Zoom on the Cat RP5500
In a nutshell, the Cat RP5500 is a portable generator mostly geared towards:
- RV travellers looking for even more independence
- People occasionally participating in sporting competitions, open-air performances and outdoor festivals
- Food truck owners who do not wish to see their business interrupted under any circumstances
- Homeowners who want to be able to use the most necessary devices in their household, even during a blackout
- Professionals in need of safely powering high-intensity work or lighting equipment
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 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 is started via a conventional 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 provides the upcoming 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 dimensions of the Cat RP5500, which are L32.9 x W27.4 x H24.7 in, and its typical, open frame design provides stability and enables the generator to be raised 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. However, its challenging mobility is solved by its wheel kit and its folding handle, which will ease its displacement, once it is on the floor.
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.
The fuel level of the generator can be determined quickly, easily, and conveniently with the help of its built-in fuel gauge.
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.
Apart from the typical documentation and an owner's manual (opens in a new tab), which lets you start it right away, the Cat RP5500 also is packed along with the following accessories: tool kit, funnel and oil.
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 thus, may 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 matters to you, one of the champions in this power range is the Westinghouse WGen5300v with only 107 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. As this generator uses an estimated 0.53 GPH (gallon per hour) at a 50% load, it finds itself in the average gasoline consumption range of similar products. If you wish to further improve in the area of fuel efficiency, the Westinghouse WGen5300v, which boasts with a gas consumption of only 0.35 GPH, may be the right generator for you.
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
- Several accessories included
- GFCI Outlets
- High run time
- Decent weight (178 lbs)
- Decent fuel efficiency
- 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||N/A|
|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 and tool 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. 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 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||Sump pump (1/2 hp)||1050||2150|
|Furnace fan (1/2 hp)||875||2350|
|Refrigerator (energy star)||192||1192|
|Total||4397 W||5872 W|
|For camping||Radiant heater||1300||1300|
|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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