Best Tri Fuel Generator Reviews

Updated October 12, 2020

If you’re looking to prepare your home for all inevitabilities, then a generator will be essential. They can keep your house powered when power lines go down and you can keep one in an isolated vacation home where electricity is normally unavailable.

Normal generators run on a single, specific type of gas. A tri-fuel generator, however, can use three. This ability opens up several options that provide a versatility and readiness other generators can’t give. Read on to see our list of the best tri-fuel generators on the market as well as a short guide on how to pick what’s best for you.

Best Tri Fuel Generators

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1 Smart Generators - Pramac Tri Fuel Generator 7.200 Watts Smart Generators Pramac Tri Fuel Generator
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2 Winco - Portable Trifuel Generator With Electric Start
Best Overall
Winco Trifuel Generator
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3
Best For Higher Budgets
3Motorhead Tri Fuel Generator
Motorhead - Tri Fuel Generator 25,000 Starting Watts
Best For Higher Budgets
Motorhead Tri Fuel Generator
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4 Briggs & Stratton 30675 Q6500 Inverter Generator
Best For Low Budgets
Briggs & Stratton 30675 Tri Fuel Generator
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1. Smart Generators Pramac Tri Fuel Generator

Highlights
  • 14 HP Kohler CH440 OHV Engine
  • 7500 starting watts, 7000 running (LPG and gasoline) 
  • 7300 starting watts, 6700 running (Natural)
  • Automatic Voltage Regulator

The Pramac is a powerhouse when it comes to tri-fuel generators, and it becomes even more impressive when you take its size into account. It has an impressive power output that’s enough to power an entire house regardless of the type of fuel it’s using.

It features a 10-foot long natural gas hose, a low shutoff for oil, and a quick disconnect feature for ease of use. It also boasts a 6% total harmonic distortion, which means it can safely charge small electric devices such as cellphones and laptops.

Specifications

Voltage:
120V
Wattage:
Up to 7,500 watts
Noise Level:
72db
Output:
7,500 watts surge, 7,000 watts running (LPG and gasoline) 7,300 watts surge, 7,000 watts running (Natural)
Power Source:
Propane, gasoline, natural gas

Pros

  • High fuel efficiency
  • Strong output
  • Lightweight
  • Long run time

Cons

  • Somewhat noisy

2. Winco Trifuel Generator

Highlights
  • Honda GX630 Engine
  • 15 gallon fuel tank
  • 14-gauge tubular steel cradle
  • Automatic safety features
Best Overall
Winco - Portable Trifuel Generator With Electric Start

This generator by Winco boasts a very strong 12,000 watt output on all fuel sources, making this a great backup generator for large homes or establishments.

The generator is also built for durability and efficiency. It has a tough, steel shell that can absorb strong impacts and it can automatically shut itself down when its oil is low to prevent internal damage. Additionally, it can last for up to nine hours of continuous use on a full load of fuel.

Specifications

Size:
50 x 40 x 36 inches
Voltage:
120/240V
Wattage:
12,000 watts
Noise Level:
78db
Output:
12,000 watts surge, 10,800 watts running
Power Source:
Gasoline, Propane, Natural Gas

Pros

  • Very high output
  • Long run time
  • Large fuel tank
  • Portable

Cons

  • Slightly noisy
  • 4-wheel add-on sold separately

3. Motorhead Tri Fuel Generator

Highlights
  • Honda GX630 23HP Engine
  • Automatic oil changer
  • 13.5 gallon tank
  • 6% harmonic distortion
Best For Higher Budgets
Motorhead - Tri Fuel Generator 25,000 Starting Watts

Motorhead’s generator utilizes a very powerful wattage that’s great for very large establishments that require plenty of power. Its output is partially thanks to its power 23HP Honda engine that’s complemented by a 13.5 gallon fuel tank to allow for very long running times.

It also comes with an automatic oil changer for quick and easy maintenance, and it can safely charge small gadgets without overloading them. To top it off, the generator includes a 10-foot propane hose, a 120/240V-30 amp twist lock, and two 120V duplex GFCIs rated at 20 amps.

Specifications

Voltage:
120/240V
Wattage:
25,000 watts
Noise Level:
80db
Output:
25,000 watts surge, 20,000 watts running
Power Source:
Natural Gas, Gasoline, Propane

Pros

  • Extreme wattage
  • Very high fuel capacity
  • Easy to maintain
  • Great fuel efficiency

Cons

  • Loud
  • Expensive

4. Briggs & Stratton 30675 Tri Fuel Generator

Highlights
  • Compact, light, travel-friendly design
  • Long 14-hour runtime
  • Low noise output
  • Fuel efficient
Best For Low Budgets
Briggs & Stratton 30675 Q6500 Inverter Generator

This generator is a great budget option that still ticks all that you need to get your food truck going. This affordable portable generator has a 6500-watt peak output and a 5000-watt stable running output. It comes with four 120V-20A sockets that can power your sensitive food equipment and computers, thanks to its inverter technology. Apart from this, the Briggs & Stratton 30675 also comes with two 5V DC USB outlets and a 120V/240V, 30A locking socket for use with your truck.

The compact size of the generator allows it to fit easily inside a vehicle during transport, and it has telescoping handles that you can use to get it in position when you’re ready to use it. It has a low 66dbA noise level at 25% capacity, but it could get quite noisy at full load.

Specifications

Size:
25.53in x 21.12in x 21.43in
Voltage:
120V/240V
Wattage:
6500 peak, 5000 running
Noise Level:
66dbA
Output:
120V, 20A x 4, 120V/240V 30A x 1
Power Source:
Gasoline

Pros

  • Trolley design allows for easy transportation
  • High running watts rating
  • Has multiple 120V and 120V/240V outlets

Cons

  • Doesn’t come with electric starter
  • Can get quite noisy at full load

Tri Fuel Generator Buying Guide

What Are Tri Fuel Generators

Tri-fuel generators are functionally the same as any other type of electrical generator. However, as their name implies, tri-fuel generators can use three different power sources: gasoline, propane, and natural gas.

This ability makes tri-fuel generators much more versatile compared to their single-fuel counterparts. Not only will you be able to conveniently switch to a different type of fuel immediately after one runs out, but you’ll also be able to obtain fuel from different sources, some being easier (and cheaper) to get than others. 

You can get gasoline from any gas station while you can order propane from any hardware store that sells them. If your house has access to natural gas, on the other hand, then you can directly tap into that to get what is essentially free fuel. 

Tri-fuel generators are best emergency generators for homes and even small establishments. Not only are they convenient, but they can save you plenty of time and many too. This makes them very attractive investments as a means of keeping your home or operations running despite emergency situations where electricity is cut off.

Below are some important factors to consider when looking for a tri-fuel generator. 

Inverter or Traditional 

The main difference between inverter generators and traditional ones mainly boil down to efficiency and quality of life. 

Traditional generators operate at a constant speed. This makes them reliable but also noisier, less power efficient, and more prone to heat and exhaust issues. 

On the other hand, inverters are able to change their operation speed depending on power requirements. This means they don’t have the same problems you may encounter with traditional generators until they reach the same speed. 

Inverters are also more portable than traditional generators because of their smaller fuel tanks, but this does mean that they’ll have shorter run times.

Power

A generator’s power output determines the amount of electricity it can pump out (measured in watts), directly affecting its usefulness. Generators with strong running outputs are able to power up a larger number of electronics or sustain more power-hungry devices.

Power output may also affect a generator’s efficiency. Normally, stronger outputs will require more fuel but some generators are designed to provide both power and fuel efficiency through advanced designs and technology. These generators are considered most efficient generators out there, and have been a popular choice despite higher pricing range. 

It’s important to consider a generator’s maximum power output for efficiency’s sake, as you may end up with more electricity than you actually need. This can also lead to you spending more money than necessary.

Size

Size mainly affects the weight and overall area that a generator will occupy. Large generators will be harder to transport and you may get pressed for space, but these are typically stronger and hold more fuel than their smaller counterparts. The opposite holds true for small generators

However, there will always be exceptions to this as technology advances. Generators are growing more and more efficient in terms of power, fuel consumption, and space requirements, so be sure to judge one by its specifications and not its size. 

Noise

Power generators tend to make a lot of noise when working, which can be very annoying or very distracting. This is especially true during the night time when loud generators can disturb your or your neighbors’ sleep. 

Luckily, many modern generators are built with sound cancellation to reduce the ambient noise that they produce. This can come in the form of a steel shell or a sound-proofed interior to make generators more tolerable in times when peace and quiet are needed. These are known as silent generators for home use and they have become increasingly popular in the last few years. 

Portability

While most generators can simply be picked up and loaded into a truck, tri-fuel portable generators make transportation easier. Some generators are designed to be easier to move around; some come with wheels while others are built to be lighter.

Portable generators are great if you’re planning to take a vacation in a private lodge or a retreat home where electricity is normally unavailable. They’re also more convenient to use even if you’re just staying at home as you can easily move them from one outdoor spot to another without exerting too much effort.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Which is better, gas or propane?
A:

The type of gas you use in your tri-fuel generator depends mainly on your area of residence. You should know what gas type is more accessible and in your area as well as how the climate can affect them. Keep in mind that gas is flammable, making it a hazard most especially in wildfire-prone areas. On the other hand, propane is vulnerable to freezing temperatures and violent movements typically caused by earthquakes and hurricanes.

In terms of efficiency, propane provides a cleaner burn while gas leaves more carbon inside of your generator.

Q: How do I make my generator use less fuel?
A:

You can lower your generator’s fuel consumption by reducing the number of active electric appliances in your home. Some of the most power-hungry appliances include:

  • Refrigerators
  • Air conditioners
  • Electric stoves
  • High-power light bulbs

If you can turn these appliances off or replace them with more efficient ones, then your generator will use less fuel over time.

Q: Can you leave a generator on overnight?
A:

Yes, so long as the generator is rated for up to at least eight hours of continuous use.

Our Verdict

Overall, the best generator is the one that suits your needs the most. If you’re looking for a backup generator for a small house or if you’re not too worried about using that many appliances at once during a power outage, then a small 5000-watt generator should suffice.

On the other hand, if you need a backup generator for a large home or if you need to keep crucial systems alive, then consider generators capable of producing sufficient output. Just don’t forget to account for you actual power needs so you don’t end up spending too much money on a generator that’s too weak or too strong for its intended purpose.