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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
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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 summary, the Cat RP12000 E is a powerful portable generator especially useful for professionals who want to ensure that a power failure will not prevent them from working.

The following sections will present you in detail its power characteristics, the different outlets it offers, its overall portability, the extra features it benefits from, and any relevant emission compliance details.

Power & Run Time

The Cat RP12000 E in use

The Cat RP12000 E

The Cat RP12000 E's core is the 670 cc Rato OHV V-Twin engine, which runs on gasoline. With an output of 120/240V, it provides a running wattage of 12000W and a peak wattage of 15000W.

Its starting mechanism is based on a simple and elegant 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.

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 includes 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

It also sports 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, as the RP12000 E holds a twist-lock L14-30R receptacle, it is transfer switch ready: you'll easily be able to connect it to your breaker box to power your home during a power outage.

Portability

The design of the Cat RP12000 E is a typical, open frame, with the dimensions of L35.7 x W32.7 x H35.8 in, offering support and stability and enabling the possibility of raising it above ground level. The generator is designed for ideal use outdoors and in rough environments.

While the generator is considered to be technically 'portable' (in the sense that you can move it), manually lifting and transporting it may be challenging, due to its high weight of 350 lbs. 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.

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.

A built-in fuel gauge allows for a quick, easy and convenient check of the fuel level of the generator.

As for its security measures, the device features an overload protection (circuit breaker) and an automatic low oil shut-off, letting you use it with a peace of mind.

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: battery charger, tool kit, oil and funnel.

Emissions

The Cat RP12000 E is EPA-approved and CARB-compliant. Therefore, its sale and purchase are permitted in all of the 50 states, including California.

Moreover, it features a spark arrestor, making it usable 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).

  • With its weight of 350 lbs, the Cat RP12000 E is one of the heavier generators in the 10000-14000 rated wattage category. In terms of weight, one of the champions in their power range is the A-iPower SUA13000EFI, standing at just 218 lbs.
  • With a run time of around 11.7 hours at 50% load, the RP12000 E has one of the higher run times, compared to its similarly powerful peers. 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 Powerhorse 13000ES, with around 15 hours.
  • Run times are important, yet thanks to their dependence on the fuel capacity, they should be judged along with the fuel consumption of the device. This generator is not fuel efficient compared to devices of similar output: its estimated fuel consumption stands at 1.13 GPH at a 50% load. If fuel consumption is your top priority, we suggest to check out the A-iPower SUA13000EFI, which has a fuel consumption of only 0.78 GPH and thus, is one of the most efficient devices in our database.

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
Peaks 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 generator size calculator.
ItemRunning WattsStarting Watts
At homeAC (10,000 BTU)15002200
Dish washer15003000
Electric fry pan15001500
Microwave (1000 watts)15001500
Sump pump (1/2 hp)10502150
Refrigerator (energy star)1921192
Electric range21002100
Satelite receiver250250
Total9592 W11092 W
For campingRV AC (11,000 BTU)10101600
RV refrigerator180600
Hair dryer18001900
Electric grill16501650
Microwave (1000 watts)15001500
Electric fry pan15001500
Radiant heater13001300
Rice cooker650650
Total9590 W10180 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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