Top 10 Picks
Portable Generators
Updated December 9, 2022
1
DuroMax XP13000EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator 13000 Watt Gas or Propane Powered Electric Start-Home Back Up, Blue/Gray Logo
DuroMax
DuroMax XP13000EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator 13000 Watt Gas or Propane Powered Electric Start-Home Back Up, Blue/Gray
Wattage10,500W Rated13,000W Peak
Power SourcePropaneGasoline
OutletsHousehold Outlet 20A x 2Car Outlet14-50R 120/240VL5-30R 120V
Start TypeRecoil StartElectric Push Start
Run Time17 Hours at 25% on Gas
Used ForHomeCommercial & IndustrialWorksiteRVs & Campers
POWERFUL DUROMAX ENGINE: The XP13000EH is powered by a 500cc OHV Duromax Engine. Engine Speed-3600 RPM. Wheel Diameter-10-Inches .With Gasoline : Peak Wattage - 13,000., Running Wattage - 10,500., Running Amperage at 120V - 87.5., Running Amperage at 240V - 43.75., Runtime at 25% Load - 17., Runtime at 50% Load - 8With Propane : Peak Wattage - 12,350., Running Wattage - 9,975., Running Amperage at 120V - 83.13., Running Amperage at 240V - 41.56., Runtime at 25% Load - 13., Runtime at 50% Load - 6Please read the detailed safety instructions in the manual before operating.
DUAL FUEL TECHNOLOGY: The ability to run on Propane or Gasoline allows the Freedom and Flexibility of Fuel Choice.
PLENTY OF POWER: With 13,000 starting watts and 10,500 watts, this unit can handle heavy loads from lights, refrigerators, home conditioners and high amperage power tools.
MAXIMUM POWER: The power panel includes a wide selection of outlets for maximum compatibility in your applications including: 1 120/240V 50A heavy duty outlet, 1 120/240V 30A twist lock outlet, 1 120V 30A twist lock outlet, and 2 120V 20A household outlets.
RV Ready
Parallel
Fuel Tank
8.3 Gallons
Weight
234 lbs
9.9
JunkieScore
2
DuroMax XP13000HXT Tri-Fuel Portable Generator Logo
DuroMax
DuroMax XP13000HXT Tri-Fuel Portable Generator
Wattage10,500W Rated13,000W Peak
Power SourcePropaneNatural GasGasoline
OutletsL5-50R 50A 120VHousehold Outlet 20A x 4Car OutletL14-30R 30A 120/240V
Start TypeRemote StartRecoil StartElectric Push Start
FeaturesFuel GaugeCO Detect Shutdown
Run Time17 Hours at 25% on Gas
Used ForHomeCommercial & IndustrialWorksiteRVs & Campers
Tri Fuel Technology: This generator runs on gasoline, propane, and natural gas, giving you the freedom and flexibility of fuel choice. Gasoline is a tried-and-true fuel option that’s readily available. Propane is a cleaner burning fuel that is cost effective, fuel efficient, and has a long shelf life. Natural gas has the benefit of providing you with unlimited fuel supply and hooks up directly to your home’s gas line, so you don’t have to worry about storing tanks and spills.
Home Power Backup Ready: With 13,000 watts of POWER, the XP13000HXT will power your lights, appliances, AC system and other household essentials with ease during a storm or power outage. It comes equipped with a 50 amp plug that hooks up directly to your home via a transfer switch.
Powerful 500cc OHV Engine: At the heart of this generator resides a robust DuroMax engine designed to provide you with the most power.
CO Alert: Protect your family from dangerous engine fumes. DuroMax offers the safest generators on the market with our CO Alert technology, which turns off the generator automatically when an unsafe level of carbon monoxide is detected.
RV Ready
Parallel
Fuel Tank
8.3 Gallons
Weight
260 lbs
9.8
JunkieScore
4
Westinghouse 12500 Watt Dual Fuel Home Backup Portable Generator, Remote Electric Start, Transfer Switch Ready, Gas and Propane Powered, CARB Compliant Logo
Westinghouse
Westinghouse 12500 Watt Dual Fuel Home Backup Portable Generator, Remote Electric Start, Transfer Switch Ready, Gas and Propane Powered, CARB Compliant
Wattage12,500W Peak on Gas9,500W Rated on Gas
Power SourcePropaneGasoline
OutletsHousehold Outlet 20A x 4Twist Lock 30A 120/240V14-50R 120/240V
Start TypeRemote StartRecoil StartElectric Push Start
FeaturesAutomatic Low-Oil ShutdownFuel Gauge
Run Time12 Hours at 25%
Used ForHomeCommercial & IndustrialWorksiteRVs & Campers
Comes WithBattery Charging CablesOil FunnelEngine Oil
9500 Running Watts and 12500 Peak Watts (Gasoline); 8500 Running Watts, 11200 Peak Watts (Propane); Remote Start With Included Key Fob, Electric and Recoil Start; Up to 12 Hours of Run Time on a 6. 6 Gallon Fuel Tank With Fuel Gauge
Features Two GFCI 120V 5–20R Standard Household Receptacle, One Transfer Switch Ready 120V L14-30R, and One RV Ready 120/240V 14–50R; All Outlets Have Rubber Covers for Added Safety
Powered by a Heavy Duty 457cc Westinghouse 4-Stroke OHV Engine Featuring a Long-Lasting Cast Iron Sleeve With Automatic Low Oil Shutdown and Digital Hour Meter. VFT display gives you real time updates with the voltage output, frequency, and lifetime hours
Plug-and-Play: Comes With a Remote Start Key Fob, 12V Battery Charger, Oil, an Oil Funnel, a Tool Kit, and a User’s Manual to Get You Started Right Out of the Box (Minimal Assembly Required)
RV Ready
Parallel
Fuel Tank
6.6 Gallons
9.4
JunkieScore
Compare Best Portable Generators
DuroMax XP13000EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator 13000 Watt Gas or Propane Powered Electric Start-Home Back Up, Blue/Gray
DuroMax XP13000HXT Tri-Fuel Portable Generator
Champion 200961 Dual-Fuel Inverter Generator
Westinghouse 12500 Watt Dual Fuel Home Backup Portable Generator, Remote Electric Start, Transfer Switch Ready, Gas and Propane Powered, CARB Compliant
Geneverse 1000W Solar Generator + 2 Solar Panels
Honda EU2200i Quiet Portable Inverter Generator
DuroMax XP5500EH Dual-Fuel Portable Generator
Westinghouse WGen7500DF Dual-Fuel Portable Generator
WEN DF1100T Dual-Fuel Portable Generator
DuroMax XP13000HX Dual Fuel Portable Generator-13000 Watt Gas or Propane Powered Electric Start w/CO Alert, 50 State Approved, Blue
Title
DuroMax XP13000EH Dual Fuel Portable Gen..
DuroMax XP13000HXT Tri-Fuel Portable Gen..
Champion 200961 Dual-Fuel Inverter Gener..
Westinghouse 12500 Watt Dual Fuel Home B..
Geneverse 1000W Solar Generator + 2 Sola..
Honda EU2200i Quiet Portable Inverter Ge..
DuroMax XP5500EH Dual-Fuel Portable Gene..
Westinghouse WGen7500DF Dual-Fuel Portab..
WEN DF1100T Dual-Fuel Portable Generator
DuroMax XP13000HX Dual Fuel Portable Gen..
BrandDuroMaxDuroMaxChampionWestinghouseGenerarkHondaDuroMaxWestinghouseWenDuroMax
Wattage
10,500W Rated
13,000W Peak
10,500W Rated
13,000W Peak
1,665W Rated on Propane
1,850W Running
2,500W Peak
12,500W Peak on Gas
9,500W Rated on Gas
1,000W Rated
2,000W Peak
2,200W Peak
1,800W Running
4,500W Rated
5,500W Peak
9,500W Peak on Gas
7,500W Rated on Gas
8,300W Rated on Gas
11,000W Peak on Gas
10,500W Rated on Gas
13,000W Peak on Gas
Power Source
Propane
Gasoline
Propane
Natural Gas
Gasoline
Propane
Gasoline
Propane
Gasoline
Solar
Battery
Gasoline
Propane
Gasoline
Propane
Gasoline
Propane
Gasoline
Propane
Gasoline
Outlets
Household Outlet 20A
Car Outlet
14-50R 120/240V
L5-30R 120V
L5-50R 50A 120V
Household Outlet 20A
Car Outlet
L14-30R 30A 120/240V
Household Outlet 20A
USB Port
Car Outlet
Household Outlet 20A
Twist Lock 30A 120/240V
14-50R 120/240V
USB Port
Car Outlet
USB-C Port
Household Outlet..
Household Outlet 20A
L14-30R 30A 120/240V
USB Port
Household Outlet 20A
L14-30R 30A 120/240V
Household Outlet 20A
Car Outlet
14-50R 120/240V
L5-30R 120V
Household Outlet 20A
L14-30R 30A 120/240V
14-50R 120/240V
L5-30R 120V
Start Type
Recoil Start
Electric Push Start
Remote Start
Recoil Start
Electric Push Start
Recoil Start
Remote Start
Recoil Start
Electric Push Start
Button
Recoil Start
Recoil Start
Remote Start
Recoil Start
Electric Push Start
Recoil Start
Electric Push Start
Recoil Start
Electric Push Start
Used For
Home
Commercial & Industrial
Worksite
RVs & Campers
Home
Commercial & Industrial
Worksite
RVs & Campers
Home
Tailgating
Camping
Home
Commercial & Industrial
Worksite
RVs & Campers
Home
Tailgating
Camping
Home
Tailgating
Camping
Home
Commercial & Industrial
Worksite
RVs & Campers
Home
Commercial & Industrial
Worksite
RVs & Campers
Home
Tailgating
Camping
Worksite
Home
Tailgating
Worksite
RVs & Campers
Best Offer
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Our #1 Pick in Portable Generators

1
DuroMax XP13000EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator 13000 Watt Gas or Propane Powered Electric Start-Home Back Up, Blue/Gray Logo
DuroMax
DuroMax XP13000EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator 13000 Watt Gas or Propane Powered Electric Start-Home Back Up, Blue/Gray
Wattage10,500W Rated13,000W Peak
Power SourcePropaneGasoline
OutletsHousehold Outlet 20A x 2Car Outlet14-50R 120/240VL5-30R 120V
Start TypeRecoil StartElectric Push Start
Run Time17 Hours at 25% on Gas
Used ForHomeCommercial & IndustrialWorksiteRVs & Campers
POWERFUL DUROMAX ENGINE: The XP13000EH is powered by a 500cc OHV Duromax Engine. Engine Speed-3600 RPM. Wheel Diameter-10-Inches .With Gasoline : Peak Wattage - 13,000., Running Wattage - 10,500., Running Amperage at 120V - 87.5., Running Amperage at 240V - 43.75., Runtime at 25% Load - 17., Runtime at 50% Load - 8With Propane : Peak Wattage - 12,350., Running Wattage - 9,975., Running Amperage at 120V - 83.13., Running Amperage at 240V - 41.56., Runtime at 25% Load - 13., Runtime at 50% Load - 6Please read the detailed safety instructions in the manual before operating.
DUAL FUEL TECHNOLOGY: The ability to run on Propane or Gasoline allows the Freedom and Flexibility of Fuel Choice.
PLENTY OF POWER: With 13,000 starting watts and 10,500 watts, this unit can handle heavy loads from lights, refrigerators, home conditioners and high amperage power tools.
MAXIMUM POWER: The power panel includes a wide selection of outlets for maximum compatibility in your applications including: 1 120/240V 50A heavy duty outlet, 1 120/240V 30A twist lock outlet, 1 120V 30A twist lock outlet, and 2 120V 20A household outlets.
RV Ready
Parallel
Fuel Tank
8.3 Gallons
Weight
234 lbs
9.9
JunkieScore

Portable Generator Buying Guide

Author Alex M
Published on October 16, 2022
by Alex M

Every home should have a backup power generator in the garage for many reasons. Hurricanes, snowstorms, wildfires, brownouts, cyber-attacks, or just plain old Billy backing into the utility pole again - all pose risks to the fragile power grid we all rely on. Being left without power during an unexpected blizzard clinging to 10 layers of winter clothes like Survivorman may have its charm. But you better be prepared if you want to be able to keep your house running during emergencies. You don't want to run out and buy a generator after disaster strikes - you want to be prepared ahead of time.

With so many generator choices on the market, which power generator do you actually need? This guide will provide a thorough breakdown so that you can make a smart decision to buy the perfect home generator for you.

Types of Generators

There are many different types of generators, each offering their own advantages and drawbacks.

Portable Generators

Portable generators use gas, propane, or other energy source to spin magnets and generate electricity, allowing you to power your appliances during times of need. These generators can be rolled around using wheels and typically produce between 1,000 and 15,000 watts. Conventional generators are the most popular form of backup power.

Conventional portable generators are good for: homes, job sites, industrial/commercial backup

Inverter Generators

Inverter generators are similar to conventional generators, except for a few key differences. Conventional generators contain the combustion engine and the electric generator as separate units. An inverter generator combines them into a single unit so that the combustion engine is also an electric generator.

In summary, inverter generators:

  1. Produce "cleaner" AC power by first converting it to DC, and then back to AC. This helps protect your sensitive electronics like your laptop or TV from power surges.
  2. Are more fuel efficient because they can adjust the speed of the motor to match power demand. Conventional generators operate at a standard speed (typically 3600 RPM) regardless of how much power is being drawn.
  3. Are significantly quieter when running at varying loads. At maximum load, inverters are just as loud as conventional generators.
  4. Weigh a lot less than conventional generators.
  5. Are more expensive than conventional generators.

Inverter generators are good for homes, camping, tailgating, RVs/Campers, or any other place that needs to power sensitive electronics like laptops, computers, printers, etc.

Solar Generators

Solar generators work on the photovoltaic principle to capture light from the sun, convert it into electricity, and store it in the battery for use. Solar generators produce anywhere from 100-2500W of power, depending on model, and typically come with one or several solar panels used to charge the solar generator. Optionally, you can charge the solar generator using your home outlet. The amount of energy you can store in a solar generator is measured in Watt-hours.

Solar generators are good for: camping, boats, powering small home appliances, charging cell phones, powering laptops and small electric devices.

Standby Generators

Standby generators are stationary systems designed to connect to your home's propane or natural gas supply line and provide automatic power in case of an outage. These generators are some of the most expensive but also most powerful ones, providing up to 25,000 watts of reliable power. This is more than enough to fully power a home for an extended period of time.

Standby generators are not meant to be refueled. They work completely passively, kicking in as your power goes out, and staying on until your grid is back online. Most are equipped with an automatic transfer switch to easily switch between propane and natural gas as needed.

Standby generators are good for: powering your entire house, potentially indefinitely

Generator Features

Generator Outlets

The main thing to consider, aside from generator power, are the outlets offered by the generator. Do you use regular household plugs? Look for the 5-15 or 5-20 outlets. Need to connect your RV/Camper? You might need the TT-30, 5-30, or L5-30 outlet. If your RV/Camper has a plug that's different from the generator, you can always buy an adapter that converts, for instance, TT-30 to L5-30 or vice versa. Here's a handy chart that helps break it down.

Generator Outlets Chart
Generator Outlets

You may notice plug names like "5-20R". The "R" explicitly states that it's an outlet, while 5-20 does not. For all intents and purposes, treat 5-20R and 5-20 the same when considering generator outlets.

Electric/Remote Start

If repeatedly start pulling your generator in freezing weather is not your cup of tea, consider investing in a generator with an electric starter. The electric start allows you to easily start your generator by pushing a button. For a more advanced option, look for a generator with a remote start which allows you to do the same thing but from the comfort of your home or RV.

Fuel Gauge

During prolonged periods of power outage, it is useful to be able to discern the remaining fuel level without the need for a flashlight.

CO Shutoff Sensor

Safety features play a major role in a portable generator buying decision. Some of the nicer models feature a carbon monoxide (CO) sensor, which shuts them off if levels around the machine become unsafe. Some of the premium brands offer low CO motors along with the shutoff sensor. Carbon monoxide poisoning from generators is responsible for dozens of deaths annually.

Automatic Oil-Level Shutoff

If the oil level reaches a low threshold, this feature shuts the generator down, preventing a catastrophic engine failure.

Fuel Sources

While most portable generator run on gasoline, there are alternative fuel equipped models out there. Manufacturers offer propane, natural gas, and diesel. Some producers offer adapters and conversion kits.

Portable Generator Safety

  • Never run a gas-powered generator inside a dwelling under any circumstances. 
  • Do not store fuel near the machine.
  • Never utilize typical household extension cords outdoors. Purchase a heavy-duty generator cord and run it inside to a surge protector.
  • Operate the machine at least 20’ from your dwelling and face the exhaust away.
  • Do not operate a generator outside in precipitation. Purchase the manufacturer’s approved canopy, or operate in a carport.
  • Never leave a portable generator running unsupervised.

Miscellaneous Purchase Considerations

The biggest mistake buyers make when purchasing a portable generator for disaster preparedness is waiting until they absolutely need one. As an example, hurricanes create buying frenzies for everything from portable generators to gasoline to fuel cans.

Do you really want to brave hours-long lines and then attempt to assemble and set up a portable generator with no power? Does pull-starting a portable generator in 60 mph winds, dangerous lighting, and torrential downpours sound appealing? Disaster preparedness is a proactive game.

If you may need to utilize the generator sporadically or unpredictably and desire to leave it gassed-up at all times, purchase a bottle of fuel stabilizer and add it to your tank. Hurricane season comes and goes each June through November, so I simply run all of the fuel out of the machine before storing it for the off-season. If you leave unstabilized fuel in them for months or years on end, the gasoline ruins the carburetor, and they won’t start when you need them the most, and they will require an expensive repair.

Keep a spare spark plug and plug wire on hand. Don’t forget, these are simple machines. If you can keep a lawn mower or snow blower running, you are capable of maintaining a portable generator.

Tips

  • Never start the generator with anything plugged into it
  • When using propane, prime the engine by lightly pulling the starter a few times before initiating a full start

FAQ

What is the Difference Between Watts and Watt-Hours?

Watts is the rate at which power is flowing per second. A 50 watt light bulb needs constant 50W of energy per second to stay on. A 500 watt solar generator is able to supply a maximum of 500 watts per second of energy from its battery. Watt Hours (Wh) specifies the storage capacity of the battery. A 1000Wh battery can produce 1000 Watt stream of power for 1 hour (or 3600 seconds).

What is the difference between Starting (Surge) Watts and Running (Rated) Watts?

Some motor-driven products like fridges and circular saws require extra power for a few seconds to start. The starting watts specifies how much power the generator can output for those few seconds to help start those appliances. Running, or rated watts, specifies the continuous power that the generator can supply over long duration. Even though a fridge might consume 700W during normal operation, it might require as much as 2200W to start.

My generator doesn't have a 30 Amp RV outlet. Can I still power my RV?

Yes, you can power your RV using a non-RV-Ready generator using the standard 20 Amp 5-20R outlet but you need to get an adapter to make it work. Obviously, you will only be able to draw a maximum of 20 amps instead of 30.

Which fuel source is cheaper, gasoline or propane?

Watt per watt, propane is about 2x more expensive than gasoline. Propane will also typically provide 85-90% the wattage of gasoline. Keep in mind that those extra 200W could be the difference between starting your RV air conditioner or not.

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