Zoom on the Cat RP5500
In a nutshell, the Cat RP5500 is a portable generator mostly geared towards:
- RV travellers who wish to upgrade their experience to another level
- People occasionally participating in outdoor fairs, festivals or events
- Food truck owners who do not wish to see their business interrupted under any circumstances
- Homeowners in need of an emergency backup power for their essentials
- Professionals who want to be able to deliver results, even during a power failure
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 RP5500's design includes a gasoline-fueled 300 cc OHV 4-stroke engine. With a 120/240V output, it gives a running wattage of 5500W and also a peak wattage of 6875W.
Its starting mechanism is based on a simple traditional pull-start mechanism.
Thanks to a fuel capacity of 7.9 gallons, the RP5500 can operate for around 15 hours at 50% load with a full tank (fuel consumption around 0.53 GPH).
The control panel features the following 5 AC outlets:
Because the RP5500 is equipped with a twist-lock L14-30R receptacle, it is transfer switch ready: it can power your home during a power outage, as it can be easily connected to your breaker box to power your household.
The design of the Cat RP5500 is a typical, open frame, with the dimensions of L32.9 x W27.4 x H24.7 in, offering support and stability and enabling the possibility of raising it above ground level. The generator is designed for ideal use outdoors and in rough environments.
While the generator is considered to be technically 'portable' (in the sense that you can move it), manually lifting and transporting it may be challenging, due to its high weight of 178 lbs. Nevertheless, it can still be moved quite conveniently with the help of its wheel kit and its folding handle, once it is placed on the ground.
The RP5500's status and activity may be monitored conveniently via the control panel, as it features a convenient meter showing you voltage, frequency and lifetime hours. 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.
As for its security measures, the device features an overload protection (circuit breaker) and an automatic low oil shut-off, letting you use it with a peace of mind.
Along the basic documentation and an owner's manual (opens in a new tab), useful for starting the generator right away, the Cat RP5500's package also includes these accessories: oil, funnel and tool kit. An official storage cover is also available, as a separate purchase.
The Cat RP5500 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, so it is adequate for use in forested areas.
The Cat RP5500 versus other generators
The following charts are provided to give you an idea of how some of the key specs of the Cat RP5500 compare to generators of similar power (between 5000 and 6000 W).
- With a dry weight of 178 pounds, the Cat RP5500 finds itself in the expected weight range for generators able to produce between 5000 and 6000 rated watts. Regarding dry weight, one of the champions in the same power range is the WEN GN6000, with a dry weight of only 119 lbs.
- As the RP5500 features an autonomy of around 15 hours at 50% load, it has one of the highest run times in comparison to the other generators of its power range.
- 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. At an estimated fuel consumption of 0.53 GPH (gallon per hour) at 50% load, this generator is a rather fuel efficient one within its wattage category. If you are concerned with gasoline efficiency, having a fuel consumption of just 0.35 GPH, the Westinghouse WGen5300DFv is a device you should look out for.
As you can see from this interactive chart, when compared to other 5000-6000W generators, the Cat RP5500 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
- Illuminated control panel
- Several accessories included
- GFCI Outlets
- High run time
- Fuel efficient
- Decent weight (178 lbs)
- No electric start
Features and Specifications
|Engine||300 cc OHV 4-stroke|
|Voltage||AC: 120/240V 60 Hz|
|Running watts||5500 W|
|Starting watts||6875 W|
|Running amps (@120/240V)||45.8/22.9 amps|
|Peak amps (@120/240V)||57.3/28.6 amps|
|Run time @50% load||15 h|
|Run time @25% load||Unknown|
|Automatic Voltage Regulation||Yes|
|AC outlets|| |
|Fuel tank||Metal, 7.9 gal|
|Approx. dimensions (L x W x H)||32.9 x 27.4 x 24.7 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||502-3686|
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. CAT portable generators are engineered and designed in Mossville, Illinois, and Belfast, Northern Ireland. However, their production is outsourced to China.
The Cat RP5500 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||AC (10,000 BTU)||1500||2200|
|Electric fry pan||1500||1500|
|Sump pump (1/2 hp)||1050||2150|
|Refrigerator (energy star)||192||1192|
|Set of 5 LED light bulbs||55||55|
|Total||4397 W||5497 W|
|For camping||RV AC (11,000 BTU)||1010||1600|
|Total||4390 W||4980 W|
|For work||Table saw||1800||4500|
|Total||4010 W||6710 W|
What are the red brackets mounted from the engine to the frame for? Why does it say to take off and discard? Can I keep them to reinstall during transport? If I leave them on for normal operation will it mess up generator, void warranty. Please note, I have not started the generator with red brackets still on engine. (Asked October 11, 2020)
These brackets are for additional stabilization during shipping/transport. They should be removed as indicated, as continuously running your unit with them still on could, according to CAT, cause damage to the unit.
Is my cat rp 5500 water proof? If it gets wet with rain in the outside will it get damaged? (Asked June 11, 2021)
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