Best Portable Diesel Generator

Are you searching for the best portable diesel generator?

Being prepared for power outages and extended grid down scenarios requires a dependable and efficient backup power source. They are also indispensable if you have a motor home, RV, or camper.

I have used numerous generators over the years and I have reviewed the top portable diesel generators on the market today. After reading this article you will know the best model for your home, RV, or camper.

Check out the quick list below for links to customer reviews and prices for the best portable diesel generator picks, or read on for the full review:

  1.  Briggs & Stratton 30675 Q6500 INverter Generator
  2.  DuroStar DS7000Q Portable Diesel Generator
  3.  DuroMax Hybrid Dual Fuel XP12000EH 12,000 Watt Portable Generator
  4.  Champion 3800-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Generator w/ Electric Start
  5.  Champion 7500-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Generator w/ Electric Start

Before you can go shopping for your new generator, you need to make sure that you know what size you will need when the power goes out. 

Having a generator that is too small means that you won’t be able to run all of the appliances that you want to, and one that is too large is just a waste of money unless you intend to expand in the future.

First you have to write down all of the appliances that you will want to be able to run during a power outage. 

Once you have done this, you can determine the wattage that they will all use and then add this information up and then multiply it by 1.5.

Multiplying it by 1.5 allows for the extra amount of power that you will need to start each appliance, as they take more to start than they do to run. 

With the total wattage that you will need, it’s significantly easier to decide how large your new generator needs to be.

Benefits of Having a Portable Diesel Generator

Many people only think of using their generator when they lose power to their home, but you can get far more use from a portable generator. 

Not only are they ideal when you are faced with a loss of power, but you can easily take your generator with you on the road when traveling. 

If you love to camp, whether in a tent or in an RV, having a portable generator will ensure that you have the power that you need when away from home. 

What to Look For

Some portable generators come with an auto-idle control feature. 

This will actually cause the engine to idle down when you are not using as much power. 

This allows your generator to operate more efficiently while extending the run time. Another feature to consider is an electric start. 

A push button start is significantly easier than trying to start a generator with a pull cord. 

If it is within your budget, I highly recommend opting for a model with an electric start.

How to Best Use Your New Portable Diesel Generator

Before starting your new generator, I recommend reading the owner’s manual so you understand your particular models functions and maintenance needs.  

Never try to plug your generator into an outlet in your home to feed electricity from the generator to your whole house. 

Not only does this increase the chance of an electrical fire, it can also damage any home that is run by the same transformer. 

Even worse, doing this can kill any worker who is currently servicing the power lines. 

Portable generators aren’t the same as whole-house generators.

When you want to turn off your generator, first disconnect or turn off any appliances plugged into it. 

You will then need to follow the directions in the owner’s manual on how to turn the generator off. Wait until it is cool to move and store it.

Safety Considerations

To be safe when you are running a portable diesel generator, you have to make sure that you have a carbon monoxide detector in your home. 

Make sure that you always operate your portable generator outside and away from your home. 

While it can be tempting to use your portable generator in a crawl space, basement, or outside building, this is not safe. You have to make sure that your generator is outside and away from the home.

You also have to make sure that you use an extension cord that is rated to handle the wattage for your generator. 

It needs to be at least 14 gauge. 

First, start your generator, then plug in the extension cords. Never plug in more appliances than you have planned for, as this can damage the motors on your appliances, trip the breaker, or even blow a generator fuse.

Top Portable Diesel Generators

Briggs & Stratton Inverter Generator

With a noise reducing chassis, large, 8” solid wheels, and a variety of outlets to choose from, this portable generator offers a lot of power, is easy to use, and simple to move. Thanks to the lightweight and compact design, it is not only easy to move, but it is also very easy to store when not in use.


        Delivers 6,500 starting watts

        30% lighter than other portable generators

        Provides up to 14 hours of runtime when used at 25% load

        Features three 120V-20A outlets, two USB outlets, one 120V-240V locking outlets, twist lock outlet

        Telescoping handle makes moving the generator easy


        Can be loud 

DuroStar Portable Diesel Generator

It can be difficult to start portable generators, but not when you opt for a powerful and durable option such as this one from DuroStar. Not only is the generator easy to start when you need extra power, but it has a number of features that make it easy to use, such as keyed ignition, a volt meter, and auto shutdown for low oil pressure to keep the generator working properly. This is a beast!


        Offers remote start, as well as electric start

        Contains automatic voltage regulator

        Features low fuel indicator

        High-quality mounting reduces vibration and improves durability

        Improve soundproofing chassis


        Very heavy

DuroMax Hybrid Dual Fuel 12000 Watt Portable Generator

Being able to choose between propane and gas for the fuel for your generator gives you a lot of control over how you handle running out of power. Thanks to the heavy duty frame and the isolated motor mounts, this tends to be a quiet generator, even when using it to run multiple appliances.


        Can run on either propane or gas

        Full panel displays volt meter, oil warning light, power outlets, and circuit breaker

        Has 10 hours runtime on gas at 50% maximum output, 20 hours on propane

        Low oil shut off is designed to protect the engine

        Has a maximum of 12,000W of power


        Will surge instead of providing steady power

Champion 3800-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Generator with Electric Start

This air cooled portable generator is in a cast iron sleeve so that it is very durable, but still only weighs 119 pounds, which makes it easy to move. The safety fuel selector switch ensures that you always know what kind of fuel you are using, and the folding handle makes it easy to move your generator.


        Three-year limited warranty

        Runs on gas or propane

        8” wheels make it easy to move from one location to another

        Features push-button electric start for easy use

        Volt guard will help protect appliances from surges


        Using the optional manual start cord is very difficult

Champion 7500-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Generator with Electric Start

Perfect for use at home, at work, or on the go, this generator is incredibly easy to turn on. It offers safety features to turn off when running out of oil, and has heavy-duty wheels for easy transport. Additionally, it features GFCI protected outlets to prevent any damage occurring to the appliances that you plug in.


        7,500W of power on gasoline with 9375 starting watts

        Features low oil shut-off sensor

        Handy toggle switch is incredibly easy to use when turning on the generator

        Intelligauge keeps track of hertz, run-time hours, and voltage

        Very easy to connect appliances and to get them up and running


        Tends to be very loud

The DuroMax Hybrid Dual Fuel XP12000EH 12,000-Watt Portable Generator is the best generator on this list. It is incredibly powerful and easy to use, and it is designed to be very simple to start. It’s a great option for any homeowner who is worried about losing power, but doesn’t want to deal with a pull cord start. Since it has a full power panel, it’s very easy to keep an eye on the performance of the generator. The automatic low oil shut-off sensor will prevent damage from occurring to your new generator and will let you add more oil as necessary. Additionally, being able to use this generator with both gas and propane is handy.

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