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Cat RP12000 E Spec Review

Picture 1 of the Cat RP12000 E
Picture 2 of the Cat RP12000 E
Picture 3 of the Cat RP12000 E

The Cat RP12000 E is a powerful open frame portable generator with a rated wattage of 12000 W and a starting wattage of 15000 W.

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Description

The best choice when the job calls for power. The Cat RP12000 E delivers 12kW of long-lasting power for heavy duty applications in a balanced, fuss-free design. The RP12000 E is perfect for the small contractor or homeowner with big power needs who also wants premium features and the flexibility of a portable generator. Built with a 670cc V-Twin OHV motor, Low Harmonic Distortion all copper generator and premium control panel, this generator delivers durable, quality power. (source: Cat)

Zoom on the Cat RP12000 E

In a nutshell, the Cat RP12000 E is a powerful portable generator mostly geared towards:

  • Professionals who want to be able to deliver results, even during a power failure
  • Homeowners who wish to power almost all appliances in their house under any circumstances

In the sections ahead, the power characteristics, availability of various outlets, the portability and any additional features of the device shall be discussed, including its emission compliance information.

Power & Run Time

The Cat RP12000 E in use

The Cat RP12000 E

The Cat RP12000 E houses a 670 cc OHV V-Twin engine, which provides 120/240V, consumes gasoline and delivers a running wattage of 12000W along with a peak wattage of 15000W.

The generator features a convenient and easy-to-use electric starter (battery included).

The RP12000 E can operate for around 11.7 hours at 50% load with a full tank (fuel consumption around 1.13 GPH), due to its fuel capacity of 13.2 gallons.

As the RP12000 E produces a clean sine wave, with a <5% Total Harmonic Disruption (THD), sensitive electronics may be plugged in the AC outlets safely.

Several examples of what the generator may allow you to power simultaneously are:Note: The examples above are based on a maximum load of 75% and estimated wattages. The devices also may not be able to start at the same time. For a more accurate estimation, use our wattage calculator.

Outlets

The control panel features the following 8 AC outlets:

Two Duplexes 120V 20A (5-20R) GFCI
Two 120V 30A (L5-30R) receptacles
120/240V 30A (L14-30R) receptacle
120/240V 50A (14-50R) receptacle

Furthermore, it has 1 DC outlet: there's a 12V 8A (cigarette lighter style) receptacle with which you may charge your batteries with ease.

Even though this Cat generator isn't quite RV Ready, its L5-30R receptacle allows an easy RV connection via an L5-30P to TT-30R adaptor. Besides, since the RP12000 E bears a twist-lock L14-30R receptacle, it is transfer switch ready: it is easily connectible to a breaker box and can power your home in case of a power outage.

Portability

With its dimensions of L35.7 x W32.7 x H35.8 in, the conventional, open frame design of the Cat RP12000 E offers stability and allows the generator to be raised above ground level. The device has been designed for tough environments and demanding outdoor use.

Although this generator is technically considered 'portable' (in the sense that it can be moved), its 350 lbs make it incredibly difficult to manually lift and transport. Never less, thanks to a wheel kit and a folding handle (a decent solution to its lack of maneuverability), the generator can be easily moved, once placed the ground.

A lift hook located on the top of the frame offers an additional safety feature while facilitating the transport, loading and unloading of the generator.

Features

Panel of the Cat RP12000 E

The RP12000 E's control panel

The RP12000 E's status and activity may be monitored conveniently via the control panel, as it features a convenient meter, which displays voltage, frequency and lifetime hours. To offer you even more control and easy operation during night time, the panel is LED-lit.

The generator includes a built-in fuel gauge, a quick, easy and convenient method of checking the device’s gas level.

As far as security is concerned, the generator can be used with a peace of mind, as it features an automatic low oil shut-off and an overload protection (circuit breaker).

Apart from the typical documentation and a user manual, which lets you start it right away, the Cat RP12000 E also is packed along with the following accessories: battery charger, oil, tool kit and funnel.

Emissions

The Cat RP12000 E 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.

Product Videos

Video of the Cat RP12000 E

Video of the Cat RP12000 E

The Cat RP12000 E versus other generators

The following charts are provided to give you an idea of how some of the key specs of the Cat RP12000 E compare to generators of similar power (between 10000 and 17500 W).

  • As its dry weight is 350 pounds, the Cat RP12000 E is one of the heavier of the products which can generate 10000 to 17500 running watts. In terms of weight, one of the champions in their power range is the A-iPower SUA13000EFI, standing at just 218 lbs.
  • The RP12000 E provides a higher run time than similarly powerful devices, reaching 11.7 hours at 50% load.
  • Even though run times are undoubtedly important, they are dependent on the fuel capacity to a large extent. For a more wholesome picture, we must take into consideration the fuel consumption of the generator Standing at an estimated 1.13 GPH (gallon per hour) at a 50% load, this generator is somewhat average in this area compared to other devices, within the aforementioned wattage range. If not satisfied with the afore-mentioned fuel consumption, you may wish to check out the A-iPower SUA13000EFI. With a fuel consumption of as little as 0.78 GPH, it is one of the most efficient generators currently on the market.

Price comparison

As you can see from this dynamic chart, when compared to other 10000-17500W generators, the Cat RP12000 E 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

STRENGTHS:
  • In the expected price range
  • Several accessories included
  • Electric start
  • Clean sine wave
  • High run time
AVERAGE SPECS:
  • Decent fuel efficiency
WEAKNESSES:
  • No recoil back-up
  • No remote start
  • On the heavy side (350 lbs)

Do you own the Cat RP12000 E and agree (or disagree) with these strengths and weaknesses?

Let us know and write your own review.

Where to buy the Cat RP12000 E?

You can easily buy your Cat generator online. You will benefit from a convenient delivery and avoid carrying the heavy package yourself. Here are a few reliable online sellers:
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Price History
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Price history for the Cat RP12000 E
Latest updates:
  • $2,679.00 - September 7, 2019
  • $2,399.00 - August 28, 2019
  • $2,679.00 - August 25, 2019
Since: August 25, 2019
  • Highest Price: $2,679.00 - August 25, 2019
  • Lowest Price: $2,399.00 - August 28, 2019

Features and Specifications

General

InverterNo
PortableYes
Parallel capableNo
RV readyNo
FuelGasoline
Engine670 cc OHV V-Twin
Starting systemElectric

Power

VoltageAC: 120/240V 60 Hz, DC: 12V
Running watts12000 W
Starting watts15000 W
Running amps (@120/240V)100/50 amps
Peaks amps (@120/240V)125/62.5 amps
Run time @50% load11.7 h
Run time @25% loadN/A

Features

GFCI outletsYes
Covered outletsYes
Automatic Voltage RegulationYes
AC outlets2x Duplex 120V 20A (5-20R) GFCI
2x 120V 30A (L5-30R)
1x 120/240V 30A (L14-30R)
1x 120/240V 50A (14-50R)
DC outlets1x 12V 8A (cigarette lighter style)
Data centerVFT
IndicatorsNo
Fuel tankMetal, 13.2 gal
Fuel gaugeYes

Misc

Weight350 lbs
Dimensions (L x W x H)35.7 x 32.7 x 35.8 in
Noise (lower limit)N/A
THD< 5%
EmissionsCARB, EPA
SecurityLow oil and overload protection
Spark arrestorYes
NeutralBonded to frame
Accessories includedTool kit, funnel, oil and battery charger
Warranty2 years

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.

About Cat

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.

Warranty Information

The Cat RP12000 E is covered under a warranty for up to 2 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. Alternatively, you can also contact their Customer Support: 1-844-PWR-ME-UP (844-797-6387).

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