Best Tri-Fuel Generator For Preparedness

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If you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to read the whole article, I recommend the Winco Portable Trifuel Generator as the best tri-fuel generator for preparedness you should consider.

Hurricane Ike the third major Atlantic hurricane of 2008 was one of the most destructive hurricanes in US history that took its toll on Houston Texas knocking out power for days.

In Texas, more than three million people were left without power. Only some had the generators to survive throughout the storms.

Dozen of the families in Texas coastal residents hadn’t been prepared. They discovered the hard way to survive without backup power.

That’s why it is very important to have a backup generator at home for emergencies At least, it helps your refrigerator running to keep the foods fresh and unspoiled.

What Texas Coastal Residents Discovered The Hard Way?

Yes, There Was A Shortage Of Generators

As you might already be aware, in the wake of Ike there was a major shortage of emergency generators. 

People in affected locations waited in lines for hours, sometimes from dawn to dusk, for the chance to purchase one of the precious available machines; most were destined to discover.

Despite their perseverance, that there were not enough generators to go around. The vast majority were turned away disappointed, their hands empty.

It was not just the brick and mortar retail outlets in impacted areas that ran low on emergency supplies. 

Supplies in the warehouses of internet retailers, even generator manufacturers, were depleted within days, at times within hours, after Ike greeted the shore.

Generators Not The Only Scarce Emergency Supplies

Obtaining a generator would prove to be only part of the problem for Texas coastal residents. 

What many discovered was that having sweated and sacrificed to garner the coveted generator, if they did not already have fuel reserves to run it on, it was next to useless.

The fuel stations which remained open and operating quickly sold out of available supplies of gas and diesel. 

Hurricane damage closed other stations completely. With traffic at a standstill, replenishing supplies of anything was impossible.

So you know about generators and fuel. There were plenty of other shortages that cropped up. Fuel containers, for instance, immediately became as precious to area residents as platinum.

We have heard through the grapevine that engine oil, pouring implements, flashlights, and batteries, and paper towel rolls (and anything else that could potentially serve as a cleaning rag) were worth their weight to people in diamonds.

Lesson Learned

Obviously we believe that obtaining an emergency generator in advance of trouble or catastrophe makes sense for any coastal resident. 

And if you have an emergency generator, getting ultimate use out of it also means being ready with fuel and oil reserves to last a week or more. 

Keep in mind that some Texas residents harassed by Ike were without electric power for up to two weeks, or longer!

How Tri-Fuel Generator Can Be Ideal Answer To Preparedness

A tri-fuel generator, one which is able to run on gasoline, propane, or natural gas, can be a super choice for those interested in maximum emergency preparedness.

In an emergency, NATURAL GAS from a home gas line can provide you an unlimited power source. Gone are the worries that fuel reserves will last the duration of an electricity loss.

However, during certain natural disasters or emergencies, natural gas lines may be damaged and necessarily shut down, leaving you no alternative but to use standard fuel sources. 

The ability for your generator to run on PROPANE, in addition to gasoline, offers several advantages.

It limits the amount of gasoline that needs to be stored for emergency use. Propane is cleaner and safer to store than standard fuel, gasoline, or diesel! 

Propane comes in tanks and, in many areas, can be home delivered. Propane has a better natural shelf life than gasoline or diesel. It has a better shelf life than gasoline or diesel treated with a stabilizer!

And finally, burning propane reduces the need for other of the scarce emergency supplies we listed above. 

Reduction in the number of necessary fuel containers, gas cans, and the like, is clear. Propane use will also limit the number of pouring implements and cleanup articles you will need!

The CHOICE is easy. For those interested in maximum emergency preparedness, for those desiring top flexibility in emergency situations, a tri-fuel generator makes perfect sense.

Also read: What Is The Best Diesel Generator For Back Up?

What’s The Best Tri-Fuel Generator Available?

Honestly, there aren’t many choices for the proper tri-fuel generators. 

Today, most generator manufacturers are reluctant to continue producing the tri-fuel generators anymore because of the cost and low demands.

You can modify the single portable generator or dual generator to have the flexibility of switching between gasoline, natural gas, and LP gas with tri-fuel generator conversion kits.

But it requires some knowledge and skills to do it by yourself, thus, a bit of inconvenience. If you don’t know what are you doing, you could void your generator warranty.

Winco Portable Trifuel Generator

The Winco Portable Trifuel Generator is probably the best tri-fuel generator designed to easily transition between three fuels; natural gas, LP Gas, and gasoline. You don’t need to modify anything to run this generator.

The generator is powered by a Honda GX630 engine (OHV) that is known for its reliability and efficient operation. The maximum output power is rated at 12000 Watts and running wattages at 10800 Watts.

With such a large power, you will be able to easily run essential items like pumps, refrigerators, sump pumps, appliances, TV, and air conditioning units in your house.

At full load, the 15 gallons fuel tank generator can run almost 9 hours on gasoline, which is estimated around 1.67 gals per hour. It consumes 200 cubic feet per hour on natural gas and 2.2 gallons per hour on LPG.

Although Winco generator is using the Honda engine surprisingly it is a bit noisy generating 78 dBA at full load operation. But during an emergency, it probably won’t matter much to you.

Do take note that this generator doesn’t comply with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) rule. If you live in other areas particularly in Texas, it won’t affect you.


Starting Watts12,000
Rated Power10800
Voltage120V/240V (30A, 45A when full power)
Fuel TypePropane, Gasoline, LP Gas
EngineHonda 688 CC / OHV
Running Time9.1 hours
Fuel Tank15 Gallons
Full Load Run Time1.67 Gal/HR
Full Use Gasoline1.67 Gal/HR
Full Use Natural Gas200 Ft(3)/HR – 204,000 BTU/HR
Full Use LPG2.2 Gal/HR – 201,304 BTU/HR
Operating Noise78 dBA @ 7 meters
Dimension50″ x 40″ x 36″
Weight460 lbs

Check out the videos of the generator from real users below:


Winco generator on natural gas (the sound):

Check the availability and pricing on Amazon.

Final Thoughts

The hurricane Ike taught us to always be prepared all the time, that’s including have the backup generator as a power source all times.

When a natural disaster like this comes, we won’t have to worry about not having the food spoilt and live in the darkness by keeping the refrigerator and lightings running for a few days.

If the tri-fuel portable is not available in your place, you can always choose the standby generator or dual-fuel generator for your home. 

Most people choose to run on propane and gasoline as they’re easy to get. You can’t go wrong with those choices.

Be prepared and be safe all the time.

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