4 Best Natural Gas Portable Generators 2021

Check out 4 of the best portable natural gas-powered generators to suit all budgets

Best natural gas powered generators for 2021.....Check out 4 of the best portable natural gas-powered generators to suit all budgets .....from dual fuel generators for under $500 to high wattage natural gas generators for people looking to power multiple appliances.

As we move into a greener world we are all trying to do our bit to reduce our carbon footprint, which means looking for more eco-friendly energy sources to power food trucks, RV’s and homes.

Traditional diesel fuel generators are considered an “unclean” energy source because it produces many harmful emissions when it is burned.

This means alternatives models such as dual fuel generators which gives you the option to use diesel or natural gas /propane as an energy source are becoming hugely popular and as of 2019 accounted for 43% of all generator sales in the US.

However, it can get a little confusing when it comes to the term “natural gas” and “propane”, especially when it comes to generators as there are slight differences. And it is because of this most natural gas-powered generators use propane gas as an energy source.

Below is a short section to clarify the difference between the two gases and 4 of the best natural gas portable generators in 2021 – from the best value for people looking for a generator under $500 to generators to suit higher budgets.

Note: For this article when I use the term natural gas what I mean is propane gas generators.

Table of contents:

  • What is natural and propane gas?
  • Pro’s and cons of propane gas generators
  • 4 best natural gas generators
  • Appliance running & surge watt table
  • Key takeaways

What is natural and propane gas?

It can get a little confusing understanding the difference between natural gas and propane especially when it comes to power generators. This is because when someone is searching for a natural gas generator what they mean is propane gas generators.

Here is the main difference.

Natural gas is a fossil fuel, which contains large amounts of methane gas as its main component and smaller amounts of carbon and hydrogen atoms.

Propane gas, also known as liquid petroleum gas (LPG) is a co-product of crude oil refining and natural gas processing.

Whilst both types of gases have similarities in the fact they are both odourless, colourless, and clean-burning fossil fuels, propane gas is considered more superior.

This is because propane gas as a fuel is more energy-efficient and green, hence why most gas generators come as propane-powered as standard.

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Pro’s and cons of propane gas generators

Pros

Cleaner energy – Propane or natural gas is considered cleaner, releasing less harmful pollutants into the atmosphere, such as sulphur and carbon monoxide, compared to gasoline or diesel.

Odourless – Natural gas portable generators produce an odourless smell when burnt, as opposed to a pungent/acrid smell produced by diesel/gasoline-powered generators.

Not temperature sensitive – Gasoline and diesel generators can become temperamental in cold weather which can make them difficult to use. Natural gas generators on the other hand do not have the same low-temperature sensitivity which makes them more reliable in colder conditions.

Cons

Shorter engine life – nature gas/propane generator engines have a shorter lifespan than gasoline or diesel generators (diesel generators reign supreme in terms of longevity).

Additional equipment – Instead of just filling the tank as you would do with a gasoline or diesel generator, you need a separate propane bottle to power a natural gas generator.

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1. Champion Power Equipment Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Generator

best natural gas powered generators - champion power equipment - dual fuel

Starting watts: 3950 (for propane gas)

Running watts: 3150 (for propane gas)

Weight: 104 pounds

Runtime: 10.5 hours at 50% load

Noise Level: 68 dB (Decimal units)

Power: Dual fuel (gasoline & propane)

Start Method: Recoil

Pros +

  • Best value
  • Low noise pollution
  • Cold start technology
  • Low oil shut-off sensor
  • Relatively lightweight
  • Built-in surge protector
  • Long run-time

Cons –

  • Not on wheels (wheels can be brought separately)
  • Relatively low running watts

If you are on a budget and looking for a natural gas-powered generator for under $500 then this model should be a good fit.

It provides 3120 watts of running power, which is pretty generous for a generator at the lower end of the price scale, meaning you can run a few heavy-duty appliances at the same time.

It also has a relatively low rating of 68 DB’s which means compared to some other generators the noise pollution is pretty low.

However, the main downside for me with the Champion Dual Fuel Portable Generator is that it doesn’t come with wheels which means it’s not very portable and lugging around a 104-pound engine can pose challenges.

Power – 3/5

Portability – 2/5

Noise level – 4/5

Runtime – 4/5

Value for money – 5/5

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2. Champion Power Equipment Dual Fuel Generator

best natural gas powered generators - champion power equipment - dual fuel

Starting watts: 4275 (for propane gas)

Running watts: 3420 (for propane gas)

Weight: 119 pounds

Runtime: 10.5 hours at 50% Load

Noise Level: 68 dB (Decimal units)

Power: Dual fuel (gasoline & propane)

Start Method: Touch start & Recoil

Pros +

  • On wheels
  • Relatively lightweight
  • Built-in surge protector
  • Low Oil Shut-Off
  • Long run-time
  • Low noise pollution
  • Push-button electric start

Cons –

  • Power is mid-range

If you have a few more items to power and need a bit more wattage then for a slight price increase you can upgrade to the Champion Power Equipment Dual Fuel Generator (model- 100231 6900/5500).

In my view, this natural gas generator is the best all-rounder, not only because you get an increase in wattage capacity close to 3500 running watts but is also has a relatively low dB and high run time.

It has all the main features you need in a generator such as wheels for easy transportation; multiple start options such as recoil and push-button start; and a surge protector which protects your appliances from unexpected power spike damage.

The main downside with this model is that it is a mid-range power generator, which isn’t a problem if you are not planning on powering a lot of heavy-duty appliances.

Power – 3.5/5

Portability – 4/5

Noise level – 4/5

Runtime – 4/5

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3. Champion Power Dual Fuel Portable Generator with Wheel Kit

best natural gas powered generators - champion power equipment - dual fuel

Starting watts: 6250 (for propane gas)

Running watts: 5000 (for propane gas)

Weight: 162 pounds

Runtime: 6.5 hours at 50% Load

Noise Level: 74 dB (Decimal units)

Power: Dual fuel (gasoline & propane)

Start Method: Recoil

Pros +

  • On wheels
  • Cold start technology
  • High wattage

Cons –

  • Slightly higher decimals
  • Relatively low run-time
  • Relatively heavy

Next up on the list is the Champion dual fuel natural gas generator (model -100231 6900/5500).

This model offers a healthy 5000 watts of running power which means it should be up to the task of powering multiple power-hunger appliance at the same time.

It also comes with wheels for easy transportation and cold-start technology which should minimize any issues with using this generator in cold weather conditions.

However, the main downsides with this propane-powered generator, and why I didn’t give it the best all-rounder title, is it has a shorter run time and higher dB rating which means shorter intervals between refills and more noise pollution.

Power – 4/5

Portability – 3/5

Noise level – 3/5

Runtime – 3/5

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4. Westinghouse Gas or Propane Powered Portable Generator

best natural gas powered generators - champion power equipment - dual fuel

Starting watts: 8550 (for propane gas)

Running watts: 6750 (for propane gas)

Weight: 192 pounds

Runtime: 11 Hours at 50% load

Noise Level: 85 dB (Decimal units)

Power: Dual fuel (gasoline & propane)

Start Method: Electric Push-Button Start With Remote Key Fob

Pros +

  • On wheels
  • Low oil shut down switch
  • High wattage
  • Automatic Low Oil Shutoff
  • Remote start with fob key

Cons –

  • Relativelyloud
  • Relatively heavy

Power – 5/5

Portability – 3/5

Noise level – 2.5/5

Runtime – 4/5

If you have a higher budget and need to power a lot of appliances or just want the peace of mind of having spare capacity then the Westinghouse Gas or Propane Powered Portable Generator is a good choice.

This model is the highest wattage generator on the list which offers a massive 6750 running watts and the longest-running time of 11 hours at 50% load.

It also has a very handy fob key start so you can start this generator up at a distance.

The main downside with this model, which is unavoidable to larger generators, is as you go up in wattage, so does the weight, which makes it relatively heavy and the dB rating, which in this case is around 85.

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Appliance running & surge watt table

Here is a list of the surge (also known as starting) and running watts of common appliances to help you decide on the correct propane generator for your needs.

Note: Surge or starting watts is the power needed to start an appliance, like a fridge for example, which is higher than when it’s running (the running watts).

Source: The Generatorist


Key takeaways

All of the generators on the list were chosen based on budget level, power performance (wattage), portability and noise level in mind.

*Best value

If you only want to power a few items and want a natural gas power generator for under $500 I recommend going for the best value Champion Power Equipment Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Generator (model- 76533 4750/3800-).

For the price, this Champion model has a pretty generous 3120 running watts, a relatively long run time of 10.5 hours at 50% load and a low noise level of 68 dB.

*Best all-rounder

If you want to power more items or just want that spare power capacity then for not much of a price increase I recommend the bestall-rounder,Champion Power Equipment Dual Fuel Generator (model- 100231 6900/5500).

This model has all the same features as its smaller counterpart but also has an increased power capacity of nearly 3500 running watts and is on wheels which makes it easier to transport.

*Highest wattage

If you want a natural gas generator that packs a punch with high wattage and you have a healthy budget to work with then go for the highest wattage, Westinghouse Gas or Propane Powered Portable Generator.

It has a massive running watt of 6750, which means it can power a large number of appliances at once and a long-running time of 11 hours at 50% load.