1/2 load: up to 12 h
- Noise level: < 69 dB
- Outlets: four 120V AC outlets, one 120V RV outlet, one 12V DC outlet for battery
More features: 7 HP, recoil start, fuel gauge, EPA approved
The smaller cousin of Sportsman’s GEN7500DF, this model has many of the same design features at a lower cost and running power output of 3,500 W on either gasoline or propane. The runtime on gasoline is not significantly increased despite the cut in power as a result of a smaller gas reservoir, although the increase in runtime on the same canister of propane is significant – up to 12 hours from 5 on the larger model. Unsurprisingly, the generator is also significantly quieter, at around 69 dB, than the larger model.
One of the main design flaws on this generator is the lack of wheels. Even if you are not planning to move the generator frequently, at 90 pounds it is extremely inconvenient to budge it at all without wheels and makes it nearly impossible to use with an RV – despite the included RV outlet. That said, the generator offers plenty of power outlet options and a 12V DC outlet for charging a battery.
- 12-hour runtime on propane at half power
- 12V DC outlet for battery charging
- No wheels despite 90-pound weight
Why choose a dual fuel generator?
The ability to use both gasoline and propane to power your generator is significant. In addition to simply giving you the freedom to choose between fuels as the price of gasoline and propane fluctuate, the two different fuels have different strengths. Gasoline is readily available from any gas station, which is ideal if you’re using your generator for an RV or other portable setup. Gasoline is also more efficient and works better in lower temperatures than propane. Propane, on the other hand, stores for much longer than gasoline – making it ideal as an emergency backup fuel that you can store around your house for a year or more. Propane is also typically much less expensive than gasoline.
How do you intend to use your generator?
How you intend to use your generator largely determines what specifications you should be looking for when choosing among models. Operating a generator to power your house when the power goes out is very different, both in terms of the output wattage required and the desired runtime, from powering an RV or a campsite. Also consider, for your intended application, for how long you will need to run your generator continuously in the most extreme cases – and how much power you’ll need in these cases.
What are your power needs?
If you are planning to use your generator to power your whole house in an emergency, you’ll want to find a high-powered generator that produces at least 5,000 W – more if you have a water pump or energy-hungry heating system. On the other hand, a smaller model with a lower power rating, such as a 2000-Watt generator, is more portable, but better used for powering an RV or a campsite. In addition, if you know you will use either gasoline or propane almost exclusively, you may only need to consider how much power the generator outputs on one fuel rather than how well it balances both fuels. Also consider getting a tri-fuel generator if you need even more versatility and power.
Runtime is also important depending on your application. If you are planning to power your house and want things to run close to normally, you’ll need a generator with a long runtime of 10–12 hours at half power. However, if you are operating an RV and only need power for a few short bursts of time, for example in the morning and evening, then runtime may not be a major consideration.
Conventional vs. inverter generator
Both conventional and inverter generators output AC power – the same type of power that comes from your wall outlet – although the mechanism differs enough that there are some significant differences in how conventional and inverter generators operate in practice. Inverter generators are typically designed to be more compact and lightweight and far less noisy than conventional generators, which can be an advantage if you are hauling your generator from place to place rather than keeping it in a fixed location or using it in a public campground.
Gasoline vs. propane
Gasoline and propane both have their advantages and disadvantages. Gasoline is typically far more expensive than propane, but is easier to get most of the time and burns more efficiently, especially in low temperatures. However, gasoline has a short shelf life compared to propane and can be nearly impossible to get in an emergency – making propane a better choice for emergency preparations. Read our reviews on propane generators, if this seems like an option you'd like to go for.
A dual power fuel generator is an ideal way to generate electricity whenever you’re off the grid, whether on an RV trip or in the midst of a power outage. The flexibility to use either gasoline or propane to power your generator allows you to choose whichever fuel fits your needs given the situation and offers much more versatility than a traditional gasoline generator. Our roundup of the eight best dual fuel generators on the market and our Buying guide make it easy for you to choose the dual fuel generator that is right for your next camping trip, preparing your home for an emergency, or for whatever else you need portable power.
Our overall top-rated dual fuel generator was the Power Equipment 100263 from Champion, which provided a solid 3,400 W continuous power output on gasoline and 3,000 W on propane. Plus, it has an approximately fourteen hour runtime on propane. Users raved about the handy low oil shut-off sensor, easy electric start, and compact dimensions. It's also claimed to be one of the quietest on the market which makes it perfect for using around the house during a blackout and our pick for the best dual fuel generator on the market today.
- 3,400 W continuous power on gasoline
- Low noise level
- Small and portable
- Only two 120V, 20A outlets