If you travel regularly, you likely spent a lot of time camping or in an RV, which means that you need a generator in order to recharge all of your devices for the road or for the day ahead.
An easy way to make sure that there is fuel accessible to you for that generator is to choose a dual fuel generator for yourself.
Why Choose A Dual Fuel Generator?
When you have more than one option for fuel, it allows you to travel further without worrying about whether you will be able to find fuel later on in your travels.
Ease of Maintenance
You should be able to do all of the maintenance on a dual fuel generator yourself.
These are also designed to be used in areas that are prone to severe weather issues like hurricanes and tornadoes. They are sturdy and made from stronger materials than some of their single fuel counterparts.
Uninterrupted Power Supply
Newer generators are built with your appliances in mind. Since most of our appliances run off important electronic parts. These generators are designed to make sure that there aren’t any power fluctuations to damage those very sensitive electronics while you’re using your generator.
Increased Fuel Storage
Because you can use multiple types of fuel for these generators, it’s easier to keep a larger stock of fuel on hand. Since these often use propane and natural gas, you can buy large amounts of it at one time and then use it as you need it because they are shelf stable.
Terms to Watch For:
It may not seem like much, but that’s a fairly large difference when it comes to the amount of sound that is coming out of your generator. 59 decibels is about the volume of a normal conversation from 20 feet away. 70 decibels is about the volume of a running vacuum cleaner from 20 feet away.
Decibels are always measured at a distance because the volume does change the closer or further you are away from the source of the sound. Typically, this is measured at 7 meters or 23 feet.
Inverter generators produce the same kind of power as a regular generator. However, the AC power that it put out is converted and then invert it back to AC voltage , creating a constant flow of the exact current that you need for your appliances. If you want to plug anything electronic into your generator, you should make sure that it is an inverter generator.
These are also often lighter and smaller than conventional generators, making them more portable in the long run.
Running vs. Starting Watts:
When you look at the label for a generator you will see two different numbers. The larger of the two numbers is the starting wattage or peak wattage, and the smaller of the two is the running wattage.
The starting wattage is there because many appliances and devices require more power to start up initially. The starting wattage helps to avoid overloading your generator whenever you plug something new into it.
Single vs. Dual vs. Triple Fuel:
A single fuel generator runs off of one type of fuel, whether it’s natural gas, propane, gasoline, or diesel. They tend to be either gasoline or diesel-powered generators.
Triple fuel generators offer you a choice between gasoline, propane and natural gas, which means that you will always have an option to choose from. The more fuel types your generator can run, the more convenient it can be for you, especially if you travel.
Qualities to Keep In Mind for A Duel Fuel Generator:
Price is not always a guarantee of quality, but it does factor into many customers choices. Most dual fuel generators are between $1500 and $3000. This is because they’re a little bit more expensive to make than their conventional counterparts, because they require another way to add different kinds of fuel.
Size is an important factor you want your generator to be portable. Dual fuel generators tend to be a little bit heavier than single fuel generators, but they’re also more durable.
If you want your generator to be portable, make sure that it has options for you to be able to carry it, roll it, or lift it onto a trailer or truck bed.
However, if you live somewhere where it regularly gets below 40° Fahrenheit, propane or natural gas will contract and can cause issues with the pressurization needed to appropriately power your generator.
Make sure that you are prepared for your type of weather with your generator.
As stated above, you want to make sure that your generator produces enough power while it is running to power all of the devices that you want to run. Typically, the more watts a generator is rated for, the higher the price. It also tends to lower fuel efficiency, so keep that in mind
Type of Emissions Certificate:
Depending on where you live, you may need a different type of admissions certificate than what is provided. There are three different types, and they are named after the organizations that get them out.
If you live in the United States but not in California, all you will need is the Environmental Protection Agency certification that is within the federal limits for emissions.
If you live in California, or want to take your generator on camping trips in national parks, you need to have the California Air Resources Board certificate as well as the EPA certificate. California has much more stringent laws on the types of omissions that are allowed, so this is a sign that you’re getting a more environmentally friendly generator.
If you live in Canada, you need to get a generator that has the Canadian Standards Association certification, which is similar to the EPA certification.
One of the ways that you can tell the difference between the big name brands and the smaller brands is in the warranty. Many warranties will require you to keep a maintenance log of everything that you have done to maintain your generator in order to fulfill the warranty.
They will also generally require you to go through their repair network, so make sure that you are in an area that is good repair for the type of generator that you buy, or be prepared to ship your generator to wherever it needs to go to be repaired.
A typical warranty for a generator is between two and three years for residential use. If you’re using these for your business, that warranty tends to last 6 to 12 months.
Best Dual Fuel Generators:
The best way to ensure that you have the best generator for your purposes is to examine your purposes. You will need different things depending on what you plan to use it for.
Check out this list to figure out which generators might be the best options for you and your uses.
Best Dual Fuel Generator for RV and Camping
This one in particular is great because it is fairly quiet. It runs at about 59 dBA, which is about the same volume as a regular conversation, and it gets quieter will load thanks to the economy mode.
It is also EPA certified and CARB compliant, which means you can take this generator anywhere in the United States without having an issue. The foldaway handle and never flat tires make this easy to move around as needed.
Best Standby Dual Fuel Generator
Because this has a relatively large fuel tank as well as an electric starter and a recoil starter to make sure that you can start your generator without an issue, this makes for a great standby generator.
This comes with an RV outlet as well as regular hundred and 20 and 240 V outlets. It runs for about nine hours at a 50 percent load. However, it’s heavy at 135 pounds without any fuel in it.
It’s also relatively inexpensive for its size at about $800.
Best Portable Dual Fuel Generator
It’s also EPA and CARB compliant, meaning you can take this with you anywhere, as long as your neighbors don’t mind the noise. It gets a little loud at 74 dBA, but there are some simple ways to modify it so that it’s quieter.
Best Dual Fuel Generator with an Electric Start
You won’t regret buying this generator if you choose to.
Best Dual Fuel Generator with a Honda Engine
This generator offers 6000 starting watts and 5500 running watts, and is surrounded by a tubular steel cradle to ensure its protection.
However, it does not come with its own portability kit, which is not ideal for a 212 pound generator that costs $3500+.
Best Dual Fuel Generator for Home Use
It comes with a handle built into the steel frame and wheels that will never go flat, making it easy to transport as long as you have the straight to move it.
This generator is perfect for camping or RVs because it is safe to travel with everywhere. You will run into any problems traveling with this generator.
Best Mid-size Dual Fuel Generator
You won’t get more bang for your buck than with this generator.
Best Heavy Duty Dual Fuel Generator
This generator is big and bad at 269 pounds and 74 dBA, so it won’t be able to be used while in California. It doesn’t quite meet the CARB requirements.
It’s pricey, but it’s worth it. This generator has 12,000 starting watts and 9500 running watts, and can run nearly 48 hours on one tank of gas. Your house well lit in case of an emergency.
Best Quiet Dual Fuel Generator
If quiet power is what you’re looking for this generator only puts out about 59 dB worth of noise, which is about the same as your typical conversation from 20 feet away. It also comes with an RV outlet, two regular AC outlets, one DC outlet and two USB ports right on the panel.
This makes it incredibly useful, especially since it can run 3100 W regularly for about 10 hours on a tank of gas.
Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator with Electric Start
Why Is This Product Here?
Best dual fuel generator under $1000
Check Carefully because…
The generator requires 0.6 quarts of oil to run; this oil isn’t included in your purchase.
The generator can run in parallel with another generator, to increase the power output, but you will have to purchase an additional kit to do this.
The MUST Know, True Facts about
The Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel Generator strikes a great balance between function and price.
The nearly-thousand-dollar price tag is more than you’re going to pay for budget generators, but your money buys a lot: a portable, well made, electric start generator that can run off both gasoline and propane (many generators around this price point are gasoline only).
On the other hand, the Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel Generator’s performance compares favorably with much higher end generators; at 59 dB, this generator is only a few decibels louder than comparable high end generators, but at half the price.
Other selling points include Economy Mode, which saves fuel and increases the run time, and Cold Start technology that ensures you can start the generator in cold weather. The generator’s clean power means that you can plug in your delicate electronics with confidence, and if you need more power, it’s easy to run this generator in parallel with another one to increase the power output.
What to watch out for with this product?
The generator has a battery (included) to help with the electric start; running the generator will charge the battery, but it’s still recommended that you charge the battery yourself periodically, especially if you don’t run the generator very often.
The oil will need to be changed after every one hundred hours of use, but since there’s no run timer on the generator, you’ll have to keep track of how long it’s been in use yourself.
The generator can comfortably power a 15000 BTU RV air conditioner, but some users have reported they needed to purchase a hard start capacitor to make sure the generator can easily start the air conditioner.
Need to extend the generator’s run time? Putting it into Economy Mode will save on fuel and make the generator run longer. Be aware that this does lower the generator’s power output!
Benefits and Features (Pros)
The dual fuel feature gives you the option of running on gasoline or propane. Switching from one to another just requires turning a switch.
The 59 dB running noise level—roughly equivalent to normal conversation—means this generator won’t disturb you or your neighbors.
The push-button electric start makes for easy, reliable starting every time; a pull start is available if your battery is dead.
The generator produces clean power (less than three percent total harmonic distortion), which means any delicate electronic devices you plug in should be safe.
The generator is highly portable; sturdy tires and handles, plus a relatively light 95.7-lb. weight, make this unit easy to move and lift.
Economy Mode saves fuel and increases the engine’s life.
A propane hose is included.
No remote start option is available.
A smaller gas tank requires more frequent refueling.
No run timer on the unit means that in order to keep track of how many hours you’ve run it and how soon you need to change the oil, you’ll have to install your own timer or keep track of the hours yourself.
The Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel generator is an excellent compromise between performance and cost. Choose this generator if you want high-end performance at a mid-range price.
Noise level: 59 dB at 23 feet
Wattage: 3400 W
Weight: 95.7 lbs.
Fuel type: propane, gasoline
Estimated propane run time: 14.5 hours at 1/4 load
Estimated gasoline run time: 7.5 hours at 1/4 load
Gasoline capacity: 1.6 gallons