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Review of the DuroMax XP12000EH Dual Fuel Open Frame Portable Generator

12000 Starting Watts, 9500 Running Watts on Gasoline

11400 Starting Watts, 9025 Running Watts on Propane

Electric Start: Yes

Weight: 224lbs

Noise: 69dB

duromax xp12000eh

Should You Buy It?

This powerful portable generator has answered many buyers' needs. But, like most generators from all manufacturers, not every unit has been problem-free. While most buyers are pleased with customer support, others say it is disappointing.

Nevertheless, this is a good option to consider buying if you need this level of power and versatility. The problems with customer support mentioned below may worry potential buyers. For some reassurance, they should familiarize themselves with what the warranty covers them for, knowing at the same time there is little difference in the warranties on offer by any of the manufacturers.

Key Points about the DuroMax XP12000EH

4 and 5-stars given by most owners
Dual fuel versatility
Whole house backup power
Keyed electric start
Very heavy
Open frame and noisy
Uneven Customer Service
Oil change every 20 hours
No-flat solid wheels

Overview of the Generator

DuroMax XP12000EH Dual Fuel

The DuroMax XP12000EH is a versatile and powerful dual fuel generator with both 120v and 240v capabilities. It provides similar power to a fixed home standby backup system, but with the additional benefits of portability. It's a slightly less powerful version of the DuroMax XP13000EH, and compares with the lower powered DuroStar DS10000EH, both of which are dual fuel models as well.

The XP1200EH is built with an all-metal construction to ensure durability in the toughest conditions, either keeping you powered up at home or when working on a jobsite. 

Controls and Features

DuroMax XP12000EH DF Components

The control panel has 2x120v household GFCI outlets and 1x120v/240v 30A twist lock outlet. All are protected by circuit breakers. It also has a voltmeter and 12v DC charging. The generator has a key-activated electric start as well as a manual recoil cord. Additionally, the panel includes a low oil warning light and an idle control.

A sensor is used to monitor the engine's oil level and shuts the engine down when the level is insufficient to operate safely. Adding an adequate amount of oil will allow you to perform a restart.

The generator is EPA Certified and CARB Compliant, so you can use it in all 50 states.

Though it's a dual fuel variant, running it in for the first 5 hours or so should apparently be done using gasoline.

Detailed information for this model is contained in its manual.

With the absence of a carbon monoxide (CO) sensor, you must not operate this generator in an enclosed space.

Power Output

This is a powerhouse of a generator producing 12000 starting watts and 9500 running watts on gasoline from its 457cc 18HP engine. When using propane, the power delivery falls, but only slightly, to 11400 starting watts and 9025 running watts.  With this kind of power, you can run most of your house, including a central air conditioner, but be aware of putting too much strain on the engine for too long to avoid damage. Remember, no portable generator is designed to run 24/7, and in any emergency you'll want to focus mainly on powering the essentials.

The generator also has plenty of power to work with high amperage power tools on jobsites.

Even though the XP12000EH is a powerful generator, other factors such as altitude and ambient temperature can significantly affect its performance. We go a bit deeper into this important subject.

As with all traditional generators, you shouldn't connect sensitive electronics to this unit without using a UPS/line conditioner. This will help prevent potential damage caused by spikes in the output. And even so, consider an additional inverter if you will need to connect sensitive electronics regularly.


This generator weighs a hefty 224lbs when assembled with the included wheels and foldable handle.

Noise Level

In the absence of established standards for measuring noise levels, most manufacturers take measurements at around 23 feet. But the resulting measurement can be affected by the positioning of the unit. In particular, if the exhaust is facing away, the level will be quite a lot lower.

Open frame generators only have the muffler to help reduce noise levels. For this model, DuroMax put the sound level at 69dB. According to noise charts, this is about as loud as a dishwasher.

What Most Buyers Like

The XP12000EH is highly rated by several sources, and a lot of buyers award it with 4 and 5-Stars. They say it has a great price and, in some instances, can replace a whole house standby system. For this you'll need a transfer kit, such as this combo (50 Amp) or either this one (30 Amp) or this one (30 Amp).

One of its benefits is how easy it is to set up and get going, and how well it performs during emergencies and power outages. The option for users to operate the unit with propane is a big plus because getting hold of gas can be impossible at times, and storing enough of it is a headache.

What Some Buyers Like Less

It's heavy to move around, but since it's only for emergencies it serves its purpose. Buyers dislike the no-flat plastic wheels, and with these it's way too heavy to move on grass. One owner recommends you replace the supplied wheels with these RamPro 10-inch wheels.

The generator is very loud. And having to change the oil every 20 hours is like having to change it every day.

While we cannot say this is fully representative of the company's Customer Service, some buyers make no bones about describing it as horrible. They say it suffers from indifference and incompetence, failing to answer and return calls or respond to emails. One owner was kept on hold for an hour, after which the call was cut off.

One owner says the company could do better to ensure there is an updated manual that reflects what's in the box. They say, for example, there is no mention of the negative battery terminal arriving unattached and hidden under the frame. 

Because of its weight, courier companies are thought to have damaged some units during the delivery. Would a better protected box help to prevent this?

The warranty only covers parts in certain circumstances, and the company expect owners to fit replacement parts themselves, which is often beyond the competence of many buyers. This seems to be the practice of most, if not all, manufacturers. Have a look here for a bit more information we have compiled about warranties in general, 

Peak Wattage12,000
Running Wattage9,500
Running Amperage at 120V79.17
Running Amperage at 240V39.58
Runtime at 25% Load19
Runtime at 50% Load8
Peak Wattage11,400
Running Wattage9,025
Running Amperage at 120V75.21
Running Amperage at 240V37.6
Runtime at 25% Load14
Runtime at 50% Load7
Engine and Emissions
Engine ManufacturerDuroMax Power Equipment
Engine Type4-Stroke
Valve TypeOHV
Engine Cooling TypeForced Air
Engine Size457cc
Engine Speed3600 RPM
Starting TypeKey Switch
Electric StartYes
Recoil StartYes
Idle ControlNo Load Low Idle
Fuel Delivery SystemCarburetor
Fuel TypesGasoline and Propane
Oil Cooling TypeSplash
Recommended Oil10W-30
Recommended Oil TypesBlended, Conventional, or Synthetic
Oil Capacity40.5 fluid oz
Suggested Propane Tank Size40 lbs. minimum
Automatic Low Oil ShutdownYes
Cast Iron SleeveYes
Bearing TypeStainless Steel Ball Bearing
EPA CertifiedYes
CARB CertifiedYes
50 State EmissionsYes
Panel Specifications
GFCI OutletsYes
Volt MeterAnalog
12V Post1
Generator Specifications
ManufacturerDuroMax Power Equipment
Part #XP12000EH
Voltage120/240 Volts
Frequency60 Hertz
GFCI OutletsYes
Propane Hose & RegulatorIncluded
Winding Material100% Copper Windings
Automatic Voltage RegulatorYes
Battery Type12V SLA
Battery IncludedYes
RV ReadyYes
Home Backup ReadyYes
Fuel Tank Capacity Gasoline8.3 Gallons
Fuel GaugeYes
All Metal ConstructionYes
Product Dimensions29"(L) x 30"(W) x 26"(H)
Product Dry Weight224-lbs
Product Weight238-lbs
Volume (db)74 dB
Warranty3 Year
Wheel & Handle KitIncluded
Wheel TypeMetal Hub
Wheel Diameter10-Inches
What's in the Box?XP12000EH Generator, oil funnel
Spark Plug Wrench, tool Set
Wheel & Handle Kit, DC Charging Cables
Propane Regulator, Owner's Manual