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Cat RP3600 Spec Review

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

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Cat RP3600Cat RP3600Cat RP3600

Description

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

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
  • Occasional participants of outdoor events, competitions, concerts and festivals
  • 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's core is the 212 cc OHV 4-stroke engine, which runs on gasoline. With an output of 120V, it provides a running wattage of 3600W and a peak wattage of 4500W.

The generator features a conventional pull-start mechanism.

With a full tank, the RP3600 can operate for around 13.5 hours at 50% load (fuel consumption around 0.33 GPH), thanks to its fuel capacity of 4.5 gallons.

Outlets

The control panel includes the following 5 AC outlets:

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

This Cat generator is RV Ready, thanks to its TT-30R receptacle (TT stands for 'Travel Trailer').

Portability

The Cat RP3600 has the following dimensions: L28.4 x W25.2 x H23 in. In combination with its conventional, open frame design, they provide support and allow the generator to be raised above ground level. The device has been designed for tough 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, this lack of maneuverability is compensated by its wheel kit and its folding handle, with which you can conveniently shift it, once it's on the ground.

Features

Panel of the Cat RP3600

The RP3600's control panel

The RP3600 and its control panel include a convenient meter, which displays voltage, frequency and lifetime hours. This feature comes handy when monitoring its status and activity. 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.

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.

Apart from the typical documentation and an owner's manual (opens in a new tab), which lets you start it right away, the Cat RP3600 also is packed along with the following accessories: oil, tool kit and funnel. An official storage cover is also available, as a separate purchase.

Emissions

The Cat RP3600 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, so it is adequate for use in forested areas.

Product Videos

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).

  • As its weight is 125 pounds, the Cat RP3600 falls in the expected weight range of the devices in the 3500-4500 rated wattage category. If weight is your top priority, one of the champions in this power category is the WEN GN400i, weighing just 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 Predator 4375, with around 16 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. With an estimated gasoline consumption of 0.33 GPH (gallon per hour) at 50% load, this generator is among the more fuel efficient of the products in the above-mentioned wattage range. If you wish to further improve in the area of fuel efficiency, the Westinghouse iGen4200, which boasts with a gas consumption of only 0.17 GPH, may be the right generator for you.

The bottom line

STRENGTHS:
  • Illuminated control panel
  • 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
Peak amps37.5 amps
Run time @50% load13.5 h
Run time @25% loadUnknown
Features
GFCI outletsNo
Covered outletsYes
Automatic Voltage RegulationYes
AC outlets
  • 2x 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
Approx. dimensions (L x W x H)28.4 x 25.2 x 23 in
Noise (lower limit)Unknown
THDUnknown
EmissionsCARB, EPA
SecurityLow oil and overload protection
Spark arrestorYes
NeutralBonded to frame
Accessories includedOil, funnel, tool kit, and wheel kit
Warranty2 years
Other model numbers502-3684

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 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 (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
Refrigerator (energy star)1921192
Vacuum cleaner10751175
Radio100100
Total2867 W3867 W
For campingRV AC (11,000 BTU)10101600
RV refrigerator180600
Electric grill16501650
Total2840 W3430 W
For workGrinder14002500
Demolition hammer12601260
Bug zapper8080
Total2740 W3840 W

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