In places where power outages happen frequently, doing your usual household activities can be challenging. As an entrepreneur, you would know that power outages can be especially detrimental to your business. They can drive off potential customers and cause you to lose sales. All these power issues point to one solution, generators.
A generator is a source of back-up power that allows you to go about your daily business with minimal interruption from power outages. Fortunately, there are many kinds of generators with different electrical and physical configurations built for different applications.
In this article, we shall take a look at a special kind of generators – dual fuel generators. As their name implies, they are basically electrical generators that can utilize two different kinds of fuels to generate electricity. They generally use gasoline and propane as primary fuels.
While gasoline is pretty easy to obtain, it can produce higher noise and fume levels. On the other hand, propane is much cleaner and quieter on operation. It can be cheaper, too. At the end of the day, dual fuel generators offer you the flexibility to choose a fuel type depending on your preference. It can also be a cost-effective and eco-friendly alternative to diesel-only units.
If you live somewhere prone to power outages, getting the best dual fuel generator will certainly make your life better. While many people are only familiar with the Honda dual fuel generators, we are here to tell you that there are many other good brands out there to choose from. Read along as we take a look at the best dual fuel generators available in the market today, so that the next time power goes out, you are ready.
DuroMax XP12000EH Dual Fuel Generator
The DuroMax XP12000EH dual fuel generator is powered by a DuroMax 18HP 457cc OHV engine. With 12000 starting watts and 9500 running watts on gas, heavy load appliances such as refrigerators and air conditioners are no problem with this powerful dual fuel generator. High amperage tools can be used on it, too.
Rightfully so, this unit is nicknamed the “BEAST”. It provides the same amount of power normally seen in home standby units. It comes in a portable package which makes it ideal for applications where you will need to move it around such as a jobsite or a campsite. This dual fuel portable generator is more than enough to power home appliances through any power outage or emergency event.
Although gasoline is the tried and tested option, liquid propane can in fact last longer. It also has longer storage life and won’t damage the carburetor. For heavy users, another key benefit is that propane costs significantly less so you can save money down the line with the DuroMax XP12000EH.
The DuroMax MX2 technology allows you to get maximum power from each of the 120-volt receptacles. You can choose to operate the generator at both 120 and 240 volts simultaneously. Alternatively, you can also use it at 120 V with full power. With a voltmeter, low oil indicator, and idle control, you are kept informed with crucial information as you use this dual fuel generator.
The DuroMax XP12000EH unit has a heavy-duty all-metal frame construction which has fully-isolated motor mounts. It also comes with an oversized noise-reducing muffler which promotes quieter operation. A spark arrestor keeps the dual fuel generator operating safely. It also features a keyed electric start and optional recoil start which makes it user-friendly.
Also included are the handle kit and durable solid-fill tires. All of its windings are made of copper which guarantee that the unit will last for years. Like all DuroMax generators, this unit is both EPA and CARB compliant through all the 50 states in the US. Lastly, it comes with a 3-year factory warranty.
Westinghouse WGen9500DF Dual Fuel Portable Generator
Westinghouse is a well-known brand that has legions of customers swearing by their generators. If there is a need for you to switch from gas to propane, then the WGen9500DF easily does the trick for you. You can shift between fuel sources even when the unit is operating.
The WGen9500DF dual fuel generator is capable of providing 9500 running watts and 12500 peak watt output on gas. On propane, it also has an impressive output of 8500 running watts and 11200 peak watts. Wattage is slightly lower on propane but this is more than enough to power heavy appliances.
With a simple push of a button, you can easily start the WGen9500DF due to its electric start configuration. Even more convenient is the key fob that saves you the hassle of needing to physically go to the unit to start it up. From 260 feet away, you can remotely start your generator.
You can run your dual fuel generator for up to 12 hours on a 6.6-gallon (25 L) fuel tank due to its powerful 457cc 4-stroke OHV Westinghouse engine. Within that period, you won’t need to worry about refuelling.
Through a transfer switch, you can effortlessly tie your WGen9500DF into your home using a convenient L14-30R 30A 120/240V twist-lock outlet. It also features various outlet ports, including two GFCI 120 volts ports, five standard household receptacles, one 120 volts L5-30R outlet, one RV-ready 120/240 volts outlet, and two 5 volts USB ports.
The WGen9500DF also comes with an automatic low-oil shutoff feature and a built-in fuel gauge. Overall, this is an easy-to-use machine that is quite straightforward to maintain as well. It is portable and is perfect to be used for any outdoor activity.
Upon purchase, the WGen9500DF also comes with a 12V battery charger, oil, an oil funnel, a tool kit, and a user’s manual. There is minimal assembly required so you can use it out of the box. You will get 1 year of warranty which can optionally be extended depending on your requirement. We definitely recommend this dual fuel generator as a heavy-duty option.
Rainier R12000DF Dual Fuel Portable Generator with Electric Start
Easily switch up your fuel source whenever you need to. With this Rainier R12000DF generator, you can use either gasoline or propane. With a powerful 457cc OHV 4 Stroke Rainier engine and a large 6.6 gal. (25 L) capacity, it can last up to 17 hours of run time at 25% load. It can even last longer when you alternate between fuel sources. This dual fuel generator operates at an impressive 12000 peak watts and 9500 running watts for gasoline. For propane, it is 10800 peak watts and 8550 running watts.
The oil shutdown feature uses up remaining fuel before shutting off, effectively prolonging the life of the unit. It also has a built-in fuel gauge to keep you informed about oil levels. A display unit highlights information about the volts, frequency, and lifetime hours of the generator. A control panel includes two 5-20R 120V 20A GFCI household outlets, one L5-30R 120V 30A outlet, one L14-30R 120V 30A outlet, and one 14-50R 120/240V 50A outlet. It has 2 grounding ports as well.
With an operational volume of 72dB, it is especially handy if you just wish for minimal disruption when camped out. It is also ideal to be used off grid because it is RV-ready. This dual fuel portable generator comes with two 10-inch wheels and two foam grip handles to ensure your convenience as you transport it.
The Rainier R12000DF is a very dependable generator with a one-touch electric start. A quick toggle of a switch is all it takes to start your generator. You are free from the hassle of having to pull the recoil start to start the engine, although it also comes with a back-up recoil start just in case. You can count on this robust, yet versatile workhorse to power most appliances which include air conditioners, kitchen appliances, tools, and other small electronics at once.
This dual fuel generator is home-ready because you can readily plug it straight into your manual transfer switch at home with the official NEMA 120/240V 30A L14-30R transfer switch-ready outlet. Power outages will no longer stop you from doing anything you need to do at home.
Lastly, this dual fuel generator is EPA and CARB compliant which makes it safe for the environment. It is backed by a 3-year limited warranty which is among the highest in this list.
WEN DF1100T 11,000-Watt 120V/240V Dual Fuel Portable Generator
A brand popular for its generators, WEN also offers a heavy-duty dual fuel generator in its WEN DF1100T model. This unit comes with 8300 watts running watts and a maximum of 11000 watts output on gasoline. On propane, it is capable of providing 7500 running watts and has 9500 watts surge capacity. A 6.6-gallon fuel tank allows you to have around 8.5 hours of nonstop usage, so you can have a full night’s sleep without needing to refuel.
Inclusions are AC ports such as two 120 volts 20-amp ports, one 120 volts 30-amp twist lock port, and one 120/240 volts 50-amp NEMA L14-50R port. It also comes with one 12 volts DC outlet. With its 457cc 4 stroke OHV engine, you can turn on the device with a single push of a button at the front.
Lastly, the WEN DF1100T is backed by two years of warranty and is CARB compliant.
Champion 8000-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Generator
A robust power source for large households and businesses, the Champion 8000-Watt dual fuel generator delivers a voltage output of 120/240V. On gas, the starting wattage is 10000 watts while the running wattage is 8000 watts. You can expect a rated and starting wattage of 7290 watts and 9025 watts, respectively if you use propane.
With a 6-gallon fuel tank, you can run this generator for up to 8 hours at 50% load on gasoline. This Champion generator dual fuel has a lower running time of up to 5 hours at 50% load when using a 20-pound propane fuel tank.
Slightly higher than the noise level of a vacuum cleaner is its noise rating of 74 dBA. Both the conventional recoil pull-start and the electric start are conveniently available in this unit. Due to its Cold Start technology, you can run the 459cc Champion engine effortlessly, even in freezing temperatures, so you will have no trouble using it in the winter months.
With a relatively lower THD rating between 12% and 20%, you can safely power devices like TVs, computers, and kitchen appliances. However, note that if you want to power sensitive devices like a pellet stove, it is best to use a generator with a THD lower than 5%.
A total of six AC outlets are included in the control panel. These are two duplex 120V 20A (5-20R) GFCI, one 120/240V 30A (L14-30R) receptacle, and one 120V 30A (L5-30R) receptacle. Although these outlets are not RV-ready, the L5-30P is compatible with a TT-30R adaptor so that you can use it on an RV.
With an open-frame design, this Champion generator dual fuel is not exactly portable as it weighs a hefty 209.4 lbs. However, it does come with a 9.5-inch wheel kit and a foldable handle to make transporting a bit easier for you.
Firman Power Dual Fuel Generator 7500 Running Watts
Believe it or not, there are many better alternatives to the Honda dual fuel generators that are abundant in the market. The Firman Power Dual Fuel Generator, which runs on both gas and natural gas (LPG), is a good example of that. It is capable of running appliances up to 7500 watts, with a starting power of 9400 watts when powered by gas. When running on LPG, it has 8450 starting watts and 6750 watts running power.
Owing to its Whisper Series muffler, this durable dual fuel generator is quieter and more efficient than many of its competitors. It can run for 12 hours due to its large 8-gallon fuel tank. And with heavy-duty tires and a padded handle, it is easy to carry around, too. A roll cage protects the generator and can help prolong its life.
Needless to say, this unassuming dual fuel generator is ideal for use as a power source for campers and as an emergency backup power at home.
Pulsar 5,250W Dual Fuel Portable Generator
Another moderately-powered dual fuel generator in the list is the Pulsar 5. This dual fuel generator is capable of providing 4250 running watts and 5250 surge capacity on gasoline. On propane, it gives 3850 running watts and is capable of 4750 watts peak capacity. For a moderate price tag, you are getting some pretty decent power output.
With a 4 stroke OHV air-cooled 224cc engine, this Pulsar generator also comes with a 4-gallon fuel tank. Despite having a smaller fuel capacity, you can get roughly 12 hours of operation at half load on gasoline. It comes with two 120 volts AC outlets, one 30-amp RV port, and one 120/240 volts twist-lock outlet.
If you are on the lookout for a generator that doesn’t break the bank yet can power your most basic needs, it is worthwhile to look into the Pulsar dual fuel generator. With this generator, you will get a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty.
Westinghouse WGen3600DF Dual Fuel Portable Generator
Another Westinghouse generator featured on this list, the Westinghouse WGen3600DF produces an output of 120V. The generator’s running and peak wattage on gasoline are 3600 watts and 4650 watts, respectively. Although these values are not a lot, they are perfect for RV traveling and backup power delivery for cooking, heating, and lighting. The Westinghouse WGen3600DF generator has a 4-gallon fuel capacity and a 212cc Westinghouse 4-stroke OHV engine which allows it to run for a good 18 hours.
On the other hand, the generator provides 3240 rated watts and 4180 starting watts when run on propane. At 25% load, the running time on propane can be as long as an impressive 20 hours.
Aside from a conventional recoil pull-start system, it also features an easy-to-use electric start with a battery included. In fact, you can even start this generator remotely. With a low noise rating of 69 dB, this generator is quite a breeze to use.
With a 120V 30A TT-30R receptacle, the control panel is RV-ready so you can finally camp out and bring this generator with you. The unit also includes AC outlets such as one duplex 120V 20A5-20R and one 120V 30A L5-30R receptacle. It has a built-in fuel gauge, overload protection, and an automatic low-oil shut-off feature so you are guaranteed that it is built to last. However, one thing to note is that the unit has a relatively high THD of less than 23%. This means that it can potentially damage sensitive electronics.
With an open-frame design, it may be quite heavy for some people to lift alone as it weighs 109 pounds. Good thing it also features an 8” wheel kit and a folding handle so you can easily transport it. Upon purchase, you shall get oil, a funnel, a key fob for remote starting, a propane hose, a tool kit, and a battery charger.
Champion Power Equipment 100307 4375/3500-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Generator
Due to a patented fuel selector switch which allows for easy and safe switching between fuel sources, Champion’s 3500-watt RV-ready generator can safely run on both gasoline and propane. With a fuel tank capacity of 3.4 gallons, the 224cc Champion engine produces 4375 starting watts and 3500 running watts when run on gasoline. It can run for 9 hours at 50% load when the fuel tank is full.
When using a 20-pound propane tank, it can produce a slightly lower 3950 starting watts and 3150 running watts. It will run for 10.5 hours at 50% load. While this is not a lot compared to the other units, the generator does come with other benefits.
You can operate this unit right out of the box. As you would expect, it has enough power to start and run a 15,000 BTU RV air conditioner. It can also power essential items you need in case of a power outage. Champion’s Cold Start Technology ensures a quick start in cold weather so that you won’t have to worry about using it in the winter.
The control panel includes a 120V 30A (TT-30R) RV outlet, one 120V 30A (L5-30R) locking outlet, and two 120V 20A (5-20R) household outlets. Also included in the purchase is a 3.3-foot propane hose with a built-in regulator.
Although quite large and heavy at 104.9 lbs, it does come with a low noise level of 68 dBA from 23 feet which is effectively around the loudness of a vacuum cleaner. The unit is also equipped with a Volt Guard built-in surge protector. This feature prevents overloads and helps keep your equipment safe.
You can also keep track of voltage, frequency, and run-time hours with a display unit. You can easily monitor power output and track maintenance intervals using an Intelligauge feature. With a low oil shut-off sensor, this Champion generator dual fuel is guaranteed to be a very good investment.
Setup is hassle-free due to Champion’s thoughtful packaging and clear direction. Additionally, this unit is EPA certified and CARB compliant. When you need it to be looked into, Champion has a nationwide network of service centers. They will also back up your purchase with a 3-year limited warranty and free lifetime technical support
Needless to say, it is definitely not hard to recommend this product.
Sportsman GEN4000DF Dual Fuel Portable Generator
The next generator on this list comes highly recommended by its users. The Sportsman GEN4000DF has a power output of 3500 running watts and a peak capacity of 4000 watts. Although the lowest output relative to the other models in this list, it is good enough for many applications. The dual fuel generator houses a 212cc OHV engine and a 3.6-gallon fuel tank. With that, you can have as much as 20 hours of continuous use when rated at 50% load on gasoline.
With a noise level of 69 dBA, you can certainly use this dual fuel generator for camping out and for household power applications. However, a huge drawback is that this generator only has a recoil start. It does not come with the convenient electric push start or a remote start-up feature. But with a pretty inexpensive price tag that is significantly less than the usual Honda dual fuel generators out there, you are still definitely getting a good bang for your buck with this unit.
Purchase of the Sportsman GEN4000DF includes four 120 volts outlets, one 120V RV outlet, and one 12-volt DC outlet. At only 90 lbs, it is pretty lightweight so that you can carry it around. Lastly, you will be getting a 1-year warranty upon purchase of this dual fuel portable generator.
As dual fuel generators are powered by gasoline and propane, they have dedicated fuel tanks that store gasoline. The fuel tank capacity dictates the amount of fuel that can be put in the generator at once and is given in gallons.
A higher capacity tank means that you can put a lot of fuel and won’t need to refill as often. If you think that you will operate a generator for extended periods of time, getting a high fuel capacity generator might be worthwhile.
Generators produce power which is measured in watts. There are basically two different power output ratings – maximum watt (peak/surge watts) and rated output. The maximum wattage is the peak wattage available to the generator whereas the rated output relates to the general usage power output. The higher the power output, the more high-power devices you can run.
Before making any purchase, we always consider the cost. It is always handy to note that cheap generators may not be worth your time as they may not last that long. More expensive models come with many features and are likely more durable.
Larger generators often cost more money because they have larger fuel tanks to pave way for longer run times. Expensive generators also come with higher power output and have added features. With inverter technology that makes generators more efficient, the best dual fuel inverter generators can also be pricier.
The key therefore is knowing your needs and the features that you deem important so you can find the best dual fuel generator suited for your specific requirements.
Due to the constant combustion of fuel inside the cylinder, fuel generators always produce noise. While you cannot completely eliminate it, dampers, mufflers, and an encased construction can help minimize noise. Some of the best dual fuel inverter generators also have reduced noise levels.
If you want to enjoy the serenity of nature while camping, it is definitely helpful to get a quiet generator. Generators with noise levels below 60 dB approximate the noise level of normal conversations.
On the other hand, if you intend to use propane as your primary fuel, you won’t have to worry about noise because a propane-powered generator operates quietly.
If you wish to move the generator around, its size and weight will matter so make sure to consider them before purchasing. Lower power generators are often smaller and lighter because of reduced fuel capacity.
Some dual fuel portable generators feature comfortable handles and heavy-duty wheels to allow them to be lugged around in different terrains. Whether it is a construction site or a camping site you are using the unit in, there are many dual fuel portable generators to choose from.
Safety is vital to every equipment. An automatic CO shutoff feature automatically shuts down a generator’s engine if a built-in CO sensor detects levels of carbon monoxide building up. It is used to guard against risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
When the power goes off, some generators automatically start up. This is especially useful if you are not physically available to turn on your generator. Alternatively, other portable models offer a push-button alternative that saves you the inconvenience of having to pull-start the engine. Other dual fuel generators even feature a key fob which means you can start it from a few feet away.
With a fuel gauge, the ability to check the amount of fuel left will let you know when it is time to refuel. A low-oil shutoff feature is also handy. If oil levels go below a certain threshold, the generator automatically shuts off to prevent engine damage and prolong its life. Some of the best dual fuel inverter generators offer greater efficiency as well.
All these extra features can translate to added costs, so be sure to factor all that in.
What’s the difference between maximum watts and rated watts?
Maximum wattage is the power a generator can produce for short periods of time, such as when starting up the generator. As the name implies, it is also a generator’s highest possible wattage. On the other hand, rated watts pertain to the amount of power the generator can produce continuously. This is for when you use your generator for a prolonged period.
Can I use the generator indoors?
It is best never to run the generator in an enclosed area. Generator exhaust contains carbon monoxide which is harmful to you. As much as possible, make sure you operate your generator in an open area or outdoors.
Can I use the generator during bad weather?
Certainly! Generators are expected to run in a variety of conditions. However, it is important that they are protected or covered in order to prevent shorting or rusting. This way, you can prolong its service life.
Can a dual fuel generator be run on natural gas?
Most of the time, the answer is no. Most regular dual fuel generators are designed to run on gasoline and propane. Using natural gas is a bit trickier because it has a different operating temperature. That being said, there are tri-fuel generators on the market that do allow for this to happen. And if you are willing to pay a hefty fee, you might actually find a diesel/natural gas dual fuel generator.