Top 6 Propane Generators – Opt for a Cleaner-Burning Fuel!

37 Models Considered
53 Hours of Research
10 Experts Interviewed
173 Reviews Analyzed

Today, it’s hard to imagine our life without electricity. However, in case of a power outage or if you happen to get off the grid for a while, a generator could be a great solution to keep your tools and appliances working. Although running a generator on propane is usually less efficient, propane is a much cleaner-burning fuel than gasoline, which is better for both the environment and the generator itself. Propane is also easier to store and cheaper than gas.

However, finding a propane generator is not an easy task, as it is almost impossible to find a generator that solely runs on propane. Therefore, we not only tested propane generators, but also added dual-fuel models on our list. We carefully tested starting and running wattage of generators to make sure all your power needs are covered. We also paid attention to the efficiency of running on propane and runtime, as well as noise level and generator starting system, as all these features are important in terms of ease of use and comfort.

Top 6 Propane Generator Reviews 2019

In the review, you will find all sorts of crucial tips and information that you should know before you set out to select your propane generator. There is a table that outlines all the products in the review and the rating for each product after months of carefully reviewing each. After the table, there are in-depth reviews of each product outlining their important features, pros and cons. The buying guide is the last part of the review, which outlines the features you should consider when choosing a propane generator.

Image and Rating
Name and Features
Price
9.7
1. Westinghouse WGen3600DF
Editor’s Choice
Editor’s Choice
A conventional generator with a sturdy construction and a powerful engine, providing enough watts for all essential appliances and a long runtime
9.6
2. Champion Power Equipment 100263
Best Propane Inverter Generator
Best Propane Inverter Generator
An inverter generator that delivers “cleaner” power for electronics and is whisper-quiet
9.5
3. Champion Power Equipment 76533
Best Propane Generator for RV
Best Propane Generator for RV
A powerful conventional generator that is easy to use, monitor, and move around
9.4
4. FIRMAN H03652
Best Portable Propane Generator for Home Use
Best Portable Propane Generator for Home Use
A conventional generator with lots of power on propane and great safety features
9.3
5. Pulsar PG5250B
Best Value for Money
Best Value for Money
A generator great for both home and outdoor use with enough power and a variety of outlets available
9.0
6. Sportsman GEN4000LP
Budget Pick
Budget Pick
A generator that runs solely on propane and therefore is more affordable than dual-fuel generators
1.

Westinghouse WGen3600DF Editor’s Choice

Features
  • Fuel: propane or gasoline
  • Peak/rated output (W): 4,180/3,240 LPG, 4,650/3,600 gas
  • Engine: 212cc Westinghouse OHV
  • 25% load runtime: 20 hrs. (20 lb. propane tank), 18 hrs. (4 gal. gasoline tank)
  • Start type: electric, remote
  • Noise level: 69 dB(A)
  • Warranty: 3-year
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The Westinghouse WGen3600DF is popular for its powerful engine that was designed with two things in mind – reliability of the generator and a longer life. Unlike conventional valve engines, the Westinghouse engine that is used in the Westinghouse WGen3600DF has an overhead valve technology whose main function is to make the engine run at lower temperatures. This in turn makes the engine use less fuel. For safety, the Westinghouse WGen3600DF has an automatic low oil shutdown that is triggered when the oil level is too low or if it overheats. As a result, the engine is protected from any form of damage.

When running on gas, this generator will push out 3,600 watts of running power with a peak wattage of 4,650 watts. With propane, however, the output will be lower at 3,240 watts and a peak wattage of 4,180 watts. If this is not enough for your needs, you can check out the more powerful WGen7500DF, which produces more output.

However, there is an advantage of using propane over gas even if the latter produces more output. On a full tank of gas, for example, the Westinghouse WGen3600DF will run for 18 hours. On a 20-pound propane tank, it runs for about 20 hours at 1/4 load.

Pros
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Versatile and easy-to-use control panel
  • A four-stroke engine that makes it a powerful propane generator
  • Long runtime on propane
  • RV-ready 30-amp outlet
Cons
  • A heavy machine at 109 lb.
2.

Champion Power Equipment 100263 Best Propane Inverter Generator

Features
  • Fuel: propane or gasoline
  • Peak/rated output (W): 3,060/2,790 LPG, 3,400/3,100 gas
  • Engine: 192cc 4-stroke Champion
  • 25% load runtime: 14.5 hrs. (propane), 7.5 hrs. (gas)
  • Start type: recoil, electric
  • Noise level: 59 dB(A)
  • Warranty: 3-year limited
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Have you been looking for a generator that is not only versatile but also convenient? The Champion Power Equipment 100263 is your best bet whether you want to power your RV, any project, or even your entire house during a blackout. It has an electric start that makes it easy to switch on. It also features the Cold Start technology, which ensures that the generator automatically powers on in cold weather.

Safety is one of the primary considerations that Champion had in mind when making this powerful machine. With the Champion Power Equipment 100263, you can power your devices with confidence even if they are sensitive. This is because the generator only produces clean power. Furthermore, it has a low oil shut-off system that is designed to make the generator safer.

This dual-fuel generator is quite easy to use, and you can start enjoying it right out of the box. With gasoline, the generator produces a starting output of 3,400 watts and a running output of 3,100 watts. When using a propane tank, it will produce a starting output of 3,060 watts and a running output of about 2,790 watts. At 1/4 load, the generator runs for about 7.5 hours while it will run for about 14.5 hours on a standard propane tank.

Pros
  • EPA certified and CARB compliant
  • Easy to use and operate
  • It has a smart economy mode for an extended life and better fuel economy
Cons
  • Not easy to move on muddy ground
3.

Champion Power Equipment 76533 Best Propane Generator for RV

Features
  • Fuel: propane or gasoline
  • Peak/rated output (W): 4,275/3,420 LPG, 4,750/3,800 gas
  • Engine: 224cc 4-stroke Champion
  • 50% load runtime: 10.5 hrs. (20 lb. propane tank), 9 hrs. (3.4 gal. gasoline tank)
  • Start type: recoil, electric
  • Noise level: 68 dB(A)
  • Warranty: 3-year limited
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This is one of the most convenient generator that you can find on the market. Whether you want to power your RV or your home during an outage, this Champion Power Equipment 76533 offers you a combination of versatility and convenience. The generator has a fuel selector switch that allows you to easily and safely switch between gasoline and propane.

On a 3.4-gallon gasoline tank, the Champion Power Equipment 76533 will produce a starting output of 4,750 watts and a running power of 3,800 watts. On propane, this generator will produce 4,275 watts and run on 3,240 watts. The runtime on propane is, however, longer – 10.5 hours against 9 hours on gas.

The noise level produced by the Champion Power Equipment 76533 is also relatively low for a conventional generator. It runs at about 68 dB(A), the same noise produced by a vacuum cleaner that you can hear from 23 feet. It is also fitted with the Volt Guard™ surge protector that prevents overloads and makes it safe to use.

Pros
  • Good power output
  • Easy to monitor and operate
  • Easy to move around
  • EPA certified and CARB compliant
Cons
  • Only two AC outlets
4.

FIRMAN H03652 Best Portable Propane Generator for Home Use

Features
  • Fuel: propane or gasoline
  • Peak/rated output (W): 4,100/3,300 LPG, 4,550/3,650 gas
  • Engine: Max Pro Series 208cc FIRMAN
  • 50% load runtime: 14 hrs. (gas)
  • Start type: recoil
  • Noise level: 67 dB(A)
  • Warranty: 3-year
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The FIRMAN H03652 Hybrid Series is a recoil start generator with a starting output of 4,550 watts and 3,650 running watts. Its Phoenix Fat Head Block makes the 208cc Max Pro Series engine run efficiently with a cooling system. This generator has also been touted as one of the quieter conventional generators on the market. It has a Whisper Series muffler that ensures the FIRMAN H03652 Hybrid Series runs at 67 dB(A), which is lower than the standards recommended by the National Parks Service. The spark arrester in this model has also been approved by none other than the USDA Forest service.

Setting up the FIRMAN H03652 Hybrid Series is quite an easy task, and even though it’s a recoil one, starting the generator is as simple as pushing a button. The generator also runs on either propane or gasoline fuel, which makes it flexible when you are on the move or in case of an emergency. It also comes with a 5-foot extended hose in case you need or have a larger propane tank. This generator runs for about 14 hours straight with no problems whatsoever.

The FIRMAN H03652 Hybrid Series features an automatic voltage regulator that ensures there is a steady output from the power stream alternator. This generator is also easily portable, as it has an 8-inch never-flat wheels complimented by an ergonomically designed u-shaped handle.

Pros
  • Durable
  • Built with a tubular roll cage frame design
  • Very portable
  • Produces low noise levels
Cons
  • No DC port to charge a battery
5.

Pulsar PG5250B Best Value for Money

Features
  • Fuel: propane or gasoline
  • Peak/rated output (W): 4,750/3,850 LPG, 5,250/4,250 gas
  • Engine: 224cc 4-stroke OHV Air Cooled
  • 50% load runtime: 15 hrs. (gas)
  • Start type: recoil
  • Noise level: 78 dB(A)
  • Warranty: 2-year limited
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Very rarely will you find a generator that not only produces a desirable level of output but also boasts of being portable. If you want such a generator, then the Pulsar PG5250B should be on top of your list. This is a dual-fuel generator that allows you to simply switch from one fuel source to the other. It has a patented Switch and Go technology that allows you to switch from gasoline to propane while the generator is still running. The Pulsar PG5250B is an ideal generator for home use and outdoor activities, and even for a job site.

This powerful machine has a great output whether you are using gasoline or propane. It produces a maximum of 5,250 watts when using gasoline and 4,750 watts when running on propane. The running output for gasoline is 4,250 watts while that of propane is 3,850 watts. And it can run for 15 hours uninterrupted. Its engine has a vibration absorbing feature that ensures there is less noise and improved stability. Its noise levels stand at about 78 dB(A).

The engine is enclosed in a high gloss tubular steel frame that ensures its durability. It also has a locking handle and no-flat tires, which make it easy to transport or move it. To ensure that there will be less refueling frequency, the generator has a mounted fuel gauge that shows you the exact level of fuel to remove the necessity of guessing if your fuel is over.

Pros
  • Easy mobility
  • Offer multiple outlets
  • Powerful 212cc engine
Cons
  • Noisy
6.

Sportsman GEN4000LP Budget Pick

Features
  • Fuel: propane
  • Peak/rated output (W): 4,000/3,250
  • Engine: 4-stroke OHV
  • 50% load runtime: 10 hrs. (20 lb. propane tank)
  • Start type: recoil
  • Noise level: < 68 dB(A)
  • Warranty: 1-year limited
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Are you in need of a generator that will not sacrifice form for function? The Sportsman GEN4000LP is one of such machines that will help power your devices. Whether you need a portable generator that can power your RV, camping appliances, tailgating or even a backup generator, then the Sportsman GEN4000LP should be your choice. It has a 6.5HP OHV engine that ensures it delivers maximum performance. Although you may think that the generator will be costly for having such a powerful engine, this is actually far from the truth as it’s quite affordable.

For safety, the generator is fitted with automatic low oil shutoff and circuit protection to ensure you can use the device without any worries. What’s more, the generator runs solely on propane so you won’t have to worry about gasoline-related issues. For example, gasoline is known to go bad if stored for a long time. Also, you won’t have to worry about messing with the carburetor from having degenerated gasoline.

The Sportsman GEN4000LP has a maximum output of 4000 watts and a rated output of 3,250 watts, which means it can run for 10 hours on 50% load. Since it is not a dual-fuel generator, it only runs on propane that is easy to find, safe to store, and even burns clean. The generator also operates with a noise level of less than 68 dB(A), making it a great addition to whoever requires clean power that is not noisily generated.

Pros
  • 5HP OHV engine for maximum performance
  • Solely runs on propane
  • Low noise levels
Cons
  • A relatively low output
  • No dual-fuel option

Buying Guide

You are finally convinced with the idea of buying a propane generator, but what’s next? Ideally, you should have vital information about generators to help you make an informed choice about the type of generator that will suit your needs. There are two types of generators and these include the gasoline-fueled and propane-fueled generators. Both of these two types of generators have their pros and cons. People, for example, go for gasoline-powered generators because they have a higher power output as compared to the ones that run on propane. On the other hand, propane generators are popular for their longer runtime, clean power output and safety.

Why get a propane generator?

Propane generators are certainly preferred over their counterparts for a couple of reasons. First, propane is stored in individual and bulky cylinders, which means that it will be available when the gas pumps aren’t running. Unlike gasoline, the shelf life of propane is considered to be infinite. Gasoline will easily degrade after a couple of months of not using the fuel. A propane generator will stay idle for months and it won’t have carbon deposits like a gasoline generator. Your environment footprint on this earth should also be a pretty important reason why you should get a propane generator. If you are an environmentalist or just mind about the environment, then propane generators should be your first choice.

Propane burns in a cleaner way and this makes it an environmentally-friendly choice. Also, it has lower operating costs than gasoline-powered generators. After all, you don’t want to purchase something that breaks the bank.

How do you plan to use your propane generator?

There are a lot of reasons why you should purchase a propane generator but it is equally important to factor in how you plan to use the propane generator. You do not want to buy a fancy propane generator only to realize that it does not suit your needs. For example, many people will rush to purchase a propane generator during an emergency and buy the first choice they see. The problem is that it might be impossible for you to use your AC when you are using other appliances due to the power output.

What should you consider here? You should first determine what are your home essentials that should obviously be powered. This may include the lights, air conditioner, sockets etc. It is also important to review your appliances and the power they will consume. Some people purchase their propane generators for outdoor use or to power their RVs. The best propane generator should have your ideal power capacity and the desired outlets for this to ensure you can power your whole house or RV. The Pulsar PG5250B is a good choice if you are looking for a propane generator with multiple outlets.

How much power do you need?

Power output is perhaps the most important thing that you should consider when looking to purchase a propane generator. Remember that your generator is your back up and it should have enough power output to power all your appliances and machines. A good way to approach this is to calculate all the total wattage that you want to power in the event that there is an outage. Before you remove your calculator, please note that some appliances in your home might consume more power when they are cycling on. These appliances include your refrigerator, air conditioner or pumps. Calculate all the wattage that even the hardwired appliances consume but if you are unable to do this then hiring the services of an electrician is a great idea.

After you get an idea of the total wattage you need per hour, you can easily find out if the generator will be suitable for your needs or not.

For those who live in areas that are prone to frequent or long-lasting power outages, the Pulsar PG5250B and the Champion Power Equipment 76533 are great choices.

For how long will your generator run?

A generator is only as good as its running time. There is no need to have a powerful propane generator that runs for about 5 house. However, the runtime that you should choose will ultimately depend on what you are powering and for how long your electricity will be out. For example, if you only need to power your workstation then you can choose a propane generator with a shorter runtime.

The Westinghouse WGen3600DF is a great choice for those who are looking for a longer runtime. It can run for about 18 hours when it’s running on gasoline but will run for about 20 hours when it is using propane. This is especially useful if your area is prone to power outages due to emergencies or natural calamities. The Pulsar PG5250B will also offer you a longer runtime as it runs for about 15 hours.

How noisy is a generator?

Best Propane GeneratorBest Propane GeneratorBest Propane GeneratorOne of the many reasons why people do not like generators is because of their noise. Fortunately, thanks to advances in technology you can easily find a generator that does not make a lot of noise when running. Your neighbors do not also want to be woken up at the middle of the night because of your loud generator. There has also been a myth that the loudest generators produce the most power, which is very incorrect.

Noise levels are measured by decibels and the lower the decibels the lower the noise. The Champion Power Equipment 100263 was found to be the propane generator with the lowest noise levels at 59 dB(A). The FIRMAN H03652 Hybrid Series was also found to have a relatively lower noise level at 67 dB(A) while the Pulsar PG5250B was found to have higher noise levels at 78 dB(A).

Conventional vs inverter generator

There are two types of generators in the market. These include the inverter alternator generators and the conventional generators. What is the difference? You are probably wondering. Well, inverter generators come inside a casing that reduces their noise levels while conventional generators are probably what you have in mind. They have an open frame and may produce a higher noise level.

Inverter generators are known to have some advantages over the conventional ones. For example, they are quieter and more fuel-efficient than the conventional ones. They are also compact and tend to be lighter than the conventional generators.

On the other hand, conventional generators also have some upsides that the inverter generators do not. They are often cheaper than their counterparts, which means that you won’t break the bank to have a backup power source. Also, they often produce more power output but they are louder than the inverter generators.

Safety considerations

We can’t make enough emphasis on the importance of safety when purchasing your first generator. Generators that are powered by gasoline are known to be dangerous since gasoline degrades and produces poisonous carbon gases if it is left idle for a few months. Propane generators are always considered to be a safe choice. This should be your first decision when purchasing a generator. Should you buy a gasoline-powered generator that has more output or a propane generator that is safer?

Propane generators are recommended but there are additional features that manufacturers today are adding to generators to ensure they are safe. The Westinghouse WGen3600DF and the Champion Power Equipment 100263 are examples of generators with an automatic low-oil shut off. The Champion Power Equipment 76533, on the other hand, has a Volt Guard™ surge protector that prevents overloads in the generator.

Tips

  • Before you choose the generator, it is first important that you know your power priorities. How do you do this? Make a list of what you don’t want to go out with when the power is out and calculate their watts.
  • Secondly, you need to know the type of generator that will be suitable for your needs. Do you want a portable generator, a home standby generator or an inverter generator? Knowing the pros and cons of each will save you a lot of stress in future.
  • Finally, get a generator that allows you to check the level of fuel through an easy to use fuel gauge. You will appreciate this feature during longer power outages.

FAQ

Propane generators are known to be more efficient and budget-friendly as they last longer than gasoline generators.

Typical propane generators produce about 50 to 65 dB(A).

You are much likely to have a bigger generator with more output and this means that you will have more runtime during outages.

Wrap-up

Our top choice is Westinghouse WGen3600DF, which we liked because of its powerful engine, longer runtime and overall safety features. It also has more powerful models for those who feel that the output is not enough. The second choice is the Champion Power Equipment 100263, an inverter generator that is not only one of the quieter generators on the market but is also a top performer. And for those who don’t want to spend more for a dual-fuel option, we included the Sportsman GEN4000LP in our review. This generator is more affordable than its dual-duel competition and runs efficiently on propane.

9.7/10 Total Score
Westinghouse WGen3600DF - Editor's Choice
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