Choosing a Dual Fuel Generator or Tri-Fuel Generator

What is a dual fuel generator?

Most people in the market for a dual fuel generator are familiar with the concept, but for those without experience, what is a dual fuel generator?
Exactly as the name implies, a dual fuel generator has the option to employ either of two alternate types of fuel, typically gas or propane, so the user is able to choose which type of fuel is best suited for that day’s circumstances.
For example, a particular carpenter might prefer to use gas to power his worksite. However, because gas does not have a long shelf-life and is often unavailable during power outages, with a dual fuel generator our carpenter has the option to use the propane he stores in his garage for just such an emergency.

Advantages of dual fuel generators

The critical advantage of a dual fuel generator is obvious; because it uses two types of fuel, you always have an alternative if one type is unavailable. Additionally, depending on the use you’re putting it to, you may choose to use gas, which has a longer run time on a full tank, or propane, which has a shorter run time but burns cleaner. People who use their generators in different situations appreciate being able to choose the fuel type most appropriate to their usage.

Disadvantages of dual fuel generators


With any additional features, the most notable disadvantage is that additional features usually come with an additional price tag. In the case of dual fuel generators, this generally is not much. For example, on Amazon, you can purchase a Champion 9.375-watt dual fuel generator for about $80 less than a similar Champion model that supports only a single fuel type. True, its feature set may be somewhat smaller, but this illustrates that you can obtain a dual fuel generator for not much more than a comparable single-fuel type.

However, the price is a factor inasmuch as there are not many small dual fuel generators available. The smallest dual fuel generators start at about $500 for 4400 watts of power. If you have a low wattage requirement, a dual fuel generator probably won’t be cost effective for your needs.


Additional features come along with additional complexity. Although switching between fuel types is generally straightforward, users do report confusion in the instructions of some models. Additionally, the added complexity introduces more failure points. Ensure that you choose a reputable brand with good reviews when purchasing a dual fuel generator.

Also double-check that your purchase includes all parts you will need to run it, or whether there are connectors or attachments that you will need to buy separately.

Tri-fuel Generators

Also available are tri-fuel generators. For preppers or survivalists who want to be prepared for any emergency, tri-fuel generators also support natural gas as a fuel source.

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