Zoom on the Cat INV4000E
In a nutshell, the Cat INV4000E is a quiet and compact portable inverter generator mostly geared towards:
- RV travellers who wish to upgrade their experience to another level
- Occasional participants of outdoor events, competitions, concerts and festivals
- DIYers who wish to improve their efficiency with tools
- Homeowners in need of an emergency backup power for their essentials
- Tailgating and campground aficionados with the desire of enjoying power anywhere they go
- Professionals in need of safely powering high-intensity work or lighting equipment
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. In addition, the device is parallel capable (parallel kit not included) and thus, can be linked to a similar or compatible unit for added power.
Enjoying a noise rating of 51 dBA (just slightly more noisy than a quiet suburb), this inverter generator can be started thanks to a simple traditional pull-start mechanism, but also to a simple and elegant electric starter (battery included).
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).
Sensitive electronics can be safely plugged in the AC outlets, as the INV4000E produces a clean sine wave, with a <3% Total Harmonic Disruption (THD).
The control panel provides the upcoming 3 AC outlets:
In addition, it provides 3 DC outlets: there's a 12V 8A receptacle allowing you to easily charge your batteries and two 5V USB ports with which charging of electronics like mobile phones and tablets is made convenient.
Even if this Cat generator isn't quite RV Ready, it still allows for an easy RV connection via an L5-30P to TT-30R adaptor, thanks to its L5-30R receptacle.
The Cat INV4000E is an inverter generator and has an encased design of the following dimensions: L25.4 x W18.5 x H20.4 in. Thus, it is more aesthetical than conventional, open frame products. 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, it can still be moved quite conveniently with the help of its wheel kit and its folding handle, once it is placed on the ground.
One of the many INV4000E's features is the data center, included in its control panel, which conveniently provides information on the lifetime run hours, remaining run time, voltage, fuel level and power output and thus, helps you monitor its activity and status. To offer you even more control and easy operation during night time, the panel is LED-lit.
In addition to this info, the light indicators show you if the oil level is too low, the generator is ready and the generator is on overload.
The fuel level of the inverter generator can be determined quickly, easily, and conveniently with the help of its built-in fuel gauge.
From a security standpoint, the product offers an automatic low oil shut-off and an overload protection (circuit breaker), allowing you to 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).
With the basic documentation and an owner's manual (opens in a new tab), letting you start the generator quickly, the Cat INV4000E also comes with several accessories, including: oil, battery charger, funnel, battery charging cables 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, which makes it suitable for use 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).
- At a weight of 103.6 pounds, the Cat INV4000E places in the expected weight range of the generators in the 2500-3500 rated wattage range. Regarding dry weight, one of the champions in the same power range is the WEN GN400i, with a dry weight of only 66.1 lbs.
- 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. For those who are looking for a less noisy device, we suggest the Honda EU3000iS. With just 50 dBA, it is one of the most quiet devices in this power range.
- The INV4000E’s autonomy is somewhat low end compared to devices of its power range, as it reaches only around 8 hours at 50% load on a full tank. If you consider autonomy on a single full tank as one of the deciding factors, one of the generators in the same power range that offers the highest run time is the Honda EB4000X, with around 16 hours.
- The run time is important, but also hugely depends on the capacity of the fuel tank and doesn't mean much if we don't talk about fuel consumption as well. With an estimated gasoline consumption of 0.26 GPH (gallon per hour) at 50% load, this inverter generator is among the more fuel efficient of the products in the above-mentioned wattage range. If you are concerned with gasoline efficiency, having a fuel consumption of just 0.17 GPH, the Westinghouse iGen4200 is a device you should look out for.
As you can see from this interactive chart, when compared to other 2500-3500W generators, the Cat INV4000E is on the average side of the price range.
Therefore, this generator nicely fits in the expected budget for this kind of product.
The bottom line
- In the expected price range
- 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|
|Peaks amps||33.3 amps|
|Run time @50% load||8 h|
|Run time @25% load||Unknown|
|Automatic Voltage Regulation||Inverter|
|AC outlets|| |
|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|
|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. A majority of the industrial-scale CAT products is made in the USA. However, the production of many of their household products is reported to be outsourced overseas.
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||Refrigerator (energy star)||192||1192|
|Total||2542 W||3542 W|
|For camping||Radiant heater||1300||1300|
|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)
Exactly what it's supposed to mean. It refers to its comparison with other generators of similar power (the section further up, that you apparently chose not to read). When compared to other generators of similar power, this unit as 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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