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11 Best Generators for Food Truck to Never Run Out Of Power

W hen you’re using a food truck, therefore running a food-related business, you need to have your own source of power. While some locations might provide you with it – fairs or carnivals – some will not. So, investing in a generator will not only allow you to function independently, but it will be a life-saver, as well, when the next power cut strikes. However, you might wonder which is best for your business, as several appliances will require enough power to work. Therefore, to help you decide, we offer you our best recommendations.

Consider backing up your home against emergencies during which the power may be off for a few days. See here the most dependable standby generators you can install near your house and rely on to kick in within seconds if the municipal power grid is experiencing problems.

Top 11 Generators for Food Truck Comparison

Photo Product Fuel Peak Watts Running Watts Engine Type Engine Size Runtime Warranty Price

Best Overall
1. DuroMax XP12000EH Gasoline/Propane 12,000 / 11,400 9,500 / 9,025 4-Cycle Air-Cooled Spark-Ignition 457 cc 8.83 hours / 40 lbs. 3-year residential warranty on parts/ 1 year commercial warranty on electrical and mechanical components Check Price at Amazon

Editor’s Choice
2. Pulsar PG12000B Gasoline/Propane 12,000 / 10,800 9,500 / 8,550 Single cylinder, 4-stroke, OHV engine 457cc 12 hours / 9 hours 2 years Check Price at Amazon
3. Rainier R12000DF Gasoline/Propane 12,000 / 10,800 9,500 / 8,550 OHV 4 Stroke Rainier Engine 457cc 17 hours / N/A 3 years Check Price at Amazon

Best for the Money
4. Westinghouse WGen7500DF Gasoline/Propane 9,500 / 8,550 7,500 / 6,750 4-Stroke OHV Westinghouse Engine 420cc 11 hours / 8 hours 3-year residential; 1-year commercial Check Price at Amazon
5. A-iPower Corp SUA12000E Gasoline 12,000 9,000 Single-cylinder air-cooled 4-stroke engine with an electric start 459cc 9 hours 2-year residential; 1-year commercial Check Price at Amazon
6. Champion Power Equipment 100165 Gasoline/Propane 9,375 / 8,400 7,500 / 6,750 Champion 4- stroke single-cylinder engine 439cc 8 hours / 5.5 hours 3 years + lifetime customer support Check Price at Amazon
7. All Power America APG3590CN Propane 10,000 7,500 Air-Cooled, OHV 420cc 8.5 hours 2 years Check Price at Amazon

Best Inverter Generator
8. Briggs & Stratton Q6500 Gasoline 6,500 5,000 4-stroke OHV 306cc 14 hours 3-year residential; 1-year commercial Check Price at Amazon

Best Quiet Generator
9. Generac 7127 iQ3500 Gasoline 3,500 3,000 Generac OHV 212cc 8.9 hours 3-year residential and commercial Check Price at Amazon
10. Westinghouse iGen4500 Gasoline 4,500 3,700 OHV 4 Stroke 224cc 18 hours 3-year residential; 1-year commercial Check Price at Amazon
11. Duromax XP4850EH Gasoline/Propane 4,850 / 4,608 3,850 / 3,658 4-Cycle Air-Cooled Spark-Ignition 210cc 10.42 hours / 8.92 hours 3-year residential warranty on parts/ 1 year commercial warranty on electrical and mechanical components Check Price at Amazon

If you live in a warmer area where the sun is generous, consider acquiring a portable solar generator kit that can supply enough power for smaller appliances. It can act as a secondary power source, helping you save money in the long run.

1. DuroMax XP12000EH

Check Price at Amazon


Specifications:

  • Fuel: Gasoline/Propane
  • Peak Watts Gasoline: 12,000
  • Peak Watts Propane: 11,400
  • Running Watts Gasoline: 9,500
  • Running Watts Propane: 9,025
  • Engine Type: 4-Cycle Air-Cooled Spark-Ignition
  • Engine Size: 457 cc
  • Gasoline Tank Capacity: 8.3 gallons
  • Suggested Propane Tank Capacity: 40 lbs.
  • Runtime Gasoline: 8.83 hours at @50% load
  • Runtime Propane: 7.2 hours at @50% load
  • Noise Level: 74 dB
  • Warranty: 3-year residential warranty on parts; 1 year commercial warranty on electrical and mechanical components


Known as “The Beast”, the DuroMax XP12000EH is the ultimate generator you can acquire for your food truck, packing a lot of amps and ultra-modern technology that allow it to work continuously from morning to sunset. It is exactly what you need if your business implies using lots of high-wattage appliances and if it is already heading to success, as this machine will allow you to take hundreds of orders and serve them all in time.

Dual Fuel Design

The truck is moving, so you have the chance to check the prices on fuel from one town to another and always get the sweetest deal. The fact that DuroMax XP12000EH allows using two types of fuels is a big advantage here, as you can simply shift from gasoline to propane if the offer is more attractive, or go from propane to gasoline if you are heading to a bigger event where you will need to plug in more appliances simultaneously.

Here are the specifications for each type of fuel:

  • Gasoline – produces more watts and gives the machine a higher start, so this is the type of fuel you want to use if you have invested in high-performance appliances that can cook a lot of food all at once. This unit comes with an 8-gallon gasoline reservoir that can run for about 8.83 hours at 50% load.
  • Propane – is cheaper, and this is one of the reasons people pick it, but the dissimilarity in the power output level is visible. For this model, you should use a 40-lb propane container, which will give you an average of 7.2 hours of use at 50% load.

Switching from propane to gasoline only takes 10 seconds, as you only need to disconnect the line that goes to the tank, press the button to purge the line, and then switch to the gas valve. The same goes for switching from gas to propane, so you can simply attach a propane container if you have one available when running out of gasoline.

Outstanding Power Output

A commercial deep fryer alone requires 1,500W, and if you start counting the fridge, freezer, range, griddles, microwave, coffee brewer, along with the systems that can keep the space sanitary and safe like ventilation or sprinklers, the amount of power you will need can easily go over 8,000 watts. So, yes, if you are serious about your business, you need “The Best”. And here’s what it has to offer:

  • Peak Wattage – this represents the highest amount of wattage the unit can produce before dropping to the rated value. This value cannot be held by the machine during the full operation, as it would quickly lead to overloading, but it must be high so it can power large loads. In this case, the surge power is 12,000W if the unit is used on gasoline and 11,400W if you are operating it with propane.
  • Rated Wattage – this is the value you need to bear in mind when calculating the number of watts you need to keep all your kitchen devices running. This model outputs an impressive 9,500W on gasoline and 9,025W on propane, being one of the strongest you can acquire at the moment.

It packs a 4-cycle air-cooled engine with spark ignition and a displacement of 457cc and uses the MX2 technology, which allows dividing the full power of the machine between 120V and 240V loads or operating it at 120V only while using full power.

5 Outlets Available
  • 1 x 120/240V 50A industrial outlet – use this option to power more demanding appliances like a high-wattage air conditioner or a heating source.
  • 1x 120/240 30A twist lock – still perfect for high-power appliances like a smaller AC, electric water heater, coffee maker, toaster, etc.
  • 1 x 120V 30A twist lock – the twist lock is perfect for essential appliances and systems that need to remain connected all the time, as this design prevents vibrations from disconnecting them.
  • 2 x 120V 20A home outlet – if you want to use the unit to power most systems and appliances in your home, you can use this option.
Heavy-Duty Build

This system is built to withstand intense use, and this is why the materials used for its construction are particularly durable and resistant to dents and rust. With an all-metal construction and all-copper windings, “The Beast” is basically indestructible. Even if it is heavy at 224 lbs., it can be moved around with the help of a set of heavy-duty tires that are designed never to get flat. Moreover, this machine comes with a series of protection mechanisms designed to ensure safety on-site and prolong its lifespan:

  • Low-oil protection function – if you ever forget to add more oil, the machine will shut down automatically to protect the engine.
  • Overload protection – it is advised to estimate the amount of wattage your appliances need so you don’t overload the engine, but if it happens to plug in more than it can handle, this function will turn it off before it overloads.
  • Voltmeter – it is mounted on the machine, offering precise readings of the voltage.
  • CARB compliant – the emissions are within the optimal standards, so this machine can be used safely in residential areas.

This model is backed by the company no matter if it is used for residential or commercial purposes. The difference stands in the time that is allocated for each case. Thus, if you will be using it in a food truck or for another business, you receive a 1-year guarantee. If this engine will be used to power the appliances in a household, the guarantee is 3 years.

PROS

  • Designed to handle large loads
  • Easy to switch from gasoline to propane and the other way around
  • 5 outlets included – one 50-amp outlet for heavy-duty use
  • MX2 technology allows switching between 120V and 240V use with ease
  • Defense against overloading and low oil

CONS

  • It is quite loud, considering that it generates an average of 74 dB
  • The instruction book is not up to date, and the directions can be confusing for a novice


Verdict

Managing a large food truck? You need the power this machine can deliver. With peaks of over 10,000W and a rated power of over 9.000W, no matter if operated on propane or gasoline, it is a convenient solution that can keep all the cooking appliances operating optimally while providing the comfort of running an AC at the same time.


Another way to get free power and sustain your business can be through a portable solar power kit, which can help you store energy in batteries so you have a backup for your small appliances in case the main generator fails.



2. Pulsar PG12000B

Check Price at Amazon


Specifications:

  • Fuel: Gasoline/Propane
  • Peak Watts Gasoline: 12,000
  • Peak Watts Propane: 10,800
  • Running Watts Gasoline: 9,500
  • Running Watts Propane: 8,550
  • Engine Type: Single cylinder, 4-stroke, OHV engine
  • Engine Size: 457 cc
  • Gasoline Tank Capacity: 8 gallons
  • Suggested Propane Tank Capacity: 20 lbs.
  • Runtime Gasoline: 12 hours at @50% load
  • Runtime Propane: 9 hours at @50%load
  • Noise Level: 74 dB
  • Warranty: 2 years


This model is both powerful and easy to upkeep. You can use it with propane as well as gasoline, and it packs 12.000W peak and 9.500W rated power on gasoline and 10.800W peak and 8.550W rated power on propane due to its CARB-approved 457cc engine. Therefore, you can straightforwardly connect more than one appliance at once to keep your food business going. It can function 12 hours at 50% load on 8 gal. of gasoline and around 10-11 hours at 50% load on a 20-lb. propane container.

It integrates a fuel switch that helps go from one fuel type to another, and you will have no problem moving it as the tires are designed never to go flat and the design includes a set of handles that drop down when no used to save space. To start it, you have the classical recoil method, but it also integrates an electric power button that will save you in case the pull method fails. Besides all this, you won’t be needing to constantly check on the oil level (although it is recommended to do it periodically to ensure that the unit functions optimally), as it has a protection mechanism designed to power off the engine in case there isn’t sufficient oil for it to run safely.

It integrates an overload circuit protection which guarantees that the unit is safe even if there are sudden spikes. Moreover, it has an hour meter which will tell you how long you’ve used it, and automatic voltage regulation for increased safety. It comes with a relatively silent operation of only 74 dB and a 3 in 1 digital voltmeter. It also includes a propane hose and regulator to allow you quick and hassle-free use. It is backed by a limited 2-year service contract on engine components and parts only, and by a limited 1-year guarantee on alternator components parts and labor.

PROS

  • Overload protection shuts it off in case the engine is overworked
  • Low oil automatic shut off activates so the engine doesn’t get damaged when it doesn’t have enough oil
  • Dual fuel design – works both on gasoline and propane
  • Never flat tires allow moving it with ease
  • Several outlets designed to support different loads

CONS


Verdict

This is a durable power source that can be used either with propane or gasoline, to keep your business going. It comes with several outlets to allow you to hook appliances and systems with different power needs, while due to its overload guard, low oil auto shut down, and voltmeter, you can rest assured that no accidents are bound to happen. Additionally, it comes with a sturdy exterior frame, and the large never-flat tires will help you move it and store it around easily.


If you are pondering on adding a supplementary solar power source to your food truck, don’t forget to purchase a solar charge controller that can help keep the voltage values under control and thus prolong the life of the batteries.



3. Rainier R12000DF

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Specifications:

  • Fuel: Gasoline/Propane
  • Peak Watts Gasoline: 12,000
  • Peak Watts Propane: 10,800
  • Running Watts Gasoline: 9,500
  • Running Watts Propane: 8,550
  • Engine Type: OHV 4 Stroke Rainier Engine
  • Engine Size: 457cc
  • Gasoline Tank Capacity: 6.6 gallons
  • Suggested Propane Tank Capacity: 20 lbs.
  • Runtime Gasoline: 17 hours at @25% load
  • Runtime Propane: N/A
  • Noise Level: 72 dB
  • Warranty: 3 years


Like most high-end models, this product presents a dual fuel system sustained by either propane or gasoline and includes an electric and recoil start system. Additionally, it has a fuel reservoir size of 6.6 gal., and it can run up to 11 hours on a 20-pound propane container and up to 17 hours at 25% load with gasoline. It has a relatively silent functioning 72dB, and it is EPA and CARB authorized.

It features several plugs to allow you to connect multiple gadgets simultaneously: two 120V 20A 5-20R GFCI outlets, one 120V 30A L5-30R outlet, one 120/240 V 30A (14-30R), and one 120/240 50A (L14-50R) outlet. Moreover, it comes with hard-wearing 10” wheels, which will allow you to move it easily from one place to another despite its weight, and two foam-grip handles for increased convenience and hassle-free maneuverability. It is backed by a limited 1-year guarantee from the moment of your purchase.

It features 12,000 starting watts and 9,500 operating watts while on gasoline and 10,800 starting watts with 8,550 operating watts on propane. It has a strong 457cc OHV 4-stroke engine, which integrates an automatic low-oil shut down function, which will turn the unit off when the oil level is too low. It also has a fuel gauge, which allows you to see with only one glance, as it is color-coded if it has enough fuel. Even more, it integrates an overload guard alarm and a VTF data center for increased precision when using it.

PROS

  • Can be linked either to a gasoline reservoir or a propane tank
  • Powerful engine – can sustain multiple appliances operating simultaneously
  • Auto low-oil stoppage protects the engine
  • Overload protection alarm
  • Electric and recoil start

CONS

  • There were some complaints about its fuel consumption rate being too high
  • The propane hose is too short to connect larger propane tanks


Verdict

You can use it on gasoline or propane and get enough electric power to easily connect several appliances to it simultaneously. Additionally, due to its wheels and handles, you can simply move it around whenever the need appears. As it packs strong safety features, you can rely on it to automatically shut down in case a problem appears, thus saving you from costly repairs.



4. Westinghouse WGen7500DF

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Specifications:

  • Fuel: Gasoline/Propane
  • Peak Watts Gasoline: 9,500
  • Peak Watts Propane: 8,550
  • Running Watts Gasoline: 7,500
  • Running Watts Propane: 6,750
  • Engine Type: 4-Stroke OHV Westinghouse Engine
  • Engine Size: 420 cc
  • Gasoline Tank Capacity: 6 gallons
  • Suggested Propane Tank Capacity: 20 lbs.
  • Runtime Gasoline: 8 hours at @50% load
  • Runtime Propane: 5.5 hours at @50% load
  • Noise Level: 74 dB
  • Warranty: 3-year residential; 1-year commercial


This is a dual-fuel model that is powerful enough to sustain multiple heavy-load appliances functioning simultaneously. The 420cc engine is one of the most dependable and can send a starting output of 9,500W and keep operating at 7,500W when the gasoline container is connected. If propane is preferred, this unit will reach a starting power of 8,500W and will continue operating at 6,750W.

It has a good consumption ratio, so if used at a load of around 50%, it will consume a 6.6-gal. container of gas in about 11 hours, while a 20-lb. propane container can last up to 9 hours. To power it, you can either use the pull method or push the electric start button. Even better, this model comes with a remote, so you can get it running without coming near it. You have multiple outlets to plug your appliances and they all come with covers designed to offer protection against dust and debris. This model usually operates at 74 dB, so you will be hearing it, but the noise isn’t disturbing.

In what concerns the safety features, first of all, we need to mention that it complies with all EPA, CSA, and CARB standards, so the level of pollution it produces is low. The system integrates a low-oil sensor that will not let the engine run dry and a digital hour meter that will keep track of the hours of use that have passed since the last upkeep task.

Furthermore, it comes with a single handle made from foam grip, and thanks to its large, 10-inch diameter and 2.5-inch wide wheels made from sturdy polyurethane, you won’t have to worry about moving it around or maneuvering it with ease. It has a 3-year guarantee and nationwide customer service support.

PROS

  • Low oil shutdown system
  • Several outlets – covered so dust or water don’t touch them when not in use
  • Digital hour meter and voltmeter
  • Dual fuel system allows switching from gasoline to propane in seconds
  • Durable construction with wheels and handles that make it easy to move around

CONS

  • There were some complaints about its noise level
  • Slow after-sale service


Verdict

It offers several outlets to allow you to easily plug several appliances in simultaneously. Additionally, due to its dual-fuel design, you can quickly switch from propane to gasoline or the other way around, contingent on the type of fuel you have within reach.



5. A-iPower Corp SUA12000E

Check Price at Amazon


Specifications:

  • Fuel: Gasoline
  • Peak Watts: 12,000
  • Running Watts: 9,000
  • Engine Type: Single-cylinder air-cooled 4-stroke engine with an electric start
  • Engine Size: 459cc
  • Gasoline Tank Capacity: 7 gallons
  • Runtime: 9 hours at @50% load
  • Noise Level: 78 dB
  • Warranty: 2-year residential; 1-year commercial


This model measures 27.6 inches in length, 27.2 inches in width, and 25.6 inches in height, and it is a bit on the heavy side as it weighs 206 lbs. It packs 12,000 starting watts and 9,000 running watts to provide you with enough power for all the appliances you’ll need, and it comes with a keyless, one-touch button for a quick startup. It has a recoil start as a backup safety method in case the electrical start won’t work, and it comes with a heavy-duty 1.25-inch-diameter tubular frame for increased time resistance. To allow easy transportation, it has large 9.5-inch solid wheels and a factory built-in transportation handle to ease the overall transport procedure.

The single-phase 459cc engine is what makes this model one of the most trustworthy on the market. The low-oil detection is present, keeping an eye on the oil level and being ready to turn the engine off in case the safety standards are no longer meet. You can check the oil at any point as the measuring instrument is equipped with a depth stick and you even get a bottle of oil in the package to get the unit operating on the spot. Another protection feature is the voltage controller, which adapts the voltage so each load receives the value it needs without spikes that can lead to motor damages.

It works on gasoline, and it comes with a large, 7-gal. reservoir, which can provide you with 9 hours of work at a 50% load. Thanks to the fuel gauge placed conveniently right on top, you’ll be able to check it, while its ergonomically angled control panel will provide you with hassle-free access. It also comes with several GFCI protected outlets to allow you to easily connect multiple appliances simultaneously. It has 4 NEMA 120VAC 20A GFCI-protected outlets, 1 NEMA 120/240VAC 30A L14-30R twist-lock outlet, 1 NEMA 120/240VAC 50A 14-50R industrial-grade outlet, and a 12VDC 8.3A adapter plug for battery charging, which is equipped with a multifunction port with USB.

Thanks to its digital hour meter, you’ll be able to monitor the running times and plan the maintenance, while thanks to its weatherproof cover, there will be no circuit breakers or switches left at nature’s mercy. It has a relatively quiet operation when placed at 23 ft. away, 78 dB, and it comes with a manual and detailed graphic setup instructions to provide you with a swift installation. It comes with a limited 2-year warranty from the moment of your purchase.

PROS

  • Electric and recoil starts guarantee that it is always ready to run
  • Several outlets allow powering systems with different power needs
  • Auto low-oil shutdown
  • Voltage controller prevents power spikes
  • Weatherproof cover

CONS

  • Insulated complains about its noise level
  • The customer service team is slow in solving problems


Verdict

Easy to use and set up, as it comes with a detailed instruction manual, it will allow you to connect multiple appliances simultaneously, thanks to its several outlets and powerful motor. It works only on gasoline, and it has a 9-hour working ability at half-load. Additionally, it comes with quite a few safety features that guarantee it will not continue running if it detects that oil is low or the engine is overloaded.



6. Champion Power Equipment 100165

Check Price at Amazon


Specifications:

  • Fuel: Gasoline/Propane
  • Peak Watts Gasoline: 9,375
  • Peak Watts Propane: 8,400
  • Running Watts Gasoline: 7,500
  • Running Watts Propane: 6,750
  • Engine Type: Champion 4- stroke single-cylinder engine
  • Engine Size: 439cc
  • Gasoline Tank Capacity: 6 gallons
  • Suggested Propane Tank Capacity: 20 lbs.
  • Runtime Gasoline: 8 hours at @50% load
  • Runtime Propane: 5.5 hours at @50% load
  • Noise Level: 74 dB
  • Warranty: 3 years + lifetime customer support


This entry has a relatively silent operation, 74 dB, and comes with an IntelliGauge function, which will keep you informed about voltage, frequency, and run-time hours to allow you to monitor the power output and maintenance intervals. Even more, it uses the ColdStart Technology, which provides you with an optimized start, quick and reliable, even in cold weather.

It sports a powerful 439cc OVH engine with a toggle switch and has a low-oil shut-off function and a cast iron sleeve for durability. EPA and CARB approved, it has both electric and recoil start options, as well as a wireless remote to allow you to start it without needing to go near it. It has a fuel reservoir capacity of 6.1 gal., it comes with a durable steel frame and a portable U-shaped folding handle with tires that never go flat to allow you to move it hassle-free.

It has one 30A 120/240V L14-30R outlet, one 50A RV 120/240V 14-50R outlet, one 30A RV 120V TT-30R and four 20A GFCI 120V 5-20R outlets to allow you to connect several devices simultaneously. It reaches 9,375W at peak and 7,500W when operating on gasoline, and 8,400W at peak, with 6,750W when operating on propane. Furthermore, it integrates a trusty Volt Guard with an incorporated surge protector to prevent any types of overloads. It comes with an engine oil canister and a limited 3-year guarantee from the moment of your purchase.

PROS

  • Powerful engine can deliver good power to keep several appliances running
  • ColdStart Technology ensures that you get a clean start even in cold weather
  • IntelliGauge helps you keep an eye on the unit’s functioning and figure out when maintenance needs to be performed
  • 3-year service assurance
  • Dual fuel design

CONS

  • The oil filter and drain are poorly located, so the oil will drip around the unit when changing it
  • Some complained about it being noisy


Verdict

It comes with several functions to not only allow you to use it for a long period but also to sustain you and your business on wheels. It allows you to choose what type of fuel you wish to use with it, propane or gasoline, while also providing you with several plugs for you to be able to use all the essential equipment simultaneously without overloading it.



7. All Power America APG3590CN

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Specifications:

  • Fuel: Propane
  • Peak Watts: 10,000
  • Running Watts: 7,500
  • Engine Type: Air-Cooled, OHV
  • Engine Size: 420cc
  • Suggested Propane Tank Capacity: 5 gallons
  • Runtime: 8.5 hours at @50% load
  • Noise Level: 77 dB
  • Warranty: 2 years


It measures 29 1/2 inches in length, 23 inches in width, and 22 inches in height, and it weighs 208 lbs. It has a fuel capacity of 5 gal., and its power can reach a peak of 10,000W and a running power of 7,500W. Additionally, it comes with a silent operation, reaching a maximum of 75 dB, and it is C.A.R.B compliant, as well as EPA and CETL certified, so it will burn clean, without smoke or smell.

It has a strong 15 HP 420cc 4-stroke OHV air-cooled engine and can run 8.5 hours at 50% load. While the low oil shut down function is not automatic in this case, it will stop the fuel flow from going through the unit if the engine is not functioning. Moreover, it comes with an hour meter and a voltmeter, so you’ll be able to schedule the next maintenance.

It also has an electric start button and a backup recoil start in case it won’t start. Thanks to its handles with slip-free grip and its large, never-flat wheels, you won’t have to worry about moving it around, as it allows you to do it hassle-free. It has a limited 2-year residential warranty from the moment of your purchase.

PROS

  • Powerful engine can deliver up to 7,500 constant watts on propane
  • Both electric and recoil start, so it is ready for use in any situation
  • Easy to move around with the never-flat tires
  • Integrated hour meter allows learning at a glance when upkeep is due
  • CARB compliant – can be used in residential areas without a problem

CONS

  • Poor-quality instruction manual
  • Installation is a bit difficult as it comes with the battery mounted but wrapped in bubble wrap, so you will need to take it down and mount it again


Verdict

It provides you with several outlets to allow you to use multiple pieces of equipment at the same time without worrying about overworking it. Also, it delivers a peak power of 10,000W and a operating power of 7500W, so you can use it for heavy-duty systems, although some of them may need to be powered separately, seeing how this is more of a medium-capacity system.



8. Briggs & Stratton Q6500

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Specifications:

  • Fuel: Gasoline
  • Peak Watts: 6,500
  • Running Watts: 5,000
  • Engine Type: 4-stroke OHV
  • Engine Size: 306cc
  • Gasoline Tank Capacity: 5 gallons
  • Runtime: 14 hours at @25% load
  • Noise Level: 66 dB
  • Warranty: 3-year residential; 1-year commercial


If your business requires a small-capacity generator that can keep a smaller amount of appliances functioning optimally, this entry is definitely the ideal choice. Sporting a 4-stroke OHV engine with a displacement of 360cc, it can produce 6,500 peak watts and around 5,000 watts when operating. It is a gasoline-only model, so you will not be able to switch to propane if this seems more convenient at some point, but it does come with a 5-gallon gas tank that will give you about 14 hours of continuous functioning at 25% load.

One thing most customers welcome is that it comes with a thick shell that offers good insulation for the engine, so the sound is considerably lower. This feature, along with the integrated inverter technology that makes this system quieter by 60% when compared with similar models, helps it operate at only 66 dB. Even better, it is a lot more compact than other generators and weighs only 144 pounds. A set of wheels and a telescopic handle make moving it an easy job.

Among the safety features, the CO shutdown technology is one each generator should have. This is based on a set of sensors that measures the level of carbon monoxide the unit emits while operating. If the level is abnormally high, the unit will shut down to prevent accidents. This system is backed by a 3-year guarantee if used residentially and a 1-year warranty if used commercially.

PROS

  • Compact design – perfect for tighter spaces
  • Great for powering multiple smaller appliances or only a few more power-consuming systems
  • Senses if the CO limits are exceeded and turns off automatically
  • Reliable engine is expected to last for tens of years
  • Robust construction with sturdy insulation makes this model one of the quieter

CONS

  • The telescopic handle is rather flimsy
  • Setup instructions are quite confusing, and you need to go online for clarifications


Verdict

One of the quietest models you can buy, the Q6500 doesn’t disappoint when it comes to sustaining multiple small appliances operating at once, all while ensuring that the carbon discharges are kept within optimal safety standards. It has a robust build that makes it fit for long-term use, so it is up to you to decide if it will be a permanent power source or a backup one.



9. Generac 7127 iQ3500

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Specifications:

  • Fuel: Gasoline
  • Peak Watts: 3,500
  • Running Watts: 3,000
  • Engine Type: Generac OHV
  • Engine Size: 212cc
  • Gasoline Tank Capacity: 2.6 gallons
  • Runtime: 8.9 hours at @50% load
  • Noise Level: 44 dB
  • Warranty: 3-year residential and commercial


What strikes when looking at the iQ3500 are its reduced dimensions, this being one of the few models that can truly be called portable. It comes with an ultra-robust steel encasing designed to defend it from exterior damage but to provide an extra insulation layer. You will also find insulation under the encasing, which explains why this unit doesn’t produce more than 44 dB when running. Yes, you’ve heard it well. There are air purifiers that are louder than it, so you will be able to have a civil conversation while standing next to it, and we guarantee you will not even be aware of its functioning while you find yourself inside the house or the truck.

While this model isn’t designed to handle the needs of a complex fully functional food truck, it can power a series of appliances, so it is a good pick for businesses that don’t need to deal with a lot of food processing. It works on gasoline only and comes with a 2.6-gal. container that can keep it working for a good 8.9 hours at 50% load. The 212 cc Generac engine is ultra-performant and dependable and will deliver 3,500 peak watts, then settle at 3,000 watts for the operation. It has both an electric and pull start.

The unit is equipped with a digital smart LCD, which displays the generator status and the wattage. It calculates the fuel level, as well, and will let you know how many hours of functioning the generator has. Moreover, it counts the number of hours that have passed since the last maintenance so you know when it’s time to add more oil. It integrates a USB port so you can easily charge your smartphone or other smart devices and two regular 110V outlets. The warranty extends over 3 years if used for residential purposes and 1 year if used commercially.

PROS

  • Thick steel housing protects it from exterior factors that can affect its functioning
  • Quiet operation due to the inverter technology and good insulation
  • Digital control panel helps you keep an eye on the unit’s overall functioning
  • USB port included for quick charging of smart devices
  • Great warranty time

CONS

  • Changing the oil is quite a mess due to the poor design for this operation
  • While it is more lightweight than other models, some users would have preferred a set of wheels to be included as well


Verdict

Tightly packed and ready to deliver excellent performance while preserving a super low sound level, the Generac 7127 iQ3500 is truly a nice acquisition. It is easy to start as it includes an electric start button but with a recoil start, as well. Moreover, it is easy to move it only by grabbing it from the handles, as it only weighs 109 pounds, although some purchasers did criticize that it doesn’t come with wheels.



10. Westinghouse iGen4500

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Specifications:

  • Fuel: Gasoline
  • Peak Watts: 4,500
  • Running Watts: 3,700
  • Engine Type: OHV 4 Stroke
  • Engine Size: 224cc
  • Gasoline Tank Capacity: 3.4 gallons
  • Runtime: 18 hours [email protected]% load
  • Noise Level: 52 dB
  • Warranty: 3-year residential; 1-year commercial


This generator measures 24.5 inches in length, 17.5 inches in width, 20 inches in height, and it weighs 104.1 pounds, being more compact and lightweight, perfect for a small truck that moves a lot. It comes with a telescopic handle, which can reach a length of 46 inches to allow you to easily move it around, while its large 5.5-inch diameter and 1.5-inch thick wheels will help you transport it anywhere you need to.

It packs a strong 224cc 7.3 HP OHV 4-stroke engine, which provides up to 4,500 peaking watts and 3,700 running watts on gasoline, which is the only type of fuel it uses. It comes with a large tank, 3.4 gallons (13 liters), thus it can be used up to 18 hours at 25% load.

The control panel it comes with is easy to read and use, offering you quick access to the electric start, as well as the efficiency mode switch. Furthermore, it provides you with several outlets to allow you to connect multiple appliances at the same time. Thus, it has a 120V AC 30A TT-30R outlet with cover, two 120V AC 20A 5-20R outlets with cover, and 2 USB ports.

It features an LED data center, which will tell you through lights how much fuel it is left, as well as the power output. Moreover, it comes with an automatic rotating digital display, which will inform you about the remaining running time, the power output, the fuel level, voltage, and lifetime hours through numbers. Plus, you can start it remotely, thanks to the remote control it comes with, and it has a limited warranty of 3 years from the moment of your purchase.

PROS

  • Remote control included – you can power it on and off from the distance
  • LED data center keeps you in the loop on the fuel level and other data
  • Reliable engine starts every time and can sustain several small appliances
  • Easy to move around as it comes with wheels and a telescopic handle
  • Quiet – outputs only 52 dB

CONS

  • The user manual is outdated, so it can be difficult to set up the generator, seeing how the images depict an older version
  • Difficult to add/change oil without making a mess


Verdict

Thanks to the telescopic handle and large wheels it comes with, you don’t have to worry about transporting it wherever you need it. It comes with several outlets to allow you to connect multiple appliances at the same time. Moreover, it integrates an automatic rotating digital display, which will allow you to tell with only a glance how the unit fares, while the LED data center provides you with detailed information about its state.



11. Duromax XP4850EH

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Specifications:

  • Fuel: Gasoline/Propane
  • Peak Watts Gasoline: 4,850
  • Peak Watts Propane: 4,608
  • Running Watts Gasoline: 3,850
  • Running Watts Propane: 3,658
  • Engine Type: 4-Cycle Air-Cooled Spark-Ignition
  • Engine Size: 210cc
  • Gasoline Tank Capacity: 3.96 gallons
  • Suggested Propane Tank Capacity: 20 lbs.
  • Runtime Gasoline: 10.42 hours at @50% load
  • Runtime Propane: 8.92 hours at @50% load
  • Noise Level: 69 dB
  • Warranty: 3-year residential warranty on parts/ 1 year commercial warranty on electrical and mechanical components


This machine features a heavy-duty steel frame with a fully isolated motor, thus it presents a relatively silent operation at 69 dB. It comes with wheels and handles, so you don’t have to worry about moving it around despite its weight. It measures 24 inches in length, 17 inches in width, and 17 inches in height, and it weighs 127 pounds.

It comes with a powerful 7 HP 212cc OHV 4-stroke engine, which provides you with 4,850 peak watts and 3,850 running watts on gasoline and 4,608 peak watts, and 3,658 running watts on propane. It can work around 10.42 hours at a half load on gasoline and 8.92 hours at a half load on propane, thus it is perfect for any small food truck business. It has a gasoline tank capacity of 3.96 gallons, and it can support a 20-gallon propane tank.

It features MX2 technology, which allows you to choose what voltage the unit can operate, as it can function at both 120V and 240V simultaneously. Additionally, if you prefer it to work only at full power, it can do so at 120V. Moreover, it comes with low-oil shut-off protection, which will immediately turn it off when the oil level is low. Even more, you don’t have to worry about sudden power spikes, as it comes with a surge-arrest feature that will protect it from power surges.

The control panel provides you with plenty of outlets – 2 120V household GFCI and one 120/240V 30A twist-lock outlet, as well as a voltmeter and 12V DC charging posts. It comes with several accessories to allow you to quickly put it together and use it. It comes with a 30-day replacement warranty, a limited 1-year warranty for parts for commercial use, and a 3-year residential warranty.

PROS

  • MX2 technology allows you to get the best from both 120V receptacles
  • Multiple outlets to fit each power requirement
  • Silent operation at only 69 dB
  • Low-oil shut-off protection
  • Surge arrest feature

CONS

  • Poor assembly directions
  • The wheels are not too sturdy


Verdict

It is compact but a bit on the heavy side, as it weighs 127 pounds. However, thanks to sturdy handles, you can easily move it around wherever you need it. It can be used with two types of fuel, thus it provides you with the freedom of choosing between gas and propane, and it offers you plenty of outlets, so you’ll be able to connect several appliances at the same time. Additionally, it comes with a low-oil shutdown feature for increased safety and a voltmeter.



Troubleshooting

Problem Solution
Generator won’t start If you have tried powering your generator both by pressing the electric start button and using the recoil start system with no success at all, it’s time to go through the following checklist, as the following issues can be the ones causing the generator not to start:

  • Low on fuel – even if the fuel indicator shows that you have half a tank full, this may be just an error. It isn’t that uncommon for the mechanical fuel level gauge to stick and stop showing the real level. In some generators, even low fuel means that the machine won’t start, so do a quick visual check to see if the reservoir isn’t empty.
  • Water in the reservoir – if water is mixed with fuel, this will compromise its ability to burn, so your generator may not start. Always make sure not to fill the reservoir during rains and even in particularly humid days. If you suspect that water has entered the reservoir, empty it and fill it with fresh fuel.
  • Low on oil – most generators have an oil level monitoring system that shuts them off and prevents them from turning on if they don’t have enough oil. Check on your machine if the oil level is optimal, and add more if necessary. If the oil is not in good condition, you may need to change it.
  • Worn-out or damaged spark plug – check if there’s a crack at the porcelain insulator or if an electrode presents signs of damage or burning. A thick carbon build-up on the electrode can also indicate that the spark plug is defective.
  • Clogged filters – engines that use fossil fuel need air for the combustion to take place, and a clogged filter may stay in the way of the airflow. Check your oil and fuel filters and replace them if they are worn out. We advise always keeping a spare set of filters at hand.
  • Faulty battery – if you only use the generator once in a while, this can lead to lead sulfate accumulating on the plates of the battery and damaging it. If your battery is no longer in good condition, it is time to replace it.
Generator still won’t start If you checked and solved all the issues from above, but the engine just wouldn’t start, consider the following problems, which don’t appear as often but are still possible:

  • Defective fuel line – take a good look at the fuel line and check it for possible cracks or clogs that prevent the fuel from reaching the generator. Also, check the fuel filter that may be clogged and prevent the system from functioning optimally. Replace the filter and even the line if damaged.
  • Carburetor needs cleaning – if old, degraded gas is left in the carburetor, this can cause the unit not to start. The solution is to spray carb cleaner into the orifices.
Generator starts but doesn’t continue running Some of the problems that cause the unit not to start can prevent it from running after starting:

  • Clogged carburetor
  • Clogged filters
  • Low fuel
Generator runs rough The main cause, in this case, is that the carburetor is clogged. You can try cleaning out the old fuel deposits with a carb cleaning spray, but if this doesn’t solve the problem, you may need to replace the carburetor
Generator leaks gas Check the carburetor’s gasket. If it is dried out or missing completely, this can lead to gasoline leaking. Another possible cause may have to do with the carburetor float bowl gasket. In both cases, you will need to replace the defective or missing parts.
Battery keeps dying Your voltage regulator may not be functioning properly. This system has the purpose of ensuring that the right amount of voltage is sent to the battery so it gets optimally charged and doesn’t get overloaded. If the voltage regulator doesn’t work properly, the battery may not receive enough voltage, and this can lead to it dying off.
The appliance won’t start Plug it directly into the generator or use extension cords rated for your load. Additionally, make sure the generator can support the appliance you want to use it with.
It worked, and it suddenly stopped Depending on how many appliances you’re using, you might have overloaded it. Plug some of them out, and try again.
The voltage from the AC outlet is too low Make sure the generator runs at the rated speed. Additionally, make sure the slip rings are clean and check the connections between pins on the regulator. If it doesn’t solve the problem, ask for professional help.

Frequently Asked Questions



How big of a generator do I need for a food truck?
Running a basic food truck business usually requires about 3,000W, but if you are looking to equip your truck with everything it needs to bring you the biggest profit, you will probably need over 6,000-7,000 watts.

To size your generator, make a list of the appliances you are going to use, taking into consideration the number of watts they need to start and the number of watts they need to run. For example, a refrigerator will need an average of 1,250 starting watts and about 192 running watts, while a blender usually starts at 650 watts and continues running at 250 watts. After listing all the appliances you would need, add the starting watts on one side and the rated watts on the other to get the values your generator should output. Compare the values with the ones in the unit’s specifications and make sure to get a model that has a higher output than the one you have calculated, seeing how, as the appliances become older, they tend to draw slightly more energy.


What is the quietest generator for a food truck?
Generac 7127 iQ3500 comes with solid steel encasing and excellent insulation that allows it to function quietly, emitting only 44 dB. This small generator is ideal for food truck businesses that function only on basic appliances, seeing how it outputs 3,500W starting watts and 3,000W running watts. Conversely, it has one of the most reliable motors and comers with a good Generac warranty.

Can a portable generator power a house?
Yes. Some of the models we have selected are powerful enough to power the most important systems in a house in case of an emergency. Nevertheless, it isn’t advised to use a generator as a permanent energy source, as this can lead to it wearing out quickly.

What generator is best for a food truck?
If you are looking for a powerful unit that can power all the appliances you need to run your business optimally, we recommend the DuroMax XP12000EH, which is undoubtedly a beast. Packing no less than 5 outlets, of which one is a 240V 50 amp model, and being ready to function both on propane and gasoline, this model can easily adapt to any food truck configuration.

What is the lifespan of a portable generator?
Compared with standby generators, portable options tend to have a shorter lifespan. Thus, they are usually rated to last for 1,000 to 2,000 hours of functioning, which is nonetheless still a lot, considering that, in most cases, you don’t use them continuously but only when you need to use an appliance. Depending on how intense you use them, they can last from 10 to 20 years.

How long will a generator run on a 20-lb. tank of propane?
The duration is different depending on the load and the generator’s power. For an average model, a 20-lb. propane tank usually lasts 5.5 hours.

Is it better to run a generator on propane or gas?
When we take into consideration the amount of fuel that is needed to produce the same power output, it is easy to see that gasoline is the most cost-effective. It burns better and can generate higher levels of energy in a shorter amount of time. Even if propane is a bit cheaper, this doesn’t compensate for its lower power output. Nevertheless, propane is considered a cleaner source of energy, which produces fewer emissions and is easier on the generator’s mechanism, so by choosing it, you may end up replacing your unit less often.

Is it OK to let the generator run out of gas?
No. You should never let your generator operate until it runs out of fuel, as this can cause damages both to the unit and to the appliances that are hooked up to it. If your unit runs out of gas while operating, this can cause the coils to lose their magnetism, which will be drained by the powered appliances. In this case, the unit may not start the next time you need it.

Can you run an inverter generator in the rain?
It is strongly advised not to let your generator get wet or use it under pouring rain, as this can lead not only to irreversible damage but to life-threatening effects. If you need to use your unit in this type of weather, you will need to provide a waterproof shelter and make sure that water doesn’t get in as you start or turn it off.

Can a portable generator freeze?
In general, freezing appears at temperatures under 40F, and the part that is freezing is the fuel. To prevent this from happening, make sure to use large propane or gas tanks and keep them full. The higher the amount of fuel, the harder it is for it to freeze.



Conclusion

Keeping all the appliances you need connected at the same time requires a powerful generator. While all the above-mentioned products are fully capable of supplying you with plenty of electricity, some differ from the others through some features:

Best Food Truck Generator for Sale: DuroMax XP12000EH

DuroMax XP12000EH provides you with the ability to choose the fuel you want to use, gasoline or propane, while its large tank will supply you with several hours of continuous work. It features MX2 Switch, which doubles the 120V amperage when it’s used with a heavy load, and it comes with a voltmeter as well as a low-oil indicator for increased safety. It provides you with 2 options to start it up, electric and recoil, and it comes with several plugs to allow you to connect multiple appliances at the same time. Moreover, it offers a silent operation, as well as an easy way to transport it around, thanks to its large wheels.

Editor’s Choice: Pulsar PG12000B

Also working with 2 types of fuel, gasoline or propane, therefore allowing you to pick your favorite, Pulsar PG12000B offers a large autonomy on both fuels. It also features relatively silent operation, 74 decibels, and it comes with a generous fuel tank capacity. Compact and easily portable thanks to its large sturdy wheels, it comes with an automatic low-oil shut down as well as a digital hour meter and voltmeter. EPA, CARB, and CSA compliant, the fuel will burn clean, without any residual smell or smoke.

Best Quiet Generator for Food Truck: Generac 7127 iQ3500

If you need a generator for a small truck business that can work quietly, Generac 7127 iQ3500 is a perfect choice. With a noise level of only 44 dB, which is ensured both by the inverter technology and excellent insulation, and large autonomy, as well as a generous fuel tank, it provides you with plenty of power to connect multiple appliances at the same time. Even more, it comes with an electric start as well as a backup recoil start, which guarantees it is always available for use.

Best Inverter Generator for Food Truck: Briggs & Stratton Q6500

If you are interested in a unit that can run quietly while delivering the best cost-effectiveness, then you should consider the Briggs & Stratton Q6500. With a strong 6,500W engine, it comes with a generous 5-gallon gasoline tank, ensuring you’ll have plenty of electric power for up to 14 hours. Equipped with multiple outlets, it can support several devices plugged in at the same time, while its automatic voltage regulator will keep your appliances safe from sudden power surges.

Best Food Truck Generator for the Money: Westinghouse WGen7500DF

If you are looking to get the best for your money, then you should consider Westinghouse WGen7500DF. It comes with dual fuel capacity, so you can choose between propane and gas, and it delivers up to 9,500 starting watts and 7.500 running watts, so it can easily handle multiple heavy-load appliances. The best aspect, nonetheless, is that it remains a fairly affordable investment, so it won’t leave a hole in your pocket. On the contrary, it will soon pay off, seeing how it has a low consumption rate, being able to provide up to 11 hours of energy on a full 6.6-gallon gasoline tank.

Lexie Thorne
Lexie Thorne
Lexie is the newest member of the team, previously working for a local business that sold, among other items, robotic vacuums. She takes a keen interest in the latest tech and considers herself to be a veritable tech geek. Using her connections, Lexie makes sure that she always talks to experts when putting together reviews and articles to ensure the information you read is reliable and makes a difference toward aiding you to better understand how automated devices for home use work.

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