DuroMax XP12000EH 12000-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Generator with Electric Start
Best RV-ready dual fuel generator
Super-powerful engine delivers sufficient watts to power up an entire house or campsite.
1 DuroMax XP12000EH Review
Whether you’re looking for a powerful home standby unit or a capable generator for your RV, the DuroMax XP12000EH might be it. More than the best dual fuel generator, this is a true beast ready to tackle whatever you’re throwing at it.
Equipped with an 18-horsepower, 457cc engine, it outputs 12,000 watts of max surge power and 9,500 running watts. That’s more than a normal household needs, and you can seamlessly power anything, from air conditioners to a fridge, washing machine, as well as other electronics, all at the same time.
All this power crammed into a portable package, as well as the RV-ready outlet, makes it perfect for campers too. And as you can expect from a dual fuel generator, it runs on either liquid propane or gasoline.
Compact yet powerful, easy to transport despite its weight and also easy to operate, this is by far the best dual fuel generator around.
Pulsar G12KBN-SG Heavy Duty Portable Dual Fuel Generator
Best dual fuel generator for the money
Best-in-class power and attractive price tag bring outstanding value for money.
2 Pulsar G12KBN-SG Review
If you need a powerful dual fuel generator for backup or cabin use, the Pulsar G12KBN-SG could be the best dual fuel generator for you. It might not be RV-ready, but it’s as powerful as our best in class and outputs similar performance.
In detail, it features a 457cc engine and outputs 9,500 running watts when fueled by gas – or 8,550 running watts on liquid propane. The surge watts are also similar to those of our best in class, namely 12,000 on gas and 10,800 on LPG.
Six outlets, four regular household ones, a twist-and-lock, and a 120V/240V 50A also makes it perfect to use for powering appliances and power tools alike. No doubt, an excellent choice for worksites or backup power for your home.
Champion 100263 3400-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Quiet Portable Inverter Generator with Electric Start
Best quiet dual fuel generator
A compact inverter generator with ultra-quiet operation – just perfect for an RV.
3 Champion 100263 Review
The Champion 100263 might not be the ideal backup system for a big house, but it’s undeniably a great choice for your log cabin, RV, and even for a mobile home.
Like our top picks, it runs on either gasoline or propane. Switching from one fuel to another is easy, and you can expect up to 3,100 running watts and 3,400 surge watts when powered by gasoline.
No doubt, its greatest feature is the inverter technology. You can use it to power sensitive electronics and appliances without worrying that you’ll damage them.
Other highlights include whisper-quiet operation, a convenient electric start, as well as the acclaimed TT-30R RV-ready outlet. Just perfect for camping, tailgating, and other occasional needs if you don’t mind a heftier price.
Champion 76533 3800-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Generator
A budget-friendly alternative
This mid-sized dual fuel generator impresses with up to 10 hours of runtime when powered by propane.
4 Champion 76533 Review
Homeowners or campers on a budget might like the Champion 76533. It’s a conventional generator but still impresses with some of the features found on the Champion 100263 model we already described.
Capable of providing up to 10 hours of runtime on propane or 9 hours on gasoline, it’s powerful enough to run a small home. On gas, it outputs 4,750 starting watts and 3,800 running watts – quite impressive for such a small unit.
An RV-ready outlet makes it perfect for adventurers. It fits seamlessly in the generator compartment of a recreational vehicle and is also relatively quiet, considering that it’s using conventional technology.
From powering up essential appliances during a blackout to entertaining the crowds during a party or running electronics while you’re camping, this dual fuel generator is up to anything. And it impresses with an unbeatable price tag.
Best Dual Fuel Generator 2021 Buying Guide
What is a dual fuel generator?
A dual fuel generator is a type of generator equipped with a carburetor designed to burn two types of fuel. The vast majority of the dual fuel generators run on gasoline and liquid propane, although you may also find models designed to run on gasoline and natural gas or diesel and liquid propane.
Do I need a dual fuel generator?
The main advantage of a dual fuel generator is that you can decide what type of fuel to use based on what you have available or on what is most advantageous for you at the time.
Gasoline is often the fuel of choice for its higher power output. However, liquid propane is cleaner, quieter, cheaper, and has a longer shelf life. Since it comes in a tank, liquid propane is also easier to store and transport.
Not only you can decide which fuel to use, but some of the best dual fuel generators even switch from one fuel to another automatically when they run out of the primary type of fuel – or you could switch from one fuel to another manually. Thanks to this feature, a dual fuel generator comes in handy:
- If you live in an area where blackouts are a frequent occurrence. By switching from one fuel to another, a dual fuel generator can power up your home for days rather than hours.
- If you’re living off the grid, but don’t want to give up modern amenities.
- If you’re an adventurer who needs lots of power for running RV air conditioning and appliances while camping.
Conventional or inverter dual fuel generator?
There are two kinds of dual fuel generators you can buy, conventional or inverter.
- Conventional dual fuel generators: Are rather simple machines consisting of an engine with an alternator and an electric output. They produce 120V or 240V alternating current (AC) directly – the type of current available in our homes. But because the engine usually can’t maintain a constant speed, the voltage tends to fluctuate. Due to this reason, these generators are not recommended for powering sensitive electronics, such as laptops, mobile devices, last-generation TVs, etc. Because of the unsteady engine speed, these machines are also rather noisy.
- Inverter dual fuel generators: Use more technologically-advanced engines that produce high-frequency AC, which is then transformed into direct current (DC). The direct current generated is then transformed back into alternating current. All these steps result in steadier voltage – the so-called “clean power.” These generators provide safe power for sensitive appliances and devices, and they are also quieter.
Quiet dual fuel generators: How loud should a dual fuel generator be?
We talked about louder and quieter generators, but how loud should a generator be? The truth is that it depends.
If you need a standby system for your home – which usually implies that the generator is kept in an enclosure outside your home, such as a shed – a conventional generator producing a noise level of around 70 decibels will unlikely bother you.
For camping purposes, or if you live in a condo, a quieter generator not only will let you sleep at night, but it won’t disturb your neighbors either. Some of the best quiet generators output a noise level of under 55 decibels. Considering that normal conversation is around 60 decibels, these generators are actually whisper-quiet.
By far, the best quiet dual fuel generators are the inverter type; even the quietest conventional generators usually exceed 65 decibels.
Choke vs. electric start. Which one should I get?
Like most gas-powered tools, including self-propelled lawn mowers, gas push lawn mowers, chain saws, and gas powered string trimmers, dual fuel generators can have either a manual choke or an electric start. If you don’t want to lose too much time pulling a cord to start the engine, you should go for a dual fuel generator with electric start.
Some manufacturers even sell a range of dual fuel generators with remote start; these are best for people who mainly need a standby system for their home, as you won’t have to get out to start the unit if a blackout occurs.
Regardless of the model you buy, make sure it has a choke system too. If the electric components break, you’ll have an alternative way of starting the engine.
What features should the best dual fuel portable generator have?
Most of the dual power generators available on the market are advertised as portable, but what are the features to look for if you really care about mobility?
- Weight: Dual fuel generators are typically heavy, but there is a huge difference between 70-80 pounds and over 100 pounds when trying to move the machine. If mobility is paramount, try to get the lightest generator that suits your power needs.
- Mobility kit: While all dual fuel generators advertised as portable have pre-drilled holes for wheels, legs, and handles, not all come with them. A mobility kit brings greater value for money, as you won’t have to buy them separately.
- Balance: Last but not least, remember that a balanced model is usually easy to move, even if it is heavy. Check the position of the engine and make sure the unit comes with an ergonomic handle.
What is an RV-ready generator?
An RV-ready generator is a generator equipped with a TT-30R outlet, which is designed exclusively for RV use. It works in a way similar to a home transfer switch. By plugging your vehicle into the TT-30R receptacle, the generator will power up the entire RV. This will allow you to plug your RV appliances and electronics directly into the outlets mounted inside your RV, rather than plugging each individual device into the generator’s receptacles.
Features to look for before buying a dual fuel generator
Different people have different needs. If you want to make sure the dual fuel generator you want to buy is the best for you, don’t forget to check the following features:
- Power output: Dual fuel generators vary from small units outputting around 3,000 running watts to large, standby generators capable of delivering 10,000 watts or more. Consider the primary use of the generator and how many devices you want to run at the same time to figure out what power output you need.
- Surge watts: Besides the running power, which refers to the constant output of the generator, also consider the surge watts. This is a boost of power some appliances require for starting – you can figure out how many surge watts you need by checking the manuals of the appliances you want to run simultaneously. A few appliances that need higher wattage for starting include air conditioners, fridges and freezers, and washing machines.
- Bi-fuel capability: Some of the best dual fuel generators have bi-fuel capability, meaning that they switch automatically from one fuel to another. This feature is important, especially if you plan to use the generator as a home standby system in an area prone to power outages.
- Size: Before buying, also check the physical dimensions of the unit to make sure it fits in its designated space, either in your backyard or in an RV compartment.
- Ease of use: Last but not least, make sure the dual fuel generator you want to buy is intuitive to use. The last thing you need is figuring out how to hook the propane tank or start the unit while there is a storm or blizzard in the course.