Many readers ask me how to choose a reliable 10000-watt generator, so my list of the 10 best 10,000 watt generators concentrates on those with good power, decent portability, but that are clean and quiet enough for my use.
Combine my hand-on background and RV experience, I have spent dozens of hours to finish this article and I hope it can give you some help.
- Best for High Power Requirements: Champion 12,000 ” Ultra-powerful, has a reliable electric starter, and has covered outlets and an effective lift hook that make this an ideal portable generator.”
- Best for Convenience: Westinghouse WGen9500 ” With gas power and electric ignition, and even includes its own tool kit and a remote start fob making it a convenient option.”
- 👍 My Choice: DuroMax XP12000EH ” The duel fuel generator, giving users the choice of propane or gasoline powered portability and is approved for use in all states so perfect for taking on the road.
- Best for Workshops: Honda EB10000 ” Not only reliable and powerful but incorporates a muffler to reduce noise levels to the equivalent of a vacuum cleaner. ”
- Best on Budget: All Power America 10000 “Another dual fuel model and also features an electric start and a noise level of just 76db, all on a decent budget.”
- Best for RVs: Pulsar Non-CARB 10,000W “Starts quickly and can be powered by either LPG or gasoline. It also has a 50A RV outlet.”
- Best for Fuel Efficiency: DuroStar DS10000EH “Can be powered by propane or gasoline, has a muffler installed to reduce engine noise, and has excellent fuel efficiency rating.”
- Best for Outdoor Work: A-iPower SUA12000E “With a 12,000 Watt peak power output can run up to 5 power tools at once and has a spark arrestor that will prevent fires.”
- Best Dual Fuel Generator: WEN DF1100T 11,000 “Powered by either gasoline or propane, switching between the two fuels used by the WEN DF1100T really is as easy as turning the dial.”
- Best House Backup Generator: Generac 7033 “The best looking generator in our list and while it lacks the same level of portability as other models, it is ideal for static RVs or for use as a whole-house backup generator.”
10000 Watt Generator Buying Guide
10kW Generator Uses
A 10,000-watt generator is powerful and should be capable of running multiple appliances and power tools at once. They are often used as a backup generator in case of power outages and, if you’re like me and enjoy a few home comforts while you’re travelling, they make ideal RV generators.
Their high output means that these mammoth generators can be used to power larger appliances and items, whereas a smaller generator might only be suitable for a single appliance or those with low power requirements.
Calculate the power you need by adding the running power that each appliance needs. For example, if you’re using the generator as a backup for your home, add the wattage requirements of your heating, refrigerator, stove, washer, and other essentials. If this falls below 10,000 watts, then one of the generators reviewed below will be ideal for your purposes.
If you are using the generator in this way, pay attention to the runtime that is delivered at 100% and 50% wattage and remember that a 10kW generator running at 50% power will only give you 5000 watts. This should still be ample to power the essentials, but it is worth noting.
Peak And Running Power Output
Most generators list their peak and rated power output, with the latter also sometimes referred to as rated power.
Appliances like refrigerators typically use more power for the first two or three seconds that they are powered up. This is referred to as their startup output. Once they are running, their power usage will reduce, and this is referred to as the running power. Because of these startup requirements, generators should list both a starting power and a running power, although they might be listed as peak power and running power.
A 10,000 watt generator may not offer a full 10,000 watts while it is running. The Honda generator, for example, is listed as a 10,000-watt model, but it only offers this as starting power. It does, however, have one of the highest running power ratings, at 9,000 watts. If you will never need the full 10,000 watt power output, you could save some money or get improved features from a different generator with a lower power output.
Traditionally, there are three types of fuel used to power a generator – gasoline, LPG, and diesel.
- Gasoline – Gasoline generators are extremely common. The fuel is readily available and gasoline generators do tend to be more portable than other models. However, although still safe, gasoline is more flammable than other fuel types and it has a shorter shelf life.
- LPG – Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG), or propane, has a long shelf life and is known to burn cleanly. It is also easy to store and usually offers a quieter running generator than other fuel types.
- Diesel – Diesel generators are high powered, long-lasting, and very durable. However, it is not good for the environment and its high level of dirty emissions means that its use is restricted in a lot of areas. These restrictions make it impractical for most people, which is why you won’t find any diesel generators in the list.
Some of the generators in our list offer duel fuel operation. This means that they can run on LPG or gasoline, and can be switched from one fuel to the other, as required. This offers the benefits of propane, with the backup of readily available gasoline, and it enables you, the user, to choose your preferred fuel type according to the situation and conditions.
Tank Capacity And Runtime
The tank capacity of your generator will determine how long it can run before running out of power, as well as how often you will need to fill the tank. Generally speaking, the bigger the tank, the longer you can run the generator, but you do need to take other factors into account.
Some generators use fuel more efficiently, so while one might have a slightly smaller tank than another, it might still offer a longer runtime.
Do look at tank capacities, but pay closer attention to the runtime that is offered at 50% and 100% power output level to make a better informed decision.
Depending on how you intend to use your new 10,000 watt generator, you need to ensure that it has the appropriate outlets, and also the number of outlets that are provided. If you’re only powering a small handful of appliances, you can pretty much choose from the whole bunch. However, if you are running multiple appliances at once, and want some redundancy for additional items, a generator like the Honda EB10000, with 9 outlets, is likely to be your best option.
You should also consider the type of outlets on offer. Some include a USB connection, which is ideal for powering your cell phone and keeping mobile devices fully charged even when you’re away.
In some circumstances, noise level really matters. Some RV parks, for example, have a noise limit, and you run the risk of being kicked off the site if you exceed these levels. The generator will also be close to where you sleep. If you’re a light sleeper, then a noisy generator will keep you awake. Some generators list the noise level they produce.
Some include mufflers and other technology to help reduce engine noise.
Once again, it is the Honda generator that stands out in this area, producing a muffled 68dB, which is quieter than a typical vacuum cleaner, so if silent operator really matters to you, this is likely to be your best option. Other generators on the list have a noise level of between 72dB and 78dB. These won’t cause tremors and they should still easily meet most noise requirements.
If you’re going to be using your generator as backup for power outages, then portability isn’t likely to be the most important factor. The Generac 7033 Guardian is designed for this purpose and it shows. It lacks the same handles and mobility features that make other models easier to move around.
If you’re choosing a device for use when RVing, however, you need something with portable handles otherwise you will struggle to shift what is a heavy object.
Also consider dimensions and the weight of the generator to ensure that it really is as portable as the manufacturer claims.
In an ideal world, budget wouldn’t matter in the decisions we make. However, in the real world, generators are like any other item. They come in a variety of price brackets. Those with the greatest features and the most power to tend cost more, but if you only need a few outlets and don’t have any special requirements with regards to the features offered, then a budget generator should be ample for your needs.
The 10 Best 10000 Watt Generators Reviewed
With all of these factors in mind, below are reviews of the 10 best 10kW generators I have found.
The gasoline powered Champion generator is the most powerful in the list. While most models list their starting power, the Champion achieves 12,000 watts running power and has a monstrous 15,000 watt starting power.
Its 10.9 gallon tank will run for nearly 10 hours at 50% power, and it features Champion’s Cold Start Technology, making it suitable for use in any conditions.
The noise level is rated at 78 dBA from a distance of 23 feet, so there are quieter models out there, but this is a trade off for the extra power that you’re receiving.
Although there is no fuel level gauge, the intelligauge tracks important levels like voltage, hertz, and run-time. For convenience, the Champion also includes a lift hook, a foldaway handle, and never-flat tires.
- Very powerful starting and running power
- 9 hour run time at 50% power
- Cold Start Technology
- 7 outlets
- No fuel gauge
- Not the lightest generator in the list
- No backup recoil starter
Virtually all the reviews for this generator have been positive, with most people saying that they can use it to run the whole house. There’s also praise for its ability to start in the cold, but a couple of owners have criticized its lack of a fuel gauge. One reviewer pointed to an oil leak that was present on the purchase, but this looks to be a one off and looks likely to have been a single faulty unit.
The Champion is a very powerful generator. It might be a bit much for general RV needs but is ideal for those that are looking for a backup generator for the house. It has a decent number of outlets, will start in cold weather which is essential for a backup generator, but you might need to take where you place it because its power means that it isn’t the quietest in the list.
The Westinghouse WGen9500 is gasoline powered and is an open-frame portable generator. It has a high power output, runs reasonably quietly, and is efficient with a long running time for the gasoline consumed. It also has a few unique features like an electric starter that can be powered on and off remotely.
The WGen9500 has a starting wattage of 12500W and running power of 9500W. It is gasoline powered with a 6.6 gallon tank. While there are bigger tanks in other models, this is an efficient model with consumption of around 0.38 Gallons Per Hour.
It should have enough power to run a house as a backup generator during power outages, and have more than enough power for RVing. There are also reports of professionals using this generator to run a mobile business or to run multiple power tools at once.
The motor has a pull-start mechanism, as well as an electric starter. It also has a useful remote fob, so it can be started from your room without having to head out in bad weather. There’s a total of 6 outlets, but it does weigh 220lbs which makes it a challenge to easily move around, although the wheels are useful on rough terrain.
- Remote entry fob
- Powerful starting and running watts
- 6 outlets
- 17.5 hour run time at 25%
- Reported 0.38 GPH consumption
- Louder than some other models
- Weighs more than 220 lbs
- Not suitable for charging electronic and sensitive equipment
The WGen 9500 is reported to offer enough power to comfortably keep a house running during a power outage. It receives praise for its convenient remote starter and electric starter motor. A lot of owners also appreciated the inclusion of an oil filter for filling with the required motor oil – it might only be a small feature, but it’s incredibly inconvenient to find you don’t have one.
Some reviews complain of receiving faulty units, so you may have to contact Westinghouse to sort repair or get a replacement, although it is worth noting that over 90% of customers were happy with their purchase.
There have been some complaints of faulty units that don’t work on receipt of the item, and for this reason I would more than likely advise giving it a miss. If you do buy one and it works, though, you will benefit from decent power, excellent fuel efficiency, and considerable run time.
The DuroMax XP1200EH is a dual fuel generator that can run on either propane or gasoline. With high peak and running power, it is suitable for use when working, or as a backup generator used in case of power failures and outages. It has 5 outlets, including a 120V 30A twist lock and should run for approximately 9 hours at 50% load. Because this is a dual fuel generator, it will cost a little more than comparable single fuel models, but for some people, that trade-off is worthwhile.
DuroMax is a California based company, known for using high grade materials in the construction of its generators. Like most modern generators, it incorporates an electric starter, which is preferred over the recoil starter. A recoil starter is provided as backup, in case the starter battery runs low or fails.
In terms of outlets, the XP12000EH has two regular 120V outlets, which are the same as those you probably have in your home. For me, though, the standout feature of this generator is the inclusion of a 30A 120V twist-lock outlet. This type of outlet will prove very handy for RV owners, but is sadly missing on a lot of other similarly priced and specced models.
- Dual fuel model
- Twist lock outlet for RVs
- Efficient fuel use
- Relatively quiet for a generator of this size
- No oil included
- Some fiddling with carburetor and auto throttle might be required
- Provided can go flat
Some buyers have said that the lights dim when they start up their AC unit, but this is primarily due to the huge startup load required for larger AC units. Most reviewers, however, stated that they had more than enough running power to effectively manage all of the power needs in their home. Some reviewers have also indicated that they had to adjust the auto throttle and the carburetor to prevent surging, but these complaints are minimal.
There have also been some complaints over the quality of the rubber tires, with a number of buyers having bought replacement wheels themselves.
There are some mild issues with this generator, but it is a powerful dual fuel generator that is one of only a select few that has a twist-lock outlet: ideal for myself and the countless other users looking for a portable RV generator. If this is you, then the DuroMax XP12000EH is our recommended generator.
Honda has developed an excellent reputation for its manufacture and supply of portable generators, and the EB10000 is an upgraded version of one of its largest models in this class. It is highly recommended to heavy industrial users, ideal for use on construction sites.
Despite its power, it is also quiet and easy to use. However, it is also one of the heaviest generators in the list, which means that while it might be convenient for permanent placement, it is less than convenient if you need something to regularly lug around.
The generator has 5 outlets, will run for over 7 hours at 50% load, and incorporates heavy duty components that make it ideal for use on construction sites and in other challenging conditions. The EB10000 is often marketed as being an industrial generator, and is less suitable for portable or home use thanks to its bulk and its weight. The 10000W generator has a peak output of 10000W and a rated output of 9000W.
- Muffler reduces noise to that of a vacuum
- Excellent fuel efficiency
- Honda reputation
- Very heavy
- Only really suited to industrial use
The majority of reviews praise the EB10000 for its reliability and durability, but they criticise its heft. Weighing more than 400lbs, this is easily one of the heaviest models of its type and power. However, the same reviewers did praise Honda for its inclusion of a variety of handles and other features that make it a little easier to move the unit around.
The Honda EB10000 generator is quiet despite being powerful, but a combination of its weight, the use of heavy duty components, and its red and black design, mean that this generator is better suited to life on a construction site rather than as a backup generator for the home or RV. If that’s what you’re looking for, you will struggle to find a more reliable generator, though.
The All Power American 10000 watt generator is a dual fuel model, which means that you can run it on either gasoline or propane. It has 10000 watt peak power and 8000 watt rated power when using gasoline, and slightly lower 8500 watt peak and 7000 watt rated power using LPG.
It is one of the cheaper models in this range, but still provides more than enough power to run most home appliances during a power outage. The generator has a 6.6 gallon fuel tank and with a full tank of gas it will run for 11 hours at 50% load. The electric starter, which is commonplace in modern generators, is supported by a recoil backup in case the battery dies. The noise level of this device is approximately 76dBA
- 11 hour run time at 50% load
- Budget friendly, dual-fuel model
- 7 outlets with a decent range of connections
- Not CARB compliant
- Louder than some alternatives
The All Power America has received a lot of positive reviews, with only a couple of complaints over components not working or, in one case, the fuel filter missing. Positive reviews indicate that this is a budget friendly model, is well built, and will run the majority of items in a household during a blackout. Some reviewers have suggested that the wheels could be better quality.
This is a surprisingly inexpensive 10kW generator and it has decent features, especially for the price. However, it isn’t C.A.R.B compliant, which will be a problem especially for Californian buyers, and there are more powerful alternatives that are available. If you don’t envisage needing regular use, and are on a tight budget, though, this is an excellent choice.
The Pulsar 10000W generator is a dual fuel generator that can run on gasoline or propane. It has an electric starter, although as you’ll see below, some users have complained of problems. Fortunately, it has a recoil backup starter.
The Pulsar 10000 watt generator has a 6.6 gallon fuel tank. It offers 10000 watt peak power and 8000 watt running power using gasoline and 9000/7000 watts using LPG.
It has six outlets, in total, including a 50A RV port. Although not quite the cheapest option, the Pulsar 10,000W dual fuel generator is a good budget alternative to the likes of the Honda, and it offers decent power output, especially for its price.
- Lightweight and easy to move
- Runs for 12 hours at 50% load
- 50A RV port
- Not CARB rated
- Some issues with the electric starter
- Can’t use 120V and 240V at the same time
Customer reviews for this product are mostly positive. Positive reviews point to the fact that it is relatively easy to move around for a generator offering this level of power. Its budget price tag is another point picked up on by reviewers.
There are some conflicting reports on noise levels – some buyers have said it is quieter than expected, others consider to too loud for their use. There have also been a number of reported problems with a damaged or finicky solenoid which has caused problems with the electric starter. Most of these problems do seem to have been resolved by Pulsar, even if it has taken a couple of attempts.
This model is a great budget option that is lightweight for its power rating. It also has an RV outlet, which I consider essential, but reports of a dodgy solenoid are worrying, and taking noise reviews into account, this might prove too loud for RV use but suitable as a home backup generator.
The DuroStar DS10000EH generator is a dual fuel generator with 10000W startup power and 8000W running power on gas with only marginally lower figures using propane. It has 5 outlets and meets all emissions standards, including Californian regulations. It has idle control, a low oil shutoff feature, and will run for more than 10 hours at half load using gas.
The volume level is 72dBA, which is lower than most other models, although not quite the lowest. The DuroStar is another model that includes an oil funnel in the box, although you will have to buy your own oil in this instance. MX2 technology means that the 120V power can be doubled for use with RVs, too.
- Fuel efficient
- Reasonably quiet model
- Not too heavy
- Can be used with RVs
- 5 outlets is fewer than most
- Some problems starting the generator
At the time of this writing (Nov. 2019), there haven’t been too many reviews of the DuroStar, as yet, but most of those that have been given have been positive. Praise has been given to the runtime that can be achieved and to the effectiveness of this generator for use with RVs. Some praise has also been given to the auto idle feature, with operation as simple as flicking a switch.
There could be more outlets on this generator, but it is CARB compliant and it runs silently compared to a lot of models. It is also suitable for use with RVs or it can be used as a backup generator for the home or for working and operating power tools and other machinery. It is a decent option, even if it doesn’t necessarily set the world alight.
The A-iPower is a gasoline powered generator with a peak output of 12000 watts and a running output of 9000 watts, meaning that it has enough power to run as a backup generator for most houses. It has a 7 gallon fuel tank and will run for around 9 hours on half load. It also incorporates 6 outlets and produces a noise level of 78dBA. It also has a DC outlet so it can be used to charge items like cell phones and other mobile devices.
The SUA12000E weighs 216 lbs so it is obviously heavy, but that is to be expected from a generator with this kind of power rating. It is lighter than many of the models in the list. The control panel displays run hours and an oil warning light that illuminates when you are running low. It has a fuel gauge, which you might expect but oddly is not included in all similar models. Its spark arrestor means it can be used in forested areas.
- Light for its size and power output
- Spark arrestor
- 12000W peak output
- Oil included
- Fuel consumption about average
- Not CARB compliant
The vast majority of reviews for this generator are positive. Most buyers have been pleased with the total amount of power it produces, stating that it comfortably runs all the devices in a home. However, there have been some negative reviews stating that the generator stopped working after only a relatively short space of time, so some caution is advised.
The output levels on this model are high and it is light especially considering this. It’s always great to receive oil in the box, although it only really saves a few dollars. Unfortunately, it is one of the louder machines, even at this power range, and is not CARB compliant, while also having only average fuel consumption levels. There are better models available, even at this price range.
The WEN DF1100T is a dual fuel generator with 11000 startup watts and 8,300 running power. It has 7 outlets, which includes a cigarette lighter style outlet, and can be easily switched from 120V to 240V at the turn of a switch.
The WEN has overload protection and automatic shut off if oil levels get too low. Unfortunately, the 6.6 gallon gasoline tank will only provide 8.5 hours of runtime at half load, which is considerably less than the 12 hours offered by some other models.
The kit includes a 47 inch LPG hose so that you can get up and running virtually straight away and without having to buy extra kit. It weighs 214 lbs which means that it is light for the amount of power you receive from this model of 11000 watt generator.
- 7 outlets including a 12V cigarette lighter outlet
- Fully CARB compliant
- Light for power output
- Low oil shutdown
- Only 8.5 hours run time at 50% load
The WEN DF1100T hasn’t received too many ratings and reviews, but those that it has received have primarily praised the ease of setup and the fact that this model is relatively light considering its power output level.
The WEN DF1100T has some really good features. Low oil shutdown prevents the generator from running when dry, which can stop damage to the motor. It is also lightweight considering its power output is high. However, it only has a low 8.5 hour runtime at 50% load, so whether you buy this model will depend on whether you deem this to be enough running time.
The Generac 7033 Guardian is not a portable generator, but is a high quality backup generator for home use. It is encased in durable aluminum, runs on natural gas or LPG, and it has a host of excellent features.
The Generac has high temperature and low oil automatic shutdown, and all owners receive the Mobile Link app for free, which allows you to check various statuses and levels from anywhere in the world on a mobile device. It is also very quiet, generating just 63dBA, but all of these features do come with a hefty price tag. Even despite the high price, you will also have to buy a separate battery because one is not included in the package. It has a continuous power rating of 11000 watts on propane and 10000 watts using natural gas.
- Looks great
- 5% THD suitable for sensitive electronics
- Mobile Link remote monitoring app
- Very quiet
- Only really suitable as a home backup generator
Customer reviews are very positive for this generator. Positive attributes include the power rating, even though this is considered the lower capacity model of Generac whole house generators. Other positive comments include the speed at which the generator starts providing power after a backup, while the good looks also receive praise.
A couple of customers have commented on the size of the generator, because it is meant as a semi-permanent generator, so it takes up a lot more room than the portable generators.
If you are looking for a more permanent backup generator solution, it is very difficult to fault the Generac 7033 generator. It has masses of power, there are reports of it being used for days at a time without problem, and it should power all but the largest of properties. It is pricey, but you are getting a lot of generator with a lot of features for that money, and it is worth the investment.
What Will A 10000 Watt Generator Run?
One of the primary benefits of a 10000 watt generator is that it is extremely powerful. It will run virtually any household appliance, and most of the generators we have listed above will run all of the basic appliances in a household and offer enough power to run everything in your RV.
You might struggle to run a large AC system at the same time as a water well, however, and you should determine the power requirements for all of your appliances. Add these requirements together to determine the size of generator you need, and buy one that exceeds these requirements to ensure you have adequate power.
Which Generator Is Best For RV Use?
An RV generator needs to be powerful, but it also needs to be quiet enough that you can sleep relatively close to it. Ideally, you should choose one of the generator models that has an RV outlet so that you don’t need to add any converters or inverter switches. From our experience, the best model in the list, for this purpose, is that of the DuroMax XP12000EH, my preferred 10kW generator.
Which Is The Quietest 10000W Generator?
Generally speaking, the more power a generator produces, the louder it is going to be. As such, and because 10000 watt generators are big, powerful beasts, you should expect a reasonable level of noise from any of the models listed above. However, quietness is another area where the DuroMax XP12000EH excels: another reason why this is our editor’s choice of the best 10000W generator.
The Best 10000 Watt Generator
There are some really good 10000 watt generator options available, including the Honda.
However, following our tests, the DuroMax XP12000EH generator excels in a number of areas. It is quiet for its size, it is more portable than a lot of models, and it offers good runtime levels and fuel consumption. It is also as easy to use with your RV as it is to use as a backup generator for the home. It is less industrial than the Honda, quieter than virtually all models, and it is easier to move around when required, although easy is subjective in this case, because none of the models are easy to move.