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Cat RP3600 Spec Review

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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Picture 1 of the Cat RP3600
Picture 2 of the Cat RP3600
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Price history for the Cat RP3600
Latest updates:
  • $599.99 - July 17, 2020
  • $509.99 - June 18, 2020
Data source: ebay.com
Since: June 18, 2020
  • Highest Price: $599.99 - July 17, 2020
  • Lowest Price: $509.99 - June 18, 2020

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
  • People occasionally participating in sporting competitions, open-air performances and outdoor festivals
  • Homeowners in need of an emergency backup power for their essentials

In the following paragraphs, we shall explore the power characteristics, available outlets, portability, and any additional features of the device, along with 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.

The generator features a conventional pull-start mechanism.

The RP3600 can operate for around 13.5 hours at 50% load with a full tank (fuel consumption around 0.33 GPH), due 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

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

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 design is ideal for rough environments and demanding outdoor use.

Even though this device may be technically portable (as in movable), manipulation and transportation without special equipment can be a challenge, as it weighs 125 pounds. 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'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.

The fuel level of the generator can be determined quickly, easily, and conveniently with the help of its built-in fuel gauge.

Security-wise, this product benefits from an automatic low oil shut-off and an overload protection (circuit breaker), 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: funnel, oil and tool kit are included.

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).

  • Having a dry weight of 125 lbs, the Cat RP3600 belongs in the expected weight range for generators which produce 3500 to 4500 rated watts. In terms of weight, one of the champions in their power range is the WEN GN400i, standing at just 66.1 lbs.
  • 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 concerned with autonomy, one of the products of a comparable power output, which offers the highest run time, is the Honda EB4000X, boasting with around 16 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. 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
  • 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 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)N/A
THDN/A
EmissionsCARB, EPA
SecurityLow oil and overload protection
Spark arrestorYes
NeutralBonded to frame
Accessories includedOil, funnel and tool 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.

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 (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 wattage 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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