The Best Propane Generators Reviews

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Last updated: 
March 27, 2024

Propane Generators: A Reliable Choice for Backup Power

Advantages of Propane Generators

According to our research, propane generators are a popular choice among campers, contractors, and companies that cannot risk a power outage compromising their activities. Here are the main reasons to choose a propane-powered generator over a gasoline one:

  • Propane costs about 50% less than gasoline and has a longer shelf life – up to decades without degrading when stored in a well-maintained tank.
  • It's nearly impossible to waste propane through spills, and if a spill does occur, propane evaporates almost instantly.
  • Propane-powered engines are generally quieter than their gasoline counterparts.

However, it's important to note that propane is not as efficient as gasoline and becomes almost useless at temperatures below 20°F. Additionally, propane-powered generators have more complicated fuel systems, making them more prone to failure or breakage and more expensive to repair.

Understanding Generator Ratings

Before diving into the best propane generators of 2016, it's crucial to understand two important concepts: surge rating and running power rating.

  • Surge rating: The power some appliances need to start up, which can be up to four times the running power and last for up to 10 seconds.
  • Running power rating: The amount of power a generator can provide continuously.

Top Propane Generator Brands

Generac Propane Generators

Generac propane portable generators, such as the LP 3250 (model 6000) and LP 5500 (model 6001), are reliable backup options or suitable for short work projects. They are easy to transport and use, thanks to their smart design. While their performance may not impress knowledgeable buyers, their design is faultless, with a well-balanced weight distribution and convenient features like multiple outlets and an attached propane tank holder.

Sportsman Propane Generators

The GEN series from Sportsman offers dual-fuel generators that can use propane or gasoline, providing reliable power during outages. They also feature a circuit interrupter for added safety. However, their main drawback is their loud noise output, averaging 80 dB, making them less suitable for frequent use by campers or workers.

Cummins Onan Propane Generators

The Cummins Onan Residential RS Series is renowned for its home propane generators, featuring a patented enclosure that reduces noise output to 62 dB – the quietest in their class. These next-level generators can be monitored and controlled remotely via the internet, but their price is close to $10,000.

Yamaha Propane Generators

Yamaha propane generators from the EF series are generally considered the best in their price range, although they are about 1.5 times more expensive than other portable propane generators. The EF 4000 DE and EF 6600 DE/D models offer above-average performance and low noise output, with the latter being one of the most powerful and quietest portable generators available.

Winco Propane Generators

Winco specializes in tri-fuel portable generators that are more expensive and heavier than average but also among the most powerful. Models like the HPS 6000 HE, HPS 9000 VE, and HPS 12000 HE offer impressive peak power output and long run times, making them suitable for various applications.

Powerland Propane Generators

Powerland focuses on tri-fuel generators that are slightly noisier than other propane-powered generators but still quieter than those using other fuel types. Models like the Powerland 6500, 8500, and 10000 offer decent performance at competitive prices, making them a viable choice for backup power. However, for frequent use, other brands may be more suitable.


Propane generators are a reliable and efficient choice for backup power, despite being slightly more expensive than other generator types. Portable models have a minimal price difference compared to other fuel types, while more powerful models capable of powering an entire house during an outage are considerably more expensive. As with any product, quality is directly proportional to the retail price.

BrandModelPeak Power (Watts)Running Power (Watts)Noise Level (dB)Price Range
GeneracLP 3250 (6000)3,7503,250N/A$609
GeneracLP 5500 (6001)6,8755,500N/A$799
SportsmanGEN 4000 LP4,0003,00080N/A
SportsmanGEN 7500 DF7,5006,00080N/A
Cummins OnanResidential RS 20A/ACN/AN/A62~$10,000
Cummins OnanResidential RS 14FN/AN/A62~$10,000
YamahaEF 4000 DE4,0003,500N/AN/A
YamahaEF 6600 DE/D6,6006,00060~$2,500
WincoHPS 6000 HE6,0005,500N/AN/A
WincoHPS 9000 VE9,0008,000N/AN/A
WincoHPS 12000 HE12,00010,80078N/A

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