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Best Dual Fuel Generator

The best dual fuel generator can save you a lot of hassle when calamities strike and comes in handy in many more situations. Its greatest advantage is precisely the dual fuel capability, which usually allows you to extend the runtime to over 24 hours at half load.

This means you’ll have the possibility to run your appliances and electronic devices for a day or more without refueling.

Pulsar G10KBN

Here's a list of Best Dual Fuel Generator

But not all dual fuel generators were created equal. While they all run on gasoline and liquid propane, some may allow you to switch from one fuel to another without stopping the generator. Others will not. Some of them are ideal for large households; others are more appropriate for recreational purposes.

With that in mind, we wondered which are the best dual fuel generators that meet the needs of most consumers. We roamed the market and rated some of the most promising models. Check out our top picks below, then don’t forget to check our buying guide to find everything you should know before hitting the market.


Top 6 Dual Fuel Generator Reviews

Our exclusive guide features heavy- and light-duty portable generators for backup or recreational use. Scroll down to read our best portable generator reviews, check our comparison tables and guide.


Best Heavy-Duty Portable Generator Reviews

Starting watts – 12,000

 Running watts – 9,500

Starting watts – 5,250

 Running watts - 4,250

Starting watts – 5,250

 Running watts - 4,000

Starting watts – 12,000

 Running watts -  9,500

Starting watts – 4,850 Running watts – 3,850

Starting watts – 10,000 Running watts – 8,500

Fuel type – Gasoline/Liquid propane

Fuel type - Gasoline/Liquid propane

Fuel type - Gasoline/Liquid propane

Fuel type - Gasoline/Liquid propane

Fuel type – Gasoline/Liquid propane

Fuel type – Gasoline/Liquid propane

Run time @ 50% load - 8 hrs.

Run time @ 50% load - 12 hrs.

Run time @ 50% load - 9.5 hrs.

Run time @ 25% load – 19 hrs.

Run time @ 50% load – 8 hrs.

Run time @ 50% load – 12 hrs.

Noise level – 72 dB

Noise level – 78 dB

Noise level – 66 dB

Noise level – 72 dB

Noise level – 69 dB

Noise level – 69 dB

Weight – 340 lbs.

Weight – 115  lbs.

Weight - 128 lbs.

Weight – 200 lbs.

Weight – 130 lbs.

Weight – 130 lbs.


1. DuroMax XP12000EH Review

The XP12000EH is one of the most versatile dual fuel generators out there. Big enough to respond all energy needs and extremely portable despite its heft, this unit brings all you could wish from a best in the class pick.

The generator outputs up to 12,000 watts of surge power and 9,500 running watts on gasoline, sufficient for running a large household or busy job site. A long runtime makes it a great backup system, and at half load, it can run for 8 hours straight on gasoline. The runtime goes up if you’re fueling with propane, and more often than not you’ll have at least 18 hours of runtime by switching between fuels.

DuroMax XP10000EH

Powered by a 457cc OHV engine, this dual fuel generator is up to anything you’re throwing at it. Multiple receptacles ensure suitability for a wide range of applications. The unit has a household 120V outlet, a twist lock 120/240V outlet, an RV-ready 120V socket, and 12V DC receptacles.

Constructed in all metal, the generator is robust and resistant. It comes with a convenient mobility kit consisting of wheels and folding handles, while a balanced gravitational center makes it easy to move over 300 pounds from one place to another.

Fairly quiet for its size, intuitive and easy to use, this dual fuel generator is a great machine to consider for your backup or recreational needs.

PROS

  • This generator is CARB compliant and perfect to use in all states. A quiet muffler makes it suitable to use in the national parks.
  • Low-oil shutoff protects the engine and prolongs the unit’s lifespan. Integrated lights also advise you when it’s time to change or add oil.
  • Runs for up to 30 hours at half load by switching between fuels.
  • Warning light, circuit breaker, and voltmeter enhance usability and make the generator perfect for beginners.

CONS

  • This generator is heavy. Moving it is easy thanks to the balanced mobility kit though.
  • Electric start battery is questionable. Perhaps the manufacturer could replace it with a higher quality one.

DuroMax XP12000EH Video Review


2. Pulsar PG5250B Review

If you’re looking for more portability and average power supply, the Pulsar PG5250B could be the answer to your needs. This dual fuel generator can satisfy most power needs while operating on either gasoline or propane with a simple switch of a dial.

You won’t have to stop the generator to change the fuel thanks to the motor’s capabilities. In terms of power, the generator is equipped with a 224cc four-stroke engine protected by an all-steel powder coated frame.

The big engine provides sufficient energy for an output of 5,250 surge watts on gasoline and 4,750 on propane.

Pulsar PG10000

In terms of running watts, you’ll have sufficient power for an average household, job site, or camping activities, thanks to the 4,250 watts on gasoline and 3,850 watts on propane.

We also like the large fuel tank which holds sufficient gasoline for up to 12 hours of continuous operation at half load.

Despite the lack of an electric start, the switch-and-go recoil start is easy to operate and ignite the fuel in a breeze even in lower temperatures. Moreover, an array of receptacles address all your needs.

PROS

  • Ideal for most applications, this generator comes with two household 120V outlets, an RV-ready port, and a twist lock 120/240V outlet.
  • Ideal for most applications, this generator comes with two household 120V outlets, an RV-ready port, and a twist lock 120/240V outlet.
  • This unit comes with a convenient 3-in-1 digital meter, low oil indicator and low oil shutdown for easy and safe operation.
  • Fairly low noise level. The generator outputs 78 decibels, more or less the sound of a vacuum cleaner.
  • Accessories include a convenient propane hose.
  • The unit is backed up by a 1-year limited warranty.

CONS

  • The power produced is not very clean. Thus it’s not recommended to plug in sensitive appliances directly to the generator.

Pulsar PGB10000 Video Review


3. Quipall 5250DF Review

With the same power rating as the generator above, the Quipall 5250DF lives up to the expectations. Whether you have to run a household, job site, or RV, this generator provides sufficient energy for most applications.

The unit is powered by a 224cc engine with an overhead valve capable of outputting up to 5,250 surge watts on gasoline and 4,500 watts on propane. The running watts ratings vary between 3,600 and 4,000 watts, just what it takes to power an average household.

A convenient electric start with recoil backup ensures a speedy start even in lower temperatures, while a sufficiently large fuel tank gives you up to 9 hours of continuous operation on gasoline.

Quipall 5250DF

The generator also encompasses multiple safety features, including a low-oil warning light with automatic shutdown and circuit protection in case of overload. These features not only protect the generator, but also the electronic devices attached to it.

Another great perk is the digital meter designed to track the runtime. This will help you know when it’s time to service or refuel, for smooth and hassle-free operation in all circumstances.

Perfect for home backup, job site, or an RV, this power generator comes at a reasonable price and packs all you need from a high-quality machine.

PROS

  • Ideal for most household and job site applications. It comes with four 120V outlets, an RV-ready receptacle, and 12V DC terminals.
  • Robust frame and no-flat wheels and integrated handle ensure durability and easy transportation.
  • Robust frame and no-flat wheels and integrated handle ensure durability and easy transportation.
  • The unit is CARB compliant and safe to use in all 50 states.

CONS

  • Consumers reported a noise level higher than advertised.

Quipall 5250DF Video Review


4. Rainier R12000DF Review

When your power needs exceed those of an average household, the Rainier R12000DF could be the dual fuel generator you’ve been looking for. This machine produces up to 12,000 surge watts on gasoline with a running rate of 9,500 watts.

Performance doesn’t drop considerably on propane, giving you the possibility to plug in plenty of electronics without worrying about overloading the circuit. Perfect for domestic or business purposes, this generator packs all you could wish.

It has an easily accessible and intuitive control panel with plenty of receptacles. 

Rainier R12000DF

These include two household 120V outlets for home use, an RV Ready 120V outlet, a twist lock receptacle, and two grounding posts.

Incorporated in the control panel is also a VFT display showing the voltage, frequency, and operational hours. You’ll always know when it’s time to service or refuel your generator, which is truly a great advantage.

Another nice feature is the rather low operational volume. The noise level rarely exceeds 72 decibels, which is more than acceptable for a generator of its capacity.

PROS

  • Convenient one-touch electric start with a backup recoil system ensures a quick ignition even in lower temperatures.
  • Powerful engine and big fuel tank ensure up to 17 hours of continuous operation at 25% load.
  • RV-Ready generator is EPA and CARB compliant and can be used in all 50 states.
  • Mobility kit includes two 10-inch wheels, and foam grip handles designed for easy transport and storage.

CONS

  • This generator doesn’t have a 12V DC port.

DuroMax XP12000EH Video Review


5. Duromax XP4850EH Review

Ideal for smaller households or those who have limited power needs, the Duromax XP4850EH comes with the same capabilities of its bigger brother above, but only produces 4,850 surge watts on gasoline.

With a rated AC output of 3,850 watts, this compact generator lives up to the expectations and produces sufficient energy for a couple of essential appliances and electronic devices.

We also like the robust construction and dependable engine. The unit has a cast-iron sleeve and comes equipped with a 196cc engine rated at 7 horsepower. 

Duromax XP4850EH

This amount is sufficient for powering an RV air conditioner or to back up your basic household needs.

Easy to start in all weathers, the unit comes with both electric and recoil start, while a mobility kit ensures easy transport.

Ideal for smaller households and recreational purposes, this compact dual fuel generator could be the one you were looking for.

PROS

  • EPA approved for safe use in all National Parks. Sadly though, the generator is not CARB compliant.
  • Low oil indicator lamp and automatic shutoff protect the engine and prolong the unit’s lifespan.
  • Key start switch, volt meter, and circuit breaker add further safety.
  • This unit comes with sufficient power outlets for most home and leisure needs. In detail, it has two 120V 3-prong household outlets and one twist lock receptacle.

CONS

  • The generator doesn’t have 240V or 12V DC outlets.

DuroMax XP4850EH Video Review


6. Pulsar G10KBN Review

The last dual fuel generator featured in our list is the Pulsar G10KBN, a powerful unit capable of outputting up to 10,000 surge power and 8,000 running watts. With a fuel tank of 6.6 gallons, the unit gives up to 12 hours of continuous operation, while switching between fuels will allow you to run it for over 24 hours before refueling.

One of the greatest features of this unit is the electric start and durable powder coated frame which ensure an easy ignition in all weathers and provides durability.

When it comes to outlets, the generator has plenty and is capable of responding to most needs.

Pulsar G10KBN

Two household 120V receptacles allow you to plug in an array of appliances, while the 120/240V outlets add versatility. Moreover, the generator also has a 12V DC terminal.

Accessories include a propane hose and spark plug T wrench, a combination wrench and a screwdriver.

In terms of safety, the generator comes with a low oil shutoff, an automatic voltage regulation, and a 3-in-1 digital meter designed to boost user experience and prolong the unit’s lifespan.

PROS

  • Single cylinder 4-stroke engine provides sufficient energy for hours of dependable operation.
  • Single cylinder 4-stroke engine provides sufficient energy for hours of dependable operation.
  • This generator is backed up by a 1-year limited warranty.
  • Up to twelve hours of continuous operation at half load when running on gasoline.

CONS

  • Up to twelve hours of continuous operation at half load when running on gasoline.

Pulsar G10KBN Video Review

Single Vs. Dual Fuel Generators

Generators come in handy in many situations, and one of the most frequent questions consumers ask is, what’s the difference between a single and a dual fuel generator, besides the obvious, that is.

No doubt, the biggest difference is that one runs on only one type of fuel. Usually gasoline or diesel, while the other runs on two types of fuel, mostly gasoline and propane.

But beyond these, people rarely see a difference or a net advantage of choosing one over another.

In broad terms:

  • Single fuel generators: Run on a single type of fuel, and some models come with an adaptability advantage which allows you to connect some of the generators to a natural gas pipe for endless runtime.
  • Dual fuel generators: Typically don’t adapt to use with natural gas, but you can switch between gasoline and propane to extend the runtime. These generators come with true mobility advantage and can usually run for over 24 hours.

Why Invest In A Dual Fuel Generator

So, if single fuel generators can adapt to use with natural gas and come cheaper, why invest in a dual fuel generator? The answer is often simpler than imagined. A dual fuel generator is not only portable; you’ll actually be able to extend the runtime by switching between fuels.

This is seen as an advantage not only by homeowners but mostly by campers and business owners who are always on the move. For instance, contractors operating on remote job sites or mobile food trucks.

A dual fuel generator comes as a great solution for those living in remote areas too. Perhaps you want to power up a cabin in the woods or a caravan.

Furthermore, if you live up in the mountains or love camping at higher altitudes, a dual fuel generator will give you the possibility to adjust performance to your needs and use the most effective fuel in your circumstances.

Then, dual fuel generators come with an array of other advantages. Below, the most important of them.  

Uninterrupted Power

Well, no doubt, the main advantage of a dual fuel generator is the possibility of running the unit continuously for an indefinite period of time. Simply change from one fuel to another when a tank is empty to provide uninterrupted power while refueling.

At first glance, this may seem unimportant. But you’ll be surprised how handy this could be in specific circumstances.

For instance, you could use the generator to power up a life-supporting unit during an outage. Whoever depends on it, will certainly appreciate breathing while you’re topping up the gasoline in the main tank.

Healthcare facilities may also benefit from an uninterrupted power supply during an outage.

Powering sensitive appliances could also come with benefits if you can provide a steady supply of current instead of interrupting it when the fuel is over.

Versatility

Dual fuel generators are undoubtedly the most versatile generators out there. This is because you can store two types of fuel and have the generator running for days no matter what nature throws at you.

This is particularly helpful if you live in an area prone to natural disasters, such as blizzards or hurricanes.

Both gasoline and propane are readily available fuels which are easy to store in a garage or shed. Propane is perhaps easier to store thanks to the containers it comes into. But you can fill up canisters of gasoline too, and keep them in a safe place.

When calamities strike, all you have to do is pick the fuel of your choice and ignite the system. If you run out of one fuel before the calamity is over, just switch to the other one and keep your generator up and running for weeks instead of days.

Effectiveness

Dual fuel generators are much more effective than their single fuel counterparts. Gasoline is known to hardly ignite in colder weather, but propane flames up easily even in low temperatures. Moreover, you can choose a longer runtime or higher power by simply switching between fuels.

Dual fuel generators are also cheaper to run. This is majorly due to the lower cost of propane compared to gasoline, not to say it burns slower, thus offering a major runtime.

Maintenance

Contrary to popular belief, dual fuel generators are easy to maintain and much easier to repair than many other types of generators. Most units are portable and made from assembled components. Compared to single case units, you’ll have the possibility to disassemble and repair only the broken part, and not the whole machine.

Gasoline and propane are clean fuels that put a little burden on the engine. As it is known from gasoline car engines, these motors require little to no maintenance apart from the usual periodical check-ups.

Convenience

Dual fuel generators may seem expensive at first glance, but they will save you loads in the long run. Not only you’ll have the possibility to run them for longer on cheaper fuel, but you’ll also be able to run them on whatever fuel is readily available in your area.

For instance, if you live in a smaller town where propane is not always available, you can run the generator on gasoline until you find propane.

Likewise, you can choose to take propane with you during a trip and save gasoline canisters in case your car runs out of fuel in the middle of nowhere. No matter how you look at it, dual fuel generators are convenient machines that come with many more advantages than a single fuel generator.

Durability

A feature you shouldn’t underestimate is durability. Dual fuel generators are designed to withstand calamities. This is because manufacturers know that those who look for a long runtime live in areas prone to natural disasters.

As such, the bi-fuel generators are made from sturdy materials. Most models have all-steel frames that protect sturdy engines fixed in four points. This type of construction reduces vibrations and consequently noise.

Mobility kits are also particularly sturdy. Most dual fuel generators come with all-terrain no-flat wheels and drop down handles which allow easy transport and storage. Lastly, powder coated frames resist rust and elements longer than steel frames painted with generic coats.

Dual Fuel Generator Flaws

Regardless of how much we like dual fuel generators, it’s hard to admit there is all milk and honey. These machines also have some flaws, although they are usually too negligible to even weigh in.

More often than not, we can talk about only two real drawbacks. One is the price. The other is the size.

In terms of price, dual fuel generators consist of more parts, and they require a special motor capable of handling two very different fuels. Higher manufacturing costs translate into higher retail cost too.

Therefore, before buying a dual fuel generator, set a rigid budget and try to stick to it. If your budget is too restricted to allow you to invest in a quality bi-fuel machine, perhaps it’s a good idea to go for a single fuel unit.

Size is another factor to consider. Even the smallest dual fuel generators are usually cumbersome. This is again a consequence of having more parts and particular engines. In broad terms, it’s hard to find  a dual fuel generator weighing less than 100 pounds, which can be quite a burden for many users.

Most dual fuel generators also occupy a lot of floor space.

 If you need a small unit to fit into a restricted space or have difficulties in pushing or pulling 100 lbs. of the generator, it’s a great idea to check these specifications before investing.

How To Choose a Dual Fuel Generator

You now know which are the main advantages and flaws of a dual power generator. You also know which are some of the best dual power generators out there. But when it comes to actually choose the unit that fits your needs, what should you look after?

Picking the right generator for you comes with many personal considerations. Beyond them, there are a few objective factors you must weigh in.

Power & Size

The foremost important thing to consider before buying a generator in general and a dual fuel generator, in particular, is the power and size of the unit.

Dual fuel generators are typically designed for higher power needs, whether it’s powering a larger RV or household, a business or a job site. Most units produce at least 3,500 running watts, which is sufficient for a small home, but the vast majority exceed 5,000.

On the upper threshold, dual fuel generators can easily reach 10,000 running watts or over.

Surge power is also important. 12,000 surge watts is the least you want if you want to power a large household. Around 4,000 watts of starting power is usually enough though if you only want to plug in a few electronics.

Another thing to weigh in is the size. More often than not, size increases exponentially with the power ratings. This happens because more power needs bigger engines. However, there are many fairly compact units to consider if small size is really important to you. Keep in mind though that maybe you’ll have to compromise on power.

What Size Generator Do I Need?

An apparently daunting question that is much more straightforward than it seems. Assessing your power needs is easy; perhaps the trickiest part  is deciding which electronics you want to use during an outage or while camping.

Regardless of where and why you’re going to use the generator, the most important thing is to calculate the wattage requirements of all the devices you want to run contemporarily.

Most home appliances have their wattage specifications – surge watts included – disclosed in their manuals. Alternatively, you can calculate the running watts by multiplying amperage with voltage, two things that are undoubtedly specified either in the user’s manual or on the manufacturer’s website.

Sum up the wattage requirements of all appliances you want to run at the same time and buy a generator that produces at least 1,000 watts more than what you need. This is recommended so you can avoid overloading the system.

In most cases, it is recommended to avoid loading more than 75% of the machine’s capacity, to prevent malfunctions which could eventually damage your electronics.

Control Panel & Receptacles

The control panel is one of the most important and often overlooked aspects. Buyers know it’s there, so they give little importance to how it’s actually made. Moreover, operating a generator doesn’t seem rocket science.

Yet, you’d be surprised how hard to operate is a generator with a complicated panel that gives no clear indications on how to ignite, operate, and maintain the unit.

We’ve told it before and said it again if a kindergarten kid finds it complicated to operate the generator, ditch the model and search for another. The control panel must be intuitive and easy to use, and it must have indicator lights, oil and fuel gauge, and fuel meter to allow you to operate the unit effortlessly.

Another important thing is the receptacles. Most household appliances run on 120V, and all dual fuel generator come with them. But if you want the unit for business or recreational purpose, make sure the generator comes with special outlets too.

For business, you’ll probably need at least one 240V outlet. Recreational purposes could require an RV ready outlet and 12V DC terminals for automotive batteries.

Noise Level

One of the most problematic aspects of a dual fuel generator is the noise level. These machines are typically loud. And by loud we mean way over normal conversation level. If you’re lucky enough, the generator could be as loud as a vacuum cleaner.

In the less lucky circumstances, it could sound more like a jet engine running in close proximity to your ears.

Local and regional sound regulations apart, a loud generator could annoy you and your neighbors in the long run. Not to mention constant noise can be harmful and lead to irreversible hearing damage.

The best thing to do to prevent unpleasant surprises is to invest in the quietest unit that encompasses all the features you need.

Also, don’t forget to check the noise level at full load, as most manufacturers measure it at 25% load and 23 feet.

Location Limitations

Before investing in a dual fuel generator, and in any other generator running on fossil fuel, as a matter of fact, check the regulations in your area and neighborhood. Some states may require special certifications, or you won’t be able to run the generator in that state.

This is the case of California, a state where generators non CARB compliant can’t be sold, bought, or operated.

It is also advisable to check local regulations too. For instance, if you want to use the generator in case of an outage but live in a condo with strict rules on the use of fossil fuel, you could end up in the impossibility to ignite the unit without facing legal consequences.

In case you want to power your RV while camping or road tripping, check the regulations regarding the use of dual fuel generators in national parks or campsites, then invest in a generator that complies with all requirements.

Mobility

Almost all dual fuel generators are portable, at least in theory. Mobility kits may come either as integrated add-ons or accessories to mount at a later time, but regardless of their type, you should check their functionality.

Moving over 100 pounds is often cumbersome. Unless you’re the invincible Hulk, perhaps you might want to check if the wheels are sturdy enough to handle the weight and performing enough to roll on all terrains.

The handles should be equipped with soft grips. A drop-down handle model is desirable for easier storage.

Another important thing is the gravitational center. Make sure it’s balanced or moving the unit could be trickier than you’d imagine.

Safety

Last but not least, check safety. The best dual fuel generator should come with low oil indicator lights and shutdown. Equally important is a unit that shuts down automatically when the fuel level is low, before running out of fuel to prevent engine damage.

A circuit breaker and voltmeter are two other important things to consider before investing in the generator.

Lastly, make sure the generator is very easy to shut off manually in case of necessity.

Dual Fuel vs. Inverter Generators: Which to Use for Sensitive Electronics?

The modern world we live in comes with many sensitive electronics you’ll definitely want to run during an outage. Examples include your cell phone or tablet, other mobile devices, life-supporting devices, LCD or plasma TVs, wine coolers, computers, laptops, and the list could go on and on.

The thing is these electronics require clean energy, or a fluctuation in the current could produce irreversible damage.

If your sole purpose is to power up these electronics, a dual fuel generator could not be your best alternative. Dual fuel generators use automotive-like alternators to produce energy, but the energy production is rarely clean.

These machines output what is called square wave energy that is great for most appliances but could fry up a delicate processor.

For these devices, an inverter generator is a much more inspired choice. Inverter generators are designed to produce pure sine waves which are curved. Their energy is clean and not harmful for your sensitive electronics.

In the alternative, you could plug sensitive electronics into a UPS power supply to prevent shocks associated with a sudden interruption in electricity supply.

Which Type of Fuel Is More Efficient?

By now you probably decided why and which dual fuel generator you want to buy. But if you really want your machine to be efficient, you might also want to learn how to optimize your fuel consumption to extend runtime.

The first thing to define though is what you intend by fuel efficiency. Do you define it as the possibility to have more watts? Or as the possibility to run your generator for longer.

  • Gasoline: Produces more energy. Therefore the generator will output more watts while running on it. However, gasoline burns fast, so you will have to refuel it more often. The actual runtime depends on the size of the fuel tank, but it rarely exceeds 12 hours at half load.
  • Propane: Produces less energy but burns slower than gasoline. Your generator’s performance will drop with as much as 2,000 watts, but in exchange, you’ll get a runtime of up to 20 hours or over.

By combining the two benefits of each type of fuel, you can keep your generator up and running for at least 24 hours. If there is a calamity, this is usually plenty of time to get your preferred fuel in case you run out.

However, don’t forget to assess the generator’s capacity on propane, as this is where the wattage output drops. If you assess it in for gasoline alone, you could be surprised to find that you might not be able to meet your energy needs when using propane.

Conclusion

Undoubtedly, finding the best dual fuel generator is a tricky thing. Not only you’ll have to consider pros and cons, but there are also plenty of variables to consider that go beyond personal needs. nevertheless, you should now know what factors to check before buying. You also know which are some of your best options, so what are you waiting for.

Read our best fuel generator reviews above, decide upon a model, click on the links to check its features, and decide whether or not it could be the best fit.

Regardless of your decision, remember there are dozens of models out there, and you will surely be able to find the right one for you sooner or later.

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