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Generator Showdown: Gas vs. Propane Generators

Generator Showdown: Gas vs. Propane Generators


portable generator offers a wide range of benefits. Not only is this machine is a great power source for creature comforts when you're camping, but it also cam keep home appliances up and running after a storm has knocked out the power. The two most common types of portable generators are powered using either gasoline or propane. Before you decide which one is right for you, here is how they stack up head to head.

Gas Generators Propane Generators


More portable Less portable

Fuel Accessibility

Easy to obtain Not as easily accessible

Fuel Storage

Shelf life is a few months Long shelf life

Weather Conditions

Usable in extreme conditionsLimited in extreme cold

Energy Endurance

Frequent refills during constant usageExcellent for long-term usage

Gas Generators

Advantages of Gas Generators

  • Mobility - A gas-powered unit is more mobile than a propane one because its tank design makes it easier to move from place to place.
  • Fuel accessibility - Gas is a common fuel source that's easy to obtain from any gas station.
  • Refueling - When it's time to fill up, it's only a matter of refilling your tank. You won't need to attach anything to a fuel line or pipe.
  • Travel - Gas generators' mobility makes them a great choice for a camping vacation or tailgating parties.
Gas generator

Limitations of Gas Generators

  • Fuel storage - Stored gasoline can only last a few months, so keeping a steady, fresh supply can be a challenge. In addition, gas is highly toxic and can be hazardous to store in large quantities.
  • Cost - Gas can be expensive, especially during the summer and holiday travel times when prices go up.
  • Weather conditions - If a power outage occurs, a gas station's pumps won't be able to operate, so when you run out of gas, you'll be stuck.
  • Locating fuel - If fuel is needed and you're camping at a remote location, you may have a long drive to the nearest gas station.

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Propane Generators

Propane generator

Advantages of Propane Generators

  • Fuel longevity - Propane has a considerably longer shelf life than gas, so you can keep some tanks in storage and know that they'll be a dependable power source when you need them.
  • A cleaner energy source - Propane burns cleanly so your engine will stay cleaner and experience less wear than a gas-powered unit.
  • Maintenance - A propane generator requires less maintenance than a gas-powered model and usually provides quieter operation.
  • Energy endurance - A propane generator can last for hours for a variety of tasks without replacement, so it's an excellent choice for a home power source.

Limitations of Propane Generators

  • Mobility - Their design makes portability difficult and you'll also need to have extra tanks on hand.
  • Weather conditions - A propane-powered generator can be difficult to start when temperatures fall below 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Refills - Knowing how low your tank has gotten is difficult to check with a propane tank.
  • Fuel accessibility - Since propane isn't as popular a source of fuel as gas, it may be more difficult to find propane tanks when you're traveling in remote areas.

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