ūü•áGas Generators – From Budget to the Best – We’ve found the lowest prices

generators for sale near me

When it comes to survival most preppers would agree that a gasoline generators are very important. Energy plays a very large part in survival from comfort all the way to surviving in cold weather. ¬†The shortcomings of gas/propane generators are obvious. If you can’t get gasoline or propane (For hybrid generators) they are useless. For this reason we discuss and find the Best Solar generators in a separate article. I spent a lot of time researching the internet to find the best Gas Generators for you at three different price points:

Jump straight to each segment

Best of the Best

Best Value

Best on a Budget

The generators listed here are conventional generators that are designed primarily for power and ease of repair and use.¬†We discuss enclosed Suitcase Style (Silenced) Portable Gas Generators which emphasize quietness and portability over power in another post. Keep in mind that although gas generators in this post are generators that are technically called “Portable” they are actually quite large and extremely heavy especially the best of the best selections. They really are only called portable because they aren’t built in Home Stand-By generators.

When it comes to gas generators they are extremely useful if you have fuel on hand. Unfortunately most portable generators will use about 4 to 8 twenty pound propane tanks and between 7 to 22 gallons of gasoline per day. That is if you are running them 24 hours per day which you most likely wouldn’t do.

If you ration your fuel supply and have a large supply to begin with they can be very useful and last for a long time. They are also excellent if you combine them with another type of generator like a solar generator. For the days where there is little to no sun you can supplement the electrical generator with the gas generators. Generally if you can use wood burning fires for most of your energy needs and then have other generators on hand as well you’ll be all set!

Another thing to consider is that even the low noise gas generators make noise. You may not want to attract attention to your camp but this is something we will discuss in other articles. We still recommend that you have generators on hand because if you find a remote enough location for your camp the noise won’t be an issue. Also, assuming that many survival situations will be related to surviving a temporary disaster like a storm and society won’t collapse entirely, then security for you and your camp won’t be as big of an issue. That really is only an issue in a complete and total doomsday/armageddon situation.

On the plus side these generators can be used for fun remote backcountry camping and recreation outings for your family. Its a good idea to store some extra gasoline and there are ways to stabilize the stored gasoline with added chemicals so the gas doesn’t become unusable.

BEST OF THE BEST



BEST OF THE BEST

Running Power Output

Weight

CARB Compliant (use in California)

#1 WINNER

DuroMax Xp12000 EH


9500 Watts


265 lbs

No

#2 WINNER

Briggs & Stratton 30663 Elite

7000 Watts

244 lbs


No

#3 WINNER

Westinghouse WGen 7500

7500 Watts

200 lbs

Yes


#1 WINNER
DuroMax Xp12000 EH

Pros: Dual fuel (propane or gasoline). High power. Compliant with ETL and MTL standards.  Auto shutoff.

Cons: Pricey.  Heavy. Quite loud even though it has a special muffler to reduce noise. Not CARB compliant (Cannot be used in California).

The Duromax Xp12000 EH is called the beast and for good reason. It has 18hp and enough power to power your entire home if necessary. It can run for 20 hours on propane while delivering 12000 watts. This is our pick for #1 Winner because of its massive power output and dual fuel capability. It has a noise reducing muffler but still is quite loud. It is EPA approved and is safe for use outdoors or near the house and in national parks. It can handle the most difficult to power appliances like an air conditioner and household appliances. The great advantage to the XP1200o EH is that it runs on gasoline and on liquid propane. Its a bit on the heavy side so it is more difficult to transport to a remote camp but its still possible.  Another great feature is that it will automatically shut off when it detects that oil is low. Its a reliable and efficient engine. A great advantage to having dual fuel and being able to use propane is that you can buy a lot of propane and not have to worry about its shelf life. When storing excess gasoline for emergencies you have to use special additives to prevent it from spoiling.


 

 #2 WINNER
Briggs & Stratton 30663 Elite


Pros
: 9 Hour run time (at 50% load). 7000 Running watts. Good build quality. Can run large appliances. Bluetooth enabled.

Cons: Loud. Quite Heavy. Not CARB compliant (Cannot be used in California).

The Briggs & Stratton 30663 is a great heavy duty generator. It boasts a large 7.5 gallon fuel tank for an impressive 9 hour run time. It has an key electric start with remote choke for fast and easy starting from one location. ¬†It our #2 Winner because it doesn’t run on duel fuel. Briggs & Stratton has an impressive 100 year history of making engines. It has a lo-tone muffler which helps to reduce noise but overall it is still quite loud. Its also quite heavy so it may not be the best for remote or camping locations. It has the capability to power your whole home during a power failure. The 30663 runs on gasoline only. A great advantage is being able to monitor the fuel level remotely through bluetooth connection.

 


#3 WINNER
Westinghouse WGen 7500

 


Pros
: CARB compliant (Can be used in California). Large 6.6 Gallon fuel tank. Can run for 10 hours at 50% load. Efficient.

Cons: Heavy. Somewhat Noisy.

The WGEN 7500 is a very good efficient generator. It has a continuous output of 7500 Watts. It has a cast iron sleeve which makes it easier to transport and which protects the unit and its the fuel tank. It can be used to run all your household appliances and for camping as well. Its still quite loud so it needs to be placed quite far away from your camp if you are looking for a more tranquil camping experience. This is a great disaster generator. Its easy to use and starts with a push electric button and also has a recoil start. Its able to start in very cold temperatures with ease. Unfortunately like the rest of the heavy duty generators it comes in very heavy at 200 lbs. Its not hard to move around with wheels but its difficult at this weight to lift it into a car or truck. What really set this generator apart is that it is CARB compliant and can be used in California.¬†Its our #2 Winner because some people have reported that they’ve had problems with starting the generator.

BEST VALUE



BEST VALUE

Running Power Output

Weight

CARB Compliant (use in California)

#1 WINNER

Champion 3800 Dual Fuel


3800 Watts


122 lbs

Yes

#2 WINNER

DuroMax XP4400 E

3500 Watts

135 lbs


Yes

#3 WINNER

Champion 3500 Digital Hybrid

3500 Watts

82 lbs

Yes

 

#1 WINNER
Champion 3800 Dual Fuel

Pros: CARB compliant (Can be used in California). Electric Start. Dual fuel capable. Electric start.

Cons:  Noisy. Still heavy, although much lighter than the best of the best heavy duty generators. A bit pricey.

The Champion 3800 Dual Fuel is an excellent 3800 watt CARB Compliant generator. It features a 3.4 gallon gas tank. It can run for 10.5 hours at 50 % load with a 20 lb propane tank. This is our pick for #1 Winner because of its great value and dual fuel capability. A great advantage to having dual fuel and being able to use propane is that you can buy a lot of propane and not have to worry about its shelf life. When storing excess gasoline for emergencies you have to use special additives to prevent it from spoiling. It features a surge protector to keep your equipment safe. Unfortunately as with many generators it is quite loud at 68 decibels from 23 feet away. Its not ideal for tranquil camping experiences but excellent for emergencies and remote camping. The Champion 3800 Dual Fuel has enough power to run a 15,000 BTU RV air conditioner unit. The unit is also equipped with a low-oil automatic shutoff system. It also has built in cold start technology. This is a great mid-range generator and is more than enough for most purposes. Its quite expensive but well worth it for the dual fuel technology. It weights 122 lbs which is more than 100 lbs lighter than the best of the best heavy duty generators listed above. For this reason it is much more portable and great for survival situations.

 

 


#2 WINNER
DuroMax XP4400 E

 

Pros: CARB compliant (Can be used in California). Long run time (efficient). Quiet for its size.  Durable. EPA approved.

Cons: No dual fuel capability.

The Duramax XP4400 E is a fantastic high output generator. Its our #2 Winner because its not dual fuel capable. Its reasonably priced and offers many features of the more expensive generators. It produces 3500 running watts and can run for up to 8 hours (at 50% load) on one 4  gallon full tank of gasoline. Great efficiency! We love that it has an Electric Key Start and automatic low-oil shutoff.  Another plus is that multiple outlets are provided. It can be used to power various appliances. This generator can easily be used for emergency survival situations and recreation. Its excellent muffler makes it less noisy than comparable generators. It has enough power to run a small house. Coming it at 135 lbs its still quite heavy but a lot lighter and easier to transport than other similar output generators.

 

 

#3 WINNER
Champion 3500 Digital Hybrid with Quiet Technology

Pros: Can be coupled with another generator for double the power. Has a built in inverter for digital devices. Fairly light. CARB compliant (Can be used in California)

Cons: Lacks wheels. Lacks electric start.

We really like the Champion 3500 Digital Hybrid. It has a built in inverter so you can run all of your digital devices. Though it lacks wheels it comes in at 82 lbs which makes it quite easy to move or load into a truck/car for remote use. At this weight is it 20% lighter and 50% quieter than other 3500 watt generators. Its a little bit difficult to add fuel without splashing but its not so bad if you go slow. Its our #3 Winner because it lacks electric start and wheels.It has an amazing run time of 17 hours at 25% load. It boats a 2.9 gallon fuel tank and has a 4-stroke highly efficient motor. We were a bit disappointed that its a manual recoil start only, but its a great generator for the price. We also love the fact that its CARB compliant and can be used in California. On the downside its quite loud at the 25% load rate. We also love the fact that you can stack this with another parallel Champion 3500 Digital hybrid for double the power.


BEST ON A BUDGET



BEST ON A

BUDGET

Running Power Output

Weight

CARB Compliant (use in California)

#1 WINNER

DuroStar DS4000S


3300 Watts


94 lbs

No

#2 WINNER

WEN 56180

1800 Watts

50 lbs


Yes

#3 WINNER

Champion 3500 

3500 Watts

98.3 lbs

Yes

 

#1 WINNER
DuroStar DS4000S

 

Pros: Lightweight. Fairly quiet. Easy to start. Amazing value.

Cons: Not CARB compliant (Cannot be used in California). Needs optional wheel kit.

We absolutely love the DuroStar DS4000S for the amount of power it generates for the price. Thats why its our pick for #1 Winner. It generates an astounding 3300 running watts. It comes it at an easy to manage weight of 94 lbs. Its not so hard to pick it up (although still a 2 person job) and throw it in the pickup truck or car for remote use in a survival situation. It has an impressive run time of 8 hours at 50% load with a 4 gallon fuel tank. We don’t mind that it is a manual pull start generator because of its great price. ¬†Relative to other generators its quiet but not as quiet as we had hoped considering its engine is small. ¬†We also weren’t thrilled that you have to pay extra to get the wheel kit. At least there is a wheel kit available and we strongly suggest that you purchase it. It makes moving the generator much easier. This generator is extremely reliable and produces a lot of power for the price. Thats why its our number one winner for best on a budget.


#2 WINNER
WEN 56180

 

Pros: CARB compliant (Can be used in California). Lightweight. Great price. Efficient.

Cons: Not the best choice for long-term emergencies. Cannot power a whole house.

What we love about the WEN 56180 is that its perfect for remote camping and also for normal camping. It is CARB compliant and can be used in California. Its ideal for use with devices and smaller appliances but can still power something as large as a refrigerator. It can run for 7.5 hours (at 50% load) on 1.5 gallons of gasoline and passes all the regulations and requirements for use in National parks. We love that it is so portable and is very lightweight. At 50 lbs its easy to move around. Its a lot of generator for the price. ¬†It also comes equipped with automatic low oil shutoff sensor. On the down side since it only produces 1800 watts it cannot power your whole house or many large appliances at once and for that reason its our #2 Winner. This is a great generator to buy if you also have a large capacity full home best of the best type generator. This is the kind of generator you want on hand just for bugging out and for camping. Due to the lower noise is can comfortably be used in any camping situation and doesn’t limit you to remote camping. Its still fairly loud if placed too close to camp.


#3 WINNER
Champion 3500-Watt RV Ready

 

 

 

 

Pros: CARB compliant (Can be used in California). Long run time (efficient). Low-oil shutoff sensor.  Remote start.

Cons: Relativly Noisy. Not as light as we would like. No dual fuel capability.

The Champion 3500 is a fantastic light weight high output generator. Its reasonably priced and offers many features of the more expensive generators. It produces 3500 running watts and can run for up to 12 hours (at 50% load) on one 3.8 gallon full tank of gasoline. Great efficiency! It has surge protection and built in cold start technology. it has enough power to run a 15,000 BTU air-conditioner. Weighing in at 98.3 lbs its heavier than the other winners in this segment and for that reasons is our #3 Winner. Its still much lighter than the bigger best of the best generators. You could easily load this generator into a truck or car for remote use. The one great feature that sets this generator apart is the ability to remote start it using a remote control. We really love this generator.

FINAL THOUGHTS

For reliability and ease of maintenance and power the conventional style gas generator is best. Power output comes at the expense of portability. For best coverage we recommend using both these generators in conjunction with Portable (suitcase style, silenced) Generators as well as Portable Solar Generators and Wind Generators that we cover in other posts.

 

Want to know more about Gas Generators?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Engine-generator

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