Zoom on the Cat RP5500
In summary, the Cat RP5500 is a portable generator especially useful for:
- RV travellers who wish to upgrade their experience to another level
- People occasionally participating in sporting competitions, open-air performances and outdoor festivals
- Food van owners who know that just a short power outage could lose them hundreds of dollars
- 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
Power & Run Time
The Cat RP5500's core is the 300 cc OHV 4-stroke engine, which runs on gasoline. With an output of 120/240V, it provides a running wattage of 5500W and a peak wattage of 6875W.
This generator gets running thanks to a simple traditional pull-start mechanism.
With a full tank, the RP5500 can operate for around 15 hours at 50% load (fuel consumption around 0.53 GPH), thanks to its fuel capacity of 7.9 gallons.
The control panel features the following 5 AC outlets:
Due to the featured twist-lock L14-30R receptacle, the RP5500 is transfer switch ready: you may connect it to a breaker box to power your household during a power outage.
The Cat RP5500 has a conventional, open frame design, of the following dimensions: L32.9 x W27.4 x H24.7 in, which offers support and allows it to be raised above ground level. The device has been designed for tough environments and demanding outdoor use.
Although this generator is technically considered 'portable' (in the sense that it can be moved), its 178 lbs make it incredibly difficult to manually lift and transport. 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 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.
A built-in fuel gauge allows for a quick, easy and convenient check of the fuel level of the generator.
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: tool kit, oil and funnel. An official storage cover is also available, as a separate purchase.
The Cat RP5500 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 and therefore, can be used 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).
- Since the generator weighs in at a dry weight of 178 lbs, the Cat RP5500 belongs in the expected weight range for devices which can produce between 5000 and 6000 rated watts. If weight is your top priority, one of the champions in this power category is the WEN GN6000, weighing just 119 pounds.
- Since the RP5500 boasts with a run time of around 15 hours at 50% load, it can be safely judged as one of the devices with the highest run time among those of a comparable output.
- 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. This generator, with an estimated fuel consumption of just 0.53 GPH (gallon per hour) at 50% load, is one of the more fuel efficient generators, for the previously mentioned wattage range. If you wish to acquire one of the most gasoline efficient products of this power range, the Westinghouse WGen5300v, with a fuel consumption of 0.35 GPH could be in your good books.
As you can see from this interactive chart, when compared to other 5000-6000W generators, the Cat RP5500 is on the cheap side of the price range.
It can therefore be a really good buy if you're looking to acquire a budget generator.
The bottom line
- 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|
|Peaks 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.
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