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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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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 summary, the Cat RP3600 is a portable generator especially useful for:

  • RV travellers wishing to enhance their freedom and nomad lifestyle
  • People occasionally participating in sporting competitions, open-air performances and outdoor festivals
  • Homeowners in need of an emergency backup power for their essentials

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 RP3600 in use

The Cat RP3600

The Cat RP3600 houses a 212 cc OHV 4-stroke engine, which provides 120V, consumes gasoline and delivers a running wattage of 3600W along with a peak wattage of 4500W.

This generator gets running thanks to 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 features the upcoming 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

With its dimensions of L28.4 x W25.2 x H23 in, the conventional, open frame design of the Cat RP3600 offers stability and allows the generator to be raised above ground level. The featured design is ideal for the outdoors and all tough environments.

Although this generator is technically considered 'portable' (in the sense that it can be moved), its 125 lbs make it incredibly difficult to manually lift and transport. Nevertheless, thanks to its wheel kit and its folding handle (a decent solution to its lack of maneuverability), the generator can be easily moved, once placed the ground.

Features

Panel of the Cat RP3600

The RP3600's control panel

The RP3600's control center features a convenient meter showing you voltage, frequency and lifetime hours to aid you with the monitoring of its status and activity. To offer you even more control and easy operation during night time, the panel is LED-lit.

Thanks to a built-in fuel gauge, the generator allows you to quickly, conveniently and easily check the gas level at a glance.

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 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: tool kit, oil and funnel. An official storage cover is also available, as a separate purchase.

Emissions

The Cat RP3600 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 and therefore, can be used 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).

  • At a weight of 125 pounds, the Cat RP3600 places in the expected weight range of the generators in the 3500-4500 rated wattage range. If weight is your top priority, one of the champions in this power category is the WEN GN400i, weighing just 66.1 pounds.
  • The RP3600 provides a higher run time than similarly powerful devices, reaching around 13.5 hours at 50% load. Concerning the run times, one of the several devices with a comparable output, offering the highest autonomy, is the Honda EB4000X, which is able to run for around 16 hours.
  • 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. 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 not satisfied with the afore-mentioned fuel consumption, you may wish to check out the Westinghouse iGen4200. With a fuel consumption of as little as 0.17 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 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
  • 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
Peaks 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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