Zoom on the Cat INV4000E
In summary, the Cat INV4000E is a quiet and compact portable inverter generator especially useful for:
- RV travellers looking for even more independence
- People occasionally participating in sporting competitions, open-air performances and outdoor festivals
- Handcrafting enthusiasts who wish to work on-the-go
- Homeowners who want to be sure of their ability to power their fridges, cooking tools, heating and lighting equipment during power failures
- Camping and tailgating buffs looking to enhance their experience
- Professionals who want to be able to deliver results, even during a power failure
The following sections will present you in detail its power characteristics, the different outlets it offers, its overall portability, the extra features it benefits from, and any relevant emission compliance details.
Power & Run Time
The Cat INV4000E is powered by a 212 cc OHV 4-stroke engine. It delivers 120V, runs on gasoline and offers a running wattage of 3200W as well as a peak wattage of 4000W. Moreover, since it is parallel capable (parallel kit not included), its power may be doubled if linked to a second compatible unit.
The inverter generator features a simple traditional pull-start mechanism and also a convenient and easy-to-use electric starter (battery included). It is rated for a noise of 51 dBA (just slightly more noisy than rainfall).
The fuel capacity of 2.1 gallons allows the INV4000E to operate for around 8 hours at 50% load with a full tank (fuel consumption around 0.26 GPH).
The INV4000E generates a clean sine wave: providing <3% Total Harmonic Disruption (THD), delicate electronics can be plugged in its AC outlets safely.
The control panel provides the upcoming 3 AC outlets:
Furthermore, it has 3 DC outlets: there's a 12V 8A receptacle with which charging your batteries is made easy and two 5V USB ports allowing you to conveniently charge electronics such as mobile phones and tablets.
This Cat generator isn't quite RV Ready, but it features an L5-30R receptacle, allowing a simple RV connection through an L5-30P to TT-30R adaptor.
Since the Cat INV4000E is an inverter generator, its closed design (L25.4 x W18.5 x H20.4 in) has an esthetical advantage over conventional, open frame devices. This type of design is the most modern and convenient way to recreationally generate power.
Since the generator weighs 103.6 lbs, it will be incredibly difficult to manually lift it and transport it, even though it is technically considered to 'be portable' (in the sense that it is movable). Nevertheless, thanks to its set of 2 wheels and its folding handle (a decent solution to its lack of maneuverability), the generator can be easily moved, once placed the ground.
On the top of the unit, a handy compartment allows for an easy and convenient onboard storage of maintenance-related tools.
Monitoring of the INV4000E's status and activity is made possible by a digital data center, which provides information on the remaining run time, lifetime run hours, power output, fuel level and voltage and is one of the features of its control panel. To offer you even more control and easy operation during night time, the panel is LED-lit.
In addition to this info, when the generator is on overload, the oil level is too low and the generator is ready, you will be informed by the featured light indicators.
Thanks to a built-in fuel gauge, the inverter generator allows you to quickly, conveniently and easily check the gas level at a glance.
As for its security measures, the device features an automatic low oil shut-off and an overload protection (circuit breaker), letting you use it with a peace of mind.
The INV4000E also benefits from CAT’s CO DEFENSE™ carbon monoxide shutdown. This system monitors the accumulation of CO gas while the generator is running and will shut off the engine if the levels become dangerously high. It’s a welcomed additional security feature, but don’t forget to always take your generator outside (opens in a new tab).
While the standard documentation and an owner's manual (opens in a new tab), helpful for starting the device promptly, come with the Cat INV4000E, the following accessories are also included: battery charging cables, funnel, battery charger, oil and tool kit.
The Cat INV4000E is EPA-approved and CARB-compliant. It can therefore be sold and purchased in all 50 states, including California.
Moreover, it features a spark arrestor, making it usable in forested areas.
The Cat INV4000E versus other generators
The following charts are provided to give you an idea of how some of the key specs of the Cat INV4000E compare to generators of similar power (between 2500 and 3500 W).
- As its weight is 103.6 pounds, the Cat INV4000E falls in the expected weight range of the devices in the 2500-3500 rated wattage category. If weight is your top priority, one of the champions in this power category is the Genmax GM3300i, weighing just 47.4 pounds.
- Since this inverter generator is rated for a lowest possible noise of 51 dBA, it can be considered as one of the more quiet of the products generating similar power. If noise emissions are important to you, one of the least noisy generators of this power range is the Honda EU3000iS with only 50 dBA.
- As far as autonomy is concerned, providing around 8 hours of runtime with a full tank at a 50% load, the INV4000E falls into the low end in comparison with other devices of a comparable power output. Concerning the run times, one of the several devices with a comparable output, offering the highest autonomy, is the Predator 4375, which is able to run for around 16 hours.
- Run times are important, yet thanks to their dependence on the fuel capacity, they should be judged along with the fuel consumption of the device. This inverter generator can be considered as fuel efficient, due to its low estimated fuel consumption of only 0.26 GPH (gallon per hour) at 50% load, within the aforementioned wattage range. If fuel consumption is your top priority, we suggest to check out the Westinghouse iGen4200, which has a fuel consumption of only 0.17 GPH and thus, is one of the most efficient devices in our database.
The bottom line
- Onboard storage for maintenance tools
- Illuminated control panel
- CO DEFENSE™ technology
- Several accessories included
- GFCI Outlets
- Electric start
- Parallel capable
- Quiet for its power (51 dBA)
- Fuel efficient
- Decent weight (103.6 lbs)
- No remote start
- Relatively low run time
Features and Specifications
|Parallel capable||Yes, cable not included|
|Engine||212 cc OHV 4-stroke|
|Starting system||Recoil, Electric|
|Voltage||AC: 120V 60 Hz, DC: 12V|
|Running watts||3200 W|
|Starting watts||4000 W|
|Running amps||26.7 amps|
|Peak amps||33.3 amps|
|Run time @50% load||8 h|
|Run time @25% load||Unknown|
|Automatic Voltage Regulation||Inverter|
|DC outlets||1x 12V 8A receptacle
2x 5V USB port
|Data center||Power output, fuel level, lifetime run hours, remaining run time and voltage|
|Indicators||Low oil, overload and output ready|
|Fuel tank||Plastic, 2.1 gal|
|Approx. dimensions (L x W x H)||25.4 x 18.5 x 20.4 in|
|Noise (lower limit)||51 dBA|
|Security||Low oil and overload protection, CO monitoring|
|Neutral||Bonded to frame|
|Accessories included||Oil, funnel, tool kit, battery charger, battery charging cables, and battery|
|Other model numbers||501-5454|
Unlike many websites, we did our best to research each of the specs above. That being said, we are not immune to making the occasional mistake or omission. Should you notice any missing or incorrect values, don't hesitate to suggest improvements so we can address the issue.
Caterpillar Inc., often abbreviated as simply CAT, is an American engineering corporation, whose product range includes machinery, engines, financial products, mobile phones and of course, power generators. The company, founded in 1925, is one of the backbones of the US Dow Jones index and is placed among the Fortune 500 list. While CAT mainly focuses on industrial scale generators, it also provides a wide range of portable and household-scaled devices. CAT portable generators are engineered and designed in Mossville, Illinois, and Belfast, Northern Ireland. However, their production is outsourced to China.
The Cat INV4000E is covered under a warranty for up to 3 years. This warranty may be limited and may not cover all parts of the generator.
For more information about the warranty of Cat generators, please consult Cat's warranty policies (opens in a new tab). Alternatively, you can also contact their Customer Support: 1-844-PWR-ME-UP (844-797-6387).
Questions & Answers
What can it power?
|Item||Running Watts||Starting Watts|
|At home||Microwave (1000 watts)||1500||1500|
|Refrigerator (energy star)||192||1192|
|Set of 5 LED light bulbs||55||55|
|Total||2557 W||3557 W|
|For camping||RV AC (11,000 BTU)||1010||1600|
|Set of 5 LED light bulbs||55||55|
|Total||2545 W||3135 W|
|Total||2550 W||3800 W|
What does relatively low run time mean in the negative column? (Asked May 02, 2020)
It refers to its comparison with other generators of similar power. When compared to other generators of similar power, this unit has a relatively low run time.
How does this generator compare with Cat 4000inv E CO, in terms of durability and specs? (Asked June 23, 2020)
This model is the INV4000E with CO DEFENSE.
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