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5 Best Generator for Small House: Reviews & Buyer's Guide 2020

Tiny homes are fast becoming one of the most popular ways for people to have their own home without the huge environmental footprint or 30-year mortgage loan. Tiny homes are often mobile as well, so you can travel with yours attached to your truck anywhere in the country. A tiny home can offer a life of self-sufficiency, freedom, and even off-grid living.

To power your tiny home, you need a generator you can easily set up that is dependable and durable. Whether you want to power your tiny home full-time, or you just want a generator to power small appliances in case of an emergency, there are a variety of generators that can meet your needs.

Think about size, run time, fuel type, and power rating, and assess the items you need to power in your tiny home. This can help you decide on the perfect generator for your homestead.

Top Reasons to Buy:

Key Features:

In a Rush? Here’s our winner..

Generac 6864 XD5000E
Generac 6864 XD5000E

The Generac 6864 is a diesel-powered portable generator that has 5000 running watts and 5500 starting watts. It is durable, with a fully welded steel frame, and has an industrial engine with air-cooled direct injection.

It also has True Power Technology that provides a minimal amount of total harmonic distortion, allowing for smooth operation of sensitive electronics, tools, and appliances. With a 12-gallon fuel tank, it has a lengthy run time of 32.4 hours. For longevity and convenience, get your Generac 6864 diesel generator today.

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PROS

SPECS

Best Choice

Generac 6864 XD5000E

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PROS

  • True Power Technology

  • Single Touch Electric Start

  • Fully welded steel frame

SPECS

  • Integrated lifting eye

  • Weighs 254 lbs.

  • Handy hour meter

  • Yanmar LW Series 435cc engine

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DuroStar DS4000S

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PROS

  • Surge arrest technology

  • Approved for use in all 50 states

  • Constructed completely out of steel

SPECS

  • 120 volts of force

  • Low oil sensor

  • 208cc engine with 7.0 horsepower

  • Continuous 3300 watts of power

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Generac 7117 GP2200i

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PROS

  • Parallel-ready

  • TruePower technology

  • Economy mode

SPECS

  • 1.2-gallon fuel tank

  • 10.75 hours of run time

  • 120 volts of force

  • Amperage of 14.1

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DuroMax XP4850EH

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PROS

  • High energy capacity

  • DuroMax MX2 technology

  • Low oil shut-off sensor

SPECS

  • 4850 starting watts

  • 3850 running watts

  • DuroMax MX2 technology

  • 212cc OHV engine

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Champion 3800-Watt

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PROS

  • High energy capacity

  • Powered by electric start

  • Low oil shut-off sensor

SPECS

  • 224cc Champion engine

  • 3800 running watts

  • Noise Level: 68 dBA

  • Weight: 119 lbs

5 Best Generator for Small House - Reviews

1. Generac 6864 XD5000E Small House Generator – Best Overall

Although it’s relatively expensive, those who purchase this generator are getting their money’s worth. The Generac 6864 is a highly powerful diesel generator that’s durable, thanks to its fully welded steel frame, and has a long run time. It can run up to 32.4 hours at half load with a 12-gallon tank.

Fitted with the Yanmar LW Series 435cc engine, an industrial-grade engine with air-cooled direction injection, this diesel generator has 5000 running watts and 5500 starting watts of operational power.  It’s 254 lbs., which isn’t an ideal weight for constant transportation, but the integrated lifting eye makes it easier to transport.

This diesel generator requires low maintenance and is highly efficient. It also has True Power Technology that provides minimal harmonic distortion, allowing for the smooth operation for sensitive electronics, devices, and appliances. The Generac 6864 is undoubtedly the best diesel generator for tough jobs.

Specs

  • 33.10” x 22.50” x 25.60”

  • Weighs 254 lbs.

  • Handy hour meter keeps track of maintenance intervals

  • 5% harmonic distortion

Pros

  • Fully welded steel frame

  • Industrial-grade diesel engine

  • True Power Technology

Cons

  • High price point

Who Should Get This?

Tiny home owners who live off-grid or who want long run times and minimal maintenance will enjoy the many benefits of using a diesel generator.

2. DuroStar DS4000S Small House Generator – Best for the Money

The DuroStar DS4000S is one of the most affordable generators on the market, with a price point under $400. Purchasing this generator does give the owner enough bang for their buck, as its 208cc engine, a 7.0-horsepower air-cooled overhead valve engine, allows it to have 3300 running watts and a peak of 4000 watts of power. The engine shuts off when it is low on oil, which protects the engine.

Lighter than many other generators at 94 lbs., the DuroStar DS4000S is still durable, as it is constructed out of steel. As the generator only has a fuel tank capacity of 3.96 gallons, it has an 8-hour run time. While this may not be ideal for long-term tiny home living, it works well for when there is no electrical hook-up when you are moving your tiny home. There’s enough energy to run both high-voltage appliances and heavy-duty power tools.

Specs

  • 120 volts of force

  • Continuous 3300 watts of power

  • Low oil sensor

  • 208cc engine with 7.0 horsepower

Pros

  • Surge arrest technology

  • Approved for use in all 50 states

  • Constructed completely out of steel

Cons

  • Shorter run time

Who Should Get This?

The DuroStar DS4000S is an affordable yet powerful generator, but it has a relatively short run time. However, it does not break the bank, and tiny home owners can have a great generator on-hand for emergencies or moving trips.

3. Generac 7117 GP2200i Tiny Home Generator

The Generac 7117 GP2200i is one of the most compact and lightweight generators, weighing just 46 lbs. and is easily transportable. It also has a simplified start-up process, with an integrated OFF/RUN/CHOKE knob.

It isn’t the most powerful generator with 1700 running watts and 2200 maximum watts. However, as it’s parallel-ready, 2 inverters can be joined together to produce twice the power. In addition, the generator has LED status lights to indicate when it’s low on oil and threatens to overload.

There are several other useful features that the Generac 7117 GP22009 has, including an economy mode that enhances fuel economy and noise reduction. This makes it even more useful for tiny home living, especially if you have neighbors nearby or just want the solace of quiet on your land.

This generator runs with TruePower technology. This provides clean and stable power that is ideal for sensitive electronics, tools, and appliances.

Specs

  • 1.2-gallon fuel tank

  • 10.75 hours of run time

  • 120 volts of force

  • Amperage of 14.1

Pros

  • Parallel-ready

  • TruePower technology for clean, stable power

  • Economy mode for enhanced fuel economy

Cons

  • Not the most powerful generator

Who Should Get This?

The Generac 7117 GP2200i isn’t the most powerful generator. However, the run time, compact size, and economy mode make it ideal for short-term power outages. Use a parallel generator to boost the power.

4. DuroMax XP4850EH Small House Generator 

For an affordable price, the DuroMax XP4850EH is a generator that has plenty of power, with 4,850 starting watts and 3,850 running watts of power. With a DuroMax 212cc overhead valve engine that has 7.0 horsepower, this is a generator unit that is suitable for heavy loads like lights and air conditioning units, as well as power tools that have high amperage. To protect the engine, it has a sensor that shuts the generator off when it is low on oil.

DuroMax’s MX2 technology allows this generator to get maximum power from both of the 120-volt receptacles. This gives the generator enough energy to be quite useful in emergencies, although it can also be used for recreational purposes.

The DuroMax XP4850EH has plenty of benefits and quality features. However, it does produce quite a bit of noise while under heavy loads.

Specs

  • 212cc OHV engine with 7.0 horsepower

  • 4850 starting watts

  • 3850 running watts

  • DuroMax MX2 technology

Pros

  • High energy capacity

  • Approved for use in all 50 states

  • DuroMax MX2 technology

  • Low oil shut-off sensor

Cons

  • Noisy when under heavy load

Who Should Get This?

The DuroMax XP4850EH is ideal for those who want a generator for emergencies, given its high energy capacity and ability to power heavy loads. It can handle air conditioning units, which makes it an excellent choice for tiny homes who lose power after a weather event.

5. Champion 3800-Watt Tiny Home Generator

The Champion 3800-Watt Portable Generator has a high energy capacity and a number of key features. The 224cc Champion engine is powered by an electric toggle switch or recoil start and has a low oil shut-off sensor to protect it. It also has a safety fuel selector switch and runs up to 9 hours on a full tank. This generator runs quietly at 68 weighted decibels at a 23-foot distance.

The Intelligauge keeps track of voltage, hertz, and runtime hours. This allows for owners to monitor power output and keep track of maintenance intervals. Meanwhile, the Volt Guard has a built-in surge protector to prevent overloads.

Another major benefit of owning this generator is a three-year limited warranty and free lifetime technical support from a team of experts. The wide range of features and benefits of this generator make it well worth the higher-end price point.

Specs

  • 3800 running watts

  • 224cc Champion engine

  • 1-120volt, 30amp RV outlet

  • 1-120volt, 30amp locking outlet

  • 2-120volt, 20amp household outlets

Pros

  • High energy capacity

  • Powered by electric start

  • Low oil shut-off sensor

  • 3-year limited warranty

Cons

  • Higher-end price point

Who Should Get This?

The Champion 3800-Watt Portable Generator is ideal for tiny home owners who move around a lot, or who just want a durable generator they can easily pick up and relocate the unit to a more convenient spot.

Best Small House Generator Overall

The Generac 6864 is the best tiny home generator to purchase because it’s powerful, durable, and has a large fuel tank, making it an all-purpose machine. The impressive 32.4-hour run time means you don’t have to worry about forgetting to fill the tank, and the maintenance level is minimal.

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