The DuroMax XP5500EH is a conventional generator that offers a ton of power at a budget-friendly price. Better yet, this portable power unit has the ability to run on either gasoline or propane. That makes this generator a great contender for use at home during emergencies and for camping, tailgating, and work sites alike.
But, does the XP5500EH have all the other features you need in a portable dual-fuel generator? In our DuroMax XP500EH review, we’ll dive deep into the specifications, features, and pros and cons of this heavy-duty generator. We’ll also explore what customers have to say about this generator to help you decide whether it’s the best option to fulfill your power needs.
The DuroMax XP5500EH brings a lot to the table. To start, it’s a dual-fuel generator, so you have a lot of versatility, depending on which fuel is cheaper or easier for you to store. We also liked that this generator packs a punch – it can output power at 240 volts, which makes it suitable for heavy-duty shop and work site applications. The generator isn’t perfect, since the conventional engine can be pretty loud, and the unit as a whole suffers from being hard to transport. However overall, we were pretty impressed with the XP5500EH and would recommend it for a wide variety of users
The XP5500EH is a conventional dual-fuel generator capable of running on either gasoline or propane. The output power is slightly higher when running on gasoline, at 5,500 watts of surge power or 4,500 watts of continuous power. On propane, the generator can deliver 5,225 watts of surge power and 4,225 watts of continuous power. Keep in mind that the difference between the running and surge wattage is quite high – this is great for running motor-driven appliances, but it’s important to check how much running wattage your intended uses require before committing to this generator.
DuroMax built the XP5500EH for reliability whether you’re running on gasoline or propane. The generator features a 225cc, four-stroke, air-cooled OHV engine. Users who put the generator’s performance to the test found that it worked without a hitch, which is essential if you plan to use this generator for powering your home through an emergency outage.
Because this is a conventional generator, there are some important limitations to consider. The generator cannot be run in parallel with another unit, so you’re limited to a maximum of 4,500 watts of running power (on gasoline). In addition, you won’t want to use this generator to power sensitive electronic devices. Although this generator is more powerful than the highest-wattage inverter generators on the market, it only offers a few hundred extra watts – so the main advantages over a 4,000-watt inverter generator are the high surge wattage and the extremely affordable price.
DuroMax seems to have accepted that the XP5500EH wasn’t going to be a tiny portable generator. So, the company outfitted the generator with a generous four-gallon fuel tank that allows you to run the generator for up to nine hours on gasoline at a 50% load. This is pretty good, since it means you can power essential appliances in your home throughout an entire night or get a half-day of power before you have to stop and refuel.
The rated run time is shorter for a 20-pound propane tank, at 7.6 hours at a 50% load. But, remember that your run time on propane is mostly constrained by the size of your propane tank. That’s part of the beauty of this generator offering dual-fuel capabilities – if you need more run time, you can simply hook up a larger propane tank or connect two tanks in series.
The outlet panel of the XP5500EH is nicely outfitted. The main attraction here is a twist-lock outlet that can be cycled between 120-volt and 240-volt power. That opens up the ability to use this generator for heavy-duty applications like running large home appliances, shop tools, or power tools at a work site.
The generator is also equipped with a 120-volt duplex and a 12-volt DC outlet. We would have liked to see a second 120-volt duplex considering the power this generator offers. But, the twist-lock outlet can thankfully be adapted to provide additional household-style outlets as needed. Importantly, the 120-volt outlets run independently of the 120-volt/240-volt outlet. That means that you can run the entire generator at 120 volts, or use the 120-volt duplex outlet at 120 volts and the twist-lock outlet at 240 volts simultaneously.
All of these outlets are controlled by individual breaker switches, which is helpful when you’re running high-power appliances. In addition, the outlet panel includes a main breaker switch, which users liked to cycle power over the whole generator in the case of a minor surge.
The XP5500EH also includes an analog volt meter, which allows you to see how much power is being drawn from the generator. The analog display is easy enough to read, although it would have been nice if this display was made from LED lights instead.
The most notable way in which DuroMax made this generator easier to use was by adding an electric start feature. To get the generator running, all you need to do is flip a switch. If you forgot to charge the generator’s battery, there is also a backup recoil starter on the engine for you to use. That’s a big plus if you just use a generator for the occasional emergency and don’t pull it out of the garage very frequently.
The volt meter and breaker switches also make this generator easier to use, although there are not many other facilitation features to speak of. Users wished for an option to run the carburetor on this generator dry of gasoline – in the absence of this option, you can run it dry, but need to be careful about turning it off before the engine dies from lack of fuel.
The DuroMax XP5500EH comes with many industry-standard safety features. The most important of these are automatic shutoff triggers for low engine oil and electrical overload. Helpfully, you should be able to avoid both of these situations thanks to the low engine oil warning light on the generator panel and the volt meter that displays your power draw.
The generator also has a grounding nut that you can use with a grounding rod to prevent static discharge. Unfortunately, DuroMax didn’t include weatherproof covers on the panel to keep water from getting into the outlets during bad weather.
The main drawback to the XP5500EH is the amount of noise it makes. The generator is rated to produce 69 dBA of noise at a 25% load, and users found that the generator can exceed 80 dBA when running at full power. That’s a significant amount of noise for a generator of this size – at full power, you may even want to consider ear protection if you’ll spend much time in the immediate vicinity of the generator. Note that 80 dBA is also enough to cause problems with your neighbors if you plan to use this generator in a residential setting.
The XP5500EH isn’t the most portable generator on the market. However, it’s not too difficult to transport, either. The main issue here is that the generator is heavy at 127 pounds – it takes three to four people to lift it in and out of a car. Thankfully, the steel frame helps here as there are plenty of sturdy points where multiple lifters can get a grip on the generator.
Once on the ground, the generator is fairly easy to move. DuroMax mounted it on heavy-duty pneumatic wheels, which users found do a good job rolling off-road over dirt and gravel. There are also lift-up handles with rubber grips to make it easier for a single person to roll the generator around (you may still need two people for this given the weight).
DuroMax offers a three-year warranty on the XP5500EH for residential users, which is extremely generous given the modest price of this generator. However, beware that this warranty policy is shortened to just one year for commercial users. Users rarely reported issues, but the drop in warranty is less than encouraging.
As for maintenance, there is little outside the normal maintenance routine to worry about for the XP5500EH. Users note that the generator is delivered without engine oil, so you’ll need to perform an oil change before you power up the unit for the first time.