Generators are one of the more complex and expensive items you will need to purchase to complete your RV set up, so it is important to consider their many options and features to be sure you’re investing in the best model for your needs.
To help you in this process, we have compiled a list of the best propane-fueled RV generators on the market and ranked them based on various criteria.
Comparison Chart of the Best RV Propane Generators
Champion 3400-Watt RV Generator
Champion 3800-Watt RV Generator
Best for the Money
Quietest Propane Generator
DuroMax Hybrid Dual Fuel XP12000EH
Best 50 Amp Propane Generator
Champion 3000-Watt Dual Fuel Generator
Best 3000W Propane Generator
Types of RV Generators
The three main types of RV generators are propane, diesel, and gasoline. There are also dual fuel generators, which can run on both gasoline and propane.
Every model on our list can operate on propane. Propane is the cleanest and most environmentally friendly fuel source. When it burns, it emits carbon dioxide, water, and heat. Propane generators are also quieter, easier to cold start, and have a longer shelf life, making them an excellent option for RV travel.
Dual fuel generators are versatile and convenient because they can work on two fuel types, usually gasoline and propane.
Diesel generators produce more power than gasoline or propane types. However, they also tend to be much louder. They are usually used for commercial purposes, but can also be a convenient option for those with a diesel-powered RV.
Gasoline is the most affordable and accessible fuel type. It is easy to find anywhere, which makes it great for travel, but it has a shorter shelf life than propane. It is also the most dangerous of the fuel types as it is highly flammable.
What Makes a Great RV Propane Generator?
There is a wide range of RV propane generators out there and it can be difficult to narrow down the options to find the right model for you. The most important features to look out for when searching for a propane generator are a user-friendly and portable design, a high power output, and a substantial runtime capacity.
Most generators take a little time to set up initially but once the unit is assembled, it should be designed to be straightforward to use. Elements like an electric start, fuel selector switch (for dual fuel systems), and a low-oil sensor make operation easier and safer.
Even the most portable generators are still pretty heavy. If you plan on taking yours camping, ensure your generator has some kind of wheels or handles to make it easier to move and adjust.
It is essential to select a model that has the capacity to support all of your electronic devices. The greater the power output, the more versatility you have on the road. For dual fuel systems, it is important to note that the power output will be different for gasoline and propane.
Just like with power output, a generator will only be effective if its runtime capacity is enough to power all of your devices. Longer runtimes are better because you will spend less money and time recharging and refueling the unit. The runtime will also be affected by the type of fuel.
Review of the Best RV Propane Generators
We have found that propane generators are the best type for RV travel. Below, we examine the top RV generators and what makes them stand out from the rest.
Champion 3400-Watt RV Generator
This generator from Champion is a dual fuel model, meaning that it can operate using propane or gasoline. When it is powered by gasoline, it has 3,400 watts of surge power and 3,100 watts of continuous power, which can support it for seven hours. On propane, it has 3,100 starting watts and 2,750 running watts. It has a Safety Fuel Selector Switch so you can safely switch between fuel types.
There is a convenient Quick Touch panel with all of the controls. It uses an electric start with a three-position ignition switch. The battery to power the switch is included when you purchase the generator.
It is relatively quiet with a noise level of 59 dBA at 23 feet. It has four outlets, including a 120V-30A RV-ready outlet, two 120V-20 household outlets, and one 12V DC outlet with a dual USB adapter for charging the battery. There is no display screen to monitor wattage or fuel usage.
It can hold 0.6 quarts of10W-30 engine oil and includes a low oil automatic shut-off sensor to ensure the tank never gets too low.
With a quiet and user-friendly dual fuel system, this model is perfect for travel. Since it can run on both propane and gasoline, you have more flexibility when you need to refill during the trip. It is simple to use with a 30-amp RV-ready outlet and DC port with a USB adapter as well as extra features like the safety fuel selector switch, low-oil shut-off sensor, and carrying handle.
When it is running on propane, this model has a surge power of 4,180 watts and a continuous power of 3,240 watts. A standard backyard propane tank should be enough to power it for up to 12 hours at half-power. On gasoline, it produces 9,500 surge watts and 7,500 running watts. You can switch the fuel source while the system is running. On either fuel, it produces enough power to generate an entire house of appliances.
Since it is an open frame generator, it is quite loud. To start it, you can use the electric push-button or key fob remote.
Clocking in at roughly 109 pounds, this generator can be difficult to carry. Luckily, it has two wheels to easily transport it by rolling it behind you. The only time this may be an issue is when you are in a muddy or rocky area.
It has a four-gallon fuel tank with a fuel gauge and an oil tank with an automatic low-oil slowdown feature. It has an RV-ready 30-amp outlet and a DC port for battery charging, but only two standard AC power outlets.
When you buy this model, it comes with oil, an oil funnel, a tool kit, and a user’s manual. It is compliant with EPA, CARB, and CSA standards and regulations.
You can’t go wrong with this high-quality generator. It is relatively loud and bulky compared to some other models, but its user-friendly design and flexible fuel options set it apart from the rest. It comes with all the tools you need to assemble it and includes a handy key fob that allows you to start the generator from the comfort of your RV.
Best for the Money:
Champion 3800-Watt RV Generator
One of this model’s best features is its user-friendly Intelligauge display, which monitors and shows the wattage usage, so you never lose track of the amount of run time you have left.
When it is fueled by gasoline, it has 4,750 starting watts and 2,800 running watts with a run time of 9 hours. When the 20-pound propane tank is used, it has 4,275 watts of surge power and 3,420 watts of continuous power. On propane, it can run for up to 10.5 hours.
This model has great safety features as well. It has a locking fuel selector switch to prevent accidental switches when plugging in appliances and the outlets have built-in surge protectors. It comes with an RV-ready 30-amp outlet and two AC outlets.
You don’t have to break the bank for a quality generator. If you are on a tight budget, this model is durable, versatile, and available at a relatively low price. On top of that, it has a user-friendly design, an impressive run time, and lifetime technical support.
Quietest Propane Generator:
The constant hum of a generator can be disruptive and annoying, especially if you need to have it on overnight. That’s where the Sportsman GEN400LP comes in. It is a powerful portable generator that can run for 10 continuous hours at a 50% load. It only runs on propane, which produces 4,000 watts of surge power and 3,250 running watts.
The generator is powered by a 7 HP 4-stroke OHV engine operated with a recoil start. It comes with a propane fuel hose and regulator, but the LPG propane tank is not included. It works with most standard propane cylinders.
The engine’s oil tank can hold up to 20 fluid ounces. There is a device that monitors the oil level and powers it off when the level is too low to protect the engine. For further engine security, it also comes with an automatic voltage regulator to protect against surges.
The unit includes two 120V AC outlets and one 12V DC outlet you can use for battery charging.
This model is affordable, quiet, and efficient. It does not have a dual tank system like some of the other generators on this list, but it has a streamlined design that is built to extend the engine life and provide consistent power. After just one charge, it can run on a 50% load for 10 hours. It is easy to assemble, and its quiet operation makes it an unobtrusive power source you can bring anywhere.
Best 50 Amp Propane Generator:
DuroMax Hybrid Dual Fuel XP12000EH
If you want a model that is strong and reliable, it is hard to beat this model from DuroMax. It operates on a powerful 457 cc OHV 18 HP engine and has a dual fuel system. On a 50% load of an 8.3-gallon tank of gasoline, it can operate for up to 10 hours. With a full propane tank, a 50% load allows it to run continuously for a maximum of 20 hours.
It has several outlets, including two 120V/20-amp outlets, one 120v/30-amp, one twist lock outlet, one 120/240V 30-amp outlet, and one 50-amp heavy duty outlet.
This model includes a number of features that enhance its safety and durability. There are circuit breakers in place to prevent them from overloading in addition to a low-oil indicator light and a voltmeter.
It is EPA and CARB approved in all 50 states.
This durable and powerful generator is one you can depend on. On a propane tank, it can support multiple devices for up to 20 hours, making it ideal to use while traveling or during a power outage. It comes with a wide range of outlets for extra flexibility and convenience.
Best 3000W Propane Generator:
Champion 3000-Watt Dual Fuel Generator
This dual fuel generator is the perfect combination of convenience and reliability. It is designed to power a range of devices at once, including TVs and air conditioning units. It has a convenient electric start that utilizes Cold Start Technology, ensuring that it will function well in cold weather.
There is a fuel selector switch to safely alternate between the two different fuel types. On gasoline, it produces 4,000 starting watts and 3,000 running watts. A 50% load is enough to run it for about 10 hours. On propane, it produces 3,600 starting watts and 2,700 running watts, enough to run continuously for about 12 hours on a 50% load. It has a built-in Intelligauge to monitor the voltage, hertz, and runtime.
The oil tank can hold a maximum of 0.6 quarts and using 10W-3 oil is recommended. It has an automatic shut-off sensor that is activated when the oil level is too low.
This model is not the quietest option, operating at 68 dBA from 23 feet.
When you buy this generator, it comes with an oil funnel, a wheel kit, a spark plug tool, an LPG propane hose, and a battery. It has five outlets, including one 120V-30A outlet and four 120V-20A standard outlets.
With features like Cold Start Technology, a fuel selector switch, and an Intelligauge display, this unit is built with versatility and safety in mind. It can run for a maximum of 12 hours on propane and 10 hours on gasoline and can support many different high-energy devices at once. It is louder than some other generators, but this minor inconvenience is overshadowed by its heavy duty and portable design.
This model operates on a 7 HP air-cooled OHV engine. The sturdy frame has four point fully isolated motor mounts that allow it to run quietly. The unit weighs a total of 130 pounds but has rubber wheels to make transporting it easier.
It has an electric start and a recoil start as a backup in case the normal start system is affected by cold air or a low battery.
When using gasoline, it produces 4,850 surge watts and 3,850 running watts. On propane, it can run for up to 20 hours on a 50% load on a 20-pound standard tank.
It has two 20-amp AC outlets, a 30-amp outlet, and a DC outlet for battery charging. However, the 30-amp outlet is not RV ready and will require some adjustment before it can work with most RVs.
Some adjustments will be necessary for most RV systems to connect to the 30-amp outlet, but the rest of the generator comes ready to use without any extra preparation. It is sturdy but easy to transport, and a standard propane tank on half power is enough to sustain it for up to 20 hours.
This unit can be used to power a range of electronics, from air conditioning systems to sensitive items like cell phones and laptops.
When using gasoline, it has 2,000 watts of surge power and 1,600 watts of continuous power. On propane, it has 1,900 watts of surge power and 1,520 watts of running power. The gasoline tank is relatively small and can only support the generator for a maximum of 6.5 hours at half power. The generator is limited by the small gasoline container as well. A standard 20-pound propane tank at half power can run the unit for about 16 hours.
It has a parallel feature, so if you buy two generators you can bridge them together to double the wattage. However, you still need to buy a separate parallel kit for this feature to work.
There are two 120V household outlets, but no 30-amp outlet. It comes with an eco-mode option, which lowers the generator’s idle speed to reduce fuel consumption and noise.
This model does not have the same power or running capacity as other generators, but it is perfect if you want a compact, portable alternative that can be used anywhere. It supplies enough power to support the typical amount of electronic equipment in an RV, and it can run on both gasoline and propane. The eco-mode option is an added bonus that allows the unit to operate at a more sustainable level that produces less noise.
Benefits of Investing in One of These Models
Gasoline generators may seem like the more cost-effective option, but investing in a quality propane generator will actually save you more time, energy, and money in the long run.
Propane tanks are portable and readily accessible. You can find them pretty much anywhere, which makes them the perfect fuel source for RV travel.
Propane is an inexpensive fuel source with a long shelf life. You can keep it in your tank for up to a year without any problem, so it doesn’t need to be replaced too often and is better for storage.
Safe and Clean
Generators powered by propane are the best for the environment. Propane is a relatively clean fuel source; it has a clean burn that produces a minimal amount of carbon monoxide, especially compared to other fuel types. It is also the safest to use.
Propane allows engines to run efficiently and quietly. Compared to gasoline, propane generators produce much less engine noise, so they aren’t as disruptive.
Since they are used to power most other devices in the RV, generators are one of the most important purchases you will make. Propane is the ideal fuel type for travel because it is eco-friendly, quiet, and accessible. It is crucial to find a propane generator that suits your RV system and is both safe and straightforward to use.
People Also Ask
Still have questions? Scroll down to read the answers to our frequently asked questions on this subject.
Are Propane Generators More Efficient?
Propane is typically not as efficient as gasoline. It has a lower surge and continuous power output than gasoline, but it lasts for much longer in the tank. It is also a cleaner alternative, which leads to less time and money spent on maintenance in the long run.
How Long Will a Generator Run on Propane?
The run time will vary from generator to generator, but most models can run between 10 and 20 hours on a half load of propane. In general, propane is less fuel efficient than gasoline.
Are Propane Generators Worth It?
The ideal fuel type depends on your RV system and set up, but for most RV goers, propane generators are by far the best option. While they are typically more expensive than gasoline models, they are ultimately a better investment because they produce cleaner exhaust that minimizes the amount of maintenance you will need to do down the road.