By getting to know what fuel alternatives and which product types are the most efficient, your decision of buying the most fuel-efficient generators for home and camping use is optimized. Look no further than this article because here, we’re going to give all what you need:
- Westinghouse iPro4200 – Good overall
- Champion 4000-Watt – Best for camping
- Champion 6250-Watt – Top rated for heavy use
- Champion 3100-Watt – Best for basic needs
- Westinghouse iGen4500DF – High Wattage & Dual Fuel
- Honda EU2200i – Most flexible choice
- Honda Eu7000iat1 – Built for pro/heavy use
|Good overall Westinghouse iPro4200||View on Amazon|
|Best for camping Champion 100302||View on Amazon|
|Top rated for heavy use Champion 100519||View on Amazon|
|Best for basic needs Champion 75531i||View on Amazon|
|High Wattage & Dual Fuel Westinghouse iGen4500DF||View on Amazon|
|Most flexible choice Honda EU2200i||View on Amazon|
|Built for pro/heavy use Honda Eu7000iat1||View on Amazon|
Hybrid open frame inverter generators
Westinghouse iPro4200 – Good overall
- GFCI outlets and OSHA compliant for safety
- Relatively quiet compared to other open-frame generators
- Steel frame coverage to protect the unit against damage
- Don’t have a TT-30R receptacle -> not suitable for RV use
It also features OSHA compliant and Full Panel GFCI, safe for users.
In comparison to any traditional open-frame generators, it features the lowest volume – 62 decibels – which are equal to a normal conversation at restaurants.
Like the Westinghouse iGen4200, it comes in a steel frame coverage to stay away from damage while weighing only 82 pounds – rather easy to load on a car trunk or truck.
|Peak Watts/Running Watts||4200/3500|
|Noise Level||62 dB|
|Max Runtime||22 hours|
|Highlight Features||GFCI outlets and OSHA compliant, steel frame coverage, 62 decibels|
Westinghouse iPro4200 is a heavy-duty generator tailored for job sites with an emphasis on OSHA compliant and GFCI outlets for safety.
Champion 4000-Watt – Best for camping
- Have remote start to easily turn on the unit from a distance
- Have RV receptacle
- Equipped with wheels and handles for mobility
- No 240V outlets, which may be an issue for some campers
- Not include the handle and wheel kit
The unit provides three outlets to ably run any manner of appliances, from RV air conditioners, heater, to refrigerator and lighting.
It’s also portable and mobile (with attached wheels and handles) to easily carry around. Rest assured! The outer shell is made of the steel frame for extra-solidity to not vulnerably damaged.
This generator is also considered safe enough to use, highlighting the Intelli-gauge apparatus, low-oil sensor, and overload protection. 3.8 gallons for 12 hours’ runtime at 50% load, meaning roughly 1/3 gallon/hour – very economical to use.
|Peak Watts/Running Watts||4000/3500|
|Noise Level||69 dB|
|Max Runtime||12.5 hours|
|Highlight Features||Have RV receptacle, remote start, wheels and handles, Intelli-gauge apparatus, low-oil sensor, and overload protection|
High portability, convenient remote start, and moderately powerful motor are just some shining features making the Champion 4000W the ideal option for camping.
Champion 6250-Watt – Top rated for heavy use
- Running 50% quieter and weighing 20% lighter than other 5000W Champion generators
- EPA certificated for less air pollutant emissions
- Avoid flooding when shutting the unit off
- Easy to refill oil
- Don’t include the parallel capability
- Don’t have RV outlet
It’s, on the other hand, claimed to deliver 50% quieter than other 5000W generators of Champion while also highlighting 20% lighter in total weight (from 151.1 to 121 pounds). Accordingly, is 4 inches shorter in length, making it more compact.
While receiving the necessary CARB compliant and EPA certificated, the Champion emphasizes its “Cold Start Technology” to avoid flooding when switching the unit off.
A small detail that we really like about this generator is its neat quick drain oil tube that avoids messy oil spills on the floor very efficiently.
|Peak Watts/Running Watts||6250/5000|
|Noise Level||69 dB|
|Max Runtime||12.5 hours|
|Highlight Features||50% quieter and 20% lighter, EPA certificated, Cold Start Technology, neat quick drain oil tube|
Pumping out an impressive 6250 starting watts and 5000 running watts, Champion 6250W is the top-rated generator for heavy use.
Champion 3100-Watt – Best for basic needs
- Have economic mode to run more silently and efficiently at lower load
- User-friendly interface for easy to use
- Have a remote start to easily control the unit from a distance
- Complicated break-in cycle
This is actually an inverter generator with a remote start – the killer feature, boasting 3100W of surge power and 2800W of running power.
It’s powerful enough for basic needs around the house, such as lighting, running a fridge, operating a 13,500 AC or charging your electronics during a power outage or hurricane.
We’re strongly impressed by how silent of this generator – 58 decibels, the same loudness as normal speech. It also has Economy Mode to run even more quietly and efficiently at lower loads. Nice for conserving gas!
|Peak Watts/Running Watts||3100/2800|
|Noise Level||58 dB|
|Max Runtime||8 hours|
|Highlight Features||Have economic mode, user-friendly interface, multiple outlets, remote start|
Champion 3100-Watt is a solid generator designed for home use or work over the road in a pinch.
Westinghouse iGen4500DF – High Wattage & Dual Fuel
- Can run on either gasoline and propane to keep you going when one fuel is out
- High wattages to provide enough power for different home appliances
- Quiet operation to avoid bothersome to your family, neighbors, and others
- Have both electric start for effortless operating and recoil start to use when the battery is low
- Weak throttle when running parallel two units
- The plastic case isn’t resistant to gasoline
Its small, tough, and portable design can travel with you anywhere, such as campsites, job sites, or just around the house. This unit also features a TT-30R RV outlet, available for RV use.
While delivering high wattages to keep you going, the best thing about iGen4500DF is dual-fuel construction, allowing you to refill it with either gasoline or propane.
The 224cc, 4-stroke engine also gives you some beneficial, such as clean-burning power plant, fuel efficiency, meeting EPA certification and CARB compliant. Besides, it’s built with both electric start and recoil start.
|Peak Watts/Running Watts||4500/3700 on gas|
4050/3330 on propane
|Noise Level||53 to 62 dB|
|Max Runtime||18 hours|
|Highlight Features||dual-fuel construction, have a TT-30R RV outlet, 224cc, 4-stroke engine, EPA certification and CARB compliant, have electric start and recoil start|
Overall, if you’re in need of a versatile inverter generator with a dual-fuel build, high wattages, and multiple ways to operate, Westinghouse iGen4500DF is the best bet.
Honda EU2200i – Most flexible choice
- The engine can last the lifetime
- Built with small, compact silhouette and handles for portability
- Have Eco-Throttle System for energy efficiency
- Don’t include RV-ready outlet
- Limited runtime
Each unit emits incredibly less noise (52 decibels at rated load), making it an excellent choice for any situation where noise might be an issue. Besides, EU2200i is designed with a small and compact silhouette to fit nicely in any car trunk.
There’s also a handle that you can easily carry it to anywhere.
In the class of 2000W generators, this unit comes in a standard – 2200 surge watts and 1800 running watts/unit. However, it’s built with parallel capability, which is also the reason why we advise going for a pair.
Honda is known for making an engine that lasts forever so the 121c GXR120 engine, in this case, is what sets it apart. Come with a 3-year warranty but is designed to last for 10 years.
|Peak Watts/Running Watts||4400/3600|
|Noise Level||53 to 62 dB|
|Max Runtime||3.2 hours/unit|
|Highlight Features||52 decibels at rated load, parallel capability, durable 121c GXR120 engine, Eco-Throttle System|
When you’re searching for the most flexible inverter generator on the market, it’s impossible to find anything that beats the Honda EU2200i.
Honda Eu7000iat1 – Built for pro/heavy use
- Powerful power output to afford heavy use
- Self-monitoring battery volts, RPM, hours, and wattages
- Ultra-quiet (52 to 60 dB) despite how powerful it is – something other similar counterparts hardly afford
At 25% load, it can run continuously within 18 hours and the products are designed to be self-monitoring, such as wattages, battery volts, RPM, and hours.
In other words, this beast is both safety and powerful to afford any situations, such as music festivals, weddings, landscape business and food trucks.
|Peak Watts/Running Watts||7000/5500|
|Noise Level||52-60 dB|
|Max Runtime||6-18 hours|
|Highlight Features||Self-monitoring many indicators, exclusive GX390 engine, 7000 surge watts & 5500 running watts|
It’s not hyperbole to say that Honda Eu7000iat1 is the most powerful inverter generator in this list for heavy use.
How to choose an energy-saving generator? (Buying guide)
This is the most important feature when you’re considering a generator for whichever purposes of use. Either for home or camping, let carefully determine how much power you truly need by summing up the total surge watts and running watts of the vital appliances.
The generator you should choose must feature equal to higher power wattages than those results.
Here is the average power consumption of some camping devices:
In general, for home use as a backup plan during a power outage, a 4000W to 6000W generator is a good go-to. For RV or camping use, the demand might be less than that as there are as many appliances to operate as home use, a 3000W to 4500W unit is the best bet.
There are many secrets to identify a fuel-efficient generator:
Inverter construction: This generator type is known for higher fuel efficiency than the traditional open-frame models due to their cleaner power output and stable electricity flow. They’re a safe choice for vulnerable electronics as well.
Eco throttle system: This advanced component helps to adjust the amount of energy output equivalently to the loads, hence, saving more fuel consumed.
Eco Mode: It automatically decreases the power flow whenever the loads are decreased, leading to less fuel consumption and quieter operation.
Energy Star Certification: This is a reliable government-backed symbol. Any products that earn this label are known for safety and high energy efficiency.
It doesn’t mean that the traditional open-frame generators can’t be fuel-efficient. If they meet any of rest features that we’ve just listed above, that unit will be a good go-to.
Energy efficiency levels are also sorted by the type of fuel used.
In terms of generators, there are three fuel types:
The most common are propane and gasoline because they’re easy to find and affordable while diesel (despite its higher price point) delivers the highest fuel efficiency (138,700 BTUs/gallon of fuel).
That means with the same amount of fuel load, diesel will run the device longer and cleaner – 6 to 12 hours. The next fuel-efficient is gasoline with 125,000 BTUs/gallon of fuel to last 5 to 10 hours. And finally, is propane featuring 91,300 BTUs/gallon (3 to 7 hours).
Gasoline is also cheaper than propane but the reason why people still need it is as propane isn’t frozen at cold temperatures, meaning it’s available for winter or cold-days to use.
To get the best of both worlds, we highly recommend choosing gas-powered generators or duel-fuel units.
Who makes the most fuel-efficient generators in the market?
Westinghouse is one of the most famous American company that offers consistently great value to customers. Not only focus on developing products’ quality but they also improve the customer caring service better and better.
Out of their signature design – yellow & black, Champion is well-loved for making high-quality generators with highlights on energy efficiency, power, and especially, budget-friendly price. This is a reliable brand for people who don’t have a loose budget.
Honda is known as a global company that has been run several business fields, including generators. Their products get truly positive feedbacks from worldwide customers – the same delicate working as when they make cars that last for decades.
What size generator do I need?
This feature depends on how many household/camping appliances you’re using. For a well pump or large-sized furnace, you should opt for a 5000W to 6000W generator.
Conversely, if they’re just small city water and furnace, a 3000W to 4500W is good to go.
Are propane generators more efficient?
In terms of BTUs/gallon of fuel, propane generators are considered less efficient than gas-powered units. Not to say that propane is not as common and easy to find as gasoline.
In turn, they produce cleaner-burning to be safer for environments.
What’s cheaper – gas or propane?
Natural gasoline is super-cheap (less than $25/1000 cubic feet) while propane is costlier ($40/20 pounds).
Therefore, the total cost to operate a generator (per hour) will be less than using propane:
- Propane – 2 to 3 gallons/hour
- Gasoline – <1 to 2 gallons/hour
Will premium gas hurt my generator?
Yes, it will.
You can find on the generator manual that the manufacturer advises using only regular unleaded gasoline with the equipment, NOT the premium type or mix oil.
The reason for that is premium gasoline features high octane that will be harder for small-sized generators to start or they might be overheated while running on it.
How far away does a propane tank need to be from a generator?
As propane tanks vent fumes, they shouldn’t be located in the same structure to avoid a spark or explosion when operating. The safe distance from a propane tank to a generator is different from state to state.
It’s better for you to contact the local propane dealer and get the latest upgrade regulations for your living area.
Can you run a generator overnight?
As generators are a still-hot engine that needs controlling strictly, don’t ever let it run overnight, implying to be out of your control while you’re sleeping.
Some risks might happen if you do so:
- Out of fuel while the generator is still running -> overheat and ignite into a flame
- The unpleasant noise might make your family members and neighbors unhappy
- Catch the attention of thieves
When you’re ready to buy the most fuel-efficient generators for home and camping use, determining your demands, budgets, and needs should be the very first step. By remembering all the listed features above, we assure you to make the best purchase. Thanks for reading!
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I’m James J. Decker, a hobbyist and DIYs and also a big of home improvement and gardening tools. I immensely enjoy how these amazing products improve productivity and efficiency, and allow me to do jobs for which I would’ve otherwise needed professional help.