Best Value Portable Propane Generators

Best Propane Portable GeneratorsThere’s no question that gasoline generators are not going anywhere. However, portable propane generators (and dual fuel types) may be the ideal choice for many consumers, especially those looking for a model to provide (hopefully) infrequent emergency backup power.

And here’s three reasons why:

  • Propane does not “spoil.” Liquid propane (when properly stored in its tank) has an infinite shelf life. Compare this with gasoline, which effectively goes “stale” after about a year. This makes propane the ideal fuel source for those who may need backup power at some point in the future, and don’t want the hassle of having to go shopping for gasoline (which may be unavailable anyway in widespread power outages since gas pumps are electric) right in the middle of a grid failure.
  • Easier cold-starting. Secondly, there is no debate that cold-starting an infrequently-used propane generator is far easier than a gasoline counterpart. Burning gasoline generates substantial gum deposits in carburetors that is unavoidable. And these deposits are particularly problematic for generators that are used only occasionally for emergency purposes. Propane generators, on the other hand, burn very cleanly and don’t “gum up,” even if left unused for months or years. For this reason, they can generally crank up much more easily whenever the odd need arises.
  • Much cleaner burning. And finally, to the extent you care about air quality (or the presence of annoying fumes around the home), propane is a much less polluting fuel that produces far less carbon monoxide compared to gas. Of course, you still can’t run propane generators indoors, but they are much friendlier to you and the environment than portable gasoline generators.

EDITOR’S PICK REVIEW:  DuroMax Hybrid Dual Fuel

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So what’s the downside to going liquid propane? Probably the only real disadvantage of propane generators is their slightly greater upfront cost compared to gas models. Nevertheless, the difference is not dramatic, and the typically greater engine life and easier cold-starting/use of propane generators easily justifies it in our view. Moreover, to get the most bang for you buck, we’ve done the hard work of comparing the various options out there and have already identified some of the best value portable propane (or dual fuel) generators currently on the market.

EDITOR’S PICK REVIEW:  Durostar Hybrid Fuel Generator

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Generac LP3250 Liquid Propane Portable Generator

Generac LP3250: the best value 3250 watt propane generator.Key Specifications:

  • Running Wattage: 3,250 watts
  • Surge Wattage: 3,750 watts
  • Runtime @ half load: 9 hours
  • Electric Start: No
  • Fuel: Liquid propane only
  • Average Rating: 4.0 / 5.0 stars (based on 62 reviews) [read full reviews here]

Our Overview:

The Generac LP3250 (model #6000) is designed to run exclusively on liquid propane, and to that end comes with a very handy propane tank holder, which can accommodate both 20-lb and 30-lb tanks for your convenience. However, aside from making life easier when it comes to situating the fuel source, this is a very solid portable generator that provides enough electricity for everything from camping/RV use to backup power in the event of power failures.

The unit’s 212cc engine produces a total of 3,250 running watts and 3,750 surge watts – in terms of most users’ wattage needs, this is sufficient for running a few moderate to higher-draw larger appliances simultaneously, but you will not be turning over your home’s central air conditioner with this generator! The LP3250 is also well-equipped with the typical power panel layout, a solid wheel kit, and a basic, yet reliable recoil (i.e., manual) starting mechanism.

In addition to checking all of the boxes for us, this genset’s very favorable user reviews confirm that most should enjoy relatively trouble-free and easy operation. The bottom line: if you are looking for a smaller, propane-only generator that is user-friendly and gets the job done, the Generac LP3250 is a solid bet.

DuroMax XP4400EH Dual Fuel (LP & Gas) Portable Generator

DuroMax Hybrid XP440EH: the best value 3500 watt propane generator.

Key Specifications:

  • Running Wattage: 3,500 watts
  • Surge Wattage:  4,400 watts
  • Runtime @ half load: 20 hours (20-lb propane tank) / 8 hours (using gas)
  • Fuel: Liquid propane *or* gasoline
  • Electric Start: Yes
  • Average Rating: 4.0 / 5.0 stars (based on 66 reviews) [read full reviews here]

Our Overview:

The DuroMax XP4400EH is probably our favorite home backup generator for those needing limited power for key appliances. The 7 horsepower air-cooled dual-fuel engine produces enough juice for things like your fridge, sump pump, TVs, small heaters/air conditioners, and a variety of other common items around the home, yet is still relatively compact and easily stored. As always, make sure to use our generator sizing calculator to more accurately estimate whether this unit produces enough running/surge wattage for your needs.

Notwithstanding its modest price tag, this model comes with some premium features, including an electric starting mechanism, full power panel and handy volt meter. In addition, it uses an easy-connect line for typical barbeque-style 20# liquid propane tanks, so switching from gas to propane couldn’t be easier.

However, one of the very best things about the XP4400EH is that it’s a highly affordable workhorse that has proven itself during some of the biggest natural disasters over the last few years. Time and time again, users confirm that this generator starts and performs reliably, and with very little maintenance to boot. Consequently, this is one of the most value-oriented and battle-tested hybrid portable generators on the market today.

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2 Comments

  1. Peter says:

    Does the Sportsman GEN7000LP come with at least a steel bracket and bolt set to support the optional motorcycle battery?
    Thanks
    Peter

  2. naram says:

    I need a solution for my mobile restaurant. Need to have a 24 solution if possible.

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