I agree that diesel is the way to go for durability, and as most American manufacturing is being quickly offshored that must be a consideration. I decided that the electric start Northstar 6500 diesel (6,500 watts peak) was best for me because the larger sizes such as 10,000 watts and up use considerably more fuel, which can and will become very expensive and
scarce. There would also be considerable waste most of the time with a larger size unless I was running the dryer, central air or oven. I do not consider those survival items and there are such things as portable electric stoves, fans and washing machines. Those high voltage items require a 50 amp connection anyway, which my generator doesn’t include. The
other important aspect of fuel is that smaller generators use less, so less storage space is needed. Diesel is ideal because it is safer to store in quantity than other fuels, and biodiesel which I use is safer still. Biodiesel gels at 7 degrees or so depending on mixtures, but that can be improved somewhat and isn’t a real issue here in Delaware. Transfer boxes are necessary if you want to “plug in” the house, and will add significantly to the cost. I run mine once a month and keep a solar trickle charger on the battery. I set it on a rubber pad in the (ventilated) shed and routed the exhaust through the floor and away. (But I still refuse to inhale inside the shed if it is running). The shed has solar lighting so I can see if utility power goes out at night. – B.F.
Letter Re: Backup Generator Purchase Recommendations