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Cat RP3600 Spec Review

Picture 1 of the Cat RP3600
Picture 2 of the Cat RP3600
Picture 3 of the Cat RP3600

The Cat RP3600 is an open frame portable generator with a rated wattage of 3600 W and a starting wattage of 4500 W.

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Description

ECONOMICAL TEMPORARY POWER SOLUTION. This compact, affordable model will generate enough power to keep the critical items you need running. (source: Cat)

Zoom on the Cat RP3600

In a nutshell, the Cat RP3600 is a portable generator mostly geared towards:

  • RV travellers who wish to upgrade their experience to another level
  • Homeowners who want to be able to use the most necessary devices in their household, even during a blackout

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 RP3600 in use

The Cat RP3600

The Cat RP3600 is powered by a 212 cc OHV 4-stroke engine. It delivers 120V, runs on gasoline and offers a running wattage of 3600W as well as a peak wattage of 4500W.

This generator offers the possibility to start the device via a simple traditional pull-start mechanism.

The fuel capacity of 4.5 gallons allows the RP3600 to operate for around 13.5 hours at 50% load with a full tank (fuel consumption around 0.33 GPH).

Outlets

The control panel features the upcoming 5 AC outlets:

Two Duplexes 120V 20A (5-20R)
120V 30A (TT-30R) receptacle

With its TT-30R receptacle (TT as in 'Travel Trailer'), this Cat generator is RV Ready.

Portability

The Cat RP3600 has a conventional, open frame design, of the following dimensions: L28.4 x W25.2 x H23 in, which offers support and allows it to be raised above ground level. The design is ideal for rough environments and demanding outdoor use.

Since the generator weighs 125 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 a wheel kit and a folding handle, which will ease its displacement, once it is on the floor.

Features

Panel of the Cat RP3600

The RP3600's control panel

The RP3600'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.

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

With the basic documentation and a user manual, letting you start the generator quickly, the Cat RP3600 also comes with several accessories, including: oil, tool kit and funnel.

Emissions

The Cat RP3600 is EPA-approved and CARB-compliant. Thus, selling and purchasing this generator is allowed in each of the 50 states, including California.

Moreover, it features a spark arrestor, which makes it suitable for use in forested areas.

Product Videos

Video of the Cat RP3600

Video of the Cat RP3600

The Cat RP3600 versus other generators

The following charts are provided to give you an idea of how some of the key specs of the Cat RP3600 compare to generators of similar power (between 3500 and 4500 W).

  • Since the generator weighs in at a dry weight of 125 lbs, the Cat RP3600 belongs in the expected weight range for devices which can produce between 3500 and 4500 rated watts. If weight matters to you, one of the champions in this power range is the WEN GN400i with only 66.1 pounds.
  • Since the RP3600 boasts with a run time of around 13.5 hours at 50% load, it can be safely judged as a device of a higher run time than most generators of a comparable output. 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 Honda EB4000, with around 16 hours .
  • The run time is important, but also hugely depends on the capacity of the fuel tank and doesn't mean much if we don't talk about fuel consumption as well. This generator is one of the more fuel efficient models of the aforementioned output range, as its estimated fuel consumption reaches just 0.33 GPH (gallon per hour) at 50% load. If fuel consumption is your top priority, we suggest to check out the Westinghouse iGen4200, which has a fuel consumption of only 0.17 GPH and thus, is one of the most efficient devices in our database.

Price comparison

As you can see from this dynamic chart, when compared to other 3500-4500W generators, the Cat RP3600 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
  • RV Ready
  • High run time
  • Fuel efficient
AVERAGE SPECS:
  • Decent weight (125 lbs)
WEAKNESSES:
  • No electric start

Do you own the Cat RP3600 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 readyYes
FuelGasoline
Engine212 cc OHV 4-stroke
Starting systemRecoil

Power

VoltageAC: 120V 60 Hz
Running watts3600 W
Starting watts4500 W
Running amps30 amps
Peaks amps37.5 amps
Run time @50% load13.5 h
Run time @25% loadN/A

Features

GFCI outletsNo
Covered outletsYes
Automatic Voltage RegulationYes
AC outlets2x Duplex 120V 20A (5-20R)
1x 120V 30A (TT-30R)
DC outletsNo
Data centerVFT
IndicatorsNo
Fuel tankMetal, 4.5 gal
Fuel gaugeYes

Misc

Weight125 lbs
Dimensions (L x W x H)28.4 x 25.2 x 23 in
Noise (lower limit)N/A
THDN/A
EmissionsCARB, EPA
SecurityLow oil and overload protection
Spark arrestorYes
NeutralBonded to frame
Accessories includedTool kit, funnel and oil
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 RP3600 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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