Best 4000 Watt Generator Reviews – For Small Home or RV

May 26, 2020
Duromax
Popular
  • 4000 Surge Watts
  • 3300 Rated Watts
  • 3.96 Gallon Tank
  • 12.3 Hours @ 50% Load
  • EPA III and CARB Compliant
Durostar
Budget
  • 4300 Surge Watts
  • 3300 Rated Watts
  • 3.96 Gallon Tank
  • 12.3 Hours @ 50% Load
  • EPA III and CARB Compliant

Nothing is more frustrating than the disruption of normal life by a sudden power outage. And nothing makes you realize how much we take electricity for granted than when you’re on a camping, hiking, or hunting trip without your favorite appliances.

No matter whether it’s for emergencies or recreational purposes, the best 4000-watt generator can be the difference between living like a caveman and not.

But why 4000 watts specifically? Well, a generator that can produce 4000 watts of power is the ideal choice for household use or small recreational uses.

So today, we’re looking at 10 of the best ones on the market, and we’re also going to cover all of your burning questions about portable generators.

Let’s get started!

What Will a 4000 Watt Generator Run in a House?

Before you read our reviews of the best 4000-watt generators, the first thing you need to know is that they are not meant for heavy-duty use.

That being said, you can use them to power a number of important home appliances, such as your microwave oven, fridge, computer, media system (e.g., TV/large speakers), or window AC.

But can you power it all together? The short answer: probably not, since every appliance has a “surge wattage” (the power it takes to start up) and “a running wattage” (the power it takes to keep running).

To get a better idea, you’ll have to figure out how much power each electric appliance in your home consumes by using this calculator.

1Top RatedWestinghouseWestinghouse iGen4500 Portable Inverter Generator
    • Starting Power: 4500 Watt
    • Running Power: 3700 Watt
    • Noice Label: 52dB (From 23 Feet)
    • Operating Time: 15 hours (50% Load)
    • Fuel Tank Size: 3.4 Gallon
    • Weight: 98lbs
2PopularDuroMaxDuroMax XP4000S Portable RV Generator
    • Starting Power: 4000 Watt
    • Running Power: 3300 Watt
    • Noice Label: 69dB (From 23 Feet)
    • Operating Time: 12.3 hours (50% Load)
    • Fuel Tank Size: 3.96 Gallon
    • Weight: 105lbs
3LightestWENWEN GN400i 4000-Watt Open Frame Inverter Generator
    • Starting Power: 4000 Watt
    • Running Power: 3500 Watt
    • Noice Label: 65dB (From 23 Feet)
    • Operating Time: 7 hours (50% Load)
    • Fuel Tank Size: 1.85 Gallon
    • Weight: 66.1lbs
4Best BudgetDuroStarDuroStar DS4000S 4000 Watt Generator
    • Starting Power: 4000 Watt
    • Running Power: 3300 Watt
    • Noice Label: 69dB (From 23 Feet)
    • Operating Time: 12.3 hours (50% Load)
    • Fuel Tank Size: 3.96 Gallon
    • Weight: 105lbs
5ChampionChampion 4000-Watt RV Ready Open Frame Inverter
    • Starting Power: 4000 Watt
    • Running Power: 3500 Watt
    • Noice Label: 64dB (From 23 Feet)
    • Operating Time: 17 hours (25% Load)
    • Fuel Tank Size: 2.9 Gallon
    • Weight: 81.6lbs
6 PulsarPulsar PG4000iSR 4,000W Portable Inverter Generator
    • Starting Power: 4000 Watt
    • Running Power: 3500 Watt
    • Noice Label: 63dB (From 23 Feet)
    • Operating Time: 15 hours (50% Load)
    • Fuel Tank Size: 3.4 Gallon
    • Weight: 92.6lbs
7 WestinghouseWestinghouse WGen3600 Portable Generator
    • Starting Power: 4650 Watt
    • Running Power: 3600 Watt
    • Noice Label: 69dB (From 23 Feet)
    • Operating Time: 13.5 hours (50% Load)
    • Fuel Tank Size: 4 Gallon
    • Weight: 107lbs
8Dual FuelMech MarvelsMech Marvels MM4350DF Dual Fuel Portable Generator
    • Starting Power: 4000 Watt
    • Running Power: 3200 Watt
    • Noice Label: 70dB (From 23 Feet)
    • Operating Time: 10 hours (50% Load)
    • Fuel Tank Size: 4 Gallon
    • Weight: 94.8lbs
9 RainierRainier R4400 Portable Generator with Electric Start
    • Starting Power: 4400 Watt
    • Running Power: 3600 Watt
    • Noice Label: 65dB (From 23 Feet)
    • Operating Time: 18 hours (25% Load)
    • Fuel Tank Size: 4 Gallon
    • Weight: 111.0lbs
10BudgetGreen PowerGreen-Power America GPD4000 4000W Select Series Generator
    • Starting Power: 4000 Watt
    • Running Power: 3000 Watt
    • Noice Label: 72dB (From 23 Feet)
    • Operating Time: 8.5 hours (50% Load)
    • Fuel Tank Size: 4 Gallon
    • Weight: 99lbs

Best 4000 Watt Generator Reviews – From Popular Brands

Now that we’ve discussed the uses of a 4000-watt generator, it’s time to move on to the reviews. We’ve come up with this list after considerable research, discussion, and analysis, so don’t worry—you’re in good hands. Let’s jump right in.

Westinghouse iGen4500 Portable Inverter Generator

Westinghouse iGen4500 Portable Inverter Generator
FeaturesValue
Output PowerStarting: 4500 Watt / Running: 3700 Watt
Noise Level52db (From 23 Feet)
Operating Time15 hours / 50% Load
Fuel Tank Size3.4 Gallon
Starting MethodRemote / Electric / Recoil
Weight98lbs

We realized something during our research for the best 4000 watt inverter generator, and that is that it’s not just about performance and efficiency, but also about safety. Inverter generators, in general, are safer than regular ones, but if you find one that is CARB compliant, well, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t buy it.

Don’t know what CARB compliance is? Well, the long and short answer to it is that if your chosen generator is safe enough for California, it’s extremely safe for use anywhere.

Pros
  • Compliant with CARB guidelines for increased safety
  • Produces very little sound during operation
  • 224cc engine allows for smooth and noiseless operation
  • Produces up to 4500 watts at peak performance
Cons
  • Not suitable for those with smaller budgets

DuroMax XP4000S Portable RV Generator

DuroMax XP4000S Portable RV Generator
FeaturesValue
Output PowerStarting: 4000 Watt / Running: 3300 Watt
Noise Level69db (From 23 Feet)
Operating Time12.3 hours / 50% Load
Fuel Tank Size3.96 Gallon
Starting MethodRecoil Pull Start
Weight105lbs

Our next pick is, without a doubt, one of the most popular generators on our list. Gasoline-powered with a durable steel frame meant for heavy-duty applications, this generator is particularly well-suited to RV use, and it comes at a nearly unbelievable price.

So here’s what we like about it.

The open steel frame that houses this thing is made to last you for many, many years to come. Additionally, the motor mounts are fully isolated, which allows for relatively smoother operation at lower sound levels.

Pros
  • Comes with a full power panel featuring voltmeter and low-oil indicator light
  • Has a low-oil shutoff function for fuel efficiency
  • 8-hour runtime at 50% load makes it ideal for use with RVs
  • Features a 120/240V 30A twist lock for use with RVs
  • Purchase includes a toolset for easier operation
Cons
  • Not very portable unless you separately buy wheels

WEN GN400i 4000-Watt Open Frame Inverter Generator

WEN GN400i 4000-Watt Open Frame Inverter Generator
FeaturesValue
Output PowerStarting: 4000 Watt / Running: 3500 Watt
Noise Level65db (From 23 Feet)
Operating Time7 hours / 50% Load
Fuel Tank Size1.85 Gallon
Starting MethodRecoil Pull start
Weight66.1lbs

When looking for the best quiet 4000 watt generator, it’s not enough to just check its expected sound output. What matters is that the generator of your choice will be able to function well and efficiently while also making as little noise as possible, and this nifty generator from WEN does exactly that.

Equipped with inverter technology that allows it to be far more efficient than many of its counterparts, this sleek black-and-orange inverter is also quite aesthetically pleasing—and that’s not something you can really reasonably expect from the majority of generators.

Pros
  • 212cc engine allows it to run smoothly and noiselessly
  • Available at a highly competitive price despite great features
  • The parallel panel allows you to connect to another WEN generator for increased power output
  • Produces clean power able to safely power sensitive electronics e.g., laptops
  • Has a sleek design with an attractive orange-and-black color scheme
  • Weighs only 66.1 pounds; relatively much lighter than other similar generators
Cons
  • Rare occurrences of gas leakage have been reported

DuroStar DS4000S 4000 Watt Generator

DuroStar DS4000S 4000 Watt Generator
FeaturesValue
Output PowerStarting: 4000 Watt / Running: 3300 Watt
Noise Level69db (From 23 Feet)
Operating Time12.3 hours / 50% Load
Fuel Tank Size3.96 Gallon
Starting MethodRecoil Pull start
Weight105lbs

DuroStar is a name that is easily recognizable by anyone who has ever looked into good quality generators at affordable prices. With a compact, lightweight body and open-frame housing, this generator is an ideal choice for those who are on a budget or are looking for something to help with occasional blackouts.

This generator comes with a 3.96-gallon fuel tank and air-cooled OHV 4-stroke engine, the combination of which produces a runtime of 12.3 hours at half load. Moreover, the rated output is 3300 watts, while the peak is 4000 watts.

Pros
  • Certified with CARB compliance for safety assurance
  • The fuel tank has a capacity of around 4 gallons
  • Outfitted with a highly efficient 208cc engine
  • Integrated surge arrest technology enhances safety
  • Made entirely from metal for enhanced durability
  • The purchase will include a toolset and user manual
Cons
  • Tends to use up a lot of fuel
  • Not ideal for heavy-duty applications

Champion 4000-Watt RV Ready Open Frame Inverter

Champion 4000-Watt RV Ready Open Frame Inverter
FeaturesValue
Output PowerStarting: 4000 Watt / Running: 3500 Watt
Noise Level64dB (From 23 Feet)
Operating Time17 hours / 25% Load
Fuel Tank Size2.9 Gallon
Starting MethodRecoil Pull start
Weight81.6lbs

Fueled by gasoline, this popular and budget-friendly generator offers a surge wattage of 4000 watts and running wattage of 3500. You can expect a runtime of up to 17 hours at 25% load from this efficient and smart generator, which it will produce using its 224cc engine.

Furthermore, you’re also going to appreciate the integration of “clean power,” which makes it safe to use the generator for small-scale applications such as charging sensitive electronic items like your laptop.

Now, this generator comes in an open-frame design, so no, it’s not the best-looking generator out there. But the design allows this thing to be lighter in comparison to the best-selling Champion 3500-watt generator.

Pros
  • Comes equipped with great features at an affordable price range
  • Offers a 17-hour runtime at 25% load on one fuel supply
  • Specially designed for use with RVs
  • Integrates clean electrical waveform for safer operation
  • Can be used parallel with another inverter for greater power output
Cons
  • Some users report it to be loud at maximum output

Pulsar PG4000iSR 4,000W Portable Inverter Generator

Pulsar PG4000iSR 4,000W Portable Inverter Generator
FeaturesValue
Output PowerStarting: 4000 Watt / Running: 3500 Watt
Noise Level63dB (From 23 Feet)
Operating Time15 hours / 50% Load
Fuel Tank Size3.4 Gallon
Starting MethodElectric / Recoil Start / Remote
Weight92.6lbs

Our next pick is a powerful and compact machine from Pulsar. Offering a peak output of 4000 watts and continuous output of 3500 watts. It has an uninterrupted runtime of 15 hours with the help of an inverter mechanism at 50% load, it’s easy to see why this one is so highly rated.

So what does it have to offer?

This generator is powered via gasoline. It comes with a 224cc engine, which gives the generator its runtime of 15 hours at about 3.4 gallons of gas. This makes it ideal for the occasional power blackout and short camping trips; but, we would recommend not using this to power motorized-appliances.

Pros
  • Uses inverter technology for greater efficiency
  • Can be operated remotely or with push start
  • Offers almost noiseless operation with only 63 DB of sound
  • Comes with an extendable handle and wheels for portability
  • Has a runtime of up to 15 hours
Cons
  • Might make a high-pitched noise when near capacity

Westinghouse WGen3600 Portable Generator

Westinghouse WGen3600 Portable Generator
FeaturesValue
Output PowerStarting: 4650 Watt / Running: 3600 Watt
Noise Level69db (From 23 Feet)
Operating Time13.5 hours / 50% Load
Fuel Tank Size4 Gallon
Starting MethodRecoil Pull start
Weight107lbs

We’re back with another Westinghouse generator for our next pick, and it’s easy to see why this is one of the most popular generators they have produced. This thing is capable of producing 3600 rated watts and 4650 surge watts of power, making it a good fit for a number of household applications.

This gas-powered generator comes with a recoil start and a 4 gallon fuel tank, which it combines with a smooth and efficient 4-stroke OHV engine to produce 13.5 hours of runtime at the half load.

Pros
  • Extremely easy to assemble
  • Purchase includes oil, oil funnel and tool kit
  • Made to be portable with an open frame and never-flat wheels
  • Compliant with a number of American health standards for increased safety
Cons
  • Some users have reported leakage

Mech Marvels MM4350DF Dual Fuel Portable Generator

Mech Marvels MM4350DF Dual Fuel Portable Generator
FeaturesValue
Output PowerStarting: 4000 Watt / Running: 3200 Watt
Noise Level70db (From 23 Feet)
Operating Time10 hours / 50% Load
Fuel Tank Size4 Gallon
Starting MethodRecoil Pull start
Weight94.8lbs

The penultimate generator on our list is from a younger, lesser-known brand, but it comes packed with a host of great features that leave little space to doubt the machine’s efficiency.

Why do we say that?

Well, this is the first generator on our list to have a dual fuel option. Some of the absolute best 4000-watt generators we’ve reviewed don’t come with this incredibly useful feature, which not only enhances efficiency but also translates to greater preparedness in an emergency.

Pros
  • Have dual fuel feature
  • Equipped with a highly efficient 4-stroke OHV engine for unmatched performance
  • Offers either 10 or 12 hours of runtime depending on fuel type
  • Surge power of 4000 watts and rated power of 3200 watts
  • Purchase includes a regulator hose for your convenience
Cons
  • Some users report having a bad customer service experience

Rainier R4400 Portable Generator with Electric Start

Rainier R4400 Portable Generator with Electric Start
FeaturesValue
Output PowerStarting: 4400 Watt / Running: 3600 Watt
Noise Level65db (From 23 Feet)
Operating Time18 hours / 25% Load
Fuel Tank Size4 Gallon
Starting MethodElectric / Recoil Start
Weight111.0lbs

This generator from another brand whose name is not easily recognizable. But still, it comes to be associated with a class of high-quality products at affordable prices.

Equipped with a 4-gallon gas tank and 212cc OHV 4-stroke engine, this generator is capable of producing up to 4400 watts of peak power and 3600 watts of running power. You can expect a runtime of 18 hours at 25% load from this gas-powered generator.

Pros
  • Has a runtime of up to 18 hours on 25% load
  • Ideal for a number of outdoor activities and household use
  • Has a fuel tank with 4 gallons of capacity
  • Fully compliant with CARB standards for higher safety and security
Cons
  • Poses durability concerns for some users

Green-Power America GPD4000 4000W Select Series Generator

Green-Power America GPD4000 4000W Select Series Generator
FeaturesValue
Output PowerStarting: 4000 Watt / Running: 3000 Watt
Noise Level72db (From 23 Feet)
Operating Time8.5 hours / 50% Load
Fuel Tank Size4 Gallon
Starting MethodRecoil Pull start
Weight99lbs

A prevailing misconception about the majority of 4000-watt generators is that they have to be expensive, or come from a renowned name brand, to be worth your consideration. Sure, that can be true in many cases, but in the case of this gasoline-powered generator from Green-Power America, it’s false.

Activated via recoil start, this generator offers you a runtime of up to 8.5 hours, with 4000 watts of starting output and 3000 watts of running output. So if you’re searching for a generator on a tight budget or don’t think you’ll be making much use of it, then this is a pretty good option.

Pros
  • Comes with auto low-fuel shut-off and internal fuel filter
  • An ideal choice for those with a smaller budget
  • Offers 4000 watts of starting power
  • Environment-friendly with a 50% oil consumption reduction
  • Offers stable power output with the help of a reliable alternator
Cons
  • Quite noisy at 72 dBA
  • Not very fuel-efficient

Features to Consider Before Buying

What’s the best 4000-watt generator for the money? Well, whether or not you’ve already read our reviews, it’s probably clear to you that the answer to that question requires quite a bit of thought, especially given that generators are quite expensive.

As long as you keep the following factors in mind, however, you’ll be equipped to make a well-informed decision. So here’s what you need to look out for.

Power Output

Power Output

By this, we don’t just mean the total power wattage of your chosen generator. We’re also taking into consideration the rated power and maximum output (also called surge power).

The rated power refers to the wattage your generator can produce at a steady rate when fueled adequately. If the rated power of your generator is 4000 watts, then that means you can’t exceed 4000 watts when running your electronics.

As for the maximum power output, you have to keep it in mind when you’re using the generator to power appliances that are motorized (examples of which include ACs and fridges). These appliances use something called “surge power,” which is the power it requires when starting up the first time.

That’s why it’s of utmost importance to accurately calculate the amount of wattage required by all of the appliances you wish to operate on your generator, so as not to run into any unpleasant surprises.

Type

There are a number of options available to you when deciding on the generator best suited to your needs. For the purposes of this article, we will only be discussing portable and inverter generators.

Portable

The main advantage of a portable generator such as the ones we have reviewed today is that they are much cheaper. This is because they produce far lower output – between 3,000 and 8,500 watts, which makes them ideal for smaller homes that are prone to power outages.

Some portable generators might require an electric starting. Generally, they run on gasoline, but they might use propane.

Remember, a portable generator must never be stored in an enclosed space as they produce carbon monoxide, which can quickly accumulate. The best thing to do is to place the generator at least 20 feet away from your house/RV/campsite.

Portable Inverter Generator

Inverter generators are a relatively newer innovation, with a more complex engine mechanism that nevertheless serves to make them more efficient than most portable generator types.

An inverter generator works by converting AC current into DC voltage, then back into AC voltage (hence the name). The result is a more fuel-efficient motor that is also less noisy.

But of course, this higher rate of performance means that inverter generators typically come at a higher price, with the most expensive ones costing up to $4,000. Furthermore, they weigh less.

Runtime

This factor answers a very important question for someone looking to buy a portable generator: How long can the generator run on a single supply of fuel? The answer depends on two main components: the capacity of the fuel tank, and the efficiency of the generator’s engine.

A generator’s runtime is usually measured by taking its half-load into consideration. The half-load is when the generator is operating at half of its rated wattage.

When it comes to 4000 watt generators, the continuous runtime on a single tank of fuel is somewhere between 8 and 10 hours.

Motor

By this, we mean the engine of the generator that you are looking to buy. It goes without saying that the quality of the engine on your chosen generator will determine its performance to a great extent.

The purpose of the engine is to convert fuel into electrical energy. As we know, the more powerful your engine is, the bigger it’s likely to be in size. It’s good to look out for well-designed engines that have efficiency in mind.

Outlets

The number of outlets available on your generator will, obviously, determine how many appliances you can plug into it. This is a number that can vary quite a bit, ranging from 2 to 6 to 10.

Alternatively, you can always use multi-plug adapters or power strips; however, that can sometimes compromise the stability of the electricity flow, depending on the quality of the engine.

Portability

Portability

Without a doubt, the majority of 4000-watt generators are built to be portable. However, it also depends on the size, weight, and availability of wheels.

Now, whether or not you really need a portable generator will depend on its intended use. Are you going to be using it only occasionally for household use? Then you probably don’t need it to be portable.

On the flip side, you might be using it for long camping or outdoor trips. In such a scenario, portability is obviously key; look for models that come with wheels or a handle.

Noise Level

Generator Noise

It’s true; generators can be noisy. Some, however, are far noisier than one can handle. Even if it’s placed far away, a noisy generator can disrupt everyday life, especially if it’s being used in a campsite or on an RV.

Many generators come with noise-cancellation technology integrated into it, although they tend to be more expensive. Generally, however, the larger the engine of your generator is, the noisier it’s likely to be.

Additional Features

These aren’t necessarily the most crucial factors to take into consideration, but they can make a world of difference in how well your generator performs.

Do keep in mind that most of these features will be reflected in the price of the machine.

Automatic Start

A reliable generator is undoubtedly the one that will be able to detect when it needs to turn itself on without any input from you. However, it’s good to keep in mind that the cheaper your generator, the less likely it will be to come with an advanced feature like this one. This feature actually comes with home standby generators.

Automatic Shutoff

This is an extremely important safety feature, although it’s relatively new in the realm of portable generators. It’s basically the ability of a generator to shutting itself down when it detects dangerously high levels of carbon monoxide gas build-up.

If this sounds like it’s important to you, look out for machines that advertise CO shutoff. Official certifications include ANSI/UL2201 and ANSI/PGMA G300.

Alternatively, look out for a generator that produces low amounts of CO, to begin with.

Dual Fuel Capability

While most portable generators run on gasoline only, some are engineered to be able to run on natural gas and propane as well. This will usually require some sort of converting mechanism.

Fuel Gauge

For many, this is a un-skippable part of the generator they choose to buy. Being informed about fuel levels can be invaluable in determining whether you need to refuel.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is running wattage?

A: The continuous power your generator is capable of supplying. Non-motorized electronic implements such as light bulbs and dishwashers require you to measure only the running power.

Q: How can I figure out my required wattage?

A: Check the power rating of each individual electronic appliance you intend to use. It’s usually specified in watts, horsepower, or amps, so be prepared to do some conversion math. Or just use our Generator Calculator.

Q: What kind of fuel do electric generators use?

A: Gasoline is the most common choice for portable generators, but some also use propane.

Q: Where should I put my portable generator?

A: At least 20 feet away from your home is the best bet. Also, make sure it’s not in an enclosed space, as it produces carbon monoxide.

Q: What is the price range of the best 4000 watt portable generators?

A: You can expect these little guys to set you back as little as $400 or as high as $1000. It mainly depends on the engine quality and runtime.

Q: What is an inverter generator?

A: One that converts AC current into DC voltage and back to AC voltage, allowing it to keep up a consistent electricity flow. Inverter generators tend to be relatively more efficient, quieter and safe.

Final Words

Choosing just one best 4000 watt generator is a pretty difficult thing to do, given the range of options and the individual consumer’s needs and preferences.

When making your choice, remember to take into consideration your power wattage requirements, runtime, and safety and performance features.

May your electricity always flow uninterrupted. Good luck!

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