Best Large Portable Generators

If you’re getting a portable generator, it’s great if you can get the best of both worlds by getting the largest one available.

Assuming you have the room to spare, a larger portable generator has all of the advantages of a mobile generator while being as powerful, if not more powerful, than a lot of stationary generators on the market.

We’ve gathered five of our favorite large generators that also happen to be portable.

We’ve also made sure they come at a variety of power levels and price points, so you should be able to find at least one generator here that gets your interest.

Not only that, but we’ve included a buyers’ guide for those of you who are new to getting generators.

In it we go through most of the factors you should consider when buying a generator, making it easier for you to find quality models.

In a Hurry?

Since you have a specific idea of what kind of generator you need, maybe you have a deadline? If you do, check out our number one generator here, it’s the most powerful while staying portable.

That’d be the Generac GP17500E Gas Powered Portable Generator, a great option for those who want to push the limits on what a portable generator can do. See why we like it so much below:

  • First, it has a consistent running wattage of 17,500, making it a very powerful generator for you to own. This power comes from a Generac 992cc OHVI engine that has electric start capabilities.
  • You get the most of this generator’s huge 16-gallon fuel tank, that can double a ten-hour operating time, thanks to its idle control features. It’ll automatically power down if idle for too long or when the fuel is depleted, avoiding hardware damage.
  • It’s built into a durable steel tube cradle with wheels attached, affording you durability and portability in equal measure. Should the generator suffer from any problems that are out of your control, Generac offers a 2-year warranty that protects against poor workmanship.

OUR TOP PICK

If you’re anything like us, you see the word best and think “most powerful.”

That’s why our top generator is big and powerful, which makes the fact it’s still portable even more impressive.

It’s the Generac GP17500E Gas Powered Portable Generator, and it sits firmly on the extreme end of what portables can do.

If you want a humbler portable generator, there are less powerful and smaller models below, but it’s the Generac you’ll want if you want maximum power.

 Let’s get the size out of the way first. This generator measures in at 48.5” long, 31” wide, and 39.5” tall.

As the product code says, this Generac generator runs at a consistent 17,500 watts and, when it first starts up, it has a starting wattage of 26,250.

This is pretty high for most generators, let alone portable ones, and it’s the highest wattage we could find for a portable generator that has credentials and a consumer base that prove it’s a legitimate product.

The downside here is that this generator is expensive. This generator’s power comes from its branded 992cc OHVI engine. 

There’s also a battery that you can use to electric start the generator, after which it’ll slowly burn through its massive sixteen-gallon fuel capacity to keep your house appliances running.

The lifespan of a single fuel tank will vary depending on use, but Generac themselves cite that a half-loaded tank, so eight gallons, can last up to ten whole hours.

The generator is also capable of powering down by itself to avoid complications.

For example, it uses idle control features that stop the generator from wasting fuel.

When that fuel does get depleted, the generator will also turn off to avoid causing damage to its hardware.

So, the tech is impressive as expected for its price, but what also stands out is the build quality of its steel frame.

The unit is housed in a cage of steel tubing, many of which act as handles too, so it’s suitably durable and easy to haul around.

It’s especially easy thanks to the built-in wheels that the cage has.

As we’ve said, the Generac GP17500E is very pricey at the time of writing, but your purchase will be protected by Generac’s two-year warranty that protects against faults with the generator engine and alternator that are out of your control. 

This means you don’t lose money if there are any manufacturing errors with your generator that are out of your control.

Pros:

  • A powerful portable generator with 26,250 starting watts and 17,500 running watts.
  • Uses a Generac 992cc OHVI engine and a battery to get it started electrically.
  • Has a 16-gallon fuel tank that guarantees more than 10 hours of power.
  • Automatically shuts down if the oil capacity gets too low, avoiding damage.
  • Housed in a 1¼” cradle of steel tubing that has attached wheels, adding durability and making it much easier to move or carry.
  • The purchase is protected by a 2-year warranty.

Cons:

  • It is a very pricey generator.

EDITORS CHOICE

DuroMax XP12000EH Generator-12000 Watt Gas or Propane Powered Home Back Up & RV Ready, 50 State Approved Dual Fuel Electric Start Portable Generator, Black and Blue

Next, we have another generator that’s still powerful while being portable, and it’s a dual fuel one, to boot.

We’re talking about the DuroMax XP12000EH Dual Fuel Electric Portable Generator, a popular DuroMax power supply that can output 9,500 running watts after a 12,000-watt start.

This wattage comes courtesy of the DuroMax 18HP 457cc OHV engine, an engine with half the ccs of the first generator but it’s still on the stronger side.

The big draw of this generator is its dual-fuel capability.

This allows the generator to generate electricity from both gasoline and propane, making it easier to find fuel for this machine and choose the one you prefer. 

The propane tank has twenty pounds of capacity that, if halfway full, can power it for twenty whole hours.

The gasoline tank has roughly the same power lifespan that you can expect from our first product.

Between these two options, it’s great value for the lower price point that this generator has.

Part of this ample power lifespan is down to DuroMax’s MX2 tech, which gives you the option to double the standard 120V receptacles to generate power at 240V.

These are activated with an easy electric start, too. It has a lot of safety options, such as a control panel and a breaker with separate switches, and the generator is approved by both the EPA and the CARB for every single US state.

It also has the durable metal frame that you’d expect, but we’d say the wheels that come with this generator aren’t great.

It’s a heavy generator and after a while, it seems that they aren’t up for the task of carrying this thing around, so maybe have a plan to eventually change those wheels if you want to keep the generator mobile in the long-term.

Pros:

  • A portable generator that starts at 12,000 watts and runs at 9,500 watts.
  • Runs off a DuroMax 18HP, 457cc OHV engine.
  • Dual-fuel technology allows the generator to run off both gasoline and propane.
  • DuroMax MX2 technology maximizes the power from its 120-volt receptacles by twice as much.
  • Along with being housed in a portable cage, this generator is EPA and CARB approved in all 50 States.

Cons:

  • The default tires aren’t great, and you might want to replace them.

BEST VALUE

Westinghouse WGen5500 Portable Generator - 5500 Rated Watts & 6850 Peak Watts - Gas Powered - CARB Compliant - Transfer Switch Ready

Here’s a generator with a much humbler power profile and price point than the first two, so if you’re looking for a large and portable generator for less intensive domestic use, you’ll probably enjoy what the Westinghouse WGen5500 Portable Generator has to offer.

The Westinghouse is also Amazon’s #1 Best Seller in the Outdoor Generators category, so you could be the latest in a long line of people who have been satisfied with this purchase.

So, what does the WGen5500 offer? The product code is a dead giveaway, it runs off of 5,500 watts after a peak wattage of 6,850 upon activation.

This comes from Westinghouse’s own 420cc four-stroke OHV engine, which also has the ability to turn itself off if it’s left on with a depleted oil tank.

This means it can stop itself before any hardware damage occurs, keeping both you and the generator safe.

Ground fault circuit interrupters do the same too if there’s a problem with the way this generator is hooked up.

For this generator’s power level, it has a large fuel tank that lasts a long time, and this is why the generator itself is quite large.

It has a 6.6-gallon fuel tank for you to use that can hit fifteen whole hours of power supply when filled over its halfway point.

How you use it may put a dent in that number, of course, but it’s still impressive for this model of generator.

If you’re here because you’re getting one of your first generators and you’re not sure where to start, this would be a good place.

This purchase isn’t just for a powerful but affordable generator, it’ll also include oil and a funnel for you to use with it, and a toolkit.

Add to that package a user guide that explains the ins and outs of operating this machine, and you have a starting pack that’s great for beginners.

Pros:

  • Amazon’s #1 Bestselling outdoor generator that also has an activation wattage of 6,850 and a running wattage of 5,500.
  • Runs with Westinghouse’s own 420cc 4-stroke OHV engine
  • The engine includes automatic shutdown capabilities to avoid damage to its hardware.
  • Its 6.6-gallon fuel tank, with gauge, lasts up to 15 hours.
  • Comes with oil, a funnel, and a user guide that makes it a great first generator.

Cons:

  • Westinghouse’s after-purchase support has been criticized by fellow customers.

RUNNER UP

Honda 660270 7,000 Watt Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator with Electric Start

You probably know Honda because of the fuel-efficient cars they make but, like many of the big-brand manufacturers, they’ve diversified into other markets as well, with generators being one of them.

The Honda generator we chose for this list is the EU7000iAT1 Super Quiet Portable Generator.

You can probably guess what the selling point of this model is. 

Whereas the previous generator was the #1 Best Seller for Amazon’s Outdoor Generators category, this one is the #1 New Release and has a bright future ahead of it if its sales keep trending the way they are.

That 7000 in the product code is the 7,000 watts of power that this Honda machine runs at when in use.

The standout feature of this product is that it’s very quiet, hence the generator’s name.

It runs at just 52-58 decibels, which is the equivalent of a hairdryer or some of the louder electric fans. 

It’s rare for so-called quiet generators to be as quiet as they claim, but the folks at Honda have made sure this is one of the exceptions.

They’ve packed this generator full of other features too, the most notable being its Electronic Fuel Injection and Eco-Throttle systems.

The fuel injection is exactly what it sounds like, a smooth fuel delivery system that reduces the likelihood of carburetor problems and other maintenance complications.

The Eco-Throttle System uses the generator’s 5.1-gallon fuel capacity and squeezes six to eighteen hours of power depending on its use.

As far as portability goes, it has a wheelbarrow design featuring handles and wheels so that it can be lifted and moved pretty easily.

It has a recoil starter that gets it running, but it can take some effort on your part before you get any results.

Pros:

  • A 7,000-watt generator from a reputable manufacturer that’s also Amazon’s #1 New Release in the Outdoor Generators category.
  • Ultra-quiet operation at just 52-58 decibels.
  • Electronic Fuel Injection tech reduces potential carburetor issues.
  • Eco-Throttle System squeezes 6-18 hours out of its 5.1-gallon fuel capacity.
  • Has a wheelbarrow design with handles and wheels for easy movement.

Cons:

  • Recoil starter takes some elbow grease to work.

RUNNER UP

Now, large is a relative term for where your generator is going to be kept.

We’ve already suggested four great domestic generators that are large, so why not include a camping generator for those of you who spend a lot of time in the great outdoors?

The Pulsar Portable 900/1200W Gas Generator is a large generator for camping, but it’ll only power several small appliances or one or two large ones.

In terms of power, this is the smallest generator on our list, hence its place here. It has 1,200 peak watts and then 900 running watts.

When its 1.1-gallon fuel tank is just half-loaded, the generator can run for about five to eight hours.

This is incredible for the size and capacity of the generator, and it works best when used in temporary outdoor conditions like camping or having a tailgate party. 

When the tank of this generator needs refilling, a low oil indicator will notify you. The generator only weighs thirty-five pounds.

This is so light that the generator doesn’t even need wheels or another portability feature, it can just be carried around freely.

Pros:

  • A larger model of small camping generator that has a peak wattage of 1,200 and 900 running watts.
  • The 1.1-gallon fuel tank will give you five to eight hours when half-loaded.
  • Low oil indicator lets you know when the generator needs refilling.
  • Only 35 pounds, making it ultra-portable.

Cons:

  • It’s great for recreational use, but don’t try to get it running with power tools.

Best Large Portable Generator Buyers’ Guide

How to Get the Best Large Portable Generator

Generators can be very expensive, so you should get all the facts before you try buying one.

Our buyers’ guide can help you with that since we’ve explained the basic features you should be looking at.

These are the wattage of your chosen generator, its fuel capacity and the run time from that fuel supply, the weight and portability of the machine, and the noise it produces.

We’ve also mentioned some additional, optional features that are wise to look out for.

Wattage

Put simply, wattage is the power of your generator in terms of how many, or how large, appliances it can support when running. There’s a simple process for determining how much wattage you need.

If you know how you’re going to use the generator, just add up the wattages of the appliances you want to get powered by it.

If that number exceeds the wattage of the generator you want, that’s too much and you’ll need a more powerful machine. Make sure you measure both running and starting watt totals.

The more watts, the more expensive your generator will be, and the more powerful ones also tend to be louder.

Fuel Capacity and Run Time

The fuel capacity of your generator and its run-time are directly linked, so we’ll talk about them together. Fuel tanks can range from one to sixteen or twenty-gallon tanks, and the size you get will largely depend on why you want the generator.

Some generators are capable of taking both gasoline and propane, so you’ll need to decide whether you want to pay more for this capability. Propane is much more powerful than gasoline but tends to be more expensive.

The magic number for run time is eight hours. You want to get at least eight hours out of your generator no matter how big or powerful it is, though nowadays you’ve been conned if your massive generator isn’t far exceeding eight hours.

We say that because larger generators are capable of sustaining ten to twenty hours of consistent power on just half of their tank. Decide which run time you need, an eight-hour run that’ll last you one night’s sleep, or twice or thrice that number for consistent domestic use.

Weight and Portability

The physical casing of the generator is just as important as the electrical specs inside. You’ll want a generator that’s both durable and portable, which means you’ll also want it to be light.

Fifty pounds is a great lower point for a portable generator, we’d say, though we have one for less than even that in our list.

On the higher end, you’ll see generators reach two hundred and three hundred pounds, but that’s where you should pay attention to any handles and wheels those generators have since that wheelbarrow design will make them easier to move.

Noise

This will depend on your tolerance for loud noise and where you plan on using the generator, but you may want to get a quieter generator.

Assuming all else is equal, we’d advise you to get a quieter generator over a noisier one, especially if you plan on having your generator power domestic appliances on a semi-regular basis.

Additional Features

Other additional features and things you need to keep in mind may be included in your chosen generator. Many of these would be additional safety features that make the generator easier to maintain.

For example, many generators will have control panels and circuit breakers with multiple switches to lessen the chance of human error or electrical complications.

Speaking of electrical complications, some generators will have rubberized borders on the power outlets to keep you and the machine safe.

Those panels may also have an indicator that lets you know when the oil is running low. Check if your generator will come with some supplementary products to make refueling easier, such as some fuel itself or a funnel to distribute it with. 


This can also include tools so that those of you in the know can keep the machine running in the long-term. 

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    I'm an environment and energy blogger who teaches outdoor and energy enthusiasts how to be better informed when it comes to purchasing or maintaining a generator, solar panel system, or anything else related to your energy needs.