For starters, let’s get one thing straight; the noise your generator produces has no direct correlation with the fuel it uses.
Let me put this into perspective for you, that your RV Generator runs on propane does not imply that it will produce less noise as compared to its gasoline or solar counterparts. In fact, the level of noise your generator produces depends on several factors such as:
- How old is the generator?
- What type of engine does it run on?
- Amount of load?
- Purpose for which it was designed?
With that said, it is always safe to have one around you to serve as a backup power source in emergencies. It is every manufacturer's dream to milk every cent off you with no regard as to whether the products meet your needs. It is our duty to guide you and make every penny worth it.
To help make a sound decision on your next purchase, we have come up with a review of our top quietest propane generator picks. You could scroll to the bottom where you will find our most preferred quiet propane generator or better still it is encouraged to read and digest the individual reviews.
Before we go further, we have highlighted some of the keynote features in the table below:
Quiet Propane Generator For RV
1: Champion 3800-Watt Dual Fuel RV
2: Duromax XP4850EH 3850
3: Sportsman GEN4000LP Propane Generator
4: Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel RV
5: Ryobi Bluetooth 2,300-Watt Super Quiet
6: WEN 56203i Super Quiet 2000-Watt Portable Inverter Generator
Having seen some keynote attributes we shall l do a more in-depth review of the individual quiet propane generators
1. Champion 3800-Watt Dual Fuel RV
Starting off, we have the Champion DualFuel traditional generator. This generator measures 68 dB sound intensity at 23 feet which is quiet considering it has a 4750 starting watts and 3800 running Watt engine. On 20lb of propane, this runs for 10.5 hours in contrast to the 9 hours on a full tank of gasoline.
This portable generator powered by a 224 cc engine with an electric touch-start/ push-button features inbuilt batteries to save you the stress of pulling. You also get a running Amp of 120v - 28.5 A. The dashboard is easy to operate with properly labeled controls and outlets.
Champion-3800 has a heavy engine that adds to the overall weight of 122 lbs. Although this requires a bit of manpower, the two wheels are there to support making transport efficient and less stressful.
Ideally you should get “Champion support” which is a 3-year limited warranty and lifetime technical support. This is a budget-friendly quiet dual fuel generator available on the market today and sure is worth it.
2. Duromax XP4850EH 3850 Dual Fuel Generator
Yet another dual fuel engine, we have the 130 lbs Duromax generator. Our core focus today will be on its propane fuel capability.
But before that, how quiet is this?
Well, expect anywhere from 69 dB and above from this propane masterpiece.
What about the engine?
This traditional generator has a 7HP, 212 cc air-cooled engine designed with a low oil shut off sensor to help protect the motor.
You get a 4,850 watts starting wattage and a running wattage of 3,850 watts which provides all the power you need to satisfy everyone.
This makes Duromax well suited for large families with heavy power usage. Be it refrigerators, air conditioners or small gadgets it covers you.
It doesn’t end there…
Duromax has the MX2 technology. A feature which makes it possible to get maximum power from the 120 volt receptacle. With this, you get the flexibility of choosing between operating the generator at both 120 V and 240 V concurrently or deciding to run 120 V at full capacity which is just awesome.
In case you didn't notice, running your engine on propane can almost double the runtime and produce a cleaner and more eco friendly result. Why would you not want to save the planet?
Operating on propane will not gum or mess up your carburetor which translates to a durable and minimal maintenance efforts.
Besides the Duromax’s longevity, you also get a reliable and on-the-go ignition system.
3. Sportsman GEN4000LP Propane Generator
If you need a quiet 88 lbs backup generator while camping or tailgating, here you go. This propane powered engine produces about 68 dB that sound falls within quiet range. Hence, why it made it to the list.
The Sportsman engine features a 7 HP, 4-stroke OHV stroke starting at 4000-watts and guaranteed 3250 running wattage.
With the standard 20 lbs grill gas size, you get up to 10 hours runtime at 50% running capacity. For convenience's sake, you get a 5-foot propane hose. However, you do need to buy LPG propane tank separately.
What added features do you get?
Besides the quiet performance the Sportsman offers, you get AVR (automatic voltage regulator) short for voltage regulation.
Recoil start, circuit protection, auto low oil shut down and an automatic fuel off safety valve are some of the perks of owning this generator.
Why are they necessary? They help prevent the engine from knocking when low on resources.
How do you take out power?
Two 120 V AC outlets exist for this purpose alongside one 12 V DC for battery charging. Sportsman is best suited to give you affordable power just when you need it.
One downside though: you do not get to convert it to operate on natural gas as this model does not support it. But who cares, it is fully accredited by EPA and should supply the power you need quietly with minimal need for maintenance.
4. Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel RV
Another incredibly quiet dual fuel camping generator option from the Champion chain of generators. This operates at the 3400 watts range which is slightly lower than the champion 3800-watts on the list.
What should you expect?
An ultra quiet performance with sound levels as low as 59 dB. When using propane It operates at a starting watt of 3060 and runs at 2790 watts.
Why so? Well, it operates at the marked 3400 Watt capacity and can last for 7.5 hours when running on gasoline.
Interestingly, it will run for double the time when using propane lasting for up to 14.5 hrs at 25% load as compared to gasoline. Using propane is twice as effective and way cleaner than the gasoline counterpart.
That’s not all....
The champion inverter technology features economy mode that reduces the electrical load providing a much quieter operation, extended engine life and lower fuel consumption. This will prove useful in emergencies to keep you powered for longer.
What’s the design like?
Weighing slightly less than 100 lbs, Champion-3400 has a solid build with wheels for easy movement you need not worry about how to transport as it is compact and easily adaptable. It taps the clean power you get from this from the 120V 30A and two 120V 20A connections.
You also get a quick touch panel with all access controls. It is easy to assemble and come with foldable handles to make transport and storage easy. Champion- 3400 is fully EPA certified for your safety and the safety of the environment.
5. Ryobi Bluetooth 2,300-Watt Super Quiet
Still looking for a whisper quiet generator?
You found one:
Although this doesn’t use propane, it made it to our list because it is an irresistibly quiet operation. You can have it beneath your table and you won’t even notice it is on. This is because it falls within the 50-70 dB sound level.
The sound range and the load capacity tend to be directly proportional with 25% load being 57 dB, 50% = 60.1 dB, 75% = 64.6 dB and maximum load reaching sounds levels as high as 70 dB.
A quick secret?
For lowest noise levels we advise you run this at minimal load capacity.
Additionally, you get to monitor and control this generator remotely with the free GenControl app on your android/apple device. This feature makes it super easy to manage the generator from anywhere.
They equipped Ryobi with an idle-down technology for increased fuel efficiency and rear wheels with an extending handle that makes it easy to transport.
For how long can you run this?
You get to use a full tank for 14 - 17 hours at half load capacity.
6. WEN 56203i Super Quiet 2000-Watt Portable Inverter Generator
This is arguably the quietest generator on our list; the WEN 56203 Portable inverter Generator. According to the US department of Health and human service this sounds levels as low as 51 dB.
A quick look at the Engine…
The gas powered 79 cc engine produces 2000 surge watts and runs on 1700 watts best suited for one or a maximum of two people. With one gallon of fuel, you get seven hour super quiet runtime at half load. You also get to maximize full economy by engaging the Eco-mode.
How does that work?
The Eco-mode automatically adjusts its fuel consumption to extend runtime and increase engine life. The eco-mode is a combination of power and performance.
You also get a special fuel shutoff feature that turns off the flow of fuel allowing the generator to use up the remaining fuel in the carburetor before it automatically shutting the engine.
Why is this special?
It is a defence mechanism to help the engine fight against the buildup and potential blockage caused by fuel inside the carburetor. This guarantees longevity and a healthier performance with minimal need for maintenance.
About the design…
Wen-2000 is lightweight, coming in at a little over 38 lbs, it has a handle to help conveniently carry from place to place. The user friendly dashboard with properly labelled buttons make it easy to control.
This dashboard has two 3-prong 120V receptacles, one 12V DC receptacle and two 5V USB ports to make sure your gadgets are well catered.
They design the engine to mirror a pure sine wave limiting the total harmonic distortion to under 0.3% at zero load and slightly over 1.2% at full load capacity.
Why is this important?
Well, it provides a super clean and safe connection to your gadgets(laptops, Tv’s and phone). Hence, you can directly connect these gadgets to engine without fear of damaging them.
Things To Consider When Buying Quiet Propane Generator
The major factor will be the prices of generators as against budgets when choosing the quietest propane generator. A general rule of thumb is the higher the price, the more guarantee for optimum quality. However, there are a few questions to answer that will help us determine if this is right or over hyped.
What are dual fuel generators?
The source of energy your generator runs on determines a couple of things. There are four main sources of fuel for most generators:
- Diesel Generator.
- Liquid propane Generator.
- Gasoline Generators.
- Natural gas Generators.
Traditional generators run on one type of fuel which is not bad but limiting. Why? We live in a dispensation of alternatives having just one option does not give you the liberty could leave you stuck in scarcity.
Dual generators give you the alternatives you could use whichever is easily accessible and convenient for you while camping, going on a picnic or tailgating.
How Long do Propane Generators last?
Overall, they keep you powered for a long time with 500 gallons able to keep you for almost 7 days (160 hrs). They have a long shelf life as well and can stay for weeks as compared to gasoline with a short shelf life of 30 days, propane can remain potent for months.
Are Propane generators a good option?
Well, you decide seeing propane generators have a longer shelf life but rank lower than gasoline in power capacity. One gallon of diesel produces 129,500 BTU, gasoline produces 114,000 BTU while one gallon of propane produces 84,000 BTU.
What does this mean?
You will need to burn more propane to produce as much energy as diesel and gasoline. If so, why should you bother using propane generators?They produce cleaner energy and are comparatively less toxic. With propane you stand less chance of suffering gas poisoning.Your health and safety above anything else makes propane a sustainable option.
This leads us to the next question…
Do propane generators produce Carbon Monoxide?
Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless however, it is the most dangerous toxic waste to be exposed to even in trace quantities. This should not be mistaken with the carbon dioxide not so distant relative used in carbonated drinks.
Back to the question, this varies and depends on whether the combustion process is complete or incomplete. The combustion process is how energy is produced. An incomplete combustion will cause trace amounts of Carbon monoxide as a by-product.
You can tell from the color of the flame. Propane-powered engines reduce your chances however, they are no exception as they might suffer some incomplete combustion.
What are some symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
Having established that we could be susceptible to carbon monoxide poisoning, here are some symptoms:
- Slight headaches.
- Blurred Vision.
- We experience
We experience these symptoms whenever this toxic gas pile up in the bloodstream.
A quick fix?
Try to get some fresh air and avoid staying anywhere around the exhaust outlet.
Do Propane gas cylinders explode?
Unfortunately, they do. But it is under two conditions: gas leaks and extreme temperature. The former is native to all gas cylinders this makes storage very important. We should take precautionary measures to avoid gas leaks. It should also control extreme temperatures.
What noise levels should you expect for a generator?
This depends on your tolerance levels. However, when you have neighbours you also will need to consider them. Most manufacturers label the noise levels in decibels we could take a quick look at this chart to put this in perspective.
Sound Levels (dB)
21 - 30
31 - 39
51 - 60
Dishwasher/ Normal conversations
61 - 70
71 - 80
Anywhere between 50 - 60 dB is moderate your quiet
Another important factor is the purpose the generator will serve, buying a high capacity generator to serve a menial purpose is more like a waste of resources as there are a wide range to choose from that possess varying capacities.
We should not forget, the propane generator is to serve as a backup power source and hence makes it ideal for emergencies not full-time day to day use.
Should you look out for EPA certification?
Although this is not compulsory, it will not hurt to have this as an added value to the checklist. This is issued by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the body responsible for ensuring manufacturers produce compliant appliances that do not harm the environment in any way.
We always consider high durability when shopping for appliances, however,it is also safe to keep an eye out for simplicity. Yes, it should be easy to use, easy to troubleshoot and maintain.
Many times, we are backpacking, hiking or just camp quality alone, other light sources are out and it leaves one with the generator as only option, how does one fix whatever mild issues like spark plugs, lubrication, ignition, etc.
Durability is surely a priority but equally important is simplicity, portability and compatibility as they play a significant role and could make or mar your experience.
With that said, if you are still having a hard time deciding, based on our individual review, we recommend the
Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel RV
It is quiet, durable, EPA compliant and gives the power you will need to any outdoor activity from Rving, Camping, tailgating or that thing on your mind right now.
All the best in your purchase.
Jessica is a Acoustical Engineer, currently based in the San Francisco Bay Area in California. After graduating from her degree in Master of Engineering degree in Acoustics from Solent University in 2014, Jessica worked for a few companies before She will be blogging about her past and current experiences in the studio and sharing her journey as she pursues her career goals. She enjoy the balance of work inside and out of the office, solving practical problems on a daily basis as every project is different and requires a different solution, the variety of work (sound insulation testing, background noise survey, mechanical plant commissioning, external plant assessment, plant room breakout assessments) and the mix of independent and team work.