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Duromax Portable Generator XP12000EH Review

backup generator sitting on driveway with workman in background

On this site, we spend a lot of time reviewing generators to assess which is the quietest or the most compact. Yet, some situations require a different focus. You won’t be heaving the DuroMax XP12000EH single-handedly into the back of your car. However, if you need a wealth of power, this Duromax portable generator delivers in spades. By combining a huge capacity, a full array of plug options, and a thoughtful list of features, this is one of the most capable and versatile units we have tested.

Key Features

DuroMax went all out in making sure this is one of the most equipped portable generators on the market. When reviewing generators, the number of oversights or features that many manufacturers forget is often surprising. However, I struggled to find a missing piece of equipment on this unit. Here are some of the highlights.

DuroMax XP12000EH 12000-Watt 18 HP Portable Dual Fuel Gas Propane Generator

Electric Start

When considering a larger generator like the XP12000EH, having an electric start becomes less of a luxury and more of a necessity. Compared to a smaller unit, the 450cc engine in this unit requires a reasonably hefty force to start. Thus, I was very happy to see the inclusion of an electric start. Not only does this feature make the unit much easier to live with, but it increases its versatility as well. By having an electric starting function, it becomes much easier to install a remote-starting kit or to use this unit for automatic home backup power. When looking at generators, versatility and redundancy are huge advantages. 

DuroMax wanted to make sure that you could still have power in the event of a dead battery or a starting circuit failure. Thus, the XP12000EH is also equipped with a traditional pull-start, giving you the best of both worlds. 

Dual Fuel Capability

The fuel situation is another area where this unit excels at versatility and convenience. For certain contexts, such as camping or construction sites, powering a generator with gasoline is much more convenient. However, other situations lend themselves to propane power, like when using a generator for a home backup.

Typically, you have to choose between these two options when selecting a generator. Not so with the XP12000EH. This model runs equally well off of both fuel sources without any modification needed. So whether you need the immediacy of gasoline or the long-term storage capabilities of propane, this unit works equally well.

Full Array of Outlets

Ultimately, electrical outlets are not expensive items. Given this, you would think that manufacturers would not hesitate to equip their units with a full complement of outlet options. Yet, it is unfortunately very common to need a myriad of adapters to power your various toys and equipment. With this in mind, I was extremely happy to see how many outlets were offered by Duromax. In addition to standard wall sockets, it has a 50-amp plug, a 30-amp RV twist plug, and a 30-amp straight-pin welding style plug. You’ll be able to plug in anything you can imagine without extra thought or equipment.

Surprisingly Portable

I don’t want to misrepresent reality here. Compared to the svelte generators I often review, the XP12000EH is a substantial unit. However, as 12kW models are concerned, it is surprisingly compact. At only 30” in every dimension and under 250 lbs, this generator will not occupy too much valuable real estate in your garage or truck.

Further, while you certainly won’t be slinging it over your shoulder, it is easy enough to transport using the included wheel and handle kit. It is not uncommon for generators of this capacity to weigh twice as much, so I applaud DuroMax’s efforts to build a reasonably sized unit.

Overbuilt Engine

Another item in the “well done” list of this generator is the engine itself. When looking at various models of generators, the temptation is to focus solely on the electrical specifications. However, it is important to also consider the gasoline half of the equation. A lot of generators tend to “max out” their engines, meaning that while they can technically produce the quoted amount of power, the engine itself is straining to do so.

That is why it was nice to see the comparatively overbuilt engine used in this model. DuroMax builds its own engines and uses a 457cc variant in this model. By giving this generator a larger engine than it truly needs, the engine is quieter, less strained, and will last longer.

Technical Specifications

Looking at the technical specifications of the DuroMax XP12000EH represents somewhat of a tour de force. The main star here is the 12,000-watt maximum output, coupled with a 9,500-watt sustained load capability. This amount of capacity means that this generator is well suited for running extremely large fifth wheels or coaches. Further, it is one of the few portable generators that can serve as a truly comprehensive home backup unit. 

Efficiency and runtime are other strongpoints here. This unit has an almost 9-gallon fuel tank, which is the largest I have seen for the category. Coupled with a very efficient fuel usage of under one GPH, a user should expect this model to run for at least 10 hours on a full tank. 

A relatively unique aspect of this unit is its dual voltage modes. Many portable generators are limited to 120-volt output, which can be restrictive when powering many air conditioners or large home appliances. DuroMax gave this unit 240-volt capability than can run simultaneously with its 120-volt circuit, so you will be ready regardless of the need.

Running Watts: 9,500Peak Watts: 12,000
Fuel Type: Gasoline / PropaneFuel Tank Capacity: 8.3 gal.
Run Time @ 50%: 8.83 hrs.Engine Displacement: 457cc
Engine Type: 4 StrokeVolume Level: 74db
Low Oil Shutdown: YesAssembled Length: 40 in.
Assembled Width: 29 in.Assembled Height: 27.5 in.
Unit Weight: 260 lb.Suggested Propane Tank Size: 40 gal.

Pros and Cons of The DuroMax XP12000EH Generator

There is frankly little to complain about with this unit, provided your expectations are reasonable. The main drawback is that, despite being comparatively small, this is still a large unit. Thus, for camping or other mobile adventures, it can be a bit of a bear to move. 

Noise is another slight concern. At a moderate load, I measured the noise level of this unit at 63db from 20 feet away. For a large generator, this is fairly quiet. However, you may want to consider an external muffler setup if you are particularly sensitive to noise. 

The “pros” definitely outweigh the cons, however. This generator excels in terms of technical capacity and specifications. Further, the value is astounding. At this price point, I would be pleased to get a generator with a fraction of this capacity. In terms of price-per-watt for a highly featured generator, it is hard to beat.

Available Variations of the Duromax Portable Generator

The XP series is DuroMax’s heavy-duty line, and it includes a variety of variants depending on your needed capacity. The smallest option is the compact 10kW XP1000E. For the most demanding users, the 15kW XP15000E is the largest of the range. In total, there are seven capacities that all represent variations on the same great basic design. Below are just a few of these variations.


Choosing a large-capacity generator is a significant investment, so it’s important to make sure you find a high-quality product with the right features. Frankly, a lot of high-capacity generators fail to hide their primitive job-site roots. The refinement and features of this DuroMax portable generator put it in a different category.

The DuroMax XP12000EH generator has the grunt to power a whole construction site or house, but the refinement to be used while camping. Combined with its variety of plugs and dual-fuel functionality, this multi-tasker is a great choice for anyone needing a surplus of power.

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