The 6 Best Propane Generator for RVs

Best RV Propane Generators

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If you have a bit of experience in boondocking, you’ll agree that a portable generator is the most reliable source of power.

Be it to power those larger RV appliances or to charge your house batteries, nothing beats a generator.

However, choosing a generator can be a confusing task, especially when it comes to selecting between the fuel types.

Should I buy gasoline or a propane-powered generator?

Well, it depends.

In this post, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about propane-fueled portable generators.

From the pros and cons of using a propane generator to my recommendations of the six best propane generators for RVs and camping.

Lastly, I’ll talk about the things to look for before buying a propane generator, ending with the most frequently asked questions.

But, before that, here is a birds-eye view of the portable propane generators we have lined up for this comparison.

Overview of the 6 Best Propane Generator for RVs

01. Best Overall: Champion 4500 Watt Dual Fuel Generator
“For serious dry campers looking for quiet but a powerful unit with longer runtime.”

02. Best Budget: WEN 4750 Dual Fuel Portable Generator 
“A reliable source of power for boondocking with an affordable price tag.”

03. Best for Longest Runtime: Champion 2500 Watt Inverter Generator
“Comes with an extended runtime for RVers who hate the idea of carrying extra cylinders to their weekend trips.”

04. Best Quietest: WEN 4000 Watt Inverter Generator
“For boondockers who love to listen to nature without being bothered by their running generator.”

05. Best for 30 Amp RV: Firman 4550 Watt Dual Fuel Generator
“A fuel-efficient generator to power most of your 30 amp RV appliances.”

06. Best For 50 Amp RV: Duromax XP12000EH Dual Fuel Generator
“A beast for the most demanding RVers with a big rig and lots of appliances to power.”

Benefits of a Propane Powered Generator for RV Camping

Like any other RV appliance, a propane-powered generator comes with its benefits and drawbacks.

Knowing them will help you make educated decisions when purchasing a unit.

Here, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of using propane as fuel sources to run portable generators when boondocking.

Pros of Propane Generators for RV

To begin with, propane is used by other RV appliances, so using a propane generator removes the need to carry gas cans. This removes any additional weight, creates space for other items, and keeps the bed of your truck odor-free.

Compared to other fuel types, propane burns a lot cleaner, which means fewer deposits in the engine and exhaust system, thus reducing the frequency of maintenance needed.

Additionally, propane is also a lot greener fuel and produces less carbon monoxide compared to liquid fuel, making it environmentally friendly.

Propane generators are usually quieter than their counterparts. This is especially important if you want to run your generator overnight to power the rooftop AC while boondocking.

Unlike other types of generator fuel, propane will not degrade over time. You can store propane indefinitely, and it will easily outlast the cylinder it is stored in. So when storing propane, cylinder maintenance is the key.

To Know: With propane run generators, you don’t have to go through the time-consuming process of winterizing your generator that is common with gas generators.

Propane cylinders come with a valve that is used to start and stop the flow of the gas. This prevents any chance of propane spills reducing chances of fire, which is a common scenario with liquid fuel.

Note: Propane is a colorless, odorless gas that is hard to detect in case of a leak. Thus, many companies add Ethanethiol to the propane, which adds a faint smell making it detectable in case of a leak.

Unlike liquid fuel, propane doesn’t change its properties with temperature. Usually, the viscosity of liquid fuel increases with the drop in temperature, making it difficult for the generator to run.

Lastly, gas stations need to have electricity to pump liquid fuel into the tank of a vehicle, and in case of a power outage, you’ll not get gasoline. But, with propane, all you need is a filling station that is open and has propane in its tanks. Thus, propane is a lifesaver in case of emergencies.

Cons of Propane Generators for RV

To begin with, propane produces less energy compared to gas and diesel. Therefore, your generator will use more propane to produce a kilowatt-hour of energy compared to liquid fuel.

In terms of availability, propane comes after gasoline. Depending on where you’re camping, propane can be difficult to find. So, do your research before heading to the campsite and fill up your cylinders before the trip.

Additionally, the price of propane is higher at most gas stations than the dedicated propane providers. You may have to drive miles from your campground before you come across one.

By now, you should have a good idea about what you can and can’t expect when using propane to power your portable RV generator. Now, let’s go through the reviews of the 6 best propane generators for RVs.

The 6 Best RV Propane Generator Reviews

In this section, I’ll tell you why these portable propane generators are the best for RVs and camping.

All the generators on this list are dual fuel portable generators. Though you can convert any generator to use propane, it’s time-consuming, and you need to be a bit technical. They all come with the appropriate propane kit and a few other essentials, which vary by brand.

They are quiet, come at an acceptable weight range, many RV ready, and some are inverter generators.

Read on for the detailed reviews and ratings.

Note: It’s rare to find dedicated portable propane generators, which makes finding spare parts difficult. With dual fuel generators, you have the flexibility to choose between gas and propane, depending on availability and accessibility.

01. Best Overall: Champion 4500 Watt Dual Fuel Inverter Generator

Produces clean power to run a 13500 BTU rooftop AC and room for more
Doesn’t sound anything more than a normal conversation
Runtime can comfortably go overnight and still have fuel left
Does Not have a dedicated fuel selector

If you’re serious about boondocking and don’t want to settle for anything less than high output wattage, quiet operation, and longer runtime, the Champion 4500 Watt Dual Fuel Generator is the best propane generator for your RV.

Producing up to 4500-watt peak and 3150 watts rated when run on propane. That hands you the power to run a 13500 BTU rooftop AC with room to spare.

This unit is quiet, which sounds nothing more than a normal conversation while it’s running. It is a fuel-efficient generator with a runtime to comfortably power your AC overnight and still have fuel left to brew your morning coffee.

Moreover, the economy mode on this RV-ready generator varies the engine speed depending on the load, further reducing the sound and increasing fuel efficiency.

With a total harmonic distortion of less than 3%, this inverter generator produces clean power. Now, you don’t have to worry about damages to your sensitive electronics caused by power fluctuations.

Other features worth mentioning are its display that outputs critical data, low oil shutdown to prevent engine damage and multiple covered outlets.

However, the generator weighs in at 103 lb, which may not be a lot for some but may be difficult for elderly campers to move it in and out of the truck. Plus, it doesn’t have a dedicated fuel selection switch, which confuses many while selecting the fuel type.

Overall, if you have to pick one generator from this list, I suggest the Champion 4500 Watt Dual Fuel Generator. It has everything from clean power to runtime to fuel economy most boondockers expect from a generator of this price range.

Note: Reading the Owner’s Manual should be the first priority after purchasing the generator.

Noise Level: 61 dB(A) | Dry Weight: 103 lbs | Output Wattage: 4500/4500W Starting, 3500/3150W Running | Fuel Tank Capacity: 2.3 gallons | Run Time/Tank: 14 Hours @ ¼ Load | Propane Run Time (20 lb Tank): 21 Hours @ ¼ Load


02. Best Budget: Westinghouse WGen3600DF Dual Fuel Generator

Westinghouse WGen3600DF Dual Fuel Generator
Produces clean power to run a 135The wireless remote fob removes the need to get out of your RV to turn the generator on and off
Powerful enough to run RV appliances like AC and refrigerator at once
A 20 lb propane tank should give a good night sleep and also brew your morning coffee
A lack of inverter make the power produced not so clean
The sound produced is high

The Westinghouse WGen3600DF made this list of the best propane generators for RV camping because it is the most budget-friendly source of power when boondocking.

Just because it comes at an affordable price range doesn’t mean it has anything less compared to the other dual-fuel generators on this list.

To begin with, the remote key fob hands you the ability to start and stop the generator without getting out of the RV. For me, this is important, because I don’t like the idea of going out of the RV to turn the generator off on a winter night before I go to bed.

The generator also can be started using the electric start button and a pull start if the starter battery is low on charge or dead.

Producing up to 4180 starting and 3240 running watts is a lot of power to run those big appliances like the AC, refrigerator, or recharge your house batteries. An on-the-fly fuel changer allows you to change between fuel types without needing to turn off any appliances or the generator.

The dry weight of this dual-fuel generator is such that it’s a struggle for one man but easy for two men to lift it in and out of your truck or RV. The runtime on a 20 lb tank is enough for overnight power plus your morning coffee.

It’s an RV-ready generator with an automatic choke, protected from damage by overloads and low oils, and comes with an analog display.

However, it’s not an inverter generator which means the power produced is unsafe for sensitive electronics. You need to add a surge protector like the one from Progressive Industries on your generator before plugging it in your RV.

Moreover, the lack of an eco mode prevents the engine from throttling up or down depending on the electrical load, increasing fuel consumption and sound.

Overall, the Westinghouse WGen3600DF is for RVers looking for an affordable propane generator. It is powerful, has a longer runtime, and comes with a remote key fob to turn the generator on and off wirelessly.

Note: Reading the Owner’s Manual should be the first priority after purchasing the generator.

Noise Level: 68 dB(A) | Dry Weight: 109 lbs | Output Wattage: 4650/4180W Starting, 3600/3240W Running | Fuel Tank Capacity: 4 gallons | Run Time/Tank: 13.5 Hours @ ½ Load | Propane Run Time (20 lb Tank): 10.5 Hours @ ½ Load


03. Best for Longest Runtime: Champion 2500 Watt Inverter Generator

Champion 2500 Watt Inverter Generator
A 20 lb tank will easily last you few nights
Ultralight weight so most elderly and children can carry
The noise level is way lower than a normal conversation
Air filter gets clogged because of its location

With a continuous runtime of 34 hours on a 20-pound propane tank, the Champion 2500 W Dual Fuel Inverter Generator joins our list because of its extended operation time.

It’s a small portable dual fuel generator that produces 2500 starting and 1665 running watts when run on propane. That is not a lot of power, but enough for small campers that use lighter appliances.

However, the parallel ports allow you to connect two similar generators to double the power if you need to power large appliances like AC, microwave.

Moreover, connecting two of these units in parallel to produce 5000 watts will give you more runtime, better fuel economy, and weighs less compared to a single 5000-watt unit.

The unit is ultralight, so even the elderly campers will have no issue carrying it around. This is also the quietest portable generator on this list, for the power it produces making it ideal for night use or use outside generator hours.

The unit produces clean power, has an eco mode, multiple covered outlets, and cold start technology.

However, due to the location of the air filter (at the bottom), it collects a lot of dust very quickly, especially if you’re boondocking on sandy areas. This will clog the air filter, restrict adequate airflow and prevent your generator from starting.

One way to get around this issue is by running the generator on a clean surface or placing it on a piece of plywood when camping in deserts or sand.

Moreover, the generator is not RV ready, meaning you need a converter like the NEMA 5-20p to TT-30R to connect to your 30 amp RV.

Overall, the Champion 2500 Watt Dual Fuel Generator is a great option for RVers who go on long weekend trips but don’t like the idea of carrying a lot of propane tanks. It is a featherlight, whisper-quiet, and most importantly, a reliable dual fuel generator for RV.

Note: Reading the Owner’s Manual should be the first priority after purchasing the generator.

Noise Level: 53 dB(A) | Dry Weight: 39 lbs | Output Wattage: 2500/2500W Starting, 1850/1665W Running | Fuel Tank Capacity: 1.1 gallons | Run Time/Tank: 11.5 Hours @ ¼ Load | Propane Run Time (20 lb Tank): 34 Hours @ ¼ Load


04. Best Quietest: WEN DF400i Dual Fuel RV-Ready Portable Generator

WEN DF400i Dual Fuel RV-Ready Portable Generator
For campers who love to listen to the nature while its running
Produces decent amount of clean power
Perfect for running it overnight without worrying about refueling
The weight may make it difficult to load and unload for some

If you want a quiet-performing propane generator with a relatively higher output wattage without sacrificing other amenities, then the WEN DF400i Dual Fuel Generator is for you.

To begin with, this portable dual fuel generator is super quiet for the power it produces. Now you don’t have to worry before running the generator if you’re camping in a congested campsite or need to run it overnight.

It generates a decent amount of power when run on propane to meet most small to mid-sized RV needs. The power produced is clean (THD < 1.2%), giving you peace of mind while powering your sensitive and expensive electronics.

With a runtime of 9 hours on a 20 lb propane tank, you don’t have to worry about changing the cylinder in the middle of the night. The generator comes with wheels and a foldable handle which makes towing easy.

The unit doesn’t come with a manual fuel selector but has an automatic fuel selector that can automatically choose between the available fuel. The low oil and fuel shutoff, along with the overload protection, keep your generator and other electronics safe from damage.

The unit is EPA and CARB compliant, comes with a 30 amp RV receptacle, a display, and a spark arrestor.

The weight of the generator is a bit high when I think about loading and unloading it alone from the back of my truck. For solo campers or people who have restrictions with weight, consider mounting the generator on your RV.

Overall, the WEN DF400i Dual Fuel Generator is for campers who love to enjoy the sound of nature despite a running generator while enjoying the comforts of home. It is quiet, produces clean, decent power, and can run relatively long on a single tank of propane.

Note: Reading the Owner’s Manual should be the first priority after purchasing the generator.

Noise Level: 58 dB(A) | Dry Weight: 100 lbs | Output Wattage: 4000/3200W Starting, 3200/2900W Running | Fuel Tank Capacity: 2.2 gallons | Run Time/Tank: 8.5 Hours @ ½ Load | Propane Run Time (20 lb Tank): 9 Hours @ ½ Load


05. Best for 30 Amp RV: Firman H03652 Dual Fuel Portable Generator

Firman H03652 Dual Fuel Portable Generator
Power to run many 30 amp camper appliances simultaneously
Impressive runtime to get you about half a day on a 20 lb propane tank
Sound level is below National Parks acceptable limits
The higher THD means you can use it directly to charge those high end electronics

If you’re on the hunt for a portable propane generator to power your 30 amp rig, then the Firman H03652 Dual Fuel Generator can be a good option.

With a 4100 peak and 3300 rated watts, this is sufficient power to run most of your 30 amp RV appliances. From 13500 BTU rooftop air condition to kitchen appliances to charging batteries, it can do it all.

The starting wattage is enough to run a 15K BTU RV AC and a few smaller appliances. However, I would suggest not running many high draw appliances simultaneously to prevent overloading and stressing the engine.

This hybrid generator can easily go over half a day on a 20 lb tank of propane, making it fuel-efficient. Plus, you now don’t have to worry about swiping cylinders every few hours.

The generator is a bit loud when running on higher loads, but it is also below the acceptable levels set by the National Parks Service.

The weight of the unit is higher for some and acceptable for some. However, I would suggest you mount it on your RV if you’re solo or use two people to carry it to avoid injuries.

The control panel houses a small display, various indicators, and a few types of outlets including a 30 amp RV receptacle. Additionally, the generator is EPA, CARB, and cETL certified, so you can run it in any state you’re boondocking in.

The generator does not come with an electric start which is fine. But, it makes starting the generator difficult if you have mounted it on your trailer tongue or for aged campers who may not have so much arm strength to pull the starter cable.

Moreover, it’s not an inverter generator, thus, the THD is very high, making it risky for your sensitive electronics. You need to use a surge protector like the one from Progressive Industries.

Overall, with the Firman H03652 with you on your trip, you’ll not have to worry about missing out on anything in your 30 amp camper. It is powerful enough to run many appliances, has a longer runtime, and a noise level accepted by National Parks.

Note: Reading the Owner’s Manual should be the first priority after purchasing the generator.

Noise Level: 67 dB(A) | Dry Weight: 112 lbs | Output Wattage: 4550/4100W Starting, 3650/3300W Running | Fuel Tank Capacity: 5 gallons | Run Time/Tank: 14 Hours @ ½ Load | Propane Run Time (20 lb Tank): 11 Hours @ ½ Load


06. Best for 50 Amp RV: Duromax XP12000EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator

Duromax XP12000EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator
Beast of a generator to power most of your 50 amp RV appliances
Longer runtime eliminates the need to wake up in the middle of the night to change cylinder
A feature rich generator that is both EPA and CARB certified
Tires develop flat spots it left without moving for an extended period of time

A 50 amp RV needs a lot of power, and to provide such high wattage continuously, you need a reliable source like the Duromax XP12000EH Dual Fuel Generator.

This generator is RV-ready, meaning there is a 50 amp RV receptacle to connect your RV. Now, you have a beast providing power to your RV.

With a 11400-watt starting and 9025 watts running, this is enough power to run a lot of appliances at once. Be it 2 rooftop air conditioners, a residential fridge, your TV, lights, and more, all running at once.

You can run all you want on those big RVs without any limitations.

The runtime is pretty decent so that you can sleep comfortably during the hot summer nights without needing to wake up to change propane cylinders. But make sure you get at least 40 lb propane tanks, as the generator is big, and the pressure in a 20 lb tank is not enough to run this generator.

For a generator of this caliber, the weight and sound level are expected. You’ll have to mount it on your RV as lifting a generator that weighs 200+ lb is not possible for even two people.

The generator comes with an idle control which lowers the RPM to save fuel, low oil shutoff, multiple outlets, electric start, and is EPA and CARB certified.

The only downside, in my opinion, is the tires that develop a flat spot if it sits on hard ground for an extended period due to its immense weight.

Overall, the Duromax XP12000EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator is a beast of a powerhouse that is ideal for your 50 amp RVs. This is the right size propane generator to accompany your big rig to keep your family comfortable on your boondocking trip.

Note: Reading the Owner’s Manual should be the first priority after purchasing the generator.

Noise Level: 74 dB(A) | Dry Weight: 224 lbs | Output Wattage: 12000/11400W Starting, 9500/9025W Running | Fuel Tank Capacity: 8.3 gallons | Run Time/Tank: 8.83 Hours @ ½ Load | Propane Run Time (40 lb Tank): 7.2 Hours @ ½ Load

How to Choose a Propane Generator for RV Camping?

You now have 6 more portable generators to add to your list of propane generators for RV camping.

Now, let’s take a look at the factors that will help you pick the right propane generator for your camping needs.

01. Determine your Total Wattage Requirement

Calculating how much power you need is where you should spend the most time when looking for the right propane generator for your RV.

You don’t want a generator that is underpowered or overpowered. You should get one that meets your needs.

An underpowered generator will not run all the appliances you want, and overpowered will be a waste both in terms of money and power.

Therefore, you need to add up the total wattage of all the high draw appliances you plan on using simultaneously. Add 20% to that number, and you have an appropriate size generator for your RV.

The extra 20% will give you room for emergencies and prevent your generator from running at full load.

Note: Consider the starting wattage of appliances when calculating your total power needs. Starting watts of appliances are greater than running watts, thus using the starting watts to calculate the total power will give you an accurate result.

Additionally, propane produces less energy compared to gasoline and the generators we reviewed are all dual fuel. Thus, you’ll have 2 sets of wattages for each generator where the lower number specifies the output wattage using propane.

Moreover, make sure you keep the altitude in mind. Propane produces less energy, and every 1000 feet you go above sea level means a further 3.5% reduction in the output.

If you’re interested, I have two detailed guides on, “how to choose the right size generator for 30 amp and 50 amp RV.” 

Keep In Mind: You can conserve your generator power by not using all the appliances simultaneously. This will not only extend your generator’s life but also save a lot on fuel.

The propane generators we have reviewed above come in a wide range of wattage ratings ranging from 2500 to 11400 watts.

02. Portability

Portable generators are usually heavy, and carrying them in and out of your truck or moving them around the campsite can be risky.

It’s a different story if you’re going to be mounting your generator on your RV or your RV comes with a dedicated generator compartment. 

For the rest of us, portability is extremely important.

There are a few things to consider when talking about portability, and the weight comes above all.

Every person is different when it comes to how much weight they can carry comfortably. It’s just that you can carry more and me less.

Therefore, I would suggest getting the lowest weight in the wattage rating you need. Moreover, make sure the generator comes with wheels and a strong handle to maneuver around the campsite easily.

Remember, the weight of a generator is directly proportional to its output wattage. That means the higher the wattage rating, the higher is its weight.

Get two small generators that are parallel compatible if you’re a solo camper, female or elderly if you have high power needs.

To Know: In terms of weight, there is a difference between a generator using gas and propane. With gas, the generator will weigh more because of the gasoline in its internal tank, which is not the case with propane-run generators.

Many of the portable propane generators we reviewed above are quite portable that you can carry them around with one hand.

03. Noise Level

Going to a campsite with a loud generator can be pretty disturbing for both you and the campers around you.

You may not be able to run your generator at night or outside generator hours if it is loud. Or worse, go without power because the noise level is above the acceptable range of your campsite.

Therefore, look for a quiet propane portable generator, especially an inverter type. Inverter generators are quieter than standard portable generators as they vary the engine speed depending on the load.

In our recommendations of the best propane generators for RVs, you’ll find many super quiet inverter generators.

Pro Tip: Running the generator at higher loads will make it scream more, therefore, calculate your power needs accurately and get the right size.

04. Fuel Consumption

Going boondocking without knowing how much fuel your portable generator consumes can be a real setback.

Knowing how much fuel your generator sips will tell you if you have to carry extra propane cylinders or how frequently you’ve to visit the filling station. Moreover, it will help you plan and budget your trip accurately.

You need to keep in mind that propane is less efficient compared to gasoline. Therefore, your generator will eat away propane pretty fast.

So check the specifications to find out how long a 20 lb propane tank will last at a certain load and plan accordingly. 

If you’re interested, I have a great article that talks about how much fuel a portable generator uses and how to reduce it.

Moreover, propane is not available everywhere and at times finding a filling station may take you miles. So, when planning for your upcoming trip, make sure to check if there is a gas and propane filling station close to your campsite.

Above, you’ll find reviews of some portable generators that are very fuel-efficient and have extended run time on a 20 lb propane tank.

05. Determine your Budget

You calculated your power needs, found a portable propane unit that is quiet and fuel-efficient.

All this you’ve done to find the right generator that meets your RV camping needs.

However, your budget is what will finally decide if the generator is going home with you.

You’ll find generators starting from as low as $200 to thousands of dollars. But I would suggest you spend the maximum amount you can afford.

Because the price of a product is the direct indicator of quality.

Moreover, $100 or $200 models will have performance issues, will require more maintenance, and most importantly, will not be reliable.

The dual-fuel generators we reviewed come in a wide range of prices that falls in most RVer’s budget range.

06. Useful Additional Features

By now, you know the most important things to consider when choosing a portable propane generator.

Now, let’s talk about a few additional features or the icing on the cake.

Wireless/Electric Start

Yanking a rope to start a generator is fine. But, it may not be fun in the middle of the night, especially those cold winter nights.

A generator with an electric start can make things very easy in these situations. Just reach the generator and press the start button, and you have power.

Alternatively, a generator that comes with a wireless key fob is yet better. You don’t even have to get out of your RV in the middle of the night.

Press the start button on the remote from the comfort of your home on wheels and you have power for all your needs.

Note: Generators with electric start use a battery that provides the initial power for the engine to start. Many charge the battery automatically as the unit runs, and others will need a separate charger to charge the battery.

Economy Mode

When started, most portable generators just run at their maximum speed, increasing fuel consumption, noise and wearing the engine down quicker.

On the other hand, inverter generators come with an advanced feature known as an economy or eco mode. This feature varies the engine speed and power output depending on the electrical load on it.

Inverter-type generators are a bit more expensive compared to standard generators. Moreover, inverter generators produce clean power that is suitable for your sensitive electronics like phones, laptops, iPads, etc.

Note: Inverter generators have restrictions with output wattage. You won’t find inverter generators as you go up a certain output wattage.

Low Oil Shutdown

Like any motor vehicle, your generator engine uses engine oil that lubricates the moving parts to reduce wear from friction.

Over time, the oil dries down and increases the friction between the moving parts resulting in an expensive visit to a dealer.

Note: There is no gauge on the engine that shows you the level of oil in the engine. You have to make it a habit to check the oil level manually every few days.

Most modern portable generators come with low oil shut down feature that will shut down or prevent starting if low oil is detected.

Pro Tip: Use a magnetic dipstick instead of the stock dipstick provided by the manufacturer. The magnetic dipstick will attract all the metal shavings from oil and prevent damaging the engine.

Overload Protection

A control panel on a portable generator houses all the necessary items that help run a generator. 

Things like switches/buttons, outlets, indicator lights, breakers, choke, etc. are common items found in most portable generators. However, the features of your control panel may differ depending on the type, model, and brand of your portable generator.

You will have a fuel selector to switch between fuel types if you have a dual fuel generator. Some come with LED displays that output a wide variety of information from total run time to voltage.

RV-ready generators come with either a 30 amp or 50 amp RV outlet, so you can plug your RV directly into the generator without a converter. Parallel compatible generators come with parallel ports on the control panel to connect two similar generators to increase the output wattage.

It comes down to your personal preference about what features you need on the control panel.

CARB Compliant

CARB is a regulatory board that sets a limit on emissions to maintain higher air quality.

A CARB compliant generator simply means your generator is certified to be within the limits set by CARB. Get a CARB-compliant generator if you often boondock in the following states.

California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington state, and Washington D.C.

Failing to comply with the law may result in a hefty fine.

Frequently Asked Questions

You should have any problem operating your new propane generator if you have previous experience with portable units. However, for the rest of us, few basic questions stand as obstacles.

Here, I’ll answer the most frequently asked questions about propane generators to help educate and run your unit properly.

Is a propane generator quieter than gas?

Many factors contribute to the noise a generator makes. Of them, the generator wattage rating, load, type, and age of the generator are on top of the list.

So there is no straightforward answer to if propane generators are quieter than gasoline.

In some cases, a dual fuel generator when run on propane was found to be a bit quieter, and in others, it was the same as gas.

However, as propane produces less energy compared to gas, it will move the engine slower compared to gasoline. Thus, it should also sound quieter.

How long will a 20lb propane tank last on a generator?

The amount of fuel a generator consumes in a period will mainly depend on its load.

Let’s say you buy the Champion generator that we recommended for the longest runtime. This generator is rated to produce 1665 watts of continuous power when run on propane.

The manufacturers say the generator will run for 34 hours on a 20 lb propane tank at 25% load. That means you will get a runtime of roughly 8.5 hours on a full load.

Therefore, how long a 20 lb tank lasts will depend on your specific generator and the load on it.

The higher the load, the quicker a tank of propane will burn through.

Can you run a gas generator on propane?

Yes, you can run a gas generator on propane. Irrespective of the brand and type, any portable generator can be run on propane.

However, to run your existing gas-powered portable generator on propane, you’ll need the right propane conversion kit and a bit of mechanical knowledge.

Else, you can get a dual fuel generator like the ones I have recommended in this post. They will hand you the freedom to use both gas and propane out of the box, depending on availability and accessibility.

Is it cheaper to run a generator on propane or gas?

Generally, propane costs less than gasoline and diesel. But, propane produces less energy compared to gas and diesel.

Therefore, your generator will burn more propane to produce a kilowatt-hour of energy compared to gas.

So in terms of power produced, propane-powered generators are not cheaper to run than gas-powered generators.

Do propane generators last longer?

Propane burns a lot cleaner compared to gas and diesel. Therefore, you have fewer buildups in the engine, fuel, and exhaust system.

Moreover, propane produces less energy and heat. That means you’ll have fewer mechanical wear-outs due to heat when you run the generator on propane.

Technically, propane run generators do last longer compared to gas and diesel generators.

Keep In Mind: Irrespective of the type of fuel your generator uses, maintenance is the key to extending its life. 

How to connect a propane tank to a generator?

Every generator we recommended above comes with a propane kit.

Simply, twist the propane kit’s regulator end onto the outlet of the cylinder. Twist it tightly with your hand and not with a wrench.

Then, connect the other end to your generator’s propane inlet. It plugs in easily, so you don’t have to force it.

Turn on the valve on the cylinder and check for leaks before starting the generator.

Note: The longer the hose connecting the generator and cylinder, the less the propane pressure. This may result in your generator not running properly. Don’t go overboard if you need to increase the hose length for some reason.

How to start a propane generator?

Before starting your generator, make sure to disconnect all electrical load from the generator.

Run the carburetor dry if you have used the generator using gas before you can operate the generator using propane.

The easiest way to run the carburetor dry is to starve the engine by turning off the fuel supply. Or, unscrew the drain screw to empty the carburetor manually if your generator doesn’t have a fuel shutoff switch.

Then spray some carb cleaner into the carburetor to remove any gas that may be leftover.

Now, use your fuel selector to choose the fuel type to propane. Next, connect the propane hose and turn the propane on with a cylinder valve.

If you’re cold starting, engage the choke, pull the starter cord slowly a few times to prime the engine with propane.

Hit the start button, and your generator should start running on propane.

How to turn off a portable propane generator?

To begin with, remove all electrical load of the generator before turning the engine off.

The easiest and safest way to turn off your propane generator is to starve the engine by cutting off the propane supply.

And the best way to cut off the propane supply is by turning off the propane cylinder valve.

This way, the engine will use up the remaining propane in the hose until the engine starves and shuts down. At this point, you can safely disconnect the propane kit and store the generator.

Brief Rundown of the Best Propane Generators for RV Camping

The six portable RV propane generators I reviewed in this post are not the only ones in the market. But, they are likely going to serve you well for the specific purposes we spoke about above.

If you’re looking for the best overall, with a reliable source of power, quiet operation, and longer runtime, then the Champion 4500 Watt Dual Fuel Inverter Generator is for you.

For the RVers on a budget, the Westinghouse WGen3600DF Dual Fuel Generator provides everything from power, decent runtime, and wireless functionality.

On the other hand, weekend campers who prefer not to carry around extra cylinders but want a comfortable stay will love the Champion 2500 Watt Inverter Generator.

Campers who enjoy being in nature, love the sound of birds without being disturbed by the generator in the background can have a look at the WEN DF400i Dual Fuel RV-Ready Portable Generator.

For 30 amp rig owners, looking for a reliable option to keep you powered without sacrificing comfort, the Firman H03652 Dual Fuel Portable Generator is a great choice.

Finally, the Duromax XP12000EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator, a beast of a powerhouse that can run multiple high draw RV appliances simultaneously.

Conclusion

A portable generator is the most important piece of equipment for RV camping.

And, the benefits of running a portable generator on propane while boondocking are far more than its drawbacks.

Propane-powered generators are less messy, pose fewer hazards, and need very little maintenance compared to gas counterparts.

The 6 best propane generators we reviewed for RVs are an excellent fit for a specific situation but can be used in many other camping situations.