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Buyers Guide & Information

Best Generators For Food Trucks Reviewed

Never disconnect from an electricity source while cooking again with these top-rated models.

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Whether you own a food truck or you want to prepare a delicious meal at home with generator power, you want to choose a generator that was made specifically to handle food truck needs. Choosing the right generator is vital in order to reliably power each food appliance without overheating. Your food truck business depends on consistent, reliable, and long-lasting power. 

Image

Model

Engine Type

Runtime

Check Price

Honda EU7000iAT1 7000 Watt 120/240 Volt Super...

Honda Eu7000is

Gasoline

18 Hours at 25% Load

Westinghouse WGen7500 Portable Generator with...

Westinghouse WGen7500

Gasoline

16 Hours at 25% Load

All Power America APGG12000 12000 Watt Portable...

All Power America APGG12000

Gasoline

10 Hours at 50% Load

DuroMax XP12000EH Dual Fuel Electric Start...

DuroMax XP12000EH

Dual: Propane or Gas

20 Hours on Propane, 10 Hours on Gasoline

Benefits of Food Truck Generators

The benefits of having a food truck generator for your business are numerous. Food truck generators help mobile chefs run their business by ensuring that the food will be fresh and hot. Food trucks cannot use reliable fixed power options like restaurants can and therefore need a portable power solution.

Generators are a perfect solution to power appliances and devices while allowing the food truck to move from location to location. The flexibility and portability of generators make it possible for food truck owners and mobile chefs to cook food while on the move.


Choosing a Reliable Food Truck Generator

Generator Size vs. Space

Consider how much space you have in your food truck and look at the areas where you might store your generator. Decide whether one large generator is best or two smaller generators is more appropriate. Measure the areas where you could comfortably place your generator and choose accordingly.

Power Output vs. Cooking Needs

The best food truck generator for you depends on your cooking needs. Consider how many appliances you will run at once and calculate the appropriate wattage needed. Then choose a generator that can handle that load.

Fuel Type

The fuel type that is best for you depends on personal preference. However, propane gas is typically the favorite fuel type amongst food truck owners. Propane is affordable and also burns more cleanly compared to gasoline. Most propane generators last longer. That said, gas tends to be even cheaper and may make the most sense for someone on an extreme budget.

Size, Portability & Weight

Considering how often you will need to move the generator around the truck is important when considering portability and weight. Many food truck owners leave their generators in one place while others are used to being able to move their generators to new locations around the truck.

Noise Level

Powerful generators make a lot of noise, but some generators offer much quieter engine levels than others. Typically food truck generators with low noise levels are more expensive. Quiet engines are preferred by customers, but consider your budget when purchasing.

Fuel Efficiency & Running Cost

The overall running cost of your generator will impact your bottom line. Review your profit margins and look at what you can afford to run realistically on a day-to-day basis. Lower running costs per day will often coincide with expensive machines.

Price & Warranty

Using a generator for your food truck means that you need a reliable machine. This is your livelihood, and we recommend considering generators with strong warranties. As always, generators that cost more tend to have better warranties.


4 Best Food Truck Generators Reviewed

1. Honda Eu7000is

best quiet generator for food truck

Engine Type

Gasoline

Noise Level

52-60 dB

Fuel Tank Capacity

5.1 gallons

Starting & Running Watts

7000 Starting Watts / 5500 Running Watts

Runtime

18 Hours at 25% Load

Warranty

Yes, three-year warranty

The Honda Eu7000 is the best quiet generator for food trucks. It has a quiet engine at 52-60 dB and a powerful electric start with 7000/5500 watts. This generator has advanced inverter technology and will keep even the most sensitive electronics safe. The oil alert feature lets users know when oil is low and shuts down if the level becomes dangerously low. An eco throttle system feature provides one way to maximize fuel efficiency by allowing the engine to choose the speed and energy output.

The LCD screen includes an output indicator, and this generator comes with a 120/240V full power switch. We have had several users note that the tank cannot support a full day's work, and you will need to refuel during the middle of the day. Other users have reported that this generator does not have Bluetooth or remote-tracking available. This is frustrating because many food truck operators like to remain mobile throughout the day and want to know their fuel levels. 

However, if you plan to check your fuel levels regularly, then this is not an issue. It is also possible to connect this generator to a second model to generate even more power. If you want a quiet engine with an electric start and a powerful 7000/5500 watts, then this is a great generator choice.

Pros

  • Quiet engine
  • Powerful 7000/5500 watts
  • Electric start

Cons

  • No Bluetooth/remote tracking
  • Tank cannot support full day’s work

2. Westinghouse WGen7500

best small portable generator for food trucks

Engine Type

Gasoline

Noise Level

65 db

Fuel Tank Capacity

6.6 gallons

Starting & Running Watts

9500 Starting/7500 Running

Runtime

16 Hours at 25% Load

Warranty

Yes, three-year warranty

The Westinghouse WGen 7500 is the best small portable generator for food trucks. It is affordable and powerful, with a 9500-watt start and 7500-watt running engine. The 420cc OHV engine can run for 16 hours at a 25% load and is Westinghouse smart switch ready. A 6.6-gallon fuel tank is large capacity and helps you power your food truck for the entire business day. Water-resistant GFCI outlets help protect the generator from liquids in your food truck and harsh weather. The remote start is accompanied by a key fob that allows users to start and stop the generator from another location.

An easy-to-use control panel allows you to plug in cords and start running appliances immediately. This unit is also transfer switch ready and can be plugged into most food trucks without requiring additional wiring. Users reported that this unit is louder than most food truck generators. The engine runs around 62 dB, but the smaller size includes more significant vibrations for users. Users also reported that the instruction manual was unclear about set-up instructions. 

If you have not set-up a generator previously, then you may want to have a tech set up this unit for you. If you have experience setting up generators, then this shouldn't be a problem. If you want an affordable, highly portable, and remote start operated generator, then this is a wonderful option.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Powerful 9500/7500 watts
  • Remote start with key fob
  • Highly portable

Cons

  • Loud engine at 62db
  • Instruction manual unclear about set-up instructions

3. All Power America APGG12000

12000 watt generator for food truck

Engine Type

Gasoline

Noise Level

76 dB

Fuel Tank Capacity

6.60 Gallons

Starting & Running Watts

12000 Starting/9000 Running

Runtime

10 Hours at 50% Load

Warranty

Yes, two-year warranty

The All Power America APGG12000 is the best 12000 watt generator for food trucks that we've found. This generator has massive amounts of power at 12000 watts and can power your entire food truck with ease. The gasoline engine has a 6.6-gallon fuel tank and can run for 10 hours at 50% load. Well-ventilated, the engine won't overheat and can cool itself. Noise is significant at 76 dB, but the engine power at this price is surprising. A flat-free wheel kit is included to make this generator portable.

The control panel is small but includes everything you need to start the generator and attach your appliances. The hour meter included lets you know what the fuel capacity level is as the unit runs. This generator does come with a two-year warranty rather than a more standard three-year warranty. Users have also reported that this generator requires more ongoing maintenance. The generator is subject to oil spills if regular maintenance is not performed.

The battery is maintenance-free and is reliable when it comes to powering on the unit. However, if you want an affordable and reliable generator with high power capacity, then this unit does not disappoint. If you want a more well-known brand with a longer warranty, however, we recommend Westinghouse WGen 7500.

Pros

  • Powerful 120000 Starting/9000 Running Watt Engine
  • Affordable
  • Battery is maintenance-free

Cons

  • Warranty lower than other generator models
  • Requires more maintenance

4. DuroMax XP12000EH

best dual fuel generator for food trucks

Engine Type

Dual: Propane or Gas

Noise Level

72 db

Fuel Tank Capacity

8.3 gallons

Starting & Running Watts

12000 Starting/9500 Running

Runtime

20 Hours on Propane 10 Hours on Gasoline

Warranty

Yes, three-year warranty

The DuroMax XP12000EH is the best dual fuel generator for food trucks. This generator offers a dual fuel option for users that want to be able to choose between propane and gas. Propane is a cleaner-burning fuel and also allows this generator to run for up to 20 hrs. The generator runs up to 10 hrs on gasoline. Propane also cuts operating costs and has a longer shelf life. The large fuel tank capacity at 8.3 gallons means that you won't need to refuel throughout your day.

Reliable 12000 starting and 9500 running engine powers your appliances with ease. You can operate this generator via 120V/240V simultaneously. Users have reported that this unit is louder at 72 dB, however, the volume is in part due to the increased power this model offers at 12000 starting watts. 

This unit is also more expensive than other models, but not much. Many users found that the advanced features and dual fuel options made the price more than fair. DuroMax is also well known for its customer support, and this generator comes with a three-year warranty. All copper windings and all-metal construction make this unit the best built on our list. High-quality parts are longer lasting. 

Pros

  • Dual Fuel: Propane or Gas
  • Long-running 20Hrs on propane
  • Large fuel tank capacity
  • Powerful 12000 Starting/9500 Running

Cons

  • More expensive
  • Louder at 72db

Sizing a Generator for a Food Truck

Sizing a generator for a food truck is a tricky proposition. It is essential to consider every possible appliance and device that you will use on a daily basis to ensure that you calculate the correct load. Once you have calculated the correct load, you can choose a food truck generator with the necessary power to handle that load.

Here are a few examples of common appliances found in a food truck and the amount of both starting and running wattage required: refrigerator (starting 1200, running 200), blender (starting 900, running 400), coffee maker (starting 600, running 600), and six light bulbs (starting 350, running 350).

The type of generator that you choose should be able to handle the starting wattage of the appliances you want to use as well as the continuous running wattage. If the starting amount is too high for all of your appliances, we recommend plugging in appliances one at a time. This will help limit the starting load and keep your appliances at the running load wattage amount.


Hooking Up a Food Truck Generator

When hooking up a food truck generator, you want first to make sure that you have an appropriate spot to hook up your generator. Next, you want to make sure that your generator matches your food truck’s voltage options (often 120V or 240V). From here, you want to place your generator in the correct position. Before you connect the cable and power on your generator, secure the exhaust.

Make sure that you use an exhaust system with your generator to direct the exhaust out of your food truck. Inhaling exhaust fumes is dangerous, and you want to make sure that all fumes are moving away from your truck. Now, you can plug your generator in and start using it. When you are not using your generator, be sure to drain all fuel and then store the generator in a safe, secure place. Do not keep the unit plugged in.


Generator Issues & Troubleshooting

There are a few common generator issues that you may experience when using generators to run your food truck. The most common problem that we have seen is low coolant levels. Food truck generators typically cannot detect when coolant levels are low and will only alert users when the generator begins to overload and overheat. If you believe that you have a low coolant level issue, check your coolant reservoir for a leak.

Another common issue involves generators that will not start. This is typically because the generator has encountered too much air in its system. This can be fixed by patching up any leaks. This issue can also sometimes be attributed to too much fuel clogging up the carburetor. Thoroughly cleaning the carburetor can fix the problem. 

If you experience problems with your generator and cannot ascertain the problem, then we recommend calling the manufacturer’s customer service team. They can help troubleshoot the problem further and can also offer generator repair services.


Frequently Asked Questions

What type of fuel is more efficient, gas, or propane?
Propane generators are less fuel-efficient compared to gasoline. However, propane is a cleaner fuel and is better for your generator long-term. Propane is also better for the environment. Most propane generators are longer-lasting compared to gasoline generators because the fuel is cleaner.
What type of fuel is safer to use in a truck, gas or propane?
When using a food truck generator, we recommend using propane gas. Propane gas is affordable and reliable. Gasoline, however, is also a common choice for food truck generators. Choose your food truck generator based on the additional features you would like to have on your machine.
Are these generators expensive to run?
Food truck generators can be expensive to run depending on how often you refuel as well as what type of fuel you use to refuel. Consider runtime costs with your typical profit margins and work schedules to determine which generator is the best choice for you. Most food truck generators cost between $75 and $150.
Can generators interfere with the quality of food served?
No, the generator provides power to your cooking appliances. Generators do not interfere with the quality of food served. Still, if your generator power cuts out in the middle of preparing food, then you may have a situation with quality. We recommend buying a generator that has a large fuel tank, and that will alert you when it is at low capacity so that you can adjust your meal prep cooking schedules.

Conclusion

Food truck generators allow you to run your business and serve delicious food and beverages to your customers. Choosing a generator that is both powerful and reliable is important to your livelihood. If you want a powerful, quiet generator, then we recommend the Honda Eu7000is.

If you want a smaller, more portable option, then we recommend the Westinghouse WGen 7500. For dual fuel options with both propane and gas, we recommend the DuroMax XP12000EH. These high-quality generators will give you the energy you need to run your business.

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