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Cat RP12000 E Spec Review

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

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Cat RP12000 ECat RP12000 ECat RP12000 E

Get this unit while stocks last, because Caterpillar discontinued its production.

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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 (opens in a new tab))

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 ensure that a power failure will not prevent them from working.

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 Rato OHV V-Twin engine, which provides 120/240V, consumes gasoline and delivers a running wattage of 12000W along with a peak wattage of 15000W.

This generator is started via a simple and elegant electric starter (battery included).

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

The RP12000 E generates a clean sine wave: providing <5% Total Harmonic Disruption (THD), delicate electronics can be plugged in its AC outlets safely.

Outlets

The control panel features the upcoming 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

In addition, it provides 1 DC outlet: there's a 12V 8A (cigarette lighter style) receptacle with which charging your batteries is made easy.

This Cat generator features an L5-30R receptacle, enabling an easy RV connection via an L5-30P to TT-30R adaptor. However, it is still not quite RV ready. Besides, as it features a twist-lock L14-30R receptacle, the RP12000 E is transfer switch ready: in case of a power outage, you will be easily able to connect it to a breaker box and power your household.

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 design is ideal for rough environments and demanding outdoor use.

Since the generator weighs 350 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). However, its challenging mobility is solved by its wheel kit and its folding handle, which will ease its displacement, once it is on the floor.

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 fuel level of the generator can be determined quickly, easily, and conveniently with the help of its built-in fuel gauge.

Security-wise, this product benefits from an overload protection (circuit breaker) and an automatic low oil shut-off, which gives you a complete peace of mind when using it.

Along the basic documentation and an owner's manual (opens in a new tab), useful for starting the generator right away, the Cat RP12000 E's package also includes these accessories: oil, funnel, battery charger and tool kit.

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, which makes it suitable for use in forested areas.

Product Videos

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 14000 W).

  • Considering its dry weight of 350 pounds, the Cat RP12000 E is one of the heavier generators producing between 10000 and 14000 running watts. If weight is your top priority, one of the champions in this power category is the A-iPower SUA13000EFI, weighing just 218 pounds.
  • The RP12000 E provides a higher run time than similarly powerful devices, reaching around 11.7 hours at 50% load. If autonomy is your priority, one of the devices of a similar power output with the highest run time is the Powerhorse 13000ES, reaching around 15 hours.
  • Autonomy holds its importance, however, it is largely dependent on the generator’s fuel capacity and so, it is nonsensible to discuss it without mentioning fuel efficiency as well. In fact, this generator is not among the most fuel efficient, within the aforementioned wattage range : its estimated gasoline consumption at 50% load is around 1.13 GPH. 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 interactive chart, when compared to other 10000-14000W 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
  • Illuminated control panel
  • Several accessories included
  • GFCI Outlets
  • Electric start
  • Clean sine wave
  • High run time
WEAKNESSES:
  • No recoil back-up
  • No remote start
  • On the heavy side (350 lbs)
  • Low fuel efficiency

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

Let us know and write your own review.

Features and Specifications

General
InverterNo
PortableYes
Parallel capableNo
RV readyNo
FuelGasoline
Engine670 cc Rato 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
Peak amps (@120/240V)125/62.5 amps
Run time @50% load11.7 h
Run time @25% loadUnknown
Features
GFCI outletsYes
Covered outletsYes
Automatic Voltage RegulationYes
AC outlets
  • 2x 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
Approx. dimensions (L x W x H)35.7 x 32.7 x 35.8 in
Noise (lower limit)Unknown
THD< 5%
EmissionsCARB, EPA
SecurityLow oil and overload protection
Spark arrestorYes
NeutralBonded to frame
Accessories includedOil, funnel, tool kit, battery charger, battery, and wheel kit
Warranty2 years
Other model numbers502-3700

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.

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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. CAT portable generators are engineered and designed in Mossville, Illinois, and Belfast, Northern Ireland. However, their production is outsourced to China.

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 (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?
Examples of items that can be simultaneously powered.
The examples below are based on a maximum load of 80% and estimated wattages. For a more accurate estimation, use our wattage calculator.
ItemRunning WattsStarting Watts
At homeSump pump (1/2 hp)10502150
Furnace fan (1/2 hp)8752350
Refrigerator (energy star)1921192
Clothes dryer54006750
Hair dryer18001900
Slow cooker270270
Total9587 W11062 W
For workElectric welder90009000
Electric fence (25 miles)250250
Drain cleaner250250
Bug zapper8080
Total9580 W9580 W
What is the thd of this unit? (Asked April 28, 2020)

As indicated in the table above, the THD is <5%.

Who makes the cat rp12oooe engine (Asked January 30, 2021)

The engine is manufactured by Rato.

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