The Westinghouse iGen4200 & iPro4200 are both excellent portable Inverter Generators. The question is which model is right for you? We review both generators and point out the differences between them, helping you decide which one is best suited for you. Westinghouse seems to be really committed to creating a full line of portable generators for homeowners and professionals. We’ve reviewed many of their generators as of late, such as the Westinghouse WPro12000. Either way, the new Westinghouse generator models seem to never disappoint and they’re always a great value for consumers.
Let’s get to our review…
Intro | Westinghouse Portable Generators
Westinghouse manufactures regular open frame generators, compact closed style inverter generators, and open frame inverter generators. Why, you may ask? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each type of generator? The Westinghouse iGen4200 seems like the perfect generator for everybody so why do Westinghouse make the closed style? With open style inverter generators so versatile, quiet and popular, why even bother with the regular open frame generators?
One obvious reason is cost. Price-wise, the suggested retail price for the iPro2500 (2500W, closed-frame) generator is very close to an iPro4200 (open-frame). Both are inverter generators, safe for electronics and both are OSHA compliant. So, you pay a lot more for the enclosed design, but instead, you could have 1700 more watts for that difference. I believe more power is more important on a job site.
For a lot less, you can buy a WGen3600v. Yes, it’s an open frame regular generator, but you can buy two for the price of one iPro2500 closed style generator. The main difference is that you will not have an inverter generator, which are much quieter and produce clean power. And it is not OSHA compliant. And yet, I think it is a compelling consideration as all of them are from Westinghouse. All come with a 3-Year Warranty and Lifetime Technical Support.
Today the trades no longer need any old generator to power tools with; Wi-Fi is now prominent on the constructions site. It keeps track of inventory and the whereabouts of tools, and we use it as a communications media. Modern chargers and corded tools require better portable power because of the control circuitry that’s in use. They need clean, regulated power, fit for these sensitive electronics.
Work generators do not need compatibility with campers and home transfer switches, because this is a tool, like all other tools on site. It must be OSHA compliant, a full panel of GFCI outlets is more important than 30 Amp outlets.
It must be rugged and easy to handle when loading it onto the truck. It must be capable of working all day, fuel consumption must be low and a large fuel tank will help to reduce shutdowns for refills.
Much Lighter than Comparable Gas Generators
This is where the open frame inverter generator steps in. It’s portable, its rugged, open frame is easy to handle, and it delivers the clean power you need. Fuel consumption is better than the regular open frame generators, and so is the extended run-times. In our line-up we have one such generator from a trusted manufacturer, it’s the Westinghouse iPro4200 open frame inverter generator.
Let’s compare three inverter generators — An open frame design Westinghouse iGen4200, and one compact, closed-frame design, Westinghouse iGen4500 inverter generator. The last is the OSHA approved inverter generator for professional use, the Westinghouse iPro4200.
Westinghouse Portable Generators
For the active family, two camper ready models, one compact inverter and one open frame inverter:
- Westinghouse iGen4200 4200W Starting, 3,500W Running, RV & Camper Ready.
- Westinghouse iGen4500 4500W Starting, 3,700W Running, RV & Camper Ready.
For the construction worker, home builder and all trades that need safe inverter power:
- Westinghouse iPro4200 4,200 Peak Watts, 3,500 Running Watts OSHA Compliant – Full Panel GFCI.
I will consider their individual target markets, compare features and consider advantages and disadvantages of open frame and closed frame designs.
Westinghouse iGen4200 Review
As quiet as 62 dB. Clean power. 4,200 Peak Watts, 3,500 Running Watts. RV and Camper Ready with 120V 30A Outlet (TT-30R).
- 4,200 Peak Watts, 3,500 Running Watts
- RV and Camper Ready with 120V 30A Outlet (TT-30R) : The Westinghouse iGen4200 inverter generator is ready to power your travel trailer with its built-in TT30R 30A receptacle.
- Fuel Efficient – Runs Up to 18 hrs on 2.6 Gallons of Gasoline
- 18 hrs. Run Time at 25% Load (hrs.)
- 15 hrs. Run Time at 50% Load (hrs.)
- Very Quiet – Much Less Noise than Traditional Portable Generators
- Advanced Inverter Technology – Reliable Power for Computers, Electronics, and Other Sensitive Equipment
- Total Harmonic Distortion (<3% THD) delivering clean power you can depend on.
- Weighing 82 pounds
- Dual USB Charging Ports : Charge electronics such as mobile phones and tablets with built-in USB charging ports.
- Circuit Protected, Low-Oil Shutoff, and More
- Safety Features – including overload prevention, and low-oil shutoff.
- Includes : Comes with Oil, Funnel, Tool Kit, Manual, and Quick Start Guide.
- 3-Year Warranty : All Westinghouse Portable Generators come with Lifetime Technical Support and a 3-Year / 1000 hours Limited Residential Warranty or 1-Year / 1000 hours Limited Commercial Warranty.
Documents for the Westinghouse iGen4200 :
The manufacturers target their Westinghouse iGen4200 inverter generator at the RV and Camper market. This open frame generator has a neat appearance, and a full-featured user interface panel. It has the necessary 120V 30A (TT-30R) outlet you connect to the RV. The Westinghouse iGen4200 is perfect for an RV and remote camping, or home use. It will power an air conditioner up to 15,000 BTU and everything else in your camper.
Because it is an inverter generator it’s good for a boat with a 120V 30A outlet (TT-30R). It may be used as an emergency supply to charge most electric cars. You will need adapters and start at a low charge rate. Then you ramp it up to the maximum the generator can handle.
Another useful feature for a camper when weather allows, is two 5 Volt DC USB connections to charge USB equipment with. All controls and receptacles on this interface panel has rubber covers to protect them against the environment. Next to the TT-30R outlet is a dual 120 Volt AC 20 Amp 5-20R outlet. A 20-Amp circuit breaker (with reset) protects it and a 30-Amp breaker protects the TT-30R receptacle.
In a neat little group of indicators, three LEDs show low oil conditions, a current overload and output ready. Underneath that is the reset switch for the electronically controlled overload switch that protects the inverter output. The economy or efficiency mode switch underneath that, let you choose between a constant engine speed or variable speed according to the load.
As a bonus, the Westinghouse iGen4200 generator is fuel efficient. It runs up to 18 hours on 2.6 gallons of gasoline with a 25% load. The fuel consumption in kilowatt-hour per gallon is good, it’s on a par with many 4200-Watt inverters. The generator that still beats the lot is the Honda EU7000iS with a consumption of 7.01 kilowatt-hours per gallon. You should keep in mind you do not buy the generator to run it at 25% load. Powering an RV with air conditioning, TV and more will need at least 75 to 80% of its capabilities. At that load, with an air conditioner cycling, you will run the engine at full speed, economy mode off. Then the fuel consumption will be a lot worse.
What disappoints me about these inverter generators is that they still allow the voltage to drop when a heavy load like an air conditioner fires up. I’ve seen voltage drops to 60 Volts for almost half a second when an air conditioner cycle on. It is because the generator needs time to react to the sudden increase in load. The only solution is to have enough reserve power available that can level things out.
In a real-world test done in the open, a YouTuber measured the sound levels (watch below) at the Westinghouse iGen4200 generator, and then 30 feet away. Without a load the generator’s decibel reading was 60 decibels at 30 feet, with a 50% load it went up to 69 decibels. Keep in mind the iGen4200 is an open frame generator so we cannot expect the same dampening of noise. It is quieter than a regular open frame generator but not nearly as good as a closed frame unit.
VIDEO | Real World Sound Test | Westinghouse iGen4200
The Westinghouse iGen4200 with its inverter technology delivers clean power for computers, electronics, and other sensitive equipment. It will power all the RV’s electrical devices safely. It is a capable machine that powers up to 35 peak Amps at 120 Volts and 29 Amps running.
The Westinghouse iGen4200 does not have wheels, you carry it, and it weighs 82 pounds. I would prefer wheels on this Westinghouse, but they do not include a wheel kit. You will have to do your own modifications to fit wheels to the iGen4200, it is not ready for a wheel kit.
Westinghouse uses a switch that triggers a low oil indicator when the oil level is too low for safe operation. The control circuit also prevents the 212cc engine from starting.
Westinghouse supports the buyer with lifetime technical support and a 3-year or 1000 hours limited residential warranty. For commercial use they offer a 1-year / 1000 hours limited warranty.
As quiet as 52dB. 4500 starting watts and 3700 running watts. Can run up to 18-hours on a single tank.
✓ Note : Also available as a dual-fuel (gas & propane) generator. Read our indepth review of the Westinghouse iGen4500DF.
- Remote Start : The iGen4500 features remote start which is operated by key fob, adding to the convenience starting this generator from inside your home or RV. The iGen4500 also features Push Button Start on its control panel.
- RV and camper ready : The Westinghouse iGen4500 delivers an ideal power solution for RVs. It can easily power A/C’s up to 15,000 BTU and everything else in your camper.
- 4,500 Peak Watts / 3,700 running watts, an RV and camper ready with 120V 30A (TT-30R) outlet
- Push-button electric start
- Clean power allowing safe operation of sensitive electronics such as computers, televisions, tablets, and mobile phones.
- LED Display : The LED Display cycles through Remaining Run Time, Power Output, Fuel Level, Voltage, and Lifetime Hours. Other indicators include Fuel Level, Electric Output, Output Ready Indicator, Overload Indicator, and Low Oil Indicator.
- iGen4500 Receptacles
- 120V Duplex, and TT-30R RV Receptacles
- One 5-20R 120V Household Duplex Receptacle
- One TT-30R RV Receptacle.
- Fuel efficient – runs up to 18 hrs on 3.4 gallons of fuel
- Westinghouse’s inverter generators are very efficient – lasting up to nearly 18 hours before re-fueling.
- Quiet : Significantly less noise than a conventional generator
- The iGen4500 runs at a volume that is perfect for camping, tailgating and situations where you need less disruption.
- Comes with Mounted Wheels and Telescoping Handle
- Dual USB Charging Ports : Charge electronics such as mobile phones and tablets with built-in USB charging ports.
- Circuit protected, Low-Oil Shutoff, and more
- Safety – including overload prevention, and low-oil shutoff.
- Includes : The iGen4500 comes with Key Fob, Battery, Charger, Oil, Funnel, Tool Kit, Manual, and Quick Start Guide.
- 3-Year Limited Warranty : All Westinghouse Portable Generators come with a 3-Year Limited Residential Warranty and Lifetime Technical Support.
✓ View or download the MANUAL for the Westinghouse iGen4500
Interesting. The Westinghouse iGen4500 weighs 98 pounds and it has wheels and a telescoping handle, and it is a push button electric start generator. Its added weight is mostly because of the battery and starter. If a handle and wheels added 16 pounds to the weight of the iGen4200, they would weigh the same. Both would be easy to maneuver, and the same reasoning could be applied to the iPro4200.
I think Westinghouse should re-consider their decision and fit wheels to those two models. The Westinghouse iGen4500 delivers 4,500 peak Watts and 3,700 running Watts, 200 Watts more than the Westinghouse iGen4200. It has an enclosed design that makes it quieter than the iGen4200 and the total package looks neater.
The Westinghouse iGen4500 is an inverter generator with 120V 30A outlet (TT-30R) and it has a 5-20R 120V household duplex receptacle. The iGen4500 delivers an ideal power solution for RVs with its added 300 Watts. Perfect for an RV and remote camping, or for use around the home. Even a boat with a 120V 30A outlet (TT-30R). It will also charge your Tesla or most other electric cars because it is an inverter generator. You can charge a car battery and supply USB power to phones and computer equipment.
This quiet generator has a push-button electric start, an LED data center, and LED warning lights.
VIDEO | A Closer Look at the Westinghouse iGen4500
The LED digital data center indicates the remaining run time, power output in kW, remaining fuel level, output voltage, and lifetime run hours. Other indicators include the Fuel Level and the percentage power output. The output ready, overload, and low oil indicators are in a separate display close by.
A fuel on and off switch is conveniently placed on the panel. The battery on and off switch combined with a push button start controls the engine. Westinghouse included a battery charging port to charge external batteries and there are two USB charging ports.
Westinghouse even includes a remote Start key fob that adds to the convenient electric start feature. With it you can start the generator from inside the RV and watch the game without even getting up. The generator is also fuel efficient and delivers Up to 18 Hour Run Time at 25% power output. Its petrol tank can take 3.4 gallons and therefore its fuel efficiency is 4.9 kilowatt-hours per gallon. It is not so good, it is just below the average for the 23 generators I reviewed so far. Its consumption is also worse than the consumption of the Westinghouse iGen4200 and iPro4200.
The Westinghouse is quiet, they give its noise levels as 52 dBA. We all know that generators are noisy and that the enclosed designs are acceptably quiet. I do wish the suppliers would become more open and give us comparative noise levels with 75% load. The iGen4500 noise level is acceptable for camping, tailgating and situations where you need less disruption. Customer feedback is positive regarding the noise levels, most rate it as a very quiet generator.
Both the Westinghouse iGen4200 and the iGen4500 generators are EPA and CARB Compliant but not Canada CSA.
Starting: 4200W /Running : 3500W. (3x) Duplex 120V 20A GFCI (5-20R). As quiet as 62 dBA. 15 hours Run Time at 50% Load. OSHA compliant, GFCI outlets
- Heavy duty inverter generator for the job site
- OSHA compliant with a GFCI protected control panel, delivering power and safety to your job site.
- (3x) 120V 20A duplex 5-20R outlets
- Fuel efficient – runs up to 18 hrs on 2.6 gallons of gasoline
- Runs at a volume lower than any traditional open frame generators.
- Advanced inverter technology – reliable power for computers, electronics, and other sensitive equipment
- Total Harmonic Distortion (<3% THD) delivering clean power you can depend on.
- Weighs 82 pounds
- 18 hrs. Run Time at 25% Load
- 15 hrs. Run Time at 50% Load
- Dual USB Charging Ports
- EPA and CARB Compliant
- Charge electronics such as mobile phones and tablets with built-in USB charging ports.
- Circuit protected, Low-Oil Shutoff, and more
- Safety Features : overload prevention, and low-oil shutoff.
- Includes : comes with Oil, Funnel, Tool Kit, Manual, and Quick Start Guide.
- 3-Year Residential / 1-Year Commercial Warranty
Documents for the Westinghouse iPro4200 :
Westinghouse iPro4200, the name says it already, they tailored this heavy-duty generator for the job site. The iPro4200 is OSHA compliant; it has 3 Duplex 120V 20A GFCI (5-20R) receptacles to take 6 leads. It offers the flexibility you need on the job and it is safe. You can charge a truck or loader battery and supply USB power to phones and on-site Wi-Fi equipment.
It does not have a TT-30R receptacle, so it is not the generator you will use to power the RV. They did not equip it to be a standby generator for the house either. You may use it on a boat, where the GFCI outlets will be an important safety feature. It will be handy around the house or for the tailgating equipment but it’s best equipped for a job site.
VIDEO | A Closer Look at the Westinghouse iPro4200
This seems to be the same generator as the iGen4200 with a different interface panel and the required OSHA safety features. Its fuel consumption is the same and likewise the engine, fuel tank, frame, and generator are the same. It means that it also runs for 18 hours on 2.6 gallons of gas which is quite a long run-time. You may run it all day at the job site. It will depend on the load and how often you use the tools, but it might just do it. I see that as positive because you can almost forget that it needs attention and concentrate on the job. A long run-time saves you time and money.
It’s a generator, it needs regular attention, and a job site generator needs more attention. It works in a dusty environment and runs longer hours. The total runtime will quickly clock up the hours till the next service is due. Keep an eye on the lifetime hour meter that also cycles volts and frequency.
User feedback indicates that the generator is quiet for an open frame generator and that is superb news. Even on a noisy job site the constant drone of a noisy generator becomes annoying when it interferes with discussions and overpowers verbal instructions. With these generators at a distance of about 30 feet you can communicate comfortably.
This Westinghouse weigh 82 pounds, like the iGen4200 it is easy to load on a truck and the steel frame protects it against damage. Unlike with the iGen4200, I do not feel a need to have wheels fitted to it. Being a job site generator there is always someone else around who can comfortably carry half the load to move the iPro4200.
The built-in protection against overload and the GFCI receptacles is important when you connect lots of tools and work with them. It is not a controlled environment and mistakes happen. The covers for unused outlets are a welcome protector of the contacts. I’ve been on many job sites where the rain suddenly pours down on us. Then everyone scrambles to protect the tools and forget to protect the generator. It may be wise to have an all-weather protector available for the generator.
The low-oil shutoff may become a lifesaver for the engine of your generator. When moving between job sites it is possible to forget that it needs oil. The iPro4200 also comes with a handy oil funnel and tool kit, for those emergencies.
Westinghouse covers it with lifetime technical support and one-year or 1000 hours limited commercial warranty. For residential use you get the same lifetime technical support and a three-year or 1000 hours limited warranty.
✓ If you’re not sure which size generator you need, use the Westinghouse online calculator to help you make the right choice.
Closed or open frame inverter generators?
Which is better for RV and camping? A Westinghouse iGen4200 open frame inverter generator or a closed style inverter like the Westinghouse iGen4500? Which features do you prefer? It’s a tough one to give firm answers to, therefore I’d rather re-iterate the perceived and real values of some features. Then you can decide.
To argue the values of those features and the closed and open frame designs, I hypothesized my own design for an inverter generator. I write lots of reviews about generators and they have often asked me what my ideal generator would be. It does not even have to exist. What features would it have, what will it look like, how much power and so on? Well, I decided that it may start an interesting conversation and so I created my wish list for the ideal generator.
I will target it at the homeowner with a camper or RV. It must be the ideal size to power a 70 Foot RV or an average size home.
For this application, I believe it must be quiet, so it must be of an enclosed design. But I want to take it one step further, I also want it to be the preferred generator on a job site. Therefore, I envision a closed frame design inside an open frame.
The open frame design is more rugged, and it is easier to carry. Its disadvantage is that it is noisy, so I would prefer a hybrid. I will base the design on an open frame, nice big tank at the top, with a fuel level indicator. Enclosed on all four sides with vented sound damping panels and a neat opening for the exhaust. I will expose the frame at the top so there is ample grip to carry and load it onto the truck.
A low noise or a so-called quiet generator is important to the camper and the homeowner in an emergency. You escape to the remote areas not because you want to hear a generator droning, nor does the group next to you. During a blackout you do not want to annoy your neighbors. It’s also important when tailgating and equally to the food truck operator at gatherings and sporting events.
The job site is noisy, tools make their own kind of noise and some, like a table saw, is really noisy. The generator adds to that background of noise but you hardly notice it, therefore a Westinghouse iPro4200 may be a better choice. It is lighter, more economical and the long run-time on a tank is more suitable to a job site. But consider the advantage of greater flexibility offered by my idealistic design. One generator design for all applications. Depending on the application and your situation, it may be the only solution you need.
I do not believe we must fit wheels, wheels matter little, but the generator must be easy to carry. It may be wheel kit ready for those who prefer wheels. How often does a camper move the generator, it sits there and works most of the time. Only when the starter, battery and some switches and remote make the generator too heavy to move or carry, then the wheel set becomes necessary. But if that is not the case you might as well do without it.
On a job site where there are lots of strong, willing backs around, the wheels matter little. Nor does the starter and remote. You get up early, brave the cold and get to the job site where you unload the generator. Fire it up for coffee, while you lay out cords for tools. While working, it is more important that the generator has lots of power, excellent fuel consumption and all day run time. OSHA compliant is more important than a remote and you need the flexibility to hook up lots of tools. It must keep the Wi-Fi running and be good for charging phones and cordless tools.
Wheels are Essential for Heavy Generators | Westinghouse WPro12000 (review)
Electric start and remote
Electric start and a remote matter more for the homeowner and camper. It seems to be an important consideration when someone uses a camping trailer or RV and roughing it without utility power. With the remote you can start the generator from the comfort of your RV first thing in the morning. You are now ready to make coffee and heat the freezing interior, and it happens before you get dressed. While you sip coffee, you can turn on the TV to watch the news and you still haven’t been outside. It works for me.
When powering the home during a blackout a remote start is a useful feature when it’s cold and windy outside. It is equally convenient when you get up to start the generator for that coffee and fan for the burner to heat things up.
Startup current and voltage dips
On a job site we start and stop tools all day, therefore lots of starting current is important. Maybe even more important is the ability to maintain a constant voltage. Every time a tool fires up, it causes another to dip in speed because of the dip in power. Some tools cause a dip down to 60 Volt. It’s temporary and short lived, but it happens all day. Surely there is a solution?
Even when camping and running the air conditioner and refrigerator, you hear the generator speed dropping when the utilities recycle. When you hear that you realize that the voltage drops every time that happens. Remember what electric Power is. It’s got the ability to do work, which we measure in Watts. The higher the voltage the more power you have with the same current. Watts/power = Volts x Amps. This equation makes it possible to calculate the effects of the voltage drops on equipment.
Let’s assume that the required current remains the same when the voltage drops; it will cause the power output to drop. That’s when you hear the tool in your hand loose power, it slows down for a brief period. You see it on incandescent lamps when they dim during that period.
If the power requirement remains constant, the amperage must increase as the voltage drops. If the current increase is more than the overload protection allows, the generator trips power.
Is it bad? It may be more annoying than bad. They design most equipment to absorb or mask the effects and electronic equipment should remain unaffected.
A consideration that Westinghouse did not address with the three generators is whether 120 Volts is enough. Many campers and RVs require 240 Volt connectors because of the way they wire the unit. Unfortunately, it seems that Westinghouse do not manufacture 240 Volt inverter generators aimed at the recreational market. Fortunately, their competitors see the need and offer some potent 240 Volt enclosed design inverter generators. As backup power for the home and convenience in remote areas, however, 240 Volts is important and so is a 50 Amp receptacle.
Total runtime in hours is important, it makes it possible to service the generator on schedule and so extend its serviceable life. An accurate true RMS Volt meter and Amp meter is equally important, it allows me to know what the generator is doing. A simpler power output meter may be adequate for most owners. Fuel level or remaining run-time is also important. Especially to the food truck operator, or business owner using it in an emergency. It is equally important to the lazy camper or home owner.
I suggest having a module on the generator that broadcasts the fuel level, run time, load in Amps and the voltage on Wi-Fi. It will enable an app on a smartphone to calculate all the information you need. It may warn you that the fuel is running low and you need to prepare for a re-fuel shutdown. It can calculate and inform you of your fuel consumption and fuel efficiency, etc. It will calculate your running cost and even the cost of ownership and explain how you should service the generator.
My ideal generator will generate roughly 5000 watts running and 6000 Watts starting power. It must deliver both 120 Volts and 240 Volts and be an Inverter generator. That power must be available on a selection of outputs that’s mounted to a removable panel. You unhook it and place it close to where you need it, with a single cord to connect it to the generator.
On that panel there should be several outlets. A 120/240 Volt AC, 30 Amp Twist-Lock Receptacle (NEMA L14-30R), and a 120/240 Volt AC / 50 Amp Receptacle (NEMA L14-50R). 120 Volt AC, 30 Amp Receptacle (NEMA TT-30R) and two GFCI 120 Volt AC / 20 Amp Duplex (2) (GFCI 5-20R) receptacles. Then two USB ports makes sense because it is where you need it. All the outlets must have rubber covers to protect them.
Diagram of the most common electrical outlets
The 12 Volt DC port remains at the generator and so does the electric start, and fuel controls. The over-voltage trips, oil warning light, etc. can also remain at the generator.
This machine is like a Westinghouse iGen4200, iGen4500 and iPro4200 combined into one unit and it will be the most innovative generator on the market. Isn’t that what we need to beat the Chinese manufacturers?