Zoom on the Cat RP3600
In a nutshell, the Cat RP3600 is a portable generator mostly geared towards:
- RV travellers looking for even more independence
- People occasionally participating in outdoor fairs, festivals or events
- Homeowners who want to be able to use the most necessary devices in their household, even during a blackout
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's design includes a gasoline-fueled 212 cc OHV 4-stroke engine. With a 120V output, it gives a running wattage of 3600W and also a peak wattage of 4500W.
Its starting mechanism is based on a conventional pull-start mechanism.
With a fuel capacity of 4.5 gallons, the RP3600 may run for around 13.5 hours at 50% load with a full tank (fuel consumption around 0.33 GPH).
The control panel provides the upcoming 5 AC outlets:
This Cat generator is RV Ready, as it features a TT-30R receptacle (TT stands for 'Travel Trailer').
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 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.
The RP3600 and its control panel include a convenient meter showing you 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.
The generator includes a built-in fuel gauge, a quick, easy and convenient method of checking the device’s gas level.
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.
Besides the classic documentation and an owner's manual (opens in a new tab) to get you promptly started, the Cat RP3600 also comes with some accessories: tool kit, funnel and oil are included. An official storage cover is also available, as a separate purchase.
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, making it usable in forested areas.
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).
- With a dry weight of 125 pounds, the Cat RP3600 finds itself in the expected weight range for generators able to produce between 3500 and 4500 rated watts. If you are concerned by weight, one of the champions in the above mentioned power range is the WEN GN400i, with a dry weight of just 66.1 pounds.
- As the RP3600 features an autonomy of around 13.5 hours at 50% load, it has a higher run time than an average generator of its power range. 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 EB4000X, with 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. 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 you are concerned with gasoline efficiency, having a fuel consumption of just 0.17 GPH, the Westinghouse iGen4200 is a device you should look out for.
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
- In the expected price range
- Several accessories included
- RV Ready
- High run time
- Fuel efficient
- Decent weight (125 lbs)
- No electric start
Features and Specifications
|Engine||212 cc OHV 4-stroke|
|Voltage||AC: 120V 60 Hz|
|Running watts||3600 W|
|Starting watts||4500 W|
|Running amps||30 amps|
|Peaks amps||37.5 amps|
|Run time @50% load||13.5 h|
|Run time @25% load||Unknown|
|Automatic Voltage Regulation||Yes|
|AC outlets|| |
|Fuel tank||Metal, 4.5 gal|
|Approx. dimensions (L x W x H)||28.4 x 25.2 x 23 in|
|Noise (lower limit)||Unknown|
|Security||Low oil and overload protection|
|Neutral||Bonded to frame|
|Accessories included||Oil, funnel, tool kit, and wheel kit|
|Other model numbers||502-3684|
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.
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.
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?
|Item||Running Watts||Starting Watts|
|At home||Refrigerator (energy star)||192||1192|
|Set of 5 LED light bulbs||55||55|
|Total||2857 W||3857 W|
|For camping||Radiant heater||1300||1300|
|RV AC (11,000 BTU)||1010||1600|
|Total||2860 W||3450 W|
|Total||2740 W||3840 W|
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